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Introvert Biz Growth Podcast
The Difference Between Vision, Mission and Passion

Introvert Biz Growth Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 21, 2022 1:36


Fractional Integrator, Casey Gromer, joins me today to have a conversation on the difference between mission, vision and passion. Casey is a 20-year business and marketing expert. As an MBA (and mom to littles), she is widely regarded as a go-to source for visionary women entrepreneurs who dream of building businesses to run without them. She is passionate about creating a more equitable landscape for women in business and working to remove common barriers that hold them back. Casey hosts Female Founders Breaking Boundaries, encouraging women to forgo stale, inflexible business advice and adopt more workable ways of running their business while still achieving success. As founder and Fractional Integrator at SHE-Suite Boutique, Casey currently serves women entrepreneurs in an advisory role. Under her leadership, clients have scaled their businesses while working less and spending more time doing things they love. The industries she's supported include retail, e-commerce, service businesses, and manufacturing. In this episode, you'll learn about the difference between mission, vision and passion, and...   the big words like vision , passion and mission and how they are all different how to work towards your vision where goals come in how to bring the big vision into the marketing Casey's book 'A Fresh Wave of Marketing' and much more Casey's Resources   Casey's Website Download Casey's Company Persona - Purpose, Focus, And Values Template Female Founders Breaking Boundaries Podcast Connect with Casey on: LinkedIn Facebook   Sarah's Resources Watch this episode on Youtube (FREE) Sarah's One Page Marketing Plan (FREE) Sarah Suggests Newsletter (FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto (FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course Marketing Like We're Human - Sarah's book The Humane Marketing Circle Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course Podcast Show Notes Email Sarah at sarah@sarahsantacroce.com Thanks for listening!   After you listen, check out Humane Business Manifesto, an invitation to belong to a movement of people who do business the humane and gentle way and disrupt the current marketing paradigm. You can download it for free at this page. There's no opt-in. Just an instant download. Are you enjoying the podcast?  The Humane Marketing show is listener-supported—I'd love for you to become an active supporter of the show and join the Humane Marketing Circle. You will be invited to a private monthly Q&A call with me and fellow Humane Marketers -  a safe zone to hang out with like-minded conscious entrepreneurs and help each other build our business and grow our impact.  — I'd love for you to join us! Learn more at humane.marketing/circle Don't forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or on Android to get notified for all my future shows and why not sign up for my weekly(ish) "Sarah Suggests Saturdays", a round-up of best practices, tools I use, books I read, podcasts, and other resources. Raise your hand and join the Humane Business Revolution. Warmly, Sarah Imperfect Transcript of the show Sarah: [00:00:00] [00:01:00] [00:02:00] [00:03:00] [00:04:00] [00:05:00] Hi, Casey. Good to speak to you today. I'm looking forward to our conversation after the conversation. We just,  Casey: sometimes those initial conversations are the most interesting. Sometimes I'm like, I wish we would have hit record.  Sarah: Exactly. We need to kind of do a, you know, bonus conversation. Yeah. [00:06:00] Release that after. But yeah, today we're going to be talking about. Difference between vision and passion. You kind of made this, your expertise in a way and help you know, female business owners with that  Casey: bigger vision. And,  Sarah: and so, yeah, I want to start right there because it does, those are two big words that we  Casey: hear a lot. Sarah: But in fact, maybe we haven't actually stopped to think about, well, what do they mean? And what's the difference between the two. So can you enlighten us?  Casey: What's the difference? Yeah. Okay. Well, so first of all, The work I do. We talk a lot about working with a visionary business owners and for anyone who has not heard this term, I'm, what's called a fractional integrator and a fractional integrator comes into a business. With the business owner or the visionary business owner. And our job is [00:07:00] to take someone who is a very big picture idea person with lots of passion. And I, and I like a forward thinking, you know, we're tagging creative personality types, those people, traditionally, aren't very organized and they're not they're a little bit scattered and they are amazing. And what I started to notice is that I was taking calls from people who would say they wanted to work with an integrator. And so we would start diving into the work, which one of the first things that we do when we start working together is to create what's called the business blueprint. And part of that business blueprint is articulating your vision, your mission and your values. And one of the things I recognized. In some cases, we were having a really hard time getting to an actual vision. And so I noticed that there is a difference [00:08:00] in some cases between an actual vision and just having a passion for something. And so. One of the differences between having a vision and having a passion is that a vision is typically something, first of all, is forward thinking, right? So you're looking out into the future at something. And when you have a vision, one of the ways, you know, it's a vision is your. I see the future. And you're able to tangibly describe what that future looks like after you are successful. So a vision traditionally involves changing something. So maybe we're changing. You know, we're changing our customers or we're changing our community. We're changing the world, the planet, whatever we're making some sort of change to the way. Things operate. And a lot of times that vision might have some sort of social responsibility attached to it or making people's lives easier. And in any case, that's what a vision is. [00:09:00] Now. When someone comes to me, And has a hard time articulating what that future vision looks like. That's when I know we have a passion and a passion can be something that we feel really strongly about, and we just maybe don't really know or understand where we want that to go. And that doesn't mean it's bad, or you don't have a business. It just means that your approach to the business is a little bit different. Versus, you know, if we have a vision and we, we definitely have like, there's an end goal in sight. And as the integrator, we're D we're defining what those steps are to achieving that end goal. And that's how we operate. And with a passion, we don't necessarily, we still have goals a little bit, but they're less aligned to what the future looks like. I'm more aligned to what it looks like achieving this passion that you have. I  Sarah: love that. So it's really like vision is the big picture, future oriented and kind of tied to maybe something external of your [00:10:00] business, not just internal or personal. Absolutely. And then the passion. Yeah. You know what we usually understand on their passion. It's just something that you're very passionate about. And it doesn't mean that it's attached to the future or, or to something external that, and then you also brought in this other word, which is mission. And I think I might've been confusing vision with missions. It what's the difference between vision and mission and how.  Casey: You know, and they're so closely tied together that it can I do that even still sometimes. And you'll know a vision because there is a future state. So when you're articulating a vision, you're describing like, you're, you're like what's a movie I saw recently where it was a future movie, but you're basically describing the state of the world as it will be. Yeah, 10 years from now or 20 [00:11:00] years from now, or a hundred years from now, or whenever, you know, that vision plays out. And a mission is more of, this is the focus that my company has to achieve that vision. And if I can use an example of really. I'll use my own vision. For example, we are very centered on lifting up women in leadership. We want more women leading companies. We want more women leading countries. We want more voices in that place of leadership. And so one of the one of the things I wrote down in my. My description of what my future would look like is hello, Madam president. So in the United States, we have never had a woman leading the country or a woman president. And so if you think about your mission and achieving that, My company, she, sweet boutique is not directly going to be responsible for putting a woman in the president's seat. Like that's not our focus. However, the [00:12:00] work that we are doing is going to change the way that people view women and women's voices. So what is our focus going to be to make that happen? And so our focus is really on leading. Women owned businesses. And so that is how we are going to be lifting up women's voices in leadership and making it more normalized to see a woman leading a seven or eight figure business.  Sarah: I love that. Yeah. That, that makes a lot of sense. That kind of difference. I can't guarantee that I won't mix them up again, but it feels like I understood passion really well. Mission and vision. Yeah. I see the future in the vision because that, you know, it's kind of in the word where the mission is like, well, what am I going to do? It's kind of like a more next steps for vision  Casey: is oriented thing. Yeah. And don't feel bad because you know [00:13:00] what, that still happens to me sometimes too. Cause I'll be talking to a client and I'll have to stop and think. Are we talking like vision? Are we talking mission here? And the most important thing is not that it's like, I mean, there's, there's a lot of gray area here. And I think the most important thing is the purpose of having a mission and vision is to keep everyone, keep you focused and moving in the right direction and keep your team focused and moving in the right direction. So as long as those vision and mission gives your team members a clear sense of here's what we're here to accomplish. And here's how we're going to go about doing that. Then I think, you know, let's not split hairs. That's a cliche term that we use.  Sarah: Talk about that then, because once we have the. Do we need those, you know, typical vision or mission statements that everybody talks about and are these helpful for companies or what's the  Casey: alternative? Yeah. Yes, they are helpful. And I think we [00:14:00] need to, a lot of us need to change the way we're thinking about vision and mission. What I find is a lot of companies articulated vision and mission and they, and they articulate it in a way that is It's like a marketing tool for them. So I I'm, you know, you can probably understand that where, oh, if we have like this vision and mission that people really connect with or, you know, it resonates with them and that's not, I mean, that should be that your secondary motive for creating a vision and mission. So the primary motive is internal based. We, so we use something called the company persona and the company personally. Basically your vision, mission and values, and the importance of having these as creating context for your team members so that they are looking at your business as if it is a person, right. We're trying to create personal, personalized, or personified qualities in the business. So that as [00:15:00] we're thinking. About making decisions or talking on behalf of the company, we're thinking in our head, like, who is this company as a person? What do they think? What do they believe? What do they value? How do they respond? How do they act? How do they interact? And so it, it really brings the company to life and that's the importance of having a vision and a mission is you're, you're changing from thinking. As a company or thinking in terms of intangible thinking, in terms of things like profits or money or dollars or sales or customers in your thinking, like what, you know, like what is this person and what is our goal in life? Yeah.  Sarah: And I'm sure that applies, even if you're a one person company, it just becomes much more personal. Yes. Yeah. And another big  Casey: word that just came up for me is purpose. [00:16:00] Yeah.  Sarah: That probably all fits in there. Where else?  Casey: Well, right. Yeah. We use purpose and vision interchangeably. So sometimes I use purpose because I think it's easy. Like it's a word that we use more often and we understand it, like in our minds, A lot of sense, like, oh, I know what purpose is, purpose means this. And so if you think of your vision in terms of this is your purpose in life, then it makes a lot more sense. And the same thing goes for mission is we use, sometimes we use mission and focus. Interchangeably. So once you know your purpose, then what is your company's focus? Like how are you narrowing down what it is you're delivering to the customer or to the audience that is kind of leading you or contributing to the achievement of your purpose in some way.  Sarah: So before you mentioned this kind of gimmicky approach to vision and mission statements where you just [00:17:00] put it out on your website and then you're like, okay, check. We did that. And so now are, you know, website visitors can see that we have such a good vision and mission. And so you would actually not recommend to have it on  Casey: the website at all, or what. No for sure. I mean, for sure you can put it on the website. I'm just suggesting that. Instead of looking at your vision and mission statement through the lens of how are people going to perceive me? You look at it through the lens of what are we looking to achieve. So do that first, right? Because you have to be able to articulate to your teams and to your people. Okay. what is my purpose here? What am I doing before? You're going out to customers. And the other reason that this is really important is that your, what you're putting out to your customers has to align with what you're doing as a team. So if your vision says [00:18:00] one thing, but your actions. Don't align with what that vision is. There's a big disconnect and you're actually going to create a bad experience for customers. And, you know, they're going to be like, well, this isn't, this, isn't what the company is telling me about themselves. And so I don't trust them anymore. Yeah. The  Sarah: same thing applies to like these sustainability messages. Everybody is kind of just throwing on their websites now without actually, you know, having a team dedicated to it or doing the real work and being at home.  Casey: Held accountable as well. So you can't do that. Otherwise it  Sarah: just doesn't, you know,  Casey: you  Sarah: can't even, even for me now, this phrase, you know, we want to change the world. I'm like, yeah.  Casey: We all do, but show  Sarah: me, what are you doing? You know, I think it's going to be in the [00:19:00] next 10 years. I think it's going to be much more people want to actually see actions, not just here, beautiful phrases. Right. And  Casey: that's where that deeper  Sarah: work is, is  Casey: required. Right. You know, and that's one of the differences in how, how I approach this pro. This tool, this process and how a lot of companies are approaching it. And one of the things I mentioned earlier is context, and you can have a vision and mission, right? And it can be a great vision and mission, but there has to be used some context behind it, because if you've ever gone to a company's website or if you've ever worked for another company and they're like, Hey, okay, we've checked the box. Here's our vision. And you look at that vision and, and you think to yourself, That's awesome. I have no idea what that means. So it's missing a lot of context. And so the company, you, even if it's just you working with yourself, are you working with a couple of [00:20:00] people? That context is really important because we have to understand the story behind. What does this mean? Why is this important? How does this look in. Operation. Right. And so that's where the vision, mission and values work really hard together because the vision articulate the future, the mission describes what you're doing to contribute to the achievement of that vision. And the values is here's how we are living this out day to day. So you mentioned, you know, the sustain stainable company. I had a very similar situation with a client where we had these sustainability values, but yet when we're going to make decisions about the business, we weren't prioritizing, like when a team member would prioritize something sustainable, it would get shot down because of cost or, you know, implementation or execution. And that's great. And we have to find a different way to contextualize [00:21:00] what we mean by sustainability. Let's spell it. What does sustainability mean to us and how are we able to deliver on that versus just saying we're going to deliver. Yeah.  Sarah: Yeah. So true. You have to first understand it before you can make it your vision or your mission. Right? Because sustainability is one of these terms that we just kind of use left and right. Right.  Casey: Yeah. Everybody has their own definition. So, absolutely. And your values is something that you're in your employees or your team members are going to be using, or you should be using every day to make decisions. Does this decision align with my values? If it doesn't do I need to change my values or do I need to do. My decision.  Sarah: Yeah. So before you mentioned the, that you're working with people who are not the, you know, how did you call  Casey: it integrators? Yeah. Yeah. So they're more like, okay,  Sarah: they have the big [00:22:00] passion. Of course they have probably the vision.  Casey: And so how you help them with the  Sarah: vision and the, and the values, the mission. Do you still work with a business plan or where does it then become. Programmatic and let's roll our sleeves back  Casey: to work. Yeah. Yes. So the very first thing is, you know, that vision, mission values and the, we toss some other things in there, like knowing who your target market is and understanding your value proposition. Those are all very important too. And that's all great. And we need to have that. And then kind of where the breakdown is just like, how do we turn this into. Reality, how do we make stuff happen? And so that's where the business plan comes in and the vision is an integral part to that because the vision is like, okay, if this, if 10 years from now, we're looking at, you know, 50% less carbon emissions, I'm making up a vision statement. Now, [00:23:00] 50% less carbon emissions. And we're looking at biodegradable plastics. And we're looking at whatever that, you know, vision is that that looks like. The plan is. What's the first thing, what's the first thing we need to do to make that happen. And so you break that down into, you know, you're not going to go from zero to 10 years from now in a quarter. So we break it down into an annual goal or an annual plan and then a quarterly plan. And, and the hardest part I think is just figuring out what those next small steps are to help you get closer to. That fishing that's where the business plan comes in. Yeah.  Sarah: And it sounds like the small steps we call them goals. Right. And sometimes we confuse our goal with our vision. Yeah. It's again, it's not the same. The goals are really this small and probably more pragmatic steps. It's like, here's [00:24:00] what we need to, and oftentimes what we use there as the smart, you know, they have to be measured. Somehow so that we can actually say, yeah, we achieved this  Casey: goal  Sarah: or not where the vision, well, right now we don't know if we're going to achieve this vision because it's  Casey: in the future. Right. Great. And for, and for some business owners, especially if you're a very visionary business owner, That, that is the hard part. I can't see that path. I can see the future, but I can't see how I'm getting there. And that's when it's kind of helpful to partner with somebody who sees the world a little bit differently than you so they can say, all right, so here's where you need to focus next. Yeah.  Sarah: Yeah. I think, I can't remember the, the, the book where the. He, I think it's an author who talks about this difference between the visionary and the integrator.  Casey: There's a  Sarah: [00:25:00] about that, right? Yeah.  Casey: Well, since you're on video here is it. Yeah.  Sarah: Rocket fuel. Yes. That's  Casey: it? Yeah. Can you just have the awesome, yeah. Yes. This is called rocket fuel and it's got, it's a dual author. It's Gino Wickman, and Mark Winters, and they talk a lot about Their theory is there's actually two people at the helm of a business and not just one and some of the traditional models you're seeing, you know, just one person who's the CEO and then all the people underneath. And I think what Gino, Gino, Wickman and Mark Winters discovered is that a lot of the CEO type people are not. Cut out. That's not their, their zone of genius to lead people and manage companies. There's zone of genius is future thinking big innovation. Yeah. Yes, yes. And those people, as we understand, like Albert Einstein and, you know, some of these other geniuses [00:26:00] is they have these great ideas and they're just not very good at executing them. And so they're suggesting. If that's the type of person that you are. There's two people at the helm of the business and one is the the innovators and then the other person is the get things done, person. And then when you pair them together, it's like yin and yang. And you have like this whole person who is then going to catapult this company into success. Yeah. Yeah. I love  Sarah: that. And that's why if, if we're alone in our business, it's just always helpful to work with a coach who, who sees you from the outside and who can kind of. Maybe you have the vision, and I'm not saying that the coach is going to have the vision for you, but the coach is going to help you get to that vision or have an even bigger vision for you that maybe  Casey: you can't even see. Yes. I was just going to say, you know, for, as a fractional integrator, we work with bigger businesses, [00:27:00] you have teams and if you're a solo person and you're in this kind of visionary, Dilemma of, I have this idea. I'm not sure what to do with it. Next, a coach is the perfect next step to help you break down that vision into here's where you need to focus next kind of kind of a thing. Yeah.  Sarah: Yeah. Cause I do feel that some, I sometimes work with clients who have. A lot of great ideas. Right. And then oftentimes, because they're also the door, they start telling us too many different things and then we need to really kind of like focus it back. And then I think you mentioned that as well, focus, you know, like what are the, the  Casey: three  Sarah: things that you're going to focus on to get to that vision? Because otherwise you spread  Casey: yourself too thin. Exactly. You won't get there. Yeah. Yeah. And just to be clear, you know, if you are someone who's working by yourself, just know that as you grow and get [00:28:00] bigger and expand those problems, don't actually change. So I think the term is different level, different devils, so it stays the same. So there's a lot of CEOs of companies that have that same struggle that those of us who are a single solo business. Hap so we're all people. Yeah.  Sarah: And on the other hand, so we talked about the coach, but another idea of course, is to get help in the execution. So you work with a, you know, a virtual assistant or you will hire a team member and then they do more of the execution. So you get to have more space to do the big thinking. Yes,  Casey: absolutely. Yeah. For someone who is kind of a innovator or a very, I like to call them creative thinkers because that's really who they are. Some type of assistant, whether it's a virtual assistant or an executive assistant can be an amazing. First hire for you because they are [00:29:00] basically an extension of you only organized. So yeah, that's a definite way to take a step towards getting things done and getting them off your plate. Yeah.  Sarah: Yeah. I love that. Yeah. So there's this question in my head that I keep thinking, well, can you actually have a business without a vision or a vision statement? You know,  Casey: how would that look like? Yeah. And you know what? I can't remember exactly what episode it is, but I have a podcast called female founders, breaking boundaries, and I have an episode on passion. I think it's called passion is not a vision or something like that. And it talks about the difference between passion and vision. And it gives some examples of how you do have, or can have a. Based on passion and not vision. And there's a lot of very successful businesses today who are based on passion and not vision. Not every business's out to change the world, right? Sometimes you're just [00:30:00] capitalizing on an opportunity or you've recognized a gap in the market and you're doing that. And, you know, an example might be. I'm making car parts. I mean, I don't know how many of your listeners make car parts, but you know, it's kind of a straightforward thing. We're going to go to work. We're going to make car parts. We're going to make some money. We're going to pay some employees. Now you could have a vision right. With your business, or you could also just go to work and I'm really passionate about help, you know, making cars last longer. And so that's what we're going to do and that's perfectly fine. And it works. Yeah, it's just the way you structure organized and operate day-to-day is just a little bit different than if you are a vision oriented company. Yeah.  Sarah: I'm glad you say that because, because my Mandalah of humane. It doesn't have vision in it. And so I'm like, oh, but I sometimes call my people. I created a new word called vision  Casey: near. So it's like a [00:31:00]  Sarah: pioneer slash visionary, but there is no vision in the seven PS of humane marketing, but, but the passion, that's where we start and, and, and I think you're right. Some  Casey: people, they  Sarah: will have this vision on top of things and others, they will just find.  Casey: You know, make  Sarah: a business out of the passion or find passion in the business that there is what I, I think you can't, or it wouldn't be very sustainable and much fun to have  Casey: a business without passion, right?  Sarah: Where the vision. Optional and, you know, obviously great have it.  Casey: Yeah. I was reading about your Mandalah and, and I love it. And it's, it's similar to a little infographic I created as well. Yours is, has definitely more spokes on it than mine does. And one of the things you might do. If, you know, at some point, vision does become [00:32:00] important is that the little center spoke you have there, that's where I've put vision. So if you do have a vision, that's really where it goes. It's the central hub of everything that you do. So you know, that's one way to think about it. So  Sarah: for us, the, the center spot is, is, are. Ah, market from within then everything. Yeah,  Casey: it looks that makes a lot of fairs too. I think in both ways, they're very similar because if you think of a vision, it does come from yourself, right. That is your vision. Nobody else has that vision. And that's what makes you the leader of the company is that you were holding that vision and it's, it comes from self. So I love it. I really, really dug for that connection there. That's  Sarah: amazing. I want to quickly, before we start to wrap up also mention your marketing book because, you know,  Casey: Have kind of this background in [00:33:00] marketing  Sarah: and you wrote a book a fresh wave of marketing, an intentional approach to marketing for visionary CEOs. So tell us a little bit about that book and, you know, kind of knowing you now for almost an hour, I can tell that you kind of are part of our people. You think marketing definitely needs to be different, so. Tell us what this fresh wave of  Casey: marketing looks like. Yeah. Okay. So before I kind of switched, focuses to becoming the fractional integrator person I was I was a fractional CMO and. One of the things that was happening to me as I was bringing on clients is that our expectations were not aligned. And so I started out this book, started out as a workbook, really for clients. So I would send this workbook to them so they could kind of get a sense of, this is how we're going to start this work. And when I was done with this [00:34:00] workbook, it was like, I don't know, 25,000, 30,000 words or something. Yeah. I'm thinking to myself, I could probably drop this on Amazon. And so that's how the book came about is everything that we've talked about in this episode today about your vision, mission values. And then, you know, there's some other components of what we call our business blueprint. The target audience. There's even some stuff in there about customer journey, which I know you just recently had an episode on customer journey, but it's all these components of marketing that make your marketing stand out and marketing is about relating to the customer and humanizing that relationship, which is, I think we get along so well. So yeah, you can grab that book off of Amazon and it's kind of a down and dirty. Like get your hands dirty and implement kind of things. So by, after reading the book, you should be able to kind of draft your own vision, mission values, [00:35:00] and get a head, start on, figuring out what kind of marketing. Makes sense for you. Wonderful.  Sarah: Yeah, it's great. This has been absolutely delightful.  Casey: Thank you so  Sarah: much for coming onto this show. Do tell us where people can find you. Yeah. I think you have a free download as well to take this  Casey: further you integrations of Telus all above. Yeah. Yeah, I am so passionate about getting the mission, vision values, right. That I haven't a lot of different places. So in addition to getting a fresh wave of marketing off of Amazon, I'd love for you to come over and visit the podcast at female founders, breaking boundaries. I'm on all the. Podcast platforms. And if you'd like to get a little background or have in writing more of what we talked about today, how to come out with your, you know, your ideal vision, mission, and values and articulate that you can go to our [00:36:00] website@shi-sweetboutique.com backslash humane, and we have, you know, a little worksheet to kind of guide you as you're thinking through your vision, mission values. I love that.  Sarah: Thank you so much. And I actually do want to ask you two more things. If you don't mind what's your vision of the future of business? Like where do you see business change and evolve into over the next 10 years? We're kind of, I feel at this. Kind of fork, you know, I was like, it could even go that way or that way. So  Casey: where do you think it's going to go? I'm like how long is this podcast? I can make a whole episode out of this, so I'll try to keep it really precise. For, for a long time now I've felt that there was this gap in the small business market. You have small business owners who are at a disadvantage. A variety of different reasons, which we won't get into on this podcast, but I've often [00:37:00] felt like this is where the future of our economy is, is in small business and making these small businesses successful as compared to these huge corporate conglomerates. And so I think the future of businesses heading towards ways to. Put more focus on small businesses for a variety of reasons for employees and employee benefits. I think small benefits for small businesses are, you know, going to employ. People people are going to be focused more on enjoying their job, enjoying their work. So whether you're an employee of a small business or a small business owner, people are going to be paying attention to the tr treatment and the work-life balance. And so I think that's kind of the future of small businesses is we're going to start trying to remove some of those obstacles and boundaries for business owners so that, you know, we have more options. People can. Not be required to live in huge cities in order to [00:38:00] get paid money to live life. You know, we're going to start spreading out and I'm doing more at different levels.  Sarah: Yeah, that, that makes so much sense. Also what you just said about the cities. I truly believe that people aren't going to move away from these big, expensive cities and, and that's only possible of course, if there is employment in the smaller cities and towns. Yes. Unless we all do, you know, work from home, but. That might be a future addition or who knows. Maybe it will kind of be part working from home and partly going into the small business, but wouldn't that be wonderful. They would also be less  Casey: traffic, less cars because yeah, we don't need to all be in the big city anymore. Right. And as devastating as this pandemic. Then I think one of the outcomes that we might, you know, be thankful for is that we've, we've always had this opportunity [00:39:00] existed with our technology today and the pandemic sort of forced a lot of us to consider different ways of looking at how we. Are employed or looking at how we run our businesses and now the hard part's over, we've figured that out. And so I think now there'll be more chance or it's going to be easier for us to look at it differently now that we've kind of gotten over the hump of figuring out how to make that work and how to use that technology. Yeah, totally  Sarah: agree. Last question. What are you grateful for today or this  Casey: week? You know, what I am grateful for? I am grateful for technology. So one of the things I talk about on my podcast is how women in many cases, shoulder, so much more mental load, that some of the things that. Easily to other people. We have to work a lot harder for like owning our own business because [00:40:00] I'm a mom and I am grateful for technology and the opportunity to run a small business so that I have the chance to take my boys to boy Scouts after school and to be able to take them to the dentist on Thursday and see. I'm still able to be a mom and run my business at the same time. I like that.  Sarah: Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you so much for coming onto the show. It's been a pleasure to talk to you.  Casey: Thank you, Sarah.

Whimsically Volatile
168: Movie Club: OUTRAGEOUS! (With Deven Green & Brian Bradley)

Whimsically Volatile

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 157:52


Deven Green & Brian Bradley join me for a deep dive on “Outrageous!”, an essential entry in queer cinema history. Starring pioneering drag legend Craig Russell as hairdresser-turned-performer Robin and Hollis McLaren as his schizophrenic and supportive best friend Liza, “Outrageous!” is a touching and funny story of self-acceptance, mental illness, and making life the way you want it. Watch the film here: https://youtu.be/hdzUUT4-sxA Support this show and get lots of hott bonus content by going to https://www.patreon.com/CraigAndFriends - see which reward tier works best for you! You'll get ad-free & early versions of these episodes, bonus episodes, Movie Club episodes and MORE! Deven Green: https://www.devengreen.com Deven & Handsome Ned's game show VERSUS is on Revry: https://www.revry.tv/originals/versus Brian Bradley's definitive Craig Russell biography https://www.amazon.com/Outrageous-Misfits-Lives-Craig-Russell/dp/145974697X Brian Bradley: https://twitter.com/brianjbradley Rubber Child's Transition Assistance GoFundMe https://gofund.me/c2b3cd52 For ways to help fight the fascists and support Black Lives Matter & Black Trans Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co https://blacktranslivesmatter.carrd.co

Screaming in the Cloud
The re:Invent Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning with Pete Cheslock

