Ep367: Lorenzo Flores – Invest in Learning to Breakout of Complacency

Listen on

Apple | Google | Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | Other

Quick take

BIO: Lorenzo Flores, a twenty-year veteran in retail leadership, has rejuvenated, inspired, and rebuilt over a dozen teams throughout his career.

STORY: After years of hard work, Lorenzo finally became a manager. He was super excited to get this title, and he thought that he had finally arrived at his destination. He plateaued and settled in his title, stagnating his career and personal growth for six years.

LEARNING: A title or a job is not the end destination or a place to plateau and settle; you still need to put in work to keep growing. It does not matter how much time it takes to get to where you want to go; it is the work you put in that matters.


“If I’m not following my code of leadership, I’m not helping my people get better over time.”

Lorenzo Flores


Guest profile

Lorenzo Flores, a twenty-year veteran in retail leadership, has rejuvenated, inspired, and rebuilt over a dozen teams throughout his career. With a passion for music, Mixed Martial Arts, and podcasting (check out Life of Lozo and Hacking Your Leadership!), he understands the importance of connecting personal vision to the workplace.

Lorenzo’s insights, experiences, and philosophies on leadership excellence are the fuel to ignite every leader’s optimum potential. Join his Clubhouse here.

Worst investment ever

Lorenzo was very excited to finally be made manager after many years of learning how to influence people to be great individual contributors, to show up, and to exceed expectations. He believed that he had made it.

The perfect leader

Becoming a manager made Lorenzo think that he was perfect. He believed that all of his opinions were right. Lorenzo thought he had all the skills and competence necessary to lead people. So he just sat back, relaxed, and allowed the everyday elements of the job to take over his life.

Getting comfortable with his job title

Lorenzo never challenged himself beyond his job title. He never took time to develop and grow his career further. He got comfortable in being a manager.

Lorenzo thought that he would develop through osmosis if he just showed up every single day, put in the time, and did what he was told to do.

The idea of 10,000 hours

Lorenzo prescribed very early in his career to the idea that someone becomes a master of his art after practicing it for 10,000 hours. Lorenzo figured that being in a full-time job working 40 hours a week, in five years, he would automatically be the master of his domain and be the best possible assistant manager you can find. The part that he forgot about is that five years have to be dedicated to improving yourself.

That is where Lorenzo made a horrible investment decision by believing that just being present in the physical was enough to help him grow and achieve his goals, both professionally and personally.

Career stagnation

This mentality caused Lorenzo’s career growth and development to stagnate. He also experienced complacency in relationships.

Lorenzo was also complacent when it came to having financial goals. He just lived day by day, week by week, assuming that this is life now. And so for Lorenzo, those six years of complacency were his worst investment ever.

Lessons learned

Examine the kind of leader you are

To be a great leader, you have to be your first follower. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you live the life, in all aspects professionally and personally, of somebody you would be inspired to follow. Are you proud of the work that you are putting in?

Be the best leader for yourself

Lorenzo was not focused on being the best leader for himself. He thought that showing up for people, listening to them, providing them with context, or training them was the right thing to do. He later realized following his code of leadership is a big part of leadership.

The kind of leader you are is what matters, not your titles or responsibilities

Most people tend to confuse milestones with destinations. The next title is not the destination. The next job is not the end game.

The infinite end game is that you are bettering yourself every single day as a leader. Focus on learning and growing and challenging yourself to be the best leader possible over time, regardless of your title or responsibility.

Andrew’s takeaways

Read, read, read

If you want to improve yourself, read books. There are so many ways to read books thanks to the internet. It’s so easy to build a competitive advantage in this world if you read.

Do not chase the clock focus on getting the work done

It’s not about the time you take but the work you put in to get to where you want to go.

Actionable advice

Find the time to invest in yourself. Hold yourself accountable to understand what it is that you are investing in. If you do that, you will be a better you.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Lorenzo’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to expand his podcast listening.

Parting words


“Believe in yourself. The simple fact that you are listening to this show shows that you are interested in making yourself better, so continue that work.”

Lorenzo Flores


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that to win an investing, you must take risks, but to win big, you've got to reduce it. And I bet you're exposed to investment risk right now. To reduce it, go to my worst investment ever.com and download the risk reduction checklist I made specifically for you, my podcast listeners, based on the lessons I've learned from all of my guests. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Lorenzo Flores, Lorenzo. Are you ready to rock?

