Episode 535- Alex Drost

Alex is an Advisor/Consultant & Avid Biker

Alex Drost, Founder of Connection Builders, talks about his passion for biking, creating better client relationships, culture surveys, and more!

Episode Highlights
• Getting into biking
• Skills from biking that translate into his career
• Creating better client relationships
• How both the organization and the individual play a role in shaping company culture
• Culture surveys




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Alex’s Pictures

Alex biking in Crested Butte CO & Mackinaw City, MI.

Alex biking in Crested Butte CO & Mackinaw City, MI.

Alex biking in Crested Butte CO & Mackinaw City, MI.

Alex’s Links


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    Welcome to Episode 535 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. And each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for hobby, or a passion, or an interest outside of work. And to put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their and, those things above and beyond your technical skills, in other words, who else are you beyond your job title.

    And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the award-winning book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside of work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. And I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it, and writing such nice reviews on Amazon, and more importantly changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. And please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. And this week is no different with my guest, Alex Drost. He’s the founder and CEO of Connection Builders in Detroit, and the host of The Branch Out podcast. And now, he’s with me here today. Alex, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Alex: John, excited to be here today.

    John: This is gonna be so much fun. I’m I’m super jacked for this, but I have 17 rapid fire questions to get to know Alex out of the gate here. You buckled in, ready to go?

    Alex: Let’s go.

    John: All right. Here we go. Maybe this is an easy one, I think. A favorite color.

    Alex: Blue.

    John: Blue, solid. How about a least favorite color?

    Alex: I don’t know. Maybe like dark brown or something.

    John: Oh, yeah. That’s by far the most popular answer here.

    Alex: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. How about more talk or text?

    Alex: Ooh, I definitely like to talk more. Texting is easy, but I’m a talker.

    John: I feel like we get to the answers faster if there’s a back and forth. Yeah. Yeah. How about a favorite animal? Any animal at all?

    Alex: Dogs for sure.

    John: Dog. Okay. All right. That works. Solid. I love it. How about a favorite actor or an actress?

    Alex: Honestly, I’m not a big movie person, so I honestly can’t give you one.

    John: No, that’s actually probably a very healthy answer. Like that’s good for you, man. Good for you. How about a least favorite vegetable?

    Alex: Broccoli.

    John: Broccoli. Okay. That works.

    Alex: I could eat some, but I don’t know. That’s not my type.

    John: Yeah. I think it’s too soggy. It’s kind gross. Yeah.

    Alex: Exactly.

    John: The Golden Corral broccoli. That’s not good. It’s been sitting there too long. It’s like at the buffet. There you go. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Alex: Another one I honestly could not tell you at all.

    John: There you go. Right?

    Alex: I’ve watched very small bits of each of them. I lived this like weird sheltered life I guess. I never watched movies, but no.

    John: Right? No, no, good for you, man. Good for you. How about your computer, PC or a Mac?

    Alex: Oh, PC all day. I love my Apple products, but I could not survive on a Mac.

    John: Yeah. Right? They’re definitely so different. And people are very opinionated about it. And I don’t really care personally, but I think it’s funny. How about ice cream, in a cup or in a cone?

    Alex: Ooh, a cup and a cone. I like to spoon. I don’t want it to drip all over me, but you can’t go without the cone.

    John: There you go. That is the correct answer. That was a trick one and that is the correct answer. Oceans or mountains?

    Alex: Mountains for sure. Big bodies of water. I don’t like things that can eat me, so I’m not a fan of that.

    John: Right? There you go. Okay. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Alex: Beer. Does beer count?

    John: Beer, definitely.

    Alex: Craft beer, absolutely. Yeah.

    John: Okay. That totally counts. Absolutely. Rain or snow? You’re a Michigan guy. You have both.

    Alex: Oh, rain. Rain.

    John: Rain? Okay.

    Alex: No. Yeah. I skip the snow as much as I can.

    John: Okay. Okay. How about a favorite number? Any number.

    Alex: 4.

    John: 4, is there a reason?

    Alex: It’s my birthday and my mother’s birthday. They are both on the 4th.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Alex: We both have the number.

    John: That is pretty awesome. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Alex: Mickey, but I feel like that’s a cop out, but Mickey.

    John: No. It’s not a cop out. It’s solid. I mean, like how could you go wrong with that one? Absolutely. That’s perfect. Two more. Books. Audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Alex: Audio all day long. Actually, when I was listening to you as you’re doing your intro and you said you reading the book, I’m like hearing it is as I’ve listened to you. I listened to all my books.