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 54:52


About PetePete does many startup things at Allma. Links: Last Tweet in AWS: https://lasttweetinaws.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/petecheslock LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petecheslock/ TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part byLaunchDarkly. Take a look at what it takes to get your code into production. I'm going to just guess that it's awful because it's always awful. No one loves their deployment process. What if launching new features didn't require you to do a full-on code and possibly infrastructure deploy? What if you could test on a small subset of users and then roll it back immediately if results aren't what you expect? LaunchDarkly does exactly this. To learn more, visitlaunchdarkly.com and tell them Corey sent you, and watch for the wince.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Redis, the company behind the incredibly popular open source database that is not the bind DNS server. If you're tired of managing open source Redis on your own, or you're using one of the vanilla cloud caching services, these folks have you covered with the go to manage Redis service for global caching and primary database capabilities; Redis Enterprise. To learn more and deploy not only a cache but a single operational data platform for one Redis experience, visit redis.com/hero. Thats r-e-d-i-s.com/hero. And my thanks to my friends at Redis for sponsoring my ridiculous non-sense.  Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. I am joined—as is tradition, for a post re:Invent wrap up, a month or so later, once everything is time to settle—by my friend and yours, Pete Cheslock. Pete, how are you?Pete: Hi, I'm doing fantastic. New year; new me. That's what I'm going with.Corey: That's the problem. I keep hoping for that, but every time I turn around, it's still me. And you know, honestly, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.Pete: Exactly. [laugh]. I wouldn't wish you on me either. But somehow I keep coming back for this.Corey: So, in two-thousand twenty—or twenty-twenty, as the children say—re:Invent was fully virtual. And that felt weird. Then re:Invent 2021 was a hybrid event which, let's be serious here, is not really those things. They had a crappy online thing and then a differently crappy thing in person. But it didn't feel real to me because you weren't there.That is part of the re:Invent tradition. There's a midnight madness thing, there's a keynote where they announce a bunch of nonsense, and then Pete and I go and have brunch on the last day of re:Invent and decompress, and more or less talk smack about everything that crosses our minds. And you weren't there this year. I had to backfill you with Tim Banks. You know, the person that I backfield you with here at The Duckbill Group as a principal cloud economist.Pete: You know, you got a great upgrade in hot takes, I feel like, with Tim.Corey: And other ways, too, but it's rude of me to say that to you directly. So yeah, his hot takes are spectacular. He was going to be doing this with me, except you cannot mess with tradition. You really can't.Pete: Yeah. I'm trying to think how many—is this third year? It's at least three.Corey: Third or fourth.Pete: Yeah, it's at least three. Yeah, it was, I don't want to say I was sad to not be there because, with everything going on, it's still weird out there. But I am always—I'm just that weird person who actually likes re:Invent, but not for I feel like the reasons people think. Again, I'm such an extroverted-type person, that it's so great to have this, like, serendipity to re:Invent. The people that you run into and the conversations that you have, and prior—like in 2019, I think was a great example because that was the last one I had gone to—you know, having so many conversations so quickly because everyone is there, right? It's like this magnet that attracts technologists, and venture capital, and product builders, and all this other stuff. And it's all compressed into, like, you know, that five-day span, I think is the biggest part that makes so great.Corey: The fear in people's eyes when they see me. And it was fun; I had a pair of masks with me. One of them was a standard mask, and no one recognizes anyone because, masks, and the other was a printout of my ridiculous face, which was horrifyingly uncanny, but also made it very easy for people to identify me. And depending upon how social I was feeling, I would wear one or the other, and it worked flawlessly. That was worth doing. They really managed to thread the needle, as well, before Omicron hit, but after the horrors of last year. So, [unintelligible 00:03:00]—Pete: It really—Corey: —if it were going on right now, it would not be going on right now.Pete: Yeah. I talk about really—yeah—really just hitting it timing-wise. Like, not that they could have planned for any of this, but like, as things were kind of not too crazy and before they got all crazy again, it feels like wow, like, you know, they really couldn't have done the event at any other time. And it's like, purely due to luck. I mean, absolute one hundred percent.Corey: That's the amazing power of frugality. Because the reason is then is it's the week after Thanksgiving every year when everything is dirt cheap. And, you know, if there's one thing that I one-point-seve—sorry, their stock's in the toilet—a $1.6 trillion company is very concerned about, it is saving money at every opportunity.Pete: Well, the one thing that was most curious about—so I was at the first re:Invent in-what—2012 I think it was, and there was—it was quaint, right?—there was 4000 people there, I want to say. It was in the thousands of people. Now granted, still a big conference, but it was in the Sands Convention Center. It was in that giant room, the same number of people, were you know, people's booths were like tables, like, eight-by-ten tables, right? [laugh].It had almost a DevOpsDays feel to it. And I was kind of curious if this one had any of those feelings. Like, did it evoke it being more quaint and personable, or was it just as soulless as it probably has been in recent years?Corey: This was fairly soulless because they reduced the footprint of the event. They dropped from two expo halls down to one, they cut the number of venues, but they still had what felt like 20,000 people or something there. It was still crowded, it was still packed. And I've done some diligent follow-ups afterwards, and there have been very few cases of Covid that came out of it. I quarantined for a week in a hotel, so I don't come back and kill my young kids for the wrong reasons.And that went—that was sort of like the worst part of it on some level, where it's like great. Now I could sit alone at a hotel and do some catch-up and all the rest, but all right I'd kind of like to go home. I'm not used to being on the road that much.Pete: Yeah, I think we're all a little bit out of practice. You know, I haven't been on a plane in years. I mean, the travel I've done more recently has been in my car from point A to point B. Like, direct, you know, thing. Actually, a good friend of mine who's not in technology at all had to travel for business, and, you know, he also has young kids who are under five, so he when he got back, he actually hid in a room in their house and quarantine himself in the room. But they—I thought, this is kind of funny—they never told the kids he was home. Because they knew that like—Corey: So, they just thought the house was haunted?Pete: [laugh].Corey: Like, “Don't go in the west wing,” sort of level of nonsense. That is kind of amazing.Pete: Honestly, like, we were hanging out with the family because they're our neighbors. And it was like, “Oh, yeah, like, he's in the guest room right now.” Kids have no idea. [laugh]. I'm like, “Oh, my God.” I'm like, I can't even imagine. Yeah.Corey: So, let's talk a little bit about the releases of re:Invent. And I'm going to lead up with something that may seem uncharitable, but I don't think it necessarily is. There weren't the usual torrent of new releases for ridiculous nonsense in the same way that there have been previously. There was no, this service talks to satellites in space. I mean, sure, there was some IoT stuff to manage fleets of cars, and giant piles of robots, and cool, I don't have those particular problems; I'm trying to run a website over here.So okay, great. There were enhancements to a number of different services that were in many cases appreciated, in other cases, irrelevant. Werner said in his keynote, that it was about focusing on primitives this year. And, “Why do we have so many services? It's because you asked for it… as customers.”Pete: [laugh]. Yeah, you asked for it.Corey: What have you been asking for, Pete? Because I know what I've been asking for and it wasn't that. [laugh].Pete: It's amazing to see a company continually say yes to everything, and somehow, despite their best efforts, be successful at doing it. No other company could do that. Imagine any other software technology business out there that just builds everything the customers ask for. Like from a product management business standpoint, that is, like, rule 101 is, “Listen to your customers, but don't say yes to everything.” Like, you can't do everything.Corey: Most companies can't navigate the transition between offering the same software in the Cloud and on a customer facility. So, it's like, “Ooh, an on-prem version, I don't know, that almost broke the company the last time we tried it.” Whereas you have Amazon whose product strategy is, “Yes,” being able to put together a whole bunch of things. I also will challenge the assertion that it's the primitives that customers want. They don't want to build a data center out of popsicle sticks themselves. They want to get something that solves a problem.And this has been a long-term realization for me. I used to work at Media Temple as a senior systems engineer running WordPress at extremely large scale. My websites now run on WordPress, and I have the good sense to pay WP Engine to handle it for me, instead of doing it myself because it's not the most productive use of my time. I want things higher up the stack. I assure you I pay more to WP Engine than it would cost me to run these things myself from an infrastructure point of view, but not in terms of my time.What I see sometimes as the worst of all worlds is that AWS is trying to charge for that value-added pricing without adding the value that goes along with it because you still got to build a lot of this stuff yourself. It's still a very janky experience, you're reduced to googling random blog posts to figure out how this thing is supposed to work, and the best documentation comes from externally. Whereas with a company that's built around offering solutions like this, great. In the fullness of time, I really suspect that if this doesn't change, their customers are going to just be those people who build solutions out of these things. And let those companies capture the up-the-stack margin. Which I have no problem with. But they do because Amazon is a company that lies awake at night actively worrying that someone, somewhere, who isn't them might possibly be making money somehow.Pete: I think MongoDB is a perfect example of—like, look at their stock price over the last whatever, years. Like, they, I feel like everyone called for the death of MongoDB every time Amazon came out with their new things, yet, they're still a multi-billion dollar company because I can just—give me an API endpoint and you scale the database. There's is—Corey: Look at all the high-profile hires that Mongo was making out of AWS, and I can't shake the feeling they're sitting there going, “Yeah, who's losing important things out of production now?” It's, everyone is exodus-ing there. I did one of those ridiculous graphics of the naming all the people that went over there, and in—with the hurricane evacuation traffic picture, and there's one car going the other way that I just labeled with, “Re:Invent sponsorship check,” because yeah, they have a top tier sponsorship and it was great. I've got to say I've been pretty down on MongoDB for a while, for a variety of excellent reasons based upon, more or less, how they treated customers who were in pain. And I'd mostly written it off.I don't do that anymore. Not because I inherently believe the technology has changed, though I'm told it has, but by the number of people who I deeply respect who are going over there and telling me, no, no, this is good. Congratulations. I have often said you cannot buy authenticity, and I don't think that they are, but the people who are working there, I do not believe that these people are, “Yeah, well, you bought my opinion. You can buy their attention, not their opinion.” If someone changes their opinion, based upon where they work, I kind of question everything they're telling me is, like, “Oh, you're just here to sell something you don't believe in? Welcome aboard.”Pete: Right. Yeah, there's an interview question I like to ask, which is, “What's something that you used to believe in very strongly that you've more recently changed your mind on?” And out of politeness because usually throws people back a little bit, and they're like, “Oh, wow. Like, let me think about that.” And I'm like, “Okay, while you think about that I want to give you mine.”Which is in the past, my strongly held belief was we had to run everything ourselves. “You own your availability,” was the line. “No, I'm not buying Datadog. I can build my own metric stack just fine, thank you very much.” Like, “No, I'm not going to use these outsourced load balancers or databases because I need to own my availability.”And what I realized is that all of those decisions lead to actually delivering and focusing on things that were not the core product. And so now, like, I've really flipped 180, that, if any—anything that you're building that does not directly relate to the core product, i.e. How your business makes money, should one hundred percent be outsourced to an expert that is better than you. Mongo knows how to run Mongo better than you.Corey: “What does your company do?” “Oh, we handle expense reports.” “Oh, what are you working on this month?” “I'm building a load balancer.” It's like that doesn't add the value. Don't do that.Pete: Right. Exactly. And so it's so interesting, I think, to hear Werner say that, you know, we're just building primitives, and you asked for this. And I think that concept maybe would work years ago, when you had a lot of builders who needed tools, but I don't think we have any, like, we don't have as many builders as before. Like, I think we have people who need more complete solutions. And that's probably why all these businesses are being super successful against Amazon.Corey: I'm wondering if it comes down to a cloud economic story, specifically that my cloud bill is always going to be variable and it's difficult to predict, whereas if I just use EC2 instances, and I build load balancers or whatnot, myself, well, yeah, it's a lot more work, but I can predict accurately what my staff compensation costs are more effectively, that I can predict what a CapEx charge would be or what the AWS bill is going to be. I'm wondering if that might in some way shape it?Pete: Well, I feel like the how people get better in managing their costs, right, you'll eventually move to a world where, like, “Yep, okay, first, we turned off waste,” right? Like, step one is waste. Step two is, like, understanding your spend better to optimize but, like, step three, like, the galaxy brain meme of Amazon cost stuff is all, like, unit economics stuff, where trying to better understand the actual cost deliver an actual feature. And yeah, I think that actually gets really hard when you give—kind of spread your product across, like, a slew of services that have varying levels of costs, varying levels of tagging, so you can attribute it. Like, it's really hard. Honestly, it's pretty easy if I have 1000 EC2 servers with very specific tags, I can very easily figure out what it costs to deliver product. But if I have—Corey: Yeah, if I have Corey build it, I know what Corey is going to cost, and I know how many servers he's going to use. Great, if I have Pete it, Pete's good at things, it'll cut that server bill in half because he actually knows how to wind up being efficient with things. Okay, great. You can start calculating things out that way. I don't think that's an intentional choice that companies are making, but I feel like that might be a natural outgrowth of it.Pete: Yeah. And there's still I think a lot of the, like, old school mentality of, like, the, “Not invented here,” the, “We have to own our availability.” You can still own your availability by using these other vendors. And honestly, it's really heartening to see so many companies realize that and realize that I don't need to get everything from Amazon. And honestly, like, in some things, like I look at a cloud Amazon bill, and I think to myself, it would be easier if you just did everything from Amazon versus having these ten other vendors, but those ten other vendors are going to be a lot better at running the product that they build, right, that as a service, then you probably will be running it yourself. Or even Amazon's, like, you know, interpretation of that product.Corey: A few other things that came out that I thought were interesting, at least the direction they're going in. The changes to S3 intelligent tiering are great, with instant retrieval on Glacier. I feel like that honestly was—they talk a good story, but I feel like that was competitive response to Google offering the same thing. That smacks of a large company with its use case saying, “You got two choices here.” And they're like, “Well, okay. Crap. We're going to build it then.”Or alternately, they're looking at the changes that they're making to intelligent tiering, they're now shifting that to being the default that as far as recommendations go. There are a couple of drawbacks to it, but not many, and it's getting easier now to not have the mental overhead of trying to figure out exactly what your lifecycle policies are. Yeah, there are some corner cases where, okay, if I adjust this just so, then I could save 10% on that monitoring fee or whatnot. Yeah, but look how much work that's going to take you to curate and make sure that you're not doing something silly. That feels like it is such an in the margins issue. It's like, “How much data you're storing?” “Four exabytes.” Okay, yeah. You probably want some people doing exactly that, but that's not most of us.Pete: Right. Well, there's absolutely savings to be had. Like, if I had an exabyte of data on S3—which there are a lot of people who have that level of data—then it would make sense for me to have an engineering team whose sole purpose is purely an optimizing our data lifecycle for that data. Until a point, right? Until you've optimized the 80%, basically. You optimize the first 80, that's probably, air-quote, “Easy.” The last 20 is going to be incredibly hard, maybe you never even do that.But at lower levels of scale, I don't think the economics actually work out to have a team managing your data lifecycle of S3. But the fact that now AWS can largely do it for you in the background—now, there's so many things you have to think about and, like, you know, understand even what your data is there because, like, not all data is the same. And since S3 is basically like a big giant database you can query, you got to really think about some of that stuff. But honestly, what I—I don't know if—I have no idea if this is even be worked on, but what I would love to see—you know, hashtag #AWSwishlist—is, now we have countless tiers of EBS volumes, EBS volumes that can be dynamically modified without touching, you know, the physical host. Meaning with an API call, you can change from the gp2 to gp3, or io whatever, right?Corey: Or back again if it doesn't pan out.Pete: Or back again, right? And so for companies with large amounts of spend, you know, economics makes sense that you should have a team that is analyzing your volumes usage and modifying that daily, right? Like, you could modify that daily, and I don't know if there's anyone out there that's actually doing it at that level. And they probably should. Like, if you got millions of dollars in EBS, like, there's legit savings that you're probably leaving on the table without doing that. But that's what I'm waiting for Amazon to do for me, right? I want intelligent tiering for EBS because if you're telling me I can API call and you'll move my data and make that better, make that [crosstalk 00:17:46] better [crosstalk 00:17:47]—Corey: Yeah it could be like their auto-scaling for DynamoDB, for example. Gives you the capacity you need 20 minutes after you needed it. But fine, whatever because if I can schedule stuff like that, great, I know what time of day, the runs are going to kick off that beat up the disks. I know when end-of-month reporting fires off. I know what my usage pattern is going to be, by and large.Yeah, part of the problem too, is that I look at this stuff, and I get excited about it with the intelligent tiering… at The Duckbill Group we've got a few hundred S3 buckets lurking around. I'm thinking, “All right, I've got to go through and do some changes on this and implement all of that.” Our S3 bill's something like 50 bucks a month or something ridiculous like that. It's a no, that really isn't a thing. Like, I have a screenshot bucket that I have an app installed—I think called Dropshare—that hooks up to anytime I drag—I hit a shortcut, I drag with the mouse to select whatever I want and boom, it's up there and the URL is not copied to my clipboard, I can paste that wherever I want.And I'm thinking like, yeah, there's no cleanup on that. There's no lifecycle policy that's turning into anything. I should really go back and age some of it out and do the rest and start doing some lifecycle management. It—I've been using this thing for years and I think it's now a whopping, what, 20 cents a month for that bucket. It's—I just don't—Pete: [laugh].Corey: —I just don't care, other than voice in the back of my mind, “That's an unbounded growth problem.” Cool. When it hits 20 bucks a month, then I'll consider it. But until then I just don't. It does not matter.Pete: Yeah, I think yeah, scale changes everything. Start adding some zeros and percentages turned into meaningful numbers. And honestly, back on the EBS thing, the one thing that really changed my perspective of EBS, in general, is—especially coming from the early days, right? One terabyte volume, it was a hard drive in a thing. It was a virtual LUN on a SAN somewhere, probably.Nowadays, and even, like, many years after those original EBS volumes, like all the limits you get in EBS, those are actually artificial limits, right? If you're like, “My EBS volume is too slow,” it's not because, like, the hard drive it's on is too slow. That's an artificial limit that is likely put in place due to your volume choice. And so, like, once you realize that in your head, then your concept of how you store data on EBS should change dramatically.Corey: Oh, AWS had a blog post recently talking about, like, with io2 and the limits and everything, and there was architecture thinking, okay. “So, let's say this is insufficient and the quarter-million IOPS a second that you're able to get is not there.” And I'm sitting there thinking, “That is just ludicrous data volume and data interactivity model.” And it's one of those, like, I'm sitting here trying to think about, like, I haven't had to deal with a problem like that decade, just because it's, “Huh. Turns out getting these one thing that's super fast is kind of expensive.” If you paralyze it out, that's usually the right answer, and that's how the internet is mostly evolved. But there are use cases for which that doesn't work, and I'm excited to see it. I don't want to pay for it in my view, but it's nice to see it.Pete: Yeah, it's kind of fun to go into the Amazon calculator and price out one of the, like, io2 volumes and, like, maxed out. It's like, I don't know, like $50,000 a month or a hun—like, it's some just absolutely absurd number. But the beauty of it is that if you needed that value for an hour to run some intensive data processing task, you can have it for an hour and then just kill it when you're done, right? Like, that is what is most impressive.Corey: I copied 130 gigs of data to an EFS volume, which was—[unintelligible 00:21:05] EFS has gone from “This is a piece of junk,” to one of my favorite services. It really is, just because of its utility and different ways of doing things. I didn't have the foresight, just use a second EFS volume for this. So, I was unzipping a whole bunch of small files onto it. Great.It took a long time for me to go through it. All right, now that I'm done with that I want to clean all this up. My answer was to ultimately spin up a compute node and wind up running a whole bunch of—like, 400, simultaneous rm-rf on that long thing. And it was just, like, this feels foolish and dumb, but here we are. And I'm looking at the stats on it because the instance was—all right, at that point, the load average [on the instance 00:21:41] was like 200, or something like that, and the EFS volume was like, “Ohh, wow, you're really churning on this. I'm now at, like, 5% of the limit.” Like, okay, great. It turns out I'm really bad at computers.Pete: Yeah, well, that's really the trick is, like, yeah, sure, you can have a quarter-million IOPS per second, but, like, what's going to break before you even hit that limit? Probably many other things.Corey: Oh, yeah. Like, feels like on some level if something gets to that point, it a misconfiguration somewhere. But honestly, that's the thing I find weirdest about the world in which we live is that at a small-scale—if I have a bill in my $5 a month shitposting account, great. If I screw something up and cost myself a couple hundred bucks in misconfiguration it's going to stand out. At large scale, it doesn't matter if—you're spending $50 million a year or $500 million a year on AWS and someone leaks your creds, and someone spins up a whole bunch of Bitcoin miners somewhere else, you're going to see that on your bill until they're mining basically all the Bitcoin. It just gets lost in the background.Pete: I'm waiting for those—I'm actually waiting for the next level of them to get smarter because maybe you have, like, an aggressive tagging system and you're monitoring for untagged instances, but the move here would be, first get the creds and query for, like, the most used tags and start applying those tags to your Bitcoin mining instances. My God, it'll take—Corey: Just clone a bunch of tags. Congratulations, you now have a second BI Elasticsearch cluster that you're running yourself. Good work.Pete: Yeah. Yeah, that people won't find that until someone comes along after the fact that. Like, “Why do we have two have these things?” And you're like—[laugh].Corey: “Must be a DR thing.”Pete: It's maxed-out CPU. Yeah, exactly.Corey: [laugh].Pete: Oh, the terrible ideas—please, please, hackers don't take are terrible ideas.Corey: I had a, kind of, whole thing I did on Twitter years ago, talking about how I would wind up using the AWS Marketplace for an embezzlement scheme. Namely, I would just wind up spinning up something that had, like, a five-cent an hour charge or whatnot on just, like, basically rebadge the CentOS Community AMI or whatnot. Great. And then write a blog post, not attached to me, that explains how to do a thing that I'm going to be doing in production in a week or two anyway. Like, “How to build an auto-scaling group,” and reference that AMI.Then if it ever comes out, like, “Wow, why are we having all these marketplace charges on this?” “I just followed the blog post like it said here.” And it's like, “Oh, okay. You're a dumbass. The end.”That's the way to do it. A month goes by and suddenly it came out that someone had done something similarly. They wound up rebadging these community things on the marketplace and charging big money for it, and I'm sitting there going like that was a joke. It wasn't a how-to. But yeah, every time I make these jokes, I worry someone's going to do it.Pete: “Welcome to large-scale fraud with Corey Quinn.”Corey: Oh, yeah, it's fraud at scale is really the important thing here.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don't ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.Corey: I still remember a year ago now at re:Invent 2021 was it, or was it 2020? Whatever they came out with, I want to say it wasn't gp3, or maybe it was, regardless, there was a new EBS volume type that came out that you were playing with to see how it worked and you experimented with it—Pete: Oh, yes.Corey: —and the next morning, you looked at the—I checked Slack and you're like well, my experiments yesterday cost us $5,000. And at first, like, the—my response is instructive on this because, first, it was, “Oh, my God. What's going to happen now?” And it's like, first, hang on a second.First off, that seems suspect but assume it's real. I assumed it was real at the outset. It's “Oh, right. This is not my personal $5-a-month toybox account. We are a company; we can absolutely pay that.” Because it's like, I could absolutely reach out, call it a favor. “I made a mistake, and I need a favor on the bill, please,” to AWS.And I would never live it down, let's be clear. For a $7,000 mistake, I would almost certainly eat it. As opposed to having to prostrate myself like that in front of Amazon. I'm like, no, no, no. I want one of those like—if it's like, “Okay, you're going to, like, set back the company roadmap by six months if you have to pay this. Do you want to do it?” Like, [groans] “Fine, I'll eat some crow.”But okay. And then followed immediately by, wow, if Pete of all people can mess this up, customers are going to be doomed here. We should figure out what happened. And I'm doing the math. Like, Pete, “What did you actually do?” And you're sitting there and you're saying, “Well, I had like a 20 gig volume that I did this.” And I'm doing the numbers, and it's like—Pete: Something's wrong.Corey: “How sure are you when you say ‘gigabyte,' that you were—that actually means what you think it did? Like, were you off by a lot? Like, did you mean exabytes?” Like, what's the deal here?Pete: Like, multiple factors.Corey: Yeah. How much—“How many IOPS did you give that thing, buddy?” And it turned out what happened was that when they launched this, they had mispriced it in the system by a factor of a million. So, it was fun. I think by the end of it, all of your experimentation was somewhere between five to seven cents. Which—Pete: Yeah. It was a—Corey: Which is why you don't work here anymore because no one cost me seven cents of money to give to Amazon—Pete: How dare you?Corey: —on my watch. Get out.Pete: How dare you, sir?Corey: Exactly.Pete: Yeah, that [laugh] was amazing to see, as someone who has done—definitely maid screw-ups that have cost real money—you know, S3 list requests are always a fun one at scale—but that one was supremely fun to see the—Corey: That was a scary one because another one they'd done previously was they had messed up Lightsail pricing, where people would log in, and, like, “Okay, so what is my Lightsail instance going to cost?” And I swear to you, this is true, it was saying—this was back in 2017 or so—the answer was, like, “$4.3 billion.” Because when you see that you just start laughing because you know it's a mistake. You know, that they're not going to actually demand that you spend $4.3 billion for a single instance—unless it's running SAP—and great.It's just, it's a laugh. It's clearly a mispriced, and it's clearly a bug that's going to get—it's going to get fixed. I just spun up this new EBS volume that no one fully understands yet and it cost me thousands of dollars. That's the sort of thing that no, no, I could actually see that happening. There are instances now that cost something like 100 bucks an hour or whatnot to run. I can see spinning up the wrong thing by mistake and getting bitten by it. There's a bunch of fun configuration mistakes you can make that will, “Hee, hee, hee. Why can I see that bill spike from orbit?” And that's the scary thing.Pete: Well, it's the original CI and CD problem of the per-hour billing, right? That was super common of, like, yeah, like, an i3, you know, 16XL server is pretty cheap per hour, but if you're charged per hour and you spin up a bunch for five minutes. Like, it—you will be shocked [laugh] by what you see there. So—Corey: Yeah. Mistakes will show. And I get it. It's also people as individuals are very different psychologically than companies are. With companies it's one of those, “Great we're optimizing to bring in more revenue and we don't really care about saving money at all costs.”Whereas people generally have something that looks a lot like a fixed income in the form of a salary or whatnot, so it's it is easier for us to cut spend than it is for us to go out and make more money. Like, I don't want to get a second job, or pitch my boss on stuff, and yeah. So, all and all, routing out the rest of what happened at re:Invent, they—this is the problem is that they have a bunch of minor things like SageMaker Inference Recommender. Yeah, I don't care. Anything—Pete: [laugh].Corey: —[crosstalk 00:28:47] SageMaker I mostly tend to ignore, for safety. I did like the way they described Amplify Studio because they made it sound like a WYSIWYG drag and drop, build a React app. It's not it. It basically—you can do that in Figma and then it can hook it up to some things in some cases. It's not what I want it to be, which is Honeycode, except good. But we'll get there some year. Maybe.Pete: There's a lot of stuff that was—you know, it's the classic, like, preview, which sure, like, from a product standpoint, it's great. You know, they have a level of scale where they can say, “Here's this thing we're building,” which could be just a twinkle in a product managers, call it preview, and get thousands of people who would be happy to test it out and give you feedback, and it's a, it's great that you have that capability. But I often look at so much stuff and, like, that's really cool, but, like, can I, can I have it now? Right? Like—or you can't even get into the preview plan, even though, like, you have that specific problem. And it's largely just because either, like, your scale isn't big enough, or you don't have a good enough relationship with your account manager, or I don't know, countless other reasons.Corey: The thing that really throws me, too, is the pre-announcements that come a year or so in advance, like, the Outpost smaller ones are finally available, but it feels like when they do too many pre-announcements or no big marquee service announcements, as much as they talk about, “We're getting back to fundamentals,” no, you have a bunch of teams that blew the deadline. That's really what it is; let's not call it anything else. Another one that I think is causing trouble for folks—I'm fortunate in that I don't do much work with Oracle databases, or Microsoft SQL databases—but they extended RDS Custom to Microsoft SQL at the [unintelligible 00:30:27] SQL server at re:Invent this year, which means this comes down to things I actually use, we're going to have a problem because historically, the lesson has always been if I want to run my own databases and tweak everything, I do it on top of an EC2 instance. If I want to managed database, relational database service, great, I use RDS. RDS Custom basically gives you root into the RDS instance. Which means among other things, yes, you can now use RDS to run containers.But it lets you do a lot of things that are right in between. So, how do you position this? When should I use RDS Custom? Can you give me an easy answer to that question? And they used a lot of words to say, no, they cannot. It's basically completely blowing apart the messaging and positioning of both of those services in some unfortunate ways. We'll learn as we go.Pete: Yeah. Honestly, it's like why, like, why would I use this? Or how would I use this? And this is I think, fundamentally, what's hard when you just say yes to everything. It's like, they in many cases, I don't think, like, I don't want to say they don't understand why they're doing this, but if it's not like there's a visionary who's like, this fits into this multi-year roadmap.That roadmap is largely—if that roadmap is largely generated by the customers asking for it, then it's not like, oh, we're building towards this Northstar of RDS being whatever. You might say that, but your roadmap's probably getting moved all over the place because, you know, this company that pays you a billion dollars a year is saying, “I would give you $2 billion a year for all of my Oracle databases, but I need this specific thing.” I can't imagine a scenario that they would say, “Oh, well, we're building towards this Northstar, and that's not on the way there.” Right? They'd be like, “New Northstar. Another billion dollars, please.”Corey: Yep. Probably the worst release of re:Invent, from my perspective, is RUM, Real User Monitoring, for CloudWatch. And I, to be clear, I wrote a shitposting Twitter threading client called Last Tweet in AWS. Go to lasttweetinaws.com. You can all use it. It's free; I just built this for my own purposes. And I've instrumented it with RUM. Now, Real User Monitoring is something that a lot of monitoring vendors use, and also CloudWatch now. And what that is, is it embeds a listener into the JavaScript that runs on client load, and it winds up looking at what's going on loading times, et cetera, so you can see when users are unhappy. I have no problem with this. Other than that, you know, liking users? What's up with that?Pete: Crazy.Corey: But then, okay, now, what this does is unlike every other RUM tool out there, which charges per session, meaning I am going to be… doing a web page load, it charges per data item, which includes HTTP errors, or JavaScript errors, et cetera. Which means that if you have a high transaction volume site and suddenly your CDN takes a nap like Fastly did for an hour last year, suddenly your bill is stratospheric for this because errors abound and cascade, and you can have thousands of errors on a single page load for these things, and it is going to be visible from orbit, at least with a per session basis thing, when you start to go viral, you understand that, “Okay, this is probably going to cost me some more on these things, and oops, I guess I should write less compelling content.” Fine. This is one of those one misconfiguration away and you are wailing and gnashing teeth. Now, this is a new service. I believe that they will waive these surprise bills in the event that things like that happen. But it's going to take a while and you're going to be worrying the whole time if you've rolled this out naively. So it's—Pete: Well and—Corey: —I just don't like the pricing.Pete: —how many people will actively avoid that service, right? And honestly, choose a competitor because the competitor could be—the competitor could be five times more expensive, right, on face value, but it's the certainty of it. It's the uncertainty of what Amazon will charge you. Like, no one wants a surprise bill. “Well, a vendor is saying that they'll give us this contract for $10,000. I'm going to pay $10,000, even though RUM might be a fraction of that price.”It's honestly, a lot of these, like, product analytics tools and monitoring tools, you'll often see they price be a, like, you know, MAU, Monthly Active User, you know, or some sort of user-based pricing, like, the number of people coming to your site. You know, and I feel like at least then, if you are trying to optimize for lots of users on your site, and more users means more revenue, then you know, if your spend is going up, but your revenue is also going up, that's a win-win. But if it's like someone—you know, your third-party vendor dies and you're spewing out errors, or someone, you know, upgraded something and it spews out errors. That no one would normally see; that's the thing. Like, unless you're popping open that JavaScript console, you're not seeing any of those errors, yet somehow it's like directly impacting your bottom line? Like that doesn't feel [crosstalk 00:35:06].Corey: Well, there is something vaguely Machiavellian about that. Like, “How do I get my developers to care about errors on consoles?” Like, how about we make it extortionately expensive for them not to. It's, “Oh, all right, then. Here we go.”Pete: And then talk about now you're in a scenario where you're working on things that don't directly impact the product. You're basically just sweeping up the floor and then trying to remove errors that maybe don't actually affect it and they're not actually an error.Corey: Yeah. I really do wonder what the right answer is going to be. We'll find out. Again, we live, we learn. But it's also, how long does it take a service that has bad pricing at launch, or an unfortunate story around it to outrun that reputation?People are still scared of Glacier because of its original restore pricing, which was non-deterministic for any sensible human being, and in some cases lead to I'm used to spending 20 to 30 bucks a month on this. Why was I just charged two grand?Pete: Right.Corey: Scare people like that, they don't come back.Pete: I'm trying to actually remember which service it is that basically gave you an estimate, right? Like, turn it on for a month, and it would give you an estimate of how much this was going to cost you when billing started.Corey: It was either Detective or GuardDuty.Pete: Yeah, it was—yeah, that's exactly right. It was one of those two. And honestly, that was unbelievably refreshing to see. You know, like, listen, you have the data, Amazon. You know what this is going to cost me, so when I, like, don't make me spend all this time to go and figure out the cost. If you have all this data already, just tell me, right?And if I look at it and go, “Yeah, wow. Like, turning this on in my environment is going to cost me X dollars. Like, yeah, that's a trade-off I want to make, I'll spend that.” But you know, with some of the—and that—a little bit of a worry on some of the intelligent tiering on S3 is that the recommendation is likely going to be everything goes to intelligent tiering first, right? It's the gp3 story. Put everything on gp3, then move it to the proper volume, move it to an sc or an st or an io. Like, gp3 is where you start. And I wonder if that's going to be [crosstalk 00:37:08].Corey: Except I went through a wizard yesterday to launch an EC2 instance and its default on the free tier gp2.Pete: Yeah. Interesting.Corey: Which does not thrill me. I also still don't understand for the life of me why in some regions, the free tier is a t2 instance, when t3 is available.Pete: They're uh… my guess is that they've got some free t—they got a bunch of t2s lying around. [laugh].Corey: Well, one of the most notable announcements at re:Invent that most people didn't pay attention to is their ability now to run legacy instance types on top of Nitro, which really speaks to what's going on behind the scenes of we can get rid of all that old hardware and emulate the old m1 on modern equipment. So, because—you can still have that legacy, ancient instance, but now you're going—now we're able to wind up greening our data centers, which is part of their big sustainability push, with their ‘Sustainability Pillar' for the well-architected framework. They're talking more about what the green choices in cloud are. Which is super handy, not just because of the economic impact because we could use this pretty directly to reverse engineer their various margins on a per-service or per-offering basis. Which I'm not sure they're aware of yet, but oh, they're going to be.And that really winds up being a win for the planet, obviously, but also something that is—that I guess puts a little bit of choice on customers. The challenge I've got is, with my serverless stuff that I build out, if I spend—the Google search I make to figure out what the most economic, most sustainable way to do that is, is going to have a bigger carbon impact on the app itself. That seems to be something that is important at scale, but if you're not at scale, it's one of those, don't worry about it. Because let's face it, the cloud providers—all of them—are going to have a better sustainability story than you are running this in your own data centers, or on a Raspberry Pi that's always plugged into the wall.Pete: Yeah, I mean, you got to remember, Amazon builds their own power plants to power their data centers. Like, that's the level they play, right? There, their economies of scale are so entirely—they're so entirely different than anything that you could possibly even imagine. So, it's something that, like, I'm sure people will want to choose for. But, you know, if I would honestly say, like, if we really cared about our computing costs and the carbon footprint of it, I would love to actually know the carbon footprint of all of the JavaScript trackers that when I go to various news sites, and it loads, you know, the whatever thousands of trackers and tracking the all over, like, what is the carbon impact of some of those choices that I actually could control, like, as a either a consumer or business person?Corey: I really hope that it turns into something that makes a meaningful difference, and it's not just greenwashing. But we'll see. In the fullness of time, we're going to figure that out. Oh, they're also launching some mainframe stuff. They—like that's great.Pete: Yeah, those are still a thing.Corey: I don't deal with a lot of customers that are doing things with that in any meaningful sense. There is no AWS/400, so all right.Pete: [laugh]. Yeah, I think honestly, like, I did talk to a friend of mine who's in a big old enterprise and has a mainframe, and they're actually replacing their mainframe with Lambda. Like they're peeling off—which is, like, a great move—taking the monolith, right, and peeling off the individual components of what it can do into these discrete Lambda functions. Which I thought was really fascinating. Again, it's a five-year-long journey to do something like that. And not everyone wants to wait five years, especially if their support's about to run out for that giant box in the, you know, giant warehouse.Corey: The thing that I also noticed—and this is probably the—I guess, one of the—talk about swing and a miss on pricing—they have a—what is it?—there's a VPC IP Address Manager, which tracks the the IP addresses assigned to your VPCs that are allocated versus not, and it's 20 cents a month per IP address. It's like, “Okay. So, you're competing against a Google Sheet or an Excel spreadsheet”—which is what people are using for these things now—“Only you're making it extortionately expensive?”Pete: What kind of value does that provide for 20—I mean, like, again—Corey: I think Infoblox or someone like that offers it where they become more cost-effective as soon as you hit 500 IP addresses. And it's just—like, this is what I'm talking about. I know it does not cost AWS that kind of money to store an IP address. You can store that in a Route 53 TXT record for less money, for God's sake. And that's one of those, like, “Ah, we could extract some value pricing here.”Like, I don't know if it's a good product or not. Given its pricing, I don't give a shit because it's going to be too expensive for anything beyond trivial usage. So, it's a swing and a miss from that perspective. It's just, looking at that, I laugh, and I don't look at it again.Pete: See I feel—Corey: I'm not usually price sensitive. I want to be clear on that. It's just, that is just Looney Tunes, clown shoes pricing.Pete: Yeah. It's honestly, like, in many cases, I think the thing that I have seen, you know, in the past few years is, in many cases, it can honestly feel like Amazon is nickel-and-diming their customers in so many ways. You know, the explosion of making it easy to create multiple Amazon accounts has a direct impact to waste in the cloud because there's a lot of stuff you have to have her account. And the more accounts you have, those costs grow exponentially as you have these different places. Like, you kind of lose out on the economies of scale when you have a smaller number of accounts.And yeah, it's hard to optimize for that. Like, if you're trying to reduce your spend, it's challenging to say, “Well, by making a change here, we'll save, you know, $10,000 in this account.” “That doesn't seem like a lot when we're spending millions.” “Well, hold on a second. You'll save $10,000 per account, and you have 500 accounts,” or, “You have 1000 accounts,” or something like that.Or almost cost avoidance of this cost is growing unbounded in all of your accounts. It's tiny right now. So, like, now would be the time you want to do something with it. But like, again, for a lot of companies that have adopted the practice of endless Amazon accounts, they've almost gone, like, it's the classic, like, you know, I've got 8000 GitHub repositories for my source code. Like, that feels just as bad as having one GitHub repository for your repo. I don't know what the balance is there, but anytime these different types of services come out, it feels like, “Oh, wow. Like, I'm going to get nickeled and dimed for it.”Corey: This ties into the re:Post launch, which is a rebranding of their forums, where, okay, great, it was a little crufty and it need modernize, but it still ties your identity to an IAM account, or the root email address for an Amazon account, which is great. This is completely worthless because as soon as I change jobs, I lose my identity, my history, the rest, on this forum. I'm not using it. It shows that there's a lack of awareness that everyone is going to have multiple accounts with which they interact, and that people are going to deal with the platform longer than any individual account will. It's just a continual swing and a miss on things like that.And it gets back to the billing question of, “Okay. When I spin up an account, do I want them to just continue billing me—because don't turn this off; this is important—or do I want there to be a hard boundary where if you're about to charge me, turn it off. Turn off the thing that's about to cost me money.” And people hem and haw like this is an insurmountable problem, but I think the way to solve it is, let me specify that intent when I provision the account. Where it's, “This is a production account for a bank. I really don't want you turning it off.” Versus, “I'm a student learner who thinks that a Managed NAT Gateway might be a good thing. Yeah, I want you to turn off my demo Hello World app that will teach me what's going on, rather than surprising me with a five-figure bill at the end of the month.”Pete: Yeah. It shouldn't be that hard. I mean, but again, I guess everything's hard at scale.Corey: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah.Pete: But still, I feel like every time I log into Cost Explorer and I look at—and this is years it's still not fixed. Not that it's even possible to fix—but on the first day of the month, you look at Cost Explorer, and look at what Amazon is estimating your monthly bill is going to be. It's like because of your, you know—Corey: Your support fees, and your RI purchases, and savings plans purchases.Pete: [laugh]. All those things happened, right? First of the month, and it's like, yeah, “Your bill's going to be $800,000 this year.” And it's like, “Shouldn't be, like, $1,000?” Like, you know, it's the little things like that, that always—Corey: The one-off charges, like, “Oh, your Route 53 zone,” and all the stuff that gets charged on a monthly cadence, which fine, whatever. I mean, I'm okay with it, but it's also the, like, be careful when that happen—I feel like there's a way to make that user experience less jarring.Pete: Yeah because that problem—I mean, in my scenario, companies that I've worked at, there's been multiple times that a non-technical person will look at that data and go into immediate freakout mode, right? And that's never something that you want to have happen because now that's just adding a lot of stress and anxiety into a company that is—with inaccurate data. Like, the data—like, the answer you're giving someone is just wrong. Perhaps you shouldn't even give it to them if it's that wrong. [laugh].Corey: Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens this coming year. We're already seeing promising stuff. They—give people a timeline on how long in advance these things record—late last night, AWS released a new console experience. When you log into the AWS console now, there's a new beta thing. And I gave it some grief on Twitter because I'm still me, but like the direction it's going. It lets you customize your view with widgets and whatnot.And until they start selling widgets on marketplace or having sponsored widgets, you can't remove I like it, which is no guarantee at some point. But it shows things like, I can move the cost stuff, I can move the outage stuff up around, I can have the things that are going on in my account—but who I am means I can shift this around. If I'm a finance manager, cool. I can remove all the stuff that's like, “Hey, you want to get started spinning up an EC2 instance?” “Absolutely not. Do I want to get told, like, how to get certified? Probably not. Do I want to know what the current bill is and whether—and my list of favorites that I've pinned, whatever services there? Yeah, absolutely do.” This is starting to get there.Pete: Yeah, I wonder if it really is a way to start almost hedging on organizations having a wider group of people accessing AWS. I mean, in previous companies, I absolutely gave access to the console for tools like QuickSight, for tools like Athena, for the DataBrew stuff, the Glue DataBrew. Giving, you know, non-technical people access to be able to do these, like, you know, UI ETL tasks, you know, a wider group of a company is getting access into Amazon. So, I think anything that Amazon does to improve that experience for, you know, the non-SREs, like the people who would traditionally log in, like, that is an investment definitely worth making.Corey: “Well, what could non-engineering types possibly be doing in the AWS console?” “I don't know, jackhole, maybe paying the bill? Just a thought here.” It's the, there are people who look at these things from a variety of different places, and you have such sprawl in the AWS world that there are different personas by a landslide. If I'm building Twitter for Pets, you probably don't want to be pitching your mainframe migration services to me the same way that you would if I were a 200-year-old insurance company.Pete: Yeah, exactly. And the number of those products are going to grow, the number of personas are going to grow, and, yeah, they'll have to do something that they want to actually, you know, maintain that experience so that every person can have, kind of, the experience that they want, and not be distracted, you know? “Oh, what's this? Let me go test this out.” And it's like, you know, one-time charge for $10,000 because, like, that's how it's charged. You know, that's not an experience that people like.Corey: No. They really don't. Pete, I want to thank you for spending the time to chat with me again, as is our tradition. I'm hoping we can do it in person this year, when we go at the end of 2022, to re:Invent again. Or that no one goes in person. But this hybrid nonsense is for the birds.Pete: Yeah. I very much would love to get back to another one, and yeah, like, I think there could be an interesting kind of merging here of our annual re:Invent recap slash live brunch, you know, stream you know, hot takes after a long week. [laugh].Corey: Oh, yeah. The real way that you know that it's a good joke is when one of us says something, the other one sprays scrambled eggs out of their nose. Yeah, that's the way to do it.Pete: Exactly. Exactly.Corey: Pete, thank you so much. If people want to learn more about what you're up to—hopefully, you know, come back. We miss you, but you're unaffiliated, you're a startup advisor. Where can people find you to learn more, if they for some unforgivable reason don't know who or what a Pete Cheslock is?Pete: Yeah. I think the easiest place to find me is always on Twitter. I'm just at @petecheslock. My DMs are always open and I'm always down to expand my network and chat with folks.And yeah, right, now, I'm just, as I jokingly say, professionally unaffiliated. I do some startup advisory work and have been largely just kind of—honestly checking out the state of the economy. Like, there's a lot of really interesting companies out there, and some interesting problems to solve. And, you know, trying to spend some of my time learning more about what companies are up to nowadays. So yeah, if you got some interesting problems, you know, you can follow my Twitter or go to LinkedIn if you want some great, you know, business hot takes about, you know, shitposting basically.Corey: Same thing. Pete, thanks so much for joining me, I appreciate it.Pete: Thanks for having me.Corey: Pete Cheslock, startup advisor, professionally unaffiliated, and recurring re:Invent analyst pal of mine. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment calling me a jackass because do I know how long it took you personally to price CloudWatch RUM?Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

DTC POD: A Podcast for eCommerce and DTC Brands
Jones Road: Bobbi Brown's new beauty brand and their secrets to rapid growth (with Cody Plofker, Director of Ecommerce)

DTC POD: A Podcast for eCommerce and DTC Brands

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2022 34:01


4:36 - Embracing clean beautyA long-time advocate of health and clean ingredients, Bobbi Brown founded Jones Road Beauty. The challenge was to make clean versions of all the best products.“Bobbi parted ways with her company that she founded and had a non-compete. And most people would be retiring at that age, but she just didn't feel done. And she felt like she had so much that she wanted to teach and so much that she wanted to continue to do. And part of it is throughout her journey she has gotten super into health and became a certified health coach. You know, clean beauty wasn't really a thing back then, but obviously now it's much more common and people care so more about what they're putting on their faces and also what they're putting in their bodies. So I think there was just a little bit of a challenge in there, and  obviously makeup and the trends are changing, but also what ingredients people care about is changing. So usually people didn't think that clean products were that good. And there was kind of a challenge of how can we make the best beauty products in the world, of all products, and let's just also make them clean.”8:50 - A soft launch that hit hardCody and the Jones Road team did zero pre-launch announcements, and the launch still surpassed all expectations.“I think because we knew that there would be some initial demand we had to invest for that and kind of prepare for that and start building the team. Versus if you're going to start things from scratch, you have to obviously do it super bootstrapped and do it super lean and maybe start fulfilling orders by yourself. But we knew that that wasn't going to be sustainable. So we had to invest ahead of time for that. And I think we knew that on day one we hit something pretty special and pretty serious. We didn't really do any pre-launch because Bobbi's non-compete was up and she didn't want to wait at all. So she wanted to launch it on that first day that she could, which means we couldn't announce it ahead of time…So we really didn't do any teasing of, and we didn't have time to kind of build a list or anything like that. But we had some press hit that day. And once people started talking about it, I think we knew it that first month and that first day just surpassed expectations. And that's when we knew we really had something.”13:21 - Making investments in ad spendCody says that steady ad spend and good growth KPIs should result in increases in traffic and brand awareness.“I think you have to just trust it a little bit. Look at audience growth, look at like, yes, they are vanity metrics in terms of looking at your reach and your followers. But I do think that is an important thing to look at. And having growth KPIs that you're growing 5% or 10% a month, I think is super important. And obviously I don't think you can look day to day and like, ‘oh, we spent this much, this was our return on ad spend.' But I think if you invest in it over a quarter, you obviously should see your overall traffic pick up. You should see your organic search, your direct, and your branded search pick up as well if you're getting some more brand awareness out there. And you should see your overall revenue quarter over quarter go up.”14:28 - Doubling down on social mediaThe next step for Jones Road is to focus on building community through social storytelling, such as putting resources into TikTok.“Obviously influencers and UGC are huge. Especially in beauty, on Instagram, just being able to share what our products look like on different people and obviously doing some storytelling around brand pillars as it relates to building a community. I think that's something we can do a way better job of is building a community on social, on Instagram. That's kind of our main focus and I think something that we can do a way better job of. And then we're really not doing much and a good enough job on TikTok. So that's going to be a huge focus. And that's something I know you asked, like, how do you calculate your return on investment of organic? I mean, we're going to find out. Because we're going to invest quite a bit of resources into TikTok, because I really think that's where the attention is. And we'll see how that plays out.”15:37 - Building the marketing teamThere are many new roles that will be up for grabs soon at Jones Road, most notably a growth associate who can work with creators on fresh user-generated content.“We've got one senior to manager level of marketing operations. We are about to hire a director of influencer marketing, that's something we're hiring for right now. We just hired an associate manager of retention marketing. So email and SMS. We have a social associate, and then a marketing coordinator. So that's kind of what our marketing team looks like right now. But again, we're looking to grow upon that quite a bit. We're looking to hire another person on the media buying side, maybe somebody else to help with our ad creative. So somebody like a growth marketing associate, where they work with content creators, work with these platforms, write briefs, communicate with creators to get UGC, and then work with an editor to kind of turn that around.”22:36 - Finding content creatorsA critical part of Jones Road Beauty's growth has relied on getting products into the hands of influencers. The key is getting them to then create content that will help grow the brand.“We haven't done a lot of like pay-to-post. We've done a lot of seeding, so I think that's something that's been super successful. I think the more we do of that, the better. It's just getting our products out there, it's kind of a little bit more of a brand awareness play. And then we've used a lot of influencers for paid social stuff. Just using it. Getting content is really the name of the game. It's how much content can you get? And it's very expensive and time-consuming to do it all in-house. I was talking to somebody the other day who is a consultant for this. But you know, UGC is not like an add-on thing anymore. It really has to be an essential part of your marketing. On Instagram, on TikTok, it's super important. And you have to have a budget for it. You have to dedicate, even if you're a really small brand, you have to figure out what your budget is. You have to figure out how you're going to find content creators.”29:07 - Growing a personal audienceIn addition to growing the audience for Jones Road, Cody is buy networking and growing his own personal audience so that he can more effectively hire.“My main motivation right now is I'm trying to build our team. So if I can get on podcasts from it, if I can maybe speak at some events, just build an audience there, hopefully whenever we need to recruit somebody I have a network, I have an audience. I really think it's just the biggest leverage that you can have, that almost everybody should be building an audience, even if it's not a big one, so people know who you are. Because if you're looking for a job, like I would much rather hire somebody that I'm familiar with, that I've engaged with, and kind of know a little bit more about them. If we were raising money, I'd much rather raise money from somebody who's in my network and my audience. So there's just nothing bad that can really come from it.”33:34 - Sticking with DTC over retailCody says that for now, retail isn't a focus. He would much rather continue to fully own the revenue, customer data, and customer experience.“We have one of our own stores, but we're not in any retail. We're doing a pop-up right now in Creedo, but I don't think that that'll be long-term. And we're trying to hold off on that. At least I am trying to hold off on that for as long as possible, just so that we can own all of our distribution and all of our data. Part of the value of being direct to consumer is obviously you get to keep your margin, but more importantly, you get to keep your relationship to your customers. When you're in retail, you have to launch products for retailers. You have to make specific SKUs for them. Sometimes you don't get to make what you really think is going to be best for the customer. So that's why we're choosing not to be in it for now.”36:12 - Building a media companyThe key to DTC growth for Jones Road lies in growing organic traffic. They plan to achieve that by essentially building a media company that will invest in content and support the product company.“We want to double our growth. We want to do so essentially keeping our ad spend 15% or less of our total revenue. So to do that, we've got to figure out organic distribution. Most people go into retail for distribution, but you lose margin, you lose equity. You no longer own the customer data. We want to keep all of that. So essentially what I think most people do, they either go to retail for distribution, or they go to venture capital for distribution; stay direct to consumer but then it's all just spent on ads. We want to do it profitably. Keep all of our data, keep all of our equity, not dilute at all. And to do that, we've got to learn how to grow our organic traffic. So what we're going to do is we're going to build a media company. We're going to build a media business. So we're going to invest in building a team and invest in content. I don't exactly know yet what the form is going to look like for that content, where it's going to. How are we going to distribute it, that's kind of all in the works right now. But that's really going to be our overall goal is building a publication company, building a content-first company, that lives alongside our product company.”Episode Contributors: Blaine Bolus - COO OmnipanelCody Plofker - Director of Ecommerce of Jones Road

All Def SquaddCAST
107: Be In The Jungle With Predator vs On A Ship With An Alien | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2022 67:44


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Be In The Jungle With Predator vs On A Ship With An Alien Only Wear All Black Brands vs Wear No Black Brands Move In With Your Ex's New Partner vs Move  In With Current Partner's Parents Special Guest Dion Lack Herman Wrice S/o To Our Sponsors Better Help BetterHelp.com/SQUADD Best Fiends Download Best Fiends FREE today on the App Store or Google Play.