I am ready to rock.

Andrew Stotz 00:46
Yes, I am excited to learn more about you and particularly in the area of leadership. So let me introduce you to the audience. Lorenzo Flores, a 20 year veteran in retail leadership has rejuvenated, inspired and rebuilt over a dozen teams throughout his career with a passion for music, mixed martial arts, and podcasting, check out his life of love zone and hacking your leadership. He understands the importance of connecting personal vision to the workplace, Lorenzo's insights, experiences and philosophies on leadership. Excellence are the fuel to ignite every leaders optimum performance. It's 516 in the morning, here, and I'm already pumped up, Lorenzo take a minute and fill in further tidbits about your life.

Lorenzo Flores 01:41
Absolutely. Well, again, thank you so much for being here on the show today. And let me share some of my story. I think that, you know, in life risk management is a big, big deal. And the amount of investing that we do, whether it's within ourselves financially, you know, in our own careers, and our own development is so important to talk about, you know, I'm a firm believer in our testimony is what helps others to exponentially grow and challenge themselves. So I'm really excited to kind of tell some stories here and, and provide, you know, my example and the times in my life, where I had my worst investments, and hopefully others can learn from that and move themselves forward.

Andrew Stotz 02:19
I'm sure they will be able to learn from it, I'm looking forward to learning from it. In fact, that's the best part of this podcast. Well, the second best, the best part is that I get to meet people like you and we get to spend time together. And the second best part actually, is that the listeners out there can listen in and get to know both of us, which is really the magic of podcasting. But really, I'm excited to get into your story. So now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be usually they think it's going to be the best. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story. Absolutely. So

Lorenzo Flores 02:58
my worst investment ever was the amount of time that I wasted in complacency for about six years as an assistant manager in my career. And you know, we talk a lot about leadership around things like self awareness and self development and owning your own development and being the leader that you want to follow and that you want people to, you know, to really look towards for inspiration and motivation. The funny thing is that in my life is that you tend to get comfortable from time to time and you tend to early in your career, believe that a title or a job is either the end destination, or a place to kind of plateau and to settle. And that's exactly what happened to me in my life is that I was very, you know, excited about and driven to achieve the role of being called a manager. And by the time that I got that title, after many years of learning how to influence people to be a great individual contributor to show up, you know, in my own self to exceed expectations, I was now gifted with the responsibility of becoming a manager. And when I got that time, I thought I had made it. I thought that all of my opinions were right, I thought I had all the skills and competence that it was necessary to lead people. And I just sat back and I relaxed and I allowed the every day elements of a job to take over my life. And to stop me from actually going out and challenging myself and growing myself and developing myself. And I just thought that I would develop through osmosis if I just showed up every single day. And I put the time in the clock. And I did what I was told that over time, I would be better. You know, I prescribed very early in my career to the idea of the 10,000 hours in a full time job, but 40 hours a week, that's five years and I thought well after about five years, I should be the master of my domain I should be the best possible assistant manager you can find in the part that I forgot about is that five years of time has to be dedicated to improving yourself. And that's where I made a horrible investment decision by just believing that being there and just being present in the physical was enough to help me with my growth and to achieve my goals, both professionally as long with personally. And that's really what I ended up losing was not just the time of my potential, you know, career growth and development, but also the complacency that comes out of relationships, and the complacency that comes out of just being there and not, you know, having financial goals and not making better decisions financially and just deciding to live day by day, week by week, just assuming that this is life now. And so for me that six years was definitely my worst investment. And, and I learned a lot from it that I was able to take, as I kind of moved on in my life. And due to certain changes in circumstances, it made me challenged how I thought about that time.

Andrew Stotz 05:46
Well, before we get into what you learned about it, which I'm excited to get. And I'm already taking notes here, because there's a lot of things taking off in my head. I want to, you know, it's easy now to go back, look back in time and see that, but I just curious, like, was there a moment in time where after it happened, you thought, shit, I just lost that, you know, like that moment when you realized, like, I just lost, you know, he could have been, you know, it could have been that last day on the job. It could have been that day that a new guy comes in, and all of a sudden, he's much better than anything. What What, what was that moment in time for you?

