Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 031 - Abtin Buergari
Speaker 2: [00:00:30] Hey, welcome to learning to dad. And I am Tyler Ross. Our guest today is Attenberg gari. What's up, man. Hey, Athens is a very good friend of mine. I'm excited to sit here and talk to him because I'm going to get them probe a bunch of questions out of them that we've never talked to that. Yeah, that'd be fun. So typically the arc of the conversation is who are you? What are you doing? What, how has that impacted? And when your family grew, and then we get into some parenting stuff. So I want to ask you just [00:01:00] right out of the gate, like, what are you doing now as a profession, as an entrepreneur, because you are dyed in the wool entrepreneur.
Speaker 3: Cheers. So what I'm doing now is spending most of my time, working on a project with a team of people that are building a digital marketing business at consumes about 50 to 75% of my time, I do have a couple of other businesses that I'm running with other people, and they're just, they have operators and they're doing well. And so my role is much more of a advisory [00:01:30] role, you know, and it's, it's interesting after you build your first one, you learned so many life lessons along the way that it, you know, if you find the right person that can build a business with you and you empower them and enable them a lot of times, you don't have to spend a lot of your energy there, more of your brain power, more than anything else. So I'm spending a lot of my time in this, in the space of digital marketing, I don't come from a marketing background. So this world for the last, almost three years now, totally new to me and [00:02:00] super interesting and definitely the wave of the future.
Speaker 2: Yeah, no, no question about that. I love talking to you about all the different applications it has and all the, all of it. So, and that'll be fun to talk about your role now as an entrepreneur versus the first company that you started in sold, because I'd imagine that was like the difference between like being a parent. Like this is what I, this is what I expect of you. This is what you do parent to the, let me get out of your way and see how [00:02:30] you evolve parents. Maybe. I don't know if that's a fair,
Speaker 3: Interesting. I tried listening carefully. That analogy. Why don't you say it one more time?
Speaker 2: Well, let's, let's talk about motives first. Like tell him, tell me about that company.
Speaker 3: Sure. So actually modus was two companies, two separate businesses. It started out as purely a data processing company focused on the legal industry. The easiest explanation is our job was to find evidence for the lawyers on massive cases. So, you know, a big case for us would be 500 million [00:03:00] to a billion emails and documents. Wow. That's a, that's a big case, a smaller case to be 25 million emails and documents collection. Okay. And our job was to break that data into pieces and normalize it, which makes everything kind of author to, from CC all the fielded values inside of documents, normalize, and then use data techniques to identify potential evidence and present that to the lawyers. So they can start to understand what the case [00:03:30] is really about versus what they're being told it's about. Right, right. So that was our very first, that was my very first company.
Speaker 3: And it did really well. It was purely in Washington, DC. Ironically didn't have a website, no marketing, none of that nonsense. Right. It was just purely word of mouth. And, uh, grew pretty rapidly, um, became, uh, one of, if not the largest companies in the DC area that was focused in DC providing that service. And then as we were working in the space, the attorneys started asking us questions [00:04:00] about, well, it's hard to look at it and is there a better ways to look at the documents? And so we kind of explore that realm and we started hosting the documents online and creating visualizations about what's happening with the documents. So imagine if me and you are two executives working at Exxon and we got in trouble or we didn't get in trouble, but Exxon is getting sued for something and maybe we're interwoven into the issue. So they would call us a custodian of documents. Right? So the [00:04:30] relationship between what we're talking about, subjects, who else we're talking about very regularly, who else is involved in our email communications, timeframes, those things start to give us the clues to what is actually going on. Right? And so we started creating really cool visuals online for people and, and that really jumped the company's valuation dramatically.
Speaker 2: What's different about your company to grow at that kind of pace versus other companies that offered such services?
Speaker 3: You know, that's a great question that I'm asking myself right now, [00:05:00] as I'm growing another company, not a lot. I would say the advantage in that industry is there was, I always joke. There's like 700 buyers of the service in all of DC period. Maybe maybe 700 to a thousand buyers across the whole country. Yeah. Is that right? No, that's wrong. But you know, the point is a very concentrated group of buyers. I would say maybe 10,000 true buyers across the country. Something along those lines, the point is, you know, who your buyers are. Right. That's a very big challenge for most [00:05:30] businesses. Sure. They think they knew who their buyers are, but they definitely don't.
Speaker 2: Yeah. My favorite, one of my favorite lines is, you know, anybody with, uh, arms and legs is my customer. It's like, yeah, that's,
Speaker 3: It could be right here. Right. If you're Facebook, right. We refer to that as reach. Right. Um, but definitely not the case for my company. I think the thing that really made us great was we delivered a fabulously good product. Um, it was accurate. It was on time. [00:06:00] I think that I think that's right, because most of our business came from referrals, attorneys talking each other, telling us, telling each other about us. Yeah. I think we're really good at what we did exceptionally good. And the irony is you could throw a hard drive out the window and hit five companies that claim they could do what we were doing, but they weren't able to maybe as cleanly as well, definitely cheaper. We were definitely not ever cheap. You know, we S we were always either the most expensive or the second or [00:06:30] third, most expensive, and every bid that we got in.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So the exit for you as a sale of that company.
Speaker 3: Yeah. So first one, modus, uh, it was just called modus. The second company was called modus hosting. Eventually I brought them together and made one larger organization and sold that business the first time in 2012 to private equity. And, you know, we continue to grow that business, you know, a lot larger. And then in 2014, late 2014, 15, we start, they started getting the itch [00:07:00] to sell the business again. And, you know, at that point I wasn't going to make a huge return. So of course I had no choice, they own the business. Right. So, um, I went along for the ride. And so that was kind of the end of my period in, in that, in that business.
Speaker 2: So can you talk a, and if you don't want to please don't, but can you talk a little bit about how many employees you had or revenue? Yeah.
Speaker 3: Um, so let's, uh, yeah, so I don't know what their revenues are now, but when we, when we were building the business, it went from zero in 2007, eight, [00:07:30] like set late seven to eight, it went from zero to, um, I think it was 9 million in 2000 closing, 2011, I think. And, you know, super profitable business. I mean, just radically profitable, you know, we'd automated everything. I mean, you know, you hand a hard drive in like we're drinking coffee kind of thing. Yeah. It was awesome. And so that was that period. And then from there, it grew to $25 million, 20, [00:08:00] $27 million in a couple of years later, but its profitability was dramatically less, which you know, is, you know, it wasn't real, it wasn't mom and pop still just generating a ton of revenue. Right. It didn't have an accounting process. Our DSO is 125 days. Let's give you a sense of what is DSL days outstanding on your invoice. Okay. Yeah. So what was it? 125 days. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, there was, there was a lot of risk on the table and I think that was part of the [00:08:30] reason me and the other partners were like, it's a good time for us to, you know, have somebody else shoulder, some of this risk. Yeah.
