You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith
Hey, everybody, What's up? Chase Driver Syria, Good friend. Welcome. Another episode of the Chase Service Live show here on Creativelive. You show This is where I sit down with amazing humans And I do everything I can unpack their powerful brands with the goal of hoping you live your dreams in career in hobby and in life, my guest today is a multi New York Times best selling author is also built An amazing start raised more than $100 million. And as this democratizing access to space to physical space with a company called Breather. Lots of other things. Lots of other accolades. We could hang on this guy before we do. I need to introduce him. My man Julian Smith, back for second show. I love you. Hey, thanks for having me. Thanks, but two shows, then a couple of maybe three years. Maybe a long time ago. Ah, lot has changed. And that's one. The reasons I'm very excited having back. I'm gonna go back in time. I'm gonna take us back for a second, Okay? The way back machine has begun and I...
'm gonna go back to little me sitting. I remember I was sitting. I was sitting on this white pleather couch that we had in ah, couple houses ago that I lived in with my wife, Kate, uh, sitting on this pleather couches about two in the morning, and I really don't know how long, but this is, like, a long time ago. And I read this blawg post, right? Called the subtle art of not getting fuck. And it had unicorns like shitting rainbows. It had, like, it was just It was an amazing thing that you just did not see on the Internet. This is maybe years ago, maybe a long time eight years ago. And it was just It was an amazing I would say act of vision, of vulnerability, of access to the mind of creators and a reflection on pop culture. And to me, it was I'm gonna in this to you in just a second. You said word. We're like, we're 10 minutes in the show here. You're going like, do you actually have a guest? But before I let you speak and I remember, just like, this is so cool. This is what the Internet has the ability to connect people with people and whether it's a creator with their fans and followers or to people in the same community from thousands of miles apart. You wrote a block post that spoke to millions of people, and it's since been made into a book by someone Take me back. So we're going to cover a lot of ground with friends so we could just like, Well, it's gonna be a little bit random today, but take me back to this block post you wrote However, many years ago, it was amazing, you know, I think thinks it's it's it's weird. What will catch on is, I guess, what happens. And like, there's so many lessons from from when you do things on the Internet. You know, just just the other day there was this whole thing about Warren Buffett on Twitter, and so someone who was not Warren Buffett at all. I don't know if you saw this, but started tweeting just like the most generic aphorisms like, you know, you should be good to other people and interest. It accumulated 250,000 followers in six days. Yeah, and it wasn't Warren Buffett wouldn't profit at all. And if it has his own account with 1.4 million followers as well. And so it's it's just fascinating to watch things apply on the Internet. That's something that flew on the Internet. Yeah, uh, and at the time I was writing a book called Flinch, which is a book that gratefully something like a 1,000, or something people have read over time. And then I sort of working on Breather, which is my company that I co founded. And meanwhile, what you really discover about that processes ideas really can't be owned anywhere that you go. You're choosing something every day. And so that book went crazy. Excuse me? That blood post went crazy, and I'm crazy for years. And then one day, someone was like, I'm gonna make this into a book. And they did. And I was like, one minute my blood, I got the same thing with this little thing called insta Great, right? You invented it. And someone else had, uh you're telling the story the other day about the guy who started a Tory and he also started Chuck E cheese, which is very strange. But, you know, the theory was really interesting because after after he created the video games was like No one's gonna by thes But if I put them in a thing and the nurse pizza and the reason it's great with pizza is because you have to wait for pizza. So what you gonna do while you're there gonna play video games? And so he invents use. He invents these two companies of both pretty successful things. And but the the sort of apocryphal story in the background is that Steve Jobs offered him $50,000 something like 30% of Apple. And he was like, No thanks. It was a scene that's right. Exactly. In 1975 is roughly 300 Billy. That's right, which is not a big deal, and that's the history of the end of that right there. But let's go back your black book. So an idea is not honorable. But go back to you writing that block post because it was amazing. You know what, what was the inspiration behind it? And can you sort of encapsulate what? What you said? I mean, you just you discover that you cannot go on living a life that that is that other people, other people's feelings are in control of what you're doing right? And so everyone is. Everyone is experienced something like that and have experienced in various ways. Like, you know, I used to go to church till the age of 16 because my my parents told me to do that when one day you have to have and I don't go to church now, but it's like someone will say, Well, why you're still doing that? You say what? You're still doing that and right there, you have to choose like you're right there choosing your feelings or you're choosing your parents. So it's like Maybe that's very relatable example. But you're doing this like 100 times doing it every day. If you're the CEO of a company, then you have to make decisions every day that are gonna displace some people. That's an inevitability. So it's that it was about choosing. I think it became like for several for several people. Will James All Tucker's another one. Yet it would be like you have to choose yourself and choose your own feelings. Yeah, and that's like the moment where I kind of realized that it was very impactful and what it just felt like was this amazing act of authenticity and vulnerability, and I'm gonna do a little. I'm gonna put my work to it now. You don't have to own these all on them. And that's just what I read was like, Hey, look it, I've been to to focus on what everybody else thinks And it's time I need to start taking care of of myself and putting my own oxygen mask on before assisting other passengers or whatever the the sort of analogy is. And it was just to me, it's, you know, in a way it sort of stood for what? The Internet and all of the democratization of these processes and activities and tools it could could stand force. It was very anthemic, and I was like, This dude's awesome. And then I found on Twitter for a long time. We started communicating there and then, lo and behold, we got to spend some time together. Twitter became a hellscape website or something. I don't know what right, but it's fun to cross. Passing was where we both raised some money, um, to help our startups grow even with breather music creativelive. But I'm gonna take us on a little journey. So we've got that. You know, we went the way back machine me sitting on my white fake leather couch just now since, uh, at my former assistant Norton's house. But if you go to the Central colonel there, to me, that was sort of you. Um, you said you were writing a book at the time. You you then wrote Flinch. You co authored a book called Trust Agents With Chris Brogan. What? Talk to me about that phase of your career and a little bit about each