July 6

153 FIFM – Your Leaves may be Green But Those are Not Leaves

If you have had people in your life that you thought were life-giving and genuinely green leaves but in reality are mistletoes that suck the life out of you or your business, then listen to this episode of Freedom In Five Minutes.

Today, you will learn that not all green leaves are life-giving and learn the best ways to deal with mistletoe-types of people in your life and business.

Overview & Episode Content

  • The Struggles of Looking for a Better and Bigger Home
  • Finding a New Home with Greener Leaves
  • Those are Not Oak Tree Leaves, Those are Mistletoes!
  • There are Mistletoes in Your Life That You Think are Life-Giving Green Leaves
  • Cutting Off the Mistletoe in Your Business by Being Honest
  • Nurture the Green Leaves in Your Life

The Struggles of Looking for a Better and Bigger Home

The Struggles of Looking for a Better and Bigger Home

We lived in Orange County for a long time. Back when we only had 6 kids, we were living in a 1,800 square-foot house on a 7,000 square-foot lot. Having six kids in there was tough!

By that time, we have already spent three years looking for other places to move. Buena Park was nice — we had paid a lot for our home there. It was at the top of the market back when we bought it in 2005. We wanted to move at one point but the market crash happened and we had to stick with Buena Park. we weren’t able to move.

It actually ended up well because we were able to sell our house for a lot more than what we originally paid for. However, we had a hard time finding a place because I wanted to move out of state — out of California.

My wife has her family here. I have my family here in California as well but I am definitely less attached to my family than she is. Even moving an hour away — at the time when we first started looking — was a really big deal. So, we started looking at various places that were about an hour and a half away. We just could not find anything.

Anything else that we did find, the doors were just closing and closing. So, we spent so much time looking that I got frustrated. My wife did not want to move too far. So, it was another hurdle. We even went to counseling because we just could not agree.

Finding a New Home with Greener Leaves

Finding a New Home with Greener Leaves

Later on, we went on a family trip to Idaho — which was 13 hours away. Part of the family trip was to look at houses.

It was funny because before we went on this family trip, her parents were like, “Oh my gosh, you’re moving an hour and a half away? I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to see you.”

So, we went on a family trip to Idaho to look at houses that were 13 hours away. When we got back, her parents were like, “Oh yeah, 4 hours away is not that bad as long as it’s not 13.”

They changed their tune really quick when they thought that their daughter was going to be 13 hours away. That was so funny.

Later on, there was one trip that came up where my wife could not go. It was just me and my son. We drove up here and looked around and we found this 20-acre property that we are at right now. 

Our house is up on the hill and it gets so green some time in winter and all throughout spring. And then, everything is brown for the rest of the time. It looks like Narnia in the spring, it is so beautiful.

When we got here, we walked around and noticed a ton of oak trees around the property. I was looking at them and really appreciated all the green on the property. I thought it was absolutely amazing.

Those are Not Oak Tree Leaves, Those are Mistletoes!

Those are Not Oak Tree Leaves, Those are Mistletoes!

I forgot who said this but right after we moved, someone said, “Those are not leaves. Those are mistletoes.”

I was surprised at this, “What? Really?!”

“Yeah, it’s just pretty much killing that tree. And that tree is probably almost dead,” they said.

And it blew my mind! I did not know that mistletoe is thriving in this area. There were big bunches of green on some trees that almost looked like they were dying. There was greenery on dying trees.

While it might look like they were beautiful leaves, giving beautiful life to the tree. No. That beautiful green was giving life to the mistletoe only as it sucked the life out of the oak tree that had been there for years. Not very nice; not very fun.

Mistletoe sucks. So, I wondered how to get rid of them aside from using nasty chemicals. The most effective way to get rid of them was to cut off the infested branches. The infected branches needed to be cut back by a foot. Otherwise, the mistletoe would grow back on the tree because the infestation was rooted inside the branch.

