“The goal is how can we have a rich life and that’s not measured in dollars. Dollars are nice, but it ain’t the answer.” – Matt Kursh

My next guest is Matt Kursh. He founded Clearview (later sold to Apple.) Then he founded eShop (later sold to Microsoft.) Then he ran MSN, the #4 largest website at the time. Today he is the CEO and the co-founder of Oji Life Lab.

We talked about:

  • Why the entrepreneur dream of selling to big companies is not a very good dream
  • The paradox of business goal-setting
  • Why the concept he coined ‘optionFUL’ is especially important for people who must control all aspects of their lives
  • He gave a piece of tactical advice to deal with people who want you to project more certainty than reality
  • Why he continues to start companies after selling 2 to Microsoft and Apple
  • We talked about why emotional intelligence for working adults is important and the potential downfall for any organization if emotional contagions don’t have emotional intelligence. and the potential organizational-saving moments when people are equipped with these skills 
  • Oji Life Lab’s unique approach to mapping out the emotional landscape and give people the tools to get around from point A to point B
  • The 5 areas of emotional intelligence help you in concrete ways:
    • decision making,
    • attention, memory, and learning,
    • creativity and performance, 
    • mental and physical health, and
    • relationship quality
  • Lastly, his straight feedback to fellow CEOs and founders who think their anxiety is the source of their edge

Please enjoy my conversation with the CEO of Oji Life Lab, Matt Kursh


Wisdom Quotes

You have to learn to hold your goals loosely. You can't make the wave doesn't appear because you want it to the wave appears because it does your choices. You're going to ride it. There's kind of this ying-yang. You have to hold these… Click To Tweet If you can cultivate that option-fulness, It helps you counteract this impulse of wanting to feel like I need to know exactly what's going to happen. Or I'm going to control and make sure it works out the way I want it to work out. The… Click To Tweet So if you're talking to an investor or a partner or a customer and what they want you to do is talk with a certainty that's not real. I think you should disconnect from that individual because no good is going to come from somebody who… Click To Tweet He said it's all about the curricula, which was his way of saying like everything he did was about what was he learning? Click To Tweet People focus too much on goals. People should focus more on process, Click To Tweet The universe offers up so many possibilities if you can be aware of them. Click To Tweet We're really passionate about helping people. Um, get more meaning and, and get more success at work and, and at home. What's fueling our passion for this is a belief that these are absolutely fundamental skills for every human. It's very… Click To Tweet If you have people who are naturally not aware of their emotions and able to regulate them, you will fail. Click To Tweet Emotional intelligence is a pretty high ROI learning area. If you can get better at this one thing and make everything better, you know, friends, people who are emotionally intelligent make better decisions because you don't make good… Click To Tweet People call emotional intelligence soft skills, but there's nothing soft about it. Click To Tweet What does practice mean? It's a process that goes on for your whole life. This is a set of skills. I'm never going to be a master, but I better get started. Click To Tweet For the people who are like 'my anxiety drives me. It's what keeps me going.' Let's say you could build a wildly successful company, make a fortune and be anxious for the rest of your life. Is that a good trade-off? I hope the answer's… Click To Tweet Map your emotional landscape and learn where the milestone landmarks are and how to get around in it. Click To Tweet There's five areas that emotion, uh, emotions impact you and that emotional intelligence will help you: decision-making, attention memory and learning, creativity and performance, mental and physical health, and finally, relationship… Click To Tweet The goal is how can we have a rich life and that's not measured in dollars. Dollars are nice, but it ain't the answer. Click To Tweet


Full Episode


Transcription by AI

Matt Kursh Transcript by AI

Ultimate Skills That Drive Performance & Life Satisfaction

Welcome Denovo warrior.

[00:00:01] My name is CK Lynn noble warriors, where I interview multi-dimensional entrepreneurs about their spiritual disciplines. What deconstruct the mindset, mental models and Asheville tactics. So you can take them and engineer your life with more impact and fulfillment. If you have entrepreneurial friends who can use more inspiration, please share this episode with them. They'll thank you for it. My next guest is Matt Kirsch.

[00:00:26] He founded Clearview that later sold to apple. Then he found that each shop that later sold to Microsoft, that he ran MSN inside of Microsoft. Today. He's the CEO and co-founder of OJI life flap. Let me start by a quote, Matt share.

[00:00:44] The goal is how can we have a rich life? And that's not measuring dollars dollar. So nice by aim the answer. 

[00:00:53] We talked about why the common entrepreneurial dream of selling to big companies is not a very good dream. 

[00:00:59] We talked about the paradox, a business goal setting, and why the concept you coined option four is especially important for people who must control all aspect of their lives.

[00:01:14] You have a tactical piece of advice to deal with people who want you to project more certainty than reality. 

[00:01:23] And also why he continued to start companies after having sole to, to Microsoft and apple separately. 

[00:01:33] We talked about why emotional intelligence for working adults are important and the potential downfall for any organization. If emotional contagions don't have emotional intelligence and the potential life saving organization, saving moments. When people are equipped with these skills, 

[00:01:55] we talked about OJI life lapse, unique approach to map out emotional landscape and give people the tools to navigate from point a to point B

[00:02:07] we talked about the five areas, emotional intelligence helps you in concrete ways. Decision-making attention, memory, learning, creativity, and performance, mental, physical health relationship quality, and lastly, his straight feedback to fellow CEOs. And co-founders. Who think their anxiety, their lack of emotional intelligence is the source of their edge.

[00:02:36] Please enjoy my conversation with the CEO of OJI life lab, Matt Kirsch. 

[00:02:42] Please welcome Matt Kirsch.

[00:02:45] Thanks. TK. Fun to be here. Thank you so much for being here, Matt. Um, what a day to day Martin Luther King Jr. And  what a timely discussion or we're about to have, and then sharing these type of self-awareness soft skills in the workplace, and the ramification of that, I'm curious to know that today bring a special meaning and significance for you around the work that you do.

[00:03:12] Well, you know, somebody on the news this morning was saying, uh, I think it was a Martin Luther King quote that you can't. Uh, address hate with hate. You have to address hate with love, which I think is a very important concept at this particular moment of us history on the Monday, before the inauguration with everything that's going on.

[00:03:36] So, it is an emotional kind of minefield right now. In our country and really the world. So. It's an amazing time. Yeah. So we're going to talk about the bigger ramification, the larger ripple effects of the work that you do, but I want to zoom in real quick on your experience as a two time.

[00:04:00] Well, founder who's later on sold to Microsoft and Apple is it's a dream come true for a lot of entrepreneurs who want to sell a company. So knowing what you know, now, having gone through that journey, if you can advise younger Matt, younger CK, or the entrepreneurs who have that as their goal, what would you say to them?

[00:04:21] Knowing what you know now. You know, my answer is paradoxical, which is, it's not a very good goal. When just before we went live, right? Yeah. Now you asked me what I hoped to have happened today. And I said to connect with you. Um, and I, I learned, I have a neighbor, uh, Anna Halprin, who's a hundred years old.

[00:04:44] Who's a very, uh, famous. Uh, dancer, um, known all over the world. And, uh, when she was younger, like 94, she said to me once, um, you know, you have to learn to hold your goals loosely and, um, You know, particularly amongst, uh, the overachievers, uh, like us and like probably most people watching this who have a lot of goals.

[00:05:12] I think sometimes the goals become the obstacle. So I didn't have a goal of selling to Apple or to selling to anyone. Now, when I started our first company, which was in the mid eighties, That wasn't even an idea. You just started a company to see if you could make things that people would buy. Um, and similarly, I started my second company.

[00:05:39] Sure. I knew I could sell a company cause they had already sold one. But yeah, I wasn't holding out like how can we navigate this so that we could sell to Microsoft or to another big company. It's more just that every day you come in and. Um, you have some loose long-term goals. Like I want to make this, I want to serve more people.

[00:06:02] I want to build a bigger, more stable business that has more momentum. That is more, more self-sustaining. Um, but I, I think I was actually, I held my goals pretty loosely, and I think as I've gotten older, uh, with Anna Halprin and other people's coaching, I've learned to do that even more. Uh, you know, like I said, when we started let's let's ride the wave here.

[00:06:27] Let's surf the wave. You can't make the wave. You can't make the wave doesn't appear because you want it to the wave appears because it does your choices. You're going ride it. Mm mm. Mm. Well, I mean, that's that's so I'm going to play the role of, uh, and, and the opposition for those. So they're, I know they're like VC firms that that's called Wavemaker right.

[00:06:51] So, so I'm curious to know your perspective. So I personally, I agree with you a hundred percent, but for those that are, believe that, Hey, I got to have an exit strategy. I got to. You know, my, my sovereign wishes that won't be done type of, like I am the captain on my soul. I'm the master of my fate. I'm a person.

[00:07:10] What would you say to them? You know, I think it's kind of a, there's kind of this union yang. You have to hold these conflicting ideas. I think you, I think you need to have an exit possibilities, right? Like you need to have some grounded. Rational ideas for how you're going to make money, if your investors and your shareholders, including your partners and co-founders and employees.

[00:07:38] Um, so you need to have options. Um, and I, you know, for everything I just said, like, when I work on our business, I. I spreadsheet the hell out of the thing. Like I really think through scenarios, but the key is I know that it's all in my head and I can't make that Excel spreadsheet happen. Um, I often tell the story of pitching each shop to one of my investors in the mid nineties and, uh, I think I forgot my slides.

[00:08:17] This was back when slides were on transparencies. I think I forgot them or I didn't think I needed them. And so we asked what our financial model was, but I knew it. I done it so many times. I went to the whiteboard and I wrote it all out. And when I was all done, he said, so tell me, that's really interesting.

[00:08:33] Do you believe in it? Do you think that's going to happen? And I said, absolutely not. I can defend each number. It's not going to happen. He said, great. That's what I wanted to know. Like that's he knew that that was the reality. And he was comforted to know that I also knew it wasn't a reality. So, um, I have this term I invented after years of therapy, uh, That it's, it's the word option full.

[00:09:03] So like, you know, the notion of being hopeful, um, and, uh, option full is to have the sense in life that you have options, you know, that there's not just one way that things can work out, but both because of the universe and because of your resourcefulness and openness, that there are options. And I think if you can cultivate that option full newness, um, that.

[00:09:36] It helps you counteract this impulse of wanting to feel like I need to know exactly what's going to happen or I'm going to control and make sure it works out the way I want it to work out. Um, and the good news is that the good news, the reality is that desire to want to control how it's gonna work out is completely futile.