The Bike Shed
321: Leaving Breadcrumbs

The Bike Shed

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2022 40:20


Steph tells a cute story about escape artist huskies, and on a technical note, shares a journey in regards to class variables and modules inheritance. Chris talks about how he's starting to pursue analytics and one of the things that he's struggling with that he's always historically struggled with is the idea of historical data. He's also noticed a lack of formalization of certain things and is working with his team to remedy that. This episode is brought to you by ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed). Give Scout a try for free today and Scout will donate $5 to the open source project of your choice when you deploy. Mike Burns: How to Skim a Pull Request (https://thoughtbot.com/blog/a-smelly-list) RSpec Documentation (https://rspec.info/documentation/) Don't Let the Internet Dupe You, Event Sourcing is Hard (https://chriskiehl.com/article/event-sourcing-is-hard) Datomic (https://www.datomic.com/) timefora_boolean (https://github.com/calebhearth/time_for_a_boolean) Sentry (https://sentry.io/) Become a Sponsor (https://thoughtbot.com/sponsorship) of The Bike Shed! Transcript: CHRIS: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Bike Shed, a weekly podcast from your friends at thoughtbot about developing great software. I'm Chris Toomey. STEPH: And I'm Steph Viccari. CHRIS: And together, we're here to share a bit of what we've learned along the way. So, Steph, it's an entirely new year. What is new in your new year? STEPH: Well, the year is off to an interesting start because we helped rescue a husky. CHRIS: Rescue as in now this is your dog or rescue as in the dog was trapped in a well, and another dog told you about the dog being trapped in a well, and then you helped the trapped? [laughs] Which of those situations are we working with? STEPH: [laughs] I'm really wishing it was the second version [laughs] where there's a dog that tells me about another dog trapped in a well. No, this is a third version where there was a husky that was wandering around the gym that we go to. And so Tim, my husband, called and said that "There's this husky, and he's super sweet, but he seems very lost." And our gym is located near a major road, and so we were worried that he was going to wander about and get hit. So I hopped into our car and took a crate and a leash, and he hopped right in. Clearly, he belonged to somebody; he'd just escaped. So he hops right in, and then we bring him home. But I put him in the backyard because I want to keep him separate from our dog, Utah, just because I don't know this dog, and I want to keep him safe. And I go back inside to grab a few things. I come back out, and the husky is gone. And I'm like, well, shit. [laughs] Now I'm starting to understand why this husky is missing or why this husky seemed lost. So then I started looking for the husky, and Tim comes home. He's helping me look for the husky. And it was one of those awful moments where we live near...it's not a major road, but people tend to speed on it. And the husky and I happen to see each other across the road. And so the husky was like, oh, human friend and starts coming across the road towards me. And there's this large SUV that's also coming from the other direction. I'm like, oh, this is it. This is my nightmare. This is becoming real. This dog is about to get hit. Thankfully, the driver saw the husky and stopped in time, so everything was fine. And the husky just finished trotting across the road to me, brought him in, kept him in the kennel in the garage. We didn't have any backyard adventures after that. The husky then thanked us by howling most of the night. [laughs] So this poor husky has had an adventure. We've had an adventure. And then, around 4:30 in the morning, I go out because I'm checking on the husky and going to let him out. And I'm scrolling on the app called Nextdoor. And I see that someone posted a picture of this exact husky that's like, "Please help me find my dog." And I was like, yes. Because we were going to have to take him to a county shelter or at least go see if he had a chip so then we could return him. But thankfully, we found the owner. I found out the husky's name is Sebastian. And then we had him for a few more hours, and then we had a wonderful husky and human reunion. CHRIS: That story had everything. It had ups; it had downs; it had huskies. It had escape artist huskies, in fact. I have...this is only through Reddit because that's how people learn about things in the world, but huskies are a rather vocal dog breed. So when you say the dog was howling, huskies have a particular way of almost singing, and it kind of sounds like yelling rather than more traditional dog sounds. Was that the experience you had? STEPH: Luckily, it wasn't too bad. His howling was more just; he didn't want to be in the crate. He seems like an indoor dog. So he's like, what am I doing outside in the garage? I should be indoors. And so he wasn't too loud. It was more he was just bemoaning his situation. But our dog Utah could hear him upset in the garage. And so that was also getting Utah upset because he didn't understand why there was a dog so close. And that was what led to the sleepless night because we couldn't get both of them to calm down. Because then, as soon as one of them calm down, the other one would get the other one riled. CHRIS: As it so often happens. STEPH: I'm so grateful that it turned out to be a happy story, though. That part was wonderful. And if we see the husky again, now we know his name is Sebastian and that he'll just come home with us. [chuckles] And we'll know how to return him since he seems to be an escape artist. CHRIS: And we were best friends forever. STEPH: On a more technical note, I have quite the journey to share in regards to class variables and modules inheritance. But before I dive in, I'm curious, what's new in your world? CHRIS: Oh. Well, I'm excited to dig into that story. But I've got two smaller things in my world this week that are top of mind. I don't really have answers on them. I have more questions. One is we're starting to pursue analytics. We want to try and understand our system a little bit better. What is the experience of our users? How are they coming into the system? What are they doing? How long does it take them to do the things that we want them to do? All those sorts of questions you want to be able to answer about your application. And one of the things that I'm struggling with that I've always historically struggled with is the idea of historical data. So data changes over time, and often we actually want to know about those transition points. We want to know about the different states that a user or any record in the system has been in. And I'm finding myself feeling the same pain that I felt many times and starting to think again about the relevant options out there in the world. To give a slightly more pointed example of what we're dealing with, users come in, and then there are a few steps for them to actually sign up for the application. And so their user record or their application, if you will, will go through a couple of different states. So they can be basically approved directly, and now they're an active user of the system, that's one option. But they can also end up in a state where they're pending review. And then eventually, depending on the outcome of that review, whether it's manual or someone intervenes or what have you, then eventually they can transition to either being denied or being accepted. And then they'll again be an active user. And so there's a question now of how many of the users that end up in that pending state end up transitioning into active. And as I looked at the database, I was like, I do not have this information right now. I know their current state. And the logs could tell me all of this. We don't have proper log archiving right now. And I also don't have a system for, like, let me pull down gigabytes of logs and try and sift through that to understand the answer, especially for something domain level like this. But this is one specific example that represents a category of things in my mind. The stuff that I've looked at in this space otherwise is Event Sourcing. So the idea that rather than having a discrete representation of the state of your application, you store every event as an individual log, essentially of like user did X, thing happened, Y occurred. And then, at any given point, you need to know about the state of your system; you just reduce all of those events through some magical reducer that produces the current state. I also very recently read an article called Event sourcing is Hard. So I have that in my head as a counterpoint. This seems like a thing that is non-trivial to do, makes sense for a certain scale. But of course, like anything else, it has its trade-offs. Another thing that I've looked at and never really pursued mostly because it's in a different ecosystem, is Datomic, D-A-T-O-M-I-C, which I think I've mentioned before. But it's a database that actually stores data in this historical format. And so you can ask for the current value, but then you can also ask for what are all the states that this user has been in? And what are the timestamps of those changes? One small thing that we do have that I really like...so this is one example of us; I think leaning into wanting to have more information, higher fidelity information, is often we want to know something like was this ticket paid? Did someone pay for this ticket? And so paid is a BooleanProperty on this ticket record within our system. So the ticket can be held for a little while and eventually gets paid. And now, yes, it has been paid for. It is good. You can use it. But often, we want to know not just that it's paid but when it was paid. And so there's a gem that we are using on the project called timeforaboolean by former thoughtboter, Caleb Hearth. And it does a wonderful job of basically instead of storing a Boolean value in the database, you store a timestamp. But then the Boolean can be inferred. If there is a value, if there's a timestamp for that record in the database, then there are a bunch of helper methods that get introduced that say, like, paid? That's now a method that I can ask, and it will tell us that. But we can also find the paidat, paid_at value. And so we have this higher fidelity data when we need it, but we can also collapse it down to the simpler representation. Because most often, all we need to know is, have they paid for it? Cool, then they're good. They can come into the concert, that sort of thing. But yeah, this is a broader question that I don't have a great answer to. I think Postgres and Rails and just the nature of how we approach these applications pushes us in a certain direction. Another thing I'm exploring is downstream analytic systems. What if I send a bunch of events to them, and they act as a half-event sourcing type thing? But yeah, this is going to be, I think, an open question for me for a while. STEPH: Yeah, you said a lot of really good options. When you're talking about in our ecosystem, we get pushed in one direction or the other that makes me think of the projects that I've been on. Typically, what they'll reach for first is something like a Papertrail. So then, that way, they can check for the historical versions of an object and how it was changed and see who changed it. That's one way to track the logs. I like the idea that if you can outsource it and send all of those events to a logging system and then essentially ask for that data back as you need it. You made me think of a recent project as well where we needed to track the state. So it was a patient matching system. And we really needed to know when a patient match was created or disconnected and then who did that and perhaps for what reason. And to ensure that we had as much information as possible, we took that opportunity to just create a record for it. So we had a patient match record or...I forgot the name of the other one where we created where a patient did not have a match. But we were creating a record every time someone did that. Granted, probably that's not going to happen nearly as often as someone paying for an event or the situations that you're describing. This was ideally infrequently that someone was going to unmatch a patient because it meant that our system had matched people that shouldn't be matched, and then a human had intervened. But yeah, it's interesting the space that you're in. And you listed all the good things that I would have thought of. CHRIS: I think you listed Papertrail, which is one that I hadn't actually thought of yet for this particular instance. This only came up earlier today also. So this is new in my head that I'm really being pushed in this direction. But I think Papertrail could be a good solution for where we're at. But it is one of those where you often don't know the thing you want to know. And I'm terrified of losing data of like; I had the data. I knew it at one point in time, but now I can't reknow it in the future because I didn't write it down. That's one of the things that I just don't want to happen in the world. And so finding those ways of like, how can we architect a system so that we can do the normal, straightforward, boring things most of the time but then when we need to expand out the analytics dimension of the system that we're working on...and trying to thread that needle and find the ideal optimization on both sides is a tricky one. But yeah, I'll definitely take another look at Papertrail and see if that...at a minimum, I think that's a good solution for where we're at now. And then this is going to be a thought that's going to roll around in the back of my head for a while. So if I come up with anything else, perhaps a grander solution, I'll certainly bring that back to The Bike Shed. But yeah, what else is up in your world? I want to hear the story of the class variables. STEPH: Well, it is quite a journey. So I hope you're ready. Specifically, I was pairing with Joël, who was working on fixing a test that had been marked as being skipped for a while. We weren't really sure why. We figured maybe because it's flaky. But then, as Joël had restored that test, he realized it was actually failing consistently. So it was a test that was failing for a reason folks maybe didn't understand, but they decided to cancel or to skip that test. But they didn't actually want to get rid of it because it seemed like a pretty important test based on the description. So Joël saw it and got excited because it seemed very relevant to some of the work he was already doing. So then, he is now investigating why this test is failing consistently. So in this story, we have four main characters: we have a class, two modules, and a class variable. So enter the class stage left. All right, so this class defines a class variable which I have to say is not something I work with very much in Ruby. So class variables kind of felt a bit novel and diving back into like, oh yeah, these are a thing. So the class defines a class variable that's called cache and assigns this variable to an instance of a cache. So then this class includes two modules who we'll call Module A and Module B. And we'll enter them stage right. And both of these models look to see if cache is already set. And if it's not, they also set the cache class variable. So with that information, in our test, we don't want to exercise the real cache just because then if other tests are reading from that cache, which is proving to be a source of flakiness for these tests, then they are overriding each other's expectations, and it's causing some of the tests to flake. So instead, we want to use a fake cache, just like an in-memory cache. So the test and its setup is already overriding. It's setting that class variable to say, hey, I want you to be a fake cache, just be in-memory. However, while executing that test, one of the modules is checking to see if that cache is set, which is being set in our test setup. So test setup sets the value. We're running the test but then in the module, the model checks to see if it's set, and it's suddenly nil instead of using the cache that we had set. So now it's defaulting back to say, "Oh, it's unset. So let me go back and set it to the real cache," which is exactly what we're trying to avoid. So then the question became, if we're setting the class variable in our class, why is it being populated in one of the modules but it's not being populated in the other module? So one of them has it set to the in-memory cache, but the other one does not. So I'm going to gloss over some of the details because this stuff is pretty tangling. But essentially, when the test is running, and it's loading the class, and we are overriding that class variable, it's getting shared with one of the modules because as soon as one of the models does set that class variable, there's a bidirectional link that gets set between the parent class which is the module in this case, and the class itself. And as soon as that module sets the class variable, then they're going to talk to each other, and they're going to reference the same value. However, this only seems to happen for one of the parents. You can't do this for both. So if you have two parents that are trying to share a class variable with the same class, that doesn't work. So that's a particular bug that we were running into. I do have some good news because if anybody is very nervous about the situation that I'm describing, I feel you. The good news is that in Ruby 3, they actually warn when this is happening and have introduced an error. So you don't have this inheritance confusion that can come out of the fact that these parent classes are also trying to share a class variable with this child class. So in Ruby 3, if you are writing a class variable in that class but then you try to overwrite that class variable in the parent of that class or by the module that's being included, then an error is going to be raised. So it's going to warn you if you're creating this bidirectional link between those two class variables and that you shouldn't be overriding the child's ownership of that class variable. Instead, if you're going to use class variables, which, one, is not my cup of tea, but if you're going to use class variables, it should be defined in the parent class, and then it can be shared downstream in the inheritance versus trying to go upstream and then having your ancestors essentially override some of those class variables. So all of that is to say we were on a very interesting journey of understanding how class variables work, how the inheritance works, how that bidirectional link is getting established, and then how Ruby 3 comes in to warn us if something funky is happening. CHRIS: Oh, that is interesting. And I'm now going to catalog that as a piece of information that my brain will retain for roughly the amount of time that we are recording this podcast and then immediately forget. STEPH: As you should. [laughs] CHRIS: It's one of the reasons that I try to avoid inheritance. And I try to avoid class variables as much as possible because of this category of problem, a very subtle bug that you have to try and really hone in. And you have to be very smart to debug this sort of thing. I don't want to be that smart. I want to code in a way that I can be less smart on any given Thursday. That's my goal in life. I will ask one other question, though. So there's just a cache that this class and pair of modules are hanging around with, and then you want to swap it out for in-memory. This sounds remarkably like the Rails cache. Is this cache distinct special? Could it not just be backed by rails.cache, THE cache within the rails context, which can be backed by Memcached, or Redis, or in-memory when you're in tests, or the NullStore, which I think is the default in development is probably how that goes? Is there a particular reason? Is this a special cache? Is there additional behavior that this cache has beyond the normal thing? Or is it just like, at some point, someone's like, oh, I need a cache. I'm just going to use a class variable, that'll be easy, which it definitely is, but then you run into complexities. And caches are one of those hard things to get right. So it's one where I would immediately be like, whoa, whoa, I would love to not make up our own cache here. So I'm wondering, is there a distinct reason, or is it just this happened, and here we are? STEPH: So I think we are using a custom cache that we are pointing to. So it is another service. It's not a Rails cache or an abstraction that we can point to and use. It is a different cache that we are using. And I'm trying to think back to the exact code. But there is a method that essentially checks to say, hey, should I use the real cache? Should I use the in-memory cache? And that is something that we've explored to find a way to make this more global for the test suite because we really want to control this for all the tests. Because it's very easy to not realize in the test that you should avoid using that shared global cache. And so that way, the tests don't interact with each other but instead always use an individualized cache for each test to make sure that it is self-sufficient and independent. But we haven't gotten that far yet in figuring out how we can take a more global approach with this. CHRIS: Gotcha. So I don't know the details. I assume there are reasons here. But just to play this out, if we find ourselves saying we have a reason to have a distinct cache, to have a special cache over here, but it's a cache...and caches fundamentally, that word always will raise my attention. It will be like, okay, this is a place that bugs will come and aggregate. And we need a distinct one that has special behavior as an external service, or that is just something like in... There's a wonderful blog post that Mike Burns wrote at one point that was about...I think it was something like things that will make me look at your pull request in more detail. And I really loved it because it did capsulate all of these like, yeah, there are good reasons to do everything on this list. But if you do any of them, I will look at your pull requests and be like, oh, that's interesting. Why are we doing that, though? Do we have to do that? Are you sure? Are you triple sure we have to do that? And this is definitely one of those things where caches automatically catch my attention. Even if we're using the built-in cache, I'm like, do we need to? Is that a definite thing? And then all the more so when we're using a custom bespoke one. Again, I assume that there are reasons that there's something special that's going on here. Perhaps the caching behavior is distinct from just it's Redis, and we throw data. And if it falls out the backside, that's fine. Maybe you need entirely different behavior here. But it is something that I would poke at a bunch. STEPH: Yeah, you're asking a lot of good questions. I will have to go back and look at some of the code because we spent enough time in Ruby specifics that I didn't pay as much attention to the cache. Because right now, as we are working on these tests, we're trying to fix just the test without changing the application code, one, because that feels like a safer space. And if the test is flaky, we're just trying to change the test first. But some of these tests we're starting to realize I'm not sure we can fix the test without also changing some of the application code, or the way that we do have to fix the test is really an incentive to back up and say maybe now's the time that we look at some of the application code. Because another question that comes to mind is why use a class variable, and does this need to be shared by the class and the modules? And there's a part of me that suspects that maybe some of this logic was extracted to a module, but then it wasn't cleaned up in the other places. And so that's why we still have a reference. And it's essentially then being shared and set and unset and reset in those different places. So I think you ask some good questions, and I have some more questions of my own when we have time to revisit that portion of the test and application. As another example of some of the tests that I've been working on, one of the tests that I...because we have a list, we can usually tell some of the tests that are flaky. So one of the ones that I was investigating was a similar issue where there was a shared resource, and someone had tried to mock it out. So they had taken the time to say, hey, I don't actually want to use that real resource that's over there; instead, I want to just return the scanned value. But instead, they'd accidentally stubbed out a class-level method instead of the instance-level method. And so it was running, but it wasn't actually stubbing anything else since that's the method that's not getting called. So that was just an oversight for that test. So I fixed that test. But I noticed that we were using allow any instance of, so then I did take the time to go through that file and change and move away from the use of allow any instance of. And for folks that are less familiar with allow any instance of, RSpec has some really great docs that talk about how it's very helpful for dealing with legacy code. But essentially, it is a code smell that you're using; allow any instance of because you are saying that my test is or my code is so complex that I can't really mock out the specific instances that I want to and then return specific behavior. So instead, I'm having to use this more global approach to say, hey, any instance of this method, I want you to mock it out versus this very specific instance that I know that I'm working with. But we can include a link in the show notes because there's a nice write-up that talks about some of the reasons that allow any instance of is not recommended. So that's been kind of fun. There's been a little bit of joy to get to refactor away from that and actually stub out a specific instance. Part of the work, too, that I'm noticing as Joël and I are going through these tests is leaving breadcrumbs for other developers as well because they have a very large team. And they're very junior friendly, which is just incredible. I love that so much about this company. And because they do hire a lot of juniors, then it is a tough codebase. It's a fairly old codebase. So as these juniors are coming in, they're seeing a lot of these patterns. And they're propagating these old patterns that aren't necessarily the best patterns to propagate. But they're doing their best, and then they are reusing what they're seeing. So part of the work as we are revising these tests, my hope is that people will see some of these newer patterns and use those instead of following some of the older patterns. CHRIS: I can only imagine that you're writing borderline novels in your pull request descriptions and commit messages there. I do wonder, is there an index of those that you're collecting? So there's like, here's the test remediation examples list, and you're slowly adding to them. This was a weird one with a class variable. And this was a weird one that had flakiness due to waiting or asynchronous behavior. And gathering examples of those, but specifically from the codebase. I could see that being a really useful artifact because I happily traverse through git blame all the time. But I don't know that that's always a thing. And frankly, I have to work for it sometimes. So if there is that list of here are pull requests that specifically did X, Y, and Z, I think that could be super useful. STEPH: Yeah, that's a great idea. And yes, they have some shared team documentation that speaks to specifically flaky tests because they're aware that this is a problem. They are working together to address this. And they have documentation that states ways to avoid flaky tests. If you encounter a flaky test, here are some of the ways that you can triage to find out what's wrong. So as Joël and I have been finding good examples, then we've been contributing to that document. And they also have team meetings. So our plan is to attend some of those meetings and be like, "Hey, this is just some of the stuff that we've seen this week, some of the things that we improved and changed," and share the progress that we're making. Since everyone is aware that there are these developers that are working hard to improve the test suite, but then share that information with the rest of the team so they too can feel...one, they can just see the changes that are taking place. But they too can also benefit and apply those strategies themselves when they see a flaky test. Oh, but you did just remind me of a thing. So one of the tests that I was going through...I'm very intentionally going through and making the smallest change possible. So I will do the gross, ugly fix whatever it is to get something to pass, and then I will commit it. And then I'll think about okay, well, how can I make this better? So essentially, I have the fix, whether it's pretty or not. And then, after that, I start to have other commits that make it prettier. And so, I had a pull request that had four commits that told the story that I was very happy about and progressed along in a more positive direction. And I issued that, and I discovered that Gerrit, when it sees four commits, it split all of them into their own change request. And so, instead of having what I thought would be this nice story, now got split across these four change requests. And I thought, well, that's less helpful. So I ended up squashing two of them, but I still kept three of them because they stood alone, and each told a story. But that's something that I've learned about Gerrit. CHRIS: Always so interesting how our tools shape our work. STEPH: And it made me think back to the listener who asked the question about ensuring that CI runs for each commit. Well, here you go, Gerrit. [chuckles] Gerrit does it for you. It ensures that every commit gets split into its own change request. CHRIS: I mean, as you said earlier, not my cup of tea but... [laughs] STEPH: Yeah, I'm still lukewarm. I'm still discovering Gerrit and how we get along. Mid-roll Ad And now a quick break to hear from today's sponsor, Scout APM. Scout APM is leading-edge application performance monitoring that's designed to help Rails developers quickly find and fix performance issues without having to deal with the headache or overhead of enterprise platform feature bloat. With a developer-centric UI and tracing logic that ties bottlenecks to source code, you can quickly pinpoint and resolve those performance abnormalities like N+1 queries, slow database queries, memory bloat, and much more. Scout's real-time alerting and weekly digest emails let you rest easy knowing Scout's on watch and resolving performance issues before your customers ever see them. Scout has also launched its new error monitoring feature add-on for Python applications. Now you can connect your error reporting and application monitoring data on one platform. See for yourself why developers call Scout their best friend and try our error monitoring and APM free for 14 days; no credit card needed. And as an added-on bonus for Bike Shed listeners, Scout will donate $5 to the open-source project of your choice when you deploy. Learn more at scoutapm.com/bikeshed. That's scoutapm.com/bikeshed. What else is going on in your world? CHRIS: In my world, we keep adding new users to the system. We keep doing more stuff. These are all wonderful things, the direction you certainly want to be heading. But as we're doing that, I've recognized that we had a lack of process and a lack of formalization of certain things. And a lot of the noise of the work was just coming to me because I was the person that everybody knew. I can ask a question; Chris will know the answer, et cetera. And then there were things that we needed to keep an eye on. But because it was everyone's job, it was no one's job. So we've introduced the idea of a point person on the engineering team. So this is a role that will rotate each week. I think you and I have worked on a handful of projects that had something similar to this. There was a team that we worked with that had an ad hoc list, which were just little tasks that needed to be done by developers. So there was one person who would run with that. I've heard it called captain before, the sprint captain. We're not really doing sprints. So for various reasons, that title didn't work for me. But point person is what I went with here. And so the idea is rather than having product management or anyone else in the organization just individually reaching out to developers, we want to try and choke that off, have a single point of communication. And so just today, I introduced into Slack, a group, but it's a group of one person. So @pointdev is technically the handle for this person. It's a group in Slack. And each week, we'll rotate who the members of that team are. And technically, you could add multiple, but the idea is this is just one person. So we'll rotate the person. And what ends up happening is if anyone...say the product manager says, "@pointdev, what's the status on..." blah, blah, blah, that will notify the person who is the point person that week. So that's a nice feature in Slack so that we can condense it down and say rather than asking individuals, ask this alias. We're introducing one layer of abstraction in our communication tools, much like we do in our software. So I'm drafting now the list of like, here's all the stuff that I think this person...because we're trying to push all of the quote, unquote, "other work" the non-product feature development work into this person's purview for a given week. So it's monitor Sentry for any new errors as they come up, triage them, and figure out what we want to do. Ideally, and this is perhaps aspirational, I would like to keep inbox zero in Sentry. I know how you feel about that more generally and perhaps even more specifically within the world of errors, but that's my dream. We're going to see how it goes. STEPH: I don't know if people know I am the opposite of inbox zero. This is the life that I'm living. CHRIS: What about with errors, though? What about something like Sentry? STEPH: I want to say that I would be a better human with my email. But I'm going, to be honest [laughs] and say that I would probably have the same approach where I am not an inbox zero person. I've come to terms with it. I used to really strive and think I needed to change. But I have reached a point of comfort with this is who I am. There are many like us, so shout out to all y'all. CHRIS: Oh yeah, by far the more common approach, I think. So specifically with the errors, I struggle a bit with it because what ends up happening is we are implicitly ignoring the errors. And if we're doing that, I would rather just sit around and have a conversation and be like, let's just explicitly ignore them. There's a button in the UI. We can ignore them. If this is not a real error, we can add it to the list of things that we do not report on. We can ignore that error. We can ignore it for a week and add a card to Trello that has a due date that says, "Hey, we got to work on this." But let's take that implicit indifference to that particular error mode of our application and make it explicit. Let's draw that line in the sand such that when I see a new error pop up, I'm like, oh, that seems like something I should do something about. I really want high signal-to-noise when I'm seeing errors coming. And so I'm willing to work for that. But it is a trade-off, and it does take effort. And it's noisy, especially browser extensions, and whatnot, just fighting the page. Facebook showed up one day. I don't know how Facebook got in there. Someone was browsing our website from within Facebook's browser, which I didn't know was a thing, but they had their own thing. And it fires a bunch of events, and Sentry was just like, let me slurp all of those up. Those seem fun. That was noisy. So we had to turn those off, but we explicitly turned them off. STEPH: I do like the approach that you're taking where it's one person, and then it's a rotating shift because I think that makes it more reasonable for someone's who's like, hey, this is going to be noisy for a week. And then you're going to look through these emails and check all these errors, and then either silence them because you don't think that they're interesting or mute them for now. Or if you're going to convert it into a ticket, set a due date, whatever the triage approach is going to be. But that feels more achievable versus inbox zero for life is just exhausting. But I feel like if you're doing it rotating week by week, that seems like a nice approach and also easier to keep it at inbox zero because that way, you are keeping up with all the errors. Because I agree; otherwise, what's the point of tracking all the errors if you're just going to ignore them? CHRIS: Yeah, definitely the rotating, I think, is critical. I think the other thing that's been critical specifically on the error front is we've had now a handful of meetings where we triage the backlog together, the backlog of errors. So like, what all is coming into Sentry? What's going on? And we go through the process of determining is this a real thing? Should we fix this? Should we ignore it? And we do that together so that it becomes not just one person's intuition about whether or not this is important or not or what the source of it might be but a shared intuition such that now any one of us, when it's our week, can ideally represent the team in that way and be like, never mind, never tell us about this again because it's very easy to silence things in Sentry that you would actually like to know about when they become real. But right now, we have this edge case that is an ignorable version. So trying to get there that's been fun. But yeah, once again, Sentry, that's one of the things on this person's list. There are ad hoc support tickets for our operations team. So anything that needs to happen on a user's behalf that currently needs a developer to console, let's funnel all of those to this one individual, respond to any new questions. So this is where that Slack handle will be useful. Check for any stuck jobs in Sidekiq. So is there anything that's been retrying for a while? Because it probably shouldn't. Maybe one or two retries is cool, but past that, something has gone wrong. And we should either get in there and fix it or just kill that job because it's never going to succeed, which is quite often the case but go in there and keep an eye on those and then look for anything. We're starting to use due dates within Trello, which is currently our project management system. We'll see. Someday we're definitely going to grow out of that. But for now, it's good enough and checking for anything that's overdue or coming up in the next week in terms of due dates and just making sure that we're being responsive to that. And so, I really like the idea of having this be a named set of things and a singular focus for one individual. Because again, that idea of like, if it's everybody's job, it's nobody's job. Or if it's nobody's job, then it's my job, and I don't want it to exclusively be my job. [chuckles] So I'm trying to make it not exclusively my job and to share the knowledge about it and make sure that these are skills that we all have and ideas and et cetera. But also, I would be fine to answer fewer questions in Slack each day. STEPH: I have to admit, as soon as you were telling me that you had established this role, I was quietly congratulating you on helping delegate some of these responsibilities to the team. Because like you said, you are then the person that takes on all these tasks. CHRIS: There's a laziness to that. Like, it's easy for me to just answer the questions. It's harder for me to put up a wall and say, "No, no, we have a process for this." And quite possibly, what's going to happen behind the scenes is that questions are going to come in to whoever is this point person. They're not going to know the answer. They're going to reach out to me, and then that conversation is still going to happen. But even by doing that now, now that person will see that answer, will understand the thinking or the background, the context that I have. And so it's that weird thing of like, it would be so much easier for me to just answer one question. But to answer all the questions, well, I can't do that. And so I'm working to try and do more of the delegation to try and hand things off when they're in a known state and to identify this sort of stuff so that the team broadly can be stronger and better able to support everyone else in the organization. So that's the dream. We'll see how it goes. STEPH: Yeah, I love that approach. I'm also thinking how interesting this role is because I'm imagining a mix between someone who is like the front point person at like an ER. So like, things are coming in, and they're in a tragic state and need help and need to be diagnosed. But at the same time, you mentioned they're going around. They're checking Sidekiq. They're looking at some email errors. So they're also that night shift guard that's walking around with a flashlight just poking in each room. So it seems like a very stressful and low-key role all at the same time, all mixed up into one week. That person probably needs a beer at the end of the week. CHRIS: There is a version of the story in my head that is...I wouldn't say this feels like a failure mode, but I would rather this not have to exist at all. I would rather things to be calmly humming along and not require a dedicated person each week to deal with the noise. I don't think that's realistic, certainly not as early on as we are in our organization. But I do wonder, is this a crutch? Is this something that we should be paying more attention to? And I know in teams that you and I have worked with in the past that has been a recognition of like, this is a crutch. But it's a costly crutch. Like, we're taking an entire...in our case, it's not requiring the entirety of a developer's week. They're able to do this pretty easily and then still get a bunch...like, 75% of their time is still feature work. But we're just choking down who's the person that will be responding to questions when they pop up so that fewer individuals are interrupted? But I have seen organizations where this definitely filled an entire week and spilled out more than. And then there was the recognition of that and the addition of another person that comes along and tries to fix stuff along the way as opposed to just responding. And so I want to make sure this isn't a band-aid but is, in fact, a necessary layer that we then try and shore up, you know, we should have fewer errors. That feels true. Okay, cool. Let's fix the bugs in the app. And these ad hoc things that an admin needs to have done can that be a button in the UI? Can they actually self-serve in those cases? And we're slowly moving towards those. Ideally, fewer jobs get stuck in Sidekiq. And so, my hope is that this isn't a job that gets harder and harder over time. It's a job that potentially, if we're being honest, probably stays about this hard. I don't think it's ever going to be just like, nope, nobody needs to do anything. The app just runs, and it's great. And it never has bugs. But that is a question in my mind as I start to embrace this thing of like one person is dedicated for a week to this. And if right now it's only 25% of their time, okay, that's probably fine. But if suddenly it's 50% of their time or 75% or 100% of their time for that whole week, that becomes too high of a bar in my mind. And I want to keep a close eye on it and make sure it's not trending in that direction. And I will be one of the people on the rotation. So I'll get to be in the trenches. STEPH: I appreciate all the thoughtfulness that you're putting into it. And I'm thinking back on a project where we had a similar rotation because we had an issue Slack channel. And so anytime there was an issue, then it would get posted in there. And before, it was going out to everyone, or there was one particular person that was always picking it up and then trying to delegate it to others as they needed to. But then we started a similar rotation. And one of the key benefits that I found from that is it signaled to the team, hey, this person might get pulled away. They can pick another ticket or two, but we need to give them lower priority tickets because there's a chance that they're going to get pulled away to work on something else. And that's okay, and we're going to plan for it. Versus without this role in mind, then you had people all taking on high priority tickets, but then someone had to be the one that's like, well, I'm going to punt on my high priority and feel stressed about the fact that I've got this other thing to deal with. But then, I didn't actually do the work that I planned for. So I feel like you're helping introduce calmness into the week, even if it is a stressful role. But then there's the goal that this becomes less of a stressful role, and if you see it trending in the opposite direction, then that's something to investigate. But I also feel like triage and communication is such an important part of being a developer that it also feels very relevant upskilling for the whole team to go through. So there's also that benefit of where this approach also empowers the rest of the team to also experiences, build empathy, look for additional fixes, and then also build these important skills. Overall, I really applaud your thoughtfulness. And I think it's a really good idea. And it will be interesting to see which direction that this role trends if it gets easier or if it's getting harder over time. CHRIS: Well, thanks. I appreciate that. And I'll certainly report back as we develop this but hopefully, it stays about where it is. That feels right. And I think I'll probably...that's one of those things that I will monitor. And if I feel it moving in the wrong direction, then step in and try and get it back to this space because this feels like a maintainable reasonable amount. And we shouldn't be fixing every bug and adding every button to the UI. That's just actually not how it works, unfortunately, would love to. That's not true. You shouldn't have every button in the UI. That's so many buttons. But broadly, I hope we can maintain roughly this, and I think identifying it and laying it out now I'm feeling good about having that structure. So yeah, we'll see how it goes. Will report back. But again, thank you for the kind words. With that tour of a bunch of different things, should we wrap up? STEPH: Let's wrap up. CHRIS: The show notes for this episode can be found at bikeshed.fm. STEPH: This show is produced and edited by Mandy Moore. CHRIS: If you enjoyed listening, one really easy way to support the show is to leave us a quick rating or even a review on iTunes as it really helps other people find the show. STEPH: If you have any feedback for this or any of our other episodes, you can reach us at @_bikeshed or reach me on Twitter @SViccari. CHRIS: And I'm @christoomey. STEPH: Or you can reach us at hosts@bikeshed.fm via email. CHRIS: Thanks so much for listening to The Bike Shed, and we'll see you next week. All: Byeeeeeeeee!!!!! Announcer: This podcast was brought to you by thoughtbot. thoughtbot is your expert design and development partner. Let's make your product and team a success.

All Def SquaddCAST
106: Online Grocery Shopping vs In Store Grocery Shopping | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 57:28


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss Online Grocery Shopping vs In Store Grocery Shopping Luther Vandross vs Stevie Wonder Robbed Online vs Robbed In Person Guest Dion Lack Keysha E. S/o To Our Sponsors Blue Chew BlueChew.com Promo SQUADD Butcher Box ButcherBox.com/Squadd

Texas Podcast Massacre
FROM THE CRYPT: Sadako vs. Kayako Episode 199

Texas Podcast Massacre

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2022 84:18


Re-release of episode 199! We finish up Versus month with the Mitch-requested Sadako Vs. Kayako crossover from 2016. We debate if Sadako could take on Jason, go into Mitch's deep Ring fandom, and talk about how to use horror at a baseball game. Segments: Debate Question (6:55): Pick 'em of the versus movies Movie Review (24:07): Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) Final Cut (72:18): Movie review scores from hosts and guests Texas Podcast Massacre is a labor of love for us longtime horror fans. You can connect with us at texaspodcastmassacre.com, tweet us @TXPodMassacre, like us on Facebook, email us at texaspodcastmassacre@gmail.com, see our photos on Instagram, watch our music videos on YouTube. Please rate and review us on all of your favorite podcast platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play, Spotify, and TuneIn Radio. If you like the show tell your friends, and if you don't, then tell your enemies!

DTC POD: A Podcast for eCommerce and DTC Brands
From making $1M a month in college to a DTC agency

DTC POD: A Podcast for eCommerce and DTC Brands

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2022 51:22


9:56 - From bio major to builderDaniel's journey into entrepreneurship started as the desire to make money for weekend college fun, despite the fact that he didn't have time to work a traditional job.“I was a biology major. I was actually going to school to be a dentist and. I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. And that's what drove me. That was interesting. And doing new projects, stuff like that. Obviously, as a 19-year-old kid, I just had no idea what I wanted to do. And the online landscape was nothing like it was today. There's so much information you can find out there, and it's so accessible, there's communities and all that stuff going on. When I was in sophomore year of college, I had no idea you could even make money online. I had no idea that was even a thing. So it's a lot different than it is today. But what inspired me at the time was just a conversation. My friend was telling me he was making $45 a week on his phone. And I couldn't get a job, because I was focused on my studies. At first that's just what inspired me. I was like oh, I can get some money to go to the bar on the weekends. But what allowed me to really gain motivation was really I became passionate about it. Passionate about being able to grow a following, being able to engage with other people in this community, being able to learn all this new information that was solely reliant on me building something.”15:19 - The decision to ditch dental schoolDaniel's first ventures were doing well enough that he decided they sounded more exciting than dental school.“I started that platform May going into my senior year of college. I was going to the library every day to study for my DATs. I started the platform, it started getting traction and all this stuff. So you could say I was getting distracted very often. And I would say one month of studying and I knew that, number one, I was absolutely miserable. I hated the stuff I was studying. I never really wanted to be a dentist anyways, but it was just literally torture. I was already committed and whatnot. So I knew essentially by the time I was going to take the test, which was I think in August, that I didn't want to be a dentist for sure. And I didn't get a good enough score to get me into the right dental school anyways. So that made my decision very easy. With the platform getting so much success, I decided I'll take a year after college, see what happens. And if things keep going, I can still go to dental school. I can do whatever. But there's too much of an opportunity right now.”26:31 - Hitting the ground running with GOATcaseThe phone case company GOATcase was an immediate success. The major challenge was on the fulfillment side.“We went from literally zero to a hundred in one week. How do you fulfill that? That was the biggest thing. Within one week I remember we ordered 15,000 phone cases. Where do you put them? We should've gotten a 3PL. We thought about doing that, which was definitely the biggest mistake. And many people told me I should do it, but it seemed so expensive at the time versus what we could potentially do it for. And decided not to do it, which was an awful mistake. But like you said, in the first six months, we moved four times. Imagine how much time that takes, and stress, and all this other stuff. So logistics and fulfillment or a complete shit show.”29:30 - Getting a 3PLOnce GOATcase and Daniel's next brand, Perfect Sculpt, gained even more momentum, they were able to get a 3PL and ditch their nightmare of a warehouse.“It took us a year and a half to outsource our fulfillment. And that was when we launched our second brand Perfect Sculpt, which was substantially bigger than GOATcase even. And ended up taking more space because we went from phone cases to bras and waist trainers and shapewear, which just take a lot more space. So now we moved into a legitimate warehouse, 8,000 square feet, and had a legitimate kind of fulfillment operation going. And we just dealt with so much bullshit. Employees stealing, weird stuff going on from the security cameras, and all the stuff from managing warehouse workers that you might imagine. Just crazy stuff. And number one we weren't doing a great job from an accuracy standpoint on fulfillment. And because we had leverage because of just the volume of the business, we were able to find a 3PL that would pay. Because I got to the point where now we had substantial costs. We had our warehouse, we had a team, we had all this, we had some equipment and stuff like that. So because we had the leverage of our volume, we were able to get the 3PL to pay for the entire move, and to pay for our lease, to buy us out of our lease.”32:24 - The early days of ShopifyAt the time Daniel started his businesses, the online ecosystem we know today was in its elementary form.“We were on Shopify day one. But all of stuff that we take for granted today with Shopify was nowhere near it is what it is today. And all up and all the partners on it that you mentioned weren't anywhere near as capable and mature as they are today. Klaviyo at that time was a startup. $10 billion company today. So it was a bunch of startups just getting started, and obviously their tools just weren't as mature as they are today. But it also provided a lot more opportunity, because there weren't as many players in space in terms of competition yet, so costs for everything were cheaper.”34:04 - The decision to ignore AmazonAt the time, Daniel and his team didn't have the bandwidth to explore Amazon. It worked out fine in their case, but today Amazon is much more attractive.“We always dabbled a tiny bit into Amazon. I never gave it a ton of mental bandwidth for myself to figure it out, so to speak. And I would say that looking back, that maybe I regret that. Just because we always had so much success with what we had in front of us. And there was always moving and change and all the stuff you need to do to operate a business day to day. Amazon is a completely separate beast itself. So it's like, to stop what I'm doing to learn it myself seemed like an arduous task. Versus where we were at and the scale we were at, you may as just hire someone to figure it out. So we never put a ton of focus into that. I think looking back it might've been a mistake. But it also just wasn't our business model. We were trying to build brands, not just sell forks or dishes or whatever. But the M&A activity in the Amazon space is a lot more active now.”36:49 - Founders shouldn't do it allDaniel made the mistake of trying to hold all the cards in his business early on, when he should have been hiring and delegating sooner.“To build a great company, at least at the time, I felt like I had my fingerprints, so to speak, on everything. I had to manage everyone, I had to tell everyone to do anything, they were extensions of me. That's not right. Today I realize that's not the right way to do things. To build something that's scaling fast and efficiently, you need to find great people and get them to do that stuff. And if that trust isn't there, then you can't build a real company. Now that's how I approach things, and trust in my leaders and managers and stuff like that, who are able to bring the company tons of value that's not reliant on me.”39:34 - Why you need to be on marketplacesMarketplaces are where your customers are, pure and simple. With very few exceptions, such as subscription-based brands, Daniel thinks everyone should be on them.“The overwhelming majority of brands should be on Amazon. And you should be on every marketplace you can get on. Why? Traffic is so expensive today that unless you are wherever your customer is, it's now harder more than ever to generate profit. So customers simply go from Facebook ads to Amazon to buy products today. That's what happens. That's not questionable at this point. And if you're not there, then your competitors are there. And if your competitors are there, they're winning off your traffic and getting revenue and getting your customers. So for that reason alone, it's my opinion that you should be on every marketplace that you can get on.”43:27 - Subscriptions are the winning modelLong-term, Daniel thinks subscription-focused brands will win out due to the element of streamlined and sustained customer acquisition.“In my opinion today, if I'm launching a brand or I'm thinking about launching a brand, if it doesn't have a focus on subscription, I'm not even considering launching it. Because just like I touched upon before, it is now harder than ever to acquire customers profitably. And unless you have a really good metric for LTV and retention of your customers, it's just so hard to build a brand today. Pre iOS 14, it was extremely easy. You could for almost any type of stuff, if you had a good idea of what you're doing from an ad standpoint and creative and influencer, you could make it work. You could typically scale it pretty quickly. But with how tricky it has become since iOS 14, it's the brands that are able to focus on subscription that are thriving more than ever. Because typically the LTV is higher, they're compounding every month, and they don't need to focus on day-to-day.”50:11 - Know your marginsIf you don't have a high enough margin on a product, you can't be successful.“I tell brands it would be ideal to have at least 75% margins on a product. If you're under that, it just becomes really tough. Just from a marketing standpoint let's say advertising is 50% of your expenses. Which today a lot of brands are in that docket. And let's say, like I said, you only have 50% margin on the product. Now you're zero for everything else. You can't hire employees. You can't pay for software. You can't you can't invest in anything like influencer content. So unless you have a good enough margin, it's tough to really invest in a lot of things you need day to day. So roughly that's what I'd say, because then a lot of the numbers start backing out.”51:05 - You need a killer content strategyFrom working with influencers to ads, a good content strategy (or lack thereof) can make or break your business.“Having a good content strategy is the most important thing. And I think influencer marketing, leveraging that kind of goes hand in hand with that. Especially when it comes to building a brand, because a lot of time brands that have brand equity from the influencers you are working with, from the celebrities you are working with. Because that's how people remember a brand. It's like Nike, do you remember it was Michael Jordan. A lot of times you don't say, ‘oh, I love this brand because their ads I see on Facebook.' It might acquire the customer, but unless you are getting the likeness from a lot of people along the way, I think it's tough to have that brand equity that a lot of people aspire to have.”Full video interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mDY_VLkWS0Daniel Snow: CEO of Snow AgencyRamon Berrios: CEO of Trend.ioBlaine Bolus: COO of Omnipanel 

Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring

Frame 126 - Seventeen Years To Go. The contest is reaching a crucial stage where every frame played counts as one frame to whoever wins it and the trophy can be won or lost right now, though we won't be able to be sure about that until one or all of the players are dead. It's a cracking frame of snooker though and all good fun, until everyone gets a bit weird near the end. But don't let that put you off. You are not wasting your time with this, whatever other people might tell you. You're part of something important. At least, it's as important as anything. All of this will be stripped away and forgotten and we will be but dust on the breeze. Look/listen out for some amazing shots.

Radio Record
Record Club Show #770 (04-01-2022)

Radio Record

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022


01. Dada Life, Kyanu - Love Is Coming Down 02. Sofi Tukker, Vintage Culture, John Summit - Drinkee 03. Pavarino - Lambo 04. King Topher, Big Pineapple, Maddow - Friends 05. Firebeatz - Let's Get Down 06. Faulhaber, Noel Holler, Fast Boy - Raining On Me 07. Steve Aoki, Chemical Surf, Zafrir - Siliwa Hay 08. Joshwa, Lee Foss - My Humps 09. Dot N Life - Your Mind 10. Bruno Be, Sandeville, Alexandra Prince - So Many Times 11. Hugo Doche - Take Me Up 12. Atlantic Garden - Temporary 13. Promise Land - It's Over Now 14. Felix Da Housecat, Dave The Hustler, Eirie - Obsession X 15. Lost Minds - Overdose 16. Salvatore Ganacci - Fight Dirty 17. Triple M, Andrew Marks - Can't Let U Go 18. Neon Steve, Dakota Sixx - Don't Call 19. Martin Ikin - Sometimes 20. Ewave, Tictactec - Faster And Faster 21. Reebs - When I See You 22. Return Of The Jaded - Be The Reason 23. Ferreck Dawn, Jem Cooke - Back Tomorrow 24. Don Diablo, Jlv, John K - Problems 25. Castion, Crusy - Take Me Higher 26. Don'T Blink - Sensation 27. G-Pol, Vagan - Pick Up The Phone 28. Tommy Trash, Yolanda Be Cool - Emergency 29. Greg Dela, Donkong - Dreams 30. Different Heaven, Laura Brehm - Solve Your Code 31. Funkin Matt, Tom Breeze - Hope 32. Versus, Praxis, Kathy Brown - Turn Me Out 33. King Arthur, Munnday, Kwesi - I Found You 34. Eric Spike - We've Got Us 35. Disco Fries, Damon Sharpe - React 36. Tian - Far Away 37. Moti, Corsak, Georgia Ku, Willim - Back To You 38. Dave Winnel - Freaking Out

All Def SquaddCAST
105: Being Illegally Rich vs Barely Making It W/ A Honest Living | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 58:03


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Being Rich From Illegal Actions vs Barely Making It With An Honest Living Eat Nothing But Wet Food Forever vs Eat Nothing But Dry Food Forever Give Up Youtube vs Give Up Twitter Guest Keysha E S/o To Our Sponsors Manscaped Manscaped.com Promo: SQUADD Ship Station ShipStation.com Promo: SQUADD Better Help BetterHelp.com/SQUADD

ELIMINATION
Rd2 - Oliver's Army Vs Imagine

ELIMINATION

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 60:08


HAPPY NEW YEAR from the ELIMINATION family!!We are back putting 70's song up against 70's song in round two and Costello Vs Lennon in an epic battle of joyful fast paced Oliver's Army vs the slow heart felt message of Imagine.Bob and Dave are joined my Nephew/Grandson Freddie in place of Pauline, who will be back soon.Thanks for listeningJoin us on Patreon and receive your very own Elimination Podcast MERCH!And access to Patreon only content!Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/eliminationpodcast?fan_landing=true)

Microsoft Roadmap Roundup
A new year means a new season of Microsoft Roadmap Roundup | Season 3 Episode 1 EN

Microsoft Roadmap Roundup

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2022 4:04


Also in the new year, there is Microsoft Roadmap Roundup and it starts with two new features on the roadmap. Once in the Microsoft Teams area and once a SharePoint roadmap element. Also an important point for distractions in teams, a newly published feature and something for the French, Italian, Portuguese and German speakers. Check out afrait.com and the series "The Versus". Maybe that's something for you too.

Bitch Slap  ...The Accelerated Path to Peace!
Interview #52. Dr. Ian Hoffman: Start a non-profit and wipe out your student loan debt!

Bitch Slap ...The Accelerated Path to Peace!

