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Jan. 25, 2023

Writing Her Way to Success: Conversation With Sue Anderson

Sue Anderson first came into my world in 2009. She was asked to interview me so I could share
my story on the success of our first online business. 

I was so nervous leading up to that conversation. Hearing anyone call me a success was
strange. My bank account would say otherwise. 

We immediately bonded and became good friends. 

14 years later it was my turn to interview her for my world-famous podcast. We talk about all things parenting, entrepreneurship, and even how to be a better partner in a relationship. 

Check it out. I promise you will laugh and maybe even cry. 


Hello everyone. Welcome to the TV show podcast, which I accidentally named that and didn't realize how genius it was until after the fact , somebody asked me that TV show podcast. Um, this show is kind of morphing into something new. I generally talk about parenting, um, and what my vision was to have others come on and share their stories.

But as I'm growing older and my kids are aging, the truth is that I love a lot of things and not just parenting and I share. And I taught them a lot of things as it relates to marketing, leadership, uh, skills development, personal development, that all those things to me are skills that we need as better human beings, but as better parents, better partners.

Um, so I don't want to limit myself to just talking about parenting and just have conversations. Have general conversations about what I'm thinking about with you guys, but also with people that I love and admire. [00:01:00] Um, like my friend here, Sue Susan Anderson. Is that what you have right now, Anderson? Okay. I just wanna make sure I got that right.

Who didn't? Um, Susan Anderson, she is a longtime friend. She actually was there at general beginning when I first quit my job. Something that I do a lot, I'm asked a lot. It's like, why did you quit your job? Why did you quit your job? And I tell that story, I think everyone should know it by now, . But she was there, she actually interviewed me, so.

Over the course of that time, we've become grizzled veterans and, uh, we've come a long way. Our friendship has grown and we have stayed in touch. So we're gonna talk about, I don't know what we're gonna talk about to be honest. I do have a couple of questions as it relates to what she's doing right now, because she's does, she's doing some fantastic things.

Um, and I'm gonna get to hear more details about it. today with you, with all of you. So, having said all that, Susan, how are you doing, my [00:02:00] friend? I am so excited to be here, man. I'm, I just had flashbacks to interviewing you. I remember I was sitting in my, I had, you know, little kids at home. Mm-hmm. . I was sitting in our little s SUV at a parking lot trying to have quiet cause mm-hmm.

you know, And just being so blown away, like, oh my gosh, this guy actually did the thing. He's like, oh, he's like on the brink of quitting his job. Yes. He created this, you know, info marketing world. It was kind of like a real one, a real person really did it. . That's true. And it was so nervous. Did you ever, one of the very first interviews I've ever done was I really, I've interviewed hundreds of people.

Yes. Oh, that's fascinating. I was so scared. And you were so nice. I was like, oh, alright. This was fun. that I didn't know. Uh, . And you actually, you take it all back. . Right. Um, you actually interviewed us right as we, uh, Brad and I, by the way, Brad. Brad, uh, [00:03:00] Costanzo, uh, was my former business. And our first attempt at, uh, doing an info product, which now is basically just a course.

It's a what was the, the infancy of what course creators used to do creators, course creators do now. Um, so we started getting a mild bit of success and Kevin Wilke of Nigel Marketing at the time, uh, contracted judo interview me and I still didn't think we were successful, but apparently we were successful enough and we were, we were making money.

Um, and it was before I quit. That's right. I thought it was after I quit. It was before. Like, dude, that's, that's, uh, that's going way, way back. Yeah. Way back. Oh, your kids are tiny. So yours, yours are tiny. You're so yours. That's the fascinating thing to, to witness all our kids growing old. That to me is crazy.

Kids definitely getting old . How old are yours now? [00:04:00] 25. About to turn 26 and 22. Yeah. 22, 23. Oh crap. . No, I'm like, it can't be a camp. Yes. Say it ain't so the gray hair was five year old, just got married That I saw. And it got me really emotional. I'm not gonna lie, I'm like, I've been watching him grow up, you know, you didn't share a whole lot like I do.

But you shared enough to feel like I had a connection with him. I knew his mother. Yeah. Uh, and to know that you are married, it's like time is ticking. Mine are now 20 and 18. Ah, well officially insane. 20 and 18 this year. So within the next few months there will each be 20 and 18. Uh, the young woman's gonna be able go off to college.

Uh, and we did the thing, we did it right, like we did the thing. We, you, you said it earlier. You did the thing. We did it, we did the thing of raising these children, raising these [00:05:00] kids into Yes. Self-sustaining individuals, I guess. Uh, I don't know. That's crazy. , almost adulty adults, right? My my oldest said, dude, this adulting thing sucks.

it's a trap. She's out living on her own, has a full-time job. I'm like, oh, man. I told her early on for years. I said, uh, when they were younger, I, I had these conversations with them. I'm like, don't to be in a hurry to be an adult. It's overrated. Yes, I promise you you're gonna have 60, 70 years of being a.

Later. Enjoy being a kid. Yeah, please. Exactly. And I remember you saying that. Okay. I have to tell you. Okay. So many of the things, even though your kids are younger than mine, but I learned so much watching you mm-hmm. , be a dad and watching how you talk to your girls and watching, like, you know, you didn't have them all the time.

I didn't. And [00:06:00] the way that you made that time count and matter, and the girls that you, you built and equipped to face this world, you prepared them. Like, I, I still get chills and tear. Like you're getting teared right now. Don't make me cry talking. You're the one laying this out for me. You're painting the picture.

Right. You did this man. And it was just, it was. . It, it just, it touched me. It touched me like for ways that, you know, like every kid grows up and they wish that they'd heard certain messages or whatever. Yes. So it, it like touched me, you know, not saying, cuz you're certainly not older enough to be my dad.

Right. You're my younger brother Dave . Sure. But like, seeing that like, it, it touched me and it touched the way that I parented. Wow. And I just want to thank you cuz I've been enjoying and just rapidly watching as you parent your [00:07:00] daughters. Thank you. Thank you for those words. I, I do remember, uh, a couple times having conversations over the years.

We don't talk a lot, but when we talk it's always really rich and, um, full of, full of detail, full of, uh, uh, connection and emotion. I remember, uh, one time you reached out to me, I, I must have written, written something. What happened there? , I must have wrote something. Um, and you reached out to me and thanked me.

Um, even as, as the daughter of a father. Right. And it actually happens a lot where mu, where daughters reach out to me, older women who wish they had a father like that or, or wanting to do better when they become parents. Um, yeah. And there was a point in time when I really struggled with sharing this stuff.

Like I, I really reserved it and I didn't share near as much. I've only gotten more comfortable later. And I remember you were one of the voices I always had in my head. They said, no, keep sharing. Don't be ashamed. Don't, don't worry about [00:08:00] people. Like there are people that appreciate it. And I'll always, to this day, I have you in my head.

Keep sharing like we, we, your audience appreciate it. . Oh, definitely, definitely. I mean, you will never know the full impact that you've had. You know, think about that. There are people who've read, who've been forwarded, who've listened to your podcast, who've met you in passing all this kind of stuff, and they're still, wow, they're still impacted by this.

They may not even remember your name, but it still made a huge impact. Wow. Okay. Whew. This is a . I'm getting, I'm getting shivers, goosebumps. Um, thank you. Thank you so much. Um, only in the last couple of years since Covid, I really started to make a even a bigger commitment. Um, and this podcast is a reflection and that's really push harder at sharing whatever the heck stories are still in my head.

While I can remember them lessons, my girlfriend's always , [00:09:00] my girlfriend's encouraging me to, to write a book, and it's kind of in the works. That's the reason for the writing. Um, because there were, there were strategies, there was, there was really specific, it was really, uh, strategic in my approach. I was strategic in my approach, um, because I wanted to make sure it stuck.

Um, and I knew we could do better. We could do better, so, sure. Um, sure. I wanted to ask you, I can't wait. I, I want your first copy. . Okay. Like, I'm gonna go, so on that end, I'm gonna go through some of the, the essays that I'm writing. I'm trying to make the essays about a topic, a lesson, uh, a mind frame, mental frame.

Um, and, and I'm unpacking, I'll share this with you right now. This is, I keep, I'm working now working this idea out and actually posted a little about it yesterday, asking this question, what is the purpose of emotions? All right? Because if you, the reason I ask that is emotions are a result of something that happened, [00:10:00] right?

