Episode 32

August 08, 2023


Episode 32 - Frank Zaccari - I was CEO of Two Companies. I Thought I was at the Top of the World Here, I Made It! I Turn Around and My Wife Left. She Left the Family, Just Left, and We Had Two Daughters I Had Full Custody

Hosted by

Drew Deraney
Episode 32 - Frank Zaccari - I was CEO of Two Companies. I Thought I was at the Top of the World Here, I Made It! I Turn Around and My Wife Left. She Left the Family, Just Left, and We Had Two Daughters I Had Full Custody
From Caving In To Crushing It
Episode 32 - Frank Zaccari - I was CEO of Two Companies. I Thought I was at the Top of the World Here, I Made It! I Turn Around and My Wife Left. She Left the Family, Just Left, and We Had Two Daughters I Had Full Custody

Aug 08 2023 | 00:24:26


Show Notes

This episode: Growing up I was taught to focus on my career and everything else will fall in place. That's not even close to true. I think the really low point was she left in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving. I'm there and I'm thinking, wow, everything. I did all this for my family and now it's gone. I thought, I'm gonna get through this. I'm gonna get through this. I went to counseling, which was a big deal, and it was the girls would go individually and I would go individually with the girls. I’m a type A personality and the first thing I said was, I want this to fix my daughter's suffering.

If you have ever have been left when you should have been loved, you know how bad it feels. If you'd like to know how Frank turned it around, listen to the full episode.


To learn more about Frank, go to LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankzaccari/ or you can go to Frank’s website at http://www.frankzaccari.com/.


Frank Zaccari Bio: Co-Founder of Trust the Process – Book Marketing Program; keynote speaker;

Business Adviser; TV Show Host, 5x Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author.

As co-founder of Trust the Process – Book Marketing Program 22 months ago, we have created and executed marketing/promotion plans that achieved 11 consecutive #1 bestselling new releases in multiple categories. 

A native of western New York, Frank Zaccari served as a military medic in the U.S. Air Force before spending over 20 years in the high-tech industry. His experience included senior positions with Fortune 50 organizations “re-launching” small and mid-size companies. 

Frank is a 5X bestselling and award-winner author who has written and published nine books based on life altering events. The last four books Business Secrets for Walking on Water,  Business & Personal Secrets for Avoiding Relationship Landmines, Business & Personal Secrets for Getting Unstuck, and Business Secrets from the Battlefield to the Boardroom,  were awarded Amazon #1 Best-Selling new release status in multiple categories. They are part of a four-book series.  He was just awarded 1st place by The Authors’ Zone for nonfiction business (Business and Personal Secrets for Getting Unstuck) - 1st place for Nonfiction Business for 2022. 

He led a workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs at Arizona State University; is a mentor with the Veterans Treatment Court; a mentor and judge with the University of California Entrepreneurship Academy and is an accomplished speaker. Frank hosts a Roku TV and youtube show which, has 235,000 listeners in 42 countries.


