#273 – The Military Mindset With Jason Skeesick

Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode today we have Jason Skeesick. Jason, welcome. Thomas thank you so much for having me man, I’m really excited to be here. It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do. Absolutely. So I’m Jason um I have a long and storied history that I’ll try and wind for you most recently. Um I have been a gym owner for 12 years, so I’ve been an entrepreneur for a little over 12 years. Um Prior to that I spent time working in finance, I got a degree in finance and worked in banking and prior to that I was a United States Army soldier, so I’ve kind of had a sampling of a lot of different styles of living uh and by far have enjoyed entrepreneurship the most um and in the most recent four years, we we we’ve had the gym for about 12 years.

I recently sold that uh to one of my partners um we opened a business that was a consulting company for other gym owners and and did that for the past about 4.5 years and have really just loved being on the phone with other entrepreneurs, which is why I love to do an entrepreneurial podcast, just like the one we’re on right now. I have never gotten off of a phone call with an entrepreneur without more energy than when I got on. So we’re hoping to keep that streak alive. I feel like a little bit of pressure put on me there, but no, no, not at all, no, not at all. I appreciate the introduction and there’s a lot to ask you about um have you got anything, Let’s say that’s a passion that you enjoy talking about. Absolutely, I mean for me, um I am an evangelist for the things that I love. So I call myself the entrepreneurial evangelist. But truthfully it’s it’s really anything that I love. So you know, last month I read the book Essential ISm, which I feel like I should have read 10 years ago and I’ve sold probably 20 copies of it to friends by just telling them how great it is.

And uh you know when I first got an Apple watch, I told them how great I always am. Someone who when I love something, I a want to share it with people, which b means that I end up typically being in business around it. And so to give you that example, when I was very young, um I fell in love with snowboarding. I worked at the snowboarding hill, I fell in love with cars. I worked at the shop, I liked nice things, a nice clothing. I worked at the mall and it never occurred to me until I was in my thirties that I had been doing this all my life. I just hadn’t been starting businesses. And so when I had gotten out of the military, I was interested in bicycles, I started a thing where I was buying fixing up and reselling bicycles. Uh same thing with computers. Um and then so when I got into fitness it only stood to reason that we would open a gym, we did that. Um and and it’s just been an unbelievable journey of building community and culture um for the last 12 years. Uh but what I found is the things that I’m interested in uh and the things that have made my life better, the attribute about me that makes me entrepreneurial is the desire to share that with others.

Does that make sense? Yes. Um it wouldn’t be of interest to you if you couldn’t be of benefit to others, Right? Yeah, exactly. Like I’m absolutely not interested in success for success sake, I’m not interested in uh maximizing profit for its own sake. I think I if I maximize value and interest and really can can paint the picture for why the thing that I’m espousing or evangelizing is valuable, I found that the profit is maximized from that bit of a selfish question for me because whenever I speak to anyone who’s got military experience, I always like to ask them about kind of what they learn around the topics of for example discipline, how they’ve used that in their lives afterwards. So is there anything that you could share their oh yeah. Uh and so that will bring me back to a core values discussion. And so I am someone who believes very strongly and I didn’t previously I was a gym owner for seven years before I really developed core values, but once I did I realized that there’s two core values of my five that described me for who I am, one of which I was born with.

I call that spirit of the puppy that’s friendly, outgoing, fun. I love to try new things. I love to meet new people. I love to help people out. The second is military mindset and I wasn’t born with military mindset. I acquired that in the army and that’s discipline, hard work. If there’s an opportunity to take responsibility, I step forward instead of backwards, show up on time, you never leave people behind. And those two things were ingrained in me from the military and so I mean we can go at length as far as the different stories or situations that that arose from. But I would definitely say I got, it was probably the best thing I ever did joining the army and I did not need four years in a day. I was out exactly when I should have got out, which was exactly at four years. Well yeah, if you’ve got any um, to say stories to share, um let’s say what you learn and how you learned it, That would be great. I do have one question because you said that you didn’t have that mindset going in, you acquired it.

It makes me think, do you think anyone could acquire that mindset or do you think there’s a specific type of person that benefits from that. I would say that there are certain attributes that can be acquired and there are certain attributes that are inborn. Uh and I think discipline is very rarely inborn. I think you probably get it from practice, right. There’s a lot of things that take practice things in physical culture, even like yoga or fitness or martial arts, these are disciplines that take practice. And if you fall away from it for long enough, I don’t care who you are, you will lose that discipline. Right? And so this is the first time I’ve thought of this actually thomas, that’s an excellent question because I don’t think that it’s easy to teach someone to be playful and uh and freewheeling or whatever, but it’s definitely something that you can acquire is I think essentially because discipline at its nature is pushing out what you want in favor of doing the right thing now and getting a bigger reward later.

And I think that’s really difficult for us to acquire without like a practice of doing it over time, if that makes sense. But to answer your question specifically, yes, I do think that if people are open to doing the motions of the discipline, practice for long enough that eventually it will break through and demonstrate for them, it’s reward, which is what the goal was, right. Uh certainly the more disciplined, I am, the bigger the rewards have been in my career in my life, personally and professionally. Um does that answer your question? Yeah, it is interesting. I hadn’t, for whatever reason, I hadn’t thought about it like that before. I kind of more thought about it as in it’s kind of changing who you are as a person in relation to discipline and that kind of military mindset. But your, your take on it is more about the fact that it’s, it’s the doing of the thing rather than what you think about it. Does that make sense to you? Yes, I’ll give you an example. I, I coached and own a crossfit gym for 12 years. Um, I still have a part of it, but I don’t run it day to day and I don’t live in the same state that it is, I miss those guys.

But um, and I thought for 12 years that I loved crossfit. And the truth is that I didn’t, I do jiu jitsu now and kick boxing and I love that too. And I of course have a love for crossfit and I would probably love hot yoga or cycling. I know that I did. Um, what I actually loved enough to get the discipline was the relationships in the community and, and the, the going through difficult things as a part of a tribe, right? I call that elective collective suffering, which is a term I borrow from coach Robyn Lalonde, but elective collective suffering. And so to me, it’s it’s not even about the medium or even the discipline as much as it is about showing up for that group of people that I have a responsibility to or that I hold myself accountable to. And so now that has shifted to where I don’t own and lead a gym or a community, but I am accountable and responsible to my training partners. And so I’ve just found that I would let myself down before, far before I would ever let somebody that’s relying on me down. Does that make sense?

And so I just found like I can be a shepherd of my own attention by finding structures that make me want to do the thing that is virtuous and that will ultimately lead to a good reward. That’s great. And do you still, how much of what you learned from the military do you still use now Every single day? I don’t roll my socks. I don’t wake up at 4:00 AM. I don’t do any of that stuff. Um, but, but there is to this thing where I mean it like there is just nothing, there’s just no way that I would not support somebody that I view as in my tribe. There’s just no, it’s just not an option. There. There is no, uh, there are certain things that are just non negotiable and that came from the military. I would also say that I was my original partners in the gym, we’re both from the army, we were friends from the military. Um, and uh, it made disagreements really easy because there’s a strict adherence to chain of command. And so there would be multiple times where we would disagree on something and it never, almost, almost zero times in, I think eight years we were partners at that particular method.

Um, almost zero times. Was there an emotional disagreement? It was almost always, I think, yes, I think no, I think, yes, it’s, yes, let’s move on. Uh, and, and there was a, definitely, the chain of command was, was huge. Also another thing that I, that I use every single day and actually I coached gym owners on now is in the military, they have to take any person who is physically and mentally within a very broad spectrum and they have to be able to make them perform a task reliably precisely the way it’s supposed to be done every single time, which means the training and the indoctrination and the routine is just world class. I mean, so I, I’m an electrical and telecommunications engineer by trade in the military and they made the training for that so thorough and so practiced and so, um, reduced to its elements essential elements that it was impossible for me to have messed up my job. And so a lot of times when I work with entrepreneurs now, you know, as soon as you start to scrutinize the systems they have in place, you realize that there there’s huge gaps that they’re expecting their, their staff to clear.

