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Chris Do

In the final episode of our series on self-sabotage, we pick up where the conversation left off. Chris is betting his future (and the future of his staff) on pivoting into a new teaching venture then called The Skool. But to do that, he must abandon his design agency.

Self Sabotage Part 3
Self Sabotage Part 3

Self Sabotage Part 3

Ep
196
Jul
06
With
Chris Do
Or Listen On:

Be firm with your goal but flexible in your approach.

In the final episode of our series on self-sabotage, we pick up where the conversation between Nidhi and Chris left off. If you missed the first two episodes, we suggest you go back and listen to those first.

At this point in the story, Chris is betting his future (and the future of his staff) on pivoting into a new teaching venture then called The Skool. But to do that, he must abandon his design agency.

Everywhere Chris looks, he sees doubt. Doubt from internal management, creative teams, and even his business coach. At the time, that doubt seemed reasonable. Why leave a business earning $4 million annually in favor of something that generated a mere $10K the previous year?

What everyone didn’t know was that Chris had a plan. And a quantifiable vision of what success looked like for The Futur.

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Episode Transcript

Nidhi:

I think that that's probably where a lot of businesses honestly fail, is that they're so desperately trying to figure out what the solution could potentially be that they've never even ask themselves what the true problem is. Are we even asking the right questions when it comes to our business? We assume that the problem is one thing, but we haven't even really done the analysis to identify what is tanking right now.

Chris:

