Zach White is a mechanical engineer turned career coach who has overcome numerous trials and failures to achieve incredible success in his career. He is now on a mission to help engineer leaders achieve the same level of success without suffering from burnout. Zach is also the host of The Happy Engineer Podcast, which provides valuable insights and tips for engineering leaders to reach their full potential while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Zach’s journey is a powerful reminder that even the most intelligent and ambitious individuals can struggle if they neglect their well-being. He has learned from his own experiences and now helps others avoid similar pitfalls by emphasizing the importance of mental health and fulfillment in achieving success. Zach’s unique perspective and expertise make him an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to advance their career while maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle.
In this episode, The Underdog Show reeled in and peeled the layers of Zach’s life and journey. The highlights are as follows:
- What inspired his journey to where he is now?
- How did his parent’s divorce affect him growing up? How did that reflect in his life?
- Based on Zach’s experiences, why is it significant to reprogram your subconscious mind and change the environment?
- How did Zach make the vulnerable decision, to tell the truth to the people that matter most?
- What would Zach’s higher self tell his younger self based on what he knows now?
Tune in to learn more about Zach’s journey and his insights on achieving personal growth. Join us for the conversation! Listen to the full episode here:
- Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/underdog/id1534385651
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6FbSDu0aNtuxAEiderUAfB
- Website: https://theunderdogshow.com
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To connect with Zach, you can send a message here at 55-444, or listen to his podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-happy-engineer-career-success-for-engineering/id1576582987.
The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:
- Website: https://pamelabardhi.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pamela_bardhi
- TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@pamela_bardhi
Ready to elevate your life and take ownership of your power? Join Pamela for a 15-minute call to set clear goals and build your game plan today! Visit http://meetwithpamela.com to schedule your session now.
Click To Read The Transcript
The Inspirational Journey of The Happy Engineer, Zach White
Hi, I’m Kevin Harrington, an original shark from the hit television show Shark Tank. And you’re listening to the underdog podcast
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the underdog podcast. today I have an incredible guest here with me Zack, how are you? My friend?
Pam, I’m so good. Fantastic. What could be better love your energy?
The second that we came on screen today? I was like, sorry. Yeah, wait. And so with that said, you know, I always begin with my most loaded questions. but it’s always so much fun and great. So, Zack, what really inspired you on your journey to where you are today?
Inspiration comes from a lot of places, Pamela. but I would say if I think about the most important moments of my journey. inspiration came from two big sources. One or the family and friends and people closest to me.
And the other was books and the voices of the heroes and the people who had gone well before. especially some of the older classics, I love to read. And just being inspired by those stories.
Those were the two places I always would feed off of to find inspiration. so the greats like Zig Ziglar. And going back to Jim Rohn, and Brian Tracy and those kinds of people. just this amazing body of work on personal development.
And then I’m blessed to have a family that really loves me and always believed in me. And no matter how hard I hit my face against rock bottom. they were right there to give me a hand up, and love me through the process.
So those are the two places that I’ve always drawn inspiration from. And I think the cool part, Pam, was that it really becomes a part of you. And now I see so much more. It’s from the inside out, you know.
I don’t have to go external to find inspiration anymore. It’s just amazing how much of that is already in you. But I think that’s something you discover along the way
Over time, right? It’s a whole journey, my friend. Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. And speaking of journey, would you want to be when you grew up as a kid. like what was like your dream,
There were two dreams. One of them was to be a professional baseball player. I always loved baseball. And there would have been a lot of fun to do that. But I completely lacked the talent to ever play pro baseball.
So the other dream was realised. I wanted to be an engineer. And my dad was an electrical engineer. I grew up in a home where fun in the basement was soldering circuits. and playing with LEDs and switches and resistors.
That was a big part of my childhood. And I wanted to be an engineer and I did go down that route. I love technology and engineering and have so much respect for engineers.
And people in science in the STEM professions. Yeah, I’m just that kid from Dilbert who had the knack and wanted to be an engineer one day.
I love that. And you fulfilled that dream, which is amazing. So you said your dad was an engineer growing up? Yes. Amazing. So a lot of that a lot of inspiration stemmed from that from him
For sure. Yep. Just watching him do his work thinking it was so cool. Yeah, my dad worked at Bell Labs and AT and T in the glory days of telecommunications. when those companies were just growing enormous.
