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(S2E3) Transcript - From CEO to Podcaster: Why I Quit My Marketing Company

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Just a second.


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All right, so welcome to the Meaningful Jobs podcast season two.


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I'm your host, Adrian.


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And today we are really grateful to welcome Paul,


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who has a media and marketing background


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to come onto our show and talk about his passion in his work


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and how he found meaning in his work.


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So welcome Paul, hope you're well.


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Yeah, thank you, Adrian.


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I appreciate it.


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So, well, I think the reason why I reached out to you


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is because I saw your impressive work in terms of


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how you set up your own company and executed on a lot


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of inspiring projects in the marketing


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and your media industries.


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So could you maybe talk us through how we got started


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in this industry?


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Yeah, so first off, I live in Texas


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and I grew up here my whole life.


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And when I was about 20 years old,


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I got a job working for a public policy organization.


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And I was still in college at the time.


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And I was helping them do legislative work in Texas.


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And for the next, I guess, next eight years,


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I did some type of legislative consulting


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or political consulting for about eight years.


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And through that, I think I just realized


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that I had a natural knack for marketing.


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And it must have, I guess it just came to me intuitively.


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And it wasn't like, oh, I was so great at like, you know,


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coming up with these long scale marketing plans.


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But I think I was really good at just coming with creative ideas


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and just trying to think like, how does a consumer


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think about things?


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Yeah.


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And so we've got to launch a lot of videos


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and viral videos and campaigns and things like that.


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And really kind of bootstrapped, scrappy type things.


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Right.


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Limited budget, but big impact type stuff.


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What's it like a startup?


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Yeah, it was like a startup basically.


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Yeah.


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All these things were like, and so I


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think I specialized in almost this idea of like,


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sometimes I'd be plugged in with another organization.


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But then I would be in charge of like coming up


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with brand new ideas and just kind of like self managing


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an entire project from beginning to end.


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And I might incorporate other people.


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So like, I was working with a handful of companies.


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I was doing political consulting,


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then it was marketing consulting.


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But of course, I was basically go one man shop.


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And I would bring in contractors for different projects


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that were going on.


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So it's basically like you're like an entrepreneur.


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Yeah.


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Yeah.


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Yeah.


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Basically like a paid entrepreneur.


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And so it's almost like they would bring me in as like,


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if this is consultant just to execute particular projects.


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Well, one example is we had this one client in Austin, Texas.


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And they had like, they were like the largest privately


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owned janitorial company in Texas.


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So they had like maybe 3,000 employees, 2,000,


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something like that.


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And they did commercial cleaning.


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So like all the high rises in Austin,


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they did like 80% of the Austin market, 50% of the Houston


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market, stuff like that.


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Anyways, COVID happened.


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And suddenly, they realized that there


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was a unique opportunity where there were all these college


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kids that were at the top of their classes,


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but there were certain fields that were no longer hiring.


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So that might be petroleum engineering,


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because right people stopped driving their cars for like a year.


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So petroleum engineering, hospitality.


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So like maybe there was this kid that was like the 99th percentile


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of his hospitality, you know, MBA or whatever.


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And now these kids didn't have jobs.


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And so they came to me, one of these clients came to me and said,


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hey, Paul, how do we go about and finding all these kids who


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are obviously very sharp, very dedicated, competitive,


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and they would be great hires in their industry,


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but their industry is no longer hiring.


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How do we find those kids and bring them


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into our set of companies?


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Because even though our companies have nothing


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to do with petroleum engineering,


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we're a commercial cleaning company,


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but we're looking for leadership talent.


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How do we get those kids?


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And so my job was to come up and figure out a marketing plan.


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How would we attract those kids?


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And so we spun out this creative idea like, hey,


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we'll set up this thing we'll call Leadership Academy.


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And we began, we launched this program to identify these kids.


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What's this entirely, your own idea?


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Yeah, it's pretty much my idea.


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Yeah, well, I mean, it was a collaborative idea.


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We talked through iterations.