    John: That’s awesome, man. Well, thank you. No, I appreciate it. Yeah, that was 8 hours to record that over 2 days.

    Alex: It’s a lot.

    John: It’s an intense process, man. It gets in your head. It’s weird. And luckily, there’s no typos in the book ’cause you have to read it straight out. And I was like “Oh, boy, here we go.” I guess it’s gonna drive me nuts.

    Alex: Right?

    John: Yeah. Yeah. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?

    Alex: Favorite thing I own. Man, honestly, I’d have to say my computer in some ways. I don’t know if that’s healthy or unhealthy, but I just feel like my whole life revolves around it and like in lots of good and bad ways, so I don’t know if I could live without it. And my bikes would be my close tie there.

    John: Okay. Okay. Yeah. Do you have a favorite bike of yours?

    Alex: I have three of ’em that I enjoy the most.

    John: All right, there we go.

    Alex: Trek bikes.

    John: Trek. Okay. There you go. And which leads perfectly right into your and. So let’s talk biking and how did you get started with that. Is it something as a kid and you just never stopped?

    Alex: Honestly, no. I guess I rode a bike as a kid, but not the way I do today. It was actually in college. And I got into mountain biking and road biking then. Took a few years off of it when I got of college and got into my first job. It actually ties in a lot with kinda your theme of I started a job and got all into my job and then kind of got out of it and found myself wanting something more and got back into it. And since I’ve gotten back into it, I’ve realized how much it makes me a better person. I enjoy it. Mountain biking and road biking.

    John: That’s awesome, man. And that is interesting like how when we started work, we put things aside that really bring us joy because we think, wow, we’re not in college anymore. We’re not whatever. We have to be laser focused on the work, and it’s easy to do. I mean, we all do that, you know, with things. And that’s interesting to hear how getting back into it— I was gonna say is there a difference there? And it sounds like it’s obvious.

    Alex: No question. I was thinking about this in the back of my mind this morning while I was biking. Knowing that you and I were gonna have this conversation today. And I can look back in my life. And if I look at how much I was biking and spending time engaging that versus where, I guess, my head space was, my mental health, if you will, there’s a very clear correlation to it. And I know the fitness behind it definitely helped with that, but, in general, it’s keeping myself in balance knowing that I’m not spending time doing those non-work related things, that I tend to just throw myself into work too much, and that creates that unhealthy kind of mindset.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. And plus, it’s gotta be a little bit meditative on a bike I would imagine. I mean, it’s no different than sitting there cross-legged and meditating, or doing yoga, or whatever. You know, it’s on a bike. It’s the same type of thing.

    Alex: For me, biking is there’s two ways that I enjoy biking. When I say road biking, it’s less about what you think about the traditional competitive road biker. I call it my neighborhood cruiser and that’s what I rode this morning where I’m just riding streets kind of cruiser. I did like 20 miles. Still, it’s a hike on that bike.

    John: Wow. Yeah. It’s like 90 minutes a little over that I’m biking. It’s listening to a book. It’s thinking. It’s very peaceful and relaxing. And then the other side of biking for me is mountain biking. And what’s so cool about mountain biking for me is, one, it’s extremely good workout. If anyone’s ever mountain biked, it’s much harder than it seems. But your meditative comment, it’s one of the few things I do where my mind has to 100% lockout, right? Like you’ll hit a tree if you’re not paying attention. You have to keep focused. Your mind isn’t wandering thinking about the task of the day, or the stress of life, or what’s next. You’re kind of like there in the moment, in the present. And I think there is a ton of therapy that comes out of that.

    John: Yeah. No. I mean, just every second is don’t die. Don’t die. Don’t die. Okay. Don’t die. Don’t die.

    Alex: Don’t hit that tree. Yeah. Yeah.

    John: Right? Yeah. Don’t smash your face. Don’t smash your face. Like that’s cool, man. And yeah, you have both sides ’cause you’re avid and you’re into it. And that’s really cool. Do you have like a ride that’s one of your favorite over time or some of your favorite memories from riding?