[00:09:55] You can't control how it works out. So at least if your option full, you can feel okay, you're like, I'm a cat that will land on its feet. I just need to stay open. 

[00:10:06] Yeah. Again, personally, a hundred percent agree with you all the way. Cool. Um, because as much as I know about something, the more I learn about life or any kind of domain in general, the more I learned, the more I know that I don't know much of anything, honestly.

[00:10:24] Right. However, I'm curious to know. Maybe that's already there. We don't need to call it out. So then you, you see people who bitches speak in absolute terms? Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. And so, so for me, when I hear people say that in my mind, I discount them automatically because to me that's just shows sign of, you know, uh, immaturity or, or, or, or, or hubris or arrogance, whichever way you call it.

[00:10:59] But I'm curious to know from your perspective, To me that moment when you said to your investor, absolutely not. That shows a lot of faith in yourself and in him that he's going to be able to have the maturity to receive what you share with them. So I'm curious, how would you advise other founders who have these types of major decisions?

[00:11:21] Should they err, on the side of. Being a little bit more confident. I'm a little bit more certain than perhaps they really feel, or just, Hey, here's the, the percentage of probabilistic outcome that's going to be? Well, I, I heard this quote yesterday on, uh, one of the Sunday news shows. I think they were talking about Dorothy Day, who I think was a social activist.

[00:11:48] Um, somebody said of her, she acted like the truth was true. And, um, you know, I think you have to act like the truth is true. So if you're talking to an investor or a partner or a customer and they want, you know, what they want you to do is talk with a certainty. That's not real. Um, I think you should disconnect from that individual because good is going to come from somebody who feels like.

[00:12:21] Reality can be controlled. The future is knowable. Uh, you know, that's, it's just act like the truth is true. That's just not real. You're not setting yourself up for success, even if it's like, I've got, you know, it's this customer and they just need to hear this certainty. If, if they want it, you can't give it.

[00:12:44] And to pretend that you can to get the sale, isn't going to work out. So I don't know if that's what you're asking, but I think, I think you just, um, compromising on that view of reality, isn't going to get you anywhere. Yeah. I mean, I I'm with you a hundred percent. Um, Well, especially with their talking hats that we see on the news today, they're pretty much all, well, the nature of new cycles, they need to speak in absolute terms and just, you know, say, Hey, well, yes there.

[00:13:21] Yes. But there's some uncertainty in my mind, I have to basically, uh, speak from a very reductionist point of view rather than the. Yeah. And the more depth that we're talking about here? Hmm. Yeah, my wife was quoting a well-known political pundit who I, who I respect a lot, who was making some opinion known about what was going to happen with Donald Trump.

[00:13:47] And it was just like, no one knows it's we're in completely, uh, new territory here. Um, and. Uh, you know, I'm not making any comment here about Donald Trump. I'm just saying this is a highly chaotic unpredictable situation. Uh, and so, you know, like it's, it's funny, like sometimes you watch the news shows and if you just, if you just filtered out all the speculation, like 80% of the show would be gone.

[00:14:19] Um, but it is speculation and, and, and so same in, in business. Um, You know, you launch a product, you don't know what your customer thinks about it. Uh, you know, I have this saying that every failed product is proceeded by a successful focus group. Right? Like people do focus groups and they're like, they loved it.

[00:14:43] They loved it. You had it. Yeah. The net promotion score his right. I 10. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, we don't know these things. We can't predict. What's going to happen. Um, so, you know, I use the word hubris. I mean, just be humble, humble. We don't know. I mean, I don't think my family would say I'm humble, but I do try to be humble about what I could really know.

[00:15:17] So, if you look at your own professional trajectory to found the companies that you founded from Clearview to each shop to now, Oh, G lab, by the way, what does O G the Italian word for today? I see an Italian it's spelled O G G I a w wouldn't pronounce well in America. So we use OJI just as a, just a concept of being present.

[00:15:45] What can we do today to improve our lives? So, uh, OJI life lab, that's where the name comes from. Yeah. I like it. It's fun to say. Oh, gee good. Yeah. So, so if you look at, do you feel like that's the natural evolution of an entrepreneur from focusing more the consumer goods to now a little bit more higher level of Masco Maslow's hierarchy of needs or that's.

[00:16:12] Completely not true. Just, you know, look at like, what's your internal matrix to make this decision to say and want to focus on this. There's not this. Yeah, that's really interesting. I mean, I think there's two completely separate answers to that and I'll try to do, do them both quickly.

[00:16:34] I mean, for me personally, um, I, the thing that drives me with these business ideas is just the concept, the project, the, you know, the kind of creative effort of. Wow. Wouldn't it be cool if we had X? Um, and so, you know, some people start businesses because they think it's a good way to make money. And some people start businesses because they like the intellectual challenge.

[00:17:03] Uh, there's a number of ways that I see people doing it, but I, I, for me, it's more like a creative project, so I just had a bunch of different ideas and, um, fortunately found. You know, folks who had compatible ideas and passions, and we went off and did it together. Um, so I don't know about why I did the exact sequence that I did do that said, um, I do think there's kind of a developmental psychology aspect to what this about.

[00:17:37] I mean, when I see young entrepreneurs, you know, you're doing your first business, it's just like business is exciting, you know? Uh, you get business cards and you incorporate, and you get an office and you know, you get yourself set up on some servers and you hire people like everything's new. And it's kind of like, sometimes you look at the underlying business, you're like, wow, you're helping people get custom made dog leashes made out of recycled plastic from the Amazon.

[00:18:10] I mean, you know, it's like who, it's not really. Important, but you don't care cause you're, it's your first time through. So I do think that once you've done it enough times, it really comes down to the idea, you know, it's like starting a business isn't per se exciting anymore. Um, what's exciting is working with people on something that you think is an important mission, which certainly is the case with what I'm doing.

[00:18:37] So I think there is that. Kind of progression, you know, that your third time through your fourth time through you just, you have different values. Yeah. And I appreciate that. Um, similar, similar type of topic, cause I was asking a thought leader he's his job is professional writers. And then we were asking him questions about titling and thumbnails and you know, very nuanced, very detailed questions.

[00:19:04] And he's like, ultimately he doesn't care as all right. Well, I actually, I remember what the question was. Facebook groups, how many groups in the title and so on and so on. And there's like, ultimately it doesn't care. It's just a means to an end. So ask him the question of how, how did it, how did he develop this non attachment to his, well, you said I have a lot of Facebook groups, so similar.

[00:19:27] So once you have a lot of companies and then the little details of mechanistic type of it becomes irrelevant. It's about the core idea, what you're going after. Yeah. You know, a guy, a guy I worked with at Microsoft had this line that I always loved. Uh, he said it's all about the curricula, which was his way of saying like everything he did was about what was he learning?

[00:19:50] So he went, uh, you know, at Microsoft, he went amongst a lot of different jobs and sometimes they were up the hierarchy and sometimes they were down in the hierarchy and he just didn't care. He was really focused on what he was learning. And I think for most people. You know, you could generalize and say learning is what, what, where, how you growing.

[00:20:12] And you know, when you're doing your first business, you're growing in different ways that when you're doing your third business, um, you know, just like the first time you travel overseas. You're you're getting different things out of it and growing in different ways than the 10th time you've gone overseas.

[00:20:33] So it's, it's a, it's a different, it's a different slice. Yeah. Uh, I, I have a feeling that this is your path. You just, you enjoy the, creating a business, growing a business, a frustration of running a business, which would, would that be an accurate. Uh, this I can do without the frustration.

[00:20:53] If you have some ideas, that would be great. Uh, but yeah, I love, I love, um, I love making things and I love doing it with, uh, people that you know, who I really respect and admire and can learn from. And you know, that whole kind of team sport aspect, um, Is so, uh, so fun to me. Um, and, um, you know, I, I just think the way my brain works is that it, it, it turns out ideas and, you know, not, I think it's true for most people.

[00:21:32] Uh, and for me, there's just something incredibly rewarding about conceiving of a thing, making it happen. And, and this is where holding goals loosely is really important because you conceive of a thing and it's, it's not the right thing, right. It's not actually what humans want. It's your guests, it what humans want.

[00:21:56] And then humans start telling you what they like and what they don't like. And you get to see it evolve and grow. Um, it's just enormously, you know, gratifying to see that happen. Yeah, thanks for that. As a side question for you, we're still at the beginning of 2021. Do you, what's your perception?

[00:22:20] What's your relationship with goal setting these days? Let me qualify that a bit, um, personal goals rather than, um, so, so I hear what you're saying.

[00:22:35] I mean, within the business sense, I have goals within my personal goals. I don't, I don't know that I have any other goals except to keep making my marriage better to keep trying to be a better parent. And, um, you know, uh, I think I mentioned you and how, again, she said to me, at one point she's like people focus too much on goals.

[00:23:05] Should focus more on process, uh, which, um, you know, you, and I think discussing it's like, you know, if you're a person like you or me, it's like, what are you talking about? How could you be too focused on goals? Um, but I really took it to heart. And, um, and so, you know, I want to. Be a better friend. I want to be a better son.

[00:23:30] I want to be a better brother. I mean, you know, I want to be better at those things and it's a process. I don't know how I, I don't know that I'd be better off if I said, um, I have a goal for, you know, each of these areas. I don't really, um, So, yeah, I mean, in part of that's, you know, to be clear, I mean, I think there's, there's a lens that everything I say should be filtered through, which is, you know, I'm in I'm 56 years old, I'm in a different point in my life.

[00:24:03] I'm not, you know, a single person, five years out of college, um, kind of, uh, at the very beginning of their life, not sure which of a thousand directions it might go in. I'm in a different place. Well, I guess the, yes, I agree. A hundred percent, right. There's a development cycle. Um, and then they kind of goals that one may want to have, you may or may not give the same advice to your kids.

[00:24:34] Right? Right. Exactly. So, but, um, but I am curious because. You ha you do have the experience and the wisdom now, and you could gift them that gem earlier, as opposed to later after they realized themselves. I don't know. I'm curious, curious to know kind of like how, how you think about it and how you wanted to share it and teach it too.

[00:24:57] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we can categorically say my kids don't learn anything from me. They hear enough of me. Um, But I, you know, with, with our business, you know, we teach emotional intelligence now. Um, that's our whole focus and over time we'll probably do some other things. And, uh, you know, I would definitely like, I have a daughter in college and, um, you know, I, I hope I hope.

[00:25:31] I can help her somehow to get to the place where she learned something about goal setting, um, and very much in the spirit of what we discussed, which is goal setting, where you can hold goals pretty loosely. You know, my daughter, for instance, she's double majoring in psychology and philosophy. Um, there's a thousand things you could do with those interests.

