Kevin Sturmer 0:09
Hello, my name is Kevin Sturmer and welcome to another episode of a moving tale sponsored by the outermost ring. Before we get to today's incredible guests, I once again want to answer the question I get more often than anything else. What is the outermost ring? It's the title of a musical I'm writing and I like the philosophy so much that I made it the core of my company. It refers to the rings of a tree. And as a tree grows and expands, it adds one ring for each year of its life. The outermost ring refers to the present or the current time. I like the idea that we're always learning always growing and taking new shape, while never losing sight of where we've been and what's at our core. I also love that we've partnered with trees for the future. And for each podcast episode, the outermost ring donates 100 trees to be planted in their forests around the world. My guest today knows all about growing and evolving. Among his many talents. He is a futurist translating the trends of tomorrow to inspire change. Today, he is a true multi hyphenate a self proclaimed misfit finding global success in everything from cybersecurity, to social media strategy to early adoption of technology. This ADHD super powered girl data three is the founder of ice social fans, and has a book coming out. We're going to get to all of it. So press the damn button because you are about to hear a moving tale from my guest, Brian fans. Oh, welcome, welcome, welcome. How are you?
Brian Fanzo 1:48
I'm doing great. I love that I love the little background there on the outermost ring and got me even more excited for the conversation. So happy to be here.
Kevin Sturmer 1:56
It is so great to have you here. Thank you. Thank you. And before we get to your book, press the damn button, the creator economy, your ADHD creator coin on rally.io, social audio and all of that. Let's take our cue from the sound of music as we always do, and start at the very beginning. I want to talk High School and hockey and explore a little bit. Were you always pressing the damn button raising your hand and stepping up? Or was there a pivotal moment or person in your life where you found that inspiration?
Unknown Speaker 2:28
My mom likes to say I came out of the womb talking. And so I think I was born naturally to be very loud and proud. raising my hand. I look back now I think a lot of it has to do with ADHD, you know, my frustration with not being able to concentrate or pay attention. Oftentimes I masked it by being able to just raise my hand I was the kid that every class from from as far as I can remember be like, you know, raise your hand know the answer everyone except Brian because he wants to answer every question. And like it wasn't because I was the smartest it was actually far from but I knew that if I was participating and I was raising my hand it would help keep my attention. And so yeah, since I was you know, since I was young, I'm the oldest of three boys. My brother and I are 16 months apart. And then my other brothers about 16 months. Uh, we were very close, very tight. I actually moved when I moved to Arizona, I bought the house next door to my brother. So we shared backyards. We both have three daughters, and family, of course being very important. My dad's the greatest storyteller that I've ever met in my entire life. He's also the greatest salesman I've ever met in my entire life. He's a candy salesman, didn't go to college, but was always really great at understanding people that empathy and then selling he likes to say he worked for peanuts because he owned a peanut brittle company. So that gives a little insight into that. Yeah, I like that. I get I get that from my my dad. My dad just being so outspoken. But I'm definitely a mama's boy. I don't look anything like my dad. My dad is true Italian is dark skinned black hair. Both my brothers are the same. My mom is Irish. So I have the Irish blue eyes. blonde hair, like my mom. And my mom is you know, she's a people pleaser, wants to make everyone happy. Very emotional. Very. I mean, she ran my house, she was a stay at home mom, she was the queen of our domain. My, my dad traveled Monday through Thursday, most of the time of my childhood for his business. And so my mom was literally anything and everything she ever did. And she ran the Random House with three boys and now she's a grandma of six girls. So she's very proud of that. So I took a little bit from both of them, but I definitely came out of the womb, talking and I'm really not afraid. I think also as I've never been afraid of being who I am right like just I just kind of always own that. I think it's partially because my parents were kind of always just like that, like when they would see me straight become like what they what I thought others would want to be my parents I just questioned me like Brandon, is that is that what you want to do? And I think because I respected my parents so much and just they were so good to us that I it always just kind of kept me checked. And so I feel like It's probably well, like, you know, for a while in school, you're like, I just wanna blend in and then you're like, can't figure it out. But I was always the kid that was friends with all the groups that most people weren't friends with you I had a vanity license plate from the day I turned 16 that had different you know, phrases on it that were like my, my hockey team name on it and, and so I think it's, I think it's always been just kind of who I am and and kind of how I lived. I think it also has to do with like, I was born in Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh is very, there's it's very proud, blue collar area. But I also like I moved in fourth grade to Virginia Beach. And so like my brothers, their memory of Pittsburgh is very limited. And for me, I think it was extra loud and extra proud about my Pittsburgh love, because I feel like I was like, my way of connecting my brothers. Both of my brothers picked different football teams at some point. And I never wavered. I've been a Pittsburgh loyal and then eventually, they both came back around and I Pittsburgh loyal we go to games together and stuff. So and
Kevin Sturmer 5:53
it's interesting, because sports has been such a large part of your life and your career. Now. What role did sports play when you were growing up?
Unknown Speaker 6:02
So yeah, so you actually it's funny when you said that about the sports side. You know, my dad, you know, he said, season tickets for the Steelers since before they were at three rivers. So like 1969, my dad got him. And so he went to all the games with his dad. And for me growing up, we were either playing sports or watching sports. I was coaching. I worked at a skating rink as my family owned a frozen yogurt shop. So that was like where my parents like first, it was probably the most genius parents move of all time. My parents were worried because I was the oldest both of my brothers were goody two shoe straight A students. I was the oldest and not and my parents decided to buy a frozen yogurt shop. Not because they thought it was gonna make money because it didn't make money for the first 14 years. They owned it. But they wanted to keep a pulse on their kids friends, and they were like what we're gonna pay $2 above minimum wage. And every girlfriend I ever had. Every friend I ever had worked at my family frozen yogurt shop right across the beach, it was a great gig and you know, he frozen yogurt. And that was the first job I ever had. Like, as a manager, I had to hire and fire one of my good friends who had messed up and my dad was like, You vouch for him you go in and and let him know that he's done. And I think now looking back, there was so many life lessons just like inbuilt in that. But I also worked at the skating rink did some deejaying coast roller hockey, especially with my younger brothers. And then kind of like, I now feel like I missed a lot. Like I didn't see Star Wars until I was in college. Because I was like, I'm just tired of missing all these inside jokes. I was like, this is ridiculous, right? I remember. I you know, tried out for a couple plays in high school. And because I had a thespian genes for sure. I think my stutter was a little bit of the issue on that sometimes I have a stutter. And Funny enough, I didn't really know the place because I wasn't like they were mainstream. Like, it wasn't like my parents like sheltered us from that. But it was just kind of like we were just very sports enthused, and it's a lot of the storytelling. Like my dad is extrovert extrovert every person he's ever met sat next to on the airplane, he will tell he knows their entire life story by the time they get off the plane like and that was our dinners Thursday and Friday nights was so I sat next to such and such and I was just my dad's way of living sharing kind of bringing us on this journey. I am an extrovert but I hate forced conversations like on the opposite. Like I'm the guy when you get on a plane I have the big headsets on even if they're not even plugged in. I just don't want people to talk to me about the weather or where I'm going or like a random conversation. I'll talk all day long. You know through so high school I baseball was my love baseball was where I was really really good. I was a catcher made Allstate Middle School, going into high school. And unfortunately first knee surgery just before I turned 16 I was also a stubborn kid that was a surfer so I like to surf in the mornings and I was supposed to be on crutches for six months, I think month one and a half. I was hobbling on crutches on the beach to get onto the surfboard which then eventually just became walking on it and then unfortunately it caused the second surgery that I had to get and then during the second surgery, they found out they actually messed up. So I ended up having a 30 surgery and kind of ended my catching baseball career. We had always played roller hockey like from like 1112 and we played like travel roller hockey so I went to Disney World on a full like I mean we went to Iowa we traveled all over the state all over the country playing roller hockey, competitive roller hockey, and this is mid late 90s a roller hockey has actually you know ESPN picked up and roller hockey league at the time that roller hockey was kind of picking up you know growing up Pittsburgh It was like it was it said like and my skill in all sports has always been my ability to see the game and knowledge of the game much more so than my athletic ability. When I was deciding between schools. I got into West Virginia and the person that was running West Virginia hockey knew me from the roller hockey days and was like man, I'll I want you to come play hockey on me and hadn't really dawned on me to play ice hockey in college. And so when I went to Radford, which is a small school south of Virginia Tech, I went there and was like, Hey, what's your hockey team look like? And they're like, we just got suspended for the league for a year. Because of like bench clearing brawl. They were bringing in like a brand new coach and they're like, we don't have any ships and I fell in love with Radford University. This small school my best friend was a year older and I was she was there playing softball and so I I ended up canceling my West Virginia because I'd already got roommate West Virginia, and went to Radford to play ice hockey and end up playing ice hockey all four years there became the assistant captain of the team. I like to say the only assistant Captain ever that played third line. So I was an assistant captain, because really, I could see the ice better than most people. And I just, I've always had a knack for understanding people. It's a lot of that is ADHD skill, too. It's that you're seeing things that maybe others don't see. I was also president of a fraternity at my college my sophomore year, and a lot of that was because school was so difficult for me, I think I was able to I always was thriving on everything else around it, but like, you know, even just attending class and stuff, I struggled at those kind of like basics, where I thought when I went to college, everything was gonna be easy because I I just kind of like I struggled really hard through high school, but I had perfect attendance because I loved school I loved you. I was I did the newspaper. I was in the yearbook squad. I played sports. I was friends with everyone in school. But I struggled like really struggled back through school. And I had a couple of teachers in high school that my senior year they're like, Brian, if you want to go to college, we need you to take an AP class. And I was like, I just got a D in your 11th grade English class. Why am I going to be an AP English? Like, what are you talking about? And they're like, well, it doesn't require reading as much as it requires more writing and more that side and the like, we know that's where you're strong at and, and I ended up getting an A at my when my first day is in high school ended up being an AP English after getting a D in, in regular English the year before. And so yeah, my that was kind of my journey to that piece I loved I mean, I know. I know wishes or believes that I could play hockey after. You know, college, I played beer league and coached a bunch of high school teams for about eight to 10 years afterwards. But it was I loved every minute of it. It was so much fun. We ended up winning my junior year from suspended my freshman year before my freshman year, till we won the championship my junior year as like the we beat NC State, Clemson, we put Duke Penn State so there was a we were in the ACC East for club hockey. And it was a heck of a lot of fun. So yeah, I am blessed to have a wild ride from believing I was gonna play baseball to that ending and then just kind of turning my roller hockey into a nice hockey path.
