“Stick to the tried and true old method K.I.S.S. Keep it simple and stupid.” – Richard Bakare Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast on today’s show we have Richard Bakare, better known as Richie Rich, Rich goes by many different titles. And if you were to follow him on social media, you would think he’s just a world traveler, but in all reality, he’s a technology consultant. He has been doing it for ten plus years, even though his original origin started as an English major. On today’s show, one of the takeaways K.I.S.S. keep it simple, & stupid.
“Stick to the tried and true old method K.I.S.S. Keep it simple and stupid.” – Richard Bakare
Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast on today’s show we have Richard Bakare, better known as Richie Rich, Rich goes by many different titles. And if you were to follow him on social media, you would think he’s just a world traveler, but in all reality, he’s a technology consultant. He has been doing it for ten plus years, even though his original origin started as an English major. On today’s show, one of the takeaways K.I.S.S. keep it simple, & stupid.
And the ones that I found that are really, really successful, stick to the tried and true old method kiss, keep it simple and stupid.
Boss Uncaged is a bi weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become Uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters & Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant Conduct’s narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release the Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.
Welcome to The Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have Richard Bakare, better known as Richie Rich. Rich goes about many different titles and if you were to follow him on social media, you would think he’s just a world traveler. But in all reality, he’s a technology consultant and has been doing it for 10 plus years, even though his original origins started as an English major. On today’s show, one of the takeaways kiss, keep it simple, stupid, without any other spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show. Richie Rich. Welcome to the show.
Thank you. Thank you. Glad to be here.
So who are you?
Who is Richard Bakare? Well, if you were to do a Web search and look at the social networks where I actually have any sort of presence, you’ll see one slogan that I keep on their technology, fitness, culture, design ninja. So what does that mean? It means I, for lack of a better word, a jack of all trades, but always trying to stay at the cutting edge of everything with the whole goal of being to apply it, not just to consume things, but to apply this knowledge that I’m taking on to essentially move the needle forward in cultural aspects, in technology, anywhere I can help move the needle forward. That’s who I am.
I mean, I remember you back in high school and you’ve always been a people person, you know? I mean, you actually went to college for English. You became English major.
Yeah. English and philosophy was what I studied. And I think the main thing to take away from what I learned with English and philosophy is that I learned to consume information and process it and put something else back in the world that built off of that. You know, you heard the saying, what I’ve done is built off of the shoulder of giants. So the giants of information that I’m taking in, that’s what I’m leveraging. So that was what English gave me. And so some of the things that I put out in the world, you know, I’ve worked on projects where we’ve done prototypes with Nike for tracking fitness and doing recommender technology around what shoes to wear. I’ve worked with everyone from Lilly Pulitzer to Oakley, great brands like that on technology that takes in what people are doing and recommends back. That’s one thing I’ve done and you can use English in that way as well. So it’s all about information processing and putting something else back in the world.
That’s a laundry list of mix, different things that you came across. How did you decide to get into what you get into coming from an English background? Like what would the transitional point?
Well, the first thing that helped me whittle down what I want to do was getting away from what I thought I was meant to do. So I thought I was going to be a lawyer. So English and philosophy amounts to prelaw. I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I worked in a law firm that was not me. I knew that immediately. I was not helping to move the needle forward. I was just essentially helping process case files all my way to, you know, hopefully law school and become a lawyer. I wanted to do something that was more meaningful, at least for me and my values. So the one thing I’ve always been connected to and you’ve been this way, and this is partly how we became close friends, was technology. I love technology and what it can do to actually at the intersection of the humanities and technology, you move life forward, right? You create things that make people’s life better. Think about autistic kids who can now use voice assistance to help them connect. They can talk to someone who’s not really a person, but it helps them move forward in terms of their social connectedness. So once I realized technology was my path forward, I just had to find the niche of technology where I could be most effective. And that’s when I moved into Web technology, web development, web design and specifically recommender or I guess you can say machine learning for purchasing habits, decision making and corporate America in different industries.
So going to M2M.
So it’s one of those things.I mean, you always hear about A.I. artificial intelligence, you hear about M2M. I mean, what kind of things are you working on right now that’s, you know, more machine to machine learning? And I think a lot of people even really understand that. They think it’s tomorrow when it’s really today.
Yeah. Yeah. What are the biggest things that we’re working on is so a lot of my customers I’ve been working with for the last couple of years are in the auto industry. So the car itself is taking in many, many data points as you’re driving, as you’re using features of the car.And a lot of the data that we’re taking and running models on there are to make that whole experience better. Find out breakpoints. What makes cars fail so we can identify failure codes and get to the car before it fails. But then the other thing we’re doing is taking what’s learned. They’re feeding other models and those models help with the design. How do you design a product? How do you design features that are going to be something that the consumer wants and they don’t even know they want it to today? That’s one of the things that we’re doing. So one thing essentially recirculates and improves the features that are out there today. The other part is helping to design new features of tomorrow. So that’s what we’re doing with the machine to machine type of data model.
So we will see about twenty years that it takes somebody to become successful to get to where they currently are. How long did it take you to get to where you are right now?
Wow, that is a very, very reflective and introspective question, I would say. That the first decade I was talking to my wife about this the other day was a watch and learn decade, the second decade was a car of my own way decade. And now the third decade is I want to leave the final imprint. Not that I expect this to be my last decade, but I want to take everything I’ve learned the last two decades, that 20 years and actually burn a permanent imprint on the world. You know, some people say, I want to leave my name etched into history. It’s less about the notoriety part of it and then more about can I produce something that help people? And I don’t know what specifically that’s going to be. I have a couple of ideas that I’m toying with, but I definitely want to take everything that I did in the first decade, which was watch and learn the second decade, which was applying that and the third decade, which is just going deeper, deeper into all of the things that I’m interested in.
So, I mean, I think people listening to this podcast could definitely hear you’re passionate definitely about what you’re doing and passionate about the technology behind it. What I’m thinking about next is what’s one thing that you could have done differently if you could do it all over again to get to where you are faster?
I would have cut out the noise. You know, you and I have talked about this minimalist thing and it’s sort of intentionality, mindfulness, state of mind that I’ve been pursuing a lot lately. And the idea behind cutting out all the noise is, you know, I got wrapped up in the hedonic treadmill and the culture of, OK, you go get the job, you do the 9:00 to 5:00, you put in the hours, you get the bonuses, the raises and the notoriety. But then you also do the other things that are supposed to go with that. Get the house, get the cars, get the dogs and, you know, all the clothes you’re supposed to wear, all the trappings of a normal life. And that kind of pulls you away from the bigger dreams that you have. And if I have any advice for people, would be cut all of that out, don’t fall into those circles, don’t fall into those traps because you want to use the corporate income or use the corporate lifestyle to just help you achieve those other side dreams that you have. And I think I wasted too many years on the hedonic treadmill of just keeping up with the Joneses, and I wish I’d cut that out sooner.
So background wise, I mean, your mom, your dad, I partially know this, but I know your mom. I know she’s a hustler all day long, like anybody else in your family besides your mom, an entrepreneur.
Oh, yeah. I mean, I’m Nigerian, you know, by birth. And some people would joke Nigerians have like 20 jobs. And it almost is that way. It’s kind of just endless work ethic that the Nigerian culture has. So my wife’s family comes from a whole line of entrepreneurs. We visited their family in Vietnam. They still owned shops that they had thirty years ago down in Saigon in the market. So that’s something you’ll see. My uncle owns a construction company here. So we’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs in the family. And I don’t know if it’s the immigrant story that you hear about where you come here and you just have to hustle, or if it’s just something ingrained in us where, you know, there’s never a satisfaction in just enough. So we’re always pushing ourselves to go further. So there’s a lot of entrepreneurs in a family that’s good and bad because everyone then, you know, somewhat judges you if you’re working for, as they say, the man or corporate America but at the same time, there’s also a pool of people to learn from ask questions and one couple of people that we’re working with, not on one side project, have been very helpful with that side project.
So being that you’re coming from a mixed part of entrepreneurial backgrounds and business owners and I mean it’s ingrained into you, do you think it was a factor to your success?
Absolutely. I think I don’t think I would have done as well as I did in my first ten years out of college if I didn’t have that ownership mentality. So even though I wasn’t working for myself, I think my employers and my bosses noticed that I took on the company name as if it were my own and tried to make sure I was a good steward and representative of the company. So I think that helped me get more feedback from them, promotions and things of that nature but also they gave me their time and their attention, which are the two most precious resources. And those things were lessons that they taught me, extra time they took with me to get better. And now I can take those skills and things that they showed me and apply them to my own endeavors. So I think having an ownership mentality, whether you work for yourself or someone else, is critical to success.
Well, another thing that’s critical to success, I would think, is definitely home life. And how do you juggle that?
My favorite word is balance. I love the concept of balance in all things. So to that you have to work on efficiency. So efficiency is something that you know, I know it sounds like a robotic approach to living life, but I think you can use that to your success. So what does that mean? I love yoga, right? I love to get my yoga sessions in, but I can’t do two hours of yoga a day and still be successful in the office. So I literally have mapped out my day almost hour by hour on the things I want to do. I do the most important personal things. First thing, when I wake up, read, yoga, exercise, write. And then go to work, put it down, and then I come back and then pick up some of these other things I want to work on, so that balance has to be something that I think you visualize and map out. I happen to be particularly detailed about it. You don’t have to necessarily write out every hour like I do. But I think that you can’t deceive yourself and say, oh, yeah, I’ll juggle these things and get everything done. You can do everything, but you can’t do all at once. So you have to have some sort of plan. And I prefer to put it on paper.
So, I mean, one of the big things you just brought up was morning habits, morning routines. What is your early morning routine?
The first thing I do is when I get out of bed before I do anything else I read. So I actually use what’s called a Pomodoro method, which is essentially taking a timer and timing the activities you want to pursue. So it’s 30 minutes of reading, five to ten minutes of writing and everything is time blocked so that you only do that one thing, no distractions, everything else is off. I even turn the lights off. Then after I do the writing, I do my exercise and then after the exercise, yoga or meditation, then I transition into work mode, which is shower, eat and go to the office. When I’m done with that, I come back to do other activities but that two to three hour block in the morning is very measured and I do use a timer for each and every one of those steps,
so what time you usually wake up?
about five thirty. I know it’s an old cheesy thing, but I do honestly believe in the early bird gets the worm. And I think the main reason for that is the early bird is not distracted. Let’s say you have a side hustle you want to work on and it’s you codding a new app. Let’s say you want to do the next Instagram. Well, you can’t do that at 4:00 in the afternoon. You’ve got emails, meetings, phone calls, things to take care of traffic but if you wake up at five thirty five,(5:30) six(6:00) before the world wakes up and bothers you and you can do an hour to two hours of that project every day, I mean, think about it. In a month you’ve put in a thirty to forty hours of just project time knocking out that side hustle or project. So I think it’s very important to wake up early. It’s not my ideal thing, but I’ve seen the benefits and it stacks up.
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So if you’re waking up at five 30, what time are you go to bed?
I actually go to bed around nine thirty ten. I don’t need a lot of sleep. I think that is something that is genetically advantageous for me. My wife needs a lot. So, you know, unfortunately waking up for early for her doesn’t work. But for me, getting eight to six hours, you know, six hours on the short end to eight is more than enough. And I feel very energized. I also try and catch a nap in the afternoon for fifteen to twenty minutes just to recharge a little bit later in the day. But that’s about the time I go to bed. And then I also am very diligent about my sleep hygiene. It’s something that I practice about winding down in a certain fashion so that I actually go to sleep when I’m trying to sleep.
It’s funny you said I mean, you sound literally like you were designed to be in programming.
Like everything is completely linear. It’s a step by step. I mean, what happens if something detours? I say your alarm clock doesn’t go off. Let’s say the power went out the night before and you wake up at seven o’clock in the morning versus five thirty. There’s that completely threw off the rest of your day, the rest of your week.
No. And I think the reason for that is I track all of these things. So I’m pretty big about, you know, either journaling or keeping track through some app of, you know, things I accomplish because doing fifteen minutes of yoga, that’s an accomplishment. You should celebrate it. So I log all of these activities when something does interrupt that I don’t say, oh, now I can’t do anything else. I know the list of things that I want to accomplish in a day. And if I can’t get to that other thing, I can do something else. For instance, if the power goes out, I love to read. I can read the emails that I’m back behind on. I can start drafting the responses so you don’t have to have everything going a very specific flow. But by laying out the flow in the way that you want it, if something interrupts it, you can find time to steal from one thing and give to another thing that takes advantage of the situation.
Well, I think this is probably a little bit more insight to help them. I mean, a lot of people not to say there’s a number associated to the quantity of people, but in all reality, waking up early in the morning is not an easy task to do it consistently. You can wake up on a random Tuesday early and then back on Thursday, you’re waking up late again. How do they get into that habit? And I know you’re going to say something more like routine, doing it consistently, but with some tools you used to kind of really lock that in to wake up on time every single morning.
Yeah, I’ll recommend a couple of books, but before the books I’ll talk about the getting the sleep. So if you don’t get to sleep in the right way, you’re not going to be successful. So the first thing you have to do in the hierarchy of human needs is get rest. Our bodies are not limitless batteries. They need to recharge. So my sleep routine, my sleep hygiene is what sets me up for that early morning rise. So what do I do an hour before my target? Bedtime, all the blue light is off. So that means the TV, the tablet, the phone, anything I think that might keep the mind from resting. I try and get rid of those, read print media, meditate, something like that, play the guitar. Then what I do is I make sure that the room is dark. That’s very particular for me because the body needs that kind of sense of, OK, this is a place that we’re going to go to sleep. I also use ambient noise to actually drown out anything that might keep me from going to sleep easily. So that’s something that people should test. And then what I start to do is make sure that the room, the bedroom is a place for sleep. So I actually stay out of my bedroom unless it’s time for sleep. So all of those things that sleep hygiene I’m talking about helps me get to sleep, stay in sleep, and then it’s easier to wake up at five thirty when you’ve actually slept where most people are doing. They’re going to bed late, they’re reading in bed with their iPad in front of them. That blue light keeps you awake. So that’s what I do to get to sleep. The second part of it is the actual routine. Once you’re awake, if you wake up just for the sake of waking up and do nothing, you’re wasting your time. So read Deep Work by Cal Newport and then read Atomic Habits by James Clear. Those are two books that help you. One, structure your day and understand what those 24 hours a day before and then understand the science of habits. So forming a habit isn’t as simple as I’m going to do to certain days in a row. That’s not enough. So habits are cues, cravings, responses and rewards. And once you understand the science behind it, you’ll understand how to actually maximize and make this part of your genetic makeup. So those are two books I’d read once you get that sleep hygiene down.
Like I just went to the church.
I don’t know what it’s worked for me. And I stick to it. I preach it.
Yeah. I mean, like I said, I mean, your passion definitely pours out of you for.
So thank you.
What do you see yourself in 20 years?
Wow. That is a very good question. I think I see myself where I wasn’t twenty years ago, more than where I want to be. Twenty years. But I think the main thing that I want to be able to, you know, so like when I see Elon Musk, he’s kind of the Tony Stark of the real world, right?
this man is doing everything. He’s got the boring machine. He’s got the Tesla, he’s got SpaceX. And not that I need to have any sort of notoriety like that, but I would love to be even on the smallest scale for my own community where I live, that guy who’s in every facet of his life pushing things forward. So what does that mean? I’ll kind of open the box of some of the endeavors that we’re pursuing. I love coffee, but I don’t want to open a coffee shop for the sake of opening a coffee shop. I want to open a coffee shop for the sake of improving coffee culture, helping people understand, like where it comes from, how these growers get paid, how they get compensated, what goes into a good being. So that’s something I would love to do, is enrich the coffee community with that sort of experience. And I don’t know what that would fully be. But, you know, just the kind of preview it. We’ve already sourced beans from a small supplier in Vietnam and just working with him on that ground level. I think we’ve already accomplished so much. The other thing is, I love the nonprofit community. Problem is the nonprofit community can’t afford tools like Salesforce, MailChimp and things of that nature to deliver on all of the valued services they offer. I would love to build some sort of platform that helps these be corps and non-profits operate like the big guys without burning through their cash pile because they have a limited budget. So we’ve got to come up with the tools that they need that are off the shelf or SAS that they can help use to help run their businesses and be successful and also stay Pii compliant, which is a big risk for most non-profits.
So when you go out the back, back, back up, I understand what you’re saying, but in all reality, what is SAS?
software as a service. So if you think about Salesforce, a lot of businesses need a CRM, so they’re paying Salesforce. Salesforce is not cheap. So if you’re a small nonprofit, like a foster care agency in Atlanta, you’re not going to be able to afford something like that. So you’ve got a pool of resources, people who are working beyond the normal working hours to achieve great things. And that’s why they’re all saints for what they do. But they should have the tools similar to the big businesses to succeed. So I want to create a software as a service that provides basically the back office set up that. They need intake for new clients, marketing, communications, processing of payroll, all of those things, one turnkey application that helps small nonprofits operate like the big boys.
You’re talking about, like a blend between Salesforce quick in quick books.
And then probably, you know, with a hybrid CRM in between as well.
Yeah, yeah. So we call it Order management, but instead of Order management, the intake management. So if you think about nonprofits, they’re taking on their casework, but they also need to have the stages in there. So this is the stage where we are on board. This is the stage where we nurture. This is the stage where we’re working the case. There’s a trouble ticket. Well, they have all of these things in my conversations with my friends in nonprofits, but they have to use a disparate array of tools. Sometimes it’s just Microsoft Office to achieve this. No nonprofit should be managing all of these cases and a spreadsheet that’s just not fair. They’re doing great things. They need the tools to help them succeed.
So you talked about different tools. I mean, what’s one tool that you could recommend that you couldn’t see your business without having access to this tool?
Wow. I would say I mean, I’m big on data. Data is everything. So for me, any project that I enter, the one of the first things I asked them, are you doing anything with your data, data leaks, data warehouses, data repositories, any sort of Emelle algorithms that you’re running on it? So this is tools that they’re very expensive. They require a lot of brainpower up front, but without data, you cannot do measured improvement on the processes that you have. So you can process map out a whole sequence of things that you do. But the data helps you find where things are successful, patterns you never saw. So that’s something that I love. You can start as small as an access database, but, you know, you can get fans who would tableau or you can use some sort of machine learning notebook and set of tools like that to run algorithms and models on your data.