Lorenzo Flores 06:26
The moment of time for me was I met an employee after moving across the company. And this was his, I would say, third career he had, he had easily retired many years earlier. And he wanted a part time retail job just for something to do. And he was very driven. And my first day as the leader in that building, he pulled me aside and he said, Hey, young man, I'm excited to see you here. I like the energy that you got. But if you really want to know what's going on here. And if you'd like to learn something about this store, and the culture, the environment, let me know if you've got some time. And I said, sure of that sounds great. And we sat down. And what I learned about him was that he had started some of the first ever franchises in the fast food business in Florida. He had had more success in his career and leadership from that, and from the military before that, than I probably will ever have in my entire life. And he said to me, he goes, so, you know, what have you been learning over the last six years? And I said, Well, I've been learning to get better at my job. And he goes, so you just been doing the same thing over and over again and believe in that you're getting better at your job. And I said, I guess and he goes, what books have you been reading? And what have you been, you know, doing with your time to make yourself better to grow in that space? And I said, I can't tell you the last time that I actually read a book, I think it might have been in college. And he said, Okay, and then he said, and and would you look back from five years ago to the leader that you are today? What has changed in that time? And how have you elevated yourself and your leadership. And I looked at him and I said at this point, you have called me out on everything. And clearly I have wasted the last six years. Now, I may have changed in title, but he was so absolutely correct in calling me out for that. And it taught me a lot of lessons. And we had a lot of conversations. But that was the moment for me when I realized I had not been doing the right work or the real work to make myself better.

Andrew Stotz 08:21
Well, you know that that part of the story is really the golden card. Because the reality is, is that if you weren't open to listening to him, we wouldn't be here. You know, in that I want to challenge the listeners out there, you know, there are these people that come along in our lives. They just appear in front of us. You don't know when you don't know why you don't know how. But sometimes there are people that just appear in front of us, asking us questions telling us things that really, really can change the direction of our lives. And you know, hats off to you for listening. And being open to that because I know a lot of people would see that guy is a threat or challenge or something like that. So I really appreciate that. So let's get into it. What lessons did you learn from this experience?

Lorenzo Flores 09:06
Absolutely. Well, I learned that, you know, to be a great leader, you have to be your own first follower. And it's something that I talk a lot about, now you have to look in the mirror. And you have to say to yourself, Am I living the life in all aspects professionally and personally, of somebody that I would be inspired to follow that I would look in the mirror and be proud of the work that's going on? That I could look there and say, Are you challenging yourself every single day, you know, within a when you're a leader of people in my definition of leadership is that you know, you are personally accountable for the development of others. Right? And that means yourself to what are you doing to personally make yourself accountable to your own development? What are the things that you're looking at? How are you challenging yourself? Are you surrounding yourself with other people in this space, whether it's different industries or not? They have also had just as much success, if not more success than you have? And are you engaging them in conversation to ask them how they've been feeling? accessible podcasts like this, you know, are you engaging with people that can maybe help teach you a lesson and or make you think about the work or yourself in a very different way. And so that was probably one of the biggest lessons that I got out of that time was, I really wasn't focused on being the best leader for myself, I thought that showing up for people, listening to them, providing them with context, or training was the right thing to do. And what I realized was, that is a big part of leadership. But if I'm not following my own code of leadership, that I'm actually not helping my people to get better over time.

Andrew Stotz 10:35
Hmm. So be the leader you want to follow? Beautiful, you know, and one of the things that's kind of interesting is that, I mean, I'm, I'm a big reader, and somehow I got hooked on reading. And then I wanted to be number one, I had a spirit, like, I really wanted to win a competitive spirit. And the only place I could find the guidance, particularly, let's say back, and, you know, when I started my career, in the early 90s, let's say, There just wasn't the internet, you couldn't just go and say, Well, I'm gonna watch 15 YouTube videos of this amazing guy, and he's giving away free content, you know, it really came through books, or, you know, you happen to come upon a person that was really good, you know, so I dove into books. And then I learned that, you know, the more books you read, I mean, you can just, and then I take notes, and I do a lot of work on my books. And I use different sites like getabstract, and blinkist, as tools to help me then either find new books, or go back to the books that I know. So if you look behind me, I have five 500 books in the library right now. But you know, I probably had 5000 that have gone through my brain. And I just think that, you know, it's so easy to build a competitive advantage in this world. And you know, why it's also easiest, because it's an age of distraction. It's hard for people to finish books, these days, it's hard for me to put down the you to to put down Netflix and sit there and focus in. And so, you know, I really want to challenge the listeners out there, you know, how are you improving yourself, and for me, books, you know, is a main thing. Now, the other thing is this, you know, you talked about clocking the hours, you know, you just you just taking away time, and time is not, you know, it's not enough time will keep you steady. Basically, they'll keep you steady income. And as you get older, like in my mom's age, if you don't fight against time, you're sliding back. If you're young, and you just follow time, you're kind of maintaining your position. But the final thing that I thought about a lot when you were talking is like, why did we do that? You know, why do we have times in our life where we're complacent? Or why do we have times that we're not reaching higher. And I'm a pretty ambitious guy. But some of my closest friends gave me a picture of Muhammad Ali standing above Sonny Liston. And that fight pattern, of course in Florida, I believe. And what I that that fight when Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston and became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world. You know, one of the things later he was asked, you know, he says, My one, here's a quote from Muhammad Ali I was looking for when you were talking, my only fault is that I don't realize how great I am. And then, you know, I've got that on my wall. And they put, they put my white face on the top of Muhammad Ali's body on this painting. It's hilarious. So but it's so there, I am standing over Sonny Liston. And I got that quote, and I'm like, geez, what are they telling me? You know, like, what are they telling me, they're telling me go further, strive harder, higher, go for more. So that's kind of the inspiration I want to take from this to, for all the listeners out there. It's not about the time it's about the work that you put in to get, you know, where you want to go, and you can get there. So that's my kind of inspiration I take, is there anything else you'd add?

Lorenzo Flores 14:12
Yeah, I think sometimes when you look at time, you know, as kind of a graph we tend to consider. We tend to confuse milestones with destinations. And that's kind of how I explained to leaders and I think one of the best things that I've read recently, in the concept that I really love is the infinite game by Simon Sinek. And just the idea of kind of apply this to leadership of like, the next title isn't the destination. The next job isn't the end game. Right? The infinite game is that you are bettering yourself every single day, as a leader of people and you're, you're learning and you're growing and you're challenging to be the best leader possible over time, regardless of your title, or regardless of your responsibility. And that's one of the things that I think a lot of Time's at that age, when you think you've got to figure it out and you think you've got that title, now you've got that pay and that compensation, and you've always dreamed to have that job, you define it as a destination. And how long you stay into that destination is I think, you know, really impactful, and how much time you are wasting. Instead of celebrating the milestone, enjoy that job, enjoy that responsibility. Enjoy that title. But also understand that that progression and movement is what we are looking to do here is like it I tell people I said, so if I make you a manager tomorrow, are you now the best leader possible for your people forever? And they say, well, well, no, that's exactly. So it has no it doesn't matter when you eventually get that title. That's just another title. It's another step. Of course, compensation matters. Of course, you have personal goals and things that you want to achieve. But at the end of the day, it is simply a milestone, take a picture, get a selfie, check out the mile marker, write a note, but keep it moving. Because that's what real leadership is about is you want that leadership legacy to continue, no matter what you do in life, whether or not you hold a role and leadership job, or you retire. And now you are leading people within your family or your children or your grandchildren, whatever that might look like for you. Leadership is ongoing, and it's forever. And so that's kind of what I would love for, for people to really take from that is enjoy the moments, but do not get stuck at the destination.

Andrew Stotz 16:23
And since you brought up Simon Sinek my question to you is what changed with your Why? You know, when you did the six years of time, you were doing time? And then you switched and started looking at it very differently. What changed in the why in your life? Or what was the why a significant factor in this case?

Lorenzo Flores 16:45
It was because I had Miss defined met while my why was my why was always to help people get better. What I didn't realize was that I am also people. And that was what changed for me was very quickly I was like I am them, I am gay, like I also need to get better. And I always thought that that was what you know, when I said that help people get better. I always thought that was outside of myself.

Andrew Stotz 17:09
that interesting. It reminds me of one of my guests bushi Martin coming from Australia. We joked it, you know, take the bushy Martin challenge. And the challenge that I learned from him was the idea of you know, and think about it yourself Lorenzo and for the audience out there. Think about, think about that person that you love the most in your life. Okay, get them in your mind. Think about the love that you feel for them, the love that you share with them, the way that you would protect them or help them if they were in trouble. Think of all of that. And what I learned from whooshing Martin was now love yourself just a little bit more than that. And that really, you know, made me think and you're making me think right now. And so I really appreciate that. So tell me, based on what you learn from this story, and what you continue to learn throughout your life. What one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate? I'm thinking of some people that are stuck doing time?