[00:26:00] W, you know, and you could do them one after another or one for a lifetime. And, and, uh, and I'm glad that so far she isn't locked in, um, on a certain thing. Cause I think one of the, you know, one of the key things that I don't know how to teach or even really talk about that well, but. You know, the universe offers up so many possibilities, if you can be aware of them.

[00:26:37] And if you're locked on a target, like a heat seeking missile, and you have one objective, which is to hit the target, you don't see any other possibilities. Uh, and that's not necessarily bad. Um, but I think it's usually bad. I think it's usually to your detriment that you can't take in these other possibilities.

[00:27:08] So, um, you know, a good example is like when we started, Oh gee, my partner, Andrea, and I knew we wanted to work with adults in business and we had some ideas. And, uh, and Mark Brackett who, um, I had come to know and be, uh, close with, came to me and said, we'd like to bring emotional intelligence to the workplace.

[00:27:33] And, you know, I had a goal already, like I had already locked in. No, we're going to go do this one thing then I would say, and Mark, that's great. I appreciate the offer. It's really flattering, but, uh, I'm going to go. Just focus on this goal, but instead it was like, Whoa, how could we not go after that opportunity?

[00:27:53] It's right in front of us. And now he's my business partner. Yeah. So it's a weird, it's a weird thing. I mean, I'd like so many things I think in life there's those, those, those dualities, those yin and yang that you have to hold two conflicting ideas in your head at once. Um, B have goals. Hold them loosely.

[00:28:17] Yeah. I love that. Thank you. Yeah, we actually do talk about what you just talked wages share on this podcast quite a lot, you know, have strong intentions of loosely held. Then duality of the ying and the yang. And I don't know, it's, it's a very in a, in a Western world. I don't know how else to articulate it.

[00:28:40] This is as simple as I could articulate. And we use the union sign quite a lot as a way to illustrate polarities. And non-dues all these types of very esoteric concepts to my podcast listeners. So I appreciate you articulating it. Yeah. Well, and I'm no expert on this, but it really. Um, does not feel Western, right?

[00:29:05] Like the reason we resort to using you yin and yang, or talking about dualities, uh, which, you know, non-duality is a Buddhist concept is because we don't have like some Western concept for it. Uh, but I think it's really important, uh, to be able to, uh, you know, um, except. You know, conflicting ideas. I mean, they just go on and on, like in parenting, this conflicting idea of, I want to take care of my kid, but I also want to give them opportunities to make their own money.

[00:29:46] So parent, you don't ever say, Oh, I let my kid run around, out on the playground. I hope he'll fall and skin his knee, but you, you do say. I hope he's safe and I hope he doesn't skin his knee, but he probably will eventually, and he's going to learn something important from that. And I'm not going to try to guard against it ever happening.

[00:30:12] Um, that's just like one of a thousand dualities. You have to hold in mind if you want to really surf the wave. Yeah, clear, I don't surf. So I want to, I want to be very clear. I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I tried surfing once and I almost puked so, and surfing is, is a great metaphor to life in my mind.

[00:30:35] And also emotions again that surf the wave surfing the waves is, and this podcast we'll talk a lot about. Flow and equanimity, and these, these are all waves are a great metaphor to illustrate, you know, what we're discussing here, but I want to actually segue to the specificity of why you want, you know, your desire, you and Andrew, his desire to serve adults.

[00:31:04] What did you say, adults? Uh, in business? Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a very crisp base to start doing a business. Right. Hey, I have a group of people I want to serve and let's figure out, you know, what problems they have so on and so on, but a core tenant is who you want to serve. And how did you guys end up there?

[00:31:26] Well, so I think our passion is about helping humans and, and specifically adults. Um, Not because we don't want to serve kids, but because, you know, for instance, our partners at Yale already serve. Over a million kids in schools, that's a different whole different venture. Um, so adults have different educational needs, um, and different ways of getting education.

[00:31:52] And the fact that a reality is that, you know, most of their educational educational activities happen in the workplace. You know, once you get out of college, People don't take a lot of classes. They don't do a lot of things on their own. So, so we honed in on the workplace, uh, because that's where it happens.

[00:32:16] Um, and the other reason why is that's a big part of our lives, you know, as adults, we spend half of our time, half of our life's energy. Trying to advance the interests of some business. And so it's really, if you, if you want to help adults grow and, and have a richer life. You have to consider what they're going to do at home.

[00:32:46] I would also say you also have to consider what they do at home. It's OJI life lab. It's not OJI biz lab. It's it's about everything in your life and your work is important. Your family's important, and we want to help you with everything. Um, and. It's funny. Sometimes we interact with people and they're like, yeah, I don't, you know, working with businesses, like I want to help people, but I don't know about the business angle.

[00:33:16] It's funny. Cause it's like, some people kind of view it as less, you know, not as high of a calling. Um, but, uh, Really fundamental part of being an adult for most adults. At some point, you know, not everybody works their whole life. Some people raise kids or take care of aging parents or whatever, but most of us spend decades working and it's meaningful.

[00:33:46] It's really important. And so we're really passionate about helping people. Um, get more meaning and, and get more success at work and, and at home. Yeah. That's a very noble mission. I love it. So if you don't mind some tactical things to think about why not just to founders, why not just executives? Why not just the, you know, managers and why not just employees?

[00:34:17] Why a very broad umbrella, you know, uh, adults. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's really important to us, um, because you know, what's fueling. Our passion for this is a belief that these are absolutely fundamental skills for every human and, um, and you know, I, I feel like I'm somewhat radicalized just in the sense that I feel like, uh, you know, like internally.

[00:34:55] And he was like, Oh my God, can't you see, this is. Absolutely fundamental. This isn't like, you know, I think you and I discussed people say, well, emotional intelligence, like eats that. Like let's what, where does that really apply? Like, you know, you don't ask that about oxygen who needs what's the target market?

[00:35:18] Like, is there some, is there some kind of workplace where water is important? Uh, no, everybody needs this. And so. It's very important to us that this is not some thing for elites or the, you know, highest echelon, uh, everybody needs these tools. Uh, and that includes, I'll say, you know, sometimes people will focus on, you know, uh, which people need it.

[00:35:50] Like how do you know the people who. Um, could benefit from improving their emotional intelligence. And in my experience, everybody can, I mean, unless I compare it to like perfect pitch, you know, one out of 10,000 people has perfect pitch and, um, as would be musician, I hate them, uh, because they just won't hear any note and identify it.

[00:36:16] And the rest of us can't do that. Um, And the rest of us, if we want to learn to play an instrument, have to do the work. Um, and emotional intelligence is, is that way. And, and even more rare. I mean, people don't have these skills. Naturally. My partner Mark always says like, nobody's born being able to identify the hundred different emotions on the mood meter.

[00:36:43] Have the words for it to know the skills to use, to regulate their emotions and move that doesn't happen. So we really feel passionate. Like everybody can benefit from this. And obviously some people have more natural inclination than others, but, but it's good for everybody. And so that's why, like we it's, it's a phone based learning program.

[00:37:11] That includes live video based learning because it's something we can scale and, and make cost-effective so that millions of people can do it. As opposed to, you know, like back when I was at Microsoft, we used to do these totally, you know, lavish off-sites at these exclusive hotels with great food and elite trainers, you know, it was great.

[00:37:37] I think Microsoft probably spent $5,000 to send me to it. Um, you can't scale that. Hmm. Interesting. Um, Well, you're speaking to a emotional intelligence savant. So everything I learned about emotions, I learned it. I acquire it. I wasn't gifted with, uh, just, you know, a sharp, emotional sense. Uh, so, so I definitely appreciate your intention too.

[00:38:08] To make these skills more widely available. And, um, but before we jump into the teaching modalities, cause I think that's a really fascinating topic to even think about. I'm curious to know if you have, can give you maybe the founders and entrepreneurs listening, they may have some judgment about yeah.

[00:38:30] And everyone should learn about emotional intelligence, but. Yeah, I got this other thing. I could be spending money on the kid, you know, enhance my top line or bottom line, whatever, you know, my, my, my company's on fire. I don't have the extra, whatever dollar amount to investing. Oh, G R labs.

[00:38:51] What would you say to them? Well, that may be true, right? I mean, if this, if the ship is sinking, uh, learning about emotional intelligence may not be the biggest priority. So, I, I, I would not say that all cases that your highest learning priority would be emotional intelligence. It might be strategic w you know, strategic planning or stress management or change management.

[00:39:16] So I don't think it's always the high order bit that said, uh, I do think it is, it's absolutely foundational. Um, and that. I never put it this way, but I think it's true to say, if you have people who are naturally not aware of their emotions and able to regulate them, you will fail. And you say more about that.

[00:39:52] Yeah. I mean, we all know absolutely brilliant people who are total assholes, uh, who. Uh, you can't get work done. And we also know people who are brilliant and they're not assholes. Um, but they're not good at reading other people. Uh, they're not good at understanding their emotional state. And so you're, you're, there's this notion of emotional contagion.

[00:40:14] So basically in any social setting or work setting, uh, the, the highest status people in the group. Set the emotional tone for the group and that's, that's called emotional contagion. So if you have somebody who's really talented, but they're anxious, they make everybody anxious. And if they're really talented but angry, they make everybody fearful or angry.

[00:40:42] Um, and so, um, you're not gonna succeed if you do this poorly. No, I'm not saying everybody does it poorly, but plenty of smart people do do it poorly. Um, but the converse I think is, or the corollary is true, which is you're going to succeed more if you do it well. And there's this great video clip we did, um, online, emotional intelligence conference this summer and Siegel Barsade, who's a great psychologist at Wharton.

[00:41:17] Just went on this terror. She's about like emotions, impact, you know, work patterns, they emotional, uh, relationships, uh, learning negotiation. I mean, she just listed like every sphere of business and she's like, how was saying how research impacts all of them. And I think, you know, uh, of course I think that's true given what I do.

[00:41:42] And so I think. It's a pretty high ROI learning area. If you can get better at this one thing and make everything better, you know, friends, people who are emotionally intelligent make better decisions because you don't make good decisions when you're triggered. So you can improve decision-making, you can improve relationships, you can improve sale, you can improve all these things with this one learning effort.

[00:42:17] So do you have any nightmare stories they could share with us? So that way it's super concrete. Again, you don't have to name names, but there's this, you know, we always hearing stories. So are, you know, as I mentioned, um, uh, Our program includes live video coaching. So it's really cool because we have a team of coaches that Andrea leads that are talking to our learners.