I'd love to tell you a story about how I could see the future and how revolutionary and forward thinking I was. I'm not. I'm actually really conservative when it comes to certain things. I'm just not so married and attached to the past that I can't see opportunity knocking at the door, screaming at the door. So people don't know this, but in my last semester at art center, I took a class in animation, and my teacher was a woman named Linda She taught after effects. Linda was an okay teacher. She wasn't blowing my mind, and Linda went off and then did her own thing and she wrote a couple of books on web design and started hosting conferences out in Ojai and she started to build this company. They started to realize that people couldn't travel to the location and wanted to then produce things on disk, but then the big breakthrough was like, let's put this on the internet, at a time when probably the broadband connection wasn't great for everybody and compressions ratios and algorithms were terrible, but they're out ahead.
And yes, if you're thinking, is that same Linda of Linda.com? Yeah, she was my teacher at art center, and fast forward a few years. She has, I think at one point when I knew about this, over 250 editors working for her full time in this giant facility. I'm like 250 editors? Movie studios don't have 250 editors working for them. She sold her company for 1.7 billion to LinkedIn.
This was happening in the middle of all of this stuff, and we're seeing other portals for education popping up. So it's not like, hey man, I've got this idea no one's seen before. Not at all. It's everywhere. Only if we stop digging this hole in this traditional brick and mortar school system where tuition is unreasonably high, and so all I was doing was reporting from the field and sometimes, and I'll say it like this. People in academic institutions have been so far removed from reality that they live in the ivory tower and they don't really have to worry about what it means to survive on your ability to sell and the actual market data.
It's actually much preferable for them to stay inside that bubble. You don't have to look at reality. That's what happened. Some of them who came to my office, who were, I think, earnest in their desire and curiosity, but also, I get it. In large organizations, no one's responsible or everyone's responsible and so no one's responsible. Why make more trouble for yourself? If it goes wrong, you get blamed. If it goes right, everyone takes credit. So what's the point?
You'll see in large organizations, and I've have been part of the board of directors in one of these companies, it's very hard to do anything slightly different. Forget about innovative, slightly different. So no one does anything, and they move at a glacial pace. I don't live and work that way.
The interesting thing was, one of the people who attended that meeting, she told me later on, she says, "You know what? The best thing that ever happened to you was that he said no, because could you imagine today working with them and how you'd want to kill yourself?" Yeah, I guess that was the best thing. But you know, there is some little part of me that is this young immigrant kid who never got anything, that was picked on, and always felt like an outsider, that that feels really familiar to me. So I'm like, you know what? I don't care. Just watch me. You'll see.
I'm really driven by that, too. If I needed more fuel, that was it. I'm going to do this thing. So yeah, there was doubt coming from internal management teams. There was doubt coming from creative people on my team, a doubt for my coach who was like I don't know why you would be doing this. This seems really silly, from institutions that I was trying to help, there was a lot of doubt. But one of the moments that to me really cemented it ,was this moment when I'm talking to my wife at the dinner table. My wife's name is Jessie, by the way, and we're sitting there and she's like, "What do you need, honey?" I said, "I need to raise some money."
Because at that point in time, I think it's like 2015, 2016. We're we're barely even cracking six figures as a whole company. It doesn't even make sense. It's not even enough to pay my salary. I said, "I need to raise money." She goes, "Why do you need to raise money? What do you need money for?" "Well, I got to buy gear. I got to hire people." And she goes, "Okay, how much money do you think you need?" I said, "I don't know, somewhere between half a million to million dollars." That wasn't really based on any data. It just, those numbers round and nice and gives me a lot of runway to do stuff. She says, "Here's the thing, I don't like the idea of you going around and asking for money. We have money. Why don't we just pull out the money in the market and our savings and you have access to all of it?"
You have to understand something about my wife. She's Taiwanese, right? Born in Taiwan, born and raised. Her level for discomfort is very small. Her tolerance for risk is really, really small. She needs huge amount of runway, saving on top of saving, and 401K plans on top of that for her to feel comfortable and secure. At this dinner table where she's telling me, it's just her and I, she's looking into my eyes and saying, "Take all the money we have, do whatever it is that you want, because I can see how important this is to you. I don't see the vision necessarily, but I see how you light up." That was such a vote of confidence for me, not that I needed it from her, but I definitely didn't need to be fighting two battles.
That was the last barrier for me, of like that's it. I'm going all in on this. I'm doing it. She just gave me the green light. With that, one of the things that we want to talk about is, when you are in that really dark place where you think I'm going to go for it, I think one of the things you need to know is from the most important person in your life, it could be your partner, who you're married to, a brother, a sister, a cousin, a parent, whoever. If you need them to be in your corner, it would be good to know that they won't be fighting you the entire process before you begin this journey.
If you want to dig in and have this 5 to 10 year plan, you need to, I think, A. have some level of mastery, some core competency that you've built up. You could define what that is, up to you. We suggest it's going to take anywhere between 5 to 10 years of doing a singular thing to be at least competent towards mastery, some level of mastery.
Number two, you need to have a plan. You need to give yourself a timetable with controls, like how much money and resources you're willing to invest in. This is really important. When you drive in a car, you have controls. There's a speedometer that tells you how fast you're going and you have street signs to tell you at this turn, it's really sharp, so you need to slow down. The sign and your speedometer tell you how to control your car. You have a steering wheel to keep you in your lane, and you have guard rails to keep you from driving off the cliff. You even have these little bumps on the road that when your tires cross, they make a certain sound. Those are all controls.
Here's the thing, a lot of us jump into whatever it is we're doing. It's nighttime, we have no lights. We have no instrument to tell us. We have no idea how far we're going. We have no GPS. We just hit the accelerator and we have no idea. That can be very scary. That level of risk and lack of planning probably is the thing that leads to failure more than anything else. You have what you can commit to reasonably, and say, if I don't have empirical data that tells me I'm on the right path, at some point I have to stop, because then that's insanity. You're now trapped in that loop where it's not working so you keep doing everything you can to make it work so you can get your money back out, and it's not going to. You have to learn to cut your losses.
I think if there's someone significant in your life, you don't necessarily need them to support you. But I do think you need at least their agreement that you're going to do this thing so they're not going to be fighting you and questioning you every single part of the way. Because it's going to be difficult enough without their input, without their questioning, without you having to justify the decisions that you made. I got to tell you something, that decision was made I think somewhere around 2016. Despite my wife freeing up all the money and saying, "It's ready for you whenever you need it," haven't used any of it. It was just a gesture, and it was a huge gesture to me. Back over to you, Nidhi.