Lorenzo Flores 18:16
Yep, I would invest in yourself. That's what I would tell you to do is look every day to understand how much time are you investing in your own development. Find the time, I can tell you right now, to your point earlier, I read some books, but I listened to a lot of books in and I'm a podcaster. And I'm an audio guy. And so when I am walking my dogs in the morning, I have an air pod in my ear and I'm listening to an audio book or a podcast or a YouTube video, or anything that I could do to consume content. When I'm on the elliptical at the gym, I'm listening to things Yes, you could do mindless stuff like watch Netflix and other types of things. So there is time in the day. But you need to invest in yourself. And you need to hold yourself accountable to really understand what it is that you are investing and how much time you're putting forward. And I guarantee you if you do that, you will be better because of it. And you will learn to love yourself a little bit more, respect yourself a lot more. And anybody that's in your area of influence will greatly appreciate you being the best version of yourself to inspire them to be the best version of themselves.

Andrew Stotz 19:21
Yeah, that's great point. And I think the message is to everybody listening that, you know, whatever medium you use, whether that's sitting down and reading a book, whether that's listening to an audio book, whether that's a podcast, pick what works or that's YouTube for you, but focus in on it, make sure you're gaining from it. And you know, one of the things I say is, it's not that easy. It's not that difficult to beat the majority of people. All you have to do is just show up and you can beat 50% if you consistently show up, you'll be 50% of the people. Now the question is how do you beat you know, another 30% or 40% of the people. You do that by investing in yourself and improving yourself and then if you really want To get up to the top, then it's about an intense focus on improving yourself. So it all does come down to improving yourself. So I think you've really reinforced that message. Okay, last question. What's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Lorenzo Flores 20:14
Oh, that's a great question. I was just having this conversation with some leaders today about this. For me, honestly, it's to expand our podcast listening network in people that are out there, because I think what we have learned in all of this dialogue is that the more that we've had a chance to talk about leadership and podcasts, and in places like clubhouse and YouTube, the more leaders like yourself that I'm coming across, where this the information needs to be out there, like to your point, like, find, find your platform that works for you. But if we can help in any way to vet the information in the content, to really help direct people to the right content, cuz there's a lot of not right content out there. And trust me, I get stuck at it sometimes myself, it's enjoyable. And it's worthless, but it's a good time, right. But that for me is I really want to expand our audience over the next year simply for the selfish reason of finding more thought leaders that are out there to help the people that need the help in time. And that's really why we started the podcast, you know, from day one was like, let's just tell our stories, tell what we've been through. We admit our mistakes, so that we might inspire the future leaders to want to learn from us and to challenge themselves to be better every day.

Andrew Stotz 21:32
Well, why don't you tell the fellow risk takers in my community? Why where how they can find you and listen to you? And then maybe we can help you grow that audience?

Lorenzo Flores 21:42
Absolutely. I would love that. Yes. So hacking your leadership, comm or hacking leadership podcast on all podcast platforms. If you're on clubhouse, we also do a Sunday night show at 8:30pm, eastern standard time on clubhouse. And we welcome all people to come talk about leadership topics and have a great dialogue. And yeah, you can find us in any of those spaces, we would love for you to check us out, give us a listen, give us some feedback help us to get better.

Andrew Stotz 22:08
Fantastic. And I'll put all that in the show notes so that I think if we can get a clubhouse link to do such a thing.

Lorenzo Flores 22:15
There's such a thing. It's still currently in beta. So you need an invite

Andrew Stotz 22:20
to get in. But if somebody is already in compounds, I can get a link from you. I'll put it in the show notes. And then you got it. And then that there'll be my first clubhouse link in my shop. Fantastic. Well, you heard it from the man Lorenzo there that go and listen. I mean, it's so much there's so much out there that we can learn. So listeners, there you have it, another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listener to reduce risk in your life. So go to my worst investment ever.com right now, and download the risk reduction checklist and see how you measure up. As we conclude, Lorenzo. I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of East Arts Academy. I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Lorenzo Flores 23:19
Thank you so much. Believe in yourself. The simple fact that you're listening to this show tells me that you are interested in better yourself. So continue that work.

Andrew Stotz 23:29
Boom. That's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


Connect with Lorenzo Flores

Andrew’s books

Andrew’s online programs

Connect with Andrew Stotz:

About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

Leave a Comment