Um mm-hmm. . Something happened, and because we're emotion feeling machines, we felt something and then we behaved as in a certain way because of it. So the emotions are kind of like a way to tell us that this thing is good, bad, or otherwise. So I always made it a point to try to teach my girls emotional intelligence, to be aware of their emotions, make them comfortable.

It, it's okay to cry, it's okay to scream, it's okay to be mad. All those things are part of the human experience. Um, but emotions themselves, and this is the bigger thing. Well, emotions are big , they're huge. But, uh, the other thing, and you can help me with this, is emotion. The way we feel about a lot, almost everything is a result of the expectation, the difference between expectation and reality.

Okay? So if you're on your way, and this is what I've been able to kind of start pencilling out, if you're on your way to a, uh, , you have a meeting [00:11:00] today, for example, and you, you look at it and it's gonna be 30 minutes. Google says it's gonna be 30 minutes, but you get there in 20. What emotion do you feel?

Right? Yeah. I run, I beat the boys . But if it takes 45 minutes or an hour because something happened, something you weren't anticipating, now what's that emotion? Yeah. Then you're frustrated, angry. What the heck? Miserable. Yeah. So on the flip side of that, I, I find that I, I've concluded, and this is a theory, I'm I, I'm not a social scientist or anything, that our emotions are consistent, result of an expectation not being met or being.

in a relationship. Mm-hmm. , you, you expect your partner to be loyal, to show up on time to, uh, maybe make dinner to clean the dishes. And on the flip side of that, it's like, well, did your partner know that he was supposed to clean the dishes? Was there an agreement in place? Uh, you know, [00:12:00] so it's this constant measurement or our, our minds are, I think, are constantly creating this.

There's like an algorithm. It's constantly doing that. So how do we feel about that? How do we feel about that? How do we feel about that? Well, was the expectation was the reality? Was it, um, and in a good relationship, your expectations and your realities are kind of, uh, stack on each other. Well, and if they don't, you're able to have a good conversation.

And I'm like, I expected you to do this, and you did that. The other person like, well, hell, you never told me that. Right? , or I never signed up for that. Or, oh babe, I'm sorry. I can do that. . So that's one of the things that I'm really working through, like this big philosophy and maybe a template for the book itself.

Um, because I feel that if you do that well sometimes it's like, yo, that's unrealistic. I can't make it in five minutes. Cuz it takes it's, I don't know, 60 miles away. Like, dude, that's unrealistic. Or this human being can't give me [00:13:00] these, uh, these um, this emotion reciprocity because he's not equipped for that.

He's been through some trauma. Right, right. So anyways, what do you think? Yeah, I like that. I like that a lot. It's funny cuz I've heard, um, so often I've heard, you know, that we are emotion, we are meaning making machines. Mm-hmm. so that something happens, you know, we have a feeling about it and we decide like this means X, Y, z something.

Mm-hmm. . Um, but I love this because it's, you know, this covers both so like, Let's say, all right, you, you think, all right. You know why he didn't do the dishes? Ah, you know, right. When it becomes a meaning filled thing, now it's like all the impact of that expectation differential Yeah. Is way heavier. Yes. So it's like, it's excellent or it's really bad.

Yes. And it's like, and we make it mean something about us, you know? And something about like, you don't love me. You know, our safety, our wellbeing. Right. And has nothing. Sometimes it's just a fact like, dude didn't do the [00:14:00] dishes, or, Hey, it took 50 minutes instead of 40, you know? And it's, but I love that you've got the expectation thing.

Yes. So for me, I think that was like a little missing piece. That's, that's like a, a preventable thing. Yeah. So you take it a step back uncomfortable. You take it a step back and like, okay, yes, the thing happened. And yes, I had that feeling, yes, but why did I have that feeling? Well, I, yeah, I was under, I assumed you were gonna do the dishes after I.

uh, made the meal. Really? Oh, well you always do the dishes. Yeah. But today I do the meal, so I assumed. I'm like, oh shit. . So, and I, we've been practicing, I've been practicing this with my girlfriend actively, cuz sometimes I'm like, all right, something's off. What expectation did you have of me in this moment?

Did I, did I do something Yes. That you were expecting me to do or Right. Some, like, if, if you get to that faster, now we can engage in it. And I'm convinced that if you love each other enough that there's a chew bond and connection, you can work that out. [00:15:00] Yeah. Now if you already hate each other, then it's like you're, no, you're screwed.

You're screwed. There's bigger things. So this, check this, this out a little, another little layer. This is just so amazing. Uh, I was talking with a friend of mine, Melissa, and she said that, um, intimacy is born through successful conflict resolution. . So it is the same thing. It's like, make up sex. Mm-hmm. . So it's like, you know, like if you have a thing right, and you, you're like, face it together and you deal with it, you, you walk through it rather than shoving it to the side, I'm not gonna deal with it.

No. You know, any of that kind of stuff. If you actually deal with it, you end up closer, you make a great ball. And so, I'm sorry, go ahead. Yeah, so I'm not like, so I love, like, I'm just picking the, the, like, this is amazing because we're like, now we've got that piece of expectation and that gives a great conversation starter.

Like, wait a second, I think maybe we can, yes, skewed [00:16:00] expectations here and you know, how, how can we work through this better? It makes it so that you can do better the next time and communicate better the next time. And then, you know, assuming that you have this, uh, somewhat healthy way of actually talking through it rather than silent treatment or just.

So it can actually end up being a really good thing. It can, cuz now you're little by little cuz we're, we come into the relationship as very different people and there's something that connects us mm-hmm. , whether it's lust or, uh, similar likes and uh, uh, or passions. Uh, so yeah, the more we kind of start to come in line with each other because you're gonna disagree or, or, or find conflict.

But I wanted to get back to the point that you said about how conflict can bring you closer. And I think of something about the magical moment when you're like, oh, I see. I didn't tell you that . Oh, I see. I didn't know that. And I was like, oh my God, I love you. Make out with me. . [00:17:00] Like, there has to be some moment of magical like energy spark that, that, that reengages in that moment.

Yes. Oh, that's dope. Oh. I, I want to illustrate that. Yeah. Who in the contrast that with like, what, what would it be like to be in a relationship where there never was conflict? That'd be weird, right? I mean, I was, I just read, are they being truthful? No. Is they really here? Are they, you know, like, what's happening here?

How is this happening? Like, am I with a, a bot ? Like, what's going on per Exactly. I was, I started reading this book, I forgot the name of it. It's on conflict, right? Uh, on arguing how to argue better and debate better, disagree, better. I'm trying to really like wrap my mind around all these what, who these concepts and also understand them at a deeper level from people that have done more research.

But he says that couples or anybody that says they don't argue than they're, they're not being honest. They're not being like, there's gonna be some disagreement. It could just be about what time to wake up in the morning, . I'm gonna wake up seven, I'm gonna wake up at eight. Turn your damn alarm off. It could be simple stuff.

Um, [00:18:00] yeah. It's, it's, um, it's fascinating and, and knowing, and this is the thing I talk to the girls about often, knowing how to argue. Um, it's essential, which is, comes back to this, I think now, knowing that it's usually a conflict of expectations and realities. Getting to the Yeah. The crux of the argument that you both are having can help you resolve that better.

Um, because you're gonna argue, especially if you plan on being in that relationship for an extended period of time, like if it's not a one night stand or just a short term, like if there's true love there, right. You're gonna have to figure that out, . Whoa. Definitely. Definitely. And that's the way that it becomes sustainable and, and the way that it can keep growing.

You know, if it were, if you were with somebody that agreed literally with everything you ever thought said and did, , like, I know I'm full shit, why are they there? ? Yeah. I'm like, you're lying. Cuz I, I don't, I know, I don't, I don't believe that to be true either. Uh, yeah, for sure. Exactly. It hurts both people if they won't admit that, [00:19:00] you know, they, they have feelings and thoughts and ideas about things and if you're under the impression that they.

tell you like, oh no, everything's perfect. You're just perfect. Like I, I just start wondering, are you really here? How did I get a robot for a partner? , right? dude. How did I look out with a robot now? Do you wanna be seen? You know? Yes. It's like we wanna be seen and then loved. Mm. Not just loved. Correct.

Because then if you're just loved and they don't see you, or you suspect they don't really see you, then how secure is that feeling? It's like, okay, clearly they've only seen me on my best day somehow , or Yeah. They're not actually being honest and sharing the flaws. Like, Hey babe, I see this thing you're doing.

