E100: Self-Help - Fighter Pilot Mindset to Succeed at Work - Dominic Teich (Author)
Dominic Teich Fighter Pilot
In this episode we delve into the journey of a fighter pilot. Dominic shares important life lessons, such as the importance of perseverance and how sticking to what we believe is the key to success. Discover how you can use a fighter pilot mindset to succeed at work.
Dom “Slice” Teich brings his fighter pilot background and applies them to guide pilots, athletes, business owners, and students with afterburner techniques that American fighter pilots use to ensure mission completion. As an Amazon best-selling author, business owner, entrepreneur, civilian and military instructor pilot, he knows that busy individuals and teams struggle with information overload.
Since 2002, “Slice” has guided hundreds of students toward their goals. His blueprint is called Single Seat Mindset; an impactful group of 40+ fighter pilot guides with a combined experience of 700+ years. They share proven formulas and life advice to the insider circle community to ensure success and big goal achievement all while avoiding overwhelm, overload, and flameout. They dive deep into the productivity world to provide guidance through short, impactful steps.
You won't find any other cutting-edge community like ours as we provide unique life experiences learned in the 3rd dimension.
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[00:00:00] Paddy Dhanda: Before we jump into this episode, I have some exciting news. This is in fact, the 100th episode of the Superpower School podcast. Yes, that's right. That's a hundred episodes, which equates to around 4,000 minutes of conversation that we've recorded over the past 14 months. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and all of the lovely messages that I receive through LinkedIn and through email.
The podcast has gone through many changes since we first started. Everything from better tools to more recently the launch of the newsletter.
But one thing that hasn't changed, And that's the mission. We focus on human skills for the future to help us thrive in the age of ai, and if anything, it's become even more important now than ever. I wanted to bring you a very special guest to mark this 100th milestone, so I do hope you enjoy this conversation.
[00:01:09] Dominic Teich: my superpower is strapping a rocket engine to my back and taking off
Let me just take the next step.
Make your plan just about the next step, What are you gonna do every single day?
I call it the five minutes for freedom.
You'll learn from it and you'll go down a different path. there's a lot of days where I did not like getting beat up and learning and failing as a pilot
[00:01:42] Paddy Dhanda: Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Superpower School podcast. I'm your host, Paddy Dhanda, and on today's show, do I have a guest for you, he's a dream guest because I don't know about you, but I'm a massive fan of Topcon and I've always thought, wouldn't it be cool to interview a fighter pilot and you don't often. Bump into those people very often cuz they're always flying up in the sky. But today I've tracked one down and... he is a fighter pilot.
He's also a business owner and a family man and someone who's very passionate about entrepreneurship and business. I have the amazing Dominic Teich on the show. Have I said that right, Dom?
[00:02:27] Dominic Teich: You did. Thanks, Paddy.
[00:02:28] Paddy Dhanda: And his fighter pilot call sign is Slice and I think that's the coolest thing ever.
So, should I call you Slice or Dom?
[00:02:38] Dominic Teich: Whatever you'd like. I've been called a lot worse.
[00:02:42] Paddy Dhanda: Okay. I'm gonna stick with Dom, because otherwise I don't think I'm worthy of calling you slice. That must be like a pilot thing that you guys do, right?
[00:02:50] Dominic Teich: I don't know. I'd, I'd call you worthy. If, if there's any sort of, uh, authorization for that, I'll, I'll, I'll authorize it.
[00:02:58] Paddy Dhanda: Awesome.
So, um, I'm just intrigued. First of all, what superpower would you like to bring to this episode?
[00:03:04] Dominic Teich: Well, as you mentioned it I think it took many years of struggling and failures, but I found myself in a single seat fighter jet. So I'd say my superpower is strapping a rocket engine to my back and taking off and flying in a single seat fighter jet. It's a pretty incredible experience and I feel I still, there's still sometimes I walk out to the jet and I can't believe that they're letting me do it and turn around sometimes like... nope, nobody's following me. I still get to do this.
[00:03:30] Paddy Dhanda: Wow. How much, what are those jets worth on average?
[00:03:33] Dominic Teich: You know, I think it probably ebbs and flows. I would say just. Just a number that I've heard or thrown out like an F 16 is probably worth about 40 million. And then, you know, the newer fifth gen aircraft are probably into the several hundred million per aircraft type of cost.
[00:03:54] Paddy Dhanda: I love that you don't really care about how much it's worth or you don't really ask, because even I like get in a car, I'm normally really conscious like going, oh, is this worth a lot of money? And, you know, then I'll drive accordingly. But yeah, it's almost like, ah, it's just another plane.
I'm just gonna jump in.
