Episode 51: Be A Fountain, Not A Drain - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Episode 51: Be A Fountain, Not A Drain - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast".


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Intro (00:00)

This is 15 minutes of freedom. I'm your host Ryan Neidell and today's episode is be a fountain, not a drain. So admittedly here in Columbus it's Friday at about 3.40pm. I don't know about you guys, but for me, this week with trying to do a Murph a day and having my ass kicked pretty consistently, it feels like just from every corner, including physically, I have zero interest in shooting this particular episode. Bear with me here, because I think it'll get better as we go on. But I sat down with Doug, Doug is the gentleman that makes all this possible, he records the videos and him and another guy Kurt help edit the audio on it and make it so there's something here for you guys to view and listen. But I said, Doug, you know, what do you have? What's, what do you think we should talk about? And he said, man, I saw the shirt on Instagram. He goes, I don't remember whose page it was, but the shirt said, be a fountain, not a drain. And something about that connected with me just as it connected with Doug. So I started thinking just really almost in the instant, like this, this probably happened five minutes before shooting this episode, what does that mean to me? And what it means to me personally is if I look back at my life, especially throughout my 20s, and really I can go back further than that, how many times in life did I just take from somebody? Where I was the thing that was receiving from everyone and I wasn't giving. So I'll look at, for for me in my business life. As I started out in the hosting world, the affiliate marketing, web hosting world, I got brought in to a role in a position that was unlike any other.

Exploration Of Personal Identity And Its Impact

Who Are We Serving? (01:26)

I mean, here I was this 24, 25 year old guy who was living in Columbus at the time and had commuted back and forth to Akron for two or three different meetings. And for those of you who don't know, that's about an hour and a half drive up a boring stretch of road called Route 71. There's nothing on either side. You just set the cruise control and you go. And so I go, and I'm excited about the opportunity to get the job, but not because I understand what the job is, but just because I want to win. I want to know I'm good enough to be wanted. Because admittedly, I came from the car world, and I was offered a position in a dealership in Washington, D.C. to help run a Ferrari and Lamborghini dealership. I was offered a position at Lamborghini of Houston, down in Houston, Texas. This was kind of like the castaway job. This was the job on the side. But from driving back and forth, it was the only one I didn't have to move for. And there was something unique about this environment. You know, walk in, and of course, I show up in a suit and dress in the nines. Everybody else is in flip flops or cargo shorts, backwards hats, black t-shirts. Like it wasn't like a normal office environment. This little office complex in actually Fairlawn, Ohio. Our office, unique fact, was within a half mile of walking distance of LeBron James house. That's how close we were in proximity to kind of paint this picture. And so I ended up eventually getting offered this position inside the hosting company. And it's a sales position to start with. I didn't start out as president and CEO or partner. It's just a straight sales position. And that position is called affiliate manager. Number one, I didn't know what an affiliate was. I didn't know what that meant. Come to find out for those of you that might not know it. An affiliate is somebody that helps drive traffic to a link or a website and gets paid for the conversion in between. I didn't even know that's how the internet worked at this point. Completely mind blown. But I offered the job as an affiliate manager. I'm sitting there and my biggest fear in life at that point was having my compensation level be changed once I started to become successful. In the automotive world, as you keep leveling up and you start doing better and better in any given role, the thing that the dealer principal does is adjust your pay plan to make sure that carrot's always still out in front of you. And I don't begrudge him for that or any dealer principal I work for. Now I get it as a business owner. By the time it's the most frustrating thing in the world, you start making a good living for yourself and the carrot gets moved higher up to make that same living. So the only thing I wanted from this web hosting company, from the guy that actually gave me the job, offered me the job, the primary partner, Vinnie Fisher, was that I wanted him to agree to not have this be modified. I wanted an unmodifiable contract for the first year. Little did I know during the interview that Vinny was a practicing lawyer. So when I said, I'll take the job on the condition of not having to be modified, it was instant. He wrote it right in the contract and off to the races we went. So during this time period, I'm driving back and forth an hour and a half each way, each day, five days a week to the office in Akron. Now, mind you, the first month I'm there, the two primary owners, Mark and Vinny, were traveling. And I didn't really understand this, how this industry worked, but they just weren't in the office. So here I am, a new employee with no guidance, no real understanding of what I'm supposed to be selling. I'm just left on my own. And eventually they come back. I sit down with them and say, guys, I'm worried here. It's been a month. I'm not producing. I'm not used to this. So in the automotive world, I would say even right now, if I had to sell water to a whale, I could. Sales is something that I can connect with people with. I enjoy it. And it's something that's been a natural ability that I've cultivated over my lifetime. But in the affiliate marketing world, when it comes to web hosting, I have no idea what I'm doing. So they sit down with me and they share with me, here's how it all works. Here's the positioning. At this point, we have maybe 10,000 clients onboarded. Well, I think forward enough and I asked Mark for his cell phone and I believe Vinny and I download all their contacts. I figured these guys have been in the industry for a long time. They have to know people. So I download their contacts and start just cold calling the living daylights out of any person in their phone. I don't know that they knew I was doing this. I just asked for their phones and figured out how to download their contacts and went after it. So that led to an immense amount of success. When I say immense amount of success, my first month, I didn't even cover my salary, my draw. It was completely embarrassing. But in month two, my check was for $43,000 of commission in addition to the salary I was making. Think of that. When I graduated high school or graduated college, got done with college, left college, got into the professional world, however you want to say it, I ended up making $42,500 my first year out. I made more in one month than I was able to make an entire year. And my mind is blown. And it's completely changed the way that I'm viewing money. So I'm like, man, is this a fluke? Like, this can't be happening. This can't really be true. The world can't really work this way. It can't be this easy. And so, month two comes. Month two, it's the same thing. Because once you sign up an affiliate and they're driving traffic to your links, they don't go away unless somebody offers them a better deal. So I go from $43,000 to $53,000 over the next month. So here I am now. I've made basically $100,000 in two months, and I now think the world owes me something. I think the women in my life owe me something. I think every person I come across owes me something. I think the managing partners, the guys that brought me onto the company, I think they owe me something. I want to start changing the terms of our agreement. I want to start staying at home to work. I look at it now that I've built this groundwork and I've traveled back and forth the first 90 days that my results have obviously shown the fact that I should be able to work from home two or three days a week.

