Interview with Joey Klein: Founder and CEO of Inner Matrix Systems

Interview with Joey Klein Founder and CEO of Inner Matrix Systems

Joey Klein created Inner Matrix Systems, a program that helps successful folks improve even more. He wrote a book named “The Inner Matrix” on mastering yourself for real results. He’s been featured in Self Magazine, INC.com, Yahoo Finance, and NBC.

Klein has assisted leaders from big companies like IBM, Coca-Cola, and the World Health Organization.

Tell us about yourself.

I love martial arts a lot. I used to compete in martial arts and really enjoyed keeping fit and learning all the strategies. I don’t compete now but still do martial arts to keep in great shape, keep my mind sharp, and help my brain stay healthy. I also love mountain biking and skiing.

Basically, if it’s an outdoor activity, count me in.

My biggest passion is changing people’s lives. I really like the idea of making quick changes and coming up with a way to help someone see their life in a completely new way.

I’m all about creating that big change in how we see our world, even if nothing around us has really changed.

This opens up new ways to experience life and new chances right away. I always challenge myself to make these big changes happen and I work on this through my company, Inner Matrix Systems. It’s what excites me and keeps me motivated every day.

What makes you different than other professionals in your field?

I think that what makes me different is the system that I developed over the last 20 years. Everything that I’ve done is experiential; it’s real-life circumstances where the tools, techniques, and strategies that we implement through Inner Matrix Systems have hit the mark for people repeatedly in terms of getting results.

As an example, if somebody is managing anxiety and they’re asking, “How do I alleviate my anxiety?” We have a formula for that which has worked for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

For example, if someone is dealing with anxiety and asks, “How can I feel less anxious?” We have a method that has helped hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people.

We use a unique training system, not just one person, by combining different methods in a detailed way. I studied psychology deeply. We also worked with a Harvard-trained neurologist to learn how mindfulness and meditation can help with self-improvement and personal growth.

We looked into ancient practices of meditation and breathing from thousands of years ago that helped change the nervous system.

We know a lot about various personal growth techniques that help with self-mastery, and we blend them together so they work smoothly with each other.

If people go through our training systems, depending on the result they want to get, they’re guaranteed the result.

If you go to the gym and you follow the right nutrition plan and the right workout regimen, you’re going to get results that you’d like to get inside your physical body, whether that’s increased strength and endurance or if you want to lose weight.

It’s the same thing if you want to achieve personal mastery of your mind and your ability to manage thoughts, the emotions that we feel, and design the experience of life we’d like to have, which translates to the outcomes of life that we want to fulfill. There is a system for training that.

That is what separates us from everybody else because we have a specific system of training that gets the results instead of a reliance on a singular person for those results.   

How much potential market share can you achieve in the next 3 years?

The company is ready to scale at this time. There’s a growing interest occurring pretty rapidly. Our growth challenges in the past have been related to keeping up with building the infrastructure to support our clients in an impeccable way.

It is imperative to me that as the company grows, we never sacrifice the quality of service that we offer. The level of high-touch and high-care that we provide is more manageable when you’re a smaller company.

To scale and maintain that same level of impeccable quality in service is a bit more challenging than if you just want to scale for numbers.

I am 100% committed to maintaining that high-quality standard as we grow and we become bigger. The choice to grow is a gradual one to ensure we maintain our quality standards.

I have a long-term focus; I fully intend to be doing this in 20, 30, 40 years. We have a long-term game plan where we’re looking to grow very large over time and make sure that we’re growing the company right.

We’re expected to grow anywhere between 30-100% year over year, which is still extremely aggressive growth.

We’ve grown at that pace the last few years, but I think we start to diminish quality to grow any faster than that.

I think we’ll begin incrementally acquiring market share over time to make sure to keep up the impeccability of the product and the service.   

What was the most important part of your professional journey?

The most important part of my journey has been pain. When I look back to why I am where I am today and what drove this passion for developing myself personally and striving for this idea of personal mastery and realizing one’s potential, it is because, in my younger years, I was in a lot of pain and suffering.