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 64:10


Chiropractor Dr Ian Hoffman wants to help you start a non profit and wipe out your student loans.  He is an amazing man with an amazing story. His desire to help a 4 year old cancer patient and his need to solve his crushing million dollar debt load lead to his inspired business.  The Student Loan Eraser program.    The Impact: In the 6 years that he has been teaching The Student Loan Eraser Program his clients will have started over 400 charities that are taking care of over 10,000 nonprofit visits a month!  AND those doctors are going to save over $100 million from their student loans.Ian tells us how he built his business with webinars and how creating a non profit to serve their community can save a doctor tens of thousands of dollars off their student loans.There's “Google Slaps”.  The power of the email list.  The Avatar Process and the perfect customer.  Sorting out the who and not the how.And of course, the proven formula to saving hundreds of millions in dollars of student loan debts for his customers.Administrative: (See episode transcript below)Check out Dr Ian Hoffman's Student Loan Eraser Program hear!  https://www.erasemystudentloans.com/WATCH the Table Rush Talk Show interviews here: www.TableRushTalkShow.comCheck out the Tools For A Good Life Summit here: Virtually and FOR FREE https://bit.ly/ToolsForAGoodLifeSummitStart podcasting!  These are the best mobile mic's for IOS and Android phones.  You can literally take them anywhere on the fly.Get the Shure MV88 mobile mic for IOS,  https://amzn.to/3z2NrIJGet the Shure MV88+ for  mobile mic for Android  https://amzn.to/3ly8SNjSee more resources at https://belove.media/resourcesEmail me: contact@belove.mediaFor social Media:      https://www.instagram.com/mrmischaz/https://www.facebook.com/MischaZvegintzovSubscribe and share to help spread the love for a better world!As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.Transcript:Mischa Zvegintzov  00:10Welcome everybody to the table rush master class where we get back to the marketing and sales basics to help you the listener, the viewer to grow your business to $1 million and beyond. And I am very, very blessed today to introduce everybody to Dr. Ian Hoffman. Welcome Dr. Dr. Hoffman.Ian Hoffman  00:35Thanks, Mischa glad to be here.Mischa Zvegintzov  00:36Yeah, fantastic. So we chatted very briefly, maybe a week or two ago, when we were setting this up. And, and it's a big gift from for me to have you on here. Because whether you know it or not, you are a massive inspiration for me. And actually, ultimately, the creation of this show, because via mutual friends, you know, I started getting introduced to funnels, webinars, all this stuff. And, and, and this mutual friend was like, oh, yeah, you know, my buddy, effectively, Ian you know, has just doing amazing stuff. And I was just captivated. Right? I was like, "Oh, my God".  This is a two to three years ago. So to have you on. Super awesome. So thank you for joining.Ian Hoffman  01:27It's my pleasure. I'm so happy to hear that.Mischa Zvegintzov  01:29Yeah. So real quick. You have a you have a, a program, and it's called the Student Loan Eraser. Correct? Yeah. Fantastic. And so go ahead. Tell me quickly. Tell me about that. And then let's, let's talk about how you how you came to that and were able to bring it to market?Mischa Zvegintzov  01:54Sure. It's definitely a passion project of mine. You know, how it's a there are, I just feel like it was it was what I was put on this planet to do right now, which isn't an amazing feeling. So I'm actually a chiropractor to get into backstory. Yeah, dad's a chiropractor. Both of his brothers are chiropractors, I was born into that also. And I love being a chiropractor. And so what happened was, I was man, like three years into practice. My son was just born, I just came back to the office after taking a couple weeks off. And this, this pregnant mom came in as a new patient.Ian Hoffman  02:37And she brought her four year old daughter to the appointment. And this little girl had stage four cancer. That's the first thing that this mom said to me is my, my little girl. I lost it. I couldn't. I couldn't imagine no parent should have to go through that no child should have to go through that. So to make a long story short, that little girl really inspired me to actually start a nonprofit organization, a charity to expand access to chiropractic and holistic health care for underserved in my community.Ian Hoffman  03:09And as I was going through that process, it was right around the same time that I was really doing some research online about my student loans because I have a lot of debt. I remember having this. I hope I can say this this "Oh, shit moment."Ian Hoffman  03:28Because I remember I had I had just bought a house and between my wife myself, and our student loans, our cars, our mortgage, we had over a million dollars in debt. And that's a heavy weight? That's a heavy weight on somebody's shoulders. Yeah.Mischa Zvegintzov  03:44So how old were you at the time? Oh, man,Mischa Zvegintzov  03:47I'm 29, 30 years old. 30, 31. Something around there? Yeah.Mischa Zvegintzov  03:55And a young child. That's, that's heavy.Ian Hoffman  03:58Yeah, it was heavy.Ian Hoffman  03:59So when I started reading about this federal program called public service, loan forgiveness... I... I... My heart kind of skipped a beat. I had first read about it before I had even had this idea to start a nonprofit. And so there's only three requirements. But one of the major requirements is that you have to have qualifying employment, you have to work for the government or a nonprofit, to be eligible. And then once I had started my own nonprofit, I had this kind of Eureka moment that I might have reverse engineered my own eligibility. And that's exactly what happened. So, you know, fast forward a couple years from there, I wound up starting the student loan eraser, I put together this whole team, and we help doctors start charities with a dual purpose, which is to make the world a better place and get their student loans erased.Mischa Zvegintzov  04:52That's amazing.Ian Hoffman  04:54Thank you.Mischa Zvegintzov  04:54Oh, my gosh.Ian Hoffman  04:56Yeah, it's been quite a process. The transition wasn't easy. I was in practice full time, coming home, you know, having dinner with my family, they would go to bed, I'd be up till sometimes two, three in the morning.  Writing the webinars writing the emails, just getting the infrastructure together reading.com secrets.  Just feeding my, my, my my mind and getting educated on how to launch an online program because it's something I'd never done before.Mischa Zvegintzov  05:22So So you have the Epiphany, you're like, oh, my gosh, I can I am, you're in the middle of creating this nonprofit, you, you. You, you find out.Mischa Zvegintzov  05:34Here's a way for me to erase my debt, which if you don't mind me asking, What was that number for you? What was the chunk of that of your total debt?Ian Hoffman  05:42I borrowed around 150,000. And it was only going up because most doctors are on an income driven repayment plan, where their monthly payment is actually less than the than the debt, or I'm sorry, less than the interest. And so what happens is that on these income driven plans, they'll pay for 25 years. And at that point, anything that's left is forgiven, but the forgiven debt gets taxed as income. And so once once I heard that I'm like, Man, "this is a this is a black hole".  Because I'm gonna just pay for, you know, till I'm 5560 years old. And at that point, I would still have a six figure tax bill.Mischa Zvegintzov  06:27And you're at the 40%, maybe the your, your, whatever, the gradient tax bracket is 40%. SoIan Hoffman  06:35Oh, yeah, that's in California. So between federal and state taxes, it probably would have been closer to 50%.Mischa Zvegintzov  06:41Man.Ian Hoffman  06:42Yeah, crazy.Mischa Zvegintzov  06:43So we're talking about a real number here, perhaps 75,000 Plus, or since it's actually your debts incrementally growing, because you're paying less than the than the amount? You know, you've got 200, or whatever that number is?Ian Hoffman  06:58Yeah. So I tell most people to think about it, like their mortgage, over 30 years, whatever your purchase price is for, you know, on average, right? Interest rate plays a role, but most people are going to pay double, whatever their purchase price was over 30 years.Mischa Zvegintzov  07:13Yeah.Ian Hoffman  07:13And so that's the way I was thinking about my student loans is, if I borrowed 150,000, over 25 years, you know, it wouldn't quite double because I was making payments, but all of the monthly payment was going to interest only I wasn't, I wasn't actually taken care of any of the principal.Mischa Zvegintzov  07:31Yeah. So you have the reverse engineer moment. And, and your in the fire, right of this million dollar debt load, I've been there and it's heavy, right? That's a heavy load. When you're trying to build a business. You're, you've got a son, a son, right? That's that. Yeah. And so trying to balance, like, time with family with the, I get it. It's heavy. I've been there. But tell me about the moment of that. You go, oh, my gosh, a reverse enginer? Did you was it like an overnight epiphany? I could help people with this... And then or was that a slow build?Ian Hoffman  08:14It was it was an overnight epiphany. And then the infrastructure was a slow build.Mischa Zvegintzov  08:18Okay. Ian Hoffman  08:18Russell Brunson says it's, "it's the who not the how." So I needed to find the right people. You know, to put together the team. I needed to write the webinar.  I needed to really feel confident that at the end of the day I could deliver on the promise.  Because I know how much my student loans caused anxiety for me and sleepless nights.  And I didn't want to help anyone take that on; without really being certain that we could help them reach that goal, at the end of the day, of starting the nonprofit and then being able to qualify for you know, public service loan forgiveness. Yep. So it took quite some time.Ian Hoffman  08:19You know, it took me about a year and a half after starting my own nonprofit, to feel comfortable enough with the process to build the team because I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a CPA. I don't you know, I don't do those things. Yeah, so I need to...Mischa Zvegintzov  09:13Yeah.Mischa Zvegintzov  09:14So the we throw... love Russell Brunson, right. I love his Dot com secrets, expert secrets, all that stuff. I'm in his his high end coaching group so thriving in there.  But what about finding that like what what what was the journey to alright, I can help people.  How did you stumble across Russell Brunson? Or was that just was that like someone said, Oh, you have this great idea try this guy? And you're like okay.  Or is that was that a? Was that a rocky transition.Ian Hoffman  09:46I think that's the genius of Russell Brunson and his marketing. He's really good about getting in front of the right people at the right time.Mischa Zvegintzov  09:52Yes. Ian Hoffman  09:52You know what I mean? I don't even know how I came across his material. I'm sure I was just searching online for you know how how to "how to launch" or "how to write a webinar", "how to do an online program". And I had come across other you know, other teachers actually before Russell Brunson. And it's really funny. One of the people that I wound up doing a little work with early on, even before Russell Brunson, is Bailey Richert.  And I wound up hearing her on a podcast and then reached out to her and I did her in for infopreneur Institute, I think is what it's called. Yes. That was fantastic. So I had other mentors along the way. But you know, and she was she was fantastic.Mischa Zvegintzov  10:08You do her Summit, and all that, or No?Ian Hoffman  10:47I didn't do her Summit. But she has a an online training. You know, that teaches you how to go from I think almost nothing, just concept idea to just step by step how to how to get your first online program launched.Mischa Zvegintzov  11:04Yes.  Okay.Ian Hoffman  11:06So I did that. And it was fantastic. It really helped me to clarify my vision and who was I serving and those kinds of details.  And then it turns out later she wound up working with Russell Brunson. So brand and so it's a really small world in the online marketing space.Mischa Zvegintzov  11:24Yeah, fantastic. So so your entry into Russell Brunson land was was Bailey Richert your you take her infopreneur whatever it's called Academy. And, and that's how the idea for the webinar starts to come to fruition and use and you start crafting it there, then you end up in Russell Brunson land is that the?Ian Hoffman  11:48The timeline is a little hazy. Because I was doing a lot of things all at the same time. I was trying to educate myself. So I read a book. Also written by a chiropractor, I'm blanking on his name, but it was it's called social media made me rich. And I read, you know, I was really just trying to I was listening to podcasts, reading books, I was really just trying to trying to get an education on this space. So and at the same time, I was even... I live in Carlsbad, California. And there's an amazing podcast called... Oh, man, I'm blanking on the name of it, too. Anyway, there's an amazing podcast on I think it's the "online marketing made simple" or "Made Easy podcast". But she she teaches webinars and her strategies. And so I've gone through multiple iterations of my current webinar. Ian Hoffman  12:56I did probably eight or ten live webinars. Recorded them all made little notes. Figured out what questions people were asking, tried to, you know, answer those questions in advance as I kept going. And then finally got to the one where we had a really great response as far as sales and people staying to the end of the webinar. And that one eventually went on evergreen.Mischa Zvegintzov  13:21Fantastic. And so is this what we would call a high ticket webinar. So you're trying when I look at your webinar, or your landing page? Yes, reserve my seat now. Great news. It what? I'll tell you exactly what it says plus get a free phone called conflict consultation at the end of the web class. So you're driving phone calls? Or is your... Do you have a do it yourself? Course? A all help you course, I'll do it all for you course?  What's your...Ian Hoffman  14:03I only have one...Ian Hoffman  14:04It's it's not a traditional funnel from the standpoint of like... I only have one offer, and that offer converts. And so really, it's $5,000 to $7,000. And at that, that price point, I think that most people...Ian Hoffman  14:21I've had a few people who clicked an ad, they watched the webinar, and they signed up without ever talking to me. And that's super cool. And I was excited about that.Ian Hoffman  14:32But the truth is I wanted to also be able to qualify my clients. And so I don't mind jumping on a 15 to 30 minute call with prospects to really get a feel for who they are, make sure their hearts in the right place with all of this. I'm sure that we would work well together. And to answer their questions, make sure that they know that there's a human behind this you know.  So My funnel now is different. It changes over time, right? But my funnel now basically is register for the web class, that is the most important first step, because I want people, frankly, to be pre educated before they jump on the call with me. I want them to be able to ask the right questions to at least have a basic understanding of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  About their student loans. About ways that we can help before they get on the call, so that when I get on the call answer questions, then it's a simple conversation of, you know, what's going on? How can I help what questions you have? Let's address those and then sign up?Mischa Zvegintzov  15:40Yeah, yeah. Ian Hoffman  15:41Yep.  Answering all the questions that that you know, you know, the top questions or the top, in sales line, let's call it rebuttals. Right. Ian Hoffman  15:41It saves me a lot of time. Because before I was spending between 30 minutes to an hour with each prospect, you know, sometimes multiple phone calls going over the same material. And that's where a webinar is really helpful in in kind of pre educating. And doing the sales process for me.Ian Hoffman  16:10Right.Mischa Zvegintzov  16:11But let's talk about it from it's more from a service standpoint, though, you're like, hey, I have this vision. This helped me, I want to help you. Not only are is it helping you the doctor, because it's saving you money and clearing debt and relieving stress and all this stuff. At the same time, you get to have a passion project and help the world right? We get satisfaction of the world. Yeah.Ian Hoffman  16:34Yeah, for sure. Most most doctors that I talked to, are already doing some form of this.Ian Hoffman  16:40I think most people got into health care, because they want to help people. You know that that's been really beautiful for me to see, as I'm talking and consulting with doctors. And it doesn't matter what the degree is dentists, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, you name it. Most of them are already providing some level of discount or free care for, for people in need. And, and so they're just not doing it through a nonprofit. So we formalize that. We formalize their way of giving back, and they're able to qualify for student loan forgiveness as as a result.Mischa Zvegintzov  17:16That's amazing. I love that. That's, it's amazing. I just think it's my favorite thing. My goal is to help people help people, right. I'm like, I'm like, and so to hear you talk about the win win win scenario. That's like the best in the world right now. And I think that's what's genius about Russell Brunson, too, right. He's like, Hey, man, entrepreneurs are the people that are gonna save the world, shall we say, or make it better? Right?Mischa Zvegintzov  17:44And, and to have that win win win situation that you have created, or the universe helped you create, however you want to say it? Is, is beautiful. And inspiring. So thank you. I have a quick question.  Your frustration? Well, I want to start with the who, what? Not the how, because that's such a powerful concept. Building the team, and you set it like it was easy. Oh, yeah. I just needed to build the team and make this happen. Yeah, well, no, maybe you're like, I'll do this myself. And quickly, you realize this is going to be a here a Herculean effort. I need help or tell me about that sort of process?Ian Hoffman  18:26Sure.Ian Hoffman  18:26Well, I mean, I, I think it's a matter of, of taking inventory and knowing yourself and your strengths and what you're good at and what you enjoy. And also, what do you not want to do? What do you not enjoy? What what lowers your energy. And so for me, I love writing. So writing the copy, writing the webinar, that...I enjoyed that process.  But I didn't want to take on even the the the responsibility of filing these tax forms with the IRS and filing the articles of incorporation. And that legal work is something I knew nothing about and didn't really, I wasn't motivated to learn. So it's also it's also that is finding out, you know, where are the gaps between where you are and where you want to be.  And then filling in those gaps, either by educating yourself and then doing it or if you find that you're not motivated, you need to find someone else who that's what they do. So, so I wound up originally working with the the firm that started my own nonprofit, I brought this to them and they said, great, and we brought that to really to, to the scale that they could handle. They were a smaller firm, and then I wound up finding a bigger firm to work with and, you know, wound up transitioning over.  But yeah, I mean, I think that's the process is just knowing yourself and what you love and trying to to do that.Mischa Zvegintzov  20:03Okay, did you formalize that? Or was that all sort of intuitive for you? And when I say that I mean, did you? Were you like, Did you literally sit down and write out? Okay, this is what I'm good at. This is what I need help with? Or was it? Yeah, go?Mischa Zvegintzov  20:19I didn't do that I really, I wrote out kind of the curriculum and the steps of "what's the client's journey?" Right.Mischa Zvegintzov  20:30So once I, once I really went through the process of, okay, here's my modules, here's my, my, my system, my formula for the big promise of start a nonprofit and qualify for student loan forgiveness. What are the steps that people need to go through along that journey to really get that end end result that I'm trying to promise people? And then I was able to really clearly see what part of those steps can I teach? What can I help people with? What can we do for them? And then what do I need help with? You know, where can I fill in the gaps with other services?Mischa Zvegintzov  21:09Hmm, beautiful. Thank you. That's it. Thank you for that. Question in regards to Avatar. You mentioned that and everybody watching and listening avatar is "speak" for "your perfect customer".  The "the exact person you want to work with". I know for a lot of us, for me, that's an elusive concept, or can be shifting or, or the conversations I keep having are make it super narrow. And so I'll go super narrow, and then the people that are telling me to go narrow, inevitably say that's too narrow, or I get so tell me about your avatar process.Mischa Zvegintzov  21:47Totally. I'm a big believer in you know, for me personally, it was it was a little easier, I think, than some because I am my avatar.  You know, I was a doctor with six figures of student debt. And you know there are doctors with multiple, many multiple six figures of student loan debt. And so my avatar was was really anyone who... they I've worked with people that are not doctors, but really my avatar is anyone with over six figures of student loan debt who has a has a service based business.Ian Hoffman  22:28So, that's, that's the most general avatar. But the people who have the most student loan debt naturally are doctors and lawyers.  You know, people who went to grad school. So that's, that's where it went.Mischa Zvegintzov  22:28Okay.Ian Hoffman  22:28But the reason it's so important to have an avatar is because, um, you know, along this process of building a funnel, building a business, one of the most important aspects of that is where am I going to get traffic? How am I going to put my ads in front of the right people? And so for me, I know I can get my ads in front of chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, dentists, physical therapists, osteopathic doctors.  You know, those are my vertical markets. And in unless you have that avatar specifically drawn out, it's really hard to target.Mischa Zvegintzov  22:28Hmm.Mischa Zvegintzov  23:20And then then the ad process just is too inefficient. It did you can't you? Is that a good way to say it?Mischa Zvegintzov  23:29Yeah, absolutely. I mean, who wants to pay for ads that go to the wrong person that's not even interested? Or a qualified lead?Mischa Zvegintzov  23:37Yeah. Yeah. How was that? How was the do you do the ads? Or did you bring in? Did you bring in a who to do that for you?Ian Hoffman  23:46I've done both what I what I tend to do in my journey, my learning process is I want to learn as much as I can and try it myself first, and then hire an expert, so that I know what questions to ask. I know, I can get to a certain point, they better beat me. You know, they're going to get better results than I did if they're doing this as a professional. So you know, that's just how I am. Yeah. So that's how I started. I did really well, early on in Facebook ads. But then it became complicated because Facebook changed their marketing policy really related to student loan type advertising. And yeah, I mean, that people talk all the time about Facebook slaps and Google Slaps,Mischa Zvegintzov  24:30Google slaps. Yeah. You had one!  Tell me about it...Ian Hoffman  24:34So yeah, it happened. And so then, you know, again, it's the who not the how I didn't want to become a Facebook ads specialist on top of everything else I was doing. So then you find the right team who can get you back where you want to be.Mischa Zvegintzov  24:46And so was that a? Was that an overnight crack on the side of the head like your business effectively shut down?Ian Hoffman  24:54I wouldn't say it shut down.Ian Hoffman  24:55So that that is actually the power of having an email list. right? So that's where I'm really glad that I was collecting emails for people who joined my webinar, because there were a lot of people on my email list who didn't bought who hadn't bought. And so what I was able to do once traffic shut down, you know, as I was working on getting that back up with ads... I had an email list of about 4000 Doctors by that point. So I really started emailing my list more frequently.  And getting them back engaged and, you know, sending them more information.  And really just being more active with that. And that was able to drive sales for a considerable amount of time, as you know, rebuilding the apps.Mischa Zvegintzov  25:44That's fantastic. So let's dive into this email list a little bit. Are... You have a nurture campaign, which means do you email consistently? Or is it? So there's that question? And do you outsource that process that process or tell me about your nurturing of your list?Ian Hoffman  26:07Yeah, I don't outsource that... I do... I enjoy writing. That's one of the things that I enjoy. So for me, and I think those emails are so... those are really important. And I want people to get that kind of information directly from the source.  Directly from me. So I don't I don't hire out for that. And I also...Ian Hoffman  26:35I can probably be better about this. But when there's news when there's, you know, especially in 2021, there's been a lot of news, political news related to student loans.Ian Hoffman  26:53President Biden has already raised billions of dollars of student loan debt that President Trump never did for people who have, you know, for example, who were defrauded by their schools. And their schools shut down... they didn't get the you know, their degree. Or for people who have a total and permanent disability, now they can get student loan forgiveness. And so I follow these these things in the in the world of student loans. And I send, you know, information as it comes up to my list.Ian Hoffman  27:17One of the most recent developments in the world of public service loan forgiveness is that... before there were there was a very low acceptance rate into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Hovering around 2%, actually, which is terrible. And that's because yeah, there are three requirements to qualify. There's actually four different types of federal student loans. Only one type qualifies for this program. There, there are like nine different repayment plan options. Five of those are income driven repayment, those are the ones that qualify.  And then you had to have qualifying employment with the government or nonprofit.   Ian Hoffman  27:57And the student loan industry is so complex. I personally believe it's designed to confuse so that people overpay. I mean, that's just that's just what it is. Right?Mischa Zvegintzov  28:08Yes.Ian Hoffman  28:08So unfortunately, unless people have done the homework and the research, like I did to say, most people don't even know what type of student loans they have, let's start there. So 15% of PSLF denials were because people just didn't have the right type of student loans. And they weren't being told that there's a free process that can turn any of the other types of federal student loans into the type that qualifies.Ian Hoffman  28:32So that's the first step with my program, I look at what type of loans they have, what repayment plan they're in, and we make sure that they meet those first two requirements. But because the program was so messed up... recently, there, I think it was President Biden or the administration said, "we're gonna we're gonna, you know, wipe away those first two requirements".Ian Hoffman  28:54So now any type of student loans and on any repayment plan, as long as you're a government and nonprofit employee, you can qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness right now. So they actually made it easier than ever before, to to enroll in this this program.Mischa Zvegintzov  29:11Wow. That's amazing. So you're disseminating information like that to your list and useful information. And obviously, strangely, it's either a blessing or a curse. You're fascinated by the by the, by the student loan process.Ian Hoffman  29:29Yeah. That was originally fascinated by it. But you know, I think originally when I, when I went to try to get my first mortgage, I was told that my income was good, but my debt to income ratio was all messed up because of the student loans.Mischa Zvegintzov  29:45Yeah.Ian Hoffman  29:45So I really got inspired to understand my student loans so that they didn't hold me back in life. You know what I mean? And then and then meeting that little girl with stage for cancer and everything else that came after it really was You know, the universe or something aligned? Yeah. To help this this product, this service come to fruition?Mischa Zvegintzov  30:08Yeah, I don't mean to go political, but I'm going to it almost seems to me, and I've had this thought that that a lot of these schools were, literally were created as a vehicle to create student loan debt. Right. Like, almost people with lots of money, we're like, we want to, we want to, you know, collateralize debt or securitized debt obligations, or whatever, you know, the bond market, right. And so they're like, alright, we got we want student loans, we can, the government will subsidize it. Right? So they got you got venture capitalists with billions of dollars that want to create CDOs, or collateralized debt obligations? There we go. And so they're like, how can we do this? This is just a theory. I don't mean to you, maybe you could speak to that for a second. You know, it's like,Ian Hoffman  31:11Yeah,Mischa Zvegintzov  31:12Yeah it's like... go ahead...Ian Hoffman  31:14I mean, I have heard a few different, you know, theories as far as the student debt crisis in America and how it came to happen. And, you know... I think that what we do know, is that part of the issue is that tuision, has just gone up and up and up and up far faster than the cost than the then the salaries that the degrees people are being trained in provide. And so...Ian Hoffman  31:50But the reason that they're doing that is because the schools know what someone can borrow. So if someone can borrow $10,000 a quarter, you know...They're gonna make their tuition, you know, whatever the the the very minimum that somebody can can have for, you know, room and board.Mischa Zvegintzov  32:10Yes. Ian Hoffman  32:11That, you know, plus tuition is $10,000. So, you know, that's, I think that's more of the issue is that it's not, it's not commensurate with what, what someone can expect to earn from that degree. It's not...Ian Hoffman  32:30There's a lot of unethical practices, I would say, but most importantly, is just that people aren't being educated on the responsibilities that they're taking on... when... you know, if... If I was 20, I'm trying to think of when I when I started at chiropractic school, graduated high school at 18. College at 22.Ian Hoffman  33:00So if I was 22 years old, and I went to try to get a mortgage for six figures, yeah, you know, there's no way but sure, you, we can give you six figures, you know, of debt for for college, right. So and it's an it's that it's a, it's a trap unfortunately, for a lot of people. I'm I'm, I value my education to no end. And I would do whatever it took to repay my debt. And and I was on that path. I was, you know, whether it was making my monthly payments, and then paying the tax bill.  Or earning more and paying it off more quickly, I would have done whatever I could, it wasn't about getting out of the debt.Mischa Zvegintzov  33:43Yes.Ian Hoffman  33:44But the fact that there's a federal program out there, that would erase my debt, because I was helping more people and providing a public service. I was all after that.Mischa Zvegintzov  33:54I love it. That's a great, great way to frame it, you are committed to like, Hey, I have this debt. If I took it on, I'm willing to be responsible for it. I as a matter of fact, I'm trying to pay it off sooner. So I can be a responsible consumer or whatever, you know, like... Reduce the lifetime interest on the damn thing or stuff. Right. Like and, and, yeah. But then you figure out an ethical way. I didn't even think about this. The you're like, oh, wait a minute, like, I'm trying to be responsible. Here's an alt solution to be responsible. And yeah, it's beautiful. Did I frame that right? Or did I say that right?Ian Hoffman  34:35Yeah, you did. You know, and, and...Ian Hoffman  34:35Why are we bailing out banks at three quarters of 1%? When a student who wants to become educated and become a doctor, we're gonna put them into student debt slavery for the rest of their life? You know, it doesn't make sense. So I do you feel, in some senses like Robin Hood you know... Trying to... cuz the student loan industry is huge.Ian Hoffman  34:35There's $1.5 trillion of student loan debt out there. It's more than credit cards and car loans combined. So it affects 45 million Americans, it's a huge issue. And that's why I feel really good about helping people to sleep better at night to get that student loan monkey off their back and to give back in the process.Ian Hoffman  34:37I go back to you know, you asked about the the student loan industry as a whole and I think what's crazy is when the banks needed a bailout, the federal government gave them that bailout at 0.75% interest rate. When I got my student loans, it was 6.8%.Mischa Zvegintzov  34:58Oh my god.Ian Hoffman  34:59So why that that feels backwards to me. Right?Mischa Zvegintzov  35:45Yeah, that's beautiful. Thank you for that. Let me ask you a question. As far as like, internally, you you're coming across these these professionals, medical professionals. Who are, you know, who have this burden who are trying to do the right thing and have a they're kind of doing the philanthropic thing, they might not even know it it sounds like right.  They have the activities and and you can wrap that, that nonprofit around it. What's like, the thing that, that they're thinking in their head that they're like, this doesn't make sense. What What's that? What's that? You know, what I'm saying? Like, how do you what is that thing that that, that that doctor in that situation internally is like, Yeah, but like, what's that thing?Ian Hoffman  36:35Regarding my program?Mischa Zvegintzov  36:36Yeah, regarding your program. Mischa Zvegintzov  36:39Yeah, like that internal, where they're like, they're thinking, like, well... I can't do it. Or I don't have the time. Or what is the what's like, what, what's the thing that stops people from taking advantage of this amazing thing internally? I guess, is what I'm trying to say. Right.Ian Hoffman  36:54Like, I mean, I think most often, it's that we have this silly phrase that, you know, if something sounds too good to be true, right? So I do hear that... And you know...there...Ian Hoffman  37:06Unfortunately, it's an industry where there are there are some scams out there, there are people taking advantage. And so I understand when my clients have questions, and they want to do their due diligence, and that's why I stopped selling the program directly from the webinar. And I want people to get on the phone with me. Because I want them to hear my heart and my purpose behind this. And I want to make sure that they're aligned with that. And I want to make sure that they understand that it's not me personally offering to forgive their student loan debt. And they do have responsibilities when they decide to join my program.  They have to run the nonprofit, effectively.  They have to learn the difference between how to run a nonprofit versus a for profit. We do all that training. But you know, there, I have this great quote, from www.nonprofitquarterly.org. Ian Hoffman  38:03They said six months of executive training for nonprofit professionals to on compliance costs between $4,000-$30,000. And that's included in my program, because I want people not just to help them start a nonprofit, I want them to be trained, so they can run it effectively in compliance with state and, and federal regulations. And so they're that means that they are taking on a different responsibility.  Instead of paying their student loan debt, they need to know that they are now going to learn how to run a nonprofit, and how to do that effectively, how to avoid conflicts of interest, and how to, you know, to meet the specific requirements for public service loan forgiveness.Mischa Zvegintzov  38:51So you help them do all that.Ian Hoffman  38:53We help them do all of that.Mischa Zvegintzov  38:55Is that like the biggest, the biggest sort of outside issue that that that a medical professional is going to feel when they when they come across this idea? Your your student loan? I forgot the name, I'm sorry, student loans eraser.Ian Hoffman  39:11Yes.Mischa Zvegintzov  39:12Is that is that is that the is that like the thing where they're like, wait a minute, this sounds too good to be true. But then they get you on the phone and they feel your heart? And they say, oh, no, this is real. I can do this. But then they're like, oh, there's this outside stuff. Like, is it that compliance piece? Or is it is it well, my wife's gonna think I'm crazy or what? What's that?Ian Hoffman  39:34So first, it's too good to be true. And then it's, it's the other two big ones time and money. Right. So how much is this going to cost? And how long is it going to take for me to get it set up? What are my time requirements in running the nonprofit? You know, what are those things look like? So those are all important questions that most people have.  That I addressed to a certain extent on the webinar, because I know everyone has those questions. Yeah, but then we We go deeper on the phone calls.Mischa Zvegintzov  40:01Okay, cool, cool, cool. And what's the what's like the epiphany moment for them where they're like, oh, my gosh, I have to do this.Ian Hoffman  40:09Yeah, um... Ian Hoffman  40:09Most people know they have to do it when when they look at how much student loan debt they have.  You know, when they look at their options.  Because you know, the truth is... I break it down. Ian Hoffman  40:09There's three, three ways to get out of your student loan debt, right? Number one, you can pay for 25 years, well, let's say four years, you can pay it off. But when you have multiple six figures of student loan debt, most people cannot do that in, you know, in a reasonable amount of time. Number two, you can go on an income driven plan, make the minimum payment for 25 years and save for that tax bill. That's, that's the way a lot of people go. Number three, you can qualify for public service, loan forgiveness, and get it erased in half the time tax free. That's the option I provide. And number four is die trying, you know, those, those really are the options. So between those four options, when you really break it down, people are able to see that, you know, if I can get out of debt in less than half the time tax free. That's really the way to go.Mischa Zvegintzov  41:23Thank you for answering. I want to know how many times did you almost quit in this process? How many times were you like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. And then the next day like, I can't do this another day? Yes. Because it's so hard building this.Ian Hoffman  41:40Yeah, I will say that I almost quit a few times before my first launch. Once I did my first launch. i i I've never looked back. So the first the the first year was really a challenge because that's when I was still full time in practice. Still, you know how to have had a new family.  You know, a lot lots of obligations. And I wasn't sleeping much because I was trying to get this thing off the ground. So it was stressful. It was stressful for sure. Plus, you know, I was running a for profit and nonprofit, you know, so I had a lot going on. And I did I did get to a few points where I'm like, What am I doing? What Why? Why am I doing this? Right? Yeah.Ian Hoffman  42:32But, uh, then I looked at that little girl with stage four cancer, you know, and I remembered my why. And she's now December of this year, she'll be six years cancer free. When we first met, she was as bald as me now her hair is as long as yours, you know. So yeah. And so now I realized that the the impact is what drives me my clients are taking care of over 10,000 nonprofit visits a month.  Which is amazing. So yeah, I wanted to quit early on. But...Mischa Zvegintzov  43:09Oh my god, thank you for that. Say that, again, what your nonprofit is doing what Say that again.Ian Hoffman  43:13So fast forward now.  In the five and a half for six years or so that I've been teaching this. We by the end of this year will have started over 400 charities, and those doctors are going to save over $100 million. And they're taking care of over 10,000 nonprofit patient visits per month. So those are the numbers that are important to me. Oh no, I know that as those numbers grow, so too, so does income.Mischa Zvegintzov  43:43You know what? I I literally wrote this down. And I wrote down it's an effort to create something like this. You deserve a standing ovation. Right? Just for the fact that no truly I mean, and I'm not even talking that's just on the creation and now that I hear like your impact. Oh my gosh, I just I you know... I need the... what I was gonna say is I need an applause but I need the standing ovation applause button.  So what great inspiration. um, so are you you're not chiropractic anymore? Or you do it a little bit or what's going on there?Ian Hoffman  44:22I'm not I'm not I really miss it. And so you know, one day I hope to have a little office with a box on the wall "Pay What You Can" you know that that kind of thing. That's That's my dream retirement. But for now...Ian Hoffman  44:39I also know that the the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program in and of itself is probably not going to be around forever. There's there's been over a million people that have submitted their employment certification form. There's a lot of interest in this program as complex and difficult you know, as as it is.  And so Every year in office President Trump asked Congress to close enrollment in public service loan forgiveness. And they never did. But it put the program on the chopping block where... there was always a grandfathering clause that said, once you're once you're enrolled, and once you have your student loans...they're not trying to take it away from anyone who is already enrolled. But they would close enrollment from that point forward to not let the program continue to grow. And Congress never changed it. They never they never did that. So the program survived. President Biden seems very in favor of all of the student loan forgiveness programs, including public service, loan forgiveness.  And they're making great strides to fix it and make it easier for people. So, you know, political shifts can change. And, you know, I'm, I'm in this for as long as I can be.Mischa Zvegintzov  45:58Does it keep you up at night at all? Are you ever Are you ever or do you have a connection or a trust factor that like, if this evaporates, "I know there's next"?Ian Hoffman  46:08Yeah, you know, the cool thing is that, because I was fortunate enough, I wound up getting a to two comma Club Award. This program, which was super fun, I got to shake Russell Brunson. And it was amazing. And, and get on stage at Funnel Hacking live in front of 1000s and 1000s of people.Mischa Zvegintzov  46:26Yeah,Mischa Zvegintzov  46:27What year was that?  What year was that?Ian Hoffman  46:292019.Mischa Zvegintzov  46:29Yeah, not Nashville was that which was Nashville? Yes. Yeah. Congratulations, another applause button.Ian Hoffman  46:38Thanks. That was super fun and a cool accomplishment. But since then, I think just naturally, you know, people hear about that. They find me online, somehow through to comic club or whatever. They I've had people reach out to me and ask me for help. Because they're trying to get an online program launch. They're trying to write a webinar, they're trying to go through this process. And the most common thing I hear is, I don't know what to do first. Okay, even if I do that, what do I do next? And so I've really had fun taking on a handful of select clients.   That, you know, are people who are doing something that I really believe in.  That are making the world better.  That are helping people with their product or service. And, you know, I've helped a couple of them get to market, get on Click Funnels and, and develop their, their funnel. So I do some of that coaching. And I think that if, if Public Service Loan Forgiveness went away overnight, I would probably have a lot of fun getting into that more.Mischa Zvegintzov  47:47Yeah, yeah, great, what a gift. But how cool is that? To know that that can shift there if necessary, or wherever the universe is going to take you.   Or however you...Ian Hoffman  48:01Yeah totally.Mischa Zvegintzov  48:02Yeah, that's super cool. Any upsells down cells along the way you have? Or are you? Or do you have like progression for your doctors? So you have your first $5000 to $7,000? Class? Is there a next step for them? Or no, you're pretty focused on that.Ian Hoffman  48:26There, there's not. There's no upsell, so to speak, as far as as that's concerned. But I do remember reading about how important it is to have a continuity funnel to have monthly recurring revenue instead of just one chunk at a time. And so I got together about two years ago now with the team that I use to do the legal work. So they write the articles of incorporation and bylaws send that to the state, they send the required documents to the IRS. And so they have a great team.Ian Hoffman  49:00And we put together a compliance program for my clients. Where we call it the "hands free 501 C three maintenance program". And so that includes help with bookkeeping, payroll, state and federal tax returns, help with their board meetings. You know, compliance questions, all of that. And really it that it's $157 a month, we tried to keep it really affordable. And it's it's an option. Some of my clients choose to keep their nonprofit, very low budget, and they do all those things themselves. But for the ones who are really busy, the ones who their nonprofit can afford it. We do have that as I would say kind of an upsell. Ian Hoffman  49:48And then as a down sell.  The first step in this whole process is making sure that people have the the first two requirements.  They have the right type of student loans.  And they're on an income driven repayment plan with the lowest possible monthly payment, because that helps us maximize their savings and cash flow.Ian Hoffman  50:08And so I do a custom student loan plan. For people who are on the fence, they're like, show me my numbers, how much can I save? Before I sign up, so that sometimes I have specials, that's usually somewhere between $297 and $497. But you know, that's a great way for people to get their numbers and see how much they're going to save before they jump into the full program. So really, it's about twice a year, I'll send some emails, you know, telling people about the the custom student loan plan. And that works great as well.Mischa Zvegintzov  50:46Fantastic. Thank you for answering it. And I next interview, I'm going to ask it more delicately because upsell and down sell can sound a little salesy, right. But really, oh, here's an added value. If you're a busy, medical professional, and you're, you're cranking away at your business, and you've created this nonprofit that's thriving. Or maybe more than they anticipated, or something, you're like, hey, we can we can maintain your compliance on a on a monthly basis. So you don't have to worry about it. It's beautiful. Right? Versus, and then you've also got, hey, someone's not ready to feel like you know what, I think I'll just start with like, let's clean up my my student loan debt, let's just clean it up a little bit. Make sure I'm maximizing, you know, interest rates and all that sort of stuff. Yeah?Ian Hoffman  51:38Sure.Mischa Zvegintzov  51:38Yes. Great.Ian Hoffman  51:39There are people that that start there. And I show them that they can lower their their payments enough where it pays for the full program in and of itself within two years, or whatever that is. So it's just a nice way to help people save money and provide value quickly. And then if they choose to get started with the full program, great. If not, they've had a great interaction with me. And hopefully they saved a ton of money.Mischa Zvegintzov  52:07Yeah, fantastic. And I'm looking over here a little bit as a, as we're talking, I'm looking at  your landing page, the introduction to the webinar. And there was something I saw on there about a group, there's you do you have a group associated with this? Where? Yeah,Ian Hoffman  52:25Yeah, so all my clients, one of the bonuses that they get is access to a private Facebook group. We have, I think there's, there's over 200 doctors in that group at this point, it might be 250 At this point.  But it's, it's a way for them to share resources and provide community support. Sometimes someone will find an article, even though I stay really up to date with the political stuff regarding student loans. Sometimes they find things before me, and they post it there, and then I get a chance to comment. So they're, you know, people will have questions about anything, you know, related to their student loans or related to the nonprofit, and we get to provide community support, share referrals, resources that way.Mischa Zvegintzov  53:14Cool. What's sort of the coolest thing you've seen on the group?  Where you're like, Whoa, I didn't expect that. That was amazing.Ian Hoffman  53:21Yeah. Um, to be honest, it was like, it was a, it was a fear that turned into a really cool, powerful moment. So I had somebody who posted that they were flagged for an IRS audit. And it was something that was totally unrelated to their student loans and to the nonprofit. But they wound up posting, you know, as they went through the process that the IRS, the nonprofit that we started for them got looked at, and it passed with flying colors. There were no the IRS had no issues with the setup or with with any part of that. So that was fantastic for everyone in the group to see. We cross our T's we dot our I's we teach it a certain way.Mischa Zvegintzov  54:10Yes. Ian Hoffman  54:11We do that because you know that that's the way to do it.Mischa Zvegintzov  54:15Yeah.Ian Hoffman  54:16There's, there's only one way in my opinion, if you're going to go down this path, and that's the rightMischa Zvegintzov  54:21way. That's beautiful. Ian, thank you so much. Um, I had one other question. It just escaped me. Um, maybe that means we should be done.Mischa Zvegintzov  54:32Oh, but I wanted to tell anybody watching and, and listening. Either go into the show notes or click below www.erasemystudent loans.com click on that link. And you can check out the webinar and just get all the quality information and if it makes sense and you want to reorganize your debt or start a nonprofit help save the world and wipe it off the books or or what have you click on that link and learn. I guess my next question is, is there like a breakeven point you have? So if someone's got, like $10,000, in student loan debt, obviously, you know what? Probably not, I'm not your guy, is it? Like, right? That's what's that number and above?Ian Hoffman  55:19It's not so much a specific number of an amount of student loan debt, although I will give you that number. Um, it's, it's their debt relative to their income, because, for example, if they have $50,000 of student loan debt, but they have no income, than the $50,000 is still gonna be there. Plus interest 10 years from now? Yes. Right. So, you know, that's why it's related to their income, versus if they have $50,000 of student loan debt, and they make $250,000 a year, they're gonna pay that off before they qualify for forgiveness, right. So that's why it's it's debt relative to their income. And for the most part, I would say, you know, if you're, if your monthly payment is at or below interest, meaning, if your debt is not going down, yes, then we that's how we know that this might be a good option for you. And I would say that, at a minimum, I typically want to see somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000, of student loan debt, you know, to take on a client. However, I have, I have had clients that have $750,000 of student loan debt. So it's no joke, you know, as as a naturopathic doctors right now are graduating with $400,000.  Dentists are graduating with $400,000.Mischa Zvegintzov  56:47What!?Ian Hoffman  56:48And some people have multiple degrees. So yeah, and then, you know, on top of, let's say, You graduated with $400,000 of student loan debt, and you didn't have a substantial income right out of school, five years later, that might be significantly higher. So that's why we start to see people who have half a million dollar plus a, you know, that's that those are really my favorite clients, because there's no way they're paying that off, you know, unfortunately.Mischa Zvegintzov  57:22Unfortunately, so they could actually be thriving as a practice and have a ton of income, but that the burden of that debt is just... It's heavy, right? Like it. Especially if you're growing a family and doing all that and have a house, totally things.Ian Hoffman  57:38There are statistic statistics now on student debt related suicides, and student debt related divorces, and student I mean, it's just, it's miserable. Um, so, you know, I would say, for anyone in those kinds of positions, um, you know, there's help.Mischa Zvegintzov  57:57That's amazing. Um, and so I just want to recap, one thing, if what I'm hearing you say is, if someone's making a million dollars a year, and they have $100,000, in loan debt, and they have no other debt, like that's not your guy, because they can just effectively pay it off. Quick anyway, right, like, pay it off, versus going through the hoops of paying me all this stuff? Is that effectively what I heard you say?Ian Hoffman  58:21Correct. Um, that being said, I do have clients who are earning in excess of $250,000 a year, so. But, again, if you're earning debt load, but you have half a million dollars of debt, that's why it's not just a picture of how much debt you have. It's debt and income,Mischa Zvegintzov  58:39I get it. It's like the debt to income ratio, if you wanted to call it like that. Right? And it's, it's the whole debt to income ratio, right? Like by the time you have your car payment in there, maybe some credit card payments in there, and maybe some, right when you put the whole picture together.  It's like yeah, you could be making a lot but but that total that load? Okay, you've answered the question. I don't mean to brow that any brow beat that anymore? Did you want to clarify there? Because I didn't mean to dilute that message. If I did,Ian Hoffman  59:07No, no worries. And and I'm happy to have people check out the web class, make sure that this is something that they want to pursue, get the information and if they're not sure, on their those numbers, you know, jump on a call with me, we can always start with the custom student loan plan. That's why I have that option to run the numbers for them.Ian Hoffman  59:27And I also provide two money back guarantees in my program because I want to make it a no brainer. So the first guarantee is that after they sign up, when I do the first step, and I look at what type of loans they have, what repayment plan they're in, I estimate how much they can expect to save by qualifying for public service loan forgiveness. And if I can't provide a you know, an estimate of 1,000% return on their investment, you know, basically meaning. The program itself is is $5000 If we if I'm not going to show them that they're going to qualify for at least $50,000 in savings, then I give them an opportunity to have a refund.Ian Hoffman  1:00:10And then the second guarantee that I make is that one, it's their responsibility from that point forward to complete the steps in the student loan eraser and go through the course and with my help and guidance, but once they complete the process, I the last step is that they send a document to the Department of Education, letting them know that they now have qualified employment, and they get a letter back saying, letting them know how many payments they've made, or how much how many months they have that count towards public service, loan forgiveness.  So they know they're in. If they get denied, they get we work with them until they get approved or they get a refund. So it has to work or I don't feel that I deserve to keep the payment.Mischa Zvegintzov  1:00:53That's amazing. That is amazing. That's amazing. And thank you for explaining it that way. That's that's clear and concise. Like that's almost if you fit if you fit the person that can use help that needs they can they can get you can help clean up their their debt load serve community. like they fit that model. If you aren't able to come through it's not it's it's a no lose situation. That's That's powerful. Wow. I know you're a busy guy. I know you've got a son out there still and all that and so I want to I want you to let you get back to your day. But I want to tell everybody again, erase my I'm looking at it. It's a beautiful it's a beautiful landing page very concise, easy to easy to figure out what to do https://www.erasemystudentloans.com/ The link will be in the show notes as well but absolutely click on it. And just the impact I'm I just getting the chills by the impact I just that you're bringing is really truly beautiful and inspirational. So thank you for that.  Ian. Dr. Ian Hoffman. I'm gonna hit stop, and then we'll say goodbye offline.Ian Hoffman  1:02:18Okay. All right. Thank you, Mischa, I appreciate the opportunity.Mischa Zvegintzov  1:02:20Indeed. Cheers.

Screaming in the Cloud
Spreading the Networking Vibes with Serena (@shenetworks)

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2021 38:43


About Serena Serena is a Network Engineer who specializes in Data Center Compute and Virtualization. She has degrees in Computer Information Systems with a concentration on networking and information security and is currently pursuing a master's in Data Center Systems Engineering. She is most known for her content on TikTok and Twitter as Shenetworks. Serena's content focuses on networking and security for beginners which has included popular videos on bug bounties, switch spoofing, VLAN hoping, and passing the Security+ certification in 24 hours.Links: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@shenetworks Twitter: https://twitter.com/notshenetworks?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: It seems like there is a new security breach every day. Are you confident that an old SSH key, or a shared admin account, isn't going to come back and bite you? If not, check out Teleport. Teleport is the easiest, most secure way to access all of your infrastructure. The open source Teleport Access Plane consolidates everything you need for secure access to your Linux and Windows servers—and I assure you there is no third option there. Kubernetes clusters, databases, and internal applications like AWS Management Console, Yankins, GitLab, Grafana, Jupyter Notebooks, and more. Teleport's unique approach is not only more secure, it also improves developer productivity. To learn more visit: goteleport.com. And not, that is not me telling you to go away, it is: goteleport.com.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Redis, the company behind the incredibly popular open source database that is not the bind DNS server. If you're tired of managing open source Redis on your own, or you're using one of the vanilla cloud caching services, these folks have you covered with the go to manage Redis service for global caching and primary database capabilities; Redis Enterprise. To learn more and deploy not only a cache but a single operational data platform for one Redis experience, visit redis.com/hero. Thats r-e-d-i-s.com/hero. And my thanks to my friends at Redis for sponsoring my ridiculous non-sense.  Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Once upon a time, I was a grumpy Unix systems administrator—because it's not like there's a second kind of Unix systems administrator—then I decided it was time to get better at the networking piece, so I got a CCNA one year. Did this make me a competent network engineer? Absolutely not. But it made me a slightly better systems person.My guest today is coming from the other side of the world, specifically someone who is, in fact, good at the networking things. Serena—or @SheNetworks as you might know her from TikTok or @notshenetworks from the Twitters—thank you for joining me, I appreciate your time.Serena: Yeah, thanks for inviting me on.Corey: So, at a very high level, you are a network engineer, and you specialize in data center compute and virtualization, which is fun because I remember doing a lot of that once upon a time before I went basically all in on Cloud consulting, and then sort of forgot that data centers existed. That's still a thing that's still going well, and there are computers out there that don't belong to what are the three biggest tech companies in the world?Serena: Yeah. Shockingly, there's still a ton of data centers out there, still a lot of private hosting, and a lot of the environments that we see are mixed environment; they will have some cloud, some on-prem. But yes, data centers are still relevant. [laugh].Corey: On some level, it feels like once you get into the world of cloud, you don't have to really think about networking anymore. You know, until there's a big outage, and suddenly everyone had think about the networks. But it also feels like it is abstractions piled upon abstractions in the cloud infrastructure space. How much of what happens in data centers these days maps to what happens in these hyperscaler provider environments?Serena: That's a good question. I think—so I have two CCNAs; I'm very familiar with networking, I'm very familiar with virtualization, and I went and got my AWS certification because as we're talking about a lot of cloud things happening now, it's big, it's good to know about it. And underlying infrastructure under the cloud is all the data centers that I work with, all the networking things that I work with. So, it maps very well to me. I thought I had, like, a really easy time studying for my AWS certification because a lot of the concepts just had, like, a different fancy name for AWS versus just what you know, as, like, NAT, or, you know, DNS, different things like that.Corey: Of course, NAT used to be a thing that was—everyone would yell at you, “It's not security,” even though there are—I would argue there are security elements tied into it. But honestly, that feels like one of the best ways to pick fights with people who are way better at this than I am. Nowadays, of course, I just view NAT through a lens of, “Yeah, I totally want to pay an extra four-and-a-half cents per gigabyte passing through a managed NAT gateway,” which remains, of course, my nemesis. The intersection of security, networking, and billing leads to basically just being very angry all the time.Serena: Yeah. You come into the field, like, so ready to go, and then sometimes you do get beat down. But it's worth it, I think. I really like what I do.Corey: And what you do is something of an anomaly because most people who focus on this world of data center networking and the security aspects thereof, and the virtualization stuff, are all—how do I put it politely?—old, grumpy and unpleasant. I mean, I guess I'm not going to put it politely because I'm just going to be honest with it. Because I'm one of those people, let's be clear here. Instead, you are creating a whole bunch of content on Twitter and on TikTok, where I've got to say that the union set in the Venn diagram between TikTok and deep-dive networking and cybersecurity is basically you. How did you get there?Serena: That's a really good question. To your first point, the, you know, old grumpy, kind of, stereotype, those are honestly some of my favorite people, truly, because I don't know what it is, but I just vibe with them in a work environment so well. And it's funny, you know, when I got my first job out of college, I was definitely the youngest person on my team by far. And we would all go out to lunch, I would mess with all of them, we'd all play pranks on each other. Just integrating into the teams was always super easy for me, which I'm really lucky that—not everybody has that experience, especially in their first job; things are a little rough.But it's always great. Like, I love the diversity in tech. And to your second point, how did I end up here, right, with this kind of intersection from this networking world to TikTok? People are always confused. Like, how did that happen? How are you finding followers on TikTok that are interested in networking?And I'm just as shocked honestly. [laugh]. I started making this content this time last year, and… you know, at first I was like, nobody wants to learn about DNS on TikTok. This is where people dance and play pranks and all this stuff.Corey: And if there's dancing when it comes to DNS, at some point, something has gone other hilarious or terrifyingly. That again, I use it as a database, so who am I to talk?Serena: [laugh]. Yeah, but it's been fun. I am shocked. But there's such a wide variety of people now using TikTok and it's growing so quickly. Early on in my TikTok career, I had messages and emails from people who are vice presidents at major Fortune 100 companies asking me, you know, if I'd be interested in working there or, you know, something like that, and I was just—I was so shocked because there was a company that was a Fortune 100, and one of their VPs joined one of my Lives, and was asking me questions, just about, like, my background career, and then they sent me a follow up email [laugh] to be like, “Hey.”So, I was like, “Did I just get interviewed on my Live on TikTok?” And that they always, like, cracked me up. And at that point, I knew I was like, okay, this is something different; like, this is interesting. Because, you know, at the end of the day, you see the views and the numbers and the followers, but you don't have, really, faces to put to them or names, and you don't really know where a lot of these people are from, so you don't know who's seeing it. And a lot of times, I think I made the assumption that they are younger kids. Which is true, but there are also a lot of very seasoned professionals that have been in this field for a very long time that also follow me, and comment on my videos, and add great input and things like that.Corey: There's a giant misunderstanding, I think across the industry, that the executives at the big serious companies, you know, the ones whose mottos may as well be, “That's not funny,” have no personality themselves as people and that they live their entire lives in this corporate bubble where they talk to their kids primarily via I don't know, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx, or something else equally sad. And in practice, that just doesn't work that way. They're human beings, too. And granted, you have to present in certain ways in certain rooms, but the idea that, oh, you're only going to reach developers with attitude problems by having a personality of being on modern platforms. I mean, it's an easy mistake to make.I know this because I spent years making it myself with the nonsense that I do until suddenly people are reaching out and it's, “Huh. You sure did use a lot of high-level strategic terms for a developer.” And you start digging into it, and it's like, “Oh, you're your chief operating officer to giant company. I bet your code is terrible.” Is it? It's like, “Yeah. Turns out, maybe I'm not looking at that through the right lens.” Meeting people where they are with engaging content is important, and I think that a lot of folks completely miss that bus.Serena: Yeah, I agree. And this is a small field, right, so it gets kind of nerve wracking sometimes because sometimes you say things and it's so easy to be like, this is how I joke with my friends. But I'm still somewhat in a professional capacity because of me associating with my career, right? And then when my videos reach a million, half-a-million views, when we think about how many people are actually in this field that would be interested in viewing that content, you realize, oh, wow. Like, this is a huge mixed bag of people, which does include very high level executives, all the way to people that are in high school that are just interested in learning more. So, it's definitely been interesting to figure that out along the way. [laugh]. But yeah, they will have regular personalities. They all like TikTok too. If they don't, they're lying. [laugh].Corey: I used to be very down on the whole TikTok thing, but I started experimenting with it. And yeah, it turns out I have a face for radio and, you know, the social graces for Twitter. So, it's not really my cup of tea, but I enjoy watching it. I found that I'm not really a video person, but something about the TikTok format means I'm just going to start scrolling. And oh, dear, it's been six hours and my phone battery died. Thank God, or I'd still be there. There's something very captivating about it and I really like the format.The problem I always had with looking at a lot of the deeply technical content out there is so many companies are out there producing this and selling this. And that's fine. Like, money is not the end all, be all [of this 00:09:40]. I'm about to spend weeks of my life on something, the fact that it cost me 30 or 50 bucks or whatnot is really not economic thing I should be concerning myself with. But it all feels like it's classroom stuff. It's if you give people an option, are you going to go to a college lecture or are you going to go to a comedy show? Does the idea of, I want to be entertained. If you can teach me something while entertaining me, that feels like the winning combination, and you've absolutely nailed that.Serena: I think a lot of these companies that are producing content, hold themselves back a lot. And that is why they're not successful, right? Because there's so many stipulations, and there's teams of people, and boardrooms of approvals, and all these things, and me, all I'm doing—I record all my TikToks on my iPhone, and I just use in-app editing. I spend a lot of time kind of researching, right, maybe I will experiment with different formats, but the best format that's worked for me is just being authentic, kind of, not having that corporate vibe, right? And also not really expecting anything in return.So, a lot of times, corporations are putting out content because they obviously want to drive traffic to their websites, and different things like that, but the companies that do the best are the ones that are just putting out content for free, and really not necessarily expecting anything in return. And they also give themselves so much more leeway into the type of content that they create because they're not thinking about the numbers at the end of it, right? You just got to put stuff out there and people will see it. For me, I just put stuff out there, I don't need to wait for someone to approve my TikTok for me to push it out and have this content there. So, that is a big difference.And I've learned that through working with sponsors where they'll send you a giant list of talking points they want you to say and I'm like, “You guys know this is a 60-second video, right?” It needs to be really small. You need to, like, really learn how to get the really important stuff out there because the rest of the smaller stuff doesn't matter as much. Like, sell them on one big thing, and that really makes a difference.Corey: Oh, very much so. I see that sometimes with this show where people will reach out and ask about sponsoring, and they'll want to have a URL that I read into the microphone, and it's with UTM tracking parameters and the rest. And it's, like, “I appreciate where you're coming from and your intention here, however, that is not generally how this format works, so let's talk about this and the outcome.” And again, it's a brave new world out there. Yeah, if you're used to buying display ads in various places, that is exactly what you do.For some reason, there's this corporate mentality toward we're going to spend $25 million on a billboard saturation campaign, and not really give any thought about what we're actually going to say now that we have all of that visual real estate to get people's attention with. It's, there's not enough focus on the message itself, and I think that is a giant lost opportunity. Enterprise marketing doesn't have to be boring, it can be a lot of fun.Serena: I agree. And I think podcasting was the last, probably, big area that people budgeted for marketing, right? So, you have your traditional TV commercials and there was YouTube, and—you know, TV commercials, billboards, newspapers, then there's YouTube, and then podcasts, I would say, probably came a little bit later, as far as these companies look at for marketing potential. And now TikTok is so new and a lot of these marketing companies have no idea how to be successful on it because it's just so different. It's Gen Z, the humor is different.It's kind of like [laugh] the wild west on social media where things are just, like, crazy, and you have to fight the algorithm because on TikTok it's, if you don't like it, you just scroll within three seconds. The attention span is so short. So, you really have to capture people's attention within those first three seconds. Versus a podcast, you have the whole, let's say, first 20 minutes to get people, kind of, interested before you can be like, oh, hey, and here's my sponsor. So, it's very different versus TikTok, they'll just, like, oh, scroll. So, [laugh] you have to get creative and think differently.Corey: Many moons ago, when I was getting my CCNA, I worked at a company where we wound up getting a core switches for the data center, which was at the time, something like 65 grand. Great. And then we rented—because we had configured it in our office—and then a couple of us had to rent a commercial van, which I think ran something like $30,000 itself to transport this thing 20 miles to the data center, and I'm sitting there going, like, “Wow, the switch is worth way more than the van that's sitting within. Also were really shitty movers and that doesn't seem like the best idea for anything.” But I just think they remember that, and it left an impression on me.What I like about cloud with what I do is I can take a credit card and then spend less than $10 on AWS—or theoretically, Azure, or Google Cloud or, you know, $2 million on IBM because oops-a-doozy, but fine—and I wind up coming out the other side of that with having done some interesting disaster stuff. You are teaching people about how this stuff works, but in a data center world, it seems to me that the startup costs of, “Oh, I'm going to buy this random router or switch to wind up doing some demonstration stuff for,” it feels like the startup costs of getting hands on that equipment would be out of reach for an awful lot of people. Am I just completely out of touch with how that world works?Serena: No, you're right, you're one hundred percent, right. It is difficult. So, in college, my undergraduate degree is computer information systems, and they had a Cisco Networking Academy. And so we had old switches, old layer 3 switches, and then we had some routers, and this is all stuff that was EOL, donated equipment, right? And this is going to—Corey: It breaks down you're bidding against very faraway places with no budget on eBay for replacements. Oh, yes.Serena: Yeah, exactly. And it was a lot of IOS stuff, right? And so when I was in college, I had no idea that NX-OS existed, which is the data center Nexus version operating system for their switches and things. And so when I got to my first job and saw NX-OS, I was like, “Oh, crap, [laugh] like, what is this?” Right?Because I honestly didn't even know. I graduated and did not know that existed. And I didn't know a lot of the stuff that I was working on at my first shop existed. And I really had to rely on, kind of, the fundamentals. And they are transferable, right? That's why it's good to kind of get into—like, I know what these routing protocols are. I know, layer 2, I know this cabling, so let me just learn these command differences and things like that.And once you get into a production environment in general, out of a lab, it hits the fan. Like, everything you feel like you've learned is gone almost because there's so many layers and now all of a sudden, you have these firewalls, when before you were just trying to get, like, your routing neighborships to establish [laugh] and you weren't worried about rules on a firewall somewhere. And [crosstalk 00:16:39]—Corey: “Oh, and by the way, in this environment, that link that you're working on goes down, every minute it's down, here is the number of commas in the amount of money that we're losing, and yes, that's a plural.” It's, “Okay, so I guess I'm going to double-check everything I run first.” Yeah, it's that caution that gives people a bit of credence there. [unintelligible 00:16:58] do these things in a, more or less, cowboy style in these environments, at least not for very long. Because you can break individual servers; that's fine, but if you break the network suddenly, you may as well not have the computers.Serena: Yeah. It can be paralyzing, truly. It can be very overwhelming your first networking job. Especially for me, I was just dealing with outages constantly because I worked for a vendor, and I was [laugh] like, I was just scared, you know? Because I would get these cases and it would be a hospital outage.And I'm like, “I just graduated college. Like, what do you want from me?” You know, and back to your original point, it is difficult in a data center space because the equipment's so expensive. So, a lot of people ask, “Do you have a home lab?” And one—there's a couple of reasons I don't really have a significant home lab. One, I move so much.Corey: Oh, and in the spare room basically is always 90 degrees and sounds like a jet engine taking off.Serena: Yeah.Corey: Yeah, it's one of those, I should probably find a different place where I don't live, to have that equipment. Yeah.Serena: Yeah. And I have access, like, remotely to all the lab equipment that I really need. So, I don't personally have one, but a lot of things that I do work with are so expensive, that I'm like, I can't afford to put this data center equipment in my house. That doesn't make any sense.And there is luckily now a lot of virtual labs that you can do. There's some sandboxes by Cisco and other vendors, where you can kind of get a little bit of hands-on experience. A lot of it relates to their certifications. You can rent racks, but that gets pretty pricey, too. So, it is difficult, and sometimes that's why a lot of these jobs, I think I have a lot of people who are looking for entry-level work, and it's hard to get into a specifically a data center space.And aside from racking, stacking, working in a data center—maybe a NOC—if you want to get into the actual,s I'm configuring Nexus switches, I'm configuring, you know, Palo Alto firewalls, it can be difficult because it's hard to get to that point, there's not a clear path.Corey: What is the entry path these days? I entered tech by working on a help desk, and those aren't really the jobs that they once were, in a lot of different ways. So, I've stopped talking to entry-level folks with the position of, “Oh, yeah, this is what you should do because that's what I did.” It turns into, like, “Okay, Boomer. Great job. Tell me a little bit more, though, about what the Great War was like, first.” No, we aren't going to go down that path. It's just I don't know what the entry-level point is for someone who's legitimately interested in these things these days.Serena: Nobody does. It's crazy. And you're right at the, “Okay, Boomer,” thing. See, networking was one of those… things that just got pushed onto people in, just, a general IT department, right? So, that's when everything was like, “Okay, we need to get on the internet, so, you know, hey, you handle some of the computer stuff. It's your job now. Good luck. Figure it out.”And so, people started doing that and they kind of just got pushed into it, and then as the internet grew, as our capabilities grew, then the job became, like, a little bit more specialized. And now we have, you know, dedicated network engineers, we have people running data centers. But that's not necessarily a viable path now for people just because there's so much to it now. There's cloud, there's security risks, there's data center, wireless, pho—I mean, you can be an engineer just for phones, right? So, it's a little bit difficult for, especially, the younger people coming in, and the people that I talk to, and figuring out, well, how do I get to what you're doing?And the way that I did is I went and got a four-year degree and then joined a new college graduate program at a Fortune 100 company. Which is a great path, I highly recommend it to anybody that can do it, but it's also not available for everybody, right, because not everybody has the means to get a four-year education, nor do you necessarily need one to do what I do. So, everybody's kind of has this different path, and it's very confusing for people who are aspiring network engineers, or aspiring cloud engineers, even.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don't ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.Corey: The narrative the cloud companies have been pushing for a while—like, and I'm in that space deeply enough that I haven't really thought to go super deep into questioning this—is that well, the future is all cloud, the data center is basically this legacy thing that the tide is slowly eroding, in the fullness of time, because everything will one day be cloud. Do you think that's accurate?Serena: I don't. I really don't think that's accurate. Don't get me wrong, I think that the cloud is here to stay, and a lot of people are going to be using it. And it's going to be—and it currently is a huge part of our lives. Like, as we've seen recently with a few of the AWS outages, when it goes down and goes down hard because everything's so centralized.And people like to think, like, oh, you know, we have all this redundancy, yadda, yadda. That has not protected us so far, [laugh] like, from these major outages, right? And a lot of places that I see—especially when you're looking at public sector—is a hybrid, where you do have data center on-prem and you have cloud. And I think that, personally, is the best way to go. Unless, you know, maybe you're a fast growing startup and AWS or Azure makes a lot of sense to you.And it does. There's great use cases for that, right? But they're—not only aside from the whole cloud shift, there's another shift of, you know, making our data centers eco-friendly, too, and workload optimization. So, maybe the price point that you're looking for, what's going to save your business the most money, is doing that hybrid. So, I'm going to store a lot of my private documents on site, I'm going to have this as a backup disaster recovery, but we're also going to operate in the cloud. I don't think that the data centers as we know them are going to go extinct. [laugh]. I think they will be around.Corey: Well, AWS finally made their Outpost—the smaller ones; read as servers that run AWS services on in your facility—available a year after announcing them. And I looked at it like, oh, wow, these things are 600 bucks a month. Which is not nothing, but certainly something I could afford to wind up exploring and doing some content. But okay, first, it's a three-year commitment. So, that's 20 grand or so. Okay, not ideal, but fine.That would effectively almost double my AWS bill, but that's not the hardest part because, oh, and to get one of these, you have to have enterprise support. And when I pointed this out to some Amazonian friends, their response was, “Well, what's the problem on this?” Yeah, enterprise support starts at $15,000 a month minimum, and that means that people aren't going to pick these up to do proof of concept work. They're going to do it when they already have a significant infrastructure out there, and I think that's leaving an awful lot of money on the table by making people jump through sales hoops, and getting proof of concept credits, and doing all the other stuff for this. It's just ship me a box for a few weeks and let me kick the tires on in my environment and see if it works or doesn't work.Worst case, I'll ship it back to you. Worst, worst case, I lose the thing, and then you charge me whatever it costs to replace this. But it still feels like they are really doing the whole, “Oh, it's only big legacy companies that have on-premises stuff.” I don't like that narrative.Serena: I don't either. And I honestly think it's a bad idea, right, because if you do put all of your eggs in the AWS basket and they have all the power, that's not going to give us a lot of bargaining, right? That's not going to give people a lot of—because they'll know. They know how hard it is to get off of AWS at that point: They know it's costly, it takes manpower, it takes knowledge, right? And I think that it is in people's best interest to kind of have that mixed environment. Just for long-term, I'm just very wary of centralizing everything in one area. I think it's a bad idea. [laugh]. I think that we need to be prepared for ourselves, and that means also relying a little bit on ourselves. We can't just, in my opinion, put everything in the AWS basket. [laugh].Corey: Not very long anyway. It just doesn't seem to work.Serena: Right. And it's a great product.Corey: Oh, it absolutely is, but—Serena: There's so many positive things about using cloud. Because I'm not the type of person that likes to, kind of, talk crap about any vendor. I think everybody has their pros, cons, flaws, whatever. It's really about what works best for your environment, and that's part of being a network engineer or an architect is evaluating your environment and figuring out what is going to be the best for you, right? There's no one size fits all, unfortunately.Corey: Yeah. And AWS is uniformly excellent, let's be very clear. Okay, not—maybe not uniformly. Some services are significantly better than others, but I have an opinion piece in the information—paywalled, unfortunately, but I'm working on i—the general thesis that AWS has gotten too big to fail, in that when it's not—like, first, they are going to have better uptime than you or I will running our own data centers, across the board.They are very good at keeping things up, but when they do go down, it's not just your company or my company anymore having an outage, it is a significant portion of, you know, the global economy, and that is an awful lot of systemic concentrated risk. I'm not suggesting they did anything wrong, as far as how they sold these things—though, some people will want to argue with that—but it's the, “What does this mean?” Are we ready to reckon with that as a society that whenever us-east-1 has a bad day, so does the stock market? Is that something we're really prepared to accept or wrangle with? Or worse than that, there are life-critical services now. Does that mean that we're going to accept there is some number of people who will die when there's an outage of a data center? And that's new territory for me. I have not worked in environments where it was life or death consequential. At least not directly.Serena: Yeah, I have. So, I have definitely worked in those environments, right, and it's very scary, and especially when it's outside of your control. So, if you are relying, or just waiting on AWS to get back up, you don't have the control to get in there and start fixing things yourself, which is my instinct, right? Like, I immediately want to get hands-on. I put my troubleshooting hat on, like, let's figure this out, let me look through logs, let me do this.And you don't have that option with AWS when it's a significant outage that's impacting multiple people, it's not some configuration internally to you, right?And that's scary. It's a scary place to be. And I think that we need to really consider the cascading effects that will happen, which a lot of these outages that are kind of starting to show us, right? And luckily, there hasn't been anything major catastrophic, but we do need to really consider life when we're talking about, you know, hospitals, 911 systems, all of these critical infrastructures that are going to be cloud managed, and out of our control, and centralized.So, you know, you lose one 911 system, okay, well, you can do a backup, right? You may be able to route all your calls to the city over because their 911 systems are up and running. Well, what if there's are out now, too, because you're both hosted on AWS?Corey: Or you're, “Ah, we're going to diversify and we're going to have this other one on a different cloud provider.” That's great, but there's a critical third-party dependency that's right back to the thing you're trying to avoid. And there you go again.Serena: Yep. And that's dependency hell, right? [laugh].Corey: Oh, yeah. And I don't know how we get away from that.Serena: Yeah.Corey: Like, we don't want everyone writing all their own stuff from scratch, like starting with assembly, move up the stack. But here we are.Serena: Right. And it's funny because these AWS outages specifically effects—or cloud outages, right? I feel like I'm picking on them. I'm not trying to—sorry, AWS, but [laugh] don't come for me.But you know, explaining to my mom, why her Ring doorbell is not working and her Roomba stopped working when that outage happened, right, she's like, “Why is this not—it won't connect.” Like, “I don't understand.” She's like, “What's AWS?” And then to tell my mom that the company that she buys her socks from, like, that she goes online and, like, buys on Amazon is the company that also is hosting her Roomba, you know, services, her Ring services, it's so interesting to have those conversations. And a lot of people who aren't in our field don't understand that. They don't understand cloud, they don't understand on-prem versus, you know, hosted by a third-party. So, it's interesting to watch that kind of unfold now because it's very new. It's very new territory.Corey: And one last question before we wind up calling it an episode. It is remarkably clear in talking to you that you are in no way, shape, or form, junior. You are not a beginner. You know exactly how this stuff works in significant depth. Your content that you put out is aimed at beginners. I do something very similar. So, to be very clear, this is not a criticism in the slightest, but I am curious as to why that's the direction you went in.Serena: I think there's a few reasons. Well, I might have this knowledge, right? I still consider myself very junior in my career, very early in my career. There's so many things that I don't know and I recognize that. When you're first starting out, you might have this kind of inflated sense of knowledge where you're like—like, me, I was like, “Oh, yeah. I know all about OSPF and running on IOS and the command line,” until I figured out there was an NX-OS and I'm like, “Oh crap, what else do I not know about?” Right? [laugh].Corey: Oh, by the way, that never goes away. I feel exactly the same way 20 years into my career, now. I still have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. So smile, nod, and get used to it is the only insight I've got there. But please, go on.Serena: And even on Twitter sometimes, I'm reading people's stuff, and I'm like, “How did you get into these obscure protocols and all these things?” And, you know, I just kind of dive deeper into there. But I think the big reason that I create a lot of my content for beginners is because I remember so well how it was at the beginning, learning about subnetting, and that IOS—[laugh]—[unintelligible 00:30:52] learning about subnetting, and all of the different models that we have, right? And I was overwhelmed, and I was stressed out, and it just seems so… just, like, a giant mountain to climb. It seems so daunting in the beginning, for me it did because there's so much, right?And it felt like everybody was so far ahead of me. And I don't want other people to really feel like that. Like, I don't want people to be turned off from networking because they feel like the bar is too high, that we're not letting enough new people enter because we're discouraging them from the beginning by saying, “Oh, well, you're going to have to know all this. And let me throw this certification book at you.” And they're big. Like, my certification books—and these are massive. And this is for one half of the CCNA.Corey: For those who aren't, like, on the video call—it's not being recorded video-wise—she's holding a book that you could use to kill a mid-sized dog by accident if it falls off a table. It looks like a phonebook with a hardcover on it.Serena: Yeah. [laugh]. It's huge, right? And there are thousands of pages, and we just give this to somebody and say, like, “Here you go. Make sure you remember all this.” And this is all new information.Corey: And does it still cover things like EIGRP? Like Cisco's proprietary routing protocols that I've never once seen in the wild?Serena: Yeah. So, sometimes you will have to learn that, and they've changed it recently, too. They update their certification exam. So, you will learn about some legacy protocols because sometimes you do run into them.Corey: Oh, yes. That's when I have the good sense to pay professionals who know what they're doing.Serena: [laugh]. Yeah. Exactly. So yeah, you do run into those sometimes. But it feels so daunting for new people, and I totally recognize that. And by nature of TikTok I, especially when I first start making content, I assume that most of the people on there are going to be people who are younger, who are interested in this career.And as you know, in tech in general, especially networking, security, cloud, there's a massive shortage of people, and how are we solving that, right? And my contribution to helping solve that is by getting people interested. And now I have people that DM me and say, “I passed my [Network+ 00:33:01],” or, “I just took the CCNA,” or, “This has been helping me with my class so much.” And that is like, okay, this is great.Like, that's exactly what I want. I want to help the pipeline, I want to get more people interested and help a diverse group of people get interested in tech and say, “Hey, like, this is, you know, where I came from. And I did it; you can do it; let's do it together,” type situation.Corey: I really want to thank you for being so generous with your time. If people want to learn more, as they absolutely should, where can they find you?Serena: I am on TikTok as @SheNetworks. I am on Twitter as @notshenetworks because somebody else—Corey: That is very confusing.Serena: [laugh]. I know. Well, my initial thing was like, I didn't really use Twitter that much, and I would just like—I kind of used it as, like, a backchannel to my TikTok, right, where I would just, like, “Hey, I'm going to go live,” or do this. And then my Twitter, kind of, got a little out of control [laugh] and out of my hands. And so—Corey: It does that sometimes.Serena: Yeah. I had no idea there would be so much interest. And it surprises me every day. So, it's exciting though. I really love all the people that I've met, and I feel like I fit in, and I've met so many good friends that it's been great. But yeah, so @notshenetworks on Twitter because somebody had shenetworks and it was a joke. And [laugh] so if you want to find me there, you could also find me there.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:34:20]. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I really do appreciate it.Serena: Thank you for having me. This has been great. [laugh].Corey: Serena, also known as @SheNetworks, networking content creator to the stars. I'm cloud economist, Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice and then a long, angry, rambling comment about how the network isn't that important that you're then not going to be able to submit because the network isn't working.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

