[00:00] [music]

Kevin Garber: [00:07] Good morning, good evening, hello, wherever you are in the world. My name is Kevin Garber. It is Wednesday the 21st of December.

[00:16] We're recording this podcast. It's going to go out on Friday 23rd December, probably the last live podcast for this year. Next week, we are still going to have a podcast.

[00:25] We'll probably dig into the archives to one of our great interviews, so you'll still get your regular weekly podcast. With me, as usual, is my fantastic co-host, Kate Frappell. Kate, thank you for joining us.

Kate Frappell: [00:38] No problems.

Kevin: [00:40] As usual, we are streaming on Periscope. We have five people, a couple of hearts, we're just experimenting. We're streaming on Facebook Live as well.

[00:49] My vision has always been, Kate, to have a live show with lots of users. They can send through questions...there's always a nice feel on a live show. Anyway, we're almost there.

[01:04] We have a great show lined up for you. Later on in the show, we chat to Sydney-based MJ Fitzpatrick. He's an entrepreneurial coach of sorts. A company called Thymos is his company. He helps people that are wanting to accelerate their success. I had a long, fantastic chat with him. We're going to come to that a little bit later on in the show.

[01:28] As usual, though, we chat about some tech news and, as often has it, changes to the social media landscape. Kate, both Snapchat and Facebook announced some changes to their product this week. Tell us a little bit first about Snapchat and the new feature that they rolled out.

Kate: [01:52] Both platforms have got video changes. Snapchat are now allowing you to talk to 16 people in a group chat.

Kevin: [02:01] Is this like a WhatsApp group, that you can write text but you can also put a snap in there, which is a 10-second either video or a photo?

Kate: [02:15] Yes. What Snapchat groups do, is you can get up to 16 people and you can send them a snap, or you can chat, like in WhatsApp, except instead of having to...Ordinarily, you would click individual people to send a snap to, now you only have to click on the group and everyone will get it.

Kevin: [02:37] The group remains, but do the snaps inside the group remain?

Kate: [02:41] For 24 hours. If you don't see it within the 24 hours, you've missed it.

Kevin: [02:46] The group remains?

Kate: [02:48] Yes. The group always remains.

Kevin: [02:49] You can create a group of my best friends and a few of your chat, and if someone pops a snap in there, it will hang around there for 24 hours then disappears. The text just stays like in the WhatsApp chat...?

Kate: [03:04] The snap itself once you've seen it, it disappears. You have 24 hours to open it and see it. The chat is accessible even if you log out of the app for 24 hours.

Kevin: [03:20] It almost keeps it fresh and empty in a way. You look at it. If you've missed it, you've missed it. Probably going to be really big with teens and early 20s.

Kate: [03:33] Definitely big with teens because you can add stickers as well.

Kevin: [03:37] Or those, what do they call them?

Kate: [03:41] Filters.

Kevin: [03:41] Right. AR filters. People love playing with that. They're a little bit addictive. They're ridiculous. [laughs]

Kate: [03:46] They're doing all sorts of interesting things. One of the popular ones is doggies. There's also animations that respond to your facial expressions. If you stick your tongue out the AR changes.

[03:58] There's also a voice-changing technology in there as well. You can put it on video, talk and then it will put it in a chipmunk tone or something.

Kevin: [04:12] It's fun. I've been trying to experiment more with Snapchat. If you want to follow me on Snapchat you can track me down. I've been trying to put some of those little, micro movies on snaps and experimenting with that.

[04:27] What I do like about Snapchat as well when you put those stories, you can see who's looked at them, which is good.

Kate: [04:34] Yeah. You get to see who's viewed your story.

Kevin: [04:36] Which is quite nice. On Facebook and Twitter, you're not exactly sure who's seen your tweets unless they like it or retweet it. Who's seen your post unless they like it or engage with it. I quite like on Snapchat to see...Well, it's quite interesting to see who's opened it, right?

Kate: [04:52] Someone's seen it, yeah. The only thing is now that Snapchat have integrated a process where all the stories blend together. When you start watching someone's story, it blends into the next person and the next person and so on.

