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Sharpen Your Axe: Episode 1

In this episode of Sharpen Your Axe, Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage founder and president, and Matt Clarke, Churchill Mortgage COO/CFO, focus on the importance of having impactful, wise mentors who leave a lasting impression on your life.

Who makes a great mentor?
  • A person who has the ability to help you become a better person and guide you down the right path to being the best version of yourself.
  • Someone who challenges and inspires you.

Mike’s two main mentors are his father, Pastor L.H. Hardwick Jr., and Richard “Dick” Freeman. These men both played a crucial role in shaping Mike’s positive worldview and business acumen and giving him the desire to continually learn and grow.

Here’s a personal memory from Mike about one of his mentors:

“I recall seeing my father reading in our home into the late hours of the night on an almost daily basis. Although my father was a pastor, I noticed that he did not solely read religious texts,” explained Mike. “My father enjoyed reading numerous types of books, including history, politics and fiction. Seeing my dad devour books instilled a love of reading for me.”

Like his father, Mike also enjoys reading books on a wide range topics. He believes it helps him balance his mind and viewpoint. “By reading fiction, the imagination is fostered and grown. And reading books based on history or politics encourage to work the mind in a different way,” said Mike.

Here’s a few favorites that both Mike and Matt enjoy reading:
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins: A nonfiction books that shows how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
  • I Love Capitalism: An American Story by Ken Langone: A memoir by the co-founder of Home Deport and former director of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews: A book about personal transformation and how attitude makes the difference between success and failure.
  • Summary of Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio: An interesting read for those who want to learn good principles for a successful life.
  • Spymaster by Brad Thor: A fiction action-packed thriller that deals with international espionage, covert operations, and ripped-from-the-headlines twists. 

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