[00:04:09] Dominic Teich: Well, no, I mean, there's a certain respect that goes to that, but I don't think it has, I don't think a fighter pilot is thinking about the cost, at least in, from my vantage point. I call 'em the girls. So just like I grew up around horses and cows and stuff like that. So, you know, it's more of we're just taking care of the aircraft that we fly.
You know, and also it's a big shout out to all of the support that goes behind us being able to fly. So the aircraft are, you know, the ladies and gentlemen of the US military that are wrenching on these things and they've got grease on their hands and they're making sure that the jets are ready and they're safe for us to fly.
You know, they're the ones that are really, you know, they're out in the heat. Cuz we live out here in Phoenix, Arizona, and the tarmac gets really hot. So, those, I mean, there's a huge amount of push behind all of the support personnel that goes into what we do. So, I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention them, which I've done before.
Oh yeah. We take care of them. And I don't think that there's really a feeling of like worth in regards to dollars and cents, but the worth is more of, you know, these are our aircraft, we gotta take care of 'em. And that way we get to have, still have fun and fly 'em.
[00:05:17] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah. Oh, amazing.
So, Could you tell us like, how did you get into this? I'm sure. Well, yours is one of the rare professions that even as a 10 year old, you wake up and you say, I want to be one of them. Yeah. For most of us, like we don't. We don't aspire to be like a business coach or you know what sort of a banker it's something that you fall into because it pays the bills.
So, yeah. When you were young, like, what was your thinking about when you're gonna grow up, what you want to be and how did you stumble into this?
[00:05:47] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so I think, you know, your personality and I'm a big mindset guy and I know that you talk about superpowers and I think we can kind of link those together.
I was talking to my dad, I don't know, probably six months ago, and he said, and it's true, he said, you know, when you were a little kid, you, it didn't, you didn't really have the personality traits that I would've fit in what a traditional fighter pilot type career field would demand. And I think the important piece of that for anybody listening, whatever age you're at, Is that you can learn a lot.
Your brain is plastic. And I know that you ain't in the green room before we, we opened up the show, we talked about artificial intelligence and all of this kind of stuff, but humans, we have a pretty incredible brain and... I learned those things over time, right? Because I was a fairly introverted and quiet kid growing up.
However, some things that I really loved doing is, and you know, you had asked for stories, but this morning I dropped my kids off at school and as I was driving home, there was a huge ditch that was filled with water and muck. And there was a guy on a big tractor with a huge arm and a bucket on the end of it, and he was reaching, it was like a huge hand reaching into this muck and he was cleaning out the ditch and I looked at the indivi.
He had his door open and. On his tractor and he must have been listening to music cuz he was having the time of his life, Paddy, he was jamming out and bouncing in his seat and he's just, he's literally shoveling and moving muck and he's having the greatest time. And just as if that wasn't enough, a large dump truck past me on the road and the girl driving it, female, she had big old bows, headsets on and she was jamming out, driving a dump truck. And so that, that kind of brought me back to my childhood because I grew up out in the country and dad had a tractor, grandpa had a tractor. My uncles had, you know, backhoes and I grew up driving tractors.
So I just liked operating machinery and... I think all of that to kind of congeal it together is that you can have a lot of fun in jobs that maybe other people don't want, and that's totally okay. But you can also learn that. And so as a kid there's, there were certain events that happened in my childhood that really sparked an interest in aviation.
I think that probably, you know, kids look at the sky and you'll see it in their eyes. They look at airplanes and they're like, wow, that's pretty cool. But then I had, you know, some fairly key moments in my childhood, of which it started at seven years old, like you said, 10. But at seven, dad and I built a little F four fighter jet on the kitchen table.
It's actually on the shelf behind me still. But that little jet, I looked at that and I'm just like, I'm gonna fly this thing when I get older in, in my mind. And a lot of kids will have that, but then you can lose that as you grow up and that's. Fine, but it takes time, I think is what I'm getting at there. And then don't underestimate the power that you have you know, to inspire others to seek out their own superpowers, right? And you just never know the interaction that you'll have with somebody and what kind of long-term effects that can have. And oh, by the way, it can have really negative effects, especially if you dissuade somebody from their dreams.
Now there are certain qualifications that you need to fly a fighter jet, right? You need to have decent eyes and you need to be fairly physically fit, because the pressures of flight are pretty extreme. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't be a pilot.
[00:09:15] Paddy Dhanda: Well, what if you are scared of heights?
Does that rule you out straight away or can you overcome that?
[00:09:18] Dominic Teich: I'm glad you brought that up because, in a jet, I mean, especially our aircraft. There's, I think it's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. There's five different buckles that hold onto our seat kit and strap us into our ejection seat.
And then there's a shoulder harness that's hooked into our ejection seat, but also as the ejection seat falls away, if you un unfortunately have to ever get outta the airplane, you're now connected to a. A canopy, which is called a parachute. I don't know why that escaped my mind. So, yeah, then you can parachute down.
