Going Back In Time, What Jonathan Rockford, Brent Atkins, and Monty Hamilton Would Say To Their Younger Self with Mo Bunnell

By Mo Bunnell

Mo asks Jonathan Reckford: You get to magically record a video and send it back to your younger self with some advice. What do you say?

  • Jonathan spent most of his youth thinking about what he wanted to do instead of who he wanted to be. He would tell his younger self to focus on the ‘who’ before the ‘what’ first.
  • If you never fail, it's likely you're not going big enough.
  • Hope is built in the community. Volunteering gives you a sense of the community and how you can bring the virtues of kindness and love into the world.
  • Following your passion is incomplete. You need to search for the intersection between what you’re passionate about and where your skills, ability, and talent lie.
  • Jonathan tells the story of Doris, and how he grew up in a poor neighborhood in North Carolina and how his life completely changed after his mom qualified to buy a Habitat house in Optimist Park. Doris is the first person to grow up in a Habitat for Humanity house and to serve on the board as well.
  • The story perfectly encapsulates the mission and purpose of Habitat for Humanity and how giving people a platform and foundation for a stable, healthy life can impact their community and society as a whole.


Mo asks Brent Atkins: If you could record a video on business development and send it to your younger self, what would you say?

  • In the early days of Brent’s business development career, he did things very differently. The first thing he would say is to listen. Brent hears more things now during the course of a conversation with active listening, which is the opposite from how his younger self operated.
  • There is an impulse when you’re young and fresh to tell everyone what you know, but listening and asking questions are how you really learn how to sell.
  • Every product or service has multiple ways you can position it to win. If you listen, you can be much more effective in that effort.
  • Brent is a student of business development even now. The first 21 days of a relationship are extremely important to solidify a bond. Reaching out to continue the conversation and creating that bond allows you to come back months or years later and pick up that conversation in the same way you would with an old friend.
  • The final tip would be to build your brand. People are taught sales skills and usually want to apply them the exact way they are taught. Take what you’re doing and make it yours.
  • Whatever sales skills you are working on, you need to make them authentically yours for them to be effective.
  • The great business development rainmakers never stop learning. Brent is always looking to improve and work on his skills, especially in leverage tools like MIT’s and the Protemoi list.


Mo asks Monty Hamilton: If you could record a video and send it back to your former self, something around business development or growth mindset, what would it say?

  • Monty would tell himself to not settle. Looking back, he can see that he didn’t always have the abundance mindset he needed to grow past barriers.
  • He would also say to take more risks and that it’s okay to fail.
  • The third thing would be to enjoy the journey more and be less fixated on the end destination.
  • The pandemic has made celebrating the journey more difficult, but also more precious at the same time. You have to be more intentional in creating those moments.



Mentioned in this Episode:




Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World by Jonathan Reckford


Brent Atkins on LinkedIn

#MinuteWithMonty on YouTube