Enormously as new technology with phones, and then cell phones started to become a thing. It was exploding. So he was designing circuits for a lot of those new technologies, those new products.
And it was really cool to be able to brag about my dad doing this really amazing engineering. So yeah, that was a big part of my childhood for sure.
Hi, love the I love it. You said you were playing with circuits in the basement.
Yeah, well, you know, when you’re when your dad’s a nerd, you become a nerd too. And that’s okay. I’m proud of it. So yeah, we had computers well before most of my friends did.
I remember having my first computer before my aunt. and uncle even knew how to use. when I was five years old playing on a computer at home. my aunt didn’t even know what a mouse was. It’s like what is this thing you know? How do you use this?
And so that was a big part of the experience. for me, going downstairs to hang out with Dad was just like, I want to do what you do. And so he would show me how to use a soldering iron.
Or wire together some LEDs and make a little game out of what button will turn on. which light and it was very nerdy stuff but I thought it was cool.
Because you get to hang with that and your friends think it’s neat. because they don’t get to do anything like that. Anybody can play ping pong. But not everybody can solder their own printed circuit board. So that was pretty cool.
So amazing. Oh, I got it as a kid, you want to be that? That’s amazing. And so now growing up, walk me through kind of like your childhood into. like middle school and high school.
My home was an academic focused place. My mom was a teacher, my grandma was a teacher and administrator, my answer teacher. so academics was a big deal. And I didn’t dislike that that’s the only thing I knew.
So really focused on school and learning, and did well in school. But Pamela, the defining moments of my childhood, the one that really stands out is that in seventh grade.
I was at home for Christmas break, and I just had my tonsils and adenoids taken out suit. I don’t know if buddies had that surgery, but you’re kind of swollen. So you can imagine me at home.
This is my first surgery, so to speak. I’ve got the bag of frozen peas on my face to try to keep the swelling down. And I took a nap on the couch, I wake up from my nap. And our house is full of people, which is very strange.
And I tried to orient myself and somebody comes over. who’s a member at her church and asked me how I’m doing. Do I need any water, etc. And I look over at my mom in the other room crying.
And can’t see my sister’s anywhere , can’t see my dad anywhere. And this gentleman who is an elder at our church said, Hey, I know you’re confused. Your dad left a note for your mom, that he’s leaving that he wants to get a divorce.
We can’t get in touch with him. We don’t know where he is. And that’s kind of what’s going on and everything’s okay, it’s gonna be okay. this absolutely earth shattering moment.
For me as a kid, I was 13 years old, on pain medication. and already a little delusional as it is. And then this whole shift in my universe happens unexpectedly the day before Christmas.
And I really spiralled into a very deep depression at that time. For me, that relationship with my dad, I was just telling you. it was a really obviously important one for everybody.
It was for me as well, never had any semblance of a relationship with him again. I mean, we had a few visits, some court ordered time, etc. But to this day, I have no relationship with my dad. I assume he’s alive, but I don’t even know.
And so that was a defining shift in my childhood. And high school, I really feel blessed that didn’t send me down a really negative path, you know, into bad behaviours.
Or drugs, or gangs, or some of the things that can happen when you’re so confused. and in those kind of situations. But it definitely left a gap in my understanding of manhood and just kind of figuring out life.
And I really pressed against the idea of other people fathering me. I didn’t really want that in my life at the time. but finished school with great grades, went to engineering school anyway.
And I joke with people I rebelled against my father. Instead of doing electrical engineering, I did mechanical engineering. that was my spirit of rebellion coming up. and got onto a track in my career.
And I’ll pause there for a moment, pal, and maybe you can respond to reflect. But that was, for me, just a really, really challenging shift in my life.
Zach, thank you so much for sharing that. And as you were kind of describing it as like, envisioning it all. and I was just like, Oh, my goodness, like to be 13 years old. It’s such a pivotal stage in your life.
Because you’re just trying to figure out, like, where you are. what’s your identity and everything associated with that? And then all of a sudden come home to this and it’s like, whoa, what’s going on?
Like, I can’t imagine the mental processes and everything that went through there and like. Thank God, you didn’t go down the wrong path because this is exactly what happens. When traumatising things happen, especially at that age, teenage years.
There’s two choices. Either you screw your life up, or you go down the right path. And it’s very hard, and especially without, like that, mentor. that figure in your life in which you looked up to forever. So that to me is like I know, it was a long time ago.