[05:06] It almost gives you this false sense that people are watching yours when they could be skipping over the top.

Kevin: [05:15] There's a bit of an arms race going on with all these chat services. They're rolling out these different features with different nuances. Which rolls to our next story, which is Facebook rolled out an interesting feature as well, I find that really interesting feature. Facebook Messenger now lets you video chat with up to 50 people at the same time, right?

Kate: [05:39] Yeah, and six faces on one screen, up to.

Kevin: [05:42] Which is fantastic. More than that, then it would just highlight the one who's talking, but less than that, a chosen one at the same time. Skype, I believe the standard version of Skype, only has a 10-limit person?

Kate: [05:57] I think Google Hangout is the same.

Kevin: [06:00] 50 people, the logistic of that would be interesting. If people aren't careful...It's almost like a web conference. With web conference, you got an administrator that can mute everyone because if you got everyone's audio coming through...

Kate: [06:16] It's too much.

Kevin: [06:17] too much, with 50 people, unless they are muting themselves. I don't even know if that's almost workable.

Kate: [06:23] That's true. I definitely sense that this product is being engineered with the Facebook workplace in mind more than the average individual Facebook user.

Kevin: [06:32] Interesting. That's Snapchats and Facebook Messenger. It's really interesting to see the nuances of messaging. Unfortunately, Twitter is getting left behind, way left behind in all of this.

Kate: [06:50] Yeah. Getting there.

Kevin: [06:51] Twitter DMs has huge potential.

Kate: [06:56] Do you know what, though? I feel like once a particular group of people, like your social circle, gets stuck on one platform, then they don't deviate that much. Most of my friends, for example, we all chat on Messenger, and even though we could do the same thing on Snapchat, we don't.

Kevin: [07:17] I've got a friend, and he's a listener to this podcast, so he might hear this. He just rotates through all the messaging services. Drives me mad. I'll get a text message, then the next day a WhatsApp, and then the Facebook message, and then the Twitter DM, it just...

Kate: [07:33] Everywhere.

Kevin: [07:34] everywhere. Facebook is becoming a bit of the day factor...

Kate: [07:41] Messaging.

Kevin: [07:42] messaging. You don't even need people's email address anymore.

Kate: [07:47] No. Most of the time you have their Facebook. If you are connected on Facebook, then you can chat to anyone you're connected with. Even then, I don't think you have to be connected. You can even send a message request to someone that's not your friend, and they can accept. You can chat from there.

Kevin: [08:04] I think Facebook said they're also rolling out those animations-type Facebook Live masks, will go one step further and argument the live video with whatever goofy animations you'd like to place on the screen.

Kate: [08:16] I believe that's only for iOS at the moment, though.

Kevin: [08:19] Yeah, the company said the feature should be arriving on Android soon. Interesting times. I use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Snapchats, not for the direct messaging.

Kate: [08:33] No.

Kevin: [08:34] Instagram, not the direct messaging either.

Kate: [08:37] No. Instagram, I don't think there's much messaging going on at all or for me there isn't. Snapchat, maybe after I've sent an image, someone will send me a little text message inside Snapchat, and then in Messenger is where the conversations really happen.

Kevin: [08:56] OK, that's a quick news summary for this week. Remember you can send us an email to podcast@itsamonkey.com. If you're listening and you're a start-up or a new company or work for a start-up, we love to promote you. We have something called the start-up minute which we run every now and then, so email us, tweet us. We've been doing the podcast every week which means it's been finding a lot of new listeners, so if you are a new listener, we really welcome you to the show.

[09:25] I'm the CEO of ManageFlitter, Kate is the design lead of ManageFlitter, and we love to sit and have something that's conversational and informative. We look for an interesting guest every week. We've got some great guest lined up already for the next year's podcast. Well on track.

[09:44] We are going to take a short break, and after the break, we are going to come back to the chat ahead with MJ Fitzpatrick, where we spoke about all sort of things relating to your own personal journey and entrepreneurship, managing your psychology, that personal human layer aspect of the entrepreneurial side of things, so stick with us.