I think you just come here. You said access to I’ll say Oracle. Maybe I’m thinking because they may be, but you said access.
I’ve seen it as small as an Excel spreadsheet. So you could take a spreadsheet and you could also run models on it, too. But you’ve got to capture it at the beginning. So if you don’t capture it, you can improve it.
So I guess when you’re looking at just standalone businesses, services or products, what is a good way for someone to capture information?
It all starts with the actual intake. So I call it intake or the acquisition flow. So if you’re trying to start a new business and let’s say you want to sell baby products, right. You’re going to have to be distributing those baby products into stores. You have to find a way of finding out who you talk to when you talk to them to take care of your product. Did they say no? So that’s where a salesforce . Something like that comes in making sure that all of the touch points and all of the pieces of data that you need to either convert a sale, follow up on a sale or nurture a potential deal has to be captured in those forms. So your sales teams, your marketing teams need to capture all of those on the front end in the initial interaction with the potential customer. Then in the next following steps, when you’ve won them or lost them, you capture additional data and it keeps going and going and going. But in that first engagement, if you’re not capturing the things you need, you’re losing a lot of critical touch points.
I mean, you just feel like you’re a lucky leprechaun. You’re just literally I mean, you got to think about all the jewels that you just drop in, like the past, like forty five minutes is ridiculous. All right. So the final words of wisdom you like to leave behind for up and coming entrepreneurs.
Wow. That’s a very good question. So you know what I’ve found that has worth when I talk to my customers and I’ve worked with some guys that are just I mean, not supposed to really share names, but think of the big three in the auto industry. I’ve worked with them extensively over the last few years. I worked with major real estate technology companies and the ones that I found that are really, really successful. Stick to the tried and true old method kiss. Keep it simple and stupid. The point of that is not that simplicity loses all of the fancy features and that, you know, something more sophisticated is going to fly over the heads of customers. It’s just get out there, get out there and then iteratively improve on something. If we look at Apple and you look at the first iPhone and you look at the current one, in retrospect, you might laugh at him like he couldn’t do this, it couldn’t do that, but they got it out there. Then they improved on it every single time and they took all the licks and punches for not being able to do X, Y and Z. And when I tell some of my customers, just keep it really simple and get out there and learn and improve, some of them just get very frustrated. They want to do everything all at once. And like I said before, you can do everything, but you can’t do it all at once. So keep it simple. You will get there eventually focus on three or four key features and get out there, because the longer you just ruminate on it, think about it overnight. Planet, Planet, Planet, you’re not executing someone else is going to eat your lunch because they’re going to get out there when you were twiddling their thumbs. Another example would be Uber when it first came out. Very simple, some of the sets of features. Now they’ve got everything that you can think of safety pay with this, pay with that, different profiles. But all of that wasn’t during day one. So keep it simple.
So how can people find you a line on Facebook, Instagram, email or website?
I’ll give one example. I like that. I hope those are out there. I mean, the simplest way is just go to my website. Richardbakare.com, from there, I’ve got all of the other Web assets and Web sites linked. And that’s the best way. It’s not the most exciting website, but it’s the quickest way to find the latest blog entries and articles I’ve written, the activities I’m pursuing, even what books I’m reading. You can find it all there.
I got a bonus question for you.
if you could spend time with anybody uninterrupted for 24 hours, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Wow. Oh, my goodness. OK, this is a good question. So I’ve referenced the company, but the individual would most likely be Steve Jobs. He was not the easiest person to work with. Nobody that I’ve ever met that worked at Apple with him there, that biography’s will ever say anything otherwise. But the pure passion and drive that got him to that place, taking the licks of losing the company. Let’s not forget, he was forced out, came back resurrecting the company, the innovation engine that they created there. I just have to learn. I just have to understand more. One of my favorite things I took from reading his biography was he used walks to beat down people in negotiations. Now, let me unpack that. He would sit across the table talking to someone, say, hey, let’s go for a walk, because he’s trying to negotiate a deal for some semiconductor chips. What did he do? He would take them on a six, seven, eight mile walk. These guys were wounded and tired but in a walk and gave in to his demands. That is a brilliant tactic. No one would ever think to leave the conference room, go for a walk and physically wear out the person wearing probably dress shoes into submission. It would a simple walk and break them down. That’s the kind of stuff I would love to spend 24 hours with him talking about. And also the family man people forget to kids wife. He lives in a suburban neighborhood in Cupertino. They didn’t have a lot of fancy things. I would like to understand how he balanced working life and how he kept that connectedness to his family. So I’d spend 24 hours with him. Very interesting person. And I think it would be a nice time spent.
I mean, with that being said, it was great spending time with you. I definitely appreciate you coming out to the podcast. I mean, it was definitely well worth the time.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate being here and look forward to following it as you progress.
All right. Have a good one. Thank you.
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“It was going to the studio in Denver live. They were recording it there. I was at a parking lot in McDonald’s in Dallas. That’s how crazy the industry is.” – Kelly Stevens Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast. On today’s show, we have Kelly Stevens better known as Kelly Stevens. Kelly Stevens was a radio announcer for many years out of Atlanta, but now he’s a voiceover artist. On today’s show, Kelly gave us some great takeaways on how to maximize your education and utilize it to get what you want. Enough of the spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show. P.S. Thank you to Kelly for creating the VO intros to both The BOSS Uncaged & BOSS Up Q&A Podcasts Kelly Stevens.
“It was going to the studio in Denver live. They were recording it there. I was at a parking lot in McDonald’s in Dallas. That’s how crazy the industry is.” – Kelly Stevens
Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast. On today’s show, we have Kelly Stevens better known as Kelly Stevens. Kelly Stevens was a radio announcer for many years out of Atlanta, but now he’s a voiceover artist. On today’s show, Kelly gave us some great takeaways on how to maximize your education and utilize it to get what you want. Enough of the spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show.
P.S. Thank you to Kelly for creating the VO intros to both The BOSS Uncaged & BOSS Up Q&A Podcasts.
And it was going to the studio in Denver live, they were recording it there, I was at a parking lot in McDonalds in Dallas. That’s how crazy the industry is.
Boss Uncaged is a bi weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become Uncaged trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant Conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind Uncaged Bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade. Release the Uncaged Boss Beast in you. Welcome our host S. A. Grant.
Welcome the Boss Uncaged podcast on today’s show, we have Kelly Stevens, better known as Kelly Stevens. Kelly Stevens was a radio announcer for many years out of Atlanta, but now he’s a voiceover artist. On today’s show, Kelly gave us some great takeaways on how to maximize your education and utilize it to get what you want. Enough of the spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show.
I’m Kelly Stevens, former radio personality here in Atlanta. For years I did the morning show on B98.5 and worked with a couple of great co-host, my longtime partner for many, many years. We traveled the country together, Alpha Trivet. So it was a Kelly and Alpha show from ninety nine until 08 when we got fired and then in 2010 they brought me back and I worked with Vicky Locke, very talented lady, extremely talented. I know now why her and her partner Steve beat us for so many years. She is wickedly talented person. So it was the Vicky and Kelly Show from 2010 to 2013 when I was fired again, so fired twice by the same people.Bastards.
Define yourself in three to five words.
Good hearted person. There you go. Three words. Cool.
So you said you did radio. How did you get into that line of business?
Well, I had no other practical skills in life, so no, I got out of the Coast Guard in 82 in Seattle where I’m from and it’s a long story. But let’s just say my chosen career of law enforcement didn’t pan out. A night of bad decisions. Again, long story. So I was lying at a friend’s house. She was let me stay with her in Seattle. And daytime TV is full of nothing but like ITT Technical schools and this kind of technical school and that kind of commercial. So because they’re advertising to people like me laying on the couch at 2:00 in the afternoon, unemployed, and one was for a radio broadcasting school. And I thought to myself, sure, let’s try that. So called, made an appointment and went down. And next thing you know, I was signing a student loan for nine thousand dollars and that’s how I started my radio career. So nine months later of nighttime school, I’d be a radio person.
You think going to school for what you do was worth it?
For me, it was I think of the ten people that were in my class. I was the only guy that ever made a career out of it. So it’s pretty much of a scam. They prey on a lot of people who have always thought about being on the radio. And for one reason or another, she’s, let’s say one of my classmates was forty years old, mother of three, and who always thought she’d be a fun person on the radio but didn’t realize you’d have to start in Poughkeepsie, Illinois. So a little unrealistic for her to spend nine grand on a career that she probably was never going to get into. So from the side of the business world of starting broadcasting school, that was pretty lucrative. Did it teach me what I needed to know to start radio? Absolutely. Some of the basics of mechanics, editing my technique. I always thought the biggest question was what do you know what to say when a mic comes on? So, yeah, they kind of teach you those things. So for me it was good.
And it’s pretty interesting. You know Several different people about that particular topic. And it’s always fifty fifty. Some people believe in going to college and getting education to kind of find yourself and some people believe they will just come out of school, start a business and figure it out as you go. So I think, like, you’re kind of like in the middle, right? I mean, obviously you learn the basics, but on the other side of it, you run your own business, too so.
Well, and I have absolutely no training or had any experience in running my own business. So for me, radio was what I learned in and again, it was a technical school or vocational school. It wasn’t a college. They just taught me the vocation of radio. And then you bring your personality to it and you watch others and you listen to others in my particular career radio how they did it. You know, what they do to prepare and execute those kinds of things that I don’t know if they’re teachable, but you have to be open to learning those things. I knew I would know I worked with a lot of people that never went to broadcasting school, who got into radio, who did very well. So it’s not necessary. I never did go to formal college. One of my regrets, I wished I had, but i didn’t. Yeah,
that’s a good segue. You said one of your regrets. Is there anything that you could say that you would do differently to get you to where you are currently if you can do it all over again?
I wouldn’t have cheated on Laurie Johnson in the tenth grade. I know that.. Man she was, you know yeah, I wish I hadn’t taken that year off after high school to explore life before I decided to go to college. That was my plan. I’m just going to take a year off and just kind of you know, I’ve been in school for twelve years, so I deserve a little break. Horrible mistake because, you know, one thing led to another. And next thing you know, you’ve got debt and responsibilities and rent and. So college just kind of fell off to the side and I was lost there for a long time, my career path again at that point I didn’t even know about radio other than, you know, it’s in the car. I knew that. So the thought of being on the radio, not one of my options. So but it’s just how it worked out. I didn’t go to college. I went to the service instead. And so that was kind of my path into adulthood.
Did you come from an entrepreneurial background?
No. My father, a longshoreman, was a longshoreman. Nobody in my family amounted to anything. In fact, I was the only guy in my family that graduated from high school. So no experience with being an entrepreneur. I can barely even say the word. I hate it when they put an al at the end and I have to read that entrepreneurial.
Sounds like a jumble of letters.
Yeah, it’s one of my least favorite things to read. Oh, God, it’s got entrepreneurial in the script. Oh..
I’ll make a note of it.
Do you think that was a factor to currently where you are in business and the fact that you didn’t come from Argentino background and you just kind of learn as you went?
if you mean is that why I suck at being a business owner? Yes, it is why I suck at being a business owner, because I didn’t have any experience and I never got any training. So as far as running my VO business, I am awful at it. OK, I’ve got a great voice, which is a double edged sword. If you want. I can explain that to you later. I have rudimentary technical skills enough to be able to record a file, edit and mail it, which is 99% of what I do. Thank God there’s billing systems available online, so I have one of those that I easily fill out invoices. Other than that, I don’t know the first thing about marketing or business owners or operating a business. I thought all I needed to do was have you build my website, which you did a fabulous job, and hang a shingle, say I’m open for business and I’m going to sit back and and my inbox is going to start dinging and I’m good to go. So lo and behold. Oh, you really have to put some work into this. Oh,
but I think you had a couple of successes here. And I mean, you got a couple of big name clients and you recorded audio.
Yeah, I mean, I lucked out. I had while I was on the radio and still in the radio career, still getting a radio paycheck. I had a few clients that I had done voiceover work for and I had for years. So every month I was doing stuff for them. Once I left radio and the paychecks stopped coming in and I was counting solely on voice over income. I had a few people that I knew in the business that gave me some tips. And then every year here in Atlanta and across the country, but here in Atlanta, they have a big voiceover conference. And so the first two or three years that I was starting off, I had made sure I had attended that, which gave me some networking and some tutorial classes on how the business works. And I met some of my very first voiceover coaches that I had worked with. Yes, we have voiceover coaches. And so that’s how I kind of got a grasp of how to get into the business and how to function within that space.
Oh, definitely interesting. How do you juggle your work life with your family life?
Well, it’s easy. I have no family life, so that’s nice. I have a dog, Gracie. So it’s me and Gracie. Actually, it was funny. I had just gotten married toward the end of my radio career, not knowing my radio career was going to end. And just as in she had two kids and I was never thought I’d be a family guy. I never wanted kids. But she had two young boys. Long story short, I thought it would be a great idea to marry her and be a step dad and just as we were getting our family reunited and moved into the house, boom, I lose my job in the radio. So now I’m starting a business. I just got married and I’m a stay at home dad and I’m doing things I had never done before, getting kids up, getting him on a bus, making their lunches, getting them off the bus, getting them home, doing their homework, making them dinner. It was hell. I sucked at it. It was awful and the marriage fell apart for that and other reasons. So that’s how I was starting a business and going through all of that at the same time. So there was a lot of turmoil in there. So in the last three years, it’s just been me and my dog. Makes it much easier. I don’t have to get Gracie off the bus. I don’t have to do Gracie’s homework. I got to play with her once in a while to keep her busy. Other than that, we’re golden.
What’s your morning routine looks like?
I get up, I go to the gym. Actually, I get up around. I still get up early. That’s a hard habit to break after almost thirty years of doing morning shows on the radio. So I still get up at three or three thirty, you know, have my coffee, I catch up on the news and then usually there are some auditions that come in overnight that I know if I get to, I’ll be one of the first ten or twelve people that audition. And so my chances of the client actually listening to my audition I know are greatly increased. You know, the sooner you can get it in, the sooner they’ll listen to it. So I do that and then I’m off to the gym. I know you’re looking at my unspoilt body going, wow, he goes to the gym and I’ll tell you why I go to the gym. It’s certainly not for the working out. Obviously, it’s because what I have found by working for myself from home, which I always thought would be awesome, actually sucks because it’s incredibly isolating. So it’s just me and I mentioned Gracie and she doesn’t talk. I go to the gym just to be around other people and overhearing their conversations about office Politics and it’s like, oh, my God, she said, what, what what did she. And then what happened? Please tell me more. I miss working in an office. I miss being around other people.
So you’re using the gym as a network?
Yeah, that’s just as my chance to actually see other human beings with opposable thumbs. That’s nice. So I go to the gym, I come home. I usually will crawl back into the rack for another hour and get up around eight thirty, take a shower and, you know, check the inbox again.
That’s why you said coffee because I remember i interviewed three other people and they all have morning routines and all of them. Part of it is coffee. I got one that grinds his own coffee beans. I got one that steams our own coffee. And you have your own routine with coffee as well, too. I remember you some of you collect special brand of cream edition. You.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I stock up come October and November on the sugar free pumpkin spice creamer. So yes, I not only embrace, but I lead the charge for pumpkin spice season, but I will get as many bottles of that as I can and I’ll put them in the refrigerator. I think the last count I’m down to eighteen so I’m getting a little anxious. There’s only eighteen bottles left. You know, I start the season, I try and get about sixty bottles of them in there, which is good and bad. It’s good that I get that many, but it’s bad for anybody else in my neighborhood that likes it because I’ll get them all from the public, so I’ll get them from the Kroger, wipe them out. So yeah, that usually they’ll last me till about April
What time does your day usually end?
Again getting up early. I do go to bed early so if I go out on a date I usually tell her there’s a good chance I’ll get her home in time, that if she wants, she’ll be able to go out again with somebody else that night. So sometimes as early as 6:00, sometimes on a rare occasion, I’ll stay up till till six fifteen or six thirty or nine o’clock just appends.
Hey, guys, let’s take a quick break in here from today’s sponsor.
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Back to the show. All right. Besides your voice. I mean obviously you got like the greatest personality.
I don’t know about that.
I’m just saying you have the punch line. Yeah. But the comedy behind it, I mean do you ever want to think about going back to radio?
I would love to go back. I miss the paychecks. I don’t miss where radio ended. It changed. You know, in the eighties when I started in radio, it was fun. It was exciting. It was localized. You know, you had your program director and and that was about it. Now you’ve got maybe five companies own all the radio stations. You’ve got program directors, you’ve got consultants, you’ve got regional vice presidents of programming. You’ve got brand managers. You’ve got it’s just not as fun. And it was it was a hassle again, miss the paychecks. I miss being on the radio, miss Entertaining, miss interacting with listeners and that part. I just don’t miss the politics and the office stuff.
You ever thought about maybe going into XM Radio or starting your own podcast now?
Well, I had a friend who knew one of the programmers from Sirius XM.
And I she had inquired. I said, well, those guys are in their studios from all over the country. And I thought, well, I could do that. Just give me, you know, like, can I do like the 80s channel or the 70s channel? And they hire guys from terrestrial radio that had really big followings, guys that were, you know, the Don Imus bless his heart, he’s passed now. But, you know, guys that were in New York or L.A. for twenty, thirty years that had huge followings, so more named people, they wouldn’t be interested in a schmuck like me. I say that I don’t know if they are… My address is one twenty one. So, yeah.
What do you see yourself in 20 years?
Dead. Dead as a dog. Hopefully.. If I don’t win the lottery, probably behind a microphone praying something hits my inbox again. So probably working for the next 20 years.
This segue to what do you see your company in twenty years.
Well I am my company. It’s, it’s me and my voice. If I ever lose my voice, that’s it. I don’t know what I do. So be the Uber driver.
When that being said, do you think that AI could ever replace voices?