But like, maybe there’s someone right now going through a shift in their life where they’re like. What the heck, how do I even pivot or maybe parents who have kids. that are going through that right now? Like your advice there? Based on your experience?
I can’t speak to it from the lens of a parent. But I can tell you, for me, how grateful I am to my mom. even though she was grieving and dealing with her own issues and wounds at that time, she was a hero.
In so many ways to make sure that we had every chance to succeed in life at that moment. so got us into counselling right away. even though we didn’t want to go made us go to family.
I told you my inspiration and my family who loved Lucid dreaming so much. just really being present, my grandparents coming to the house a lot just hanging out. and helping me to feel safe and secure in our home and in that family unit.
So I didn’t have to go somewhere to find something. I was able to just kind of be in the discomfort of what was going on around people. who I knew loved me, and just kind of figure it out.
And for me, I withdrew into a place of silence and just depression kind of being on my own. But I always felt safe, because there were people around who I loved and trusted. And I know that was a huge sacrifice for them.
So what would be my advice, if you have kids going through this. or we can maybe talk from the lens of now me as an adult. having gone through it if somebody relates to my situation.
But just make sure that the environment is as conducive to the right choices as possible. And if you leave 13 year old Zach alone. in those months following, I’m sure, I would have found much less productive things to do with my time. then play piano and study my schoolwork.
But because of that environment, and some of the decisions my mom made to set me up for success. even when it was really, really hard, or expensive. when we didn’t have that money, she made it happen.
And you know, worked two jobs and did all kinds of things to provide for us. So that is the difference maker, just having those people there. and the environment around me that created an opportunity for success.
I love that, Zach, thank you so much for sharing that it’s it’s key, the environment is key. Everything around it, and how it can affect our decisions, or life trajectory, and all of that.
So people all the time, like,if you’re in a stagnant place. or you’re in a place where you feel like you’re, you’re stuck. or you just feel like you can’t move forward, or that you’re gonna go down.
You don’t want to be like, Get out of there. 100% Yeah, right. And so key for parents to know that too. because I love that you mentioned that it was the conducive environment that really held you together. despite all of it, you know,
We could geek out about the research now. about how much your environment really does stimulate and trigger a subconscious pattern as adults. And I agree with you, 100% Pamela.
This is why we go to conferences, we have these engaging breakthrough kinds of experiences. and we’re so ready to change our lives, and then we go home. And we get back into the same environment with the same routines.
With the same triggers around the same people. doing the same work in the same way driving down the same road in the same car and the same and your entire subconscious mind.
Which is 95% of the horsepower of what drives our life is going to go on autopilot every single time. And those environmental shifts are so important. if you want to create a new trajectory in your life
100 science and touching on that. because I always get into this too, when it comes to environment. It affects everything. And if you have a subconscious mind that you don’t agree with.
And you have to unprogrammed that environment becomes even that much more important. So like, what are some tips that you have to kind of write that?
Yeah, well, it’s a two way street. It’s a two way street. So what I love about changing the environment is one that we have direct control over. And it’s an external shift, that when it changes the way I describe it.
As creates the void the vacuum the opportunity now. to fill what has changed and shifted with something better, something more productive. But don’t think that just changing the environment automatically produces a positive change.
All it does is open up the space. Now you must proactively intentionally design a new set of habits, routines, systems. behaviours that will get you to the next level of results.
So what’s an example of this easy one most people have heard or could relate to. you might use an alarm clock or your cell phone for your wake up in the morning. and it’s sitting right there on the bedside table next to you.
And your typical morning is you hit the snooze button. 567 times takes you an hour to get out of bed and you know your alarm set for six. but you’re not moving until 730. Right. All right.
Well, if you want to change your environment, move the alarm to the other side of the room. turn it up, make it a different sound than the sound you’ve been using.
So you’ve changed the location you forced yourself to get out of the bed. to turn it off and it’s a new sound that you’re waking up to. So your subconscious mind doesn’t have that exact same trigger as you’re waking up.
And by the way, puts your workout clothes in a pile. you know, right underneath the phone so that when you walk over to turn off the alarm. you can put your hands right on the clothes and walk into the restroom change and head to the gym.
Like, that’s a simple environmental shift that doesn’t require moving to a new state. or making all new friends. But by doing that, you create the opportunity for a new way to start your day.