[00:42:42] And, and, and so we hear these stories all the time. And one, uh, we've liked recently was about, it was a woman who was a, uh, an OB GYN who, uh, was doing a crash C-section. Uh, on a COVID positive mother. And, uh, I guess during some C-sections, maybe all I don't know, but, um, the, the mom's awake. Um, so yeah.

[00:43:18] They're in surgery and there's friction between the GYN and somebody else on the surgical team. The OB was our customer and she describes how in the moment in this very high risk situation, uh, this friction really triggered her and absent learning about emotions. She would have gone off, she would eat either reacted back, which would have been awful, even more awful because the mother is conscious and hearing everything.

[00:43:56] Or she would have just had to suck it up, shove it down deep and try to get through the procedure. But instead, because she had the skills, she recognized her emotions. She understood what the gap was between where she was emotionally w which was angry and, and insulted. And she plotted a course to a different emotional state.

[00:44:24] And she had the skills that she learned to move to that new state. And the procedure ended. Baby was fine. Mom was fine. Everything was okay. And then the cherry on top was. The doctor was then able to go talk to the other person on the team and talk productively about what had happened and actually improve their relationship.

[00:44:51] It actually became, uh, a bonding episode because she was able to skillfully. Engage. So, you know, that's an example. My dad's a retired surgeon. I think a lot of surgeons are like, I don't have emotions. I don't need emotions. I'm a, you know, I'm a scientist and a professional. I go in there and I take care of business, but that's a delusion.

[00:45:12] That's not true. And so this is a really nice example of the highest stakes situation. A mom and a baby and emotions were at the center of making that. Have a positive outcome. Yeah. I appreciate that. Thank you for, for sharing that. Uh, and for, for the entrepreneurs or the founders listening to this conversation, I want to say to them directly here, I have personally experienced founders basically.

[00:45:44] You know, cause it, are they in their own company implosion. Yeah, because they have they're reacting emotionally. They choose to look at a situation through the lens of, you know, um, how dare you sabotage this and just, you know, cause it's not just. In this case, what mass sharing here is a life is at stake or two lives or three lives, multiple lives are at stake, right?

[00:46:10] So that's the highest stake there, but also in company terms, you could essentially cause millions of dollars because you imploded a company or you can cause a customer going away and so on and so on. And so, so what we're talking about here isn't necessarily theoretical, philosophical, nice to have actually have real life impact to your organization.

[00:46:34] Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's, it's, it's a weird thing. I mean, people call my partner, Mark always says like, people call it soft skills, but there's nothing soft about it. Both in two ways. One is it's hard to get these skills. It's totally doable, but it takes work. And secondly, it's hard in terms of the value.

[00:46:59] You know, if you, um, you know, I could quote all these different studies, um, but like there's one study and I won't remember exactly the construct, but, you know, basically they took a group of participants and they could prime them to have either negative or positive emotions. By having them read or certain things.

[00:47:26] And then, and then having primed them, they would have them make decisions about whether they would take a cash offer or wait longer to get a higher cash payout. So it's a kind of risk trade-off and they saw very clearly that the people who had a negative emotional state were more prone to just take the immediate cash payout which on a risk adjusted basis, wasn't the right decision.

[00:47:59] But, uh, when you're in a negative mood state, you're more inclined to do that. And so there's thousands of studies like this over time, you know, read a book like thinking fast and slow, which is kind of a Bible to me all about the cognitive biases that rule our lives. And, um, If you want to get ahold of those biases, you have to start by understanding your emotional life and be able to regulate it.

[00:48:32] Yeah, a hundred percent. Now, if you don't mind sharing some, I know that you had publicly share with us you've been through therapy. I'm assuming you, you meditate, you, I'm sure you have some other practices as a way to self-regulate your emotional States. Can you share with us?

[00:48:49] Metaphors or mental models about why particular modality per se, and how you think about emotions. So that way he helps someone listening to this who don't quite understand the importance of emotions yet. Yeah. Well, boy, I mean, there's a lot of stuff I've done. And so just to kind of do a laundry list, I've been in therapy for a long time.

[00:49:15] That's been incredibly profound for me.  Obviously emotional intelligence training is key. I don't, I don't sit. I haven't sat for a long time, uh, in meditation, but I do incorporate mindful practices in my life just all the time try to be in touch with my body, try to, uh, relax and try to be more mindful.

[00:49:40] You know, it's, it's taken out, Hahn's written great books about, you know, kind of like you can meditate when you're washing the dishes, you know? Cause you can do mindful dishwashing. Um, Even little things like I'm trying to be better about eating mindfully, which I'm really bad at. Like, I really, I feel so shitty when I kind of look down and see an empty plate in real life.

[00:50:10] Like, wow. That was three slices of pizza. When did that happen? Yeah. Um, so, you know, I think you have to. I try to do it, be mindful as much as possible. Um, you know, even this session, like, uh, I didn't look at any of the other weapons you've done, uh, or podcasts. I, I didn't want to, I didn't want to get that in my head.

[00:50:34] I want it to just be here with you and having this exchange to be mindful. And that's why I didn't have a lot of goals, you know, they kind of would get in the way. Um, so. You know, it's in, in Buddhism, they refer to the practice and it seems like an esoteric word. What does a practice mean? Uh, but the point is it's a process that goes on for your whole life.

[00:51:02] It's not like you get the knowledge and you're done. That's, that's not a thing. It's all about the practice. And, you know, um, People who are skilled meditators. And I wouldn't say I am one, but, um, no that, you know, one of the core game kind of dualities of, of mindful practices is, uh, not, not striving, not, um, being attached to any goal, to just be free floating and let things happen.

[00:51:37] Um, and, uh, and so, you know, I try to. I try to do that in, uh, in, in terms of mindfulness as much as I can. Yeah. Thank you for sharing. So, but if you don't mind sharing the specific path that you took, and then why you prefer a therapist is meditation. As an example, I haven't had. You know, enough experience with therapist obviously have my own biases that haven't actually.

[00:52:16] Yeah, just, I don't have enough data points. Do I have any opinions about it? So, so why therapist versus let's say meditations or plant medicine ceremonies, or, you know, these all other like EMDR, a lot of different paths to the self regulation that we all want. Right. Yeah. And, and, uh, you know, say, you know, across my wife and two kids and friends and family, I mean, I've seen a lot of different things.

[00:52:41] I think the most important thing to say is it's a toolkit. And I don't think there's one answer for everyone. People have to find the things they like. Um, you know, my trajectory is that, um, when my wife and I were pretty newly married, Um, we, I don't remember if we had had our first kid yet, but, um, we started seeing a marriage counselor who had been trained by John Gottman, um, who who's a very well-known.

[00:53:18] Psychologist up in Seattle. Uh, his books are fantastic, um, about relationships, what relationships are, how they work. So, um, you know, uh, in a long sequence of strokes of good fortune, we, we met a therapist, uh, who had been trained by Gottman. He was a fantastic guy. Um, super helpful. I think that was. You know, in some ways, my first step on the journey down to, to do OT in the sense that, you know, you get early in the marriage and if you're paying attention, you notice, Oh, this is a skillset.

[00:54:00] I don't know how to do this. Um, and you know, people it's peoples come up with these answers while you'll learn this stuff from your parents. My parents. Um, my dad's a surgeon, my mother's an attorney there. They're both retired now, but like, they are not similar to me and my wife in, in terms of how their marriage works and how they function.

[00:54:21] Um, so I, I CA I worked for them. It's not going to work for us. And so you get into it and a, you learn, okay, this is set of skills. I'm never going to be a master, but I better get started. And then there's the meta point, which I really took, which was like, Oh, There's all this shit. I need to know that nobody taught me.

[00:54:40] I mean, I, I, I didn't finish college, but I I'm pretty sure that junior year they didn't have a marriage class. Um, so I didn't miss it. It just wasn't offered. Um, so that was step one for me. Um, and then my wife saw a sequence of some other. We moved to the Bay area. We saw some other, uh, Marriage counselors, which was helpful.

[00:55:04] Uh, and then around 13 years ago, I got a referral to the woman. Who's still my therapist. Um, and I still remember going into her office and sitting down and telling her, uh, how I wanted her to help me, uh, with my marriage and help me figure out my wife. And I think within like three minutes, she basically said, well, your wife's not here.

[00:55:29] So let's work on you and we've been working to help me understand me, uh, ever since. Um, and there's all kinds of therapy, you know, there's cognitive behavioral therapy, which a lot of people find enormously helpful. Um, there's more kind of, uh, proactive therapists who. Uh, or the type that'll say, well, well, you know, CK, what I think you need to do is go March in and tell so-and-so this.

[00:56:02] Um, my therapist is, is, uh, much more traditional. She asked me questions. She offers very few suggestions, um, because she's focused on giving me, helping me build the muscles to figure things out. Um, And I've seen her at some points once a week and at some points twice a week. And, and it's, you know, it's just a essential part of my life.

[00:56:33] And, um, you know, my mother, uh, my mother finds the whole thing kind of mysterious that I do therapy and she's like, is something wrong? Did you, you, you know, is there some thing you're trying to deal with? Actually, no, there's not anything wrong. Uh, but I can tell there's more. Yeah. And, and so, uh, I I've spent, you know, more money, more time on therapy than any other thing I've done for myself.

[00:57:03] And. And, uh, thank goodness. It's the best thing I ever did, but just to reiterate, that's good for me, you know, other people do other things. Some people need to see psychiatrist, um, uh, and that's super important because they're dealing with anxiety or depression or ADHD or OCD or whatever. Um, and then, you know, finally there's all the emotional intelligence work.

[00:57:29] Um, and whereas I think of, I think of. You know, therapy is kind of wandering around, exploring the territory, you know, imagine like searching through a forest and looking for interesting discoveries. You know, the emotional intelligence work I do is much more. Um, we give you a map. We teach you how to navigate and you are going from point to point.

[00:57:55] Uh, it's not a replacement. Uh, for therapy, uh, but it is more direct and deterministic. I appreciate that distinction actually. That's actually very helpful. Thank you. Um, yeah, I like it more and more outcome versus process driven. Yeah. Yeah. Useful. Elvis. Sure. Yeah. I mean, you're speaking to an audience of, um, Visioneers seekers, you know, impact driven entrepreneur.

[00:58:28] So, so, um, yeah. Where were you described as  is perfect. Uh, anything else you want to say about the selection criteria for your therapist? You know, I think chemistry is everything I'm incredibly fortunate. I have this therapist who. She just never hits a wrong note for me. Like she totally is on my wavelength.