Speaker 2: So let's talk about how you started that company, because as I recall that you borrowed money from your mom to buy your first server
Speaker 3: $5,000. Yeah. Yup. Yeah. So how did I start the company? I was working in that industry for a competitive company and they were just not good at what they're doing. I mean, we could talk about it and get the lawyers to buy it from us. But when it came time to [00:09:00] delivering the product, it was a disaster. And so it was really hard on me, you know, I don't like telling people something and not giving them what I say. And I was in law school. I wasn't sure it was going to do with my life. I definitely didn't want any more people get mad at me in the legal community. So I shared with them that I'm not really, I'm not really interested in continuing the way it is. I'd like to like break off and just do consulting work for them. And they didn't like that.
Speaker 3: And so they fired me and kind of kicked me out the door and [00:09:30] not so nice manner. But you know, it was a couple of my clients at the time called me and said, Hey, you know, can we just like call you and ask you questions about how to do this and stuff? And you know, I don't know. I thought to myself, if I was making 150 bucks an hour on a billable rate, you know, I could put myself through law school. That's honestly where a lot of this started. And then it was like my last year in law school, it was like we had two clients and then we had four clients [00:10:00] and then I couldn't go to class anymore. And you know, I'm like, what am I going to do? And I decided that I'm going to give this thing a run. And you know, it was incredibly hard. I mean, it's funny, cause it's real easy to get to a couple of million dollars revenue. It's really hard to get up to 10. It's super hard to get to 20, 30 organically. Yeah. And that, that journey, organic journey continues, especially when you're in a concentrated buyer group. If you have a larger reach [00:10:30] like Facebook, it's not right. Once you hit that moment and you're growing, you can keep that, keep that engine going. So
Speaker 2: Yes. So you went from being in law school and nearly done. You were in your third year. So
Speaker 3: I was in my last, I was a night student. I was in my fourth year. I was in my first semester of my fourth year.
Speaker 2: And you start it and then the company just kind of grew to the point where you couldn't, you had to pick school or the company.
Speaker 3: I remember, um, his name is, I don't know if he's the Dean anymore, but his name was Dean Grossman and I went to his office and I said, [00:11:00] Dean Grossman, I'm having a lot of problems because, you know, I don't mean to pat myself on the back, but I, I took law school really seriously. And you know, I was in the international law review and I was, you know, scoring really, really high scores in school and all this fun stuff. And I was like, look, you know, this is my senior writing class. It was like the last writing class and I just couldn't do the work for it. And I asked them, I was like, what do I do to, should I just drop out of my credits? And he was like, you know, you can, or you can just get, you know, BS and CS [00:11:30] and finish it out. And that just wasn't my style. Yeah. In hindsight I probably should have done.
Speaker 3: But, uh, he also told me that my credits would stick with me for a few years if I decided to just come back. And so, yeah, I just didn't go to class anymore that semester. And I ended up paying a whole bunch of money for that stupidly, you know, I've never been one to be like ver I mean, I guess back then, um, I wasn't very like planned out. Like I would just chase my passion. [00:12:00] Um, and so I, I talked to my favorite professor. Who's still there, uh, Andrew popper, really awesome guy. And he told me that I should just quit and just do what I really believe in. And so now I sit here with you living in Marshall, Virginia.
Speaker 2: Yeah. That's a, and that's, that's something for a professor to school to encourage a student like quit.
Speaker 3: He didn't encourage me to quit so much as he encouraged me to chase my passion and he validated. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And [00:12:30] he's a very passionate guy. He's such a great professor. I mean, he taught me some really great lessons in law school, so
Speaker 2: Yeah. So we're, we're, we're doing a biography backwards in time prior to prior to college prior to law school there's college, of course. And then prior to that, like tell me a little bit about zero to college, 10, because you're from a immigrant family and you've got a wonderful story of like coming here and living the [00:13:00] American dream as they call it.
Speaker 3: Definitely the American dream. I immigrated here from Iran when I was five years old, came with my, uh, came with my mom. My dad stayed back. Didn't want to come to America, you know, had built a really nice architectural practice in Iran. Him and his brother were, his brother is now like one of the largest providers of, um, government contracting, uh, development, government, government contracting work to Iran. So he was him and his brother that was their practice. [00:13:30] And so he didn't want to leave. And so my mom and I came here when I was five, my dad later came when I was nine stayed permanently. You know, we were very poor obviously. And I live with my grandmother until I was 6, 7, 7, maybe eight, something like that. And my mom worked two jobs and my mom started first business before she could really speak English.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Still does it to this day. One of the best at it in the country regularly put in, you know, articles and stuff. [00:14:00] Um, and she does, it's uh, it focuses on window treatment, but it's an interior design business. Okay. And so she's been running that business for coming. How many years has it been? Let's find out 30, 30 years. Almost 30 years. I think. Yeah. Very successfully taught me one of the best lessons in business. If you have the cash, spend it, if you don't, don't spend it real simple. Right. Very simple. I mean, it gets you to a certain point, but it's the right. It's the right mantra, especially for young businesses. [00:14:30] So, um, came here in high, in high school. My dad actually handed me a computer when I was like 10 or 11 years old. I'm an IBM PS two. And I started just messing around with it, taking it apart, putting it back together, understanding what an operating system was back then.
Speaker 3: It was dos. Then it was Ms. Dos and it was windows 0.5, 3.1, all that stuff. And, um, you know, and when I got to Wayne high school, I started working for the Washington post.com [00:15:00] back before it was the Washington post.com as we see it today. Yeah. And when I got to college, I wanted nothing to do with computers at all. And so I studied philosophy. I started out as an aerospace engineer major that lasted a solid two and a half years. And then I just realized that I don't want anything to do with math and science, you know? And so I took this philosophy class and this lady was teaching this class. It was about, uh, gay, lesbian rights, euthanasia, [00:15:30] abortion. Some of those topics that back then were these really hot topics where today I think our society is starting to finally move past some of the stigma related to them, but it was a philosophy class about them. And it was just so great. It was so amazing. It just, you know, when you find something that you're really interested in and passionate about. Um, and so I spent all my time reading everything I could find on, not just those topics, but just the classes I was taking. And I was really into it. What you get out of a undergraduate [00:16:00] with a 3.0, maybe, maybe a 2.8 and a philosophy degree is absolutely no jobs.
Speaker 3: So, so I left, uh, uh, I left university of mirror, uh, university of Maryland with, you know, no job prospects. And I sent all these resumes and nobody wanted to give me a job. Finally, a temp agency placed me as a temp guy at a law firm. And that was like the beginning of my career.
Speaker 2: [00:16:30] Okay. So you decided to go to law school after your experience there, did you have in mind to go to law school while you were a philosopher?
