Franz-Philippe Przybyl, also known as “FPP” since only a few people are able to pronounce his name, is a husband and father residing in Berlin, Germany. A serial entrepreneur, he has lived and worked in the United States, Germany, England, Hong Kong, and Gabon. As an entrepreneur, he has built several companies from nothing to multi-million dollar turnover and profit within a few years. Through his successes and failures in business, FPP discovered he has a unique ability to bridge different worlds by bringing together people, concepts, ideas, and projects that would not normally intersect. His passion for connecting people in positive, productive ways was the initial spark that has ultimately fueled Get in Charge of Your Life and the book PowerStart.
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Full Show Transcript
Adrian: Hello, this is Adrian McMillian with the Goal Show, brought to you by the Life I Deserve. I am honored to have today as a guest Franz-Philippe Przybyl. He is a growth catalyst, serial entrepreneur, speaker, and author of the book Power Start, How To Kick Off Your Day and Energize Your Life.
Franz-Philippe: Hi Adrian, thanks for having me on the show.
Adrian: It's great have you here. So yeah, we met at Breakthrough to Success a couple years ago, and I have to say that you impressed me. I don't know if I actually met you before we had the Come As You'll Be party, but I remember speaking to you at the Come AS You'll Be party and I was impressed by your drive, your determination, and your vision. Five years into the future your goal was to already have that book written and to have, I think, like a million copies sold. You inspired me to set bigger goals. I just want to say that right off the bat.
Franz-Philippe: Oh good, thanks a lot.
Adrian: You've been an inspiration to me. I would love for my audience to get to know a little bit about you and what motivates you, so please feel free to give us a little more background.
Franz-Philippe: All right. And thanks again for having me here. Yes, it was a great experience that yes back in 2016, almost two years ago now. So first of all a little bit about me. I'm 45 years old, married, have two lovely kids. I'm based in Berlin, in Germany, and I'm an entrepreneur, I run two different companies. I am a growth catalyst, you're probably interested to know what that is. I'll tell you later, keep the suspense.
As I said, I'm an entrepreneur, I run a farm management company, I run an online roofer here in Germany, the first of its kind in the world. And basically what I came up with by heart I'm a real entrepreneur, I'm entrepreneurial minded, and many people ask me sort of to bring that forward and teach them, and they ask me questions and if I answer them, and they said, "Oh, I'm so inspired by you, you teach that well. Why don't you do more out of it?" And that's basically my night time job. That's why I wrote my book, that's why I've started making online courses, sort of to bring that energy to the people to help them grow ideas and projects, companies, and so forth.
Adrian: It is impressive how much you have already accomplished and you're continuing to accomplish. So obviously not just a master of self-development, but also a master of time management it sounds like, and productivity. So I'm very interested to hear more about how you develop those skills, and of course we got to get into the growth catalyst thing. Should we do that now?
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, okay. So, yeah I was thinking, "What do I do?" Because people normally talk about trainers, coaches, but as I am an entrepreneur myself, I can't really say I'm a coach doing that full-time because I have other things that I'm doing the majority of my time. So, I was thinking what is that helps people to grow without getting used up at the same time? And that's a catalyst. I don't know whether you remember back in school, I had ash, and then if you put it on sugar that it burns, that's a catalyst. Sugar by itself doesn't burn, the ash doesn't get used up, but together it's lighting a fire.
And that was my whole idea, that I wanted to light the fire and help people grow, that people have ideas, people have projects, they have companies and sometimes are, "What do I do about it?" Or they have an idea that they want to develop. That's what I want to help them, and that's why I said I think growth catalyst is exactly the right title, that some of the learnings that I had that I passed it on, that some of the things that I've done over the time and I've always done intuitively and I found out how I did it, and sort of to get the energy going and flowing so that I pass it on to the people. Yeah, that's why I call myself a growth catalyst, and that's why I try to bring that energy and that knowledge to other people as well.
Adrian: I love that, and I do think that's the perfect word for it. I forgot about catalyst and the meaning of catalyst, but that's great. It's like, you provide that extra ingredient that's needed to get where they want to go. I love that. Do you feel like you were always a catalyst, or do you feel like at some point there was something in your life that was pivotal to take you in that direction?
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, I think there was always stuff that I did intuitively. So many of the things that today people are talking about, you need to visualize, you need to have your goals set up, you need to know where you're going, what's your 10 year sort of goal? I had all of that when I was really, really young, and maybe I can go back like 30 years. So when I was about 15-16, I was thinking, "What should I do? I have three ways that I can do. I could become a dancer, I could become a scientist, or I could become an entrepreneur, a business person." So pretty diverse setting.