So I think being strapped in. Gives you a very good sense. Now I've never been scared of heights, but I can tell you this, if you put me at the edge of the Grand Canyon and I didn't have any, you know, I was just standing there and it was windy or you said you were in Vegas this last week, if I was at the top of one of those towers and I was standing on the edge of it, I think I would be scared of heights in regards to like, I'm just scared that I could potentially fall off.
Now, if you put a harness on me, you could lean me over the edge and it wouldn't bother me at all. So I think there's, maybe there's a level of how people perceive what is safe. And honestly, I've never been asked that question before on a podcast, so I think there's something to that. And I think it's just something that maybe in your mind that you build up as a, as kind of something, you know, if I stood in the batter's box for major League baseball and I'm getting 102 mile an hour fastball pitched at me, I think there might be a level of fear just because I haven't been doing that for a number of years.
I haven't played baseball in, you know, 15 years or so. So I think that it's just a matter of like training your mind what you can be scared of and you know, there's different safety measures for that. Guys that do the those body suits and jump off mountains, right? Their safety factor is their body suit.
But that sounds incredibly dangerous to me.
[00:11:09] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah, I mean, I, I get scared just by climbing up a ladder, like I'm awful with heights. So yeah. If I had a harness, how would I feel then? I don't know. I probably still would be frightened as hell, but
[00:11:22] Dominic Teich: Yeah, maybe, but maybe less, you know, maybe you could train your brain to just know, and then maybe you could even.
Do some training. If you were really scared and you wanted to do that, still you could train somebody to knock you off the ladder and then you would trust your harness.
[00:11:36] Paddy Dhanda: And you're right, like, you know, I'm fine as a passenger on a plane, like I have no fear. Then I'm, you know, assuming the plane's gonna work and it's just gonna take us there.
So I can see that if I were there at the controls now, I don't know, but... that's that's one to be tested. I think one day maybe we'll see. Yeah.
[00:11:54] Dominic Teich: Learned behavior.
[00:11:56] Paddy Dhanda: So how tough is it Dom to become a fighter pilot? Because, hey, Let's get the elephant in the room, you know, top gun. Everyone who is sat at home listening to this has probably seen that movie or heard of it.
And Tom Cruise, he does some crazy things in that movie. I dunno how much of it's accurate. And that's something else I would love to hear your opinion on in a moment. But, you know, it looks really tough. So can you just put into perspective?
[00:12:22] Dominic Teich: Yeah. So I, what I would say to Those that maybe are aspiring to be fighter pilots or that want to give it a shot or want to rather something, do something in your life that's incredibly difficult, right?
Whatever that happens to be. If you want to go to space and be an astronaut, if you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a professor at a college, I mean, those are all kind of difficult things to get into, and you can probably attest. It takes time, it takes grit, and there's gonna be, I think there's this false notion.
Nowadays more than ever, that just do what you love, right? You hear these types of cliche things that just pop out, and it's if you're doing what you love. Well Paddy what I can tell You is there's a lot of days where I did not like getting beat up and learning and failing as a pilot, but I knew that's something that I could grow into.
And a lot of people don't know this, but I grew up playing bluegrass violin. So I went to fiddling competitions. My family had a band, so we would travel into Canada and all over the states just playing music. And there, I can tell you this, there were a lot of days where, I did not like playing my violin, because it was a lot of work and I wasn't very good at it.
But as I got good at it, I really started to love it. And so the message behind that is even as a fighter pilot, now that I'm an instructor you know, I've been teaching in the schoolhouse here. I've been teaching young new F 16 fighter pilots for seven years now. And so now that I've been an instructor for over 20 years flying airplanes, What I can tell you is that it is incredibly fun.
It is. I, and I love it, but I can tell you that path wasn't laid out like a red carpet. I didn't step on the carpet and be like, oh, I love this. I just love flying. Because it's very, it's a very difficult thing to do. You know, even I can imagine, even if you became a college professor your first year, There's gonna be a lot of learning still that's going on.
There's probably gonna be some days where you don't really like what's happening. So I think my message to a lot of you know, I would say the younger crowd, maybe you're in middle school, high school, college, you've just gotten outta college, is that. As a new person, even if you're working at a bank, right?
If you want to be a big time banker, you're gonna have to go make coffee and you're gonna have to serve your boss and serve the people around you. And a lot of times it's not gonna be fun. But guess what? When you're the big time banker. You may end up loving that, and you may be on top of your own world, you may be just the best dag gum tractor driver on this side of the Mississippi.
But, that doesn't just happen overnight. So I think that is the, a big thing that I try to tell people is that don't do the easy stuff because everybody can do that. What are you gonna do that's gonna take some time that you love?
[00:15:16] Paddy Dhanda: Got it. And what is the process for becoming a fighter pilot?