Nidhi:

Yeah. I mean the buy-in Chris, I think is 100% necessary and it was a conversation that my husband and I had to have when I decided to become an entrepreneur as well, because even going in on clubhouse or doing the social media stuff I'm doing right now, we had to have a very real conversation around how many hours it was going to take to invest and to really build and commit to this. With social audio, for example, there was such an opportunity that it made sense to be spending 20, 25 hours hosting content and joining other people on their stages. Had we not had that conversation and that communication ahead of time though, it would've been really easy for there to be resentment or some level of disconnection, because you just haven't gotten the buy-in and then it's unfair to the other person who committed to you to be your partner, but perhaps didn't sign up for what that was truly going to mean when you're really going all in on something.
So that resonated very deeply and it doesn't make it any easier. I think we could probably both attest to that, many hours that we spend away from our families, but it ends up being worth it because you see the impact that you're able to make and that they also are supportive because they see the passion and how excited we all get when we're doing something that's in alignment. So that makes complete sense to me.
The guardrails was the other thing I wanted to reemphasize, because I think so often, we just, we think that it's a failure to pull back at some point when something is clearly not working, and our ego gets in the way and our pride gets in the way, and we make poor decisions because we think it's a reflection of whether we have the courage to persevere. But as we've had the discussion throughout this evening, if the data is showing you otherwise, please pivot at that point in time, right? If you are not having success, then you have to make something different, and don't allow your ego and your pride to get in the way of you overspending, going into debt, borrowing from people, and ultimately being miserable in your day to day life and resentful towards your business. So, I just appreciated that you added that in, Chris.

Chris:

