24: Becoming Self-Aware and Defining Success
In this episode, we are bringing you Zach’s special interview by Carson Jorgensen in his pretty-famous podcast “The Definition of Success.” Carson and Zach discuss quite a few things that are a little bit different than what we normally talk about in our podcast—they talk about business, life, happiness, and (probably most importantly) the whole idea of self-awareness. Let’s get started…
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1. We should develop self-awareness about who we are, what we can already do well, what we need to improve, and what we want to become, all of which will facilitate both our success and our happiness.
2. Self-awareness is aided by feedback from others; we should humbly accept such feedback to the extent that it helps us to progress, but also refrain from worrying excessively about what others think about us such that it impedes our progress.
3. We should focus our attention NOT on what we either can’t or shouldn’t control, but on what we can control, learning to control it well, which will facilitate our freedom in various respects, along with our happiness.
4. We should genuinely be ourselves, but also persistently strive to become our best selves.
5. We should focus not on tearing ourselves down but on building ourselves up in all of the various aspects of our lives, which involves maintaining our motivation while focusing persistently upon improving one important thing at a time, measuring our progress until we’ve mastered it.
6. We should maintain a connection with our past selves, maintain empathy for other people, seek mutually-beneficial relationships with them, and remember that freely doing nice things for them might encourage them to do likewise for us.
7. We should evaluate our potential business partners very carefully, and wisely delegate business responsibilities to specialists.
[01:08] Carson Jorgensen introduces both Zach Smith and Funded Today.
[02:06] At Carson’s invitation, Zach conveys Funded Today’s origin story.
[03:13] Zach advises entrepreneurs to get to evaluate potential business partners carefully.
[03:51] Carson and Zach discuss the importance of people beyond yourself in business success.
[06:46] Carson advocates focusing more on strengths than on weaknesses.
[09:02] Zach advocates mutually-beneficial interactions and leveraging the power of reciprocity.
[10:55] Carson details his fascination with people, and how he feels drawn toward success.
[12:51] Carson invites Zach to explain how to find fulfillment beyond earning millions, and Zach notes how small we each are within our vast world, and the importance of maintaining harmony between the different aspects of our respective lives.
[20:00] Zach and Carson discuss the importance of self-awareness, which involves figuring out both whom we are (and what we’re good at doing) and whom we want to be, which may require feedback from others, which may be painful at times.
[23:09] Zach and Carson contemplate the importance of being genuine, and humbly accepting feedback from others while readily acknowledging our faults, but also not caring excessively about what other people think about us.
[28:32] Zach presents some truths found in Stoicism about focusing on what you can do while not worrying about what you can’t control, and Carson asserts that we should focus on building ourselves up rather than tearing ourselves down.
[31:02] Carson and Zach agree that we shouldn’t allow our anticipations about other people’s reactions to deter us from trying something new.
[32:13] Carson reiterates the importance of self-awareness in both success and happiness.
[32:56] Zach and Carson remark how others’ feedback helps them to understand themselves better, and to develop good products or services for customers—and Zach advocates being less attached to our ideas than to success in general.
[35:55] Carson notes that wealth does not determine happiness.
[36:38] Zach introduces six freedoms that he suspects that everyone needs to feel happy, which involve time, money, health, spirit, and mind.
[38:33] Carson observes that our focus helps our progress, and that learning more teaches us how much we don’t know, Zach cites the Dunning-Kruger effect that people with low ability tend to overestimate their ability, and both acknowledge the importance of humility in progress.
[44:19] Carson notes how increasing proficiency can coincide with decreasing interest, and Zach urges mastering one thing at a time, persistently following-through at what we start, and measuring progress.
[46:32] Zach reiterates the importance of knowing ourselves and what we want, suggests writing down our self-awareness now to avoid losing touch with it over time, and explains how his focus has shifted over time—and Carson likewise advises listeners to avoid forgetting where they came from.
[50:58] Zach and Carson relate that we may perpetually seek greener grass elsewhere without ever finding it, and that it’s better to focus on becoming our best selves.
[53:44] Carson elicits Zach’s definition of success as enjoying both perfect inner contentment and “holistic harmonization” between every outward aspect of our lives.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation, welcome back to get Funded Today, The Funded Today podcast this week as promised we are bringing you my special interview with “Carson Jorgensen” from his pretty famous podcast “The Definition of Success” I’m really excited to let you guys know what we talked about, we get into quite a few things that are little bit different than we normally talk about on our podcast I think you’re going to like it, “talk about some business, life, happiness, and then probably most importantly the whole idea of self-awareness”, so let me know what you think about it and let’s get started.
Announcer: (00:33) The Funded Today Podcast is brought to you by fundedtoday.com. Funded Today is a Premier Marketing and Video Agency, from Startups to Crowdfunding to Amazon and beyond Funded Today has helped their clients generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. If you’d like help launching or growing your business visit www.fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
Zach Smith: (00:58) All right Funded Today Nation here it is my Exclusive One-on-One Interview with “Carson Jorgensen” from “The Definition of Success” I hope you enjoy it.
Carson Jorgensen: (01:08) So today I’ve got a really special guest, this guy he is pretty amazing guy “Zach Smith” he is the CEO and Cofounder of a company called “Funded Today” they work with the Crowdfunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo to help companies raise money, did I say that right Zach?
Zach Smith: (01:26) Yes sir, that’s pretty much exactly yes Carson.
Carson Jorgensen: (01:29) Well good and this is your first company either is it Zach?
Zach Smith: (01:33) No I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur for better or for worse.
Carson Jorgensen: (01:38) So, so I met Zach or was it probably a little over a year ago he was speaking at a seminar at a local college and a friend of mine invited me down there and we just kind of almost became friends and we actually ended up going fishing together a short time later, and we’ve just kind of talked on and off since then, but Zach has a really unique point of view when it comes to business and he is ultra-successful when it comes to businesses and starting company so maybe just tell us a little more about yourself Zach so that my listeners kind of have a little more context on who you really are?
Zach Smith: (02:14) Yes, absolutely well first off I think we need to clarify some we went fishing but we didn’t catch any fish so does that count?
Carson Jorgensen: (02:19) No, no it doesn’t, so we’re going to have to go again.
Zach Smith: (02:21) Have to do that again.