Kevin Sturmer 12:24
That is amazing. Oh, wow, I'm getting so much insight. This adds some clarity to the ADHD superpower, not only your vision to see the eyes, your vision to see the future, because what was next for you was Information Technology, then moving into cybersecurity and seeing sort of what's coming next, what's down the road, and what possibly other people aren't seeing. So you get into cyber security. You're working for the Department of Defense. I know a little bit about that story. How did that come to be? Because I think that also involved pressing the damn button raising your hand, at least
Unknown Speaker 13:03
it did. And I will tell you even getting into computers. I want a fastest typing class in high school in June my junior year. And they sent me to this, like, regional typing that I don't remember what it was. And I remember realizing that like not many people had social skills. And sounds vary by by game. It wasn't like it was a lot of like the people that I like would normally have hung out with. But I connected with them so well. And it was like, I came back I remember talking to my parents and I always wanted to be a sports center anchor. But because journalism and English was such a struggle. My dad was like, why don't you like lean in on this tech? No computers. And so I went to school with that idea. Like when I was going to web design it and you it was a struggle. It was i mean i for me, thankfully like I had hockey and fraternity that mandated so y'all hours. And then I got out of college and couldn't get related it job right out of college. I've kind of a weird time to graduate oh three, because the internet boom has happened. And so people that didn't go to college are making 100 grand people that went to college are actually coming out like I was coming out with with software knowledge that was not existing anymore. And so I worked at UPS delivering packages. I'm a competitive person. And so I took a Christmas hire job and they had 98 Christmas hires, and they told us on day one, they had three union positions at the end of the Christmas IRA section. And it was based on the amount of packages you took on the truck, your safety record, your amount of times I had like this charts, and I'm very competitive. And I got the second of those three slots to go union ups which I absolutely loved. Oh my god, I was making ridiculous money. In best shape of my life. I didn't have anything to worry about at home. And I was in a line at a grocery store getting milk and I had my brown shorts, my brown shirt on for ups and I happen to have my shirt unbuttoned and my fraternity letters were showing and the guy in front of me that turned around. He's like oh, where'd you go to school. And we went back and forth. I was like, I'm trying to get in it. And he's like, I work it for the government. He's like, can you get a security clearance? I was like, I think so I was like, I don't have anyone in my family. I was like, I know, my wife's family has some security stuff. And he was like, he asked me two questions. He's like, you know what vulnerability is? Nope. Never heard of it. Do you know what remediation is? Nope. He's like, so I know you're honest. Because no one else is trying to impress me, but probably would have said they knew those things. So come in tomorrow morning for an interview. And I remember I came in did the interview, it was an overnight help test tech job. in cybersecurity, they could give me the clearance. And it was $64,000 pay decrease. So I get out of college, you know, couldn't get a job. And I'm making like 98,000 at UPS driver just killing it. And I have to, like, take an overnight help desk job with a security clearance. And it was, it was one of those things where, like, I knew like, I remember leaving the interview. I was like, I'm taking this job like I, I have to but I'm newly married at the time, I come back to our house, like our house that we just bought. And yeah, so I took that job in cyber, and he was all new. Six months into that job was really where I press the down button. And it was just you know, the boss came in on a Friday night, and said, Hey, raise your hand if you can go to Korea on Monday. And there's a whole group of us in the help desk, and I happen to have my hand up first. Sure enough, I went and got a Saturday passport. That afternoon, I took the longest flight of my life 13 hours from, you know, from DC to Atlanta, Atlanta to Seoul, Korea, and to get on a high speed train, which I didn't know that was like one of the things on my list to go down to this place called Daegu, which is where when the US military bases was, and each night I would teach the course that night, I would just study everything I need to teach the next day. One of the things I knew early on was that cyber was so new. No one in the military signed up for cyber, like literally, one of the jokes was when I went to Iraq the first time, I asked everybody, like how'd you get into this field, there was an entire row that said they just put the new iTunes, if you know, iTunes, you could handle cybersecurity run our drone network in a war zone really makes sense. But I that started, I was in Korea and I I mean, I had so much fun, I felt really good about it at the end. And I flew home. And my bosses like the government lead got feedback from that, that course in Korea, and they said they would add from one class a month to four classes a month. Only if you're teaching it, we have a new offer letter for you. You're gonna it was three levels up from my entry level Help Desk, and you run the budget, you run the team. And then six months later, I was able to expand that team, double the size. And Funny enough, the person that hired me in the grocery store ended up working for me. And so in like the coolest way of like, you know, all of that, you know, thank God, I raised my hand I bet on myself, like literally that was the I've always just kind of believed in like betting on myself and figuring it out. I grew it to a team of 32 direct reports 115 people on our team, we were in a $19 million a year budget, I traveled to 54 countries, three trips to Iraq, to Afghanistan, had its amazing team, I was my first 30 hires were all older than I was because no one was going to school for cyber at the time and yet to have a clearance. But I also was a president, my fraternity at sophomore. And I felt like I learned how to manage those that were above me to remove my ego to respect authority, like and a lot of that played into that journey at the government. And so yeah, it was nine and a half years of I mean, it was a lot of fun. It was the travel. I didn't have kids at the time. So they they even brought my my wife at the time, she got to travel with me in the summer because she was a school teacher. So we got to go to all these different countries together. And, you know, it's racked up a lot of miles. I love to marry hot nights. But yeah, all thanks to you know, raising my hand and I don't even have a passport. But I raised my hand and said, I can go to Korea, like let's make it happen.
