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Ep. 281: MOJ: 5 Year Anniversary Episode: Expected and Unexpected Changes with Debbie and Aaron

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In this episode, we are celebrating our 5th year anniversary with Debbie and Aaron.

From Debbie’s panic attacks to her journey to location independence, they talk about all the changes that has happened in the past 5 years and the lessons they’ve learned.


Listen below:

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Transcription:

Debbie:

Hey, everyone! Welcome to this very special episode. It is our five year anniversary episode and I am here with my husband, Aaron, to celebrate it, to kind of reminisce about the last five years. 

Some of the expected and unexpected changes that we have gone through and our business and a podcast has gone through and it’s kind of surreal where we are and how we started. 

Hey, hubby. How are you doing today? 

Aaron:

I’m doing good. Don’t call me hubby.

Debbie:

He hates that. I don’t call you hubby at all, do I?

Aaron:

Yeah, it’s funny, I don’t think you’ve ever called me that before, this is the first time.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And the last.

Debbie:

Okay, so let’s nix the hubby.

Aaron:

You can call me your husband, that’s perfectly fine, but not hubby.

Debbie:

He’s like, “No, no cutesy stuff.”.

But it’s kind of strange talking about this and we’re at our five-year mark, did you think that we would get to this point like where we are and how everything has changed?

Aaron:

It’s getting kind of desperate sometimes. To be honest, you know, like definitely ups and downs, like any entrepreneurial endeavor or any big goal that you have, there are moments where we question sanity and stuff too with things like, “What am I doing? Why do I keep going?”. 

Debbie:

Yeah, it’s true.

But let’s go back to when I started the podcast in 2017 and we were just thinking about this because I’ve told this story before, but not really from your perspective, because I initially had the idea because you mentioned podcasts and I’ve never really listened to podcasts before until you told me about it.

I mean you were listening to it for a while, but you mentioned to me about starting one. Why did you think that it would be a good idea to do that? 

Aaron:

You know, it’s just a good way to reach people and it was also like a lot of the podcasts I was listening to were entrepreneurial type ones so you know, it seems like something that, it was interesting to me and you know, I’m pretty auditory. So, like you know, I like to listen to stuff a lot of times, sometimes more than watching things so, I just loved the type of media format and thought that you know, it’s something good to get into, to be, you know promote your brand or like build a business.

Debbie:

Yeah, but even then though, I don’t even think it was to build a brand or business because I didn’t start it to build a brand or business. Because at that time, I was having anxiety attacks and I was so unhappy with where I was that I was literally having panic attacks every four months and the last time it happened was a few days before my birthday. I think it was 2016, was like that huge panic attack that I had and it was pretty bad. Like, I was crying. 

It was just like what on earth am I doing with myself? What am I doing with my life? Why am I not happy? Because, you know, my old job and you had that same job too, we were pretty lucky in a lot of ways. 

Aaron:

We were making decent money. It wasn’t you know, it was paying the bills and then some and helping us get to some other goals. But, you know, you were just so unhappy with it. And I remember vividly at the time, at least I remember what the feeling was like, is that a lot of times you would come to me with problems and I would just fix everything. And this was one where I just felt like I can’t fix it and I just, I’ve had similar instances where I try to help people and sometimes you just, there’s nothing you can do. The person just has to figure it out for themselves, and I just had to step back and let you just do what you needed to do. 

Debbie:

Yeah and it was, it wasn’t anything that was horrific, there wasn’t anything horrible that happened. It was just that feeling of like, I’m so confused, having that it was kind of like I guess what people would say like is, like a midlife crisis, but it was pretty young for me to have a midlife crisis, like a, some sort of a crisis. I was having some sort of a crisis. 

Aaron:

Well, you needed some sort of a change.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And that’s kind of what we’re talking about today too.

Debbie:

Yeah, absolutely. And I just didn’t know what to do and I felt like such a failure because I started so many different things, I started so many businesses, some of them you started with me and it failed and it just wasn’t right. 

And then, I just felt like such a complete failure. Like, we would work so hard on something and it just wouldn’t work out or the way we started it was just not the right kind of mind frame or mindset because it was either, it was just something that I was super passionate about and didn’t think about money or it was just about the money and didn’t have any passionate in it.