Carson Jorgensen: (02:22) That was bore, and it was cold.
Zach Smith: (02:25) It was a cold day man, windy it was nice so that’s a beautiful area.
Carson Jorgensen: (02:29) It was fun.
Zach Smith: (02:29) Thanks for taking me out.
Carson Jorgensen: (02:29) We’ll do it again.
Zach Smith: (02:32) I agree we’ve kind of become pretty good friends over the – it actually reminds me of the story of how Funded Today was formed, my business partner Thomas Alvord and I we spent several years just kind of talking back and forth before anything happened and eventually we started Funded Today because of just a connection that we had over the years where we would just talk and check in and see what each other we’re doing and I decided to hire him for a campaign that we were working on to work on some of the paid media side of things and what he did was really successfully when we say that worked out pretty well, maybe we should try it again and one lead to two, two lead to 10 and eventually we had a business before we knew it, and we made over a million bucks each before we ever met each other face-to-face, crazy story but..
Carson Jorgensen: (03:10) Well that’s the best part of the whole story.
Zach Smith: (03:15) Yes it was a very interesting type, it was very interesting and I think maybe that’s there something to be said about business partners there as you are starting a business get to know the people that you’re planning on getting embedded with because a business partnership might even be more serious than a marriage there’s a crazy thought for you.
Carson Jorgensen: (03:31) That’s a crazy thought or at least equally as crazy right?
Zach Smith: (03:37) Oh yes absolutely, it’s easier to get out of the marriage then it is a business relationship, if you want to do it right, just but not.
Carson Jorgensen: (03:43) Don’t tell your wife that.
Zach Smith: (03:46) And I can tell you exactly – yes that’s interesting, yes my wife won’t listen to this podcast fortunately so I think we’re safe.
Carson Jorgensen: (03:48) I’ll hope I’m going to send it to her.
Zach Smith: (03:50) Oh sure.
Carson Jorgensen: (03:53) But on that’s actually something that I wanted to talk about, like when you talk about success how do you talk about success without talking about “Connections” I mean “connections are so important in business and you’re really good at doing that kind of stuffs” I mean how important for you in your business and in your day-to-day stuff how important are connections to you?
Carson Jorgensen: (04:15) There is truth to that it’s and again you’ve heard to trite phrase hundreds of times if you’re listening to this most likely “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” but it’s true somebody didn’t just here’s an interesting thought about trite phrases, axioms maxims whatever you want to call it they’re true because they work and the reason they have lasted through time when we hear a phrase like “it’s not what you know, but who you know it’s because somebody somewhere said it and then it worked and then another person did it and it worked and another person did it and it worked and eventually thousands of people were doing it and it worked and now it stood the test of time” and it’s absolutely the case. Funded Today doesn’t become Funded Today without me bringing Thomas Alvord on to do what he did, and that was a relationship that’s cultivated over several years that didn’t result in anything and now we became one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America, so yes absolutely it’s absolutely true and I don’t mind saying that that phrase a thousand times over because it really is the case there’s a lot of things I can’t do – I’m reminded of the story of Henry Ford, and I believe he was getting sued or something for people thinking he was incompetent and they were trying to remove him from office so pardon me for not knowing exactly how it worked through, but I remember the story going down something like this and everybody’s like you don’t even know how to do anything, you can’t build these cars, you don’t understand this assembly like thing he is like you may very well be right, but on my desk are nine digits connected to a phone number, connected to a phone and I can push any myriad of combination of those nine digits on my telephone and I can make anything happen and get anybody to do anything I want them to do and the judge said case dismissed, you’re smarter than all of us. I think of that story all the time and think about my own life and there are thousands of things that I’m not very good at, and there are few things I’m pretty damn good at, for the most part I’m a jack of all trades master of none, and I’m just curious but I know lots of people and I have lots of people they will do a lot of good things for me and they can do them very well, and I think that’s what’s made us very successful. We have the best advertisers, we have the best paid media people, we have the best earned media people, we have the best sales people I mean we literally we’ve trained them all and they’ve become better and some of them were the best in their fields, and that’s what made Funded Today to be able to succeed, not necessarily anything I’ve done other than letting them grow and expand and become better and as that’s happened the entire company has become better.
Carson Jorgensen: (06:44) Then when they win you win and that’s the main that’s I think of it the same way I’m exactly like you are when it comes that I’m a jack of every trade and a master of none.
Zach Smith: (06:54) You’re good at everything and that’s the difference.
Carson Jorgensen: (06:53) No, I don’t know about that I should try though I do my best, but somebody once said, I think it was Gary Vaynerchuk who said “stop focusing on the things that you’re bad at, and start focusing on the things you’re good at and double down on the things that you’re good at” and “don’t worry so much about I mean the world sits and tells us to focus on everything that we are bad at”, but in my opinion in my mind that creates kind of a negative air in your mind you know it’s kind of negative self-talk because then you start focusing on the things that you are not good at which we can always get better of things and that’s how I function like if I’m not good at something, I push myself more and more, but I found that more success comes from the things that I’m naturally good at like things that I’m naturally good at that I’ve always been good at is talking to people and making connections like that has always been my strong suit even since I was a young, young, kid.
I remember I was probably 11 years old and I may have told you this story before, but I was 11 years old and we had gone to the Salt Lake City with some folks it was a Junior Jazz Basketball Trip we went to see the basketball game and we got on the public transit train and we’re arriving at Downtown and I was sitting across from probably early 30s gal and I actually struck up a conversation with that lady and I talked to that lady for probably 25, 30 minutes and we just talked and talked and I don’t remember anything what was said and I don’t honestly remember much about it, but I remember that the people that I was with were completely enamored that I could sit and hold the conversation with somebody that was three times my age and just talk with them and that’s always kind of been my strong suit is making connections and kind of running on empathy and the most success that I found in my life comes from that when I try to increase that then I find myself being more successful.
