From Broke to Boss - Jeff Suskin (E15)

Feb 17, 2020

Jeff Suskin is an Easton BJJ black belt and publisher of DiningOut Magazine, a successful publication that showcases the restaurant culture in Denver and Boulder since 1998. Jeff came from a humble background and worked his way up through the magazine and event management industry. We discuss his coming up in business, measures of success, and more.

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Transcript:

- Welcome to the Easton Online Podcast. I'm your host, Eliot Marshall and what this podcast is here to do, it's here to help you gain strategies and tactics and tools that are gonna help you grow in your martial arts business if you have a martial arts school, a gym. This is one of my passions is how we spread the message of how to really grow culture and business and some ways that we do it the best with our people, with our staff, with our clients. So I hope you enjoy, give a listen. Getting online with the man, the myth, the legend, the nicest guy in the world, Jeff Suskin. What up, man?

- Good to be here.

- How are you?

- I'm good.

- [Eliot] Have you had a sip of coffee yet?

- I am about to.

- All right.

- Good coffee.

- Thanks. I appreciate it.

- I feel like that scene in "Pulp Fiction" when Harvey Keitel tries the coffee.

- [Eliot] Ah, delicious coffee today.

- Yeah.

- [Eliot] How are you, man?

- Solid.

- Good. You're getting ready to have a baby.

- Having a baby.

- Okay. My wife gets mad at me when I say that the male is gonna have a baby. You are about to watch Chalisa have her baby.

- [Jeff] That's true.

- Oh shit.

- Yeah, we're ready.

- Yeah.

- I'm already, I think this weekend, we're almost halfway through.

- [Eliot] Halfway, so 20 weeks.

- We're at 19.

- Yeah, right in there. Yeah.

- Gotcha. Fuck yeah.

- Yeah.

- How's it going?

- I would say, well for me?

- Well yeah, I can only tell you from your perspective.

- I've had no discomfort, I'm sleeping great. Yeah, for Chalisa, it's been, you know, it's all new.

- [Eliot] Right.

- A little alien growing inside of her.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- By the end, there's gonna be pillows in your bed. By like the last five to 10 weeks, right, your bed is just loaded with pillows because the girl needs like pillows in between her legs and where her back and like it's crazy. You just go walk down and sleep in the other room.

- Yeah, anything I say I think is gonna be the wrong thing.

- Yeah, just say "Great, baby."

- Yes.

- "You do you. "What can I help?"

- That's probably gonna be the wrong thing to say.

- Of course.

- Yeah.

- "Me do me?" So yes, this is true and like yeah, this is a hall pass for them, right? Because we are not growing a human.

- Yeah, yeah well it's a hall pass for us because we're not growing a human.

- Yeah, good point.

- Yeah.

- Good point, it's a hall pass for both sides. I'm saying the hall pass is they can be, like there's nothing we can say, right? Like you just do, you just go "Yes."

- I'm learning.

- Yeah.

- I'm learning.

- Just say yes.

- Yeah, I mean it's new for me too. I've read about it.

- Yeah.

- You know? She got me a tee shirt that said "Be nice to me, my wife's pregnant."

- [Eliot] Right.

- And I'm starting to understand what that means. So I'm just like doing the best I can, not taking things personally.

- Right, yeah. There's no books, man, it's like a book on fighting or a book on running a restaurant. Go fuck yourself.

- Pretty much.

- Right?

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- If you read a Festival book, how close would it have come?

- You know, I mean that's kinda the hack when there's the hack on whatever it is, reading or finding out other people's experience, it's kinda nice to be able to see where their pitfalls are.

- [Eliot] Right.

- Most of those pitfalls are like, you know, you really have to work on empathy when it comes to this just 'cause I don't know what the feelings are or the sensations. Especially the hormonal stuff which is, as a guy, it's pretty easy to minimize that. And you're never going to.

- No.

- Like we're so that I mean there's not even like an oh, I could go try this. If I wanted to try running a festival, I could if I wanted to.

- Sure. Yeah, this one, no.

- This one is just done.

- Yeah. You can't say give me the baby.

- No. Inside, you can say give me the baby afterwards.

- Right, right, that's a whole other--

- Yes it is.

- Thing that, yeah.

- [Eliot] Yes it is.

- I'll be asking lots of questions in the coming months.

- It just depends on how you two work, that's all I would say.

- Yeah.

- You know, it's just how you guys talk to each other and how you move through it, right? So other than that and you guys will figure it out.

- Yeah, there's been billions of people before us who have done it, so.

- Yeah.

- I'm thinking.

- You'll be all right.

- Yeah. Like I sometimes say that like when somebody's studying for the real estate test or for like their Series Seven test for stock, you know?

- Right.

- Trading, and it's like how hard it is and I'm like yeah, but I know some really interesting people who've passed it.

- [Eliot] Right.

- So it's gotta be doable.

- Yeah, it's doable.

- And some of those people are like complete dumbasses. Yeah, so I'm thinking the same thing goes for having families or whatever else, I'm thinking that--

- You can do it.

- That it's doable.

- I agree with you.

- Yeah.

- Man so god, Sus, you have your hands in so many things. You and Dinar, right?

- Dinar, and he was on--

- A couple weeks ago.

- I watched the episode with Josh on it.

- Yeah.

- So it's Josh that kinda gets me into the stuff.

- [Eliot] Okay.

- And he's just like, yeah, he's a madman.

- Yeah, where did your relationship with Dinar start?

- I think he spoke about it, we met--

- [Eliot] I want to hear it from your perspective.

- I'm trying to think how we met. We had an editor who was leaving and then I think we had like--

- When you say "we" who is we, what's going on here, where are we?

- At that point, it was like "University Reporter" maybe or "Insite," one of those.

- [Eliot] Okay, a magazine.

- I mean I wouldn't have called it a magazine. It was more like a rag back then. So we were trying to do people who might've been familiar when "The Onion" was actually in print. You know, not just online and things like that. So it was like that, it was like a monthly sort of connection of all the campuses. You know, a little bit irreverent, a lot of stuff on opening movies and like music. Kinda like pop culture for, at the time, it was a little bit, you know, it was a cool thing. Now with the internet, it would be a dime a dozen. And then, well--

- All locally in Colorado?

- That one was like local for Colorado and then we'd get on like these press junkets, so we'd be able to like--

- So who's we, who is we?

- Me and Jeff Smith.

- Okay.

- Who I knew from college.

- Okay.

- Yeah.

- Boston right, UMass?

- UMass and then like everyone at UMass would go to just work on Martha's Vineyard for the summer. So we met there.

- Gotcha.

- And then we were like oh, we'll go start this thing. And then, you know, I didn't know what I was doing at all. I mean literally did not know what I was doing. I poured my heart into this thing and it came out and it was terrible, like it was really bad.

- I feel you.

- Yeah.

- [Eliot] I feel you right now.

- And it was crazy because I hadn't slept in weeks, I did everything to make it like this, you know, as good as it can be.

- Right.