So, for both of those to like, well not both, cause there were multiple times, it just fizzled out because one I was super passionate but there just wasn’t any money coming in so you can’t live off of that or two, there was money coming in, but we weren’t passionate about it and again, like we just fizzled out with that stuff. 

So, I guess the crisis and the panic attacks were stemming from that as well, but also, like I wasn’t doing anything that I was passionate about, because I’m a creative person and what we were doing was not necessarily where I thought I should be in my life. I thought I should do something better or not better, I can’t say better, different. 

Aaron:

Well, it was better for you though.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

Yeah, so it was just really tough to be in that position. 

So, and I know you were also going through that leg years later. So, it’s kind of crazy how there’s so many things that happened in your life, sometimes, like things happened to you, sometimes, there’s no reason you just feel it in your bones like in yourself that you need to have a change. 

Aaron:

Yeah, yeah and I mean, one of the things that, you know, you were, I noticed with you a lot, cause I know with me, like I just stick with things until I get it,

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And like that was one of things I noticed like you would start to get good at something and then all of a sudden you just up and quit it.

And I was like what, you know, like I would ask you or like you know like, “Why you quitting? How are we supposed to get good at this if you’re, you know, quitting?”, and what really surprised me is when you went to this project, like you know, I wasn’t like putting a timeline on it, being pessimistic, but I was like, well, you kind of have a pattern with things and I think part of it was just not finding something that you were really that passionate about. 

I don’t think it was only about, like, you have a pattern. I think it was partly like you had to find something that really spoke to you and you connected well with and you know, like six months in and I was like, “well she’s stuck to it, she’s not missing any days, she’s still doing what she needs to do.”, and a year later I was like, “Well there you go. She’s, this is definitely something that’s going to be long lasting for you. 

Debbie:

Yeah, it is, like I usually have shiny object syndrome and I can’t stick to one thing because I want things to be faster than they are and I think, well not think, I know that starting The Offbeat Life, starting the podcast, starting the business was a lot different because I already failed so many times, that I didn’t want to quit again and I didn’t want to get back to that feeling of uncertainty, of feeling like a quitter and I really needed to stick to it. 

And I think that was one of the biggest things that really helped me go through with this, because I knew what failure felt like, I knew what not being good at something felt like. So, it allowed me to keep going even when things were really tough and I don’t think that’s talked enough about, is when wanting to quit when things get really hard, but if you’ve gone through the process before, you know what to expect, so you know that you’re going to have those feelings, you know, you’re going to have feelings of inferiority with maybe your peers or, 

Aaron:

Impostor syndrome

Debbie:

Impostor syndrome,

Aaron:

Like, what am I doing here? I’m not supposed to be this person. This is supposed to be somebody else.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Or, you know, and I think that comes from standing of the feeling of not being good enough, you know,

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And, we figured out lessons when it comes to that stuff, like when you feel like you’re not good enough, you just, if you just keep going the stuff, it’s just an emotion is going to pass.

Debbie:

Yeah, and also most of the time it happens when you’re just starting out, but also, it happens even now that I’ve been doing this for five years and things happen, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, can I live up to this? Can I work with these brands?”, Like, “What if I don’t do well?”, and it doesn’t ever go away, you just get better. Making sure that you are doing what you’re supposed to and also making sure that you’re not feeling that way and you’re not letting it impact.

Aaron:

Affect you, yeah.

Debbie:

Yeah, your work, your feelings, your mental state, because it does, it happens all the time, I think. And once I stopped putting pressure on myself and just started focusing on the work, that’s when it really started to help.

Aaron:

Yeah, I mean, I concur with that. Is that on, you know, I noticed like when I have it, whatever project I’m supposed to do, as soon as I start it, a lot of the stuff just goes away and part of that is, you know, training my habits, and you trained your habits, that whenever we start something, we just make sure to finish it. 

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And, so, I know for me, sometimes, that’s why I procrastinate cause I realize like, “men, this is a lot of work”, and I go, and I know that once I start, I have to finish it. 

So, sometimes procrastination comes from the fact that, you know, you’re going to finish it and it’s a lot of work. But in those situations I would just suggest, you know, just start it, even if it’s just a little bit, you’ll start to get the project underway to finish it.

Debbie:

And also it is good just for yourself to know that you finish something. And that’s something that I had to learn because you mentioned, Aaron mentioned that I did quit when things were boring, especially when I get bored, I tend to quit a lot when I get bored. 