Zach Smith: (09:04) Oh you’re absolutely right I mean and I’ll just give you a testimonial right now “I can tell that you’re genuine and I could tell you were genuine” probably three or four weeks into our relationship for a while I mean every single day I get lots of emails, lots of Facebook messages, lots of LinkedIn messages, some text messages for people who somehow find my number that way, and “most of them are can I pick your brain” by the way “we should all try to remove that phrase there’s a tip for the listeners”, that you don’t pick people’s brains that sound like it hurts like try to add value somehow like let’s not call it “pick my brain” I hate that and I think like some guy Ryan Lee told me that one of the conference 10 years ago or so and it’s always stuck with me again it’s a phrase so that I’m not really trying “to pick your brain but really pick your brain gives a sense and I’m sitting here you’re picking my brain and I’m getting nothing out of it and you’re destroying my brain” so get that out of there but going back to you I mean “you’re genuine and the reason you can tell that you’re genuine is because you don’t really ask for anything and eventually it’s like well this guy is just a curious soul, he is like-minded I understand where he’s coming from and there’s something to be said about that, if you’re going to try to build a relationship and if you’re trying to grow your network going back to point number one that we were talking about you need to exercise that, don’t think for your first 10 times you interact you with someone let’s call it 10 times that might seem crazy.
Carson Jorgensen: (10:32) Let’s put a number on it right?
Zach Smith: (10:33) Yes let’s or 10 times for your first 10 times literally don’t even think what’s in this for me just think how can I help this person and it’s tough, and it’s painful and it feels one-sided, but you didn’t get through 10 times or where you really figure out what you could do to help somebody they’re going “to feel indebted to you without you even needing to guilt trip them” and there’s power in that.
Carson Jorgensen: (10:57) Yes. No I appreciate it, you shouldn’t say so many nice things about me.
Zach Smith: (11:02) I only speak the truth if you knew me in person I say a lot of mean things but it’s whatever it is it’s how I say it, I try to just, I try to just keep it very real.
Carson Jorgensen: (11:13) Oh and that’s how I am like, I genuinely want to get to know people like I always had this fascination with people on understanding, and sometimes my wife she’s an introvert and it kind of drives her crazy, she is like how can you talk with all these people and how can you try to connect with every one of them and it’s just something about people that fascinates me and I’ve always been that way, but there’s some people I was drawn to you instantly I just there was something about, there is just certain people that I’ve always been drawn to and it’s a specific kind of people they’re very charismatic but yet they’re -- they have an air of success and they know what they want from life and they almost hold the air of power to them and I’ve always been attracted to folks like you and I think that’s kind of where I what drew me in about you and what made me pursue our relationship as friends, I’ve just I’ve always appreciated that about you, and have just – I’ve had it’s been an awesome year knowing you and telling people that I know you like when that Inc. Magazine article came out I was like I know that guy.
Zach Smith: (12:24) Yes that was pretty cool we got featured on the Inc. 5000 List this year for one of America’s fastest growing privately held companies so.
Carson Jorgensen: (12:34) Right and what number were you?
Zach Smith: (12:36) We were number 27, but we were Number Two for Utah so I was --.
Carson Jorgensen: (12:40) And that’s pretty big because Utah is a growing Metropolis of businesses.
Zach Smith: (12:45) “Silicon Slopes” as they like to call it so.
Carson Jorgensen: (12:49) It’s growing, and I mean kudos to you guys that is that’s amazing but I want to -- I don’t want to draw away from your business though but I want to kind of talk about more of the mental game, people their whole life they search for something they are always you know we spend our whole life chasing something and for a lot of people that’s money but you kind of been there and done that all money. So where do you go, where do you feel like you go, how do you find fulfillment because you’ve made your millions and how old are you, Zach?
Zach Smith: (13:21) 31, I’ll be 32 in April.
Carson Jorgensen: (13:23) Yes exactly. So you’re 32 years old and you’ve made your millions but now we hadn’t had a conversation the other day and I really I hope you don’t mind me bringing it up, but we’re talking about fulfillment, you know where, where do you go now and how do you maintain happy and how do you do it?
Zach Smith: (13:42) That’s a good question I think it’s a question that I full transparency I still wrestle with a little bit as well because if I just quit everything today and everything stopped, I’d probably be fine unless I live to be like 120 years old or something. And even then I might be okay, and so the question comes, well, “What am I doing, why am I running Funded Today, Why am I doing some of these other businesses?” and I think about that question quite often. Do I have a perfect answer yet? No, but I do have some thoughts, so I guess I could share those. Thought number one; you need to do something it’s easy for me to say “Okay, well let’s just travel the world now or something” and I did do that for a time I mean I’ve spent even this last year I probably spent two or three months completely away from business, I hiked Mount Everest base camp all the way to Kala Patthar, I spent some time in India, I toured Myanmar in Burma, we spent some time out living in these bamboo huts essentially they were stilts on the middle – I mean it’s literally a group of people it’s called Inle Lake and it’s a group of people that live on this lake and it’s completely and totally removed from anything you’d experience in America for example. So those kind of things are greatly and it gave me a lot of perspective and with that perspective I kind of realized the world is so big, we talk about the world being small and what the Internet can do to bring us all closer together but the world is also big and when you realize that you are just a small dot and go to India Billions of people in – it seems like it’s more congested and crowded than even a New York City or San Francisco or something here in America and you and you think “Man, no one knows who I am here, I’ve got this cool business but there isn’t a person in all of India who is ever heard of it”. And I think to bring it, to bring it back home when we realize that we are just a dot out of the seven point something billion people that live in the world now. I think we can learn to care a little bit more about other people and that’s kind of what I’ve started to do, I wasn’t as good about it earlier in my life, but the first thing you can do when you "Have it All” and by have it all we’re going to have to do a lot of defining, right
Carson Jorgensen: (16:01) We are going to have to define all these.