Now, Pamela, you could just as soon walk over there. grab your phone, turn it to you hit the snooze. go back and get in the bed and nothing changes. So it’s not a guarantee, but you open the door to a new choice to a new behave.
Now we can extrapolate this to any area of our life. there’s always a way to create a shift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be world changing. but there’s always these little options.
So that’s sort of that outside in shift of the subconscious. let’s change the environment to create a new opportunity for behaviour and change the opposite direction. which is equally, if not more powerful.
But I would say it is more difficult for most people to master the inner work. hire a coach, do therapy, do the things that are going to take care of what stuck in your nervous system. in your subconscious from these childhood wounds or traumas or from a lifetime of a certain pattern of behaviour.
Go do the work on yourself in a way that the inside. then changes the atmosphere and the environment around you. Which in many ways I say is more powerful, because it’s more permanent.
When you become a new person, you will experience new behaviours, new actions, new results consistently. because that identity shifts that becoming that’s the starting point of it all.
So as you become new, then the world around you will become new as well. And there’s a time lag. a lot of people get impatient, but it always works. And so I’m a big fan of doing both. let’s take advantage of these outside end shifts.
Because why not? It’s right there. It’s easy to do. Get somebody to help you with ideas and just go execute. But if you want to experience permanent long term changes in the quality of your life. and experience of your life, then you got to go do the inner work as well.
Amen to that, Zach. Oh my gosh. And we’re gonna get back to all this without a doubt. I just want to hear a little bit more about your journey past this such a pivotal time. So walk me through them like high school and past that point. Oh, you know, after all of these,
Totally. Well, I could say Pamela, I don’t ever want to go back to high school. But I loved High School. I really did, I was blessed. I got to go to a private Christian High School. made great friends, got into great communities and played baseball.
Got to 4.0 academic superstar like I did all the things. I really loved it. So heritage Christian High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. just appreciate you. It’s a great time. But out of that went to Purdue and studied mechanical engineering.
Purdue was amazing. I mean, anybody who’s experienced a four year college experience. I mean, it was so much fun. You’re becoming a new person meeting all these new people.
For me, what Purdue represented was this first time. that I had to face some of those gaps of fathering and the becoming in terms of manhood.and how to live in an autonomous way that I missed, growing up. and there were some wake up call moments.
So it’s a funny one, Pamela was a freshman. I lived in a dorm. And I made some great new friends on my hall. One of them was the best man at my wedding and just an incredible guy named Sam. I love him so much.
But Sam and Nathan and I and a couple of people, we were gonna get pizza. It’s like a Friday night, we’re gonna get pizza and eat in the door and watch a movie. And Pizza arrives. And I’m the one who goes down to pay for the pizzas.
You know, we got all our wadded up fives and they’ll pay him for pizza. And I walk upstairs and I’m like thinking this will be funny. I’m going to take the pizza to my room. instead of to Nathan’s room where we’re planning to watch the movie and tell people like, sorry.
I’m keeping it like if you want the pizza, you’re gonna have to come get it. And I’m not sure why I thought that’d be funny. But I did. And Nathan walks down the hall. walks into my room and just punches me in the stomach incredibly hard.
Like, I’ve killed over on the floor, trying to catch my breath. When did me completely just knock the hell out of me. He takes the pizzas walks down. Pushes play on the movie. And I’m like rolling around in my dorm room on the floor.
Like what just happened? I’ve never had an experience like this in my life. You know, I didn’t ever really wrestle or fight. or do anything growing up two sisters and my mom. I was the only boy at home it wasn’t a very rough experience.
So anyway, it was little moments like that where my wake up calls. that the world is a bigger place. And then I’ve explained. So that was Purdue. And then fast forward I got in my career in mechanical engineering.
Got a great job, got married right out of college to my dance partner. I did ballroom and latin dancing at Purdue. Wow dance partner named Susan. We got married right after I graduated.
And I was on the road to the American dream, great job, great salary, great wife. lived in Michigan on this great place right near the lake. And everything was so good. I thought.
A year goes by and two years goes by, and I’m hungry for success. I want to get promotions, I want to be somebody. My whole life panel, everybody told me. Zack, you’re so smart, you’re so great at communicating, you have all these skills. you’re going to be a great engineer.
I built this identity around my intelligence, and that I was going to be successful. Because everybody told me I would be. so I needed to go prove to all of them and to myself that that was true. And I only had one strategy that I knew to do that.
It worked for me my whole life. And that was simple, work harder, and get smarter. So put in the time, and lean on my intelligence. That always worked for me in high school, and in college. that’s all I knew how to do as an adult.
Guess what? It’s not a great strategy. The hardest working smartest people don’t always win. In fact, when you talk about marriage, you talk about your health. and other things in life that are not just physics problems, it’s a really terrible strategy.
Five years later, or so, my marriage is crumbling. but I’m ignoring that I’m pretending that it’s okay. My career is doing well. Not extraordinary. But it’s fine. But that’s the only place I felt like I could succeed.
So I was really investing my time and energy there. But I was getting tired. I was really confused. But I was pretending that everything was fine. Outwardly telling everyone, it’s good.
My life is so good. I got these big goals. I’ve got this. Well, I’m on a work trip in Tennessee, really long days. grinding it out on the factory floor early to the plant, late nights hustling. And it was a really exciting time for me. because I was the man I was the leader of the project, the technical lead.
Everybody’s asking me for the answers. I’m just running around take care of this really stroked my ego really made me feel like somebody. And I come home from this work trip.
I’m not even sure I talked to my wife a single time while I was gone. So I come home, she’s supposed to be there. I’ve got to tell her all about this amazing trip. I just had how great I am at my job, you know.
Instead of coming home to my spouse, Pamela. I walk in and there’s a note on the kitchen table. And the note says, This isn’t working, I want to divorce. everything that I just told you about age 13 came flooding back into my life at age 27.
My entire world came to a screeching halt. And I literally just collapsed on the floor and started crying and asking myself like. how is it possible that my life is here right now. The one thing I swore I would never do is get divorced. because I hated how it affected my childhood.
I’m about to end up divorced, like this is impossible. this can’t happen and so much just breaking in my world at that moment. And I picked up the phone and I called my sister. Lindsay is an amazing, amazing woman.
And I told her the truth. for the first time in my entire adult life that I actually told the truth. My marriage is breaking. I’m not happy, nothing’s working. I have no idea what to do.
I’m completely lost, like, help. I need help. And it was a very humbling lots of tears kind of conversation. But that was the beginning of the real trajectory of my life that I now enjoy in that moment.
Sadly, I did end up divorced you know. it didn’t take to stay married and I was too far gone. I’d let that go to a point that it was unrecoverable. But a lot of growth happened in the years that followed. You know, it takes us to where we are today.
But these two moments my parents divorcing and how that broke me as a child. and then my own divorce as an adult. You know, in that moment, none of the promotions matter. The paychecks don’t matter.
Like all this stuff that you think you want. Success doesn’t matter. It’s like it puts everything in perspective. And that’s where I hit rock bottom. That’s where I burned out. Explore against depression again.
But even more so just embarrassment. It’s like shame. Like how did this successful? Has everything going for him guy fail this bad? Had to pick myself up off of the floor of rock bottom.
Oh my goodness. Oh my gosh, I felt all of that as you were describing that. and that right when you said it before you mentioned the 13 year old self. I was like, oh my gosh is what happens in our worlds if we’re not aware of certain things.
There’s patterns that surface within our generational clients. And right when you said that, it reminded me of that. It’s like, holy crap, how did we get here? And like, it’s not an easy place to be.
And I thank you so much for being vulnerable to tell the story. because moments like that, or not easy to talk about? No, I bet you there’s somebody who’s listening right now who’s experiencing that.
Or has experienced that, and is still grieving from that and trying to move forward. It’s something that puts everything else on pause. Everything else really does. What do you do from here on out?
And one of the best things that I’d love to hear from you is like, wow. at this point, how did you move forward from that. to where you are now, because now you’re just like, super driven, super positive, like, very aware. And it’s so beautiful. But I know there was a journey there,
You know? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And we mentioned things take time. Yeah, it took time, it took time. But here’s the most important things. I’ll share my heart around this with anyone who is resonating with this story.
Everybody has their own version, you may not be divorced. it could be any of a number of things that creates your rock bottom experience. or the trauma that you’re dealing with. But I said earlier that I told my sister the truth.
One that I know made a huge difference in my life. was that I stopped keeping secrets. I stopped pretending to be somebody who I was not. And I told the truth to the people who deserved to know the truth.