of those two novels and, yeah, give me the top line sort of each. And then we're going to dive into each one independent. Yeah, when we So when I wrote two books with Chris, I Chris was This was during the phase when when the social media was really not much of a thing at all, and we were noticing things that did not really common sense. Today. It's crazy to watch things happen on the Internet that become a standard, and but and you kind of don't know at the time, but you're like, Well, someone had to invent it, you know? And so having been through several phases of that now, I had the good fortune of being on 39 today, but really like for something like or 20 years. It's like people were inventing things the same way that I don't know. Maybe some people think crypto currency or whatever. Centralized APS is the future or something like that. And and there's there's people out there men and women in inventing those things. And so there was a time when there were no best practices on businesses and social media and how they were supposed to behave. So what, you see, as you know, Wendy is talking shit on the Internet to like whoever that likes McDonald's or something like that. And so we were out there in 8 4009 kind of doing those best practices. We wrote a book about it, and so that was dressed. Agent. Yeah, that was thrust agents that that became an instant New York Times bestseller, and we were very fortunate. And it's really like, I think, the core thing that I figured out, which is like timing really the main thing in your whole life, Yeah, right. And so that led to a career in doing doing speeches. Being a public speaker, I then wrote a book called Flinch, which is broadly about why people say that they want to do things and then never do them. They have certain goals that they want or they have certain things they want out of their life. But for some reason, even though they have all the information to do those things, they don't they don't actually do them. And there's just a fundamental sort of paradox that is inherent and everyone's life and how to come to grips with. And this was a fear of period in time where I was really, uh I don't know. I was trying to discover the core things that matter to me. And then during this time, after I wrote the third book as well, Chris, I was like, Huh, I'm really kind of just a talker, and I haven't really, ever actually done anything. You were not a talker, but you were principally an artist, right? And so I guess, in a way, I was writing as if you define a desert. After that, I was like, What am I? Could I actually operate a business and I might just a phony. It's like coming to grips with this thing and then going, I'm gonna go out and start a business, and I did. And so that's what I do know. Yeah, all right, So I'm gonna go, Let's let's stay in the book world for a second. We'll get to breather, which is the business that you just spoke up, which is an incredible business, by the way, um so trust agents in an age where you're writing something before it's common knowledge, you are in large part staking out sort of big claims. I think one of the things that you claimed in trust agents was that social Media was here because in 2008 it was like because it couldn't be measured. At that time, it was seen as much less useful, And so most of the big agencies and corporations were largely talking shit about it because they didn't see the application or they undersold the application. But it's important to acknowledge that that's literally because it wasn't measurable. And then now, obviously, it's a huge multi $100 billion business in and of itself, the business of social media. Maybe more than multi 100 billion, I don't know, but sort of How did you How did you start a decide to put rules and ideas and best practices in place in a world where you're just making it up? Yeah. And I think that underline is like, Are we all just making it up? Yeah, that's right. We are. And then and then some people are chosen, like write books about it or become authors or become experts. And in fact, all of us are just kind of making it up as we go along. It requires a certain arrogance. I think that either you have to have a naturally and that you have to tame or the opposite, that you don't have it. And you have to fake the gear against or something like that problem, which were you both really, both a combination of, like, who are these people that are writing rules and why don't I become a person that right rules And then I'll go home and I, like, put my head on the pillow and be like, no idea what I'm doing. So it's a combination of those two things which I think, really some people can really So, uh, at that time, you're just like, you know, the core, the core thing that I think if you're a creator or someone who's trying to invent something, what you really want, you wanna be able to look at something with fresh eyes and say, But why does it work this way? And I don't understand why lots of people are following these rules. They don't seem to make any sense to me and to be able to have the courage or have the audacity and arrogance or whatever to attempt to recreate something and and then not just that, but actually like to withstand the the assault of people telling you that you're wrong over and over again, right? There's this funny thing with Jeff Bezos when the Kindle fire came out and you watch him, Do you know we wailing over this person is, but in 4010 I have no idea. He comes out the Kindle fire, and it's literally him on stage, just being angry about other people not believing in. And he's already like the third richest person in the world. But he's still angry and he's like he's like Okay, so you remember when we came out with the Kindle and no one believed that we could make it work? And then here's what happened then he's like, and then 2009. Here's what we did And he's just like you could tell that there's this just if insane. You're about as good of an entrepreneur as the chip on your shoulder and the sides of it. Yeah, and so he has the biggest chip on her shoulder is like in his mind, I can tell, because I felt this feeling I What's it gonna take, guys, before you take me seriously like, What's it gonna take? And that's the thing that kind of propels you relentlessly in that direction. I e think the quote that somehow emerged on the backside of that tantrum was, You have to be as an entrepreneur, a creator. You have to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I think that's a beautiful like nutshell for capturing. And so for the folks watching and listening at home or on the road or wherever you are, like if there are elements of your life where you feel like you've got ideas and you want to put them out in the world and people don't get it. They don't get you, your parents, your close friends. In some cases like these were people who you trust and admire and appreciate and value their opinion. And when even they are dubious or they're like, Oh, yeah, good luck with that photographer fishing and nice job, Good luck or whatever it is that there's hope because basically all things in some way, shape or form have that immediate. What's the truth? Goes from sort of not possible to obvious. Yeah, it was like the three. I think Schopenhauer or something like that. There's three stages of truth and you just have to find a way to get your idea to the sites where other people And that's where I think your comment about the chip on your shoulder is drink. If you don't have enough of a chip on your shoulder, you will simply give up. Yeah, because you're like, OK, you know what? Fuck people like cares. Okay, I'm over it. You know, I don't need to solve this problem with someone else. That's right. I, you know, are some some version, like, I've done