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The Best Interest » Amazing People Everywhere

Amazing People Everywhere

This post is a change of pace. Hey, Money—go take a back seat.

I recently read Tim Ferriss’s book Tools of Titans. The book comprises ~100 interviews with artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, etc (the titans). These titans have unique thoughts, theories, and tactics to share with the reader (their tools).

But rather than rely on famous people to inform my thinking, the book reminded me that there are so many amazing people in my own life who have followed their passions down the road less traveled. Or turned opportunities into success. Or stepped up to the plate when it mattered most, etc.

Let me share some of these amazing stories with you.

Why? Because you probably know awesome people in your life. Admiration for celebrities is fine, but I’m convinced there are plenty of tools you can learn from the the titans you already know. Go find your own titans!

This article includes amazing input from…

I hope you find this eclectic group as admirable as I do.

Mike Martin of GTM Family Productions and Turner Sports

It feels like a long way from freshman year of college, when Mike and I were working on calculus homework after varsity basketball workouts. Mike made the team. I didn’t.

While my path has taken me away from basketball, I’ve watched from afar as Mike has built a career inside of the basketball world. He’s traveled Europe creating multiple documentary series about EuroLeague basketball, and now produces NBA video content for Turner Sports (e.g. cable channels TNT and TBS).

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Mike, left. Shaq, right.

How does a “kid from Sicklerville” go to Europe and start making basketball videos?

The idea actually came to us during the summer of 2017.

My good friend, Kyle Hines, was home in Sicklerville, NJ during his offseason and we were reflecting on his career up until that point. Most basketball fans only focus on the NBA but there are multiple leagues overseas where guys are competing at a high level and making a living playing the game they love.

We were inspired by guys like Lebron and Kevin Durant who have used their platform to create authentic content while controlling the narrative. We felt we had a unique opportunity because nobody was telling stories about what overseas players go through, good or bad.

After a few more conversations we decided to start our own production company and GTM Family Productions was born.

Our first project was a 5 episode docu-series titled Just A Kid From Sicklerville. We followed Kyle throughout the 2017-18 season in Moscow, Russia on his quest to win another EuroLeague title.

Surely there were some tough choices when you decided to dive right in?

The biggest sacrifice was honestly just taking a leap into an industry that I didn’t know much about.

I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure what was next but I knew for certain that I didn’t want to fall back into the corporate world or get a job just to have a job. I’ve always been passionate about hoops so I felt like this could be a lane for me to continue building relationships and be around the game.

Starting out I had no idea how to use a camera so I was learning and figuring things out along the way. Luckily my sister, Jasmine, was a film major in college and is currently teaching a film course in Australia, so she was a huge help in bringing our ideas to life. She helped me learn how to use the camera and edited a few of our projects: Just A Kid From Sicklerville, EuroLeague Rooks, and The Breakdown with AP.

What have the best moments been?

The best moments for me have been traveling around the world and building genuine relationships with EuroLeague players and team personnel.

Over the past two years our projects have taken me places like Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Spain. To me traveling is one of the greatest experiences in life, so to be able to do that and capture basketball content has been awesome.

Team Hines | The Basketball Tournament
Mike, left, and Kyle Hines, right

I’ve also been fortunate enough to land a job working for Turner Sports here in Atlanta as a Production Assistant. I get a chance to work behind the scenes on shows like Inside the NBA, NBA on TNT, MLB on TBS, and all NBA TV shows. It has been a lot of fun and allows me to learn new skills that I can apply and help take GTM Family Productions to the next level.

If you went back and started over, what would you do differently?

I don’t have any regrets at all man. I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason. There have been plenty of moments when I was worried and trying to find my way but it’s all part of the journey. I’m nowhere near where I want to be in this field but looking back on the last few years I’m thankful for what I went through because it makes me appreciate where I’m at today even more.

If not for creating these films, where would life be for you?

My previous path was a bit different, but the common denominator was always the same: I wanted to work with athletes.

I was a Financial Economics major at the University of Rochester, and came out working in a call center for mutual fund powerhouse Vanguard. My original goal was to become a financial advisor for athletes and entertainers. I honestly just wasn’t passionate about that field, and hated going into work every day.

I went the CFP route and studied hard for months but ended up failing that exam twice so I took that as a sign. That sign became clearer when I was let go from that job a few months later in February 2015. It hurt at first, but ended up being a blessing in disguise because it gave me flexibility and freedom to find my true calling.

Upon my departure from Vanguard, I teamed up with my father and we started a construction company. That wasn’t my passion either, but it gave me a different skillset and I learned how to put a project together.

I feel like I didn’t miss out on anything because I still learned a wealth of knowledge from Vanguard that I can apply to my life moving forward and the skills I honed  on the construction side helps me when I’m putting the pieces together to bring our content to life.

Do you have an unconventional opinion that you think made a significant difference in your path?

I wouldn’t say this is unconventional or unpopular opinion, but I just never settled. I knew I wanted to be in sports production so I kept grinding until I was in a position that would help me get closer to my goal.

There have been numerous times where I felt stuck and questioned if I was going down the right path, but I stayed the course and kept pushing forward. I still have a long way to go, but I love what I do and have been enjoying every moment.

Tyler Socash, Wilderness Steward

Tyler Socash believes in fostering a personal connection with our public lands through exposure, education, and stewardship. 

The day after completing his master’s degree at the University of Rochester, Socash embarked on a 7,000-mile thru-hiking journey across the Pacific Crest Trail, the Te Araroa in New Zealand, and the Appalachian Trail.  This grand immersion into wilderness inspired him to defend rare wildlife habitats in New York State’s Adirondack Park. 

He works at the Adirondack Mountain Club as their Education Programs Coordinator, promoting the intangibles of wildness and responsible outdoor recreation.  In an effort to meld humor with conservation efforts, Socash also co-created and co-hosts Foot Stuff Podcast, which spotlights outdoor adventure, antics, and activism around the country. 

Ty! How does one decide to uproot their life and go for a 7,000 mile hike?

Whilst living in squalor with five other roommates in Rochester, NY, I reached an impasse: do I purchase a tangerine Subaru CrossTrek and maintain my stable nine-to-five lifestyle, or do I upend this comfortability with a spontaneous passion project? 

Living within my means, consuming copious amounts of Ramen noodles, vacationing locally, taking public transportation, riding my bike, scrutinizing superfluous purchases…I spent years saving money.  Unglamorous choices were made to provide myself with a conventional adulthood. 

At 28-years old, those earmarked dollars would purportedly help finance my first personal vehicle.  A household, family expenditures, complex insurance plans would all surely follow. In a sardonic twist, monetary budgeting oftentimes causes us to overlook how we are budgeting temporal joys. Unless you’re a pharaoh, you won’t be taking worldly possessions with you in the end! 

An epiphany washed over me on the very day that I was planning a visit to a car dealership. “What if I directed those earmarked dollars towards a 7,000-mile thru-hiking adventure instead?” I wondered. 

Hiking through wild spaces was an avocation that uniquely commingled my attributes with my passions. Fiscal prudence was about to provide me with a yearlong adventure doing the one thing that I loved most in an environment in which I thrive.

Sounds like you made some big sacrifices to take the trip of a lifetime?

Much like making the first contribution to your Individual Retirement Account, tackling a long-distance trail requires long-term commitment.  The trail to both retirement and your hiking destination can seem daunting, featuring highlights and hardships (read: volatility) along the way.  (JC: Thanks for the money analogies, Tyler!)

Instead of setting rigid expectations for yourself at the outset, begin with attainable goals.  

It is never practical to anticipate the finish line of a marathon before you’ve earned your stripes through a few 5k’s. Surprisingly to some, only an average of 25% of aspiring thru-hikers have completed their intended thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail in recent years. 

Some of the roadblocks that impede the progress of thru-hiker hopefuls are mental, some are physical, but the emotional X-factors along the way typically go unmentioned. 

While away from home for multiple months on end, you may miss birthdays, family reunions, weddings, funerals, births, and impromptu gatherings that will leave you pining for home. Coupling these feelings with the physical toll on your body and the uncooperative weather overhead can lead to the nearest exit.  

Upon injuring my feet in the Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington, I was convinced that my trip had met its unceremonious end. Some combination of blisters and homesickness made Mexico seem like a distant impossibility. 

Call it beginner’s luck, but just when I needed a boost in morale, a fellow hiker graciously gifted me supplies from their first aid kit. I was reminded to keep my chin up and to accept that there would be some requisite volatility in a long journey. Approaching the final mile of the Pacific Crest Trail, I was greeted by some unexpected guests. It was my parents.

The slow accumulation of sacrifices will always be difficult in life.  Thank goodness for the family, the friends, and even the random passerby who help along the way.  They make the long-view worthwhile.

How about your greatest successes? Surely finishing these hikes is a lifelong highlight?

Do you ever feel that you’re being rushed?  The Americana strategy for success was alleged to be linear. High school to college, college to profession, profession to promotion, promotion to white picket fence, white picket fence to retirement. Perhaps one of my ongoing successes is that I finally found an interlude in the rat race to think critically about what to do with the precious time that I have.

Thru-hikes happen to be quite the international experience. On a handful of the popular National Scenic Trails you are likely to meet a lot of people who hail from different backgrounds, with different beliefs, and with varying ideals.  I gleaned a lot from these disparate people—slowly at first. But as my willingness to earnestly converse increased, so correlated my personal evolution. 

It turns out that many of our European counterparts insert an intentional gap year into their lives before attending university. What they do during that gap year varies widely, but I marvel at the prescience of the idea. Jumping headlong into a career before unpacking why does seem a bit perplexing. 

I still might not know what tangential path I’ll be on in 5 years or 10 years, but I did find affirmation in my own authenticity during that yearlong adventure. If it wasn’t for my long walk in the woods, I may not have stumbled upon my fervent passions of wilderness advocacy and outdoor education. 

Encourage others to amble down a few circuitous paths in life. Not everyone will be guaranteed to find their hidden passion, but I’m sure that we can all benefit from a brief respite in this high-octane world.

My friend “Half-Jesus” (everyone gets a quirky trail name on a long-distance trail) solemnly mentioned that we have only a few crossroads in life where we can make big, dramatic changes in our lives.  He distilled these moments down to the gaps between educational milestones, interruptions in employment, and retirement.  The erudite readers of the Best Interest will be able to ascertain which upcoming gap applies to them. 

They also understand the practicalities of their personal situation.  If you find yourself in the throes of child rearing, high school Physics, or upper management, then do yourself a favor and pursue a passion project that makes you happy or improves the greater community in which you live. 

You don’t need a yearlong gap to spice up the routine.  In a world blessed with cookbooks, lightning bugs, museums, and crafting, who knows what mysterious micro-adventure that you could start today?  Use this article as an impetus to buck the routine.

Is there a flip side to the coin? What would you do differently if you had a do-over?

Time, once spent, never returns.  I’ll never regret that I took advantage of one of the first big gaps in my life to walk around for a bit.  The open-ended experience afforded me with the time to battle some demons, to make mistakes, and to learn from others while having fun. 

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, but I would attempt to mitigate some mistakes, eat more fish and chips in New Zealand, and I’d be even more intentional to engage with the wonderful people who cohabitate this world.

After all that adventuring, what’s an unconventional opinion that you hold that you attribute to your success?

After living outside for an entire year, I became more attuned to humanity’s connection with nature. We all need clean air. We all need clean water. We all need space to roam. Other animals need space to raise their young in a safe and secure habitat. We would want those types of securities and more for our families as well. 

Wilderness areas provide these essentials, but during my thru-hiking experience I learned one startling statistic: only 2.7% of the contiguous United States is preserved as motor-free wilderness. When you begin to learn more about a place, you begin to value it. Maybe even love it.

The crux of my adventure wasn’t found on an idyllic beach or while traipsing through a bucolic landscape. The crux was when I learned firsthand about the nation’s scarcity of intact, undeveloped habitat.  Unabashedly commingling your attributes and your passions will help you focus on how you spend the most ephemeral resource of all—time

Kate McLean of Written, LLC

Kate McLean exemplifies “necessity is the mother of invention.” If you’re looking for encouragement to start your passion project, the genesis of Kate’s growing business, Written, might kick your butt into gear.

Kate, tell us the story behind Written’s beginnings? 

I got fired on a Thursday. I cried on Friday. And on Saturday, Written was born.

In the early days, I didn’t know what I was doing and I guess I didn’t really believe in my ability to pull it off so I was still interviewing for “real” jobs. Then work starting coming in, and here we are.

a collage of photos of a group of people posing for a photo

There is false sense of security that comes from working for someone else. We’re bred to see our employers as providers. I came to the realization that I’m in charge of me and if I wanted job security, I had to secure it myself. If I wanted an employer looking out for me, I had to be one. 

Start-ups are notoriously tough. What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made while building Written? 

Written will always be my first baby. But since becoming a mother to a human child, I’m often distracted by one or the other.

I struggle with wanting to be the best at both and being unable to do either whole heartedly. When I have to choose this or that I try to pick the one that will bring me more joy.

What do you consider Written’s biggest successes or best moments? 

#1 Grooming talent and helping others develop.

#2 Referrals. I get tingly anytime someone says they want to work with us.

Do you have any regrets, or any significant “do overs” if you could go back? 

Don’t we all? I’ve made my fair share of poor choices. I’m an overthinker and regret is a kind of fuel for my fire. I’m always trying to make things right. But in a way regret hinders progress. When I look back, I have a tendency to get stuck there thinking of what if… It’s more valuable for me to focus on moving forward since we can never really go back.

Written, LLC - Posts | Facebook

What’s an unconventional approach that you attribute your success to? 

I care too much. For better or worse, that is what makes me good at my job.

When I take on a project it becomes my own which often results in a lot of angst. I have recently realized that it’s not “mine”. It is the client’s. My job is to listen to their needs and guide them through the process of bringing solutions to life. It doesn’t have to be my idea of perfect. It just has to be done. 

Dave Narrow of Sonavex

Some of us write about index funds. Other people develop non-intrusive methods of ultrasound-based blood flow monitoring. Dave Narrow falls into the latter of those two groups.

Dave’s company, Sonavex, has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding in 2015. The company has received FDA approval and NIH funding, and is making impacts on its stated goal of “delivering superior patient care and savings to the healthcare system.”

On the theme of growth, Dave was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016. Four years later, he’s here on the Best Interest. Now that is growth.

How does one start a medical technology company like Sonavex? 

I knew I wanted to work at the intersection of engineering and business and entrepreneurship. Every day is different, and that suits my personality.

The impetus for starting Sonavex really occurred in grad school at Johns Hopkins. I knew we had an exciting technology, and my business partner and I were both very interested in bringing it to patients.

It seemed like a massive risk, but I stood back and thought about it with some game theory.

The worst case is that I ended up in my mom’s basement. Ok, that’s mostly a joke. The real worst case is that this start-up idea wouldn’t pan out, and I’d go back to an old job having missed a couple promotions.

And what was the best case from that game theory analysis? Pretty much what ended up happening. There was this huge upside, and a small downside. It made for an easy decision.

Other than not ending up in your mom’s basement, what have the best moments at Sonavex been?

Our two FDA clearances. We poured years of hard work into product development and testing, and the FDA represented a significant hurdle that we successfully navigated, and a critical milestone that signified how far we’d come.

As funny as it sounds, one moment that sticks out for me is our annual holiday party. We usually take some time to talk about the year in review, the events that have happened. And because we are moving so quickly and accomplishing so much, the holiday party ends up being our time to slow down, reflect and to really let those accomplishments sink in.

None of us had realized how much we achieved as a team until I read the list aloud. It was a wonderful moment for the team to look around the table with their significant others, smile, and take pride in what they’ve done.

And what about the challenges that you’ve faced?

Well, other than FDA approval? 🙂

For a small and growing business like Sonavex, it’s probably finding the right resources, whether capital or team members. People would come to me—rightfully so—and say, “This job sounds promising, but you’re a 24-year old guy who has never done this before. Why should I follow you?”

The Journey To Commercialization for a Novel Medical Device Startup: Q&A  with Sonavex CEO, David Narrow · BioBuzz

And the wrong fit can be damaging too. With a small business, one employee might be 10% of the workforce, 10% of the output, 10% of the culture etc. If just one person isn’t a great fit with the company, it can significantly affect the way the company performs and the rest of the team feels.

Knowing what you know today, what do you think looking back?

For starters, we could have waited longer to start. We were really excited. We had an interesting idea and an initial proof-of-concept. But once Sonavex got started, we learned so much so quickly about what we didn’t know.

David Narrow (@davidnarrow) | Twitter

I didn’t have much of a formal business education. My Masters program did have a “Business 101” class with some case studies, but I learned a lot of the principles through osmosis and my time at Health Advances.

What’s an unconventional opinion that you hold that you think led to Sonavex’s ongoing success?

I’m not sure how unconventional or unpopular it is, but it’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough in nascent stages of businesses. The single most important part of business and life is the people you surround yourself with.

We used to recruit for very specific skill sets and quickly realized that it’s all about attitude. Products change, markets changes, competition changes. If you have the right team, you can adapt and excel.

It’s also important to be able to divide and conquer. You need to be able to trust people unilaterally.

Steve Vandewalle of Tiva CBD

Steve Vandewalle is a leading voice in the grassroots movement to legalize cannabis in New York state. Most of Steve’s work is focused through the therapeutic company Tiva Naturals and the advocacy group Roc Norml.

IMG_0905 2.jpg

Cannabis has supporters and detractors. No matter which side of the discussion you fall on, I think Steve’s dedication is worthy of admiration.

Steve, what was the impetus for starting your work in cannabis legalization?

In 2017, I found myself going down a very dark road.  I was taking a prescribed daily regiment of ADHD, Insomnia, and Anxiety/Depression drugs, and was no longer the person I used to be. 

I looked the same on the outside, but the feelings I was feeling on the inside were very dark.  The type of feelings where you start to question your purpose in life.  The type of feelings where I started to question whether or not I wanted to live any longer.

Luckily I had a friend who introduced me to a CBD product, and encouraged me to take it at night before bed to help me sleep.  Within 40 days I had weaned myself off of 90% of the medication I was taking, and I’ve never looked back.  

It was at that moment when I started looking at Cannabis as a medicine, rather than a recreational substance.  I spent many months educating myself on the science behind Cannabis, trying to understand how and why this plant helped me in the way that it did.  I read hundreds of pages of scientific papers trying to get to the bottom of it, and realized very quickly the true power of Cannabis as a medicine.  

In early 2018 I founded Tiva Naturals with one goal in mind: to create the highest quality, therapeutic grade Cannabis products on the market.  I spent the entirety of 2018 learning and understanding the best practices of Cannabis/Hemp cultivation, extraction, and formulation. 

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t encounter more failures than successes over the next few years.  The Cannabis industry is a bitch.  Entrepreneurship is extremely tough.  Cannabis entrepreneurship is damn near impossible.  I’ve encountered every imaginable obstacle, and at times I felt like I’ve taken more steps backwards than forwards.  But nothing of value comes easy, and I’ve reminded myself of that throughout this entire journey.  

Tiva CBD Full Spectrum CBD Oil | Hemmfy Retail CBD Products & Oils

I became involved in the advocacy side of Cannabis in mid-2018 when I co-founded Roc NORML—the Rochester chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.  I served as the Deputy Director for the majority of my time with them.  We quickly became one of the most prolific Cannabis advocacy organizations in New York, and gained name recognition  in the national advocacy community.  

That’s an awesome turnaround. What are the biggest sacrifices that come with advocacy and entrepreneurship? 

Stability.  Every day is different.  The ebb and flows of entrepreneurship are unpredictable, taxing, and at times defeating.  Sometimes you have a huge payday.  Sometimes you go months without making a cent.  It makes life very unpredictable, but honestly, you learn to roll with the punches.  I no longer dread adversity, I embrace it.  

But surely there are terrific and rewarding times too?

Absolutely. In June 2019, I sat down with Rochester District Attorney Sandra Doorley to discuss prosecution of low-level marijuana offenses in Monroe County.  She agreed to stop prosecuting low level Cannabis offenses, which was a huge win for our city.  You can read the story here.

Roc NORML - Steve Vandewalle, Deputy Director for Roc... | Facebook

On February 13th, 2020, I testified at the NYS Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Taxes to discuss tax structure implementation in the adult-use Cannabis program in NY.  Two weeks after my presentation, the NYS legislature released a revised version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which now included a much lower, favorable tax rate. You can view my testimony here

I was asked to speak on the “NORML Advocacy” panel at the expo in Las Vegas in November 2019.  You can see the panel promo video here.  

I was one of the organizers for the “2020 Virtual Conference on the Medicinal Development of Cannabis and Cannabinoids” which was keynoted by world famous Cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo.   You can see the conference website here.

What significant things–good or bad–did you miss out on from where your previous life path was taking you?

It’s hard to imagine what life would be like outside of what I’m doing now.  I am so genuinely passionate about the Cannabis industry that I really can’t picture my life doing something else. 

Dems are taking a crack at frozen legislation | News | CITY News. Arts.  Life.