Announcer: [10:15] Hi. My name is Dave Zoradi, and I'm the customer support specialist to your ManageFlitter. ManageFlitter is a tool that helps you work faster and smarter on Twitter. With ManageFlitter, you can clean up and grow your Twitter account. You'll also get access to useful Twitter analytics, social content scheduling and much more. Go to manageflitter.com and start your free trial today.

[10:37] [music]

Kevin: [10:37] You are back with "It's a Monkey" podcast. My name is Kevin Garber. I am the CEO of ManageFlitter. We talk about everything relating to tech start-ups, entrepreneurship, tech economy.

[10:52] What I found really interesting is in the start-up world there is so much talk about product market fit, finding your co-finder, raising money, ARR, all those financial type terms, business type terms. One thing that doesn't reiterate enough, in my opinion, is the psychology of starting your own business, and growing your own business, and managing your own business.

[11:18] The psychological side of things and the whole journey around the roller coaster aspect of it. We don't talk about enough. I'm excited to say that I managed to drag into the studio MJ Fitzpatrick who's a mind coach and founder of Thymos. MJ is based in Sydney.

[11:36] I bumped into him at a couple of talks in the start-up's scene here. We're going to talk about everything relating to the human layer so to speak, the personal human layer. MJ, thanks so much for joining us.

MJ Fitzpatrick: [11:50] I just wish I could splash that and put in all of my marketing because it's so true. We were talking just a second earlier, but I look at businesses, it's just your thoughts in the external world. That's all we're doing. It's building your consciences and your psychology in the way to take something from your mind and put it outside.

Kevin: [12:07] Well, at the end of the day, we are going to get a bit philosophical in this podcast. We're going to take a little bit of a break from talking about the Snapchats listing and things like that.

[12:17] Business is very much about fulfilling a part of yourself. I think people make a mistake sometimes if they think the money is just going to flow in or it's going to get them kudos. All of those things if they happen, and you're after them, and no problem and no judgment, but it's really about a calling at the end of the day. Especially in Austria, there's probably easier ways to make money than to start your own business.

[12:45] MJ: My favorite one of those is the guy who spray-painted Facebook's original headquarters, got stock, and invested for $200 million during the IPO.

Kevin: [12:53] Yeah. Facebook is a very special case. [laughs]

[12:55] MJ: Of course, of course. That's such an outlier, but I think it shows that very beautifully. You're right in that what you were saying is so many people go into this for kudos, and that actually strikes at the heart of what I see basically the most people struggling with.

[13:07] There's three things, but the one that's the biggest and this is something you probably never spoken about is, people's self-worth and going into entrepreneurship because they want to validate themselves. They want to feel special, they want to feel awesome, so they become an entrepreneur because it's the cool thing to do. They want to fix something, this hole that you were just talking about.

Kevin: [13:26] Funny enough, I posted something on Facebook this morning from the founder of that Cheezburger site or Ben Huh, I think he pronounces his name.

[13:38] He said something really interesting. He said, "For many entrepreneurs, life and business are the same thing. Dangerous, yet alluring corruption of the ego. If you really believe that you and your business are one, business failure destroys you, and success rewards you infinity. But no outcome warrants such sacrifice. At the end of every story you either redeem yourself or keep trying."

[13:57] His argument is almost when this calling takes you too far, and you become totally enmeshed with the business which is the other end of the spectrum world, right?

[14:09] MJ: Yes.

Kevin: [14:09] In Silicon Valley a few years ago there was a rash of suicides, and we did get talking about what does it mean? Why are people killing themselves when their business has failed? There's something really wrong with that.

[14:28] You work with founders, you work with CEOs, tell us a little bit about what you see as the common fault lines in their journey on the human layer side?

[14:40] MJ: I'll give you three. I just want to hedge, I always feel I need to hedge in these situations. Never raised funding, I've never pitched an investor. I run my own business, I'm definitely an entrepreneur, but I don't come into this saying, "I've lived it, I've been through the ups and downs, and this is what happened to me and this how you can make sure it doesn't happen to you." That's not where I come from.

Kevin: [15:00] You started life as a med student, right?

[15:02] MJ: Yeah. I started life as a commerce student. Finished my commerce degree, realized I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to sell stuff to people for a living, even though that's basically what I do now.