that part that I needed to do, like I'm done and then the other side is just like you don't understand how it's something that is so obvious to you needed to be obvious and fairly obvious for you to put your just like whatever we're all doing, like putting a reputation on the line, putting our name to something, signing to it every day, right? And saying, Yeah, I still believe that. That's right. I'm gonna tell you about it right now. Yeah, that's right. And, uh and so how you're relentlessly doing that, you really need to believe in it. But still, like, 90% of the world doesn't care. No, Never mind believing it. They don't even know it exists. How about how important is believing in the idea that you're trying to get out there? I think it's the core thing. You know, it's funny, because what you discover I don't like this about myself, but it's like one of my core things. I think I can sell an idea really well. It's not a if you want to be something in life, you really do need this skill, but it's not like it's not a great quality, like I'm a great sales burst like it's really I wish that there was something else, something more, you know, grateful, holy or like pure, you know, like some other quality. But you really do need that. And in order to most people who are who are able to sell really well, they sell because they believe in something. And if they don't believe in something that I think the whole thing falls apart, I think there's a let's throw rocks at Microsoft for second. No, no offense. I love you know, Microsoft Apple, everyone for their own thing. But if you're your apple and you've got the IPod and then a couple years later your Microsoft and you have the Zune and for that you don't remember this was Microsoft's attended as an answer to the, um, MP three player, and I remember reading or hearing an inside inside baseball kind of idea where the people at Microsoft were tossed to sell it. Think you're like, just make me fucking IPod. I could sell that. You made me fucking Zune like I can't sell the Zune and what is implicit. There's not the product, and whether it's good or not good, it's the belief or lack of belief in the thing right? And if the people who are supposed to be driving this thing in your case as an entrepreneur or ah creator, it's like if you don't believe in you, who will? If you don't believe in your ideas, your passion, the things that you care about, who will? And that's a very, very hard I think, thing to come to grips with. And for those at home where kind of think about why the thing isn't working, I think maybe that's this could be a call to arms like, Do you believe in it? Yeah, and it's so challenging to simultaneously because you have to hold all these ideas in your head at the same time. One of your ideas is is I could be wrong. You cannot discount that because at some point someone's going to say something to you. I remember having a hard deadline some day in June of 2013 and being like if I can't raise money and finish it by this day, I'm just gonna drop this. And actually on that day where I announced my company at Le Web, which was, I think, our collective friend Loic, who runs that event in France and I'm Francophone Canadians. So that was appropriate place for me to do that. And being like, if I can't raise money by that day, I'm done and actually like I literally that day off I was able to close the money and I was like, Well, I have to announce this even. And so you have to hold this. You have to have some big objective measures off by ex time with Y thing. If's that thing doesn't happen. I quit anything, right? It can't be go on forever at the same time it needs to be. But I believe in this so much that I mean that I'll all right, the tracks that I'll do these things. I really and it's funny because at some point it's vision at another point in that same line, that vision is craziness. If these equality is that people like and entrepreneurs and really laud and entrepreneurs. But they actually don't like people. Really? Yeah, totally. So it's a funny thing to be one of those people that is trying to reinvent fundamental things about the world that other people take for granted. Yeah, Like space, for example. Yes, Like commercial real estate. Commercial real estate is one of these Really funny thing is that, uh, that you just presume that you were born, that it worked. Buildings work one way, you know, and you're gonna die, and it's never gonna change. Yeah, right. And so I didn't realize that time. One of one of the best ways to know if you have an idea in your idea has some, you know, legs or whatever is that It actually propels people in a different way than you originally suspected. That would when I when I came up with this company, me and a co founder, Katarina came up. This idea of space should be useful and accessible by mobile phone. We didn't realize that we were reinventing a section of commercial real estate like a whole section of it. Yeah, That now is sitting at over 100 20 1,000, raised by very good funds. 250 employees, like all of these things and going okay. Well, re inventing something I don't know what I'm reinventing. But here we go. Right, And and then it's just propelling New Year's your year later. And and that's wild, because most ideas you start with them and the world stops you in some way. And I happened to choose an idea, and I happen to come up with a thing that, you know, it could continue to grow for 20 years, right? And that's that is obviously, like, a weird blessing. Yeah, and occurs. So we're gonna talk about both sides. Yeah, and the curse. So on the blessing side, I observed. I mean, I remember talking to you. Maybe even it was on the show a couple years ago, and it was really, really early. Or maybe not, and not even been announced yet. I don't know, man. Maybe we've been a little bit longer than we think. Such show. Um, but the prototype that I understood was, of course, people. And in the concept with breather is you want to rent space in a city and for a meeting or comments room where we've used it for recording these podcasts. Thank you. Yeah. Happy to do it. And any other number of reasons. And you want to pay by the hour and you want to have access to space. It wants to be clean in all of these things. And then you want to build the clothes that are walk away, not dissimilar to an uber renting a car. You were part of the the hit The sweet spot of the uber of the right Taking, taking a thing and making it paper use. Yeah, instead of making a commitment based, it is interesting that I hadn't thought of that distinction, but I just found it really useful. And I think part of what I've seen in this idea, for example Hey, I've got this great idea. We should be able to take pictures of anything, add cool effects, view these things called filters. Yeah, and then share direct social media. And I think this could be interesting idea. Yeah, in the future, you know, photography is gonna be a universal language that you don't have to worry about and that you're gonna be people gonna be taking pictures. You know, the best cameras one. That's what you've been taking. Pictures of receipts and where you parked your car and pictures of your kids and you'll be showing them Children, trains, images. And that was like you talked about timing. It was very early in 2079. Yeah, and it did go on to be app of the year. But I felt all of this resistance in red tape and lack of understanding in this whole company called Instagram came along. Used a lot of the same information that December to your book. But didn't they built a great business? Let's talk about breather. So when you have this idea so I know just enough about this experience to to talk about it, But I don't have to be you. What was the initial concept when you had the