However, if I had to choose another path, I would be working on ways to solve the climate crisis. Particularly, looking at using regenerative agriculture to improve soil health and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.  

What are some unconventional or indirect ways that your advocacy can lead to good for our society?

Systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and political ignorance have prevented Americans from having access to the most medicinal plant in the world. 

And even worse, the criminalization of Cannabis has led to mass incarceration of nonviolent criminals (disproportionately people of color), and has disrupted families and ravaged communities across our country since the 1930’s.     

Damon Bourne of Madison Squash Workshop

Before moving to Madison, WI in 2012, I had a one vital criterion: there had to be squash courts. And if not for Damon Bourne and his dream, that criterion would not have been met.

Though Wisconsin is not known as a squash hotbed, Damon built Madison Squash Workshop from the ground up. The club now boasts some of the finest international squash courts in the Midwest, and hosts professional squash tournaments every year.

US SQUASH | PSA returns to Madison with largest prize money purse to date
Damon, right

What got your started towards founding MSW?

I moved to Madison in 1993 and I really loved being here. I had been playing squash for about 10 years at this point and loved the game and was, at the time, really happy that there were North American Hardball courts at the University of Wisconsin.

I played on the those courts for years, but when I traveled to tournaments around the county, all the tournaments were held on international courts (different dimensions, and feels like a different sport).

As I said before, I loved Madison, but it really needed International squash courts. Problem is, Madison is in smack dab in the middle of the mid-west, not exactly a hotspot for squash. I figured that since Madison was a university town with a lot of people living here from around the world, that it could support a club.

Madison, Wisconsin - Wikipedia

What’s the biggest sacrifice that comes with starting a squash club in the cheese capital of the world? 

Well, I quit my job to start the club.

I went a long time wondering if this place would ever work and if the community was there in Madison to support the club

And what are the biggest positive moments that stick out? 

A couple of moments.

One of the things I thought about a lot was that we’d have all these great squash players here in Madison and that would make me happy.

Not long after we opened there were a couple of women playing on the court just outside my office. I was working away, worrying about things, when I noticed that the women were standing on court hitting the ball back and forth and just laughing and having a great time. They weren’t playing “great” squash. They were just having a hit, enjoying each other’s company, and having a laugh.

At that moment, I realized that the club was going to be a success and that what was MOST important was the community we were building.

Squash Leagues › Squash Melbourne

Another thing that turned out to be a HUGE thing in terms of the club’s success is that we bought the building that the club is in. I have two other tenants in the building that essentially pay all the mortgage and the property taxes on the building. This takes enormous pressure off the squash club and it’s part of the reason that the club will likely survive the Corona shutdown.

Do you have any regrets, or any significant “do overs” if you could go back? 

Sure. There are things that I wish I had spent less money while building the club out, and things I wish I had spent MORE money on.

I would have spent LESS money on some of the “finish” materials in the club and way MORE money on using more reputable and solid construction companies.

Over the last 11 years, I’ve created relationships with companies in town—contractors, plumbers, electricians—who are at the club doing regular maintenance. The general contractor hired guys who could do things cheaply thinking that’s what I wanted: to save money. When you do things cheaply, you just end up paying more down the road.

Now I have good relations with contractors in town who get things done correctly. It may cost more up front, but these people are able to back their work up. Plus, they work during regular hours.

That is, I don’t have to wait for Jerry’s cousin who knows a journeyman plumber who could do it way cheaper after hours, but you gotta wait until next Tuesday. And if he can’t fix it then, you’ll have to wait two more weeks before he can get back from his hunting trip. (This is a real example… freakin’ hell!)

What significant things did you miss out on from where your previous life path was taking you?

A regular salary maybe? I dunno. I was working in the tech industry and was pretty bored. I think I would have been pretty bored.

So my schedule is pretty flexible now, which is great, but owning the building and running the club is ALWAYS on my mind. It just doesn’t go away.

What’s an unconventional opinion that you attribute to your and MSW’s success?

It’s not about the money. It’s never been about making money. It’s about building the community. The community is everything, and success will follow.

That’s All…

Thanks so much to Mike, Tyler, Kate, Dave, Steve, and Damon.

And you, reader—I hope you go talk to the titans you know. Or if today’s guests have one common message, it’s this: why can’t you become a titan yourself?

There are amazing people in your life. I guarantee it. And starting this kind of conversation with them might make you realize that amazing potential that lies within you.

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