Like is there different levels of qualification or is it like one big program you've gotta go through?
[00:15:26] Dominic Teich: I mean, it's very restrictive just to get even selected to be a pilot in the military. And I would say there are even, you know, there's even qualifications in the civilian world. I'd say the difference in the military is that there's usually a cutoff for age.
So if you can imagine. You know, if you're 55 years old and you wanna fly military jets, it's too old. I think the age is actually 36. There can be waivers, but they typically want to get the younger. What's that?
[00:15:52] Paddy Dhanda: I said, damn, I missed out, but go on.
[00:15:56] Dominic Teich: So yeah, there's a ton of qualifications to just apply and then there's three different.
There's three different commissioning sources to become an officer. So, one qualification you have to have an undergraduate, you have to have a four year degree at a minimum, so you have to go through that whole rigamarole. You have to go to college. So you have to be educated and you have to have a degree.
That's one qualification. You have to meet age qualifications and then there's all sorts of health, vision you can imagine. All the different things that the military wants to make sure that you have, right? Obviously if you are... if you've got diabetes and you've got heart issues and you can't see, that's becomes very difficult to fly fighter jets or even fly any military aircraft in that, for that matter.
So there's the selection process. Once you're selected, then you go through some sort of bootcamp for lack of better term. And then once you graduate bootcamp, then you go to flight screening and they screen you to see if you're gonna in smaller aircraft. Little two, maybe four seat aircraft, and they just go up and you fly for probably 10 or 20 hours and they screen you.
Are you gonna be throwing up all the time? Do you get dizzy? Do you have any flying aptitude? Can you learn how to do this? And then if you pass screening, then you go to undergraduate pilot training and you're flying a 1200 horsepower turbo prop, jet engine, little go-kart of an airplane with ejection seats. It's a really fun airplane. And then you go through that training, and if you graduate there, then you go onto your different tracks So there's tracks for flying, helicopters, flying, heavy aircraft, fighter jets. So there's different tracks, and then there's different levels of competition, right? So if you're, I would say by and large, Many students want to go to the fighter track just because of Top Gun and there's that allure.
However, I will say I have met some guys that were the top of their class and they chose to go through the heavy track to fly big airplanes. So then you go to your... then you get selected to go to the fighter track, and now you're flying a twin engine jet. Supersonic airplane and you're flying in formation and learning those skills.
And then if you pass that, you get your wings and you have to go to other training, it's introduction to fighter fundamentals and you're flying a jet there and then, and only then if you graduate there, you get to go to fighter pilot training in an actual fighter jet. But then you have to make it through that program.
So there's, let me think. Flight screening, u p t one, the track to number two, I mean, and then the actual fighter jet training. There's six, six steps to even go through six different flying courses to where then you are now an actual fighter, jet wingman, and you're not even, you can't even lead other aircraft, you can just fly the jet yourself and employ it in combat. And then there's flight lead upgrade training. So then you learn how to lead other aircraft around and then, and only then you jump to instructor pilot upgrade training.
And then if you're really good and the timing and everything lines up, then you can get selected to go to Top Gun School and go through the weapon school to become an instructor of instructors. So as you can imagine, there's there were many days where, you know, I was pushing 14 and 16 hour days for many years learning how to do all this, and it just wasn't fun. But I loved flying fighter jets, so there's that I think this could be fun and I think I could love this forever type of feeling behind it all.
But it took some time.
[00:19:15] Paddy Dhanda: Wow. I'm speechless like that is phenomenal, that journey. I mean, what percentage of people drop out or, you know,.. Out of the number that started?
[00:19:28] Dominic Teich: Well, so in my, for my class it was, I think we started with thir... now we, I think we had a little bit higher of a washout rate than most, but we started with, I believe 28 or 30, and we graduated with 20.
So, There was from the time, I think that was step three, right? So from in step three when they're flying that higher performance jet engine, turbo prop airplane, we lost, you know, a good chunk of the class, eight or 10 students. And now granted, three or four of 'em were actually really awesome dudes.
They just kept throwing up. They couldn't stop the, they got motion sickness. And as you can imagine, if you get motion sickness and you're throwing up, you're not flying the airplane. So that's kind of a dangerous combination. So... another story for you, Paddy. There was one of the students, he was one of the happiest, hardworking, just a pleasure to be around and he, every time he flew, he would throw up. And there's this chair that's on really good. Ball bearings and you sit in it and it's got a cage rounding. So you strap yourself into it and then somebody stands on the outside. It's like a merry-go-round from hell and they just spin you, really fast.
And so it's to essentially train your inner ear, right? Cuz you have you have water in your inner ear and it's, when it spins around, that's what can trick your brain. And then that can trigger that response of I want to throw up. Well, this kid would go over to the, we call it the Barony chair, and he would spin every afternoon and he would violently vomit every afternoon.