Speaker 3: Exactly. So at the end of undergraduate, I took my LSAT and you know, interestingly, that was the very first time I had a rude awakening. I took the LSAT and scored like a Bismal. And I remember being like, I must be stupid or something like, something is wrong with me, but the reality is every test is made a certain way. So if you study how the test is made and you can get better. Right. [00:17:00] So although I didn't get good GPA, I did score pretty substantially on the L sat. And so I got into a couple of really good schools around here and that's, that's a message to all the people that the world, you know, the way the world is set up, doesn't work for them. It's okay. You can hack it. That's a no problem. Right. Let's just do you,
Speaker 2: That's so true. And I can relate on the L sat thing cause I've studied for the LSAT before, and then you really have to study on how to answer the questions, not to find out what the answer is, but [00:17:30] because there's a methodical approach to do it. And if you don't know that approach
Speaker 3: Exactly, it's, it's uh, intended to be a certain way. And so, yeah, so it took the LSAT. Wasn't sure I wanted to go to law school. So I just kind of hunkered in for a year, worked at this law firm called Skadden Arps and I'm in DC for a short period of time. And then I got my first real like full-time job at a law firm called Preston gates, Ellis Ellis [00:18:00] Meads at the time now called KL gates. It might be it's in the top 10 law firm, size-wise law firms and it's got an amazing practice. And at the time it was a smaller firm and I got my groundwork and how to be a professional from some of the most elite members of the DC community. I mean, some of the most powerful lobbyists, some of the most powerful lawyers, still my friends today, you know, still giving me great advice on my career. I'm very close to them. And [00:18:30] you know, they, they kind of gave me the start of my, uh, of my career. And that's kind of where I got started.
Speaker 2: I'm going to ask you about being an immigrant family, because that seems to be a common theme among a lot of families that come here, they come here with nothing and then totally transformed their lives. And why do you think that's a consist? Is it because those are the stories that I'm hearing or do you think there's something intrinsic in coming from somewhere that's hard [00:19:00] to make it where opportunity is lacking to a place where there I would. My perception is that there's more opportunity here than anywhere else. I don't know. But why do you think that that's a common, like your mom found tremendous success? You've found tremendous success, uh, from a business perspective,
Speaker 3: If you don't have anything, you have a different kind of will to get what you need. Right. When, when, when I was building [00:19:30] modus, the very first iteration of it, I was like super poor. I was much more, I was like very, very poor. I was in bad shape. You know, we didn't pay any of our bills. You know, the, the big running joke that I always tell people when they asked me like, how much pain have you endured? I couldn't send my mortgage company a check. They wouldn't accept a check from me. I had to physically go to the bank with a money order. And then they would take the money order at the teller and they would put it into their account. And then that's how I paid my [00:20:00] mortgage. Like that's how bad it was. Right. Yeah. So when you're faced with that, a couple of things happen, right?
Speaker 3: You perish or you don't. And if you don't, you have the mental strength to do things that other people aren't able or willing to do. Yeah. And so immigrant families, they deal with that the same way, exactly the same scenario they deal with for their [00:20:30] family. So if you imagine having absolutely nothing and thinking to yourself, I have to put food on the table, other than my kid, otherwise my kids are going to starve and I'm going to actually go one step further and say, when we see homeless people with their kids on the street with them, it's not, it's not because they have to be there. It's because they're using their children in some sense as a ploy. Right. And I hate to make that really broad, strong statement, but I actually believe it pretty strong. Yeah, of course. There's exceptions. Yeah, absolutely. [00:21:00] There's a lot of homeless people have mental issues.
Speaker 3: Like there's a lot of stuff in that. But what I'm trying to say is that the essence of it, when you have a family and you're responsible for that family and you take that responsibility seriously, which most of us that have a family do, and you're an immigrant, you know, the world is effectively against you. I mean, we, you know, every day you wake up, you look at the news, what's the news telling you, right. Uh, every job you go into, they can't understand you because you don't speak perfect, clear English. Every time you write something down, [00:21:30] it doesn't make sense because you're translating from a different language. That's probably based on a Roman, you know, a French dialect. Right? Exactly. And so it doesn't translate exactly. Or even, you know, Chinese, you know, Asian, uh, Farsi, you know, all those languages are very, very different than English. So you can't write anything. You can't speak, you can't write. So you get really comfortable with being beaten on and you get really [00:22:00] comfortable with hearing. No. And once you do, uh, you know, you can take over the world if you want to. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Well, let's, uh, let's talk a little bit about taking risks. Like you took your first risk by leaving law school. I assume this is your first risk of significance where he leaving law school to pursue this and build this business. Um, how'd you feel about like what you were giving up to do that, that you could do you recall your mental state and like, this is a real life decision [00:22:30] I'm making here.
Speaker 3: Wow. Really good question. No, one's asked me that question. My biggest first risk was actually in college where I alienated myself from all my friends, because I decided to sell legal insurance to college kids who definitely don't need legal insurance. And I put myself in tremendous amount of credit card debt. Is that right? Yeah. Doing it.
Speaker 2: What inspired that, like talk about what, what it is.
Speaker 3: I think the thing that's always inspired me, actually, [00:23:00] I think the thing that inspired me up until 2012 was the desire to be free from the financial constraints of the world. Okay. Yeah. And I think when I've made my decision to go out there and do something, it's because I seek find I had sought financial freedom. And I think part of that is the deeply burned in, you know, pain you feel when you have nothing. Yeah. Right. So why did I do it? Because I thought I could be a millionaire, [00:23:30] you know, with one of these companies, I was like a multi-level marketing company. What do they call it? Do you know what you're talking about? You're going to tell your friends exactly. That was my first one in college hook line and sinker, man. I put so much energy into it. I made it a little bit of money. I didn't like totally the bed, but, but it wasn't, it wasn't, you know, the thing that was gonna give me the breakthrough. So when I, I actually remember not thinking very much about leaving law school and the hundreds of thousands of dollars at bat and not [00:24:00] getting a degree. It's so strange. No, one's asked me that question and I've never really thought back to it. It was kind of that decision point where I was like, I just need to do this and try.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So you, I mean the fear of the debt, the fear of the burden of not all that work and not getting the degree, like was pretty easy to cut off and pursue, uh, your first modus.
Speaker 3: I don't remember what it felt like. It was a while ago.
Speaker 2: Like where were you
Speaker 3: [00:24:30] On that? Uh, they didn't know about it.
Speaker 2: Of course not.
Speaker 3: They didn't know about it. I'll tell you. I think a lot of it was my unbelievably amazing wife who told me that she would live in a cardboard box with me if it all went to. So am I allowed to curse on this? Okay. All right. I'll try to keep it short a minimum.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 3: That's fine. All right. Yeah. So I think it was a lot, a lot of it was her, you know, she told me that she would, she'd be, she'd be okay [00:25:00] if we were in devastating debt
Speaker 2: Freedom. Doesn't it? Oh yeah, man. Yeah. So that's a good segue into like, at what point did you meet your wife? Julia. And when did you get married?