Yeah. You're avoiding this conversation with your father, with your mother, with your brother. Like, oh, I am . Oh my goodness. Yes. Um, and that, and that way we make each other better. You know? Yeah. That's great. That is the idea, right? It's the best thing humans can do. There's a, [00:20:00] I wrote an article and essay while back about, uh, My partners, all my partners upgraded after me.

Yes. I saw that one.

And I believe that to be true. Like 100%. They all found an upgrade. They found someone that was closer to what they envisioned. Cuz I clearly was not that person. Right. Either I couldn't or I wouldn't. And vice versa. Sure. Um, though, when you're able to find someone, like I believe my partner and my girlfriend at the moment who is fantastic.

She might be listening right now. You hear that baby? You're fantastic. . Yes. Um, awesome. Gorgeous. She, yes. Right. Wonderful. She upgraded me. I upgraded with her because she, I have never felt this scene heard, loved. Um. Our arguments are usually tame because we are [00:21:00] able to talk it out. Um, but I never have seen, been, been this scene or heard.

Um, yeah. And it, it, it feels fantastic and I don't feel no reservation around saying that my exes upgraded. They found people that truly Oh, sure. Wanted to give them what they desired and good for them. Like our paths just crossed it was a better fit. Yeah. And I think too many times better fit for everybody and, and you grow after as well.

So it's like they upgraded and then you grew as well, so it's like, not that you necessarily would've become like, oh, now I'm this great fit. Mm-hmm. , but just not at all the better version of you. Yes. You know, it's, uh, I think one of the, the faulty things that I try to be honest with the girls is you're, you're gonna date many people probably until you find one that's a good match or you might get lucky cuz they're both actually in relationships with.

young men that are pretty fantastic. I've had a chance to meet them. That's amazing. I didn't beat them up. [00:22:00] That's so good. I don't believe them. Were they terrified? Yes. . Yes. Yes. They should be . Yes. Um, but they genuinely are good human beings, good young men. Um, they're young. Yeah. But they're open to communication, open to me talking to them.

Uh, and that's good. I'm like, I actually have told both of them like, you're actually supposed to have a jerk or on your first attempt, , come on. I wanna hate a guy. Right? Yeah. I'm like, I wanna be able to say, no, not this asshole. Uh, what are you thinking? Not him,

And it isn't pretty funny. So it's, it's, it's a really interesting, um, and we'll see how that plays out. But I, I, I truly believe they're gonna be with these kids, these young men. I think kids are men, uh, for, for a while. And it's like these kids now. Right. I did wanna talk about, um, [00:23:00] one thing that I got from you many years ago, excuse me.

Uh Okay. That you made me keenly aware of. So we can start transitioning a little bit. Mm-hmm. , it's still about life, right? Which is writing, you're a writer. Mm. Right? Uh, that was your, uh, chief skill course skill, right. Writing and yeah. I've always, from the moment I met you and I really started to get to know you cause I didn't know that writer.

I had never met a writer, much less one that made a living with it. So before I go into that Yeah. Tell, tell us about the writing. Do you still do it? Do your, your company still write and Yeah. Do that kind of thing? Um, oh yeah. Yeah. Right. Tough. Yeah. So, um, in 2005, I started a business called Triumph Communications.

Um, I had gotten to the point where I was like, I had gone to school forever, did not have anything that I wanted to do. I really wanted to be home with my kids, and I just saw no way. And [00:24:00] also, you know, at the time I was married to a pastor, we were broke and I needed to make money so we could eat . Like we like to eat sometimes food is good, food is good.

And so I'd, I'd hired a coach and kind of identified, you know, what do I do when I be, when I grow up? You know? And she's like, well, you know, with the internet, , there's this thing called the internet coming around, . Right now, this crazy thing, 2005. And you could be a writer and at first I was like a writer.

I don't wanna be starving to death. The whole point is to make some money. Right. , you know, like, she's like, well on the internet, , it's not like writing books and hoping that some agent's gonna pick it up and send it to a publisher and all this kind of thing and you're gonna be on Oprah, cuz that's probably not happening.

But every website that comes out, every business is going to need a website. Mm-hmm. , I remember her saying that and I was like, really? ? Who was this? Who was this? It was every website is complete word. Yeah. What? So I started it and um, it quickly got really busy and I [00:25:00] was too busy. I felt like, you know, that panicked feeling if you're a service provider of, okay, I need to get new clients, steady stream of clients, but also I gotta be able to fulfill.

Yep. How am I gonna do both? Like this is, it feels like driving with your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. God, that's great metaphor. Oh, I don't wanna grow too much, I can't do it. You know? Right, right. So I started hiring other writers and bringing them in as contractors and training them like, Hey, here's how I'm doing it.

Let's do it like this. Right. And I've had some that have been with me like since oh eight. still amazing. Yes. There's still way to go. Wow. It's amazing. Amazing. And for them, like they didn't wanna do the marketing and handling the clients and doing the billing and paying the, you know. Yep. So they were really happy to have this arrangement where I just deliver, here's some work, , they write the work, I pay them.

It's great. show up, punch in, punch out. Yeah. So it's wonderful for them and, and for me. And it has made it that we've been able to serve, [00:26:00] you know, thousands of clients over the years. So That's so neat. Um, which is really cool. And then along the way too, they got really good at it. Like my project manager and head writer, she, I hope she buys the place because it's like, she's fantastic.

She is. Like elbow deep in everything. And so I basically do a little interfa interfacing with clients. I do the billing, you know, I pay the writers, but she's running it basically. Mm-hmm. , I got to the point where I was just kind of tired of writing for the same types of things, and I, I just, I'm like so hungry to learn things and I got very into like, what is internet marketing?

What is e-com? What is real estate? What is all, you know? Yeah. And so as I would get these different desires to learn things, almost always they would end up being like a major client who would say, Hey, can I put you on w2? And we worked together for a while. Yeah. All right, . We got some rules, but yes. . So, so currently what I have is, um, I'm the editor [00:27:00] at uh, capitalism.com.

Oh, wow. You're still there. So, director of Director, yeah. Still there. Yeah. And so that's serving like E-com people. They're learning how to build an e-com business that reaches seven figures in about a year, which is really, really cool. So I interview them, I write the newsletter. We've got like a, you know, a lot like 45,000 subscribers and about almost 45% open rate, which I'm excited.

That's really amazing. . It's. I know, right? This is awesome. So I love that. And I've been creating courses for them and, you know, I do some emails, that kind of stuff. Um, wow. And that's been really, really cool. Like, I've met, I've worked with some incredible, like big names, small names. Mm-hmm. , but just very incredible entrepreneurs over the years, and I've learned from all of them.

So it's, it's really been fun. That's gotta be, it's gotta be a great gig in that you get to interview people that are really, really pushing. [00:28:00] Uh, and they probably have strong whys and they have strong visions. So the stories have to be really Yes. Amazing, rich, right? Uh, super. Someone like write and does itself.

Yeah. It's . Yeah. It's amazing. Well, I wouldn't go that far. . No, I was, I was waiting to see if you were gonna check me on that actually. I was like, , it doesn't write itself. Yeah. I mean, occasionally I'll have a project that writes itself. Mm-hmm. , but, you know, not, not your. . But it, yeah, it's been fantastic. Well, that's how I met you, right?

You interviewed me. Yeah. So in a sense, uh, yeah. You're welcome. Yeah. I, I, I, I'm glad I was able to thank you. Not ruin it for you. Like be a terrible interview like this crap sucks. Who are these? At the time though, TV at the time when I interviewed you I was shaking cuz I was such an introvert. I was like, how am I gonna talk to somebody, a human on the phone?

Are you kidding me? This is crazy. Cause this , [00:29:00] but it was so, it was so easy that, you know, like eventually I stopped shaking, you know, I was able to take notes, all that kind of stuff. And it just like, I was able to look at that and going, I actually like interviewing people. I went through a period of years that probably only stopped about last year where I would, every time I had an interview scheduled, I was still like, hoping please cancel.

Oh wow. . And I was like, but I need to talk to them. But boy, I don't, I'm scared, you know? And now I'm like, I finally have gotten over that. I'm just like, whatever. You know? You love it. Shut up, . I talked to my girlfriend a lot about that. Um, I think we just had a, a specific conversation around even the experts shake.

Even the experts are nervous. Oh yeah. I think I've read numerous stories that were like, we're musicians. I don't, I'm not saying Prince necessarily, but someone that type of caliber that have, has been documented that they throw up before every concert. Uh, and it kind of Right. Almost never goes away.

There's a like, [00:30:00] even so to be honest, even leading up to this interview, I was, I was hyper prevent elating in a little bit , and you're a close friend and we're just having a conversation. Right. Um, I totally get it though. Yeah. It's, it's like this fight or flight thing. Yeah. Just hits you and you're like, I'm gonna die if I do an interview.

Really . No, you're not. Shut up. Show up, sit down. Have the, have the conversation. Um, I'm glad you continued. That's fun. I love hearing it and I watched it. Uh, so sometimes I don't know what's going on on Facebook because I have the news feed shut off. Uh, so I have no news feed. So sometimes I'm like, oh, I didn't see that.

I didn't see that. Um, even though I'm on there almost at least four or five hours a day doing client work. So I have not seen a lot of your stuff. But yet at the same time I've seen enough to know that you're doing some amazing things and I've always been impressed. The writing, the reason I, I brought that up as well, not just because it is your, your, one of your big gigs is one of the things you do.

Um, and we're gonna talk about one of the [00:31:00] big, big things she's doing a little bit. I can't wait to talk about it cuz I want to hear more details. Um, much like your coach, who was your coach at that time that said that to you? This was a woman named Robin Powers. Yeah, no, no, I was curious and I found her through, um,

No, I don't think you would. I, I'm drawing a blank. Oh, Laurel Langmire had a, had a book, the Millionaire Maker. Mm-hmm. . And I got that and I was like, Hmm. And at the end of the book it was like, Hey, you know, if you wanna talk to a coach? And I'm like, yeah, I totally wanna talk to a coach. So interesting. Well, I scrounged all the money I had in the world.

Yeah. Got Coach . Good for you. Good for us. I get to meet you. Yeah. Um, but that right there, that was 2005. So anybody that, now it's quite obvious. Yeah. You need words. Somebody needs to be writing this stuff, right? Um, yes. And I, I remember noticing that and [00:32:00] realizing she's a writer. She's writing for blogs, for articles, for who knows, for emails and everything on the internet.

Not everything. Virtually everything is written. And, and if it isn't, it should be, there should be a portion of it. That is because Google crawls that it needs words. to actually index, right? Yeah. To, uh, to be able to be found. Yep. And it's one of the things I've always tried to encourage the girls to do is to write.

Um, in fact, I I, I'm convinced that my youngest, especially the young, the older one's, more of a visual artist. More the photographer, designer. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah, exactly. Oh man, her stuff is good. It's getting better every time too. So she's only 19? Yes, yes, yes. The younger one. Amazing. She is prolific and amazing with the written word.

Uh, she's about to go off to college and whatnot. Like, one of the things that's going to really, uh, allow her to get some stuff and [00:33:00] get admitted into a lot of places is her writing. They love her writing. And I That's so great. I'm so excited. That's so great. . Worst case scenario. And I've told her like, no matter what happens, even in when you're in school, I think we can get her a job.

We she'll have a gig writing for someone like her sister works for a marketing agency. Yeah. She's already saying, Hey, I think I can get you a job. We need writers. love it. So, and you, she can work for me anywhere. That's great. But I've always tried to encourage both of them. They're both good writers. The, the old one's convinced she's not that good.

I'm like, you're, you're stupid. Mm-hmm. , I love you, but you're stupid. You've been taking probably workshop better than 90% out there, . She actually is. She's to a poetry thing. She's taken workshops. She's, I've given her, uh, privates, uh, she has a rich, uh, vivid memory and, and stories to tell, but she prefers the visual.

And that's fine. But you, you taught me that. You, you made that impact on [00:34:00] my life. And you, you probably don't even know it. This might be the first time I've, you've heard this. Yeah. It became obvious. Yeah. It became obvious that writing is an essential skill, and it's something that I've just recently, also, in the last year and a half, you've seen my, my essays.

Those are my attempts at getting much better at the written word. What has good been your impression of it, of them? They're really good. Yeah. Dude, I, I love reading your writing. Damn. Because it just, it's, it just cuts right through. It gets right in the heart right away. It's like I, it's like the way that you talk.

Mm-hmm. And it's, that is my approach. Powerful. Thank you. Amazing. It's like you have a skill. It's incredible. This is you. There is no doubt on the planet who needs to be writing this book more than you do because you like, it's the way that you put it, the ideas that you have and the practice that you've put into all this.

This is, you need to do [00:35:00] it. I'm gonna be mad at you if you don't. I've been telling you, since you have 2010 to write a book, you have been telling me you're, you're one of three people that have consistently, at least once a year, said, where's the book? . . When's the book coming out? , or are you starting the book?

Jesus. Um, no pressure, but come on man. . Right? Thank you. Uh, that means a lot coming from you. Um, I know I have stories to tell. I'm, I'm, I'm learning how to write better, how to position it up. Sometimes like I have stories, the whole, like for example, the, uh, the story around upgrading. I don't want to insult people.

I'm not trying to write or tell my stories in a way to paint myself off as a victim, nor am I trying to paint anyone in my life off as terrible people. Um, so that took me a while to package and figure out what angle to take to not insult anyone. Cause I'm not, that's just not who I am. Right. Um, so that learn that writing that, go ahead.

Sorry. [00:36:00] I was gonna say tv. I don't know if you have it in you to be mean to somebody. Like that's not, you know, that's not gonna be, I've never seen you say something ugly about anybody. Yeah. But I, I also try to make sure it can be misinterpreted. I do. Right. But I, you know, I appreciate that you had that concern, but I, you know, and that, that's a, an extra gracious way to go, but, You're, you're gonna be fine with that.

The, the question that I had for you about your writing though, because you're also a very gifted illustrator and, you know, just the, the doodles that you, you know, yes. Used to make as a kid, and I know that, that I saw that some of those, that practice of drawing came back in mm-hmm. and as soon after she started writing as well.

Yes. So, I'm wondering for you, is your process, like, do you get the picture first, especially when you've got, like, the young TV and old tv, you know, you've got, you know, you'll always have something that's just like, in a very small picture, you've said something. Well, yes, there's that phrase about a picture's worth a thousand words, but [00:37:00] yes.

Do you the picture first and does that help you to process what you're gonna write? Yes and yes. , um, okay. It's sometimes it's the word, sometimes it's the story and the main idea, the point I wanna make. Yeah. Uh, sometimes it's the picture, like I have one. I start and, and I have a picture in my head and I, I've been sketching this for a couple of years now.

Uh, the story, the picture, and I'll, I'll share it right now, is of me, and I'm trying to figure out what point of view, but it's me on the floor, on my knees, uh, bawling. It was the moment by looking down and, and literally seeing the pieces of my life all around me shattered like glass. So I have that picture because I, I remember that moment in my life when I was married where I realized there's no fixing this, [00:38:00] this is over, and I'm looking and I'm bawling trying to figure out what I'm gonna do.

I was like 2005. Yeah, that, I have that picture. I don't have the words for it yet, but the picture is there first. Yeah. Um, anyways. , I, I sketched it again. Yes. It'll be a good one. Yeah. It's gonna be a powerful one. Yeah. Because we all have that moment, right? It will. Where it's like, oh crap. Yeah, definitely.

What am I gonna do? And you'll have such, you know, I mean, you've done so much. Mm-hmm. had so much healing along the way as well. But it's just one more, one more pass at the healing. And then when that's out there, when you release this picture and this story out there, just know that that's gonna make a ripple effect of so many others who are like, yeah, he said it just Right.

Thank you. That, um, it comes both ways and I feel like it's, it's my duty [00:39:00] almost. Uh, if for no one else, then it's, it's therapy. That final moment to release that hopefully someone sees it. Like, I actually had a friend that that told me he didn't think he was getting divorced and he, he didn't know how he was gonna survive and this or that, and he reached out to me and then six months later, He says, oh my God, you're right.

That was the best decision I could ever made. , thank you. I'm like, yeah, you're gonna survive. It just seems like you're not at the moment, in that moment. Right. So hopefully people see that, read that, and they're able to process. Cuz they look at me now and I'm like, oh, Uber successful. But I am successful in, in many ways and I, I, I own that.

I, I, oh yeah. Take ownership of that. Wow. And they think I have it all figured out or always had it figured out. And it's quite the opposite. No way. , um, definitely not right. Um, yeah, picture usually is first as I am, and you know this, I'm a very visual person. I've done many things, visual, like we've worked on some [00:40:00] projects together where I was the design guy.

I was a picture guy, the graphic design guy or whatever. Yeah. I was always that, that guy. You did my first book cover. Did I really? ? Was that me? Oh my God. I'm learning so much today. This is so neat. . Wow. Wow, wow. Oh. writing. I didn't realize this. Like, this is why you come to mind a lot more than you realize.

Hmm. As I was learning about more about writing, I've always wanted to be a writer, and I'm just now, and I thought about this before I got on the call, like, I can say to you without reservation, I am a writer. Yes you are. Right. Um, but writing is something I've always done to some extent. I, I started blogging.

That was my first attempt at trying to make money online in 2006 or seven. Um, so I started getting some reps in there. I left it alone for a while. Done the marketing thing. But obviously there's writing in that and I guess that's the big point I wanted to make. There's writing in everything. Yeah. [00:41:00] Even when I do my YouTube videos, yeah.

I've learned that as best if I have some outline and some script and sometimes. . I write a good chunk of it in my head. Mm-hmm. , maybe it's not on paper, but I, I write the essence, the, the skeleton and major points. I wanna make stories, I wanna tell, I write it. That's great. And so my process now, you asked about my process is sketch, um, essay or, or they might be flipped.

Essay, sketch, podcast. Mm-hmm. or YouTube video. Nice. Where I, I go a little more. Yeah. Cuz I'm trying to, I follow a, a school of thought, a group of writers on, in, on Twitter that they promote what they call atomic essays. We promote atomic essays. So try to keep it between 250 words and 300 words. And the idea is to get to the point.

Yeah. , that's a word. Very few words. Say [00:42:00] your thing. Yeah, yeah. Say your thing. And then depending on how that goes, then I'll go and, and, and do the podcast or do a video. Um, but it's all based on that, that story that, uh, just ex extrapolating from that and making it, uh, a long form piece of content. Cuz a lot of words are dropped in the writing of that

Oh yeah. . The floor is littering somewhere. It's, it's, uh, yeah, I'm like, oh my God, I cut. That was a great joke. I wanted to include that joke. , it doesn't add to the story. , were you always a writer or did you just pick it up in that moment when, when you were asked to. Sixth grade, fifth grade, you know, like fifth grade, they would come, the teacher would be, okay.

Kids we're doing creative writing today, and every kid's like, ah, . And I'm like, yes, . Oh, that was, okay. So that spoke to you. Okay. And just all along, I, I mean, I, as an avid reader, I know your girls read a lot too. Mm-hmm. , so that's, that's huge. Mm-hmm. just partially how I can [00:43:00] write. Like I can't. And I used to actually teach people how to build a writing business, but I always said, I can't teach you how to, I remember that I can't teach you how to write.

Right. I can't, you gotta have that. I can't, I don't know how it's magic like, but I can teach you how to get some clients and get paid . So, and it's the same, like, I still have people who are like, oh, can you, I'm like, I don't know how to tell you how to do it. It's just, it's like, how do you breathe? I, you know, I've just always been doing it so , um, you know, good for you.

Yeah. It's a, it's a weird thing, but you have the same, I mean, you know, there's some talents that you have like drawing, like now you know the skill. Yeah. And you can evaluate and go, okay, maybe, you know, do this, do that. But you know, when it's part of you, it just comes out and it, so there's a dark side to that.

It sounds wonderful, right? Like, oh, to be an, a pretty freaking good artist, you know, artist or writer or musician or whatever. Wow, you've got all this, that's fantastic. You can make a living. The problem is when it, when it's so natural to us, [00:44:00] it's very hard to value it cuz you're like, Hmm, anybody could do that.

A hundred percent. It's easy, right? Yes. Just write, I actually struggle with that still. Yeah. . Yeah. It's, uh, , the, the idea that somebody would pay for it. Right. It's crazy. It was crazy to me. So when I first started tv, I'll tell you this, I haven't, I don't think I've ever told you this. The first articles that I ever wrote, , so this would've been Yeah.

Right. In oh five. So before I hired the coach mm-hmm. . But, um, I'd found somebody somewhere that wanted articles written and I was doing 500 word articles about the mortgage industry. Mm. Fun. $2 each. Oh, wow. Yes. Oh, wow. And I was very happy about it. Cause I was like, money paying me to write. Oh my gosh. And I remember telling my stepbrother about this at my brother's wedding, was very memorable.

And I was like, Steve, oh my gosh, I'm getting paid to write. He's like, wow, what are you writing? How much are you getting paid? And I told him, [00:45:00] and he was like, you have got to be kidding me. I'm like, good. He goes, let's do the math here. . Yes. Simple math. . So, but I mean, I was so excited. I was getting paid for words.

So not, you still have to own, we're not first start do the work of owning our value. That's in, that's crucial. Yeah. But you don't know until, you know. Right, right. And when you start off, you're gonna be under charging because until you figured that out, that, wait, that's, that's not gonna work. That's not sustainable.

No, I was, uh, I was doing a lot of graphic work when I first started, cuz that was, it was easy for me. And luckily you can do graphic work online. That's my first online business. Yes. Uh, a lot of design work. But I looked up and, and I still was broke. , that was a bank account, was barely, I'm working so sticking hard.

I, I'm like, I'm literally working from morning to [00:46:00] evening and how is this possible? and I'm convinced that you have to have that bottom. Yes. That And it's usually at the beginning. Yeah. Because you don't know what your, your work is worth. Right. You don't know where to even ask the questions. Like what, what, what would people pay for this?

Right. And where it's, where are you on that scale? Scary. It's scary too. So I remember like the first time I raised prices ever, I was like, they're all gonna go away. I'm gonna have no clients. They're gonna say, say, yeah, you were good at a, you know, at $2 an article, . I, I didn't try raising it with them, I just went somewhere else, but, oh yeah.

First of all, the same fear, you know, happened. Like, oh, well you were okay at this amount, but come on. Not a penny more. That's ridiculous. You're a little full of yourself, aren't you? , you know, that was, so what happened? Hold that one. How did that work out? Wait. No, I have to charge. Did they continue though?

Yeah, exactly. It's like all Well, they did. They've, you know, I've never had a client go, forget it, I'm out. You know? Um, yeah. But it, it came down to me, it hit me in the head like a ton of bricks. At one [00:47:00] point. I actually do my clients a disservice by not charging enough. Hmm. Because they need this. And if I go out of business because I'm not charging enough now, who are they gonna go to?

Right. That guy. No. You know? Yeah. So it's like, if you, you know it, you do it, you know, we owe it to ourselves and to our clients, and really to their customers because they couldn't find them if they didn't have writing on their page. You know? I mean, it's just, it's this ripple effect of It hits, it touches a lot of people.

Absolutely. You gotta make sure you're around . Yes. Staying in business. That's the secret to success. staying in business long enough. Right. Don't, don't get pissed. Don't quit. I, I had a, I had a guy reach out to me once. And he said, Hey, are you still in business? I said, uh, yeah. Why? Okay, great. I need you to put a proposal with me together for, because I had someone I was working with, uh, they were supposed to submit it and reach out to them, and [00:48:00] apparently now they're out of business and you're still in business, so therefore you must be doing something right.

Right. Yes. . Okay. That's the secret to success. Hold on for dear life. Right. You know, get better, charge more. Yes. Uh, and stick around and you'll eventually it will, it will come to you. That's kind of my business model now, . That's pretty good. That's pretty good. I, uh, I did wanna share this story as it relates to my daughter and her photography.

She, she's been shooting since she was 12, 13, 14. Right. And she loves it. Yeah. She picked it up almost immediately. Understands i o aperture a lot better than I do. And I've been shooting longer, but, . I don't put the time in. And she got it. Like she knows she's natural. All this. Yeah. And she started doing gigs.

She started getting, uh, opportunities and she was charging very little, but you know, she was getting the reps in. So I encouraged her recently. She's like, uh, [00:49:00] I'm having people come back and ask me for more work. I think I should raise my prices. I'm thinking $200. I said, no, at least five. And we went back and forth and back and forth.

And I, and I, the big thing I told her, look, when you're young, you don't have a job. You don't have rent, you don't have a car bill. Uh, they're gonna get what they pay for and you're getting your reps in. You're not great yet. Right? So this is the reason I wanted you to do it early on. So, Suck and not be very good.

You're a kid. Yes. And people know that, and they'll get decent photos that she weren't gonna suck, but she was not as good. Uh, so by the time you're 20, 21, 25, forget about it. You're charging 5,000, $10,000 per shoot. Yes. You're getting those reps in a young enough age too. Exactly. At 25. Um, but the big thing I try to tell her this is it applies to us.

It's like you had to go through that. Luckily Yes. You were young. Yes. [00:50:00] Now, raise your prices. You have uh, you have a responsibility and you have bills to pay. And I think you're undervaluing yourself. Mm-hmm. people are only gonna pay you what you quote them. Like if you, everyone says, Hey, I want people to pay me what I'm worth.

I want people to pay me what I'm worth. Well, you need to price yourself accordingly, because very few people are gonna, if you ask for a hundred, very few people are gonna say, no, I'm gonna give you 500 instead. Mm-hmm. , no, it's you. You're the person that's pricing yourself in the marketplace. Yeah. So baby, please raise your prices.

Go ahead. She didn't do 500. I think she did three year four. That's alright. But she's super excited cuz that was already Yes, exactly. That's already doubled or triple what she was charging before. Next time around. I said, somebody told me this. Who was it? Was it Billy Jean? Was it her mozy? I was so, was one of those guys said uh, and it stuck, it stuck with me.

No, my head can't be her mozy. He just came on the scene recently. Um, no, I forget who it was. The point was with every single client, you should be looking to increase your prices. Yeah. [00:51:00] Yeah. And the, the idea being, and, and I love this, is today is the cheapest you will ever find me without be in six months or a year.

We'll see today, most likely the cheapest you will ever find me because I'm gonna continue improving. I'm gonna know more, I'm gonna be more strategic, and just know that my experience will be worth more and I won't price myself accordingly. Good. Oh shit. That's amazing. Yeah. So. That's good. That's solid advice.

Like that can set her up for her whole career and, and it will. Yeah. And, and, and at which point she's, she's gonna be fine. Yeah. Um, one way or the other, both of them are gonna be fine. I'm so right. Mm-hmm. . Yes. Um, that's so great. Awesome advice. Thank you. Thank you. I wanted to ask you about your project. Oh yeah.

Man, your big, a whole new big thing, right? Your big thing. Um, I've been pronouncing it wrong this whole time. That's, most people do. I thought it was idle wood. Apparently close. Wait, I, I thought it was Idley Wood or something like that. people, [00:52:00] please tell me you spell it. Say it wrong. Okay. So it's Idle Wild Woods.

Oh. So an idle is like I had, there it is. I lived in Charlotte for a little while. Mm-hmm. , um, as a young adult. And there were a bunch of streets that had idle wild. on them. And I thought, that's a beautiful word. What is that? And it just kinda lodged in my brain. Mm-hmm. . But an idol is like, it's idyllic.

It's like that same word, idyllic. Gotcha. And so idle, wild, you know? And then woods. But I'm ahead of myself. . Yes. So bring us back. So one thing that I know you and I both discovered in all these years of becoming grizzled veterans, working online at home, . Yes. Very great. Very great. Is uh, is really easy to have.

Entire days go by where all you did was look at the screen all day, your eyeballs hurt. You forget that there's an outdoors. You know, you're hunched over, it's awful, you're disconnected, you feel isolated, alone, kind of spent. And I lived [00:53:00] like that for a long, long time. You know, I was a single mom for a long time.

I, you know, there was a lot of financial pressure and I, my idea back then was outwork it. . Yep. Crappy mindset. Just work harder. not, don't have enough money, just work harder, work all day, every day. Not good for us. Um, about a year and a half ago I read a book called Three Simple Steps by a guy named Trevor Blake.

Trevor Blake has good, good client for you know him. Yeah. So he has run several and sometimes concurrently, but nine figure businesses. He's got. So many things. Yeah. All the time. And so I'm like, fine. It was assigned reading at work. I was just like, fine, . And he kept talking about, oh my goodness. Spending, you know, working no more than five hours a day and two or three of those hours, to be honest, he was out walking his dogs and I'm like, must be nice.

Mr. Got all the money in the world, . You know, like, but some of us are working, you know, [00:54:00] but I Fancy pants. Yeah. I was like, and I read it and read it and read. I was like, all right. He's saying just go outside. Just go outside for a few minutes. Unplugged. Just sit there. That's it. Just do that. And I'm like, fine, I'll do it.

Yeah. And I did and I'm like, you kind of like it . And then I started gardening a little bit more and I'm like, cuz I'm out here. Might as nice out here. It had, yeah. I might as well deadhead some roses or grow a thing. I don't know. Wow. But I started really liking it and I'm like, this is really weird. And so this is all I've seen those videos.

Yeah. This is all going in my head. I'm like, this is interesting. And um, I was driving home, I'd gone up to Tennessee to see my kids. I was driving home. Um, I had, I had watched Frank Kern had a video. He's not the only one to do it, but he had a video about doing the perfect average day exercise. And, um, so I've like watched that video.

I'm like driving home and all of a sudden basically [00:55:00] downloaded into my brain. was this whole idea, Hey, build a retreat center for entrepreneurs , like, and do it in the Smokies and host retreats, like quarterly retreats where they can come and connect and like, you know, like not pitching, you know, none of that crap.

Just like showing up and being real. Mm-hmm. and going roasting marshmallows around the camera. Mm-hmm. like, and set it up. So it's really nice. So they want to come and then in between these retreats, make it so that they could come back and rent the place. Mm-hmm. , like either the whole place, maybe they got a business that big, or maybe they just wanna come and write a book, or they wanna come and do their best thinking or you know, meet up with other entrepreneur friends.

And I was like, okay, , what am I doing with this? I've never done anything like this. However, if you remember 2010, you and I, where do we go? We went to an outdoor retreat for entrepreneurs that was Oh wow. We, [00:56:00] yeah. I'm still friends with a lot of them, you know, that's where met Ryan Moran actually, who was what, like 22 tiny little baby boy dude.

And, uh, little genius. Yeah. Kid genius, you know, and it's like those are lasting relationships that we. , so, mm-hmm. , I bought property . I actually, I didn't have the money, you know, so I was like, ah. So I got a couple of investors and we bought the property. We bought 35 acres in the Smokey Mountains in Greenville, Tennessee.

There's absolutely gorgeous. It's hilly. There's pasture, there's a creek. It's quiet, you can see the stars. There's not all this rude noise and it's amazing. Wow. Yeah. And so, and then I start about like, okay, now in order to build this thing, I need about $2 million to make it really nice. But in the meantime, , so I have a pitch deck, it's out there.

I talk to accredited investors, and you know, we'll see. It will either happen quickly [00:57:00] like that, or it's gonna happen slowly while I just build it myself. And either way it's happen. . So we put up our first belt tent. Cause I was like, all right, in the meantime, what I wanna do is geodesic domes. They're so cool.

You have to look 'em up if you haven't seen them. Really cool looking. I will. And you can make them so geodesic like a dome. It looks like a, like a snowball. Half a snowball. Like a kind of almost. But it's got like a, I think I have seen it. So gorgeous. Yes. They're really cool and they're perf, like you can situate it whatever way.

So it looks like you got the best view. It's quiet. It's like they're amazing. You can sleep four to six people, you put, you know, very comfy. Like, I'm trying to aim it like it's the Ritz. You know, like I've seen some of these domes where people charge five, six, $700 a night and I want ours to be that race.

You know? So, I'm like, okay, that's definitely gonna take some funding. So . But in the meantime, , I'm like, I really just wanna start sharing this place. Like I, I want to have friends there. I [00:58:00] want entrepreneurs to go there and have like a fantastic planning time and go, oh my gosh, I just got the idea for.

whatever their thing is. And so, um, oh wow. Yeah. So we put in a bell tent In the meantime, , so mm-hmm. . It's not, it's primitive, but it's not like entirely primitive. Like you can get a shower, we have a, a shower hut and you can heat up some water and go and, you know, there's a, a composting toilet. And one of my dear friends contributed, so I'm like, oh, this is amazing.