He was determined. He was determined. Well, he hit his bust limit, so he kept, if you throw up in the airplane, you don't pass the ride. So he hit the bus limit and unfortunately he washed out. But I have... there's very few people that are so determined to do that. Just, I mean, throwing up every single day, multiple times, just to try to see if he could get over it.
And I think the important message to that is that I would imagine that whatever career field he is in now, cuz I, unfortunately I haven't kept up with him, but whatever career field he's in now, based on his attitude and his perception, how he trained his own mindset. Pilot training wasn't a failure to him.
He learned something from that and he learned what he wasn't good at. And so I can imagine as he went into his next career field, there was maybe a little bit of hesitancy to "oh, I washed out of pilot training", and that follows you. But I can imagine within a week or two he's probably back on his horse just going, you know, this is my new life and I'm going to grow into this and make something out of it.
[00:21:57] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, I love that. Think you're so right. Every experience that we have, we take a little bit from that to shape. Where we are going. Steve Jobs did this, his most, that famous speech about joining the dots. And you know, he looks back at his life and he goes "I attended this calligraphy class". And people were saying like, what are you doing?
But yet look at the outcome at the end. Like, you know, apple, they have the most beautiful fonts and all of these great things and it's all because of all of these little experiences that he had along the way. And I think looking back and joining the dots and going "That was a reason why", like, there was always a reason for having these experiences.
I, I think is absolutely true. Going back to Top Gun. Tom Cruise, the stuff they show in that movie, is it like acurated or is that just way over the top and did he do a good job in it for you? Do you think, like, as a fighter, pilot yourself, as a practitioner, as someone who's been through, you know, to Helen back watching that movie, did it make you cringe or were you proud of what they produced?
[00:22:58] Dominic Teich: So, I would say that from, I think it depends on the person that you ask, right? So this is all personally biased, of course, right? This is just my own personal opinion. When I watch Top Gun, and I'll say it right up front, I enjoy watching Top Gun One and Top Gun two. I think they're from a cinema cinematography standpoint, they're phenomenal and there's a reason behind that, and I wish the Air Force would freaking publish a movie or at least get something out there on the same level. But we've, we haven't done that. So the Navy and the Marines, they get all the, all of the Hollywood glory. But so from a cinematography level, it's phenomenally produced.
Clearly you can see the differences in technology 30 years into the future, which is, you know, if you watch Top Gun Maverick versus the original one. They've, you know, basically graduated leaps and bounds ahead from technology. Now, from a fighter pilot standpoint, a lot of people don't know this, but I, Tom Cruise, outside of any personal life things that you know about Tom Cruise, he's actually, he's a jet pilot, so he has his own jet and he can fly in those jets.
And then from an actor standpoint, they had to train those actors to actually look and do the things in the videos. Now granted there's scenes where the fighter pilots have their masks down and they're pulling a lot of Gs in the jet, which is just a lot of pressure on your body in real life.
We don't drop our masks when we're doing that. We need the pressure air to, to make that happen. But in the movie, from a cinematography standpoint, you may not know what actor is doing that, so they need to show your face. So, There's little things like that. I watch those movies for entertainment and for comedy.
If you want to get into the, would we do this in real life, in war, we... it's stretched a little. I'll just say that. So the scenario that they had on the second movie, There are so many different assets from a military standpoint that could have done that job, that didn't involve fighter pilots.
If you catch my gist, so, there's got it satellites, there's ballistic missiles, there's cruise missiles, there's boats and ships and all sorts of other stuff. If you really wanted to drop a bomb through a thing like that, you probably from a military standpoint, Would not use fighter jets again.
[00:25:19] Paddy Dhanda: That would've been a short movie though. That would've been like a really quick movie. It doesn't matter. We need two hours of content, right? Yeah.
[00:25:27] Dominic Teich: The buildup is one guy sitting at a desk like Homer Simpson and he hits a red button and then the movie's over and they win, right? Like yeah. From, again, from a Hollywood standpoint, that wouldn't work.
Now, I will say that flying low and fast like they did, , that's difficult to do cuz you're, you are actually hand flying the aircraft at that, those low altitudes. So, you know, your attention has to be on that, you know, you do. There are missile systems that can shoot you. So, there's that aspect of it.
So I would say as they got into the later part of the film where they then took off in the old school F 14 and fired that thing up and took off and there's like fire and the runway's broken apart. I just, I was laughing because I considered that Comedy. It's completely... that's not tangible. You can't do that.
Like fighter jets are very finicky. Like I said earlier, I call 'em the girls. You have to take care of 'em. You have to... They're like, they're alive. I think they, you know, the jets have their own little quirks and you have to have the right maintainers taken care of 'em. So for them to just jump in a F 14 that hadn't been potentially started in years, like the chances of it actually starting and taking off and doing all that stuff is, or breaking is probably pretty low.
But again, personal, that's Dom slice. Tykes personal opinions on fighter pilot movies does not represent anything in, you know, I'm not representing the military or any of that stuff. Cause I know people will be like "you're not allowed to say that".
[00:26:59] Paddy Dhanda: Got it. Oh no, that, that's really great insight. And Dom, so in terms of the work that you do, you utilize a lot of your experiences from your fighter jet? Pilot experiences and you bring them into the business world. So, could you give us some of your insights there? How has that fighter, jet pilot mindset helped other business leaders in the work that they do?
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[00:28:56] Shure MV7-2: Now let's get back to the.
[00:28:59] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so where we are now is a number of years ago I started a real estate business where we buy multi-family properties that are distressed and we renovate them, and then I raise capital from investors. And I wrote a book about it so that I could give that to investors so that they could learn about the process and all that stuff.
So I think being a fighter pilot and everybody's different, right? You have your own strengths. And I think my, one of the superpower strengths that I didn't know I had is that a lot of times, I am not standing there worried about what other people think, what I'm doing, because if I know that I'm, if I know that I'm on the right path, I'm going to run down that path.
But for me, I don't need group think. I don't need people behind me saying, rah, I don't need likes on Facebook and all that kind of stuff. And I find that a lot of people nowadays are very worried and concerned about what other people think that they're doing. And I will say my path is much different than what most fighter pilots take. Not all but a lot of fighter pilots though, will retire from being a fighter pilot and then they'll go to the airlines and fly for the airlines. That doesn't really appeal to me. I would do it if I had to, and I have all the certifications and qualifications to do that. But it doesn't appeal to me and I don't love the idea, and it just sounds tedious to me.
But I would say that the large crowd does that from my standpoint. One of, if I would say, you know, if I could give my superpower is, granted, I learned a lot as a fighter pilot, but my superpower is that I'm kind of unhindered by suggestions from people that quote unquote, want to be helpful but that aren't right, and they're trying to hold you back.
So those are the villains in my life that they say something and I go, well, You're not gonna do that, but I'm gonna do that. So for me to start a real estate business that raises investor capital and writes a book and has now multiple websites, and I've started multiple businesses and we are getting ready to publish our sixth book this year as we're talking.
And I think out of all of that, as you talked about connecting the dots, right? Well, I never thought I was gonna write a book, but I wrote the book because I found I was teaching a lot of people what I was doing in my business. And so if people had an interest, I'd go, well, I'll just congeal all my notes and put 'em in a book.
And then when they ask, I can hand 'em a book. And then they'll go, holy crap, dude you wrote a book? And I'm like, well, yeah, this describes my ideal investor, so if you fit this book then let's talk. But then that saved me a ton of time. And then when I wrote that book, I started talking to other fighter pilots during the Covid 19 debacle and I said" Hey, have you ever published your story?". So we started publishing short stories and we put those in a book called Single Seat Wisdom cuz we're single seat fighter pilots and it's just the perspective of a fighter pilot in a 10 minute read with a short, impactful thing at the end of each chapter. So each book so far has 20 different fighter pilots writing stories and we put those in single seat wisdom.
It's a series now we're getting ready to publish volume three this year in 2023. So, I think, like you said, connecting all the dots and then a lot of times for many years I felt very uncomfortable doing what I was doing because there were so few people that had done it before. So I think that's maybe my superpower.
You can call it a gift, a talent, right? If you're a more of a spiritual, like, you know, if you read the Bible, like they'll talk about, God gives you talents, you have to find those talents. And I think one of them is, I'm usually not worried about what other people have to say if I know that I'm on the right path and I have good intentions behind it.
And it's for the greater good. That's kind of where I've caught a lot of my accelerated acceleration as Bucky Fuller would say.
[00:32:52] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah, no I totally aligned with what you're saying. I think I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about kids of today, and I sound like a really old dinosaur right now, but I've got two kids, you know, one's 11 years old and my daughter's 13.
And I think about, How much they are probably wrapped up in cotton wool, as we say in the UK. Like they're mollycoddled so much that we always protect them from, you know, any kind of trauma or any bad news. And, you know, we always go, well, "back in my day it was very different". Or, you know, "my parents will even say to me", "back in my day, it was even worse than your day".
And I, I sometimes think that they're gonna grow up. To be too soft and then they are gonna face real trauma and they're not gonna be able to deal with it. And we hear about a lot of mental health issues, you know, at the moment. And lots of people you know, are really impacted by the negative impacts of social media and all of these things.
And I think to what you were saying, almost this toxic environment that you are sometimes. Within. For some people they, they don't have that willpower to be able to deal with that. And but you know, it sounds like you had that mental toughness to go, Hey, thanks for that, but I'm gonna do it anyway cuz I'm mentally tough.
