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333: How to Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die With No Regrets with Bridget Hilton

By January 30, 2024No Comments

When’s the last time you did something just for the sheer fun of it?

I’m not talking about big vacations or meticulously planned outings. I mean those little, impromptu acts of joy. Like diving into a pile of leaves, fully knowing you’ll have to rake them up again. Or maybe having a random dance-off in your living room, or deciding to cook a fancy dinner on a Tuesday night, just for kicks.

Or maybe it is it is about those bigger dreams – like finally taking that trip you’ve always talked about, riding in a hot air balloon, or learning to snowboard, regardless of your age.

These moments, big or small, are what make life vibrant. They remind us that joy isn’t just in grand gestures or milestones. Often, it’s the spontaneous, simple things that leave a lasting impression.

So that’s what we’re talking about today.

Our guest is Bridget Hilton. She’s an expert in living a rich, experience-filled life. As a teenager, she hustled her way into the biggest record label in the world, helping to launch the careers of some major music stars we know today. She is the founder of LSTN Sound Co., a company that’s given over 50,000 people the gift of hearing. Now, she’s out there inspiring others as a keynote speaker, co-author of the “Experiential Billionaire” book and “Treasure Maps” card game. Her passion? Helping people improve their mental health and live intentional, regret-free lives by chasing fulfilling goals.

We Will Learn

  • The game-changing power of tiny actions
  • The surprising secret to happiness from the Harvard study on relationships and experiences
  • How to regret-proof your life with one simple exercise


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Epidsode Transcript:

Melissa Monte [00:00:02]:
Welcome to the show, Bridget. Hi.

Bridget Hilton [00:00:05]:
Happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Melissa Monte [00:00:08]:
So what originally inspired your idea of experiential billionaires?

Bridget Hilton [00:00:15]:
Sure. So it’s kind of a longer story, I guess, but, I’ll start when I first started my, my other company called Listen. And, I’ve been working in the music industry previously, and I saw this video on YouTube of a woman that was the same age as the hearing for the first time. And that experience of seeing that video led me, to start a company that gives people the gift of hearing. And we what we do is we sell headphones and speakers and other audio products, but we give the proceeds to help people people around the world hearing aids. And, it was like you know, we’ve been doing that. Me and my business partner, Joe, have been doing that for the last 11 years, and it’s just been The most incredible experience of our lives, and, you know, we to make the story very much shorter than it was, we condensed the last 11 years. We, you know, we never saw, like, crazy, crazy financial success.

Bridget Hilton [00:01:14]:
Like, the whole thing was a very, like, roller coaster y, Experience. But, there was, like, times during that that, you know, I was on these lists, like, Forbes 30 Under 30 or Inc 30 Under 30 and things like that. And it became kind of this, this inside joke with me and my business partner, because people would be reaching out to us and being like, oh my god. You guys are, like, feeling it right now and, like, asking to, like, borrow money. And the funny thing is that we’re just giving away all of our Funny, you know, to fund these trips around the world to help people here. And so I would respond to them and be you know, I’m not a billionaire. I didn’t sell, like, you know, Beats to Apple like doctor Gray did, but I am an experiential billionaire because we were having all these experiences that I couldn’t even even imagine. Like, when I was growing up, I grew up, like, super blue collar and, like, came from nothing, and And I was doing all these things I couldn’t even imagine myself doing when I was a kid.

Bridget Hilton [00:02:14]:
And and those experiences, like, helping so many people, we ended up giving over 50,000 people The gift of hearing. And that experience to me was worth, like, any you know, I would take that over any amount in a bank account. So it was kinda just this, like, ongoing joke of, like, we’re experiential billionaires, but we don’t actually have that much money.

Melissa Monte [00:02:37]:
That actually reminds me of when I launched Mindlove. I had a marketing mindset, and I ended up growing it really quickly to where It was only about 4 months after I launched that I was getting asked to speak at podcasting conferences. And I was lucky to where about 6 months in, I started being able to get sponsors, but I quit my job to just go full force on this. And, Mind you, my job was making me miserable. And so I probably would’ve quit even if I didn’t have something lined up and figured something out. But So many people would come up to me at those conferences, and it’s just like, oh, yeah. Well, you’re killing it. And they’d almost, like, say it, be be strategizing about how to make more money with their podcast And then just sort of brushed me to the side.

Melissa Monte [00:03:23]:
I’m like, wait. Bring me into these conversations. Like, I’m yes. I’m I am doing really well with my podcast, but I focused on the growth. I didn’t even focus on really turning it into something profitable until about a year in. And so there was, like, this 6 month period of time where It it was a very weird mindset because it was creating an imposter syndrome that I Wasn’t asking for. Like, people were putting me in this box that I never really like, I didn’t go in and say, and now I’m making $500,000 a year with my show. I was just like, no.

Melissa Monte [00:04:01]:
No. No. I I could talk to you about the growth part, but could somebody talk to me about what else you’re doing?

Bridget Hilton [00:04:08]:
Right. Totally. Understandable. You started to I mean

Melissa Monte [00:04:15]:
oh, go ahead.

Bridget Hilton [00:04:16]:
Oh, no. You go.

Melissa Monte [00:04:19]:
So is that what initially led you to start kind of questioning definition of melt of wealth and and making that connection between experiences and fulfillment?

Bridget Hilton [00:04:32]:
Yeah. Because, you know, when I was a kid, growing up, like, I I just wanted to be rich, you know, like, the the typical way of rich. I was, like, dreaming of, like, You know, someday, I’m gonna I grew up in Flint, Michigan, and I would think about someday, I wanna move to LA and, like, get a mansion like I saw in, like, you know, Fresh Prince of Bel Air or something. You know? Like and I would want, like, some fancy car or whatever, but, like because we’re never taught Our experiences are the most important part of our life. We’re taught that, like, you know, currency times a lot equals, like, a happy life, and that’s not really true. I mean, money I’m not anti money whatsoever. It’s the book is not about that. It’s it’s more about that you should be investing in your actual experiences over anything else.