    Alex: Yeah. So I guess I’ll share a couple things that jump out to me. So one of my absolute favorite parts of riding is, especially now this time of year where it’s warm enough in the mornings to get up and ride, getting out in 5:36 and going for that 60- to 90-minute ride where it’s— some days, I’m pushing myself harder than others, but just to clear my mind to relax. Some days, I’m listening to a book if I’m riding in the neighborhoods and like an audio book. Or other days, I’m mountain biking. You’re focused into it. My favorite is just having that time. But my favorite single adventure was actually out in your neck of the woods. A number of years ago, I was fortunate enough to go out and ride there. It absolutely kicked my butt. One is a different elevation. They have real hills too, like real hills. It kicked my butt more than I’d like to admit, but it’s just a pure beauty. I’ve never seen sights like that before and that is really cool.

    John: That sounds super cool. And do you feel like any of this translates to a skillset for work? I mean, I know the mindfulness and the getting away from thinking about work and overworking is definitely a cool byproduct of that. But do you feel like there’s a skill that comes out of cycling or biking?

    Alex: I think a couple things. I can’t necessarily think of a specific skill because of riding my bike. Like the skillset is spinning my legs, right? But what I do know is the discipline, the drive to keep yourself going and doing those things. I think that plays into the workplace. I would say that, you know, that mindfulness element of it I think plays in in a broader sense. Meaning that you show up or I show up as a better version of me by making sure I’m in balance and I’m doing things like that. So I tend to be able to be better. In general, as you’re trying to build relationships with people, having common ground, having something to just talk about—

    As I said, I don’t really do anything with sports. I don’t watch sports. I don’t really care. I don’t watch movies. I don’t know Star Wars. I’m many ways. And it’s part of who I am as a person. A lot of the common things that folks will talk about, I don’t have a lot to talk about there oftentimes. Biking is something that I can bring to that conversation. And when I find someone else that mountain bikes, I mean, we’ll like pull off to the side of the room. Where do you ride out? What kind of bike do you have? Right?

    John: Exactly. What’s your gear? And like you’re best friends right away.

    Alex: Exactly.

    John: For no reason.

    Alex: Yeah.

    John: I mean like no reason other than you mountain bike, so do I. done. And in a business setting, like that’s super cool. You know? Whether business is going to happen or not, it’s just a cool friend, or an ally, or just somebody that you can just sit down and just be cool together, you know, I guess, sort of a thing with no pressure or whatever. It’s just two humans connecting.

    Alex: Absolutely. 100%

    John: That’s really cool. And so, this is something that you do talk about at work when the time is right sort of a thing. And has it ever crossed your mind like in your career like “Oh, I shouldn’t share something outside of work” ’cause there isn’t a charge code for it or it’s not what we were getting paid to do or whatever?

    Alex: I would say earlier in my career and in my kind of first half of my career, I worked in an investment banking. And we did not charge by the hour, but I lived in a very high pressure, high work setting that it was a grind setting. And what I would find myself doing, especially as kind of a younger up and coming, I would be probably too to the point working with clients.

    John: Okay.

    Alex: Yeah. Yeah. And not build any relationship. And then you’re working through the process and it’s hard to get the clients to engage with you. They feel like they’re dragging their feet and they’re making things harder than they need to be. You start realizing it’s because there wasn’t a relationship built there and there wasn’t any common ground. Before when I felt like, well, I’d be wasting time if I talked about something that wasn’t work related, what I really think and I’ve learned is that when you’re actually finding things to talk about that aren’t work related— and in my instance, you’re talking about biking— it creates a better relationship with whoever you’re working with. And that stronger working relationship makes everything easier. And so, the time lost there comes back twofold over the long run when you get stuff just done better and easier because of it.

    John: Yeah, absolutely, man. I couldn’t agree with you more. And it’s something that they don’t really talk about in business school or in any of your education of have human connection ’cause that’s a differentiator right there ’cause, I mean, there’s a lot of professional services organizations. You’re not the only one on the block that does this. And so, someone else can come in and do our accounting, or do our law, or do our investment banking, or do our due diligence kind of work, but I want the ones that get me and know me as a person and we connect on that level ’cause then good luck to anybody else to try to come in and swipe that work ’cause it’s not gonna happen, you know.

    Alex: 100%. 100%.

    John: And you’re also able to deliver better work because you get it more type of thing. So that’s awesome, man. It’s cool to hear that you experience that too and I’m not just like some crazy guy that wrote a book that’s make believe, you know.

    Alex: The relationship is everything. It really is.