How does one build that mental toughness to be able to, you know, just still push forward with what they believe in?
[00:34:19] Dominic Teich: You know, I think that there's I think it's just you have to realize where your strengths and weaknesses are, and if you're one that, that caves easily to that. I think it's just, it's knowing yourself, right?
That's, I think that's even scribed on the temple of Apollo. It's in Greek, but it's know thyself and I think part of it is just bringing that to light, saying I really cave easily to peer pressure. And knowing that about yourself and then you've now identified it. I really get negative when I scroll through Facebook or I scroll through any social media or if I binge watch YouTube or so as soon as you identify it, cuz we're creatures of habit.
You'll have to identify it first. You have to know, you know, just like how do you know you're at war? You have to declare war. You have to know. So I think the biggest thing is just going "Hey, I am weak in these situations" and then identifying that. And then the next step is figuring, having a plan. So fighter pilots, we have, it's a very simple mantra.
It's plan, execute, debrief, and box Johnson, he's a astronaut, test pilot and fighter pilot. He wrote a chapter in single seat wisdom, volume two, called plan, execute, debrief. It's a very simple mantra, but you have to identify the problem first, and then you can start your plan. So go, Hey, I am weak at this point.
Now this is my plan is I am gonna restrict myself to looking at social media 15 minutes a day or whatever it happens to be. And then hold yourself accountable to that, and then put your plan. Into execution and go to starting tomorrow, I'm gonna do this. And then debrief yourself At the end of the day, go, did I do my plan?
And if not, either tweak your plan and re-execute different so you can kind of throughout your day. And that applies. That's very simple. It's a very simple construct, but I think naming what you're having an issue with helps you build that. And you're, and it's, it's more like a, it's more like walking up steps versus doing like a box jump.
You know, you see a, it's very common nowadays to see people at the gym jumping up on a three or four foot box and you're like, how'd you get to that? Well, they started with little box jumps. So do little steps. And that builds along your life. And as you get older, if you're used to that and that becomes a habit, it grows on itself.
But I can tell you right now, Paddy, I was not that type of person. It just didn't happen overnight. It takes time. You have to practice it. It's just like hitting a fast ba, you know, hitting a fastball, standing in the batter's box and hitting it. And I don't know, maybe cricket is more prevalent over there, but, you know, just, it's the same thing.
You gotta practice. And if you don't practice, then how are you going to, and if you, one, if you don't practice and you don't know what you're trying to battle, if you haven't declared war on something that's dragging you down, then how do you know where to start?
[00:37:11] Paddy Dhanda: So there's this great TED talk that. You just reminded me about, which is by a guy called J what I learned from a hundred days of rejection. And this guy, he's just amazing.
He talks about how he purposely set himself a challenge of trying to get rejected every day for a hundred days. And he does like ridiculous things, like he turns up at some random person's house with a flower. And a pot. And he basically knocks on the door and goes, Hey, you don't know me, but I'd love to plant this in your front garden.
And the guy's like, no, but Joe over the street, she likes plants. Maybe you want to go talk to her. So like he just does his ridiculous things to get rejected. But then he shares his learning. And it's, for me, it kind of reminds me of that because if we don't have these setbacks and sometimes a big setback can be overwhelming, but if we have small setbacks, then over time they accumulate.
And I think we do get conditioned in a way Sure. In which we are able to deal with it. Otherwise, yeah. If we've never had a failure and then all of a sudden we get a big one, then that can be very traumatic for many people. So I love that. I think, you know, we've gotta have those setbacks as you mentioned.
But, you know, embrace them and use it as a learning for the next one. But yeah, I need to do that a hundred day challenge at some point. If you're in, let me know. But I would love to do it with someone else so we can both push each other. But I haven't found a volunteer just yet who wants to do a hundred days of it.
[00:38:47] Dominic Teich: I think I'll re... let me wait till I retire here in a couple years from the military and then I'll start doing ridiculous things like that.
[00:38:54] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, awesome. Then we'll be knocking on strangers doors and going, Hey, can I plant this? Awesome. Dominic, I have one other burning question I was gonna ask you... has there been an occasion where you've had a near death experience through the work that you do? Or what has been the most scariest or most dangerous moment for you?
[00:39:13] Dominic Teich: Also, I would say you hinted at it, the word failure is it's a big one. And people and I think your initial reaction to hearing the word failure will determine a lot of how you are able to process what happened and learn from it.
Because you said, I. You know, in, in shorter words and in better, you said it better than I can, but when you fail, do you consider that a failure as a person or do you consider that a lesson learned? And so a lot of times when I fail as, as much as I don't like to, and it hurts and it's embarrassing at times and all of the things you learn from that.