Kevin: [15:10] Come full circle.

[15:11] MJ: Yeah, come full circle. [laughs] Then I realize, "OK. Maybe I want to help people." I knew that I wanted to get into helping people with their confidence or their psychology, but I was too scared.

[15:19] I got into med school, studied for two years, and then on the second day of med school, I realized I was in the wrong place. It took me another five weeks to get the courage to drop out, and then I dropped out and started Thymus a couple of months afterward. I was working two jobs there for a while, I was doing it on the side. Then about eight months ago, I dropped the course full time.

Kevin: [15:35] Nice. Tell us about some of your work that you've done, and some of these common themes that keep on popping up.

[15:42] MJ: I see people because something is breaking down. When I'd seen enough entrepreneurs or founders or CEOs, I'm like, "OK, there's clearly some common patterns into what's making someone come and see me."

[15:54] Because I need to know whether it's from a business point of view, but also, if I see 20 people who run their own business, and they are all struggling with the same three or four things, then it's very clear to me that if you can control those three or four things, things will probably go very well.

[16:07] There's three. The first is a lack of certainty. I spoke about this, the talk that I was out with you, but if you want to boil down self-development, there's two basic things. One is, make yourself really certain, essentially confidence. Knowing what you're good at, knowing what you're not good at and being able to go after it with 100 percent of yourself. Being in your power is one side of things.

[16:28] The other side of things is authenticity, or working on yourself worth. Right now, actually, the number two things. And that's not just for an entrepreneur, that's for anyone.

Kevin: [16:35] I like the second point, authenticity. Plato said something which should be at the core, not just as an entrepreneur, but so many of us. Know thyself and be thyself. It's only four words, and it's a lot easier said than done. We can all sense when we meet someone and then that inner confidence, not that persona confidence. You bump into a lot of people with a persona confidence.

[17:04] MJ: The difference is very stock, and it's very, very easy to explain. The person with the front, with the persona confidence, feels like there's something wrong with them, and 100 percent of people have this growing up. I've met literally one person who managed to think their way out of this, and she's now my girlfriend, all right, but 100 percent of people have this. At some level, they think there's something wrong. Now, the person with the front covers that by putting up this big armor of confidence.

[17:31] If you're not trained to be able to look through that, you see these people who you think are really confident when deep down on the inside they are the most insecure. Now, the shift is when you work on that, you go from approaching every interaction to, "I need something from you."

[17:45] When I talk to you I need you to tell me that I'm awesome, I need you to like me or laugh at my jokes. Whereas, when you make yourself feel full, as Oprah would say, you feel compelled to give. It's like, "I'm so full, my cup is so overrunning that I need to give to you." Because I have so much, I just need to give.

[18:02] That is what you're talking about. That is authenticity. When you meet someone, you feel drawn to them because it's not about them and they don't need anything from you, they're trying to give. If you can get to that place, your whole life changes because every single interaction you're going through in your business, in your life, friendships, relationships, you're trying to give.

Kevin: [18:22] Now's the big question, how does someone get on that journey to authenticity? We live in a world where status matters, money matters, and social media likes matter. We still, in many ways, in almost all ways, we're still primal creatures. As someone said, we're basically apes that drive cars.

[18:51] MJ: [laughs] [inaudible]. 100 percent.

Kevin: [18:53] We've got all these primal instincts going on. How do we get on that road to authenticity?

[19:00] MJ: The first thing, and this is going to sound cliché and I know a lot of people who do my work say this sort of stuff, you have to want it because it's the most challenging, brutal thing you'll go through. These conversations that you have with yourself where you realize you're not a very good person, I've had to have that conversation with myself before back in my growth cycle where I realized actually I wasn't very nice to people.

[19:18] You got to have that conversation. It's 10 times easier to have that conversation with yourself and say, "No, everything's fine." You have to want it.

[19:25] Assuming that you want it -- and most people at a deep level do, there just is so much fear there that they don't see it. Assuming that you want it, the next step is to try and figure out what your unique story is. Why are you in particular not enough? Are you not smart enough? Are you not pretty enough? You're not tall enough. Everyone has their own unique thing.