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And so I was in charge of launching the marketing


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campaign, coming with the name of the thing,


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figuring out the curriculum.


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And I worked with other people too.


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I shouldn't take all the credit for it.


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But I was in charge of launching this thing from an idea out


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into the market within two months.


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And so within two months, we launched this thing.


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I think we had 3,000 applicants.


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And we had a kid, and we chose the top five.


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And we had the pick of the crop.


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And so we had this one kid, and he had just


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missed the US Olympic team because he was seed number four.


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And they took the top three into Kathalon.


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So he missed the Olympic team.


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But highly competitive, very sharp guy,


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got his MBA in business.


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And he was just a really, really sharp dude.


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And so we brought him into the program,


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had this other guy, and he was like a sharp dude too.


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He had gotten his master's in law,


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and he had doubled major in chemistry and stuff


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and all this stuff.


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Really sharp kid, but he just didn't have job prospects.


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And so we got all these sharp kids, brought them in.


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We did a one year class with them,


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and we showed them our series of companies


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that we were working with.


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Because it was not only the janitorial company,


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there was also a landscaping company that was all


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owned by the same set of partners.


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And so I was working for all of them.


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And in the end, we're now in our third year,


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about to launch our fourth year of existence.


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And of the 15 kids that I've gone through a program,


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I think 14 of them have stayed around to actually stand


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our series of companies.


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And so it's been wildly successful.


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So those are the types of things that I was tasked with doing.


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And I know it took a long time to tell that story.


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Oh, it's completely fine.


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I was fascinated by it.


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And more fascinated by the success rate of only five out


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of 3,000, basically.


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Yeah.


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But that's even harder to get into than an Ivy League


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school, I guess.


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Yeah, yeah.


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It's really true.


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And we had kids from Ivy League applied to our program,


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actually.


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Yeah.


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We had the captain of the Notre Dame football team


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join our program.


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I mean, really sharp guys.


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So how did you actually find this passion of yours


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in marketing?


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Yeah, great question.


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You know, that is a great question.


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I think I sort of stumbled into it.


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Because I think marketing was just a natural fit for me.


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And I couldn't even really encapsulate


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why I felt passionately about different things.


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But sometimes I could look at someone's marketing and just


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be like, I wouldn't even call it marketing.


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I would just look at what they were doing


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and what they were saying publicly to the audience


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and how they were trying to get customers.


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And I would just be like, well, that's not compelling.


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There's no reason.


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I wouldn't choose your product.


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But here's the things that would.


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And so just some things came naturally.


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Again, I'm not like a genius marketer.


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But there's just some things came real naturally.


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And then I think I always love reading marketing books.


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I don't know if you can see the books behind me, though.


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Are they all marketing books?


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A lot of them are.


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Yeah, all of these are marketing books,


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or business books, leadership books.


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And I love to read these things just for fun.


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In fact, actually, it goes like, I


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don't know if you can see my camera.


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The books go like three levels deep, actually.


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Wow.


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I just saw one level, and two showed me the three level.


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Yeah, so.


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But I love reading.


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And it's like, yeah, I love just reading these books.


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So I could just get a couple ideas from each person.


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That's why it's probably great for people


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to listen to your podcast, actually.


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Because just listening to people,


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not everyone's a genius.


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But there might be a couple of smart ideas from each guest


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or each book that you read.


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As long as you're kind of inundating yourself


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in that culture and that.


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Some things will eventually stick.


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That becomes part of your memorandum of operation,


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your MO.


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Because I always think that it's important


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to find your passion early in your career


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so that you don't so-called waste time, I guess.


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Yeah, yeah.


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Not all people can do this.


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And you said you somehow just stumbled into this.


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So would you say it's more luck or would you,


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or if you think about it, any instance?


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Yeah, I don't know if it's luck.


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I actually think God also really


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helped guide me through this process, too.


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Even though, in retrospect, I can tell God was the one


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guiding me.


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But I don't think I really understood the time.