    John: Right? Yeah. I know. Totally. And I guess how much do you feel like it is on the organization to create a space or to encourage that? You know, you should have an and and you should be sharing your ands versus how much is it on the individual to just be like, you know what, I’ve got my little circle of peers, and I’m just gonna do it from the bottom up sort of thing, and we’ll see what happens?

    Alex: I think I’d answer that two ways. For the organization, it matters a lot if you care about having a group of employees that are engaged, and showing up, and being the best versions of themselves, and have a long tenure, and continue to be part of the organization, which those are all like ingredients for growth. So I think, as a leader, it should matter. It should absolutely be top of mind, and it should be something you try to intentionally foster and create. At the same time, I think, as an individual, I would argue it is their responsibility no matter what. Right? And I say that meaning that if you want to be the best version of you, if you wanna show up, you wanna do good work, then you have to find that. You have to do that. It’s always easier said than done. Right? I think that’s almost, in many ways, the whole point of a lot of the work you do, is helping people realize like this is really important. You have to do this. If you really want to have a balanced, happy, and successful life, this is part of it, is being more than just your job. And so, you have to go find that no matter what. And if your organization won’t support it at all, then that’s probably a different question and a different topic of where to go. But I think it falls on both sides. But at the organization level, if you want an engaged team, an engaged culture, you have to invest in it. It’s not just gonna happen.

    John: Yeah. No. I agree. ‘Cause, I mean, a lot of people are like “Well, we’ll just let it happen and just let it.” And it’s gonna turn into like a Frankenstein sort of thing where, you know, this group over here is doing one thing that’s really amazing and this group over here is doing something totally different that’s also in me, but they’re not talking and they’re not sharing. It’s like, well, why do we do that everywhere?

    Alex: Well, speaking of the organization, just tell your clients that we’re not gonna have a plan really.

    John: Right?

    Alex: Like we’ll figure it out. However it plays out, like we have to have standards. They’re gonna do it one way. I mean, come on, right? The whole idea. If you wanna be successful, you drive a process, you’re intentional about what you do, and you track it. Right?

    John: Exactly.

    Alex: How is culture any different? Just because it’s intangible, it’s the same thing. It’s the same approach.

    John: Yeah. I mean, it’s like you don’t really need to always be doing. You can just walk around. I mean, like if your significant other is upset, you don’t need to “Okay, so on a 1 to 10, how angry are you?” No, you don’t need to even ask. You just know. It’s like it’s not good. I’m not asking. And it’s the same with your people. Just walk around, and look, and just hear and see. Like does anyone look you in the eye? Does anyone smile? Like is there oxygen? Is there color? Is there animation? Is there emotion mostly? You know? Because corporate has been devoid of emotion for so long. And it’s like bring a little of that in.

    Alex: And you I think kind of slightly hinted this at that survey, right? Walker, you don’t have to ask someone, right? And all too often, you’ll see firms, I think organizations they’ll say, that do culture surveys is an example. That’s great. Culture surveys are a great thing to do. Are you doing it to report out so you can say “Look, we’re doing a good job” or are you doing it to learn and hear from people? Like you can ask them to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Hopefully, it’s in line with what you’re thinking. And if not, you need to open your eyes and see it. Do that, but like ask it. Learn from people and figure out how to bring those changes in.

    John: How can we raise it 1 or 2 points?

    Alex: Yes. Yeah, that’s the purpose.

    John: People have ideas. Like they really do, and they want these ideas to work, and they wanna work at the place. You know, they care. But if you continually punch them in the mouth, then they’re gonna stop caring. I mean, it’s just human nature.

    Alex: That’s it.

    John: That’s so true, man. It’s so true. And do you have any like words of encouragement to people listening that are like “Well, you know, I have this and, maybe it’s biking, but it’s has nothing to do with my job” and really no one’s gonna care type of mentality?

    Alex: Yeah. I would say if you find yourself there, one, you should care for yourself. You should show up ’cause you wanna be you. If you have something that you’re interested in, you should bring it to work and be willing to talk about it. If you don’t, you should go find something that you can bring to work and talk about. So you are more than that ’cause you wanna be as a whole person, a better person there. And oftentimes, our own doubts and insecurities get in the way of doing what we think, right, of sharing and, well, no one’s gonna care.

    I think you’d be surprised how many people actually do care about talking about stuff that’s outside of work. Again, I find that for the most part, interacting with people, especially in this now hybrid world, if you’re in the office a couple days a week, when you’re in there, just go talk to people about non-work stuff because you can Teams with them, and Slack with them, and Zoom with them to figure out the work stuff you need to do. Go and talk to people to build a relationship. How are you doing? What’s going on? Here’s what I did this weekend. What’d you do? It makes such a difference.

    John: I love that, man. I love that so much and yeah. ‘Cause, I mean, the work conversation will happen. You know, it’s kinda like your heart beats. Like you don’t have to think about it. It just beats and it’s the same. Work’s gonna happen. It will get done. Like don’t freak out about it. Just ’cause you don’t see somebody do the work doesn’t mean that it’s not getting done. But what doesn’t happen without intention is human connection and conversation about non-work things. Like you just start with that, you know, on a coaching or a mentoring conversation. Start with the and. “You know, I know you loved to mountain bike, where’s the last place you went and what’s the next one you got planned”, you know, type of thing. “Let’s talk about it. Oh, you got a new bike. Let me see the pictures.” Do I mountain bike? Maybe not, but who cares?

    Like I want you to light up, you know, type of thing. ‘Cause when people talk about it, they’re alive. When you’re talking about work, sometimes you’re alive, but sometimes you’re not. I mean, let’s be honest, you know. But talking about biking, that’s awesome every time. Like even if you wrecked, it’s still awesome. You know? Like it’s still a great story. I love that, you know. And also, the point that you brought up of you’re doing it for you. I’m not asking you like, you know, “Well, what was your time or how fast did you do this” or whatever. Like it doesn’t matter ’cause you’re doing it for you, you know. And I love that so much. Such great advice.

    Alex: It’s came to mind as you were talking the. If you were in a leadership position, if you are in leadership, I think, especially in professional services is a broad term that many people are in some form of a leadership position, right,—

    John: Very much.

    Alex: …if you have others that are working, even if they’re peers with you, you can stand out and be the leader of the group within you work in. Take that initiative to create that culture, to create that, right? Create that mindset to talk about things. Start the dialog. Start the conversation in saying, you know, if you’re hosting a weekly meeting, or if you are giving someone feedback or review, or doing a check-in with someone that reports to you, start the conversation with something that’s not about work and put yourself in those same shoes. If you’re going in to talk to someone or you’re starting in a meeting and everyone just dives right into work, there someone is like “Ohh.” Right?

    John: Right. I hate it, right? Exactly.

    Alex: It’s like, yeah, if you can make someone laugh a little bit and then chat with them, it’s a totally different dialog.

    John: It’s like inertia that you build up this momentum at the top of the hill. Mountain biking, if you will. And then it’s like, okay, now take all that energy and go. Like now go work in your spreadsheets. And now that you’re smiling and alive, and your eyes aren’t glossed over, look at me bringing it all full circle on accident. But this has been so much fun, Alex, but I feel like since I so rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, it’s only fair that I turn the tables. And you’re a pro, so I don’t even need to let you know, but I’m all yours on, yeah, whatever questions you got for me.

    Alex: No. No. I’ve been thinking about this one since I listened to your book. So, 8 hours of recording, right?

    John: Yeah. Yeah.

    Alex: It’s about 8 hours of you reading. How long did it take you to do it? What was the hardest part? And then just more broadly, what was the writing experience like?

    John: Okay. So the recording, yeah, was two 4-hour days in a studio. And I mean, we would take breaks and stuff like that ’cause clearly the final version isn’t 8 hours. The hardest part is I have about 41 quotes in there from people that had been guests on the podcast. Some of them from Australia. Some of them from the US. Some from the UK, you know. So like different accents, different people. And so, there’s a voice coach person that was Skyped in who’s listening and reading the book verbatim with me. And he’s like “Oh, well…” You know, we get to this quote part. And he’s like “Well, you know, where’s this guy from?” And I say “Hey.” And he’s like “Oh, well, you know, just do a voice. You know, do the accent.”

    And I’m like “No!” because this is a friend of mine. Like this is a guy I know or a woman I know. Like if I did your voice on the thing, you would get on a plane, fly to Denver, punch me in the throat, and then fly home. Like it would be like “What the hell do you think?” Especially if you’re in another country. It’s like “No, I’m not doing that.” Like this isn’t a fictional, you know, character. It’s not Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s a guy I know, you know. And so, we had a little bit of a conversation about that. And then, finally, I was like “Yeah, I’m not doing it. I’m just gonna do like a softer version of me so then you clearly know that it’s a quote from someone else.” Yeah, that was a weird experience.

    And then also too, I found out that your brain switches words around. They mean the exact same thing, but it’s different than what I wrote in the book. And so, on occasion, I would get to a part and they’d be like “Okay, you gotta back up and reread that sentence” because I had said something that means the exact same thing, but it was slightly different than what was in the text. And I guess your brain does this all the time when you’re reading a hard copy of something, which is interesting to me, which I didn’t realize either.

    Alex: I find myself doing even like short scripting, right? I do podcasts. You did a great job in your intro script, right? You know it very— You’ve probably said it very many times. Know it, but it’s easy when you’re reading something. Especially if you haven’t read it recently, it’s very easy to flip that around.

    John: Yeah. Just have a little fun with it or whatever and they’re like “Nope, nope” ’cause it has to match up exactly because there’s like the Audible and Kindle. You can bounce between the two. So, if you’re reading Kindle and then you hit Pause, and then you bounce over to Audible, it will pick up right there at that spot. So it had to be exact, but it was also too— I was like “Well, I have these people saying these things from all the podcasts, like the recording, so can we just use that audio ’cause it’s literally the person saying it while they were on the show?” And they’re like “No, no.” I don’t know. Something about the quality or whatever, which I know isn’t true.

    But I was just like “Whatever, you guys are just—” So it’s my voice literally for the whole thing, including the Coach Holtz intro, but the writing process was very much— I had a content editor, Chris Murray. And he became almost a therapist. He became a life coach. He became, I mean, way more than— I mean, when you’re writing a book, you go through like a lot in your head. And so, he came out to Denver for a week. And we did 40 hours in a conference room. There were giant Post-it notes taped everywhere or not Post-it notes, but like flipchart paper that’s posted like everywhere like who’s the book for, what’s the tone, like what’s the message, like what’s in the outline, what’s it look like and just map it all out.

    And then from there, it’s just write without editing and then go back through after. And so, if look at the first draft compared to the final book, they’re cousins, but they don’t look alike. It’s a cool process to go through and then you get, you know, copyeditors involved later and then proof readers involved. They’re like 6 rounds between the two of those and like yeah. So it’s a lot of iron sharpens iron kind of concept. And you have to put your ego aside and be like, you know, “This is the vision of the book. And if you can make it better than what I thought, which they all did, then this is awesome.” You know, the book came out so much better than what I wanted, and I’m so proud of it. Like it will stand the test of time because I turned it in before COVID and then COVID hit. And I was like “Oh, my God, my book is obsolete before it even prints. This is crazy.” But it ended up being more important after COVID and yeah, man. But it’s a journey.

    That’s for sure. And then people were asking for the audio versions. I was like “Oh. I guess I gotta go record it.” So I appreciate somebody listening to it. So, thanks, man.

    Alex: For sure. No, can I ask you one last question?

    John: Yeah. One more. It’s your show, dude. What do you mean?

    Alex: What’d you learn from it? Like the discipline process of writing, I assume that was a multi-month, if not multi-year process from kinda—

    John: Oh, yeah, 2 years.

    Alex: Yeah.

    John: It was 2 years from when Chris Murray was here in Denver to when it printed. It was 2 years almost to the week.

    Alex: Wow.

    John: And yeah, what I learned is that my mind is not my friend at all. Like who are you to write a book? No one’s gonna read this book. Who cares Like that? Like that and also that, you know, I have really unique ideas that can help a lot of people, and this needs to get out there. There’s a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which is amazing. And that is so true. Just resistance. You know, the more that you get closer to the finish line of a really big lifetime project sort of thing, the more resistance steps in and just tells you all these lies. And you know, it’s the lies that people tell themselves. Well, no one’s gonna care about my and.” Or, you know, I’m not a world class mountain biker, so why should I even mention it? And it’s like all these lies that we tell ourselves, you know. And it’s really rewarding to fight through that and to get to the other side.

    Alex: It’s cliche to say, but we are our worst enemies and that I think it’s very true.

    John: So true. Like so, so true, man. Well, I appreciate you being a part of this, Alex. This was super, super fun.

    Alex: No, I had a great time and. Appreciate you having me on here today.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. And everybody listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Alex on his bike, or connect with him on social media, or check out The Branch Out podcast, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click the big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to check out the book. So thanks again for subscribing on Apple Podcast or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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