Kevin Sturmer 18:51
It's almost like every step of the way life was preparing you for that leadership. And that sounds like just a wonderful gift that you have. And that leads to your next chapter, which is right into keynote speaking you're working with brands like IBM and Dell and Adobe,
Unknown Speaker 19:09
you know, I had another one of those things where things are getting complacent. I had this amazing team, I got to pick where I flew. And our contract was shifting, we got moved under a different government contract. And it was one of those like moments where I was like, I'm either going to be in cybersecurity for the rest of my life or I need to leave right now. And against every recommendation of every person in my life. I decided to give up my clearance and get out of the government status. I love working military love the government role I had since college. I remember you Apple had come out and I was very familiar with Guy Kawasaki and he was the you know evangelists there. And so I when I when I said I was gonna leave the government, I made a commitment to myself. I had all these days off and I was like, I'm not going to take any job. That isn't a technology evangelist job because it's the job I always wanted, right and and I took I took my months off played some poker for semi professionally for a little bit in there. So that was like,
Kevin Sturmer 20:04
Okay, hold on one stop there. Because that's, that's that's key to your story as well. Can you talk about reading people and the in person that because that's,
Unknown Speaker 20:12
that is. So I started speaking on stages in 2004 for the government because and I remember this day like horrible small room with like more computers than you ever servers everything going on and we have like this Bake Off where we need to win this like $9 million contract. And this gentleman walks and he was now you know, crispy who was still a friend to this day, he puts his hand on my shoulder and he goes, you're comfortable talking in front of people, it's kind of what you do with these classes. And I was like, yeah, of course, like you got me and he's gonna be, he's like, you're the only non gray haired person that we have in this cyber team, I need you to be that kind of the face of our team. He's like, so we're gonna send you to like some trainings for communication training that you need to pass. But I want you to come back and brief the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I want you to be like kind of the face of this cybersecurity millennial movement. And so that's kind of where I got like my start speaking like, you know, I was thrown in from the Pentagon with generals in full uniform in the front row. That was kind of like the lead into me wanting to go on to this evangelists role. But the the poker side was interesting, because this is as like the World Series of Poker is taking off. like Chris moneymaker won in 2010, I started playing poker fairly, you know, I was playing poker in college, nothing professional, but with where I lived in DC. And then with all my travel, everywhere, I would go, I would just sit down, I would find out, you know, a casino and play some poker. And so when I, when I left my government gig, there was an issue with my clearance. And they were like, they had to pay me like 80% of my salary. But I couldn't get another job. One of the jobs I had worked on in Iraq, they couldn't be classified and stuff. And I was like, You know what, I'm just gonna, like, lean into playing some more poker, like we had just had our first kid. And I took third place in a really large storm in Arizona, and it paid six figures. So I want I want what I remember what you got pictures, everything. And I walked in and like to my my ex wife now, but my wife's school, and we paid off her student loan in cash. Like that was like a very cool feeling. And then we took the other part and was like, You know what, I'm gonna put this in a separate bank account. And let's see if I can, you know, do something with it, have some fun with it. And so, I started playing, I started flying to Vegas on the weekends, because I lived in Arizona at the time. So it was a really short 40 minute flight cost, like 50 bucks each way. Ended up you're getting, you're sharing a place with some other people that lived in Vegas part time. And I was the weird kid that was sponsored by an online poker company, and was horrible at online poker, as a millennial, a lot of it was my attention. But really, my skill was not math, my skill was not like reading trends was reading people. And part of that was because I went to a boot camp, a four day boot camp, that today, I still use this skill more than anything else. It was put on by Joe Navarro. He's a retired FBI agent. And he taught us nonverbal cues and reading body language and understanding, like all other things, how to create a baseline of knowledge. And it was a poker focused course. And now it's very cool. Like, we've been able to share the stage with him a couple times. He's a, he's a keynote speaker as well. And so like that actually played into a lot for me, you know, and I kind of did that poker thing in between. And then I got this job at a data center company, I didn't know really anything about data center. But it was like the first person and I Funny enough, they won't even offer me the evangelists role. But the guy who was hiring me, his name is Brent, he was like, You are way overqualified for the role we have open. And I believe our company needs this role that you believe you want to have. And I remember going in there like month one, the CEO is like, yeah, hey, six months from now, come back to me. And if you do what you say you can do, like with his training team, like the stuff I'd have done with the government will give you that role. And cool enough, like three months later, CEO came to me was like, Yeah, I think you were right, like you were born to create this role. And so I created a role. It was a dotted line between the CEO, I was reported to CEO dye line to the CIO, and the CMO. And that was kind of my first exposure to social as like marketing. And it was a such a fun role. It was it was everything. And we were a startup that was hiring 12 new hires a week. And we were moving from a data center old school technology company, to a cloud computing company. And so the weird part was everyone we were hiring was in their 20s. Everyone that was kind of like phased out was like had been in that business, heating and cooling and power and like the data center real estate play. And it was one of the hardest cultural norms that we had to work on. And that was like, really, my main job was the kind of merging of this culture millennials with different generations. also kind of we're using internal social business tools. So I was deploying these tools for our internal teams to collaborate and having 12 new hires a week was like a very, very intense and we were like the startup you hear about like, we had food truck Fridays we had January the one year the boss came in was like I'm tired of people sending emails, disabled email that day, like just disabled across the company, it was like you have to use your internal social business tools to communicate. Of course that lasted like a week. And the sales team was like, how do I communicate outside, like that was like the environment that I was working on. And my kids were born at the time. And I loved it. I worked there. Two years and 10 days, my face was like, on the front of the building, like, I became like, kind of like the face of the brand. And I started speaking a lot of large events, actually, the largest event to this day still, that I ever spoke on was because our CEO was asked to speak at the event. And literally 48 hours beforehand, he was like, PR is driving me nuts. We are going public at the time. He's like, I don't want to deal with it fans out yours. I was like, What do you mean, it's mine. It's like you got Moscone Center, San Francisco, VMware, like full mainstage. Okay, I guess I'm gonna have to step out. And I was talking about some really boring, like, cloud computing, techie geeky stuff. And then, you know, two years and 10 days after I've been there, the company got purchased by CenturyLink, but then end up being Blue Mountain. And they're like, first thing on order was like, What is this evangelists guy? Why does he not have any KPIs? Why is he not reporting anybody other than see what that role needs to leave, and it was weird going into a building with your face on it, and having like, the CEO come to you and be like, please give me the last day. Like, we gotta let you go. But I will say I also got blessed because he was the smartest smartest guys I've ever met in my entire life. Be he knew I just had my kid. And he was like, what's your what's your take home salary every month here at the company? I told him and he was like, I'm gonna cover that with my startups. I want you to advise my startups in the next six months. I want you to work with them. He's like, and then figure out he goes, everyone's been telling you should be an entrepreneur. You should. He's like, but I also know like, this is a little bit of a, you know, unexpected. I mean, it was unexpected.
Unknown Speaker 26:53
It was a it was super unexpected. And it was very nice golden parachute. Like, I was very blessed that George did that for me. And so that's how I became an entrepreneur was not by will or because I hated the man. You know, I hear that a lot. Like I load my enterprise gig at the government like loved my job. Love the startup I worked for I had such a great time I was employed to 56 which is kind of cool because computer to to be six. We got these like rugby jerseys that had our employee number on them. That was because our CEO was a huge rugby fan. And when I left, we had 616 employees. And so I got to really see like a lot of that world and, and during that time, I won an award which you kind of mentioned before, it took me a long time to get there. I want to award for top 25 social business leaders of the future put out by the economist. And it was sponsored by IBM. And so IBM part of that deal with they are going to send you around to six IBM events as an influencer, which I had to Google what the word influencer was whenever that got presented, and I got to go to TED Talks. And that happened as the data center before I left the data center. But as I was leaving the data center, and so when I left, I had this like amazing relationship with these like brands, I don't even know what to do with I was like, Sure, I'll start like a marketing agency. And I started one with a friend and I hated it. I despised it was just not my just my skill set I but I didn't really feel like think about like I still didn't really understand. And so I decided I was like, You know what, I'm not just leaning on this like influencer speaking side because I'm getting the roles like I was doing it. But I wasn't doing it full time. And now you know, six and a half years later, it's what I've done full time now, you know, 60 gigs a year, you traveled to 76 countries, and you have nothing else I want to do for us in my life. I absolutely love the speaking job that I have. But yeah, talking about is a weird, lots of you. I think you set up pretty well like a lot of things in my life, at the time made no sense on because like, if you look at like my like, what do you want to be when you grow up? Nothing on my trajectory makes a lot of sense. But I feel like the skills, the roles, and you'll also be building relationships, like my CEO, like the joke was like, he's the hardest, toughest person to get along with. And I became friends because I was the one that like I showed up, I delivered, I wasn't afraid to admit when I was wrong, I owned my mistakes. And that allowed me to have a relationship. But ultimately, when I'm getting like laid off for this company being purchased, he gives me a golden parachute that really gave me like the freedom and security and also like the belief in like good people, right. Like, up until then I kind of looked at like, you know, people that had money, made money and didn't get money out like weren't like, you know, making favors, but it was definitely, you know, he'll say to this day because he's very proud. He's got a favorite fan. So like, I knew you were gonna help my startups and it was, you know, it was the role that you need it but for me, it was like the, you know, the blanket that I didn't really realize that I needed so yeah, that's the the wild journey of a multi hyphenate That's for sure.