Speaker 3: I met my wife 14. Is it 14 years? Yeah. 15 years next April. So yeah. 14 years ago. Got married two years after that. So you were in law school? No. Oh yeah. I was right before law school. Yeah. It was right before, like literally it was like six months before [00:25:30] I started law school. Yeah.
Speaker 2: It's something like that. You got married while in law school
Speaker 3: Then is that right? Yeah, exactly. April and I started. Yes.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Okay. So, and I guess she, in the form of a life partner gave you some confidence and encouragement to pursue this same thing that the professor did. Like actually here's something to tell any entrepreneur, anybody thinking about starting a business in your experience, what advice might you give someone who needs to let [00:26:00] go of one thing in order to grab something else to like, take that risk and start the business, whether it be interactions with mentors or listening to parents, or self-doubt like, whatever direction you want to go with, it's something that was meaningful to you.
Speaker 3: Advice I can give entrepreneurs, then you let go of one thing to go after another. Have a really good reason why. Yeah. And it can't be monetary. Cause I mean, it can be, but it's just, it's really weak reason. [00:26:30] You got to have a really strong reason. Why and what was yours at the time? It was financial freedom. It's not exactly monetary. Sure. It might sound that way, but it wasn't, it, it wasn't to make a billion dollars or all the stuff. I just never wanted to be constraint constrained the way that my parents had been. And that every person I was around was I just didn't want to live that way. I didn't want to have to wake up in the morning, go to a job, start doing the job. And the job two weeks later, get a pay tag, pay all my debt. And all of a sudden, [00:27:00] I just don't want to be in the middle of that. This wasn't not what I wanted.
Speaker 2: We're socialized into that. Or do you think that you are innately born with that desire to be that
Speaker 3: I don't think people are in neatly. I think there's obviously genetics play a big part in lots of things. Like intelligence level is a big one and there's other things that they play a big part in, but I've seen entrepreneurs from many walks of life. I've I was an engineer. I was not a sales [00:27:30] person or a marketing person or any of those things. Yeah. I was not a business person. I never went to business school in my life. None of that stuff. So I came from an engineering background and became an entrepreneur. I see many people that do that. I see many people that are excellent salespeople that see an opportunity. I see marketing people build businesses. I see finance oriented people build businesses. I'm not, I'm not so convinced that there is this, that there's like a mold of an entrepreneur. I think there's other things [00:28:00] that are characteristics, you know, that, that lead people to becoming great entrepreneurs. But when it comes to fear, I think, I think the thing that holds back most entrepreneurs is two things. I think fear is the most, the thing that holds them back the most and is partially the reason why they go seek capital. It's the reason they don't take enough risk
Speaker 2: On their own money. Exactly. Investments
Speaker 3: In time of their time and of just, you know, [00:28:30] I could be wrong. So I'm definitely wrong about I, this is as much as I know, man, I'm telling you my personal world experiences, you know, I've never built a Facebook. I've never built a company that large, you know, I look at those and say, well, they couldn't have done it without massive investment grade advisors, all that stuff. Right. So of course those things have a place, but I think that being okay with that level of risk mentally and having the, having the mental strength to pass through fear is [00:29:00] to me, one of the most important characteristics of being a successful entrepreneur, you're just faced with so much know and negativity and truly, it's just always around you and you have to learn how to like calm your fear and deal with them. Right? So I think that's one of the biggest ones.
Speaker 2: Anything that any practice that you took on to like let go of the naysayers,
Speaker 3: The more you hear from them, the more nos you hear, the more you're going to win. Yeah. [00:29:30] Cardinal rule in business, the more people on your idea and tell, you know, they don't want to buy it from you. The more likely you are going to be successful. And the re I know this sounds super counterintuitive, right. But it's not. Then the reason is the more know you here. If you're smart, you're going to change what you're doing. So you get closer to it. Yes, exactly. And you know, a easy way of thinking about is Michael Jordan, uh, Michael Jordan asked him like, how how's your [00:30:00] free, you know, free throw average, like plus 80%. I don't remember what it was, but it was ridiculously, I was so high. It just didn't make sense. And he said, I shot more three throws than anyone on the court, period. I mean, you have any questions. Yeah. He just would stand out there and shoot a hundred free throws, try to make a hundred in a row. You know, it started with just shoot a hundred and it was try to shoot 20 in a row. I mean, his book is a autobiography is a great example of the answer to that question. You just got to keep hearing the you don't want to hear [00:30:30] so you can get closer to winning.
Speaker 2: Yeah. That makes sense to me. I get that. Cool. Yeah. So, uh, could you talk a little bit about the role that mentors played in your trajectory as a business owner business?
Speaker 3: The builder I have actually, unfortunately, never for a very long period of time, been one to be good at listening. There's a couple people that were, as I said, when I worked at Preston gates, I met lawyers that really gave me the groundwork [00:31:00] in being a professional. I'm not sure. I actually, I don't think I listened to a ton of their advice because they were like telling me that I'm crazy that I dropped out of law school, which, you know, we still joke about today. Right. W I'm not sure how to listen to a lot of advice. And I know that was the wrong thing to do. I look back on it and go, man, if I knew anything about marketing back then, holy moly. Right, right. Get it. I mean, there was moments. I didn't have like advisors or mentors for modus, but there are people that I like [00:31:30] listen to their opinion, trusted them.
Speaker 3: And I would ask them a question here and there, like once a year, you know, some of the best advice I got was, you know, look for where you have weaknesses. What you're not good at. I was really good at delivering a great product, but I knew nothing about sales. Right. And so there was this guy that I met at my previous company who interviewed me for the job, um, and hired me actually. He was the guy that I was like, yeah, we should hire that guy. He lives out in Richmond. His name is John. And John gave me some great sales advice that to [00:32:00] this day I follow to this day. Yeah. You should be in two meetings a day. If you're not, you're not really selling things. Period. Two meetings a day, every single day, they should be with prospects every day. Yeah. Great advice. And I've really followed that pretty strongly. And that really helped me build my company. So thank you, John. So does that answer your question? I didn't have a lot of great.
Speaker 2: No, that's great. Thank you. Yeah, it was after modus was already in kind of full swing that your life was [00:32:30] changed by having a kid. Your first son, you have two boys,
Speaker 3: Two boys. We were surprised with our first one. Um, Julia was a teacher for Kip key academy down in Washington, DC in Southeast DC, like Anacostia on the other side of the river. And she loved her job. But that school system, she was with it when it was really small and she really loved what it stood for and everything. And then it got really big because it was just so successful as a school system. And she [00:33:00] kind of fell out with the way that they were managing. You know, everybody's got their opinions about things. Of course they're doing spectacularly. Well. She decided she didn't any longer want to be a teacher for them in general. She wanted to take a break from teaching. It is a very hard job, man. KIPP teachers are six days a week till five o'clock at night. I mean, it's a real big commitment is what is KIPP.
Speaker 3: It's a teaching system developed by a couple of folks on the idea that kids that are, um, [00:33:30] needs special attention. So most of the time these kids are kicked out of public school. Um, they probably have some sort of physical, you know, issue like they'd been beaten, you know, stuff like that. Like a lot of mental, physical issues, abuse issues, you know? And so they like, there's, there's this T this philosophy, this teaching philosophy that says a lot of the issue related to what's going on is because of their time, not in school. Right. So keep [00:34:00] them in school longer. That's one to teach them how to be good humans in school as a big part of the school curriculum and expect the most from them. And slowly they'll start delivering it and they'll become so connected with the school that they'll want to be there and they'll start becoming great.
Speaker 3: And I'll tell you what, man, it's really magic. And it works. And so Kip went from like three schools in DC to like 10 schools. And I'm like, wow. Yeah. And she was like, one of the, I think she [00:34:30] was at the very first school, which was a middle school. And it just kind of blossomed into this wonderful place doing really, really well. So she didn't want to be a teacher anymore. And I needed someone to pick up the phones at the office and like handle the mail and, you know, pay the invoices and collect the money and stuff. And I know there's a lot of people out there that work with our significant other and very successfully. So just shout out to them, shout out to them. Right. But not me and [00:35:00] Julie, I'm sure she did not want to do that job. So she started working at modus and we found out she was pregnant within like two weeks of working there.
Speaker 3: And we were like, what are we going to do? Cause we're down one income, you know, and you're building this company. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, I, I, I didn't take a penny for a salary out of it until like 2010. Right. So for a few years I was just using his credit card to pay for my lifestyle. [00:35:30] Like, which was nothing, just food, you know, and most of the time I was doing work anyways. Right. Yeah. So, and you know, back then I was working my office. So I lived at the time in Rockville, Maryland, and my office was in DC. So I would sleep in my office for like a week straight just to get the work done. Yeah. You know, when I didn't have a choice, talk about really wanting success, that burn that you [00:36:00] want it so bad. Right. So when we found that out, it was a big, you know, kind of, it was a big shock, no big deal.
Speaker 3: Like we, we just, we got, we were really excited and we had our, had our first son, his name is Julio. I was at the hospital for like nine hours total. Right. And, um, you know, I remember we lost the deal. It's a true story. We lost the deal that Cleary was going [00:36:30] to give us. It was like a really big law firm, big opportunity, big account. And just, we lost it because I couldn't answer the questions because I was in the middle of, you know, having a baby. And it was like, and notice, I'm sharing that to say, like, that was where my head was at. Yeah. Cause I still remember it. Yeah. Yeah. That was important. That was really important to me back then. Yeah. Which kind of goes to share the story of how like not tuned [00:37:00] in as a father. I was early on with my first son. Yeah. Yeah. Um, pretty much like
Speaker 2: Juliana was born. Julia is at home with him and you're still cranking out.
Speaker 3: Yep. All of this. Yep. And again, back to the intelligence, my superhuman wife, she said, it's not working. Cause it wasn't, I was working seven days a week. I mean, I just never wanted a break. I just wanted to just keep going. And you know, I just didn't have any time for the family. [00:37:30] Yeah. And she said to me, she said, it's not working. And so we need to come up with something else you need to at least give us the weekends. And so we were doing pretty well and we needed to like get a reprieve on taxes. Yeah, yeah. You know, at this point. And so we, um, uh, the accountant said that you should move to Virginia. And uh, we decided that on the weekends we'd live [00:38:00] somewhere on the river. Cause I fished a lot and I could just take a break and relax with our family. And uh, so we bought a place up here in Marshall. Yeah. That was like 2011, 10 or 11. I can't remember. And you know, that's our home now, which is kind of interesting end of the arc of the story. Right. Is it started out, we'd get, come up here Friday night, hang out Saturday, hang out Sunday and then drive back [00:38:30] Sunday night. And then it started becoming like we left Thursday night. So how did,
Speaker 2: How did it, you, you know, going from seven days a week to now your weekends with your family to now you're
Speaker 3: Spending three days out in the country, like how were you as a human? That's a really big question. So I'm going to break it into a couple of parts. I'm not sure I was tuned into my family until about five years ago. Yeah. Yeah. It was about 2014 [00:39:00] and I'm not even sure like it was, I I'll tell you when I decided I was no longer really interested in growing modus version three any further, because again, I wasn't going to get a big return from it. It was just not my company anymore. Right. Yeah. I think when I kind of started to realize that I came out of the fog of whatever path [00:39:30] I had set myself on, you know, five, six years before and just was marching as hard as I could every single day with very little thought to the repercussions around me.
Speaker 3: Yeah. And you know, once, once that happened, you know, I spent about a year transitioning to a new CEO and halfway through that, we moved up here to Marshall full-time cause my, my young, my oldest [00:40:00] son needed, we needed to decide what we're going to do for a school. Right. We're in DC public school or which we wouldn't send them to or private school, which was $40,000 a year or $50,000 a year, whatever it is. And, and so we weren't sure what to do. And we really loved being here. I mean, we loved our home. We had like renovated it and that was a nightmare. Do not renovate your home, buy a home from ground up on the physical earth or buy a home that you really like do not try to super [00:40:30] renovate your home. It's just such a headache anyways. So yeah, we decided that we were going to move here and once we moved here, I was, and I went, I was working five days a week still, but really two days work from home at that point.
Speaker 3: Um, I started spending a lot more time with, with my youngest son Brock and I realized how much I missed out on. Yeah. Right. [00:41:00] Which is actually, you know, the biggest advice that I would share with any successful entrepreneur or any person that is seeking to be a successful entrepreneur, whatever they're in the middle of their journey at the beginning of their journey, but they have children and they have children after they had like kind of started the business. Yeah. You know, it is so natural for entrepreneurs to give everything they have to the thing that they're seeking to accomplish what [00:41:30] I came to realize in 2000 late 14, early 15, whenever it was what I came to realize is all of the success of this company and all the wealth and all the stuff and all this it's great. And it's there and it w what I'm never, ever going to get back is my youngest son going from one to four. Yeah. Never going to see that again. Yeah. You know, and so I just didn't want to make that [00:42:00] once I realized that once I was tuned into it with my younger son, nothing in this world was going to stop me from experiencing those really, um, you know, special moments.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah. So I missed like every vacation, I wouldn't go on vacation. The running joke in my family was they would know within a day or sometimes hours before our flight, whether I was going to go on vacation with them or not. Yeah.
Speaker 2: And most of the time,
Speaker 3: I mean, I probably missed [00:42:30] plus 50% of vacations.
Speaker 2: So advice to your younger self would
Speaker 3: Have been, it's not about how hard you work. Yeah. It's not about how hard you work. Yeah.
Speaker 2: What is it about us or people like us or people that are us younger that don't see that bigger picture you think
Speaker 3: Some of us do? Yeah. Some of us are brought up seeing a much broader world. I think nurture [00:43:00] plays a huge role in how far you see. Okay. And so when, when natural human behavior is, our decision-making is based on how far we can see if I can see tomorrow, I'm going to decide about tomorrow. You know, most people that go to a job every day, they see about a couple days to a couple of weeks ahead. Some of them see a couple months ahead. Very few of them see a couple of years ahead. How many? Right. Interesting. Yeah. How [00:43:30] many times have you, I don't know how many times you've done this, but I've asked so many people in an interview. What are you going to do in the next few years of your life? I get some ridiculous nonsensical answers that are, obviously they haven't spent any time thinking about it.
Speaker 3: And I just prompted in their head right then, or it's like, just flattened, no answer. Or you find a couple people that have a real clear idea. You know, there's a guy I'm working with right now. He was like, I want to learn how to run this component of the business. He's like, that's what I want to do in next couple. I was like, cool. You're hired. Right. Cause he, [00:44:00] obviously, before you showed up here, you know, this is what you think about. So I would say that nurture plays a big role in the lack of ability to see very far can see broad enough. And when you mix that with resilience, you know, and like rhino thick skin and all this stuff, it just turns into a formula that, you know, another, I would say another example of the same sort of characteristic, just a different version of it is empathy. Yeah. [00:44:30] Yeah. I'd a lot of CEOs, lack empathy. I think a lot of it is the same reason. There's so tunnel vision. Yeah. They, you know, and they're seeing as far as they can, so they don't realize the impact sometimes of what they're saying or doing and the distance. Right? Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I want to key on, I want to key in, on resilience because that's one of my favorite traits in people and it's a trait that I hope my kids have. I believe you, to be resilient that you can take a beating and get back up and say, [00:45:00] please, sir, can I have another, you know, if you've got your mind set on a goal, so do you perceive your kids to be resilient? And how do you ensure them or is that important to you? Is resilience important to you as it is, to me,
Speaker 3: Resilience is another one of those variables in the magic sauce of being a very successful entrepreneur. If you don't have a deep resilience, I'm going to give you a real-world example. Um, I have a very close friend who is exceptionally [00:45:30] rich. He built a business, sold it for hundreds of millions of dollars and was so resilient and tough through that period. Like, you know, same story lost. Everything had nothing had to beg his family members for money. You know, that sort of thing was very successful. Obviously made it through starting an industry, basically started an industry and I'm not sure he wants to be talked about too much. So I won't even go any further than that. But, um, you know, [00:46:00] when I was hanging out with him recently, he's like got his fingers into all the stuff. And he's like spun up a few companies that have had some success there, cash flowing, all stuff, but it's just not going anywhere. Yeah. And so we were just talking about business and all this stuff, and he said to me, I asked him, I was like, Alyssa, what's up, man. Like, why are you like, what's the thing. Right. And he's like, I just, I just don't care that much. Yeah. It just doesn't hurt enough. It's kind [00:46:30] of what he was saying. Yeah. Right. And so that resilience that, that he, it's not that he doesn't have it anymore. He just doesn't need it.
Speaker 2: So that's an interesting point. Cause, cause you went from a point to needing it to, I suppose that you don't need it anymore, that your kids are gonna grow up much more comfortably or they are growing up more comfortably than you did. Do you have any fear that your kids are not going to be as resilient? Do you feel like you've got to manufacture opportunities for them to build resilience [00:47:00] or do you just like step back and you know, Jesse Itzler says sometimes my dad, you know, would let the ball hit me in the face. You know, he didn't catch it before it hit me in the face and he's kids are grown up billionaires and under their family. So he says, I gotta let the ball hit. The kitten, hit my kids in the face as much as it hurts.
Speaker 3: I don't ever let my kid ever is a really big statement. It's almost never very, very seldomly. Do I let them win at things that they're competing with me [00:47:30] because there's no such thing. You know? I think people, I think our country, I think I watch soccer. I mean, you know, kids go to soccer practice. It's an, it's like nonsense. Like I'm sorry, know, it's very extreme statement, but competition is at the heart of resilience. And for some reason we are softening competition and saying things like, well, everyone can be a winner and everyone gets a gold star and everyone gets a trophy for going to soccer and being awful at it. Not okay [00:48:00] in my opinion. Um,
Speaker 2: Not okay. Yeah. I don't know what listeners think, but I'm a hundred percent with you.
Speaker 3: I just, I understand that we want to build up her kids, but let's do it correctly. When my kids do things that are outside of what they normally do and are a success. I praise that success as much as I physically can, to the point where they get along comfortable, because I want them to understand that they just won. And that's what it's about. It's about winning the thing that you are seeking to win, [00:48:30] to build that confidence. So that in the future, they don't have some weird manufactured, nonsensical, confidence. They recognize they have to work hard to get the things that they want. And yeah, they have to earn them and it's going to be tough. Like my oldest son was not good at soccer, you know? And I think I told you about this. Like, he's just not good at soccer. And it took years of him wanting to play soccer. And now he's like good. Like he's, you [00:49:00] know, scoring a bunch of goals, like got recruited to play, you know, he's young, he's nine years old, but there was people recruiting them to play on a travel teams and all that stuff. Why? Because we, yeah, dad, I do well. I mean, it is some things, well,
Speaker 2: Uh, success breeds desire for more of it, which in turn makes people want to work hard to practice. I want to get better. So I got a practice I put in the,
Speaker 3: I think children [00:49:30] need to distinguish the difference between success and winning versus just being a part of the pack. Yeah. Right. Well, in my opinion, if, if you want your kids to step out of the pack and be different and do things and use their brain the way that they imagine, all the stuff that doesn't happen by being part of the pack.
Speaker 2: Yeah. If you want to, if you want to be the same, you got to do the stuff everybody does. If you want to be different, you gotta do stuff different.
Speaker 3: And I think the different part is they have to understand where successes [00:50:00] where success lies and you, you can't, you can't establish any of that through negative behavior, like negative reactions, or I dunno to categorize it as only through positive affirmation. Do you build your child's confidence? I have found. And the more confidence you build in your child at an early age, real not like good job, you did just as good [00:50:30] as everyone else. That's irrelevant. Right. Right. But real really build up on their successes. The more like you said, they are going to take more risks. They are going to push their own edge. And as they push their edge, that's when you can coach them. That's when you can give them a little bit of a corrective, like nudge left and right. A half an inch. Not very much cause that's going to be, you know, self-defeating so you have to be very careful with that.
Speaker 2: Right. It's something that, uh, I've enjoyed a lot. And my daughter hadn't been doing it lately, but I told you, we signed [00:51:00] her up for jujitsu for a little while. And one of my favorite things was watching my daughter get choked out, tapping out and then starting again, like At four years old, she just got her handed to her and she smiled and was like, I want to do that again. And I kept that lesson of, you know, overcome it. You, I lost you controlled me. You own me. You could do whatever you want to I'm submit, but I'm ready to get up and try again. I [00:51:30] think it's just an extraordinary lesson. So what are some other characteristics or traits that you want your boys to have as they grow up?
Speaker 3: I want them to be the nicest people around and that's one of the most important traits. I want them to be, um, gentle with their words and their actions. Um, I want them to think about other people before they opened their mouth and I want them to smile and be happy about how it is not what they want, not [00:52:00] a desire of what other people have. I just want them to be happy in general about what is right now in the moment. That's if I were to like simplify what I want for my kids is that, um, I find it very hard to have that if you're not moving towards something that you desire. Yeah.
Speaker 2: I did it. You qualified that beautifully towards the Xanax that made everything make sense to me. So how, how has having kids changed you [00:52:30] and maybe you characteristic that you didn't have that you do now or something that was cultivated?
Speaker 3: I think if you ask some of, I hope you never do this, if you ask some of the people that I worked with at modus, they would tell you that I was, uh, I was a scary human being. Yeah. I wasn't nice. I was, I was not the nicest person in the
Speaker 2: World. I don't even sort of the way you want your kids to be
Speaker 3: Correct. Yeah. And I was [00:53:00] in a lot of ways, just wrong attitude, about things, hard on people to a point where they couldn't handle it, stuff like that. I heard a lot of people and you know, I wish I could turn back time and change all that now, like kind of learning the lessons and where did I learn them? I learned a lot of those lessons by becoming a father. Yeah. You know, if with an employee, it only matters so much when you see, when you see that pain in your son's eyes, [00:53:30] it changes you. And I think a lot of that changed me. I think that's a big part of it. A lot of things changed me, honestly. A lot of other things, I think yoga changed me a lot as well. So there's, I think it was just a mix of things that happened to me about five years ago, or it started four or five years ago, but I think the other thing that being a parent, I'm sure everybody on this podcast has said the same thing, but, um, patience is I think people that don't have kids don't know what patients means, [00:54:00] really.
Speaker 3: Even if they have, you know, I would qualify that by saying, if they have someone like a family member that they have to care, like they have to do caretaking for whether it's a brother, sister, mom, or dad, then they understand patients. But patients is hardcore different once you're a parent. And so recognizing, you know, my kids aren't at the same intelligence level, frankly, you know, they're not the same athletic ability. They're not the same musically inclined. [00:54:30] They're don't get the same sort of scores at school. They're not some, one of them doesn't have a lot of friends. The other one has lots of friends. I mean, they're so different. And so there's no like right way of doing it. You just have to be patient and just, you know, deal with deal with the stuff.
Speaker 2: Yeah. That's so true. I feel like a kid's job is to put you in a position that you never could've conjured in your own imagination and then make you deal with it and figure out a way out of it.
Speaker 3: Just all sorts of stuff. Why did [00:55:00] you flush your toys into the toilet? We have to now call a cyst. People pump our system underneath the freaking building. Why does he do that?
Speaker 2: The city folks don't know how septic tanks were Google that one or YouTube it,
Speaker 3: Yeah. So anyways, it's yeah, exactly. Right. It's like, why would you do this? And it is always some weird thing. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Well, I want to be sensitive to your time. So in a knockout, some kind of quick short answer to your question. So what's [00:55:30] an advantage that other than, you know, well now let's just go straight, ask the question. What's an advantage that you had growing up that your kids will not have growing up poor,
Speaker 3: Huge
Speaker 2: Advantage. How about vice versa? What's an advantage that your kids have that
Speaker 3: You didn't have. They're not poor, you know, again, like there's just so many good characteristics with both. The hunger is real and if you have it and you mix it with all the other stuff, it's a very powerful [00:56:00] formula. But if you have the other stuff, it gives you a leg up. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Right. And what's um, do you, if you recall, what is, uh, one of the better pieces of parenting advice that you ever received?
Speaker 3: Seemingly not really important one, but I'll share it. It goes back to your question about how do you help your kids? You know, when, if your kids are in sports and you are not their coach, [00:56:30] don't say a word when you're at the game,
Speaker 2: Do a totally relate to that.
Speaker 3: I had an incredibly hard time. I was that parent that was all excited. Cause I'm just an excitable person. I'm just excited in general, my kid gets the ball I'm like on fire, you know, do not. There's a great thing on YouTube about this. One of the most successful basketball coaches in history talks about his two sons and how he goes to the game. And he sits in the crowd [00:57:00] just like any other normal person and says absolutely nothing. And then after the game, when the kids ask him this and that, he goes, did you ask your coach first about that?
Speaker 2: Does it? I completely agree with that a thousand percent. And it is so hard. So keep your mouth shut. Especially when your kids have coaches,
Speaker 3: is and what do you do? Cause you're like, I don't know what to do. You know what you do? You get a different coach for [00:57:30] your kid, but you still stay really, really quiet because you got to interest your, the coaching to that person. What your kid needs to see is that person is in charge. That person is driving the strategy. You need to look up to them. You need to listen to them. Don't come to me. Right. It's yeah. I don't know. That's pretty. That was really good advice. Yeah.
Speaker 2: That's, that's hard to do. Um, so what's an attribute of yours as a father that you're proud to have
Speaker 3: [00:58:00] Had she beat of mine
Speaker 2: That I'm proud of. What's something that makes you a good dad
Speaker 3: That I'm Iranian. Yeah. I think that's a big one. I came up in a very Iranian family. So a lot of culture expectations around respect for elders for each other, being around the family a lot. I think that's a really positive characteristic that I have as a father that I think is unique. Cool.
Speaker 2: Very cool. So if you were writing [00:58:30] a book about your life as a parent, what might be the name of a chapter two of that book?
Speaker 3: You should give these questions out beforehand.
Speaker 2: Not a chance I should have listened to the one before you came in.
Speaker 3: Good point, hint to those folks. One chapter might be, they may not love or be good at the things that you love or are good at.
Speaker 2: Did you find that it's like difficult to adjust to like,
Speaker 3: [00:59:00] Like
Speaker 2: Disappointed that my kids don't love, fly fishing the way I love fly fishing.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I, I just, I don't even, I don't have an answer for you cause I haven't actually dealt with it. I'm still struggling with it. You know, I think that's a good chapter. Maybe one more chapter. Everything you do should be to make them greater than
Speaker 2: That's wonderful. I love that. All right. Uh, here's one of your favorite fictional dads, maybe a TV [00:59:30] dad or movie dad
Speaker 3: Full house. The dad on full house lives in a very weird setup in the family, but loved his kids unconditionally did everything to support them to care of them. So, you know, everything, it was a real positive show, right? Yeah. There's not a lot of like beating your kids, you know, it was just all the right attitude, super positive, regardless of circumstances, regardless of your living conditions, it doesn't, none of that stuff [01:00:00] matters. What matters is positive energy in the family and at the household and making the best of what you have and helping them be successful with whatever you have and whatever they have.