Traditional means and methods just did not provide me a way out of that. I grew up in Andover, Kansas, a little town outside of Wichita, and I didn’t have access to mentors who could support me to create and achieve the dreams that I wanted to know in life.

When you’re in that kind of pain where life doesn’t seem to matter anymore, that’s a huge motivator to try new things. You’re not afraid to try and fail because you kind of feel like you have nothing to lose.

There is this motivation to get out of pain that drove my action in a very aggressive way.

But on the flip side, I wasn’t afraid to fail; I wasn’t afraid to lose anything because my perception was that I didn’t have anything to lose. So that’s a really powerful place to create from, to learn from, to grow from.

Once I started to see results, I started to move out of that pain and discomfort that I knew for myself, and then I started to realize what can be possible in life; I just never looked back.

If it wasn’t for the challenges that I’ve known in my life, especially at a younger age, I wouldn’t have the passion and enthusiasm to do what I do today. What keeps me going today is the level of fulfillment that I know.

When I give somebody the toolkit to either eliminate a challenge for themselves, or the pain and suffering they might be inside of, or they have a dream that they want to fulfill, I get to be a part of supporting them in manifesting that personal dream for themselves and making that a reality.

It all goes back to that personal moment of mine where I was able to make that happen for myself and understood the meaning of that, and now that’s what drives my passions today.

What are the best and worst purchases that you’ve ever made?

The worst purchase I ever made—and this has been a great lesson for me— was when I was on vacation with my girlfriend at the time, and we got conned into a vacation timeshare. It seemed like the thing to do at the time.

I remember I was so excited about this purchase, and I spent about $30,000 on this timeshare. When I got home and attempted to use the product and the service the way that was intended, I discovered it was a bait and switch.

The things that they told me that it was, it was not what it was.

The big takeaway that I learned from that was to read the contract and confirm that what you’re buying is what you’re buying.

I always want to believe in the best in people. Especially when I was younger, I thought that if you just did great things for people, you’d attract people who do great things for you. It’s a hard lesson, but a great lesson learned around not everybody has your best interest in mind, and some people are just not on the up-and-up.

I still have this timeshare today, and I never use it. It’s basically just money flushed down the toilet. But I took away a great lesson through it.

The best purchase I ever made was my sports car that I drive today. The reason that that’s my best purchase ever is because I love going fast. It’s a passion of mine. I’ve always had fast cars. I grew up in the garage, rebuilding engines and motors, tuning my cars, and repairing them myself.

As a child, I always dreamt of having a Jaguar or Ferrari or Lamborghini or a car like that. I remember going to the dealerships and looking at them roped off and not being allowed to touch them.

That was an untouchable thing for me the way that I grew up. We weren’t extremely poor; we had just enough. We had all the things we needed, but we were not affluent or wealthy by any means. The idea of owning a car like that seemed impossible to me, and it was a dream that I had as a child.

It was a benchmark that I set or a goal for myself when I first started my company. When I bought the car— a Jaguar F-Type R — I bought it new, right at the showroom. It was my dream sports car at the time.

What it meant for me and what it symbolizes for me every time I drive it today is that anything is possible.

From how I grew up and then really working to make my passion into a viable business, I know what’s possible, and this car is one way I remind myself of that daily. Plus, I really love driving it every day. The fun and the fulfillment factors from it are just awesome.   

What takes up too much of your time?

My favorite thing that I love doing is, as I call it, being in the trenches of people. When I’m working with people at a weekend program or seminar or working with a one-to-one client, they bring me their challenges or dreams that they aspire to create; I just love supporting people to make that happen.

That’s why I do everything else.

But as the company grows and we continue to scale, I spend a lot of time on the business side of things—administrative work, building up the staff, learning about technology and building out websites and the importance of that, and marketing, etc. It’s a need. It’s necessary.

I have to get good at it as any entrepreneur does. But it’s not my passion/desire; my greatest value and personal passion is being on stage, transforming a group of people’s lives, or working one-to-one with them inside personal coachings.

It is my sweet spot, and it’s a thing I love to do. Right now, I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work as well, which happens to be what the company needs right now.