Kevin Sturmer 29:53
It's so relatable. Yes, that transition for you was a lot of years ago, but it over This past year with the pandemic, so many people, myself included, can relate to walking into the office on that one unexpected day and saying that this is your going to be your last day. And you know, it's what do you do next? What happens after that is you talk about things just leading up and up and up, going to those things like those TED talks in person, and seeing those and being like, well, I'm already doing that. Did that play into your choice? A little bit as well.
Unknown Speaker 30:27
So, you know, I didn't really realize that speaking was a full time job. I knew, author friends that were and I see friends that this authors that I followed on Twitter, so if you were not friends at the time, they were really close friends now. Because my best friends in the world now. But they were just people I followed on Twitter. And because I didn't read write reading, still a struggle for me, I had an audio book, I would, I would consume an audio book in a minute write a review, because I had friends that spoke that we're authors, I assumed you had to read a book to become a speaker. And I remember telling like, friends, well, I'll never do that full time. But I want a job that lets me speak as like my job because I'm not gonna read a book because I don't like read, I don't like reading books, like writing a book just sounds like even more painful than then that and, and going to the TED Talks, I mean, Brian Kramer, who was now one of my dearest friends, it was his TED Talk. And I, I had met him a year earlier at an event just like, and we kind of hit it off. And I was just like, he was like, hey, I want to, I want to get you more involved with IBM. And he was the lead agency that time. And I went there. And I remember talking to his parents, and I was given his parents problem, because I was like, you know, I love your son, but you named first name, spotless first name wrong, because he's dry. And I'm pri and, and we have a running joke on that now, many years later. And I remember the there was, there was four others that we're doing TED talks that day. And three of them I knew, actually, that we're all still good friends to this day. And this was in 2014. And it was a little bit of like an aha, I could do this. But the other part of it was kind of, they were all doing a book, I was creating content, hosting my own podcast, editing my own podcast, uploading my own podcast, I was doing live video. And I, at the time was like, scared to believe that I needed to either niche down to only a speaker or that by being a speaker, I had to write a book. For me, it was a very big thing of like, I'm not sure how that's gonna really work. And I mentioned Brian Kramer, he was when I saw a TED talk, the very next event, I went to a gentleman named Jay Baer, who is your world renowned speaker, author. I mean, he literally treated me like I was his best friend, he invited me to this dinner that we went to that night, with a lot of people that were in marketing and social media. And I just kind of shared my background, like talked a little bit like what we should hear. And he was just like, dude, you're born that stage. He's like, you're not getting the book, he's like, you're gonna have to do it the hard way. He's like, eventually going to write a book. He'll remember that. He's like, two years, you're gonna have to have this book. I remember, oh, two years. Okay. Sure. But, um, I owe a lot to Jay being like, the, he was just kind of like, yeah, you know, get on these stages, but he's like, figure out a way to, like, make money along with it. And so I was doing a lot like 2013 2014, I was doing pretty much paying my bills with influencer work. And I was speaking for free to get exposure to be an influencer. And this was before influencer was anything right? It wasn't, you know, it was, it wasn't even attached to a celebrity at the time, right, there was not even a crossover. But I feel like it was the what I found was, people were blown away what I what I could do on stage, but they were also confused on my ability or desire to continue to do the other things that most other speakers were not. At the time, it was like, Oh, this might be my like differentiator, like this is the thing that when a brand hires me, like, I'm gonna do tweets, I'm gonna do a video monologue beforehand, I'm gonna do these other things. And that started to catch a little bit. And I was like, Oh, I might not have to write a book, like I might be able to, I'm gonna make this a career without writing a book. And I hear this all the time, like, no awards, don't pay your bills, and like not to followers, the bank doesn't take that for paying your rent. And I agree, 100% like, I'm not. But that award, that economist, top 25 social business Leader Award, it allowed me to get recognized out to my company, it gave me access to these events that I would have never been a part of. And it kind of put me into this little network of marketers that like really, kind of brought me along, and we're like, we're gonna introduce you here, and then eventually, you're going to be bigger than us. And like, that's kind of how they like always kind of like, positioned it. And, you know, I'm very blessed that that kind of worked out that way. But, you know, it's, it's where now for me, like giving back and helping others and really wanting to carve my own way, but also not make people feel like they have to do things the same as everyone else. And I feel like the overall package that was able to offer is how I competed. I couldn't compete. I am a best selling book. I didn't run a massive marketing agency. I didn't have like a lot of the CEO credentials, but I knew what I could provide as a whole for like the others that I was working with, and I quickly learned the importance of becoming friends. And I think I attributed this actually to my government days, where I became I understood, and this is my dad, you know, my dad telling me, I remember my dad in high school saying, you know, son, before you pitch before you open your mouth, when you walk into an office, I want you to scan for something that you can connect with. He's like, it could be a baseball card, it could be a picture. And he's and I remember my dad, like hammering that. And I to the point where we're like my brothers, I used to joke, like, we walk into like a hotel room, I'm like, done, there's a photo, like, we were like, mock my dad, like teaching us this. But it became like, my strength and it was in every job, every role, I'm going to work harder than everyone else. And I'm going to be, I'm going to care more about everyone around me than everyone else was. And if I do that, I can kind of hide the fact that I might not be smarter than them. Right. And it was it that was a lot of like, by ADHD, you'll kind of everyone telling me, you know, like, imagine if you applied yourself, or what would you do? So yeah, that's kind of how I landed in kind of speaking. And it was, a lot of it was, you know, opportunity, raising my hand jumping on these different roles. And then really making the most of those, you know, I remember, I came in a day early for that Ted Talk. And one of the best decisions I made, because I got to meet his parents in the elevator, Brian Cramer's parents, and so we hit it off. And then when we got there that early, I got to go behind the screen, and I got to see all the people setting up. And then I got my relationships with the person that was running Ted, the person that was doing the IBM side, and it was all because I showed up a day early with just simply the idea was like, I'm going to be around and I'm gonna try to connect with as many people as I could. And, you know, it's kind of paid off for me or, you know, along the way.
Kevin Sturmer 36:36
Yeah. I mean, you keep talking about, you know, feeling like you're not smart enough, and sort of having to hide it with these other things. Well, first of all, finding something to relate, or something relatable. In each situation that you walk into and can making those kind of human connections is so important. But I think, and it's your ADHD superpower, again, it's the vision, the vision to see what others don't. And then to be able to articulate that so well. And so quickly, I think that's, that's a huge strength. And it's so wonderful to hear, and hopefully is inspiring other people to take advantage of a similar vision that they might have. I know that the there's a small community growing around you with ADHD, who have felt thankful and supported that you've shared your story. You have an ADHD creator coin rally.io. Can you talk a little bit about creator coins, creator economy and how that fits in sort of your plans for the future?