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So interesting thing.


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So I stayed in the political arena for about eight years.


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And I was doing marketing-type stuff


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for different political candidates.


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But then back in 2018, I got really tired with Texas politics,


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really burned out.


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The political arena was no longer healthy for me.


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I think I was taking it too personally.


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And so I shifted entirely into business marketing at that point.


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And around the same time, started my own podcast.


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And I think, for me, I think it was a better fit,


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because now I was actually finding better fit,


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just for my own self, I think, of where my skill sets really


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aligned clearly.


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And instead of thinking about candidates,


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I was thinking about companies.


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And it was really healthy for me at that point, I think.


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So you mentioned quite a lot of big switches


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within the marketing and media industry.


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So whenever you make a big switch,


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do you go through a decision-making process?


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Like, how do you determine the point?


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Yeah.


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I do, actually.


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Yeah, glad you asked that.


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So when I was in 2018, one of the things was,


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I was just sick and tired of political consulting.


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And I knew I had a penchant for doing business consulting.


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But there was this awesome thing where


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I still wanted to be creative and think of my own things.


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And I'd been creating stuff for other clients for years.


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But now I wanted to create something of my own


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that I would control the destiny of.


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And also create something that was long-term.


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And so that's why we kind of thought of the podcast.


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But the way we came about that process,


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because I knew I wanted to create something of my own.


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But I wasn't sure what was it.


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Was it a product? Was it a course?


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Was it a community?


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Was it a pot?


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I don't know.


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And so there was a book that I read around that time,


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which is where-


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Oh, you have it here.


266

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Yeah, I have it right here, actually.


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It was called Nothing to Lose Everything to Game.


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And it's actually a story about a gangster act,


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a true life story about a gangster


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and how he became a business guy


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and left the gang world and everything.


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But he had an interesting premise in there,


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an interesting exercise, which we did,


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which he said, when you're ever trying


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to make a major life decision,


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maybe for business, like,


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I'm gonna switch my career path


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or maybe I'm gonna start a business.


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So one of the best things you can do


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is sit down with a piece of paper.


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And this is tedious.


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It's gonna take a time, but do this.


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Make a huge list and write down three categories.


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Write down a list of your assets.


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So it's basically like stuff that you own,


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your money, your stocks, your bonds, your house,


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your cars, anything that you have access to.


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Maybe you've got a friend and they let you use them.


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Just make a list of your assets.


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And then make a list of your life experiences,


291

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things that you're good at, your skills.


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Like, you know, I did this, I did this, I did this,


293

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I'm good at that, make that whole list right there.


294

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And then make a list of your relationships.


295

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Because relationships are so important.


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So like, I know this person and they do this.


297

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I know this person.


298

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Go through your LinkedIn, go through your Facebook.


299

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That might take you all day long


300

00:10:55,760 --> 00:10:57,720

because you probably got 2,000 Facebook friends,


301

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couple thousand LinkedIn friends,


302

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some of them there's some overlap.


303

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But just go through the exercise


304

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because you'll remember stuff like,


305

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oh yeah, I've totally forgot about this guy.


306

00:11:05,120 --> 00:11:07,040

But I'm good friends with him or I would feel comfortable,


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at least giving him a call and asking for a favor.


308

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So go through the exercise.


309

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It's gonna take you all day.


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But then when you're done,


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then begin looking for kind of broad categories.


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Like, are there like things that like,


313

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okay, these are kind of clusters.


314

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Like, hey, it's weird.


315

00:11:21,000 --> 00:11:23,600

I happen to know a lot of people in the real estate space.


316

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Or I know a lot of people in the film industry.


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Or I know a lot of people in the,


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and just kind of think of these broad categories.


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And then look for what is your unfair advantage?


320

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What is it that like you and your life experiences


321

00:11:37,080 --> 00:11:38,480

that God has given you,


322

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is going to allow you to have an unfair advantage


323

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that most other people wouldn't be able to have?


324

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So you're looking for those categories.