But  I’m actively working towards building an awesome team to drive a lot of those things for the company so that I get to live in my sweet spot a bit more moving forward. 

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs or leaders in their field?

The biggest advice I could give is number one, to find a mentor. This is by far the most beneficial thing to do.

And don’t look for money first; look to build your talent. When I look back at why I’ve been able to build a successful company, one that grows year over year and has done so for the last almost 20 years now, it is because, in my earlier years, I didn’t look to make money.

That wasn’t at the top of my mind.

I volunteered my time. I said yes to almost everything, and I did not get paid for the work I did. I was a personal assistant to several of my mentors who ran international organizations serving thousands and thousands of people and making millions of dollars.

By way of being their personal assistant, I got to be by their side. I got to see how they run their company. I got to see how they conducted themselves. I woke up with them in the morning; I served them breakfast, and I prepared them for their meetings.

I was almost like a nanny at the time, doing housekeeping chores, changing out beds and packing luggage, and all these not-so-glamorous things, but it was priceless to me.

I paid tens of thousands of dollars a year to travel with them and to support them and to be able to play this role, which I never got paid a single penny for. I did odd jobs to be able to have this opportunity with some of my mentors.

But it was by far the best education I could ever have because I got to live and breathe these people’s lives and see firsthand how they made happen what they made happen in real-world situations and scenarios.

If you have a business that you’re interested in potentially building or you have something that you’d like to go into, find someone in that field that is doing it in a valuable and great way, and do everything you can to get by their side, to gain access to the company, get in the door, and put yourself in positions where you can learn and develop talent.

Forget about money initially; build your talent, and develop your skill set. Say yes to doing things and jobs that may not be super fun or glamourous. If you take that approach, the money will come.

But if money is the only thing you’re driving for, you may ultimately fail as an entrepreneur because it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Those who succeed do so because they have a passion and a purpose and a vision larger than themselves (or any dollar amount) that drives their action and behavior.

And there’s probably going to be a lot of years where it just isn’t working before it pans out. Number one is finding a mentor and making that your top priority to learn and grow initially.

The second piece of advice is to educate yourself consistently about the field you want to master and want to be in.

That means reading several books a week on the subjects that are necessary to master the space that you want to work in. Because if you’re going to succeed, you’ve got to be better at that thing than other people, and the only way you’re going to do that is development.

Set up a plan of consistent education. I still educate myself today, and I’m on a consistent education regimen to constantly learn, grow, and change.

Then the third thing is to take care of the body. Ensure you dial in your nutrition, make sure to dial in your movement practices, and do everything you can to be in impeccable health.

If you’re not in impeccable health, you’re not going to have the energy required to drive the outcomes and the resilience to manage the stress level that one has to manage to be exceptional in any entrepreneurial endeavor.

So, the third piece of advice would be to take care of yourself. Make your physical well-being a top priority because if you don’t have your health, you’re not going to be able to fulfill the things you need to fulfill.

Many top executives in companies and entrepreneurs fail simply because the body cannot keep up with their needs.

This may not seem like a big deal when we’re 18 or 21 or 25, but we quickly realize the importance of that. The sooner we get inside those good routines, the sooner it’s just our lifestyle and is not something we have to overhaul later.     

Who has impressed you the most with what they have accomplished?

The individuals that I’m most inspired by and study are from an older business generation. Somebody’s work and life that I study is Dale Carnegie; not only did he become successful in the business that he built back in the day, he pretty much defined an industry and molded the world as he knew it through the Carnegie Steel Company that he built.  He also took the next step and invested in showing people the principles that he drove inside to create those outcomes and those results.

The other individuals that I look to are archetypes like the Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey because they have made it their mission to make people’s lives better. They wake up every day and ask, “How can I influence and make an impact and make the world a little bit better?” I think that level of selflessness or passion for making the world better is much needed today.

To see individuals driving at that level of impact and influence is inspiring to me. 

How should people connect with you?

The best way to connect with me is through my two websites – InnerMatrixSystems.com and JoeyKlein.com

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