I don’t know. I thought about that the other day. I thought, you guys are talking about automation, taking people’s jobs. And and somebody in the industry said that eventually it’ll happen to us. But I just don’t know how that could be. It could be possible, especially if you listen to any kind of automated like I use YouTube sometimes on how to pronounce words because. I’m not a good pronunciator, and I’ll see a word in a script to go. How do you pronounce that? And then so I go to YouTube and type in the how to pronounce that gives you four or five different pronunciations. And ninety nine percent of them are computer animated voices and they’re awful. It’s like, can’t you get a human to say that I dig the ones that actually have a human saying the word? Because when it’s done through computer voice, there’s no intonation to it, there’s no dialect. It’s hard to understand. So I don’t know if they’ll be able to do that. I hope not, at least not in the next 20 years while I’m working. After that, I don’t care. Screw screw the kids coming up behind me.
Well, they systematically, if you look at like echo dot, for example, and now you can kind of pick different voices for the echo dot. So you could say I think the next one they are going to come out with a Samuel L. Jackson. It’s a bunch of prerecorded words, but AI can’t takes over control based upon the responses and sounds exactly like Samuel L. Jackson.
Well, I hope Samuel L. Jackson is getting a cut of that.
Well, I mean, I had to record his voice. you can get it to the point to where I mean, the reality is that he was in studio for months on end, recording every single word possible.
Right. Read the dictionary. learning it and doing it. I don’t know if they are working on that. Please slow down. I just give me 20 more years and you can do whatever you want. I don’t care. Or unless I win the lottery, those two things.
What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow?
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d hold a press conference and I’d say the following people can kiss my ass. I always thought of that. I’d be a fun press conference, whip out a big scroll of paper. It rolls down the aisle. Oh, no, I if I, you know, listen, the Powerball is up to two hundred and seventy seven million. So my net would be what did I figure the other day? My net was going to be ninety seven million after taxes, you know. Ninety seven million. I think if you cut back on some household expenses here and there, you could probably make a living out of that. I retire immediately. Buy myself a farm at a yacht.
You stop recording?
Yeah, I mean, I don’t understand people that have multi million dollars enough money that they don’t have to worry about paying a bill the rest of their life. Why they continue to work. I just don’t understand it. I’m just not driven that way. If I had 50 million dollars. Hell, if I had five million dollars, I wouldn’t work another day in my life. Not at all.
That’s a pretty interesting concept. I mean, most entrepreneurs, I guess they are devoted to being an entrepreneur in the sense that even if they make a billion dollars, they want to make sure that they’re established to win. That million could become 10 billion or 100 billion.
You got a billion dollars. What else do you need? That’s Nine hundred and ninety nine million dollars. Add another million. But how can you possibly spend that kind of money?
What I don’t think is all about spending I think is more so about.. The only way a person can live forever is to leave a legacy behind.
I don’t want to burden with everybody else. Hey, listen, if I had a billion dollars, I would love being the most generous guy in the world. I mean, I’m talking about going into every Cracker Barrel or Waffle House and Spiffin and everybody there that’s working there. You know, hundred two hundred three hundred thousand bucks. I don’t care. I would be awesome to be able to have that kind of money where you could just help make people’s day brighter. That would be crazy cool.
So this sounds like that’s when your goals I mean, do you do what you do because you want to help people or the most of the money?
Well, I don’t know. If What I do actually helps people, helps me, helps Gracie eat, which is nice. Yeah. But if I had unlimited funds, I would love to be able to make people’s burden a little less. That’d be nice. So, yeah.
Well some tools that you can run your business without.
Well I couldn’t run it without a microphone. I couldn’t run it without recording software. A computer. Obviously those are the big ones that come to my Internet service. Couldn’t do it. You know, it used to be ten years ago, maybe you’d had to go to professional recording studio and there were several good ones in town. And you would go in, you’d use their booth, they’d record you and they’d send it out to the client. And nowadays with the Internet, anybody that’s always been told “hey you got a good voice, you should do voice over” and they buy a USB microphone and some interface. And next thing you know, they’re in a broom closet recording voiceover work. So the Internet and home studios have revolutionized who can have access to the business and where you can do the business from. I can do business anywhere. I’ve driven across the country and had actually a really cool system in the front seat of my car. I had my laptop on one of those articulating holders you see, like on a state trooper has and the laptop sitting right there in front of me. So and I had a microphone on a boom and I used my phone as a hot spot and I would pull off into a parking lot and they record any audition’s, edit them right there and email them out. In fact, at one point I used a source gets called Source connected and Internet broadband voice service. You can send voice quality over the Internet. And I was connected to a studio. I was in my car in a parking lot of McDonald’s in Dallas. Car was running, had the accent not loud, so it wasn’t picking it up. And I had in my headphones the studio in Denver and also on the headphone was the client out in Reno, Nevada. And I was reading her script and it was going to the studio in Denver live. They were recording it there. I was at a parking lot in McDonald’s in Dallas. That’s how crazy the industry is. So you could literally be anywhere and do voice over.
So is recording in the car pretty decent Quality ?
Yeah, actually the cars.. It’s a great soundproof place to record. So not necessarily comfortable, but you’ve got to get it done. You got to get it done.
That’s definitely one of the tricks of the trade right there. Final words of wisdom that you would leave behind for up and coming entrepreneurs behind you. What would that be?
I would say if you were in my profession in radio, what I wished I had done looking back at it now was I wished I had the vision to say, you know. Radio is going to end at some point. I’m going to have to. And again, I’m assuming I’ve not won the lottery at that point, I’m going to have to plan for my future, so. The natural transition for a radio person who, you know, has a decent voice is voice over work. It’s something that, you know, you’ve done. So I would say to them, start doing voice over as much as you can outside of radio, while you still are on the radio, still getting a radio paycheck and get into the business, get your system set up at home, start building a client base before you leave radio or radio leaves you in my case, so that you’re not starting from scratch and having to scramble to get it all set up. So spend the last 10 years of your radio career also doing voiceover work at home.
That’s an interesting. I mean, recommendations for like a startup kit, like what type of microphone or a particular brand or..
There are some fairly good quality USB mics which don’t need phantom power. You can just plug them right into your computer. I know Blue makes a series of them. I think that was the very first one I had. Oddly enough, a radio station paid for that because I was doing some work from home for them and you need a recording software? I use Adobe Audition, but there are half a dozen other ones too. You need a computer, you need a programming, you need a microphone and if it’s not a USB, then you need some sort of interface that gives it some phantom power and you’re off to the races, you know, a quiet space. I turned one of my spare rooms in my house into the whole bedroom is an art, auralex on the walls and so I turned that whole room into a sound booth. I know there’s companies that actually make soundproof booth. I just thought it would be cheaper just to buy a bunch of auralex and put it up on the wall and turn the bedroom into a studio.
Yes, it’s pretty quiet as well. Yeah, definitely sound studio. Bonus question for you.
Oh..Bonus round. It’s like double jeopardy.
Do you remember where we first met?
where we first met..
And when we first met.
I do, I believe it was the.. This is going to sound odd. It was in my basement. Yeah, that sounds really odd. Listen, we had this weird party and I was in the basement. No, as my wife at the time and the kids were in Boy Scouts and your boy was in the same troop. And I was I didn’t but Katie hosted the I don’t know what you called it, the cub pack or whatever down in the basement of the house. And you were there and you and I were talking and I asked you.. Had and.. I was just getting into voiceover work and didn’t really have anything as far as website or anything like that set up and so I thought it was serendipity, kind of a God thing. I’m standing next to you and I ask you what you do and you say, you know, you’re a digital guy, build websites and whatnot. I went, oh, my God, I need to talk to you and so that’s how we met, right?
Oh, good. I’m glad I got that right.
It’s always funny, man, trying to figure out the origins of where people meet and the six degrees of separation.
Yeah. And it’s going to haunt me all day long. Where did you meet? In my basement. It puts the lotion on its skin.
It was a pleasure having you.
Pleasure to have pleasure to have me too. I guess. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Thank you as well Kelly.
Thanks for tuning into another episode of Boss Uncaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to become an Uncaged Trailblazer. If this podcast helped you, please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at sagrant.com. Post comments. Share, hit, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner beast, S.A. Grant signing off.
Listeners of Boss Uncaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S.A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in fifteen minutes a day. Download now at www.sagrant.com/bossuncaged.
S1E4 – Kelly Stevens Voice. Founder: Kelly Stevens – S1E4admins3602020-12-31T23:24:20+00:00
“It’s not to say that the customer’s always right that not what is going on here. They want to be heard.” – Dr. Bootstaylor Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast on today’s show, we have none other than Dr. Bootstaylor, better known as Dr. B. Dr. B is the founder of SeeBaby a maternal practice out of Atlanta that specializes in birth options that support pregnant women in the community by giving them choice shared decision making. But more importantly, from a client standpoint, clients don’t want to be right. They want to be heard. No more spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show. Without further ado, Dr. B. About Brad S. Bootstaylor MD, FACOG SeeBaby Founder Brad S. Bootstaylor, MD, FACOG is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1996 and is a co-founder of Atlanta Perinatal Associates, departing this company in 2009. Dr. Bootstaylor received his medical degree in 1988 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his Ob/Gyn residency at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City in 1992. He also completed his fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrical Sonography in 1994 at the Univ. Of California at San Francisco Medical Center (also his hometown). Subsequently, he spent 2 years as an Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Dr. Bootstaylor has published several articles on fetal physiology and obstetrical sonography. As an undergraduate he received the Jonas E. Salk Scholarship, and during his active duty for 4 years with U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), he received the Army Commendation Medal. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a member of the National Medical Association, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Bootstaylor and his wife Lisa (also a physician), live in midtown Atlanta, and immensely enjoy raising their 3 children.
“It’s not to say that the customer’s always right that not what is going on here. They want to be heard.” – Dr. Bootstaylor
Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast on today’s show, we have none other than Dr. Bootstaylor, better known as Dr. B. Dr. B is the founder of SeeBaby a maternal practice out of Atlanta that specializes in birth options that support pregnant women in the community by giving them choice shared decision making. But more importantly, from a client standpoint, clients don’t want to be right. They want to be heard. No more spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show. Without further ado, Dr. B.
About Brad S. Bootstaylor MD, FACOG
Brad S. Bootstaylor, MD, FACOG is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1996 and is a co-founder of Atlanta Perinatal Associates, departing this company in 2009. Dr. Bootstaylor received his medical degree in 1988 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his Ob/Gyn residency at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City in 1992. He also completed his fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrical Sonography in 1994 at the Univ. Of California at San Francisco Medical Center (also his hometown).
Subsequently, he spent 2 years as an Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Dr. Bootstaylor has published several articles on fetal physiology and obstetrical sonography. As an undergraduate he received the Jonas E. Salk Scholarship, and during his active duty for 4 years with U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), he received the Army Commendation Medal. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a member of the National Medical Association, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Bootstaylor and his wife Lisa (also a physician), live in midtown Atlanta, and immensely enjoy raising their 3 children.
It’s not to say that the customer is always right, that is not what’s going on here. They want to be heard.
Boss Uncaged is a bi weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become Uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.
Welcome to the Boston Case podcast on today’s show, we have none other than Dr Bootstaylor, better known as Dr. B. Dr. B is the founder of SeeBaby Maternal Practice out of Atlanta that specializes in birth options, that supports pregnant women in the community by giving them choice, shared decision making. But more importantly, from a client standpoint, clients don’t want to be right. They want to be heard. No more spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show. Without further ado, Dr. B
Welcome to the podcast Dr. B
Good Morning. Thank you.
First question we have today is who are you?
Who am I? One dollar question. I am a maternal field medicine specialist, Obstetrics Gynecologist. I’m a believer in autonomy, autonomous thoughts that a mother should be able to make in regards specifically to her pregnancy journey and birth options. And so that’s what I have been about for years. And I think I’m poised to continue to promote that and support it.
To find yourself in three to five words,
stepping out on faith in that with shared decision making and the ability to bring out from the mother patient her preferences, someone who could be the vehicle to help engage that, to bring that forward, bring it from the person, and then to be able to support the journey together,
if you don’t mind define shared decision maker. What is that exactly?
Wonderful questions. Shared decision making is a philosophy now that I’ve adopted over the years, and I’m crystallizing it now more than ever. But it’s one where the patient and our mother in this situation or scenario can have her understanding of what she is seeking, her understanding of the process, the scientific explanation or references, and to be able to have those conversations with her provider, be a midwife or obstetrician to where when there are certain decisions to be made about the care and management of the pregnancy and especially the birth, she’s able to share in that discussion in a balanced way to where she can exercise her choice for certain options about how she wants to see the pregnancy, go see the journey. So the ability to have a balanced discussion about the process that she is in the middle of, that’s the essence, I believe, of shared decision making. Now, mind you, having said that, shared decision making also comes with another component which is equally critical and that’s shared responsibility and with shared responsibility, it puts the provider hopefully at ease because they’re not necessarily telling someone to do and taking responsibility for that recommendation, but they’re sharing in the decision making and thereby everyone is responsible for or let me rephrase that they are responsible to that decision than that the provider needs to be responsible for it, but they are responsible to it. So if, for instance, mother is choosing to not take antibiotics because of a certain risk for an infection, because she believes and feels and knows that it’s good not to take the antibiotic, and if it turns out that the antibiotics were needed, she can be responsible to that decision she made and the provider can be responsible to it in the sense that they were able to explain the risk and benefit of the antibiotics. And thereby there’s a shared responsibility. There’s no finger pointing, I want to emphasize that, but it’s more so being responsible to the choices that were made. And then there’s a third critical component to share decision making, which I think encapsulate the whole piece in that’s called guided discovery, where you truly may have an expectation, even a preference for certain things. But as events unfold or new information is brought to the situation, you discover that you may need to change courses. You may need to. In the instance I gave about the antibiotics, you may need to backtrack and go and take the antibiotics. But in discovering that, you don’t necessarily have to feel embarrassed by it or doesn’t need to be, I told you so situation it can be. While I initially had this preference, I discovered that there are certain things going on that I need to now and take on in my decision making. And I’ve guided myself in another direction and I’m going to choose something else differently. So guided discovery I think makes help share. Decision making and shared responsibility, a healthy process so that there’s no finger pointing, there is this responsibility to it and you can discover some things about yourself.
Just by the way you answer that question, it sounds like you’re more of a teacher and a philosopher. Well, what actually is your business? What do you actually do on a daily basis?
I think that on a day to day basis, I’ll get to the nuts and bolts of it. But on day to day basis, I think encourage people to think beyond what’s inside their head and having a conversation and dialogue about processes and preferences. In my day to day, it happens to be attached to pregnancy. And so when I’m speaking with the majority of the time, it’s them verbalizing questions of ignorance or questions of expectations and allowing that moment or that element to be unmask and to discover it and to say, OK, yes, this is what I was thinking. And then what’s the practicality of that with this science support, that option or preference? So I think as a as a person who’s able to have those conversations, I can listen to people with their preferences are what their expectations are, allow them to feel ignorant about something without being embarrassed about the ignorance of it. And there’s no judgment, if you will. And so in doing that and believing in that and being agency to that, I’m able to do what I do regarding the birth and pregnancy and the happen to be doing that with pregnant mothers.
We definitely hear your passion about birth in general and just pregnancy all around. How did you even get into this business when it comes from how to start, you know?
Right. Well, I guess everything is a process of evolution. Begin somewhere and you find yourself somewhere else and you look back and say, wow, I didn’t. For myself, the nuts and bolts of it is that during medical school, I was able to work at a hospital in New York called Jacobi Hospital with a adopted J.J. Smith, who was a full time curmudgeon, I think stoic, silent, pimping your questions about birth and all that stuff and giving you no wiggle room to feign ignorance. So you had a personal expectation about what you needed to be understanding. And then when you had we call them Jayjay rounds, you have rounds patients with J.J Smith. You needed to be on your P’s and Q’s. And he would dive into clinical application of the knowledge, not necessarily book knowledge and taking tests and passing them. But how do you apply this clinically? And it is I guess with that platform, I guess you would talk about a mentor with that platform. I carry that through my learning and training with obstetrics to include maternal fetal medicine, which is the field of obstetrics that you specialize in, the science of what goes on. And so I’ve always been one where how do I apply this clinically? And so fast forward to many of the things that I’ve done over the years. It leads to this point where if I can support it scientifically and clinically and I could have a conversation with a mother about what that looks like and feels like, then share decision making becomes a natural evolution of that. And I just happen to have, I guess, enough clinical experience and scientific background and temperament to live in that space and not be intimidated by and not be fearful of it, not be afraid of the patient and all that stuff, but able to apply clinical medicine and science in a shared decision making model. And all that is based on all the years of training. But it started, as I think about it here today with JJ Smith as as a mentor and as a third year medical student, actually, when I met Dr. Smith so.
Is There’s definitely some back story which leads you to we always hear about the overnight success stories that took 20 years to become a reality. How long did it take you to get to where you are now?