Here I am (06:49)

Now, granted, that was never discussed prior to coming on board. That was never in the terms that we agreed to. But here I am draining the company of not only capital, resources, but also time then. Because part of working in any environment is actually showing up and being present. And although I was present when I was there and was likable and gregarious and was always buzzing around the office making things happen, that can't transpire if I'm not physically in the office. But I was too myopic in my thinking to see that. You know, all I cared about in the time was what am I going to do? How do I serve myself? And so that, again, carries into the women. That ended up being what started the third relationship I had with a woman in Akron. Actually, I've shared it before. She was the one that was running the customer service side of things. So I would onboard a customer and go talk to her about what their customer service needs were going to be. And she knew about the other women that I was dating. And so it was a laughable joke. It was something that we just kidded around about, about, you know, which girlfriend was going to see. Her and I would talk on the weekends and it was a very friendly relationship. But it got to the point where I started dragging stuff from her as well. Like I would call her for favors and the nights and weekends as I would board a new client or someone would need something. I'm taking, I'm taking, I'm taking. I'm not giving her anything. You know, this is before we start dating. This is before anything. I'm not making sure that she's making extra money for what I'm doing. I'm not making sure in meetings that she's, you know, well received by everybody. I'm taking the praise myself as though it's mine. And it might've been for onboarding the sales, but not for the management of the customers. And so that continues on literally all the way through that environment and into the next part of my life.

I spent my life as a drain (08:31)

Like the entire time, so I ended up having to switch from an affiliate manager into president and CEO and partner, I thought at the time based off my success level. But what it was in all actuality was the money that I was making at that point was too much money versus the revenue that was coming in for the business. I don't think the partners thought I would actually be able to cap out my pay plan. Instead of changing it, they figured if they'd offer me a partnership stake and president and CEO, they knew that my competition level would decrease and they would make more money. So here I am at 26, 27 thinking I I'm King Kong, and I take the job. Again, take the job. I'm taking. I'm taking something from this group. And then once I take the job, then I push everybody out because I don't want there to be any sort of additional friction. I don't want anybody in the office to tell me that I'm doing something wrong. Admittedly, these two other businessmen were much more established than I was. They'd had much more success. They'd made millions, lost millions, and made millions again. And here I am trying to run this company, but even then that I'm taking from the employees. And as time started to get more lean and it wasn't as profitable as it used to be, I had a masseuse that would come two days a week and massage people. So I took that away from everybody, including myself, but I took it away from them. I used to buy people, buy the entire company lunch every Friday. I took that away from everybody, including myself, but I took it away from them. I used to buy people, buy the entire company lunch every Friday. I took that away from them. There were all these things I'm taking away versus pouring into the people that I'm around. And so that continues all the way until I exit that relationship, exit that partnership. And some of it was forcibly. We had a high debt structure and some things that went on inside the company, but I ended up stepping away as president and CEO as we went through a capital raise and things like that. And so the company ended up going in a direction that the partners didn't enjoy. And so they essentially forcibly moved me aside. And I can't say that I blame them. At the time, I was very upset and frustrated about that. But now it makes sense to me. See, all it was doing was taking from everybody around me. And that continued on as I started my next two ventures. You know, what can I do? What can I take from somebody? Got in the custom clothing world. And I took from a guy named Fred who taught me the industry. He taught me how to measure people. He taught me about fabric. He traveled the country with me. And I took all that information from him, created some intellectual property, and then went out and created my own business. And some of you may say, well, that's just the way the business world works. And sure, there's some truth to that. For when I look at it, if I take stock of what I've done in my life, the majority of what I've done up until this point has been just take, take, take. So I've been the drain. I've been the drain on society. I've been the drain on those people around me. Sure, I cared about people, but I never actually gave back. I never poured into people. around me. Sure, I cared about people, but I never actually gave back. I never poured into people. And now, as I look at life, as I look at this podcast, look at the way I conduct every day, I care a hell of a lot more about what I'm giving out than what I'm getting in. But this podcast is a labor of love, and I appreciate the fact that hopefully you're getting something out of it. But in this, it's just me giving. It's my messages, my stories that I want you, the listener, to hopefully learn something without having to go through the same painful mistakes I did. At this current moment, as of June 1st, there is no monetization pass set up to this podcast. I don't know if there will be one day or not, but right now, this is literally a studio that was created, microphones, equipment, employees, all based around just giving. Same thing when I hop on phone calls and do stuff like that. For those of you that listen, that direct message me or want on an episode, that's time and energy out of my day just to give back. And I love it. I don't expect anything back in return. Same thing when I talk about the guys in the office. Doug, the one I mentioned on this episode quite a few times, it's important to me that Doug, he's one of the ones in the office that has a family. It's important to me that his life is structured in such a way that he's able to spend time with his family. I don't need Doug to stay around past 4.30 or 5 o'clock because of selfish things. He works his ass off. He'll come back around on the backside, but I care that his family is taken care of first. And it's a genuine care. It's not like some, oh, if I do this, that'll happen. Doug can literally tell me on Monday that he wants to quit. I'll be super upset because I don't know how to do any of this shit that we're doing right now. But as long as his family's good and he's doing it for the right reasons, I'm going to shake his hand and say thank you. It's just such a stark comparison from what it used to be in my life when I was a drain, when I was just taking from everybody.

Become A Fountain (12:35)

Now it's giving first. It's having a sense of gratitude every day. You know, I wake up in a truly grateful mindset that I'm able to do all the things I'm able to do. I'm able to have the disposable income sitting around at this exact moment to produce a podcast and have an office and have staff to be able to take care of my family. You know, there's a bunch of people that don't have that. There's a bunch of people that would never imagine being able to create this. Where I look at this, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Like the fact I had 125,000 downloads last month, first thing I did was sit down with the guys at lunch today and say, you know, success to me is going to be a million downloads in a month. It is. And then when I get to a million, two million is going to be the next benchmark. And not because I care necessarily about the statistics or the math behind it, but because that means I've hopefully added value and impact to a million people's lives in some capacity. Even if it's just they want to make fun of me because I don't speak the most eloquently. Or they watch me on YouTube and they don't like the way I look. As long as I'm adding some sort of value, some sort of humor to them, it's a win for me. So what I'm going to encourage you to do at the end of this episode is take a look at your life. Like take a real hard look in the mirror.

Being (13:40)

Where in your life are you being a fountain versus a drain? You know, maybe it's when you talk about going to the gym. Maybe you have training partners you train with or a trainer that you pay to train you. And all you do is take, take, take from this person. You never give back. You're never the one that's pouring into them, asking them how their day is. And you think because it's a good for service, you know, money for service exchange, that that's how it should be. Well, that's bullshit. Like pour into them. Give back to them. And not with bringing them donuts or cookies. I know today's national donut day. Like it's not about that. It's about generally caring about their life and what they're doing. Maybe it's in your relationship. Maybe as a man, I know before I've been incredibly selfish. I've been selfish for what I want to do at night. I've been selfish with where I want to go. I've been selfish with what matters. Like it's a very easy trap to get locked into as a man. What if you reverse that role and you generally cared about what your wife, girlfriend, fiance wanted to do sometime this weekend? What if you actually went all in and did it and weren't grumpy about it?

Impact (14:37)

Like you planned it and you went all the way in for her. You made her feel special. What if it's in your business and all you're doing is hoping every day for the raise? Like you're coming into your office, you're working for somebody else, and you're just waiting for the fact of the next raise. And you feel that you're owed the raise. Well, how about you pour into the business and how about you give it your all for more than three days in a row? What if you do that for three months or three years without any expectation back in return? How different would your life be? Now, if you're that for three months or three years without any expectation back in return? How different would your life be? If you're able to take these steps every day, take a different direction, different focus on your life, and you start becoming a fountain instead of a drain, that's the epitome of getting shit done. Hey guys, Ryan here. Thanks for joining me today.


Ryan in his finale. (15:21)

If you've enjoyed this podcast, please head over to iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you consume audio and subscribe to 15 minutes to freedom. If this brought you value, please do me a favor and drop me a five-star rating. Then share this podcast with someone who needs to hear it. For additional content, head over to RyanNidell.com. That's R-Y-A-N-N-I-D-D-E-L dot com.

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