  • UCLA Anderson School of Business – Management Development for Entrepreneurs Certification Program
  • California State University at Sacramento – Bachelors of Science – Finance. 
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Welcome to from caving in to crushing it, the podcast for those who find themselves immersed in adversity and choose to write their story instead of having others write it for them. I'm Drew Deraney, and I'm your host. All right, Frank, it's so good to see you. My friend. [00:00:24] Speaker B: Always a pleasure. Drew. Good to see you again. [00:00:26] Speaker A: All right. I've been looking forward to this because I had the honor of being with you on your show, and I'm learning so much about you as a human being in the last couple of months. And that's, in essence, why I do this, because sitting with solid human beings and just sharing stories just helps each one of us grow. And in knowing your story, I really felt that it really needed to go further than just you and me talking. And we all know life is not linear. We go through twists and turns, and we hit things that we think are barriers, but it's really a gift wrapped in sandpaper. All these kind of things, we don't realize it at the time. You've gone through a lot. If you can reach back and pick that one or two defining moment or moments, that something put its hand on your shoulder and said, frank, wake the hell up. There's more to life. You can do it. Share with us that moment. [00:01:39] Speaker B: Wow. There's a lot of moments, but probably the big two by four between the eyes. I was a tech executive, and I was up in Seattle, and I was CEO of two companies. One, I had gotten the job for, one, I had spun out, and I thought, wow, I'm at the top of the world here. Jesus, is it. I made it. And I turn around, and my wife left. He left. The family just left. And we had two daughters. We still have two daughters, and they were ten and 14 at the time. And I had custody because she left. She just left. And that was the big wake up moment. It was like, oh, my God. Growing up when I grew up was, you focus on your career, you focus on making a living, and everything else will fall into place. Right? Well, that's not even close to true. Not even close to true. So I'm there, and I'm thinking, wow, everything. I did all this for my family, and now it's gone. She left. And so now I got to get out of the high tech sector, because I travel two weeks out of every month, and I've got to take care of my daughters. So we left Washington, came to California, came back to California where they were born, and I knew more people, and I took away, bought an insurance agency. Now, going from high tech, very proactive, of course, to insurance, very reactive. For a type a personality like me is like dying and going to hell. But it was a means to an end. I need to be a full time dad, and I now have to figure out, what am I going to do with my life? And so it was going from in the tech sector. If I didn't know the answer, I could get it in one phone call. In insurance, I couldn't even barely spell insurance. All I knew about insurance is I hated to pay for it. And now I'm going to be a full time dad with two girls. Now, I was never a teenage girl. Now, they weren't teen. One of them was a teen. But I'm lost because their mom, up to that point, had basically taken care of that. So I think one of the really low points was she left in November, 2 weeks before thanksgiving. Well, that thanksgiving was pretty tough. And then that first christmas. Okay, so now I have to go buy christmas gifts, which I had never done right. So I'm going to stores, and I'm just feeling completely lost, like, God, I don't know how to do this. I'm walking around kohl's or targets or one of the stores, and I'm looking for moms with daughters about the age of my girls. And so I pick something up, and I walk up to them and say, excuse me, can I ask you a question? I'm a single dad. This is my first Christmas alone with my daughters. They're about your daughter's age. And I show them what I think was thinking of. And I said, just tell me, is this lame? If you got this, would you think it was a lame thing? And more times than not, they said, well, that's pretty nice. How old are they? And then the mom would help, and then sometimes they'd help, and they'd say, you might want to look at these or these or these. And so I thought, okay, I'm going to get through this. I'm going to get through this. And we went to counseling, which was a big deal, and the girls would go individually, then I would be individually, then it would be me with the girls again being a type a personality. The first thing I said was, I want to fix my daughter so that they don't have to suffer. And the counselor was a woman, and she said, well, you're going to fail on that one. And I said, well, what do you mean you're going to fail? I said, I've never failed in my life. And she said, you can't fix this. They're going to have to process it. They're going to have to focus on it and says, here's your challenge, Frank, and this is going to be a big one. Number one, you can't fix it. Get that through your thick head. Number two, you're going to have to learn how to listen. Deep listen. Number three, you're going to have to learn how to validate feelings. [00:05:44] Speaker A: Wow. [00:05:44] Speaker B: Okay. She says, now, someone like you, given your history and your background, can be very difficult to do, but that's what you're going to have to do. [00:05:54] Speaker A: Okay? [00:05:55] Speaker B: And it was the most difficult and the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life, because now it forced me to become different. It forced me to think differently, to act differently, to look at life with a whole different set of lenses. In the past, it