Great question. It probably started long before college where I was selected, selected to be on a Special Forces eighteen. And I mention that only because on an eighteen and the Green Berets, the training is challenging, if you will, physically. But there’s another component to that, to where you see attrition rates from class sizes. And I think in my classroom, as was a hundred and fifty people, thirty of us graduated where the mental peace was the ability to contextualize fear, because if you cannot do that, it could be hazardous to your health. And if you can contextualize fear, then you can probably achieve the mission, achieve the goal, the ability to contextualize fear is the ability to process real information and make real decisions. And if you can imagine taking that in the realm of obstetrics, where it’s literally all about fear, what’s going to happen? This is the best for the baby. What do you think was the best you you to see? It is a fear leaden field. Should I have a circle of men that is afraid to put a cerclage in? Because in my closet, fear, fear, fear for everywhere, science in obstetrics, if you can look at it, actually allows you to contextualize risk. And if you can look at the science and put aside the fear, then you can have a conversation with a mother about the risk and then proceed down that road. And that’s how you’re able to do battle Bridgeboro, support vivax, do share decision making. Have moms go over there? Do they put cerclage then they do that because you use science, but you don’t introduce fear into the discussion, In my view, the overnight successes, the clinical training and experience of going through those scenarios in the real world with patients, mothers, their questions, their ignorance of the process, their expectations and your ability to support that management for the long ball is taking that template of contextualising Fear and Special Forces, Green Berets, getting some training in obstetrics, that’s with the residency program is about the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship, which involves publishing scientific papers, thesis defense. I did a lot of animal work with sheeps for the catheters and sheeps and the heart rate patterns of the baby and gave medication and all that stuff I did about twenty sheep. It’s hard to do sheep work these days because large animals a lot of money to care for large animals. So I did a lot of sheep physiology and wrote a paper on it, by the way, giving sheep nitroglycerin to see if it alters the heartbeat. Because you want to use nitroglycerin as a medication to stop contractions and preterm labor. It relaxes the muscle quite well, by the way. And that’s for you, for your audience members is used for patients who have with angina heart attacks. So you give nitroglycerin over the muscle they live. They have beautiful outcomes. You can also use nitroglycerin to slow down contractions to prevent preterm birth, which is still the high rate in this country. It’s about 10 percent of free time. And medications have come and gone regarding country preterm birth. So you go to your fellowship and get your scientific background training. And then I got a chance to teach residents as an assistant professor of maternal freedom medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and I taught residents two or three years, obstetrics is a resident here and that resident she’s attending. Her name is surely Riegle Eckles, who was my intern, I think, back then. cesareanAnd I taught her how to do cesarean births. And I bring her name up because when I was teaching her we were doing an emergency caesarean, I said, never do one. You could do a skin incision either up and down or the bikini clad and people were teaching her how to do it up and down incision, which is pretty long, up to the arms, above the navel and all that stuff. It looks kind of unsightly, to be honest, but I was taught how to do one and the bikini cut so that the incision is more statically pleasing. cesareanYou can do it in an emergency situation. I bring that up because she still brings it up to me to this day, twenty five years later, that I taught her how to do a caesarean and I was able to teach you that based on science. And she was being taught differently based on fear. So I thought I had the bikini clad. She still doesn’t to this day. She reminds me of it every time I see her. So the long road to give the short answer here is that going through those clinical experiences and applying science in a balanced way allows me to kind of get to my relation to the patients and the work that I do and to be able to support it.
So collectively, how long you’ve been doing it?
My first birth was as a medical student, I was able to attend, I think it was in nineteen eighty seven. That’s a third year medical student. And as a third year student, you kind of don’t know what’s going on, to be honest. But the miraculousness of it all was overwhelming. It was really in a situation where you went from expectation and waiting and not knowing what was going to come of anything to now seeing a baby come on to the plant. And so that was really profound. I can recall this scenario, if you will, and that was doing my last rotation as a. Student was called obstetrics and gynecology, and I had gone to the various other rotations, general surgery, radiology, psychiatry, things like that, pediatrics. I was happy to review it, but wasn’t initially moved by the experience and the ability to take care of a patient in those disciplines. So after that first birth, I decided to do what is called a sub internship. I mentioned JJ Smith. He was the director of sub internship and she was an honor to get to be able to do that with him. he only selected like two medical students every two months. And you had to be a fourth year medical student. And during the internship, which was two months of movie acting as an intern, so as a fourth year students, I was able to run a labor labor suite and help manage the patients with the residents in the attendings. So it was a badge of honor, if you will, to be a fourth year medical student selected for JJ Smith’s sub internship and things just compounded from there. So as far as being able to do Bursztyn attend things take care of patients, learn about the empathetic relationships constellation and maybe the human, in all fairness, started back then. And I went on to do my surgical residency. That’s another four years. And then I did another two years as a maternity field medicine fellow. And then I mentioned before, Beth Israel.
So what is one thing you would do differently if you can do it all over again to get you to where you are a lot faster?
I guess going back to your second or third question is not an overnight success. I guess there are some things I could do without. I’ll say to you that I thought that if I had enough providers in my space that we could as a team promote shared decision making, if you will, on a wider scale. So instead of it being one on one myself, if I had four or five different mid-level providers working with me, that we can open up the access to many mothers to have options. I thought that if I had many midwives working with me that we can provide choices and options on a broader scale. What I come to realize with that is that midwives of people, too, and they have their fears and their self editing and maybe to some degree ignorance of certain processes. And in some of those work relationships, there was a struggle to achieve a common goal. I always thought it was clear what the goal was, which was to open up choices for moms to have both options. Something around this office we call Bring Birth Back is to bring back those choices to mothers. But I thought I can do it on a broader scale. And what I come to find out that is that not everyone can have that awareness or understanding of that vision. So I went through maybe a few iterations of these midwifery teams to try to bring a shared decision making model to support both options to as many mothers as I thought would be feasible. And it just became almost a repetitive challenge to maintain that temperament and discipline across with several team members. And so if I had to do something differently this go around to get to this point, I probably wouldn’t have spent as many years as I did trying to get that team together so I could could be building that team and rebuilding that team when I should have realized that it’s not necessarily the goal. That’s pretty obvious, which is both options, supporting mothers so they can have a shared decision making. But it’s hard for some people to bridge that gap, even though they may say they want to.
You mentioned bring Burke back from like tag line. And when it comes to businesses, it’s always a hard and difficult thing to come up with tag lines. And you’ve had that tag line for a long period of time. How did you come up with that tag line?
Yeah, I’ll give you two answers to that story. I was involved with a small group of people trying to open up a birth center here in Atlanta, Georgia. And at the time, there was only one of the birth center in Georgia and it was in Savannah. So you can imagine a state as big as Georgia having just one birth center. Meanwhile, there are some states that have probably tens of percent of 60, 70 of them here. We had in Georgia one. So I was working with a group of individuals and we were trying to do fundraising. We were trying to do something call appeal to the state to get a certificate of need to open a person. And that’s a political process with a lot of red tape. And so we were trying to figure out a way to get people to notice that this was a need for this birth center that was having dinner one day with the two of the people involved at the time, Angela Auroral and Kelly Wright. We were bouncing ideas off for another. And I said, you know, what we’re trying to do is which. To bring back these options of birth, the people that really should not have gone away and I said we need to call it green birth, that that’s going to be our campaign and even trademarked it. And with that process of getting the trademark, you’ll see it on on many things now, at least in regards to the person which finally did open, by the way, actually four or five years of struggle. But remember, back is a phrase that came to mind to me in that it was something we were trying to do. And it pops a question of people. When I say giving birth back, we always ask, where will they go? And then I get a chance to talk about my experience one, but also the birth options that they may not this person or mother would have. You may not even be aware of, like the ability to go over their due date, the ability to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean, the ability to opt for an induction. How about that? You can deliver it early. So bring birth back. Just speaks to bringing back birth options and I can support that. Relatively easily,
Considering that you’ve been in business for seems like decades at this point in time, but your own personal practice has been around for just over a decade, anniversary recently. did you come from? An entrepreneurial background. I mean, how did you even get the intuition to even know you could run a business that come from your mom, your dad? I mean, where did the hustle come from?
Yeah, the hustle and grit. I don’t have an entrepreneurial background in my family. Everybody have a business per say. But I will tell you that my Green Beret Special Forces experience taught me that working as a team with a degree of grit, determination and hustle, if you will, can allow you to achieve goals that you didn’t think possible. And so it is that background that is in my DNA. Now, with that said, fast forward a little bit. When I left Beth Israel Medical Center, where I was on faculty and I came to Atlanta, I worked for a maternal Field medicine specialist and I spent the year there. And I did not necessarily like the lack of teamwork that was involved in that particular practice setting. And I did not like that there were patients who weren’t having their option supported. And as a medicine specialists on Gynecologist, you about discussing options and getting pros and cons. So I did not like a philosophy or how that was being practiced then. So I left that practice to me and a good friend of mine at the time decided to start our own practice. And we didn’t have a dime in our pocket, but we knew that what we were doing was not in alignment with how we felt. So the grit and hustle to start my own practice started then, and that was in nineteen ninety seven point ninety eight excuse me, because I was here for a year so in nineteen ninety eight open the doors. Got some funding from a local bank, begging and pleading, essentially gave us some seed money. And I didn’t view it as an anxiety provoking process, but I in reflection I guess some of the people did and we got it done. I mean, it was you know, it was fun for me. It was really like we’re doing this and other bills to be paid and people joined us on faith. Long story short, we ended up opening the seven offices, opened up two offices in a year and was happy to do the work, enjoyed it experience. And it just kept growing and growing and growing. And I was with that practice for about 12 years. And so it was with that I want to do something different because it had had its most things do evolved in a certain direction that I was not comfortable with. There was a lot of I wouldn’t say. Shifts in the goals, like how we got to be almost you had to feed the beast, whereas you had to make patients come back for certain things that they may not have had to come back for, but it was a little wiggle room there. So you mean come back? I didn’t have that temperament, like make my decisions on facts and those kind of things. So I decided, well, let me do it one more time as an entrepreneur, open up SeeBaby. And so maybe the practice name today is really in line with my philosophy and what I can do to support mothers. This is share decision making model that we’ve been talking about. I do that with ease, happy to do it, love it, grateful for it. And now I guess I’m in a position to where I can take this entrepreneurial journey and now scale it up to others. And I hope to learn to be able to do that this next year. The decision making philosophy that I want to start promoting.
You had mentioned that you had to get some seed money, some capital going into banks. Is that one of those situations where you had to come in there with a business plan, a business proposal to kind of sell the idea?
Yes, we had to do some homework. I do some writing business plan, which I’ve learned don’t necessarily go the way they are written down. You hear that often enough, but had to sell the goods. I mean, there was a lot of doors closed, by the way, and meeting with those bankers and lending institutions. With that being said, there was one individual in particular, similar quarrels, Sydney Williams at the time, who was a banker at one of these local area banks. She was able to push our application through to where we met with her, Cynthia Williams and her associates and me and my colleague at the time we sat there had this interview and we put our best foot forward. And so Cynthia Lynch was able to get us the loan to start the practice. It was a small loan, but there was a lot of money then. It was a small loan. And we were able to having that loan, which was a line of credit, essentially being to a timeshare in an office space with another doctor, Olby, who have faith in us. And we time-Share that space for about six months. And from there we were able to generate some income and go on to sign our own leases and purchase our own equipment and things like that. So, yeah,
that’s a very interesting back story. Speaking about interesting back stories, you and your wife are both doctors.
Yeah, my better half.
And I think the first time you kind of told me about the story of your last name, if you don’t mind sharing that. I mean, it was definitely a great merge.
My wife’s name is Lisa. Lisa Boots was her name, in all fairness. And we met in medical school. She’s a year behind me in medical school, by the way. So I was one of those students who always like to give tours. And so she says she came to our medical school, which is Albert Einstein in New York. I was one of the tour guides and she saw me as one of the tour guides. I got to come to this medical school. So so she got in the medical school mind, I guess. And then I didn’t know this, of course, till later. And, you know, the small group of students in medical school that can really, really bond with each other. So we had actually a small cooking group. It was about ten of us. We would cook a meal once a week at each other’s dorm rooms or something like that. And so the small cooking group, everyone would try to outdo one another and learn different styles of dishes and certain cuisines. And so we were in a cooking group together, our first year medical students, I mean, my second year, but her first year. And with that, our relationship grew and became best friends to Lisa. Boutte’s got married to Brad Taylor. With that said, we decided I decided I wanted to take on her history and her name. And so I did a legal name change to Boots TAYLOR And then when we got married, Lisa just became Lisa Boots Taylor. So it’s pretty quick when you’re a woman. So I changed my name legally to Boots Taylor so that we can share in our histories. And we’ve been married now going on thirty three years.
Oh yeah. That’s a hell of a legacy.
This is pretty cool,
So how do you guys juggle the work life, family life. Both you guys have doctors schedules are crazy. You guys have three kids. So how do you how do you manage.
Yeah. Yeah. And I guess I guess like most things in the Honestly probably relate to this when you’re in the middle of the the moment you’re juggling and dealing with it. You know, I hear about, you know, did the whole carpool juggling act, sick kids, E.R. visits, midnight, runny noses and all that stuff. So, you know, like most people, you’re pushing through it and you realize how you get through it, but then somebody else hits you. In the moment, you’re not necessarily trying to appreciate the difficulty of it. You’re living it in your. Coping with it is stressful moments is lots of joyous moments, if you will, but with that said, being on the same wavelength, in the same feel, we can understand the commitment to the field of medicine. It’s not one where if we were I think we were in different or different arenas, it would be hard to fully understand why am I going to do a birth at two o’clock in the morning, eight days in a row when everyone else is off at five o’clock, having beautiful dinners and all that stuff? So she can understand that. And I can also understand what she’s doing when she has to be one of the few women in her specialty, which is plastic surgery. And she started with a male dominated field where she had to wear the daily prove herself even to newcomers. We could relate to each other background in our professions, more so as support as opposed to anything else. And then with that, like you mentioned, you had three children. People always ask me, let me answer this now. I did not deliberately think kids the hardest part actually is being a coach, a support person in a birth as opposed to delivering it, because as I tell a lot of people, taxidriver can do can do a delivery is to support peace as hard. So we have three kids, the wonderful people, and none of them are going into medicine, having seen our work life balance, which is cool and glad choices, if you will. So it’s great our three kids equally chase changes.So chances are number three, because it was our last chance to get it right. So we call them chance.
Interesting thing that you just said is that you were in a birth support group. So it kind of makes me think of undercover boss situation like you’re in the room. You do this for a living one side of the house. Somebody probably could have recognized you and the other side of the house, you know, exactly the way it should have been done. Was that a conflict of interest during your birth?
I mean, when I was in the group, that was we had to shoot us just because the group that we had evolved into from two people to about five maternal fetal medicine specialists.
Why Not to talk about your wife’s birth.
Oh, those are interesting births, is what I will say. I’ll take some time to kind of go back a little bit of that without boring the audience or grossing them out. But with our daughter, Chloe, we were both residents. She was in general surgery, by the way, which is pretty tough residency to go through. And I was at the end of my BO Gyn residency and we didn’t think of birth as a challenging dynamic. It was we thought it was going to have a national delivery. We didn’t really get into options. And all the things you had to fight for today, it was more so. OK, let’s work. Until we went into labor, I missed the majority, the prenatal visits. She went by herself. We were birthing at the place where she did her residency in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York when her water bag broke. We went out to dinner. When I talk to patients today, somebody just last week told me where I would have. They got to come to the hospital right away, don’t I? So back then, we just kind of looked at it like a natural process. And yes, I was in an O.B. resident, but I didn’t view it as a potential time bomb. Something’s going to happen. Oh, my God. Monitor what a bad girl went to dinner and went to sleep. Got up, I think at two o’clock in the morning. A few contractions call me OB. She’d be coming now. Coming in the morning. She said, come on, boys, you got there and did our thing. And we had a beautiful vaginal birth. Yeah, it was wonderful to see my daughter and all that stuff. I didn’t think anything of it. And I keep saying it like that because when I talk to patients who say, did you do the delivery? And I keep say no, the hard part is coaching. I can see now how for the patient, the hard part is just sitting by and watching it all unfold because there’s so much information coming at the practices of the nurses that will be OB who may want to do the words that is there, the kind of heavy you hear the word death mentioned all the time, or you know what’s best for your baby, don’t you? Almost accusatory condescension when we had our children. We need to say I’m almost embarrassed. We think much of it. It was like and that was a pretty anthologist with our second two kids. So didn’t think of all the potential things that could go wrong at all, but was in supportive environments with our with our obstetricians, our first and then our with our second baby. We were out in San Francisco. I was doing my fellowship. Lisa was doing research, looking at fetal wound healing. I remember that fondly because I had to collect a lot of blood from. Eighty percent of this winter, because she was learning how baby are in utero and was doing fetal healing work at the University of California, San Francisco. And so during that birth, get this, we’re at the home where OB anesthesia was developed, UCSF, they write the textbooks out there. She decided she wanted to get an epidural. I believe it wasn’t that. No, it was just a pain relief medication, fentanyl, no epidural. And she got an allergic reaction. And her allergic reaction was to be itching. She was itching to the whole labor. So as a support person and apparently anthologist, I could do nothing about the itching. But I had offer the support. And OB anesthesia team out there. It could do nothing about it. It’s one of the one percent of people get a side effect. So that was literally a miserable labor experience. And I was like, whoa. And we had a beautiful second child, our son Chase. quote-unquote And then with our third baby, we’re here in Atlanta in this building, in fact, and went quote unquote, natural nothing for pain medication to avoid the itching, went into labor and had our biggest babies, like nine pounds, something like that, nine fifteen and just didn’t think much of it really was still, the mind understands it as hard as I can contextualize all the potential risk. We really didn’t look at it like, oh my gosh, what could potentially happen? So as far as being in the room, to answer your question, there’s no push from me to the staff and all that. I just kind of went with it went with the flow people was MFM specialists. No one was trying to challenge me. Maybe they were giving deference to that, but there was no imbalance or the computations that had patients to share with me with their team and their providers and midwives. There was I didn’t sense or see any of that. So no drama off various
Definetly pretty interesting. Next up is what are your morning habits and what do you I mean, you’re always on call, but I’m still trying to figure out how do you get like eight hours of sleep, so.
Right, right. Right. Well, me and my wife say we should bank sleep, so. Meaning that you try to get a nap here. There. We don’t do that anymore. What I’m able to do is get a nice little solid blocks of sleep, which may total eight hours in pieces. But my morning ritual is one where I really move kind of slow in the morning because there’s a lot of you wake up to new thoughts. I kind of like absorb all the ideas that are coming in. I kind of project that what the day is going to look like. I don’t eat breakfast. I just have a nice cup of coffee for me. I grab some beans and that kind of thing. And I have a nice cup of coffee that has probably about eight packs of raw sugar in it. And that’s my one cup a day, to be honest. So I just use that as a fuel, but it only graphics intentionally because I want to have a sense of hunger by midday. But the coffee carries me and maybe the sugar in it that helps. I move slowly in the morning for sure, just to let thoughts process and to think about things and to think about what the day is going to look like, to reflect on what the last day was. Because I know once I get into the work environment, I got to kind of kind of hit it and I’m used to hitting it. All the time, so ironically for me, I just moved slower in the morning and then when I’m dropped into the zone, it’s on big time and I’m good with that because I’m used to stuff coming at me.
So that’s an interesting philosophy. If you don’t eat breakfast, you get a cup of coffee. And then what you just said was that you’re going to build up to the hunger. Is that more of an entrepreneurial hunger than more hunger executing a day? I mean, it’s not like you’re in a million a beast, right? So what kind of hunger you define?