idea of breather and was everybody immediately onto it? Or did you get a lot of nose? And if so, what? It sounds like? No, no, no. Yeah, I had I had a meaningful Lee successful career as a writer, and it was like, but you have a good thing. I don't understand why you're doing this. My lawyer actually brought me. It's weird, by the way. It's very weird having a level any lawyer rental now have, like an army of it's really strange. But even that I had one at that time and my lawyer Rami to a breakfast place and we make fun of it now. And he brought in like, a like a property manager or something. And the guy was like, This is not gonna work and a all these things And I remember leaving that room and being like, I'm still going to do this. I literally here and I'm happy that I did so So there is, You know, it's it's just it in this process of just constantly being exposed to an idea, the idea of dwarfs as time goes on. So for me, at the very beginning, I was like, Well, space is very scarce. I just thought It's my experience in coffee shops. My experience traveling, being being a public speaker or whatever. You're you're stuck between a Starbucks in a hotel room and there's no space that's really for you right here. And so I was like, Well, people are going to need them. And I remember talking early people early investors that were like, I think this is just meeting rooms and I was like, No, it's not just that they actually it. Wasit was commercial real estate. It was largely about productivity on those things. I know when used in Los Angeles and other cities, that is largely about you and a team getting work done, of course, but at the time you start with this. It's funny. I was, you know, Andrew Mason, who started group on and then went on to start detour and descriptive, like still an entrepreneur that I really respect. She really started Groupon as, like a way to cope, to collect a set of people who want to donate something towards a cause. And the next thing you know, it becomes a coupon out, right? And so it's funny how the market will take on your for You're lucky if you have a project and your project has any market at all, right, so that's a blessing, regardless of one of those. But it's funny. Have someone where the market will take an idea and just say, Well, this is what I want out of it And then you just kind of follow that in whatever direction. So it was just people will need space, and people do need a lot of space that turns out, Yeah, but then it becomes a reinvention of section of commercial real estate, not a reinvention off Starbucks or reinvention of, you know, I don't meditation spaces or like whatever other pure sort of version of that that I thought at that time. How do you think about there? Are Other folks have tried to enter The market is a winner. Take all Know this is That's the thing, as many are over. Are we work or anything? About what? So it's funny. I think many markets are winner take all where they seem that way at the very beginning, and people tell there's almost like a religion. And I am when I say a religion. What I mean is, is a belief that is universal in tech. That network effects progressively will destroy every competitors. It's taken a long time for uber and lift, and for you to discover that actually, they're probably neither of them is gonna die for, like, a very long time. And in commercial real estate, it's. Most of these things are mostly true in large markets and very, very large markets. You have multiple winner, so in actuality, even in my industry today. You know, if you think about Convene, Convene has raised some, like 150 million for events, spaces. And then we work has raised no $5 billion you know, or by a Softbank and war in debt. Right? And we have raised over 120 now. And so there's like, meaningful players of scale. But that's only possible in markets that are insanely big. And in most cases, there probably is like a major winner, right when we just happened to be in a market that's so large that it's not doesn't really apply. So we've talked about books we've talked about cos we've talked about, Ah, a little bit of history that you have together. We'll talk about you. Something I've noticed that you don't do very much of you tend to shift all the conversations into your business. Is your products or your project? Sure. Um, so just write this one with me right the way. Um, was there something in? I think the reason for going here is the folks who are watching are largely creators and entrepreneurs, and you know the evidence very well from being on the show. And I think What we all want to know is that this is doable by people. Write us and or people like me. And if you're sitting at home in your underwear in Ohio right now, where you're on on, you know you're on a bike somewhere in central Colorado, writing up a steep hill, trying to get shape or wherever you're listening or watching that you can put yourself in this conversation. And to me, that's the most important. First step is like Wait a minute, you need to be able to put yourself there. And I think one of the best ways of doing that is through personal stories. So burn a Brown has what she calls gold plated grit, and we tell these gritty stories about how hard it was. And then we immediately kicked back over to. Our success is because it's more universally sort of loud ID that we Oh, yeah, and it was so hard to raise the money. But then we did it, and I'm trying to sort of find the other side of that same. So talk to me about some of the things that were hard in a you starting. Yeah, and what are some of your What's that? What are some of the gritty under bellies of self doubt on grit that you had to have Teoh for success? I mean, three answer is everything. It's hard, you know? That's the part that's really fucked up about it. Yeah, it's really you know, I don't know. You know, you kind of maybe Elon Musk is not popular right now because of, like, weirdos on Twitter or something. But it isn't it amazing to you how relentless how anyone could be that relentless at all like look at you and may like way are pretty relentless. But are we like, really dying on the inside by anxiety and stress? I don't know you like, in that way, But I'm gonna guess you're not. And I'm not like, of course, I feel stress. And I feel, of course, anxiety and all these things, but I'm not like dying from it on the inside. But it's the first thing to figure out is is humans or by their very nature, people that are incredibly good long term suffering. Yeah, and you just kind of have to accept it. And you just have to accept that that's a part of the human experience and the part of you doing anything of substance. The biggest thing that really drew me in Waas that I put myself on the line and I put my reputation on the line. And once I had raised money or put up some of my own money in my company. If you use the example of a company that I started then I was like then then I use the negativity to really fuel me. I was like, I am afraid of being a loser or being of being an idiot and waste. And I was like, So I have to continue. And so, uh, that's one way, you know, And then then you're in it, and then you're like, OK, you know, I remember waking up in being life midway between maybe my are serious. Cede our series a round and I would wake up like any entrepreneur wakes up in the middle of night. I don't wake up in a freak out. Maybe, but what I do is I just wake up and I'm thinking, Yeah, and I just won't stop thinking. And so what quality is that I had from my book reading Days and I still have is I read 1000 words every morning and I do that every morning. I've been doing it for 10 years or something a long time. And I woke up and I was like, We are running out of money and I was like, Oh, well, shit. And so you, uh, you will find yourself with heaps and heaps and burdens and just these insane burdens that you that you take on And really, it's about whether you're able to persevere through them, you know? And what you figure out it's actually like you really wish that it were over already, like the person and Chicago is going up the hill and was trying to get up in shape. Uh, you know, it's it really is just about whether you quit or not, you know, is the most. So much of success is just just like one mile past where the you got off your bike. Yeah, and you're like, OK, I guess I have to keep going. And so there are, you know, it's it's really fascinating, and I I love you do see all the success stories. Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix was the CEO currently still, and he says something along the lines off. Oh, I just love competing and I love being in the ring and I love all these things and how excited he seems about it. And he's like, Is he just excited all the time? No. We can talk about it, is not excited all the time. You super stressed out all the time. It's just that there's more positive in it for him than negative. But it wasn't always that way, and it's and so there is this relent. It's, but at least we have the good fortune in our case of having this relentless attitude and being able to continuously persevere and succeeding. Yeah, and that that's some luck, that some court work. That's some support from family members. Like all the alchemy that needs toe get it, too. It has to work together in order for you to get to the other side. All right, so you wake up at three in the morning like we're running out of money. What's the tactic that you mentioned reading 1000 words but feel like bridge? The gap for me between waking up and realizing that you're running out of money. And how do you get through it? Yeah, So I think I just in the early stages of a company, you don't have a lot of people that you can be like, Hey, what do we do? In my case, we had something like nine employees, maybe something like that. And I had a good fortune that we had a decent people and those people, I was just like, guys you guys need to run a company in needs to grow at this rate, just figure it out. I probably said, like at the time, it was like You need to grow 8% a week, which is a well known y Combinator thing, 20% a month and to their good fortune. And it worked out really well for everyone involved. I could focus on doing this one thing and we were successful in doing that. We raised $6 million Series A and we did it because of what? This is something that I didn't understand at the time. I think what people believe is they believe that individuals that are successful are successful because they just have this relentless drive and I accidentally just reinforced that with what I just said, and I'm sorry, and that's not true. What really happens is that there's a successful safety ecosystem around them, and that ecosystem is a combination of the your co founder and your early people and all these things and the people that will wake up when you wake up in the middle of the night and I, like, will lean over to you and be like You're OK. Is everything fine? You know, you're actually not doing it by yourself. You never are. There is no you just get a credit. Yeah, the myth of the loans December which is, which is a complete illusion. But it's reinforced by the fact that there's one guy on the show, not like a whole team of people behind them. In actuality, what I when I when I wrote that book the flinch, I believe that it was all about grit and perseverance and just going and doing the hard thing. What I didn't realize was, in order to do that, you need a amount of underlying safety. Yeah, that safety can come from in a lot of cases. I'm sure it comes from. That's really crazy things. It can come from having a lot of money in the bank. It can come from your loved ones that you have. It can come from other people that you trust come from not having a lot of other expenses. That's right. Yes. To lead to live are very few and very simple. At worst, I return to acts, which is a pretty good option it comes from. Yeah, they're baton your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, which is another alternative other than your success here. And so there's lots of different things that you do to produce safety. And then that basis of safety allows you to take the risk and feel like I'm okay, because regardless, I've got this stuff. I love that. I'm gonna do a slight little detour here, and I had the good fortune of being mentored by Sir Richard Branson is an investor creativelive amazing legend. And I think everybody thinks and he tells you told me this story over lunch is like, you know, people. They romanticize about their romanticize about entrepreneurship. All right, All my chips, you just betting it all. And the reality is that you know whether you're, uh, who invented the light bulb Thomas at a center or you know who had 1000 misfires Or as he says it like, I found 1000 ways not to amend the label, Um, that that there's your it's always about sort of living to fight another day, and trying to what Richard says is sort of mitigate the downside. And there's so many things you could do in order to protect yourself, whether it's a rainy day fund, whether it's reduced your living expenses, yes, so that you're very happy with very simple things and that therefore, if you blow everything and you have nothing, then you can start again because, yeah, you know you don't need these material things. Or, in his case of example, he used with me was negotiating that when he started airlines that he would, um, negotiate with the a manufacturer of those airplanes to buy them back at a pre agreed upon price. Right? It didn't work like that's just crazy. Nobody does that. But even folks like the most successful, iconic entrepreneurs on the planet are doing this little time. I think there's there in there there are lessons for us to learn. I totally agree. And when you tell these stories and you're like Oh, and he started Space X and the most successful stories to me are the people who risk it all again. In actuality, the last time that I risked it all was actually maybe never right, because I started with a small success when I was 25 or something, and then another one later when I was 28. And so progressively, it's never been all in. And, you know, for Richard Branson, I'm sure it's not fucking all in either. He is there. He's not an insane person. So you know this. The stories that are the craziest to me are the people where someone is. They go from there the you know, like Jack Dorsey, and he's like, Yeah, and I invented Twitter, and I'm going to invent a completely other thing, and then the people that are putting all of their money and raising thing, Yeah, and because those are people that they're going Actually, I am putting it all them because they have and had a life of hunt multi million. You're a billionaire and all of it is going in for a really, then you're like, Wow, that's unbelievable cause most people they are they are read their ration, irrational to a degree about their lack of rationality. It's a it's a buffer and most people have it. They just don't tell. Talk about it on the story. Yeah, and I think that it's It's a It's a thing that right now I imagine there's a bunch of listeners saying, Wait a minute. Well, I got a family and more urgent whatever. And so to me, as a creator, this is my creator. Brain goes is like, awesome. Those air called creative constraints. The client says, I want you to draw me a picture, and it needs to be four foot tall and six feet wide and purple. Then you don't make it seven feet tall. You don't make it red. Yeah, very trying, is it? Don't be making purple. I forgot what I just said, but you just leave your creative constraints. And so if the creative constraint that you have as your trying toe get your design business off the ground or you're trying to create a product that you're going to bring the market. Then you don't Don't quit your day job, right? But what can you do between instead of the 9 to 5? What can you do between five. And and I know, I mean even successful entrepreneurs. I use Ryan Carson, who's a friend. He's been on the show. Founder Treehouse gets it before 30 in the morning, every morning at the time because he needs at least 2.5 hours to his most important work before his small Children get impairments like I got small Children. Yeah, I understand less house of cards less, you know, whatever sleeping. It depends on how bad you want it. But there are these air constraints that we get all place on our time, our money, our assets. Of course, you increase the chance of success if you put more of what you can put in into the business, whether that's time or money or energy or resource is or whatever. But Teoh paraphrase Richard Branson, what can you do to protect the downside? It sounds like you've done that. It's and Z. This is why Gary Vaynerchuk is a great it's you know, it has gone into a point of celebrity that it's almost like a parody of himself. But he's right, and he was just like, You need to work hard and everyone is working hard and it's like you simultaneously need to be able to say us You are working hard, but in actuality, you need to work harder because not a pleasant thing to hear. It's not. What you want to hear is you want to hear a little formula. One of the one of the most dangerous parts about about self help is that it puts the burden on the person would be like, Well, you didn't use my formula. So of course you failed, which is absurd and offensive, and and to talk about it as being, Oh, it's actually your No, no, there's a better just never was a formula. In actuality, you know, the sunlight happened to reflect upon the use in such a way that it created life, right, like that's pretty. The sun just wasn't in the right place at the right time for you, but it was for this guy or whatever. So it's if it is this thing where the where the life and the choice is not glamorous. But at the end there is this weird sort of Warner that you have, where you're able to say, even though I my goal was to be the A and actually I turned out to be the A minus one. But you know what? I went out and I did it. And there's something like You're not going to get all the glory they want. And you're not gonna get probably all the money that you want you might you might get none of you know But at the end of the day, you look yourself in there and you know what kind of person you are. And that's what that's an amazing thing to have. And you can get that from anything I think this is. This is a very frivolous example, but I'm learning to surf with, like a really good friend of mine in Santa Cruz and me, my girlfriend Helen, whom I love deeply way go down there on a consistent basis, and I've been trying to serve so hard for like three years, and I'm 39 it's like I'm not meant to do this at this age. But finally it's like finally clicked for me, and it's such a tricky ole meaningless example has nothing to do with what we're talking about. But everything looked, you know, like I did it. I did it. And it's what people don't realize is, well, it's like like like just just like everyone were, mostly quitters. Yeah, like we do mostly quit things. It's just that when you don't quit, then it's like, Oh, something actually happened so you can put yourself in this situation as I did where I was like, I just can't quit Outlast. I just can't. I need to tell it last my own bad habits and just relentlessly pursue it. That's why I have this little, uh, rail saver here on my thing. As a reminder, you're not going to quit surfing, which I didn't in order to be ableto get decently good. So it's like those like little daily habits, reminders that will get you there. So I think that's a That's a powerful lesson. Obviously, Um, what have you quit? I think that was one of the things that I found early on. A Zai was speak in front of people that like letting him know that Oh Wait. I, um, quit a career path in professed toward professional soccer was on the Olympic Development Team. Could have played in Europe. Decided. Not for me. 9 10 people like, dude, what are you doing? Very hard to quit that space, and especially in the face of social convention, were like, Dude, if you could play pro soccer, you you go tomorrow. Now, go. Go. Dropped out of, uh, bailed on medical school and dropped out of a PhD right halfway through. So these are three things that I quit basically four years it took me. I quit. Those three major major lie a sort of missions and visions for myself because it didn't at what wasn't feeling it. And I found it very hard. Socially, culturally. Yeah. And to be fair, I'm white male, born in North America. These are all, like, radical privileges to be able to, you know, in those camps, and to say like, Oh, if you're smart and hardworking and become a lawyer or a doctor taking all that with a grain of salt, I'm just saying to don't be a dick. Yeah, but to be able to do that in the face of a lot of sort of shame around not being the successful things that your other people's have in mind for you. Those were some of the things that I've quit. That's where some of the reasons why I've quit them please share with us. What are some things that you have quit? And what are some of the reasons that you quit those things? Yeah. So I quit being when I was one of the first point Castres in the world. I was in the 1st 10 podcasters who has ever paid to do it at the age of 25 or some numbers and and I was like I could keep doing this. And now if you look in 2018 is the craziest year for this of all nine podcast literally taken over the world. They're everywhere. And here you are, in your 14 years early in 2000 for and, uh, and I quit doing that and then I was a and still am because you couldn't do it for you a week and still be in New York times. Bestselling, other. And so you could be a New York Times bestselling other. You get to call you that yourself that forever. But I did that and then I quit after five years, you know? And so it's funny how you're gonna quit something, but actually, you're pretty good at it, you know? And it's just that you have to follow and it's okay to like different things for a certain period of career. You're like, Well, this I did this and then I could It's a you know, a buddy of mine. Terry Phallus is a He was a ran a PR agency in Toronto for many years, and then he became a novelist and he has a book that it's actually just coming out in the next six months that I'm trying to get an advance view of in the book is called If at first You succeed, which is a flip on the aphorism, it if if you had first don't succeed, try and try again. Getting everyone is successful at something and midway through their like. But is this really this is really what I want and the answer should sometimes be No, it isn't what I want, and so you, because it's weird. You have a choice. And if you're an entrepreneur, especially. It's so hard because you're like. But I was passionate in 2006 about this, and now it's 2011. I'm passionate about this new thing. Am I supposed to keep going? And that choice is very difficult to make. I have chosen to quit over and over and over again, and in so doing, I have always felt like there's Mawr around the bend, and I think that understanding of there is a future past. This is very, very important. It is. It has a certain amount of self reliance built into it. You have to feel like you can make a future