Finding Profit with Presence—Dr. Eric Holsapple, Founder, Living in the Gap

Today is another milestone for the Multiply Your Success podcast! It is our two year anniversary! We launched the podcast the Monday after Father’s Day two years ago today. Thank you to all of our listeners and supporters over the last two years and the many more to come! Also, Happy Father’s Day to all of your dads out there. 

Today’s episode has a specific target to talk to the entrepreneurs and business leaders that are too busy to be focused on what is happening right now. Have you found yourself not having enough time to get all of your work done or being stressed out when you do have free time with your family? If you have then this episode is for you. Our guest today is Dr. Eric Holsapple and he is a mindfulness expert. He just released a new book called “Profit with Presence” and he shares how he teaches people to be more mindful with their time and create greater profit in all areas of their life. 

Eric is a successful developer and entrepreneur who has used mindfulness to transform his life and business and helps others to do the sameEric has a PhD in Economics, has been a real estate CEO and developer for nearly 40 years, lectured real estate at Colorado State University for 20 years, and practiced yoga and meditation for 30 years.


Holsapple is a successful developer and entrepreneur who has used mindfulness to transform his life and business and helps others to do the same

Eric has a PhD in Economics, has been a real estate CEO and developer for nearly 40 years, lectured real estate at Colorado State University for 20 years, and practiced yoga and meditation for 30 years. Holsapple has a unique perspective on how merging business and mindfulness can be a catalyst in changing lives.

 Eric is the Founder of Living In The Gap. His popular workshops teach CEOs and professionals a different way to operate mindfully while improving the bottom line.


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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success Podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team, and as we open up, today is another milestone for the Multiply Your Success Podcast. Today, is our two-year anniversary, and we launched the podcast exactly two years on the Monday after Father’s Day. It’s exciting, and is a happy belated Father’s Day to all of you dads out there. In today’s episode, we are specifically targeting all of you busy business leaders and entrepreneurs that are unable to be focused on what’s happening right now. So if you have found yourself not having enough time to get all your work done or being stressed out when you do have free time with your family because there are things on your mind, then this episode is for you.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:02):

Our guest today is Dr. Eric Holsapple, and he is a mindfulness expert. He just released his new book called Profit With Presence, and he shares with us how he teaches people to be more mindful with their time and create greater profit in all areas of their life. Now, Eric is a successful developer and entrepreneur who has used mindfulness to transform his life and business and helps others to do the same. Eric has a PhD in Economics, has been a real estate CEO and developer for nearly 40 years, lectured real estate at Colorado State University for 20 years, and practiced yoga and meditation for 30 years. Needless to say, he is an expert in business, in running a business, in leadership, and meditation. You’re going to love this interview as we jump right into it.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (01:50):

My name’s Eric Holsapple, and I’m the Founder and Lead Facilitator of Living in the Gap, which is a nonprofit part of our LC Real Estate Group, in which I’m a partner and then CEO and those kind of things where we do real estate development work, but this is primarily a nonprofit that is promoting mindfulness in the business community.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:10):

Okay, perfect. Well, I was going to ask a little bit more about what Living in the Gap is and what it does. Give us a little background there.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (02:19):

Yeah. It evolved, but I mean, the gap itself is the gap as one thought stops and another one starts. This just is a gap and we find that stress and anxiety come in thought and that peace and joy, and really my definition of success comes in that gap where you get a little more calmness and you’re a little more intuitive versus just thinking that. So that evolved and it came through a process of my own mindfulness journey. And then as I brought it into the company and our company became more mindful and adopted a mission statement of mindfully creating community. And then I went on and formed Living in the Gap and offering it to other professionals that are interested in learning how to transform their business and their lives with mindfulness.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:13):

Great, great. Well, great segue here just to talk about mindfulness. One of the reasons we wanted to have you on the show, mindfulness certainly is a topic of, I think, gaining popular interest today from what I’ve gathered and been reading and seen, and especially given how busy just people are in general. So I’d love for you to talk about mindfulness, what it is, and how it works.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (03:41):

Yeah. Really it’s the ability to focus on what we choose to focus on, notice when we’re focusing on it and not. If you wanted one word that’s applicable to business is focus. And focusing in a way where we’re not judging things all the time, but actually being aware of them because we find that when we’re labeling and judging things, we’re putting them in a neat compartment, not really evaluating or listening to them.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (04:06):