Unknown Speaker 37:37
Yeah, so I'll connect the dots in the audience. I was diagnosed at 31 for ADHD. And so it was nine years ago now. But I was at the data center, right. So like in like, in the history of that, like the story that I was in the data center. And the day I was diagnosed, I mean, I know what I was wearing, I know where my jeep was parked. I know, it changed my that day. I remember, the only time my entire life, I felt like there was something was removed off my shoulders. And it was actually something I don't even know was there. And it was just this, like, I felt like I was always broken. And even as a six I was successful at everything I did after college, like school is where I really struggled to, you know, pass the grades and meet all these requirements. But everything I've done in my entire career, I find a way to be successful, right? You know, when I started by going to data center, started back in like a training job. And I was able to move back up like I've, I've kind of proven that to myself, but still, there was always these things that like, I don't read enough books, or imagine if I applied myself. And so that day being diagnosed, it was I mean, for me, I say now, it was a day where I went from feeling broken, to just feeling different. And I remember the document like your brain works different. And yours works really different. He's like, here's even more, it's different for most ADHD years. And he's like, you know, you got to get creative. And my youngest brother had been diagnosed ADHD, thank God because I don't believe To this day I would have still when got diagnosed, we actually had opposite shades of ADHD in many ways where his was a lot of it was tied to a kid loved reading, and was great at school. But he, like lacked focus and motivation. me was I couldn't turn my brain off at night. And I couldn't stand reading or focusing, I would like lose track. And now I know a lot more. But because of my brother, I remember one day we were just like, he's like, I was like, I just can't do my brain off. He's like, you should just go to the doctor and ask him like, he's like, the medicines working for me. And I went in there and like, I mean, I changed my trajectory. But I will say like, that was 31. You know, I have my daughters. And you know, for the next four years or so I talked about being diagnosed ADHD, but it wasn't like a thing. Like, it wasn't like a you know, it wasn't like, and then I put it into my intro for one of my talks. And that was the day everything changed on that because someone came up to me afterwards. And actually, it's funny. It was in the intro, I did my whole talk. And like the three questions I did on stage afterwards, all three were about ADHD, which was like was like What in the world is going on here? And a lady came on the side of the stage and I have a lot of people that are coming to talk to you after go on stage and seeing her son on FaceTime and she's like, you My son has Asperger's. And he's struggling, he doesn't want to go out with his friends. He's withdrawn from college. And the way that you've just shared your unapologetically your ADHD stories, and like this mom, she's like, could you talk to him? And it's like, kind of awkward, like, She's like, has a phone out. I was like, Sure, I can't hold the phone. I was like, Hey, what's up, man, like, you know, I'm wasn't that I'm 10 years older. So, at the time, I was probably 15 years older. And I just share, like, hey, like, you're gonna, you're gonna realize that at some point, that being different, is really how we stand out and the world hasn't been made for us. But if you're willing to own the fact that hasn't made for you, then you can kind of start moving forward and get this like newfound freedom and, and I was like, hey, let's connect on LinkedIn, we exchanged information, the parent, and I remember her, like, giving me this hug. And she's like, you've changed my family's like, look at this like, and I remember feeling like, I felt like I didn't, like I didn't do all I did was share. And still, at this point, I still hadn't figured out how to redesign my life, like I was diagnosed, ADHD, I was taking Adderall. And I was kind of like, just leaning in, like kind of going, being diagnosed allowed me to forgive myself for feeling like I wasn't good enough. And but it was that moment where I was like, You know what, I'm going to have this in every intro for the rest of my life. And it is in every intro that I've ever had ever since that day with with, with a parent and Patrick, who was the kid on the on the phone, we're still connected on LinkedIn, on Facebook. Every once in a while we'll go back and forth. He works in network administration. And he's doing he's thriving and, and so for me,
Unknown Speaker 41:33
as of this last year, I got separated, divorced. And for the first time in my life, I had to live on my own. And I had your co parenting. And I did a lot of self awareness, a lot of self assessment on like everything. I've never lived. I graduated, I proposed in college, we got married right out of college, like I literally ended my and along with that I started to really just become honest with myself on my ADHD and was like, wow, like, it's impacting a lot more than I thought it was. And I need to become a little bit more aware of all of these things. I started studying more I started really making ADHD one of the things I wanted to care about and, and I'll say, when I, when I left to go on my own people asked like, Brian, are you talking about marketing or technology, and I was always like, this was like, my, my my soapbox was, I want to make the world care more about each other. I'll own a company, I'll do like merchandise, I'll do something at some point. Until then I'm just gonna kind of like, lean into all the things that are going on. And then 2013 I made a commitment. I'm gonna build a community online, with a goal of never monetizing it for 10 years, I was like, I wanna I want to build a community of just, I want to give, you know, read Gary Vaynerchuk book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. And so that all kind of spiraled into this last three years of like, really just becoming really aware of my ADHD and then also my youngest, my middle daughter being diagnosed ADHD, and now seeing it through a dad's eyes and having this like, I mean, I would have nights where I would wake up. so mad that no one discovered my ADHD beforehand. And I just be so mad at the world. And I would imagine what I would have been accomplished if, like, if someone would have like, you'll just let me figure out what that my brain works different. But then I also realized that, like, I started my own path, and I'm beginning to figure out, you know, part of this is that piece. And I also now know I have, I have a chance of my daughter who's nine, to really be able to look at it differently. Because we interesting enough, I was born in 81, right? And, like, for me, it's weird to blame and say, Why didn't anyone tell me because still, to this day, we don't know how the best ways to treat it, and we're still figuring it out. And so it's weird to blame something that even if I was treated, or if I didn't know, back then I probably wouldn't probably want to help you probably whatever, in all intensive purposes, probably held me back or given me a crutch or an excuse. And so when I had the opportunity to get a coin, a crater coin, I applied, and the first thing when they were like asked me three to five characters, the first thing I thought I was ADHD, and I was like, I I want it to be a part of conversations. I love because the coin You know, every conversation I've had, since I've got the coin, it's been part of the conversation and it's not because it's defined me but it's because I just want to make sure that like, hey, let's have these these conversations around mental health and, and ADHD. And then I was like, You know what, my lessons fans Oh, that's right amount of characters. You know, the, the label speak as a speaker was available. And I went to my inner circle and I threw out the the three names and like, everyone was just like, dude, ADHD, is you your ADHD. And so that was February right? Your march, march, we launched the coin. And I will tell you, like, crypto was not my finance crypto not my space. monetization like brand partnerships. Sponsorships, a podcast. That's where my world has been. I've been I'm a weird entrepreneur in the sense of like a speaker that I monetize through b2b, not B to C, right? Like I didn't I didn't sell courses or products or downloads. I didn't Like direct to my community, I was more like, hey, Adobe sponsor this so I can continue to give these people free stuff. And it's always been my way and I think a little bit is because that's where my background was, like, I was more comfortable talking to IBM to give me a budget and I was, you know, going to ask someone else for a budget. But I also knew there was like this community of people that wanted more from me, and they kept asking for like products or services, or I buy this or I'll do that, and I didn't have, right and so when the coin came along, it was like, Wait a second, I can help build this up together. And Kevin, I, you are one of my early supporters. And I am very blessed for that. And we've been able to reap a little bit those rewards now, which is, is a nice little benefit. And that all kind of spun into this. You know what I'm gonna lean into the creator economy and at the same time, social audio clubhouse and come out. And the weird part of like, my background, as I was speaker, I mentioned this a little bit earlier. But when I didn't have a book, I knew I needed to have something else that I could leverage that helped me stand out. And live video became that thing in 2013. So 2013 and 2017, I was probably one of the most, if not most popular business live streamers that were out there doing, you know, I did 3600 live streams, just myself, I helped launch, IBM, Dell, Samsung, the Super Bowl, I did all of their very first best Facebook Lives. All there. I was like on camera, I would teach them, I would be the guinea pig. And I would say, now it's yours now put me on stage so I can speak right? Like that was like my, like my little segue. And so when audio came out, when when call bass came out in the fall last year, you know, being you know, living alone, you have pandemic going on. I'm a speaker, I've traveled my entire life first time since I graduated college that didn't travel more than 30 weeks. And I traveled eight weeks, right for that year. And that social audio platform came on. And it was it was like everything I didn't know I needed in social that really presented this like intimate conversation with people but also serendipity for allow me to discover people that I wasn't connected with on social but I aligned with. And so it was kind of like a perfect storm in the sense of social audio. If you're coming out of pandemic, I'm doing a lot of virtual stuff. The Creator coin comes out and