Yeah, that’s that may be difficult to answer. I think some of the words you use to pose the question encapsulate that where you’re like this analogy, I can use that you’re kind of walking to the plains or the jungle or to a beach and things are slow and, you know, something is unfolding, something is out there and you know that. Let me enjoy this moment of introspection and quiet when what I drive to work. I’m always listening to this kind of spy music that plays here all day. But it’s kind of like you’re coming in to the fold because, you know, once you’re in it, it’s like the Super Bowl is like 14 inches. Is the final 10 seconds on the clock at the three point line, it’s the Olympics going for the gold. So I’d like that moment leading up to that. That’s when I think my eyes see more that my ears hear better. The brain, the neurons are firing on all cylinders, but it’s in that slow motion runway up to the event. So is that the entrepreneurial thing that The Hunger Games going on internally? I guess it gets so that I can I can’t put my finger on it, but I see it as helpful to my balance.
So in its own right. Yeah. You’re moving up into the like Keto diet. You know, you just kind of like Starbound just enough. So then you’re at the highest peak. Definitely interesting philosophy. So I mean, you definitely touched on how do you start your day? Well How you end your day?. When did your day end.
Well, because I’m Dubus. They can be interesting evening. So I was up New Year’s Eve with them all and didn’t mind it. The day is just more often do some administrative work. So I’m here in the office a few hours, an hour or two after work, if you will, but it’s kind of uneventful. Let me grab something, that kind of thing. But there’s no ritual like the morning that I can pinpoint. The day just kind of ends. So nothing in particular.
So it looks like taking my five minutes to go see or you just automatically crash when opportunity kicks in.
Well, I am laughing because sometimes I have a cup of coffee and I go to sleep. So like, I’ll be home and I say, Hey, Lisa, you want to make you a cup of coffee, tea, coffee? It’s ten o’clock at night. Are you crazy? And I drink it sometimes at night because I know I might go in at four a.m. and if I know someone’s out there kind of brewing in birth world, I call it so I know I’m in need to be up for that. So I’ll make a cup of coffee maybe at ten o’clock at night and I to sleep in five minutes, having just made it and consumed it. So I don’t have a problem with trying to fall asleep when I can because I also can get up and be running to go do a birth, driving to the hospital, jumping on an elevator and running, do a surgical birth, a cesarean and be alert and oriented and all game in. So I know I can be on when it’s time to be on that. I know so well.
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And just to add to that, and I was reading some quotes, some of you recently someone had an anniversary Facebook quote. They keep saying that when I was in the room this is this morning, that’s when I was in the room with them. When they were laboring, I brought a calm presence to that room. And that’s repeated a lot. When people talk about their engagement with what I do and that calm presence come from understanding that I’m in this zone, in the scene with things could fly off, but I’m taking all the information in and I’m processing that. So this ability to be in that space, in that project, anxiety and fear, but to bring a sense of this calmness is almost like before going to work. I mentioned this morning. Just being in that space, prepared for stuff to occur, and if it oes or does not, I can kind of handle it. So I bring that when I’m doing a three a.m birth or the three p.m birth. To bring that calmness into it, because I can appreciate the information I can take into the information that’s given to me in that wear on my sleeve, and I think that’s what patients get out of. I must say, the shared decision making philosophy,
we alI definitely agree with that across the board, both from a business standpoint. I think your personal point of view, you’re definitely like a Jedi. You pull a Jedi mind trick when you walk into the room. It’s kind of like this guy was in the military, right? He’s seen action. And now he’s like he walks in the room and everything becomes completely serene when he walks in. It’s like when you walk in. And so it’s definitely the fact that you could walk in a room and your patients could actually not even knowing who you are and your history, they can kind of feel that and they get that sense from you is definitely a beautiful thing.
Yeah. I mean, it reminds me of a patient who wrote a review you first time moms who were breech birth and came into the hospital laboring breach has breached is a loaded word in maternity care. And she describes in her post, and I’m paraphrasing a little bit, she’s like, well, he walked in like a bad ass and everybody just calm down. And I had a beautiful badge or something like that, but it was just coming into that space and everybody said, oh, bring it down, everybody. And she says, well, he came in like a bad ass and just sit this like a T-shirt, walking like a bad ass. Yeah. So anyway,
so I’ve had the pleasure of working with you like ten years right up to that point. Yeah. I know what my vision to the answer to this question is, but I talk to you directly and kind of see we have similar philosophies. Where do you see yourself in 20 years.
Yeah, I got you. We got a Covid Here podcast. This is called Metropolis. , to answer your question, I mean, we’ve done a few things together, which have all been wonderful experiences, enlightening and great stuff. And it’s been geared towards the goal of expanding the brand, I guess. And I think now with this recent iteration of what I’m trying to do is really expanding this brand to where it’s not just a philosophy and a mindset within my head about how I could provide care for mothers. But the long term plan, our goal is to make sure that mothers have this philosophy and awareness within their hands. Thereby they can take control of their circumstances without having things taken from them. reinfusionAnd so this rebranding, if you will, this re infusion of the idea using contemporary platforms, be social media, podcasting, even this ability to get this shared decision making into the hands of the consumer mother patient who can make the providers better. I’m talking about obstetricians and midwives and their hospitals if they’re having a baby at a hospital, a better place. So my 20 year goal is to see mothers have a voice in their birth, their birth processes, their maternity care, and to be able to practice their decision making. And those going to be a task because fear is in there. It’s in the mother’s head. And I can understand why there is it’s put upon her to do what’s best for your baby. Right. I hope that within the next 10, 20 years that it becomes a phrase, oh, that’s how we do it. Share decision making versus, you know, I need to listen to you, provided you tell me to do everything .
So and everything that you said, I think you touched on a good segue to let the cat out of the bag recently we’ve been working on developing a book series.
So why don’t you just tell us a little bit about that, the title of the book, What to Expect from that book, what to expect from the series?
Well, yeah. So how do you. Had to give some substance to this philosophy, the title of the book is called Shared Decision Making subtitle Brinkworth Back. And the platform that I’m trying to promote is what I experience daily within the office and in that purse. And so the ability to structure either a series of seminars, information based materials, the book itself, which may be a series of books, is to try to solidify that, to make it more tangible so people can touch it and learn it and grow with it and bring it into part of their lives as part of a lifestyle, if you will, especially with maternity care while they’re pregnant. And so shared decision making being the title is to really give the mother or customer the tools to live in that space. And if they can live in that space and breathe it, then they won’t be afraid to verbalize their desires or their preferences. They’ll be more empowered to encourage their providers to be better by them in a more respectful, dynamic or more respectful relationship. It won’t be an unbalanced relationship where the provider has all the information and the consumer or mother is afraid to ask the question of the provider. So to bring better balance to that relationship and ultimately making for a healthier process because they will have shared responsibility. Like I mentioned before, that’s one of the three legs of the stool. And so. The key is using my experience all these years, my ability to process the information regarding pregnancy, the ability to engage people and show them the tools that they can use to engage their providers is what this is all about. So the book will highlight that will give you the resources to begin to inculcate that into your personality and into your lifestyle, especially with pregnancy care and birth. So I think if moms have the tools in their toolkit, they can use it and they don’t have to look back with the regret for I should have asked the question. I should have done this differently. You can feel empowered by their journey and that’s share decision making is. And that’s what the book that’s what I hope to achieve in getting a book launched.
So in partnership with the book, I mean, where do you see the company you kind of outlined? Where do you see yourself? But what do you see the company in 20 years? You’re talking about stepping from not just delivering birds, but more so social education to both patients and to additional medical grown individuals as well.
Right? Well, the vision, I think, is to scale up the philosophy and the scale of the tools so that it becomes common knowledge. It is not a one off. And let me have a mom who join our practice from Florida two days ago, three days ago. She’s driving 12 hours. They have a birth with me in our prayers and she shouldn’t have to do that. And it’s been happening for years. People come from several states away so they can have conversations, shared decision making, shared philosophy. If the company could scale that up and create conferences and workshops to where the mother, the customer feels that they can take those tools into their environment, then you don’t have to drive from Florida to have a birth with a baby or myself. You can actually use those tools in your environment and make the people around you, the providers in particular, better people, better listeners, better clinicians, because they’re tuning into this shared decision making philosophy. And the philosophy is not meant that this is important. The philosophy is not meant to be antagonistic and confrontational. It’s also meant to make it a shared responsibility, more in alignment. Just something I described recently is called B score. How does your provider get better in alignment with you and you in alignment with your provider? So the company, I hope, can promote it on a larger scale. Conferences, seminars, workshops and things like that. So this moment, this kind of style of what we do is accessible to many, not just a few come across sitting.
So these are the people that come from on a national level, but you also touch on a global level as well to the people who have come from
Europe and a now from France who sought me out, actually. So it’s not like many people will be out of a telephone booth or out of a Rolodex and go to them. They were told to come here based on the either their personalities or what they expected. I had a twin birth, but you mentioned but last week she was told by people in Oregon that she needs to come to see baby to have a certain style of practice. And that was one where the one hates it, like a broken record, shared decision making, listening to the patient, encouraging their ability to ask questions, guided discovery cues. Somebody in Oregon, she needs to have her twin birth with me. And that was more so, so that she can have a twin vaginal delivery, which she did have. But she was happy to have a cesarean if it was necessary, but to have a respectful balance pregnancy process, because oftentimes it’s a lot of fear attached to twin pregnancy and there are some cautionary elements that should be there. But how you have that conversation is the problem, I think these days. To answer with thought, the idea is to broaden it up, scale it, to make it accessible. I want people to be able to say 20 years now, oh, that’s how we do it. Share decision making, not for it to be a one off. Got to go find it on top of the mountain. Look for some kind of matrix. Know this is how we do it.
So how does that work on my customer service side? I mean, if you have a people coming from different time codes, different regions of the world, I mean, how you got management?
must try to answer that beyond what I was going to Thailand to try to figure out how to do some kind of Middle Eastern meditation process. I guess I would go and adapt to being in time in 12 hour time difference. That’s so much the logistics of that. I mean, people call the office schedule appointments, those kind of things. But I think when you’re craving something or seeking something of value to you, you’re going to, as a customer, make the adaptation.
So secondary to that is so you’re talking about different cultures as well, too. So the viewpoint of birth is completely different on a global scale. I mean, the process of birth is generally the same, but different views, different nationalities, different personalities. How do you deal with that?
Great question.The single answer is a respectful encounter that transfers across all cultures and languages. And I see people with different languages and cultures. They can tell when they’re being disrespected, condescending to marginalized, being coerced, threatened, bleat, even if that crosses cultures. When is that? Respect is universal. Whether we speak language or not assigned to each other, it is as clear as day. And so I think the common thread is that how do you get respect, share in the decision making about the pregnancy, about the options and choices. And I want to emphasize, it’s not like someone comes from West Africa or Tibet or France and says this is how they do it in Tibet, France and West Africa and I need to have a Caesarean birth or I need to do this or I need to do that. They actually come and say, how do we get an understanding of this process? And therefore we can make the right choices for us based on the science and my practices. And that is a common sentiment that I get across all cultures. I had an integrative medicine physician who was Korean and a husband seek me out. They were twins. She was a little elderly. I apologize. She was over thirty five years of age. She’s actually young in spirit. My apologies. But she was being told that she was a high risk pregnancy. This was going to happen. They’re going to do it by C-section. She’s been told all of this versus having a conversation about it based on what are the risks for certain things. And then they came to me late in their pregnancy because they wanted to have conversations. So it wasn’t about me doing something magical on this end. I was adhering to the science and having a respectful dialogue with her in conversation about the management.
So people come to that,
you know, across all cultures and languages and sexual orientations, and so we have surrogates coming here,
all different types of people who want to be respected.So
Simple for us,
that’s a simple point that would translate into any business, really just really comes out to treat people the way you want to be treated.
Correct. With that said, no, it’s not to say that the customer is always right. That is not what’s going on here. They want to be heard.And if the customer is wrong, customer is wrong. They respect that and want people to think that, oh, we’re going to give everybody what they want need. And is Polyana a pie in the sky, rainbows and waterfalls and all that stuff? No, they want to be able to hear the information process it make choices and decisions based on real stuff and to be able to explore that.
So what’s one tool that you couldn’t run your business without?
Well, easy. The people, the people, the people who have who believe in the vision, who believe in what we do, make extra efforts to make sure that it happens yourself is one of them. If I can speak freely behind the scenes for years, that one on a decade in various avenues of the practice and media support, marketing, etc developing our current platform. So I acknowledge that Jim Odessa’s, who was in the room a minute ago, the office manager, will work with the while very astute, on point, thoughtful, forward thinking, diligent, can’t say enough about it, about her contributions that and various staff over the years as well. So the people make the process. They give life to a vitality. We just got to believe the tools of our current technology to take advantage of that.
So is that what is your final words of wisdom you would like to leave behind for the up and coming entrepreneurs that follow in your footsteps?
I’ve got to read your book. It’s a real it’s a real ironclad things. I want to, but I’m going to say that this may sound trite and bromidic, if you will, but you’ve got to find your passion and you’ve got to do less self editing and more belief into what you are trying to achieve. If you’re thinking about something differently, others don’t see it that way. And you’re going to get many people trying to offer words of caution, if you will, which could be a downer. There are certain realities to that, of course, but I think you’ve got to find your passion and go after it. It helps to have some intestinal fortitude or some grit because the mountain gets high and the doubts kind of flood on in. There’s a quote that I’m using these days called Raise Your Level, Raise Your Double, meaning that the more you become the guest viewed or seen, the more enemies you have. So as the entrepreneur, you’ve got to have the intestinal fortitude, grit, passion and a vision.
So Dr people find you online. I mean, Facebook, Instagram, the email address, DNA samples, phone numbers.
Gott you and probably facial recognition software,you go to SeeBaby.org. And then the Doctor B’s website is going to be coming out pretty soon. I’ve got to get the right name for that. And then, of course, calling the office at 442239306. Then we can talk to talk to the person and get more information. But our website for now, is www.Seebaby.org
I will list the other variables on there as well to the Instagram account or all the other social media’s on this Podcast. Is that right?
Well, I guess I got listen this myself and put in my phone.
The bonus question is, do you remember when we first met?
I do.But I have, like, mixed memories. We did the same thing to. I mean, I’m going to say we met here in the office. I think it was more of a project that we were working on and the exact nature of the project. But there was a grand opening we were going to do. And you were part of getting that grand opening together. So the grand opening involved finding places and venues. And then we couldn’t do it in the auditorium and they had to have it here. And so working through that process was good. There were some other things going on with that simultaneously, which is why I have this mixed vision. We were selling stuffed animals that had like heartbeat’s in them and there were some other things going on.We got poster boards and displays that. So as you can tell from my answer with Schnall, you got to be kind of like had this kind of broad acceptance of multiple things happening at once. And so, I mean, he’s definitely good for layering things in a great way, in all fairness and everything, so that things touch each other, these touch points versus one thing at a time. So our first meeting involves my vision of all these things kind of happening. We had a white board. We do some things and now we’re back in that relationship, I’m happy to say.But yeah.So that was it.
So I mean, for me was always you’ve always been like the Jedi is always been like, OK, once Dr. B starts talking, like everybody stops moving and they go completely silent and they’re all just like, listening. And you become this like voice of reason for any topic. I mean, birth is obviously your passion, but when you go from birth to just life in general, you talk about business. I mean, all three of those things are kind of under your Umbrella of your vision. And we start speaking. That becomes this. Everybody gets out.
So I take advantage of that.
I mean I mean, I think you do it without even knowing that you do it. I mean, once you start talking and then everybody is kind of like even patients, they’re all like,
you saw you start writing a note, maybe a five minute thing that turns off 15 minutes, but it’s literally nine out of ten times.
Yeah, yeah. I got to I think that that’s why maybe when I talk to people, I think we want to ask people all the time having consultations, quote unquote. But when I come into the office, I meet with them. I think I’m going to have a conversation and that changes everything versus I’m going to be the sage on the stage talking to you. So I guess you’re right. I try to make it making conversation.
Well, I definitely appreciate you taking the time out to answer these questions and help on the podcast. And I mean, I’m looking forward to listening to your podcast as well, coming up in 2020. And a lot of items lined up for this year or so.
That’s wonderful. It’s been great taking the time to let me crystallize my thoughts coming up to this new year.2020 metaphors for saying clearly. And if they don’t have a clear vision, what are we going to do
Yeah on 2020 is the perfect year?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Thank you, sir.
All right. So I have a go .
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“Plan but not get caught up in the plan. That’s a big and important thing to think about all the time is that remember to stay flexible and fluid as much as possible within your plan and find your why.” -Tal Soriano Thompson
Welcome to BOSS Uncaged Podcast on today’s show, we have Tal Thompson, better known as the Optimistic Team Member. Tal goes by many different titles, and she’s been everything from a Creative Director, a Graphic Designer, time and time again. But more importantly, She’s the Founder of the Art Factory Cafe & Party Place in Richmond, Virginia. On today’s show, Tal dives into what keeps her motivated, more importantly, her glass is always half full. She’s always optimistic, and more than anything else, she’s a team member and a team player, no more spoilers. Let’s jump right into the show.
Plan, but not get caught up in the plan, that’s a big and important thing to think about all the time, is that remember to stay flexible and fluid as much as possible within your plan and find your why.
Boss Uncaged is a bi weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become Uncage Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters & Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S.A Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind Uncaged Bosses. In each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade. Release the Uncaged Boss Beast in you. Welcome our host S.A. Grant.
Welcome to Boss Uncage podcast. On today’s show, we have Tal Thompson, better known as the optimistic team member. Tal goes by many different titles and she’s been everything from a creative director, a graphic designer time and time again, but more importantly, she’s the founder of the Art Factory Cafe and Party Place in Richmond, Virginia. On today’s show Tal dives into what keeps her motivated. But more importantly, her glass is always half full. She’s always optimistic and more than anything else, she’s a team member and a team player with no more spoilers, let’s jump right into the show. The optimistic team player, Tal Thompson. Who are you?
My name is Tal Thompson. I was born and raised in Israel and moved to the US in September of ’99 following the love of my life, Cliff. We have two boys, 12 and 14 right now, and I’m a business owner, entrepreneur, ADHD, creative artist, mom, and lots of other crazy things. And I think that’s a good start how we could define it.
Well define yourself in three to five words.