Kevin: [19:41] I think deep down people know who they are. I think deep down if all things were equal and they could be...There was a guy I met at a workshop a few years ago. He said he was in the corporate world, hated it. I think he was in his 60s. His dream was to make harps, handmade harps.

[20:02] MJ: That's awesome.

Kevin: [20:03] He gave it up, and he started making I think only six harps a year. He's making harps.

[20:10] MJ: How happy is that guy?

Kevin: [20:12] He was pretty happy then. I think the practicalities always come into things and paying the rent and things. It's a real juggling journey. I always say to people when they ask me advice, "You have more options than you realize."

[20:31] MJ: 100 percent.

Kevin: [20:31] You have a lot more options than you realize. If you want to start a business and you don't have funding but you still want to do it, get a part-time job.

[20:38] MJ: That's exactly what I did.

Kevin: [20:39] People have much more options than you realize. I think, though, it scares. I always say, "Up beyond the social constructs is quite a scary place."

[20:50] MJ: 100 percent. You have to want it. You have to figure out what your unique story is. What happened to you in your childhood or growing up or what didn't happen to you that made you think that, "Wow, maybe I'm not smart enough or good enough," whatever it is. You need that unique phrase for whatever it is. It's not necessarily to get that, but it's just a lot easier if you do.

[21:11] The third step, and this is what everyone finds challenging, is you have to realize that that's an emotional situation. That's not something you can logic yourself out of. If you just keep thinking about that, you're never going to get yourself out of that hole. You have to learn how to communicate with yourself emotionally.

[21:26] This is why people go and do yoga and meditation and go see a sound healer and do reiki, some of which have a lot of science, some of which have no science. They start becoming more of themselves.

[21:35] It's because they're learning without realizing how to communicate with deeper parts of their consciousness where emotions are held because the part that you and I sit in, the prefrontal cortex, has language.

[21:45] We can think, and we can think in words, but you can't just say to your brain, "Hey, I'm feeling anxious. Can I stop feeling anxious?" and it listen. Because the part of your brain where your anxiety's coming from doesn't have access to language.

[21:56] You have to learn and there's a thousand ways to do that. You have to learn how to communicate with these parts of your brain which don't have access to language. You have to translate somehow.

[22:04] The second that you can do that, if you're willing to go through the emotional experience, it doesn't take long. It can take 45 minutes. If you do it properly and you have someone like me who's trained and knows how to do the right things, it's done.

Kevin: [22:16] I think there's so many little things that in the modern generation we've forgotten to do. For instance, play.

[22:22] MJ: Yes. 100 percent.

Kevin: [22:24] I went to a festival -- I like to go to festivals at the time. I shut down a bit. This one chap at sunset every day, he had this circus-playing circle. He had diabolos which are the juggling things and fire jungle sticks. It just dawned on me. There's no particular outcome needed. You just go there, and you just learn how to play and things like that.

[22:45] I think certain of us entrepreneurs are quite heady. I know, even for me, I'm in my head the whole time. Something that gets me out of my head helps a lot.

[22:57] MJ: But there's power in the head. This is the thing. The challenge with most people is they learn yoga or meditation. Number one, how is this going to help me be better at my business? Because it's not obvious, it needs to be explained to you the right way.

[23:08] Number two, there's so much power in the head, in the mind, but you have to realize that all decisions come from emotions. We know this because there was a poor woman who was in a brain accident.

[23:18] The part of her brain that felt emotions was damaged, so she couldn't feel emotions. [indecipherable]. That was it. Just pure head, pure ego. All she did every day of her life was sit on a couch because she couldn't make a decision. We are emotional beings who occasionally think. We are not thinking beings who occasionally feel.

Kevin: [23:36] And that's a good thing.

[23:38] MJ: It's an amazing thing. But it's about recognizing that for everyone who's sitting down here, for an entrepreneur who's listening to this and be like, "Why am I going to bother working on my self-worth? How is that going to make me better as a salesperson?" If you can fix...Sorry, I shouldn't say fix. If you can heal these emotional challenges that you have, you have access to yourself.