325

00:11:44,960 --> 00:11:47,520

So you're taking, it's basically your asset inventory, right?


326

00:11:47,520 --> 00:11:48,680

You're like, yeah.


327

00:11:48,680 --> 00:11:50,520

And like, after you do this,


328

00:11:50,520 --> 00:11:52,720

see what is it that you might be able to do


329

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that no one else is gonna be able to do


330

00:11:54,200 --> 00:11:56,920

the same with excellence that you can do?


331

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And through that process,


332

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that's how we decided to start the podcast


333

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that we have now.


334

00:12:00,640 --> 00:12:01,480

Wow.


335

00:12:01,480 --> 00:12:03,640

I can totally feel your passion,


336

00:12:03,640 --> 00:12:05,560

excitement when talking about this.


337

00:12:05,560 --> 00:12:07,440

And I think I'm very impressed.


338

00:12:09,440 --> 00:12:11,720

Your passion, the energy you have.


339

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And I always wonder how people can become so involved


340

00:12:16,920 --> 00:12:20,880

in what they do and become really fully immersed in it.


341

00:12:20,880 --> 00:12:24,840

Aside from obviously the monetary rewards that come with it.


342

00:12:24,840 --> 00:12:29,160

So can you really talk us through how you can just,


343

00:12:29,160 --> 00:12:32,560

immerse yourself and not just pull up with the money?


344

00:12:32,560 --> 00:12:33,400

Yeah, yeah.


345

00:12:33,400 --> 00:12:34,560

So when we first started our podcast,


346

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so for some context, my podcast is called Compell.


347

00:12:38,200 --> 00:12:40,280

I interview people with unique stories


348

00:12:40,280 --> 00:12:42,760

how Christ has transformed their life.


349

00:12:42,760 --> 00:12:43,600

Right.


350

00:12:43,600 --> 00:12:45,120

And these are always really interesting stories.


351

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We had one lady and she came face to face


352

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with an assassin who was sent to kill her


353

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because she was defending Christians in court.


354

00:12:52,240 --> 00:12:54,880

We had another lady and she and her husband


355

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were missionaries in the Philippines


356

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and they were kidnapped by terrorists and held in the jungles


357

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for a year as hostages.


358

00:13:02,000 --> 00:13:05,920

We had another guy and he was at the Pentagon


359

00:13:05,920 --> 00:13:08,440

when the 9-11 plane hit the building


360

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and he was about a hundred feet away from the plane,


361

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covered in flames, burning up and he was going to die.


362

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So each of these people have a really unique story


363

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of how Christ transformed something in their life


364

00:13:19,160 --> 00:13:21,360

or how they saw God at work.


365

00:13:22,200 --> 00:13:24,320

And when I say Christ, I mean Jesus Christ,


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who I believe is the Son of God.


367

00:13:25,960 --> 00:13:28,600

And I know that maybe not all your listeners believe that


368

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but I believe it and my audience does too.


369

00:13:31,680 --> 00:13:33,440

So that was the show that we created.


370

00:13:33,440 --> 00:13:35,160

And so that was something I felt really passionate.


371

00:13:35,160 --> 00:13:37,880

So in 2018, I did this activity and I was like,


372

00:13:37,880 --> 00:13:40,000

okay, I want to do something


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and I'm just going to start out with it.


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It may not make a lot of money


375

00:13:43,040 --> 00:13:45,000

but it needs to be something that I'm passionate about


376

00:13:45,000 --> 00:13:47,480

because my passions are going to what's going to keep me doing


377

00:13:47,480 --> 00:13:48,800

it and hopefully it becomes something


378

00:13:48,800 --> 00:13:50,600

that I can continue doing long term


379

00:13:50,600 --> 00:13:53,520

even though it may not make money at the beginning.