So you don't have to actually poop in the woods like a bear, but , you can, you can like, I guess, but go for it. But you have this like excellent time just in this, in this belt hunt. As it pays for itself, we'll add another and another and another and you know, and just keep adding them on while we raise, raised the money for Aah woods the way that I want it to be.

The other exciting part is we did get a grant for including a food forest, a community food forest. So some of this [00:59:00] acreage is on a pasture and it's really fertile cuz we got this creep going. You know, so this grant allowing us to, when it funds, you know, it could be a year, it could be two years, who knows?

But, um, to build like a permaculture, like so that people from the, so it's Appalachia, it's very poor. The whole Smokies is, you know. Mm-hmm. You know it, right? But, so there, there are a lot of hungry families and I, I just have like, like I don't feel like that should be a thing. I feel like we should be able to fix that.

So I'm gonna , so, so we, we'll have this, um, you so happy. Yeah. , well, this permaculture thing that's gonna produce a lot of food, you know, the community comes in with this grant. We give away 75% of what we. . So I'm thrilled. And we'll teach people like, hey, here's, you know, you can grow on your own. Yeah. And I, I just really want for people to have that power to create the food that they want, you know, organic, fresh, and that they have control over, so.

Right. It's happening. Wow. It's just, it's not happening as [01:00:00] fast as I want tv. Like, I'm like, why isn't this done already? . Like, . I bet it's never fast enough. It's fast. Never fast enough, enough . But it's gonna be, it's fast still. Not fast enough. It's still not fast. Yeah. I believe that to be true. Yeah. , I'm, uh, I'm beyond impressed and blown away by the vision.

Thank you. You're right. We, as entrepreneurs, we don't see much light. Uh, it's only recent. You know what's funny is I didn't learn this till recently and maybe they taught me this and I just forgot, but I didn't know how important the sun was for our body or for our eyes. Even for to sleep better, you need to have some, uh, exposure to the sun.

Yes. You need to have, so you're circadian rhythms, it's all connected. Yeah. Vitamin D I had no idea. Yeah. The vi like my doctor said, Hey, you should just take more walks to get more vitamin D. I was like, yeah, what I gotta do with it? Vitamin D, why don't just drink more milk? She's like, no, no. Vitamin D will help you produce.

I mean, the [01:01:00] sun sunshines walking will help you. Um, yes, get more sunshine and you will produce vitamin D. Natural. Really? Why the, and so anyways, and I have a, um, as entrepreneurs, a home at home entrepreneurs, marketers, I hardly ever go out. I want years without hardly. Spending any time outside. Yeah. Or with another human face-to-face.

This is covid. Hello. Yeah. There's that . But even before that, that's why Covid didn't screw with me too much. Right. because I was already little lifestyle . Yeah. Like, wait, what? Why is everybody, I don't know what the big deal is, bro. . Um, but this is fantastic. So when you shared the idea with him and like you were like, what do you think about this?

Uh, what are your thoughts? I'm like, this is brilliant. Um, do it, I don't know how what this involves, but do it if you can make it work. And you have, you found, uh, financial, um, backing some, right? Yeah. Um, which that story in and of itself, what was, [01:02:00] I would like to ask you about that. What was the first big obstacle you had to overcome?

Oh man. I was just, I was terrified cuz I was. . I don't know. I've never done this. Now granted, I've built an advisory board of people who have done parts of it, which is fantastic. My husband used to be a general contractor, so that's fantastic. Ah, his parents used to own campgrounds, so I'm like, close. So, alright, that's, that's helpful.

So I was terrified that like, okay, I don't know what I'm doing. How am I gonna, like, if somebody invests, I'm terrified for them. Like, why were they doing that? , why would you gimme your money? I don't wanna lose it. Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? Yes. You know? And that, that was terrifying and mm-hmm. because I was so scared of that.

I had a really hard time even making my pitch deck . I was like, I'm closer and closer to actually ruining somebody's life. It was terrifying. No. So, oh, I was just like, oh my gosh. And then it was [01:03:00] very helpful cuz some more seasoned investors were like, Dude, we know, we know everything. All your projections, they're made up.

It hasn't happened yet. It's all looking at the best. You know, and we know you're talking about. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We, I love that it up. It's fine. That's what you do when you don't know you have to pick something, you know? So we know and we know that we, it's on us to do our due diligence and to be honest, right.

We're betting. It's like, if it were horse betting, we're b betting on the jockey, not the horse. So even if this whole thing goes up in smoke, hopefully not literally. Right. You know, we would be back like, Hey, whatever else. We'll get you next time. Whatever else you're doing, we want in. You know? I was like, wow.

Oh, oh, wow. Okay. That's deep. That's very deep. You clearly had the, you had the, the, uh, the trust of the investors. Yes. Yes. So you, that's. gold. That's huge. And so what I started with was I just [01:04:00] started posting, you know, I've ultimately wrote what they call a vivid vision so people can Google that. Cameron Har Harold wrote that Vivid Vision is a great book, but it's basically like imagining it, okay.

As if it's p, it's like right now present tense. What are you seeing? What are you feeling? Who are you serving? How's the marketing, all this? So I started writing all that out and people were like, ah, I see what you're doing. I see. Yes, I want, part of that. Writing was good right there, huh? Yeah. That was a great time to have a, you know, writer and so, but it was just an amazing thing to see people go, I see what you're doing and I wanna help.

The best thing that I heard, for the best analogy for investors is this. Let's say you're driving in the car, car breaks down. We've had that car, we've both had that car, pull it into the shoulder. Okay? So people are. Going right past you , and you're in there and you're like looking up on [01:05:00] YouTube, how do I fix this?

How do I, you know, texting somebody, I don't know what's going on, but you're in your car, nobody's stopping. If you got outta your car and you were pushing your car, I guarantee people are gonna stop, pull over and help you because you have traction. You're showing I need help and I'm doing this thing.

Whether somebody stops and helps me or not, I'm doing this. Mm-hmm. , because this is important. I have to move the car. So that's how investors look at it. Like, if they see you're doing this thing one way or the other, that's huge. They can see that your intent on, I am making this thing happen and I'm getting some traction.

Not as fast as if I had five people pushing with me, but it's happening. So I just kinda keep looking at that. Like I've, I've shown my pitch to several people. You know, you never hear back. I'm like, okay, , sometimes I've heard, well, no, it's, you know, I'm, I'm into this or into that. So not so much a real estate type thing, but that's fine.

I'm like, okay, that's totally good because I want only to have investors [01:06:00] who totally get it, who can see it as well as I can see it, and who wanna be part of that and, and want to help push that car along. Yeah. Right. Let's push the car, you know, , just to continue that metaphor, cuz it's, they, yeah, they're, the, the Vesters are gonna help push that car along or maybe call the, call the mechanic over and, and help repair us.

So we, yeah, I, I'll get em, damn thing, sometimes they're gonna have a guy, right? So, Hey, I'll push this car. I got a guy, let me call him. You know, it's like, it's not just the money. You want their advice, you want their resources, their, hey, you know, I know this guy who's on YouTube and he is, you know, got this huge channel and if we invite him to come and camp or come stay at a dome, yes, it's gonna blow up.

You know? Yeah. Like that type of thing. I think it's gonna happen for you. Yeah. Especially given your marketing experience, your marketing connections, uh, your writing, uh, the, it it, this is inevitable. Once the thing really starts to, I guess, gain traction. Wow. It's going to work. [01:07:00] And you may be the first of many.

Yes. I feel like you will be copycatted before long. Well, that's the thing. A lot of, I, some people all the time like, oh my gosh, I have that same idea. How are you doing this? I'm like, believe me, I'm taking notes as I go. Cause I don't know some of this stuff. Like there's a lot I don't know, but I'm figuring it out and I will share it.

I will make it a course eventually for people who wanna start a retreat center cuz like that's what I do. You, you. You're building the plane as you go along on the way down. Yes. Um, exactly. And it's, it's, it's beautiful to watch and I can't wait for it to be open. Um, thank you. My, my girlfriend has family in Tennessee.

Oh, how about that? So it's gonna make it even more tempting. Yes. More tempting to come see you. Uh, actually we need to schedule that next year. Yes. I'll talk to her, um, about coming to Tennessee and coming to see you, see this person. That would be amazing. Um, that would be amazing. I, I, I'm, I'm, I feel cool to know you, to be honest.

Oh, . Um, every time your name pops up, like your name comes up from time to [01:08:00] time with people or I see who you're working with. Like you mentioned Trevor, he was a client of mine for about a year, year and a half. And that, you know, I helped, was helping market him. I was doing YouTube and other stuff for him.