again within the confines of many privileges that we have. Uh, but you have to build feel like you can build another future for yourself, even though your presence is actually pretty good. That's just not meant to be. Or if it's really shitty, or if it's really city, then you should definitely quit. And you also should believe that you can make a new thing that is not shitty. There is a law of diminishing returns, which was just like, Is it really going to get better from here? 10% better. And just like, where is there good upside, You know, versus like, right now, it's kind of downside protection or something like that. So you would You do have to make those choices pretty wifely. So thank you for sharing a couple of things. You quit? What about a couple of places where you've decided not to quit? You had every reason to all of the urges. So tell me about something you didn't quit and why? Yeah, I got that. There have been so many things that I quit. Let's take a second. Think about it. I'll take a simple water with everybody at home. Like adjust their airpods. Uh huh. This is delicious water. Thank you. Something that you decided not to quit that I mean persevered with. And why did you decide that? I think that there are certain set of things that you feel like you should psychologically quit like you. There are things that are inherent. And you cannot give up your own body. You just can't. You cannot give up your own mind. You just can't There instead of outside factors. Figuring out the difference between the inside and the outside is really hard there. Sometimes your identity is like I write books or I'm a C or I am an entrepreneur or any other thing, a set of things like this. But recently I come to grips with this idea of there's certain set of things, and you just cannot give up on them ever. So I got I got really hard core into meditation. Uh, really recently, that violently hardcore in the meditation Very hard core. Yeah, I sound like a tech Brooke, but in order did you realize that there's a certain If you're just doing a minimal amount of it, you do not use it. It's useless. And if you like, if you go to the gym every month or every couple months into useless. And so there's a set of things like that that at some point you figure out I need to actually commit. You don't quit those things because you kind of can't. But it's your choice. At some point becomes I'm just gonna take this for granted, and I don't care, or I'm doubling down, and when I start to double down is when you start to see actual results and you start to see that you can actually change your you know, you can change your mind. You can change your your horrible mental habits that you have like all of these different things. And if you're on its yeah, it's if you're an entrepreneur and you have set of mental habits that are fundamentally the thing that's screwed up about being an entrepreneur is every every quality. Every negative quality that you have is a negative quality that's gonna be reflected into your business. So if you're lazy, then that's gonna be reflected in your business. If you don't like to do a B or C thing, it's gonna be reflected in your business, obviously, much more obvious ones, like if you're dishonest and it's gonna be reflected in your business, right? So it's really weird to see your own personality cause problems. This happens to everybody. That's an entrepreneur. It's I'm talking about myself, but it applies to everyone, so it's like at some point you just have to work on the core. And I think that that is something that I recently realized. As you get older, it's more natural, and, uh, I discovered it's like instead of half committing my father taught me toe meditate When I was 16 I went to his end temple in 2000 and eight or 2009 in Japan. I stayed there for a while and still then I was not committed. And then I was like, OK, well, I need this to become a real thing. It's amazing. How have it's just daily habits, what has changed everything. And you're like, Oh, I'm going over commit and I'm gonna do this thing. I'm gonna do it for six months. No, you actually just need to stop and just do it every day. And that's very important. What is, uh what is your your mind from this practice, your meditation breakfast, Uh, every day, 30 minutes or longer. And then sometimes half days or full days of medication that just go on for. And actually it's ironic. Do it not far from here in Tribeca with an exit Zen monk who used to run as an temple in upstate New York and and yeah, it's it's just it's very basic things. And this is another thing that we here we always hear. Oh, you should do this thing. You should do this thing and then we're like, Not for me. In actuality, it is for you and you're just you're stuck in your own in your own habits. You're stuck in your own, like in your own set of things, and you just need to give them up, you know, and sometimes one day you figure that out. Hopefully, it's on to land meditations, that thing. What are some other daily habits? I'm a big freak on daily, and you were just talking about noticing how my posture is relentlessly bad. Took me 39 years to finally listen to my mother and just fine. You know, it's like we both just set up your here listening, and so, like, I have a set of I haven't apt up. That's called Streak that would normally sink to my watch, but I lost it in the ocean a couple days ago, and that is a set of 12 different habits that you've been set up for yourself and just check check them off every single day. And so the ones that I have now are just remembering to eat a certain amount of protein and then always being having a good posture and then meditating every day and making sure the yoga every day. Like making sure to connect with my girlfriend and making sure that we have, like, actual connection, really actual connection every day, making sure that I exercise set of other things like that that are just essentially, like if you're in your twenties and I wasn't even a party or but during that time, I was like, You almost figure out like I can ignore my physical body and just not even pay attention to it. And then when you get to our age, you're just like, Oh, I need to do this on purpose. Yeah. You know, I need to have some intended health. It's not gonna go well, Yeah, yeah. You have me have a track. Well, the maximum in the APP is which is probably way more. You should, anyway. But each one of them is very simple. I do 10 every day. I have an app called habit list. I'm gonna check out Street. I think that's cool. Do you then reviewed the data and see what you're doing? I just while my I'm just I forgive myself for the mistakes or whatever When I don't do them. But just the fact that they exist on my phone and mostly on my watch means that every day I'm always paying attention to it. So even if I forget for one day, it doesn't matter. So it's not about like castigating yourself, Lincoln, uh, divinci code or whatever. You know, It's just like I did not do it today and just moving on because you could really like. That's another thing about like when you're starting up some project, you can become extremely self hating as a result of your failures, and it's not like, worth it, because what can you do? You can't do anything to Might as well just give it up and just be like, OK, like I'm just gonna put this guilt to the side and just work on today is this. John Maxwell was like a a well known preacher and kind of author and how he talks about, like, just just work on today, just every day, just working today, forget about everything else and just focus on like that current moment and doing the best that you can with that moment, and I think that is a great quality if you can achieve so three other habits that you you employ on simpler, regular