If the creative ADHD and I think the biggest optimist entrepreneur travel ever I guess were sort of things if I had to say all the things. But I think the biggest thing I realized at my age that optimism plays a big, big part of my life. And it took a while too, someone had to point it out to me to actually make me realize when my high school friends said, “you are always an optimist” and I like, “What?”. When I started thinking about it and I noticed that my brain really just reroute to positive and like in every scenario, even when friends tell me, “Oh my gosh, my kitchen overflowed”, I would say, “Well, it could have been worse. Could’ve came from the ceiling”. So like there’s always, I always think about it, my brain always re-route that way. And it’s an awesome gift. I don’t think I was always this way. I think that, you know, some hardship through being a teenager in school and all that stuff kind of made me realize that I have to be thankful, of course, being born in Israel and going to the military, missing your mom’s food and your own bed, you realize really quickly how lucky you are to be around and to have a warm meal and a nice comfy bed. So those things all together probably contributed to that. But, yeah, I think that’s a big part of it. So…
As the glass is always half full, you don’t believe in evaporation?
I do believe in evaporation. But even when you have a little bit, it be worse, you know what I mean? Like, this is really the scenario. It’s not that it’s always full. It’s just there’s always a scenario where it could be worse. And I’ve hit rock bottom in my life and there were moments that I was going to bed thinking, is it possible to wake up tomorrow without having your heart hurt so much? And then I think the realization that in any given time, it could actually be worse. And remembering it when you operate is a good thing, it keeps you focused a little more and more being able to make decisions that are more clear, that are more current, as opposed to like an emotional dwelling kind of decision. Like being a dweller is one of the worst, like, I can’t handle people around me that like to dwell and create a pity party. Like that’s always been one of the hardest things for me as a friend or a mom or a partner to be around people who like to pity party. So I can’t put up with that, and I don’t know exactly why. I guess because it’s not a solution. Like if you were in a tough situation, what’s your way out? And even if there are times when it’s out of your control, it’s still that there should always be a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s important to keep in mind all the time, you know, things can always be worse if it’s at home, at work and wherever you do. So…
So being an optimist, I guess that makes a great Segway to your business. I mean, when you first told me that you were going to be essentially selling glitter, I was like, “OK”, I asked, “what’s you’re 100 percent?”, like you had other ventures as well, too, and it was like you just dove into this glitter lifestyle, unicorns and rainbows and everything else. And it was like, OK. So what is your business?
My business is a complicated combo of things just because I think being a creative person it’s hard to focus on one thing, and it’s kind of an evolution of things. So we own an online store that started from a very small business out of our kitchen by kind of mistake. We stumble across this glitter tattoo project that was really nice product from Israel. My brother showed it to me and fell in love with it and then it kind of evolved. We brought it back to the U.S., had one kit that my brother gave me and then my neighbors wanted some. So I ordered a few. And then I said, “all right, I need a box and I need a case and a few cases”. And it kind of evolved through there. So we sell body art products, but beyond glitter, it’s any kind of face paint, body painting and all the supply and support products around, like brushes and sponges and shirts. You may have to wear aprons, kits, cases, everything that is online thats because we support entertainers that are also small business owners. So that’s our online model. And then because of our location where we are here in Maryland, Virginia, and the request to always hire us to go somewhere to celebrate someone’s birthday, it just made sense to start doing the parties here. So we extended our venue to also be a party venue because we saw the demand, but it was not like a formed business plan. And then from there we said, all right, we got the kids now and they’re like seven to nine , let’s add a play cafe so we can actually see them when they’re much younger so they can grow together. Been doing this for six years. And just this year we added the play cafe. And I’m excited for the opportunity and then the community aspects like, being local here and meeting the parents. And most locals don’t really know that we have an online store because of the way our building is structured, like all the online sales and distribution happens behind the scenes but they still meet us here as artists and teachers and that’s a lot of fun. And it’s amazing how when you have a business, you can plan it as much as you want and you can dream it as much as you want, which is a word I often struggle within. I don’t like the word dream because I didn’t have this dream of owning in our factory. I had I had desires to work for myself as a graphic designer. I always promoted other people’s stuff, was like, yeah, we have this. If I didn’t have someone tell me what to do, could I do it right? Can my choices be OK? And and also not having to report to someone first thing in the morning or at any given time choosing when to take time off, which is a funny comment, because when you work for yourself, you don’t really have much time off. But, you know, those were the things that strived for and that was what evolved into the art factory today. It’s kind of an engine and pushes in several directions, which kind of fits my personality because I have a rough time always staying in one place and it could be a good thing and a bad thing, but we made it work. So, the art factory has a body art section, has a play cafe, has a party venue, and all these things work together in one way or another. And it make sense here.
Yeah I mean, I think you open up a good point about scalability. I mean, it seems like you kind of knew about the scalability, but you also discovered it in the process. Just generally, how scalable is your industry?
You have to think about a few things, like when you have an art factory storefront, you’re limited to time and space. Your inventory is the hours around the clock and the space in how many people can fit in here, when you having art classes or parties, that’s your inventory, time and space. When you sell online, time and space are not an issue. And so an inventory is literally the things you have on the shelf to sell. So scalability, why is it when you have an art studio, why most art studios fails? Because by itself, as a model, it’s not always enough. That’s why you have to add thr coffee, add the party, add all the things. But the art supply store, like the body art side, can totally function by itself and that’s how we started. But together we’re able to serve the community and also get paid. And that’s what makes it really working. If we had to scale it, I would think that this, you know, like to open a franchise or to kind of grow beyond the one location, the online store would still stay one, stay here, and then the scalability would be the party and the coffee and the play, because those things we already know very well and we would need that space and time inventory to multiply in a different area with different customers in order to make more revenue. So and the art the online store doesn’t have to move because we can, from here, we can ship anywhere. When it comes to scaling. Those are two different things. It almost behaves as two different businesses. I would have to completely split it up if I had to sell it, probably I don’t think anybody would be as crazy to pick up both but unless they have the same passions.
I mean, you can run them as a parallel business models, like, you know, one like a EZCORP, and then nest them in here.
Yeah, and that’s really kind of, yeah, they could all nest underneath the one umbrella. And that’s why naming the business in the beginning, because at that point, I knew myself, I knew that the word Art Factory is an umbrella and I had to be vague enough and broad enough, I guess, but still it give you that good feeling to be able to nest underneath that many things. So that’s why when I named it Art Factory, which is not the most original name and it’s totally fine.
Its All right. I mean, it’s keyword driven, so..
But there are several other art factories, businesses that do other things. So it’s not like we made a new world like Google or Yahoo or any other things. But it works. It works for what we do. It’s broad enough that underneath it, many things can happen. So that’s why it was all that way.
How did you even get into that line of business? Obviously, you’re sort of the graphic designer. How did you get from graphic design to owning an art factory? And what was the journey in between?
I grew up in a house of I was Bunday for .My grandfather on my dad’s side, opened a shoe store and my dad and his brother owned it. And growing up, I learned to sell shoes, in my shoe store. But I also learned the life of import and what you need to do when you have to run to the airport and release, you know, items from customs. As I grew up, in the business, helping my dad out, I figured out that I was learning many little components that, you know, in hindsight later come in handy. But at some point in this whole graphic design journey, I was kind of getting frustrated and said, I need to sell my own stuff. If I’m dealing with branding, why not bring myself in, sell my own things? And then my brother gave me this glitter tattoo kit. He gave me a glitter tattoo lizard on my shoulder like I sit in my mom’s porch in Israel and he goes, you got to check this out and he applied this glitter tattoo on my shoulder. And there I am sitting in the sun and I have this glitter lizard sitting on my shoulder and I looked at it and i was like, “that is pretty cool because it’s glitter and I get to wear it for a few days” you know, anything shiny, it’s just about amazing. And so I was like, yeah, and there we are in rainbows and unicorns. And so I kind of fell in love with this lizard like it was a moment but I tried to sell beanbags before that. I tried to sell when I became a member of an awesome family who started a brand called Mommy Care in Israel, and they became not only great friends, but also mentors. We kind of grow together. I tried to help them here in the US. We went to trade shows together, made some really crazy steps, like go to the mom and baby trade show in Vegas and have a booth, like some companies never dare to do it, even though they’ve been in the industry forever. But it made me realize that Baby and Mom Industry in the US is so saturated and I was such a tiny component and my chance of surviving in it were near nothing. And it was through investment and failure and trying. We’ve genuinely tried really hard. And as much as I adore these guys for Mommy Care, I just could not take off. And at some point this thing just captured my heart and it was a new thing and different and it’s like a little big market because it’s small enough to be very specific, that it’s not in every store, in every department store you go to, like baby and mom products but it’s big enough because the target audience for it is kids and adults and, you know, anybody who’s having a party or entertainers, business, any kind of festival operators. So it was enough of a sliver of an industry for us to be a player in it as an online store and make a living. So that’s when, you know, it all made sense. And it’s nice to have a graphic design skills. You don’t have to rely on someone to make an ad or a slide or clean up this picture so we can post it online. All these things made it a lot easier.
So you understand art principals as well too, which most people don’t understand, like contrast, they don’t understand color theory.
Right, which is amazing. And that’s kind of, you know, working for the online store, you’re part of a community. There is a community of artists. And these artists are people who are either been artists all their life and just stumbled on body art and think it’s really awesome. Other people, who really are done with what you’re doing, like retired teachers or people that needed a change and just thought, “hey, maybe I can do this”. But it means also that they have zero arts experience. So color wheel, color theory, contrast, as you mentioned, those are things that are not a given. People that do it intuitively, because they have the training and the learning, tend to have an easier process but then if you are a trained artist, your struggle is just in a different place because your expectations from yourself are higher. And who likes a learning curve? It’s like the worst thing ever. I still, you know, try to work my kids through this. It’s like especially when you think you’re OK, you’re good at something, just suddenly pick up a brush and say, “I’ve been painting canvas forever, why can’t I paint on a bike?” And it’s such a humbling process. You have to be able to overcome these emotions to forgive yourself for making these mistakes and remind yourself that it’s going to have a challenge and the good thing is this if you’re an artist, the lessons of contrast and color, you know, you already skipped those and you can focus on technique, brush control and just, you know, it’s the mileage. Like the more you draw and paint, the better you are. Same thing with face painting and body art. It’s just mileage underbrush. That’s why I was here.
I definitely have to admit. I mean, after taking some of those body painting classes, to me it’s more like sculpting than painting. It’s like you’re trying to go with the contours and the lines and you’re trying to put the shadows where shadows usually potentially aren’t.
Right. Well it’s backwards. So, like, essentially it’s almost like painting through glass. You put the background first, then you put the line, I mean it’s like, What? But like it’s just you have to almost think like you’re working at a Butterfly. You have to think about it like layers and Photoshop when it comes on top of another to create this thing. But yeah, you have to approach it with an open heart, which seem to be difficult sometimes.
Well, we always hear about the overnight success stories that take 20 years to become a reality. How long did it take you to get to where you are currently?
We’ve been in business officially since 2010 here in Virginia. But even before that, you know, out of the house, out of the kitchen, it’s kind of time that’s hard for me to count. So probably 12 years or 13 years. And it’s certainly not an overnight success and it’s a journey and I feel like, the word “success” evolves, as you move along to, like it’s not “what is success, what is when do you know you made it?” Like, is there a certain point? Is there a certain number in the bank? or a certain point in your life or a peak? or like, when do you know I did it? and we just tried to make a living and support a family and at this point, several families, because we have a fairly large team here and inspire others, because I realized today the inspiration is the way to educate and teach. You know, you can’t just tell someone, here’s a list of all the things you need to know but if you inspire them, that’s where fire takes over, right? so it’s been 13 years for this journey. And today I try to think of because I struggle with the word “dream”, like I didn’t dream this. I try to realize why I’m doing this. And my “why” is very clear to me. And it took a while to find it like, why I’m doing this? And it’s because I feel like we have the gift to make others feel great. So like, to empower others to make them you know, if you’re a body painter, for instance, you can make someone feel pretty for the first time in a long time, or if it’s a kid that suddenly painted a superhero and suddenly he can do anything he wants. Or if it’s an adult who walks into class hugging their wine bottle because they’re so scared of art, but you take them through this emotional journey and it helps build character. So all these things are kind of funneled into this very, very strong understanding of why we do this. And today I realized that my journey also includes managing a team. It’s not about the final product. It’s not about having art factory brushes or having a specific item with your logo on it. It’s about this family and this engine you create and all the people that are part of it. And that’s also the most fun and the most challenging part of it, too. But like to have this team and being able to provide a workplace that is different than what I used to go through when I was employee and to have a positive place that appreciate your time and appreciate your efforts and that’s what I take pride in the most. It’s where I think I feel like that’s what I love most about this business, is the ability to have an art factory family and seeing how the community kind of weaves into it, that’s very fulfilling. And If I didn’t have the clarity of “it” being a dream, I understand that that’s maybe the purpose today, as part of it like, create this thing and can inspire others. And it’s it’s this engine that could, you know, like if everybody’s aligned, if everybody’s intentions are aligned and everybody understand why we do what we do then all the problems are very easy to solve because that’s why we do this, let’s not forget. If a customer is calling upset, we have to remind ourselves that it’s not about winning this argument, it’s about how do we win this for the long run, how do we fix it? how do we make these guys happy? How do we include them in our family? And that kind of makes a straight line. It fixes everything in a way.
So it sounds like I mean, unfortunately, most businesses don’t get that aspect of it, they don’t look at organic systems. And I’m saying organic systems in reference to your team, your team is a system, right? and you have to have all the pieces of the puzzle working in synergy to get that business from point A to point B, like you say, you’re teaching them a culture and that culture is a system that you’re utilizing to grow your business.
Yes. Yes. So it is a culture, I guess, because when we’re a small business, when you start when you’re small, maybe it’s a little bit easier to implement, later you know, like if you didn’t read the Delivering Happiness book that talks about culture, you know, for Zappos and how they started and how they became, how they still keep the culture, I mean, now it’s Amazon. It’s still alltogether…
Much like Tony. I mean, you’re driving that culture. I mean, Tony were the one that kind of really pinpointed a culture of what Zappos was going to be before it even happened.
Right. So for me, I wish I had that much clarity. But it’s more on the intuition as long as we remember why we’re here. You see what I mean, like, I don’t have this written plan. I am a big believer that sometimes over-planning can stop you from fulfilling yourself. You know, it’s kind of like contracts are made for lawyers and I say it cautiously because, yes, you know, as a graphic designer, we don’t start anything without a contract because you’ve have to protect your time. If you sell your time and your skill, make sure you get paid and all these things. But sometimes when you dive so deep into contract or into planning or into a business plan, it could paralyze you because weighing all these risks chance, and weighing all these things could make you stop. Is it a good thing? Maybe, it’s just not who I am, like, I calculate everything and I think it through, but I don’t sit and write it down as specific into this fancy word document with all these like I was funding going to come and all this thing, I just say, can we make the money? Yes. Is it making sense math wise? Yes. Does it feel good? Yes. And that’s really where I am on this. And that’s probably more important and that’s why I’m here, is because I didn’t weigh in the options of failure as much as I maybe should have.
Oh, that’s a good Segway to… What’s one thing that you would do differently now that could probably boost your time frame and cutting down costs and cutting down on everything to get you to where you are a lot faster if you had to do it all over again?
Have the guts to hire much faster, probably. If you think of a business that come out of the kitchen and grow out of a kitchen to like you’re in one room office to then another office building a little bigger. Every time we grew, we doubled our rent, doubled not just slightly, but we more than doubled our space. And that also meant more team members. I had to, many times when you add a team member, you have to stop paying yourself if you’re paying yourself, depending on where you are in range in order to add that skill to your team and that was a scary move. I had to add a few key people to help me function and make sure I cut down on mistakes, problems. And because of that, I had to pause and really think that I should have done it probably sooner to cut down on.
So earlier you mentioned that you come from an entrepreneurial background like your dad had a shoe store. Do you think that was a factor to your success?
In hindsight, maybe it definitely made it more natural. I spent time helping my dad release things from customs as a teenager when I was older, sold shoes, I watched him interact with customers, which was definitely a lesson of what not to do. So yes and no. At the time I didn’t think it would, but the import didn’t seem as big of a deal. I remember when I first started like, all right, how do I import to the U.S.? I him and said, all right, remember when you imported shoes, what do I need to think of? And he like, you know, he said, you know, you are going to have to pay shipping and customs and someone’s going to have to release that, like you’re going to have to have a guy and all that stuff. And that was his experience in Israel. So it all converted here and actually here, it’s a little smoother. The process itself is a little nicer. So it made it less scary, maybe mentally, but it didn’t make it easier. It just made it look like, yeah I’m going to just import stuff. The thought was maybe more intuitive. Maybe it helped with some having less brakes on when you think of a new adventure. But there were definitely things I do, things completely different than my dad. And that’s the biggest thing is understanding when you open a business is that you have to you can plan all you want and you can name it and you can decide this is what I’m doing, but then you have to remember that once you name it, it’s its own personality and it’s going to take off differently and there is going to be a percentage of hsueh that’s going to be completely different to what you originally plan if the path is going straight, you may be going in a 30 degree angle. And it’s not just hurdles, it’s part of its personality and part of the community and the efforts interacting with people, and you have to constantly be flexible and listen to it. And I think my family didn’t. They had an idea of this is how shoes are going to be sold. This is how we’re going to sell them, and this is how we’re going to do it. And when consumers, for instance, wanted to discount it was never an option at my dad’s store, just about ever, unless something was on sale, you know, and part of the Israeli culture’s haggle like so it just almost like conflicted with everything local around that at the time was very successful for many years but then once shoes from China started coming in and quality’s not the same, but at the same time you can buy a pair of shoes for season and be totally happy and then buy another pair next season. They refuse to adapt with the demand of the environment around them and the community or their audience. And that, in my opinion, is the biggest mistake they made because they could have been. They started so early, it was 1929 when my grandfather open the store. So they had the leap, you know, and I remember talking to my dad going, you know, one day people are going to buy shoes online. And he looked at me and he giggled because there’s no way, like, no way we’re going to buy shoes online because you have to try your shoe on, you know, and then you’re giggling about it. Right. So staying so true to your original plan or your original intention, stopped them from growth. It’s the same as like, Dad, I think we need some barcodes in here, we need to automate this. You need to know how much you have on the shelf at any given time or get close to it. So the end of the day say, oh, I sold all these. How I need to get more. And it was all manual, the resistance of the change is what I think eventually I mean, it was a successful business for many years, but it closed down, I think, a couple of years ago. And I think it was painful for my dad because it was a family business and they owned a building and they did everything right for so long. But their way did not stay that way forever. And as a business owner, you have to learn to adapt. Your business is not your business plan. The plan is have to start to here’s your runway. And now once you’re taken off, you better listen. And that’s an important thing.