[00:58:51] Um, and I've, I've known other therapists who were very talented and I never would have had that relationship with them. So, uh, you know, you have to be ready to go in and have a couple sessions and say, thank you. I'm just not feeling it. Um, because your goal is to be with somebody that you can be completely honest with and totally kind of naked.

[00:59:14] And I'm not sure I am, or I've gotten there, but that's the goal. So I think you have to look for that, uh, right. Uh, chemistry. And then, and then the second thing is, uh, not to like go down a rat hole, but people get really confused about the difference between. Therapists and psychiatrists, you know, if you, well, I mean, if you want have depression or anxiety or ADHD or what have you, you need to see a psychiatrist.

[00:59:44] Who's a medical doctor. Who's an expert at prescribing. These medications, sometimes general practitioners will prescribe them. I don't recommend that sometimes therapists have abilities to work with the doctor to get you, uh, prescriptions. But in my experience, the best thing to do is get to a psychiatrist that you trust.

[01:00:07] If you have those kinds of challenges. Um, but you know, it's like, I won't use the analogy of like, uh, if you're an ice skater, like if you're an ice skater and your form, isn't great. Okay. You need a, you need a coach, which is like a therapist, but if you have a broken ankle, your coach can not help you, like until the ankle is.

[01:00:33] Supported, you cannot improve your skating and that's the psychiatrist. So like if you're suffering from chronic depression, you need to get to a psychiatrist. Um, and, uh, it's, it's, it's, it's another one of these things where I'm like inside. I'm just like, it's, it's so fundamental. And such a failing of our society that we don't even give people this basic understanding about what therapy is and what psychiatry is.

[01:01:03] Um, and you hear these horrible stories about people who haven't left their house for three weeks. Uh, but they're talking a lot to their friends and it's clear, they're depressed. And it's clear that they, they need medical help. It's a medical condition, uh, and they're not getting it and it breaks my heart.

[01:01:29] Yeah, thank you for that distinction. You're right. I mean, part of conversations like these for me is I want to normalize these type of conversations because there's especially around, um, high-performers entrepreneurs, right? There's still some level of stigma around mental health, mental wellness, mental fitness, mental performance.

[01:01:51] So I use these words interchangeably because I mean, precisely there's not. It's like I went to the gym. There's nothing wrong with going to the gym. You want to get better, your, your emotional ability, your emotions, you practice by using these types of emotional skills, uh, platforms. Similarly, you want to understand how your mind works.

[01:02:09] Go. Go talk to your coach. You go talk to a therapist, go talk to a psychologist. You know, it's totally a case. It's, there's nothing wrong with that. Well, I thank you for doing that. I think it's incredibly important. And that's why, like, for me, if you, if, if, uh, if I tell somebody, um, uh, I'm busy tomorrow, I don't ever say I have something to do I say, because I'm going to see my therapist because I want to.

[01:02:38] Make it a little tiny, little bit safer for people to feel like that's a normal part of life. And, and, uh, and you know, when I talk to the people I know who see psychiatrists, um, I also want to make that normal. It's a medical problem. No, one's embarrassed that they go to the doctor because they have shin splints, uh, or because they're having their diabetes treated.

[01:03:08] And it should be the same thing for mental health issues. It's totally undergrounded. And it's, it's, it's very sad. Um, and actually a psychiatrist I know here in the Bay area, Mike Michael Freeman, he's published a paper about, uh, incidents of mental health issues with entrepreneurs and people can find it online.

[01:03:31] I actually was part of his study and he does find that there is, uh, I think increased incidents of some. Uh, mental health issues amongst entrepreneurs. Um, and you know, it's the sad thing is people. I think some people feel like, Oh, but it's my advantage. It's not your fucking idea. Say more about that. And actually please say more about that.

[01:03:53] And people are like, Oh, my anxiety drives me. It's what keeps me going. Yeah. I mean, I just like take it to its extreme. So let's say you could build a wildly successful company, make a fortune and be anxious for the rest of your life. Is that a good trade off? I hope the answer's no. Right. I mean, it's hard to enjoy the benefits of that if you feel like shit every day, but, but the illusion is yes, the illusion is I'm going to be anxious.

[01:04:24] Short-term. But when I get successful, then I'll have those life satisfaction to that fulfillment that money can afford me. Then I won't be anxious anymore. Yes. I think that's an astute observation. And, and, uh, there's a lot of things like that where I view them. There's this whole series of mirages where people feel like, okay, I'm just, when I get there, when it gets to the Mirage.

[01:04:51] It's not a Mirage. I think it's an Oasis. When I get there, everything, the water will flow. The fruit will be on the tree. I can relax in the shade. It's all going to be great, but it's not real. Um, you know, you have to make these things good today. Um, and so you don't need to be anxious. You don't need to be depressed.

[01:05:13] You know, your OCD is not your super, super secret weapon. That's not to say you want to go get, get, I mean, there's many ways of treating with these things. I mean, sometimes the treatment is, you know, cognitive behavioral therapy. It's not medical at all, but you want to go find out, um, and, uh, Everybody needs to make their own choice.

[01:05:36] I'm not saying what people should do, but what I do feel strongly about is we need to get rid of the stigma. So people feel like they have the Liberty and the support to make the choices that are best for them. Instead of feeling like, Oh, I don't, you know, I don't want to be the person who goes. No. Like my, like my mother asked me about therapy.

[01:05:57] Like she's very supportive about it now after all these years, but there was definitely a period of time. It was like, why does my son need this

[01:06:07] answer? Is I live in a literal sense? I don't need it, but it's unbelievably valuable to me. Yeah. Thank you for making and sharing your story publicly. I mean, my, my analogy to my younger self is his CK. The younger CK is very effective and achieving goals, but the quality of life is fucking miserable, right?

[01:06:33] So, so, you know, you can live your life then miserable, or you don't have to be miserable. And, and the added benefit is you're going to be even more effective. Why not? Right. Well, you know, it's a, it's a funny test, uh, CK and I don't, I don't, I'm very mindful of making sure we hit the topics you want to, uh, hit.

[01:06:56] But like, when you think about American attitudes towards European cultures, you know, it's like, Oh, you know, you know, the Germans, they can't even open their businesses certain days of the week. And they have six weeks of paid vacation every year. And like, How could you get anything done? And their economy isn't as productive as ours, and I'm no expert on comparative economies, but anyways, you know, it's just like attitude.

[01:07:23] Um, their culture is somehow inferior because they don't have their nose to the grindstone as much as us. Like, I'm not sure that's that awful, you know, six P six weeks of paid vacation to be with your family. To build relationships to decompress the fact that you can't work 60 hours a week. I mean, maybe the gross domestic product, you know, the per capita is lower, but is that all that matters?

[01:07:59] I don't think that's the only measure of, of our success is the money we make or the status. And in fact, I don't even think it's the major one. So, um, You know, taking care of ourselves as essential. Yeah. So, so let's segue a little bit about your transition from selling the first company to the second company and then finding your, your new mission.

[01:08:26] Right? Cause, um, on this podcast we do talk about the hero's journey right? In my, my. Each transition requires letting go of one's identity. A bit, some people on the podcast have phrased them as dark NAFTA, soul, like belly of the whale, you know, these type of moments for them. So did you ever go through that, those, those type of moments during those transitions?

[01:08:52] At all. I think the one time, I think, you know, selling to Apple was, you know, I was 23 years old. I was happy, um, to do it, um, and think selling to Microsoft was pretty similar. I think the one time I really had a hard time adjusting was when I left Microsoft because I went from. A big job with a big team, uh, where the system was set up to make everything very easy for me to, I mean, literally being home with my newborn daughter, uh, where there was no system and I was changing diapers and, uh, I had, I didn't have any mojo, um, After leaving Microsoft.

[01:09:52] Yeah, I stayed home. I was just home, you know, for a decade. Um, I did a lot of things, you know, I ran a nonprofit and sat on boards and stuff, but, you know, going from running the number four website on the planet to being a guy at home with his baby and wife was a big change. Um, And I wanted to change and I think I understood the change and D in day-to-day I felt good about it, but about once a month, I had a dream where I would be at Microsoft and nobody would know who I am.

[01:10:33] And it's like, Oh, that really hurts. I'm not, I'm not a player anymore. Yeah. Relevance, relevance, importance. Even more than that, I think it's just, um, When you're in a status, high status position, it's like, um, you know, the, the rules of gravity have been dialed down for you. It's just, things are easier.

[01:10:57] People make just people come along, you know, they don't argue as much when you ask them to do something, they just do it. You know, I, when I was at Microsoft, I could stay to my assistant. You know, let's have a reception, you know, let's say I have a Friday kind of reception for everybody cause we're going to ship product.

[01:11:17] And it's just like, you know, I'd walk downstairs and there'd be this whole catered event that I did nothing. It just would happen, you know? Um, And, uh, you know, you go back to that kind of issue of emotional contagion. I go into meetings and I'd be the person, most senior person in the room, and everybody would, you know, if I wanted to talk, they would shut up and let me talk.

[01:11:45] Um, if I asked them to do something, they'd write it down and go do it. Um, and that's, I mean, it's bullshit. That's not real, that's not reality. Um, and, uh, I really consciously walked away from it. Um, but uh, I had dreams about that loss for years to get used to just you're you're not that guy anymore, so I wouldn't call it a darkroom of the soul for me.

[01:12:18] Fortunately, I was. Like in this wonderful time with my baby daughter home with my wife and getting to explore all kinds of new things. So there was a lot of good, uh, but it, it, there was, there was some attachment there. Mm. So did you actively take on any practice? I was way too. Adjusted a new identity at all.

[01:12:41] And by the way, the context of my questions, this has some of the guests have been on the show before, or, or clients that have a real hard time adjusting to it. So, so, you know, if you have anything tactical that you can share, whoever's listening or, you know, really help them going through this transition right now, that would be super helpful.

[01:13:04] Yeah. I don't know. I don't know if I remember it accurately. I do know that it was around that time that I really started reading a lot of Buddhist, uh, thinking. And so I started, um, I think, yeah, soon after I read a book on mindfulness by tick not Hahn and started practicing. Uh, and I started reading other texts about Buddhism, um, which to me is not a religion.

[01:13:42] It's really a philosophy. And, uh, that was really profound to me. I don't know that I can connect it with. That kind of attachment fading away. I think probably more than anything else. It was just time passing and me moving on to other things. But, um, I do find, uh, that helpful and then kind of the overall practice, which really just came down to a decision.