Um and so I’ve been able to help people a lot and I see those structures much better. I think because of my time in the military, it’s a great point and I have heard the phrase be harder on the systems and processes than you are on the person who’s doing that. And it makes me wonder about how the military is able to, I know implement those things like how they came about, um getting it to the point where you’re so good at your job because of the way you were trained or taught or however that looks. Have you got any thoughts there? I do? Uh so you have this situation in the military that’s unlike most in the world, especially post slavery and that is when you join the military, it’s increasing, it’s incredibly hard to get out voluntarily. I mean, you can, but there are, it’s difficult and ugly to get out of the military once you enlist. So you’re in the team with people who you didn’t choose to be there with and you cannot quit. So you have this choice that you don’t face in other jobs where you don’t get to just go home, you sleep next to that person, you don’t get to pick a different job, they assign it to you and they, and then you figure out ways to work together in this setting, it’s just totally different because I think in any, if you think of any task that needs to be done, there’s multiple varia variables think of them like dials that you can tweak so I can pay somebody more.

I can hire different people, they can quit. We can change the mission. There’s all sorts of things that there’s like there’s uh, there’s holes in the boat that can, that can leak. If that makes sense in the military, they shore all of those up. You cannot quit. You do not get to pick a different job. This mission will be accomplished on the time and date that we said it will be done. And so you get kind of put in the chute if so to speak to where you’re going to come out the other end. Sometimes it’s funny you’re making me think of this. But I told my wife as I’m building this program, I feel like I’m entering a tunnel through the bottom of a mountain and I just know I’m gonna come out the other side and there just isn’t an option of turning around. Does that make sense? And it feels that way in the military when you, if you get fully indoctrinated, I will tell you not all horses could be broken. I knew several people in the military that never got to that point and they struggled every day because of it. You know, I had a friend that would, you know, faintly dye his hair blue knowing very well that you just cannot do that in the military or grow it out of regulation.

It was just like, he could not help and I love this guy, but he just could not help. But I got to express myself in some way and uh, and I love that guy, but it just never quite took hold if that makes sense. Yeah, I was, I was thinking about how other people could apply it though because obviously when you’re, if it’s the army, they can do those things. They can say that you can’t leave. But if it’s, you know, in the, in the normal world, how would you apply that lesson in the way that you have with the mountain metaphor? It’s a great question. I just put out a real, it was actually an actual live coaching session where I was talking to somebody who has had multiple different ideas for what they want to do with their career since I’ve met them. And I was like, look, all of these ideas are good. I’m not disparaging any of these ideas, but I want you to enlist in the idea that you’re passionate about whatever that might be. And once you do, you sign up for some period of time and you just, you have to, it’s, it takes discipline. You have to do it for yourself because nobody is going to literally hold a gun to your head, right, But you can enlist in these ideas and I think when you do that mental shift, especially if there’s other stakeholders that are responsible, that you’re responsible for.

If you say, hey, we’re gonna go through this mountain, we’re going to take this path through this tunnel, this is the course we’re taking. If you can enlist in those ideas, I believe that you can adopt some of the feeling probably not all that you would have in the settings that I’m talking about. However, I would go on to say that the second part of my career where I was leading a tribe uh as a crossfit gym owner was kind of the opposite. I think crossfit and I’ve worked with gym owners extensively, I love my gym owner entrepreneurs. Um and the thing that almost all the good ones are experts at, which is unique is they’re experts at running a professional team who does not make a lot of money because a lot of times, particularly in the crossfit space, but also in like jujitsu and other kind of passion based fitness. A lot of times you’re, you’re working with a teacher, a police officer, a lawyer, somebody who just loves fitness and has decided to take a part time job and become this virtuous crossfit coach or whatever it may be. And so because of that, I would have 15 employees and only a few of them were full time and even they didn’t make tons of money, but the people that were part time, I might pay them 34 $500 a month and ask them to do like very disciplined things and so I learned that you’re gonna have to get them on board with the mission.

You’re gonna have to find people that are core value fits otherwise. There’s just no reason for them to do it because you can’t Lord benefits or, or cash incentive over their head as much. Um, and so what I’ve found is, you know, I treat people that work for me the same way I treat people in my personal life. I want them to want to be there. I want them to want to do the mission that we’re doing. I want them to want to help people. And so it’s made me a lot more thoughtful in the way that I approach things in the military, somebody can come up to you and say, I want a hole here. You dig that hole and then tomorrow they can come up and say, why is that hole here? I want it over there and you literally have to move the whole, you can’t do that in the professional world when you’re not paying people very much money. I would contend That since 2020, especially it is highlighted that people’s uh, incentives have shifted and that you probably can’t do that. Even if you’re paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars these days either. Yeah, well that is something I would like to discuss with you. But before we move on from your military experience, do you mind sharing why you went into the military in the first place?

Absolutely. So one of the things that I got very excited and interested in was initially pool. So I was a billiards player and I played in tournaments and I became obsessed with it as I do with many things that I’ve become interested in, especially at 17. Uh, and then that led to quite a bit of gambling and then that led to poker, which led to me thinking I was gonna be a professional gambler for the rest of my life, which I was not cut out to be. Uh, and so there was just a time where I could just tell that, um, I didn’t have a good path. I was not doing drugs. I wasn’t, you know, committing crimes, but I was just kind of in a cycle of languishing. And my mom was like, you know, have you thought about the military and you know, she was right. It was the, it was the reason that you go into the military is to get disciplined and, and so I did. And it did. So I highly recommend if, if you’re not, if you don’t have a north star that’s really driving you, that’s healthy and positive and can lead to the growth that you want to experience something like the military or the peace corps or teach for America, those types of things are wonderful options.

I think. So I did what it’s supposed to do. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. And I didn’t have to do anything really nasty to do it. So I’m also pleased with that. So what happens when you use your first day back home? I mean, what are your thoughts? What, what’s your, what’s your experience there? You’re very insightful thomas? Uh, my first day back, I moved back to Chicago and, and three things come to mind number one, I’ve spent the last four years in my opinion, living a very virtuous life. I exercised, I ate healthy for the most part, I didn’t have any romantic relationships. I only developed myself, I read a lot. I listen to audiobooks and I developed personal relationships with friends and I worked hard. And the thing that I was proud of and so what I found was I was in a big city with a little bit of money in my pocket and all I can do is look, I remember it vividly looking for eye contact everywhere I went because I had nothing to hide from the world. Does that make sense? And I just, sorry, I didn’t give you time to answer.

But I remember just walking down the streets of Chicago the crowded streets and I’m, hey, how you doing? Like I’m just looking for eye contact and, and, and it’s may made me realize in periods of my life when things haven’t been going as well for me personally, when I’m not feeling that way. And so initially understanding that um, has given me this kind of like scale of like how do I feel about myself? Because when I do feel great about myself, I am the type of person that’s like, hey, do you want to be friends? We can go get some coffee like that is kind of in me. The second thing was I moved to Chicago, I had just, um, you know, engineering was a small part of what I did, but it was part of what I did, which means I learned how to solve problems by breaking things down into their constituent parts. And I remember vividly standing on broadway and Oakdale in Chicago, which is right where I lived and I worked at the bar there and I looked down the street and this street is like full of bars and uh, and bodegas and businesses and all sorts of nightclubs, interesting businesses. And I looked down, I saw these front doors and I was like behind every one of those doors, somebody owns a business that makes enough money to have rent in Chicago.

There’s no way that all of those doors has somebody behind it that’s smarter and more capable than I am. That was the moment that I knew that I could be an entrepreneur, I didn’t know how exactly, but I knew I could, does that make sense? I gave you time that time. Um, and the third thing escapes me. I’m trying to think of what it might have been. Um, no, I, I think that’s it. I think those two are the only two that are top of mind. So you saw it as you’re capable of doing it, It’s a possibility for you. Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people that hold, I think all people hold some limiting beliefs and I think that even if I hadn’t put them into words or made them real, uh, there was a moment where I didn’t think of myself as very fit and somebody said something to me when I was working out at one point and that moment was the moment that seated me becoming a physical culture fitness person and then eventually an entrepreneur in that way. Um, and in the same way, uh, this moment is the moment where I realized that it was in fact possible.

I had, there was nothing that any people behind those doors had that I didn’t have at the time, I didn’t have a college degree, but I just knew the problems that I had recently solved. I mean to give you an idea, we were on a team that was doing fiber optic installation on a Air Force base in Tikrit Iraq and what that means is we had heavy equipment and drill bits and tools and all these things that we had to use, but we had like one of each and if one breaks, you’re in a war zone, there may not be another one for weeks, but that whole needs to get made right now in that cement. And so there were times that we had to go to great lengths to overcome problems that may be in America would not have been a big problem. I just run to home depot, we’ll finish it up in an hour, but that was not an option. And so instead of a drill bit, there were literally times where we’re holding a jackhammer at 90 degrees, that’s £100 and getting a hole in a wall or we’re using a chisel or you know the backhoe breaks and we’re using pickaxes to dig the trench. And so it was one of those things where if I can do that, which anybody could, by the way, I could introduce you to people of all different types that were right there with me in these holes.

Um then I knew that I could do these things like, you know on a papyrus location that sells, you know paper or something. Um Yeah, well it brings us nicely to that part of your story. So you’re, you are a, I would say a successful business owner or you said that you exited, but you had been a successful business owner for a significant period of time. How what are the first few days look like when you open your new business? It’s a great question because we actually didn’t think of it like we were opening a business, I was going to school at DePaul for finance and my goal was to take over the world as a captain of industry. Uh This simply was all I was focused on. We went to go join a crossfit gym. I’ve actually never been a member of anybody’s crossfit gym, but my own uh and the prices even in 2010 were like 200 I think there were 2 15 a month and we were like, no way, we’re not going to do that. So we just found a place that was $1000 a month.

And we invited, you know, we found like 20 people that would agree to be a part of it. And we bootstrapped it. We we used our, we had a living stipend from the military while we were going to college, which is part of our G. I. Bill, which had just been changed to include that. Uh And we used that to finance a very, very meager. I mean we were using, we would take old basketballs and put a hole in them and put sand in there. And now we have a medicine ball. I mean maybe it’s still, maybe it’s still sand in your eye, but here you have a medicine ball. Uh and we had, I think two barbells the beginning jim the first gym, we had, uh, we negotiated a 7000 square foot space for $1000 on, but it was on the fourth floor of a mostly empty warehouse building. It was a terrible location to put a gym. And we split the place 50 50 with, we built a rock wall on one side because we were rock climbers and we built a crossfit gym on the other side. Um, and we, we just made it happen because we wanted to do it. And there was nobody that was saying we couldn’t, so we did, and people glommed on to that and I think very early on, it just didn’t feel to us like we were running a business as much as it felt like we were starting a community.

So basically you didn’t want to pay a gym membership, so you created your own business. Yes, that’s exactly right. It’s a great reason. I actually think it’s um, it’s one of the better reasons to do it because it’s a problem. Right? I see a problem. I’m going to go find a solution for it. I love that. And there’s one thing which I don’t know whether this is a relevant question, but I don’t often talk to people about lockdown and what they went through with Covid, but because you’re a gym owner, I would say it’s particularly challenging for you. So what’s that? What was that experience like for you? Well, to paint the picture, we found our greatest success from about late 2016 through 2019. So we had really transformed the business. We had grown many factors in that time. That was when we translate in 2016 was when we committed, I committed to buying out my other partners um and creating a business like a capital B business out of it. And we did um so we’re very fortunate that I always tell people our our ship was very close to shore when it sunk so we could swim to shore.

Uh we were very good. So some people that were further behind us had a lot more struggle. That being said when we locked down. I was also um coaching entrepreneurs as well at the time, other gym owners. And so we were using our gym and and my partners jim as the test for how we would help folks navigate this. We were so thankful that we had really always developed a community to give you an idea at our gym. It wasn’t a place where it still isn’t, it’s open now, it’s not a place where you go in and put in headphones, it’s a place where you work out in a group where everybody knows each other. Uh and if you don’t, if you’re new, you know, the coaches introducing you to people. And so community was a big element to give you an idea. We did over 50 social events uh in 2019, so we’re doing more than one social event approximately uh per week. Um And that’s everything from tie dyeing shirts to going on R. V. Trips to, we took the team to hawaii one year, we’re doing all sorts of stuff and so when lockdown happened um the fitness element was grossly interrupted.

Uh What we did for that aspect was we lent out all of our gear, we let people come in in a safe space, sign out a rower, a set of dumbbells, kettlebell. We had enough to go around where we, you know spread that out as much as we can to our community and then we would put on a free zoom workout led by the coaches that they had already known and loved um every single day but that’s not the thing that people really were connected with, it was the community part and so people, a lot of our clients were in the city. A lot of our clients are in their twenties, maybe they live here far away from where they grew up and they don’t have a lot of friends outside of the gym. And so the thing that we really did was just tons of social stuff through the means that we could, so we had daily coffee chats with myself and my wife Donna, we had coffee chats with the owner, we were doing things like trivia nights constantly. We were doing things like live live tv table reads where we would like take a script of a parks and rec episode or a Seinfeld episode and then everybody would play that character, It was just a riot, It was so much fun.

Um, and I think there are some folks out there, uh not all of them took advantage, but there’s some folks out there that would tell you that that was a huge aid for their mental health. I mean, we had one girl who turned her entire apartment into like a pillow and blanket for it for nine months or something. And every single day she was at a coffee chat shoutout to Caitlin. Um, and I think, I think that what we did and what I help people to do now is we identified what the real ember inside of our community was and that was the relationships in the community, It wasn’t just moving weight and sweating. And so we, we really leaned it on that and we tried to provide that for our clients and our community as much as we could during Covid. It’s a great example and it’s, you know, if you, if you look at it as like a scale of what you could do versus someone who’s looked at it and thought looks like we’re done then. I mean, it’s a long way away from that, isn’t it? It is, and I think, um, I think the thing is that’s interesting is crossfit just like probably crypto or podcasting.

It’s one of these industries where there’s a low barrier to entry relative to other similar things. Um and so if you look at its lifecycle crossfit as a lifecycle or any of these things, we could probably do the same thing. Um there were tons of people that probably should have been shutting down in like 2018 2019 and actually in covid they had access to very loose government funding to help keep them afloat. And so what I’ve actually seen is that uh there’s probably some people that have been on, some businesses that have been on chemotherapy that have extended their, their life, that probably would have been better served for them, their clients and kind of the community at large if they had gone out of business previous to that. And so the, the funny thing is, is that with, with these types of business that our passion focused owners can’t imagine them not existing. And so then the government gave them the ability to take out in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars to kind of keep them afloat. And so companies that were previously not buoyant enough to survive, had a breath of fresh air.

And so I think you’re seeing those chickens come home to roost now, I know several gyms um that I’m close with that are really struggling right now is that starting to come home to roost? Yeah, 100% agree. Um and is it correct that you sold that business or is you still part owner? I am a part owner, I probably always will be, I am very connected with that community, but I do live in a different state. I’m not currently energizing all of my time towards, you know, the fitness business. Uh and so I sold to to the person who was our current GM at the time and had really been a huge part of our ascension and growth. Uh His name’s Andrew, he’s he’s running the business now, but I do have a small part as do both of the other original owners still can have a small part as well, more sentimental than anything and what’s that like going through that process difficult. Um It’s like I’ve described it before, it’s like if you raised somebody until they were 12 or 13 and then gave it to somebody else to raise to adulthood um so it can be a challenge. Um It took me, I took the advice of some mentors and I um extracted myself more than I maybe would have uh for a while to allow the community and the culture to adapt to a new leader and a new person and Andrew’s super capable.

He was already very involved in the community more so even than me at the time and so he’s done a really great job. Um but by definition, you know, unless they’re doing everything that you would do, it feels a little bit, you know, you feel a little bit angsty. Um fortunately I’ve seen him succeed in his way and so fortunately I can act more as an advisor for him. It was, I would say it was a, it was a fast forward button on my maturity as an entrepreneur because I had to learn how to not get my way, but still get a favorable result through his way. He’s carrying the lantern now, he’s guiding the way and my job is to supply him and make sure that he has the resources and the insight that he needs to get where he wants to go and you are now I would say big into podcasting, is that fair? That’s fair. I, so I, I sold the gym uh in 2020 and I sold to my partner our consulting business that was for brick and mortar gym owners in november of 2021 so I did a year of service is what I’ve called it, I did a year of no clients, no staff, no no partners, nothing where I just pursued those things that I had been super interested in and not had the time to do.

Um and so here’s what that looks like every single day I spend the morning with my wife and my daughter lucy almost five, almost every single day, Typically five days a week. I do kickboxing and jiu jitsu, which is wonderful and I’m passionate about and almost every single day I’m on the phone with entrepreneurs in the format of either a podcast or just spending time helping them having them help me in some ways. Um and just really trying to find where I could provide the most value and develop relationships. I I call it making business babies. I love connecting entrepreneurs, third party entrepreneurs together and seeing what can come out of that and have been the beneficiary of it as well. Um and yeah, I grew up podcasting, I was born to podcast when I was young, my mother and my bus driver, ironically would always listen to talk radio. So I got, I fell in love with talk radio when I was like eight years old. Uh and so I would go to sleep listening to a show that we have called Love Line that was you know from the nineties and at late at night there was this weird show about aliens and all sorts of weird conspiracy stuff called Art Bell.

Um and I would listen to that overnight in bed and still to this. Today. I listen, I have headphones on with podcasting going while I’m asleep, I listened to awake, I listened to probably 20 hours of podcasts per week and audio books and things like that. So um when podcasting came around when I was made aware of it and probably 2008 or 2009, I was immediately hooked on that. Um and I always knew that I wanted to have a podcast. I just never, you know, could divert my attention from the things that I was currently really focused on. Um and I can tell you right now it is not the most efficient business tool, but I will probably do it forever because I just love talking to entrepreneurs. Um and just people with interesting stories. Well, if you say you’re going to do it forever, then that probably means that the experience of doing it is enjoyable to you. Is there any kind of your thoughts about podcasting versus the reality that you would add there? If you haven’t had a background, like I’m talking about, you probably shouldn’t do it. Um If if you don’t love looking at paintings, you shouldn’t become an artist.

If you don’t love listening to the spoken word in one form or another, you probably will not enjoy podcasting. Um and also huge advice would be have somebody do the editing for you unless you also happen to be passionate about the editing. That has been a huge benefit for me, shout out to scaling with media. Those guys have done an awesome job scaling are helping to edit our podcast. Um Beyond that. Um I think you probably, I just talked to somebody yesterday with the podcast idea who’s doing doing very well and he’s an amazing person, um you probably should decide very early if you plan on monetizing it or if it’s a passion project because those two paths will be very different. Um and they probably will have different first steps and so putting a little bit of thought into it before you actually launch is a really good idea and you look at it more like a business or more like a passion project. For me, the podcasting is a passion project guesting. If, if I wanted to do, if I wanted to maximize the impact of my business, I would just be a podcast guest because I get the benefit of having these types of conversations, which I’m enjoying greatly by the way, thomas.

Uh and I also get the benefit of the scale of it, it’ll go out to your audience today, you’re gonna edit it, you’re gonna market it, you’re going to do the things that you do to promote your podcast and I can just go to the coffee shop. Uh and so to anybody that’s thinking about using podcasting to leverage getting more clients or selling a book or becoming some sort of notoriety, notorious person or notoriety, uh I would say be a podcast guest if you want to have a podcast, have a podcast because you love the art form and you’re fueled by curiosity and driven to find new relationships or solve problems that maybe you’ve had uh that’s why I wouldn’t have a podcast. Well I was gonna say I love the branding and the music and you know, your, your tattoos on there, I think it all looks very cool, so well done there. Thank you man. You’ve mentioned Jiu Jitsu a couple of times. Any, you’re quite experienced in it in my perception. Any thoughts for anyone who would like to take it up as a beginner. Well, um, I will say I’m still a white belt.

I’ve been doing it for about three years and I have competed once. Um, so just to put that out there cause I’m sure somebody listen to this is black belt and has been doing it for 20 years. But what I will say is I had a lifelong physical culture leading into it. So my appreciation for it is very rich. I’m just not very good. Um, that being said, I think that jiu jitsu is probably one of like the best, what I would call like a nexus hobby or activity, something that not only gets you fitter but also is like a perfect metaphor for life. It makes you smarter. It’s basically chess with human bodies. Uh, and so uh you know, the more I’ve learned and kind of kind of could see this coming in a really good evangelist for this is lex Friedman, by the way, he does a really good job of kind of explaining that, um, I think jujitsu is fantastic. One thing that I love most about it for people who maybe are not violent seekers, which I kind of am a violent seeker to be honest with you, uh not in an angry way, I just, I’m not, I don’t shy away from physicality, but if you’re not, um it separates fear and anger from violence or from physical altercation there, when you drill with with somebody physically, the way that you do in um in jiu Jitsu in particular, but also any combat sport that has a sport element to it, um it separates the fear and anger from altercation.

And so, you know when you’re walking down the street, there’s always this like red button, especially for men, especially for young men, there’s always this like red button that you can push where it’s like, now we’re in a fight, It’s like if you walk up to, if you’re 25 years old and you walk into a bar and there’s another 20 year old man sitting there 22 I guess, and you say that’s my chair, this is like two steps away from pushing that button and we’re in a fight. And so there’s always this, like what could happen? And I remember feeling that even in the military where I was trained, we’re walking around, it’s like what could happen if that guy does this or what could happen if something goes wrong here, what could happen if you know this guy says something to my girlfriend or whatever it might be, there’s all these anxiety comes from the unknown, but when you spar five days a week for three hours, there’s no uncertainty I may win. I may lose, but I’m not unaware what it feels like to get punched in the face or to be choked or to have somebody grab my arm or my hands or my legs. Um and so because of that, I’m fluent in a language that you’re mystified by, and so there’s a confidence that comes with that. And then I would say cerebrally in this way.

Um there’s so many things that you can, you find wisdom in it where it’s like in the beginning, I mean, I’m a crossfit guy, I’m a power lifter, a strongman, I go in and I’m a hammer and everything. I see as a nail and I’m losing constantly to people that I have £100 on. And then now and I’m still a white belt, I’m softer and graceful and, and I do very only the essential thing and I’m winning often. And that’s just to me that’s just such a good metaphor for the way things go in life. And I’m sure I could come up with with 10 other things or somebody more eloquent than me could do even more. But there’s just so much um, the X. And also there’s there’s so much love in jiu jitsu. Um the nature of it as opposed to a striking sport, the nature of jiu jitsu is every match almost, especially at a lower belt, almost every match ends with me not killing you are breaking your arm. You see what I mean? Like and there’s a love there more than just competing in basketball or crossfit or weightlifting. I’m you’re trusting me not to kill you when I get my arms around your neck and I’m gracefully letting go and then I’m tapping you on the shoulder and we’re brothers.

Like that relationship is really hard to recreate without the physicality in those terms. A great point. And I would say that there’s been lots of great points in this conversation, so well done you. Is there anything I should have asked you about today? Um, No, I think this has been a terrific interview. Um, I haven’t talked much about what I do currently, but that’s okay. I think everything that has happened in my past is has led me to what I’m doing now. So if you’ve been listening, you may already know. But I work with people who want to have businesses that um, are a reflection of the things that they care about and are a way to impact the world with things that they’re passionate about and to scale their mission. Um, and those are the people that I can help. And so if you’re one of those people, I can help you and I’d love to talk about it. Well, I do want to ask you my, my normal question that I ask people. But because of that answer for those people who are interested in in perhaps hiring you’re connecting with you on that topic, where should they go?

Uh yeah, you can just find me at spearing clover on instagram. Jason, Skeesick on instagram or spearandclover.com is fine. Well I asked everyone one question when they come on, um that’s the same rather and it is what does success mean to you? Success means the shortest answer is never having to do anything for money and it means doing as much as you can, as many things in your day as you can that give you energy instead of taking it away. It means having relationships that you cherish and are reciprocated. Um, I think for me, success means having a business that impacts the world in a way that my clients are thankful for the value that they’ve gotten and I’m thankful for the wealth and opportunity that I’ve gotten in exchange. And based on that criteria, Jason would you say that you’re a successful person? I retired in 2018 Thomas. I’ll take that as a yes. Yeah. I live at the beach.

I spend my days at the beach when it’s nice out. I run through the dunes. I live in a national park. I do jiu jitsu with with my tribe of brothers and sisters, a few of them and I get to help entrepreneurs to make their impact and visions come to life. I couldn’t possibly write a better book than that. Have you got any closing thoughts for us today? Only that I appreciate your time and if any of this resonated with you, check out our stuff. I don’t need you to be a client. Just listen to our podcast, check out our instagram. I’m trying to put up as many reels as I can. Um if there are elements of what I discussed today that resonate with you, shoot me a message doesn’t mean we have to work together. Um, it’s nice when you yell out into the void to hear a response once in a while. Jason, thank you very much for being a great guest today. Thank you sir. I appreciate you having me on.