was, okay, how do I get this and how do I drive the business? And now it was, the hell with the business. How do I protect my daughters? How do I help them become the best people that they can be? [00:06:30] Speaker A: So those three things, it was, you can't fix it, right? Learn to have deep listening skills. And what was the third one? [00:06:41] Speaker B: The third one was validate feelings. [00:06:46] Speaker A: Validate feelings. And those are three challenging things for men, because I talk a lot about caveman times, and the brain hasn't evolved that much. Those are challenges that men recently have not been asked to do and now are being asked to do it. Kind of like without training. [00:07:10] Speaker B: Exactly. [00:07:12] Speaker A: So, wow. God bless you for doing that. I was in the same boat, and that resonates with me. [00:07:18] Speaker B: Exactly. Then as we were going through the program with my daughters, and I hated insurance, but it was a means to an end, and I was good at it. [00:07:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:07:31] Speaker B: And when the youngest one graduated, they both went to Arizona state. Because I have family in Arizona and I bought a condo in Arizona, and I thought I was going to move there as soon as I sold the company. [00:07:42] Speaker A: Sure. [00:07:43] Speaker B: And as we're progressing through this, the youngest one graduates, I sold the company. I'm out. And I remember the state office people for the insurance carrier came to see me and they said, frank, you're one of the most profitable agencies in the whole damn state of California. People like you don't sell. And I said, well, there's two reasons here. Number one, I hate this. Number two, the value of the agency is very high. So I'm a finance major in college. Sell high or buy low? Sell high. [00:08:19] Speaker A: Right? [00:08:20] Speaker B: So I sold the agency, and then, Drew, I'm 60 years old now. What I got to grow up? What do I do now? And one of the things that I got from some of the counseling and some of the other books that I had was, you got to keep moving forward, pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. And if you keep moving forward, better times and better people will come into your life. And the first time I heard that, I said, come on, you're living in fairy tale land here. But as I started doing it, my surprise, it was happening. I started meeting much better people, and it was a whole different set of relationships and a whole different mindset and different working. I meet Melissa, our good friend Melissa, and things started taking off, and we're starting to form businesses and the biz, catalyst 360, and most people and the parade deck and all these different things, very different set of people with a more of an open mindset that you talk about all the time and to stay positive and help each other in corporate America. We were both in corporate America. They're very rarely helping each other. Everybody was trying to stab everybody in the back, and what help there was was, what can I use from you to get ahead? That type of thing. And so at a point where I never thought I would be doing any of the stuff in my life that I'm doing now, I find that I'm a whole lot happier than I was when I was following the model that was laid out for me as a child. This is what you do. [00:09:52] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:09:54] Speaker B: Back to the linear life, and I'm so much happier, so much better. [00:10:01] Speaker A: Absolutely, yeah. And that's true, though. The belief system that's given to us is the linear life and the belief system we truly have, our inner self, is the nonlinear approach, and it's exciting. And I'm sure you felt that after, when you started your whole new career now, which I would love to hear how you got through and how you're thriving now in something completely different from insurance. [00:10:30] Speaker B: Yeah, it was very interesting. My daughters were living with me. Obviously, I couldn't sleep at night, and what I was not going to do was live in self pity and wallow. If their mother left, she left. Okay. It was difficult, but it's not going to define me, and it's not going to define them. So at night, I couldn't sleep. So I get up, and the counselor had said, frank, journal. And I went, I'm not journaling. I'm not doing that. And he goes, she said, write a book. Write a book. I'm not doing that either. But my daughter said, dad, if you write a book about this, don't make it your story. Make it not an autobiography, but make it the men that you've met in your life whose wife's head left. And I didn't think any. I thought I was true, honestly. God, I thought I was the only guy who was enough of an sob that their wife left the family. I thought that was me. [00:11:26] Speaker A: Yep. It's just Frank's island. No one else's. [00:11:28] Speaker B: Exactly. And then some, about nine other people, including my closest friend in the world, said to me, hey, you know, this happened to me, too. [00:11:35] Speaker A: Unbelievable. [00:11:36] Speaker B: And I said to him, wait, we've worked together for ten years. We have traveled all over the world together. You stayed in my house. I said, why don't I know this? And he looks at me and he looks me right in the eye. You want to talk about it? I said, no. He goes, that's why you don't know about it, Frank, because we won't talk about it. [00:11:58] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:11:59] Speaker B: So I wrote these books and wrote five of them, didn't know what I was doing, wrote five books, had no idea how to market a book. I just thought, you write a book and then you become rich. And that didn't happen. So I stopped for a few years and I ran into Kathleen cannabis O'Keefe, and I interviewed her on my radio show and moved into a radio show, and she told me, frank, you speak well and you write too well. You have to start writing again. And I said no. And I thought, why do you keep saying no? Why do you keep saying no? These doors keep opening. So I said, all right, Kat, how am I going to do this? And she goes, well, I'm going to publish the book for you and we'll work together and you're going to write three, which turned out being four. We turned out being four. And they were the business Secrets series. Business secrets for walking on water was the first one, which was dealing more with business issues, things you don't see coming. [00:12:48] Speaker A: Right. [00:12:48] Speaker B: 35 years in executives, business landmines, business personal landmines, things that your relationship, you cannot detach your personal life from your professional life. You and I both tried to do that. [00:13:00] Speaker A: It doesn't set a myth. We were sold about work life balance. What a myth. [00:13:05] Speaker B: It doesn't work. The third one was about getting unstuck, because no matter how good your life is, you're going to get stuck at some. Yep, here's a bunch of things like that could happen. And then the fourth one was a book with veterans about veterans and I had met Melissa. Melissa told me about this plan. We started fine tuning this plan. All four of those books went to number one in multiple categories. [00:13:29] Speaker A: Right? [00:13:29] Speaker B: So we went, wow, how about that? And then we said, well, maybe we should package this and start working with other people. You, for example, Joe Weston, Deborah Holtz. And we started working with authors and saying, here's the model. Here's what could work. And it has worked eleven consecutive times. [00:13:51] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:13:51] Speaker B: And these are the steps you have to take, but you have to trust the process. Big thing for men. Big thing for men is you don't trust. [00:14:03] Speaker A: I hear you. [00:14:05] Speaker B: And so that program came to play. And what's interesting, Drew, is we say no more than we say yes when we talk to people because we want to know why. Why you want to do this and what are your goals and what are your intentions? And if you just want to write a book to give to your grandchildren, well, then we're not the people to talk to. If you want to write a book and have an impact on life and do what you're doing, then absolutely this is the right place for you, and we'll put our heart and soul into it to make you a success. That then has spun off into more speaking engagements. Now, pre Covid, there were a lot of speaking engagements, and that was the end of that. And now they're starting to come back a little bit. But it's a life I never imagined that I would be doing ever. And it's stressful at time. And when first starting out, it was very stressful. What are you doing? [00:15:07] Speaker A: Don't have that paycheck every two weeks you can expect, and it's all on your shoulders. [00:15:12] Speaker B: Absolutely. That's right. And the biggest challenge was, because I was a CEO for several years, my staff would say, don't touch the computer. [00:15:24] Speaker A: That's right. You're not technical. [00:15:26] Speaker B: Just do emails and word documents. Do not do anything else. Right. So now I say, okay, there's no one to hand anything to. [00:15:37] Speaker A: I know. You got to learn it, learn how. [00:15:40] Speaker B: To do it yourself. And Melissa helps a great deal because she's much more technical than I am. But the beauty is I learned what I'm not good at. [00:15:51] Speaker A: And that's so important sometimes. More important than knowing what you're good at. [00:15:55] Speaker B: Oh, yes. It's one of the books of business secrets for walking on water is, do you know what you don't know? I don't know that. [00:16:03] Speaker A: Right. [00:16:04] Speaker B: So surround yourself with people who are better in their area than you ever hope to be because you can't learn it all right? You simply can't. One of the things that sometimes corporate people will still come and engage with me, and I tell them all the time, I said, look, the theory, the old model of leadership is over. It's gone right now. The new reality is you have to become an enabler. You have to become a facilitator, kind of like what you're doing right now, becoming a facilitator. You can no longer be the smartest guy in the room because there's too much information. There's too much. And it's coming like that every day. [00:16:48] Speaker A: Yes. Like lightning speed. Absolutely. [00:16:51] Speaker B: So, because in the old days, because you're the smartest guy, you get the most money and you have the highest position. Now, you probably aren't even close to the smartest guy, but you have to find the right people and surround yourself with these people and then put them in a position to succeed. [00:17:10] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:17:11] Speaker B: And that's what all this collaboration that we're doing between you and I and Melissa and the different groups, that's what it's all about. It's help each other because we grow stronger together. [00:17:24] Speaker A: Absolutely. It's so true. And it really starts with how we think about ourselves, what we think about ourselves internally, that mindset, because if we don't trust ourselves or love ourselves, we're not going to end up surrounding ourselves with people who are going to blift us up. And what you and I have gone through is to realize that we are worth it. We deserve all the great stuff that other people have, and we're going to work towards it. It's that growth or open mindset that perhaps was lacking for you and me before the wives left. [00:18:03] Speaker B: Absolutely was