[01:14:16] Was I exited tech? I just didn't really, I, I sat on tech boards. But I was not immersed in that. And, and, uh, when my wife and I moved back to the Bay area, um, from Seattle, we intentionally moved, uh, to a part of the Bay area. That's not a tech Haven. Um, and you know, when I go down to Silicon Valley, I, the way I always look at it, it's like in Silicon Valley, when you walk into a restaurant, everybody turns to look.

[01:14:50] To see who you are to see if you're someone up here, nobody gives a shit, you know, you walk in, nobody cares. And, and, and that was, I think in a way, the biggest decision I made, which was just to extricate myself fully and put it behind me. And I'm not, you know, I'm not in Seattle, I'm not in high-tech I'm off doing something else.

[01:15:13] I got to move on. Got it. Well, that is a hack, right? Put yourself in an environment where, uh, you can invent a new identity where you know, your old identity didn't matter to anyone. Yeah. Environment, so beautiful. Anything before you want to move onto the next thing. Okay. All right. Beautiful. Well, let's, let's talk about the teaching aspect of emotionality.

[01:15:46] Cause in my mind, it's one of those things. So I, you can teach them certain skills. If they are too attached to the mechanistic aspect of it, and then it becomes kind of miss the point again. Right. So it's like having a strong skill, but loosely held. So that way they can start, use it more intuitively naturally.

[01:16:07] And I say that from someone who, who went through that journey. So yeah. Why did you choose to use, let's say, um, video training, plus like coaching as a modality of the best way to transfer this type of knowledge in a bite-size way to, uh, people in business. Yeah. Well, you know, I think the key, there's a couple of key observations.

[01:16:35] I mean, one obviously is different people learn differently. And so if you have just a single. It's kind of like if you serve a plate of food and the only thing on it is a hamburger, but there's no button, there's no tomato, there's no lettuce, there's no French fries, you know, for some people are like, well, I don't want just the hamburger.

[01:16:59] I, I need other things. And so, so part of it is just from a learning science point of view. You, you want something for everyone? Um, So that's one issue. Uh, I think the bigger issue is that the kind of learning that you're doing in the emotional and emotion life lab, which is our product is it's, it's about forming a habit and it's a habit that is by its very nature built on what I'll call personal knowledge.

[01:17:33] Um, so, um, The, you know, the example I sometimes give is learning to write, uh, an essay, uh, you know, a thesis in high school. I don't know if you and I talked about it, but you know, freshman year, first week of English class, they tell you you're going to learn to write a thesis. Um, and what's the thesis it's about stating a proposition, backing up, uh, three points of evidence developing each of those three points and then re summarizing it in a conclusion.

[01:18:07] That's it. That's all you need to know. That's all the data about, um, writing an essay. And then if you're most like most people, you struggle all through high school writing really crappy theses and half the people graduate from high school and they're still not good at it. And they go to college and they have to learn it, you know, if they go to college.

[01:18:29] So why is that? It's because knowing about the thing is totally different from knowing how to do the thing. Right. You know, understanding versus embodied. Yeah, exactly. And part of it, there's a couple things. One is you have to make it personally relevant. So you need to understand, uh, in the case of emotional intelligence.

[01:18:55] Okay. So I need to be able to recognize my emotions. What does that mean for me? Okay. So we have some people who come into the life lab and they're like, I didn't think I had emotions. Like I never thought about it. We have other people who say I have emotions all day long and I, I can't even sort them out, whatever, wherever you are.

[01:19:19] I, as the teacher, I don't know that you need to figure that out. You need to map your emotional landscape and learn where the milestone landmarks are and how to get around in it. And so, so you have to learn. That that, uh, personal knowledge, uh, that's not outside of you, it's inside of you. So I can't give it to you because I can't possibly have it.

[01:19:46] You have to find it yourself. And then you have to also learn these habits, these skills that you can repeat and not just. Learn them in a mechanical way, but I often think in terms of tennis, cause I've been playing a lot of tennis. You know, when the ball's coming at you at 20 miles an hour, it can't be pivot.

[01:20:09] Put back, put down my racket, cock, my RI you can't, it can't be conscious. Because the ball is moving too fast, it has to become automatic and you have to have a real sense of your, where your body is in space and how your muscles and joints are moving. Uh, and you have to let your, your, your, uh, your entire nervous system take control, not your cognitive.

[01:20:37] Faculties, but rather your larger nervous system. And it's similar with emotional intelligence. So you need to get to this place where you're in the operating room and you get triggered and you go, Oh, I'm triggered. What am I feeling? I'm angry. Why am I angry? But what's anger. Anger is a perceived injustice being wrong.

[01:21:00] Yeah. I feel like this other person wasn't fair to me. What can we do about that? Whew. You know what I'm going to use? Reframing reframing is a way of, re-interpreting say, you know what? This other person in the operating room they're doing their best. They want to take care of the patient too. Maybe they had a bad day.

[01:21:17] Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. All right. I feel better now I'm able to perform, but for all that to happen, it's not about. You know, my apartment market, Yale has got a great book, permission to feel. I recommend it to everyone. It's a great introduction to emotional intelligence, but when you, when you're done reading it, you will not be emotionally intelligent.

[01:21:38] You'll have information about emotional intelligence. So that's why we structured our system to be such that you actually have lots of activities where you reflect where you. Do things like come up with emotion goals when I'm with my family, what emotion would I like to feel? How am I going to get there?

[01:21:57] What's the practice to do that? When I'm in work, what's the emotions I want to feel. How am I going to get there? Uh, and, uh, you get to see a lot of examples of people talking about their emotions. You get to hear our partners at Yale, Mark and Robin stern. Who's our other co-founder. Hear them provide extra expert advice.

[01:22:19] And then we have these live sessions, uh, that are really key to help you what we call consolidate the learning. So you kind of like we have this tool called the mood meter that lets you map your emotions in terms of energy and pleasantness. Um, You know, you get introduced to that and you know about it, but then you need to practice it for a while.

[01:22:46] And then we have a live session where you work with one of our coaches where they help you really become more of an expert. So you leave not just having an awareness, but really okay. I really get it. Now. I understand the red quadrant and the mood meters, high energy, negative emotion. And it's useful in certain circumstances and it's really lousy and other circumstances.

[01:23:11] And I need to be aware of that. So we bring all of that together. And then the key is that because it's right over 50 little steps, it takes you about three months to complete it. And if you just think about it, it's, it's, it's common sense in a way, like if we gave you a one day class, you might really like it.

[01:23:32] But we all know that we're going to forget it all. And that's just that hundred years of research has shown what's called the forgetting curve. If you learn something and don't have it reinforced, it is gone. Um, and yet we still do these stupid workshops, but they're, they're not going to work. So we have the, the power of smartphones now, so that I can learn 10 minutes a day for a couple months.

[01:23:59] So that at the end, It is, it is in there. It's not going out. You're going to remember this probably for your whole life. So it's a real different way of learning. And, um, you know, what it comes down to for us is that our goal isn't to sell you something, our goal is to have you really change your life.

[01:24:26] And yeah, we're going to sell you something to get you there, but it's not enough to take your money. It's really important to us that, you know, a year from now, you're saying, I think about this all the time. I use these skills every day because you have emotions every day. Yeah, I really liked. Um, so specifically around that, I really like, I was watching, uh, Mark giving a.

[01:24:50] Yeah, Google talk the other day. And a few years ago he said, yeah, we have multiple emotions every minute. And they're there for within a day. Uh, ultimately we have a couple of thousand emotions that we experience like me, you know, my, my sensitivity to my emotions isn't that high. So I was very surprised to hear that we'll have a couple of thousand emotions.

[01:25:18] Um, every day. So this actually allows me to develop higher awareness of my own emotions, as well as a better way to articulate that to another person. So, yeah, exactly. And the, and the analogy I use sometimes see kids it's it's emotions are kind of like the weather. Um, they happen. It doesn't matter if you don't want them to, they do, you can act like they don't.

[01:25:45] You can, you can say I'm going outside. Without a jacket. Sometimes you're going to get wet and sometimes you're going to get, you know, burn up. Uh, you can just pretend, but it doesn't serve you. It's never, it's like, it's never better to ignore the weather. Um, but you know, the other thing, the other reason I like comparing it to the weather is, you know, the weather is always changing and it's not good or bad.

[01:26:16] You know, I mean, obviously we would rather not live through a hurricane, but you know, you may not want ring now, but here in the Bay area, we need it. Uh, and you may not want it to be hot, but the plants need it. So, um, it's all gonna come. Every, every possible emotion will happen. Um, we don't get to choose what it is, but we can be smart about it.

[01:26:45] And if it's super hot out and you're going for a run, you can do the right thing. And if it's raining out and you're going for a run, you can do the right thing. You can go for a run either way, but it's definitely to your advantage to know what the weather is and to plan accordingly. So I have a quick, uh, fundamental question if you don't mind, and this is very esoteric.

[01:27:06] So let me know if you much, I'm all excited. Yeah. So in a, in a, in a Buddhist study, Yeah. The goal. If, if any, is to be quantum amiss, meaning not grasping for positive emotions or averting negative ones. Right. So militaries are come and go like the weather, right. Makes a lot of sense. So. Is your, again, let me know if this is too esoteric is the, since your, your, your, your, your product is about getting from point a to point B as in outcome driven motions.

[01:27:42] I feel terrible. Now. I want to feel better. Is, is the premise there feeling better is better, or is just part of, um, A way to get to equanimity. Does that make sense? Yeah, it's just, it's a super interesting question. Um, to feel my way through it. I'm not sure I have the best answer. Um, you know, Mark talks a lot about being an emotion scientist, um, and, and by that he means, uh, to look at your emotions and think about it.

[01:28:22] Uh, in a non, he says, don't be an emotion judge being an emotion scientist. So it's just like, okay, this is, this is, I am angry. I am anxious. I am elated. I am sad, whatever. So I think that is very compatible with the Buddhist notion of non-attachment. Right. It's like, just what is it? Okay. So that's the first step.

[01:28:49] And then in terms of saying. Uh, where do you want to be? Um, it's not. So like one of the things we, uh, you know, kind of I'll give away a little bit of the fun stuff we do in the live video stuff is, you know, one of the things we talk about is, uh, which emotions are good, which is a trick question because every emotion has its utility.

[01:29:18] So again, Not being attached to being in woods, the yellow quadrant, which is high energy, positive emotion. I want to feel elated all the time. That would be kind of an attachment. And I think if you talk to me when I was 25, I would say, yeah, of course you always want to be there, but there's actually lots of science that says you actually don't.