My Mic Sounds Nice
Future vs. Jay- Z, Verzuz and Omicron Rising!

My Mic Sounds Nice

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 56:26


 Omicron is in the building and is spreading faster than a Beyonce meme! Beyonce often breaks the internet, but will Omicron break us? Infection rates, hospitalizations, and death are up; is a dreaded 3rd lockdown possible? My Mic Sounds Nice investigates! Future claims he is more relevant than Jay-Z in these streets. Is he? And does it really even matter? Regardless, Jay-Z in return, let the entire world know they do not want that smoke with him on a Versus stage. Does the man who once brought out Michael Jackson on the Hot 97 Summer Jam stage have a point? Do his intricate stage shows and extensive catalog make him untouchable? My Mic Sounds Nice has a few thoughts on that one.

Party Like A Rockstar Podcast
Mike Davenport, Jon Collura - The Ataris!

Party Like A Rockstar Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2021 55:07


Mike Davenport is a founding member of the Atari's.  He joined the band playing bass in 1997 left in 2005 but came back in 2014-2016.  He was also in the band Versus the World. John Collura joined the Ataris as their lead guitar player, piano player, & backing vocalist in 2001.  He played with them through 2008 and then also came back in 2013-2014.

All Def SquaddCAST
104: Spend New Year's Eve With Family vs Spend New Year's Eve With Celebrities | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2021 64:08


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Spend New Year's Eve With Family vs Spend New Year's Eve With Celebrities Jay-Z vs Nas Never Tell Another Joke Again vs Never Laugh Again Guest LouLou Gonzalez S/o To Our Sponsors Best Fiends Download Best FiendsFor Free Today On The App Stores Or Google Play

Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring

Frame 125 - The Not Christmas Frame Richard is back playing with himself, live on Twitch and he's determined that this fine sport should not be tainted by Yuletide chuff. It's a thrilling frame which could go either way, with some amazing talking points. Perfect to watch on Christmas morning (as long as you are not celebrating Christmas). Back the RHLSTP Kickstarter here: http://rhlstp.co.uk/kickstarter

The Marketing Secrets Show
Whatever Happened To...?

The Marketing Secrets Show

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 14:20


Ever witness someone succeed big time at something and then they can't repeat that success? Why is that? Russell examines the ingredients of success and why some people have staying power and others fizzle out. Hit me up on IG! @russellbrunson Text Me! 208-231-3797 Join my newsletter at marketingsecrets.com ClubHouseWithRussell.com Magnetic Marketing ---Transcript--- What's up everybody. This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets Podcast. Today, I just dropped off my kids and it's snowing outside. How great is that? All right. I'm driving home in the snow and I wanted... Something in my head that I don't know exactly the answer to, but I wanted to bring it up because in any career, anything you're doing, there's always... I don't know. There's people that last a long time and there's people who have success and then they don't last a long time. And specifically I was this morning reading, for those of you guys who are UFC fans, this last weekend was a crazy PPV card. I was never into UFC until COVID hit and then I started watching it and now I'm obsessed. And I can't miss a fight, which is kind of funny. Because I don't watch sports. I don't watch football. I don't watch basketball. I don't even watch wrestling, wrestling on a TV though. Actually, if it was, I would watch it. So I'm not going to lie. But UFC, I got into it and I love it. And last weekend, Amanda Nunes, who's literally supposed to be undefeatable, got defeated, which was crazy and bunch of other things. But one fight specifically was this guy named Cody... I don't know how to pronounce his last name. Garbrandt or something like that. Anyway, doesn't matter. So Cody basically in 2007 became UFC champ. Just an amazing, beat the champ, dethroned him and it was this huge deal. And then he's lost the last seven fights in a row. I think he won one, but lost basically seven fights in a row. And ever since he was the champ, hasn't been able to get it back again, which is interesting. And you see other people like that in the UFC where they go and they win a championship and then they never win again. One week you're the best in the world and then you never win another fight again. Or you win very few. And they got other people, someone like Usman who wins it and then wins another one, another one and he's won 10 matches, 10 title offenses in a row. And for those who don't follow UFC, this doesn't make any sense to you, but just conceptually, what makes it so that one person can become a champion, the best in the world and then never win again? Versus someone else who becomes a champion, the best in the world and then defends their title 10 times or 20 times, whatever it ends up being. I try thinking about that in business because it's kind of similar. I've been doing this now, I think I'm in my 20th year, which is crazy. So I've been playing this game for a while. And last night I was hiring a copywriter for a really cool project I'm working on. So I was going back in time trying to find offers in the path that had been successful. So, Russell, the core funnel hacker in my head, I've got like, okay, I remember 12 years ago, 18 years ago, three years ago all the people similar offers in the past. And so I go and I find them and I have to go to a site called the Wayback Machine because most of these offers are dead now. But I go to the Wayback Machine, type in the old URL and boom, it pulls up the old offer, which is really cool. So I was looking, I was trying to remember all the old offers that were similar to this new one that we're creating that's going to launch probably in January or February. And I was going in there finding them all and I found this one that I remember when it launched. It was like the offer and I remember the person who launched, I'm not going to say their name because this person pulled a Cody Garbrandt. I'm saying his name wrong. Anyway, a Cody where they had the offer. They created this offer. They were out of the gate. They were a newer marketer and for some reason, this offer just crushed it. It was the right message, right timing, right everything. And I remember being so jealous because this offer did, I don't know, probably $10 million in sales over the period of a couple months. And it was a $37 offer with some upsells and down sales. But again, for whatever reason, it was perfect message to market match. It was the right message for the market at the time and it just crushed it. Okay. And I started thinking about those guys. I'm like, whatever happened to the people who launched that offer? They were young cool dudes. People loved them and they had the offer better than any offer I'd ever had at that time. And I was just so jealous, but I haven't seen them since and it makes me wonder what happened? And I remember I've seen them launch other offers. I remember because they contacted me. I remember because the time I was trying to broker their leads to a call center and then they kind of screwed me. And so I remember after that, watching them do another offer, another offer, but none of their other offers hit. That one hit and they did a bunch of other ones, none of them ever hit. And I look back now and again, they're gone. And I can tell you in the almost 20 years I've been doing this, I've seen so many people come into the scene, have a good offer, launch it, make a ton of money and then we never see them again. And there's other people who have been doing this now like me for two decades, or Dan Kennedy for four decades, or Tony Robbins or people who have longevity that have been doing this way longer and are still doing this. And it makes me think about that. What makes somebody go and become the UFC champ of the world, have the best offer in the world and then never have another win again, versus the person who's titled defense 10 times who's had 10, 20, 30 winning offers? What's the big difference? And so I don't know if I know all the answers or the exact answer, but I want to propose what I think is the biggest reason in our world that somebody wins long term because I think anybody could create a really good offer. You get the right hook, story, offer, get the right message, get the right timing, get the right all the things. It's not hard to get an offer that's going to crush. Well, I'm not going to say it's not hard. It's hard, takes a lot of work, but if you get it right, I've seen people who make more money in one offer than the average person will make in 10 lifetimes. So if you get it right, the amount of money you can make really quickly is huge. But then longevity, again, most people... I've been doing this now for so long, I can tell you the people that were around when I got started are few and far between. If I mentioned most of those names, for the most part you wouldn't no any of them. You might know one or two of them, but for the most part, the people who were the legends, who were the biggest names in the world, their longevity has not lasted. And so I wonder what causes that? And I want to propose, I think the biggest thing is to create an offer it's hook, story, offer. You get the right sales letter, you get the right offer, you get the right message, the right ads, all kind of stuff. It hits, it blows up. But the people who have been around for more than an offer, people who have had 10 title defenses, 10 good offers, 20 good offers, whatever and they're still around, it's not so much just the offer. The offer's part of it. The key is the relationship. It's the community. It's what happens after the offer. I look at these dudes who had this offer back 10 years ago that crushed it, they outdid every offer I had ever dreamed of. They launched it. They sold a bunch, but then I was on their list and what happened with their list? They emailed other people's offers. They sold other things. And eventually I lost interest in them and they went away. They were so focused on monetizing the list and making money from the data, whatever you want to call it, selling thing after thing, after thing that eventually I stopped opening their emails. I stopped reading because it wasn't... I came in because they had this offer. It was exciting. It was interesting. It was new and then they didn't keep talking about it. They stopped talking about it. They shifted to the next thing, the next thing. This person's offer, the next one. They created a new offer. And then they kept shifting. Where I want to propose the reason why I've been doing this for so long and I would say that I was on the same path as these guys, probably the first decade of my business. First decade I was launching offer, after offer, after offer and there's nothing wrong with launching a lot of offers. In fact, you need to. In fact, most of you will do better by launching more offers. But the difference is the offers have to stack. If you come into the Russell Brunson world, you can ask anyone, "What does Russell teach? What do does he do?" There's one word that's coming to your mind. What is that? It's funnels. Okay, Russell comes in, you're going to learn funnels. But then inside of funnels, I have a whole bunch of offers that stack upon that new opportunity. The new opportunity I bring people in is a funnel. But then I have offers that stack upon that. Does that make sense? So we have funnel scripts, but it's how to write the copy for your funnel. We've got traffic secrets. How to get traffic to your funnel. We got expert secrets is how to tell your story inside your funnel. Every single offer I've created all comes back down to the same thing. It's all stacking on the same opportunity. So that way I don't have to resell my audience each time. My audience is already sold on the core principle thing I'm talking about. And everything I'm doing day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out is stacking on the opportunity. So what happens is the culture, the brand, the people get deeper and deeper, deeper as opposed to here's an offer, made a bunch of money. Now we shift to a new offer and then a new offer because eventually one of your offers isn't going to work. And I had tons of offers that we sold, but they haven't worked as an offer. To go buy ads and drive traffic and things like that, but they do work to my list because my list loves me. My list is looking for other ways to do funnels better. That's the new opportunity people came in into my world for. So when I'm stacking and I'm adding new opportunities on top of that, that is the key. And so it's all about the community. It's all about the relationship. It's all about not giving your audience schizophrenia by changing things over and over and over again. But instead going deeper and doubling down and really believing what you're believing. I think that these guys who I saw this offer from a decade ago, if they would've doubled that... Even today, the offer I was looking at, this offer would convert today, but they stopped promoting that. They start promoting all the concepts around that and they went to the next thing, next thing, they went all over the place. I see that happening in our world, all these people who were experts at their thing, and now we've got Bitcoin and then NFTs and stuff. And now they're shifting to the next thing, the next thing and not there's anything wrong with that. There's probably going to be a day, I guarantee in the near future or not near future in the future where I'm going to sell an NFT. But there's not going to be an NFT on some random magic monkey that's dancing around because it's not doubling down on the new opportunities someone came in with. They came into my world, they're entrepreneurs. And so if and when I was to do an NFT or something like that is going to be doubling down on the core message. It's going to be somehow amplifying the things I'm already talking about. It's not going to be this whole new thing where people are now shifting focus and moving over to different spot. All those kind of things. Does that make sense? So anyway, for you guys, just to think about that. And if you haven't read the Expert Secrets book, the Expert Secrets book is where I talk about new opportunity. And it's interesting because Dan Kennedy did a whole course called Opportunity Concepts about this, which is so good and I'm actually working on two projects right now. One is the January newsletter for NO BS Newsletter. If you haven't subscribed yet go to NOBSletter.com. But at NOBS newsletter, January, this is all about new opportunity. I had Dan write a bunch of stuff. I wrote a bunch of stuff going deep on this concept of a new opportunity. We got to create a new opportunity. What is your new opportunity? So there's kind of that piece of it. But so, and then I'm also working on another book project with Dan about new opportunity. Because it's the key. You don't give somebody improvement or repair as a front end. The front end's got to be this here's this new opportunity. This is the new opportunity that's going to shift everything for you. That's how you lead the conversation. Bring somebody in and in Expert Secrets talk about being the opportunity switch. You've taken them from their old opportunity to new opportunity. That's the initial switch and after they come in, then we do what we call an opportunity stack, which is now they moved with you into this new opportunity. Now you're stacking things on top of that. So for me, the new opportunity is funnels. Now we're stacking on funnel scripts. We're stacking on fill your funnel. We're stacking all these different things to double down, triple down, quadruple down on the new opportunity. So hope that makes sense. That's the power we're talking about. That's the core key thing that you got to understand to be able to be around a long time, because anyone could have one hit wonder. You can have an offer. You can win a championship, but if you want to be able to be around for the long term, it comes down to one opportunity switch. Every company should have one and only one opportunity to switch. I'm a big believer in after you've switched someone into your opportunity then you stack opportunities on top of that. The people who are losing are people who are going opportunity switch, opportunity switch, opportunity switch, keep switching people over and over and over again and gives your audience literal schizophrenia. We got to focus on one opportunity to switch and then opportunity stacking after that. So hope that helps. For those who understand it, I hope that was a nugget that kind of gets you thinking differently. If you don't, if that doesn't make sense to you and you want to go a little deeper on this, make sure you understand it, go read the Expert Secrets. Get the new updated hardbound version and go read the section on new opportunity and hopefully that'll help you. And or get on the NOBS newsletter ASAP and get the January issue because I go deep into there as well. All right. Thanks you guys. Appreciate you all and we'll talk soon.

School Leadership Reimagined
Are the resources you provide teachers helping or hurting?

School Leadership Reimagined

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 29:00


Have you ever given teachers a new resource only to have them complain or reject it all together? Well, it may not be that your teachers are resistant. The REAL reason many teachers don't welcome your resources could be the resource itself. A resource that is meant to help can actually hurt teachers' effectiveness. That's why in this week's "Versus" episode, we're sharing 3 questions you should ask yourself before giving teachers any new resource. Once you get into the habit of examining your resources this way, you'll be able to give teachers resources they'll actually welcome #LikeABuilder.

Radio Record
Record Club Show #764 (22-12-2021)

Radio Record

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021


01. Neon Steve, Dakota Sixx - Don't Call 02. Esh, Kaan Pars - Sometimes 03. Castion, Laura West - Want To Feel 04. Jack Wins, Joe Stone, Jake Tarry - Light Up My Life 05. Chapter & Verse - Let Me Hear You 06. Promise Land - It's Over Now 07. Bruno Be, Sandeville, Alexandra Prince - So Many Times 08. Ellis Moss, Max Styler, Salena Mastroianni - How It Feels 09. Eric Spike - We've Got Us 10. Dober - Cream 11. Bart B More, Carola - The Beat Drops 12. King Arthur, Munnday, Kwesi - I Found You 13. Greg Dela, Donkong - Dreams 14. Versus, Praxis, Kathy Brown - Turn Me Out 15. Bougenvilla, Tmw - Wild Ones 16. Salvatore Ganacci - Fight Dirty 17. Sessi D, Stas Simple, Francky D - Stand Up 18. Don'T Blink - Sensation 19. Plastik Funk, Relanium, Deen West - San Francisco 20. Timothy Allen - Work My Body 21. Afrojack, Dlmt, Dave Summit, Castnowski - Wish You Were Here 22. Thomas Nan, One Of Six - Been A While 23. Tungevaag, Kid Ink, Retrovision - Ride With Me 24. Kiral - The Ride 25. Raven & Kreyn, Deekey, M7Stic - Time To Shine 26. Kream, Sammy Porter - Take Control 27. Diseptix - Pup It Down 28. Triple M, Andrew Marks - Can't Let U Go 29. Martin Ikin, Hayley May - How I Feel 30. Menshee - My Mind 31. Oliver Heldens, Shungudzo - Freedom for my People 32. Madison Mars, Ralph Aiden - Already Gone 33. Shoeba, Mattn, Selva, Different Stage - Anyway 34. Don Diablo - Cheque 35. Tiara, Tanishq, Swatkat - Fire 36. Melyjones, Bcmp - My Heart 37. Eats Everything, Frankco Harris - Bobby And Ken 38. Dj Snake, Malaa - Ring The Alarm

Bloody Elbow Presents
'UFC ON VERSUS 2: Jones vs Matyushenko' | 6th Round Retro

Bloody Elbow Presents

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021 53:41


Welcome to the 6th Round Retro Post-Fight Show. This is the show that digs into the archives and gives you a comprehensive review of classic MMA events, that span as far back as UFC 1. Join Eddie Mercado & Victor Rodriguez as they delve into the world of the ‘UFC on VERSUS 2' event this week straight out of the archives of yesteryear. So let's take a trip back to Sunday, August 1, 2010 and check out this second ‘UFC on VERSUS' event, complete with results, analysis, and of course a few laughs. As mentioned, this week we feature the ‘UFC on VERSUS 2' event, aka: ‘UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko'. The show went down from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA. It was originally slotted for the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, UT for June of that year, but was moved due to low ticket sales in that region. Your commentators were Joe Rogan, Mike ‘Goldy' Goldberg, and we had Bruce Buffer on the mic as well, with “Big” John McCarthy returning after a 3-year UFC hiatus to referee the event... it was the golden age of the UFC. The big names of the show were Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko in the headliner with Okami vs Munoz in the co-main. We also had Takanori Gomi, Jake Ellenberger, Brian Stann, Charles Oliveira and Darren Elkins on the card, to name a few. The show was produced by the Versus channel which was a sports network owned by NBC/NBCSN, via their parent company Comcast at that time. The UFC only aired two events on the channel before signing their big contract with FOX Sports in Nov, 2011. The first event was ‘UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones'. If you would like to watch the event, the main event can be found on UFC Fight Pass in one viewing; the Prelims can be found as well, but under the names of the fighters of each bout, one video per bout is out there, so some hunting would need to be done to look up the card in it's entirety. Join us to rediscover all the action and discuss as we go along! Let's check it out! _____________________ (SPOILERS) The UFC handed out a total of $40K in bonuses that night spread across four fighters: FOTN went to Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio, what they used to call 'Knockout of the Night' went to Takanori Gomi and a bonus called 'Submission of the Night' was awarded to none-other-than our current Champ, a young Charles ‘Chucky Olives' Oliveira in his UFC debut at the tender age of twenty years old. The event was estimated to have drawn 999,1000 viewers on Versus. The fight card was set up as follows: MAIN CARD: LHW: Jon Jones def. Vladimir Matyushenko, TKO (elbows) at 1:52 of Rd 1 MW: Yushin Okami def. Mark Muñoz, DEC, Split (29-28x2, 28-29) WW: Jake Ellenberger def. John Howard, TKO (Dr. Stoppage) at 2:21 of Rd 3 LW: Takanori Gomi def. Tyson Griffin, KO (Punch) at 1:04 of Rd 1 PRELIMS: LW: Jacob Volkmann def. Paul Kelley, DEC, Unanimous (30-27x3) Catchweight (172lbs): Matthew Riddle def. DaMarques Johnson, TKO (Punches) at 4:29 of Rd 2 LHW: Igor Pokrajac def. James Irvin, SUB (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:29 of Rd 1 MW: Brian Stann def. Mika Massenzio, SUB (Triangle Choke) at 3:10 of Rd 3 LW: Charles Oliveira def. Darren Elkins, SUB (Armbar) at 0:41 of Rd 1 MW: Rob Kimmons def. Steve Steinbeiss, DEC, Unanimous (29-28x3) If you enjoy our shows, "heart" us here on SC, or "like" & share over on whichever BE Presents Podcast Channel happens to be your listening platform of choice.

All Def SquaddCAST
103: Get A Good Gift vs Give A Good Gift | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 57:45


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Get A Good Gift vs Give A Good Gift Sew Your Own Clothes vs Grow Your Own Food Having Your First Child At 18 vs Having Your First Child At 50 Guest Ketra Long S/o To Our Sponsors Fiverr Fiverr.com Promo: SQUADD Blue Chew BlueChew.com Promo SQUADD  Manscaped Manscaped.com  Promo SQUADD  Better Help betterhelp.com/Squadd

Bonita Radio
NCC La ciencia habla y Fortaleza hace otra cosa

Bonita Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 65:49


Una esperanza en Navidad. La histórica victoria de un progresista de 35 años en Chile da al traste con el crecimiento de la derecha en la región Latinoamericana y coloca la discusión en las posibilidades que tienen las alianzas versus el partidismo político. Versus, un partido político en Puerto Rico que atornilla a un alcalde en Cataño. ¿Dónde queda el fundamentalismo religioso en esa ecuación? Repunte de COVID-19, aglomeraciones y relajarse en las herramientas de prevención. Una cosa es la epidemióloga del Estado y otra la comunicación del Departamento de Salud. Analizamos y traemos información. ¡Sintoniza y comparte! #periodismodigital #periodismoinvestigativo

The Modern Therapist's Survival Guide with Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy

How Can Therapists Actually Retire? - An interview with David Frank, financial planner for therapists Curt and Katie talk with David about managing finances, including student loan debt and retirement. We look at when to start saving, what to do when you're starting to save for retirement later in life, and how much is too much to save. David also shares his concept of a Money Date and how you should start looking at your financial picture. He also talks about financial planning and when to seek a professional for support. Interview with David Frank, Turning Point Financial Life Planning David Frank is on a mission to ensure every therapist has access to unbiased and fiduciary financial advice! Through the firm he founded, Turning Point Financial Life Planning, he helps therapists navigate every element of their financial lives: from understanding your practice P&L and building a personal budget to managing student loan debt and investing for retirement... and everything in between. Dave earned both his undergraduate and MBA degrees in finance and he also completed a certificate in personal financial planning. He's worked for over twenty years in investment banking, corporate finance and now personal finance. Don't let his love of the tax code and spreadsheets scare you off! You're just as likely to find him with his nose buried in one of Pema Chodron's books as reading up on the latest finance planning techniques. In this podcast episode we talk about: Managing Personal and Professional Finances How perfectionism can get in the way of saving The importance of “just getting started” in saving for retirement Saving money is a practice, not something you figure out once Why it is important to save money as soon as you can Navigating Student Loan Debt Student loan debt and how overwhelming it is to look at these debts The desire to pay off this debt as quickly as possible David's advice to save at least one time your annual income before aggressively paying off your student loan debt The comparison of interest rates on your debt versus returns on investing money Retirement and Investing in your Future “Starting to save and invest young is such great advice… and… it's advice for time travelers” For younger folks, the advice is to save as soon as possible What to do if you are closer to retirement age and you haven't started saving for retirement How to determine when you can retire “No one does this money thing perfectly, even if we start out of the gate pretty strong.” What to do when life happens and you have to start over David's own story of having to start over Societal fear due to 2008 and the Great Recession David Frank's Concept of “Money Dates” Reserve time each week to look at your money Start understanding how much you need to save Idea: go to the Social Security Administration Website to see what you're entitled to in social security How Much Money to Save The money mindset concerns that can get in the way of saving (or even looking at) your money How much money is too much money to save? Emergency funds and the feeling of safety and security The risks of saving too much money Quality of life questions when you are underspending Online tools to identify what you need in retirement, so you know when you've saved enough Actual numbers of what to save for retirement and what you can spend now Financial Planning – When and why to seek help with your money The complexity of the decisions related to paying debt versus investing The number of options available to each person when making decisions on our money Get feedback on how well you are doing on your practice financials and saving for retirement Risk planning, financial planning, estate and incapacity planning The importance of understanding your values when you look at how to spend your money Financial planning when you don't have a lot of money Choosing what you sacrifice when you decide to invest in shiny objects The problem of “shoulds” and getting financial advice from other therapists Our Generous Sponsor for this episode of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide: Simplified SEO Consulting Simplified SEO Consulting is an SEO business specifically for therapists and other mental health providers. Their team of SEO Specialists know how to get your website to the top of search engines so you get more calls from your ideal clients. They offer full SEO services and DIY trainings. These days, word of mouth referrals just isn't enough to fill your caseload. Instead, most people go to Google when they're looking for a therapist and when they start searching, you want to make sure they find you!  That's where Simplified SEO Consulting comes in. Founded and run by a private practice owner, they understand the needs of a private practice. They can help you learn to optimize your own website OR can do the optimizing for you. Visit SIMPLIFIEDSEOCONSULTING.COM/MODERNTHERAPIST to learn more and if you do decide to try your hand at optimizing your own website, you can get 20% off any of their DIY SEO Courses using the code "MODERNTHERAPIST"   Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode: We've pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance! David's Website for Turning Point Financial Life Planning David's Finance Quickstart Guide David's Quickstart Intensive Coaching Session (use code MTSG for 20% off) David on LinkedIn Social Security Administration Website   Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast: The 4-1-1- on your 401K Making Bank as a Therapist Overcoming Your Poverty Mindset Don't Take Tax Advice From Therapists   Who we are: Curt Widhalm, LMFT Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: www.curtwidhalm.com Katie Vernoy, LMFT Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: www.katievernoy.com A Quick Note: Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We're working on it. Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren't trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don't want to, but hey. Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement: www.mtsgpodcast.com www.therapyreimagined.com https://www.facebook.com/therapyreimagined/ https://twitter.com/therapymovement https://www.instagram.com/therapyreimagined/ Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy: The Fifty-Minute Hour Connect with the Modern Therapist Community: Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group   Modern Therapist's Survival Guide Creative Credits: Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/ Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano http://www.crystalmangano.com/   Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):   Curt Widhalm  00:00 This episode is brought to you by Simplified SEO consulting.   Katie Vernoy  00:03 Simplified SEO consulting is an SEO business specifically for therapists and other mental health providers. Their team of SEO specialists know how to get your website to the top of search engines so you get more calls from your ideal clients. They offer full SEO services and DIY trainings.   Curt Widhalm  00:21 Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a special discount.   Announcer  00:24 You're listening to the modern therapist Survival Guide, where therapists live, breathe, and practice as human beings to support you as a whole person and a therapist. Here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.   Curt Widhalm  00:40 Welcome back modern therapists, this is the modern therapist Survival Guide. I'm Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for all things therapists. And that includes money and how we're setting ourselves up for running good practices, taking care of ourselves, both while we're working and towards retirement so that way, we don't have to do this forever. And we can potentially retire someday. And here to help us talk about this is David Frank. He is a financial planner and the founder of Turning Point financial, and he's here to help put the fun back in funds and take the ire out of retirement. So thank you very much for joining us today.   David Frank  01:29 Brilliant, thanks so much for that introduction. Kurt. I'm super excited to be here and to talk about, yeah, all things Money and Finance and even the dreaded R word of retirement.   Katie Vernoy  01:40 I'm so glad you're here, we had a lot of fun working together around the conference. And we definitely I feel like you're a friend of the show and a friend of mine. And so I'm so glad you're here talking about that.   David Frank  01:51 Thanks   Katie Vernoy  01:51 Because I think there's a lot that needs to be discussed. On a previous episode Curt and I had been talking about one of the retirement plans that therapists have is suicide, which is horrible. And, and part of that is just not planning not making enough money. And so to me, I feel like this is an important conversation for us to be having. And you're a great person to do it because you're a financial planner, who has chosen to work specifically with therapists. But before I get ahead of myself, the first question we ask everyone is who are you? And what are you putting out to the world?   David Frank  02:26 Yeah, so as Curt mentioned, my name is David Frank, and I am a financial planner, and the founder of turning point, financial fat is a financial planning firm that I began and it is focused exclusively on helping therapists or mental health professionals take care of their finances. So that's what I'm putting out into the world. That's what I'm doing. My kind of mission is to help people live better lives to help your listeners, your therapists out there live better lives, and also grow their impact in the world. Because when we get sort of some of this money stuff out of the way, we can be more present for every element of our lives. And I think it's less about the money and more about the actual feelings and feeling better about money and not being so stressed and overwhelmed about it.   Curt Widhalm  03:08 What's wrong with you if that you chose to work with therapists? How does somebody be like, You know what there there are people who are easy to work with with money, and I'm up for a challenge. Why? What brought you to the the mental health world as far as your client population here?   David Frank  03:31 Yeah, great question. Well, so within the financial planning community, much like within the therapist, community and mental health community, there's this like raging debate going on about whether niching down and really specifically defining your target audience or target market is a good idea or not. And when I started turning point, when I started my own business, the big thing I was worried about is like, is anyone actually going to show up and want to work with me, like actually pay me money for my services? And the other the secondary concern was like, will I be able to add enough value will I actually be able to, like, really understand what's going on for folks and really help them in a meaningful way. And I became super convinced that the solution to both of those anxieties was to define a niche of who I really wanted to work with. And it was a very, what's the right word, I was just very stressed about getting the right niche. And at that time, I was, I was seeing my own therapist, and I had been seeing this guy for several years, and he was awesome. I was working with kind of a life and business coach, and I was agonizing over this decision. And finally, my coach reflected back to me something that was obvious to him, but was invisible to me. And he just said, Why don't you work with therapists? And I was like, Oh, my it was just like a light went off. That's the wrong metaphor, but it just it felt so right. I love talking to therapists, like I sometimes I think like a therapist. I love learning about their business. And it just seemed like a population that I could help and like you say, like, maybe maybe I'm up for the challenge.   Katie Vernoy  05:01 What do you think therapists get wrong when they think about retirement or saving money or taking care of their finances?   David Frank  05:08 Yeah, I what I see is something that not just therapists get wrong, but just generally most people get wrong. And that's this idea of having to figure it all out or get something perfect, rather than just simply getting started. And when it comes to managing finances, both personal finances and professional finances, like your private practice finances, I think the key really is simply just to get started. And so if we think about saving for retirement, I mean, man, just even saying that makes me feel a little bit overwhelmed, right, like, there's so much there to navigate and figure out. But I think the key is to just sort of get started and meet yourself where you're at and just say, Okay, what you really need to do to save for retirement is just that to start saving. So understanding if you can put away even if it's just $5, every month, just get started, build that muscle, build the practice of saving some money and moving it, even if it's just moving it to a dedicated checking account where you're beginning to build up savings, then like down the road, you can come back and sort of figure out, okay, I should probably be investing this money rather than simply putting it into a checking account or something like that. And it is like it's a practice, this stuff is not a project that you sit down one day and get it all done. And then you're just good. It's kind of like a mindfulness practice is really the way I often think about it and encourage others to think about it is to carve out some time, every week to just spend with your money stuff, both your internal stuff, what comes up for you, when you're dealing with money and finances, and with the external stuff of the accounts that you have in the amounts of those accounts and how you navigate it. So I'm just a huge proponent of just sort of getting started and make taking those small, little steps. And I feel too often people get hung up that like, No, I have to make this big, monumental shift, that perfectionist tendency that so many of us have, can really hold us back.   Curt Widhalm  06:57 So I think in your own way, you've answered a couple of the questions that we would normally ask here, which is, when should people start saving? And how much should they start saving, which I'm hearing you say, early, and whatever you can. So that's kind of the first part of this, for maybe some of our listeners who are earlier on in their careers who are facing things like massive student debt, where it's like, well, I should be throwing money at, you know, getting the government off my back or blowing providers off my back. What do you say to somebody in that position where it's very earlier on where they might be kind of death, avoidant, as opposed to starting to think about investing in themselves?   David Frank  07:44 Well, yeah, a couple of things I want to say in response to that. And first, Curt, I think you hit the nail on the head, start saving as soon as you can, there's this this magic of compounding what we talked about in the financial world. And that just means the sooner that you get started saving, the longer you have, or the longer you give those investments to grow. So the amount that you need to save can are like the percentage of your income that you should be saving toward retirement, it can change dramatically depending on when you start. So if you're starting to save for retirement, say in your mid to late 20s, from mid to late 20s, all the way through retirement, that's like 40 years for most of us. And so if you start that early, you could save like 15% of your income and be absolutely fine. The longer you wait, the greater percentage of your earnings that you'll ideally need to set aside. Now I don't want anyone to hear those numbers and kind of like freak out and prevent them from from even getting started. Because anything is better than nothing in this sort of situation. So that's part of the answer. And we can probably talk more about that. But the the student loan issue, I think is a huge one. And yeah, I mean, I really feel like it's so it's so easy to want to avoid student loans and not even look at them. And what I would say is that, regardless of the type of debt, whether it's student loan debt, or a mortgage or auto loan, or really almost anything else, I don't encourage people to start aggressively paying off debt until they've saved, you know, roughly about one times their their annual income through a combination of emergency funds, retirement account savings, and even just, you know, ordinary savings and other other investments. The one exception to that might be really high interest rate credit card debt, which you might want to pay off. But student loans, especially, the only way that you can really get into trouble with student loans is to ignore them and not look at them. There are so many amazing options in terms of different income driven repayment plans out there. If you have federal student loan debts, I would encourage you to start saving and start looking at your student loans and considering what might the right path be for you because there are so many good options out there. Unfortunately, because there are many options. It's a little confusing and overwhelming to navigate. But there are definitely great resources out there. So super long answer To your question, allow you guys to jump in.   Curt Widhalm  10:03 And if I can provide, you know, maybe a little bit of a perspective on this, you know, if you're looking at student loans, if your rates are like 5 6 7 percent in interest, even that can feel scary. But when you look at like stock market returns over the last couple of years, money that you could be saving 5% on by putting into your loan, you could have been getting returns of 1015, or more percent, depending on how that kind of stuff is invested, where you're using that same money to make your retirement come sooner. This is where having some of the ability to kind of sit and look at some of this stuff. And sitting with somebody like David would, I'm sure walk you through some of these kinds of comparisons of here's how you can make even very little money work for you.   David Frank  10:49 Yeah, I think that's that's an excellent point, Curt. And like that's, that's right. Like, it's always great to be investing the money and seeing really great returns from the stock market, like we have seen over the last couple years, really over the last 10 years, it's been an insane period, where there's been really healthy returns. And you're right, like you could have not pay down your student loans whatsoever. Because yeah, they're probably in the neighborhood of 5 6 7 8% interest each year, something like that. And that's just it's so complicated. Like there's so many factors to think through that I think yes, the more you spend some time just sort of looking and learning yourself, the more comfortable you'll start to be with it. And that way you can kind of avoid making more rash, emotional decisions, which is sometimes when folks get themselves in trouble. And yeah, you know, I'm having a conversation with financial person, who you who you trust, and who can help you make the right decision for you. Because there there is no one right decision really ever when it comes to all these things. It really is personal and helping a client or helping the person sitting across from me determine what is the right move for them, given their life's their their life, rather, their goal, their anxieties around money, their worries, how do we manage all those different things?   Katie Vernoy  11:59 I like that you're talking about it as individual decisions. I think there are some things we're kind of the cold hard numbers with some therapists are great at math, many therapists are not great at math, that's kind of a trope that I don't actually like, I think it's this thing of, of being able to actually look at the cold, hard numbers of what do I save by paying the minimum payment on my debt? Versus what do I earn from even putting something in a very risk free I mean, the stock market isn't necessarily risk free, you could make 10%, or you could lose 20%. You know, there's, there's so much there. And I think some people can hold that risk and are used to that, and some folks can't. And so I think looking at what, what makes sense for you with the emotional makeup of how you're looking at your money, the amount of bass that you have and can play around with as well as what your debt looks like. It seems like understanding that is really important. I think when we're looking at folks who are first starting out, which is kind of Kurt's question, which is like they have student loan debt, most likely, they are not earning a lot. And so you're saying kind of look at the numbers identify what's going to make the most sense, save a year's worth of salary before you really aggressively attack your student loan debt, I would recommend probably paying minimum payments. So you don't start? Well, yes, fee is as well. But like, I think there are folks that want they want to be debt free. And I think there's also a lot of folks who know that most people are never completely debt free because of mortgages or, or car loans or other types of debt that can be accrued. But when you look at folks who are a little further on, and whether it's age wise, or career wise, they're further along, and maybe they haven't saved for retirement, what would you say to them, because I think for folks who are early on and they can save the $5 a month or whatever, that's awesome. And I think that there is that compounding that you were talking about. But there are folks that I've talked to even that are like, I am in my 50s I'm in my 60s, I haven't done anything. And I just don't want to have to work forever. And so what would you recommend for folks who are further on in their life who are maybe further on in their career? What should you say, you know, how do you determine what you should save? How do you determine how and when you can retire? I mean, for folks who are later on I think there's there's sometimes a bigger question mark than folks for starting out. I mean, the message when you're first starting out when you're younger, and you're newer in your career, like just save, start it, you've got a lot of time it'll grow, we promise. But for folks that don't have that time, it's especially people who have recently seen their parents, colleagues and friends go through, you know, 2008 or, or different times when retirement just dropped out completely. I mean, there's some fear there's some societal fear around investing. Potentially you have to look at too.   David Frank  14:47 Yeah. No, I like the way you teed up that question too, because I Yes, starting to save and invest young is such great advice. And I also like to describe it as I'm like, It's advice for time travelers, right? Because it's like yeah, that is a lovely thing, but like who actually does that? I mean, some people do for sure.   Katie Vernoy  15:05 Curt and I both did because of the backgrounds that we have. So we both are very fortunate. But not everyone has that.   David Frank  15:12 No, well, just like as an aside, like, I also have like that similar background, like I have an undergraduate degree in finance, I have an MBA in finance. And so like, right out of the gate, in my early 20s, I was like, I gotta be saving, I got to be putting all this money in a 401k. And I did that from like, 22, or whatever to like, 32. And I was doing great. Like I was killing it. And then you know, life happened. And like, I went through a really rough period in my life, I ended up unemployed for like, three years. And guess what, like, I burned through all those savings. So I thought I had done all the right things. And I had, but like, life just happens. And so the story that I told myself at the age of 35, when I was like, essentially broke and starting over was, like, there were a lot of nevers like this is I'm never gonna have the same amount of money, I'm never gonna have the security, I'm never gonna feel comfortable. It's just like, it's kind of like it's over for me. And the truth is that life had all kinds of twists and turns in store for me, and that most of what I was telling myself then wasn't true. So why do I even tell that story? I think the point is, is like a no one does this money stuff perfectly, even if we start out of the game strong, so just be kind and forgiving to yourself, number one. And number two, you really don't know what the future holds like there can be tremendous improvements made in a really short amount of time. So with that, as background, I would say, again, I have this concept I call money dates, which is just set aside 30 minutes, every day, every week rather, or so every week or so 30 minutes or so put it on your calendar and just treat it as if it were, you know, a client appointment and be like, I'm going to sit with my money stuff, and just look at it every week, and just see what's happening. So that I think, especially if you're find yourself later in life, and you use the specter, you have worry or fear about retirement, just start that practice, start getting familiar with what's happening, start understanding maybe how much you might need to save. Yeah, and also try to bring someone else into it with you. Maybe that's a significant other, maybe that's someone in your personal life, who you feel comfortable having this conversation with, just to sort of make it seem less private and scary. That could also be someone like me, like a financial professional, that you have reason to believe would be trustworthy, and would give you good advice. Because there are always options, there's always hope. There's so many things, different levers, you can pull. And the last point I'll make on this is that if you're really worried First, I would go to the Social Security Administration website and just log in, create an account, see what your you'll be entitled to in terms of social security benefits, it might actually be a little bit more than you're suspecting. And that's just like so that that can provide a really solid base. It's not like you have to pay for everything yourself in return in retirement, we do have a bit of a backstop. So start there, and then begin to think, okay, beyond that monthly payment that I'll likely get, what more might I need? And how might I start to get there,   Curt Widhalm  18:05 I'm imagining these money dates of just sitting around with your financial statements and staring them in the eyes and doing the 36 questions to make you fall in love. Alright. Sounds great. But I don't know also, that it's that far off, when it's actually being able to look at this stuff intently as you're describing, and kind of shifting this from maybe more of the personal finance section to you also work with people as far as their finances towards their practices as well. How did how did those conversations look?   David Frank  18:39 Yeah, I mean, they they really run the gamut, you know, you know, what, what most people want to know, is just like, Am I doing okay? Like, is this okay? And I think the answer is, it's kind of this, I'll give like someone like something I read on the cover of a Buddhist magazine, which is like, your perfect just as you are. And you could use some improvement. I feel like that's always kind of like where I kind of began with this. Yeah. It's, it's, it's just like, that's just the truth, you know, and like, so everyone, like, it's a similar practice of just being like, okay, let's, let's look at your practice financials. When's the last time you looked at your profit and loss statement or your p&l? And for a lot of people, it's like, well, the last time I had to, which is when I had to prepare my taxes last year, and like, from there, like I'm not really sure. And so it's like, okay, let's no big deal, a very common experience. And we can and we can do better. So we can just sort of look at it and just sort of spend time with those numbers and just be like, I don't know what any of this means. Right? Like it's they're confusing. These financial statements are confusing. And every therapist that I've ever met, whether they're self described good at math or terrible at math, can understand them. Because this is just simple math. I think it's more about creating room and space for the uncomfortable feelings that come up. When when folks start to, to work with their practice finances, and it's Working to sort of sweep out of the way limiting beliefs around Oh, I'm just no good at this, I'll never figure this out. Because I guarantee like you can figure it out. And sometimes sure you need some support from a professional like me or a peer or whomever. But it's just spending time. And yeah, asking those 36 questions to fall in love with your practice, P&L, I think is, it's not a bad place to begin.   Katie Vernoy  20:23 That's funny, I think there's, there's so much emotion around money and security. And, and I think everybody, you know, there's a lot of different episodes, we've done with different folks on, you know, kind of money mindset and stuff. And we can link to those in the show notes as well. But I think that there's this idea, you know, we've got the folks that haven't saved anything and just, you know, they're living in a way or practicing in a way where they're barely making enough money to survive, or they're just not thinking about it, or whatever, you know. And then there's folks I've interacted with on the other side, where they don't pay themselves a lot, they save a lot of money in a, like an emergency fund, or they're investing a lot. And one of the questions that you had suggested we talk about is can you save too much? And so, so I wanted to ask about that. Because I think that there are folks who feel very safe, when they have a lot of money saved or set aside. And then and then they don't touch it at all. And to me, I feel like there there's some benefit to that. But I think to a point, and then there's also I think some potential things that can get in the way if you need a gigantic emergency fund.   David Frank  21:41 Yeah, I mean, well said exactly. And I kind of like talking about this too, because having money saved wherever it is, whether it's an a retirement account, or an investment account. It for a lot of people, it feels like safety and security. And I think on some level, but you know, money touches pretty much everything. I might argue everything in life, like every moment of your day, is impacted by money, even if you're just like carving out enough time to not be working or thinking about money. That's that's time, I guess, theoretically, you could be making money, or something like that. So it's so intertwined. And we get so many messages from society around money and why it's important what we should be doing with it. That yeah, that at that end of the spectrum, where it's just like, I want to squirrel away and save, because it creates safety and security, I think, yeah, I think I think there is a risk of saving too much. And it's the question I always ask is sort of, you know, what, what is important? Like, if you find yourself saving a lot of money, ask yourself what is important about having so much money in this account, or what is important about having a big emergency fund, you know, what comes up that there's, there's certainly something going on, and I think it isn't necessarily bad. And yet, I would say if you are constantly finding yourself having to live from a place of restriction or scarcity in that, like, oh, I can't take that vacation. Because I I'd rather be saving money. I can't even maybe take a professional training because even though I feel really passionate about doing that, I need to be saving money. If you find you're constantly saying no to things that would nourish you that would make your quality of life better, then I think there's something there's something you need to look at. And again, it's it's it's likely an emotional issue. And I think that's that's another good opportunity to, you know, work with a professional or also there's like so many, like pretty good tools online these days to help you assess where, where am I really in terms of saving for retirement? How much? Like, how safe do I do I need to be? This is like a personal story about saving so much for retirement, I had a friend who lived in New York, he worked for, I can't remember who he worked for. But he had, he had like a pension, like a really generous pension. And he was putting a ton of money into his 401k. And he was like three years away from retirement. And like, by any measure, he had all the safety and security at least financially that anyone could ever hope for. And he was so looking for forward to retirement, and then the pandemic hit. And he he died of a heart attack, just a sudden heart attack. Totally unexpected. I mean, the reason I share that is like It was tragic. It was horrible. And, and it's life, right? Like we're never we're not promised anything. So I think it's got to be a balance. Yes, save and plan for the future. And just know that there is no such thing as complete safety and security because our life's journeys can end really at any point. And I think we just need to acknowledge both of those facts that yes, we want to be living in the moment and making our current life as good as reasonably possible. And also be planning prudently for the future and then balancing those two and it's tricky.   Curt Widhalm  24:50 Besides just like squirreling money away and the places to put that money and how to spend that money. Are there other considerations of how therapy should be taking care of themselves and their assets. You know, like with your friend example here, I'm sure that part of the extension of this is looking at things like wills and power of attorney type things.   David Frank  25:14 Yeah. Yeah. All that fun stuff. That's yeah, like, I think of it as like, risk risk planning, and then estate and incapacity planning. And as a comprehensive financial planner, those are things that I that I help folks look at as well. And they're things that many of us don't want to want to look at. But yeah, you know, you know, I think when it comes to like, sort of estate in an incapacity planning, and that's the type of work that I will help clients think through, and you almost certainly need to work with a professional attorney licensed in your state of residence to put a plan like that in place. So many folks think, oh, estate planning, that's something for rich people. And yeah, that's true. And it's also pretty much for all of us. So like, putting in place like a professional will, which really just ensures that your your clients are cared for in the event, you can't continue to show up for them the way you do today in your practice, and also having like personal incapacity and estate planning documents in place, powers of attorney, you know, wills, maybe maybe a trust to depending on what state you live in, these are uncomfortable things to think about. It's not comfortable to think about our own potential, passing our inevitable passing, or our potential incapacity. And I think it's really important. It's really, I think, I view this stuff as like an extension of loving kindness to, to your future self, to your clients, to your family members and loved ones. And having having a thought partner to think through what are the right pieces of that plan to have in place for you, I think is is really important.   Katie Vernoy  26:46 The balance between living now and saving for the future, I think is a really tough one. I think along the lines of we could die at any moment. But we also could live longer than we expect.   David Frank  26:57 Yeah,   Katie Vernoy  26:57 I think the retirement age of 65, which, you know, came into place when people lived to be 70 or 75. You know, I think people living into their hundreds, I think that there is there is a lot longer that people theoretically could be retired. We also know there's a lot of therapists who practice well beyond that, because it's it can be a good quote unquote, retirement career. But to me, it seems like there's there's a lot to consider both in how do I live well, today, but also, how do I save enough to really live a long, long life, you know, like, the hope is that you're going to live and be in retirement for 3040 years. Right. You know, I think that that seems that's what I want. And so, if we're looking at identifying, I don't even know if there's a there's an answer here. And it probably is, you know, appropriately and it depends answer. But is there a percentage of our income that we should say, versus a percentage that we should and reinvest into our businesses? Or a percentage that we should use to enjoy our lives? Like, like, Are there standard typical percentages that people can kind of keep in mind when they're trying to make some of these decisions? If they are currently doing that on their own or with a, a non professional thinking partner?   David Frank  28:27 Yeah, that's a great question. And I think you're right, that my answer is going to be prefaced by It depends.   Katie Vernoy  28:33 Of course,   David Frank  28:34 and yeah, you know, and obviously, nothing we've covered here today, including what I'm about to say is advice for anyone listening, right? Like, I don't know, you personally, listener, whoever you are. So I can't give advice that's, that's tailored to your particular situation. But in general, going back to the theme of it, it also depends when you've started saving. So if you're starting to save for retirement, and you're somewhere in your mid to late 20s, targeting saving 15% of your, of your pre tax income. So a quick aside, like it's difficult to know, like, especially if you're self employed, you have your own private practice, how much money am I even making, the best place I think to go and look for that is on the first page of your federal income tax return. I know that's like a scary place like no one wants to go to unless they're absolutely forced to. But there's so many good numbers on it. And there, you will find your total income on the very first page, I think it's like line 16 or something, and that'll tell you your total income. So I would say find that number. And then say if you're in your 20s, multiply that by 15% or 15% of that, that's ideally how much you should be saving every year. If you're in your late 30s, I would say that number should be closer to 25% of your total income. And then if you're around 50, late 40s 50s, then that number starts to get closer to even 50% which is like a scary number. So that's that's kind of aspirational, like who can really do like that's, that's really, really tough, which is why I don't want those numbers like they're not carved in stone. They're rough guidelines. And if you find yourself for not meeting them, that would be a typical human experience, right? Like most people aren't going to consistently meet those. That's okay, just continue doing the best the best you can. And then like, once, if and when you can hit those numbers, then it's like the rest of your money, you need to figure out like, what, what is the right balance for you, and then it totally depends like is, if you can hit your savings targets of let's like, roughly, for most people, it's gonna be like 15, in the range of 15 to 25%. Like, that's mostly realistic. And that's like a pretty solid number that we can really begin to work with that opens up options for yourself for your future self, then they spend the rest of the money in the way that feels best to you, like, yeah, reinvest some of that. reinvest in your practice, like do do what feels what gives you energy, like kind of like, like, you know, what gives you joy? Like that's, that's really how I think it's important to think about   Curt Widhalm  30:53 when you're working with clients, I'm imagining that some of the depends that you're talking about here and getting to know them probably comes very much like therapy, and what do you value would you are hitting some of these financial goals and how you should spend it that for some clients, it might be, alright, you need to start spending this money, let's talk about buying a second house. Whereas for somebody else that might be, you know, what's you know, and see what kinds of, you know, charitable contributions that you can make? Do you ever find yourself in those very, very positive positions, but also on the flip side of that, like, hey, maybe you shouldn't get that doctorate, because it doesn't fit within your financial plans, or any kinds of other like, hold up like, this doesn't seem to fit with the lifestyle and values that you've talked about?   David Frank  31:46 Yeah, I mean, what I like to say, and this is not an original phrase that borrowed it from someone else in the personal finance industry, but I like to say like, you can have basically anything you want, you just can't have everything. So if you really want to do something, for whatever reason, I always encourage a little bit of self reflection, just sort of asking what what is it about, for example, getting a doctorate that feels so important and vital to you? And then if you answer that question to your satisfaction, like that's not it's not my life, it's not up to me what the best use of your money is, if it's really something that's vital and important to you, then the question is, well, what are the right trade offs? So let's, let's just look with some clarity and say, This is how much this is going to cost. In the case of a doctorate, there's student loans and options like that, and just be as clear eyed as we can about the future and say, Okay, here's why you want to do this, here's the why it's important, or here are the elements about it that are important for you. And here's the numbers associated with that, let's just figure out how to make it work well. And sometimes when when, when folks see the other the sacrifices and other areas of their life that they might have to make, suddenly they realize, actually, maybe this isn't what I want, because there are competing employer priorities that are actually more important. And I just, I sort of forgot. So sometimes what I do is just remind people just reflect back to them, what they've told me, or what they've demonstrated to me is important to them. Because as human beings we do with like, we see like a shiny object, and we want to chase after it. And sometimes that shiny object is like really something you should be pursuing. And other times, it's something that's just a distraction, and we just need to be reminded of what's more important.   Katie Vernoy  33:23 I love that I think it's really important, I guess that's the right word, I can think of here to understand yourself your values, and put put an individual plan together, I see a lot of shoulds you should be making this much money, you should be doing this, you should be doing that. And I think being able to really talk through with a knowledgeable person, you know, what, what actually are my values around this? What are my life goals? And how do I actually plan for those life goals versus someone else's, and and even really looking at individual circumstances, I've had folks that have told me that they don't want to take insurance because they get $5 less than their full fee. And I'm like, you're listening to advice from people in California where they get half of their full fee, you know, and so, like, you know, all of these shoulds and the kind of impromptu financial advice from other therapists and Facebook groups I think is something that we really need to fight against so that people can look at their own numbers, their own situation and make their own plan and so I love everything that you've said. And I appreciate your your thoughtfulness and your understanding of the emotional aspects of it that really make it hard for some folks to do this in a clear eyed way.   David Frank  34:43 Yeah, well thank you that's very kind and and yeah, I just think that word should I hate that it's just like stop shooting all over yourself like there is no once i Mister like they're just there is no right answer really for any of this and Yeah, like advice. I just like, I get so triggered Maybe is there I don't know what the right word is. But like when people give advice, I heard this in a webinar I attended the other month. And the speaker said, All advice is autobiographical. And I'm like, what does that mean? And what he meant was that anytime someone is giving you advice, they're speaking from their own experience. So they're really giving advice to themselves, like, oh, I should have done this in the past, or I should be doing this right now. But I'm actually not, or, or whatever it is. And so advice can be good. But whether it's coming from a professional, like a financial advisor, or a colleague that you know, somewhere, or someone you don't know, but in a Facebook group, just ask them to explain. They're like, Oh, okay, interesting point. Why do you why do you say that? Like, what, what is the thinking behind that? And you may discover that, oh, that, that that piece of advice applies for them, because it's autobiographical, but it's sure doesn't apply to me. Um, or you might find it does apply to you, and great if it does, but it is also individual,   Curt Widhalm  36:01 where can people find out more about you and turning point financial, if they want to reach out to you and work with you?   David Frank  36:10 Yeah, so the best thing for people to do is to navigate to my website, and access my finance quickstart guide for therapists. And that'll give you a sense of what you should be thinking about in your fancy financial life. And it also gives you a good sense of what it might be like to work with me. And my website is turning point hq.com. So that's like turning point, a bridge, the abbreviation for headquarters. And yeah, there's a ton of good resources on there. And I think I will even by the time this airs, we'll have a little simple worksheet that folks can work through to help them determine how much they might, they ought to be I don't, I'm gonna use the word should how much they might want to consider saving for retirement so so they can navigate to the website and find all that good stuff.   Curt Widhalm  36:51 And you've got an offer for our listeners as well.   David Frank  36:56 I do for just a special offer. For the listeners of this great podcast, I'm offering 20% off my QuickStart coaching intensive. So navigate to my website, under the Services description, you'll find more information about that. And when they're scheduling that meeting, if they just enter the code, MTSG, or something like that, I will offer them 20% off when it comes to pay me.   Katie Vernoy  37:18 Yay. That's awesome. Thank you.   Curt Widhalm  37:20 And we'll include links to all of that in our show notes. You can find those over at MTSGpodcast.com. And make sure to join our Facebook groups, modern therapist group, and follow us on our social media for updates on everything that we're doing and connecting you with some of the other wonderful people in our community, much like David. So, thank you very much for joining us today. And until next time, I'm Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy and David Frank.   Katie Vernoy  37:48 Thanks again to our sponsor, simplified SEO consulting.   Curt Widhalm  37:52 These days, word of mouth referrals just aren't enough to fill your caseload. Instead, most people go to Google when they're looking for a therapist. And when they start searching, you want to make sure they find you. That's where simplified SEO consulting comes in. It's founded and run by a private practice owner who understands the needs of a private practice, and they can help you learn to optimize your own website or they can do the optimizing for you.   Katie Vernoy  38:16 Visit simplifiedSEOconsulting.com/moderntherapist to learn more. And if you do decide to try your hand at optimizing your own website, you can get 20% off any of their DIY SEO courses using the code MODERN THERAPIST. Once again, visit simplified Seo consulting.com forward slash modern therapist and use the code modern therapist all caps.   Announcer  38:40 Thank you for listening to the modern therapist Survival Guide. Learn more about who we are and what we do at MTSGpodcast.com. You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter. And please don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any of our episodes.

Versus
17 de Diciembre 2021 (El Convivio de Versus)

Versus

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 93:29


Interactúa, participa, ríe y llénate de energía con un tema diferente cada semana, conducido por Juan Alfonso Saravia, René Rojas y Bambucha.

Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring

Frame 124 - All The Angles. It's all change at Me1 vs Me2 Snooker today, with an unnecessary degree of professionalism introduced (to the presentation at least). It won't really make much difference to the audiophiles though. There's high breaks, controversy and one of the Mes wins a frame of snooker. But which one? I can't say here as finding out is essentially the only thing that makes this worth experiencing.

Fut Fanatic Podcast
171: Hitting the FIFA 22 Wall

Fut Fanatic Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 26:29


This week, Ben and John are joined by Simon to chat about hitting that phase of the cycle where you get bored and frustrated by the game. John and Ben debate the merits of the Versus promo. John and Simon are having wildly different experiences with Fut Champs.

Circulation on the Run
Circulation December 14, 2021 Issue

Circulation on the Run

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 25:48


Please join Guest Host Mercedes Carnethon, author Jason Roberts, and Associate Editor Vlad Zaha as they discuss the article "Epigenetic Age and the Risk of Incident Atrial Fibrillation." Dr. Carolyn Lam: Welcome to Circulation on the Run, your weekly podcast summary and backstage pass to the journal and its editors. We're your co-host, I'm Dr. Carolyn Lam, Associate Editor from the National Heart Center in Duke National University of Singapore. Dr. Greg Hundley: And I'm Dr. Greg Hundley Associate Editor, Director of the Pauley Heart Center at VCU Health in Richmond, Virginia. Well, Carolyn, this week's feature we're going to learn more about the risk of incident atrial fibrillation, but as that pertains to epigenetics. But before we get to that feature, how about we grab a cup of coffee and get started on some of the other articles in the issue. Would you like to go first? Dr. Carolyn Lam: I would love to. And the first paper I want to highlight asks the question, are social economic variables associated with 30 day survival after out of hospital cardiac arrest. And this comes from Dr. Jonsson from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues. They linked data from the Swedish Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation with individual level data on social economic factors. In other words, educational level and disposable income, all from statistics, Sweden. And what they found was that both higher disposable income and higher educational level independently associated with better 30 day survival following out of hospital cardiac arrest. The relationship between disposable income and 30 day survival was more robust for mediating factors compared to educational level. Dr. Greg Hundley: Oh, wow Carolyn. Really interesting in a very, what I would call hot topic these days. So what are the clinical implications of this particular study? Dr. Carolyn Lam: Well, the results really highlight the importance of preventive efforts aimed at patients with lower social economic status. And these preventive actions could include both early recognition and warning signs and for example, CPR and AED training. So very lovely paper there. Dr. Greg Hundley: Absolutely. Very nice Carolyn. Well, my first paper comes to us from Dr. Nan Wang from Columbia University Medical Center. And Carolyn this paper focuses on a common genetic variant called link RS 3184504, and it is associated with increased platelet and neutrophil counts, coronary artery disease, thrombotic stroke, and autoimmune diseases. And so this research group previously has shown that hematopoietic link deficiency synergizes with hyperlipidemia to promote platelet production and activation, neutrophilia, platelet neutrophil aggregates, atherosclerosis and arterial thrombosis, all of those things. So platelet activation and platelet neutrophil interactions have been shown to promote neutrophil extracellular traps or net formations. So nets are formed when neutrophils release their contents leading to the formation web-like structures made of DNA, myeloperoxidase, citrullinated histone and proteases that entrap and kill bacteria. Now, while nets may help to suppress infection, the formation of nets called NETosis in blood vessels can promote atherosclerosis and thrombosis. And so this study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that linked deficiency might promote NETosis leading to formation of unstable atherosclerotic plaques, and arterial thrombosis. Dr. Carolyn Lam: Wow. What a really neat hypothesis and NETosis. I learn new things all the time. So what do they find? Dr. Greg Hundley: Right Carolyn. First of all, hypercholesterolemic mice with hematopoietic link deficiency displayed accelerated arterial thrombosis with nets in thrombi and these changes were reversed by PAD4 deficiency or OxPL antibodies. Second, linked deficient platelet from hyperlipidemic mice expose and release increased OxPL when activated promoting NETosis, when incubated with link deficient neutrophils. Third, an AntiOxPL antibody reduced OxPL levels, NETosis and arterial thrombosis specifically in link deficient mice, and finally Carolyn targeting atherothrombotic risk using OxPL antibodies might be particularly effective in genetically defined populations with reduced link function or increased JAK-STAT signaling. Dr. Carolyn Lam: Wow. Okay. So they proved their hypothesis. Could you sum it up for us, Greg? Dr. Greg Hundley: You bet Carolyn. So this foundational work suggests that perhaps future studies targeting NETosis and OxPL in patients carrying the common link loss of function variant, could reduce atherothrombotic risk. Dr. Carolyn Lam: Wow. Thanks, Greg. My next paper is super interesting in its approach. Listen up. Now the assessment of the relationship between myocardial ATP production and cardiac workload. We know is important for better understand disease development and choice of nutritional or pharmacological treatment strategies. So what Dr. Berndt from Charity University and colleagues did, was they developed a comprehensive physiology based mathematical model of cardiac energy metabolism. And this model is called cardiokine one. And what it does is it recapitulates numerous experimental findings on cardiac metabolism obtained with isolated cardiomyocytes, perfused animal hearts and in vivo studies with humans. The model encompassed all pathways along, which the possible energy delivering substrates like glucose, long chain fatty acids, keto bodies, acetate, branch chain, amino acids are utilized. Dr. Carolyn Lam: They use the proteomic space, the abundance of metabolic enzymes and cardiac tissue to generate individualized metabolic models of cardiac energy metabolism. And so to prove their case, they further applied this approach to the left ventricles of controls in patients with mitral insufficiency and aortic stenosis, and showed that despite overall preserved systolic function, the ATP producing capacity of these left ventricles of patients with valvular dysfunction was generally diminished and correlated positively with mechanical energy demand and cardiac output. Dr. Greg Hundley: So Carolyn really interesting findings. Sort of linking metabolism them with ventricular dysfunction in those with valvular heart disease. So what were the clinical implications here? What's the take home? Dr. Carolyn Lam: Well, this methodology is just awesome, but what they also found I think is a very important physiological principle. And that is, while metabolic capacity have a significant correlation with biomechanical properties like myocardial power and cardiac output, they can also vary considerably between individual patients and therefore help us to understand in future perhaps why some patients develop heart failure over time while others with similar hemodynamic conditions do not. So just interesting. I think it just opens the space to a lot more. Dr. Greg Hundley: Absolutely beautiful summary there Carolyn. Well, in the rest of the mailbag for this issue, we have an exchange of letters between Professors Hu and Trifon on the previously published paper, entitled “Short Term Treatment with Aspirin plus Clopidogrel Compared to Monotherapy of Aspirin May Not Significantly Decrease the Risk of Stroke Recurrence.” Also, there's a Research Letter from Professor Catalucci entitled, “Nano miR-133A Replacement Therapy, Blunts Pressure Overloaded Induced Heart Failure.” And then finally Carolyn, there's an In-Depth article from Professor Aengevaeren entitled, “Exercise-Induced Cardiac Troponin Elevations From Underlying Mechanisms to Clinical Science.” Well Carolyn, how about we get onto that feature discussion and learn more about incident atrial fibrillation and the age of epigenetics. Dr. Carolyn Lam: Let's go. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: Welcome to this episode of Circulation on the Run, where we're going to have a very exciting discussion about a paper on epigenetic age and the risk of incident atrial fibrillation. We're extremely excited to have the lead author here with us, Dr. Jason Roberts from the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario Canada. And I am really excited to host this episode alongside the handling editor. My name is Mercedes Carnethon and I'm the professor and vice chair of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. And I'm pleased to be hosting this with Dr. Vlad Zaha from UT Southwestern Medical School, who was the associate editor who handled the piece. So I'm really excited to jump right into this because I think there's a lot that we can all learn from this. So welcome Jason, and thank you so much, Vlad. Dr. Jason Roberts: Thank you so much for having me, it's a delight to be here. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: So Jason, tell us a little bit about the rationale for this study, what you found and what it means. Dr. Jason Roberts: Absolutely. So as a cardiac arrhythmia specialist, I see a lot of patients with atrial fibrillation. And in 2021, our understanding of its underlying pathophysiology still remains modest. Our treatment strategies for the condition are also somewhat modest, although catheter ablation and antiarrhythmic drugs can potentially be very effective. In the context of these limitations, they're also exacerbated to some extent by the prevalence of atrial fibrillation, increasing dramatically in developed countries. Part of this is related to the obesity epidemic. Things like hypertension increasing becoming more common, but because atrial fibrillation is age dependent and because of our aging populations in developed countries, this is felt to have a major contribution to the growing prevalence of atrial fibrillation. Unlike obesity and hypertension and other risk factors, which are potentially modifiable, chronological aging is viewed as non-modifiable. It's not something that we can tackle. That said, we know within the population and just from personal experience that people age at different rates. There are some people that are 65 who behave more like they're 50, other people that are 50 who behave more like they're 65. Dr. Jason Roberts: And in that context, biological aging, we wondered whether or not, does biological aging independent of chronological aging potentially impacts the risk of atrial fibrillation. If that was the case, because there are gradually accumulating to suggest that biological aging is potentially modifiable, that could potentially open up the possibility of tackling aging as a respective for atrial fibrillation. So that drove us to ask this question. In terms of what we found in the approach that we used. So we used our biological marker of aging, was something called an epigenetic clock. So it's been found that modifications to DNA, specifically methylation at CpG at dinucleotides, they correlate with aging. This has been appreciated for a few decades. It was initially felt that with aging, methylation levels gradually reduced over time. But with more careful interrogation, it's shown that there's patterns. Some methylation areas increase, other methylation areas there's decreases. Dr. Jason Roberts: And Steve Horvath, who is a scientist at UCLA has found that using mathematical algorithms, you're able to very accurately ascertain chronological age based on the patterns of DNA methylation, he's called these things epigenetic o'clock. That said, even though they very accurately ascertain chronological age, they aren't perfect in each individual in terms of matching up to their chronological age, but that's actually turned out to be a good thing. So when people, their epigenetic age is older than their chronological age, they're said to have positive epigenetic age acceleration. They may be biologically older than their actual chronological age. And then the reverse also holds. So using this concept of epigenetic age acceleration, we ask whether or not do people that are older biologically on the basis of their epigenetic age, do they have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation? And then we tackle that using a few different core works that I'm certainly happy to elaborate on in terms of what we found. Dr. Jason Roberts: So we used three population based cohorts from the United States, the well known Framingham Heart Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study and Eric as well. There were approximately just under 6,000 people from those studies that had undergone genome wide methylation analysis that in the enabled us to calculate their epigenetic ages. The follow period for these people was just under 13 years. And then we look to see whether or not these epigenetic clocks associated with instant atrial fibrillation. In these cohorts, we look at five different clocks. So there's the Horvath Clock and the Hannum clock that were designed to predict chronological aging. The more recent clocks, things like DNAm PhenoAge and DNAm GrimAge are more designed to predict aspects of clinical phenotype and also mortality. We found that in unadjusted analyses, all of these clocks were associated with atrial fibrillation. When we then adjusted for multiple different clinical variables, we found that the DNAm PhenoAge clock and the DNAm GrimAge clock continued to exhibit statistically significant associations with atrial fibrillation. Dr. Jason Roberts: Interestingly, the multi-variable adjustment, one concern is, do these clinical factors, are they confounders where we should be adjusting, or are they potentially mediators. If we adjust for mediators that potentially masks the effect of the clock. But regardless of how we treat them both DNAm PhenoAge and DNAm GrimAge, we're associated with increased risks of incident atrial fibrillation. Alluding to the possibility that biological aging independent of chronological aging is important in terms of determining risk for atrial fibrillation. And it may be that if we're able to modify biological aging, we could potentially reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation. So that's the study in a nutshell. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: No, that is really exciting. You said something early on about chronological age being immutable. And I would have to say, both Vlad and I are not aging. And in fact, we are going in the opposite direction. If only this were not just an audio podcast, you would see that I steadily gotten younger and younger and I'm suddenly about 25 now. But no, these are really important findings. I really like the innovation of using multiple different strategies to characterize epigenetic age and genetic aging. So tell me Vlad, I want to turn to you. When this came across your desk, what excited you about this particular piece and why did you think that it would be of great interest to our readership? Dr. Vlad Zaha: Good morning Merci and Jason. This is a great question. And as in associate editor at Circulation for the bridging discipline section, it was fascinating to see this topic coming on my desk, thinking about all the genome wide association studies in nature of fibrillation and predisposition to atrial fibrillation, that in that case would not be changed by interventions because of different loci that would be determined. This was coming as a completely new perspective that was opening some new potentials. And it was very interesting to see some of the findings. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: Certainly. So Jason, I have a question. So what surprised you about the findings of this particular study? Jason Roberts: Yeah, that's a great question. So we had hoped that biological aging would be associated with atrial fibrillation. I think the concept of being able to tackle biological aging is exciting. In terms of what surprised us, I guess we were hoping for these results, I guess. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: Yeah. Dr. Jason Roberts: But we were…Yeah. So I guess we were pleasantly surprised that our hypothesis was born out. It's important to note that the epigenetic clocks don't tell the full story with chronological aging. So after we insert the clock into the model, chronological age continues to remain associated with instant atrial fibrillation. So this measure biological aging is just part of the story. So I think that's very important. I had wondered whether or not inserting the epigenetic clocks would that potentially eliminate the subsequent association of chronological aging. So that finding suggests it's part of the story. Dr. Jason Roberts: I think that in terms of the overall concept, the idea of this being reversible really excites me. In terms of the approach of how to reverse biological aging. Right now healthy lifestyle seems to be very important. I think it provides more evidence to suggest to patients with atrial fibrillation, living healthy from a diet perspective, from exercise, keeping your weight under control, all of these things that seem to impact epigenetic aging and biological aging can be helpful for preventing atrial fibrillation. So I think that can help reinforce this message to our patients. Dr. Jason Roberts: I think ultimately in terms of where we'll be at in 15 to 20 years, it's possible that new therapies in the future are developed that are able to more powerfully address biological aging. As you alluded to, will it be possible to reverse biological aging as you and Vlad are experiencing that? Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: Most definitely. Yes. Dr. Jason Roberts: I think it may be possible. This is an intense area of investigation that's being pursued and it's still in its relative infancy. But I think that could it be small molecules? Could it be potentially gene editing that can help adjust biological aging and not only increase lifespan, but also health span? I think those concepts are really exciting. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: I completely agree. There's a lot of richness in this paper and I think our readership is going to really enjoy digging in. Part of the richness is the use of three different cohorts and the use of multiple measures of epigenetic age. And I think you provided a really nice description of the unique information that each of these markers of epigenetic age provide. One thing I note are differences in the strength of association across the different measures of epigenetic age, which I think makes sense, because you said they characterize different aspects of the phenomenon, but I also see what looks like some variability across the cohorts with Framingham in particular seeming to stand out. And that being the only cohort that is 100% one race. It's white. Versus both the cardiovascular health study and the Eric study, which have more diverse study populations. I'm wondering what your hypothesis is about the differential strength of association that it seems Framingham is demonstrating and what you think is possibly the source of those differences. Dr. Jason Roberts: Yeah. I think those are great questions for all of genetics. The question is, does it apply to all races? For example, polygenic risk scores. It seems like when a polygenic risk scores develop for one race, it may not perfectly translate over to other races. So how relevant is that for epigenetic age acceleration. In this study, I think it's difficult to make definitive conclusions about it. We needed the three cohorts to have adequate statistical power in terms of being able to determine a differential effect of race. I think it would really be primarily hypothesis generating. We weren't really powered to look at the different races. So it's difficult for me to comment. Dr. Jason Roberts: I think ultimately and I want to believe anyways, that epigenetic age acceleration is relevant to all races, but in terms of, was it race that drove the differential impacts that we saw to some extent in terms of the magnitude of the hazard ratios, it's difficult to know in terms of tests for interaction and were these actually truly statistically different. We weren't adequately powered to address that hypothesis. So it's difficult for me to comment in a definitive matter I'd say. And sorry to cop out on… Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: No, not at all. I mean, I think there are a lot of things where there is no firm answer and that was just one of my hypotheses when I saw what was going on differently across the cohorts. I think that's a perfectly reasonable answer that sets us on a course for thinking about how we set up future studies. So I wanted to turn to you Vlad for the closing frame around this. As the editor, how do you hope that our readership will use these findings? Dr. Vlad Zaha: That is an excellent question. I was going to follow on this excellent unpacking of the core messages of the manuscript by Jason here to get his perspective as an electrophysiologist into what these type of work may represent for the everyday life of an electrophysiologist in the connecting with the patients and how would this type of approach influence, and maybe now, maybe later when our treatment for atrial fibrillation. Dr. Jason Roberts: Yeah. So that's a great question. I think, as I alluded to some extent before, as far as reinforcing healthy lifestyle, I think this provides more evidence in that respect. So we know that things like excessive alcohol consumption, being excessively obese, poor diets, not engaging in enough exercise, all of those things seem to accelerate your epigenetic age. And those are all things that we think or feel that are important with atrial fibrillation in terms of driving the path of physiology and people progressing. So I think this gives more data to us to reinforce the patients that in addition to the treatments that we're offering in terms of catheter ablation and antiarrhythmic drugs, the concern is that the substrate can continue you to progress. And that's likely driven by to some extent these modifiable risk factors. So keeping all of these under best control as possible, and hence trying to slow your biological aging as much as possible. Dr. Jason Roberts: I think that this will provide us more motivation to push these messages to our patients. A lot of patients can sometimes be like, "Let's just get on with a catheter ablation and I want to get on with my life…" but it really I think, provides more data to suggest that modifying these very important risk factors that can lead to accelerated biological agents, is very important. And in terms of the future as mentioned, so chronological aging, as people get older, people view it as, "Well, there's nothing I can do, and I'm just going to get gradually more and more unhealthy." I think, and this is somewhat futuristic, but to what extent can we slow biological aging? Can we potentially reverse it in the future? There's certainly lots of very compelling and interesting animal work and people are starting to delve into this in a big way. Dr. Jason Roberts: And not only to increase lifespan, will we some day live until we're 200. Who knows? But the concept of prolonging your health span as well. So the number of healthy years that you have before your body starts to gradually give way, I guess to some extent. Hopefully in the future will have therapies that will help keep us healthy. And if we do that increased health span, I think this data suggests that atrial fibrillation will be one thing that benefits from this. So hopefully in the future, maybe in terms of curbing the AFib pandemic, being able to address biological aging will help push things in the right direction. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon: Well, thank you so much Jason. And thank you so much Vlad for your thoughtful questions. I really like that the final bottom line leans towards my area as an epidemiologist, which is maintaining and promoting healthy lifestyles as a way to hopefully help prevent some of the difficulties of atrial fibrillation and its long-term outcomes. Really pleased to have you on this episode of Circulation on the Run, Jason, and thank you again Vlad, and I hope everyone enjoys this episode of the journal and has an opportunity to really dig into this piece. This is Mercedes Carnethon from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, saying thanks for listening today. Dr. Greg Hundley: This program is copyright of the American Heart Association 2021. The opinions expressed by speakers in this podcast are their own and not necessarily those of the editors or of the American heart association for more visit ahajournals.org.

All Def SquaddCAST
103: Work For The Mafia For A Year vs Do A Year In Jail | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 70:16


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Work For The Mafia For A Year vs Do A Year In Jail Only Eat Sushi For Life vs Vegan For A Year Always A Passenger On A Motorcycle vs Riding In The Middle Of A Back Seat Guest Dion Lack Keysha E.  CP S/o To Our Sponsors MVMT MVMT.COM/SQUADD Blue Chew BlueChew.com Promo SQUADD  Manscaped Manscaped.com  Promo SQUADD  Better Help betterhelp.com/Squadd

Versus
10 de Diciembre 2021 (Bebidas y conducción en fechas Navideña)

Versus

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 61:00


Interactúa, participa, ríe y llénate de energía con un tema diferente cada semana, conducido por Juan Alfonso Saravia, René Rojas y Bambucha.

Radio Record
Record Club Show #758 (08-12-2021)

Radio Record

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021


01. Atlantic Garden - Temporary 02. Funkin Matt, Tom Breeze - Hope 03. Mike Mago, Mau, Mohka, Megan Brands - Am I Dreaming 04. Eden Prince, Akua - Down 05. Ewave, Tictactec - Faster And Faster 06. Tom & Jame, Yton - The Answer 07. Weird Grrl, Kastelo - Ananas 08. Ellis Moss, Max Styler, Salena Mastroianni - How It Feels 09. Salvatore Ganacci - Fight Dirty 10. Moska, Rek - Alcantara 11. Bingo Players, Zookeper - Do What You Like 12. D-Steal, Flamers - Flow 13. Bougenvilla, Tmw - Wild Ones 14. Joshwa, Lee Foss - My Humps 15. Niiko, Swae - Push And Pull 16. Jennifer Cooke, Myxe - We Are The Sound 17. Croatia Squad - Miniskirt 18. Loudtech - Play The Game 19. Sessi D, Stas Simple, Francky D - Stand Up 20. Chapter & Verse - Let Me Hear You 21. Mistajam, Anelisa Lamola - Can't Stop Now 22. Landis - Puerto Rico 23. Dubdogz, Volkoder - You Get 24. Leandro Da Silva, Vinne, Blando, Skullwell - Dreams (Will Come Alive) 25. Dj Kuba, Neitan, Skytech - Dancing 26. Ten City, Tall Paul - That's The Way Love Is 27. Versus, Praxis, Kathy Brown - Turn Me Out 28. Kevin Aleksander - Ducka Ducka (I'm All Fine) 29. Nukey - Free Your Mind 30. Oliver Heldens, Party Pupils, Max - Set Me Free 31. Hugo Doche - Take Me Up 32. Kiral - The Ride 33. Madison Mars, Ralph Aiden - Already Gone 34. Moti, Bodyworx - BOOTY PART 2 35. Raven & Kreyn, Deekey, M7Stic - Time To Shine 36. Silque - Touch Me Baby 37. Danny Leax, Mick Mazoo - Be With You

Smart Agency Masterclass with Jason Swenk: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies
How to Grow Your Digital Agency Smart Instead of Fast

Smart Agency Masterclass with Jason Swenk: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 18:15