[23:54] Everyone I meet says something to me like, "I feel like I'm holding myself back. I feel like I've to a handbrake on. I can't figure out how to use my car." That's all emotions. If you can help yourself in those emotional situations, your car can go at top speed. It will actually run better because you don't have a handbrake on which is destroying the engine which is how all people have set up their minds.

[24:13] No one means to do this. No one teaches us how to build our minds properly. When we're young, it's just arbitrarily happening. We're making conscious and subconscious decisions all the time. Every layer is just getting deeper and deeper and deeper. But you never actually stop and say, "Hold on. If I could build my mind from scratch, if I could just set up my consciousness anyway I wanted to, how would I set it up?" That's what I try and help people with.

[24:34] If you could consciously decide how to set your consciousness up, pardon the pun, there'd be a couple things you'd do. Number one, you'd just make yourself completely confident. Why on earth would you ever doubt yourself? It's just a waste of time.

Kevin: [24:46] On that point, do you think this movement of almost indiscriminate confidence is a good thing? I've got mixed feelings when I talk to people and they go, "I'm going to act like I've actually achieved it. I'm going to never doubt myself. You can do it." I think there's some research that shows when people do have a little bit of self-doubt, it actually pushes them to have a more realistic picture as well.

[25:16] MJ: Yes. I can understand what you're saying, but this is why I use the word certainty and not confidence because a lot of people just think confidence is this front that you put on. Certainty is an internal state of being. It comes from knowing what you know and, this is the key part, knowing what you don't know.

[25:33] Being very, very certain in certain areas, like right now I'm speaking with a lot of certainty because this is what I do, but if you've got me in situation where we started speaking about the in-depths of the scientific experience or how to build an experiment, I just wouldn't be speaking like this. I'd be listening. Confidence, yes, I don't want you to walk around and act like you think you're the king of the world or the queen of the world when, on a deep level, you feel like you're not.

Kevin: [25:58] Or taking risks that really don't make sense. I think there's research that shows that entrepreneurs are actually more risk averse than people think. People think, "I'm not a risk taker." You actually meet most entrepreneurs. They're quite measured. They're not gamblers in the true sense of the word. They calculated risks.

[26:16] MJ: You asked me at the top, "What are the most common patterns?" I said I'd give you three. The first one was a lack of certainty. The second one was a lack of self-worth. The third was, "Do you prefer to be right or do you prefer to look at the truth?" That is the thing that just holds every entrepreneur that I see back. It's like you're staring...

Kevin: [26:36] Give me an example.

[26:37] MJ: I'll give you an example. Arguing is a perfect example for me. There have arguments that I've been in where I can argue, just because I can argue better than you. I can make you think that I'm right even though I'm arguing something which is not true.

[26:51] In business, it's not looking at the data. If you build a product and no one buys it, don't blame the market. Blame your product. It's just not good enough. If the consumers are telling you that they don't like...the product market fit isn't working, and they don't want to buy it, and it's not working, then the problem's with you.

[27:09] But most people would rather try and think that they're right. "No, no, no, it's the product market fit. They're just not listening. They're not ready yet. My timing's off," rather than just looking at the actual truth of the matter which is probably that it's just not good enough yet, and that's fine. Then go away and work on that. You're actually putting your resources in the right place rather than just wasting time on things which don't matter.

Kevin: [27:29] It always amazes me to know that Kodak invented the first digital camera. There's a variety of reasons why they went broke, but it's sort of incredible...or Nokia. I think it's so interesting to look at these case studies and believing your own bullshit. I think it's one of the biggest traps of success.

[27:51] MJ: I'm on a bit of a history tear at the moment. I'm reading biographies of Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Alexander Hamilton, these giant figures from history. Napoleon is a perfect example. He wrote, I think about 30 of them, his military maxims, his laws of how to fight a war.

[28:10] In the battles that he won, he followed them perfectly. But then towards the end of his career, when he started believing his own bullshit, in your own expression, he started deliberately not doing these rules that he himself had written, he lost battles because of it. I find that so fascinating.