The people who loved me, there’s a passage of scripture that says. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. And this is not about blasting your junk on Facebook and Instagram to the world. That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about saying to somebody who loves you. and is committed to you and your life. hey, here’s what’s actually going on. Here’s where I actually need help, where I’m stuck. Here’s where I’m angry, here’s where I’m frustrated.
I call it being fully known. And I can tell you that that was the first time in my life that I was fully known. that creates such freedom, you know, the truth will set you free. And when you don’t tell the truth.
You are creating bondage in your soul, for yourself. If you’re not telling the truth, you’re in bondage. and the greater degree to which you tell the truth. the greater degree to which you experience freedom. which is really what we all want.
We want to be free to act financially free, free with our time. like everybody wants this deep sense of freedom and happiness that comes with it. So tell the truth to the people who deserve to know the truth.
Then the second thing was I had the courage. even though it hurt to ask for help. I hired a counsellor immediately started doing therapy twice a week. having those conversations, getting professional help on the trauma and the grief.
Now going back to age 13. dealing with the unresolved conflicts and things happening there. and forgiving my dad and like all of it. It just needed to go deal with the crap. So I asked for help.
I didn’t just do the work in the rearview mirror. I also hired my first coach and said. All right, I’m not done with life, I still want to be successful. Like just because I’m on Rock Bottom right now. doesn’t mean that the version of Zack that wants to make an impact.
And wants to grow and experience more of what this life has to offer. Just died like, I’m still alive. I still want those things. But I’m also really afraid of failing again. so I need that partner that guide to help me move forward. so I hired a coach. And that’s where the coach in me was was born.
I didn’t know it at the time. But working with that coach changed my life in so many ways. not just the results that I created in the years that followed that were tremendous. I mean five promotions in five years doubled my income.
Got remarried to the most amazing woman in the world name Johanna. like everything has shifted but it wasn’t because of my strength. It was reconnecting with my faith, my family and then getting the help I need.
Had to learn from 1000s of other people’s mistakes. like, I don’t need to make every mistake. lots of other people have made them for me so I can learn from those lessons. And I love how Alex Hermoza talks about this. that really successful people know that the best way to get ahead faster. if that’s what you want is to buy time.
How do you buy time? You pay money now for the lessons of the mistakes. that would otherwise take you a lot of time to learn. So hire that coach, hire that trainer, take that course, go get that extra. you know, conference, on your schedule.
Whatever it is, to get the lessons from the people who spent 1000s of years of combined time. because I can only live one lifetime. And I want to buy the lessons from hundreds or 1000s of other people’s lifetimes.
I started doing that aggressively. Like everything I could invest into myself. I did six figures of investment over five years, I’m sure. And now I’m at a much higher pace than that. I mean, I, constantly am investing in myself. because I know the return is truly unlimited.
So those are the two things, tell the truth and ask for help. Everybody’s conditioned to think that those are signs of weakness. I was super embarrassed to do those two things.
Now I look back Pamela and I’m like, What was I thinking like. that was the strongest move I ever made. And I wish I’d done it a long, long time before. It’s a sign of strength. So there you go.
The door that I adored, that died, thank you so much for sharing that. And then just like, wow, I’m just super inspired by your journey. and kind of everything that you took from it. the lessons and all of it.
My gosh, you mentioned something super important. You said the coaching you were born in that time, and you didn’t even realise. So walk me through that.
Yeah, I mean, this is the amazing twist ending to my story. which is certainly not an ending. It’s just a new beginning. But what I didn’t know, until much later, is that I became an engineer. not to be an engineer, I spent a decade as an engineer.
And I’m very good at engineering. or at least I was, it’s been a while since I’ve done it now. But that whole foundation set me up for what is my ultimate calling in life. which is to help engineering leaders.
Leaders in technology and in science in these STEM fields that are so demanding. so easy to end up burned out. And also our personalities can create some of these challenges like I described. where we, our ego gets involved, or maybe introverted we struggle with relationships. and we end up in these challenging situations.
So in 2019, I took everything that I had learned. healing from grief and trauma. being coached in how to create career success at a rapid pace. and truly at the next level, and to balance my life to where relationships were amazing.
My health was amazing, My family was amazing, My career was amazing. like, all of it was working at the same time. And I took all of that and said, Why did it change my life? How did it change my life? And how can I share this with an engineer because everybody needs this? It’s a message for all people.