it? Absolutely was. And then when the wives did leave, then your self esteem gets beat the hell. Oh, my God. [00:18:10] Speaker A: Absolutely. What men have a tendency to do, and I'm sure you'll agree with this, we don't let just that part of our life, that we're building that up. We let all the other parts of our life kind of fall apart because we're, like, fixated on trying to fix that one part and we lose sight of the other nine or ten parts of our lives. And all of a sudden, when you wake up, all ten are in the shits. This is my. [00:18:36] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. [00:18:39] Speaker A: It is a challenge. I see a lot of women are able to balance all parts of their life when one goes by. So we men need to learn something. [00:18:50] Speaker B: Absolutely. The open mind is a great example because it's a whole mindset, priority. Everything shifts. Yeah, right. It was, no, I have to drive and I have to be successful. And I was the only source of income, and I've got to make sure that the family's taken care of. And I didn't stop and smell the roses at all. I used to travel overseas a lot, drew in my tech life. I'd be in Italy, I'd be in Switzerland. I'd go, I'd do the deal, come back, didn't have the family come, didn't spend an extra week, didn't go do the touring, let them see all the stuff. It was, I got to get this done, then I got to get back, and I got to get the next thing. And I missed so many opportunities. And when I left the tech world and got into the insurance world, I had interviewed on my radio show, woman who focuses on emotions, and she says, frank, life is a series of trades. Okay? You traded the high position and the big salary and the artificial prestige for time. [00:20:01] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:20:02] Speaker B: Time gave you memories with your children. And then she said to me, sure, something I'll never forget. I've used it in my books. Time is going to pass. It's going to pass. But the memories last forever. And then she said to me, frank, your daughters won't remember every event you attended, but they'll remember everyone you didn't attend. [00:20:28] Speaker A: Yeah, that's so true. That's so true. [00:20:31] Speaker B: And I thought, okay, in the grand scheme of things, what really matters is memories with my children, giving them a life where they have an open mindset, where they're not being. Their life isn't revolving around the fact that their mother left when they were very young. [00:20:53] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:20:54] Speaker B: And that they are worthy and they have value. And I think part of what I learned was from them. [00:21:03] Speaker A: Yep, absolutely. Well, you know what? It's a perfect segue to my last two questions. The second to last question is, Frank, you're sitting down with seven to ten year old Frank, and you want to give him some advice about life. What are you going to tell young Frank? [00:21:25] Speaker B: I would tell young Frank to enjoy the journey, because he didn't. I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and it was a steel town, and I was not going to work in steel. I just said, that's not going to happen. And so I was a pretty good baseball player. And so rather than enjoying being a pretty good baseball player, I stressed out. I didn't get three hits today. I didn't get that. I have to get out of here. Enjoy the journey is what I would tell the seven to ten year old Frank, you'll be a lot happier. [00:22:01] Speaker A: That's great advice. All right, so now take, you're putting a different hat on now you're sitting with young Frank, the incoming businessman, entrepreneur, and he comes to you and says, hey, big Frank, give me some advice on business. What are you going to tell young Frank? [00:22:16] Speaker B: Advice in business is, number one, is you start with your integrity and you put that up there first. And these are lines you're not going to cross, period, end of conversation. And you are going to be tempted regularly. Well, you need to get this deal or you can make all this additional money. If we did this, you got to put a line in the sand. You can't cross it. Start there. If you live your life that way, everything else will fall in place because you're living by your values. [00:22:47] Speaker A: Love that. Absolutely love that. Well, Frank, the audience certainly got a feel for the essence of Frank Zakari, and they're going to want to reach out to you. How do they do that? [00:23:00] Speaker B: There's a number of ways I'm easy to find. I have a website which is just frankzakari.com. Not the most original thing. I'm on LinkedIn Frank Zakari. I'm on Facebook. Frank Zakari, along with business catalyst 360, I'm easy to find. Gmail is Frank Sakari at Gmail. So love to reach out. If you contact me or you connect with me in any way, shape or form, you send me a comment, I will respond, I will send a message back to you. [00:23:29] Speaker A: Wonderful. Well, Frank, thank you. I want to let you know that I'm grateful you're in my life. There's a reason why we met, and I wish you all the best. And this is not the last time we're going to talk. And I want to thank you again for coming on. I really appreciate it. [00:23:47] Speaker B: Pleasure is all mine, Drew. Thank you for the opportunity. [00:23:50] Speaker A: It's my pleasure. Thank you so much, everybody. Be well. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, please subscribe and give us a review to help others find it. If you find yourself immersed in adversity and would like to find support from other men in times a struggle, please become a member of my men's supporting men collaboration tribe by emailing me at [email protected] expressing your interest, and I'll get in touch with you, speak to you soon.

Other Episodes