So it’s focus really, being able to focus on what we choose to focus on. I have yet to meet somebody that has put mindfulness into their business that hasn’t improved their productivity, reduced their stress and done better. And I think that many in business that I come along, think, oh my gosh, I’m too busy at work, making money. I don’t have time for that. And what I’ve found is that that’s the wrong strategy to make additional time for mindfulness. Is that really implementing it in our daily lives and taking it into business is what gives us the time, gives us the focus, gives us those things. So don’t make it like another thing to do, make it the primary thing. And it kind of helps us prioritize, helps us find time to get everything done.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:55):

Yeah. As I’m listening to you, describe that, I love the idea of it, but then I think, well, but come on, how am I really going to do this? So, maybe some practical tips or suggestions or things you’ve seen people or companies you’ve worked with that have been effective in actually making that transition to putting mindfulness at the forefront.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (05:19):

The first thing is to know that you’re the one that you can control and become mindful. It’s your personal practice, which is paramount. And that particularly I find it’s more, I mean, if you want to have mindfulness in a company, the top levels, the CEO, the board, and those things have to be on board with it. The next is, I would say as far as corporately, the goal is not necessarily to have everybody meditate. I mean, that’s a form of mindfulness that’s really effective in a corporate world. But we have about 25 employees here and we brought a mindfulness program in for everybody or a mindful-based stress reduction, and it was phenomenal. But even after that, everybody not meditating. They went through that and whatnot, but just… But if you can get over half of your company that are meditating and that everybody kind of…

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (06:16):

Like we had adopted a vision statement of mindfully creating community and have over half that are meditating, it’s hugely impactful. The whole flavor and culture of the company has changed around that. Even though not everybody’s bought into sitting meditation, I don’t think they need to be, or that’s the goal really. Or even we do yoga, but I more call it mindful stretching now, that it’s really being able to place your attention into your body and realize that that’s another place to hang out rather than thought. Not necessarily that everybody’s done a yoga, because my experience over many years is that they aren’t going to. Everyone’s not going to do that either for whatever reason. And that’s fine. It’s not the goal to get everybody to do one thing or another other than to pay more attention and be more mindful, more aware of what they’re doing and really to live a more purposeful life, to have an idea what your real purpose is in life.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:20):

Well, I love how you use the word focus to help describe this idea of mindfulness. It really, to me makes it a little bit easier to approach, especially with colleagues or people you may be working with, that it’s helping you focus your attention. You’re telling your attention where to go or you’re telling your mind where to go.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (07:42):

Well, and it’s interesting because I love business. Business is just so impactful on what it chooses to do. And business has chosen to steal our attention. Whether it’s advertising, Facebook, Google, whatever it is, there’s all these things now that are trained to steal our attention. And we’re the only ones that can claim it back, to start taking some moves to say… Because those things aren’t going to change. They may give the legislation that a few things are, but basically these things are there and they’re really powerful. So it really has to be our own commitment to say, and I believe a practice that it’s not something we just say, oh yeah, I’m going to do that. It has to be something we practice and have some set aside time to say, do I notice, can I even know when I’m focused and when I’m not.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (08:32):

Because I’ve learned for myself that multitasking is something I can do, but I can’t do it consciously. I’m unconscious of everything I’m doing when I multitask. I drive by my exit on the highway when I’m on my phone and driving. It’s just, I can do a lot of things. We’re set up through our non-conscious, can function almost anything non-consciously that we do consciously, but we’re not aware of it. We can’t recall it. So can we notice when our consciousness and our attention is being stolen and when we’re in control of it, that’s the number one to start. And it won’t be 24/7, I’m aware and conscious and know what I’m… Because we’re just, we’re habitual creatures. We just do the next thing.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (09:16):

Now, the other part of it is training our habits so that when we’re not paying attention, we’re still doing things that are consistent with our conscious goals that aren’t sabotaging us. Because so many of us have those times, those little unconscious things that we think that we’re, whether it’s in business or personally trying to lose weight or to drink less or get on the honor roll or work harder, put savings in. There’s these little unconscious things. I say I’m going to do that and the next time I’m buying a new boat and there goes my savings. There’s just little things that we do. So a lot of it’s really training our non-conscious to align with our conscious objectives, rather than in contrast to them or sabotaging.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:01):

Wow. Yeah. That’s a great, great thought. Great, great just piece of advice there. Thank you for sharing that. Well, let’s switch gears maybe a little bit. I’d love to talk about this processional effect. Did I say that correctly?

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (10:17):

Yeah. Yeah.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:18):

Talk a little bit about what that is. And I’m curious just to learn for myself.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (10:23):

Yeah. It comes from physics, is that things move in 90-degree angles. Like, bees go in to get honey, but they end up pollinating all the earth. They end up pollinating our flowers and having everything bloom. The sun pulls the moon towards it with gravity, but the earth goes around the sun and it revolves around the sun at a 90-degree angle. Or, if you think about it in business terms, if I make a cold call, like I got a warranty call, I get one about once a week, at least, it makes me want to hang up the phone and go in the other direction. But I’ve found some of the biggest deals that I’ve ever got and my best way of being connection is to go in and serve on non-for-profit boards and for good things in our community. And what I find happens is that I get in touch with other leaders. I get to know other leaders in a different way than if I’m just calling for their business.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (11:24):

And when something comes up and you don’t go for this reason, but when something comes up that they need, you’re there in their spear, in their flow and they trust you. I mean, I had a major shopping center in Fort Collins, I was at a economic development meeting and a guy named Ralph who has passed away a few years, said, “Eric, I love what you do with the university and what you’ve done in the community. You developed a shopping center in Loveland. Could you meet with these guys in Fort Collins? They need one.” Five years later, I’m bulling a Kroger anchored shopping center and had nothing… Not why I was there. I was there to help. But the processional effect is the side effects are often the main thing.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (12:05):

And that’s also another way to look at karma, you know, cause and effect. Is I could sit home and either do nothing or make cold calls or I can go out in the community, and different people have different communities. Some is a national community or international. My business is real estate. It’s more local. If I go out in the community and do service work, I meet people at a whole nother level. I make a difference in the community. I make it stronger for my real estate. And I make connections with other leaders who are givers, not takers. And I’ve just found our whole business plan is running around and our guys are all on different community boards here and whatnot.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (12:47):

Man, they shake up the town and they’re doing all kinds of business and it’s not why we do it. We’re out there to help people, food bank, the Planning Commission, the Wolf sanctuary, all these things, but just good things happen. That’s the processional effect is it isn’t always the direct action you’re taking. It’s the action you take and then you’d be aware of what all the side effects are, which often we’re not looking for. Start looking for them and it really is another way to generate business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:17):

Yeah, that’s a great point. And I would imagine as part of the service is you are going in with the servant’s heart first.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (13:24):


Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:24):

You’re coming in to be a part of this community, to be like you had described, serving and helping out and being a part of it. And this is the positive, I guess, side effect or benefit that comes from it. But you’re not doing it for that. I guess so-

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (13:44):

Totally. But at another side, it’s a valid business strategy of how to be connected in the community and doing valid service. I mean, I find people say, yeah, when I make it, I’ll start doing that. Two things is, one is you might find, if you haven’t trained yourself to do something, even when you make it, it’s harder to plug it. Now you may give money, but it’s still harder to give of your time. And the other is people don’t see the immediate benefit of just going through your Rolodex and cold call and call emails, you can just get out and meet people, which, especially with COVID, we stopped doing. So it’s just really… And it’s fun. It’s an enjoyable way to connect versus… I don’t know who likes cold calling. I don’t.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:37):

Yeah. No, I totally agree. Yeah. I mean, that’s a great way to position it is an alternative to cold calling because you kind of are cold calling when you’re going in, but you’re actually meeting people with a common interest. You’re coming together with a common interest and something that you care about.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (14:54):

And people sense when you’re trying to make a difference. You can sense it. And if you’re in there actually, disguise trying to generate business, people smell that. So it’s having a valid intention of helping and going in, and then you just watch. You just pay attention and be aware and talk to people and good things happen. It takes a little trust, but that’s my experience and the experience of my company. It’s been phenomenal.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:23):

Yeah. Well, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about your new book, Profit With Presence. For someone who will end up listening to this, give us a little overview about what’s involved with the book, what led you to write it, and a little overview.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (15:40):

All the concepts that you’ve talked about so far or that I’ve talked to are in the book and it outlines the 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership, which starts with mindfulness and presence, then number two is purpose. And then number three is vision, how to set a vision, create clarity, commitment, and habits. And the other pillars are mostly around mindset, different mindset tools, like being nonjudgmental and being curious and those things, I won’t go, not time to go in all those things. And the basic premises, like I said, is that my big idea is not to do mindfulness in the fringes of your life, but to adopt it as your life, that I’m going to be mindful in everything I do.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (16:27):

And the side effects of that are I find people find it does make them more productive, better, more money and more purpose, more time, less stress. And the side effects are your family life. I have people come in saying, “My god, my kids are starting to like me. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen. I mean, they used to just put up with me and now my kids… And I’m noticing them.” Or, “I just had a great conversation with my husband last night. First time that we’ve really been able to talk about this issue.” So there’s a lot of side benefits that come out of it. I say, if you’re learning something at work that you can bring home, it makes your home life better, that’s a job worth having. And it creates a sticky culture at work where people don’t want to leave a mindful company. They won’t leave for just a few extra dollars. Now, if it’s huge, they will obviously if you’re not…

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (17:21):

But it’s hard to find mindful companies yet. It’s coming though, companies as large as Google, Aetna, SAP are being mindful and companies as small as our group, LC Real Estate. And once you are, you don’t want to leave it. You make connections. And I find people think, you don’t have to wait to go home to have friends. My friends at work are my best friends in the world. I spend more time here than I do anywhere else. I just don’t think that you can’t have friends where you work. Sure, you may still have to make tough decisions. We had to close a division over COVID. It was terrible, but we did it compassionately, mindfully and we’re still here. We keep in touch with those people. So it doesn’t have to be it’s just business. I mean, people are people, if you start treating them that way, it can open up a whole nother avenue for your life. You don’t have to wait to get home, to have a life. You can have a life all day long.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:22):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, this is a great time for us to make a transition in the show where we ask every guest before they go the same four questions. And the first question is about a miss or two that you’ve had in your career and something you’ve learned from it.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (18:39):

Yeah. My miss was probably my 20s. I was successful. I got to be only after a few years, the CEO of a division of a foreign company, an Australian company, and just traveled all over the states. I stepped on the scale when I was in my early 30s, I was 50 pounds overweight. I wasn’t working out. I was single, I was miserable. I was on paper, successful in my business and I was good at business, but I just wasn’t happy. So I think some of the best years of my life, I missed. Now, I learned from it and survived it. But I would say my whole 20s was a miss for me. And if I had a do-over, it’d be my 20s.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:28):

Wow. Well, thank you. Thanks for sharing that. And let’s talk about a make. You’ve shared some great examples already throughout our interview, but are there others you’d like to highlight?

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (19:39):

Yeah, I would just have to say the group that I work with here and we started… I came out of the ’80s, I’m old. So I came out of the ’80s where I laid people off, closed offices and do all that stuff. Just saying, “I’m not going to have employees. I don’t want to deal with that.” And it just started here one at a time of growing our company and really enjoying people and trusting them and the difference that they’re making in the community.

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (20:05):

So I would say the biggest make that I’ve had is forming a partnership unit that we have here of people running it, making a difference. It lets me go take trips. I’m heading out to Maine in a week or so, which is where I’m from. I’m going to spend several months there. I’ll work remotely. I’m not taking it off, but I couldn’t do that without partners that were supporting me, that frankly I’ve helped grow. I helped find them, bring them in, and helped them grow. And they cover up for a lot of my deficiencies. I’d say the make is the culture and the people that we have here at our group.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:39):

Yeah. Well, and how about this idea of a multiplier? I always love this question. We get such a great, broad diversity of responses here. So is there a multiplier you’ve used to grow yourself, your business over the years?