[01:29:46] If you're doing, for instance, really, really detailed work, like you're working on a financial model, you know, you're working on your startups. A financial model. I just feel great. The world's conspiring to make everything possible. That's a shitty place to be for real detailed and somewhat skeptical, analytical thinking.

[01:30:09] And so you feel a little bit, um, there's, what's called kind of cognitive window. You want to close the cognitive window? So you're less about what's possible and you're focused in, on like the hard nitty gritty details of how this is going to work. So the point is you don't want to be attached to the good emotions because they're not the good emotions.

[01:30:31] There are good emotions or productive emotions for certain situations. Right now I'm roughly, uh, in the green quadrant. Which is moderate energy, very pleasant. But if I was like, just like CK, let's talk. I mean, it would, all right, I'd be off the screen, pacing around the room. That's not good for this setting.

[01:30:55] So, so I think it's actually pretty consistent. Um, and yes, I think there's an issue about grasping, uh, But again, um, I think that the, the reality is if you're an emotion scientist, you're saying, well, I feel really sad right now, and I need to go speak in front of 500 people in a, in a conference hall. It would be great if I could get into the yellow, but I can't.

[01:31:33] That's just reality. So let's be, and that would be grasping. Like I have to get there. No, you don't have to. And you can't. So what can you do? Okay, well, I can get to the high green, like if I do some breathing exercises and maybe do some best self and use some of the other techniques reframing, um, get good enough.

[01:31:57] So I, I I'd like to think it's pretty, uh, pretty consistent. Okay. Yeah. Thank you for philosophical. Uh, uh, because I think about this question a lot myself, because my job as a, as a coach is ultimately for me, people come to me wanting to feel a particular way, but also they want to perform at a higher level and they want to get to that big idea and they want to, you know, make better decisions.

[01:32:24] As you said, So, what do I do as a way to help them get there? Right. And in my mind, having either attachment to positive emotions or a version, two negative ones, those are all barriers too. Getting in touch the two they're there, their inner truth and equanimity, you know, were intuitions and their wisdom come from.

[01:32:48] So whatever processes I run them through is a way to, um, you know, peel back the layers of illusions and constructs and limiting beliefs and so forth to tap into that state. And from that place of equanimity, then you have new insights of looking at these objective data points. And then come up with the micro-actions that you take, perhaps newly towards this thing that you are solving.

[01:33:16] That's that's the mental model that I have. Yeah. Well, I think that's, I think that makes a lot of sense and equanimity is a full-time job, man. It's so, so anyone to that, that basically tout permanent removal of limiting beliefs or permanent state of enlightenment. Uh, I'm always very, I, I am willing to meet someone who is like that.

[01:33:43] But to me, these are all temporary States. And then, and then, and then, and then we, we come back to it over and over again. So yeah, I mean, it's another duality, right? Like it's, there's this goal that we always have, and at least for me, I recognize I'm not going to get there. Yeah, that's fine. And I really appreciate what OT lab is, is, is, is doing because ultimately what you're teaching from my interpretation of it, correct me if I'm wrong of that.

[01:34:16] It's it's self-awareness. Where am I at right now? What's my emotion and what are my thoughts? And then instead of grasping or reverting to them, and just take note of that first and foremost and take the micro steps towards emotional state, that's more productive or conducive to what is it that you wanted to have?

[01:34:38] Yeah, self-awareness is the first step. And then it's the regulation we call it recognize and regulate. And you, you know that, cause I know you've, you've been in the life lab, so you want to, you know, where do I want to be for the goal I have? And, um, you know, it's that old saying? Uh, if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.

[01:35:00] Um, so you know, you can ignore all this stuff and just kind of let any emotion come up and, and, uh, and. See how the cards fall, but, um, it's much better to be able to have a plan. And, and, and it's, it's really fun working with people cause they, you know, start saying, Oh, it's when, like when is optimism good for me?

[01:35:26] And it's, you know, Like any parent will tell you, it's not always good to be optimistic about your kids. Like, Oh, he's fine. Yeah. He's, he's just taking the bus across town. He's two years old. It's not a problem. It's not good. Uh, so you know, you want to, you want to be able to pick that emotion and people become, um, pretty discriminating about these emotional States that they never thought about before, but now they're.

[01:35:58] You know, really thinking like, yeah. Maybe, you know, maybe a little bit of anxiety is good for what I'm about to do. Okay. So, so is that part of the principles that you UFOs of what you make it explicit to your users? Absolutely. Okay. Yeah. I mean, we really, you know, that that mood meter is a 10 by 10 grid.

[01:36:25] So there's a hundred emotions on there. There's about 2200 words, I think in English that are emotion words, but we'd focus on these hundred words. And I don't mean like people memorize the words or anything like that and can list them up, but they become discriminating. And they're like, okay, when I'm about to have a one-on-one meeting with somebody who works for me and I'm going to give them some.

[01:36:49] Pretty strong feedback,

[01:36:53] probably want to be in kind of low energy towards the middle of pleasantness. Maybe a little bit towards negative. I mean, nobody wants to get tough feedback while you're smiling and acting like it's a great, that's a great day. Um, You know, Hey, come into my office. I'm feeling great. The stock market's up.

[01:37:15] I bought a new car this weekend. It's so great. I got to tell you really kind of screwed up things at work that that's not the conversation. So, you know, like, okay, I want to shift into that other place. How can I do that? So, you know, we're going to teach you those techniques. That's assuming that they have the rubric in their mind knowing what's appropriate.

[01:37:37] Yes. For, for, for emotional savant, you know, delivering bad news while being really joyous may sound like a great idea. Right? And that's why you need to go. Like, that's one of the things you do in the live one of our first live sessions, as you talk about this very explicitly. So we can tell people who feel like, you know, being high energy, positive all the time is great.

[01:38:03] And everybody loves my energy and I should just do it all the time. You know, one of the things we're very explicit about is like, no, that's not, that's not always the best place. You know, somebody comes to you and says, I feel awful. I just found out a good friend of mine from high school, uh, lost his job and his dad's got cancer.

[01:38:28] Where are you going to be like really up with people. Hey, wow. There's this, there's a silver lining here. There's no silver lining. It sucks. So, if you want to be empathic, you have to get where they are. Mm . People that's natural. Other people need to learn it. Yeah. Um, quick question about motivation real quick.

[01:38:54] Cause in my mind, teaching these type of life skills, super important work, uh, and in very beneficial in everyone wants to feel good. Right? But the chosen mechanism for people feeling good, you know, there's a lot of quote, unquote easier ones watching TV, just, you know, escape from reality, you know, whatever addiction they have and then, and then, then they don't have to necessarily do the work to be better at these types of skills.

[01:39:25] So I'm curious now, from your perspective, as the founder CEO, What incentives or do you highlight to them such that they're intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated to really do the work? Uh, 50 days at emotional intelligence? Yeah. That's, you know, uh, I hadn't really thought about kind of the, the escapist solution of, you know, 10 hours of Xbox, um, because you get immediate feedback, right?

[01:40:00] It's like deal with it. I feel good. It's exciting. I go watch a movie, whatever addictions I have. Right. Go do that. Versus do the work of Microsoft to be better at those skills. Yeah. I mean, it strikes me that that question CK is, you know, You know, if you're feeling so emotions are, are short-term right.

[01:40:25] They come and go. Like you said, about Mark a thousand emotions a day. So there's short term feelings are, um, harder to address with. You know, Xbox or a candy bar, uh, maybe a candy bar, but there's, you know, a lot of those things aren't are, are not going to work longer, longer mood States. You know, if you I'm just feeling I've pervasive anxiety, it lasts all the time.

[01:40:54] That's where, you know, you use alcohol or, or whatever, or X-Box, um, I keep using X-Box cause I have a 17 year old son for many questions, his X-Box. Yeah, but I think, you know, the way, the way we try to talk about it is to just be very science-based there's, there's five areas that emotion, uh, emotions impact you and that emotional intelligence will help you.

[01:41:23] And if I'm lucky, I'll remember all five right now. So decision-making is a big one. Uh, uh, attention, memory and learning is a big one. Um, uh, creativity and performance is one, uh, mental and physical health is one and relationship quality. So, if you kind of think back through that list, do I want to make better decisions?

[01:41:53] Do I want to learn better? Do I want to produce better stuff? Do I want to feel better? And do I want to have better relationships? Yeah, I want all of those. I mean, those are really fundamental. So most people, when we walk them through that list, um, a believe that emotions impact those things and be. Want those benefits.

[01:42:22] There were some people, depending on in the group, 10, 15% of people, um, will say either, I don't want to go there. Like, this is just sounds like a world of hurt. Um, I don't want to think about my emotions. Um, for, for understandable reasons, right? It's painful. It can be painful and it's certainly work. Um, and then there's also people who are just like, this is just a bunch of bullshit, which is usually about them saying, um, I know I'm, I know my emotions have negative impacts on other people and I just don't think I can do about it.

[01:43:06] And you know, like we'll literally have people say my anger serves me well, Yep. You know, gives me my edge. Yeah. Sales manager. And my anger is like, great. Yeah, we will try and say, okay, but don't you think you could kick butt and not be angry and not churn through your sales staff? Cause they can't stay at working with you.

[01:43:30] And so some people say, yeah, maybe and some people say, no. Dude, I saw $3 million worth of product last year. I'm not changing anything. Okay. But I think most people, um, respond to that list of five areas and find it compelling. And, uh, and they don't view kind of that kind of avoidant behavior for you. You listed.

[01:43:56] As being an alternative,  maybe an alternative for other things, but not for this. Yeah. And do you guys help them concretize? Let's say I want to be more creative. Oh, okay. Great. Be more creative in one area. How would you rate it on the, you know, on the scale of one to five? And so that, that way you can help them quantify.

[01:44:16] And then the progress they make as they go through your program. Yeah. So, I mean, obviously there are limits to ways you can quantify this stuff. You know, like my creativity went from 64 to 75. I mean, I don't know how to measure that stuff. Uh, but we do early in the program, you come up with your emotion goals.

[01:44:37] Like, what is it you want? It could be, I want to make better decisions at work. It could be, I want to have better relationships with patients. It could be, I want to get along better with my teenage kids. I mean, there's all kinds of, um, things that people come up with. And so they come up with a set of them.

[01:44:54] Um, and, and then. Towards the end of the program, they actually have a one-on-one coaching session with one of our coaches where they look at those goals and see how they're doing. And, um, to the extent that they have more work to do, they work with the coach to come up with what practices they can use to, to get there.

[01:45:20] Uh, so we do, uh, you know, work on that, um, you know, for better or worse, it's not, but it's not at the level of like, Oh, you want to be, um, better at decision-making. So you should use the best self strategy and do this. It's, you know, it's much more about giving people a toolkit that they can experiment with.

[01:45:47] You know, it's like, you're, here's a toolkit, try to build some things. And, you know, some people might like the hammer and some people like the S the, the, uh, vice grip and, you know, it's, it depends what you're building. You kind of need to know the tools and then you'll make good stuff. Yeah, I was the head of culture for my last startup and you know, my, my thinking around it, um, has evolved from the very beginning to the middle to right before I exited that startup.

[01:46:17] Um, it was top down. And it was top down, bottom up, and then it was making tools and ecosystem. So that way people can pick and choose what works best for them towards their own personal goals. So I really appreciate the way you articulate. Yeah. Yeah. I think a big kind of like guiding principle in everything we do that we say to each other all the time is we want to meet people  where they're at.

[01:46:42] So, I mean, it's not, I don't know. What's right for you. I don't know what you find resonant. I don't know what you find comfortable or uncomfortable or exciting or motivating. So I, I'm here to offer a system for you to find those things out. And if you don't care, then what I'm doing is irrelevant. You know, you're just not going to play.

[01:47:04] Um, but you know, the, uh, the philosopher, John Dewey a hundred years ago who wrote a lot on education, he had this very fundamental premise, which is. It is impossible to teach anyone anything that the only learning that ever happens is an internal process. Um, and that's pretty profound when you accept that.

[01:47:30] Like I can't cause you to know something. You have to choose to know it and you have to do the work to assimilate it and do everything else. And so if you have the humility and accept that, which I do, I think it is just a gift then. Like, I can't decide what people are going to learn. They have to, they have to want to.

[01:47:52] Do you guys use any gamification mechanics of the way, like a scoreboard or a leaderboard or things like that. So that way people are incentivized to take more of your modules and yeah, we do. We have some today and we have some that will come out in the next month or so it is a little dodgy, um, because you know, the kind of leaderboard that makes sense in a sales team to sell more widgets.

[01:48:20] Is really cheesy when you're talking about emotional growth, you know what I mean? So we're like, we're pretty sensitive about it. Um, but we do have some cool stuff coming that will kind of recognize people for. Being consistent and, and using the mood meter and other stuff. So that they'll have a clear sense, uh, that they're making progress.

[01:48:46] Yeah. As the question, because there's also that group dynamic component to it as well. Right. It's not just like, okay. Game of one, a solo game is rather it's, this is a group dynamics quote-unquote game, right. You're using, you know, when it's nation. So culture group that I'm in is a huge aspect of it. So I was very curious to know how you, you know, uh, introduce it, but in a very, uh, nuanced way.

[01:49:12] So, yeah, and we actually, we looked at doing a bunch of features that gamified things within groups and. And after talking to customers, we, we walked away from it. Um, again, it's one thing to say, who's going to be a sales leader. That's very safe. Uh, but when we looked at it from a, you know, a kind of emotion learning standpoint, it became clear like, you know, as soon as you're coming down the road, like so-and-so's making more progress on their emotional learning.

[01:49:49] And everybody else feels like kind of shitty because they're not like we're, we're doing exactly the wrong thing for what we're trying to do, which is cultivate emotional wellbeing. So away from all of that stuff. Yeah. It's usually this person, Matt is the emotional black belt in our company. The best I've worked really hard.

[01:50:13] I'm the best work for them. The whole team. Yeah. I'm lording it over you and trying to feel superior, but yeah. Come to me to, uh, you know, help you with settle any differences among the people who are yellow belts and orange belts. Uh, if you don't mind, can we zoom out a bit on the sort of the society, organizational societal, um, COVID time, super stressful, right?

[01:50:39] Uh, economy is still not stable. Um, remote work, right? So there's a lot of, and then, yeah, obviously you S you know, the transition, uh, power, all of this is, could be very stressful, forcing functions for people to. You know, go through their emotional roller coasters, right? Yep. Do you feel, this is a, how do I say this?

[01:51:03] The perfect timing for something like OT labs or, and how do you foresee this could benefit those who are going through their emotional roller coasters in their, um, company life. Yeah. Well, I think you and I, when we were chatting last week, I mean, it is unfortunately, Uh, a time when people need this more than ever.

[01:51:27] Um, and you know, when the pandemic hit, you know, first we got knocked on our butts, like everyone else, and, and pretty quickly we realized, wow, we really. People really need this. And so we put on an ebook, like thousands of people downloaded, um, what did we call it? I think it's called Corona care. Um, and we've done tons of webinars, uh, and we just keep doing them.

[01:52:00] And some of them are dealing with the pandemic and some of them are dealing with all the discussions about systemic racism and we even did kind of a flash webinar. Um, you know, after, after the events on January 6th, two days later, we did a flash webinar with Mark Brackett to just say like kind of UTF, what happened to, to like 2021 was supposed to be this big upgrade and we have people storming Congress.

[01:52:28] So, um, yeah, I think, I think the need is, is heightened. Um, unfortunately, um, and, uh, And it depends, you know, like my parents who are in their eighties and seventies, um, they have their own concerns. Fortunately for them, they got their first vaccine shot a few days ago. And like all of us, we were so relieved, like how great is that?

[01:52:58] They got a shot. Um, you know, we've got school aged kids that we're dealing with. You know, other people have even younger kids, you know, can you imagine, can imagine helping your kindergarten or do a zoom school? I mean that, fortunately my kids are older. My gosh. So there's so much stress, you know, and then workplaces are in flux.

[01:53:19] And so, yeah, I think it's, it's more needed than ever. Um, And I hope that even as things improve and I think they are, and, uh, or I should say will, but, um, it's going to happen. I hope that people still recognize, okay. That anxiety I was feeling was worse, but I feel that regularly, even in the best of times and the stress I was feeling about work was worse.

[01:53:54] But the fact is I feel stress all the time at work, even when sales are great. So, um, yeah, I, I think, uh, it's been, it's been a pretty weird experience being in the middle of this emotional intelligence, um, project in the middle of the single. Biggest disruption to the world's emotional climate in 70 years.

[01:54:31] Yeah. So what's the dream. So say moving forward, product launch is going well, your new features, people love it. What do you see as possible for. Um, your customers yourself in golgi labs? Well, I think the dream for us, I mean, I don't think it's a surprise after what we've discussed is I think the dream is, I think there's 7 billion humans and they all need to learn this.

[01:55:00] And a lot of them will get it through their schools over time and, and Mark Brackett and Robin stern up in. Very successful as other people have training kids in schools, but, uh, us old folks needed to. And so our dream is to train millions and even billions of people. And I, you know, I don't know if they're all going to go through the emotional life lab.

[01:55:23] Maybe they're going to find other routes to get to this, but I view us as not just, uh, here to sell our product, but also evangelists for this kind of learning. Um, and, uh, Again, meet people where they're at, whatever, whatever we'll help them. Uh, but the key is that is that they it's, it's not about just awareness knowing about it, you know, knowing about, uh, diabetes, doesn't get rid of diabetes.

[01:55:54] Um, we've got to really, uh, find ways to help people gain these skills. I mean, can you imagine CK what your life would be like? Uh, and life around you. And like what my life would be like if everybody you interacted with knew about their emotional life and we're working to make it add value, not just to their life, but to everyone's life.

[01:56:27] I mean, this is not an individual pursuit. If a parent can manage their emotional life, what happens for those kids? If a manager, I mean, I could share. Great. Um, Mark's done great studies on the impact of a manager's emotional intelligence on their team. Everything is impacted how much they show up for work.

[01:56:54] How, how passionate they are about work, how good their decisions are, everything. So it's, this is a worldwide effect. And so the dream is to help do that. I mean, it's great that we learn trigonometry and chemical compounds and how to write a thesis statement and all that stuff. That's great. But what if we actually understood our emotions and could put them to work?

[01:57:21] Yeah, for sure. That's that's the goal. Are those people who want to follow up with LG lab and own what you're up to? Where should we send them? Yeah, I think go to our website, OJI life, lab.com. Oh gee. It's not original gangster. It's G O J I. I'm so old. I didn't know. Oh, meant original gangster instill until we trademarked it.

[01:57:44] And people told me how cool our name was. Uh, so, Oh, gee LifeLabs, a great place to go. And, uh, we're not super active on, on social media, but we do post there, um, and a great way to get, um, if you like want to study, uh, Mark's book permission to feel is fantastic. Um, and kind of an easy route in is, you know, to, um, uh, get on our mailing list and start sitting in on some of our webinars.

[01:58:15] We, we haven't planned out the new year schedule, but we usually do them twice a week, twice a month. And, uh, we usually have, you know, PhD psychologist on, um, I think our next one's going to be about, um, goal setting and creativity. And we'll have, uh, a really great researcher from Yale on, um, so that's a great way to kind of get mixed up in it.

[01:58:42] Beautiful. Hey Matt, I want to really acknowledge you. Um, thank you for sharing your wisdom of going to the cycles of being a serial entrepreneur. I think a lot of people, especially young entrepreneurs who are going through this their first time. You know, thinks about the dream of, you know, selling to large companies and having an exit and, and, and all that stuff.

[01:59:09] So we really appreciate you sharing your journey about, well, what actually, you know, it is. And, what it took to, um, transition from Being the top dog in Microsoft to, to being back home again and now coming out to stand for the mission that you're now found. I really appreciate you going through the details of, you know, how you come about, um, solving this particular issue.

[01:59:36] Ultimately, emotion is something that all human means half, and then not teaching the skill necessarily can master it. Then, then they master us. Right. So helping us master it, making better decision tapping into high creativities, and then in really being better human beings towards everyone around them is super important mission. So thank you for just doing that. One of my dream was, you know, this podcast is all about sovereignty. Mastering our thoughts, mastering our emotions. He's all critical skills to have. So really appreciate you being here and sharing what you guys are doing as a way to help people at work to do that better.

[02:00:19] Well, listen, thanks. It's fun. I, you know, I assumed my goal was for us to get to know each other and I feel like that's a doubt today was a down payment. So it's the first step. Uh, I really appreciate it and I love what you're doing. Uh, with Nobel warrior and, and helping people move down this path. And, and, uh, I feel like doing it with, um, uh, balance as you know, it's not, it's not, uh, the goal is how can we have a rich life and that's not measured in dollars.

[02:00:53] Um, dollars are nice, but it ain't the answer. And, uh, and I know you honor that and are doing that every day, so thank you. Beautiful Matt. I will, let's have you on the show again, as we learn more about, uh, you guys have new updates, so come back again. Well, let's stay in touch, man


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