Zach Smith: (16:02) Yes. I have something I believe and it’s still getting fleshed out but it’s “Holistic Harmonization”. I call it harmonization rather than balance, because balance feels like its black-and-white, it’s a teeter-totter you either on or you’re off. I don’t like that I think in order to have a great life you have to have harmony like a piano when you play all the chords and keys together It sounds beautiful I play the piano a little bit and there’s something we said about harmony. And our life need to be harmonious too well what does that mean, it’s different for everybody but there’s a few basic things right, you need your food and your shelter, you need to have good health but then what else? So you ask yourself, “Well who is Carson Jorgensen, who is Zach Smith” and I say well Zach Smith is a curious soul, but “What is a curious soul mean?” well the curious soul is somebody who is a voracious reader, a person who asks a lot of questions, a person who likes to explore the world and then you go on there, “Well Zach Smith is an athlete”, “What does that mean?” “He likes to play indoor soccer and he likes to exercise, he is in good shape has six or eight pack abs, he can bench 275 pounds and squat 425” right and you just get down to all these different things you have all of these different categories and subcategories for who you are as a person and once you’ve got all that flushed out then you say “Well what else is Zach Smith, what else is Zach Smith missing” and then you try out those new things and you say “Well I’m going to try out rock climbing to see if that is Zach Smith as an athlete” and you say “No” that didn’t work for me here, “ Oh that’s great I’m going to add that to my portfolio of who I am as a person”. And that’s how I think we can ultimately achieve happiness, we can add in all of these different elements and figure out what works and then we rate ourselves, is Zach Smith is an athlete, I say “Well how much of an athlete am I?” and I say “Zero” I’m completely out of shape and I couldn’t play in a soccer game if my life depended on it and 10 I’m playing in the MLS or if I’m a basketball player I could be as good as being in the NBA and then you rate yourself and if you are a five or below but you think you’re an athlete well then what can I do to improve myself, well it looks like I’m low on this subcategory and I’m higher on this subcategory and you just have to do that and you through and you audit all the different categories in your life and by doing so you truly figure out what your definition of success is and what your definition for happiness is, and I have seen this change quite a few lives, I haven’t thought this, I haven’t written a book on it I just kind of preach it because it’s something that I’m applying to my own life. I did it with my wife, she explored a bunch of different things and now she has things she didn’t even know that were a part of her but once she explored them and when she found they were a part of her it completely changed her life, she has more friends now, she’s doing things she never did before and it’s all because she created this “Holistic Harmonization” portfolio I guess you would say I like it kind of looks like a spider map when you draw it all the way up. You got yourself in the middle and a bunch of different branches and everything coming out of it and then she spent a month and tried some things out then she spent another month and tried some things out, learned what she liked, learned what she didn’t like and then every quarter or so she tried something new and she keeps adding to things and subtracting the things and refining who she is holistically so that she can achieve that sort of harmony that ultimately creates true happiness “The kind of happiness that is completely and utterly imbalance when we focus specifically just on money”.
Carson Jorgensen: (19:12) Yes and that seems to be where people focus and that’s a cool thing I’m going to have to try that because people always you know, I guess my mom always used to call “well-rounded” you’re well rounded.
Zach Smith: (19:24) That’s a good question, that’s a great question.
Carson Jorgensen: (19:27) That’s well rounded but that’s -- I have so many aspects and I meet new people they are like “What do you do?” and I’m like “That’s kind of a hard question for me to answer”. On one hand I own my own business and I build horse bridles and I engrave and on the other hand, I help on the ranch and you do that kind of stuff, but then there’s another facet where I make videos and put them on the Internet and I help people run social media marketing for their businesses and then those are all things that I love, some I love more than others.
Zach Smith: (20:01) I mean let’s talk about “Self-Awareness” it sounds like you’re pretty self-aware, you understand quite a bit about who you are, where you want to be and what you’re good at? I think a lot of people might not even understand that, and the best way to do that is ask a bunch of people “Well, who am I, what do I do” and they’ll tell you, and “you might be surprised if you’re surprised guess what, you don’t have good self-awareness”.
Carson Jorgensen: (20:25) You’re missing something.
Zach Smith: (20:25) And that’s fine you can learn that and then you can start recognize things and by asking other people “hey, what am I good at? I don’t necessarily know” if that’s you, that’s perfectly fine to admit and be candid about it. “I don’t know what I’m good at, can you give me a few things” and if you hear cricket Zach could be worrisome too, so but that’s good to start asking those questions, you got to go somewhere and you got to be self-aware and then you got to be receptive of the feedback that you receive and not let it hurt even though it will hurt, it might sting, it might sting. That’s fine that’s the true test of character and how you can ultimately experience change, no change came about without pain. So I’d say recognize that, in my own life I can tell you on the wealth side of things, I lost a marriage, I had lots of health issues I had all kinds of things that I was dominating on the wealth side of things I was – it was more like balance right, it wasn’t harmony I was completely one-sided on a particular aspect of my life, but as I learned to harmonize I had the best of both worlds I got my business even better, I made even more money than I ever made before when I thought I was wealthy, I found a better relationship and I got married to an amazing lady, and you can even attest to that you’ve met her few times.
Carson Jorgensen: (21:41) Oh, man she is great.
Zach Smith: (21:43) “Professional Opera Singer” she is nice, she is kind, she’s gentle, she’s caring, I mean there is really nothing wrong about her I could go on write a whole book I could write a book on Courtney, so I lucked out I don’t know a lot of people would potentially be able to luck out the way that I did.
Carson Jorgensen: (21:58) And I got lucky too sometime or another, everybody always ask me that all the time, “how did she end up with you?” And it's like “well she got lucky”.
Zach Smith: (22:10) Yes that must be how it all – that must be how it all plays out, but I think it does have something to come down…
Carson Jorgensen: (22:15) “Self-Awareness”.
Zach Smith: (22:14) Yes, self-awareness, harmony, understanding, what you want and what you’re after and really recognizing who you are, you can attract the type of people that are going to fit really well into your model as crazy as that sounds.
Carson Jorgensen: (22:28) Yes and I don’t know if people sometimes understand what they really want when you talk about “self-awareness” and once again I think it was Gary Vaynerchuk and he said “if I could grant one power to anybody it would be to make you self-aware, to understand who you really are” because we spend so much of our lives basing how we feel about ourselves on what other people think of us, not who we actually are. I mean our perception of our self is shaped by what everybody else around us but if we can get inside of our own head and figure out who we really are and what we really want and define what we want from our lives that’s when we can start shaping our life how we wanted to be.
Zach Smith: (23:12) And I’ve listened to quite a bit Gary Vaynerchuk and watched quite a bit of what he creates doing, I love when he talks about Self-Awareness because he is like “I interrupt people a lot, I understand that when he says things like that he actually becomes more personable and more relatable” because when you listen to him you do see him interrupt people and then maybe he admits I swear a lot, maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should maybe that’s my style I don’t know, when he says those things you’re like “well he understands it how am I supposed to critic him on that it sounds like he understands where he is coming from” when you do that you show empathy, and when you show empathy you can create real bonds with people and that’s why Gary Vaynerchuk is perhaps the most famous Internet type of entrepreneur around.