So I tried out a few things and said, "No, I'm definitely going for the entrepreneurship." I knew that at 16, so I looked around also what can I do to study this, and there was a specific school, and at 16 I really looked it out. I had already started a little company on my own to earn some money, and I was very determined. Everybody who wanted to hear it or not, I told them, "You know what, at 28 I'll be CEO, and at 30 I'll be a millionaire." And both I managed to get done three years early.
When I was 26 I was appointed CEO by a bank subsidiary, and at 30 I was a millionaire, however that was backend of the 90s with a new economy, the dotcom development, and that was a so-called MOP, millionaire on paper. I had all the shares, I invested everything, and then with the explosion of the new economy and the twin towers, all of that was gone. So that brought me down to zero. I rebuilt everything again, and was just concentrated on myself sort of to get it done, and then people were asking, "How did you do that?" I said, "Actually, good question." But I never thought more about it.
Then something similar happened ... When was that? 2009, 2010, and the aftermath of the financial crises, I had built another company that was really brilliant, we had millions of dollars, and got completely smashed in the aftermath of the financial crises. I was back to zero. Had a big personal crises, put on weight, didn't do any sports anymore, no sleep, too much sugar, problems in our marriage, and everything, you can name it. Was in debt, had to sell my house to pay for my ongoing expenses.
And I was like, "How are you going to do something about it? I mean in the past I had energy, where has all of that gone?" And that's exactly when I started thinking more sort of structurally about, "Well I've built stuff, so where did the energy come from? What did I do back then?" So, I started getting more into personal development. I did that intuitively already when I was starting 12 years old.
And basically then what I did starting 2016, I went to BDS as one of these sort of kick-in your bottom kind of exercise, like, I got to go there and get me motivated. And I said, "Well I want to write this book." And it was then that this party you said, Come As You'll Be In Five Years. I had just a cover. And then afterwards I found, "Well, I already have the book, I only need to write it."
Adrian: I love that.
Franz-Philippe: That was a little bit like a personal therapy that I wrote for it, and I put a lot of thought I had. Obviously when you write a book you need to structure this stuff. And that's what I went into. So I structured everything, thought about it, what did I do? How did I do? Put everything together, and the result was the book. And out of that I was like, "What am I doing here?" That's where the whole idea of growth catalyst came from.
And then I started, I want to do that now more structurally, because before people asked me, "Well, can you teach me this, can you answer that question." And they were really happy, and they were just like you, that, "The energy you have and stuff that you bring across." So I thought, yeah that's I think I should do further. As I don't have time to do that full-time with people, I chose a growth catalyst, and that I do online courses, I also want to do weekend seminars where I transfer that energy to other people.
Yeah, so that's a bit my story and where I'm standing today, and why growth catalyst and everything behind it.
Adrian: Very impressive. You know, so many people would love to be able to just say what they really want, and to just say, "Yes, this is what I'm going to do." And there's a great power in doing that, it's part of that visualization. You're actually putting it out there into the universe, and you're putting it out there and you're being accountable. You did that from an early age, which is really impressive. And you didn't just say it, you followed through, and also you stumbled along the way like we do, and you just got up and you kept going. Very impressive how you built one business after another.
Franz-Philippe: Thank you.
Adrian: So what are some lessons that you feel like you've learned when you did stumble? When you did have a challenge? And what is the thought process? How do you take that and turn it in to a lesson, and enable it to take you further?
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, I think there are obviously multiple points we could now discuss for a week what's going on, but maybe just every couple of minutes. So maybe, two or three points. One is really perseverance, that you stick to all that you say. "I really want to reach this. I really want to go for it." And go through hard stuff and hard times, and don't be deterred by it.
Some of the things that I did was very interesting, when I learned more and got to know other interesting people. For example, I read a lot of, and talked also to a little bit different people like Navy SEALS, really sort of the epitome of people motivated, crushing through stuff. I learned one of their motivation techniques is to cut down and get smaller, and smaller, and smaller into your goals the harder it gets. First you say, let's say, "I want to run 20 kilometers." But if you had lots of gear and lots of stuff, and afterwards you say, "Well, I just want to make the next kilometer." You've been doing that for like two days, running through the fields with everything. It might not even be the next kilometer, it might be, "Well, I will make it to the next bush, which is 50 meters away." And then you go down to, "I can do one more step."