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (20:53):

Two. One we talked about as a professional effect is to go out in the community, you can make a difference and it makes you better known and better liked, and more trusted. And the other would be mindfulness. That it’s a multiplier, that it’s helped me in sports, golf, skiing. I’m still, although I twisted my ankle on Sunday, water skiing, I improve in my 60s. I can still play golf and those kind of things. So it’s improved that. It’s improved my family life, my relationships with my kids. They are my best friends. My marriage. I probably wouldn’t be married. After 20 years or so, we had some rock things and early mindfulness and some of the tools that we do in Living in the Gap, got me through that. And business. It’s so fun to come in and just go around and talk to people and see what they’re up to and to see people. So mindfulness is a multiplier. It gets into every aspect of my life in a good way.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:58):

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. And the final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (22:06):

Be happy first. Don’t wait to succeed and get what society tells you success is before you decide you can be happy. I find that people are holding out, saying, “Until I get that job and make that million bucks,” or whatever it is, or, “get that salary level or that house, then I’ll be happy.” Because I found for myself and for others, usually when we climb that mountain, we look at the next one and say, “Yeah, but what about the second house? What about the Porsche? What about the…” And really, if we’re happy first, if you’re not happy, you’re unhappy. If you’re not feeling successful, you’re unsuccessful. If you’re not content, you’re discontent. So if you can get those feelings and know that they’re an inside job and success is a mindset, not a destination, then you’re even more successful. Because who do you want to talk to? I mean, I want to talk to somebody that’s happy and makes me bigger rather than somebody that’s just trying to get somewhere all the time. Success is a mindset.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:12):

Yeah. Well, this has been a phenomenal interview. And before we go, is there anything you were hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to?

Dr. Eric Holsapple, Living in the Gap (23:22):

Yeah. We have a couple spots left in our next cohort for Mindful Leadership. It’s a nine-month program, starts August 2nd, There’s also free resources there on, if you wanted to learn to meditate or mindful movement, there’s a book list there. That’s what it’d be. I mean, we’re out to try to tip, change the business conversation a little bit, to try to help the overall conversation that there is a way we can actually talk to people. We don’t have to just throw rocks. We can talk to people and move things along. That’s what we’re up to at Living in the Gap. We have another cohort starting and if you’re interested or we may have some other ways to help you, if that program doesn’t work for you or to point you in the right direction.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:07):

Thank you so much, Eric, for a fantastic interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Takeaway number one was just phenomenal. And it’s when Eric talked about technology and marketing and how they are designed to steal our attention. And while that’s not new, that gets talked about a lot. So number one, just be aware of that. But what he mentioned afterwards is that you need to reclaim your focus and attention. You need to take it back, quit allowing it to be stolen or taken away by technology and marketing.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:46):

Take away number two is that mindfulness is the ability to choose, to focus on what we want to, when we want to. And he summarized that as focus. So I think takeaway number one and takeaway number two go hand in hand. It’s that technology and marketing and our business that we’re doing is, these things are stealing our attention and mindfulness is that ability to take it back. So I thought those were great takeaways.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:15):

Takeaway number three was the processional effect. And Eric talked about how things move at 90-degree angles. And he gave a great example of how this can work for you positively or negatively in business. He talked about, for example, cold calling, which very often ends up with doors closed on you as you’re going through things. And it requires a lot of door knocking for that to happen. Or for example, giving and serving and giving back to your community as a way to create your own processional effect. And for example, serving on nonprofit boards or in nonprofit organizations and voluntarily give your time with other like-minded people who naturally you are now in their sphere of influence and they are in yours. And so you create this community of networking that happens. And of course, when you go into these environments, the key goal is to make sure you’re focused on the reason why you’re in these organizations is to be giving and serving. And so, one of the value-added benefits is that these things come from it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:27):

And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So today’s win-win is when Eric described what success means to him. And it was very simple, be happy first. And I love how he said that. He said, “Do not wait for something to happen in your life before you’re happy.” For example, getting the new job, getting a promotion, getting the client, building your business to a certain revenue, hitting a certain profitability, hiring a certain number of employees, reaching some milestone. Because if you wait, one of two things or both might happen. Number one, you may never get there. Or number two, if you do get there or when you get there, you’re just looking for the next mountain to climb. And Eric summarized it so well. He said, “If you are not happy, then you are unhappy. And if you are not content, then you are discontent.”

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:31):

So keep that perspective in mind. I thought that was a great way to close out our episode today. Be happy first. You deserve it. You work hard. You make a difference in the lives of the people who work for you and with you and your customers and clients and the community you’re a part of. You matter and you make a difference.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:55):

And so that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in. And we look forward to having you back next week.

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