📚 Eric Koester. Professor who published a thousand books and why you should too.
What does a pie-eating contest have in common with parenting and creativity? Turns out, way more than you think. Listen to this lawyer-turned-entrepreneur talk about a radically new teaching philosophy you can apply to your kids today.
Hello and welcome to the show.
This is your host,
How do you set your kids for success?
This is a question that's been on my mind a lot lately.
My kids are still young,
but how do we make sure that when they're 10 2030 years old that they're successful in life?
And they're happy to help answer this question?
My guest on the show today is my friend Eric Coster.
Eric is a professor at Georgetown University.
He's an entrepreneur,
once a VC and Arad debt.
And Eric's got a very interesting for the loss of that.
He's applying in teaching and raising his own kids.
He believes that what she hated you is raise your kids to be curious,
because in the future,
success is going to be defined by what you create and not what you associate with. On this show. We're going to talk to Eric about his life, his experiences and how they shape this new teaching philosophy and what this philosophy can do without further ado. Professor Coster. All right, Jerry Custer. Welcome to the ride. That podcast. Yeah. Happy to have you here. Let's quickly talk about who you are, sir, Before we get into the
whole parent, I'm a rad dad. Is that what matters? I'm just a rad dad.
All right, But you're also arrived. Human? Yes. So I think I met you the first time when I moved in Seattle around 2010. And you were an operator for this. Health care started, but fraud against me in the last 10 years, you were many attorney. You were a startup operator. You were founder, Your professor. You're many
so I just can't.
My wife says I can't hold a job.
So she's like,
had the same job for the last 10 years.
And I've had,
40 So I don't not sure what that says about me,
uh I guess it's good,
I've had good,
interesting stories along the way.
And I think a lot of it has come down to basically just saying yes a lot when interesting things pop up.
And even if I don't quite exactly know how they fit together and I think that's led to some cool experiences and opportunities,
I I honestly never would have thought that I would be teaching at a school like Georgetown like that would have never gotten in.
And so the fact that they were like you actually might know something about entrepreneurship is kind of crazy to think about. So it's been a fun, fun adventure to be teaching. And, yes, I've been I feel like I've been been able to do a lot of different things, which is, I think I don't want anyone in their twenties and thirties. Wants to say is like If you're in the start of game is you know, you just sort of want to keep playing. And so, like, you know, I've been fired from start ups. I've run out of money, but, like, I'm still gonna keep playing. So that's awesome
for our listeners who have never been in the startup. Can you kind of dig a little deeper and talk about what it feels like to maybe be an employee in a start up and be found or start of how these things are different and you know how your emotions fluctuate
as you do it?
so I think it's something that's,
there's this infatuation with start up culture with being an entrepreneur and things like that.
I think I read a stat recently,
68% of people surveyed say they want to work for themselves one day,
and I just think to myself like that's that's that's often crazy,
Why would you want to do this to yourself?
Because being in charge of the sort of the founder of the CEO,
whatever you wanna call it the owner is incredibly isolating.
you sort of there's certain information you just can't share.
you know, I remember with, uh, with one of my last company's main street. You know, there were moments of time when we're like Bridge in payroll t pay. I mean and so those sorts of things, or why co founders, they're so important because you want to have this air of to your employees, like of transparency and honesty. But you also don't want us create so much turn with sort of the early stages of figuring stuff out. So I think being an employee in a company and a startup is incredibly risky as well. There's a lot of challenges to it, but it doesn't have some of the mental burdens that it does. Being a founder, I think you know this.
There's just this, like there's a sense of constantly feeling afraid, which is both good. And it's bad. The positives of constant being afraid is it keeps you always, you know, focusing on things, trying to be in a lean, trying to generate, trying to learn, trying to pull in data. The other side of it is like that feeling of being afraid can also just be wearing on you. I mean, I remember, you know, I just There were periods of time when we made the decision to shut down Main Street genome after things weren't working,
it was like I was like, an asshole to like it being at home like I was, I had a young a young daughter, like in that period of, like, sort of turn was hard. And I remember when we made this decision, remember Scott case? Might my my co founder, he was a former founding. See to what Priceline came over to my house. We've been trying to basically figure out howto how to do Data analytics tools for small businesses. We created this like digital chief purchasing officer for small businesses like restaurants and medical offices, and we just couldn't get over the hump. We couldn't make it work. And we're down to kind of our last couple of months of the bank,
and we made this like we're trying. I was on the road for like, two weeks trying to sell, and I remember when Scott came over and it was sort of this really interesting, like visual when my daughter, Quinn, who at the time was basically probably about like, nine months or so she was, you know, coming up on a year and Scott's over at my house, my wife was out. A conference was just Quinn and Scott and I and this really interesting sort of like experience of basically looking each other and saying like we failed, we gotta shut it down And it was horrific to sort of look, we both knew we both sort of known for weeks, but we couldn't say it, and we said it and like here's like my daughter there.
I'm thinking like cashews even know what I'm experiencing here. And, uh, and yet at the same token, it was this incredible sense of relief because suddenly I didn't have the pressure of trying to sort of, like, you know, a dozen people that worked with us and having them to figure out what was next and helping them do that. So it is. It's one of those things that it's hard to describe unless you've done it. But it is something that you feel this incredible sense of responsibility to everyone your customers, your employees, your investors and and you know that wears on people. I think there's a lot of reasons why a lot of founders have, you know, mental illness issues and challenges,
because it is tough to be in that position and having having had to send the e mail out to our investors, saying we're shutting down having had to sort of have that all hands meeting saying we failed, we have we can't do it. It's not something for the faint of heart, For sure,
I totally agree, but I don't really know how to do it. Otherwise,
yeah, yeah, it's true. I could do nothing else. Uh, like I'm wider to basically be in this position of constant uncertainty. But it also is one of those things that I think people don't recognize just the turmoil that it causes toe have these sort of uncertain world that you don't know what the outcome will look like.
But you were in attorney, right? From what I understand, that's that's a pretty hard permission. Like a lot of stress there as well doesn't compare it all or a start ups just 1000 x more extreme.
They're both hard.
I think people always ask me like what it was like.
I was in a big firm like I was in the top 50 law for in terms of like,
size wise And so I was a coolie.
I was a startup lawyer.
I was doing Emma and I pose,
and I remember the the year before I left.
I think I've built 2800 hours,
which means I actually worked probably like over 3000 hours,
and it was a lot.
And I think a lot of people don't like,
if you work 40 hours a week, it means there's, you know, and you take vacation. It means 2000 hours from when you bill basically, you Bill, you know, if you build one hour, you actually probably usually work like 1.2 hours to get that number. Hours like this is admin time, lunchtime and stuff like that. So it's basically insanity like it's bonkers. It's weekends. It's nights. Until I would say the hours and the hard work were the same. I really enjoyed it.
I love to be in an attorney. I loved working with entrepreneurs, but what I felt was missing in it that I would say, Mrs from the start it is the the game that you could potentially win. Isn't there winning? Basically, like with an attorney? Your clock starts over at the end of the next year. You started Darryl Hours and you work your way up toe hit your hours and billable tze and money. There's no sense of like winning. It's just like you do it over again so that the joke about being attorney is it's Ah, it's a pie eating contest. The prize for winning is you get more pie. Eso that's that. That's the thing about being an attorney. That sort of sex is just like it is.
It is more time, more hours and again. I love it were true. Superstar people learned a ton. I would say being an attorney prepared me to be a non Tre. You're even, you know, just dealing with the uncertainty. And I'm not like a successful entrepreneur by any means. But it did prepare me to, like, just think through problems. But But the what I love about start ups is it is a team sport. It's a culture driven, it's a people driven thing. And,
um, you know, there certainly is something about being able to get a bunch of bright people together, fighting for something with an uncertain outcome, even when you know they're sort of they may not make much money as they did other places, but that the opportunity to create something is unlike anything else I've ever experienced that you get to do once you want, you're in and get to run
a start up for sure. And you mentioned that a few minutes ago that you were runs fired from a start up. So what's it like to go from a team sport with the friends that you've known forever to all of a sudden being fired and just be left out in the cold.
start ups and particularly high growth venture back startups is certainly a contact sport.
It's not touch football.
It is tackle.
And it's Ah,
it's for for the big kids.
You gotta put on your big big kid pants every day.
we started a company in out of a weekend eggs example weekend hackathon called Startup Weekend.
We started coming,
and Charlie was at the start of it was basically we were we were coming into the trend of mobile was just becoming a smartphone.
Mobility was becoming powerful.
This is in,
like, 2011. You concerning the rise of Twitter. You've seen the starting of the rise of Facebook, and you hadn't really seen sort of much commerce yet. Like this was sort of right around the time when uber was just breaking out. And so I was like, I was on a panel with Travis early on when we were both like, early in this, like, sort of mobile commerce game, where we were doing sort of all sorts of service is and, you know, ask for anything more in a place you could get a sandwich on our platform. You could get a house cleaner, you could get a used iPad.
And so the neat part about the time was that people were seeing the smartphone as the remote control for everything else. Push a button and a car comes. Push a button and you could get a hotel in someone's house on Airbnb like the smartphone became this powerful tool for commerce. And we got to play early in that game. So we started this weekend project, and at this hackathon, one of our judges happened to be Ashton Kutcher, who saw we were doing eyes better early on. Some of these things saw us and said, like, I love what you guys are doing. Why don't you guys quit your jobs and start a company? And we just met all of us like that? My three co founders, Bo Yin and I had just literally met that weekend. So it was like,
uh, Ashton Kutcher wants to give us a 1,000,000 bucks to start a company. Yes, please. Um, so we went after it, but But I would say the biggest thing that I would I would caution that one is we were not experts in the space yet. We didn't know local commerce very well. We had, you know, we hadn't launched mobile commerce, cos no one had, You know, we were just in this dawn of what it looked like. No one sort of knew the way that things would shake out. So we ran after it.
We, you know, launched our product itself by Southwest, and it was super hacky. But it worked. And from there we raised a whole bunch of money. We got Meg Whitman to serve on our board, and the craziest part of all of it is we did not have product market fit. So here we were living in Buzzy San Francisco like build a team of 50 plus people, and we did not have product market fit. We were basically a marketplace that was getting arbitrage by Craigslist, every single transaction, and we couldn't figure it out. And I think my my learning and all of that was like we had this incredible team of young people who were dedicated, and we just did not build a culture of transparency. And we didn't build a culture of coaching of learning,
and so we brought in all these people who bought into the dream of building this amazing company and again, some amazing people who've gone on to do great things. And I think my failure as a founder and as a human was I basically kind of like tryto isolate myself in some ways from everything and tried to like you play the blame game and we don't have a product market fit. And I think that the outcome of it of not really understanding the transparency was important in this sort of like tension of building a 50 person company without product market fit made means a sort of an asshole, like I was not a great co founder. I was not a great manager. And when we sort of went through our cycle of like, trying to find product market fit and continuing, you're like get bashed. After our 1st 18 months in the game, I think that it was sort of obvious that, you know, someone had to pay for the penalties of of us not having it, and it was really obvious, like it wasn't gonna be in who was our CTO, and we needed him because he was a developer,
and but it was kind of a visionary. I was clearly the guy who was like the one to fall, and I think it taught me on awful lot like I remember vividly I was gonna have this conversation with Bo, the CEO and co founder and a good friend telling him that, like the culture was fucked and it was, you know, everyone's fault and he need to move to San Francisco and love above all of these things. And I remember like, you know, I said, Bow, we got to me and he's like, Yeah, we gotta meet. We walk outside in Mint Plaza in San Francisco, walked on the elevator where chit chatting and sits down with me any like,
looks at me. He's like, Dude, I gotta let you go. And I was like, You can't fire me for my own company like I fi I started this company with you. What are you talking about? He's like, Dude, like you've just lost the company. You've lost faith. And you know, in some ways we've entirely lost the company. All of us have. But you in particular, had lost it.
And I was like you know, I was belligerent away. This is your fault, Level of line. You know, the hindsight and that it looks looking back is like, really I didn't know myself. I wasn't really listening. I wasn't really, like using data to make decisions. And so it was probably a surprise that I made it that long. Frankly, it was it was the magic of the co founder, but yeah, I mean, basically took me a while to get over that.
And I would still say I have a chip on my shoulder a little bit, Not at other people, but it myself are sort of not really understanding out. Amanda's through a tough situation, and I look back on it. I mean, I think it was perhaps one of the best things that happen to me to go through the failure to learn a lot. I realize how little I know and how much I'm learning every day. But yeah, it was it was brutal to get fired by your co founder when in your own company and and not know what to say now would know. Tell people I remember vividly. I was like, I give a talk on stage and I had already been fired. And I did not tell anyone in the stage of 1000 people that I had been fired because I was, like, two proud when, um, you know, it was one of those things that, like it just basically put up this wall of like of invincibility when the reality was I needed to grow up a lot.
That sounds like a typical start up. Yeah, yeah, E. I'm actually really glad you touched on the subject cause I think it's really important that in Correct me if I'm wrong. But once you started telling other people that they're wrong and you started seeing wrong and other people and that clouds kind of all your thinking, that really points back to you, or it should be a wake up call to yourself that you are actually the one we're wrong, because personally, I think you can change what you do. You can maximize your output. What other people do is their problem, right? You can you can kind of help and steer them and work together. But really, once you see everything through
other people's e think it's one of those things that today,
perhaps more than any other time in history is do people value authenticity?
Do people value transparency?
I think that's I think it's,
failure is it's a normal part of living in the high,
high stakes world of venture finance companies that you know,
the numbers air is not good that the returns on early stage companies or low,
even if you raise venture.
And so I think it's it's just part of the nature.
I think that what the challenge,
is it can feel like back to the earlier part of the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Your like the person you know, yours, the founder. You're supposed to have everything figured out. And I think it's part of the thing that why being able to find safe places, to share your struggles and challenges with other people is really important. And I think it's it's it's today made me better as a coach and as a mentor to other startups. I hope you know, I'm just like, Listen, I've been there. It is rough and I know it, um and even, you know, young, young people who think about entrepreneurship.
I think I come at it from I don't know. The answer is I have not figured it out. I'm not some successful guy who's founded a unicorn. I'm just some guy who kids keep playing, and that's part of the glory of this one is like, I love the game. Um, you know, the results don't always go your
way. What, you found that a unicorn and just run out of steam.
I do feel super fortunate.
I would say that Charlie was one of those real timing opportunities.
This is kind of interesting to think about.
So it's Charlie again,
Was early in the process of of sort of this concept of mobile commerce.
And so we were just at the start of the application of the world and,
we there was no certainty that uber was gonna be the success that itwas when we started.
So this is interesting for you.
When we started out,
we had this asked for anything marketplace that anyone across the country could ask for anything,
and we basically built this routing engine to be able to help them get it,
whether they wanted a used iPad or whatever it was,
but because we were open,
kind of like eBay, people could put whatever they want in terms of the requests. And so one of the thing that's funny is we would track what were our most common requests. So again, we're early in this game. We're playing this game, and we took the strategy in some ways, guided by Meg's Meg Whitman's advice that was the CEO of eBay that, like their success, was to being a broad platform, which was really kind of what worked in the Internet. Age Mobile turned out to be different. It turned out to be what it was about being vertical ization. So that's why uber is just a ride sharing company in certain. Quotable. Just but our top five categories,
I don't know, but you know, for the most part, it's about logistics and transportation. But here's our top five categories. Right Number one rides. People would go on Charlie and ask for rides because there was just not this, like, you know, ubiquity of uber and lift. That was number one. Number two, food delivery, surprise, surprise and look at Postmates and things like that Number three grocery delivery looking insta card. Okay.
You know, number four were things like HomeServices, like handyman. So look at things like handy and look at things like Thumbtack. So we happened. We were right in that, like, sort of the strategy at the high level of like going after this sort of mobilization of people's requests and capturing their demand was right. We were just wrong and how we approached it, right? Our fifth category was basically to stay at someone's house, right? Like room sharing Airbnb. Right? So we were right in the team. But I think it sort of shows you that sometimes your strategy was wrong.
And I think it's mad props to thio uber for figured out. But remember the time when uber was coming out there was this this battle between Taxi Magic and uber slash lift of Who's gonna win like, Oh, you know, Taxi Magic has taxes is gonna work well, turned out the experience was better on uber, and I think it's it's always interesting to sort of reflect on what you did wrong. And I think ours was we played. The strategy is thinking we wanted to be a broader platform that had multiple use cases on it. And Mobile has not played out that way. The AP world has really made it. You have a single button that gets you kind of one specific use
case. For the most part, I agree. I saw it myself, but I think another great Listen, here's you don't always have to come up with your own ideas back a day If you went and Charlie, you look what people want it. And first reference that to the startups that were popping up right, you gotta call the food delivery and against up granted, a lot of them failed raising millions and millions of dollars, right? Yeah, well, it doesn't way to identify what people are looking for. The that's that's not a bad strategy.
it was We learned a lot.
I I think I,
uh you know,
is Muchas venture capitalists know what they're getting themselves into and having played a little bit on that side of the fence,
you know that you're playing a nods game where you're basically have a lot of failures and hopefully one or two that break out in a major way.
I I'm thankful to have had the education,
learning to be able to figure out what it felt like to learn it,
and I think you know it.
There's a reason why people are drawn to it.
It is a lowering.
It is magical.
You do have these companies that true create generational wealth.
you look at the five most valuable companies today. You know, it's it's apple, It's Microsoft. It's, you know, it's Facebook. It's Amazon. Those air cos that really didn't exist 30 years ago. And I think technology has enabled the new wave of people to build some generational companies that will be around for a long period of time. We hope
why I told my bill one, too. Yeah, do it helps. I think I was listening to in of all talk on periscope the other day, and he said, You know what? Like at the end of the day, everyone is selfish, like we all want to do all this exciting things. But at the end of the everyone has something for themselves as well. And the thoughts, multibillion dollar generational companies. Sounds like a really good idea.
Yeah, we're pretty awesome, wouldn't it?
I'm still working on it. Yeah, but let's actually talk about what you said here. But getting all this worrying about opportunities that you can now pass on to other people cause I'm I'm really curious to hear about this experiment you did in Georgetown with the students who ah, all went of launching books like but 14 out of 16 students. Some, like that launched the book within the Year of Being
Your Son Way had 30 authors published books in the last year and will have 30 more published in April.
It's it's bonkers,
I have to tell you the craziest thing I think I've I've ever been a part of.
it happened by accident,
I I actually started teaching largely because I didn't know how to process my failure.
I feel that,
I got the chance,
I was starting a board with Steve Blane,
kind of the guru of, uh, sort of, you know, this lean started thing and he brought me to the ranch, and he's like, Hey, you know what you should do to process this sort of failure that you don't understand it used to teach. And so I was like, That's amazing. That's cool. And so I started doing some teaching with Steve and with, um, with started weekend, we're going out sort of teaching this thing and II as it was moving back from San Francisco, I had been living in San Francisco to start.
Charlie had moved back to D. C. I don't really have any network here. And so I was at an event with my wife, who's a professor at Georgetown and got introduced to the entrepreneurship head. And he's like, Oh my God, you're like a real entrepreneur who knows teaching. Why don't you teach? And that was my first foray. I was about five years ago, and so the first thing was like I just walked in and did this sort of Steve blanky thing. I'm helping people like use lean startup toe lunch companies and started with MBA students, and I guess they sort of dug it and they asked me to teach another class, and there's me now teaching to MBA classes a year and working on my next company. And then they're like,
Hey, would you teach undergrads? Will you teach high school students. So basically, at over about a four year period, I went from not teaching really much of anything. And like dealing with this failure to teaching 55 classes per year and over 300 students on it was amazing, was really interesting. I met a bunch of people I loved engaging with students. But, you know, as the topic of your talk, your podcast is I was also a dad at this point, so as I'm I'm sort of processing myself. This is the summer of 2016. I just had my second daughter.
So I've got at that point I had, like, a 20 month old and I have a a six week old and I'm thinking about preparing for the fall to, like teach and I'm like, Man, I don't I don't know what time I gotta think about my next company. I want to do these things, and so I basically sort of reflected on was actually making an impact. I'm teaching 300 students a year. Is the teaching I'm doing actually helping them. And so I'm sort of like you and like a date a guy. So I was like, Well, I gotta know data to to prove this. So when I started studying on the linked in profiles, it'd surveys of all my former students to look to see Was I actually helping them gone and start something?
And I didn't care whether they started a company or not, but they're taking an entrepreneurship class. So the question is, is like, Am I helping them start? You know, some kind of adventure, a product, an idea, whatever the hell it is. A year after taking my class and so I pulled back in the data. I kind of like looking the spread sheep. And I like the reveal. I like some do the sum total. Look at it. And the results were like depressing.
It was like, you know, of these 300 kids, like, 1.6 per year, we're going on to start something. And that was, like, awful. I was like, That's like like I was nothing like, Why are you even doing? You're not having any impact on this one. So I basically made up my mind that I was I was quitting. So told Georgetown has been really fun. I enjoy it.
I'm happy to stick around is like a mentor, but But I'm out like I'm sort of done teaching. And they were like, Don't go, don't go. Please don't go. And I was like, Oh, that's really nice to actually think I'm doing a good job. No, turned out that they just don't have anyone to teach the class for the fall. So they're they're like, please stay and teach one more semester. So I agreed to teach one more semester, and I was sort of like I was, like,
sort of bitter about. I was like, You know what? I would do the same thing again. I know it doesn't work, had already seen this movie. And so a couple days before class is about to start. One of my best friends, this guy Shane Mack, and I have, like, we just always text back and forth, and I'm sort of lamenting the fact that I gotta teach this class and he's like, kind of like, Dude, get over yourself.
What's your problem? Like? Just man up was sort of the advice, and I was like, kind of a little wake up call. He's like, you got his opportunity. Why don't you try and do something about it like there's there's only they could fire you for doing something crazy already quit and I was like, That's That's kind of good advice. I guess you're right. And so we started chatting about our own experiences entrepreneurs and Shane's, the founder of a company called Assist, which is a chat enterprise chat bott company doing like artificial intelligence and human conversations. And and so we're talking about our own experiences Growing up were the best classes we had, and the interesting thing that we both kind of came to is when we were both in our twenties. Both of us,
as luck would have it, had both written and published books, and these weren't like books that were, well read like, You know, not many people read my book. I made, like, 17 cents an hour for all the work that I did on the two books I published. But the active publishing a book was super valuable for me. I learned a lot. It was part of the reason why I started Weekend invited me to the board. I got you hired an aperture because they saw this expertise, and so I sort of like, thought to myself. What if rather than teaching them howto start a company,
I taught them how to, like, discover their passions in these sorts of things by writing a book and write on whatever they wanted. So this is like three days before class is about to start. I kind of hatched this idea with Shane's sort of urging to, like, have them write a book, and we were very, like, modest the time like, Listen, if one kid out of this class writes a book, that's a huge success, and so we'll just see we'll see how this goes. So I sort of retooled my syllabus, walked into class the first day.
I was like, All right, guys, remember how you sign up for this entrepreneurship class? Well, instead of launching, learning, gonna launch a company, you all are gonna launch a book. And they all looked at me like I was crazy. Like, What is this guy's problem? Which is you know, in fairness, I get it right, like they didn't sign up for this Number one and number two.
You know, I asked them how many of you have ever written more than a 10 page paper and one kid in the room raises his hand. So, like this was not what they were expecting. But, you know, in in fairness, they although they were sort of nervous and had their reservations, they decided t hear me out! And in fact, more people enrolled in the class after hearing
this. Are we talking like first year students? Or
these were It's about a mix of,
sort of 1/3 a 3rd 1/3 junior sophomores,
juniors and seniors.
So they're coming into this class like it's like an elective entrepreneurship class,
and the class was called Launching the Venture.
So in prior years,
I taught all the standard stuff how to launch a company.
And here's me taking the exact same methodologies like customer discovery lean startup,
that sort of stuff,
but saying instead,
just apply it to launching a book.
And I had no idea for woodwork I had.
I had the good fortune of of connecting with Tucker Max,
who is a New York Times best seller.
He has ah,
started a company called Book in a Box that sort of teaches people how to write and publish books and so I talked to him,
he'd sent me the book, the manuscript that they'd used to teach people how to do it. And so I was like, All right, we're gonna try it. And at the end of the semester was crazy, like these students turned and manuscript, and the first thing was crazy about them is they were actually really long like they were about, like they had written on average, like 100 page paper. If they were writing a paper like a 20,000, 21,000 word manuscript, which is shocking for people who never in 15 page papers and then I read them and they were really good. They were, like, passionate and what things they cared about.
And, um And so I went back to Tucker. I was like, Hey, listen, I want I want to send you some of these and let me know what you think. And he got back to me right away. He's like, Man, these are actually really good. Let's let's help him publish. And so we we helped him publish. And, uh, you know that April again sort of last less than a year ago. Crazy to think about um,
we helped 15 authors published their books. One of them, the 16th 1 was signed by a book agent, and it was amazing. They launched books. They were really proud of them. But then what was the most amazing part is kind of what happened next. They all started using this book as a tool for themselves again credibility. And so, you know, one of the guys Will McDonald basically got hired as a venture capitalist over people who had MBA from Wharton and Stanford, And it started companies because this book was, for him, a piece of evidence that made him stand out. Ah, guy should have got hired as a soccer scout because he had written a book on finding the next talent,
great talented soccer player in India. A woman, Jacqueline had raised a $20,000 Kickstarter largely by selling her book as a Kickstarter tool. So the powerful thing was how much it changed their mind set. And for me, that was sort of the eureka moment. I was like Holy cow, like I can actually change these people's mindset by helping them create something. This piece of evidence from a book
that's fascinating and I think you touched in the great point in terms of startups entrepreneurship. That's serendipity happens when you work hard and you know people who are willing to help you and your hard work and your passion kind of enables them to get behind you and help you with the things you don't know about yet. Yep, yep,
a lot of things that you don't know when you start a book and I mean,
it's it's different,
a normal author,
I would say someone who's written a book and even in my case of writing book I had I didn't know a lot,
but I had enough knowledge is sort of like directionally You convince a publisher that I should write this book,
these air people who are,
18 1920 years old and so they haven't had a lot of life experience,
and I get a lot of pushback saying like,
What is some You know,
19 year old gonna know enough to write a book,
and my answer back to them is like,
they don't when they start,
But if they go through this process of like self discovery and customer discovery and interviewing people.
On average, these folks interview 15 to 20 experts in the field, and they captured the stories and they build a structure. They can basically become an expert, and if they do, Dear God, we should publish it for them. So it's, I think that's kind of what's interesting about it. Is we often time to say that you have to report on the knowledge that you've already gathered? And I said, Well, what if we could instead help them structurally gather the knowledge and share it what they're learning and publishing the book? And that's been That's basically then what's
happened? And it's fascinating. Thio, the way society views things sometimes right because of Tim Ferriss goes and asked 100 people 10 questions and then just published the really heavy book that has answers to the state questions in just those 10 questions. That's an amazing bestseller. Millions of dollars, you know, fame forever. But when a 17 year old with no experience does the same thing, people question it like, what does he really know?
Paris was 1 17 right? We all were. I think it's just that the bigger thing that's gone on is there used to be gatekeepers who would make it difficult. And I think today there's been massive disruption and it's part of the reason this class could even exist is we can use sort of the the fact that we've, you know now that things like Spotify and Soundcloud exists to allow people to break artists, the same thing happens with Amazon and some of their publishing tools is we can help these authors create books. You get distribution, we can use platforms like up, worked to help design amazing covers, find editors. So there's a lot of things that I think have conspired to help make this possible today and that we're even around a couple of years ago. So I think that's been part of the learning is it's a time in peace that I think the world of sort of knowledge based content has changed, and it's not only affecting the publishing industry, but you're seeing it with television and things like Netflix, and you're seeing it with music and soundcloud and Spotify. So you're seeing these platforms shifts and I think that's part of the reason why this opportunity exists for for this class of these authors who've who've leveraged
a and it's amazing that you were able to enable it over basically six months time frame. It doesn't mean you're still a university. Still teaching like that brought you back. And
it was famous last words saying I was gonna quit.
Hears me now.
that was I think,
what sort of happened,
I think what I what I realized,
Waas sort of two big things.
And the first thing that I realized is we were I was It wasn't their fault that they weren't having these impacts,
that they weren't having these outcomes.
It was my fault.
I was teaching the way it most everyone teaches,
which is basically pumping information people.
So I was basically standing up in lecturing,
and we're doing some exercise. But for the most part, I was expecting the other people to consume the information that regurgitated in some way, shape or form. Where is what I'm doing now is really coaching people through an experience where they have to have to learn they have to kind of grow. And so it's the biggest shift that I've realized is like you can coach someone to do incredible things. Learning is something that, like is difficult if it's like just consuming information. But when you actually push someone to say, Hey, I want you to sort of tell these stories, I want you to teach someone thes things It forces them to go much deeper, and I've been amazed to see the depth at which these students have become experts in spaces. And for me, it's been so fulfilling. I now I was telling my wife this the other day I'm gonna have a bookcase Now of all my authors,
I've created this thing that I call the manuscript library, where I keep all of the books. It'll be over 60 author's most 75 authors by the time we hit this summer, and I have a bookcase with all of them as their books. But also I keep a sort of a record of the first draft manuscript they turned in because it's not just about the finished product, this is generation, and so I think this sort of sense of being able to help people create something that demonstrates what they care about openly getting feedback on it to me, I believe that's like one of the most rewarding things I could do right now is help enable more people to create something that that that they believe is a representation
of them. And this whole book experience also very similar to entrepreneurship in building a company. And I think at least from what I've learned, you can get an idea and like you mentioned bizarrely right, you can have somewhat of an idea of what you're trying to accomplish. But you have to constantly keep learning and constantly revalue, using the market to actually find where you need to go for your customers. And it seems like that's what your students were doing in their books, that that's just fascinating.
Find a value proposition,
same exact things.
They have to do a lot of custom interviews,
they don't always know where it's gonna go with start,
and there it is.
It is what I would share with you now.
Knowing what I know now is I want to create less entrepreneurs,
graduated from college.
I think I think we set people up for failure when we sort of say,
go start a company we teach them all like the logistical things about how to do in start up that sort of stuff.
mrs the emotional and the sort of passion side of this one?
You I want people to sort of be able to explore their curiosity and become really knowledgeable.
I want them to sort of to me. I think the reason a book is a better proxy for starting a company it to go through that process and then start a company is it forces you to really make sure you love something before you go do it. You fall in love with an area and then decide to continue on to it. But creating a book takes nine months. I mean, it takes a long time to do it and sometimes longer. If you don't go to this experience that we go through, which is sort of rapid. And as you know, if you're gonna start a company, it is gonna be hard. You're gonna run into issues. And so you might as well spend that time really understand the knowledge so that when you started the company, it's much easier for you to effectively, like, just know more about.
You know, Maura, and you've developed sort of, ah, competency that other people see you as more knowledgeable. They have more trust that you will sort of stick to it. And ultimately, I think you can identify problems. When you spent that much time trying to teach someone about a space
to explore it, we can probably talk about this
forever. You know, I just I don't
like, Yeah, it's it's it's an awful subject. But I do want to kind of keep in mind our listeners who are not started, folks. And yeah, maybe I don't want to do startups, but what I do want to know is, and this is something you tweeted when we decided to you coming to ride that show that once you did a startup, it made you into a better parent. Yeah. And now let's talk a little bit about that, giving all these experiences and also you don't tell us about your kids a little bit.
like I am,
Uh I am super fortunate.
I have Ah,
I've I I am a a girl.
Dad is which I think is ah,
term of art.
I didn't I grew up with two brothers and I I didn't know much about what,
all guys high school growing up.
So for me,
I was a little terrified when I felt we found out we're having a girl and because I've never really like,
I didn't grow up with girls that much of it have cousins and stuff like that.
But there's something about like,
it was like to be a boy that I was terrified of,
and I have I am, like, wildly in love with being a dad of a daughter for a whole bunch of reasons. And two daughters now have a three, a little more than a three year old and an 18 month old Quinn and Parker. And they are. They're awesome, you know, they're a challenge and, ah, headache at times. But I What I what I think has been so interesting for me about the point I am in my life is I. I was at the point when I'm sort of going through this experience, I'm having kids. I'm you know, I was in the midst of like working on a venture fund with some people that we that we started a venture firm and and that was at its joys and ups and downs.
And and I was teaching and doing all these things, as you said earlier might sort of trajectory is like many hats, and I sort of, like, got this chance to say, Listen, having kids is really important and I want to do it and I love it and I'm enjoying experience. How do I designed my life In a way that allows me Thio be fulfilled as a dad and his apparent, but also to be fulfilled as someone who wants tohave be working on heart problems, wants to scratch those inches of working on challenging things. And so I read a block post a couple of months back, or maybe a year back about this concept of anti goals and what do you not want to do? And that really colored a lot of the way that I have found myself thinking about myself as a parent and as what I've projects I'd pursue. How I spend my time with my my Georgetown kids and my real kids these days is I made a choice to say I want to try and do something that doesn't force me to travel as much. I want to try and do something that allows me to be home as often as possible from 6 to 9 PM when they're back from daycare in a dinner time, and that the reason I would say I feel like that experience has made me just sort of better at a lot of things is it's forced me to deal with constraints.
I think the thing I realized when I was an entrepreneur and even back to a lawyer is my philosophy was no one's gonna outwork me. And so I'm gonna work 24 7 I'm going to basically make that a priority, and that led to some sloppiness in some senses. I was like I would go to any meeting whether, whatever time it was, I would do any networking event. I would do everything and in some sense is it taught me that maybe that wasn't a good move, like maybe I was sort of consuming too many things and not focused enough. So it's been interesting to sort of process this of saying, Hey, these are important things to me. These anti goals of trying to limit my travel, trying to do things, you know, sort of more. Have more time with my kids,
trying to, you know, be unequal co parent Thio. My wife, who has a very demanding research job as a professor. And so it's been interesting to sort of play that out. And I've been I've loved it, frankly, because I feel like I can do both, but I've had to make choices about
how to do both.
That's that's great way to put it and actually perfect time to talk about this.
I don't know if you saw Twitter News,
where Mike Morris from seaQuest or wrote this article talking about how American employees a really getting lazy and compared us to,
Chinese employees who basically sleep it,
work and spend like 20 minutes a day with their kids allegedly.
And that led to a lot of different conversations.
And them Sambi see said,
you gotta pick really exciting goals in life like it's a grade,
but you gotta you gotta change the world. But the response to that was, well, what's the point of changing the world if you're not gonna live Yeah, which is fair it. So how how do you see that? You know how much time to spend with kids versus how much time to spend that work now that they're this age?
and I think s Oh,
um I think it's a tough question to balance.
I think the challenge that I would say and I see it there's sort of different questions that sort of There's some gender roles in all of this that I think could be challenging to sort of unpack.
And so it's been interesting to watch these same challenges.
who also has a very demanding job.
She wants to be fulfilled at that one.
She has aspirations in the same with me.
So I think there's sometimes some unique gender things.
So I don't want to go too much of that one,
because I think there's a difference.
Treat men and women.
But I would say for me,
what I've found is I think you could still have ah,
huge impact and be able to be a great dad and do that in a way.
I think that what I would say you need to be thoughtful of is sort of focused the question of focus. And I think you know, there's this interesting article that I've sort of become enamored with that talks about the 25 5 rule of Warren Buffett and Warren Buffett basically says that, you know, super successful guy, he works really hard. But what he said when asked what the secret of success was, he said, Listen, every period of time, every quarter, every month, whatever it is, he's like, I sit down and write out the 25 most important goals I have in life and ah, and then what I do is I relentlessly try to avoid doing anything at six through 25 what he says is like success,
a big, big picture. Success comes from focus, and it comes from deep focus on things and what I what I recognize about myself from this and what I would say has made me feel better about myself feel like I'm on pace to do things that I feel. But I believe in. You know, I'm super excited to be able to help you know. Over 100 authors publish and find their dreams this year, which is incredible. Many publishers don't do that at all. And to be able to help do it is sort of an amazing thing, and I think the only scratching the surface. But that has actually come from cutting out other things that I could be doing That might be interesting and shiny objects to focus on this one thing and go deep on. So for me, I think I believe that my wife and my kids are number number one and two in that group. But for me it's less about saying,
like, you know, all right, what's six through 25? But more about saying like all right, 34 and five are really important. I'm gonna focus on those ones. Time to avoid the other things. I think I still work hard, like I go to work after they go to bed, and I'm constantly thinking about things and spending weekends and nights, and sometimes I do travel. But I think it's about kids have been a constraint that I've added to my life that I feel good about, and in some ways I just forced me to think about what I probably shouldn't be doing anyways. But if I have you know, extra band with.
I'll do these things. And so I think it's it's given me a constraint and maybe a forced constraint that I didn't have before. That I think makes me better at a bunch of different things. We'll see, right? Like, I don't I don't know. I'm not solved any magical things yet, but I feel personally fulfilled. And I feel like I'm working on something that, um I feel great about
right. The hard part of this parenting thing is you don't actually know the answer until they turn out in 2030 would have you. And then you can kind of see the the progress, right? And if you go on the Internet, you can find answers to everything in the old conflict and basically just have to make up your mind and stick to it.
that's that's the secret of this by ah,
good couple friend of ours just,
had good news this weekend.
They were able to adopt a five day old baby,
and they've been trying for a while and,
have this amazing opportunity.
And so for them,
it was sort of a bit of a surprise,
usually You know,
we have this nine month period when you're like you could start to plan for them.
having lunch on with a co worker on Thursday and Thursday afternoon, get a call, come down to Florida to pick up your new baby, Right? So with interesting to hear them talk about some of these things is like, e think, Um, there is so much information out there that you could start to question what you should do and how you should be afraid. And what I what I think my wife and I basically gave them as advice is to say, Listen like, you basically just have to do the best you can and know that there is no right. We've been doing kids for a long time, and the most important person that you have to satisfy is yourself and, you know, they came to live with you. And as long as you sort of satisfy feeling like you've done what you set out to do and you raise them in a place it's happy and healthy.
The data actually shows it's sort of hard to screw him up much more than that. Like, other than that, right? Like each it's hard to They're gonna be what they're gonna be. There's an awful lot of genetics and and if you pick, what is your strategy for working with your kids As long as you're consistent So that one of the great you feel good about it? I think that's the best that I could do. So I'd say this week I take a little issue with your thing like, you know, 2030 years from now. Did you do a good job? I don't really think like that. I think, though that did. I set a strategy that I'm excited about,
which I feel like I have, and I'm executing to that one and then the results or something that will be a lot of large out of my hands. But I will feel good about the way I played the game. It's kind of like a start up right, like I, um a CZ long as I play the game well and I do what I can to do it. There's a large chance of this. This luck, you know, it's as Justin Moskowitz says, the founder of one of the Facebook first employees in the founder of a sauna. You know, basically, there's all these factors and luck is one of them, and it's anywhere from, you know,
zero to a 1,000,000 like That's how. But luck plays into it. And I think the same goes with kids. You're not explain a big role in it and you know all the other things play into it. But if you do what you can give yourself a shot to have great kids and you never. The journey's been pretty fun.
You're you're absolutely right, and I didn't realize this until you said it. But by saying, Well, we'll look at our kids a 2030 and see what they're like. I'm basically setting a goal and probably very unrealistic goal. But as long as I'm happy with the progress now and I have a set of sort of guiding principles that I'm working based on, then it's done. It'll make sense, right that that's I think that's impeccable advice just to think about it and very different
terms is it is.
I think there's something about,
being a founder and being a parent,
there's something to those ones.
That's true because there's an awful lot of things like start ups to this little thing that you there's market forces at play.
There's other employees that play.
There's a lot of things you can't control.
And same with kids,
Like they're gonna get six some days you can't control that.
They're gonna pick friends that you don't like.
They're gonna like.
There's all sorts of things you can't control.
And I think as soon as I at least for the best that I could,
I started to say, Look at things to say What's out of my control? What is? And there's only like, there's only a few things I can do that are in my control. And that means like being present when I can, um, trying to like trying to, like, avoid things that will cause strife. And, um, for the most part, I think I just try toe be consistent. And if I do that like there's a lot of factors that are out of my control that will determine whether they're the next Einstein or whether they're basically just someone who, uh,
who scrapes by, who knows? But I hope at least that I gave him a shot to be the next Einstein, if that's what they really want. D'oh!
Now that you're a professor and you see the kids in your class, do you see anything you could do early on with your kids or you know where their schooling, anything that would set them for success or hypothetically with increased the chances to be success?
it's a get asked this question periodically now because I do,
although our kids really three in 18 months,
you know in some ways what is the world look like and education is changing a lot.
And as I said,
I was sort of disillusioned with a little bit of the current way of,
sort of the,
The World Bank came out the study saying that they're globally,
There's alerting crisis and I attribute that a lot to the typical ways of basically pushing out information.
I think that is something that we need to be thoughtful of,
is where is I'm thinking about that,
my kids and our kids.
Broadly speaking, here's the first thing that I think is important. I would say I want to raise a kid who is curious for sure. And I think that's something that's important. And I think putting labels on someone like, you know, do I want Quinn and Parker to be able to be entrepreneurs. You have to be awesome. Or do we want them to, like be accountants? That'd be awesome to, but as long as they're curious in the way they approach that great like that sort of is is number one the second thing that I was sort of share and this is a broad thing that I've learned about this from this book class, and the research behind it is that success today is driven so much more by what you create versus where you associate. So So what I mean by that is it used to be that you were you were a success. If you would go to a great college that's no longer guaranteed anymore. And so what I would share is I think we should be focusing on setting up our kids to create their own evidence of competency,
of passions, of purpose. So, writing that book, you know, doing that activity, putting together their own dancers, that whatever it is, those creation activities inspire kids to do those things because I think that what's gonna change over the next couple of decades and it's college will never go away. It should always be something for people. But I think what is gonna be important is like that's not enough. You need to pick a school that's gonna help you, you know, be ableto learn some skills to help you create, you know, differently.
I think we're gonna We're going toward more of an individualized world where it's not. You know, all these kids who go to X y z d prestigious school are gonna be the first ones picked. It's gonna be about the people who have something different about them. It's the people who do improv comedy, and someone says, like, That's interesting. You learned something that makes you better fit for a particular job or someone who you does a podcast or writes a book or launches a product. Whatever it is, I think those activities or what you wantto foster And so I would say I I am actively thinking about how I can help Quinn and Parker create things like bacon. I wantto This is sort of crazy to say, but I'm excited for when they're a little bit older and I could help them create a Children's book because now I don't like to publishing. So like that part's not that hard. So now, like I want to create something with them so they could get the experience of it. And I think that will be something fun that I'm looking forward to doing at some point. Like how do I help them treat things they're proud of?
Actually, I'm curious. You mentioned the Children's book and Children's books can be wildly successful and also, you know, bring money. We talked about this really about a $1,000,000,000 company and have this giant idea like uber. But now that your dad doing this thing you're doing, do you think it's important like you still striving for a $1,000,000,000 idea? Or do you think there's just a lot more to life and you could maybe do something?
So I framed this problem differently.
I used to be really fixated on having this big,
and that's why I think I was so excited to raise 50 or $60 million with Charlie And like tackling some of these things in the way that we tackled it,
I think that I thought,
in terms of like,
you have to be,
be tackling something massive,
And I foot that around.
I still I still believe that you should be striving to do something powerful.
And I feel like,
every one of my student authors.
I'm helping them achieve their dreams. I feel really great about it. I feel like it's I have an opportunity to change each person's life, which is powerful. But I think differently. I think that life today, for me success is going to be Ah Siri's of micro impacts. And so each and every author that I get to impact I want to have them have a riel meaningful, substantive impact that they look at me and say That guy helped me achieve the best who I could be. And so I look at this now, as I want to have a bunch of micro impacts, I feel like I've had, you know, I taught a lot of classes. I had a lot of students, but I didn't I don't think I had the real depth of impact that I wanted to dio.
But success to me will be over time, gathering up all of those micro impacts and seeing how big the pile gets. And, you know, I do think about as this opportunity to teach people becomes more powerful and sort of coach people through this creation experience. How do I How do I do more of it? How do I How am I unable to do more of it? And yet give people this amazing experience. So for me, I think the flip was I used to think about it and like how this big, massive impact, you know, in a massive market where today I think about like, let me make sure that every single person that having an impact on it's transforming for them. Like, Is this something?
Writing a book reading a podcast is a powerful for them. I get It's amazing to say, but like I get told, probably a TTE least every couple days by one of my current or former authors that this experience has changed their life, and that's amazing to get said. I don't think you know, I can't tell you how amazing that makes me feel to know it. But I don't want to lose sight of the fact that, like, if I, you know, changing one person's life that they believe that what you've done for the machines of life, that's a frickin massive impact to them. And so I don't want to stop doing that for those people, for the people, like for lack of,
like doing something bigger. I just want to figure out how they could keep doing it for each person. And then my goal was continue to figure out how to do it for more people, by teaching more people how to do this methodology. You know, I just used to do it at Georgetown. Now I have over 25 different authors. 35 different authors from outside of Georgetown who are going through the experience on day are having the same experience. So I think that's what I think is this. I don't think that I think about it from the standpoint of I've lesson to my goals. I just think that I'm measuring it differently, and that is like I'm measuring to make sure I'm having a great impact and then think about scale as how don't just have more micro impacts that that can make the pile bigger. But not losing sight of the micro impact is which really crucial.
I love it and I think what you just said is perfect guideline for kids as well, right? If you raise them to think that way, if you raise them essentially, that's what you said at the very beginning, to raise kids to be curious and micro impacts are the, um the outcome have been curious.
I think that's where I would have changed.
My focus is no and part of this.
I have a book coming out this summer called CRE Ed that is that we looked at the research all of the Forbes 30 under 30 for the past seven years.
So there's about 3400 of them and the on the face you look at them and say,
like a lot of these are entrepreneurs.
lot of these are people who are like in these sort of prestigious jobs and rolls,
but if you go one layer deeper,
that's where I think the big haha from Iwas is All of these people,
for the most part,
have this step in their journey where they created something not a business but a representation of what they cared about.
They would write a book.
They would do a podcast.
They would publish research.
They would put on an album like Chance the Rapper. They would create an article. Siri's like Daniel Moral before matter, Mark. They would do these sort of like things that would sort of be evidence of what they cared about Lin Manuel Miranda before he wrote Hamilton. He basically like, shared the 1st 6 bars of the opener at a White House function. Before it was a thing, right? Like though that's the things that I think we need to do. And I think for me that ability to help more people and be inspired to create something is what's so powerful. And I e feel really good about the ability to help people realize that we all could be a creator, and we don't have to be fascinated by a business. We just have to get in the game of creating and good things will come from it.
I feel really
empowered way gonna write it even ready? Look, I'm in. Let's do it.
I shouldn't. Yes, The amount of good energy coming through this conversation is amazing. And with with all of your experiences and how you channeling into of your kids and all of you George down kids and now you know the people you're working with, its is just fabulous. And, um, I think I'm inspired and just buy this conversation.
I would tell you this,
I'd say one of things that I've you know to that point I do.
I do feel like I've been given an incredible opportunity to sort of see the world differently and have other people see it.
The biggest change that's happened is that now we create our way to success.
We don't sort of associate our way to success,
so people are going to succeed by what they do not buy where they go,
like you're not going to succeed in the same way.
Just because you get into Stanford and graduate or take a job at Goldman Sachs.
You're going to succeed by what you create.
That shows you what you want to do.
And so I think for me what I've realized is that also was a big kind of responsibility or obligation.
And so I love to help people go through the experience of finding what they should create because I do think,
it sort of easy to hear this and say,
Yeah, like Eric said, like, I should create something like, Oh my God, what does that mean? Um, but what I've realized is it basically takes about a month of a coach to experience to sort of kind of this reflection process. And so I've been really fortunate to be able to do a couple 100 students through, like, a one month. I've been totally free experience that helps them basically discover what they should create. You know, what is the book that you should write? What is the podcast you should create? What is the event you should put on?
And to me, I think being a creator is still really it takes courage. And so I think I feel really empowered when someone says, like, I know I want to be a creator, but I don't know how can you help me? And that experience is pretty amazing to see someone say, Yeah, like I do see the world differently. Maybe one day I want to be started company. But how do we get started now? And that ability to help someone discover something inside them? Amazing This woman. Monica Monica Fritz. She wrote a book called Graduate Your Beer Craft and she she said, I love beer.
Can I write a book on bureau's like? Absolutely So she wrote a book on beer and it was great. And a couple of days before graduation she comes to me and says, like, Listen, Eric, I don't have a job yet and I was like, Well, I can't believe it Like your book was one of the best Well written. I was like, Tell me where you're applying and she rattles off. You have applied to the Yankees and ESPN. I played the Clorox Oh, this laundry list and I was like Monica, there's one thing missing from this gigantic list you just laid out on, and that is like beer got right later,
you just wrote a book on beer. Did you not think to apply those companies? And she looks at me like she's like, Well, I just thought that was sort of, like, a fun thing. I did, and I was like, No, like, that's the thing you just created a way to show off with what you care about And there's tons of people in that one. And so suddenly, when that light bulb went off, she like, 00 gosh,
okay, Send out a few more resumes and she literally got a job without giving the resonate of the company of the largest beer distributor in the entire East Coast and a 10 minute interview. They asked for her book, talked about it, and now she's working in the marketing group of the largest beer distributor on the East Coast because it just is evidence of someone's purpose. Like when you share something you care about that is like taking a risk is putting yourself out there and people like, Yeah, maybe some people will judge you. But for the most part, people will be inspired by you and say, I want to do everything I can to let this woman have an opportunity in the police she cares about. I wanna help this person start this company, whatever it is, So there's, you know, it's it is rewarding to help people see those opportunities.
Is that amazing how simple it was? But how hard it is to see it when you're the person? Yes, struggling out
of the It's why it's why I tell people all the time you have to find a coach.
That's the key.
It is hard to do this alone,
That's why this experience,
I tell people it's not taught it's coached.
I'm gonna send you some video lectures to watch can give you some guidance process to follow.
my job is to help pull you up when you get stuck.
Like one of the authors is working on this incredible book on food and race.
And she wrote me saying,
like maybe I should just wait and do this In a couple of years,
I was like,
think about what you've already created,
how great it is. And I got a note from her, like, literally today. She's like, I like thank you, like I feel like I'm on it again and like, this is just the start of the conversation. So it is something that, like it's hard to do these things, especially on your own. It's isolated when the systems were set up, to sort of push you into, like, taking the most prestigious company, our college going the most prestigious college,
doing the sort of normal interviewing thing, going to the most prestigious company to sort of, like step out of line a little bit and create something that it judged you get judged on. It's terrifying. So it's not for the faint of heart. You want to have people around, you could support you and surely do as you do something you're well see. My kids may not say that, but I feel fortunate to get to do it. And I I think you're right. You ask the right question. I think I am going to have so much fun with our kids because, like, I'm excited to explore some of these things together and see them create some cool stuff and, uh, yeah,
listen, I'm stoked. I've talked to some cool parents who've done some cool projects with their kids and, yeah, like I want, I want to help him try to do some interesting stuff,
and in a way, you've had experience with dozens of kids now, So once your kids are at that
they're they're no different,
whether they're 21 years old or whether the three I think it's all about coaching and realizing,
like I don't really think you could force someone to do anything.
You just sort of have to,
figure out what they want to do.
And it's like it's like bowling with bumper bulls.
You sort of to keep people in their lanes.
And that was a big insight for me is like our three year old's gonna do what she wants to do.
She could do those sorts of things.
And so my job is to make sure that she sort of his safe on one sense.
But but more importantly,
like Guider in those right directions,
and she's not gonna follow my advice directly. Neither the my college kids right there or my You know I'm working with the people who were in their fifties and sixties as well, but basically give them, like, sort of a path to follow and to keep them on it when they feel like they're falling off track.
No, that's perfect. And I love the fact that you basically just said, but you're not considering your kids or maybe correctly for Mom, but you're not thinking of them as
little beat us there humans like.
they're fascinating to watch it there straight.
They just don't have the verbal skills.
I don't have the emotional range yet,
uh I mean,
there they are,
their own creatures with their own desires,
their own thoughts.
And I I mean for me.
I tell my wife this all the time.
My job is apparent if you played sports growing up,
I remember my coaches would always yell withering on the baseball field of soccer field of basketball field,
like being the ready position was what was called right.
You wanna have your be on your toes, have your knees bent your arms up, ready to go because, like, you know, when the ball comes at you or whatever happens, you need to be able to move. And that's like what parenting is like. It's like, sort of always being in the ready position because you don't know when the ball is gonna come at you. You don't know like I mean like this weekend, this will tell you how not great of the parents I am at times. But like, you know, one of our daughter Parker. She's 18 months,
and we she's like, learning to use the stairs. She fell down like four stairs like she was fine. But like, you know, you just want to be ready and like, all right, you're okay. And then, like two hours later, right? Here's me thinking, OK, that was fine. Two hours later, she's playing on the bed and she rolls off and falls off the bed.
I'm like, I must be the worst parent ever, but like, it's sort of like you can't control those things. I mean, I could you know, I could put my patting all over my entire house, but listen, they're gonna fall. They're gonna hurt themselves. Your job is to be in the ready position and help him learn from it. And that's I think that's to me. The only way I'm able to navigate through it. Because if I tried to force them into processes and you know, doing exactly what we say, I would go bonkers. So ready position. That's my strategy.
You know, I was interviewing Casper baby pins a couple of days ago for the red, that podcast. And he mentioned one thing that he would tell all the parents is that when your kid's full figuratively and not, it's Ah, it's not that you're a bad parent, it's their job to do it. And as long as you pick him up and they go back to you when they fall, they did a great job because what they're doing is they're testing the boundaries, and as long as they can trust you to be there to help them, that actually means you're doing a great job. So I think you're a u X you extremely right.
I'm right until I'm wrong tomorrow.
And uh uh,
it is constantly being learning constant being curious.
I tweeted this today and to the point of being a parent again,
and I will say this about my own.
Anything I said today,
it's only meant it's not meant to be advice.
It's just meant to be my story.
And I think the thing I tweeted today is the secret between success and failure is knowing which 90% advice to avoid and which 10% to consider everything is so personal,
and you sort of have to figure out what fits within yours.
So who knows if this helps someone be inspired or think about things definitely awesome.
But I don't like e can't give anyone advice.
I could just basically say Here's how I did it And,
our kids turned out okay for the most part,
other than some stare falling on. And really, I think I've built a framework that I feel good about And, you know, Listen, I don't I don't like you said. I don't predict to know what success will look like in these things. I feel good about the balance between being a dad and being able to do something for Philip by having those micro impacts. But, man, every day is in the being in the ready position and just hoping that, um, I get
another chance to do it tomorrow. That is beautiful advice and look, I'd love to talk to you about all the nitty gritty of raising kids and all the details, but I think I save it for the next episode and also a rabbit up on this note, it's bean awesome talking Thio. I learned a ton. I get inspired.
All right, let's talk about Syria.
He actually says we should wait. We should. I'm serious. I mean, I feel like I feel like with right coach, I could just, like, get
on my keyboard right now,
was I think,
my big goal in life And I say this to you as a friend,
someone I've known for a while.
It sounds crazy,
but I believe that every college junior in America should do this experience.
And I hope every 18 year old should do this experience of creating a book,
because I think that it's like just something that we all can do.
And I think that,
it really is a moment in time when you can reflect on what you've learned,
what you care about.
Every single one of us has a book in us.
It's just about being able to approach it the right way to not get wrapped up in the nitty gritty details of it.
about what do you want toe learn and how do you share that? If you think about the book is the ultimate way that you could share what you've learned about something s so the others can learn to. You succeeded. So we'll help you write that book. And I'm excited to help you do it.
Thank you very much.
And you said you were coming on and yeah, I think it tells the story of how success today is true. How we create our own credibility today. And that's the secret to success rather than kind of the old world of borrowing it from the institutions that we go to for schooling or we go to toe work and, yeah, happiness, success. Well, I'll come to the people that create their own credibility.
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