But some of us hear things differently. And if you know an engineer or you are one. you’ll understand what I mean? Like, we’re kind of a special breed. Okay? And that’s alright, we’re proud of that. We wear that badge with honour.
But I just asked how can I make this accessible to that technical leader. who really wants to grow in their career. but always feels the tension that if my career becomes a priority, my family’s not.
If my career takes more time and energy than my health collapses. and I’m struggling, I’m gaining weight out of shaper. They always feel like there’s a trade off. And so I want to share with these leaders. you can build your career and balance your life and be happy across the entire journey.
It is possible, I’ve done it. And now we’ve helped hundreds of other engineering leaders to do it. And so oasis of courage. my company to coach these leaders, was born in 2019. But the seed was planted right after that divorce when I hired my first coach.
Because being coached showed me the power of that relationship. and how important it is to have that guide and that person with you again. just cut decades off of the growth curve. that it would have taken me to do it on my own.
And I love that and I love that you said like you’re paying for lessons. that other people have already learned. So you don’t have to spend that time doing so. And that is so key.
I’ve done that with real estate investing. like I hired a coach, initially too and that’s how I dove into the game. That’s why I kind of ended up doing this. Now I don’t want to go back. real estate changed my life and I want to help other people get there.
So it’s incredible how that journey takes you and how that learning curve can be completely expedited. But people are like, Oh, it’s too expensive. I’m like, No, you know what’s expensive is you wasting your time.
Exactly. And that’s a mindset shift that until you get it, you don’t get it. I don’t waste my time anymore trying to convince people that that’s true. It’s like, Look, if you’re not ready, there’s 1000 other engineers who are. and I’m gonna go find them.
And we’re gonna start and when you are ready, then let’s go. But, you know, if you’re out there, saying. Oh, it’s, you know, $5,000 for this coaching programme, that’s so much money. Like, ask yourself, What are you comparing this to? Let’s just be logical.
I’m an engineer, I want to be logical. Let’s not get crazy in the woowoo of all of that, let’s just be real. What are you comparing it to? If you’re comparing it to the cost of lunch? Yeah, it’s expensive.
But if you’re comparing it to the cost of your $200,000, MBA. that’s probably not going to do much for you. or you’re comparing it to the opportunity cost of not getting to that goal. or potentially never achieving the things that you could.
And then you start talking about compounding interest on the things you can create. That’s just the financial side. Like what is your happiness worth? What is your health worth?
Go find anybody who’s struggling with their health who’s overweight or you know. struggling with diabetes or feeling there’s 1000 things? Would they trade $5,000 for health right now, absolute freakin Lully.
But the problem is, the time that you needed to trade it was 10 years ago. So don’t wait. Like, put that money and you’ll never regret betting on yourself.
Because you have an unlimited upside. Unlike the stock market, you’re betting on Pamela has an unlimited return. And that’s not just money we’re talking about right? We’re talking about quality of your life.
What Would Zach Older Self Tell His Younger Self
Love it. Oh my gosh, like you’ve dropped so many gems throughout this entire interview. Like I love it all. It’s so incredible. Thank you. But now here comes my favourite question.
And I’m so interested to see what you say on this one. So what would your higher self? Well, your older self, I would say so your younger self based on what you know, now.
This is a really important question to ask yourself often. And I love that you said Higher Self older self. because a lot of times when I do visualisation. if I’m thinking about a tough problem in my business. or if I’m dealing with a conflict in my marriage, yes, I’m still human.
Even though I failed once I still have problems in my marriage at times. I love to call on that version of myself just imagining old Zack rocking chairs. Zack, coming into the scene. looking at situation and just speaking wisdom into that situation.
It’s a really powerful way to tap into your inner wisdom that’s already there. So old, wise, resourceful Zack. Looking back on my life. I’ll hit those two key moments. And I’ll tell you what old Zack would say 13 year old Zach needed to know that it’s safe.
And okay to let other men into your life. And to Father you not be your father. but to Father you in that time, because I resisted that. I didn’t want that. I was wounded. I just like pushed away from other men truly doing what they wanted to do in terms of being present.
For me. It’s not that they didn’t try or weren’t available. I just didn’t let them and so old why Zack would go back until 13 year old Zack let them in. Because that would have been transformational for my life. I could have dodged so many wounds.