Yeah, my pleasure. I did find the data for the company and the revenue. So to put things into context so you can understand the amount of resistance I was facing, because a lot of you are like, "Well, why would people say crazy things to you knowing that this was going to work out?" Well, it's not clear that it works out and if it were clear, it wouldn't be a risk and everybody would be doing it. Hence back to my theme, it's supposed to be hard.
So to let you know, for the majority of the time in which I ran blind, which was from 1995 until I guess I stopped being active in 2018, end of 2018, that we did somewhere between $4 to 5 million every single year. So, easily an 80 million company, probably more than that. That's what all the people in the company are looking at, we're walking away from a $4.5 million machine that can just crank on this for as long as it can crank on it.
So let's put that in context in reference to what The Futur, AK the school, was doing. The school is the original name until Jose and I split up as partners. We can talk about that a little bit if we want to. in 2014, after running the business for an entire year, we grossed, grossed not profited, $15,000. $15,000. And so you can see anybody that's looking this, they're going to say, "Well, there's a $4.5 million company, and you're saying you're going to dedicate all your time to this other company that's going to make you $15,000?"
I do want to explain a little bit after I've revealed the numbers to you, what the heck I'm thinking here. In 2015, full year of running the business, we're learning, we're growing by 300%. It's also remarkable a growth curve. We earn a whopping $42,000 a year. To put that in context, the lowest paid employee that I hire at Blind makes more money in their annual salary than we made as an entire company.
So again, if you were to say, "Chris, walk away from this company to earn $42,000," it doesn't make sense to anybody looking at the data. In 2016, we do 144,000, growing three X. Jose and I, we hit a point where we can no longer coexist as CEOs and partners in the company, so we split. I take over the company. We reincorporate a new name, The Futur. He walks away with 50% of his assets. I walk away with 50% of my assets, and we part amicably. We're still friends today, but we're not business partners anymore.
In 2017, we gross now 300% more than we did the previous year. We do $536,000 in revenue. It's starting to look like a real company right now. Also, to put that in context, in one job from one of our great clients, like a video game manufacturer, the budget for one of those projects is $400,000 for one project. So again, working on an entire year, everything I got with a very small team, we still can only barely gross what one commercial job pays us. There's no exaggeration there. I'm telling you the job was $400,000. If we keep going here, you'll see like where this makes sense.
In 2018, we gross $1.78 million, not enough yet to pay for the building and all of our team. Our overhead is ridiculously high, because we used to make commercials for a living. But it's in 2018 during a management meeting that the person who's right next to you, Nidhi, Matthew [inaudible 00:16:32], after I talk about how we have to get more sales for Blind while I'm working on The Futur, Matt says, "Hey Chris, wouldn't it be better if we all just focused on building The Futur?" and he made a very valid point. He's like when we make something for The Futur, it is literally for our future because it's IP that we're building. There is some predictable income. If we use all the collective intelligence of our team and focused on building this, don't you think we can get there? He really did challenge me.
Before I was talking about leadership, I'm not the kind of leader where somebody can throw out a radical idea that may directly oppose what it is I'm talking about, which he did at that time. I took a second. I said, "You know what? You're right. Let's make this commitment then, that moving forward, this is the last commercial work we do for our client ever again." Now we have no choice, but to succeed and we have to get this thing in the millions, multiple millions, to even, it make sense.
And December of 2018 was the last time we took on any new client work. So Blind at this point is just fulfilling old obligations and no longer taking any work. That leads us to, what is it now? 2019. We do $3.1 million. Okay, so I promised I would step back and try to explain to you because it seems like I'm doing what I caution Moe against doing, where Moe has a successful business. He's starting to make real traction, and he's now distracted by what he believes to be a quicker, easier way to make money. There are some sharp differences here. One is, I've already spent the better part of two decades running a certain type of company. I think I squeezed everything there is to squeeze out of it. It's like that idea, like you get a lemon, you squeeze all the juice out of that before you cut another lemon. My immigrant mentality. I can see that the trend lines are moving in the wrong direction. They're flattening and they're trending downwards, as far as I can see. I'm seeing potential here, but this is not the easy way to make money. There's nothing sexy about building an education company and trying to build an entirely new product and a way of marketing that we don't even understand.
So this was by no means a get rich quick scheme. This was a get poor, slow scheme. And we're just trying to minimize our losses while we build up the audience, and that's what we did. We kept plugging away at it day after day, month after month, year after year. It took us over two years to get 10,000 subscribers on YouTube, two years of making content to get that. Some days we get that in a single day, for comparison. So yeah, I don't blame the people who questioned us. They just couldn't see what we could see. They didn't believe what we believe and they were not on this mission to change the education system the way we're trying to. I would just put that out there for everyone to understand. Nidhi, back over to you.

Nidhi:

Well, so now I'm curious, right? So now as you look at The Futur, is there anything that would cause you to pivot again, or are you in a stage now where it's like, this is it, we're staying the course on this? Would it take some massive disruption to the educational market for you to change course again or what would that be? Because I think people are probably wondering, well, how do you know when something is warranting that shift. So I wonder what that would be for you, what would convince you to do something different at this stage?

Chris:

You mean to enter a whole different field again?

Nidhi:

Yeah, to do another, if you were ever, and I can't imagine you doing this, but just hypothetically speaking, is there anything that could happen outside of just a catastrophic shift in the market that would convince you to do something else?

Chris:

Okay. That's a really good question. I don't think there would be, Nidhi. At this point, I don't. I have told people this and they're like, "Ah, stop talking like that." I think of my life as a three act play or three act story. I'm in the third act of a three act story. There's no fourth act. There's no sequel to this story. When I talk about commitment and grit and all that kind of stuff, I really do mean it. I cannot see myself doing anything else except for to be a teacher. It might not work at the scale in which I'm doing it right now, and I'm okay with that, but I'm ready to let this be the final title that I wear as an educator, as one who tried to change the system. I'm ready to go down with this ship.
Now, luckily though, through the previous 20 plus years of grinding it out, I have enough of financial cushion that don't need this to be a money making venture. In fact, it has not been a profitable company for us until last year. It has just been me making money, putting it right back in, stealing from Peter to pay Paul. I don't want to admit this to a tax consultant or anything or the IRS, but we did siphon and use resources from Blind in order to support The Futur, because The Futur could not have survived given its revenue.
So to put it into perspective, Blind was occupying a 12,500 square foot building, which at current lease rates, there's probably $3 or $4 a square foot. If you just do the math at $4 a square foot for a 12,000 square foot building, we're talking about $48,000 in rent, in just the overhead, just the building itself. Forget about maintenance, electricity, subscriptions, computers, and staff. So we were burning more money in rent than we were making in an entire year. That's why I was like, yeah, this is not a way to get rich. We used the equipment that we own from Blind to produce the videos, and we borrowed the team, which didn't make it on the books, so that we can run The Futur.
I wanted to make a point of something here. The thing that I told Moe during the call, and I made a much stronger point after the call on a one-to-one conversation with him is this, is get successful at doing something. Success opens more doors for you. If he can just get really good and get into the upper echelon, however you want to define that, in terms of the people who do social video content, then build up a runway. Build up notoriety and expertise, and everything that you want will start to open up. It won't have to be such a struggle. You'll have money to hire people, to help you. That'll free up your time so that you can read and study and attend workshops, travel the world and speak, and work on this course that's going to be really, really amazing.
But furthermore, you have now social proof. You have empirical data to back up that you know how to make and run a successful company. That's the funny thing about how humans work. We're heavily reliant on the information provided to us by others as whether or not we should trust an entity or not. We buy a car because it won the JD and Power Associates award, or motor trend car SUV of the year, whatever it is. Whatever film critic says, this is good, we're like, it must be a decent film. But when you don't have that success, because you've not stayed in the pocket long enough, you can't point to a single thing.
This goes back to empirical data. Do you have some form of success that you can point to leverage that into your next venture? I find that successful people, whether they're entrepreneurs or not, they trade up on their experiences for bigger and better opportunities. You trade a small problem for bigger problem that's more important and you keep trading it up. You work with a local mom and pop restaurant to trade up for a national, and then an international restaurant, or a multi chain franchise. You just trade up. From one point of view, you can look at this and say, "Well, what do you do? He kept switching gears." I really didn't. See, all of the stuff was built up on a foundation of design. That's what I studied in school. I parlayed that into motion design, which is just another discipline of design. I did that for a number of years, for 20 plus years. Then I got into doing branding and brand strategy, was going right back to my roots in design and my background in advertising.
When we go and make The Futur, what are we talking about? I'm making videos, which that's what I did for 20 years, talking about design, which I taught for 15 years, which is built on top of a four year education studying design, 20 years practicing it. Then I overlapped that with entrepreneurship, which I was trained by my mentor for 13 years and running my company of practicing 20 plus years. It wasn't really starting over. It wasn't pivoting out of this whole space.
I have a friend who's great at doing SEO, and now she wants to do coaching and she wants to do life coaching. Maybe those two things are related. I can't really see the connection there, but you see when you do that super hard pivot and you change the whole category, you're kind of starting from the bottom up again.

Greg Gunn:

Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back.

Speaker 4:

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Greg Gunn:

Welcome back to our conversation.

Nidhi:

I think that's also the answer to how you've kept it fresh, because you took something that you developed all that expertise in and found different applications that were going to be revenue generators. I think that answers people's question, because I know I've seen so many tweets as we've had this conversation around being able to really focus in, but finding the little nuggets and gems along the way and enjoying the process of getting to the goals eventually, looking at that marathon versus the sprint.
But I think we kind of cracked a little bit of a code here that it's not about pivoting so far away from what you've done, that it's a new foundation that you're laying. It's instead building the third floor and the fourth floor to the mansion that's based on the foundation that you'd already laid in those 20 years prior. I can imagine Chris, and you correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine that kept it really fresh for you, because going from the motion design to the teaching, even if it's in the same thread, it's different skill sets that are exciting to get to learn and get to implement. I think that makes a lot of sense, and I really wanted to underline that for the audience in case they missed it.