380

00:13:53,520 --> 00:13:56,080

And so that's how we ended up deciding to start a podcast


381

00:13:56,080 --> 00:13:57,800

because we could be doing that exercise


382

00:13:57,800 --> 00:13:59,640

to realize like we had the right connections


383

00:13:59,640 --> 00:14:01,560

in different spaces and we knew the right people


384

00:14:01,560 --> 00:14:02,960

that would be great guests.


385

00:14:02,960 --> 00:14:06,840

So we made this podcast and for the next five years


386

00:14:06,840 --> 00:14:08,160

it didn't make money.


387

00:14:08,160 --> 00:14:09,760

I mean, it made a little bit of money


388

00:14:09,760 --> 00:14:12,760

but it wasn't like paying my household expenses


389

00:14:12,760 --> 00:14:13,600

or anything like that.


390

00:14:13,600 --> 00:14:16,200

So instead what was going on is that I would still do


391

00:14:16,200 --> 00:14:19,120

business consulting for about nine months out of the year.


392

00:14:19,120 --> 00:14:21,040

You would save a bunch of money


393

00:14:21,040 --> 00:14:22,720

and then for three months out of the year


394

00:14:22,720 --> 00:14:25,520

I would then close my client books


395

00:14:25,520 --> 00:14:28,400

and I would just work exclusively on the podcast


396

00:14:28,400 --> 00:14:30,440

and just do a big long sprint


397

00:14:30,440 --> 00:14:32,760

on creating these really high quality episodes


398

00:14:32,760 --> 00:14:33,960

that I had a team I worked with


399

00:14:33,960 --> 00:14:36,160

and we would subcontract them out.


400

00:14:36,160 --> 00:14:38,400

And so we would raise just a little bit of money


401

00:14:38,400 --> 00:14:40,320

from our audience and from donors


402

00:14:40,320 --> 00:14:42,600

and with that money we were able to cover expenses


403

00:14:42,600 --> 00:14:44,680

but then my living expenses were always covered


404

00:14:44,680 --> 00:14:46,720

just by my consulting work I did.


405

00:14:46,720 --> 00:14:49,320

And so I would do nine months of consulting


406

00:14:49,320 --> 00:14:51,040

take three months off do the podcast


407

00:14:51,040 --> 00:14:52,760

and then do nine months of consulting again


408

00:14:52,760 --> 00:14:54,360

take three months off do the podcast


409

00:14:54,360 --> 00:14:56,680

and we did that for five years.


410

00:14:56,680 --> 00:14:58,480

And every year that we did that


411

00:14:58,480 --> 00:15:00,720

every time we came back with another podcast season


412

00:15:00,720 --> 00:15:03,320

the show would grow more and more and more.


413

00:15:03,320 --> 00:15:04,880

And so finally six months ago


414

00:15:04,880 --> 00:15:07,640

we finally went full time on the podcast


415

00:15:07,640 --> 00:15:09,000

and that's what I do full time now.


416

00:15:09,000 --> 00:15:11,600

But to answer your question specifically the passions


417

00:15:11,600 --> 00:15:13,080

I think it really was the pack


418

00:15:13,080 --> 00:15:15,800

I found the right market fit for me at least


419

00:15:15,800 --> 00:15:18,760

that my passions allowed me to continue working on the show


420

00:15:18,760 --> 00:15:21,640

even though it wasn't making money.


421

00:15:21,640 --> 00:15:23,040

And eventually now we've got to the point


422

00:15:23,040 --> 00:15:24,160

where now it is making money


423

00:15:24,160 --> 00:15:26,040

we're able to work on it full time.


424

00:15:26,040 --> 00:15:29,200

Wow, perhaps I should think about this as well.


425

00:15:29,200 --> 00:15:30,720

Yeah, yeah.


426

00:15:30,720 --> 00:15:33,320

My podcast for three months exclusively.


427

00:15:35,400 --> 00:15:39,000

In terms of our audience who might be struggling


428

00:15:39,000 --> 00:15:42,200

in what they do, perhaps they might earn a lot of money


429

00:15:42,200 --> 00:15:43,280

but they might feel miserable


430

00:15:43,280 --> 00:15:46,080

as a lot of people I've encountered do.


431

00:15:46,080 --> 00:15:48,880

Do you have any advice for them?


432

00:15:48,880 --> 00:15:51,440

Yeah, okay, so back when I was doing political consulting


433

00:15:51,440 --> 00:15:52,720

like I was making a lot of money


434

00:15:52,720 --> 00:15:55,720

and I'm like I say I was making a very good income


435

00:15:55,720 --> 00:15:57,640

very good income.


436

00:15:57,640 --> 00:16:01,160

And yet I was at the season of life where I was like,


437

00:16:01,160 --> 00:16:05,840

man, I was like so emotionally invested into the outcome


438

00:16:05,840 --> 00:16:08,560

of our political clients campaigns


439

00:16:08,560 --> 00:16:10,480

that if like a male piece came out


440

00:16:10,480 --> 00:16:12,440

that said lies about my candidate


441

00:16:12,440 --> 00:16:13,360

even though they were lies


442

00:16:13,360 --> 00:16:15,920

I would be emotionally upset or disturbed.


443

00:16:15,920 --> 00:16:17,880

And unfortunately that would then carry itself


444

00:16:17,880 --> 00:16:19,360

over into my home life.


445

00:16:19,360 --> 00:16:20,920

So like I would come home


446

00:16:20,920 --> 00:16:23,240

and I just wouldn't be engaged with my wife


447

00:16:23,240 --> 00:16:25,360

because my mind would still be thinking about work.


448

00:16:25,360 --> 00:16:29,000

And so it was really unhealthy.


449

00:16:29,000 --> 00:16:30,320

It had become very unhealthy for me.


450

00:16:30,320 --> 00:16:31,640

And again, I was making a lot of money.


451

00:16:31,640 --> 00:16:33,320

It was really good, really great income.


452

00:16:33,320 --> 00:16:34,520

Right.


453

00:16:34,520 --> 00:16:36,560

And yet it was not worth the toll


454

00:16:36,560 --> 00:16:39,000

that was taking on my family.


455

00:16:39,000 --> 00:16:40,920

And so I would just encourage anybody out there like,


456

00:16:40,920 --> 00:16:43,080

hey, you know, well two things.


457

00:16:43,080 --> 00:16:46,400

First off, hey, it's not worth losing family time


458

00:16:46,400 --> 00:16:48,440

because like who at the end of their life says like,


459

00:16:48,440 --> 00:16:50,520

oh man, you know, you're laying your deathbed.


460

00:16:50,520 --> 00:16:53,120

Are you really going to say like, oh man,


461

00:16:53,120 --> 00:16:56,000

I wish I'd spent more time working.


462

00:16:56,000 --> 00:16:58,440

Oh man, I wish I'd got like, you know,


463

00:16:58,440 --> 00:17:01,640

another three months worth of emails done.


464

00:17:01,640 --> 00:17:03,520

No, no one's ever going to say,


465

00:17:03,520 --> 00:17:05,520

instead they're going to say, oh man,


466

00:17:05,520 --> 00:17:07,280

I wish I'd spent more time with my kids


467

00:17:07,280 --> 00:17:08,640

when they were growing up.


468

00:17:08,640 --> 00:17:11,120

Oh man, I wish I'd made more memories with them.


469

00:17:11,120 --> 00:17:13,120

That's what they said to end of their life, right?


470

00:17:13,120 --> 00:17:15,480

So like life is way too short to spend working


471

00:17:15,480 --> 00:17:17,840

at a cubicle doing something that you hate, right?


472

00:17:17,840 --> 00:17:19,320

So don't forget like, you know,


473

00:17:19,320 --> 00:17:20,880

your work does not equal your life.


474

00:17:20,880 --> 00:17:24,040

Like work should be a tool to enable what you're trying


475

00:17:24,040 --> 00:17:27,200

to do with your wife and your kids and stuff like that.


476

00:17:27,200 --> 00:17:28,920

So that's one thing I would offer.