Speaker 2: That's great. I loved that show Danny Tanner for Joey, you know, congest kind of raised it raised by a village a little bit. Yeah. So, um, this is, uh, a question I like a lot, you know, Tim Ferriss, he asked this question, it's the billboard question. If you had a billboard on 9 95 [01:00:30] and all the dads are driving by at 80 miles an hour and you get one piece of advice that fits on that billboard for them to read as they drive by what advice would you put on that? Billboard?
Speaker 3: Everything can be solved through love, but it cannot be solved without it.
Speaker 2: Okay. And so that's a great segue into asking you the question. When do you feel the most loved in your life
Speaker 3: When generally do I feel, or when have I felt it? When
Speaker 2: I feel like [01:01:00] an extraordinary amount of love,
Speaker 3: I, you know, I really enjoy physical contact. It was just one of those. Right? So, um, this, this is about, um, being a father. So I would say this show's about being a father. So I would say one of the moments where I feel an intense amount of love is when I get a big hug for my kids. Yeah. You know, and it happens every morning, whenever, you know, right now they're in California. But when I wake up in the morning, they're in my bed at six o'clock in the morning, [01:01:30] I'm waking me up and that's like, it's awesome. It's wonderful. Yeah.
Speaker 2: It's more of my favorite favorites. You get both kids hugging you at the same time. Yeah. That's great. And it's not because you asked for it it's because they decided to come give it to you. Yeah, exactly what list. All right. So what do you think is just in general, the role of a father
Speaker 3: To build a better society than we are living in right now and not to say that's bad. Like, you know, uh, it might've sounded a little negative. I don't mean that in any way. [01:02:00] I just mean to build a better world tomorrow and the next time and, and bring the traits of how to do that along with the growth. Um, and to further humanity,
Speaker 2: Rockin Julio's responsibility too, is to make sure that their kids are better than they were exactly.
Speaker 3: Exactly.
Speaker 2: Physical gift or an a, maybe not even physical gift, but what gift, if money was no object, would you give to every single father on the planet?
Speaker 3: [01:02:30] What gifts would I give every single father on the planet? If there was just like me, like I could map my
Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. Wave your magic wand
Speaker 3: To remember that children and not adults and that they replicate a mimic and grow up into whatever you show them every day. So if you want [01:03:00] to be effective, you have to show them exactly what you want them to be every single day with every one of your interactions with them. So I would give them that realization, I think is first, I think a lot of people don't really, uh, it took me a long time to realize that first and second, and that has to be done in a positive, productive manner. Right?
Speaker 2: Yeah. I think that's been a common theme in all of these conversations, I think is that to be the best parent, you have to be the best [01:03:30] you that if you're not constantly seeking to improve every day, you're not being the example or the person that you could be to your kids. I feel like it's a, your obligation to do that. And I'm, I'm open. I want to be open-minded to maybe there are different ways to do it, but that is the consistent theme that I'm learning about parenthood is you have to constantly be trying to get better, to be inspiring. Yeah.
Speaker 3: You, you [01:04:00] know, um, it's very easy. The way our brains are wired. It's super easy for us to just be what we are the same and repeat our behavior, especially, um, you know, when you can alter them very easily as well, when you can alter your right. So the point is that that's, that is, um, that is a defensive mechanism that is evolutionarily part of who we are as people and animals. Right. Animals are exactly the same, right?
Speaker 2: We're not that far from chimps. No, we're
Speaker 3: Not. [01:04:30] And a lot of these characteristics are the same as dogs have consistency. They want the same thing, all that kind of stuff. It's very natural for us to want to be the same, but that's not humanity. That's not the evolution of humanity. The evolution of humanity is about being better the next day. Yeah. Right. So I could not agree with your statement more. I think it's a very, very, well-stated,
Speaker 2: It's a, it's a talk about evolution of the messages of the, oh, we gotta have close to 50 [01:05:00] or 60 hours of conversations like this. And it just says you've put it differently than anyone else, but it is concise. And that it's the same message of very interesting improvement and, uh, being that. So I'll ask you two more questions, fire away, the first being, what kind of father do you want to be remembered as
Speaker 3: What kind of, [01:05:30] um, I know this sounds crazy, but it would be amazing if one of my kids was the president. Yeah. It'd be pretty amazing. I don't think it's super far-fetched. I mean, you know, I think my kids are getting a very, very rounded upbringing. Um, so it would be really cool if I was remembered as a dad that helped that. Right. Uh, but I guess maybe a not so extreme statement [01:06:00] that I call [inaudible] that I'm good at cultivating, uh, persons, natural abilities and not seeking them to have things or abilities that they don't have yeah. Work with what they
Speaker 2: Have encouraged them to be their truest, self,
Speaker 3: Self, yeah. Lean into what you're really good at and help them do that. Cool. And find the courage and confidence to do it and recognize that that is what they're good at. And these other things are interested [01:06:30] in. Right. But maybe they're just interested in them more than taking them seriously.
Speaker 2: I can't imagine growing up otherwise like my, my dad and his brother and his sister grew up in a time where it was like, you're going to be a doctor, you're going to be a lawyer. You're going to be a nurse. Like, so go do that now, like without the option to represent yourself, you know, you're just put on this path and pull the string and you just kind of waddle towards it. Super grateful [01:07:00] to be in a world where we can be whatever we want and find a path. Yes.
Speaker 3: Really cool. And really cool that this country provides us that opportunity. And I, I like you. I don't know what other countries do, but I've definitely visited them. I spent a lot of time in other countries, not a ton, but enough to see the difference. Right. It's a very different, so we are very fortunate to have what we have here.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. Couldn't agree more lastly, in the event, this recording last [01:07:30] forever, what is a message that you would like your kids and their kids and their kids and their kids to hear from you?
Speaker 3: Oh man, that's a big ask. What is the message? I'd like my kids to hear and their kids to hear pay careful attention to the world because it speaks to you in weird ways. And oftentimes it whispers [01:08:00] it, doesn't yell and be aware and alert about when it is showing you a pattern. Because a lot of times it's just weird. It just very interconnected. And, um, you should follow your instincts in those moments rather than much else.
Speaker 2: Cool. Yeah. There's so much, I would have loved to talk to you about what I love has gotten into education with you [01:08:30] and different ideas with that. Maybe we'll have to do a follow-up visit to talk again, but I had a blast talking with you, man.
Speaker 3: Thanks for having me, Tyler. You're the man.