Carson Jorgensen: (23:54) Yes. And I just on that same subject I watched just came up across the Instagram today while I was eating lunch, it was a video and a lady asked him “why do you have to swear so much” and he says “it’s because I’m being authentic” like he says “when it comes to my mind that’s just what I say” and he says “there’s bigger problems in the world than me swearing” like that’s down there always on the list of bad things, you know, do our best we can but I’m definitely not perfect in that area, but it’s authentic like you say, it makes you more relatable because he does recognize it and you like that makes a lot of sense. And he is not trying to shove it down your throat like you need to be this way, he says “this is how – what I do and this is who I am and I think there’s a lot of things to be said for that”.
Zach Smith: (24:43) If you’re worried about people and what they think of you, and I think most people care about what other people think, they might say they don’t but say a couple of mean things to them and see how they react.
Carson Jorgensen: (24:51) Right.
Zach Smith: (24:53) They’ll care for people who feel that way again I think I’m speaking to most if you worry about what other people think about you be self-aware and tell people that you’re self-aware, recognize those things and you’ll find that people will actually like you more.
Carson Jorgensen: (25:11) Right.
Zach Smith: (25:11) And you’ll probably hear less bad things about you because people will start to see the good in you, because they’ll realize that you recognize the bad.
Carson Jorgensen: (25:17) Right.
Zach Smith: (25:17) And you’ll actually be happier that way too so.
Carson Jorgensen: (25:19) Beat them to the punch, if you can recognize, if you can recognize your faults before they do and acknowledge them before they can they have no legs to stand on anymore. And but how much, how much of our life and people think, what people think we spent so much of our life buying cloths, I don’t do this, but I see a lot of people do it, but people are buying cloths to impress people that they don’t really like, that they want to fit in with but they don’t like. So you spend money to impress people you don’t like and you don’t do things in your own life because you want to impress people or you don’t want people to think bad at you and you end up living in unhappiness because you’re letting what people think justify what you’re doing in your life and how sad is that.
Zach Smith: (26:11) It’s an interesting phenomenon, maybe even a paradox, it seems like it can’t be true but, but it is. “We again kind of all fall guilty to that in many respects and devil’s advocate to that point let’s say you’re completely overweight, you’re obese by a medical definition of that, you probably shouldn’t continue to eat terribly”.
Carson Jorgensen: (26:34) Right.
Zach Smith: (26:35) Even because everybody is like well “that person is overweight, that person is fat, that -- whatever they want to say and you’re probably hearing those things if you are that type of a person well in that case my advice would not be to do what you feel and be happy and embrace it right, so there is a devil’s advocate point”.
Carson Jorgensen: (26:53) Oh yes.
Zach Smith: (26:54) You need a kind of shape up a bit too unless you want to die I guess if you want to not be able to live the best life. I talk about freedom and for me freedom is lots of different things, one of your freedoms has to be health, if I have all the money in the world but I’m unhealthy whether I have something that debilitates me so that I can’t move around or I can’t do what I want, when I want, how I want, well then I don’t have true freedom, I only have one component of freedom and there’s a lot of elements to what freedom is and I think freedom is what also creates happiness.
Carson Jorgensen: (27:26) Right, and I’ve tried to put my finger on it, what it is and I’m really the same way. I believe that to find balance you have to pull from equal directions. I mean on one hand you’ve got “ego” and on the other hand you have “humility” and in between those two pulling against each other is where you find balance and I feel the same way with what people think about me. On one hand, I really do not care what anybody thinks of me, the only person’s opinion who matters to me is my own. But on the next hand I want people to think I’m a good person, I want people to know that I’m genuine and that I’m out for their best interest and I want them to win and succeed just as much and I care about that.
Zach Smith: (28:13) Absolutely.
Carson Jorgensen: (28:14) And so “people always get caught in well you say you don’t care what people think about you but yet you care what everybody thinks and for me it’s the balance that come between the two”. At night I only have to sleep in my own head right, it’s my conscience and it’s my person that I have to live with.
Zach Smith: (28:36) I’m a huge fan of the “Stoics” “Stoicism” I don’t know if you studied that all but…
Carson Jorgensen: (28:40) I haven’t.
Zach Smith: (28:41) Seneca, Marcus Aurelius one of the last great Roman Emperors, maybe even Plato would fit into that but the idea is to be able to do everything you can in your power but realize that there are still things that are completely outside of your control and to be good with that, to roll with the punches come what may and love it and pulling off of the way that you go about right, I’m much the same way I think of a quote by Plato where he said “Something along the lines of when men or women speak ill of thee, live so that nobody will believe them”. People are going to talk crap upon on people are going to say mean terrible things about you, but the way you live will be how eventually the majority of people decide to judge you, so no matter what anybody says about you if you live your life in a way that completely goes against what all the naysayers and ill-speakers and backbiters are saying about you in the end that’s all it’s going to matter and those are where the history books ultimately decide what is said and what is not said about us.
Carson Jorgensen: (29:46) “Time is the ultimate scorekeeper”
Zach Smith: (29:48) Absolutely.
Carson Jorgensen: (29:49) And I mean that’s as true as it gets right there because that’s I don’t ever want people to say bad things about me I don’t.
Zach Smith: (30:00) But they will.
Carson Jorgensen: (30:00) But they will like people are inherently nasty and people.
Zach Smith: (30:04) It’s easier to talk crap than less to think of something nice to say.
Carson Jorgensen: (30:07) Right I mean you even to yourself when you’re talking to yourself and you’re thinking things you can think of 5,000 things that are wrong, but try and say something good about yourself, think and it takes a minute.
Zach Smith: (30:20) I know.
Carson Jorgensen: (30:21) And I think people really need to practice that, they need to “practice finding what’s good and what their strengths are and focusing on those and really building yourself up that way instead of turn yourself down”, I always.
Zach Smith: (30:34) And once you’ve maximized and dominated on your strengths then and only then can you go and focus on the weaknesses, that is perfectly fine then but until you’ve “really mastered who you are, you develop that self-awareness, you found the two or three things that you’re better than anybody else at”, or at least world-class at well then great, now that you’ve capitalized on those and now that you feel good about yourself and you’re 75% of the way harmonized go and try the 25% of the things that you’re weak on, that’s how I go about tackling weaknesses in my own life.