If I had done that 27 year old Zack. you’re burned out face grinding against rock bottom. Yeah, looking at that. Old Zack would tell him that this moment. this mess is about to become your message. And you don’t need to be so ashamed.
I carried the shame of that situation for a long, long, long time. Before I had the courage and willingness to share it on a podcast like this. I never would have done this. Five years ago, six years ago. Now I know how powerful it is.
And not to say that it took me a long, long time to get here. I mean, I’m really blessed to be where I’m at. But I also do know that it took a lot longer than it needed to. because I carry the weight of guilt and shame for such a long time.
So that’s what old Zack would say like Look there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This situation is about to set you up. You know the setback is a setup. Right? It’s like your mess becomes your message.
Burnout to break through like that’s what I love about your show Pamela. Every episode title, every guest, everything about the underdog. is this core message like let go of the shame, the guilt, the embarrassment.
All those feelings of self loathing and self doubt. Let that go because this place. this low place is setting you up for that unbelievable impact if you will let it. and it took me a lot longer than I needed to to get there because I didn’t Let go. So that’s the wisdom I needed.
Zack, thank you so much for sharing that those are super powerful, super, super powerful. Oh, my goodness, my goodness. And now my friend, like you’re working on some incredible stuff.
I mean, the work that you do on a daily basis is incredible. But like what’s up in your world? And like the next like, you might ask what’s happened in the last
Few months? Well, thankfully, now that most of the COVID-19 challenges are in the rearview mirror. we are doing live events with our clients. Now, we just did our first one in February and Copper Mountain Colorado.
And what I do we call lifestyle engineering. So I got my mechanical engineering degree from Purdue and the University of Michigan. But my lifestyle engineering degree came to the school of hard knocks and setbacks.
So we do lifestyle engineering. And these events are super fun. where we’re doing coaching and training. and conference like experiences with this community. But then we’re doing life together, just having fun.
So skiing and snowboarding out in Colorado. and blending the two in some unique ways. which is pretty unusual for most conference experiences. where you’re used to sitting at tables and listening to speakers all day.
This is nothing like that. And so we’re planning our next events. and really getting prepared for how we can scale the impact through that for our community of lifestyle engineers. And then honestly, Pamela, it’s all about reaching more people.
I feel like I’m right in the lane that God’s called me to be in this work is really powerful. And there are 1000s of engineers. and leaders at all levels that need this in their life.
And we’re just getting started. So that’s the game for me. It’s just how can we broadcast this and serve as many people as possible? And until further notice, that’s all you’re going to see me doing
That oh my gosh, I love that time. That sounds absolutely incredible. Oh my goodness, my goodness. Now because it sounds so amazing.
Everyone’s probably like, where do we find Zach? How can we find out about these events and all this awesomeness? So where can everybody find you that
Thank you for the opportunity to share that Pamela. and if someone listening is in science, technology, engineering, as a profession. and you deeply resonate with this, and you need that coach and that guide.
I’d love to invite you to just reach out directly. and let’s get time just for making it to this point in the podcast. We appreciate you. I know Pamela loves you, I love you. So text, the word lifestyle. Just one word 255444.
So if you want to get time with me 55444 grab your phone. text the word lifestyle, and we’ll send you a link grab time with my team. They’re gonna ask you a few questions to make sure we know what’s going on in your situation. and they’ll book you onto my calendar.
At least at the time of this recording. I still take all of those calls. It’s a 75 minute coaching session totally free. It’s a $500 session that will give to you for free. just for you know by listening to this podcast and taking action.
If that’s not you and you’re ready for a call. I totally get it you can find me on my podcast. so wherever you listen to the underdog just jump over to the happy engineer. That’s me.
You’ll see my bright smiling face on the cover. orange background, the happy engineer podcast. just hit follow all the ways to find me connect with me. It’s such are in the show notes.
That Zack, you’re an absolute Rockstar, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and just everything. My gosh, I’m just humbled. I’m grateful.
Thank you for being here today, my friend. So that’s it for today’s episode of underdog. catch us next week, always dropping on Thursdays.
And remember, if you’re interested in real estate, or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life. check out meet with pamela.com and let’s chat sending you so so much love
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Zach White. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:
If you’re interested in elevating your life 10x, and owning your power, Pamela invites you to join her for a 15-minute call to set your goals straight and get clarity. Start building your game plan now: meetwithpamela.com