I'm just looking at, like, what all of my stuff is and was like, You know what, Wally where I can feel like I can help the most is like, going all in on this crater economy idea. And in a weird way, it kind of connects all the back to everything I've ever done, because it's this emergence of like, how do we remove tech, but make tech enabled? Right? How do we help humanity people do what they love, you know, you have many, many talents, right? You're playing the piano as we we came on, I love that you're ready to show. And I think for me, when I look at the crater economy, it's the first time that I've ever felt like we're creating a world or a business world that allows people to do what they love, and pay the bills and not be a starving artist. And do it in a way that builds everybody up along with them. Right so like the coin the thing the coin that really why it to me was such a big difference, right? Like than anything else I've ever done was the coin isn't about someone sending me money. And me rising, right the coin was, hey, purchase this coin and hold on to it. And as we rise, we rise together, right? And so Kevin, you your early adopter, on the coin and you got an on early and, and like for me it was like the opposite of a fan club. Right in 2006. I joined Dave Matthews Band warehouse. I'm still a member of the Dave Matthews Band warehouse, I been to more concerts and while I actually spent at six concerts I've been in the 60s of Dave Matthews concerts. But I've been a member since 2006. The only thing I get is early access to tickets. I've not reaped any rewards from best selling albums and global sold out concerts for 15 years. Right. And it was it was always a kind of like a disconnect. Right? You were a fan and like, and to me, it was part of why like fans didn't want most bands to make it big, right? Like, we want you to stay indie like, even though like we know that you're like gold. Like there's like this weird world because it's like, you're with us and we're going with you when you're indie right? Like, when we buy an album, we know that you're the album is going to you. And I feel like the critter economy is the is the way that we we need because in that sense, like I mean one of the band Portugal demand is one of the coin holders on rally and they're large band and they never had a fan club cuz they didn't want to like monetize a piece. But now you get access to the band's recordings. Backstage you get if you buy a ticket for their concert and you're holding a certain amount of their coin, you get to go in the VIP section before anyone else comes out you so there's all these things not to mention the coins going up in value. So your return on investment is also going up. And so to me it's been
Unknown Speaker 49:39
it's the last story of my career. I would ask me a year ago if I'd be playing in kind of like a crypto crater economy space and like that's probably not where I'm gonna be like I am doing virtual events and and I love live video and I and the social audio comments, but it really is the all encompassing of all the things I like to do and so yeah, ADHD coin calm is where it's at. We just had our we got over 300 backers now and we just had over 130,000 coins in circulation. And, and the cool part is, you know, 45 days or so I believe the coin was worth like $1 at $1.65 or something. And we talked over $5 this week, right and, and seeing people like yourself and those be able to reap those rewards and and we're and this is only the beginning, right? We haven't even rolled out a lot of the things that I might attach to it. It's it's probably the most exciting thing that I've ever been a part of which I've been a part of a lot of cool things. But I think for me, it's, it's finally that connection to where that rising tide lifts all boats. And I've always heard that with community, I've always believed in it. But I've always struggled to find a way to balance that with like monetization and being so yeah, that's where we're out there with ADHD coin, that rally company that they're backed by a16z, which is, you know, large rental firm, they also happen to back clubhouse, which is kind of a cool connection there. And, you know, for me, it's as much about like, I want to work with everyone. That's not marketers like everyone, that's not everyone like yourself, right? You're talented individuals that, that, hey, how do I create something around what I love to do, that doesn't make me have to, like make a course or all these other things around it, like, let people invest in us. And it really comes down to like that 1000 true fan model, right? Like you don't need, and I think this is like my futurist hat like, is I believe that's where we're going, we're moving towards, like a switch towards micro community and realizing that we got lost a little bit trying to get more followers and more gigs and more customers or more clients, and not realizing that we don't need more and more and more, like, we need to understand what is enough. And then we need to understand how to double down and own and go through. And so for me, like I put it out there, my hockey number was 93. And so I said, my goal with the backers, and the coin was, you know, 2093 backers is the is the goal. So 2093 true fans of investing in the coin, and then I can, you know, do what I do and share and give and hopefully, you'll amplify inspire do a lot more in the mental health space. You know, and even to the point where I told my secret agent, like, my goal with the coin is so that I can do more free gigs for nor nonprofits for more, you know, it's my, that's really what it's gonna, it's not gonna, you know, it's not gonna be like my get rich scheme, it's more of like the, it's gonna give me the leverage to be able to, hey, I don't have to do five paid gigs a month, when to when only want to do and I'm doing them on discounts. I can do three of them. And I can take two gigs that I know that those people need to hear my voice and hear what I'm doing. And so it's a fun ride. And I truly appreciate your support to you. You've been an early adopter you've been in supporter on clubhouse, but also a supporter of the coin. So I appreciate that
Kevin Sturmer 52:47
well, in the thing that I think draws a lot of people in is the fact that it's it really is this community building. It's it's not so self serving you really genuinely I know this because I see it week after week after week, especially on clubhouse, you reach out to encourage people and maybe it's their first time on clubhouse, and maybe they haven't been on the stage before. But you're in rooms like with Andy Henriques for over 30 weeks now just you know, helping people tell their stories. If somebody's just starting out somebody on clubhouse? What are sort of the essential elements? And maybe they're looking through their life as to maybe what are the stories that I can start to tell? What are the essential elements that make up a great story? So that's question one. And then the second question is, as we head into the future, off of clubhouse, you're one of the few people I know who's done a hybrid presentation, because connecting with your audience is so important. So where do you see that going? Those are two things, but for the person who's just starting out, what makes a great story.
Unknown Speaker 53:53
So yeah, I think this is a this is a I think storytelling, the art of storytelling, the study of storytelling is the greatest thing in the world to study because the beauty is it's never perfect, which I've always like loved anything that's not perfect. Because you know, you can study everyone from Martin Luther King to you know, you can go Steve Jobs to brock obama two, you can go all these great storytellers. And you change the variables, right? You move Martin Luther King's talk from where it was given to somewhere else, right to the variables, change the atmosphere change, everything from Simon Sinek TED Talk, right? Those that don't know that like that the Y aspect of his TEDx talk was even a TED talk was literally a four minute chunk of our larger 14 minute talk that happened to be like what set him off. And so I think when we look at storytelling, I think the true key is being able to be willing to like kind of sit in your story understand, like, the aspects that are there. And then I love You're kind of throwing everything at a wall and one of the things I often and it's probably the thing that I maybe hit home the most with those that I coach I was talking with, is I'm a big believer in every time you're telling a story. Every time you're doing content, you define what success looks like ahead of time. Because I feel like in this world right now, people will do some great things. And I'm like, Oh, that was successful like, No, not really. I was like, What? What does success look like for you like? Well, I didn't really have that plan. Now I'm like, Well, how are you ever going to be successful? If you didn't ever put success, like paint a picture? Now, I always say paint a picture, because I actually like, on my iPad, on sticky notes. I will like, I'm like, this is what I believe, like, this is what I want. And so when you're thinking about that, from a storytelling perspective, think about it from like, Do I want an emotional connection? Do I want to inspire people learn more about me? Do I want to just make you realize that you're not alone, like, and when you define success, and then you look at your story, kind of throw it all out there all the aspects of it, you can now start pulling apart pieces of and say, Well, that doesn't need it that's not needed. Because to get me towards that success, and then I think it's just it's really as pressing the down button, it's telling your story, as many times as you can in many different formats. I mean, everything from like, I will, I don't think I've ever said this in clubhouse, which is funny. And you would know, Kevin, you have been supporting me a lot of my rooms, I always look at friends and speakers, on how they order fast food on it. They're good storyteller. And so I'm a picky eater, not picky, but a selective eater. And so I don't like any vegetables on my sandwiches, no matter what sandwich I'm having. So no matter where I'm going, I'm having. And when I ask someone to order my food, for me, the way they position, the variables of change, that are the most important parts of the story determines that my phone's gonna come out right or not come out, right. And that sounds kind of crazy. But if you think about it, when you're, and I hear this all the time, like my daughters are even aware of it, because like I was in the car, and I'll hear someone order and I'm like, you're never gonna get that, right. Because it's like, I want to number two, double cheeseburger. And it's like, I want a Diet Coke. I want french fries, and, you know, lettuce tomato out of frosty. And but it was so buried, and so like, understand, like, I'm like, hey, I want number to know, let us know tomato. And I just catch it right and in. And like so if you think about it for like a storytelling in a weird way. Our ability to make sure, the most important aspects of what we're talking about are what the audience takes away to me is what makes a great storyteller. And I will say like, I love Instagram stories for throwing stories out there. I love live video. I enjoy it. As much as I don't like forced conversation I enjoy. Yeah, I was standing downstairs this morning, in line to get some breakfast at the hotel I'm staying at and the person that worked there like it come over. He's like talking about Pittsburgh sports at a Steeler head on. And I was like, the interesting part was like, I'm in Northern Virginia. So there's not like a Pittsburgh area. And there's a part of our story that I'm looking forward to telling us in the near future. About like Pittsburgh fandom, I, I didn't realize that not all moms didn't wear, you know, the team colors to church until I went to Virginia Beach and realize like, my mom stood out because I'm in Pittsburgh, like, that's just kind of what you do. And like that story has some like massaging that's needed. And I took the opportunity this morning to like, I was like, actually got some fun. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this. And I literally just told that part of his story. And he's like, Oh, my God, he's like, he puts his arm around me. And let me tell you a story about a Pittsburgh fan that came in here. And he was able to draw in on our reference. So now it like confirmed my story. It also allowed me to get kind of like, Oh, I might be able to use his like aspect of what he just threw in there as part of like my relatability factor. And so like that, to me is you know, when we look about storytelling, it's it is about testing. It's about tweaking, it's about kind of living in your own. Yes, you know, beginning, middle and end. And yes, you don't want to leave people down in a place that they can't handle. But I think more so than all of that is you kind of have to get used to it. And I think the other part of it is you have to believe your story matters. And you know, everyone that's listening to this right now, if you don't believe your story matters, I'm here to tell you it does right like that. If there's anything you can take away from this as I'm giving you permission to tell your story because right now we are dealing with bad news, fake news Coronavirus, news, everything news. And the only way we break through that only the way we cut through all of that is it's not giving that more attention. Like that's all that stuff is given plenty attention like it's in all it does is amp up all this noise. We have to get great people telling great stories and doing great things. And you know, it's it's the mantra of my book, it's the mantra of my keynote is that the ways of the old are over right? My dad raised me, son, put your head down, work hard and you'll get rewarded and unfortunately today you're letting your work do the talking for you just doesn't work anymore, right? There are people that are going to drown you out with social media and and fakers. And your your the people that are your competitors are going to buy a Google Ad that's going to be above yours, and you might be the greatest hardwork and greatest person but if you're not telling your story, it's really not going to stand out and that's really where I you know, I I'm not hard or like direct on many things. I'm a big like optimist but the thing that I will I I put out there is if you are waiting for your work to do, you're telling your story for Are you in 2021 and 2020? Beyond, you're going to be out of business, you'll be out of a job, you're going to feel as though Why is no one no all the great things that I'm doing and so that's kind of how that you know, kind of storytelling, you know, connects for me, it's kind of like the beauty of the pieces and even connects to your second question like we're going right in the future side, this hybrid world. You I look at events, and I've said this, like, it's funny, like my dad actually, is the quote that I'm probably most famous for this one quote, where my dad, I was on a Google Hangout, I was hosting it. I was interviewing this, David meerman Scott, who's a big sales leader, world renowned author, you know, investor, one of the first investors in HubSpot became a great friend of mine now, he's on Tony Robbins stage every time and I was interviewing, my dad texted me, and I remember, like, text comes up, and I just, and my dad's like, son, I love all these sales things that this guy is talking about. He's like, but you just need to know that all that stuff you thought about nothing you do online will ever replace a handshake. And the text comes up, and I'm like, David, you're gonna read this out loud. My dad just texted me. And I believe my dad wrote this, because he believes I disagree. So let me put this out there. And I read it like, literally verbatim on the live show. I was like, I could not agree more with my dad wholeheartedly that I don't believe anything we're doing online replaces a handshake. I was like, but I will caveat. And I will say if you invest in people, and social and relationships and community online, you will have the opportunity to have more handshakes, and then turn some handshakes into hugs and selfies. And I have said, you know, of course, I'm a millennial, I want hugs and selfies. And that thing caught. The only was, I mean, I was quoted on that for, and this is 2013, like crazy enough, right? So like, now we fast forward 2021. And people are like, hybrid is the best of both worlds. And like, you know, we figured out what virtual was now we got zoom fatigue. And really, it still comes down to those basic principles, in my opinion, like we have to, we have to really make the most of when we're in person with people, because we've now realized how much we value family and home time. You know, we've all been on this wheel that we kind of go this reset. But I also believe what we do online needs to be 364 days of community that's around that one day that we're offline, right over the two days that we're offline. It's like my prediction of the future is your brand industries associations, right. I was just at the National Speakers Association event this past weekend. And you know, truthfully, ethical people reached out to me and said, Brian, when you spoke on the virtual natural NSA event last year, I had more access to you and more time with you. There was only 300 or so people in there, right? They limited it based or 600 people I think they limited because of COVID. And there was something to be said about like, was much as we love offline events. And we love running with the people that we want to connect with Kevin, none of ours, you and I have connected shared stories, like we would have to probably go 25 events in person together before we would know each other the way we know each other. And that, to me is the essence of where we have to think about this where we need to be able to really help others see that right? And yes, social audio was kind of like our vehicle for that. But I don't think it has to be social audio, I think it can be whichever, you know, medium matters the most to people. I will say the people that are listening this you're already paying a podcast, but I've I mean, I was hooked. I remember 2008 2007 I think was 2008 I was having my commute got extended, and it was a lot further of a drive. And I remember someone sent me a link on this on this like fileshare and as to my Blackberry, and they're like, plug your headphones and have headphones, my black red, like fine headphones in his Blackberry. And then like you can listen to this, like sports conversation whenever you want. And I remember putting my years it was like, hold a podcast, I think I got an RSS podcast at the time. And I remember being like, this is the coolest thing ever. But they get radio and then I started listening to more podcasts, more podcasts. And I will say I haven't mentioned this the whole time. But like, throughout my ADHD, the audio format has been my secret weapon. When people ask like Brian, how do you stay on top of all the trends? It's listening to podcast? Ryan, how do you get content out the way you do? It's because I create podcasts. Ryan, how have you like emerged in 2021. I've been all in on social audio. And it's that intimacy of audio is the feeling of connection. It's the excitement of us being able to like let our walls down like you can't mail it in, you can outsource it. Like when I realized I know that when Kevin raises Zan and we're coming up and we're sharing on stages together. I know you're sitting there real time having a conversation with me. As much as I love Instagram as much as LinkedIn is closed 60% of my business. I don't like half the time, like someone's commented like, it could be their assistant that's commenting, right? I don't even like had that relationship. And so I look at the future as this like, you know, it's actually the name of one of my talks. It's called shrink the distance, whatever we can do online, to shrink the distance between us and others so that when we do meet offline, we can just take off and run. I think that's the prediction. We're going to see things like AR and VR are going to explode in that they're gonna help us to do that as scary as it is for everyone. I mean, we just I mean, Jeff Bezos Grandson just went to the went to the space. So like, when I say AR VR coming, they're coming in a way that be exciting 5g technology, which will be what you think your smartphone is fast now, you know, it's going to be, I think 15 times faster, in many cases 100x faster for like devices, we're here to get more information to doctors and medicine and all of these connection points. And I think all of that is gonna be exciting. Only if we can boil it back down to this idea of shrinking the distance between us and those that we're trying to connect with online. So that's my very long winded answer to your questions. I love your questions, you set me up for success, because you know me so well, but I appreciate you let me kind of ramble on this,
Kevin Sturmer 1:05:41
that is a wonderful answer. And so true. And I have to 100% agree. And in terms of I think that's where we're headed. And this is what what I'm doing with the show I'm writing is it again, if you can focus on a great story, and then have all those other cool elements as well AR and VR, the experience for your audience, and that's really who we're telling this for, is going to be so enhanced, and so, so, so connected, that it will shine. And so it won't be about the tech, it will be about the story, it will be about the heart and the connection, as you say, and again shrinking that distance.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:17