Carson Jorgensen: (31:06) That’s awesome. Then that’s I need to do more of that but I’m the same, I can always just looking for something new and looking for the next thing and just try everything like “I can’t tell people enough just strike, but they say well people yes, that’s the first thing that comes to your head isn’t it, well people will think, when it comes to”.
Zach Smith: (31:31) Here’s some good, here’s some good advice too and sorry to interrupt.
Carson Jorgensen: (31:34) No you’re good, go ahead.
Zach Smith: (31:36) I agree. I even think that sometimes myself but I have a way of getting out of that, “well people are going to think this” or “people are going to say this” or “people are going to think that” guess what they’re actually not, most people are so concerned with what’s going on in their own life and in their own head they actually don’t even care about you and that’s sad and terrible but it’s kind of the truth, people are going to “care about you when you’re kind to them”, “when you’re nice to them”, “when you’re respectful to them” and even then they might forget about you.
Carson Jorgensen: (32:04) Right.
Zach Smith: (32:05) So “don’t worry about what other people think because everybody is so worried about what’s going on in their own life, they don’t necessarily even have time to worry about other people”.
Carson Jorgensen: (32:12) No.
Zach Smith: (32:13) And quite frankly who cares it's not like they’re going to change you.
Carson Jorgensen: (32:16) No, and that’s when it comes down to you have to know who you are, like it all like when “I go back on everything it all comes back to self-awareness” like it is the ultimate key to somebody being successful or being happy or whatever you want to call it”. “Self-awareness is the ultimate and I’ve spent my life” and I worry about it all the time and I’m like what if I’m stuck in my own head, and I think I’m this good person and I get on this high horse and I’m really not, but I know that I’m not because of the way I treat other people or the thoughts I have towards other people and it’s a honestly it’s probably one of the most difficult skills to develop if you ask me.
Zach Smith: (33:00) No it is, when you think you have it then you realize you have something else it happened to me a couple of days ago. I thought I was completely self-aware about a certain thing and then I got a lot of feedback I’m someone who always solicits feedback, (indiscernible 0:33:11) too “why do you let people say these kinds of things about you, it’s so terrible, how can you be happy through that” I’m like well immediately after I read and not necessarily happy but as I ponder and as I reflect, and as I apply some of the things I feel like I’ll become a better person so why wouldn’t I want to do that because I’m not where I need to be yet.
Carson Jorgensen: (33:36) Right.
Zach Smith: (33:37) And she is sometimes like okay, well I guess but please don’t tell me about it anymore so I’m you know and again I think that’s just a protective thing that any spouse would probably have but.
Carson Jorgensen: (33:47) Oh yes.
Zach Smith: (33:47) For me I like it because it helps me see where I might not be able to see.
Carson Jorgensen: (33:53) Right I’m the same way, I had a video on Facebook that kind of I would guess you would call viral and like 1.2 million views in four or five days and there was 1,800 or 1,900 comments on there and I went, I commented on every single one of them good or bad, but I went through and read every one of them, and then commented back to all of them but I would say 1,800 of the 1,900 comments were positive like people are like “This is a great message”. But then the other hundred were like you should go hang yourself or why don’t you jump off a bridge or do us all a favor and go die one of those kind of deal and I was like, so we’ve got 1,800 comments who were positive and we’ve got a 100 people who aren’t unhappy with themselves and can’t say anything constructively negative and so I’m like I must be on the right path and I think at things like that. You know we’ve got to hear what people say, we’ve got to see feedback it’s like if you come up with a product and you love it, but nobody else does and if you don’t listen to your customers and your clients you never going to get it right.
Zach Smith: (35:01) Absolutely, and what I’ve said is you might, “pretty much anybody would invent something, thinks it’s the best thing they’ve ever been and otherwise they didn’t create it” so the 3,000 something people we’ve worked with now I tell everyone of them when “I can please do not be attached to your baby, attach yourself to the success”, “whatever that may be, that might be your third or fourth baby and this first baby is going to get, he is going out with the bathwater”.
Carson Jorgensen: (35:26) Right.
Zach Smith: (35:26) You know what I mean.
Carson Jorgensen: (35:27) Yes.
Zach Smith: (35:27) So you have to and it’s hard to do, attach yourself to the idea and the definition of success and not to what your idea in the first place was, and if you do that as I’ve seen with lots and lots of our creators those that disband and pivot and change after their first bad idea, the second idea maybe even the third and have success on the fourth, fifth and sixth those are the ones that really win and they just get it. “You are not a failure your product is a failure, distance yourself from that and you can be a lot happier”.
Carson Jorgensen: (35:58) “Right and if we can separate ourselves from money and product and whatever it is our feelings as a human being and our how to guess how would you say our relationship with ourselves as a human being has nothing to do with how much money is in our bank account or how well any of our products say like”.
Zach Smith: (36:20) Absolutely.
Carson Jorgensen: (36:20) I know “great people that are poor as can be and they’re fine with it” and it’s okay but “I know people they have tons of money that are just about worthless” and you don’t want to be around them and people need to realize that who they are has nothing to do with how much money is in their bank account.
Zach Smith: (36:41) Absolutely, I mean I talked about these freedoms earlier, but it’s an idea that’s been ruminating in my mind for the last I don’t know year and a half or so. Right now I call this not, right now I’m calling it the six freedoms but it might be seven who knows, maybe I’ll cut them down but this is what I truly think people need to be a let’s call it “happy”. The first is “Time Freedom” and “time freedom is basically just the ability to do what you want, when you want to whenever”.
Carson Jorgensen: (37:10) Right.
Zach Smith: (37:11) And then you got number two your “Financial Freedom” and we’ve talked about this in quite a bit, “the ability to not have to work or if you want to work to work only when you want to work or the ability to work when and where you want to work and only do work you love or enjoy”.
Carson Jorgensen: (37:23) Right.
