Making the Shift to Get Unstuck in Life with Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta grew up in a small world. He moved four times before the age of ten, each time practically within the same neighborhood. In middle school, he became a good enough football player that he was able to get into a nice private school for high school – a drastic change which he resisted at first. 

There, he felt that he was behind his peers in some ways. There were so many kids from different backgrounds, many with much more money than he grew up with. But he quickly learned that when he went out on the field, there was no difference. That helped him understand that, as people, we are all the same.

He had a love of trucks from a young age. From sitting outside his home and watching them go by, all the way to college, where he got a job driving a garbage truck in downtown Philadelphia for the fun of it. It was there that he realized his passion for the work extended beyond a love of trucks. There was purpose (and profit) to be found in the refuse industry.

Later on, at a low point, a friend of his reached out, recognizing his value, with interest in partnering up on a business idea. Mike’s entrepreneurial path had many successes and failures, but as the business grew, he stopped learning and eventually burned out, entering a negative feedback loop that he calls The Valley of Uncertainty. It took him years to climb out of it. 

It was through coaching that Mike was able to break through, turn his business around, and eventually sell it. Now, he hosts his own podcast, wrote a book called Owner Shift, and coaches entrepreneurs on how to make the futures that they want.

What Brett asks:

  • [01:16] Can you tell us about your early days and family dynamic?
  • [03:12] What were you interested in in your early years of school?
  • [08:13] How did you start to put the lessons you were learning to work?
  • [17:20] What happens as you go back to college and regain your confidence?
  • [20:16] Where did your love for the garbage truck industry come from?
  • [30:46] How did your career in the waste management business progress?
  • [34:48] What was it like in the valley of uncertainty? How did you get out of it?
  • [46:39] What are you doing now? Are you still interested in entrepreneurship or have you shifted to coaching?

Lesson for intentional living:  1-2 important lessons from Brett’s POV

  • When you’re just starting out in your career, saying yes can be a powerful thing. Saying no will get you nowhere, but yes opens up opportunities and new experiences. Mike took advantage of this early in his career and it led to experiences that got him to where he is now.