- And it was really, really bad but then like I learned how to do it a little bit, you know? Then Josh came in and was really great 'cause Josh is like "Hey, we need to have AP style" or things like that which is like kind of style guides as far as writing and you know, I don't know if you know this, Josh is the kid who can like write 100 or can type 120 words a minute while he's looking up and talking to you. It's kind of an interesting thing. Josh can make his way through work probably more so than anybody I know.

- That is crazy.

- Piles of work, like Josh can literally barrel through it. I can't do that but Josh can do that.

- So what did you go to college for? Let's back up, so you and Jeff met, right? So what was your degree in, you graduated, right?

- Yeah, I did graduate and a History degree but mostly, honestly it was to play lacrosse.

- [Eliot] Okay.

- So I played for an amazing team. I was like, I was solid coming out of high school. I was like a good player. Going into college though, I wasn't prepared for how good these guys were gonna be. So I was like, I mean I was second team.

- Right.

- Just making the team was very difficult for me.

- Got you.

- Yeah.

- Do you know any of the, ah man, Kanan started playing lacrosse and I guess there's some coaches in Boulder. This guy name Finn Faldi.

- Finn Faldi.

- He played for Penn.

- No, uh-uh.

- And then I can't remember, Ed Debarth, I don't know. They're way into it.

- I'm old now though.

- Finn's your age.

- Oh, okay.

- Yeah, Finn's your age.

- There's that. Yeah, I mean it's big now.

- Bro, you're old? Fuck man, so I have this concussion, right? And--

- [Jeff] Had a concussion?

- I have it right now currently.

- [Jeff] From?

- I got it, I was training with Beau and I came up on his back, I was coming up on his back like a baby bolo, no key though, so I didn't have any grips and he went to spin out of it and his spinning wheel kicked me in the head.

- And you had an actual concussion?

- I'm concussed, yeah. I see one and like a quarter of you right now.

- Awesome.

- Yeah, it's amazing.

- And I've seen you have other concussions.

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- There was the one with Brendan, I was there that day.

- That one wasn't bad though, that was just a knockout. That one, I was better in five days, a week, I was fine. It's this older age that I'm bad in.

- Okay.

- You know? And I didn't get knocked out this time. So, oh, we were talking about being old. So I'm sitting there, I see like, it's getting better. I was at one and 1/2 and now I'm at one and 1/4 of you. So it's fun. Sus is like oh shit. So but I found out if have an astigmatism in my eye because I went to see a concussion doc and she was like "Look, you're having some neuro thing, some optical things."

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- So I want you to see this neuro-optometrist. So I saw the neuro-optometrist and you know, along with the concussion I have an astigmatism and an astigmatism is permanent, like it's just I have it. So I've probably been seeing double a little bit in some way for awhile but it wasn't bothering me because there was no concussion. But now the two are exacerbating, so dude, now I gotta get glasses for an astigmatism, I gotta get glasses for reading, to help all of this. I've been on high blood pressure medicine since I was 20. I lost my hair at 21, Jesus, I'm older than you.

- Jesus, you have high blood pressure?

- Since I was 20.

- Really?

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- What's that mean?

- I've been on blood pressure medicine since I was 20 years old.

- I know but like what was the cause of that, just some--

- Genetics, man. Genetics, probably my anxiety, probably just like my life.

- Wild.

- Yeah.

- Okay.

- So, yeah.

- I have an astigmatism.

- Do you?

- Yeah.

- You wear glasses?

- Oh yeah, like since I was a kid.

- Okay.

- Yeah. And then as you get older, it becomes more pronounced as far as sight. So like one eye, like--

- Mine's my right eye.

- Mine's left.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- So it sucks.

- Yeah.

- And I'm so, like right now with the concussion, I'm a little dizzy all day and then but I'm managing but then the nighttime fuckin' sucks.

- I wonder though, like you might be able to correct that with one of the surgeries. LASIK, PRK, I'm not a candidate.

- I don't think I am either, she said I'm probably not gonna be.

- On top of it, I have a corneal condition, like a degenerative disease that only strikes or mostly strikes Latin people. So they were shocked that I was like not Latin.

- [Eliot] Wow.

- Not that I know of. So anyway, at some point I might need a corneal replacement.

- Gotcha, I've already had PRK.

- Oh, you have had it?

- Yeah.

- And so?

- It worked, I was fine and then it, and now I guess recently my vision's gone back down just in my right eye. My left eye is perfect, I can read the fuckin' very bottom line on that chart.

- [Jeff] Yeah, not me.

- So, all right, back to it. So college, lacrosse, UMass.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- So what made you, History right? And you're still a history buff but what made you go this business magazine route? Like how did you get there?

- I don't know. That might be genetic. I think my family, like all of the people in my family have always started businesses or things like that. So maybe there was this, the weird thing is that I would've chosen to try and start my own magazine. It's weird 'cause I was doing internships at magazines.

- [Eliot] Can you sit up a little bit on the mic?

- Yeah, I was doing internships at magazines and things like that, so I had this sort of, not like a fantasy but I was enamored with like magazine, magazine culture, things like that. It was interesting that that's what I chose to do and I don't know, it was just a grind. I'm really glad I didn't know what I was getting into 'cause I wouldn't have done it. But I think it's one of those things like when you have your back totally against the wall and you just have no idea what else you would do, I think then you tend to just, there's no other choice really, right?

- I was watching this thing with Gary V today. I love Gary V, you know?

- Yeah.

- And he was talking and it was just, he was talking a little bit about this concept. He was like "Man, if I hear another fucking "24 year old say I'm gonna be a millionaire by 30, "I mean fuck off."

- Yeah.

- You know, he's like because first of all, that pressure is ridiculous.

- Right.

- Because you're 24 and by the time you're 27, you could still be sitting right here just because, I mean like with you and what you're saying right now, like god, you just fail so much.

- I don't even know, I think it's like now they have so much access or kids have a lot of access to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Like we had Robin Leach's "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous."

- We could only see it on TV Sunday night.

- That's it and then there was "MTV Cribs." That came along and that gave us a little bit more insight.

- [Eliot] We were older.

- Yeah, that was still pretty young for me. I think that was like early 20s maybe.

- You're right, sorry.

- But now I think it just seems so normal to them that somebody would have a fancy car or like these, whatever that lifestyle is, it somehow seems so accessible when it's not.

- Yeah.

- You know? So I remember when I was coming up, it was like the idea of that one day I could make $30,000 a year was like holy cow, I wonder if I'll ever be able to have that. I think that would be like amazing and I remember when I bought this old, crappy laptop 'cause I didn't have one. Not a laptop, it was a desktop. So this is like 1994. So for this business we started, I was just a kid.

- Right.

- And we got this computer and I was like, and I remember it was everything I had which was 330 bucks. So I was just like, and I still look at it. If I buy a laptop now, I still am like holy cow, this is crazy, I think I still have that like people who made it through the Depression, you know? Like where they don't lose sort of that mindset.

- I hear you, my grandparents never threw anything away. I threw stale bread out once and I got fuckin' reamed.

- I'm not saying I do that well with it but I think still now I trip out when I'm like oh my god, I have a roof over my head.

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- During those years, I just didn't have any money to eat. I know that sounds weird, I'm not trying to make a sob story but I remember there was in Boulder, so we started, like I would walk on Pearl Street. So I started the business--

- What year was this?

- This is 1993.

- [Eliot] Okay. So when did you come to Boulder?

- 1992.

- Okay.

- And then so 1993, I didn't have a car. So I'd have to make it to Denver. I didn't know anything in Denver and I didn't have a car. So I had to hitchhike to Denver. So now I had to hitchhike around Denver. You know, me just getting to one of the clients to meet them with this like weird, crappy magazine idea, so I would just be like the victory was that I could even find the place, you know? 'Cause I would have to like, there was no Google or anything. So I had to just go like find out where I was going, get somebody to hitchhike, somebody to pick me up. Back then, they would pick you up. Like now, nobody would pick you up I don't think.

- [Eliot] No, because you have Uber.

- Well even then, I mean a hitchhiker, just like nobody's gonna spend their time doing it.

- [Eliot] No.

- And then people in Boulder would pick me up. So that was pretty cool and I lived up Fourmile Canyon and then I just remember every day, I would walk past Orchid Pavilion. It doesn't exist anymore, it was on Walnut Street and there was this like--

- Yep, yep.

- Semi-nice Chinese restaurant and I would walk past there and just stare in the glass and watch people eating and I remember, like one day, I'm gonna go eat at Orchid Pavilion. That's gonna be like, that's when I know I've made it. It was this like mediocre Chinese restaurant and I was like, oh and then--

- Yeah.

- Yeah, so that was like my big victory was having a meal at Orchid Pavilion. But for a long time, I just remember walking by day in, day out and I would just be like hungry. So people would bring me bagels, one of my friends worked at a bagel shop. What else did we have? One of my friends delivered Chinese food. So I would just get leftovers. I felt bad though, during those days, I would lie. I would raid people's refrigerators, like I'd go visit friends and go in the refrigerator and they'd have leftovers and they'd be like "Did you eat my leftovers?" like "No." You know?

- Shit, that's fuckin' funny.

- I know. I remember it was like in 1994, UMass went to the Finals in the NCAA Championships for basketball.

- Yeah, Marcus Camby.

- Marcus Camby. Yeah, and I remember one of my friends was having this thing at their house and I got there early and no one was there and I was just like I'll just have a taste of this sesame chicken, I'll just have a taste and then I just like couldn't stop, I ate the whole thing and they came home and they were like all excited we had these, and they were like "Did you?" and I was like "No."

- No. It wasn't me.

- Andy Bowen, I'm sorry.

- [Eliot] Shit, that's fucking so funny.

- Yeah, and that just, yeah. So it's one of those things, I think like what you were saying Gary V talks about. I just think it's, you know, I didn't have, which was probably better for me, I didn't have this comparison thing going on. I was just like some dumbass kid who was just like all I want to do is one day get a Chinese dinner.

- I wanted to eat at the Orchid Pavilion.

- The Orchid Pavilion, that's gonna be like where I know, you know, and on top of it, my family was having massive financial problems. So there was a couple of times where I had, like I made a little bit of money and I had a couple hundreds dollars and I was sending that back to them.

- Like your immediate family, like your mom and dad?

- Dad and mom, yeah. So that was like a really screwy thing that took place. They just, I mean that's a whole completely other story. But so I have no money, anything that I'm making, I'm sending back East. So it was just like a really weird time and I can't even call it a stressful time because I didn't know any better. I was just like I guess this is what life is.

- I think it's okay when you're young, right? That's the beauty of youth when you're trying to figure this out is there's no, like, you know, there's no pressure, there's no mortgage.

- Yeah, well I lived in a house up Fourmile Canyon with I think 12 or 14 people.

- Yeah, there's no nothing.

- So I had rent, I had to make $150 rent every month and that was brutal for me.

- Sure but that's the extent of it. You can almost always figure, you figured it out.

- Yeah, kinda. I mean I don't know if it was like a figuring out. It's weird 'cause that would mean I had a plan or that would mean there was some vision of it all. But what about when you're just like, you know what I mean? Like sometimes they say now that people think oh, if I can just have no problems, then I'll have this happy life and they've found that it's really solving problems that causes people to have like a happier existence. So for me, I just had my problem was how am I gonna eat? It wasn't like what am I gonna eat? That was my next step, like I just had found a better problem. Like oh, I've got a couple of bucks now, I can go figure out what I'm in the mood to eat. So I had a better problem, you know? But my first problem was just like shoot, like I didn't have any parachute 'cause my parents were broke and I didn't have any choice. It was just like oh, a bagel, cool, I'll eat that. Or whatever it was and so it wasn't, it was just one of those things where fortunately the internet wasn't there yet, so I didn't have to do this comparison thing 'cause I think that would've crushed me.

- The comparison thing is very hard.

- I did have a comparison thing 'cause all my friends at that point were working in hospitality and they were all just like making boatloads of money in terms of cash, bartending, waiting and they just had so much money and free time, so they were all like skiing and partying and it's a really strange feeling being, you know, I mean I was just busted. And so there was that.

- When did that start to change, how did that start to change?

- So we had like at the end of the year, I remember we were gonna take a break.

- What year?

- This is 1993, this is the end of our season, which would be the school year. So it was June 1994 and we somehow survived. I don't know exactly how this happened but we like made it through this season and then we were like okay, we're gonna take one month off and each of us took $1,000. So that was like a pretty big moment and then the weirdest thing was so we made it through this first year and now--

- So you say you took a grand, you guys made a grand each. You made two grand, so you each had a grand?

- Each one of us was able to take $1,000.

- So you and Jeff Smith.

- Mm hmm.

- Okay.

- And so then I went on, I remember a climbing trip for one month, for four weeks, I went on this climbing trip for the month of June and then I came back and let's just say it's like early July and all of a sudden, it was like everything changed overnight. It was like as fast as I could call people for the Back to School issue, they were like "Yeah, we're in." It was a crazy thing. Not by where you're at in life and this and that but for I'm 24 years old and all of a sudden, we have an issue that's like what equated into, I think it was like we did $15,000 in revenue on this one issue, which was insane 'cause I think our issue before that did like $5,000. Like $4700, something like that. Something very low.

- So you tripled.

- Overnight and it was like as fast as I could call places, they were like "We want." They were calling me. I have no answer to how that took place or why that took place and all of a sudden, I had a career and there was no like I think we just made it through this one season and were able to go back to people and say like "Oh look, we're," it's almost like we were established and it was weird 'cause it would've been like the seventh issue over the first one should've been like oh, we're established but it wasn't. It was like oh, season two, you know what I mean? And that just seemed to change something in the mindset of like oh, the people are looking for sort of back to school advertising and it was also a really difficult demographic to appeal to at the time. That was when they started establishing this like 18 to 34 year old, you know, 18 to 34 group which was Generation X at the time, not Millennial, you know?

- [Eliot] Gen X, baby.

- Yeah, so that was like a weird thing and then all of a sudden everybody--

- I make it by two years.

- Do you? I think I might, I think I might be Baby Boomer. No, I'm Gen X.

- You're Gen X.

- Yeah. But it was just a weird thing and then all of a sudden we were like, you know what I mean? And then I think it was a few months later, me and Jeff bought a caravan, a minivan to share.

- So was Jeff Smith living in this house up Fourmile Canyon with you?

- He was.

- Okay.

- He was and then what was more interesting is so we have this gangbuster year. All of a sudden, it's like holy cow. Like I started taking--

- Money.

- Yeah. Again, for me it was all the money in the world. I was used to making like at the most, $100 a week. So all of a sudden, now I was making three or $400 a week which again, that was everything to me.

- You quadrupled.

- Like I could go, like I could eat.

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- And I could make rent.

- [Eliot] Were you eating at Orchid Pavilion yet or no?

- I went to Orchid Pavilion, yeah. It was across the street from where we were working. We traded out tickets to football games and concerts for an office space. And so it was like we just did whatever, we just hustled. We were just these like East Coast kids in Boulder and it was like oh, we'll just, and we would just say "What about this, what about that?" And people would be like "You're crazy" or "Sure, we'll do that."

- That's how I made it when I was in college.

- Yeah.

- I traded out pizza. 'Cause I worked at a pizza place.

- Whatever it was.

- And I didn't have any money. So I was like "All right, I'll make you a pizza."

- And also the asks became bigger from back East. You know, so it wasn't just like all my money. It was a weird time.

- So hold on, your parents were asking?

- Yes.

- Okay.

- It was a weird time as far as this went, you know? So I was like, it's almost like, like now, you have more money than you had but you have more expenses and that was my first expense was all of a sudden it became this sort of, you know and I think sometimes you'd say like a blessing is being able to take care of your parents as they get older. So I kinda just kept that attitude. You know?

- Yeah.

- It would be very frustrating at points because it was hard to get ahead. But I was pretty excited also 'cause like I said, I was not hungry, I was able to go eat and there was that. I could make rent.

- It's so interesting what you were saying a second ago. The idea of the second season. It's kinda similar in podcasting. There are literally I think so many podcasts.

- Yeah.

- Right? 80% haven't recorded an episode in two years.

- [Jeff] Right.

- Because people just are like fuck this.

- I think it happens with television. It's like oh, once you get a second season, it's a big deal and then the next step would be syndication.

- Because people keep hearing about you.

- Yeah, or there's like this social proof. Like oh, we're bringing you back for another season, you must be quality.

- Right. You hit it better than I did. The people hear about you and it's season two and it's like oh, if it's not just one, it's gotta be good.

- So maybe we should just start with season two.

- And just put out a bunch of shit, just put stuff out and then be like okay, here's my season two.

- There's always those things, like there was like just start with season two. I was thinking like Tyrone, he used to, I would be asking him about stuff, he's like "I give that a two out of 10." And I'm like "Dude, "you are really harsh about whatever it is." And he's like "I'm not harsh." He's like "Your scale starts at five."

- I agree with him here.

- You know? He's like on whatever it is, he's like "I'm just saying there is a scale starts at one." So he's like "To you, "you should probably just say five out of 10." So the same thing goes though I think with like maybe I should just start with a season two. I don't think those two things I just said went together at all.

- Not at all but it's okay, we're gonna go back to the scale part here for a second because I think on a scale of teaching ability, like zero to 10.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- I got like a five, I got like a six.

- You?

- Me.

- So you're like the New York Times of what's it called, star ratings. So if you get a two-star rating on the New York Times food review--

- That's probably good.

- That's badass. It's almost like getting one Michelin star makes you like this big time thing.

- I'm a six, I have so much to get better at.

- Yeah.

- And I think that that helps us push a little bit. It doesn't discourage me.

- So actually you'd be more like the dude who does pizza reviews for Barstool Sports.

- I don't know who that is.

- You should watch it but he's pretty harsh--

- He's pretty harsh?

- Yeah, yeah. So things would get, if you get like a 6.5 from him, that's like a big deal. You're doing good.

- You're the man.

- Yeah, and then but beginners are always like "Oh, I give it a seven." That's where we go to, it's always this median thing where the median thing really would be a four or a five.

- Right, yeah, I agree. Yeah, I'm like that for sure. So at some point now, it starts to really move, right? You guys are--

- That's a loaded question because it did, we had this one season, like I said, season two where all of a sudden it was like Jeff moved out and got his own apartment.

- Oh shit.

- Yeah. I went and got my own apartment. We were doing like--

- [Eliot] When I met you, I thought you were the man.

- Now that's changed.

- What's that?

- That's changed.

- No, you were like a standard that I was looking at.

- Yeah, but you were 17.

- 19.

- You were 19?

- Mm hmm.

- When you started Jiu-Jitsu, you were 19?

- When I started, I started at 18.

- So you were 18.

- But Amal was in the crowd America space and then I quit and then when he opened in Boulder, when he opened the old Boulder.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- You and I walked in within a couple weeks of each other.

- Yeah, and you were 19.

- I was 19 then.

- Ah, I thought you were 17.

- I was in college.

- Okay, so we have this like, in retrospect, a fairly epic season, you know what I mean? Like all of a sudden, I had a little bit of money.

- [Eliot and Jeff] Season two.

- We bought a car, so that was great. Things were moving along. I was like oh, okay, we can grow this and then we kinda came to a screeching halt because in August of season three.

- Which is what year now, '96, '97?

- '95.

- '95, okay.

- August of '95, "The Onion" comes out.

- Oh no.

- And this is crazy. The two brothers who started it move in nextdoor to Jeff Smith. So now we're like nextdoor neighbors and they kick our ass in every direction. I mean they had a New York Times Bestselling book, they had just everything that we were trying to do in terms of being irreverent, a little bit funny, this and that, they did everything like next level and it was almost like oh my god, I can't even imagine, it must have been like being the biggest horse and buggy dealership and all of a sudden, the combustion engine comes out. It was like right in our tracks but it didn't just go plummet, it just plateaued. So then we had, I would say we spent the next season sorta still growing. Then going into the next season, we started seeing this gentle decline and then that decline, what do you, you know? It's easy to get complacent when that happens. So we started sorta picking up speed going downhill. And this is now we're coming into like '98.

- [Eliot] And what magazine was that, was that "Insite?"

- We had to change the name for I don't really know what the reason, I can't even remember what the reason was.

- [Eliot] Okay.

- And the weird thing is the name change was "Insite" and it was all the things of like because the web was becoming big in like '96, it was starting to be and we were like no, we're not that, we're a publication and it was like how, you know, so it was like "Insite," S-I-T-E. So that shows just about like--

- So you were fighting where the world was going.

- 100%.

- Right.

- And like you know, this recipe for sort of like disaster is occurring and then it came down to what are we gonna do? This could get ugly and I was like oh, well I could just probably go get a job, I had good experience. I'm like 29 at this point, you know?

- I think this is right around when I met you then.

- Yeah, and then all of a sudden, so I come into Jiu-Jitsu and the craziest thing is I also have this loan document sitting on the desk where we're gonna go like upscale everything and it was like dining out, Josh might have talked about that last week. We had this whole idea of like oh, we'll go turn this more into a magazine and I'd started Jiu-Jitsu a couple of weeks before and I'm like, you know what? I'm not gonna sign this document. I think it was a $30,000 loan and I was like I'm just not gonna do it. That's a lot of risk and I'm just gonna like bag it and I was pretty down but I'm also doing Jiu-Jitsu for the first time and this is a crazy story, is I'm sitting there and I was training with this dude Travis.

- Big guy.

- He was Dave what's-his-face's buddy.

- Yeah, Trav, I remember Travis.

- He was tall.

- Tall, yep. He always wore knee pads.

- Kind of a weird dude.

- Yep.

- Sorry if you're there.

- It's okay.

- Well no, I'm sorry to Travis if he's--

- Yeah, I hope he's okay.

- Yeah, so and then so what's the move, masapone?

- [Eliot] Mm hmm.

- So he's in my guard and he masaponing me. So I'm like all of a sudden I'm decided. I'm not doing--

- The loan.

- The loan and he's masaponing me and I was like about to, you know this and you're like it's in, should I do it? And I'm about to go tap and Amal, who had never really taken a notice of me, he comes over, well other than he had a bunch of questions about skiing at some point, he comes running over and he's like "Whoa, whoa, whoa." 'Cause you know, masapone's the biggest thing that you would hate.

- To tap to.

- Like anybody in Jiu-Jitsu tapping to masapone would be like the roll of the eyes type of thing, so I think Amal took notice of that. He comes running over, he's like "No, no, no, no. "Just turn your body," he's like "Take his arm." And he basically walked me through and the kid was stuck on this masapone, you know? And Amal walked me through what had to happen and it ended with an arm bar. I had never, I'm a couple weeks in, so I had never done anything like this before.

- [Eliot] You've had zero success just about.

- I'm just getting beaten up every week and you know what it was like back then, it was weird.

- Dog eat dog.

- Yeah.

- We'd fuck each other up.

- Yeah and that guy Travis was--

- Big, yeah.

- In the process of like messing me up and Amal walked me through everything and I end up getting my first submission on Travis right then and I'm on the ground. You come over, well Amal was like "Jesus, you just give up, huh?" And then you came over and you made some mention to Amal about like, it was a wise ass comment. It was something about how you were gonna beat Amal one day. I can't remember exactly what it was and Amal looked at you and he's like "Maybe, "but I'm in here every day training my ass off." So he's like "If you're gonna beat me, "you better be training really hard and you're gonna have "to kill me 'cause I'm not gonna just give up like him." And like pointed at me with total disdain. It was something like that. He's like "'Cause I'm not gonna "just give up like that guy," you know?

- Right.

- And I was like Jesus, I signed the loan documents the next day.

- Fuck yeah.

- Yeah. So that was kind of a fun Jiu-Jitsu sort of, you know, uplifting Jiu-Jitsu story.

- [Eliot] Did you pay back the 30?

- Oh yeah, I mean this is years ago.

- [Eliot] You paid it good? Like you did default is what I'm asking.

- We didn't default there, I've had plenty of, well I haven't defaulted ever but I've definitely had plenty of scares.

- [Eliot] Yeah, and you're not scared still.

- Are you kidding me? I get terrified, especially with Josh.

- Yeah, Josh is just go all the fuckin' time. Where is he right now, fuckin' Idaho?

- He's in Sun Valley right now and the pace he's at is pretty wild 'cause I have--

- Are you in on all of this with him?

- Yeah.

- Okay.

- But I go, like my pace on the Festivals is, I thought I was crazy, you know? 'Cause I mean it's all-encompassing once you get into events season.

- But dude, Josh does these crazy things where he puts out these crazy, like here, I'll do it if this and the if this is stupid. The other person should say no.

- [Jeff] Like what?

- Like no personal guarantee, yadda yadda, like all this kinda stuff and like nobody does that and then the person says "Yes" and he goes "Okay," right?

- So that, yeah, so it's like things that are, that's the deal with Josh is there are things 'cause he's got this weird sort of practical side of it. So if it's silly, say you walked up to him and said it's all this money, there's a personal guarantee and this and that, he won't even entertain that because it's not a deal.

- Right.

- But if it's a deal, then even if there's 10 of 'em at the same time, he can't say no to the deal.

- He can't say no to the deal.

- Uh-uh.

- Right.

- No.

- Him and Trump, "The Art of the Deal."

- So much different.

- Yeah, I know.

- It's like where, yeah and then I mean, but then Josh also has this, I think we've gone through the other, we've done every which way and there's certain things, like there's an anatomy to the failure, you know what I mean? As far as failure is concerned, it's no surprise. There's a lot of information out there now. But in the years that we've been in business, maybe it wasn't as accessible but I mean there are certain truisms, universal truths that occur in business that you may have read about that we've done it opposite to that and the level of failure that that causes and the robbing of your soul is, there's no money that should probably come into play on that one.

- [Eliot] What's a universal truth?

- If you treat employees or people who are working with you, if you treat them like a number, if you treat clients like a number, if you're just thinking about profit and bottom line, there's gonna be, that lack of soul to that is gonna equate into somewhere it'll be disaster. Maybe you do make a lot of money but at some point, like you're so without a soul on that one that the anxiety is gonna come together in some way. It's almost like when you show like, I was watching that movie "The Irishman." In some way, you kill enough people and at some point, there's gonna be a reckoning with yourself and I think the same thing takes place where it's like oh, if you're measuring it just by money, if that's all where just the wealth is, I think it's totally obtainable but you're gonna get found out. The bright light comes on somewhere and that's a really ugly feeling because it's like, it's almost like people are cheering for against you. When it falls down, it's like good. By the employees, by the people that you were serving, it's almost like serves you right and that's not a fun feeling to get.

- [Eliot] So then what's the wealth?

- The wealth is the 180 degrees on the other side of it. The wealth part of it is where it's not, in terms of a business or in terms of leadership, it's not in this way where you're like the way that everyone else thinks about it, like where it's like oh, there's the general. It just isn't that way, maybe it is, maybe in corporations it's like that. But I think at least in Festivals where the team is everything on that one is my leadership skills are constantly I find myself having to be in a follow mode because I want the people who are on the team, sometimes leadership is just stepping up and being a leader. And anytime that I'm in that role, it means that the other person has to be in a following role and I don't feel like teams do well in that way. I feel like teams really do well when there's an ebb and flow to who's in that pole position. 'Cause then it just gets tiring for everybody when it's one person who's constantly like "It's me, it's me, it's me" and I don't know, that just isn't where I think how teams thrive. I think teams really thrive when everybody gets a chance to lead and to follow. There's gotta be that ebb and flow, you know? And I get it, some people are just naturally leaders. Well then they should probably work a little bit on learning how to follow, you know?

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- I mean even at Southwest they do that where you might be the Marketing Director and you have to once a month go handle baggage, you know? 'Cause you gotta know what's going on with the company or things like that. So to me, and then the biggest part of it I would say is probably like empathy, the love of it all, those are the things that have to come into play. You know what I mean? I used to find it corny and I don't find it corny anymore. I want to know the people on my team, I want to know where you want to go in life and how we can be the catalyst or a part of where they want to go. For the people who are coming to our events, I'm just like, I take it so seriously that they're gonna walk into the event and leave the event and feel as if the value of whatever their hard-earned money that they spent on it is so above what they're expecting and so I'm constantly thinking about that. How can we dazzle, how can we do those types of things? And then before, like I said, in my 30s where it was just all about the money, all about possession, it would've been like just constantly looking at a spreadsheet. Where can we cut, where can we cut, where can we cut? And almost not taking their investment in us seriously from both ends, from the employee standpoint and from the person who's spending money.

- Yeah, man, that was beautiful.

- I don't know, I just think anything you're in, you're in the hospitality business.

- [Eliot] You're in the people business.

- I don't know why the restaurant business is, or a hotel is hospitality. Like your business.

- Everything is people.

- Yeah, it's how hospitable are you gonna be and they have to somehow feel as if they spend 100 and something dollars on a membership, the value of that has to be so far above it.

- For me, it's not even that.

- Yeah.

- For me, the way I look at it is our most valuable asset is our time, right? So we all can make more money somehow. If you really wanted to make money, it's very, very simple. Sex and drugs, go do them.

- Sure.

- Sell sex and drugs and if you sell sex and drugs, you might have to sell yourself here but you will make money. It won't be very fulfilling, right? So the money thing isn't it, it's the time.

- Right.

- You can never, that's the most valuable asset we have because we can't get more of it. You are going to have an allotted amount and then it is finite.

- Right.

- So for me, it comes down to each class, every class that I show up to teach, I look at it as man, look how privileged I am that you are coming to my class, right? Like it's not you that's having the privilege that, and I used to look at it this way a little bit. Like I'm a black belt, I'm probably one of the most successful black belts in Jiu-Jitsu between the Mississippi and California.

- Right.

- I'm up there. A lot of experience with UFC, and I used to look at it like that.

- [Jeff] Right.

- But I had to switch that.

- I'm doing you a favor.

- Right. I'm not, yeah, that's the mentality, look, you get to learn from me, so come on. And now I just don't see it that way at all. I'm the one who's the lucky one.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- Because you are choosing to spend your time with me and fuck, if somebody would choose that, if somebody would be like "Yeah, I'm gonna go "hang out with Eliot for an hour, an hour and 1/2, "two and 1/2 hours, like man, then I get to "experience you and hear what you have to say," and like maybe I get to add a little bit. Maybe I get to teach you a little Jiu-Jitsu and I get to add a little to your life to make you go be amazing, goddamn, who's the luck? I'm the lucky one.

- Right. Yeah, it's a luxurious feeling though. It's kinda like satin sheets, it's kind of, it's really, really difficult when like I said, for me to go have a feeling about like how much quality can this be, how, all that type of stuff when I didn't have food. You know what I mean? Or I didn't have a roof over my head. Of course all I can think about is this sort of like my own survival.

- Yeah.

- You know? So then it gets to this place where, you know, there's a reason why you see a lot of larger companies are sometimes able to take that into account, the whole experience of it. Customer experience, things like that. I think when you're just like say it's a Jiu-Jitsu academy and the place where say Amal was when he started, living at the Academy and all the rest of it. Amal's a bad example because like he somehow just had that mentality always 'cause he loves Jiu-Jitsu so much, you know? But sometimes I'm just thinking of where you're trying to get, and I don't mean point A to point, the point A to point B is like I want someplace to sleep, I'm worried about my next meal. That's like serious stuff and I think it gets, the ideas that you have come, it's really great if that can be bred through success. Once you get that taste of success, I went in a different direction. I had a taste of success and it was like I want more money.

- Oh, I did too.

- You know?

- Oh, yeah.

- And then it was like, and my 30s was a really messed up era for me. 20s, I was just like I don't even know who I am and I just wanted to like, it was all about my activities. I felt like that's what defined my 20s. From like 18 to, and my 20s maybe started at like 17, 18.

- [Eliot] Right, right.

- I was lacrosse, I was a skier, I was a climber. It was just like this is me, look at me, you know? And then I was like also trying to have a career but it wasn't like I was like oh yeah, I'm a magazine guy or a publisher. I was still kind of identified as like the activities I did. 30s was dangerous because 30s was like oh, people will love me when I get some possession and I have money. That's when people will look at me and I'll have that respect. That's when, however that comes and that's like a really arrogant phase and that's when a lot of my 40s was spent paying back my 30s, you know? And also 40s is kinda where you maybe like, and your 40s can start, I don't think it's just the number. For some people, 40s start in their 30s, you know?

- So yeah, so I'm a decade ahead of you. We talked about this and you sent me something.

- Did I?

- Yeah. You said this to me and then I was like "Man, I'm old, man." Then you were like "You're acting like you're not gonna die."

- I think it was--

- I'm the guy that said "I'm gonna die young" and you said "Yeah, you're acting "like you know or you're not gonna die. "You could die very old and this could be old for you."

- [Jeff] Yeah, or young.

- Yeah, I'm a decade ahead of you.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- On your--

- [Jeff] Arc.

- Arc.

- Yeah. Yeah and then 40s was kinda like oh shit, that all fell apart and I really didn't have this together and I couldn't have been more off kilt on that one. So I would love to see people kind of avoid that, what I went through in my 30s.

- [Eliot] Really?

- You know, I think the hack sometimes is you read a book by Steve Jobs, so you could be like "Oh okay, I don't wanna, I can maybe--"

- [Eliot] I don't know, man.

- [Jeff] Work my way around that pitfall.

- Suffering has to be part of it. You have to have pitfall.

- Sure.

- You can't not have really hard pitfall.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- If you don't, then this isn't so, it's like the rich kid. You know? It's like the fucking kid who, you know, Donald Trump's kid or Bill Clinton's kid or now like maybe the Obama, I don't know, the Obama's girls maybe grew up a little poor. But you know, or anybody that's really rich, right?

- But I mean there are sometimes, like there's a lot of people, what about the Rockefeller kids? They tended to do really well and be super charitable--

- Do you think there's a lot of them, though? I think it mostly goes the other way.

- So I'm saying I don't think that wisdom has to be gained through failure. I think that there's sometimes where wisdom can be gained by mentorship and through a really great teacher and things like that. That's not to say that you won't have pitfalls and you won't have that 'cause there's gonna be that on everything but I think through, like with your kids, you're giving them a mentorship which like I said, it's just to have better problems, you know what I mean?

- [Eliot] Yes, yes.

- And so I think that's what happens when you have a really great person who's teaching you. That's like that coaching. So sometimes I don't think, it's like the same problems I had, mine was directly attributable to a complete lack of mentorship, 100%. So left to your own device or me left to my own device and I'd imagine others is, I started putting in answers to equations that were like the one plus one equaling two, like in my mind it made sense but if I would have told you that now, if I was your student now, you would've been like "Jeff, we need to sit down. "You have a couple of really good ideas "happening here but you're in danger." You're really in danger here because, Amal said it to me at one point, Amal actually said, he's like "I really like your friends. "10% of them are gonna get you in trouble." You know what I mean? And that was kind of like ominous and a little bit like foreshadowing of what was to come. Those 10%, like you're never gonna meet a con man you don't like, you know? And there was plenty of 'em and they were kinda hangers on or whatever else and all of a sudden, I found myself in like pits where, I got lucky in some ways where I didn't go through with a couple of things that could've caused me big trouble. But there was other things that I was like, they were almost breakers, you know what I mean? I mean I was battered, not broken but I could very, very easily have been broken and so I don't take that lightly. But me having somebody who could've helped me navigate that stuff would've been like super helpful. I'm not complaining about it, like again, there was survival but I would say if I watch somebody in their 30s in a similar position, I can call it now, I can spot it from a mile away. Not that they would ask me.

- Right. You don't think that they need that "Oh shit" moment?

- They need something, that's for sure. There's something that's a little bit off kilt and you're right and it should've started probably earlier. Like listen, this is how, and like I said on anything, people who go into the military, they have great instructors so that they can avoid some of those pitfalls of warfare maybe or whatever it is. It's like that's where a great coach comes into play.

- Let me ask you a question, though.

- Yeah.

- On this topic and I know I keep biting back a little. I watched this video with Neil DeGrasse Tyson the other day. He was talking about parenting and it wasn't quite the same tone that I'm gonna take with it but he was watching this mom with her kid walking up to a puddle. It was raining out, it was a big puddle and in his mind, he was like let the kid jump in the puddle, let the kid jump in the puddle, come on, let him. Let him be curious, you know? And the mom grabbed her kid and walked him around, you know? Don't we gotta let people jump in the puddle sometimes and get wet and then have to walk around with wet shoes and wet underwear?

- 100%, like I wouldn't say, I think pain is a really great sort of, you know, it's a good teacher, you burn your hand and all the rest of it.

- Right.

- So I'm not discounting that aspects of it but it also happens to be like, if it's done in a way, especially if you have a great coach who lets you touch a little bit or whatever it is.

- Okay.

- Or even take the hurt. But I'm just saying it's just like, that would be like--

- I'm understanding you now.

- And there's parents, and I look at this, so I went through the whole Youth Risk program, went through a big training period and then we worked with the mentees for years and I even now am menteeing one of my friend's little boys. He's 13 and I watch that, it's like you can only go so far I think sometimes with the parent-kid relationship and then at some point if somebody's really, really lucky, there's this outsider that takes an interest in the child and I think that mentorship or that mentee-mentor relationship is so different than the parent relationship because a parent and teachers are responsible for like, there's a lot of stuff, discipline and sort of like that nag and there's also this thing where I watch how a child, I watch how I would be with a parent, with my parents or things like that. "Mom, stop bothering me, I don't know, you're annoying me." Like that kinda thing, I would never talk to a coach like that.

- [Eliot] No.

- That's why Eastons is so great because kids can do whatever they want in their house and there's a certain relationship that goes on. They come to Eastons and then all of a sudden when Junior is like "Stand at attention, what are you doing?" They don't say boo and they just are like fall into line because there's this thing that takes place.

- People say that to me all the time and I'm like well, all the time, like "Man, how do you get my kid to do that?" And I'm like "Well, you should see my kids at home." It's not the same.

- Exactly.

- Because it's every day, it's every day, all day, it's not just this one hour. So yeah, I agree 100% now. The coach aspect and the mentor aspect is so important because--

- Yeah. There's a lot of pitfalls out there.

- Yeah, and my parents were amazing. I had the best parents but they could've only done so much, somebody else had to come in.

- I would have loved to have had a you or a me when I was coming up, you know what I mean? So anyway, I didn't have that. So then I got to fill in the blanks, you know what I mean? And it was only based on my own experience and all the other things and I came up with a lot of the wrong answers and they were very avoidable.

- I come up with a lot of the wrong answers as a me right now. Like I fucked up the whole mentor thing a little bit sometimes. I have Anna and Nick right now who I'm trying to do it better with than I've done in the past. So it's kind of a tough thing.

- There's no way, you don't mess up mentorships though.

- [Eliot] Oh, yeah you do.

- You can, the way that you mess up mentorships is when you're constantly trying to teach.

- [Eliot] Yeah.

- So the way that I ever learned how to do the mentor and the program I'm in is you ask permission before teaching and oftentimes, they don't want that. So it's just like being an excellent mentor, to me, what I learned and what worked with the kids I mentored for was I was just interested. That was my job, my job wasn't to tell them how to live their lives or to solve their problems. I was merely interested. At points, I could be like "I had a similar situation. "Can I give you some coaching?" They might be open to it, they might not be open to it. Sometimes that's super frustrating 'cause I would take their successes and failures personally and then really after, that was the first year, the second year I realized that what they do isn't what I'm doing. So I'd be like "If you want to talk about it, I'm here." And the only question that you'd ask over and over again to the kids is "How's that working out?" "Well I did this, that and you know, I got caught "across the street by the principal smoking pot." "How's that working out for you?" "Not great." Or "I hate biology." "Why do you hate biology?" "Because my teacher's an asshole." "Why is your teacher an asshole?" "He just is." "Okay, is there something specifically "that he did that makes you think that he's an asshole?" "He's just a dick, Jeff, I hate him." "Okay," like you know, "Is there something he did "that made you feel a certain way or something like that?" "The other day in class, he called me out. "He embarrassed me in front of the whole class." Ah, now we're getting somewhere. "Okay, wow, how'd that make you feel?" "What do you mean how did that make me feel? "It made me feel like an idiot." "It made you feel small, right? "Yeah and that's not nice, I would hate to feel like that. "You know what I mean? "That would really bum me out, "I'm really sorry that happened to you." You know what I mean? Now all of a sudden, I'm just an interested adult. I didn't solve anything.

- Yeah.

- But really what happened there was the matter of the heart gets soft through the conversation. But that's mentoring.

- Yeah.

- You know what I mean? Not "Well let's go talk to your teacher." Like again, it's like this very sorta thing like in mentoring.

- Yeah.

- So you're parenting is what it sounds like.

- Oh, well I've stopped.

- So that's like, and that frustrates you 'cause you're parenting somebody who doesn't need another parent. They probably just want an interested adult who--

- I was parenting.

- Yeah.

- And I'm not now I hope. I'm trying not to parent.

- You're gonna have great success with, I have something to send to you. It's called the 10 Minute Mentor and that one was a game changer for me.

- Send it to me.

- Yeah. But I stopped taking, like a good example was the other day, I just called one of them up and they were like "Well, I can't get into, I can't get financial aid." I was like "Okay, why can't you get financial aid?" "Because my stepdad never filed the tax return." "Okay and," this is at Emily Griffith, I was like "I happen to know one "of the Directors at Emily Griffith, let me call. "Okay, hey what do we do? "I'm sure you maybe have "dealt with something like this before." "Jeff, we've probably dealt with everything. "Here's the person in Financial Aid, "I'm sure there's a way around this." Then I call him back, "Hey, I spoke to the lady "in Financial Aid, this is," you know, like "We should go down there and meet with 'em. "What are you doing now?" "I just rolled a fat blunt." "Dude." You know? I'm like so I'm, and then I just stopped and I realized his problem isn't my problem.

- [Eliot] Right.

- I'm like if you're ready to get serious and you want help with this, you'll call me and I stopped doing it for them. So that book, I think his name's Bill Campbell, right? The Trillion Dollar Coach.

- Okay.

- And he always talks about "I only coach the coachable." So that's kinda my mantra now. If I got somebody who wants to be coached, then I am all in, all my time, everything I've got, I'm gonna pour into you. But I am not gonna, I don't mean this as a statement or to be a holier-than-thou thing but I really just don't want to put my time and effort into somebody who like doesn't want that.

- Yeah, that's, yeah.

- Yeah.

- I agree.

- Yeah.

- All right, man.

- That's my thought on that.

- I think that's gonna end our thoughts for this podcast.

- Jumped around.

- Yeah, no. That's what podcasting is, you know? It's just hearing ideas and this was like a Jiu-Jitsu podcast for business owners.

- Oh god.

- You know? But this is, it's so important. Just hearing how people, how other business owners walk through their business I think is some of the most important stuff, like everyone gets all caught up sometimes I think in the well, how do I answer the phone? And yeah, for sure, our first course is coming out here soon and yeah, we have that for you too.

- Right.

- But the podcast is these little nuggets I hope that you get to hear.

- Right.

- People get to hear and be like yo, all right, I'll take that to Jiu-Jitsu or I'll take that to Muay Tai or whatever it is, you know?

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- Man, I appreciate it, Sus.

- Yeah, it was fun.

- Fuck yeah.

- I came in, I was like I wonder what the heck we're gonna talk about.

- I never know either.

- Yeah.

- [Eliot] I just say hi.

- It just runs off.

- I say hi. My thing on the Gospel of Fire is I have a company now going out and finding guests for me. So my first question after I say hi is why in the world would you do this podcast?

- [Jeff] Right.

- Because most of them are above me. They're a little more famous than me, you know? Like they have stature.

- Right.

- I'm like why? I'm not Rogan, I'm not Tim Ferriss, I'm not Jocko, you know? Why you coming on this one? And the conversation goes from there.

- Who's the next guest on Gospel of Fire?

- I'm recorded all the way out through the second week of March.

- [Jeff] Oh, wow.

- So I think this guy named Andre Norman comes out this week. Fuck man, what a badass, really cool.

- Andre Norman.

- Yeah, yeah. Just a little backstory, he was running a bad life, you know, black kid, typical poor black story, ends up in jail and at some point, he has this epiphany. He's got a 14 year sentence and six years in, he has this epiphany that he's gonna go to Harvard Business School. He's in jail with eight more to go.

- [Jeff] Whoa, and? I am imagining that he went to Harvard Business School?

- He made it happen. He went to Harvard Business School, man.

- Jesus.

- He finished his sentence, got out, fuckin' went to Harvard Business School.

- Who would you say is, if you look up to anybody out there, who would you say these are the three people that I totally idolize? Like for whatever reasons where you're, what's the word I'm looking for? Kinda your heroes.

- So number one is Joe Rogan.

- Joe Rogan's number one?

- Joe Rogan's number one because he has broken the game in the sense that he does whatever the fuck he wants.

- [Jeff] Right.

- He answers to nobody.

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- And he sits around and talks to people, a lot of fucking people.

- Right.

- And influences the world just based on conversation.

- [Jeff] Right.

- That is literally what I'm trying to do.

- So he's number one.

- He's number one.

- Got it, who else is up there?

- Who else is up there that I'm constantly looking at?

- And you're just like damn, this is somebody who is living well.

- I have so many in so many different parts, you know?

- [Jeff] Yeah.

- I'm trying to narrow this down I guess. Hanzo. You know, Hanzo, again, answers to nobody, does what the fuck he wants.

- Got it, okay, so that's kinda like the driving--

- This is my driving thing.

- Force on you is people who are able to like, what's the word? They're responsible to no authority sorta thing.

- And then there's one more I have, like the third avatar that I'm really looking at like of a human, you know?

- Right.

- Is this like figuring new things out. Like right now, it's like video editing and digital marketing. I am so into it.

- Right.

- And I'm fucking awful, I am so bad. But as soon as I do figure it out, I'm gonna move on from it.

- Interesting.

- I'm gonna move on. I'm gonna figure out how to make that work, bring somebody else along, have them do it, you know? And then I'm gonna go do something, I'm gonna figure something else out all in the same realm. It all has this martial arts umbrella over it, this influence umbrella but that's the third avatar is how to, I guess Tim Ferriss does it and I don't even listen to Tim Ferriss a lot, right? But he has his hands in so many little things.

- Right.

- Gary V does it.

- Right.

- Right? He's got this and he's got that, you know? That's what I'm so into right now.

- Right. I like that, okay.

- [Eliot] How about you?

- Number one would be, Father Boyle would be number one for me.

- [Eliot] I don't even know who that is.

- Father Boyle started Homeboy Industries.

- [Eliot] Okay.

- And he would probably be number one on the list. So he's the guy who went into like East LA in the early 90s when it was just a war zone and he just started basically being an interested guy in all of the gang members.

- [Eliot] Okay.

- And then he started, he's like "I realized what "they need or what they want is to have respectability." Like this work and this kinship and he started Homeboy Industries which is massive now but all of it, it's not his, it all is them and so you get out of prison, you're in the gangs and you go and you work at Homeboy Industries and they just hire ex-cons. So they have like a Homeboy Cafe, Homeboy Tee Shirt Company.

- Fuck yeah.

- Homeboy house stuff which was he said a failed concept because people didn't want an ex-con plumber coming into their house. So that one kinda didn't do that well but Homeboy Industries is worth looking into.

- [Eliot] All right.

- But he's the man, I would say he's, and he's got absolutely zero dollars.

- [Eliot] He's broke.

- It's just he, it's not about the money to him. Any dollar that guy has goes to the kids.

- Right.

- Yeah.

- [Eliot] Fuck yeah.

- [Jeff] That'd be the guy.

- All right, word.

- Cool.

- All right man, thanks Sus.

- [Jeff] All right, good talking to you.

- Yeah, man.

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