basis that weaken leave our friends with here. Yeah. I mean, I would say the one that I don't talk about. It's not even in my habits, Specifically one that I've been doing for decades is and that other people have based their whole careers on, like they have always said, Oh, it changed my life when you told me to write 1000 words. This is a habit that is so ingrained in May that I do it as a co founder of this business. I did it as a best selling writer. I did it when I had no projects, and when I had a lot of self doubt and just like relentlessly doing that, I did it this morning. I did it before. I'll do it tomorrow. And the reason why is because it's a moment of self reflection in a world that us otherwise extremely focused on what it looks like on the outside. So you never reviewed these words. You take them, and if you're writing them on paper, you throw them in the trash or you put them in a file as I do it on my computer, and I've never looked back at him and just the 1000 words allowed you that reexamination and allows you to do that and feel really good about it. Now these habits are good enough or other people that they've gone. Oh, my God had changed my life for me, I guess. Maybe change my life. But I just don't think about much. Another one is just to focus on your energy levels for the time of the day when you are best at certain things. So in the morning I'm very good at certain things in the afternoon. I'm good at others, and I just allow myself to be that way. And I don't try and fight who I am. Fundamentally. And then I would say, probably 1/3 1 is just making sure that I read every single day because no matter how much you even if you read like a page out there in the world, the value of the conscious wrote about this. On Twitter, there was a all of all of human wisdom is accumulated inside of books, everything, and it's all accessible. It's really cheap and or free on. It's mostly not on buzzfeed or on the verge or where Geoff Bennett glaze or whatever you know, it's not waken make up 10 names of radical media news sites, right? Nobody would know if they existed or not, Uh, and they would go look for them. So the other one is just if you you are relentlessly and learning and it's really easy. If you have a project and I've noticed it's a lot if you already have a project, you're a CEO of something or you're working on something. You just like, dropped the habits that are hard, but that the ingrained wisdom that just occurs as a result, many bad books. You read lots of things that are complete filler and worthless. But over time you just accumulate. A set of thing is that you know when that other people don't and the longer you go on, the better it ISS and those things. The most amazing thing to learn is really habits will make you into the person that you are, and you tried. I couldn't do it. I can no, you really need to become the person that will have the right qualities to get to the other side. And you don't start that way because nobody does. And, uh and so habits will get you there. I think that's a weird and cool thing. Is that you? You you literally sort of are the habits that you can look backwards and connect the dots like, Oh, I am someone who does X y z And you know, thoughts are one thing, but actions actually determine you know so much about who you are because you do. And this is not do is not a career thing. It could be letting your Children. But those things are actually manifested in the world. What's up here? This is, you know, this is separate, largely separate from the physical reality. The irony is that this controls your your mental state. Your mindset can control your sort of level of happiness, which is directly correlated to all these things but actions. I find that if you start with actions like the doing of the things, I have a mention these 12 things that I track I do not have an example of no matter how good quote classically things were going in my life or how poorly and, you know, on one end is like friends passing away and, um, and struggles in relationships or business or whatever. And then the upside, Like having a wildly successful professional project landing a new deal, winning fill in the blank. Whatever camp I'm in doesn't matter that I have had the experience of If I do these 10 things every day, I am a happy person, right? Doesn't matter if I mean shit could be going sideways and this other camp when things are not. But if I'm doing these 10 things every day, I literally do not have an experience of doing these things and not being right. My best self. Yeah. And so I think there's this cool mystery that you can unlock. What are those behaviors for you? You know, you've listed a bunch here. Thank you for sharing. I've gone on record many times sharing minds. I won't here, But it's interesting. Teoh, understand how powerful you find habits. Um so last this is just a little sort of quick a bell to ring. You mentioned reading anything that you know I hate the most ist the best. What are you reading? Right Now I have two ways of thinking about what I read. One buzzfeed buzzfeed. It must be not night. Some of my best friends work at Buzzfeed I. But no, I would say one is You need something that is not productive for me, that turns out to be true crime books. I read a lot of them, and it's just very. Some people have video games. I also do that, but like you need something that is just going to allow you to just not think about anything, and that's very useful. And then there's There's a set of books and people always think about them and, you know, they have different levels of density. There's this dude on Twitter right now. Is talking about Tunisia was like a very famous French philosopher. Uh, you go all the way to these insanely dense book so you can go low one density, but you need to figure out what your optimal thing is. And for me, I figured out a long time ago. I read it when I was reading a book. A week for many years is there was this pop business thing, and there's hundreds of books there and most of them are not worth it. And I've written a few. Hopefully you think they're worth it, but I've written a few of them. And so I know. And I know the people that wrote them just above that level you started, hit the brain A browns. You start to hit these other things that are just like that, that are about fundamental human things and very good quality and worthwhile. So you just need to find your your density level that will allow you to stay motivated and not feel like you're reading 280 pages of the same thing. And once you found out that level, it doesn't even matter what the book is. More just as long as you don't stop consuming lifelong, you just continue to consume it. I used to keep them on a spreadsheet. That's very helpful. What day I started, what day I ism, you know, I want to be productive or something. I would try to convince myself that I was doing something valuable. My date I started the day tonight financial. I would try to do one every seven days, and I did for years on. I kept these spreadsheets, and so they almost anywhere they There was a long post about them from a few years ago, but I can update it. And, uh, so as long as you have those, just keep going. It does not matter how slow you go as long as you don't stop. Keep down. That's it. Where do people find you online? Where do you want to go? Uh, at on Twitter. It's at juliam j u l I e n name of my company breather dot com. You can look it up there. I used to blawg in over your head don't nets a lot of stuff there, Including that blood post was very inspiration to a lot of people and and just relentlessly just being out there trying toe provoke and understand the world for what it is. Thank you so much for me on the show. I'm grateful for your time, but yeah,