Aaron:

That happens to creative people.

Debbie:

Yeah, so, cause I’m like, “This has to be exciting all the time. I have to be super excited all the time. If it’s boring, what’s the point of it?”.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie: 

And then what I found out was that and you mentioned this before we started recording, was that we should talk about this, is that when you start getting bored, it means that you’re actually getting better and the reason why it’s not, maybe as exciting, or you feel like, “oh, it’s not as hard anymore”, is that you’re getting better at it and now it’s not as hard as it was and it’s actually a signal to keep going rather than stop because you are in the right direction. 

But the great thing about life and business is that you’re always going to find something that’s going to challenge you. So, you won’t be bored

Aaron:

for too long.

Debbie:

for too long.

Aaron:

But I mean, I think for sure that, I mean, if we would have learned this lesson from the beginning, we probably would have had other businesses be successful, but it’s okay.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

But when you’re getting bored, it just means you’re starting to win. 

Debbie:

Yeah. But I also feel that the business that we have now is, at least for me, is really right for me. I love it. It’s not great everyday, but it really feels like it cause, I’m doing what I love every day. It’s not always perfect, but comparing it to what we were doing.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

To what we were doing before. It’s a whole new, like, way from, it’s just so different and it doesn’t, it did not feel like this, it doesn’t feel like it’s a chore. It feels right.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

And the other things that we started before just felt like a chore and it just didn’t feel right for me.

Aaron:

It feels like that for me sometimes, but it’s, not for very long, cause once I get working, it’s fine. 

But I do remember some of the other businesses we were doing, where like, I was like, “oh God, I got to do this thing and I had to write up all this stuff”, and it’s just not, not even that it wasn’t fun, but it’s just, it’s not supposed to be, I know it sounds like weird and some people fight you on it and they’ll tell you it’s supposed to be a grind, but it’s not supposed to feel like work all the time. 

You’re supposed to kind of like, get lost in the task and the time just kind of ticks by and you don’t even realize it. 

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

You know, that’s how you know that, like you’re making progress.

Debbie:

I feel like that’s what happens with what we do everyday we do work, but then most of the time, it doesn’t even feel like we’re working because,

Aaron:

Yeah, I mean, I worked a lot of tougher jobs than what we do now.

Debbie:

Yeah, so it’s just, I don’t know, in a lot of ways, I feel really lucky but, then if you think about this was not luck at all because we worked so hard to get to this point, that now it just feels easy because,

Aaron:

Everything else was so tough.

Debbie:

Oh my gosh, everything else was so tough but then if you remembered, when I first started this, I was working a full-time job and on this full-time and not took her a huge toll on our relationship because I was doing so many things and then like, I just wasn’t doing much, you know, in terms of like our personal life or even in our household, like it took over my entire life. 

So there’s so many things that you have to sacrifice to get to where you are and you have to realize that because there’s a lot of things and Aaron and I broke up for a whole year because of the toll it was taking in our relationship, like, it just was not a good environment and we had to really learn how to navigate through that because of the changes that were happening because the business was going forward, obviously in the beginning, the first few years it was still unstable. 

So, there were a lot of things that were happening and then on top of that we had to make sure our relationship was also a priority on top of the business.

Aaron:

Yeah, yeah, definitely and you know, I remember certain things, like I just remember being in front of the computer and like, I don’t know why I’m doing this, this is not what I’m thinking, my life is supposed to be. And now, I just sit in front of the computer all day. 

It wasn’t that you finally broke me, it’s that I finally realized that this is way easier than what I was doing and once we started to actually make money and make progress and I felt like I was doing something that wasn’t like a hobby that actually produced results, I was like, “oh, this is not so bad.”, you know.

Debbie:

Yeah and that was one of the things that I really had to remind myself every time it’s like, it’s only a hobby until you make money and it’s great for a lot of people to be like, “I love”, you know, and “I’m super passionate about the stuff”, but then at the end of the day, you also have to pay for, you also have to pay for your life, you have to pay the bills. You can’t just do something because you’re passionate about it. And I think once you have a really good balance between a passion and something that makes money and you can make into your business, then that is a really good medium. 

But, I also have to say that one of the things that I really learned that was super important is that if you find something that doesn’t seem sexy, but you can do it and it’s something that you can do all the time. I think it’s one of the best ways to actually have a business because I would rather do something that’s unsexy and make money and then live a really sexy, like other lifestyle, you know, like,

Aaron:

Like our hobbies, and the rest of those sexy stuff that you can do, you can be wherever you want in the world, you can spend time with whoever you want, you can do things, whatever you want, like, you know, the other day we went, yesterday, actually we were just didn’t kill half the day, but we were, you know, we were like different places that normally we wouldn’t have been. 

I would have been at work or you would have been at work, doing something else and not just, you know, having fun, you know what I mean? Like.

Debbie:

Yeah and you know, because we also can work remotely. We are able to take our work with us anywhere. I mean, the last month alone, we went on a camping trip and there was internet there and we were working in our campsite and it just felt so good and it felt so right that we’re able to still live our life. There’s certain things that we do in our business that are not sexy at all and it’s boring and it’s, it’s really mundane and, you know, but,

Aaron:

Maybe we should like elaborate on what the sexy is cause,

Debbie:

Yeah, so sexy is what you see people do online. Maybe it’s like, “oh, I’m an influencer”,

Aaron:

It’s what people are attracted to, most people are attracted to,

Debbie:

Yeah, it’s what people are attracted to, like, “Oh, I’m a travel this and that”, like, either they do travel blogging, they do, they’re influencers, they do fashion, like, those are really attractive and of course, if you’re doing that, that’s really great. But, I’m saying to those people that are fine with doing something unsexy, right? If you’re writing for a drug company or if you’re writing about things that are not super sexy that like, I don’t know,

Aaron:

Construction or something,

Debbie:

Construction. 

Aaron:

If you own a construction business.

Debbie:

Yeah,

Aaron:

It’s probably not that sexy but you know,

Debbie:

I mean, to some people maybe it is, but.

Aaron:

You know, but some of these businesses are really boring, like stock traders make a lot of money and, you know, some people are like, “Oh I made this trade”, and it made more money than whatever and it’s like, “okay, that’s that’s great but that misses the point.”, like even though you might have done like, a great trade and that’s cool. It’s not exactly,

Debbie:

Most people, yeah,

Aaron:

Like the process that goes into it is probably just boring as anything, looking at charts, watching the market all day. It’s not sexy in that sense. It’s sexy when they leave in their Ferrari or something, but it’s not sexy when they’re,

Debbie:

So, yes, good, that was good, you reminded us to clarify that, so that’s what we mean in terms of having a sexy career versus a sexy lifestyle, because somebody who is a stock trader or somebody who writes about construction can leave that behind or even take it with them anywhere, but then meanwhile, they’re traveling the world while they do it. So, for me, personally, I would rather have a sexy lifestyle than a sexy business or work or job. So I feel like, honestly, what we do with our business is kind of like a combination of both, cause there’s some sort of sexiness to it, but also some really unsexy things.

So, but I think that’s really good to know to keep in mind that you know, even if you don’t have a job that’s sexy you can have a lifestyle that’s super sexy. 

Aaron:

Do you? Like, I don’t know, one of these late-night talk shows

Debbie:

talk shows, like what was that? Dr Ruth?

Aaron:

Well, she had more of an accent than that.

Debbie:

I know, but she was awesome. I love Dr Ruth.

But yeah, so, just keep that in mind, when you’re still trying to figure it out, like, you don’t need to look at people on social media and be like, “Oh I have to be like them to have this lifestyle”, no, you just need to find a job that allows you to have flexibility. You need to have a business that allows you flexibility that you know you can do everyday and feel like you are still able to do what you want with your life. 

And that’s going to allow you to not only live a sexy lifestyle, but also pay for it and not worry about things. And that’s really what I learned throughout this whole process and that allowed me to balance everything because not everything that you do has to be super exciting, you know, like there’s just so many days in your life that’s just going to be boring and it’s not going to be Instagram worthy, but at the end of the day, are you happy? You know, are you happy with what you’re doing? And that’s really the thing that I learned, one of the things that I learned the most about going into this business, having a freedom lifestyle, but I also want to talk to you, Aaron, about the big change, which is leaving your nine-to-five and now doing this with me full-time;

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

Because, we, okay, you all don’t know how long Aaron and I have talked about this moment when he can finally leave his day job and he can start working remotely and we can have more location independence. Like, did you think it was going to be like this? What, how are you feeling?