And so as a young fighter pilot, I was for lack of better term, I was dog fighting. So we were doing very close in. Very fast dog fighting, and I was fighting an instructor who was much better than I was and I got comfortable on the flight that day. And on our sixth engagement, I broke a training rule and pointed at his aircraft too long while I was taking simulated shots.
And we passed. I passed his aircraft very close. We had a very close pass. And, but it happened so fast that it was almost like I didn't have enough time to be. Scared of it, but as it started to settle in, and then we started to look at our tapes in the debrief, I realized that I had a very near death experience.
And so I got you know, the very tight-knit communities, whether you're a police officer, firefighter, you're on a baseball team, maybe even doctors and lawyers do this in their close groups, but they name each other. And so fighter pilots have a naming ceremony and it's not really a naming ceremony.
They drag you through the mud figuratively, and then you get your fighter pilot name. And I've been named a lot of bad names throughout my career, and so I'm lucky to have gotten Slice, one because it's a PG call sign and some of the other ones weren't so good. But then now Slice means to me that I failed on that mission.
On that training mission, I almost died and I learned a lot from it. So now that's something, instead of running away from that and fearing that, I can now teach the young students and say "Hey, if you want to die or potentially die or get really close to death, then you will do this and by the way, that's how I got my call sign".
So it's a lesson learned. There's another story that I wrote about in single Seat Wisdom, volume one, and that was another near death experience in fighter jets. But for the interest of time and kind of as a hook, if you would like to read about that, you can find it in that book.
[00:41:40] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, you got me on the edge of my seat now I'm like, oh my God. I wanna know more. I wanna know more, but I see the book is behind you. So, I will certainly check it out and will include the link in the show notes as well for anyone that wants to get hold of the book.
[00:41:53] Dominic Teich: Great, thank you.
[00:41:54] Paddy Dhanda: Dom, how can people get in touch with you and how can they find out more about the great work that you do?
[00:41:59] Dominic Teich: So we've distilled everything down. I say we, because we're up to 52 fighter pilots now in the single seat mindset community. But single seat mindset.com, that's our landing page. And there's also free resources. One of the main thing that you'll see on the landing page, if you wanna learn more or develop this, your own superpower.
I started a program that now has other fighter pilots contributing ideas to, but it's called the Competent Wingman, and it's right on the main landing page of single seat mindset.com. It's completely free. It's a two minute message sent to your email once a week. I don't sell your data, I don't get anything at out of it.
It's just us sharing some lessons. You know, miles high lessons from the third dimension for people to kind of read and see what it's all about. And if you don't like it, just unsubscribe from it.
[00:42:50] Paddy Dhanda: Absolutely, I agree. And yeah, we control what comes into our mailbox, so, we have that decision to make, but it sounds like a really valuable resource.
So, thank you for sharing that, Dom, it's been such a pleasure to get to know you over this episode. I feel like we're friends from old, even though we literally just met about an hour ago. And that's what I love about doing this. Show because I, some people say" Hey, shall we have a pre-show catchup"?
And I'm like, no, I don't want to do that, because we'll then talk about all the good stories that you're gonna talk about and I'd much rather it be raw and we hear about them for the first time and we're on the show. So, really appreciate you sharing your background and it's been really inspiring for me.
I mean, I can't even imagine like, how you've got to where you have, I mean, it just sounds like mission impossible, but you know, you've persevered and you've, you're at, you know, at such a, such an amazing level in, in what you do and I hope that inspires other people out there as well, because, you know, yeah we sometimes do, we look at the ladder and we go "oh, it's too high. I'm not gonna even bother. But one step at a time and then"... We'll get there. Yeah. Yeah. Last word over to you, Dom.
[00:43:57] Dominic Teich: Paddy, you took the words outta my mouth. I was gonna say, when you are scared of that, very lofty, you know, they call it a bhag. A big, hairy, audacious goal. Just take the next step.
And guess what? What you're visualizing as the end game, you might end up on a different path, but you would've never known if you didn't take that first step. That first step may actually be in the wrong direction. You'll learn from it and you'll go down a different path. So that's, that is all I've ever done in my life is I see, oh, that what sounds cool.
I'll do that. Let me just take the next step. Let me just take the next step. So don't overwhelm yourself when your plan executing and debriefing. Make your plan just about the next step, not the huge plan, just a short little plan. What are you gonna do every single day? And then, I call it the five minutes for freedom.
Five minutes for whatever intentionality, but in the morning. Wake up and just spend five minutes. Don't go to social media, pray or meditate, or just sit in silence, but get your intentionality squared away for that day so that you can then execute your plan. So, at the end of the day, you're not debriefing yourself getting down on yourself because you mess it up.
[00:45:06] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, what a lovely way to finish the episode. Thank you so much, Dom.
[00:45:10] Dominic Teich: Thank you, Paddy.