Bridget Hilton [00:05:16]:
And so, yeah, with the book, we just you know, we went really deep. Like, after, after COVID hit, we kind of sat down, and we’re like, Well, we’re not traveling right now. We’re not giving people hearing, which was, like, our purpose. And we’re like, what is our purpose if that’s not there? And, we started asking our friends and family, like, what can we do to help other people? And and everyone came back and said the same thing, and it’s like, You should tell your stories because you’ve been doing all this inspirational stuff around the world, and, like like, you haven’t really been, like, telling it To everyone, and, like, you should go speak, and you should write, and, like, that’s how we kinda even got the idea to write a book in the 1st place. And then we started asking, You know, friends and family and, like, people that we knew, like, what the most valuable experiences of their life were And if they had any big regrets in life and how they could, you know, kind of turn around that regret if they still had time. And, then we started reading all these studies. Like, 3 out of 4 people at the end of their life, say that they regret the things that they didn’t do Instead of the things that they did. So all these things kinda, like, started building.

Bridget Hilton [00:06:30]:
Then we we started going to retirement homes and talking to elderly people about what They regret it in their life and, like, what they wish that they still had time to do, and it was just mind blowing. And all of these things came and then we ended up honestly, we Had 20,000 plus people that we interviewed for this book, so it was it’s quite a big project. But, At the end of the day, the answers were all you know, people value their relationships and the experiences they have in those relationships, whether it’s Friendships or, you know, romantic relationships or with their colleagues or, you know, family or whatever, and it it’s really like, nobody You know, nobody has to see their wallet one last time at the hospital when they when they’re dying. They all wanna be with their family. They wanna talk about the things that they did. It’s not, you know, nobody has, like, died with 10,000,000 in the bank on their tombstone. So It was you know, we got really, really deep with this stuff. And after talking to 20,000 people, it was just very obvious that, like, even though we’re not taught this, it is the most important Thing in life is to focus on your experiences, and that’s how you become more fulfilled and regret free at the end.

Melissa Monte [00:07:42]:
I interviewed a man named Mark Schultz who worked on Harvard’s longest standing study on happiness. And so much of it came back to the experiences and relationships. And it is so ironic that so many of us Start our lives chasing this dollar amount. I recently had babies. I have a toddler and Oh. 8 month old, and I, I’ve been trying to be very intentional about the messages that I give him, and we’re Lucky to be at least right now, the plan is homeschool. Who knows? What I one thing

Bridget Hilton [00:08:20]:
I’ve learned in parenting is

Melissa Monte [00:08:21]:
a lot of the times I plan something, and then when it actually Gets to it. I’m like, how? How? Oh, how nice.

Bridget Hilton [00:08:28]:
That’s everyone. That’s every single parent. They’re like, before they have kids, they’re like, I’m never gonna let them have a screen or whatever. And then it’s like, you just fall into that because it’s so much easier sometimes.

Melissa Monte [00:08:39]:
Oh my gosh. Especially for travel. Still trying to be intentional about that, but it is definitely in our lives. And so I remember, like, even when I met my husband, we kinda bonded with our entrepreneurial minds, and and we both had these dollar amounts. Like, I’m gonna be wildly successful. But when I said wildly successful, what my mind was creating was, like, an amount of cash and a a type of lifestyle. And what I’ve learned over my now, like, I mean, 6 years of of doing this business, but probably, like, 10 years of really Our 15 years of really diving into the entrepreneurship. The transformation has really come in the last half of that whole journey, though.

Melissa Monte [00:09:23]:
Is This that’s not the goal whatsoever anymore. And somehow, Without focusing on it as much, it’s just coming. And I think it’s because I’m getting clearer on what makes a difference, not just in my lives, but in the people that I serve, what that lifestyle would look like. Like, I’m no longer sitting there manifesting Piles of money. I’m like, okay. Yes. I would like to increase this amount of income, but it’s to give my children This type of lifestyle or I wanna have this opportunity or I wanna bring this into our lives or I wanna be able to grow this platform and share it with this amount of people. And there’s something that just clicks in that because I’m gonna take, like, something very obvious, like a sales call.

Melissa Monte [00:10:12]:
That’s something you learn in the beginning, of entrepreneurship. It’s like, oh, it’s all about the mindset. And it is. And, like, now if I offered something that was a higher price, I would be coming at it with such a different energy because I know what it takes. I know the commitment. I know What my overall goal is and it’s not like I’m sitting there on the other side like, okay. I’m asking for this amount. Do you think I’m worth it? Like, It’s it’s just a whole different energy.

Melissa Monte [00:10:40]:
And so that’s not even just with, like, money making opportunities. It’s how I’m creating my life, and it’s it’s so interesting how the clearer I get on the kinds of experiences that I want in my life, it’s almost like they just are falling into my lap. Just yesterday, I had a somebody called me and basically asked me for something that I was gonna pitch to her. I already had it planned out. I was just gonna do it in, like, 4 weeks from now. And so I know a big part of your of what you teach around these experiences is getting really clear on The experiences that you want. What’s your process for that, and why do you find it important?

Bridget Hilton [00:11:25]:
First of all, I love Everything that you just said, I think it’s so true. Like, once you find your, like, authentic self and, like, what you really want and what’s important to you, it’s Things become more clear and, like, almost easier in a way. And, like, if you think about, like, I’m just gonna make money so I could trade that Currency for the experiences that I want versus, like, just making money isn’t really like that doesn’t mean anything. Right? If you’re like, I wanna take my kid to do x, I have to, like, make this much money. It makes it so much more, like, Like, that you actually are inspired and motivated to, like, to work more and to do that money. It’s it’s not just like, oh, I’m just gonna get some fictional number. So I love that. So for me, I do a bunch of different things around this.

Bridget Hilton [00:12:11]:
I’m really, really into, like, you know, Figuring out what I want and going after it and being extremely intentional, whether it’s something with work or whether it’s something in, like, In in a relationship or in, you know, travel, for example. So one thing that I do every year, on January 1st, is this exercise that we have called the treasure map? And I love this exercise. It’s basically, What if your doctor called you and was like, you have 1 year left to live, and suddenly your time is finite. Right? You don’t have, like, this Fictional someday, you only have 1 year. So I think about this on January 1st. I’m like, what if I only had this year? What would I do? And I write down, like, the top 10 things that I would do in 1 year. And then I think about, what about if I had 1 month? And what if I had one day? What are those things that I would do? And I wanna make sure that I do as many of those things possible in that year. So I’ll be doing this for 2024 very soon.

Bridget Hilton [00:13:17]:
And I’m already thinking of certain things, but it really it kinda makes it The exercise makes it finite versus, like, oh, I wanna you know, someone might say I wanna travel the world someday. It’s like, well, that’s not a real goal. Right? It’s gonna take a long time. And if you don’t go to 1 place this year or 2 places this year, it’s not you’re not gonna, like, build up to that. You you have to actually, like, do those things. So last year, like, on January 1, 2023, I wrote down, like, I wanna go to India, and I swear to god, like, a neck like, the week after that, I got an invite out of the blue to go to India. Like, that never happened, Drei, but that was just, like, a a crazy example. Obviously, I still have to take the steps to, like, you know, pay for it and to, you know, take the time off of work or whatever.

Bridget Hilton [00:14:11]:
But and it’s a lot of planning, but it was still, like, one of those moments where I was like, oh, Like like you were saying, like, it just makes it easier if you speak it into the universe, and I’m not all about, like, the manifestation thing. I I’m Partially about it, but I think that you really have to, like, focus on being intentional and and actually taking those steps as well. You can’t just sit and wish for things. Oh, that was a But, yeah, I do that. I just

Melissa Monte [00:14:37]:
just manifestation of the beginning of this journey. I’m like, I’ve read The Secret, and then I read The Power. And so I’m, sitting there, and I’m just, like, visualizing. I’m like, why is none of this happening? And then I just went off the roller coaster, and I’m like, okay. That’s all bullshit. But then when I started to understand, like, like, kinda look at the quantum physics side, kind of look at what the most, Successful people do, and I’m like, okay. All those elements are there. There’s you’re just missing a key piece.

Melissa Monte [00:15:07]:
You can’t wait for life to come to you. You have to keep meeting all of these opportunities where they meet you.

Bridget Hilton [00:15:15]:
Yeah. And I think that’s really been so clear, like, in all the research and work that we’ve done with this book is that Everybody has these goals and dreams. Right? And, like, maybe they don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe they say something like travel the world, and they’re like but that doesn’t. They need to be more specific with that stuff, but everybody wants something. And the biggest regret at the end of their life is not doing that thing. Right? So it’s like They might have been trying to manifest it or think about it, but they never took the steps. And the excuses that we got the number one excuse was that I just never got around to it, And that’s just unacceptable.

Bridget Hilton [00:15:49]:
It’s sad. I mean, I felt so bad reading these things because if If you just take the steps towards something, like, there’s so much more likely to get there if you just keep going, like, little step by little step. Yeah. The number one reason didn’t get around to it. Number 2 reason, fear, which I think is probably When you dig deep into the never getting around to it or saying you don’t have time or money, the the deeper part of that is probably fear. So gotta help people get through these fears to do the things that they wanna do.

Melissa Monte [00:16:24]:
I have been reflecting on this a lot recently because For some reason, lately, I’m just it’s becoming very apparently how differently I live my life than the average person. Probably because I was in Santa Monica for a couple of years since I was going to WeWork and I was meeting all these other people that We’re driven and going to these entrepreneur events, and so everyone was just kinda like me. And then I moved to the mountains, and it’s just a different experience, which is fine, but It’s reminds me of that quote that if you need something done, ask the busiest person you

Bridget Hilton [00:17:00]:
know. Yes. That is very true.

Melissa Monte [00:17:03]:
From a couple of people and I asked and and all of a sudden, I’m like, oh, yeah. I gotta put, like, tight deadlines, and then I’m like, oh, it’s just a quick letter. Can you do this in 24 hours? And people are like, oh my god. And I’m like, you don’t have a job right now. I don’t really understand. Yeah. Mom, you’re watching The Bachelor. Like, it’s just, like, really fun.

Bridget Hilton [00:17:24]:
So true. That saying is, like, But, like, I swear to god, if somebody asked me to do I’m really busy right now, but I if someone asked me to do something, like, I’ll just do it versus, like, oh, I’m just gonna Do it next week because then it will never get done. Right?

Melissa Monte [00:17:38]:
I’ll have it done in just 11 minutes. Yeah.

Bridget Hilton [00:17:43]:
Same. And also so you live in Santa Monica? I’m right north of Santa Monica, so I’m very familiar. Where in the mountains are you?

Melissa Monte [00:17:51]:
I’m in Big Bear Lake now.

Bridget Hilton [00:17:53]:
Oh. Yes. Let me know when I can come hang out.

Melissa Monte [00:17:57]:
Anytime. And so it’s and so Lately, though, in in kind of having this realization, it’s been making it a lot easier to Continue my growth. Because all of a sudden, I’m like, well, what am I doing differently than other people? And I’m like, oh, wow. I have to be so intentional Also with kids, also with, like, all these goals and, you were talking about how you have to, like, meet Life where it is, when something falls in your lap, there’s still a bunch of planning that happens. And recently, we had that experience where we We I almost feel like we’re funneled into a move. Now moving when you have, like, a 4 month old and a toddler is not an easy thing. Mind you, we just got back from a couple week vacation. We had catching up to do, but there were just all these signs.

Melissa Monte [00:18:52]:
Like, first, A house opened up just down the street, then a bunch of negative experiences happened where we were. Then we looked at that house, and it wasn’t right. But then For some reason, the realtor kept pushing us towards another one. We’re like, why are you trying to sell us on another house when it seems like we like this one? It was just weird because it was so much work, but I kept saying it feels like I’m not doing anything. Like, it feels like, for some reason, my legs are in motion. I’m packing up all my stuff. Like, I almost couldn’t say no. And, like, this is when something’s meant to be, and it really was the best decision that we could have made.

Melissa Monte [00:19:28]:
But, yeah, it was a ton of work while also feeling like there was some sort of motion propelling me forward the time. And an older version of me, I remember sitting there thinking having this belief that I wasn’t the kind of person that could follow through on things anymore, somewhere in my twenties. And I was just like, how do people do that? Now I have the complete opposite belief. I’m like, I’m the person that’ll follow through. Like, you need something done, give it to me. I’ll have it done very quickly. Like, I I have a completely different self belief, and it did take a couple of years to get there. But I think the the biggest thing was that clarity part because we’ll have a goal.

Melissa Monte [00:20:13]:
And like you said, it’s not a real goal. It’s like, oh, I I wanna start a business. And it’s like, okay. But what kind of business? Who are you gonna be serving? What’s your life gonna look like? What sacrifices are you willing to make while you’re getting there? How are you gonna restructure your day to have time for this? And so, like, those are the steps that it takes. But the good news is is once, Like, that’s the work is showing up for those questions. And once you start to do that, then you know how you’re restructuring your day. So then the next step is just restructuring your day. Okay.

Melissa Monte [00:20:41]:
I have an extra 90 minutes if I stop watching Bachelor in Paradise after my kids go to bed. Yes. It’s gonna be difficult, but And some days, I’m not gonna feel like it. So what’s gonna be my oh shit plan? Alright. If I like, maybe just Fridays, I’ll take off or whatever it is. Like, Build in all the things that you think are gonna get in the way, and then all you have to do is kind of just, like, float down the river that you just built for yourself. And so I wish people understood that more because things seem so daunting, but it’s daunting if it’s just floating around in your head. When you start to map it out, All of the most daunting goals become manageable because you can just see.

Melissa Monte [00:21:23]:
It’s like building a new neural pathway in your brain. And then when you start to follow those steps that you’ve laid out, All of a sudden, you start to see yourself differently. You’re the kind of person that can do this. And then you’ve been doing it for a couple of years, and You feel like a whole different person. You have trust in yourself. You have belief that you can create big things, and so it’s just So many people are expecting other people or life to do it for them when when That’s how you show up for yourself. But then when you do, all of a sudden, magical experience seemed to happen, and you just get calls with your ideal client or Invited to India or whatever the thing is for you.

Bridget Hilton [00:22:06]:
I mean, you are speaking my language, like, exactly. That is exactly what the book’s about, and it’s, You know, we have a little section that says exactly those words. Like, maybe I’m not the type of person that can climb a mountain or or plant a 1000000 trees or, know, even something as simple as go skydiving. I’m not that type of person. But I I want to do it, but I’m not that person. It’s like but you can be. You just have to take those Steps towards it, and then you’re gonna see yourself in a new life. Like, if I would have thought, you know, like, when I was a kid, like, I’m gonna, You know, write a book or or start a company or whatever.

Bridget Hilton [00:22:39]:
Like, I would have been like, that’s so daunting, but you can’t look at this big daunting thing. You have to look at what I what can I do in the next 24 hours that’s gonna move this forward? And then if I just do that every single day, eventually, it’s gonna happen. And there’s, like, a snowball effect where it’s like, Okay. All of these things start happening. Like like, right now, it’s like we, you know, spent 2 years on the book, and we didn’t know if anyone was going to like it. Right? But now it’s out, and and it’s done. And the the response has been so positive and so good, and it feels so good to, like, share it with people. But, like, if I would have just thought about this big thing first, I might have been like, oh, it’s too much work or it’s it’s, you know, it’s gonna take too much time or whatever, but it’s so worth doing those Thanks.

Bridget Hilton [00:23:23]:
Because I always thought it would be cool to write a book, but I I thought maybe I’ll do it in, you know, 10 years or whatever. And then this, you know, crazy, You know, life thing happened in 2020 where we were just like, we’re just gonna do it now. And I’m so glad, Like, that might have never happened. Right? So I just didn’t, like, take those steps.

Melissa Monte [00:23:42]:
That exact experience happened with me with kids. I remember being like, Pam, I said I was gonna have kids at 35. I was like, I need 5 years. This was when I was 30. And then it was approaching, But I probably would’ve kept putting it off. And I remember looking at a friend who had 2 kids, and I was like, just take so long to get there. Like, this toddler phase looks so cute, but I’ve gotta get pregnant, and then I’ve gotta be pregnant, and then I’m gonna give birth, and then I’m gonna go through this phase and then that phase and To get to 2 kids. And even after having 1, I was like, now I gotta do that all over again.

Melissa Monte [00:24:17]:
And so instead of thinking about that, I just It’s like when I go running. I was just thinking about this this morning on my run. I’m like I was kinda comparing some of the conversations I’ve had with friends I’ve went running with, and of them kept saying, there’s just so many hills. And I was like, oh, I barely noticed those. But then I realized I’m just focused on where my next step is landing because there’s a bunch of rocks and everything. And and so I kinda zoomed out in my run, and I was like, oh, yeah. This is a big hill, isn’t it? And then all of a sudden, I felt So much more tired and like, oh, go back to your feet. And I just started going

Bridget Hilton [00:24:50]:
back to that

Melissa Monte [00:24:51]:
1 foot in front of the other. The same thing happened with kids, and I just realized the other day, I had a flashback to that thought, and I was like, I’m at that point of when I was looking at somebody else thinking it’s gonna take so much to get there. And now I’ve got my kids, And now I’m starting to get a little more freedom to focus on something else. What I found is so many people Talk themselves out of it because they’re like, well, yeah, you have clarity. So, of course, you know how to, like, take the steps to do this. And what I’ve been interviewing a lot of people because I’m working on, my signature coaching program that I’m relaunching next year. And And what comes up for a lot of people, there’s the the camp that we’ve been talking about where it’s like, okay. And they don’t have a belief at all of of Even being able to do something, so they’ve gotta kinda get over that.

Melissa Monte [00:25:38]:
But then there’s this other group that, yeah, they can do some stuff, and they have done some stuff. But their biggest dreams, There’s this fear that they’re gonna spend all this time and it’s not gonna resonate with people or they’re gonna Stall out because they get burnt out from it or they’re gonna realize they’re gonna be 6 months in and realize it’s not really the thing for them and they wasted all this Time. And so when you’re creating your next big goal, how do you get clarity around that or or move through some of those Internal objections.

Bridget Hilton [00:26:14]:
I think the that excuse is interesting. Like, when people say, like, oh, what if it doesn’t work out? It’s like, Isn’t it more important to try and to to know that you tried and it didn’t work out? Like, I think a very, very simple thing To reference, for me, could be like, I always wanted to, like, run a race. Right? So I did, like, this Half marathon thing, and then then I was like, that wasn’t really for me. Right? I didn’t I didn’t love it. Like, a lot of people love it, and I think that’s awesome. But, like, for me, it wasn’t really what I wanted, but I was like, I’m so glad that I did it and then I tried. And then now I don’t ever have to, like, worry about that. And, like, you know, that’s Probably not the outcome that I would have wanted, I guess.

Bridget Hilton [00:26:58]:
I probably would have wanted to to do stuff like that all the time. But, But I think that you figure out what you don’t like and what you don’t want in, like, in in, you know, stuff like you said. Like, if maybe it doesn’t work out, But at least you tried. You know, like, next year, one of my goals is to, one of my big goals, very scary goal, is to write a stand up comedy set. And, I’m terrified, but I’m also like I love comedy so much, and it’s, like, one of my favorite things on Earth. It’s like music, comedy. Like, I just It’s, like, ingrained in me. Like, since I was a kid, I’ve loved stand up.

Bridget Hilton [00:27:36]:
And I’ve always thought, like, watching stand up, I’m like, man, I wish I could do that. Like, that would be so cool if I could do that. But I’m just not, like, you know, good enough for that. But the reality is, like, if I put it on my Goal is and I’m, like, working on it every day, like, just a little bit every day. And then at the end of the day, I have something, and I have this, like, body Work. And even if nobody cares, like, I literally don’t care if anyone else likes it because for me, I’m gonna know But I tried and that I at least know that, like, I have that forever, and I’m not gonna regret it at the end of the my life being like, I wish that I would have tried this. You know, like, at your funeral, no one’s gonna say, like, she really, like, tried to do a lot of things, but she failed. Like, people are gonna feel like this.

Melissa Monte [00:28:24]:
She really embarrassed herself on Instagram the last 3 years. I’m glad she’s gone.

Bridget Hilton [00:28:29]:
Oh, they’re gonna be like, that’s so cool that you tried to, like, do comedy, and, like, that that might have inspired someone else to do that, or it might inspired someone else to follow a different dream. And, like, just doing things and that gives other people permission to do things. So even if you fail, quote, unquote and by the way, Failure is so ridiculous. Like, nobody really cares. Right? Like, nobody’s really, like, looking at you that closely to be like, oh my god. That person failed. Like, They suck. It’s not really like that.

Bridget Hilton [00:28:57]:
Like, people you’re giving someone else permission to follow their own dreams even if you Even if it doesn’t turn out in the way that you think.

Melissa Monte [00:29:06]:
I have had a few experiences where I Tried or I I started to do something. This was in this was in a more negative phase of my life. But I started to do something, realized it wasn’t really for me, And I started to create these internal narratives that, like, okay. Like, I started to get be afraid to try something new. This is a very short period, but I remember it vividly because it felt like crap. And What I very soon realized is, again, it’s kind of this self reflection period afterwards Because it’s so easy to, like all of a sudden, one thing feels bad, and you apply that feeling to the entire experience Versus maybe it’s just this one little segment. An an example I can give that happened after I knew this was actually moving to the mountains. I was so excited.

Melissa Monte [00:30:05]:
I’m like, okay. I’m done. It was 2020. Like, I’m done with being here. I wanna go somewhere else. I wanna be in nature. I’m pregnant. Like, all these good things.

Melissa Monte [00:30:13]:
I had a whole list of all of these good things. And then I got here and it was, like, a month in. Most food is making me nauseous except for all this food I’m craving from Uber Eats down in Santa Monica that you just don’t have here. And so all of a sudden, I’m listing all of the negatives, and I’m like, oh my gosh. I knew I jumped into this too fast. And What I’ve been able to do since being in the mountains is, yeah, there are a couple of things that this town is lacking. There I Have yet to find other people that are on the same path, whether it’s spiritually, whether it’s entrepreneurially. And so There was also a period of time where I’d be in friendship circles and I’d, like, try to go deep and be let like, met with something about Cheesesteaks or something like that.

Melissa Monte [00:31:04]:
I’m just like, oh, and I could just feel, like, unfulfilled. But then My my new programming kicked in and it’s like, okay. Well, what am I needing here? How can I get this still? It doesn’t have to come from this one thing. It reminds me of what I learned about Friends a long time ago. Or, like, I’d get really close to friends and they’d be, like, my bestie that I was always around and then they’d respond to something in a way I didn’t want them to or my mom or whatever, and it’s like, okay, everyone can’t be everything for someone. This is my friend that I call when I just want her to Let me vent. This is the friend that I call when I actually want actionable strategies. This is the friend and so segmenting life in that same way Where recently I’ve I’ve really been kind of getting back into my groove of business, the freedom there.

Melissa Monte [00:31:52]:
And I’m like, what do I need? I need these high vibe conversations. So now I have this Book club set up with 1 of my friends, and we posted on our podcast. And then I still have interviews like this, and I have an accountability group and all of the stuff that I’ve been building up My life in a way where not everything needs to give me every single thing that I want. And I wish that People could see that more in their lives rather than just being like, well, that was disappointing. It’s like, well, what what part of it was disappointing? You don’t really learn more about yourself Until you take that time, that space to really reflect on it and ask yourself those hard questions.

Bridget Hilton [00:32:34]:
Yeah. And, like, what you said about segmenting friends and stuff, that is so true, and it’s so crucial. Like so we have a whole relationships chapter in the book about how, like, it’s been proven that, like, the number one way to grow a relationship, whether it’s, like, you know, your Boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, whatever. It’s it’s having new experiences with them, right, and, like, not letting things, like, just get stale. So But a lot what a lot of people do is to be like, well, my friends don’t really like to surf, for example. Like but I always wanna But I’m never going to because my friends don’t want to. Like, you can find another person that likes to surf, and you don’t have to involve your other friends. Okay.

Bridget Hilton [00:33:19]:
It doesn’t have to be, like, just so concrete where it’s like, well, my friends don’t like it, so and my boyfriend doesn’t like it, so I’m not gonna do it. Like but if that’s what you want, you need to, like, make that happen with someone else or just by yourself. And, like, that’s it’s So crucial. I think so many people get held back by the people that are around them, and maybe that’s not even, like, a negative on those people. It’s just that they don’t have The same all the same interests, and they can’t expect them to have all the same interests. And it’s so true what they say about, like, you are the average of the 5 people that you surround yourself with because if if you’re around 5 people that don’t want to try new things and never want to go anywhere or do anything, then you’re also going to be that person. Right? And so maybe what you need to do is find some other people in your life that you can add in that have those segments. Like, oh, I have a friend that I go, You know, shopping with.

Bridget Hilton [00:34:12]:
Or I have a friend that I have those deep conversations with. Or I have a friend that you know, we take cooking classes together. Right? But maybe those aren’t In your current circle, and that’s what you want, so you gotta just get out there more.

Melissa Monte [00:34:26]:
I could see how that would even be A way to expand yourself to things that you didn’t know you wanted to try. Like, yes, I really wanna try this. I’m gonna find somebody else, and I’m the type of person where I’ve moved around a lot by myself, so I’ll straight up find a Facebook group, people who surf in Big Bear, you know, like

Bridget Hilton [00:34:44]:
Yeah. Totally.

Melissa Monte [00:34:45]:
Be like, I need friends. Like, who’s getting together? I have so many friends that way. But then what about what opportunities are you not Seeing in your current friendship circle because they’re looking at you like, well, Melissa doesn’t like to play mahjong on weeknights. You know? Like, whatever Oh, it is. Maybe maybe you you end up hating it. Maybe it doesn’t sound appealing at all, but, like, give it a try and see if there’s anything you do like or if that can Reconnect that friendship in a specific way because there also can be a downside. I noticed myself creating a narrative about Specific people because I’m like, oh, they can’t be this for me. They can’t be this for me.

Melissa Monte [00:35:23]:
They can’t be this for me. And I’m like, that may all be true, but what energy am I bringing to that? And make sure I spend like, these are valuable people. Make sure I spend just as much time. What can they be for me? What do they give me? When do they I really feel good with this person. Because it’s it’s just so easy to to accidentally evolve out of relationships that don’t necessarily need to be evolved out of.

Bridget Hilton [00:35:50]:
For sure. And so, like, since you have 2 kids, I just wanna say it’s so important. This mindset is so important as a parent and because, like, You are giving them the gift of all of these new experiences, and maybe you end up liking some of the stuff. Like, maybe your kid gets A bit older, and they’re like, I love wakeboarding. And you’re like, I’ve never even thought about doing that. Right? But now you are interested in it and that you can share that experience Just as, like, a random example. But, and by the way, what a great place to grow up. My god.

Bridget Hilton [00:36:21]:
Big bore Big Bear would be just incredible to grow up. And you could do so much stuff outside there and, like, wow. What a place. But, yeah, for kids, it’s so important for, like, these experiences. It’s like you could take something as very simple as, like, instead of, you know, ordering pizza tonight, we’re gonna make pizza together, and it’s gonna be this, like, bonding family experience. And it might cost, you know, like, less than probably $15 to get the ingredients for a pizza. Right? But they’re gonna remember that, and they’re now they’re gonna know how to, like, make pizza dough. Maybe they don’t remember in I’ve heard in 5 years, but they’ll they’ll have that skill.

Bridget Hilton [00:37:00]:
They’ll have that, like, memory, whereas, like, just ordering a pizza isn’t the same experience. And so and then maybe you get really into it. Right? You’re like, I’m gonna be the best pizza maker in Big Bear. You just don’t know. You don’t know what you’re gonna find, like, once you start doing a lot of new things, and I think that’s such an important mindset for for parents and for Sure. Like, kids and, like, how you bond. Like, I wish that I had that when I was a kid.

Melissa Monte [00:37:27]:
When you were saying that, I actually have a core memory of The one time we made pizza dough from scratch. I don’t even know how old I was. I think it might have been 7, but, yep, it’s a core memory because You

Bridget Hilton [00:37:39]:
don’t remember all the times you ordered kids?

Melissa Monte [00:37:41]:
No. Not at all. But speaking of kids, I know how You also teach about how important play is for, first of all, learning. I interviewed Steven Kotler, and he has this whole thing about Kind of Aging Gracefully, his newest book and and a big part of of learning new skills. He Taught himself to basically be at the level of skiing that you’re not supposed to be able to get at if you start at his age. But he brought all of his, research on on how to be like, peak performance into this and and play novelty was a huge part of it. And But you also talk about how it’s a powerful tool for actually shaping your identity as an adult. How so?

Bridget Hilton [00:38:29]:
I I mean, I love play. Like, I’m just a silly human being, so I always have been like this. But for me, the, you know, the best part of life is to play and to have fun and to just be silly because it’s just so serious. You know? Life is so serious and so daunting and so dark at times. And if you can’t laugh at things, then, like, I don’t know. It’s just a waste of time. But I like I think shaping your identity Like, for me, I wanna be the person that my friends go to, and they’re like, this person’s fun, and they’ll do this Weird thing with me. Like, they’ll go take, like, a trapeze lesson with me, or they’ll go, like, dress up on Halloween with me or, like, do something that they feel like maybe not, Comfortable with other people doing? So a lot of people a lot of adults, you know, once we get older, we’re like, we’re not gonna be playful anymore.

Bridget Hilton [00:39:21]:
We’re gonna be super serious, and everything is very serious. But, you know, for me, I always wanna be, like, that fun friend and the fun person that people can come To feel comfortable with, like, being their inner child and, like, being silly. Like, a lot of you know, One of an example is that I have a group of friends that every single year, we go see Santa at the mall in Burbank. We sit in the same exact position. It’s always the same 5 girls. We’ve done it every year for almost 14 years. And it’s like, I we just have that bond. You know? Like, if I don’t see them all year, which I You usually do, but maybe some years I don’t.

Bridget Hilton [00:40:01]:
Right? But we’ll always have, like, that one thing that we do together, and I think that’s so crucial in having those Bonds with the people that you love and, like, having the ways to connect around it and being silly is, like, the best way to connect with someone, in my opinion. I mean, being deep is great, and I love to get deep with people, but, like, bringing out that inner child, like So for the survey that we did of 20,000 people, one of the questions was, what was your favorite thing you did as a kid? And do you do it anymore, and why not? Because usually, the answer is no. Right? So a lot of people say very simple things like I used to love Playing hide and seek, or I used to love playing truth or dare, or I used to love, you know, chasing fireflies with a jar. It’s like And the funny thing about every singe not pretty much every single answer to this question is something that is free, but it’s still so memorable to them that, like, you know, 20, 30, 40, 50 years later, they’re still thinking of this thing that brought them joy, and they could do it today. Like, call your call your most fun friend and be like, you know, let’s go collect rocks on the beach. Let’s go play tag. Let’s go you know, all of this stuff is free. So for me, I guess, shaping my identity is just I wanna be that person.

Bridget Hilton [00:41:18]:
I wanna always be able to be, like, lighthearted and fun when when my friends need it.

Melissa Monte [00:41:24]:
Is there a spot for a 6th girl on Santa’s knee? Because I

Bridget Hilton [00:41:28]:
don’t need this group so bad.

Melissa Monte [00:41:30]:
I also do have One session left of my 5 pack trapeze classes on the Santa Monica Pier. I also got certified for diving. And the moment I got certified, I just never went again. I was like, that was the goal, and now

Bridget Hilton [00:41:45]:
Scuba diving?

Melissa Monte [00:41:46]:
No. Skydiving.

Bridget Hilton [00:41:48]:
Oh, I I still you know, what’s funny is I still haven’t done that, which is really weird for me because I feel like I would love it. But I that’s definitely on the list. And, yeah, Trapeze. I did the Trapeze at Santa Monica. That’s so funny. I thought it was so much fun.

Melissa Monte [00:42:04]:
Oh, it was a blast. There’s something about when you were asking about those best experiences, I’m like, am I a bad person that it All the we had, like, a a teepeeing war in in high school, and it was so fun. But it was not just, like, Getting out at night. A lot of times, it was sneaking out at night, going to the grocery store. We’d also get, like, a pack of M and M’s on our way, and then and then we’d, like, Get there and there was this sneakiness and getting caught and, like, they’re trying to be creative with the TV. It really brought in everything and I’m, like, Am I too old for this?

Bridget Hilton [00:42:41]:
No. I honestly, if you ever wanna go teepeeing, I’m super down. I was even worse though when I was a kid. This is shameful, but I would I would go teepee. I grew up in Michigan. I would go teepeeing. They have this thing in Michigan called Devil’s Night. It’s the night before Halloween, and K.

Bridget Hilton [00:42:59]:
But, we would go peeping, and then the next day, my neighbors would just be so pissed. And they they I don’t Know if they knew it was us or not, but they would pay us to leave. You know? It’s $5. I would be like, sweet.

Melissa Monte [00:43:16]:
This is the best money I’ve ever made. I had just heard about Devil’s Night for the 1st time this year. My husband’s from Howell, Michigan.

Bridget Hilton [00:43:23]:
And I was like, oh, Jose, what

Melissa Monte [00:43:24]:
are you guys talking about? That’s so funny. Well

Bridget Hilton [00:43:29]:
Funny. Howell isn’t that far away. Yeah. I know Howell.

Melissa Monte [00:43:32]:
We go there eventually, we’re gonna have a house there, because we do have land there already set for us. But, yeah, we go there every year for 4th July. But going back to the question around I talked about how a lot of times people Don’t bring enough self awareness, and they sort of paint an entire experience as negative because of of one thing. But I know another one of the things that you teach is Around reframing negative experiences overall, even if the whole thing was bad into positive memories. So how do What’s your process for that?

Bridget Hilton [00:44:10]:
Sure. So one of the most interesting things in the study was that 1 third of the 20,000 people stated A negative experience as their most valuable experience, and I would say I was part of that 20,000. For me, it was like this Really crazy year where I got separated, and I moved, and I I had my place new place broken into several times. It It’s really scary. COVID happened. Like, all the stuff with, you know, my other company, like, we had to lay all our employees off that were like a family to us. And, like, financially, it wasn’t the best year. Just like all these dominoes were falling.

Bridget Hilton [00:44:46]:
Right? And at the time, I was like, this is the absolute worst thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just was super depressed, and I had never been that depressed before. And to me now, looking back, you know, in 2023, I absolutely think that was the best experience of my life because now I’m on such a better path. Like, if I was still with, you know, that person or still with, you know, doing, you know, work that I wasn’t, like, sure about or doing, you know, Living in that place or whatever, like, whatever those things are, like, I wouldn’t be here, and I’m really happy now. And and I’ve accomplished Quite a few of my big goals, whether they’re creative or work or whatever, in the last couple years, and I truly don’t think that would have happened without going through all of that. And now I live in a place that I love, and I’m very happy, and my mental health is much better. So and I’m super grateful. Like, every day that I’m happy, I’m like, thank god.

Bridget Hilton [00:45:45]:
Like, because I don’t ever wanna feel that way again. Right? So for me, negative experience turned into a positive. Just took some time. And so I think there’s, like, a lesson in each big negative experience. A lot of people would say things like, You know, my most valuable experience is when my mom got cancer, and then it made me realize, like, how Short life is, and how much I love my family and how I need to spend more time with them. And so or it could be something like You know, when I was young, I was a heroin addict, and it made me you know, that was my most valuable experience because now I work at a Center where I help people that have those same problems. And and everyone was saying something like that, and I just thought that was so powerful. Another way to reframe it, which is my favorite way, less deep, but it’s so true, is when you’re going through a negative experience, Think about maybe this could be funny in in a year or 5 years, and I love to think about that because Nobody you know, stories that you tell your friends like, say you’re telling, like, a campfire story.

Bridget Hilton [00:46:58]:
It’s never gonna be like, I woke up, and my day was Great. And what a wonderful day. You’re gonna tell something negative that happened, and your friends are gonna laugh. Right? Because things over time You know, comedy plus trauma over time or whatever that equation is. It’s like, over time, things become much funnier and much lighter, And you’re not gonna be really as interesting of a person if nothing negative ever happens to you. So I love to reframe it in, like, that light, and I love to think about the positives that came from things. Like, when I was, you know, younger, I got, my I, like, worked my butt off to get into the music industry, and then I finally got a job. It’s like Best thing that ever happened to me.

Bridget Hilton [00:47:45]:
And then my my office shut down and everyone got laid off, and I was like, like, everything that I did was, like, gone. Right? I thought it was the worst thing to ever happen to me at that point in my life. I was, like, 21. And then what ended up happening is that I moved to Los Angeles, which I absolutely love, and I’ve Been here, 17 years, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me coming from a negative experience. So at the time, you’re like, I got laid off. This sucks, but you don’t know what’s next. Like, now I’m like, I can’t imagine, like, living in my hometown and, like, where my life would Ben. Like, no offense to them, but, like, it’s it’s just not for me.

Bridget Hilton [00:48:23]:
Like, I grew as a person. Like, when I moved here, I felt like anything was possible, And I wouldn’t have never had that feeling if I would’ve stayed there in, like, the comfort zone of my hometown.

Melissa Monte [00:48:35]:
1 of, Well, my hands down worst life experience. I was in a horrible relationship. I had Really low self worth by this time. A bunch of things happened, and I was letting life happen to me. And I was making meaning from all of the bad things About my own worth, and it was showing not just in what I was attracting, but also the choices I was making. I was in this horrible relationship. Long story short, found out over time he was cheating on me, addicted to meth, Gambling everything away. And the the last one was I found out he was secretly robbing houses, and I got arrested with him.

Melissa Monte [00:49:14]:
And so I ended up taking a felony to save him from having to go to trial. And just the dumbest 22 year old decision ever. And so then I just had a felony on my record. But that that experience pushed me into entrepreneurship Because I’m like, how am I gonna explain this in two lines of a job application? And it made entrepreneurship mandatory For me. Because I had too much pride to, like, start at the bottom. And again, explain like, I I just couldn’t explain it. I’m like, I’m gonna need, like, 15 minutes of your time, and I’m gonna need to show you other documents to show, like, the kind of person I really like, I just couldn’t have done that. And so now I see very clearly so much of that, how it led to the experience that I am now.

Melissa Monte [00:50:04]:
My husband and I were just talking about this. His, like, worst experience when he was in high school was something about his helmet being too small and his championship wrestling match, and he lost, Like, clearly gonna win. And to the that that teenage boy, it felt like his life was over. Like, this was his scholarships and all of this stuff. But then he would’ve like, right now, he’s got a very successful web design company working with nonprofits. Whereas if he would’ve won, he would’ve been a wrestler in in college. And then as something similar happened, he was on American Ninja Warrior. And, like, his toe touched the water, and they made the call that he was disqualified.

Melissa Monte [00:50:42]:
It’s like, I didn’t even fall. Like, what do you mean? And so broken up about it. And I was trying to tell him in the moment. I’m like, We’re getting married next month. I was like, you would’ve been, like, on tour with Ninja Warrior. Right? When we’re getting married,

Bridget Hilton [00:50:55]:
we got, like,

Melissa Monte [00:50:56]:
this Traveling the world plans that probably would’ve had to been canceled. I probably would’ve been so mad this marriage wouldn’t have been working out. And So we’re

Bridget Hilton [00:51:04]:
just reflecting

Melissa Monte [00:51:05]:
on that on that in the, just the other day and, like, where we are now compared to those moments to just remind ourselves, like, Sounds like when something negative happens, it could just be my one of my main main messages has been when I Speak publicly at universities and such is is using your limitations as guideposts. Like, what if You really had the belief that everything is happening for you. And if you look at it that way, then you start to see like, okay. Well, this is just eliminating a couple of options. Did I even want those? Now I don’t have to question it because they’re not on the table anymore. Let me just go full force this way, commit. Someone told me once that we only ever have 80% clarity, and the rest of it is just committing to that plan. And so Just thinking about those things is is so helpful in in taking life by the balls.

Melissa Monte [00:51:58]:
Am I still allowed to say that in 2023? Just, like, going

Bridget Hilton [00:52:01]:
I think you should. Right? Take I love that.

Melissa Monte [00:52:06]:
Vulva for the women out there, however you wanna look at it, And and just going a little bit harder is is how I like to look at it. Just stop making Excuses for playing small. And so thank you so much for all of the research that you put into this book, for the ideas on On how to implement them, I love leaving listeners with one specific thing to focus on this week, whether it’s a thought experiment or a challenge or A bold move to really ground it into action. What would you leave them with?

Bridget Hilton [00:52:41]:
I think a really easy, experiment slash exercise that everybody can do that’s free When we were doing our research, we realized that one of the top regrets of the dying was not keeping in touch with friends. And this is something that so so so many people said. And I think something for your listeners is to just take, You know, 5 minutes today. And write down a list of couple people that you would regret not keeping in touch with And reach out to those people. Just send them, you know, an email, text, phone call, anything like that. It’s free. And, You know, you never know how long your life is gonna last, and you never know what is gonna happen. So you can avoid this regret just by, like, Taking 5 minutes of your time.

Melissa Monte [00:53:34]:
I’m going to do that. I know exactly who I’m gonna reach out to, and I’m gonna wanna I’m going to ask if she wants to take a picture was Santa with me. Yes.

Bridget Hilton [00:53:42]:
Oh my god. Please send that to me. I will send it to you.

Melissa Monte [00:53:47]:
Well, thank you again so much. For listeners that are resonating, wanna read your book, wanna connect with you, where’s the best place for them to find you?

Bridget Hilton [00:53:55]:
Sure. So my site is bridgethilton.com and experientialbillionaire.com, and then I’m on Instagram as well, bridgetl

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