Chris:

Yeah, thank you so much. You're absolutely right. So, here I'm going to go right back to Moe right? If I am running my company and I'm making a name for myself and I'm exposed to the same problem over and over again, I see connections and I see patterns. Well, when I'm invited to teach and they give me the opportunity to teach, they're not telling me to teach juggling or break dancing. I know nothing about those things. They're asking me to teach about the things I've developed efficiency and expertise over. See how that relates? We want to be in those places where we can write a book and where we can jump on stage and people are going to give us $20,000-$30,000 a pop to do public speaking. Why would they do that when you haven't actually achieved anything? Why would they do that?
And this is my fear. My fear, there's a whole generation of people out there who are fakesperts, who tell you that they're social media influencers. They run a social media marketing agency and they help people achieve greatness in social media. Then you look at their account and they've got 15,000 followers. What? Oh, I've run multiple businesses. How come I can't find a single one in any of your bio? That's the problem. You haven't done it. You haven't stuck it out. You almost have no proof, but here's the sad part, is that there are a lot of desperate people out there who want to learn, who want to change. I think you talked about this earlier, Nidhi. When you're in a state of desperation, this is not a good place to make decisions.
Again, I'm going to refer over to my business coach here, who I've mentioned many times tonight. He still does coaching. If anybody wants to look him up, you can. He told me, when he was younger, he was a lifeguard. He was an athletic dude back when he was younger. He's a lifeguard and one of the things you learn when you're a lifeguard is people make irrational decisions when they're drowning. He says most often people drown when they're only a arms reach away from the edge. When they're near the edge, they panic. They swim out to the deeper end, and that's how they drown. If you look at yourself, like I'm in a desperate situation, I don't have buy-in, I don't have the resources, I don't have the empirical data, the proof that I've done something before, I don't have a roadmap, I don't have guardrails and parameters of what success looks like, I do not know what I'm willing to commit and where I know I've gone past the point of insanity, kind of an in desperate position, friend.

Nidhi:

Dang. Yes. Yeah, and you just can't be making the decisions from that standpoint. You have to get things in order. You have to ground yourself and really start thinking and strategizing through, because if you're just grasping for straws, I just think that's the recipe for disaster. I think that's probably where a lot of businesses honestly fail, is that they're so desperately trying to figure out what the solution could potentially be that they've never even asked themselves what the true problem is.
We hit on this a little bit last session too, Chris, that, are we even asking the right questions when it comes to our business? We assume that the problem is one thing, but we haven't even really done the analysis to identify what is tanking right now. Therefore, how can we identify the proper solution if we haven't even nailed down what it is that's causing the boat to sink? We haven't even discovered the hole in the bottom of the boat. We're just like, oh, oh, let me just flounder around to jump out of the boat. Well, wait a minute, have you even tried patching it up? So I don't know. Yeah, I really appreciated what you shared there.

Chris:

Yeah, thank you. And I think you're right. It's like when we don't have a plan, we don't know what the goal is. We don't know how to get there. Every plan works, everything looks good, all options are viable, and that's where we get all messed up. We get wrecked there. Okay, [inaudible 00:32:19] how do you want to contribute to this conversation?

Speaker 5:

Thank you so much. I, just first of all, just really wanted to thank you for these discussions and the topics that you cover. They're very, very valuable with the information you provide. I just wanted to thank you so much. My question is, it's a little bit on what Nidhi was talking about earlier in the fear of success. I was curious about if I could glean from your mind, strategies for somebody who's in a situation where they have a physical disability and it continues to sabotage the projects that they work on and the jobs that they take on.
Just to give you a little bit of a background, very brief, is that I used to work at a university for about nine years, and it was wonderful and really great experience, really great projects. Then I had a physical and health emergency that happened, and it threw me out of the game for two years. My spine, I had an issue and I was nearly paralyzed and had to have spine surgery and all that. So got past that, and then I started to manage a shop, and it was very successful. It was great.
But then again, I had another physical issue that happened because my disability. My lungs collapsed, just randomly. That's the kind of problems that happened. That threw me out a bit, and so now I'm in a situation where I am teaching digital art online and it is very successful and I am jampacked full of students. I teach live, and it's a lot of fun, but now I find that again, I'm at the point where my body's starting to break down and I'm afraid there's going to be another emergency situation. So I was wondering if you had come across similar situations where there's good strategies put in place that can help keep things going while I'm laid up, or like backup plans as far as ideas for what one in my situation could do.