You’ve got to keep the fuel in the engine, right?
Yeah. And the fuel may come from different places. You know, fuel may be one thing today and different tomorrow. Yeah, that’s that’s it.
How do you deal with the work also and family life. I mean, I mean obviously come from entrepreneurial mindset. I mean just juggling that is very difficult. How do you deal with that?
I think it’s an ongoing struggle that will never go away. My husband, I married well, I mean, I married my support. My husband Cliff is my rock. He not only supports me and my ideas and just about always jumps behind any crazy thought that I have after we weigh all the risks and, you know, he’s the engineer, we still have to think systematically of all the things. And he makes me say them out loud sometimes because I can come home and say I have this feeling it’s really going to be great and he’s going to be like, OK, why do you feel this way? So I have to break it down. Say it out loud. That’s probably part of the process. He’s also there to support the kids and he’s super dedicated father. And I mean, he’s just amazing. He’s totally the other side of the brain. We operate completely different, but he gets me and he supports me. And without this, none of it could have been, because when you’re on a business, you work too much. You get paid half. If I stay employed as a graphic designer or creative director, was the last position I held in a full time position, I would probably be wealthier and probably put more money aside for the longest time, but I definitely would have not been happier. And I think he recognized it all this time and he set me free by by letting me there to work for yourself, do your thing, and then having a stable he because he’s an engineer and we have insurance, all this stuff through him in our household model, it makes a ton of sense and just a dedication to the kids is unbelievable like i’ll come home late and he’s been sitting with the kids doing homework and dinner will be ready. And some days we both scramble. So it depends. But it’s definitely the unit and the way we function. And our friendship that makes all this work. And I think it’s always going to be the biggest challenge, like last night’s reminder was, all right, 2020 is here now, it’s going to be the year of self care and more time off. And I’m like, yes, we need it. So he has no shame reminding me you realize you didn’t take a day off in three months. You know this. You’ve been working every day for three months and you have to have this kind of honest relationship and someone to be able to say it to you without feeling like they’re criticizing you and just say thanks for the reminder. I feel it. But, you know, someone had to maybe say it out loud for me to really process, that I do not take a day off in three months. But so that’s that’s how we juggle, I feel I still feel like some days we’re just putting out fires. But, you know, it is what it is. I still try to do everything I can to never miss a concert for my kids for the most part, and and be there when they need me. But I’m definitely not the PTA mom, I’m the one who writes the cheques to PTA. I support them financially because I can’t physically be there. I admire what they do. I just I just can’t do all the things. So I say, all right, if I can’t support you, I can definitely give you the money to run with it. So that’s my system.
But you get back to the community as well to do workshops for schools as well.
Yes, we do the after school programs, which are really they’re, I’d say a non-profit, but they’re really skinny margins if we’re talking, you know, a few dollars per child. But it’s again, it’s the companies that have it to the community. Not everything you do has to make money every single time. If the operation makes money, we’re in a positive, if we have a data that puts us a little bit behind but we did something really great, It’s just as valuable because that’s what keeps the hive going. So, yes, we support the community, but in return we get a great hockey team, but we get a back for sure.
It’s fine that you said hive, I mean you definitely represent the queen bee, right?
I don’t know. The word queen bee is not I can, i don’t walk in here feeling like I rule this place like there’s like in my daily operation, I’m right there with everybody. You know, we made coffee this morning because one of our girls ran late. And, you know, I jump in with my sleeves up all the time. So it’s not a ruler, a modern day operation, i’m I’m a worker bee right there, I’m just the leader bee. That’s kind of how I see it. I’m right there with you. But it also means I can replace you at any given time. And that’s really, really important. You need to be able to jump into almost all the roles. I think of to the point now that the next hire of talent may be someone that’s so talented for a very specific need that I will not be able to jump in to exactly what they do, but I will be able to maybe replace them. But it’s important to know that if something goes down, you can do all the things, It’s really important.
As far as your habits, I mean, what does your morning routines look like?
I wake up with six, I get my kids on the bus, I hit the shower and drink coffee and off I go. It’s a non stop, I think this year, somewhere in the middle of those morning routines, a visit to the gym should come soon. But as far as I try to come in early if I can, because sometimes being here before everybody else, before the phone started ringing, it’s easier to focus and get stuff done or after hours sometimes because during the day, all kinds of challenges may come up or phone calls or, you know, AC guy will come in, you know, whatever it is at the day time, but sometimes you just need to have those really good, solid hours in front of the computer getting work done, checking your list, checking it twice. And and so I try to do that before or after, but my morning hours are definitely the strongest, most effective, especially creative, if I have to design something new or create a logo, I don’t know or come up with a new system. I feel like creatively that’s where I’m at, max, like I’m at max capacity after a long day of work and, you know, phone ringing and kids and or whatever, at that point, I will try to keep those hours for production as opposed to creative. That’s something I learned to acknowledge I think, that my morning hours are happy.
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Back to the show. So your day starts at 6:00 a.m. What time does your day usually end?
Between 10 or 11, I don’t watch much TV. Part of having an online store is and the difference between I guess the challenge today is the Amazon. Amazon is like in the process of putting everybody out of business. So the small mom and pop stores, even if they’re online stores, one thing they can do better than we can do better than Amazon is have the relationship with our customers, so that means creating a community and taking care of your community. So that’s Facebook and Instagram and answering questions if someone sends me a PM and being available and that’s difficult because that could be at 10 o’clock at night. So there are days that I say, all right, I’ll pretend I didn’t see it until the morning and try and remember and doing them but I try to be as informed and provide as much information as I can and available as I can to my customers. So it takes time. So it could be on my phone answering questions or looking at an endless list of emails of things I have to take care of. But yeah, so and then when I get to bed, there is no movie in bed or time to fall sick, it’s like my button’s off, it’s like hi bed, good night. But I mean it’s literally a two minute switch and I’m out like there’s no I learned in the military in Israel when you have a chance to fall asleep, you jump on that opportunity and you go to sleep. I put my phone down, close my eyes and I’m gone. So..
So I mean, that brings up a really solid point. With today’s technology we have AR, we have automation, we have all these different systems online, you know, even like chat bots. Do you ever think that you may be able to utilize those processes in your current system?
We do some. I mean, if someone says, where are you located or what are your hours? my chat bot will answer it. But if someone writes to me, Tal what’s your favorite brush for flowers?
Couldn’t you just automate that. I mean, in all reality, can you just put those information in, if you get that question ten times a week, is there an opportunity for you to say, hey, this question has been asked a lot, can I just make them out to kind of fill in that void?
Maybe and I’m not against it. May be the way of the future is just that it feels artificial. And I think people need the relationship and we need them. I think it’s strengthened our customer base for online because we get the notes, Tal, thank you for all the help, we’re looking for it. Like I get personal notes on orders and customers put them in. And I do believe that it’s beyond just how much you sell this product because we, you know, we can do price matching all day. But to have that extra added value of relationship and support when someone needs it or someone texting me and saying I mixed my Hinnah and it’s not working, what have I done wrong? You can try and you do a bit and you can try and Google it. But if you write me off, I’ll ask you three questions and know exactly your problems. So for now I can do it. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to buy myself. I may have to expand on that support and have others help me. That’s just the way I operate now. I’m not Amazon so …
I don’t think anybody’s Amazon.
Right, right. No, I mean, and in the great scheme of things, you know, there’s not a plan to rule the world. If we could just make a living as a family and create a community, a super happy like it, it’s more than enough. It’s so fortunate.
But your things are in a transition I mean, like, Jeff, you don’t think Jeff one day kind of just woke up, I was going to just sell books and then in the process of selling books, he was like that dawn of I could take over the world kind of thing kicked in.
Yes. I think it eventually shows up. When I think about it. I think you have to be that kind of person sometimes. And I don’t know that I’m that. I do want to set my kids for life? yes. Would it be nice to pay off the house? Absolutely. That’s like my mental goal is if I in 2020, if I can pay off our house, that would be amazing. But I also remind myself that what’s the most important? Like what do I wish for myself and my family? Is that just health? The rest will figure out, you know what I mean? Like, it’s just people that have money are not necessarily happier. I feel like if you have a lot of money or problems or bigger, it’s kind of like going from, you know, smoking a joint to doing crack, like when you can afford it. Like if you go to rich schools, do they smoke weed and ash or do they drop acid? And you know what I mean? Like when the kids are into I feel like the more money you have, things become more extreme. So I don’t equate it to happiness and I am after happiness. So if it grows and blows up, it will be awesome. But the mission, I believe, will stay the same.
Gotcha. So it’s like Biggie Smalls, more money, more problems.
Yeah, I think it is the bigger space, bigger problems. I mean, it’s more team more everything you have to plan for it. You have to plan for and forgive the process. Knowing if we moved into a bigger space and we predicted that’s going to be if Powerball was four hundred dollars and suddenly it’s fourteen hundred dollars, you know, I can be like, oh man, we just dropped a thousand dollars on a silly on heat. We need it quick. But at the same time, like, I have to remind myself, you moved into a bigger space, all the bills are going to go up.
So you’re more so not jumping in, rising to the top, you’re floating. You know, I’m saying like, as the water levels rise, you’re always on top of the water levels. You’re not like trying to surpass the water levels. You’re growing as they grow.
No, we I don’t know if I could say that. We’re definitely trying to make leaps. Some strategic moves are to make it so. OK, so we could probably split it. We’ll rise with the water on our storefront with our space is bigger now. There is more water. We can fill it up bigger, right? Definitely in that angle, yes. But for the online store, it’s all strategy.
So you’re always leaps ahead.
I try I try to be ahead as much as I can and think of what’s the next thing?What’s the next unicorn?
Do they feed each other or I mean, obviously the products kind of overlap, but there are a lot of the products don’t.
Most of them don’t. They feed each other in their existence, feed each other for the longest time because an online store is our online store as kind of a seasonal product like our sales dive in the colder months because nobody wears you know, if your skin is not bare, you’re not going to really wear much body art. And is it getting warmer? And since we’re indoors, parents can still have birthday parties in the pool or outside. Right. So it kind of equals itself out so we can pay our bills a little easier. It’s one supplementing each other during the winter and then it flops the other way around, and that’s totally OK. So in that end, for the longest time, that’s how we survived, because an art studio by itself would not survive. So the online store was the engine that could behind it. But now we’re to the point that they’re both contributing in different aspects. And also the team I can pull from my front of the house team to help me online as I need it. So it’s nice to not have a huge staff all the time for for the online store and have my key people that are really smart and really they know how to make it happen. But if I need more hands on, I can call my birthday party college girls or hostesses and say, hey, do you want more hours? I have today i need everybody to come in and put sponges in bags and they’re all in for it. So there are easy test job. So I can use the employees as a fluctuated kind of workforce for my part timers, good chefs. So we essentially we share talent. That’s really helpful.
I mean it’s a clear two point model. I mean, you have certainly two businesses that feed off each other,
The online work by itself, but the studio for them, I believe now it can but before it couldn’t. But to get here, we need a both. And it’s kind of interesting, so now, because when we open the store, the door to the community, we didn’t really have a solid plan. Yeah, we’re going to throw some parties. Yeah, we’re going to have some more classes. And we kind of developed them with the man, as you said, rise with the water. Right. And because we didn’t have to because we knew rent is paid. So it was focused on what pays the rent and have some fun with the community. And now that we create essentially we created the demand. We needed more space because now we have the demand and now we have to pay equal attention to both. And obviously, the front of the house need more workforce for the most part, and then we have more hours to get there. But the online store could use the help sometimes. So we kind of jump back and forth and it’s convenient.
Kind of sounds like an abstract version of Disney. You know, Disney builds all these movies to Pixar and to all the other entities that they purchase within Disney World. Kind of feeds off the movies once the movies are out and then they create new rides based upon the sales of the movie.
Right. They create a character and then they benefit. They benefit in many ways from it. Yes. But yeah, yeah.
It’s a pretty solid model.
It works and works. Yes. It’s evolution that brought me here like it was not planned. Like I’m going to use this to do this. It just kind of how things came about.
I mean, you got to connect the dots. I mean, you got to always help people like diversification of businesses is like the easiest way to kill a business if they’re not associated to each other. So, like I thought like you said, I’m your dad, I’m selling shoes and then next thing you know, creating a theme park and it’s not shoe related to diversify at that point.
Yes. Yes. And staying focused is a challenge sometimes.
So where do you see yourself in 20 year?
Oh, gosh, that’s a tough one. I would be in 2040, a grandma maybe. I don’t know where that’s 2040. I’ll be a grandma. I’ll be hopefully still walking around with a smile. But I’m thinking of something crazy we created at that point i would think that my kids or someone would either continue or I don’t know if I would work at the art factory full time.nI don’t know how long. I’m 43, so I’ll be 63. It’s like you’re asking me what are you to be 63, hopefully just as happy and healthy.
Well with twenty years of tech, you will probably be exactly the same who you are right now.
That would be interesting, we should put this in a vault. But as far as business goes, I hope that it would be a great story to tell a great success story and that’s still involved. Even if it’s not me directly, I hope to see it continue. Hopefully I created an engine that can eventually one day keep running without me and to make people happy and make empower others, that would be an achievement to create an engine that empowers others. Yeah, that would be a huge a good story. A good life, too. I could look back at it and say I didn’t think I would be very proud.
So parallel to that, when you see your business in twenty years?
I think the growth from here, like if I had to imagine growth part of my nonbusiness plan, right. Well, to be either art factory, play cafe and party into maybe multiple locations, that’s where we could grow the art factory online store and business to continue. That grows beyond that for other generations. Sustain online store that’s at that point a destination’s people know to come in and buy feel like we’re still educating the world that we exist. So hopefully in 20 years we can say people know about us, they know to look for us. That would be awesome online because when you’re an online store, you have to spend the efforts of not being a brick and mortar store. You have to spend it into telling people, hey, I’m here all the time. People are not walking or driving by and I have to find a way to find you. But if I had to think of these businesses as a split, I could see myself selling the front of the house and keeping the online store, eventually splitting and splitting them apart and and letting one fly maybe sooner than the other.
And then sell all the supplies.
Right, Yes, yes. And to create an engine, create a model because we have so much experience now doing the parties and then sell these branches and then provide these art factories with the supply for them to run successful business and their education and all that stuff. I would like to make it so I could still nurture it.
Yeah, then the online education space is a huge market, you know, just thinking about like colleges. And we had this discussion the other day, just colleges are so inundated with old school philosophies that they don’t give real world principles or real actions on how to go from point A to point B, you know, like we went to art school together. I think it was an opportunity to kind of build and develop our skills. But it didn’t teach us how to sell and scale our skills.
Right. I think college is a skill base. You know, you learn software. It’s nice to be able to have a teacher challenge you and tell you something to do. And if you’re more of a visual person and social like, I think it’s important to go to college not only to learn a skill, but maybe to learn a skill, not alone, to have a network. This we created a network. We’re still friends with our designer friends and we all went to different places, but we’re still a network. And that’s something that if you’re an online by yourself, you think you may have a network, but it’s not a family network like this. That’s one. So that’s the value of college. But it has to be taken in perspective. Like I think that when we were kids, I remember you telling me I’m the first in my family to graduate from college and you’re right in your bloodline. Like I remember you telling me this. And I was like, holy cow, that’s a big deal. If you look at the family tree and you look at channel picture and you’re like, he’s the first to graduate college, holy cow, it’s a huge achievement. But then today, I think is it is crucial to graduate college, looking back in hindsight. Oh, no, no. It was at the time. It’s not that it’s not valid for your lifetime. It’s valid. But our kids I’m looking at my fourteen year old. I’m thinking your parents are already talking about when you go to college and I’m like, can we finish the school year successfully and make friends and not kill each other and try not to completely break down or melt out. Puberty is so remote. It’s like a kid will be a mess all the time. It’s just it doesn’t make any sense. That’s one. And then at the same time, they have to. Decide who they want to be and navigate through all this stuff in high school, so then they make the right choice to go to college like they’re 18, their babies, tadpoles. Like the system is…
There are so many variables that kids nowadays like, from sexuality to how am I going to make money? What am I going to do? Am I going to have kids? Am I going to work for somebody? This is completely different than when we were.
Yes. And everything is picture perfect. Also, when you look at the worst part about it, I think the worst part of social media for our kids is that your Instagram is so beautiful that you think that everybody’s script is just look at this guy. They’re having the time of their life. I’m like, are they or are you watching a highlight of once every three months? Maybe they’re having one great day every three months.
I think it’s consistency. I mean, a lot of times we have an online persona. Only the biggest jewel I can give you is that you have to be consistent. If you’re going to start posting quote, you have to post quote on a regular basis. You can’t post one quote and expect everybody be like, oh, my gosh, the best quote ever. If you go to Disney World and you post this picture of you and your family, Disney World, but then everybody is kind of looking to see, OK, what are you going to do next?
Right. Right. But as a kid, as a teenager, if you’re the one looking at the speed and everything is picture perfect in it and you look at your life and you’re like, I want to be that and that, when we as parents, we know it’s not real because we grew up without it. I think we’re so lucky to be the last generation to slide in without a phone. Oh my God. To through college. We didn’t have Facebook. We actually have to call people and like, you know, remember Steve Jobs showing how you can scroll through text through voice mails. And I was like what? we were those kids, we were those at college thinking this is going to change our life. And it did. But we don’t know what we gave up for it. Like, can we see it through our kids? I think we gave the kids so much
Like remembering phone numbers. Right. Who remember the phone numbers anymore?
Right. But I don’t miss that.
I mean, you don’t miss it, but it kind of goes to the principle of like, simple mathematics. I mean, like memory if you’re not memorizing things and then like, how are you actually retaining information that you learn new things.