Zach Smith: (37:24) And then your “Health Freedom” the ability to do what you want, when you want because your health or fitness does not enter or restrict you in anyway. And now we get to the more abstract freedoms, this is your “Spiritual Freedoms” that you are free from sin and addiction that would cause you to engage in any type of behavior that you don’t want to but you’re addicted to it and so you still do it you’re not spiritually free in that case, and then “Mental Freedom” “your inner peace type freedom” no stress, no worries, so you know that’s kind of where we’re going here, “what if you are still happy and at peace but you are not free on any above”
Carson Jorgensen: (37:55) Right.
Zach Smith: (37:55) What sort of a freedom would that be take away your business success, are you still happy you can think of the Biblical account of Joph, he lost his wife, he got his skin completely destroyed, he lost all of his property, he lost everything and in the end he was still happy and he still said “God, whatever happens I’m fine with it” and what happened he ended up getting everything back tenfold so that’s kind of what I’m working with right now. How you make yourself free in each of these separate respects because when you are truly free holistically that’s where “True Freedom” comes and “True Happiness” comes that’s where you’re successful in every facet of your life.
Carson Jorgensen: (38:37) Oh yes and I’m 100% with you. It’s funny how you get on these things that you think about a lot then it sounds like you really thought about that a lot and for me the last year has been a real -- I would say struggle but real search for self-awareness and how to project that on other people and it’s just funny how these facets in our lives that we kind of focus on really drive us and turn us in a certain direction for what we’re going to become or what we want to become an as we focus on those things I always tell everybody the more I learn, the more I find out I don’t know.
Zach Smith: (39:17) Oh, yes absolutely, there’s a there’s a phenomenon to that I believe what is that thing called the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” have you heard of that before.
Carson Jorgensen: (39:29) No.
Zach Smith: (39:30) Okay.
Carson Jorgensen: (39:31) I’m wondering all kinds of new stuff and I’m again for it.
Zach Smith: (39:35) Let’s see the best way to describe it, let’s see okay how about so there’s this quote by Bertrand Russell, he says “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a slightly more specific case of the bias known as “Illusory Superiority” where “people tend to overestimate their good points in comparison to others around them while concurrently underestimating their negative points” And “so you see the smartest people thinking they are less smart and the dumbest people thinking they are more smart and the Dunning-Kruger Effect essentially in effect”, people miss adequately assessing their level of competence or their incompetence and thus considering themselves much more competent than everyone else, and it’s again going back to your point, “a lack of Self-Awareness”.
Carson Jorgensen: (40:40) I have a friend and he owned a multi-million dollar company where they sold heavy machinery parts and he always he tells me, he says “those who know don’t say and those who say don’t know”.
Zach Smith: (40:53) There it is.
Carson Jorgensen: (40:55) And it just, it all comes back to that and it all has to come down, I mean we keep coming round and round back to this and I talked about earlier, “everything points back to Self-Awareness and to know yourself, to know who you are and that’s really what it all boils down to”, but back there a minute ago you said something about the most successful people you knew and you said that they all had one thing in common and that was they were able to pivot and to change because we all get stuck on an idea but we all now we’ve got to be humble enough to change and there are so many people who have no humility in any aspect of their life, and I mean humility goes a long ways, not just in business but in life. The ability to say I’m sorry or the ability to say I was wrong that hurts, and that was one of the things it took me the longest alone.
Zach Smith: (41:50) Oh yes.
Carson Jorgensen: (41:50) So I mean how in your life how much of a role does that take.
Zach Smith: (41:56) One of my mentors who I consider a really good friend Tad Callister he had something that he said once to me 10 years ago and I think he said to a bunch of other people as well, and again I might not get it right but he said my greatest fear is that I will become proud of my humility and it makes a lot, it makes a lot of sense he still is a really humble person, one of the smartest people I’ve ever meet an exceptional attorney, a powerful orator. He can make an argument about anything and by the end you’re like “Wow! Okay I believe” I got to think of him as Malcolm Gladwell in a way where I don’t know if you’d listen to any Malcolm Gladwell but every time I listen to Gladwell even if I disagree with him by the end I’m like Man.
Carson Jorgensen: (42:48) He’s got a point.
Zach Smith: (42:50) He’s got a strong point there I don’t know what the counter is so Callister is that way in that sense and I love that, I love that phrase because he knew enough about what he didn’t know, to know what he still didn’t know.
Carson Jorgensen: (43:06) Right.
Zach Smith: (43:06) And that self-awareness is very powerful because a person who doesn’t know anything about a given subject would have no appreciation to understand how much there is to learn about it and you can say that almost anything, I’ve been playing this game called Spikeball recently and it’s kind of a new sport and you wouldn’t think there’s all these things about it and I thought I was pretty good and then I go play against some of the best people in the world and they absolutely destroy me and I was like “Holy cow”, I thought I was good at this game because I’m an athlete and all these other things but there’s so much more to know about this game called Spikeball from these people that are the best in the world that I never would’ve thought I was that much worse than them.
Carson Jorgensen: (43:46) Yes.
Zach Smith: (43:47) And so I grossly overestimated my level of understanding of the sport and basically Dunning-Kruger effect again.
Carson Jorgensen: (43:53) But it brings you back to earth.
Zach Smith: (43:56) Yes absolutely.
Carson Jorgensen: (43:55) And this pain and you said it earlier too you said that things that hurt are the things that make us change and getting your butt wept at Spikeball makes you want to change right.
Zach Smith: (44:06) Oh absolutely, especially for somebody like me, I’m one of the most fierce competitors you will ever meet, if I don’t try to become the best at something then I don’t necessarily have fun and it’s probably one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest weaknesses but I can’t just go and play a soccer game and have fun, I have to win.
Carson Jorgensen: (44:23) But it’s that quest is that quest for that that’s fun. I am that way like I devour something when I want to master it I devour, but when I get to the point where I’m really proficient and I can compete at the highest level I’m talking in any aspect of anything you talk about video editing, engraving, building bits and spurs, playing basketball when I get to that point I almost lose interest, like you say it’s one of my greatest strengths and my greatest weakness which is I have to make sure I stay hooked on some things that I need to stay hooked on even though I don’t want to because I lose all my drive at some point and that’s why I love starting businesses and that’s why I love, I almost love starting businesses more than I like doing anything else.