Aaron:

Not like this, well, there’s like, there’s a few things, not, I mean, we can hit like three bullet points or main points or maybe two, I haven’t counted just yet, but you know, like one of the things is definitely, I’m like a numbers person, like and you know, one of these people, that’s very much, not like a ‘woo’ person, where, you know, “you just have to believe it, achieve it”, it’s like, I need to see the hard proof, that’s just it and like I understand like the belief in yourself. I’m very much like, that’s one of the things, I remember having like a conversation with somebody and they were going, they kept going like, “You just got to believe in yourself.”. 

Look, if you don’t act, none of that belief stuff means anything you have to do both. Like, if you just think you’re going to fail, all the action in the world is going to like, just amount to not much. But, if you believe in yourself a hundred percent, but you don’t do anything also, that’s not going to amount to much.

You have to have, you don’t have to be a hundred percent at both, but you have to have both. You can’t just believe in yourself. You also have to act. So, you know, one of the things was like, just not seeing the results we wanted. I was skeptical, you know, I’m not not cynical, not like, “oh, this is not possible”. I’m just, I’m not seeing it and then once we started to see some results I’m like, “all right, we can maybe make this work”, and then the other thing is that, you know, just feel like stuck at my job. 

I couldn’t go anywhere. I know you wanted to go different places in the world and stuff. And, you know, it gave me a lot of anxiety because I was just like, “we’re just wasting money that we don’t have” and then I can’t, you know, do this type of lifestyle with the job I have. 

But now, it’s just like, you even hear me sometimes, like, “Oh you know, we should go here…”.

And I used to tell you this, I don’t think you believe me, I like traveling too, I just, I want to make sure, you know, I think a lot of men feel that that urgent need that, we want to provide it, you know, a secure and safe nest for the family and not always have like, you know, change all the time. 

Cause it can cause a lot of stress. And I felt that a lot but now not as much.

Debbie:

Yeah, because whenever we would travel and he would have to take leave from a job, he’d always be worried like, “Oh this could be time for me to be working and you know, making money”, but then now it’s completely different. 

But, it’s true, you are a very analytical person. You are a numbers person. That’s why I think we work really well together with the business because I am super creative and I mean I love analytics when In terms of like SEO and learning all of that stuff, but in terms of like the other things…

Aaron:

Very much about like systems, even more than just the numbers, it’s like systems…

Debbie:

Yeah, you’re very systems driven.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

And which works really well for us. And it still surprises me sometimes when I hear you talk about, “Oh we should go here., I want to go there”, and I’m like, “What?! You want to go there?!”, because he was never like this.

Aaron:

I never want to go anywhere.

Debbie:

Yeah, he was never like this, but now because we could take our work with us anywhere and you’re learning, you know, he’s learning so fast and obviously he’s also in charge of the things that like I hate and he’s doing it way better than me. 

Aaron:

It’s not a competition but if it was, I’m trying to win.

Debbie:

So it’s been a really pleasant, like journey for us once we got here and it was very scary at first. But, I think we’re at a time where now we’re just seeing growth, like growth that we didn’t think was going to happen this fast.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

That it’s really great and we’re both super appreciative of it, but the best part is we’ve gone through so much that we are not taking it for granted, because it’s not like it happened overnight that we just did a little bit of work and all of a sudden, it just happened. 

It literally took so many years, so many failures to finally get to this point.

Aaron:

Well, it’s funny too. Because you talk about like, like not taking for granted. I know of like, I feel like I go a day without working hard, like I start to feel guilty and not because you know, like, “Oh, other people”, like I’m just as happy like, I don’t know, I’ve got plenty of hobbies to keep me busy. I don’t need to work, to feel like I’m amounting to things. But the thing is, I do feel guilty because, you know, like if I’m not doing certain things or getting certain things done at the time frame I want, I feel like in some way, failing the business. So, it’s a good thing because before I was the same way with my job. You know, sometimes I would feel like, “oh, I need to, you know,

I can’t wait till I have time off”, but also if I was like, had a sick day or something, I would feel weird, I’d be like, “I should’ve just gone to work today.”, you know. 

Debbie:

Yeah, you never took days off like, ever.

Aaron:

And now, I’m like, sometimes I think you feel like you have to twist my arm to get me to do anything.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

But I still get my stuff done on time, so I guess, there’s that.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Well, that’s the great thing about what we created is that we can have flexibility in terms of when we want to work, and I still have to remind you this. When you’re like, “yeah, I didn’t do much this morning” or “I woke up later today. I really needed to take a nap” and I still had to remind you like, “as long as you do something during the day, you should be fine.”. Like, it doesn’t matter if you do it 5 p.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning or 11 p.m., like it doesn’t matter as long as you get it done. 

And you know we do have some scheduling or like, due dates for certain things, but we have the system now, we are ahead of the game like few weeks in advance so that we can take our time with certain things, and whatever we’re doing, we’re still ahead of the game. And that’s another thing that I learned as a remote worker, as a remote business owner is to like, make sure that I do things ahead of time. 

And for a lot of people that’s really hard to do, especially when you’re just starting to work remotely because you’re so used to being told when to work, you know how to do it, there’s certain timelines and obviously there are still due dates but you have autonomy with your time so, you have to learn how to do it and I, you not, I think I kind of I taught you how to do that too, like how it’s so much more better to be ahead of the game so you’re not completely at rest and you have more freedom.

Aaron:

Well, the funny thing is I used to be like that a lot more, but it was because, like, I guess, just waking up to, the daily grind with the day job and stuff, it’s like you don’t, you’re not looking forward to it cause you’re not working for yourself and I don’t just mean that in the way that, “oh, well, you have a business”. I probably could have been doing it as a business, it would feel the same way, because working for yourself in the sense of like you setting your goals. Like, let’s say we figured out a way where we only need to make 30,000 a year, 50,000 a year and like it takes care of all our things. When I’m working towards that goal, that’s really me working towards myself. 

Even if the goal is not high and let’s say you know I was doing sales or something else, another job and I had certain quotas and I had to get that, I’m still working for somebody else and I’m not working towards what I feel my goals are so, that’s like I think in some ways a way to get really overwhelmed or really like disillusion cause you just like, “oh man, this again”, every single day, there’s like, yeah, some days I want to sleep late other days, I’m taking a long walk. Other days, I’m working out in the morning or other days, I’m just doing nothing but work all day and you know, I make it sound like I’m not getting a lot done. I am but it’s just I, I’ll get like a whole day’s work in and maybe like a couple hours sometimes whereas like literally we have two things for one of the projects that we have, two things to do for the week and maybe I’ll get that done in like two days, you know, and not even like two days. I’ll do two hours a day and it’s done. 

Whereas before, you know, if I had a similar thing it might take me a week cause I’m exhausted from commuting, exhausted from doing the work and now just whatever we’re up to, I can pretty much get it done easily. 

Debbie:

Yeah, and well that’s the thing about remote work, you don’t have to commute, you don’t have to do all of those different things so you just can focus on something and you’re good. You don’t have to worry about all of these other things that you have to do cuz you don’t have co-workers to b.s. with. You don’t have to commute, you’re not bothered by anything. You could just focus and also, you can work at a time of day that you feel the most productive for some people that’s early in the morning, some people in the afternoon and some people in the evening. 

I’m kind of like the person that sometimes it’s the morning and sometimes it’s the evening.

Aaron:

It used to be a lot more morning, but I do notice that sometimes you’ll do stuff in the evening.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Not so much anymore, but every once in a while.

Debbie:

Yeah, because, I don’t know, I think I just changed here and there, but that’s the best thing about this.

Aaron:

I’m more of a you know, eat lunch, take a nap and then do all my work from 3 to, 3 to 6 or something like that. Sometimes the morning is good.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

But you know, like a lot of this has to do with a lot of change and beliefs and attitudes and like one of the things for sure is like we said how sometimes you would quit things. And then, for me, I guess it was like, just not seeing like, results. Because I think one of the things I do is out I will go in and make things like better. So, if you can get it started, like I’ll be the one that come in and help finish it, take all the credit, but more along the lines of like, I’m not very creative, so, like I can’t take, I can’t make something out of nothing, but I can take something that small and make it really great and big.

And, you know, that has to do with changing and both of us went through some sort of change, in that sense. And it goes to, like, one of our mentors T. Harv Eker, says, “You can’t just be at the right place at the right time. You have to have to be the right person at the right time”, and that’s a lot of the change that we went through. So for me, a lot, it was definitely, believing like this type of thing was possible and for you, I guess it was sticking at something long enough to where we actually found the right path. 

Debbie:

Yeah, well, also I feel that and I know that when it was maybe five or even ten years ago, I don’t know if I’d have the same mentality because I didn’t go through all of the things that I had gone through and you hadn’t gone through all the things that you had gone through. So, it is, it’s so true, you do have to be not only in the right place and the right time, but you have to be the right person.

And that doesn’t mean like a different person than who you are, but a better version of you.

Aaron:

A better version of you. A stronger version.

Debbie:

A stronger version because if you’re not in the right mentality, then you’re not going to be able to accept what’s happening or be able to be prepared. And I don’t think if this happened to us, years ago, that I would be prepared because I wouldn’t know everything that I know. So, it’s so crazy. So, it’s just a, reminder, that if things are not happening the way you want it to, it’s just because you’re not ready for it yet and you still don’t know something and you have to understand what it is that you need to understand before you can finally get there and it may take a year, it may take 5 years, it may take 10 years but as long as you don’t quit as long as you know when to pivot, you’re going to get there, right? Cause I think there’s so much to say about perseverance and persistence, that you can get to where you want to be and sometimes you pivot and it changes in life changes because I didn’t think we were going to have our business like this, but it just happens like, life happens, you change as a person and then it kind of pivots you to where you need to be. So, you have to just,

Aaron:

Yeah, and for you, it really was just, it wasn’t something you were not doing already, cause it’s just content creation, it’s nothing different than what you were doing, it’s just the way you did it was slightly different.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

So, and I think that’s one of the things that and it’s funny because I think what really was the change as far as pivoting, or like, letting things like move you in the right direction and then what that is, is like, so there’s a difference between moving on and giving up for sure. 

So, like if things are not working, maybe that’s the time to move on to something else, but giving up on yourself, is, should never be an option. But you made me think of another point with what you were saying is that and it may be like a very slight nuance. But it seems to make a big difference is that I think for a long time at least for me, it was like, you know, just charging forward being persistent and the thing is, is like with any business, you’re selling something, you’re selling a product or a service but if it’s something people don’t want you can try to sell and be perseverant all you want and I think that’s where, at least have seemed to happen for us with what made the big changes, in terms of revenue was you just, we just kind of let things push us around a little bit, like giving, not giving up, but giving into things and letting things kind of happen and push us around in the sense of steering us in the right direction. 

I don’t, it may sound like I’m saying that just let life happen, it’s not that it’s more like listening. 

Debbie:

Listening, yeah.

Aaron:

And letting things happen that are, you know, and being open to things too.

Debbie:

Yeah because if you are so focused on one thing, you’re not going to be able to pay attention to what’s happening around you. And I think that being observant and also understanding what, you know, your audience or whoever it is you’re trying to service, really want from you. That’s when it’s going to click. And you are saying this before I forgot that quote that you said, it’s like, “instead of go with the flow, it’s flow with a go.”.

Aaron:

Flow with the go, yeah, go with the flow is like, they sound exactly the same. It’s actually a martial art thing in Jiu-Jitsu, is like the Gracie’s, I think it was Hélio says, he’s like, “you got to flow with the go”, and what that means is like, it sounds, they sound the same identical even though they reverse the words or whatever. But the difference is one is more mentally active and one is more, you know, passive with your mind, like and I think it really like to just explain it the best way possible is you have to listen, you have to listen to the market, what things are trying to tell you, because if you’re constantly playing to your weaknesses or you’re providing things that nobody wants, the money is just not going to be there and it doesn’t matter how good you are at it. Like, you know, there’s a reason why people watch basketball and they don’t watch, you know I don’t know, tiddleywink competitions, I mean I’m sure that’s a thing but like you can provide a great service for whatever it is you’re doing. But, if nobody wants it it’s just not going to generate the revenue. 

So, one of the things is to get out in the marketplace, see what people are paying big money for. See what plays to your strength and see what’s easy for you to accomplish. Cause I mean I think for a lot of entrepreneurs that are successful, one of the things they do, they just find a niche that they dominate and they don’t they, don’t have to compete as hard. It’s not hard for them in that sense.

Debbie:

Well, not say you don’t work hard but it just comes naturally.

Aaron:

Right, it’s not like this crazy struggle.