I think that's important when you face challenges in your life, that just keep going, and if it becomes too big and too overwhelming, just cut it down into smaller pieces. And this is A, good for motivation, but also good in goal setting. I have a whole system that developed, and that will probably be my next book, the Goal Action Pyramid. That from goals to get to individual steps of next action, you need to make sure that it's in digestible steps, because sometimes people are overwhelmed by something. "Oh, this big goal, what can I do about it?" And then they don't do anything, because it's just too far away.
If you have that vision ingrained in yourself, you know, "One day I will be there." And then you say, "Okay, now I need to make the steps that I can do." And that's the emphasis, that you can do. If the big steps you cannot do yet, do the small steps. If that's too small, just crawl. If that's too small, just go a little bit further. It's not giving up, that's the most important point.
Adrian: Great. The people that pursue self-development stuff, and they consume the course, and they read the material, they're working so hard to get to this mindset that you already had at such a young age, which is really great. So, when you went through this process of chunking down your goals, did that just seem natural?
Franz-Philippe: Well, when people look at the out sort of stuff that has been achieved, they're always like, "Oh, this looks so easy, it was so easy." But it hardly ever was. I think if you talk to anybody who's big and well known, has done great stuff, if you ask them, "Well, was it hard in between? Did you have challenges? Did you feel overwhelmed?" Everybody will say yes, and who doesn't, he's lying, just as simple as that.
So yes there are times where you feel overwhelmed, and that's exactly when you've got to come back and say, "Okay, what can I do now?" I mean, after the financial crises everything was tougher, everything was hard, in the morning to get up was hard. So then I had to really just cut it down into pure survival, and then take the next steps and then go through, and further and further, and then after a while then you get used it and you say, "Oh, I survived this, let's go to the next part." And I think that's an important thing, that the lessons that you need to push yourself, you need to push yourself through your limits and beyond your limits. That's something I learned I think when I was doing sports at a young age. That was very helpful, that you really go to the limits, go further than that.
I think today what many people are, you mentioned also the personal development, personal growth community, they read stuff and they consume things, but you really need to do it. 'Just Do It', from Nike, that's very poignant. Just do it, and then do it again. And action is the key to everything. So just thinking about something, or thinking is very easy, it's not. There's always something hard, and somebody who tells you it's that easy, no it's not. You've got to go through something hard, and you will develop.
Who was it? I think it was Harv Eker who said, "Don't look at minimizing your problems, look at your growing yourself, because then in relation the same problems will be smaller." I think that was also my goal always, that I always looked at something, you've got to look at it how to improve, if there's something bad don't take it personally in whatever sense it is, and just take the learnings out of it.
I think that was also what gave me strength. But as I said, if I'm going through this, after this what is the learnings? And not being bitter about it and saying, "Oh, this was hard. Why didn't it workout?" Well, you can't change it, just take it. Appreciate what you have and then go through it, and then look back, what are the learnings? And then apply them. You can do any error there is as long as you don't do them too often, because then you're not learning. Try to make as many different mistakes as possible, because at sometimes you have covered all of them. But the important part is always what do you learn out of it? Out of personal interactions, out of business things, out of financial things, physical, you name it. I think that was my mantra. We learn, continue to learn out of it, what did you take, and then improve it next time.
Adrian: That's great, I love that. You know, years ago before I found Jack Campbell's material and went on to study Anthony Robbins, and Zig Ziglar, Stephen Covey, before I knew all that, you were one of those people that I would have looked at said, "They must have more than 24 hours in their day. They must be from another planet. How in the world are they getting so much done?" What can you offer my listeners and my viewers on how to focus? Like let's say beyond this one big goal they want to accomplish, there's like five goals they want to accomplish. How can people get and stay focused so that they actually make progress on something, and then they're able to maybe shift gears to something else?
Franz-Philippe: Yeah. Focus is very important. What I was a big believer in is sort of not just ideological concentrate on one thing, but everything is more holistically connected together. So you had the mind, the body, mood, how's it all intertwine? And once you understand that there's an interconnectedness between all of them, and not just one way but everything is bi-directional, that's then the key that you can tap more energy all the time.
So you've got to think about things properly, obviously you've got to treat your body well, that you do sort of exercise, you eat healthfully, but there's also breathing exercises. There was lots of stuff that I never was aware of, for example that I did for my sport, like the deep breathing that you have, certain rhythmic breathing that I developed myself. I did high intensity interval training before anybody knew about it, that it was even, I just did it intuitively, and sort of that helped.
When I look at my goals, I had my very, very big term goal that I wanted to do, and then I broke it up into smaller things. And even though I did a lot of things, I always didn't do it completely parallel, not like complete multitasking, but always one after the other, but in very concentrated bursts. And then in between I enjoyed myself.
So for example, at school I was sort of one of the top three people from over a hundred students at school, and in university I was in the top percentage, and then in the end everyone's looking at me said, "How did you do that? Because you didn't learn all the time." I said, "Yeah, because I made concentrated bursts, and then I let go. Concentrated burst, and then let go." So concentrate, you don't wobble around all the time with stuff.
For example, before exams. People say, "I've got to learn all day." I said, "No, what you haven't learned now doesn't make sense." I said, "I make sure I go to bed early so I have a really good night sleep so I can tap into everything I have in my head better." And I said, "Why don't you just learn while you're in the lesson? Then you don't need to relearn afterwards. So concentrate there, and then afterwards forget about it."
There's stuff, for example, back then that I only found out today I am taking notes like crazy. People are like, "What are you doing?" I mean, I fill a notepad a week, just notes that I have from meetings. People are like, "What is this?" And what I only found out later, for example, that it's scientifically proven that if you write something down, you take notes and you summarize it, that it stays much better in the memory than you type.
So today I'm still writing, I'm always writing, writing, writing, writing, making a summary, and re-summarizing it, and by doing that it already is all entrenched in your brain. I draw pictures, I put things together and cross notes. I start with an empty sheet of paper, and in the end it's not neatly one after the other, it's like full, left and right, and straight, and what I only learned afterwards, that's how your brain works. Your brain is not a list of things, your brain is interconnected, it's from left to right, and if you try to make more of these things, these connectedness in your head, your brain runs easier.
So that's why I could pull things more. And then when I said, "How do you get it to different things?" First of all is, do things one after the other, and the other point is being open for opportunities. Because that's what I realized that many people, they focus just on the one certain thing, and that gives them tunnel vision. If they have this tunnel vision, they have opportunities, they always say, "Oh god, you see this, and this? You come by so many opportunities." I said, "You know what, we walk down the same road. I saw opportunities and you just saw one thing, just the paper and the whatever." And that's the important thing, open your eyes, open your mind.
Even though today many people say focus on things that are in education, I was always very broad. I tried to do as many things as possible. Or in my first job people said, "You know what? You're the dustbin of the company. Everybody dumps their projects on your desk, and you're stupid." And I said, "No, I'm really smart. You know why?" And they looked at me like, "What do you mean you're smart? Are you sort of bragging around?" I said, "No, no, no, I don't talk about that. I'm just say that I'm grabbing every single project there is."
Okay, I was working maybe sometimes 20 hours a day, but in those two years I got more than other people in 20 years. And you got to put in the effort, that's the point. Nothing comes easy and for free. In the end stuff is easier because you've built your foundation, but building your foundation is always hard work, and if you invest in hard work, that will repay afterwards. And that's what I did early on, that's what I brought me to where I am today.
Adrian: Wow, so much great advice there. I love that. It sounds like, correct me if I'm miss-wording this, but it sounds like you were always open for all the opportunities, and grateful and noticed opportunities that helped you to achieve your goals. So you were open to that, but also you were focused. So it was not so much multitasking, it was more focused, your intention was there, and you're getting something done, yet your mind was open to noticing any opportunities and appreciating those, which is really great. Because we all have opportunities all around us, and it's so much of our life is our perspective, our mindset. Do we notice these? Do we pay attention to these? Or do we just notice problems, and issues, and obstacles?
Franz-Philippe: I have an opportunity mind. Whatever I see, there's always an opportunity. So, people say, "Oh what's this?" I say, "Oh I could do business out of this, I could do business out of this, oh this would be a great idea, this could be a great idea." And people are like, "Huh?" I said, "If you're open about it and think in the opportunity that's behind it." And I think that's the same for all great people, that they always think in opportunities, and they don't think in barriers, they always say, "What's behind the barrier? How could I expand that barrier?" That's a new lines of thinking and signs they think differently, it's in business that they think differently, it's in the arts that people think differently, it's everywhere. Just be open and try to expand your mind, expand your body, expand everything that you have.
Adrian: Awesome. And I love that you even broke it down to something as simple as breathing, because I have to remind myself, deep breaths. Because you know once we have so much on our plate, we have so much in front of us, it's easy to go into this mode where we take shallow breaths, or we don't drink enough water, and those little things, the deep breaths, staying hydrated, they allow you to stay creative, and to solve problems, and to get things done. It almost probably sounds silly to some people, like those elements are so simple but they're so critical to just being in the right mindset.
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, and that's again sort of combining two things, simplicity and action. It's like, "Yeah, yeah I know it." I said, "So, do you do it?" "What do you mind do I do it? Like yeah, breathing is important, drinking is important." "Yeah, so what do you do? Do you do that the first time in the morning, like drink some water?" People are like, "Huh? Yeah, but later I have my coffee." I said, "No, no-
Adrian: I'm busy, I can't do it.
Franz-Philippe: Water for the first time, I drink water even before I get up, because overnight you lose about a liter of water, and so the first thing you are in the morning, you're dehydrated, you start dehydrated. And when I wrote my book, some of the consequences of dehydration are that, for example, your IQ levels drop down by 10 points. They're like, "Oh yeah, you're over exaggerating. That's a bit harsh." I said, "No, it's not a bit harsh, it's a fact." People are like, "What?" I said, "Just deep breathing connects sort of your brain things between the nose and what you have in your brain, and your nervous system, there's a very strong connection to there. And meditation is very much just concentrate on your breath, just go there." And that's many people just don't do anymore.
As you point out, it's just shallow breathing, just at the top, or when they breathe deeply they go ... I said, "No, no, that's not deep breathing."
Adrian: The air doesn't come into your shoulders.
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, and that's why when I do, I sometimes conduct sort of short little seminars in my environment where I invite people to come out for an evening for one or two hours, and one of the first things I do is that, "Okay, sit down, and then get up. Let's do some physical exercise to get your blood flow going, and do some breathing exercises."
And so they're tired, they come here, it's 6:30 in the evening. "Yeah, yeah, I want to listen to some of the stuff that you're saying." I said, "No, no, you're not consuming, we're getting into action here." So it's like, "Oops, what's going on?" In the end they're all pumped up, and said, "I feel like I just got up in the morning, and it's already in the evening after 12 hours of work behind me." I said, "Yup. That's how it goes if you do it right."
Adrian: Franz, you are a wealth of great information and you have all these great tools and processes. I know that some of my listeners and viewers are thinking, "You know, I need that extra ingredient. I need that catalyst." So how can they get that? How can they get in touch with you and learn more about your products and services?
Franz-Philippe: So, one is obviously I wrote my book, Power Start. Do I have it somewhere here? I think I have. Here, I've got one on my desk. There you go, here you are. That's Power Start. That's a book basically I describe what I call the Eight Essentials of Success, eight important components to be more happy, you know, to be happier and more fulfilled and more energetic, and out of that, how to develop the perfect morning routine, because with the morning that's sort of a starting point to get your energy. If you start bad it can only get worse, so better start well. That's one point.
And you can also have a look at www.mypowerstart.com, it's the website on that. The books available as paperback, eBook, and audio book on Amazon. I'm in the process of just developing a couple of online courses, picking up specific aspects of that. So one for example will be from goal setting to goal getting, not just setting your goals but are we getting to them?
Adrian: Love it.
Franz-Philippe: That will probably also be announced on the website I just mentioned. And another program that I'm just shooting is called Desxercises, and it's throughout the day what many people have that say, "You know, I'm sitting and ..." Actually, sitting is the new smoking. When I got into the effects, I always thought sitting was bad and I wanted to give people the chance to do something in the office, because doing my workshops I have them be physically active, and they say, "Oh, this is really great, but I feel a little bit silly doing jumping jacks in my cubicle or in a big office on the open floor if other people are watching me. What can I do to stay awake and energized?" So I developed a whole series of exercise that you can do at your desk without other people really noticing but you still have the same physical benefit.
When I prepared that, I looked at sort of what are detrimental effects of sitting, and I said, "You know, actually your chair needs to be becoming a health warning." It's the cause of so many diseases and so many sort of shortening of your lifespan. It's really horrible. So that's why I developed this course, Desxercises, like from desk exercises in one word.
Adrian: I love it, that's great.
Franz-Philippe: That will come out soon, hopefully in the next six to eight weeks.
Adrian: Great. Well, I'm going to put the links that you just mentioned into the show notes, and please let me know so I can let my listeners and viewers know when you have the second book on goal getting, I love that, and I definitely would love to have you back at some point so you can just update us on what new projects you're involved in-
Franz-Philippe: I would love to.
Adrian: Because you're definitely an inspiration on how much you get accomplished, and your processes, I love it, that allow you to just get more and more and more done.
Franz-Philippe: Yeah, thank you.
Adrian: It's a pleasure to have you. So Franz, thank you so much for your time.
Franz-Philippe: Thank you so much for having me here. Thanks a lot, and also bye, bye, and lots of energy for your listeners and viewers.
Adrian: Thank you. All right, bye, bye Franz.