Zach Smith: (45:14) And I would say one thing to be careful of is make sure that you see things through, seeing things through means that you know that you’ve given it your very best shot. There’s a lot of studies on multitasking out there and I’ve seen this in my own life, when I go all in on something I tend to do it way better than if I’m trying to give it a little bit of effort to four or five different things and I’m spending a bunch of different plates all at once and trying to keep them all spinning. There’s something to be said at that no I’m not saying that you cannot do that, that’s where the power of outsourcing and leveraging utilizing people that are better, smarter and more confident than you and everything comes in the hand and that’s the true power of somebody who’s mastered entrepreneurship, so absolutely, but when you are looking to improve dialing in on one specific thing and just becoming a master at it for whatever amount of time you need to be able to measure those results, you’re going to see much more significant progress and you really if you don’t go about it this way you just never going to get to the level that you truly need to get to if you want to consider yourself a master.
Carson Jorgensen: (46:26) Right and that’s and it all comes back to what you want to be, like if you don’t want to be a master that’s great, that’s fine, but if you want to be a master of it you have got to stay hooked.
Zach Smith: (46:37) And that’s the holistic conversation I’ve been preaching this whole episode. You’ve got to figure out what you are, who you are as a person because you may be some of the things I’m describing today and you may be some of the things you may not be many of these things and like you said earlier, some people are perfectly happy with whatever $40,000 a year you can do and others might need a million to get there and that’s perfectly fine, that’s why I just don’t think wealth matters nearly as much as we all tend to think it does. It’s you don’t have any I don’t even know exactly how best to articulate that, but you’ve got to figure out here’s good advice if you’re not a millionaire yet, if you’re not making tons of money yet figure out if you’re happy right now and if you are memorize that, articulate that feeling you have, write down the thoughts you have now because one day when you become really rich and successful try to remember how you felt when you went through this little exercise, this little self-audit of yourself today and you will be so much better off when you have all the money in the world if you can go back to that Self-Awareness that you had X number of days, months, years ago when you do when I’m describing it to do I wish I would have done that, I can think back but I can’t quite remember everything, it still pains me to spend 50 bucks at a restaurant so I know I still have some of that stuff in me you know what I mean.
Carson Jorgensen: (48:04) You still got it.
Zach Smith: (48:05) I still got it but I don’t know exactly was I happy then, I’ve actually done quite a bit of self-research this last year, I went back and read journals that I had, notes that I had, different goals and things that I had and I could tell I was striving for something more, that striving for me it’s kind of gone, at least in the sense for the things I used to be striving for now it’s different things, now it’s knowledge, now it’s understanding, now it’s empathy. Its things that I never really thought about before, but back then it was, I want to have $2.5 million saved by the time I’m 30 and some sort of IRA Fund that’s going to get me 8% a year that was the kind of stuff I wrote down.
Carson Jorgensen: (48:48) Right but that was what your focus was and that was what was important because that was what was missing in your life and I think now you got to the point where you’ve got all that and now you kind of feel like maybe there’s a little empathy missing or maybe there’s a little something else missing that you need to have and that’s now what your purpose is.
Zach Smith: (49:08) And I’d say do it now, do what I’m doing now before you’re where I am now.
Carson Jorgensen: (49:12) That’s right.
Zach Smith: (49:13) And I think you will be even better off.
Carson Jorgensen: (49:14) We’ve got to remember that and I think that’s a reason we need to remember that is because what will -- if you really truly want to be successful and you stay hooked you’re going to get and when I say successful it’s all going to depend on what your definition of it is, but when you become successful to the place where you’re happy, don’t forget where you came from because there are people who are in that same spot and we need to have empathy, we need to remember what it felt like to not be able to, I told this story on a podcast last week. I remember at one point in time about a year and a half after starting my business I went, I mean we were out of money and I mean when I say out, I mean out and I went I’m like, I’m on the way home I’m just going to stop and get a soda pop like that’s all I want I think stop to do it and I ran my card and it wouldn’t go through and it wouldn’t go through so I scrunched around my truck and I found what money was in the truck, pay for the drink and went home and looked on the bank account in my account between all of them put together there is $1.42. This was honestly, this was probably eight months before I met you and I mean you want to talk about the feeling of despair and I will never forget that feeling and as long as I live, and I know there are other people out there who feel the exact same way, and I don’t want them to have to feel that way and so it’s empathy that drives all that and I think that’s just another thing that we’ve got to remember is there’s always somebody who’s worse off than you are.
Zach Smith: (51:02) Grass is never greener on the other side.
Carson Jorgensen: (51:04) No.
Zach Smith: (51:04) You might think I have a good life, but you probably be in my life for a while and be like and be like oh well you know maybe I’m happy with where I am at now.
Carson Jorgensen: (51:12) I did a video about it a while ago and I had some I was tending some sheep the spring, there’s a bunch of sheep there’s 60 or 80 of them and all they wanted was to go somewhere else. They wanted to go to this other particular pastor and that is all they wanted, they would not I would leave them at night and I come back in the morning they were gone and I was like you kidding me, and they traveled two or three miles and I was fighting like I just put them back every day where they go put them back put them back. Finally, I was like okay that’s it so grab the water trough load them on the truck, move them to where they wanted to go. No sooner did I move those water troughs and they were where they wanted to be and where they were fighting to be they turn around and go back to where they were and now they decided like you want to talk about the grass is greener on the other side of the fence it was a perfect example and it was like honestly one of the more spiritual and humbling experiences of my life because it was so simple but yet so profound all at the same time and it finally made sense because I was so mad, I was like why will you not stay here like all you want find, have it, here it is and they didn’t want it and it was.
Zach Smith: (52:26) Well I like that.
Carson Jorgensen: (52:27) Just a life lesson so maybe I don’t know maybe, maybe that’s a good place to end it as just the grass isn’t always greener, but figure out who you are.
Zach Smith: (52:39) Oh absolutely and there is something to be said about lifelong learning. There are so many good quotes on never being satisfied with where you are at and striving for me right I said I’m not -- no long
References and Resources
- Carson Jorgensen: The Definition of Success
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Achieving Goals like Multimillionaires”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Funded Today’s Origin Story”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Living Happier by Improving Perspective”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Living Happier through Stoic Philosophy”
- Wikipedia: Dunning-Kruger effect
- Wikipedia: Gary Vaynerchuk
- Wikipedia: Malcolm Gladwell
- Wikipedia: Tad R. Callister
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