And for those that have a cell phone right now you don't go and like look outside the window for a tower and be like, I need to make sure that tech that tower, you know, the cell phone tower, you know, is in proximity, like, you know, the tech that we went from phone lines and power lines them disappearing, right. Like, for me that study storytelling element, I believe like, where I study great storytelling is comedians, it's Broadway shows, it's TV, like, and I will say like the things that I picked up the most everything from character development, to understanding how to bring someone on our journey to understanding how to relate sometimes using an emotion that you don't really want to have. But you can use that emotion to get someone to get to the emotion that you want them to have. All of that is from studying, nothing to do with business, nothing to do with marketing, really nothing to do with keynote speaking for all intents purposes, I just wanna put that out there because I love what you're doing. I love like, I think it's also why we can connect on a level of, you know, relatability and also understanding like, you know, I'm I've so much respect for creatives that are that have talents, like I can't sing, I can't dance. Like I like there are a lot of those, like, I can't draw, I feel like in a world like I'm using I love music, I listen to music so much because I have no musical talent. Like I've always like, I respect the craft so much like, I don't have a design talent I can I can handle tech, but like the design side, I've always struggled with. So like when I hire a design person, they're always like, Brian, why aren't you giving me more advice, I'm like, you're the creative, I want you to do what you do best. And I am very good at removing myself from that. And I think that's kind of this beauty to where we're moving because the text going to be removed the text gonna remove itself, right? It's gonna, the early adopters, we're gonna have to deal with all this nonsense, just like that podcast, right? Like, could you imagine like, I know, people that don't know what it was like to create a podcast back then, like it was you had to like decompile a file, you got to tag it with all of these things, you have to encrypt it, you know, upload it to this RSS server, then you had to click it over this, this other one. While it's actually transferring, you had to put the information in, and you have to click Send before information before the file didn't add because if it didn't, it would be connected to the podcast world but I have not attached to you like this was like, it was the most tech nightmare of all things I gave up. But my first but first podcast is like this is too much work for me as a tech person, right and like now where we're at on tech and like a podcast, you can record on your phone and upload it within seconds. So I think for all those that can be a little bit overwhelmed with like, all this tech and the jargon that goes along with it. I think we sometimes forget how quickly we've gone from a pager to cell phone from a cell phone from a from a wall phone to you know, a phone in our pockets walking around our house. And so I just want to throw that in there. I think I I'm glad you caveat that because sometimes they can get a little bit techie a little bit, you know, overwhelming for an audience. But I think it's important to kind of level set that
Kevin Sturmer 1:09:00
it's going to be wonderful and things that seem so different now are going to be so the norm in the future. And that brings me to our little game that we're gonna play at the end this is called full out facts. And I have to say that this next section is sponsored by full out creative, a small company with a big heart. They do live streaming producing videography, photography and so much more. For details check out full out creative.com now just so you know this is a game where I scour the internet to uncover fun and random facts about my guests to find out if they are true or not. So it's time Brian fans Oh to play full out facts and Okay, here we go. True or false? Your original loadout for the educational video game the Oregon Trail included at least two oxen
Unknown Speaker 1:09:50
[laughs] That's true. That is true. That is true. Wow, that's a good fact. Well,
Kevin Sturmer 1:09:58
can you go on because I did. You can play this
Unknown Speaker 1:10:01
Oregon Trail was one of the ones that it was one of the games that the teachers sent me to to keep me busy. Right and it was it but it was a game of you know, you had you buy things along the way you have to be able to keep keep your team alive. And you got to bring on you know, it was very for me a lot of that was it was it was all ultimately Oregon Trail to me is that kind of my generation like about Pedro wearing millennial Born in 1981. So I relate a hell of a lot more to those born in 1972 than I do those born in 1989. It's just the way that the generations kind of fall. And Oregon Trail to me was like that essence of it taught us a lot about the community and gameplay. And it also added elements of like, being able to navigate beyond like a Pac Man or some of the one of those worlds but yeah, organ show has a closed place in my heart. It also was like I would look at it as like the teacher saviors of how they dealt with me a lot of times they're like, yeah, Brian, and like all the other kids in class would be jealous. Why is Brian good to do Oregon Trail? You know, and I remember like, I would win awards, like most money earned on Oregon Trail and like in my school, and I was like, yeah, it's because I had the most hours earned on Oregon Trail. So yeah, that's nice find.
Kevin Sturmer 1:11:11
I love that. Okay, true or false. You were nominated for a Shorty Award after live streaming Super Bowl 50 for over 14 million people.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:19
That is true. And it was a pretty cool Shorty Award. It was the first word of its kind. And I didn't really know what a Shorty Award was at the time. And then I found out it was all this entire internet culture awards. And I actually got to do a live stream with the award show and got to go there to New York, you know, as one of the nominees and, you know, it was it was a really cool, really cool experience. And it was my first my first time being acknowledged as a creator. And it was probably the first time I ever heard the word and then associate like I was okay, being comfortable with it. So yeah, it was pretty cool. Is it shorter words, I still still around today they're doing they acknowledge and reward a lot of really cool creatives and, you know, all different platforms, all different worlds. And I'm still good friends with some of the people that work on that. So always fun to see that. Yeah, that was that was perceivable. The Superbowl gig was a, it was another wild ride. But, you know, a lot of things on people betting on me, and then me betting on myself and being able to livestream there from the Superbowl. Yeah, yeah.
Kevin Sturmer 1:12:15
All right. One last question here. For Brian fans are true or false. At age 14, and I think you mentioned this, you won a speed typing contest?
Unknown Speaker 1:12:24
I did. I did. I try to brag to my daughters about that. And I will tell you, it was one of those things where you had to do like, the red fox jumped over the whatever, like the the sentences on there. And it was the, for whatever reason, in high school, like I was on, I was on the newspaper and on the yearbook. That was like my two things I did in school. And the the same place where you did like the testing was in that same room. So we go in the yearbook room. And I mean, now looking back, a lot of it probably is a little bit of ADHD, where I would be like, oh, get all my tests done. And they're like, well, we got to wait, everybody gets their pages done for the newspaper, do the round out. And I would just go sit in front, that typing game and I was like, I'm gonna beat the total amount of correct words and, and 50 seconds, and yeah, and then I won my school. And I, they sent me to this regional event. And I missed I credit that, as wild as it is, for anyone that doesn't believe like little things. I credit that for me. When my dad suggested getting in the tech. I was like, Oh, I can do tech. Like, I went to that. And I will say, I went to that regional event and got my butt kicked, by the way, like, the way that people were tech now, I will say, and I actually it's funny that so there's an event coming up. And I put it out there that I believe I can type faster on an iPhone than any other speaker. And so we're gonna compete upcoming events. I've kind of mastered speed typing. Thanks to Twitter, on iPhone, so maybe maybe it's gonna come full circle after I'm 40 I'm a winner iPhone typing contest. Yes, that's a good find. It
Kevin Sturmer 1:13:53
was better. That is great. Because you have you. Actually I did have that as a follow up question because you say that you talk faster you tweet faster. And so that was my follow up question. So I'm curious what we'll keep our eyes open for this. But I just want to say Brian fans out thank you for continuing to inspire so many people and for giving us all a moving tale. Really appreciate it. Thank you for having me. It's a lot of fun. Thank you. Thank you Thank you Now one more time just to confirm where can people connect with you online? Sure. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:14:22
So I believe in the power of consistency so @isocialfanz - the letter I and then social fans with a Z at the end is my brand on every single social channel if you find this channel that I'm not on please message me because I believe I'm just about on everyone there is you know and then my speaker website is BrianFanzo.com. So Brian fans calm is the speaker site. And then if you're interested in that coin, and you don't have to have a crypto wallet, all your things that are complicated with Kabbalah, you can literally create a free account on rally.io or just go to ADHDcoin.com so ADHDcoin calm. And yeah, if you listen to the how long it will do Have you listen to the show, get our free account there and send me a message on any of any other platforms. And I'll send, you just say, Hey, I listened to you know, Kevin show, and I'll send you five ADHD coin. Just as a thank you for those that are signing up there and rally so well a little fun with it. So yeah, this is fun, man, I appreciate you. And, you know, I know you're on your own journey and I'm excited to collaborate more with you and your power of social audio brought our worlds together in a more in depth way. And I really appreciate you having me on.
Kevin Sturmer 1:15:29
Thank you for being here. Yeah. And the book coming out soon is called press the damn button. Again for show notes and links from today's show all the links that Brian just mentioned, head over to a moving tale.com if you enjoyed today's episode, head over to your favorite podcast platform and leave a review, subscribe, download, do all of the good things that you do. And finally, I want to say thank you for taking the time to listen to a moving tale. My name is Kevin and you are on the outermost ring.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai