Today, I interview E.A. Csolkovits who when he was very young, helped his father with deliveries as a milkman. As they made their rounds, he would observe all different types and classes of people, and he was drawn to those who appeared to be happy and successful, “living the dream”. Even as a very young child, E.A. felt a deep, instinctive pull to figure out how these people lived lives of such happiness and abundance.
At 16, he began working as a janitor, cleaning homes. He eventually mustered the courage to ask a very wealthy, famous woman whom he most admired, how she found her way to success and good standing in life. And as it turns out, this woman credited her success with having a mentor in life.
E.A. began to understand what mentorship was and coincidentally ended up with a mentor of his own right away. His mentor was able to look at the scope of E.A.’s life objectively, giving him the big picture and offering lots of meaningful guidance and encouragement. He eventually made his way through school and into business, when his business mentor taught him to choose happiness now, not to wait for things to become easy or perfect or less stressful. This led to a complete transformation in his business and financial outlook.
E.A. now works through his foundation, The Givers University, to help others find the same level of joy and success in every aspect of their lives.
E.A. Csolkovits is the founder and patriarch of The Givers University. The goal of Givers University is to provide increased happiness, freedom, and greatness through personal, business, social, and family development.
Find E.A. here:
Join his Enewsletter at : http://www.GIVERSuniversity.com
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Transcript of Interview
Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast
Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing
Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com
Episode #47 EA Csolkovits
“Dream Big, Ask Questions, Choose Happiness”
(00:35) Dr. Doreen Downing
Hi, I’m Dr. Doreen Downing. I’m a psychologist and I’m host of the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. Every week I invite somebody here and usually they have a story about not having had a voice somewhere along their journey to growing up. Sometimes it’s early in life. Sometimes it happens when they try and enter the workforce. Sometimes it’s when they actually are starting their own business and they never had to kind of get out and talk about themselves and use their own voice, their passion. So, today I get to interview EA Csolkovits. He’s founder and patriarch of the Givers University and I can’t wait to hear about that at some point today, EA. The goal of Givers University is providing increased happiness, freedom and greatness through personal, business, Social and Family Development, I think that says so much and so little, thank you so much for being here today. EA.
(01:44) EA Csolkovits
Well, thank you, doctor, for having me on your great podcast. I knew you are a smart lady, because you have more letters after your name than I have letters in my last name. So, I figured and I think it’s great that we can share with people and the importance of having a voice and so thank you so much for having me on.
(02:06) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yes, well, already, I feel that there’s a lightness about your spirit. It feels like who’s ever listening, get prepared, because we’re going to have a playful time today. Even though it can be serious. So, let’s start with your sense of not having had a voice. What that was, when that was in your life?
(02:29) EA Csolkovits
Well, actually, my upbringing was very humble. My father was a milkman, he lived in Chicago, and back then milk came in glass containers. There was a box outside everyone’s door that was called the milkman’s box. The funny thing doctor is that, there was always money in the box and no one ever touched it. Not one time and these are different times right. So, they had glass containers and I was five years old and helped my father, so it was a very humble upbringing, nothing unusual about one man operation milkman, delivery man, literally, with his own truck kind of thing. I always felt like, inside, I wanted to do something special. But I didn’t even know where to start, who to talk to, what to do. It just felt like there was a hole there, there was like an emptiness that even at a young age that I wanted to do something and I could see other people that were successful, not just somebody whether it was on TV or me. Just to see them a distance. I say, Man, I really like that, but I don’t even know, how in the world do you even get there. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know, as a point to start with. Then at the ripe old age of 16, I started to go in that direction and because of two real unusual events, both of which, I hope are important information for your listeners the first one is at 16 years old I was able to be bonded, which means basically insured. So, as I was a janitor, then. So, that meant if my buffer hit something or a piece of equipment insurance company would pay for it. Because of being bondable, I was also able to be in really expensive houses. There was a house of a lady I cleaned every single Wednesday. When I say her name, it won’t mean anything to your listeners until I make the movie reference. There was a movie out fairly recently and it’ll probably be four years ago, because it’s actually a pretty good view. It’s called the founder. It’s about McDonald’s. It’s Ray Kroc, Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc and I lived in that area, that’s in the greater Oak Brook area. So, here I am as a janitor, and in the movie, Michael Keaton, who plays Ray Kroc, which by the way, Ray was not that way. In the beginning of the movie, it says, Based on a true story. It’s based on a true story, but it’s not the true story. I mean, it was totally different and Ray wasn’t the way he’s portrayed. That’s Hollywood drama and spin, right. But in any event, in the movie, Michael Keaton and Ray Kroc is constantly talking to a lady outside his office. That lady her name is June Martino. That lady is the lady whose house I cleaned every single Wednesday. So, here I am doctor as a 16-year-old, I’m in this million-dollar home. This is I was 16, it was a million-dollar home. She got a full-time maid and Butler and a Rolls Royce in the garage and bought homes for her sons and she was an icon in the area. Everyone knew who June Martino was at the point I met her. She had the third most controlling stock in McDonald’s. When she walked through the room, the thing I was amazed with she was so nice and easy to talk to, she seems so approachable, so easy to talk to. I mean, just was never kind of sending to anyone, always said hi to me, even if I was looking down buffing the floor and she walked through, she said, hi, if I didn’t even look up and I thought, man, what’s the deal with this? I’d like to be prosperous and I’d like to have a million-dollar home and a Rolls Royce and all these things. I’d like to have people maybe know who I am kind of thing or do something great. Certainly, everyone knew who McDonald’s was at that point. So, one day I just asked her, I said, could you tell me about it, and she put her arm around me, brought me in the kitchen and the entire day told me the entire McDonald’s story. The point of this whole story was she specifically mentioned to me the importance that Ray had on her life. That was– and I didn’t know what mentor was, I didn’t even know how to spell it. I think I spent my Hooked-on Phonics money on something else and it wasn’t done in spelling. But she told me about this impact. I thought, man, if I could just meet of Ray Kroc or someone that could put me under their wing, I could first of all learn what I don’t even know. All I know is I don’t know it. I don’t even know what to ask. I don’t know what I should be doing. I just know, I think there’s something I want to do and I need some guidance on this. I just sort of threw it out their doctor and that’s why I tell people we need to be careful the questions we ask in life and the questions are usually much more important than the answers. So, I inadvertently asked the right question. I said, Where’s Ray Kroc? Where would I meet him?
(07:16) Dr. Doreen Downing
Okay, before you go on with the story, I want to stay a little bit longer, because that’s what people hear you first having had the struggle, and that feels like you had a dream, you had a vision. There was not a structured path and a lot of times in our education, it’s not like we’re taught how to go for what we see or what we want, we’re taught the ABCs how to get the grades. So, just say a little bit more for our listeners about the struggle of wanting something and just how it didn’t feel like you can get it.
(07:57) EA Csolkovits
It was like a dichotomy. I had a dream, and I was dreaming and I always felt like even when I was at June’s house, I would clean the garage twice. So, I got to sit in the Rolls Royce twice and pull it out of the garage. So, in my mind, I played with my own mind thinking, wow, what if this was my Rolls Royce. I’m sitting in a car that’s worth 10 lifetimes of my income. So, the dichotomy was, I sort of would walk down these dreams, I was in her son’s houses she bought four houses and it was all this wealth all over the place and there was happiness. I learned later on that my quest in early age was the opposite of what it should have been, at 16 years old, I was about the money, and so many times were taught. Go meet someone– get a career, make a lot of money, meet someone and live happily ever after. I found out that, that was backwards, and we should live happily ever after first. Then all those other things can come when the time is right, but we should be living happily ever after.
(09:06) Dr. Doreen Downing
I like that, I like that statement. I just want people to hear that again, to live happily ever after. Right here, right now. It’s not like some future fantasy that you’re trying to get yourself to, it’s possible to have happiness right here right now, before you go on. Could you say just a little bit more about that?
(09:30) EA Csolkovits
Happy to, because again, at a ripe old age of 16 I’m seeing all this wealth and I want to do this I think. I know it was drilled into me, go to school, get an education, meet someone, then get a career and your happily ever after, and I didn’t realize till later on in life that happiness was a choice and as my business mentor shared with me, he said, happiness is not the absence of stress. It’s the proper management of it. He said, you’re going to be tackled 1000 times in your lifetime, at all ages, all through your whole life, you’re going to be tackled at different times, how you manage that will have a direct impact.
(10:18) Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, there you go, again, you’re just coming up with these gems of wisdom. So, make sure and slow down so we can take it all in, our happiness is about how we manage stress. Wonderful, thank you for opening that up a little bit more. You’re welcome and I apologize, because I can really get talking fast, 200 words a minute would gust to 70 miles an hour when I can talk so much. I know.
(10:49) EA Csolkovits
I apologize for that. These are all things and by the way, well, so important is this is why I became an advocate so strongly for having a Dr. Doreen in your life, or having a coach or having a mentor, or someone that can help guide you. Because there’s a reason in the football games, that the coach is on the sidelines, there’s a reason he’s not standing next to the quarterback. If he stands at quarterback, he would see the same thing he’s seeing, and all that is a bunch of guys get ready to tackle them. But the coach stands on the side for a reason.
(11:27) Dr. Doreen Downing
There you go again.
(11:29) EA Csolkovits
So, he can see the whole perspective. He can see the whole game and then offer hey, did you see this? And did you see that, look for that guy in there? He’s getting ready to tackle. Yeah, you know what I mean So and that other perspective. So, I became because of my mentor, a huge advocate of having a mentor. Because if you don’t have one, all we’re doing is just setting ourselves up for making mistakes we don’t have to make. But it’s almost like we’re making this choice by default. To make mistakes, when there are people that want to guide us and help us that have done it, not just people that say they know how to do it, but people who genuinely know how to do it. I submit to you and your listeners, there’s a distinct difference, be selective as to your amendment doors. Then once you have them and you have been discerning, listen to them. Mine, I was fortunate at an early age, right after I met this June Martino lady
(12:26) Dr. Doreen Downing
(12:28) EA Csolkovits
At 16. It wasn’t a couple months later; we got this phone call at the office at the janitorial service and this guy was in from Michigan that wanted to open a diamond store and needed to see some carpeting and I met him and he offered me a job and he became the father I never had even though I had a father and I became the son he never had even though he had a son. He truly was my mentor and a puritanical genius. Not the book kind of genius. But I mean, really, the kind of person that could look at you, I call it human 101 engineering genius. He could look at someone talk with them for five or 10 minutes, ask him a couple questions. Look him in the eye and he’d nail exactly what kind of person they were. To my astonishment, for decades, I saw that. So, he was my mentor and I was very blessed. Because he helped with that dichotomy. I had doctor, that I have the dreams, I have the feeling that I want to do something, I want to have a voice I want to be a part of something that’s bigger than me. But I don’t know how to do it and I don’t know what to ask. So, I started asking him, I said, I want to do this, could you teach me everything? I’m going to jump way backwards, way forward and way backwards in like two sentences.
(13:47) Dr. Doreen Downing
We are warned. Okay.
(13:49) EA Csolkovits
Yeah. At 19 years old. I said, “Sam, will you teach me everything? Just teach me it all. I don’t care what it is just I don’t want to hold back. I need to know it all.” Because I’d realized my superpower, doctor, was not to be the smartest person in the room. But the guy that could say, that’s really interesting. Could you teach me about that? I don’t know about that. I think everyone today is so interested in being preeminent and that makes people nervous about finding their voice because they think am I going to look smart enough? In my opinion, that’s not the way to do it. You’re much stronger to be a person who says, well, that’s really interesting. Could you teach me about that? We learn and we learn and we go forward. So, my mentor, I asked him, “could you teach it all to me?” He said, “okay, I will, but I want one thing from you.” He said, “when the time is right, and you will know that time. I want you to teach as many people as you possibly can everything I teach you.” So, at 19 years old, I made a vow. I made an oath to my mentor, that today has manifest as Givers University. It was all really all these things I share are things, where you’re sort of stopping and saying, “well, that’s a good nugget, that’s good.” I didn’t make up any of that. I’m repeating his words, I’m repeating the things he taught me that I just remember that I felt the same way when I heard them. I thought man that is really great stuff. I ponder this sentence, because I realized that I wanted to be happy. That there was strength in learning how to be happy, whether there was a lot of money around me or not. There was strength in learning how to be happy no matter what was happening around me and an example that he used is a great medical example. He said, “if you go into the hospital, and they say that the patient is reacting to the treatment. That’s not good. That means it’s not being favorable for him,” he said, “but if they say they’re responding to it, that’s good.” He said, “so let me share with you the difference in life, because it’s going to have a direct impact on your voice and happiness.” He said, “do not allow your emotion to rule your intellect when you do your reacting.” He said, “train yourself so your intellect controls your emotion and you’ll always be responding.” He said, “when you react, watch your happiness go right out the window.” He said, “when you respond,” he said, “by having your intellect control your emotions.” He said, “your happiness quotient is going to go up every single day, in direct proportion to your ability to do that.”
(16:36) Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, I’d love to have you pivot just a teeny bit here and because emotions are something that a lot of the listeners have around speaking, which is fear, so let’s open that conversation up about fear, emotion and mind.
(16: 55) EA Csolkovits
Great. Again, I just refer back to my mentor, because I almost sound like a broken record. But the fact of the matter is, number one, I’m broken and number two, the fact that you know, the things he shared with me, I tested them, and they really did work. One of the things he shared with me in the distinction of givers and takers. The first I share with your listeners, we love everybody, I say that emphatically we love everybody. One of the things we do is we teach because I’m actually answering your question. But I’ve never seen in 10 minutes if I can say it in 20. So, I apologize for that. But the difference of what we teach is as follows and it is a direct impact on fear. That is, we teach people to love everyone, but how to separate the person who we love from their deeds, which we may not love. Then by giving them– we actually have checklists that we teach people– and here’s a checklist of things you should be watching that people do. Don’t listen to what they’re saying, watch what they’re doing, watch their deeds, because our talk talks and our walk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks. So, watch what people do, watch their deeds. So, we teach this so that when you see people doing certain– observe it, it’s a skill, when we see them do certain things now you think, should I pull them in closer into my life? Because what I’m seeing make them a part of what we call, my giver community, or should I begin respectfully not rude or insensitive or nasty, respectfully distancing myself from them. Because of what I’m seeing, if I bring them in closer, they’re going to make me collateral damage. When I they make me collateral damage, now my fears come in, and I’m afraid to give, I’m afraid to participate, because I feel they may be taking advantage of me. That leads us to the next step of fear. Here’s the part. My mentor said, if you want this happiness and life thing to work for you, picture in your mind this huge scale. He said, we’re going to call it the givers life scale, he said in the right side, all the things you’re going to get in your life, all the things you’re going to receive all the things you’re going to get. He said, the left side all the things you’re going to give and when you’re going to contribute and give. He said now what’s amazing about the scale, is it strives for balance. In fact, it’s never out of balance, even if it seems like it’s out of balance for a static moment. He said it always balances itself. So, now the next thing I share with you will be a little challenging for you. But you’ll get it if you stay in there. He said forget about the right side, forget about what you’re going to receive and make it your daily goal to heap so much on the left side, the giving side of the scale, that your goal is to try to get that scale out of balance, because you’ve put so much on that side. He said you’ll never have to worry about what you get on the right side. It’ll always be there. He said here’s the part with people and with giving, that makes people fearful in so many ways. He said, people are saying, well, I don’t want to give this out because what if they take advantage of me, right? What if they take advantage of me, I’m going to be diminished? He said, here’s the part let me explain how this works. He said, when you’re a giver, people will take advantage of you expect it. But here’s the second part of the sentence, no one gets, or is ever told. When you’re a giver, people will take advantage of you expected, but you are never diminished because they did. They are diminished because they did. He said, that’s the distinction no one gets, they said, because with the giver’s life scale, when your job is just to get the scale out of balance, he said, you don’t have to worry about the fact, he said, first of all, they take advantage of you. They’re diminished, you’re not diminished they are. So, he said, keep that in your mind. He said, when you start to get your sea legs in this and you start to get a feel for it. He said, you’re not going to be as afraid and you’re going to be more comfortable, because you’re going to realize they lose you. They lost the relationship when they do these things. So, you’re going to be more comfortable and you won’t be as afraid, you won’t be afraid to communicate with people or to have your voice or to speak with others. Because you’re going to realize you’re winning no matter what, you’re doing the right thing as long as you’re giving. So, expect people to take advantage of you, get your head around it, then get rid of the fear, and know that the scale will always be imbalanced somehow, from another person, another circumstance, you’re going to get the good things that you gave out.
(17:19) Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, what I’m also taking from this around the voice and around speaking is that in terms of that scale, you’re talking about, it’s the more you show up as the giver that you’re talking about and speaking from that place, it empowers you. That’s what I hear.
(22:07) EA Csolkovits
Yes. Then important next step, I was very fortunate I had a radio show in years past and I interviewed over 1000 millionaires in two years. I was looking for doctor, the common threads. Why these people? Why they make a million dollars, and even today, even with inflation, everything, if you add most people’s income together of their whole lifetime, it still isn’t quite a million dollars. I’m thinking, so I want to find out why, what’s so unusual about these people? Why did they– these 1000 plus people, men and women, why did they do it? How did they do that? What are the common threads? There were some very fascinating things. They all had a story where they felt like they had lost their voice. They all, not some not the majority, all of them had a time where they said, everything seemed as though it had turned against them. Their family, their friends, business, the economy, the political situation, the list was endless. But they all had the story. What was interesting doctor is that, the next partner, these are people, you know, over two years, different industries, different backgrounds, didn’t know each other. Some of them even use the same words with the next thing I’m about ready to say. They said do you know I took the next step when everything told me not to. Just in some insert, someone said, just to see if there was anything else that could go wrong. I said, I was wondering if I missed anything? Is it possible? I missed that a vague because I think I hit it all? They said it was it was almost like a weird morbid fascination, is there anything else that could possibly go wrong? They all factor, not some of them? That’s an important distinction. All of them took that next step, when they felt they had lost that voice and everything they had worked for and when they took that next step. They said it was amazing what happened next, there was like this invisible temporary defeat in their life. Just exit it. I said, you know what this man or woman doesn’t know when to give up. I’m just going to go and goof up someone else’s life. Because obviously these people I’m throwing in the towel, this is too hard. They said in spite of themselves, things started working out. So, that taught me doctor the Importance of Being willing when you lose your voice and you feel the journey is so difficult. Be willing to do the next step. If you really are committed to your dream and your why is in place, why you’re doing it. Take that next step. Do that next step no matter how it looks, and then get ready to be astonished and how it works out.
(24: 59) Dr. Doreen Downing
Oh, I love that phrase, get ready to be astonished at your own self, your own voice and the courage to step is what I hear rather than just staying stuck. We’re almost out of time. So, I want to obviously, get your contact information because you have so much wisdom and so much more to say. I’m sure. How do people contact you?
(25:24) EA Csolkovits
Thank you, doctor. They actually just go to Givers University, it’s plural, giversuniversity.com. They should sign up for our newsletter. It’s free. We don’t spam people, they’re going to immediately get an email that says, do you want to talk to these people that have to say yes, when they do that, two hours later, they’re going to get one of the most impressive checklists they will ever see. It’s a checklist we call the 25 dos. These are the things to watch for, I referenced before the deeds to watch for with people. These are the 25 deeds to look for, that givers will do and that takers will do. Remember, we don’t label people. We’re labeling deeds. We have giver deeds and taker deeds. We don’t call people takers. We don’t label people, but we observe their deeds, there’s a distinction. So, they’ll get this free checklist. Then every week because we don’t spam people– I hate that you sign up for something and you get six emails a day from and my unsubscribe, unsubscribe right? So once a week, on Thursday morning, they’re going to get something that’s called the givers toolbox. It’s a four or five minute read usually has maybe a two-minute little video clip in it. It’s a tool that week, that can help them, that they can add into the relationship toolbox to have a happier, more prosperous life. That’s every Thursday morning. From that they find that they find out who we are and our courses and all that and our job doctor is really simple. Our job and we are bound to determine to get that scale out of balance by putting everything we need to put on the left side. We’d love to have them participate and just get the tools that we have because we want them to use them because we know it’ll come back to us in so many ways. We’re happy to do it.
(27:02) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yeah. Well, there’s so many bits of jeweled mirrors, beautiful little sayings that we’ve gotten today from you. I know you say that, oh, well. It was just what I heard from my mentor. So, yes, it’s important to find somebody that you can imitate, let’s say to start with but what I get from you is that you’re fully embodied with all this knowledge, this information, this passion, and you’re really excited about sharing it, you are a giver.
(27:36) EA Csolkovits
Thank you so much. doctor. Thank you so much for having me on your show.
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Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.
Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.