I think that to me, that frees me. My phone frees me from remembering done things that really don’t need to. And it cracks me up when I think about it. Remember sitting in math and, you know, math teacher saying you’re not going to walk around with a calculator in your pocket like, yes, we are every single day. I have a calculator in my pocket. Hold on one second. So things have evolved consistently. I think schools should consider adding more experience and that should also include, you know, how to cook food or wash your clothes like life skills is paying your bills, understanding a balance sheet, understanding compound interest should be the lesson every parent tell their child.
They should learn it at like age 2. Like before you even learn one plus one you should learn compound interest
Because then you laugh really hard when you think, Oh, I bought a house and we negotiated so hard we save two thousand dollars on our deal. Like, you know, you didn’t calculate how much how much money are you paying for? A thousand, a million dollars throughout the thirty year loan. You really have to understand these things. And maybe parents should think of all this money spent on college. Is it better to give it to a kid to open a business? Can I say instead of college, I’m going to invest in a business for you, but I want you to do the research and decide what that would be. I have a budget for you. I’m not going to give it to you as a present. It’s not money to blow off. We’re going to invest it for you to create an engine that can set up for life. That’s a cool concept.
It is. It’s the same liability. You put in hundreds of thousands of education and you put them in.
And you’re not guarantee to even have a job
They may not even stay in the field. They may completely you know, you may go from a graphic designer to being a dentist is like forever, right?
Yeah, that’s for sure. At least if you invest in something for your kids, you have the opportunity to ensure that they make some money. You can buy franchises, you know, franchise and success or something like that for them. Hope they work it. And if they don’t, you can sell it. You can still save some of the money. College is like, you know, put the money in the envelope, send it away. I loved being in college because I went to school when I was twenty two because as you know, you go to the military and then I traveled, which was the biggest thing the tradition is in Israel is if you once you release from the military, you go work something to make as much cash as you can so you can go travel. And sometimes travel means being six months away or a year away. But you expose yourself to culture and many other things. And I think that’s so important. I think that before you can choose to be who you are, you have to see how others live. I mean, the concept that’s one thing like my Israeli mind. Sometimes I don’t get it. Like, how can you be An American that lives in your state then never left? Like we sometimes you meet people that never left Georgia and never left New York.
New York is a good example of that. I mean, I grew up in Brooklyn and it’s people that live in Brooklyn that’s never been to Manhattan or never been to any other borough and it’s like that’s like a mile away.
This is disturbing. It’s not even mind boggling to me that to say I’ve never been to if you live in New York and you never been to Manhattan and you’re a subway ride away, you’re missing and you’re basically sitting inside watching a train go by.
Something like the monuments. I mean, like Statue of Liberty. It’s people that live in New York that’s never been the Statue of Liberty.
Right. Well, I never I have no desire to go there.
Well, you didn’t grow up in Brooklyn. You didn’t grow up in Manhattan. You didn’t live in the city.
That’s different because that’s like a one on one side. Right. But if you tell me I live in the Bronx, but I never drove downtown Manhattan, that’s almost like you’re giving up on culture and exposure and language and I mean how crazy it is. It’s kind of like not going to Chinatown to see that there’s some people that speak another language, have no desire to even speak.
But I think society wise is going to you think about the way they’re building and developing everything. You know, you could leave your house like in Atlanta right now. Right. You could literally not even leave your house and have everything delivered. Or if you do leave your apartment, your grocery stores in the same parking lot right across the street as a target.
Right. But at the same time, you could say YouTube can take you anywhere you want to go. But really, the reality is that I think your goal for young minds should be exposure to go see, go smell good, try good taste, expose yourself to different things to explore. Only then you would know what you want to be. So, I mean, I feel like I learned it in a very, very young age because i got kicked out of middle school when I was in Israel at the time high school was a privilege, so. When I graduated from middle school, which was ninth grade, right, we do 10, 11, 12 in high school, so it’s slightly different. By the end of ninth grade, I had eight failing grades because I just hated school so much because it was a linear study with 40 students in a class. And if you didn’t listen and wrote down what a teacher said, you would never pass the test. You could not do the homework. And it just was not the way I studied. And it was really difficult for me. And at some point I just gave up. And at the time when I was a kid, the school was there, the institution and, you know, the students. If you didn’t do it, just like the institution said, you’re broken, something is wrong with you. My dad used to say all you have to do is study hard to lose weight. And I’m like, what I think about it today. I’m like, this is such a weird thing to say to a teenager. Like Study Hard. I’ve been trying all this time and it’s not working. And not once did he question what’s not working for Tarl. Like, why is this equation? And maybe he did and he just couldn’t figure it out. My mom was more of the heart and the connection and I think she knew that, you know, I’m a good hearted person and then I’m going to be OK. But, you know, she hated to see me suffer, but I suffered in middle school. It was a nightmare. And it was at least today we can as parents, we can say, you know what, this school may not work for my kid, and that’s OK. And that’s a huge improvement. But we still in the world of education have to understand that not everybody learns the same or at the same time or the same way. Like, you don’t learn the same way or the same time or maybe not today. Like you could have a really crappy day in today’s Nine Learning Day, and that should be OK. So our system has a lot a lot more to grow and do, but it’s part of being a pawn and something really big. This country is huge. The change is so hard to roll out. And, you know, I mean, even stuff like just school choice, like, it’s just so difficult.
But it’s the country now I mean, think about it.I mean, we’re three hundred million people in US versus China is like one point five billion the magnitude.
Right. But it’s still I mean, in Israel, six million, seven million is the tiny little tiny little speck in this whole thing. It’s still hard because you’re still thinking, talking to a lot of bodies. But we as people, we can make the difference by daring to ask and daring to intervene and saying that’s not working for my kid and being brave enough to to save them from this whirlpool of like what match or working doesn’t work because I’ve been on the other side and it was crushing. And I don’t know really how I got through. Like, if I think of what made me pull through, I don’t really know or understand it. And I’m very thankful I did because I could have been a really depressed person. It was such a tough process. And I think maybe it’s because I found passion in a very young age. I got accepted to a design school and I found out that I like it. And so by the time I finished high school, I had, you know, I had it, I had my high school diploma, but I also had like almost equivalent to an associate’s degree. As far as the content we learned, it was like not a degree, but like a certificate of accomplishment that meant that I am I could go work for a printer at the time or whatever, if that was it for me. But I found my passion at a very young age, and some kids spend their entire life never finding what they love to do or what they’re good at. And the self-worth and accomplishment in a young age is combine that with surviving military times during Desert Storm, World War and on the borders. Like I left the military saying there is nothing I can do if I survive this crazy. I just need to decide what I want to be and I’m going to do it. That was huge for that age for sure.
So, it seems like you have two systems running. We discussed one of them is online store. One of them was the actual store front. What are some tools that you use on a daily basis that you would not be able to run this business without?
My team. I think there are some key individuals in this office that understand who I am. And I think it’s because I run a very honest, no pretend kind of operation. And they know me, they know who I am, and they adjust to my crazy, if you would say. And they were able to find the joy in working together and understand how I operate. And together there is this crazy, perfect harmony here and I could have not done it without them. So, yes, I could replace one individual at a time. I have the skills to do it. I don’t enjoy it ever when they’re not here. But also it’s like this family, you know, like it’s this I have this core group that’s really helped. You know, they believe when I say I have this crazy idea, they’re like, all right, all notepads are out, we’re ready. They know that it’s you know, when by the time I come and tell them, share an idea or something that they’re my biggest cheerleaders to be at this point, I guess I earned their faith to know that if I have this idea, even when they’re doubts, we’re going to run with it and we’re going to make it work. And it’s like an internal support system and it’s awesome and beautiful. I’m very thankful for it. It’s not a given. I know not all office environments run this way. So without it, I couldn’t run this business. Everything else I could learn. Right. I could teach myself. I could log in today. As you said, education’s so easy we can decide. We want to learn a new software and a new skill. You know how to lay tile. Here’s a YouTube video for you. But how to run a tight ship, a group I feel like I’m pretty fortunate to have a really awesome group here that kind of gets the crazy and run with that. Even if it’s there were times were so stressful. We moved into this new building this past few months and the hardest thing was employees. But it was also. A big factor in why we succeeded.
I think the conversation we had earlier when getting coffee. It’s like you created a philosophy for recruiting. So, you know, most people will use online tools to recruit people and go through their resumes and go through all the processes and online interviews. And you kept it very simple and very effective by saying, OK, I really have a core group of people. Bring me your friends.
Right. So, yeah, it’s hard to find talent and interviewing just sucks, right? Like, no, as much as it’s terrible to be interviewed, I think it’s worse to be the one interviewing now been sitting on both sides because to try and pinpoint who would be the right fit. Right. Asking the right question. And but it’s at this point, because we’re such a tight group, you have to not only skill wise fit. You also have your personality has to fit. You have to fit within a very tight community that’s already operating. That’s a challenge because when you’re a really big company, eventually you’ll find someone to get along with. But if you’re in a small company and a new employee, come in and they don’t get along with anybody, it doesn’t survive. Even if they’re as skilled, this can be it’s not enough. So once you find a core group, which is the hardest thing to do, you do have to post and try and reach as many people as you can. Facebook has been really great, like through the moms groups. And like, I need a person try to describe the skill I need and their personality. I need as much as I possibly can and take as many leads that way and interview as many people. But once you have that core group, if you can just ask them if their friends want to work, most likely you will get a very similar talent, or at least personality wise, because people tend to kind of hang out with the people they like. So it seems like an internal recruit works very well because these girls that work here already know what we’re looking for and what works here and what the behavior is like. And if they say, I have a friend, that would be a great fit that have turned in a lot more success, then tried to call it call again.
Yeah, like I said, you built the trust with them, too. So they know that I’m going to bring in somebody that’s going to happen. So they’re going to bring somebody on their level of height.
Right. And they don’t want to look bad either. Right? They don’t want anything to make them look bad. Like they don’t want anybody to say, oh, yeah, this girl brought this, let’s fit in here. And they also want to look like the heroes, like I brought my friend. Look how awesome she is. That works. That works very well. So we did a lot most hiring done that way. And even now as we grow like internally, like I said, I’m going to present it to the group first and see if someone want to pick up more shifts by learning more skills like being a barista. And I thought I’m going to have to hire from outside and I have not had to do that. So it’s really nice. They just all want to jump in and be all the things. So that means they want to stay more involved and stay closer. That’s great.
This next question is kind of a tricky question. Is it based upon I mean, everything that you talked about today was just building a family unit essentially in a business and making it into a systematic family that everybody’s feeling about each other. Everybody’s working in synergy. Are you a big believer in company equity to employees?
Company equity to employees? I think yes. Eventually I would love to make it happen. I think that when your skin in the game, you know, dedication level would go a lot higher. And so your pride in the way you treat things, I think it’s genius to do it that way in a way to like make them part of it, reward them in one way or another. So, yes, I’m not there yet, but I would love to love to make it happen here.
What are your final words of wisdom to up and coming entrepreneurs?
I think practice optimism is the biggest thing, especially when it comes to business. So like when you tackle challenges and you make a list of your challenges, maybe next to an article that says what could have been worse considered the worst case scenario. So your challenge column may be seem a little brighter and try to plan, but not get caught up in the plan. That’s a big and important thing to think about all the time, is that remember to stay flexible and fluid as much as possible within your plan and find your way. Why are you doing this? And it has to be deeper than to support my family. Like, yes, I’m making you know, I’m doing this business to support my family. But why this business? Why do you think this would work? Ask these questions all the time once you have clarity there. I think that it would help with hurdles along the way because problems are going to definitely come up in any business, big or small, and to be ready to resolve them to have this internal peace, to know to have a clear view of why you’re doing this. And also remind yourself that no matter what tackle, there is always worse. Some mistakes you’re going to make are going to cost money and you’re going to have to just treat it like tuition, the money it costs me to learn this lesson instead of. Sitting in a college class paying fourteen hundred dollars a day, I paid it to the air conditioner guy, you know, like whatever it is, some things along the way are going to cost money. And instead of beating yourself up, treat his tuition, put in your pocket as a lesson learned for another skill, pick up and move on. And if you operate that way with a clear intention, then I believe success is on the rise.
Great. That’s definitely some great and insightful information that hopefully people will take hear to it and stick to it. Right. I mean, that’s that’s the main thing if you’re going to actually execute a plan. And I think a lot of people, they don’t realize that if your goal is to get to this point and you start here and you derailed twenty five different ways, you’re never going to get to the end goal. You’re always going to go off track and you’re never going to hit it. You’re never gonna hit the mark.
Right, right. That’s why clarity is really important from the very, very beginning.
So how can people find you online? I mean, what’s your Facebook, Instagram, email, phone number, Social Security number?
We’re artfactorystore.com for online stuff. We have the art factory VA for our Virginia Art Factory storefront. On Facebook it’s Art Factory Play Cafe And Party Place. I know it’s a very long and Art Factory Body Art And Party Place you can find us and both our logo change color, but it just about always looks the same as you know, aside from the tagline. On Instagram, we’re @artfactorytal, if you want to see me directly or Art Factory VA for all our local ARVA content here in Virginia and we’re Midlothian, Virginia, if you’re local, come say hi. Our address is 4810 Market Square Ln, Midlothian, VA 23112. And our office number 804-716-5219. That’s right, yep. We’re always here to answer regardless of what side of the business someone will answer the phone and put you in touch with the right people. Or it may be just me that’s still answer the phone.
On the video we’ll transcribe those and we’ll have those listed.
Oh, yeah, that would be great.
The bonus question is, do you remember the first time we met?
The first time we met, the first day, I can’t remember. I think you worked at the lab before i did. Right. You were there before I was? so I remember my first day at work was like, really scary. I meant to say I was there early and I met Sam and he just showed me how to put paper in the printer. And then I walked around and kind of met everybody but as a foreign student, if you come to the US, the rules for immigration are very strict. You can either work, you either don’t work or you only work on campus and you can only work 20 hours a week. Like it’s very specific. And I needed I needed the money. So I worked for gas money and just for, you know, for food and whatever. So I started the cafeteria. And then when I got to the computer lab, which was really what I really wanted, I think Gloria hired me originally. Yes. And then and I joined it was a fun group. You know, I was just thinking about the other day. We were so lucky to have that. Solike as students, if you think of how to connect when you go to college and you don’t know anybody and you need to connect and make friends, you know, you have to find the common denominator. You either you have to find a tribe, your tribe. Right. And we just got lucky to work in the computer lab supporting each other. But we were also family and we were also friends and we challenged each other. We used to sit and do homework and leave it on the computer and they would walk away and someone might come and make change and say, I think you should do this. And like everybody had an opinion. Everybody was kind of a type a brave enough to speak up. Which was interesting that make me wonder why they when they hired us, what made them? I guess because we were outspoken. We’re not scared. But we were also support for through school, through stress, like covering each other, help each other with projects, whatever, how lucky you are to have that in the building like, so it was a small college and we could come into this computer lab and hang out or take to connect in the cabinet that we remember being like, hey, I’m going to go take a nap here under this table. Just pretend I’m not here and just wake me up before class. You know, like, I just I feel like this network we had, this tiny little network was such a huge factor of our success.
At least at least 60 percent of us are still all connected.
Yes, we made we created a family. I mean, it was just because we applied for a job. We walked into this opportunity because we needed money or for whatever reason, and we created this family. And I mean, we’re raising our kids together now. How cool is that? And I feel like it’s very fortunate we we got to it. So this I can’t remember that exact day. Do you remember the day we met? I don’t remember that one day, but I just I remember spending hours with you. I also remember asking you completely politically correct questions because I needed someone to tell me.
You still do.
I still do. Because we have this relationship like, OK, he’s not going to kill me. Like, I have to know. It’s just funny. It’s nice to have this kind of you know, Dr. Google is not helping me with these questions and being politically correct in Israel. I think the term politically correct does not exist at all. When I moved into the US, one of the biggest challenges was to not come across as too abrupt or too direct or two people call me aggressive, which was a term I really did not like. It’s not aggressive. It’s a cultural thing. We you know, we translate the Harry Potter book. It went from, you know, a two inch thick book to like a tiny little worksheet booklet, kind of. You know, there’s just not as many words in Hebrew as a language to start in this whole like predicting and understanding politically correct was one of the hardest things to learn. It’s beyond language. It’s knowing what to say, when to not offend anybody, like walk on your toes with with words. And so through college, I just did not have any fluff. I just dropped it like a crazy bomb. And it was nice to have a safe environment to do it without getting completely punched.
I mean, you have to be an acquired personality to deal with it. For me, It is a golden opportunity, just like you said, have those discussions and not have the negative feedback of it. And I’m still like that to this day. I kind of did say whatever hell I want to say, and it’s kind of like, OK, you deal with it, deleting your Facebook, keep it moving. You know, that’s like
I can’t I’m to a point that I can’t do that.
Well, you’re in a neighborhood politician.
I can’t. I can’t. Because, you know, no matter what you believe in politically, you know, when you express your opinions, you give up half your crowd because you’re either left or right, you know, whatever. Like, it’s very and Facebook is so the mob mentality is killing me. Like we forget how to be friends and people become so keyboard brave, they can say whatever they want if they’re typing and not saying it out loud. The funny thing is, as graphic designer and political campaign person, you know that some people, all they do is stoke the fire. And I read angry posts from one side to another side and I’m like, we are both falling as fools to this game. Nobody is going to change my mind on Facebook, and I’m not going to change anybody’s mind, therefore, you’ll never see political post for me. And I try to stay neutral when it comes to that. And I again, try to inspire rather than…
Politics and religion on two things. I’m just going like “Eehh”, I want to be more on the Howard Stern side of things.
You know, we’re all confused, though. Another thing that needs to completely evolve, that is like lagging behind ages behind us. We communicate differently. Why can’t we vote the same way? like it’s just crazy. So it is what it is. And we have to be careful as business owners we have to think of what you say publicly. And also remember that these things don’t go away
Even if you delete it,
Your kids will see it when they’re older, they’re going to see all the things you wrote. Are you comfortable with that?
And somebody cash somewhere, that video was there. Well, I definitely appreciate taking the time to jump on a podcast and, you know, giving the viewers definitely some great insight.
It’s my pleasure and thanks for having me a ton of fun.
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Appreciate it.
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S1E2 – Art Factory Play Cafe & Party Place Founder: Tal Soriano Thompson aka “Optimistic Team Member” – S1E2admins3602020-12-31T22:55:11+00:00