Chris:

Nidhi, do you want to tackle this one?

Nidhi:

I will do my best. I just really appreciate you for sharing, because I can only imagine what it's like to have to go through two and potentially three different bouts of this. So I just really appreciated your share. I just wanted to say, I don't consider this self sabotage. What you described isn't what I would consider self sabotage, because ultimately, if your body is struggling, I don't think that that's something to feel ashamed about. Now, what I'm am hearing you say is, well, let me ask you a question actually. Do you feel like some of these instances where you've had these health concerns, is it related to stress and is it related to being able to find some sort of work/life integration? Am I fair for thinking that might be a contributing factor?

Speaker 5:

Yes, absolutely. Stress does seem to trigger it. What ends up happening is, I pivot to something else that seems like it might be more physically easier to do. Now I'm working online, but then again, whenever I do something, I put everything into it, so I'm wearing myself out again.

Nidhi:

Yeah, no, that makes complete sense. So, then this is something that I think touches on a piece of the conversation that we've had this evening, which is being able to adapt your business to incorporate some of the opportunities for self care in a little bit of a different balance. I wonder if there are opportunities leading up to some of these flareups where your body is starting to signal to you that, oh man, I'm having aches and pains, or geez, the exhaustion is really taking hold.
I always find that when we're able to address things on the onset and on the buildup, it's much easier to do the prevention than it is to do the work to reverse it once it's in motion. So some things that have worked for me, and I'm immunocompromised myself. Definitely a different situation, but I can just speak from my own experience that I've also gotten to a place of exhaustion and burnout to where I was nearly hospitalized for pneumonia multiple times. It was my body's way of telling me that I'm shutting you down. We can't continue doing this. It's a very real concern, I think, where we push ourselves to that breaking point.
But what I discovered as I reflected on that experience and worked through with my therapist too, was that there were a lot of missed cues along the way that actually leading up to that, I had that physical exhaustion, that feeling of tiredness. I noticed that my body was reacting in really poor manner to the stress that I was experiencing. But even despite that information, I didn't have the self-awareness to be able to make the pivot. So what I would encourage you to do is to think about are there opportunities for me to create a little bit more balance here where I can recognize that I'm starting to approach this place, and then have the opportunity to make a different choice and pull back. And take good care of yourself and be able to replenish your tank, because we don't want you to get to a place where you're burning out and you're getting sick and you're getting hospitalized.
I really don't want anybody in the audience to think that we should be grinding and that any goal is worth us getting ill. I really don't. I don't agree with that. I think we should push ourselves. I think that there is importance in grit, but I also think that there's a line that we cross where it starts to become detrimental. I personally don't think that any goal is worth your mental health or your physical health suffering. That was a little bit long winded, but I hope that was helpful.

Speaker 5:

Thank you. It really, really was. Yeah, I wanted to ask that because I'm at this point where I am about to hire somebody on to help manage the workload, but because of a fear of history repeating, I don't want to be in a situation where I feel the need to pivot again because of bringing somebody on and the responsibility to her for income. So yeah, no, it's very, very helpful. I really, really appreciate it.

Nidhi:

Stay the course and just shift the way that you're organizing the time and allowing yourself to build in during the season of your business, just a little bit more of a, of a break, so that way you prevent that cycle from repeating. You have a choice to be able to break that cycle, especially if you're noticing that pattern. I think there's a great opportunity here, and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting an update and wishing you all the best.

