When Erwin McManus was fourteen, he started his first business: a lawn mowing company. He’d approach corporations and affluent houses and earn ten to fifteen times what other kids earned mowing suburban homes in his own neighborhood.
Since then, he’s started multiple companies in film and fashion and is the lead pastor of Mosaic. Most recently, he’s the author of The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace.
We have to recognize, Erwin says, that inner peace is a daily struggle. It’s never over. Life doesn’t get easier. Instead, we have to challenge ourselves to be stronger, every day, to be ready for whatever comes our way tomorrow. It’s this mindset that has guided him through his entrepreneurial successes and failures. Listen now.
“Your power is silent.”
Erwin’s grandfather had a profound impact on him. He could walk into a room without making a sound. He never raised his voice. People who yell, he said, are powerless. They try to fill the space with noise because they know they have no impact.
From his grandfather, Erwin learned the idea of “being invisible” and having silent power. Making decisions is a silent power. Affecting people’s values, even when you’re not in the room—that’s also a silent power. Learning to nurture people to find good ideas, instead of being an idea person—another silent power.
The idea is not to intimidate or drive others away. Instead, pull people in. This is how you will have the most impact.
“I can tell you, the peace I’ve had, I’ve lost many times.”
After waking up after a six-hour surgery during his battle with cancer, Erwin immediately got out of his hospital bed to go for a walk. He refused medication. He wanted to stand in his pain; he knew if he withstood raw, physical pain, he could face anything life threw at him.
Erwin doesn’t just open up about his physical pain. One morning, Erwin woke up to discover that his business partner had stolen his business. All the profit Erwin had reinvested, everything that Erwin had built, was gone—he estimates a loss of $5 to $6 million. He was devastated, not just by the loss, but by the betrayal.
A week later, his former partner calls him, asking him to fly to New York to negotiate a buy-back.
Erwin’s response? “Keep it.”
It took years, support from his family, and inner strength to recover, but Erwin stands firm and has no regrets or bitterness towards his former partner. “They didn’t have a strategy for generosity. They only had a strategy for greed.”
Erwin’s warm personality draws you in, no matter if he’s detailing the business ventures of his youth or his financial hardships.
“If you are dealing with this internal struggle, you’re a warrior. It takes incredible courage to own the fact that there’s stuff inside you that you need to deal with.”