Debbie:

Yeah, but you know what it is, this is another thing that you and I talked about a lot like when we finally did pivot the business, it just felt so easy. Like, it was so easy. And the reason why I say it’s so easy is because it just felt so easy cause the whole time, it just felt so hard. 

Like, I just felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill, the entire time for all these years and then when I finally figured things out like it just felt like I was going down the slide. And then somebody else was pushing me down because that’s how it felt. 

Aaron:

Yeah.

Debbie:

And I was like, why? I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know how this happened but I guess it’s just all the years from trying to figure out where I belong. Trying to figure out where my niche was, that it finally made sense for us to do it, to create content for companies. And I was just like, “How is this, so easy? How are we getting clients?”, and it’s just so easy to do it.

Aaron:

Yeah, and the thing is, the crazy thing is that it’s actually one of my mentors who said this, “business is supposed to be easy”, I don’t think he elaborated on it fully, but the point was well, taken. Like, the level he was at, yeah, it looked too easy to me. Looked like the guy hardly worked, but I think that was the point is that, but, you know, I know for a fact cause he told me some of the stories that, you know, he was putting up like, you know, stuff in the snow like signs for the, you know, things like that for marketing purposes, like, in the snow. 

So, I know he was working hard at some point, but it’s just because he didn’t know the easier ways to do things and it’s that, what I’m trying to communicate is not that this is supposed to be this easy thing, but sometimes when you been working at something really hard and you’re good at what you do, sometimes, all you got to do is just listen a little harder kind of let things push you in a certain direction because you got to “flow with the go”. 

If you’re fighting to go upstream all the time, you know, you don’t decide the markets, you know, the market decides like what you sow, so like you may, let’s say you’re a painter, an artist and you know, your paintings just don’t do well. But for some reason people want to hear you sing, then I guess you’re going to be a singer, if you want to be successful.

You have to learn to listen to what people want from you. And I think a lot of people that are entrepreneurs, probably people with more, my mindset is just just go at things 100% and just don’t look, you know, it’s tunnel vision but that only works well for a little while in the beginning until you figure out easier ways to do things. 

You have to be able to listen and reflect on what’s going on around you as well. Being flexible. 

Debbie:

Yeah, absolutely and I think that’s one of the things that we really learned. That you have to again, “flow with the go”, instead of just trying to fight your whole way through. And once we figure that out, everything and I mean almost everything like change, pretty much overnight and I think this is what people see is when things finally happen, but for the most part, it was going up, like a hill, and it was an uphill battle.

Aaron:

And the funny thing is that it seems like almost most people have this sort of story, I know a few people that I’ve heard and it wasn’t like this for them, but I can almost guarantee that there might be a minority in this because most people have to struggle, struggle, struggle, and you know, like even your uncle and he said something, he’s like finally knew what I know now, like 20-30 years ago, you know, that comes with time, but I do think being reflective learning to listen, learning to listen to the marketplace of what they want from you. And if you can provide it quickly and easily, I mean, that’s a win-win for you.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Aaron:

If you can outsource it to pay other people to do it for you. And then you produce the product with the finishing touches or just produce the product, you know, if you’re not working and you’re paying somebody else to do it for you, that’s what a business is. 

Debbie:

Yeah, yeah and that’s pretty much what we’ve gone through the last five years. So many changes, so many expected and unexpected changes. But so many more lessons that we’ve learned and I’m really excited that you’re going through this process with me now and everyday is so much more fun with you. You know, when I was doing this on my own, like it wasn’t as much fun because I wished you were with me and now you’re doing it and you’re by my side and we’re able to do this together. So, I’m excited to see what the next five years will be like.

Aaron:

Yep, me too.

Debbie:

Well thank you everyone for listening to this very special five year anniveeajfge, wow, my words,

Aaron:

Anniversary.

Debbie:

Anniversary, for this very special five year anniversary episode with Aaron and I, we can’t believe we’re here. I can’t believe it was this fast actually. It just seemed like a blink of an eye but I’m so happy that this has been a change and we can’t wait to share the next five years and more with you.

Aaron:

And here’s to five more and then some.

Debbie:

Yeah! Thanks, everyone, we’ll see you later or talk to you later. 

Aaron:

Buh-bye.


Hey Offbeat Family, I really appreciate you listening to this episode.

I would love to hear more from you and what you think of the podcast.

Contact me: hello@theoffbeatlife.com

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