So, while this might seem like it was a life-giving symbiotic relationship, that mistletoe was eating and feeding like a vampire — sucking the life out of that tree. It would have taken several years, but that tree would eventually die.

Do you know what would happen to that mistletoe after it had given off seeds? That mistletoe would die as well. You would start to see it turning brown and die off.

There are Mistletoes in Your Life That You Think are Life-Giving Green Leaves

There are Mistletoes in Your Life That You Think are Life-Giving Green Leaves

Not all of my oak trees have them, thankfully. The strong ones were able to fight them off.

Now that you are thoroughly saddened for my oak trees, why is this important? This is important because you have people in your life — clients, friends, family members — that look good and green. They look like they are giving you life, they make you feel good, and you think that it is a symbiotic relationship.

In reality, they are slowly sucking the life out of you.

Have you ever had that one client who paid you a lot of money so you can help them out with one thing but you have it in your gut, “It is probably not the best client to have right now.”

That money might have been great but they constantly bug you and talking smack on you even though you are giving good service. They are taking up a ton of your time and doing a whole mess of stuff that is just sucking the life out of you slowly.

It is those individuals — while they look like beautiful green leaves in the tree of your social circle — that need to be cut out.

Cutting Off the Mistletoes in Your Business by Being Honest

Cutting Off the Mistletoes in Your Business by Being Honest

A great way of cutting off people like those is to be simply honest with them. Be as honest as possible. 

When you are honest with them, a lot of times, they cut themselves out. There have been numerous times where I have had to say, “Hey, I don’t think a Virtual Systems Architect is right for you. You’re not following the system, you are not making the videos, and you are not doing the five minutes a day that is required. So, I think it’s probably best that we cancel and refund.”

One of two things will happen.

The ones who are not mistletoe would say, “Oh my God. I am so sorry. It’s my bad. I really need to take some time to make this happen. I see what you are saying and I will make it happen.”

You have those good kinds of customers.

On the other hand, you will have customers who will say, “Yeah, you know what? Give me a refund.”

BOOM! And yeah, it hurts a little bit. Of course, it does. Anytime you cut someone off — it is going to hurt. But what happens when you cut off a branch from a fruit tree? You end up getting more fruit.

Nurture the Green Leaves in Your Life

Nurture the Green Leaves in Your Life

I cannot tell you how many times I thought, “Gosh this sucks. I wish I did not have to cut this person off or cancel this person. Right now, I wish that one bad customer would turn into six additional great customers — ones that love what we are doing and know how valuable this is.”

That is what happens when you prune the mistletoes in your life. If you let them be, eventually they will suck your business so dry that you might end up not having a business anymore. Those are the types of people who want to do lawsuits as well.

Even though you have given them a ton of value and they failed to use the system because they wanted to do it their own way, they did not get what they expected even though they got the benefits. And then, they start nitpicking and start suing.

So, I challenge you — I know this is hard. It is hard for me too.

I challenge you to see who your worst and best clients are and do a little something for your best clients. And possibly cut off those clients, friends, or other people in your life who you know are mistletoes.


You may be wondering, “But Dean, what If these mistletoes are friends and family? What’s a good way to cut them off?”

A simple way to cut them off is to simply stop talking and interacting with them. That is all you have to do to be rid of mistletoe among friends and family. But nurture and care for the genuinely green leaves in your life because those people are valuable. You will grow with them and they will grow with you.

Resources and Links

This is Dean Soto, founder of Freedom In Five Minutes. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, go to Google.com and search for “Freedom In Five Minutes”. You will find us on all major podcasting platforms such as Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts to name a few. Find us there, subscribe, and leave a review if you like the podcast!

If you want a Virtual Systems Architect and want to systemize and automate your business in just five minutes a day at way less than the minimum wage here in California, go to FreedomInFiveMinutes.com and ProSulum.com.

Go do that and I will see you in the next Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast episode.

Check out this episode!


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter now!