Ben Worthen was a journalist for most of his professional career. During those years, he heard many marketing pitches and grew to dislike the type of marketing that focuses exclusively on selling a product. That's why, when making the transition to creating his own digital agency Message Lab, he focused on combining journalism, data, and design to create content that resonates with people. In this interview, about how he has focused on marketing that creates meaningful interactions. Ben also shares his agency's growth strategy and why it's important to grow smart rather than growing fast. 3 Golden Nuggets Creating meaningful interactions. Most companies are focused on trying to sell you something all the time and are missing 90% of the chances to create opportunities for meaningful interactions. In this sense, Ben has never really liked the type of marketing that focuses exclusively on selling a product. Instead, when he transitioned from working in journalism to working in the marketing industry, he knew he wanted to bring his approach to storytelling to his agency and always ask “how can I make someone care?” This is what he tries to do for his clients. Making stuff and putting it out into the world with the goal of making it valuable. What's driving their growth. When it comes to creating something that people will care about, you don't want everyone to care. You're trying to find your audience, find the people who care, and then focus on them and show them understanding, authority, and a plan. If you try to create something for everyone you'll end up creating something for no one. This is what Ben has been working on to effectively communicate with people in the key non-sales moments and it is what has been driving his company's growth. “You care about people that you're trying to reach, and those people are somewhat narrow,” he says. Growing smart. Despite seeing some pretty big successes in just three years, Ben regrets starting with the idea that running a digital agency would be really easy. This drove him to make mistakes like going on a huge hiring spree as soon as the company started to grow. “We convinced ourselves that we had the business model of a high growth startup,” he recalls. This meant that, as much as they were growing, they were not growing smart or strategically. They were not investing through time and ewsearch strategy and trying to make their service better and that created what Ben calls weak growth. Now he tries to look at growth as an indicator that what they're doing is what people want. Sponsors and Resources Gusto: Today's episode is sponsored by Gusto, an all-in-one people platform for payroll, benefits, HR where you can unify your data. Gusto automatically applies your payroll taxes and directly deposits your team's paychecks, freeing you up to work on your business. Head over to gusto.com/agency to enjoy an exclusive offer for podcast listeners. Subscribe Apple | Spotify | iHeart Radio | Stitcher | Radio FM Focus On Creating Meaningful Interactions and Grow Smart, Not Fast {These transcripts have been auto-generated. While largely accurate, they may contain some errors.} Jason: [00:00:00] What's up, agency owners? Jason Swenk here. And on today's episode, I bring on an agency owner that's only been doing the agency for three years and has already grown a huge agency where a lot of you would like to be and created this singular mission. And we're going to talk about it a lot of what's worked for them and what's not worked for them. So this is really good episode. I hope you enjoy it. Hey, Ben. Welcome to the show. Ben: [00:00:32] Thank you for having me. Jason: [00:00:33] Yeah, man. I'm excited to have you on. So tell us who you are and what do you do? Ben: [00:00:38] I'm Ben Worthen. I'm the CEO of a company called Message Lab. And we are a content agency, which can mean all things to all people, but we have a very narrow focus, um… Specifically, we're focusing on using journalism and that kind of storytelling to help our clients communicate with the people that they want to reach outside of a sales opportunity. So if you think about the world in terms of when you want to buy something and when you don't want to buy something, a kind of binary reductive way of thinking. If you're anything like me, I want to buy something five, 10% of the time. And when I do, having someone come to me and give me a product information is really valuable, super helpful. But most of the time, I'm just a person in the world who wants to be entertained, want to be informed. I want to be engaged somehow. I want to flip through stuff on the phone. I'm going to have to search around to listen to something cool. And our belief is that, you know, companies that are focused on trying to sell you something all the time, which is like, you know, most companies all the time, they're just missing so many opportunities, 90, 80% of the chances that they have to engage with you and have some sort of meaningful interaction around an idea. So that's where we come in and that's where this background that we have in journalism and some other things that we do, which I'm happy to talk about, come into play. And where we think that we can create opportunities for meaningful interactions that over time are going to pay off for the companies we work with. Jason: [00:02:03] Yeah. You know, I mean, that's a good mindset and a good north star to kind of follow because, you know, I would always, as I was training my sales team or as I'm you know, helping out the mastermind members… I'm like, look, you're not selling anybody anything. You're positioning what they actually need. But if you're trying to sell them something you've already lost. You got to ask the right questions and really kind of position it in a way where… Let's just jump on a call. Let's see if we can work together, see if I can help you out. See if I understand your problem. And then if we do, and we both agree, then I'll tell you how we can work together. And it just kinda just takes down everybody's fences and then be like, all right, cool. That sounds good. Ben: [00:02:47] Yeah, exactly. And imagine doing that in the digital environment where it's a one to many interaction. You know, there's the, the point, the number of times, you know, like a banner ad, as an example for a product is like the ultimate spray and pray, you know, experience. It's super cheap. It doesn't cost much to make, and it doesn't cost much to get in front of somebody. But if you're lucky, 1% of people are going to be interested in it at any given time. So our whole mindset… And so I'll back up for a moment. Early in my career, for most of my career as a newspaper reporter, a journalist. I worked in the Wall Street Journal and I was someone who day in and day out, had companies come in and just try to pitch me. And it was always this schlocky marketing message. And I would sit there very politely. But in my head of thinking like, you know, nobody cares, how on earth is this going to be interesting to people? And, you know, and I was the one who was being paid essentially to listen and hear out people. When I made my own transition to marketing, I think I brought with me some of that disdain for the way marketing has always been done. And in particular, this notion of like, people just don't care, we don't care about what you're trying to say most of the time. And if you think about what you try to do as a journalist, you're really, you're sitting there trying to think about like, well, how can I make someone care? You know, what's the story? I think this thing is cool. I think this guy, Jason has this great story. How do I tell it in a way it's going to be interesting to people? And that's sort of the filter through which you run everything. And as I spend more time in marketing, what actually happened was I gained a huge amount of respect for the rigor, the discipline, the analysis, the, the process, everything that goes into doing marketing on behalf of a big entity. But I still couldn't let go of that notion of like come on, let's just make something people care about, you know, that can be valuable too. And when you're describing, you know, working with your team, you're talking about trying to create a moment that's valuable for the person on the other end of the phone call, uh, in that moment. And what we're trying to do with our clients is do that same thing digitally. Do that same thing in a one-to-many scenario where you're making stuff and putting it out into the world. But the goal of it is to be cool. The goal of it is to be valuable. The goal of it is to, you know, find someone who has a problem and give them an answer that's going to help them. It's not really about your product or to find someone who's curious about a topic and inspire them. You know, they don't know that they're looking for it, maybe, but it finds them and it creates a moment of value for them. And then, you know, from there, that's where the marketing part kind of kicks in, you know, what do you do with it? How do you make it part of your go-to-market motion? How do you integrate it into, you know, the data collection and aggregation of everything else that you're trying to do? So that you can not just like make cool stuff and pat each other on the back, because like, wow, that was so cool. We love it. Shiny. But it's doing something for you. It's valuable. And you can, you can look at… You can go to your boss at the end of the year, put up a slide that has some data points that shows what you've accomplished through making that kind of content. Jason: [00:05:57] Taking care of your employees has never been more important than right now. And while paydays are great, running payroll is a major pain. From calculating taxes, deductions, compliances. None of it's easy. Unless, of course you have Gusto. Gusto is simple, online payroll benefits built for small business. Gusto automatically applies your payroll taxes and directly deposits your team's paychecks, freeing you up to work on your business. Plus, with their help, you can offer benefits like 401k's health insurance, workers' comp, and a lot more. And because you're a smart agency masterclass listener, you're going to get three months free once you run your first payroll. Go to gusto.com/agency. That's gusto.com/agency for three free months. Yeah. And I think it's, you know, when you're trying to reach out to people and, you know, why is it important and share and care? It's not about caring for everyone. It's actually about like, trying to push the people that you don't care about away and create this little segment that you actually care about.  And then show them empathy and understanding and a little bit of authority and show them a plan. And I think you can destroy it. I think most people try to be like, I'm this for everyone. And I'm like, you're this for no one when you actually try to do that. They just have a hard time wrapping their brain around it. I mean, that's, you know, we were talking to the pre-show like, you've grown your agency fairly quick and you're like, what was that impressive? I was like, yeah. Some people wait a decade to get to where you're at. Some people never even get close to it. I find when there's a turning point in the agency owner the mindset shifts a little bit. That's when their agency can really excel. And it's not all like, you know, like you said, it's not all about sales. It's about so much more in order to grow the agency. Do you agree?   Ben: [00:08:05] Yeah. Well, the funny thing listening to your description is the thing that I feel has propelled our growth is just looking at this challenge of you know, how do you effectively communicate with people in these non sales moments? And it's doing exactly what you said, which is, you know, you don't care about everybody. You care about people that you're trying to reach, and those people are somewhat narrow. My mom, I always use this example, but my mom loves me dearly. And if I do something, she's going to read it. She's going to check it out. She's going to watch the video that… Jason: [00:08:35] My mom is the same way. Ben: [00:08:05] Yeah. You know and she's going to listen to this podcast. But, she's not going to buy something… Jason: [00:08:41] Say hi mom. Ben: [00:08:42] Hi, mom. She's not gonna buy for most of our clients, right? You know, like our, our clients run the gamut from like B2B companies. It's just like, there's no way she's gonna buy a million dollars worth of software. You know, it's just not plausible. And so it doesn't matter to them if my mom sees it and likes it. But that's where, you know, to go back to our growth, that's, what's been driving it. You know, it's not… I mean, yes, it's hard to make something cool, but it's not hard to make something cool. Lots and lots of people make cool stuff. And yes, we have our own way of doing it. We have our own way of positioning it. We can talk to about the skills that we use in order to make cool stuff. And, and that's part of it. We have to bring together and our side people who are journalists and people who are designers in order to create experiences. But then like, let's go back to that question, right? Like how do you know that it's reaching the people that you want to reach? That's hard because it starts getting into how you promote it effectively, you know, how do you target? How do you do segmentation? And then how do you know that that's working? And it gets into analytics and like, oh my gosh, now this is getting crazy, right? Because how do we, you know, page views for the web? That's like the first thing everybody looks at, right? Page views, because right. Well, if you're getting a million moms coming in, giving your page views, and if that's all you're looking at, you're going to think you're killing it. When in reality, You're not reaching the people that you're trying to reach. And then it gets even more complicated because, you know, we're not really trying to sell something. We don't want you to, to click and buy. You know, what we're trying to get you to do is we're trying to create an impression. We're trying to prime the pump. And that means that the key thing isn't, you know, did you click on the buy now button? The key thing is that you come back. You know, the key thing is if you came back another time where you more likely than somebody else to do something that we want? Then that's what you had previously had an interaction with our content. And to do that you got to mix together a lot of different people with a lot of different backgrounds. And so for us, that meant like you got, we got to get people who can create the content. So we brought in a bunch of people who were journalists. You know, we needed people who could make experiences that people wanted to consume, so we brought in a bunch of designers. And then we needed people who could do the promotion and the audience development and all of that, so we had to bring in into those people. And then analytics. It's like, well, if the traditional way of doing analytics, isn't giving our clients the kind of data that they want, we kind of have to invent our own analytics. And so we did, you know, we hired a bunch of people who understood analytics, were able to grapple with this challenge of how do you do analytics specifically for content that isn't meant to sell people anything. So our team just started to grow and grow as we introduce these new capabilities. And every single time we're introducing a new capability we didn't really have a market for it. We didn't have someone who wanted to buy it. We just felt like in order to do this work well, we needed to be able to do this. So we effectively brought on a team, built the team because we thought that the proper way to do this work needed to include the skills that they brought to the table. And then something that we've had as sort of a through line in our experience was once we had the team in place, we could go either to our current clients or other clients. And we could begin to have conversations about the, hey, you know, it's cool. What if we were able to do this? And then only after we had the capability and the capability, would it be good to have a market opportunity to do it? Jason: [00:12:15] Very cool. What's a big mistake that you made that you wish you could go, go back and redo? Ben: [00:12:22] For me. And it's so laughable at this point was just thinking that this whole agency thing was really, really easy. Yeah. We had had this experience where in 2018, I walked into the coworking place and it was like, all right, great. Now we're a company. Let's see what happens. And I was lucky that I knew some people who want to take a chance on hiring us. I say I was us even though, initially it was just me. You know, where able to pull together some teams, ran the whole business that first year on a spreadsheet. I had this enormously complex spreadsheet, but everything worked. The cells always added up. And, you know, and things were growing. People were coming in. We're adding more people and very quickly at the beginning of year 2, 2019, we went on a huge hiring spree. And I think we convinced ourselves that we had the business model of a high growth startup, meaning that all we had to do was just bring on the people and no problem, no problem, no problem. So we didn't grow smart. We just sort of found people that we thought were cool. And we brought them in and we also had simultaneously, we were going really fast, but I don't think that we were growing strategically. In the sense that we weren't selling the same set of activities, the same product over and over again. People were coming to us for a really broad range of things that broadly fit the skills that we had. And we were saying yes. What ended up happening is I think it was what is called weak growth. We had pockets of revenue that if we took a step back weren't services that we would really ever sell again. And in that meant that we weren't staffed deliver it. We weren't, we weren't investing and through training through time through search strategy and making that service better for our clients. And we weren't creating a path for us to take the effort that we made, developing that and sell it to somebody else. And so when those projects went away, they just went away and we weren't able to take that and transition to some something else. So it took a little while to retrench our growth, also vastly exceeded our operational capabilities. We out kicked our coverage, to use a football analogy. And it, it meant that we had to do some catch-up from a process standpoint, from our financial understanding of the business. Like they just didn't have a great read of what was happening. We were surprised at the end of every quarter, uh, which is not a place to be. So we did a lot of work to fix those things, to have a, to refine what we did to narrow our focus a bit that. You know, it's tough because I think we look at the world through a lens of possibility and opportunity. And I still believe that to do the kind of work that we want to do is we want to do well. It requires more skills, more people with unique capabilities working together towards this one vision. But now we're just having to be a little bit more smart about when we add that capability. Why we add it? Where does it fit in a roadmap? Versus just a like, yeah, come on. Let's do it. Jason: [00:15:39] Awesome. Well, this has all been amazing, Ben. Is there anything I didn't ask you that you think would benefit the digital agency owners listening in? Ben: [00:15:47] I don't think this is going to be relevant for everybody, but it's what's got us to where we are, which is there's a lot of things that matter as an agency and revenue is certainly one of them, profitability is one of them. And we've adopted the mindset of looking at those factors as market validation for what we're trying to do. You know, if we are trying to put in place a new product. If we're trying to put together a new capability. If we're trying to combine data and journalism and design and experiences in a way that people haven't done before, you know, the way that we're going to know is working is if we're growing, if more people want the thing that we're doing. And so rather than thinking of revenue as something that we're targeting and, you know, and, and designing around a revenue number, taking the model of saying, well, we have to hit this kind of growth as an indicator that what we're doing is what people want and looking at it that way. And then designing the service that we think that we believe is what's going to be the thing that drives us forward and then looking at that, you know, revenue profitability as the market telling us, yeah, you're right. This is, this is the thing that you want to do. Jason: [00:17:04] Awesome. What's the agency website people can go and check out the agency? Ben: [00:17:08] messagelab.com Jason: [00:17:10] Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Ben, for coming on the show. And if you guys enjoyed this episode, I want you guys to make sure you comment. Make sure you hit that like button and subscribe button. I have a question for all of you. If you are wanting to grow and scale your agency faster, do you think it's easier to do it with people that are ahead of you that are in the digital agency world? Because there's lots of opportunities that you have from working with a number of different people out there. But if you could be in a mastermind with amazing agency owners that are a lot further along than you, do you think you can grow faster? If the question is yes, I want you guys to go to the digitalagencyelite.com. I would love for you guys to apply after you check it out. And if you meet the criteria, then we'll have a conversation and see if it's right for you. So make sure you go to digitalagencyelite.com and until next time have a Swenk day.

Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring

Frame 123 - BJ Fan? - Things get a little political ahead of this crucial frame in the contest, with so much resting on the result, but there comes a time to let the snooker do the talking and there's a chance of a maximum break for one player, but will he take it? Or will he blow it? There's only one way to get the answer. Tune in to the world's premier self-playing snooker match now.

Screaming in the Cloud
Leveling Financial Brevity with Dan Shapiro

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 40:18


About DanAfter earning his CPA in New York, Dan dedicated his early career to education, helping to build eight schools across two continents. Three of those schools make up the charter school network Coney Island Prep, a 160-person, $20mm+ organization where Dan served as both CFO and COO.  He has served as CFO of many fast-growth start-ups, is a recurring guest lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is an avid adventurer and musician.  But most importantly, he's a dedicated husband and an enamored father who, at this point, knows the lyrics to each and every Raffi song ever created.Links:Duckbillgroup.com: https://duckbillgroup.com TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Redis, the company behind the incredibly popular open source database that is not the bind DNS server. If you're tired of managing open source Redis on your own, or you're using one of the vanilla cloud caching services, these folks have you covered with the go to manage Redis service for global caching and primary database capabilities; Redis Enterprise. Set up a meeting with a Redis expert during re:Invent, and you'll not only learn how you can become a Redis hero, but also have a chance to win some fun and exciting prizes. To learn more and deploy not only a cache but a single operational data platform for one Redis experience, visit redis.com/hero. Thats r-e-d-i-s.com/hero. And my thanks to my friends at Redis for sponsoring my ridiculous non-sense.  Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by Honeycomb. When production is running slow, it's hard to know where problems originate: is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? I've got five bucks on DNS, personally. Why scroll through endless dashboards, while dealing with alert floods, going from tool to tool to tool that you employ, guessing at which puzzle pieces matter? Context switching and tool sprawl are slowly killing both your team and your business. You should care more about one of those than the other, which one is up to you. Drop the separate pillars and enter a world of getting one unified understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. With Honeycomb, you guess less and know more. Try it for free at Honeycomb.io/screaminginthecloud. Observability, it's more than just hipster monitoring.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud, I'm Corey Quinn. A common myth that has sort of permeated the entire ecosystem is, when you associate a single person with a company, they're the only person is really there. It turns out that with AWS, Jeff Barr is writing an awful lot of blog posts, but I have it on good authority that there are at least three services he didn't personally create himself. Similarly here at The Duckbill Group, there are a lot of folks who aren't necessarily in the public eye as much as I am because they don't have the overriding personality flaws that I do. One of those people is my guest today. Dan Shapiro is our CFO, and I guess the closest thing you could consider to us having adult supervision. Dan, thanks for joining me.Dan: Thanks for having me, and I appreciate you considering me an adult, even though I don't always feel that way.Corey: I always assume there's someone else out there who knows what's going on and how life works, and one day they're going to bother to explain it to me because the alternative is that none of us know and we're making it up as we go along, and I'm not sure I can wrap my head around that fear.Dan: Yeah, my job is to allow you guys to have the vision, some wild ideas, try to put data to ideas, tell you if I think it's a good idea. I think, you know, I'm the balloon string to your guys' balloon is the way I think about it.Corey: It's funny, given that we fix the AWS bill and deal with customers, who are in many cases themselves working in finance, that for the first year or so that we were doing this as The Duckbill Group, and never back when I was independent did we really have anyone in a CFO position. What we were doing made sense to me from a very simplistic naive point of view. Okay, well, how is the company doing? Well, I have an app that tells me that. No, it's not QuickBooks, it's I'm going to pull up the banking app and see how much money is currently sitting in the company accounts.And that would inform things like can we hire new people, can we afford this piece of equipment, or embark on this project? And it was sort of Fisher-Price finance, from our perspective. And when you came in, you were very good at this in that you did not make us feel like the naive hayseeds we very clearly were. You were excellent at hiding your contempt, which is great. But before we dive into the specifics, let's ask the big question that I didn't know the answer to back when we first started working with you, which is, what does a CFO do?Dan: CFO does a lot of tactical things, but ultimately, I think that they have two main 30,000-foot view functions. One is to safeguard the assets of the company, and two is to ensure that those assets are employed in the best way possible for the best outcomes that the company is after. And that doesn't always necessarily have to be financial; it could be operational successes. But whatever the goals of the company are, the CFO's role is to utilize the assets to help approximate those goals as best as you can, get the most out of your resources. So, I think that, you know, you play a little bit of defense in trying to make sure that you're protected and you play a little bit of offense in trying to make sure that when you put your chips on the table, that they're in the right place.Corey: So, please take this in the spirit of which it's intended, but if I'm starting out my career today, I can attend a boot camp, learn how the ins-and-outs of software programming work, get a job somewhere, and if I manage my career right, in two or three years I'll get a job somewhere as a senior engineer. So, from that perspective, are you more or less an accountant with title inflation? What's going on? What is the difference between finance and accounting?Dan: Yeah, so to define those two words, I think of the delineator being time, right? So, today backwards is accounting. It's a historical record of everything that has happened, well categorized. And I think of finance as today forward. It is the strategy and planning and potentially analysis of what you think is going to happen in the future.So, those two buckets are delineated by time in my mind. Am I an accountant? Yes. Do I think that the best financial people have an accounting background? I do. I think accounting is the alphabet of finance and I think it's hard to really fully understand or be effective without, you know, at least some baseline accounting information. So yeah, I think accounting is super important. It's a codebase to an engineer, except there's really only one code.Corey: I will say that once you started working with us, it enabled me to understand things in a way that I hadn't before. And on some level, I feel… a little embarrassed, I'm in my mid 30s, here—which annoys the hell out of my wife because I'm 39—but I've gotten this far in my career without understanding a lot of the basic literacy of corporate finance. Now, let's be clear, I'm very good at handling personal finance aspects to my life. I can quote chapter and verse in some cases, from ERISA requirements around 401(k)s and how much I'm allowed to put in in a given year. And that's great, but business finance looks very different than personal finance in a few key ways. And I'm curious as to what your impression is of those key differences because I have thoughts, but I don't generally invite experts in areas onto this show and then explain their field to them.Dan: [laugh]. I will go into that but I am curious what you think. You know, or what you perceive in your experience in working with me, what you've seen—maybe one or two differences that you've seen between personal finance and corporate finance. I certainly feel like there's differences, but I actually don't feel like there's a tremendous differences, I just think it's much greater scale with a lot more people involved. But I'm curious what your experience has been, and then I can kind of jump off of that.Corey: Sure. From my perspective, it is—and this is probably heresy, but I tend to view finance in many ways as being more psychological than it is mathematical. And if I were to pick a random person off the street, and give them a choice of you need to come up with a thousand bucks: you can either make another $1,000 or you can save another $1,000—and let's be clear, I'm talking about someone who is in a technical-style career track; I understand the margins, this becomes a very different thing in either direction and I want to be sensitive to that—but if I ask most people, their answer is almost universally going to be to save the money because if you look at folks who are in a salary job, if they want to make more money, they need to either come up with a side project and start moonlighting, they need to petition their boss for a raise, they need to do a few other things here and there and okay, it becomes a pain. And well, I haven't updated my resume in years, I'm not great at interviewing for jobs, I don't really want to leave and upset the applecart. Whereas saving a thousand bucks when you're making six figures a year is not necessarily that hard. Eat out less, cancel Netflix, et cetera, et cetera, and you can get there by saving.Companies philosophically are the exact opposite. Because there's a theoretical upper bound of one hundred percent of a company's AWS bill that I can cut, either by moving them to another provider—which is cheating—or flying to Seattle and taking hostages—which is not particularly something we'd like to do, and it doesn't generally work more than once. And that's fine, but they can earn a multiple of that by launching the right feature or product to the right market at the right time, faster. That's always going to be more compelling for a company because they're after growth, not protecting the baseline that they have, in most cases. When that shifts, they tend to be companies in decline.Dan: Yeah, that's a great point. And I think to add onto that, when you're running a company, almost every company is going to have something like 60 to 70% of their expenses tied up in their people. So, cutting discretionary spending at a corporate level is not always going to yield the impact that you might need it to. And if you actually need to cut expenses, you're talking about very serious decisions about reducing your workforce, which happens in big steps, right? You can't just find, you know, 5k here, 10k there; you're talking about, you know, reducing your org chart, which is a very serious decision that a lot of companies take very seriously, which is great.Versus there's a lot of avenues to increasing revenue, you know, new product streams, growing your team, investing in your team, raising prices, follow-on sales with these existing customers. You know, there's just a lot more opportunity to generate revenue because companies, by definition, have a lot more opportunities to create revenue than just, you know, like you said, somebody who has a salary job.Corey: One of the things that really woke me up to what our customers are going through is I take a look at the finances of The Duckbill Group—as pointed out and categorized and [aligned 00:09:09] by you, which first, thank you, it's extremely helpful, and two, it helps me contextualize things. You raised a flag on things being out of bounds, where they had been historically. At one point, our AWS bill was a little over $2,000 a month, and your question was, “What's up with this?” It is not the sort of thing that was going to make or break the company; our payroll is six figures a month and compared to that the AWS bill is irrelevant.But given what we do, and given that it's always a good idea to be good financial stewards of the money that has been entrusted to us, “Great, let's take a look at that.” And it was dropped down to 700, 800 bucks. I think it [crested 00:09:47] at $950 last month, as of the time of this recording because I was doing some fun experiments. And sure it's annoying in that I want to keep it as low as possible just given the nature of what we do, but from a business perspective, it does not fundamentally matter. Now, that is not the case for most of our clients, it matters; it's a large expense, but payroll is still bigger.In many cases, depending on the company, real estate is bigger. And Netflix, one of the larger AWS customers, has publicly stated that their biggest expense is content. Yeah, they've built a bunch of studios, they have to get rights to all the content that they stream, they pay people through the nose, and their AWS bill is reportedly massive—it would have to be given what they do—but it's never the number one driving focus. And, on some level, it feels like a company deals with two classes of problem. There's the side that we're on of cost control, risk mitigation, et cetera—insurance hangs out here, too—and the other is speeding up time to market or growth and expansion. Our class of problem is a good diligence thing, but it isn't usually ‘summon the board in the middle of the night because of an opportunity' territory. If I look at those as the two great problems, it is more lucrative as a business to be targeting the former.Dan: Yeah. I mean, so just to go back to that AWS example for a second, right, it's contradictory, right, because on the one hand, are you really going to win the day by shaving, you know, $500 off your AWS bill a month if you're a $3 million company? You know, is that going to move the needle? Not necessarily.But I believe in hygiene and habits, and I believe as you're a growing company, that it's a lot harder to put in good financial process and good financial hygiene, the bigger you get. And so if you start doing these things early, you know, if you have a quarterly review of your subscriptions, your SaaS products, you have some kind of budget versus actual process in place where you have—even if it's wrong, right? I mean, you just take a stab at what you think, you track your actuals, and at least now you have some data to rally around from a financial perspective, as opposed to saying, “Oh, look, we spent X on Y. That's interesting.” Or, “Does that feel right? Or”—And so you have a baseline and you have a measuring stick, and then you have a process in place for figuring out what happened, and then how to better guess in the future. And so yeah, I think that hygiene is important and I think the hard part—and I think it was exhibited by you guys early on—is when you're starting a company, this is the last thing that you want to focus on, or even think you need to focus on because it's not on fire, right? Finance is never on fire until it's absolutely on fire, and it's going to kill you. And I think a lot of founders sweep finance and accounting to the back of the closet because a client is upset, or an employee quit, or their code broke, and those things are on fire today, and if they don't get fixed, the company can't move forward.And so finance, it doesn't matter, doesn't matter, doesn't matter, doesn't matter; it kills your company. So, I think it's not that the founders don't know about it, aren't smart enough for it, don't care about it. It's just that it's not on fire, and when you're starting a company, all you can do is pay attention to the things that are.Corey: It's easy to look back and beat myself up for my lack of understanding or lack of focus on things. The similarly I talked to technical people all the time where the first DevOps hire into an environment. It's been application engineers or developers building the environment so far, and it's easy to look at it in a condescending way of, “Oh, our entire field knows not to build things this way. What's wrong with you fools?” Well, it worked well enough to get to a point where they could afford to hire you, so perhaps show some respect when you're in an environment like that.This is something that most business folk, like I don't know, a CFO intrinsically understands, but many engineers still don't seem to have fully wrap their heads around just because it's easy to over-index on the area that you're focusing in. You almost certainly view companies, start to finish, through a lens of finance. A lot of engineering folks I spend time with—and used to be one of, myself—view it through a lens of well, what's their stack look like? What's their technical debt? How are they actually architected?Which is interesting, but usually not the indicator of whether a company will succeed or fail. There are other broader focuses that are important to look at, and being able to view our own company through a lens of something other than dealing with just the technology or just the sales aspect of it, or, “All right, time for me to go shitposting again because that's our substitute for marketing.” Instead, we're focusing on what the larger picture is through a finance lens. It introduces a level of rigor that I hadn't expected, though, clearly, we do still put our own stamp on it. I suspect we are probably the only company you have ever worked with that has an explicit line item in the budget labeled ‘Spite' for example, from which we make our ridiculous parody videos and other assorted nonsense, for those who are unfamiliar with the Spite Budget.Dan: That was a new one for me. I've seen, I think, every other chart of account line item before and Duckbill Group was the first one that I had to type in ‘Spite Budget' for. I didn't even really understand what it meant, and then as I, you know, got to know you a little bit better, I knew exactly what it meant. And it is—Corey: Yeah, this is what passes humor with his set.Dan: [laugh].Corey: Got it. Okay, I'll smile, nod, and continue to keep the finances in order.Dan: Yeah. So, when you leave, I just cross it out and I write marketing. But [laugh] it is what makes you you and what makes this company successful. But in all seriousness, it's an outstanding financial investment because our business is—like every business—is driven by eyeballs. And whether you're a media company or you're any other company, you need people to know about you.You need people to want to believe that your services are valuable, and want to engage in your services. And the Spite Budget brings eyeballs. And the other thing is, I think it's always wrapped up in farce, but there's always an underlying truth to it which is why people find it compelling. I think if you were out there actually, slinging shit to us, you know, [laugh] you're parlance, I think you wouldn't get 100 Twitter followers. But I think because the undercurrent is truth, you don't give yourself credit for this but there's an immense amount of knowledge behind the truth that people find it compelling. So yeah, from a serious financial perspective, I think it's one of the best investments that we make. [laugh].Corey: It's definitely a lot of fun. And it always bothered me when I would walk around re:Invent or travel for client trips and whatnot to see billboard ads in airports because I've priced out what those things cost, and for those who are wondering, it's not a small number. And okay, so you're going to go to all of the expense of buying out ads in multiple airports doing a country wide brand saturation campaign, and with all of that space, and all of those millions of dollars you're spending on this to get your message in front of folks, you fill it with something that is so anodyne, something that is so… I guess, droll, that no one notices or cares. You wind up getting all of these eyeballs and then have nothing interesting to say. And to me, that's the cardinal sin.I can build an audience, and the way I built it is by having something interesting to say. But take a look at any brand awareness billboard for a large consultancy. I mean, Accenture had one years ago in airports that I still haven't stopped making fun of them for, even more so since they blocked me on Twitter. And it said, “The new isn't on its way. It's here now. New, applied now.” So yeah, I guess they're bringing the new and it's… okay, they spent how many millions of dollars on that campaign and then wound up effectively building the tagline and the phrasing just by, I don't know, having some analyst in some junior role bang their head off a keyboard a few times? I don't get it. I just don't get it.Dan: Yeah, without being a marketing expert, I think that's the product of risk tolerance being a directly inverse relationship to the height of an org chart. I think the higher you grow in your decision-making capability and potency, the more responsibility you have on your shoulders, the less willing you are to do anything that's interesting, fun, risky, and that's why we have a lot of the marketing that we have today. We're lucky to be a small company, we're lucky to be a small company that has creative founders. I think a lot of founders for their marketing go, they use a lot of external folks, and you know, they—sometimes it works, but a lot of times they lose the actual, like, heart and soul of the company because they just aren't in it, they don't understand it. And I think it's fun, a lot of the stuff that, you know, we get to do.But I think we're fortunate that we are in a unique spot in the sense that—you know, we talk about this a lot—we're a company that has a services arm and we're a company that has a media arm. And where many companies in services have to think about marketing and sales in a very straight up and down way, we get to play in our media space, which is a revenue-generating arm of our business, in a lot of experimental ways that other companies are spending thousands, millions of dollars on marketing expenses, we get to do it and make money doing it, via media. And it's really this incredible, bifurcated business where one serves the other and vice versa. And, you know, it's fascinating.Corey: I still don't pretend to understand how we got to the place that we did. When you look back, it's easy to see a sense of plodding inevitability, where, “Oh, yeah. You did this, that led to that, and it led to this, and here you are now.” But at the time you're making the decisions, you are throwing darts blindfolded. Professional advice for those in bars, don't do that. They do not find it nearly as amusing as it sounds.Dan: I think that's how it feels, but I don't actually believe that story that you like to tell. You and Mike are—[laugh] you enjoy the self-deprecation but you're very bright guys and I think you are always fiscally responsible. You just didn't have the language that I have to show how you're fiscally responsible. And I think you really were conservative founders in the fact that you made very short-term decisions and always made conservative short-term decisions, and that puts you in a good place. I think what I have brought to the table is an ability to look a little bit further out and think about, you know, okay, it's not just next month, right? It's not just two months from now. What are we building here? What are the long-term goals, and what are the intermediary goals that will be true if we're on the right path?And that's some planning, that's using historicals, that's using some good analysis tools to try and get there, but it's also a matter of time. When you're a founder of a company, you can't spend all of your time on finance and accounting. It's just the reality. You have 8 million things to do, and so you do exactly what you guys did, which is you look at your bank account, you try and make a decision in a vacuum. But you don't have time to really grind over the details, or the strategy of the next 6, 12, 18 months because you've got people to hire, and you've got clients to appease, and you've got work to do that will generate the revenue.And so there's a whole world of fractional CFOs, some who are good, some are not good. There's a world of bookkeepers out there that are competent. And I think, even though it's not a great use of cash, or revenue-generating use of cash, which I think a lot of startups, you know, are reticent to go down that path, I think having good hygiene and good strategy on your financial front early on is necessary for the future planning of a lot of these startups. And also probably peace of mind, right? I mean, I'm not sure—Corey: Oh, I sleep way better now than I did before.Dan: [laugh]. Yeah, I hope so. I mean, I think just the not knowing creates such an undertone of stress that, you know, may or may not be recognized by founders. And I think being able to look at a document and say, “Okay, this makes sense to me, I know what the future probably holds.” And I hope it allows you to think about other things than money.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking, databases, observability, management, and security. And—let me be clear here—it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build. With Always Free, you can do things like run small scale applications or do proof-of-concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free, no asterisk. Start now. Visit snark.cloud/oci-free that's snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: One challenge we had was that a lot of the advice for first-time founders—since there's a lot of those in our space—is not applicable to us. The way that Mike and I built this place, we provided the initial investment personally; we're the only investors in this place, we don't have outside funding, we don't have investors, and we've given no equity away, so it is all us. And the way that most companies in tech tend to work is I would go and debase myself in front of a bunch of investors, and some VC would absolutely bite on my Twitter for Pets idea and give me $50 million to go and build the prototype.And at that point, I'm not making money. I have $50 million in the bank that I am burning through every month as I hire, as I build the MVP, et cetera, et cetera, and there's a ticking clock–it's called a runway in our space—and if we don't wind up hitting a certain milestone of being able to raise more money by the time that we've crossed a certain point, it's time to begin an orderly shutdown of the company. And that's a ticking clock hanging over the head of many founders. In our case, I was looking at it like that originally, but we are profitable, we are actively closing deals, and one of the things you taught me, for example, was when we have accounts receivable, money that is owed to us that has not yet been paid, we can count that and use that as in many ways an asset because it is. It also helps the fact that we are in a market where businesses do not generally decline to pay us money that they owe us.This is very much an understood thing in business, but my question was always, “Well, yeah, but what if they don't pay? What does that mean for us?” And that's really been a non-issue, which at first I was really grateful for and thought, “Wow, we have great customers.” It turns out that this is expected. This is like running a store and being super ecstatic because most of the people in your store aren't shoplifting.It's, yes, that is the baseline expectation for people doing business in the modern era. That was an eye opener. But it also kept me up at night because it was, “Oh, if suddenly this money in the bank is all that we're going to get in, then we only have enough runway to go two, three, four months and then we have to shut the company down.” Yeah, but we're profitable every month, so what's the concern here? It doesn't work that way.Dan: Right. We look at two key metrics as a company every single week, right? We look at a metric called months of cash.Corey: Which is pretty self-descriptive. It's in the title.Dan: Yeah, [laugh] just, you take your bank balance and you divide it by your, you know, average monthly burn, you know, total expenses out each month. And that will give you some number. You know, we really like that number to be at least two, closer to three, but I think something like having, like, six months of cash—now this is for a company that has not raised a bunch of money, right? So, if you've raised $5 million, your months of cash is going to be well more than that because you're investing in your—Corey: And the goal should be to lower that months of cash because it's designed to be used to hire and grow, not sit there, and you should not be turning a profit on that interest; you should be spending through it at a reasonable clip.Dan: Right. And for companies who have not raised money, right, even if you have a month's of cash, you know, five, six, that's probably not right either, right? I mean, there's probably opportunities for investment where you want to get your chips on the table for growth, right? Because you don't always have to be after hypergrowth. But typically, if a company's not growing, it's declining, and that's not a great thing, right? So, some amount of growth is always important for a healthy company.So, months of cash is one metric that we look at every week. And the other is what I call an adjusted quick ratio. But essentially, it's taking current assets over your current liabilities. Now, many startups are going to be debt free, short-term debt free, and so what we do is we try and talk about cash plus accounts receivable—so invoices that are out that have not been paid—and that gives you your numerator, over any outflows that you should experience over the next 30 or so days, right, we think about that as, like, our current liabilities. Because there's no real debt.In larger corporate finance, you have big, big balance sheets, quick ratios are more formulaic corporate formula, but in this case, we look at cash plus accounts receivable, over 30 days of liabilities. And that gives us a number that we're tracking constantly. And we have our own benchmarks for internally for what that number is, but that's a really great tracking of liquidity; that's more than just what's the cash in the bank, right? You're looking at your cash, you're looking at your receivables, and you're looking at your upcoming payments, you know, whether that's payroll or big vendor payments or any other, you know, non-recurring expenses that you know are coming down the pike.Corey: Yeah, a lot of things can impact that number. And that means, oh, that number is out of kilter. It's time to dig a little bit into why, but it's not itself a diagnostic, it's just an indicator that gives a snapshot of overall financial health.Dan: That's right. There are also ratios that you can track on a weekly basis and not just wait month-over-month because you can actually start to see trend lines up and down and start to ask questions about, “Hey, what happened this week?” “Oh, we sent out a big invoice, you know, we just haven't been paid on it. That's why we saw our AQR go up.” Or, “Hey, we just took in a big invoice for redoing the website. We owe $50,000 to x vendor and that's why the denominator of that equation went up. And so our AQR went down a little bit this week, but we expect it to climb back up in the coming weeks.”And so it's a really good way to track liquidity. On a longer-term, we're talking about things like margin analysis, right? Gross margins is an important thing we talk about. You know, revenue, minus the cost of goods to deliver that revenue, want to make sure that we're delivering products with efficiency. And, you know, we talk about net margin or EBITDA, or, you know, however, you want to describe the bottom line, and that's obviously your profitability.So, those are sort of the things we rally around internally. We try and look at them at least weekly, or monthly, depending on the metric. And this just goes back to hygiene and habits. You don't have to do a tremendous amount of work here. And you also—I think, people can get wrapped up in esoteric formulas that they've read in books, right, but I think if you're looking at cash, you're looking at cash and receivables over expenses, you're looking at your margins, and you're looking at your bottom line, those four metrics tracked well, you know, weekly or monthly over time, should really protect you, and should also give you great insights about your business.Corey: This is another example of viewing personal and company finances through a different lens. If I were to come home and tell my spouse that I had just dropped $50,000 on a website for example, the conversation would not be pleasant immediately afterwards. But it's not personal money. Conversely, an awful lot of business owners that I've heard stories about get into trouble by treating the company as their personal piggy bank, which Mike and I are very clear never to do. If you're listening to this from tax authority, I want to emphasize, we keep our noses remarkably clean.And again, it comes down to one of those, I don't want to lose sleep at night over things. That's why you're here, Dan. I don't want to lose sleep over the idea that we're going to run out of money, or that I'm going to get audited and my great fraud will be discovered. It's no, I don't want to get audited because it's a pain in the neck, and I have to wind up providing a whole bunch of receipts and whatnot, but everything's legitimate. That's the type of fear and paperwork thing that I just want to be able to avoid, by and large.Dan: Yeah, we do keep clean books, and there's probably things that we could be expensing that we're not, right? More than the tax gray area that exists there is the difficulty with partners and equity—and I don't mean equity on the balance sheet; I mean, like, fairness amongst partners, right? So, if one partner is going out more often than the other for dinners, is that really fair for that person to get their meals paid for more than the partner? Vice versa, if one person lives in a city and the other person doesn't and their car runs through the business. You know, how do you deal with those differences with multiple owners of a business? And I think those complexities are sometimes more difficult to deal with in the tax gray area of what is deductible and what is not?Corey: Oh, yeah. That's why I've always been such a big fan of making sure that when you have a business partner that your values are aligned. Mike and I are incredibly dissimilar in a bunch of different ways. He loves spreadsheets, I love shitposting on Twitter. But when it comes to values in how we approach these things that was laid out at the very beginning in our partnership agreement.And it's never been something that we've had cause to even visit, like, “Well, let's see what the partnership agreement says.” Just because it makes sense. It's, yeah, Mike doesn't spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on travel—in non-pandemic years—just because he's not constantly out there doing the things that I have been doing, historically. Now, post-pandemic that might change it, if he winds up traveling a lot and I'm sitting at home, I'm not sitting there upset because he gets to expense dinners out. It doesn't work that way. Whenever you start seeing that type of breakdown that feels like it's a proxy for something that's deeper.Dan: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think also just not like a marriage, you know, it comes down to communication and expectations. I mean, like any management in company, right? I mean, you have to be clear about what is expected of your partner. Ideally, you're measuring those things, and you're making sure that everybody's in line with those expectations, but yeah, I would say you and Mike have always been aligned in that sense, and I think you're right, the instance—or examples where it goes south, it's not because someone spent $600 more than the other, it's because there's a lot more going on there.Corey: Yeah, it's the proxy for things. So, at some point it's, “Okay, why do you have a $4 million yacht that just parked in your driveway? And yeah, what's the deal here?” One last area I want to cover because this is probably relevant to folks who I imagine most of our listeners are, who are employees elsewhere. I always was extremely bothered by the fact that I had remarkably little financial wiggle room when it came to expensing things.Like, “Let me get this straight. I have root in production, but you're going to question me over a $15 expense?” That always sat very strangely. And I carry that with me to the point where even now at the time of this recording, we're going through one of our periodic exercises that you put us through of, yeah, here's a list of all the recurring expenses on your credit card. Is this something that we still need? And how do I categorize it if so? If not, let's cancel it.And it's weird because instinctively, I hear that, even now, as you saying, what's up with this $9.99 a month thing? And I'm sitting here going, “Wait a minute.” Like, I'm trying to justify, like, “Is that really worth $10 a month to me? Should I—wait a minute, I don't work for you.”Dan: Right. [laugh].Corey: It was a bit of a different moment here. Like, I felt like I'm being called to the carpet by my boss, but that is absolutely not what's going on. So, my question for you, as someone who has a storied career in finance, is that what's being asked in most companies by management when they question expenses? Is that about, “Help me understand what this is,” or is it in fact what I'm hearing, a, “Justify why you think a $10 monthly expense is worthwhile?”Dan: I think it really depends. I mean, in my case, in our case, I am genuinely trying to understand how to categorize most things so that when I do my reporting, I can tell you where we spent our money. So, you know, if I see a charge that I don't know what it is and I ask you for clarity on it, it is a hundred percent so that I understand is this COGS? Was this part of delivering our revenue? Is this, you know, a sales and marketing expense that at the end of the year, I could say, “Hey, we spent x percent on sales and marketing for y revenue,” and I want that to be an accurate number.If you're talking about big corporate bureaucracy and they have expense policies and a lot of rigorous rules that were derived from the head of HR who doesn't know the 500 people that this rule is going to impact, I think there's probably a different motivation for those questions. And I think it's tough; it's not to say that you shouldn't have policies, you need to have policies, but you know, the bigger you get, the harder it is to have the right policies for the right people and you end up making blanket decisions to try and get to an average lau that nobody's probably happy with, instead of empowering your people and trusting your people, that they're going to spend their money on things that are good for the company. At Duckbill, I know, it's not even a question. Everybody here has a corporate card, and I don't think I've once seen you question somebody about an expense that they had. The only questions they get are from me in terms of how to use it for accounting purpose, but the underlying current there is we hired these people; we trust these people; they're our employees and we're all swimming in the same direction, so if they spent money on something, I would assume it's because it's good for the company.And I think that goes a long way. I would always prefer to have better tracking and reporting metrics to spot the bad apples than to have a policy that turns the good apples, the 95% of good apples into sour apples. Not to have a terrible analogy on this recording. But I [laugh] would much rather convey to my employees that I trust them and then do a little bit of extra work on the back end to ask questions about, you know, the expenses I think are a little funny, versus writing a policy that says, “Here's x. Here's what you can spend on y.” And now everyone is dissatisfied. Someone was telling me just because someone wore shorts to the office, don't write a policy, “No shorts in the office.” Just talk to that person and say, “Hey, pants might be a better choice.”Corey: Right. You should not need a list of policies that are organically built every time someone does something they shouldn't. And at some level, it's one of those ideas where collective punishment never works. I wound up getting an email from my boss once to the entire team of, “We have to start at nine or there's going to be problems.” And I'm sweating bullets because I came in at 9:03, a couple of days this week.Meanwhile, the person next to me has slowly started drifting from coming in at 10:45 to 11:30. And it's one of those I think I'm going to get fired. No, no, no, it's really you have one particular person and you're just being chickenshit as far as approaching them and telling them that there's an issue.Dan: That's right. Yep. Totally agree.Corey: Dan, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. If people want to learn more, where can they find you?Dan: I don't have a huge footprint on the interwebs, but I'm always here at Duckbill, you know, serving the company, and if anybody has specific Duckbill questions, they can always reach out and I'm happy to converse. But I really appreciate you having me, and happy to talk Duckbill anytime.Corey: No, it's appreciated. Dan Shapiro, CFO at The Duckbill Group. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment talking about how as an accountant, you are annoyed by this episode because you will never be depreciated in your own lifetime.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

The Confidence Podcast
#472: Confidence for Entrepreneurs

The Confidence Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 64:38


Podcast #472 Confidence for Entrepreneurs Increase your confidence, increase your income. There's a direct correlation between confidence and professional potential, and this episode will help you learn how to scale both in your life. Whether you're an entrepreneur or work in a corporate job, wanting to grow within your company, these 10 strategies will help you increase your professional confidence, and ultimately, your income potential. Get the full show notes at www.trishblackwell.com/472 In this episode of The Confidence Podcast, we're talking about: The 10 things to do to improve your professional confidence The relationship between your confidence and your income How to think bigger than you ever thought possible   REVIEW OF THE WEEK: My confidence and luster for life was nose-diving. I decided to click on your show and I listened to several episodes immediately - in just a few months you built me up and I am so grateful! - Ms. Awesome   PATREON UPDATE Announcing new options for supporting this amazing show. Hop over to my Patreon page for all of the options, including a new $7 /month support option that delivers Weekly Journaling Prompts. Additionally, you can become part of my VIP Squad, which includes all of our normal patron goodies, AND a shout out on the air, as well as the right to personally request the topic for an upcoming podcast. This week we're shouting out to Ryan Painter for being our first to snag one of the VIP Squad spots! Thank you for your support, Ryan! Go to www.trishblackwell.com/patreon to get started   WEBINAR REPLAY Believing that you can build, and building a bigger business is not selfish, it is generous.The bigger you believe, the more you can give to the world.Business Affirmations.First decide what you really want to build.Then believe. People like me build business like that.Next, invest in your belief and your follow-through will result in profit.What does a 10x more confident version of you look like?Identify 3 things you do in your business if you were more confident. Know How to Differentiate Between Your 1.0 Versus 2.0 SelfKnow How to Take Action When Flooded With DoubtKnow How to Believe in Success Before it HappensKnow How to Feel and FailKnow How to Train Your Thoughts Don't hope you'll be successful.Decide that you will be.Your level of success is directly related to your level of willingness to be bold, to be vulnerable, to feel and to fail.----------- Know How to Show Up BoldlyKnow How to Maximize AffirmationsKnow How to Operate from AbundanceKnow How to Think Bigger Than Feels ComfortableKnow How to Grow With Ease, Not Hustle   FRESHBOOKS ANNOUNCEMENT This episode is brought to you by FreshBooks. There's a lot to love about being your own boss,but trying to figure out your financials on your own isn't one of those things. Luckily, there's FreshBooks: The all-in-one accounting solution that's built for business owners like you. FreshBooks takes all the not-so-fun parts of running a business—from building and tracking invoices, to organizing expenses, to managing online payments—and automates and simplifies them, saving you up to 11 hours a week in the process. FreshBooks has your back at tax time, too. With a ton of reports to choose from, you'll know exactly where your business stands, and you can easily hand the keys over to your accountant so they can take over when it's time to reconcile everything for the year. Try FreshBooks free for 30 days, no credit card required. Go to www.freshbooks.com/CONFIDENCE to get started today. And get more time back to build the business you love.   SPONSORSHIP NOTE: BETTERHELP Is there something interfering with your happiness? Have you been wanting to start counseling, but not know where to look or start?  BetterHelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You get to connect in a safe and private online environment - it's so convenient,

BEAT! Network
Elementary School Pizza

BEAT! Network

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 81:15


Los, Kev and Jay recap and review the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony/Three 6 Mafia Verzuz battle. The trio also discuss the 2021 Grammy nominations and predict who they think will walk away winners. Check in with The Noize!

All Def SquaddCAST
102: Never Find Love vs Marry Your First Bf/Gf | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 69:10


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  Never Find Love vs Marry Your First Bf/Gf Lose All Your Memories Vs Lose Your Sight Middle Seat On A Small Plane vs Sitting Next To The Restroom On A Huge Plane Guest Herman Wrice Richie Loco BT Kingsley S/o To Our Sponsors PaintYourLife.com Text CAST To 64-000 Ritual Ritual.com/SQUADD Amazon Music Amazon.com/SQUADD Omaze Omaze.com/SQUADD Promo: SQUADD20

Amigos: Everything Amiga Podcast
Game.Com Handheld Console - Monopoly VS Indy 500 - ARG Presents 194

Amigos: Everything Amiga Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2021 69:46


It's BIG ARG 194 this week, and the boys are looking at the NOTORIOUS Game.com handheld console! Is this thing as craptastic as we've been lead to believe?!? YOU'LL FIND OUT! AND, it's a VERSUS week, so the boys will RIGEROUSLY be defending their titles. THRILL to THE BRENT and his game MONOPOLY in savage combat with Amigo Aaron and INDY 500! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/amigospodcast/message

My Momma Basement
Hungover

My Momma Basement

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2021 66:57


This week the guys discuss, shooting in Michigan, Eric Adams wants to bring back stop and frisk, Versus technical difficulties, King of the week, Much more along with sports, grind my gears and DAOTW. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/my-momma-basement/support

The Remote Real Estate Investor
The 4 biggest risks in real estate investing, and how to mitigate them

The Remote Real Estate Investor

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 20:34


The risk inherent in real estate investing scares many potential investors away from the industry. But successful investors take these risks all the time. They do so because they understand them, recognize indicators elevating them, and know how to prepare for them should they realize. In this episode, Michael gives his take on the 4 most common risks in real estate investing and how you can protect yourself against them. --- Before we jump into the episode, here's a quick disclaimer about our content. The Remote Real Estate Investor Podcast is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as investment advice. The views, opinions and strategies of both the hosts and the guests are their own and should not be considered as guidance from Roofstock. Make sure to always run your own numbers, make your own independent decisions and seek investment advice from licensed professionals.   Pierre: Everyone, welcome to The Remote Real Estate Investor. I'm Pierre Carrillo and today I'm joined with   Michael: Michael Albaum.   Pierre: And today we're gonna be talking about the types of risks that arise in real estate investing and things we can do to mitigate them. So let's hop in.   Alright, Mike, here we are.   Michael: Here we are.   Pierre: Yeah, we're missing Tom and Emil today.   Michael: Only physically, but like not actually missing them?   Pierre: Yeah, exactly. They're just not here.   Michael: I'm glad they're gone.   Pierre: That spoke to no emotional…   Michael: Just kidding, we love you guys.   Pierre: A little bit.   Michael: We miss you.   Pierre: So the way this will work is I'm going to just run by some common risks. I want to get you to talk to me about what they mean for your bottom line and ways that we can avoid them or, you know, protect yourself from these things.   Michael: Yeah, totally. It sounds like a great topic. And it's funny when I used to work as a professional fire protection engineer, risk mitigation was what we did we engineered against losses. So now I'm just doing it in the real estate side of things.   Pierre: And that's why I'm on this side of the conversation. All right.   Michael: That's awesome.   Pierre: All right, let's talk about lack of liquidity. What does that mean? Why is that risky? And what can we do to mitigate that?   Michael: Yeah, lack of liquidity is basically not having a lot of deployable, cash on hand ready, and able to be used for things that come up, like a big repair a big capex item that you weren't expecting for, or a big one that I think a lot of people don't think about as an insurance premium. If you have a $2,500 deductible on your policy, and a tree falls on your house, and the roof damage is five grand, you're on the hook for the first 2500. And so being able to have at a bare minimum, your insurance deductible on hand on a moment's notice, I think is really important.   And so it's simply not having enough cash. That can be in the bank, you don't have enough cash, another great place where you could store is in a brokerage account. If you've got a $50,000 stock account, and you know, your your kind of biggest exposure is five to 10,000, you're probably in a good place. If you've got a $5,000 stock account, and your biggest exposure is 5-10 grand, maybe you you don't want to keep those dollars in a stock account, which could essentially go to zero in a really bad bad market turn. So knowing where your liquidity is, how much you need, and how safe it actually is, I think is really important.   And so another great place that I've seen people have access to liquidity in the form of a HELOC on their primary residence. If you can write yourself a check for $10,000 Tomorrow, because you've got a $50,000 HELOC, that's a pretty safe place, in my opinion. So I guess in the hierarchal order of safety for where you could keep a reserve or where you keep some liquidity is cash in the bank. HELOCs are great stock market account would be kind of your, your probably least your least safe, so to speak.   Pierre: I guess another way to bump into this lack of liquidity is being over levered. How would you mitigate against that?   Michael: That's a really good question. And I mean, everything we're talking about here today and on this podcast generally is subject to personal interpretation. And so what one person might qualify as being over levered another person, it may not, they might be very comfortable with that amount of leverage. But basically, what you're talking about is the amount of debt that you have on any given property. And so let's say a property, you're going to go buy it for $100,000, you could probably get 80% leverage on that property, meaning you could borrow 80 grand, you've got to bring 20% or 20 grand to the table, and now you've got an 80-20 loan on that property. Well, if you in some extraordinary case, were able to get 100% financing. That means that somebody would give you 100 grand you borrow 100 grand now you have $100,000 mortgage to pay on that property. Some people would argue that that's over leveraged.   Even some people might argue that 80% is over leveraged. I'm of the personal opinion that I'm more concerned of the debt service coverage ratio. And so really, what that means is just a fancy acronym, a fancy term for how much of the debt is able to be covered by the rent that I'm collecting. And so if I'm collecting $2,000 a month in rent, and my $100,000 mortgage cost me 1000 bucks a month, it probably won't but let's just use that number That means I've got a debt service coverage ratio of two 2.0 that I'm bringing in two times the mortgage payment.   Now, I've still got all my other expenses that I need to calculate out. And let's say all my other expenses add up to $600 a month. So my total expense load, including my mortgage is, in this case, 1600. I'm bringing in 2000, which means my cash flow to me is $400 a month. Well, if $2,000 is a very reasonable market rent, I personally am not concerned with having 100% leverage on that property. Because I know I'm able to support the debt service. And so that's really the number that I'm more concerned with. But when people talk about being over leveraged, it's usually because they are have a high amount of debt on a given property. And that also can often translate to having a high mortgage payment. And so if you're close to cashflow, neutral or cashflow negative, I mean, if things take a dip, or things go a little bit sideways, that's where you can start to get in trouble.   Pierre: Okay. All right, I guess that debt servicing is paid by what we'll bring up our next topic. And that's difficult tenants. So can you talk to me about all the things that can arise with difficult tenants? And how that…   Michael: Oh, man? Yeah, I mean, anytime you're dealing with people, you can have literally anything happen, because people are known to do kind of wild and crazy things. So there was this great podcast that I heard it's BiggerPockets podcast, and they had a, they had a professional poker player on and I believe that she's written a book as well. And I forget the name of it, but she talks about evaluating the decision making process more than the outcome. And so many of us look at the outcome, and kind of in hindsight and say, Oh, well, we made a bad choice. Well, if we made a good choice, and the outcome wasn't as we wanted, as we predicted, that doesn't mean that we should change how we do things.   And so I think we really need to look at the decision making process and the tenant screening process that either you you go through as a self manager, or that your property manager goes through as a management company. And that's what you want to be evaluating. Because you can go through a great evaluation process and have someone slipped through the cracks and have a really crummy tenant experience. Does that mean you should go rework the whole system and change how you do things if you're self managing or operate your property manager because they didn't do their job? Maybe not.   And so I think that in looking again, at the being very process focused and process oriented, that will help hopefully catch some of those crummy tenants before they get through the system. That's what it's designed to do. But when and if they do make their way through, we're able to kind of take a step back and say, Well, that sucked. Let's move on. Let's try to do better the next time and what lessons can we learn and have takeaway from from that experience?   Pierre: Cool. Yeah, I mean, we just closed last month, just a couple of weeks ago, and just yesterday, we got notification that our tenants were up and moving out. So   Michael: Oh, no, any any idea why?   Pierre: Not yet? Now, we were communication with the property manager. So we'll find out today, like what the story behind it is, and what it means because they do have an existing lease.   Michael: Right.   Pierre: So but that's just, you know, first month, no time to collect any reserves for a turn or anything. I mean, we have reserves in the bank for it. But still, it's, we'd like to have that property behave as its own business.   Michael: Yeah, I mean, then the the nice, not the nice thing, but the thing that you can hang your hat on is that given if you own this property long enough time, this will smooth itself out, right, that this this hit this, yeah, hits your reserve account, will tend to smooth itself out given a long enough time. But it's when things like this happen, that people aren't prepared for is when you can get into real trouble. What if you didn't have reserves in the bank?   Pierre: Yeah. No, we're not too bummed. I mean, it's, we're a little bummed about it. But it's, it's not taken us out of the game. We're not looking to sell the property yet.   Michael: Okay, good. Good. I'm really glad to hear it.   Pierre: The next one I have here is neighborhood decline. Can you talk to me about that?   Michael: Oh, man, go round, start mowing everybody's lawn, start painting everyone's house, probably the neighborhood. If you are suffering, or in an area that's suffering neighborhood decline. And it's the first I don't know, one to three years of you owning that property. I'm people aren't gonna like what I'm going to say next. But I would probably argue that you didn't do enough due diligence on the neighborhood.   Things don't tend to change overnight. There tends to be signs and signals around how things are going in any direction. And so if you find yourself there, that probably means you didn't do your homework, but that's not a good solution or helped anybody in that situation. So I would say you need to think about what the next five to 10 years looks like in that neighborhood and start doing some homework. Things change both in the positive and the negative, and you have some really rough areas that have become really amazing areas and in different markets all over the country. So, and neighborhoods can go through cycles, you just have to determine is this a cycle that you want to be a part of? Or do you want to partake only once things have peaked or are valleyed.   Pierre: Right. So when you say signs, what are some of the things that you can be looking out for, to make sure you are doing proper diligence upfront?   Michael: Understanding where the market rents are going in an area, understanding what crime rates are like in an area and how they're shifting over time? Understanding how the school ratings have changed over time, understanding if people are moving to the area? Or are they moving away? And then looking like physically at the neighborhood? Are people rehabbing properties? What are the properties look like? Are they decrepit? Are they are people no longer maintaining the homes that they're living in, either as renters or as owners? Are people putting money into the area? Those are all signs and signals about how a market or a neighborhood is going to be trending.   Pierre: Okay, a couple of questions, then. How do you go about getting all of that data? And as a remote investor? Do you recommend going on site and you know, traveling to the market and taking a drive around the neighborhood?   Michael: Yeah, it's a really good question. So 70% of my properties in my portfolio, I bought sight unseen. And I relied heavily on the property manager and local agents to give me a flavor of the market to give me an idea of what's going on in the market. I've Google Earthed it and kind of taken that drive, so to speak that, quote, unquote, drive around the neighborhood to get an idea of what's going on. But those can be one to two years old. So   Pierre: Right.   Michael: You know, there is, and I'm gonna eat my words here in a minute, but there is no substitute for going to see the market. Now, that's I don't think by any means a hard and fast requirement, because again, I purchase 70% of my property sight unseen. So it's something I talk a lot about in the Roofstock Academy, in that when you go visit a market, you are not going to be able to unsee and unhear, and unexperienced things that you experienced. So and that's important to keep in mind, because we are going to automatically put our personal and emotional biases into that experience.   So imagine this, you go to a new market, Cincinnati, Ohio, and you get in your flight gets delayed, they lost your car reservation when you got there. And you know, you get to your hotel by 2am, and you're exhausted, you're already going to be kind of upset, then you go out to breakfast and have a crummy meal, they screw up your order. Now you're going to go start looking at properties. With all of this already having built up for you physically and mentally, that's not going to be as great of an experience as it could be. And you're likely not going to be as unbiased as you could be.   Now take the opposite side of that, you go on a trip to somewhere else, you have this amazing experience, and the people are so friendly, and you have great service of the restaurant to eat at. You might have a a rosier picture of reality than what it's actually like to live there as a tenant or as an investor. And so when you can remove all of the emotional side of the remove the emotional side of the equation by simply talking to people locally and getting kind of facts and figures. There's a lot of merit to for that as well.   If you go somewhere that you've understood the facts and the figures, you have a great experience. Okay, that's a cherry on top. But if you go somewhere, that's a great investment market that meets all of your numbers mathematically speaking, but you don't want to live there. You don't have a great time. I'm not so sure, that that means that that's a bad place to invest.   Pierre: Right. Okay, so back to the first part of my question, then 70% of your properties are sight unseen. Where did you go to get that besides just calling your property managers, how did you find where the rents were trending, what the economy was doing? Like what what kind of sites did you use to?   Michael: Yeah, I wish I wish I was more scientific about it, but it was like Zillow and Google.   Pierre: Okay. Well, that's, that's great. I mean, that's super accessible to anybody.   Michael: Yeah, it's I didn't do anything that requires a paid subscription. I didn't do anything that anyone with the computer couldn't do themselves.   Pierre: Okay, cool. Let's hop over to the next one. I just got a little visitor here that just hopped up on my lap.   Michael: Ah, today alien.   Pierre: Unexpected repairs is our next topic and these guys are just found under the gazebo in the backyard when they're like two days old. So unexpected expense that have come up that trying to…. so let's talk about unexpected repairs.   Michael: Are they forcing you to do some unexpected repairs at your current house?   Pierre: No, that i That's why I'm in the kitchen. Now. Usually I'm in my office but now I can't. I can't let them out of my sight. They are domestic terrorists.   Michael: running amok of the place.   Pierre: Yeah, we're looking forward to getting rid of them.   Michael: But sending them to good homes, right?   Pierre: Of course, we're hoping with on the neighborhood so we can. I've known them since they were two days old so I have grown quite fond of them.   Michael: And I bet get rid of them could mean different things to different people, depending on who you're talking to.   Pierre: Yes, in the gentlest kindness. Kind, kindest, humane way.   Michael: Love it. Love it.   Pierre: So yeah, let's go.   Michael: Speaking of unexpected repairs.   Pierre: Unexpected repairs, what does that look, I know, you have had fires and all sorts of crazy stories throughout your journey. So I guess on Expect the unexpected is is a platitude that we can say here, but what else can you do?   Michael: Yeah, I wish I had a more scientific approach or a more foolproof approach. But I think you know that you just have to expect the unexpected, and Tom and I joke that there's this seemingly inverse relationship between the people who are prepared in the type of unexpected repairs they will have, versus the folks that are not prepared for the type of repairs they have. And it tends to be if you're well capitalized, you're well prepared, you expect the unexpected, you'll have a $50, you know, circuit breaker go bad on you, and you'll have to swap it out. Versus you think everything is going to go peachy, nothing could go wrong. And you're going to have a $20,000 repair slip up on you, and it won't be covered by insurance.   So, you know, just be prepared for that old man Murphy.   Pierre: Yeah.   Michael: He's gonna show up, he's gonna try to mess with ya have a plan A, B, and C, I think is the best thing that you can do.   Pierre: I guess we can pull up Tom's famous phrase here is just peanut butter, spread   Michael: Peanut butter, spread the risks.   Pierre: Peanut butter spread these risks out.   Michael: That's it. That's it. Something to think about which which may sound counterintuitive, is to help mitigate some of those unexpected repairs is scale. When you have one property and you have $1,000 repair, that could kill the entire cashflow for the year, versus you have two properties in that same property has $1,000 repair. Now you're limping, but you're not dead in the water, you have a five property portfolio, and you have $1,000 repair becomes a bit more of an easier pill to swallow.   Now, some listeners out there might be like, Yeah, but you could have $1,000 repair across each five of those properties. That's $5,000. Yeah. Well, yes, that's true. But we have to look at statistics. And there's some of these to do in the insurance world. And my last job and talking about aggregate risk, what's the likelihood going back to our single property of you having $1,000 loss or repair on that one property fairly high. As soon as you start adding additional properties into the mix, and the conversation, the like, the statistical likelihood of you having a $1,000 repair it every single property you own tends to go down with additional properties.   So you know, we talked about the same thing as vacancy, we apply the same the same theory, the same style of thinking to vacancy, the more properties you have, the less vacancy will tend to affect you on a portfolio level.   Pierre: Yeah, that's when it hurts the most is when it's going to happen. So that's when you're at the most vulnerable is when it hurts the most.   Michael: Yes. Yes. Yeah.   Pierre: Cool. Mike, that was the whole list that I had. Is there. A you want to give us a monologue on risk mitigation in general?   Michael: Yeah, sure, I can get do my best.   Pierre: Mr. Fire Protection Engineer.   Michael: I really do think that insurance is one of the biggest places where where people can miss. And I think that insurance is they love you. I think it's a catch all. Where if anything goes wrong, that's why I have insurance. Well, yeah, that's true to an extent. But there are also exclusions as part of every policy things that insurance will not cover. And so we don't want to be assuming that if we have a repair insurance is going to come to the rescue. And even if they are having dealt with insurance companies, it can be a battle, it can often take a long time to get your claims paid. I've just I got the last of my claim paid and it was over two years ago. And so if you're relying on those dollars to own and operate a property, and it takes two years to get the money, that can be a big problem.   So I would really just recommend people take a look at their insurance policies, understand what their deductibles are, understand where their exposures are, and see how much money you think you need to to play a really great defense. Because that's, that's the best offense. I'm not a sports guy, but that was my sports analogy for the monologue.   Pierre: A offense and defense goes far beyond just sports.   Michael: Yes nailed it. All right,   Pierre: I think I think that's a good place to wrap it up. Thank you for sharing all that. That's helpful for me and hopefully for all of our listeners.   Michael: Yeah, my pleasure. Great questions Pierre. Thanks for for asking and putting that list together.   Pierre: All right, everyone. That was our episode. Thanks so much for listening. We'll see you on the next one. Happy investing.   Michael: Happy investing.

Podcast On Fire Network
Podcast On Fire 313: Profile In Anger & Danger Has Two Faces

Podcast On Fire Network

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 95:30


In another entry in The Versus-series, Leung Kar-yan makes his directorial debut with the wild revenge actioner Profile In Anger from 1984 and in the Shaw Brothers production Danger Has Two Faces from 1985 he's an ex-cop turned assassin for hire. With Kenny B and Michael Scott of the Adkins Undisputed podcast. 00m 00s – […]

Explicitly Pro-Life
SPECIAL EPISODE with Pro-Life Insiders | Table Talk on Dobbs Hearing Day | Episode 124

Explicitly Pro-Life

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 89:16


Check out this special episode with host, Kristan Hawkins, featuring several interviews with pro-life leaders filmed on the Dobbs hearing day.  There is some amazing work happening in the pro-life movement right now and this episode shares the inside details of the work you don't always see going on behind the scenes.

The Gangster Chronicles
EP 132 At The Bar With Crunchy Black

The Gangster Chronicles

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 58:05


In this special episode we get the chance to sit down with 3-6 Mafia member "Crunchy Black" at the bar of the Hollywood W hotel on the eve of his group's Versus battle with Bone Thugs N Harmony . We talk about his Memphis origins, how 3-6 started, his experience in the rap game, plus Crunchy reveals his thought's on the Yong Dolph murder and much more SUBSCRIBE www.thissomebull.com youtube.com/digitalsoapboxnetwork Instagram @thegangsterchroniclespodcast Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring

Frame 122 - Earthquake - As predicted in the Book of Revelations, on the 10th anniversary of the first self-playing snooker podcast the ground fhall fhake and the frame fhall freeze and no one will be fure which Me hath won the frame. It's 10 years since we started and we're still going strong. Expect some guest appearances from your least favourite Mes and some crossover guests too. But mainly expect some earth shattering snooker and real incident. Thanks for sticking with this. It will continue until there are zero listeners/viewers. So far you are winning in this stand off, but it can't be long now.

All Def SquaddCAST
101: One Wish Granted Today vs 5 Wish Granted In Five Years | SquADD Cast Versus | All Def

All Def SquaddCAST

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 57:04


Introducing the All Def SquADD Cast show “Versus". It's a podcast with the OG SquADD! Each week, the SquADD will debate topics and vote at the end to see what wins. Versus airs every Monday and you can download and listen wherever podcasts are found. This Week We Discuss  One Wish Granted Today vs 5 Wish Granted In Five Years Vacation With The Obamas vs Shopping With Jay-Z & Beyonce' Be An Extra In An Oscar-Winning Movie vs The Lead In A Box Office Bomb S/o To Our Sponsors Honey Join Honey.com/SQUADD

The Gravel Ride.  A cycling podcast
EverAthlete - Dr. Matt Smith

The Gravel Ride. A cycling podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 39:36


This week we are joined by Dr. Matt Smith, Founder EverAthlete. Matt walks us through the importance of strength training for gravel cyclists. Presented by: Competitive Cyclist Join The Ridership Episode Transcription (please excuse the typos): EverAthlete - Dr. Matt [00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello and welcome to the gravel rod podcast. I'm your host Craig Dalton. This week on the show, we've got Dr. Matt Smith from ever athlete coming to talk to us. About the importance. Once of strength training for cyclists.  [00:00:14] Before we jump in, we need to thank this week. Sponsor competitor. cyclist.  [00:00:18] Competitive cyclist is the specialty online retailer of road, gravel and mountain bikes, components, apparel, and accessories.  [00:00:26] Featuring some of your favorite brands like pock, Castelli, Pearl Izumi on the gravel bike side. They feature frames from evil Niner. Ibis. Really creating a big selection of gravel bikes for your perusal [00:00:41] But the real difference that competitive cyclists are the gearheads equal parts customer service cycling fanatic gear heads are former pro athletes, Olympians and seasoned cyclists. With years of experience. All available by phone, email, or chat for personal. Product recommendations and hard won advice.  [00:01:00] Last week you heard me talk about my personal experience. With Maggie. I brought her through an exercise to help me find the. Perfect gravel bike for 2022 and perfect for me not. Perfect for what they had in inventory, or really put her to the fire and asked her a lot of tough questions. About designing a bike that was going to fit the type of writing that I do as an individual. So it's not like I was building, a bike for someone.  [00:01:25] In a different part of the country or a different part of the world. She really listened to me. And as I tried to point her to bikes that I thought were flat. Flashy or good-looking. She reminded me that those bikes were all good, but based on what she told me about the riding I was looking to do. She would recommend that I  [00:01:42] key in on a couple specific bikes. And to be honest, she was spot on all the bikes that she recommended. I think it was the IBUs haka. To a lesser degree and the pivot we're spot on for the types of. Bikes that i would want to ride here in marin county. [00:01:58] One of the things that might be a concern for any product you're buying online would be returns. Competitive. Cyclists has a. A hundred percent guaranteed returns. So you can shop in confidence, whether it's a component or bike, anything you need competitive. Cyclists, this has your back. So go to competitive cyclists.com.  [00:02:16] Slash the gravel ride. And enter promo code the gravel ride to get 15% off your first full price order. And free shipping on orders of over $50. Some. Some exclusions apply to go right now and get 15% off. Plus free shipping. shipping@competitivecyclists.com slash the gravel ride. And remember that.  [00:02:37] Promo code is the gravel ride. We very much appreciate their sponsorship and appreciate that they're sending a discount your way.  [00:02:45] Would that business out of the way, let's jump right into my interview with Matt from ever athlete.  [00:02:51] Matt. Welcome to the show.  [00:02:53] Dr. Matt Smith: Thanks so much for having me. [00:02:55] Craig Dalton: I'm super excited to learn a little bit about, more about your background and about other ever athlete. As I'm about seven weeks into my first program and I'm eager to talk about my experiences, but also look forward to some of the other ride strong programs. So why don't we start off by just setting the stage for the listener a little bit about yourself and then about the. [00:03:17] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. So ever athlete is now an online platform. That's dedicated to helping athletes to perform outdoors on trails in the water on bikes. W our goal is essentially to create longevity to that journey and help people improve their performance. I started out I'm a sports chiropractor and a strength coach and started ever athlete as a sports injury care clinic, actually back in 2015. [00:03:46] And since then, through the pandemic and a few other things we have transitioned into doing some in-person one-on-one work, we work with a lot of different athletes and. Different people, but, we've transitioned a lot of our efforts to the online atmosphere. [00:04:03] And I've taken a lot of the lessons that we've learned from working with high level athletes and also amateur athletes and have started creating training programs, recovery tools, and injury rehab programs online. To rewind a little bit, to give you a little bit more background about, how we started, again, we started as an injury care clinics, primarily focused on athletes and quickly. [00:04:27] Transitioned into strength training as well. We work with a variety of people, but our goal is really to meet any athlete, wherever they are on the healthcare spectrum or the health and performance spectrum, whether they're dealing with an injury or looking to make it to the Olympics. [00:04:44] That's been the premise of ever athlete since we began. And that's just been amplified in the last few years. So that's a little bit about us.  [00:04:52] Craig Dalton: That's interesting. When you started, obviously what you went through chiropractic college, did you act as a traditional sports focused chiropractic professional originally, and then see that these were all different pieces of the same puzzle you were trying to solve for your clients? [00:05:08] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. So before I ever went to, I went to a school called Palmer west for grads. And before I went to Palmer and throughout my time going to Palmer I was working as a strength coach. And so I've worked in strength conditioning for about 15 years. And so when I graduated, I went to work at a pretty cool sports therapy clinic out in Austin, Texas where we were not traditional chiropractic. [00:05:34] So it was. A lot of people think about chiropractic as, if you're going into a chiropractic clinic you're coming in to get adjusted and it's a mill, I've never practiced in that way. I've always been more focused on soft tissue therapy corrective exercise, rehab work in a lot of other modalities. [00:05:53] And so from the beginning of ever athlete, we've always. W we've always worked in a non-traditional sense with people, going through soft tissue work, teaching exercises and then leveraging for the more functional training and exercise now as a preventative and wellness model. And so it's always been a little non-traditional, it's always been athlete focused. [00:06:17] Especially from the beginning phases, but initially it was a little bit more like I think of our company as a company that just solves problems for athletes. And initially we were very focused on solving solving the problems that athletes would have when they're dealing with injuries. [00:06:33] And now we're diving far more into the performance space and also preventing injuries.  [00:06:40] Craig Dalton: That's super interesting and resonates with me personally. I know the relationships I've had with the chiropractic community, the ones that have been the strongest have always been the ones that looked at my problem or my challenge holistically and never, just simply as a chiropractor, because honestly, as a athlete, I could care less about whether you call it chiropractic work, what you're doing on me, or it's stretching or strengthening or advice. [00:07:07] I just want to have that session. Get through whatever hurdle I'm going through and learn tools and techniques to prevent me from, arriving at whatever acute injury probably led me through the door in the first  [00:07:20] Dr. Matt Smith: place a hundred percent. And I think, to, to your point, I've never cared if anyone called via chiropractor, I've never really, I don't know if I fully identify as any one. [00:07:32] I don't fully identify as a chiropractor. It's certainly a part of what I do and has taught me a lot, but it's like a piece of it. And for me, the chiropractic profession, there are a ton of really great practitioners who do a phenomenal job and focus on educating people and creating self-reliance in patient groups. [00:07:52] And that was really the big thing for me, especially early on when. Transitioning out of this role of having people rely on me constantly. And, especially with our online stuff, creating more affordable avenues for people to get good high performance, health care and performance training has been a huge form of wellness. [00:08:15] Whereas a lot of times, if you're thinking about wellness from a chiropractic sense, it's, going to see your chiropractor once a week for, your entire life. And for me, just from a professional mindset, I've never wanted a hundred percent resonated with, having that be my life's work, I've always, really wanted to educate people more and provide. [00:08:36] More self-reliance through practical resources and that's really what we've evolved into has been fast-tracked due to the pandemic, but but it's been a really interesting, this project, this online platform has been this like second evolution I've ever athlete that have been very stoked. [00:08:54] Yeah,  [00:08:54] Craig Dalton: a hundred percent. It's never one single thing. And I think if for the listener, if you've got a relationship with a chiropractor that just feels like they just have to keep coming back in and they're not advising you on how to change your life or how to avoid the situation you're in. And it just becomes this weekly crutch that becomes one expensive and two, in my opinion, just not in your best in. [00:09:16] Dr. Matt Smith: A hundred percent, and a lot of those models are based off of what insurance companies will pay out for, in terms of getting reimbursed as a professional. And I've always worked outside of those lines, from the beginning, we've never been a part of the insurance game. [00:09:32] And so it's been, for me, that's forced me to provide value in a way that is. Far different than trying to fit into that type of model. And that's pushed me forward into saying how do we provide maximum value and self-reliance, and, empowerment for people not on a one-on-one basis. [00:09:53] And yeah, it's been, it's not to downplay Cairo. There's a ton of really great chiropractors out there. There's phenomenal. Hands-on practitioners. And a lot of times, people go through injuries or situations where they need some guidance. But I think the bottom line for me in terms of, what I pride myself on is teaching it's helping people become more resilient on their own. [00:10:17] And that's really been our focus with every athlete from the.  [00:10:21] Craig Dalton: Yeah, I think I became aware of ever athlete probably first through Kate Courtney on Instagram, going through her exercise routine. And I'm pretty sure it predated any of the kind of ride strong and run strong and try strong programs that you've put out there. [00:10:38] So I know when I started to see those things arrive in this online platform that you guys had been working on throughout the pandemic, I guess it really spoke to me in a different way. To see these programs being very specific to me as a cyclist was just one of those pushes that helped me get off the dime and start. [00:10:58] Can you talk about why strength training is important for cyclists and why it might be important for us to back off a little bit in our riding routine, particularly in the off season, quote unquote and what we should look forward to throughout a strength training? Yeah.  [00:11:15] Dr. Matt Smith: I think, the conversation about how strength training can fit in for cyclists can go in a lot of different directions. [00:11:23] I think the, one thing to constantly come back to is the fact that sitting for long hours, Is not like it's pretty new for the human body. This is in terms of our evolution and what we're really designed for. That's not exactly in line, even though it's very fun. It's not exactly attuned to what is most healthy for us movement wise. [00:11:48] And so it's not to say that riding a bike is bad. It's just to say that there's an expense. And one of the ways that you can combat that expanse. And ensure that you can do it for longer and potentially with more effectiveness, more power is to implement some strength training. And the identification that, Hey, riding a bike, being in a flection posture pedaling for long hours, the posture that you have to be in while you're on a bike is not super beneficial for the overall. [00:12:22] Human body. And again, one of the ways that we can bring the body back into balance, bring it back to a healthier state is to implement some strength training techniques. And one of the biggest misconceptions when people start thinking about, Hey, I'm an endurance athlete. I, I don't want to train like a powerlifter and I don't want to train like a bodybuilder. [00:12:44] You know that's, those are barriers that, you certainly don't need to start becoming a powerlifter. If you're going to implement some basic strength principles as a part of your training plan. And you can have a tremendous effect. By just implementing some basic movements, getting some good hip extension, thinking about turning your glutes on and driving your hips all the way forward. [00:13:05] We sit in hip flection constantly on the bike, and that can be pretty detrimental for the low back long-term and the hips long-term. And strength training is a really great way to start. Counteracting some of the repetitive stress that you'll find on the bike and it doesn't take that much, it doesn't take a huge commitment. [00:13:22] It's the simple things that you implement over time that can have a pretty tremendous impact on your overall health, but also your performance on the bike. Yeah,  [00:13:32] Craig Dalton: that makes sense. I think most listeners have probably had one of those days where they've just spent so long on the bike. [00:13:38] By the time they got up, it was difficult to stand fully around. Yes. And that's a very acute sign that, that's the way your body feels on every ride, probably to some small degree. And I know for one I need to work at a standing desk because I just don't want to add any more sitting position in my life for the amount of time I'm actually riding. [00:14:01] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. I think that's a super smart move and, . Your comment about, seeing some Kate Courtney's exercises and some of the stuff that she'll put up on, on Instagram, and I've worked with Kate for years now. And I think even with the stuff that she puts out, it's super cool to see what an elite world-class athlete can do. [00:14:24] But I think when it comes to, the audience, who's listening to this podcast and also just like the endurance community over. There's a lot of really high level endurance athletes that are novice strength athletes. They just don't have, they haven't developed the same skill set that they have aerobically when they're in the gym. [00:14:44] And, the bang for your buck that you can get out of like really simple things that don't look cool on Instagram. Bodyweight rose and simple deadlifts or even bridges. I think that, the more exposure that we can give to like how simple it can be for people to implement, very effective tools in their training program. [00:15:03] That's a critical thing because a lot of people think, when they see Kate's stuff or they'll see some of the things that Ali. It's making a little bit more flamboyant than it needs to be. And so a lot of the programs that we put out get to the bare bones of, simple patterns that bring the body back into balance and build a more resilient system overall. [00:15:24] Craig Dalton: Yeah. For the listener, I can attest that in the beginner program, I have not. Balanced on a balance board and brought a dumbbell around my head, like Kate has done in our recent Instagram post. She was just  [00:15:36] Dr. Matt Smith: doing that 15 minutes ago in the other room.  [00:15:39] Craig Dalton: That it's awesome. And funny because I do have a balanced board, so I like dream of getting there, but time will allow that  [00:15:46] Dr. Matt Smith: to happen. [00:15:47] Yeah. And that's a great, I think that's a pretty good segue in terms of. How you parse out your time? Like how can you, everything costs when it comes to training, right? Like it costs time. It costs energy and how to be most effective for a lot of people doing some like simple stuff, not getting too overwhelmed with balance board stuff or anything like that. [00:16:10] Stuff is very effective and can be very fun. But starting with the foundational principles of just good healthy positions and movement can be. Equally, if not more beneficial and as much more accessible. So  [00:16:23] Craig Dalton: for sure. And I know when I reached out to your team originally, and I came in the front door as any other customer would, and it just said, here's the deal. [00:16:31] I, I'm a lifelong cyclist and may have done some strength training. Many years ago, but essentially I'm a beginner in this, where should I start? And the recommendation was this eight week beginner strength program, which I'm seven weeks into at this point of the recording. And it's been good. [00:16:48] We started at a very basic level, half an hour long workouts, maybe at this point, they're about 45 minutes long, but they add up and you're not asking. You've never asked me to do any massive weightlifting or anything like that. It's just been about getting these basic motions down and introducing these concepts to my body, which it's been paced out in a great way. [00:17:13] For me. I've never felt overly sore from an exercise or anything like that. It felt very appropriate and I feel a lot more confident reaching the end of this program about what's next than I did when I first start.  [00:17:25] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. And that's the whole premise. It's one of the most challenging things. And I really commend you for being such an inexperienced athlete and also saying, Hey, this is a new skill set or one that I haven't visited for a long time. [00:17:42] Let me start with victories. Let's build up some victories in the bank and give myself some things that are fairly simple to do. And I'm just going to continue to hammer them out and take bite. A bite sized approach to the whole thing is really the premise behind the beginners program. It's that the program is designed to be very simple and progress over time. [00:18:06] And. And what that allows you to do is to reintegrate some of the software programs in your body and your brain that it takes to squat well, or to activate your glutes or to hold a side bridge position or whatever else. The things that you lose from not doing. And especially if you've been riding a lot for many years and have not done any strength work, that's where you get the most bang for your buck. [00:18:34] It's like integrating these simple patterns in bite ways, and then you can make it more complex and add volume and add more load over time. But that's really the premise behind the beginners programs like to be ultimately accessing. And then lead in to some of the other ride strong programs that we have that give a little bit more specific to positions that you'll find on the bike and get you a little bit more, we'll we add in little, different tempos to exercises, more load increase the stability demands and, we add difficulty in a variety of ways, but starting out with foundational movement where you're just learning good patterns. [00:19:12] And practicing those things so that you can load them more effectively later without getting injured is really what our goal was when developing that, that  [00:19:21] Craig Dalton: program. Yeah. That's certainly been one of my focuses is to really look at the instruction and make sure my body to the best of my ability. Is it a hearing to the correct shape and. [00:19:33] 'cause I know, like anytime we're adding dumbbells in that if I have poor form, if I'm curling my back, if I'm not getting the squat in the right position, that's not going to serve me well, as real weight starts to be added into the equation. Yep.  [00:19:48] Dr. Matt Smith: And one of the biggest misconceptions, I think that's out there right now is like, there's this like global agreement that strength training is good for endurance health. [00:20:01] But poor staff, poorly executed strain training could be the absolute worst thing for an endurance athlete. And, you get a lot more out of performing a good unloaded squat or lunge or hinge without heavy loads. If you just do the pattern well, you get just as much, if not more out of that than using really heavy load. [00:20:26] And having poor form or potentially hitting, faltering in your movement pattern in a way that could injure you. And coming back to Hey, what's the point of all this, the point of all this is to reintegrate healthy patterns for the body and bring it back to balance and then start to add some load to build strength and power is really where we come from. [00:20:47] Craig Dalton: So as a cyclist, one of the things I noted in this beginner strength program, which I think of your programs, that this is obviously more generic to just get me started, but there is a fair amount of upper body work that goes on. And as a weak upper body cyclist, that was, that's probably one of the bigger transitions. [00:21:06] Can you talk about why we're working kind of the upper body and arms as well as the legs and these moves.  [00:21:11] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah, in that specific program. So in the beginner strength program, the goal of the program is really just to develop not only strength, but just overall athletics. And a robust system. And so in that program specifically, it's really teaching you different patterns with the upper body so that you get a little bit more balanced. [00:21:32] And I think when it comes to, our ride strong programs and some of the upper body work that we do more specific to the bike, that stuff is critical. For a couple of different reasons, it's critical in the same way that like building up foot strength is very important for running. In the sense that that's your, it's like one of your primary contact points on the bike. [00:21:53] And if you don't control well with your provider, if you don't have strength, endurance, grip, strength and solid control of your upper body, especially in gravel riding with the. Amount of time that you're on the bike, you can start running into not only acute situations where you crash or, you just lose control of your bike. [00:22:14] But also longterm, you can just start running into poor posture on the bike, which leads to all kinds of issues, not only in the upper body, but also sometimes in the lower back in the neck. And building up a certain degree not again, not we're not doing like bicep curls and heavy bench press with our programs. [00:22:33] It's more like integrating pushups, grip strength from hanging. Pull-ups all these different things that can be very beneficial just in terms of like control, just in terms of like confidence and control on the bike and maintaining healthy posture with your.  [00:22:50] Craig Dalton: Yeah, that resonates with me. It might be a good time to take a moment and just talk about the type of equipment that is necessary to follow these programs. [00:22:59] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. So we have a variety of programs up on the site, including no equipment programs. So we have we have a body weight strength program that's eight weeks long, and if you're looking for kind of a generic program to follow that will build up, lower body, upper body core strength. [00:23:17] That's a great one. If you've got nothing available, we also have kettlebell programs that just require one kettlebell that are also generic, very similar to the beginner strength program. But build up overall athleticism when it comes to our ride strong program. There's a pretty good amount of equipment that you need. [00:23:35] But any, Jim will have these things and then if you wanna, if you want to get pretty robust at home, you can a few of the things that we have in our programs, I'm actually looking up our equipment list right now, but we have everything. Many bands. So there's a little bands that you see people wrap around their legs and do like sidesteps or squats with long bands with handles are one piece of equipment that we use quite often that can wrap around a door handle, or a pole or a pull up bar. [00:24:06] We use barbells in our new restaurant. So we're currently putting out a 20 week ride strong program. It's like a slow release right now. But we do have a strength cycle in there with barbells. So barbells bumper plates, all that we use dumbbells, we use benches for box jumps and then for a few other exercises. [00:24:30] And I'm trying to think here,  [00:24:32] Craig Dalton: what else do we use? Yeah, I've I was lucky in that I already owned a TRX that was gathering dust and TRX that's right. Yeah. And the TRX was useful in that there were some modifications. So if you didn't have a pull-up bar, which I don't currently have a plan on getting you could do a TRX derivative of that. [00:24:52] And I, the, just FYI for the listener those stretch bands, I think for $29, I got a set of the long ones and the short ones that pretty much cover all my needs. And then I ended up just recently finding a deal on a barbell set. So ended up getting barbells thinking, I'm going to want it for this next stage, but you can take these things in incrementally and that's what I've been doing. [00:25:15] Just acquiring them when I have the finances to do.  [00:25:18] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. And just to be clear. So last year we put out six months of rod strong program. Actually more than six months, we put out a full off season of red, strong programming that required no barbell. So it was all dumbbell work, all bands, a suspension trainer, and we have all of our. [00:25:39] The one thing that I didn't mention so far was a Swiss ball. We do Swiss balls, particularly in the registrar program. Good. Because I  [00:25:46] Craig Dalton: Got one of those and didn't see it in the beginner strength program. So I was hoping I would see it in the future.  [00:25:51] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah, you will see it. If you follow the 20, which I do recommend falling that the 20 week ride strong program that we have coming out. [00:25:58] Now, if you follow that, you'll see that in core routine. Like we like to play around particularly in like kneeling positions on the ball, using it for hamstring curls and a lot of different drills. Yeah,  [00:26:12] Craig Dalton: right on. That's actually a good segue into my question. So I've, I've, I'm fortunate that I got the bug early and I'm finishing my eight weeks sort of the beginning of December. [00:26:22] What would you recommend? I move on to it. It sounds like it's that 20 week program. And if so, could describe the journey that you've created?  [00:26:31] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. And so to be clear, like what I recommend to you now, And really like the conversation should revolve around a goal. So everything that we every th the premise behind everything that we're putting out is to help people set goals and create a path from a to B and so create, do you have any races coming up in the. [00:26:54] Craig Dalton: I'm sure I will. And here's my challenge in my coachability is it's difficult for me as a family guy to plan out my race calendar. And it's often driven by balancing my desire with family obligations and, ability to travel. But so I typically end up at. Two to four gravel events, big gravel events a year, and then a smattering of local ones that I can drive to. [00:27:19] Typically they're not going to start until, March or April, I would say.  [00:27:25] Dr. Matt Smith: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And that's that's pretty common. So if you're finishing up this beginner's program, I was looking at a calendar here and you're in the first week of December, you've got a bow. 12 to 16 weeks until you're actually racing. [00:27:43] And, you can jump into our 20 week program. I'll send you a note about this offline, but. I do recommend like our 20 week program that we're currently putting out is based on a lot of the work that we've done with pro riders and essentially have taken those concepts and made them more available to amateur and lower level competitive writers. [00:28:05] And. We start out with a six week stability phase. That's broken up into three parts. So three, two week phases, and then we go into an eight week strength cycle. That's broken up into two different four week strength blocks. And then we finished with a six week power and power endurance cycle. [00:28:27] And so the way that we've created the program, Is to allow for flexibility. So say you have 20 weeks from an event or versus having 12 weeks from an event, we can clip things out and give you a custom program to have you peaking for your event. Just based on the programs that we currently have out, and we have a few other programs outside of the 20 week program that we're currently releasing. [00:28:54] We have a five week strength and power blend. We have a six week strength and power blend and we have a 12 week progressive strength program. So there's a lot of different things that we can pull from. To basically figure out what's right for you. And this is a lot of what we're doing with people right now. [00:29:08] It's we're doing calls with people pretty often. And we include this in our membership where you can set up, you can shoot us an email and say, Hey, here's what I have going on here. My goals, do you have any suggestions for my path? And this is a lot of what we're doing day to day is trying to answer these questions for people. [00:29:24] So for you, I would recommend, jumping right in, hop right into. Our stability phase one, for this new ride strong program it'll pick up in a similar way with where you left off from the beginner strengths. And, it's in the front half of this thing it's pretty low volume. [00:29:43] It's the same concept of working on patterns. Some of the patterns in the stability phase are a little bit more specific to the bikes. You'll get that feeling a little bit more. And then the volume starts to pick up as we start getting into the later phases of the stability program and then furthermore, into the strength phase. [00:30:01] Craig Dalton: For those who are unaccustomed to strength training in their winter of their cycling season is the conflict that if you're if I'm in a power lifting phase of this program, come March and I want to go out and race. I'm just going to be too fatigued and played out to pre.  [00:30:18] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. So the way that our program works is it peaks in volume during the strength phase, because usually during that phase, like we're really timing it with a like a seasonal schedule for say, cross country, mountain biking. [00:30:34] There's a time when the writing volume is low enough to where we have an opportunity to build up in the gym and we can do a little bit more volume and can boost that there becomes a secondary time in the spring, or like the early, like late winter. We'll say where that's not the case. [00:30:53] The writing volume kicks up at. We're in full preparation mode for race season to start. And that's when the gym starts to take a back seat a little bit more and our volume needs to go down. And that's really what we do in our power, endurance phase. And we do recommend being conscious of volume. [00:31:10] Particularly if you are doing, if you're a cyclist who's competitive and you're doing a lot of time on the bike, many hours per week. Then you need to be careful with, overwhelming your system through just too much strength work. That's a huge piece of all this. And pretty much all of the, this 20 week program that we're putting out currently is very careful about volume. [00:31:33] In reference to Hey, what should I do leading up to a race. If I'm not following the direct timeline that we've written out, you can parse different things. I would take out part of the strength cycle and Mo I would like skip strength B, which is the second four weeks, and then move into the power. [00:31:49] And during. Psych part of things leading up to your race.  [00:31:52] Craig Dalton: Gotcha. And one of the fears maybe from the listener and certainly in my mind is, okay. I commit to this program. And I think in these, in the strength phase, a it might even be three workouts a week, trying to figure out how to squeeze that in with riding and riding for pleasure. [00:32:10] I think for a lot of my listeners writing as an outlet, that is, is not. Necessarily about the competitive nature of it. It's like what we crave every week to get out there and get in the wilderness. Can you just talk about, R D would you advocate lifting and riding in the same day? Is there a certain number of rides per week that you think about that athletes would typically have in their program? [00:32:35] In addition to these, the strength training routine?  [00:32:39] Dr. Matt Smith: It really depends. This is a pretty subjective. Topic, because different writers who are doing, there'll be writers who are doing high volume on the bike, but really this is like the first time that they've done any strength training. [00:32:55] Versus there are writers who are not doing as much volume on the bike who are very familiar with strength training and have that cash in the bank. And so their response to strength volumes can be. And the way that I typically like the way that we've structured this whole program is to be two days of strength. [00:33:13] And then you have, and these days are like 30 to 45 minutes in the starting phases. And then they kick up to about 45 minutes. And then we have a third session each week, which is a 20 minute core routine. And you can repeat that throughout the week whenever you'd like, so you can do it once a week. [00:33:30] You can do it twice a week. And so you can stack things to whatever makes sense for you. And part of the reason that we did that is we want to have a fairly flexible plan for people because it is, there's just such a variety of. Have, not only people's schedules, but also how they respond to training what their life off the bike looks like. [00:33:50] Nothing is going to be perfect. And so in terms of, what would be ideal, usually we'll stack strength days on very light low intensity riding day. Is historically what I've done and, I've had other writers that try and do strength and an intense ride on the same day. [00:34:11] But if you're just a recreational rider, who's doing it for the enjoyment which, everyone should be doing it for the enjoyment, but I would recommend maximize your enjoyment on the bike. Don't let any part of your training program steal that from you. Consider your strength work as like you're contributing to the longevity of you enjoying your time on the bike and don't have your strength work, be so intense that it starts pulling away from that. [00:34:39] So think of it as a long-term plan, we don't hit home runs with this program is all singles and doubles. And you really if you're starting strength work as a masters cyclist this year, consider it like a 20 year. And don't try and change everything in your first year of doing that. Dip your toes in the water. [00:34:57] Just add maybe one to two days of strength, per week. And just see, I would say two days is probably the. The like optimal range, particularly for someone who's riding quite a bit add that in and do it in a way that doesn't completely disrupt your writing schedule. Particularly if you're like very comfortable with, a fairly strict writing schedule and you know exactly how you're going to respond to that. [00:35:21] Just add a little dose of strength. Don't try and go ham on the. Yeah, that  [00:35:27] Craig Dalton: makes a ton of sense. It's been interesting for me personally, as this eight week period, it just happens to be a period where for whatever reason, I just haven't had a lot of opportunity to ride. So it's been, I don't feel like I've got that. [00:35:41] Balance yet. So as I enter this next phase and feel a little bit more compelled to get in quote, unquote, riding shape, I want to get out there more. So I'll have to circle back with the listener and inform them how I'm doing on finding that balance between the strength training and the riding I love to do for pleasure. [00:35:58] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah. And I think that you're certainly not alone in that it's a. It can be fairly tricky, especially if you haven't done strength work for a long time, or you've never done it. It's this new habit that you it's no one can address it the same way. No one can implement it the same way. [00:36:20] And so figuring out. What works best for you and playing around with, scheduling and, allowing yourself a little bit of flexibility on the front end to see how you respond to strength, work and see how you feel on big rads after that, taking the time to really observe and see what works for you. [00:36:38] Not necessarily everyone else is a critical piece to making sure that, strength and recovery work stays a part of your game plan for a long.  [00:36:47] Craig Dalton: Yeah, right on. That makes a ton of sense. And I think for the listener, check out the ever athlete website, I'll link to it in the show notes. [00:36:54] There's, as Matt's described, there's a lot of programs there that the subscription is quite affordable. From what I've seen out there, I was really pleased and I didn't get hit by some massive dollar number. So kudos to you and hope you get the volume you need. Cause I know the production values high and the effort you guys have put into designing these programs is quite substantial. [00:37:14] Dr. Matt Smith: Yeah, no, we. Our whole goal with it is to make the lessons that we've learned with different athletes and also working from an injury care perspective. Making those lessons accessible to people is that's the. That is the thing. That's the legacy that I would want to leave behind, for my career. [00:37:37] And so in terms of the dollar, the pricing of our platform will not go up from what it is. It'll probably go down at some point, but. Our goal is to make stuff accessible, particularly for people that we love hanging out with, which includes gravel cyclist, mountain bikers, road, cyclists, like we love supporting people's active lifestyle. [00:37:56] And in terms of covering our costs and all that, like w we're doing great and more than anything, it's been a really interesting project. And, we're excited to keep. Yeah.  [00:38:08] Craig Dalton: Thanks so much for all the time and insight matter, really enjoyed the conversation, hopefully for the listener, it wasn't too much of a Greg's journey to strength training. [00:38:16] I feel like I got a lot out of it, but hopefully it's translated to everybody listening and you can find your own journey.  [00:38:23] Dr. Matt Smith: Oh yeah. Hey, thanks so much for having me on Craig. This is spot cheers  [00:38:27] Craig Dalton: Huge. Thanks for Matt for joining us this week, I learned a ton on my personal journey to strength training. I actually just knocked out another exercise before recording this outro. So I'm finishing week eight and feeling good about my journey and continuing on through the winter and hopefully hitting 20, 22 much stronger as a person and as a gravel cyclist.  [00:38:50] Another huge, thanks to competitive cyclist or appreciate their support of the podcast. Remember, visit competitive cyclists.com/the gravel ride and enter the promo code, the gravel ride for 15% off your order.  [00:39:05] Finally, if you've got any feedback for the show or would like to connect with other gravel cyclists around the world. I invite you to join the ridership. Simply visit www.theridership.com to join our free community and communicate with thousands of other cyclists around the world. Until next time.  [00:39:25] Here's to finding some dirt under your wheels.  [00:39:29]   

SPIN IT: Business & Crisis Management with Stephynie Malik
#19: Believing in Unicorns with Belinda Agnew

SPIN IT: Business & Crisis Management with Stephynie Malik

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 58:23


It takes grit and tenacity to make it to the top. And it takes humbleness and perseverance to stay there. Our next guest has all of those qualities and more.  Belinda Agnew is a managing partner at both Foccus Group, a unique recruitment agency, and Enamus, a full-service marketing and branding boutique. Belinda started her career in sales selling vacuums door to door. She then quickly moved up the corporate ladder and ended up founding multiple companies including Open Education and Enamus. She also hosts the podcast Start-ups and Unicorns, where she interviews successful industry founders from all over the world. On today's show, Belinda and Stephynie speak about how Belinda used her confidence and expansive skills set to build her companies. Belinda also dives into her childhood, and how impactful events early in her life shaped who she is today.  From selling vacuums to making millions. This is a conversation you don't want to miss!   Social Media:   Reach out to Stephynie directly at: hello@smalikent.com Follow Stephynie on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephyniemalik/ Follow Stephynie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephyniemalik/ Follow Stephynie on Clubhouse: @stephyniemalik Check out my website to learn more about my work: https://stephyniemalik.com/   Timestamps:   05:15 - Being the Black Sheep 12:00 - 6 Figures by 25 13:43 - What Made Belinda Agnew Stand Out 16:50 - Advice to Past Self  19:15 - Differences Between Being an Employee, Versus an Entrepreneur 23:35 - Being a Leader in Mental Health Awareness 32:20 - What Does Belinda Agnew Do? 39:03 - Lessons Learned Getting Burned 40:50 - Being a Female in a Male Dominated Industry 46:40 - Belinda Agnew Podcast 52:54 - Her 5 Year Plan 58:35 - Biggest Obstacles   Mentioned in the Episode:   Belinda's Podcast - https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/startups-and-unicorns-with-belinda-agnew/id1536721867 Belinda's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/belindaagneworiginal/?hl=en Belinda's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/belindaagnew/?originalSubdomain=au