Speaker 5:

Thank you.

Chris:

Up next is, is it [inaudible 00:39:36]?

Speaker 6:

[inaudible 00:39:38].

Chris:

Okay, go ahead.

Speaker 6:

I think my question or conversation is basically centered around when to know when to pivot, to stop and keep going. Because with myself, I figure out that I struggle with this a lot because I keep saying, well, maybe there's a light and then the tunnel. Keep digging, there's the diamond. But then at the end of the day, I'm listening to your conversation with Nidhi. I'm seeing that you guys are talking about where there's a point where you have to be sane and say, "Well, I don't think this is working out. Let me pivot and do something else."
I'm saying this because I decided to quit my job with no runway. I didn't think about that at all, and start my own agency. It's almost taken me a year before things actually started to move and look like it's going to work out. But for those first 12 months, it was just me feeling like I was going insane, but it was like, it kind of worked out. But it's like, when do you really know that this is really not working, you should pivot?

Chris:

Wait. So what was the question?

Speaker 6:

When do you know that whatever goal you're trying to achieve is really not working out and you should pivot? Because Nidhi was like, "Well, you really shouldn't keep going if something's not working out," but there's the concept of the whole motivational thinking going where, don't quit, keep going, work it out. But it's like, when you know that, wow, this is really not working out for me, maybe I should stop what I'm doing right now and pivot?

Chris:

Right. It can be very difficult to know when you're in the moment. What I would say to you is, just very broadly speaking, because I'm going to move on to the next person here is, you have a goal, and when I say pivot, I don't mean to pivot and change your goal. I just mean to pivot and change your approach. If this approach isn't working, try a different approach and just throwing it back to be firm with your goals, be flexible with your approach. That's all I can say to that. It would seem insane to keep doing something and not see any progress whatsoever and if the data's telling you new plan, you should not ignore that. But if your life changes, if you have some kind of dramatic life changes and your goals change and they're not no longer in alignment, that's the one time where I'm like, okay, revisit that goal. That goal is no longer important to you. You're more mature. You're in a different head space. Go ahead and do that.
But please, the best way you can do this is to have a plan, to make a commitment. In five years, I'm going to be here. I'm not going to quit no matter what. These are the guardrails. I will spend 25% of my savings. I will spend 100% of my savings, and when you get close to that, you have to just stop because you've given yourself the best shot of success and it doesn't look like you're going to achieve it. You got to change. All right?

Speaker 6:

Okay. Thank you.

Chris:

You're very welcome, man. Okay, last but not least. Let's see who this is. Mariano. Mariano, just come in strong. Finish this off for us, please.

Mariano:

Hey, Chris, hey, Nidhi, and Hey to all the audience. First of all, I've been stuck for a long time. I just want to say to all the audience and all the people hearing this, don't quit. Don't quit. Just change the approach. Just keep going. But don't think about quitting, because it takes a lot of time and a lot of pressure up by yourself, but the things will come on that job. That work and the salary is going to come. I mean, I've in stuck for a long time. I've been switching jobs for a long time. I'm doing things I haven't remotely think I could do up to now. I'm working as a project manager in a marketing company in the US remotely. I'm from Argentina. I think my boss with the last job, he gave me, he had to stop me. I really appreciate what he have done for me, because it's not just about the job. It's about that he changed the way I was thinking about all these things.

Chris:

Wonderful, thank you very much, Mariano for sending us that message that I think has reinforced some of the things that we've been talking about tonight. I just want to wrap now and to thank Nidhi.

Nidhi:

This was a great conversation, and I'm just appreciative Chris, that you've allowed me to collaborate with you so much here. Thank you so much.

Chris:

I do appreciate you joining us, and with that, I bid you adieu and goodnight.

Greg Gunn:

Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Futur Podcast is hosted by Christo and produced by me, Greg Gunn. Thank you to Anthony Barrow for editing and mixing this episode, and thank you to Adam Sandborn for our intro music.


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