Um, but to hear you, you talk so, um, so highly of him, I'm like, oh my God, he's my client. Right. And knowing what he's doing in the world, he's. Yeah. Yeah. Like we're, we haven't talked much, but we're still close enough so we can see each other like, I see you. Yep. I see you, girl. Do your thing. Totally. Um, ah, so thank you.

Thank you for that. Uh, I hope, and I will, uh, I'm more than happily share this. When, when it, uh, when you get closer and closer to, I guess making it more public or it, how is that gonna work? Public? Yes. So I can't opening music, see and all this kind of thing, so I can, I can send it to individuals who ask to see it.

I can't post it publicly, the pitch, but, um, but yeah, they can. So, and we have a website that's [01:09:00] getting built. I have a barter deal going. One of my clients, he's building amazing website. Okay. So the ugly version is, I'm looking at it. Yes. The ugly version is there. Entrepreneur retreat center.com. And, uh, over the next weeks or months, it will become beautiful.

Okay. , magically . Good. Good, good. I love that. I love that. Um, I wanted to wrap up our interview by asking you, or having a conversation around something that we've talked about in the past and mm-hmm. , especially now that we're older parents. Um, it's, uh, one of the things I'm struggling with, and I'm, I'm, I'm getting better at it, is now that we're older and our kids are older, uh, I hardly see my kids.

Ah, it's hard. And it, it's, it's hard, but we actually like each other. Yeah. That's a good thing. So it's not, they're not, I'm not, not, see, I'm not seeing them because we don't have a good [01:10:00] relationship. Right. It's because they're, they're living, is he doing their thing? They're feeling live. Exactly. Um, and you said something to me that rocked me, but at the same time was beautiful.

Is that, do you remember this conversation? Yeah. Yeah. Cause I think that something along the lines. Yeah. Something along the lines of, . They are, they now get to choose Yes. How much they, how much access they give us, how much, uh, they're volunteers. Yeah. We're all volunteers in the relationship at this point and Oh, like, wow, that's absolutely true.

And I kind of knew that intellectually for a while, but when you said that to me, I, I think I balled a little more . Yeah. . But I'm in a good place. I'm happy with the job that I've done. I've given 'em the resources that I feel I wi or that I wish I had. Yeah. Uh, given tools, language, um, , um, skill sets. [01:11:00] So I'm very happy.

Yeah. Um, but it's still tough . I know. I just, I still struggle with it. It's hard. It's hard. It's like, I mean, and that's a beautiful thing. You've set them up so that they can just go function. You know, they're not crashing on your sofa cuz they can't do anything else. Like it's, they are fully functioning people, which is a beautiful thing.

It's still, you miss, like, just miss 'em. Yeah. Just miss my kids Sometimes I come across, yeah, you come across old photos. Do you, do you have this come up on Facebook memories? They're like, oh my god. Yes. Yes. What happened? ? And it's so, the beautiful thing. I don't, the beautiful thing is, and you know, to be honest, like there have been times my kids have hated me.

I've, you know, it, it has not always been flowers and roses and, you know, uh, you know. Right. But what I know now is that those memories that I have, I might be the only person who has. [01:12:00] because they were babies. You know, some of my memories are like holding my daughter, like rubbing my head. Uh, my chin on the top of her head, that soft hair just singing together.

She's too little to remember that. Or my son, right. You know, wearing his, one of his many different costumes out Buzz light ears, spider-Man or whatever, and just out, be out and about. And I remember like, I could just look at him and what a cute little boy this is so sweet. So these are our memories are from our perspective, we own them, right?

Which means we can visit them anytime, which is a beautiful thing. It's like, it's so vivid and I kind of feel like it'll get really woowoo with this, but I kind of feel like I can picture my little kids and almost travel through time, you know, in a weird sort of woowoo way and tell them things like, Hey, you're gonna be all right.

You know, mom loves you. Yeah. Like anything that I wish I could have gone back and [01:13:00] fixed, I can go and, and tell them this way. I don't know if they'll ever get it, but I can have like a relationship with them in a whole different sphere of existence. Like they live in my memories in a very powerful way.

Wow. That's beautiful. I can visit that anytime. It doesn't matter if they're here or not here. If I'm busy, you know, if I'm flying on a plane, whatever. Those are always accessible and it's, uh, it's a beautiful thing to be able to kind of have those and treasure them, you know? I do. I'm, uh, I'm grateful for the time I've had with them.

Yeah. Uh, the stories that I share and the videos that I do, where I talk about the stories Wow. Of everything that I do around. . As I get older, I'm afraid I'm gonna forget more and more. Yes. So hopefully the internet doesn't go to ship. Right. And burn down and it's still there so I can repeat it. . Yeah, I saw that you were saying, cause right now, the, yeah, [01:14:00] I mean, you look back at your, your father, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, like great-grandfather.

You probably know nothing about all No experience of him. No. What did he think about this or that? What were her feel, his feelings, what did he feel like the day he got married, when he had kids, when he had great grandkids? You know, no way to know none of that. None of that exists. I, I feel like didn't know them, man.

I know my, I barely know my dad . Right, exactly. So by you writing, by drawing, by creating all this, curating these moments from your life, they're for your kids and for your grandkids and for your great grandkids and great, great. Who you probably will never meet, but they'll meet you. They'll know you, you know.

That's something that I, I, I'm depending on . Yeah. I had this, this thought, or I came across this idea a while back and it like, stuck with me ever since. So kind of to your point about, um, having, being able to talk to them, um, I had this, this quote, or whatever the heck it was, said, something like [01:15:00] the, the way the, the, the dialogue that we have in our heads, in our minds are the voices of our parents because they were the first programmers, the first people whispering words and and whatnot.

And I hope that the voice they hear in their head is a good one. Oh, it is one that, yeah, that, that's always been encouraging them. Yeah. You've done that, man. I've always looked up to you as a dad. Not my dad, but . , sorry. That wouldn't be laugh. always have looked up to you. Just like the way that you have shown up.

It has helped me and I hope it'll help me. Also, you know, it was a little late for me cuz my kids were older, but someday I'm gonna have grandkids. Yeah. I'm gonna break out the TV playbook because , you better get that book done, . I I will, I will. Like, it's, it's, uh, I want, I need to have it [01:16:00] before the girls go and have kids.

Yeah. Ah, that's a whole nother mess. I know, right? We won't even think about that yet. Let's not think about that. Susan, I love you. You've been a great friend for so many years. I appreciate your time. We've gone a little long. Um, but I had a hunch we'd go a little long. I hope you don't mind . Not at all. A tv.

I love hanging out with you. You are. Thank you. You're one of my heroes, one of my very favorite humans on the planet, so. Well, if it makes you feel any better, you are too. If I haven't verbalized that. You rock. You've been, I've been watching you, you've been watching me, we've been, um, watching each other's trajectory and, and, uh, I'm impressed and beyond honored to be your friend.

Uh, so thank you for your time is I guess the big point I was trying to get to. Thank you for your time, for your stories and, uh, give me some insight. Um, you definitely gave me some th things to think about. Thank you. You're very welcome tv. Thank you for having me. Come on out and absolutely, let's go run around in the woods and rs and marshmallows and stuff.

I get wait, we, [01:17:00] we'll talk, we'll talk offline and, and continue this conversation, but yes. So with Adam, I being said, thank you for tuning in to the TV show podcast. My name is, This is Susan. Feel free to look her up at, oh, what, I'm sorry. What would the website be? Will it still be It's still entrepreneur entrepreneur retreat center.com.

Entrepreneur retreat center.com. I'll make sure to include links to all her stuff, whatever she wants me to include, because this is gonna be fantastic and, and, uh, I can't wait to share more about it. So make sure to start following her now. She has a great newsletter where she tells fantastic stories on the progress of the, the entire center, so, uh, make sure to sign up for that.

Until next time, bye bye.


Susan AndersonProfile Photo

Susan Anderson


Business writer, Susan Anderson may have just turned 55 but she's tackling the biggest project yet - and it's not in front of a screen. She and her husband are the founders of Idyllwild Woods Retreat Center in the Great Smoky Mountains. There, she'll host entrepreneurs and creatives who want to get into nature to do their best thinking, and forge deep connections with new friends. Kind of like a sleepover camp for world changers.