Kevin: [28:25] That's why most democracies limit the length to which people can rule. In America, it's eight years. That's a done and dusted. You look at countries like Zimbabwe where he started out so on the right path, as helping the people and being a fantastic leader, and over time, it just happens. People believe their own bullshit.

[28:44] MJ: I'm fascinated by how people interpret data. A situation, an experience happens to you, and how you choose to tell yourself a story about that, I find so fascinating because it's the whole game.

[28:58] I legitimately want to get my programs into every school in the world. If I choose to interpret reality, I'm not even going to start. If I look at how many hundreds of thousands or millions of schools there are in the world or the complexities of all the different governments, the different cultures who I'm going to have to access...

Kevin: [29:13] The politics around it.

[29:14] MJ: ...the politics around everything, I would not start. Instead, I choose to deliberately misinterpret the data and think, "No, I can definitely do that," because now I'm at least going to try. I also think that I can succeed, but now I'm going to try. But if you do that in business, you're going to fail. Because if you deliberately misinterpret the data to just say, "We're awesome. Everything's fine. We're making profit," you're going to go out of business like that. [snaps fingers]

Kevin: [29:35] I think also something that's not spoken about a lot as well is that the cliché of the journey is the destination. In business, it's very, very much the case.

[29:48] Out of all people, I had an interview with Lionel Ritchie years ago.

[29:52] [laughter]

Kevin: [29:52] People always laugh when they hear that. He's a great guy actually. Really, really great guy. They were interviewing him about his journey and his success. He said, "My aim was always to be number one, and I got there. You know what I found at the top? Nothing. All I had was the experiences and the learnings of getting here."

[30:15] It's clichéd but it's definitely the journey's the destination. That's why it's got to be, the whole entrepreneurship thing, really got to be more about...

[30:26] MJ: It's the process. It's exactly what it is. That's why, you were talking about being a missionary or being a mercenary, why you have to fight for a cause, because then it's about the process. Then it's the long-term gain. You have a goal that is 40, 50 years away. If you go into a sales meeting and it doesn't go very well, on the grand scheme of your life and for this cause, it doesn't matter.

[30:50] All the time it's someone who's not processing cause-driven spends, being sad, and getting angry because the sales didn't go well, you're moving. It's a competitive event. It's the reason I think about all of these things so much, because I want to grow faster than my competition. Me as a person. If I grow faster, my business will grow faster. I want to grow faster than everyone else out there.

[31:08] I want to figure out how to grow as fast as I can. These things I'm saying, these are the things that restrict my growth. These are the hand breaks. I want to get rid of them as fast as I can. As soon as they go on, I can look at the data. I can send a pitch. I've sent an email recently which I haven't received a response yet. Who knows if I do?

[31:27] It may have turned into a multiple tens of thousands of dollars deal for me. Rather than being angry at myself that it seems like it hasn't worked, I'm like, "OK, cool. I'll take the feedback. I can't control what the other person is going to do." I'll take my feedback, and I'll move forward. I'm moving, and I'm growing.

[31:43] I'm trying to get better, rather than sitting here and be like, "Oh, my God. I can't believe it didn't work." It's just a waste of time.

Kevin: [31:49] Yeah. That energy that goes into regrets and stress, it's so easy to go down that path. It's almost like a path of least resistance. You find yourself being the victim, or stressed out. Sometimes it just takes a conscious awareness to go, "Let's turn this energy into action."

[32:08] MJ: 100 percent right.

Kevin: [32:10] It's all primal. We get stressed and anxious because our primal self is trying to warn us of danger, and do all sorts of things. We're all a throwback to our Neanderthal selves.

[32:20] MJ: Couldn't agree more. I just recently put up a video on, "Learn about your biology or your biology will use you." Because we are pre-programmed for certain things. You have to tick those boxes or your brain is going to freak out. There's nothing you can do about that. You have to learn them. You have to eat well and exercise well, and do something to calm your mind down.

[32:38] Recognize those stress response when it happens so you can get yourself out of it. An easy way to do that is with your breath. Know these things and it'll make you better in your business. Because you're using these tools you've been given your body and your mind in the best possible way.

Kevin: [32:50] You have to have the basics right.

[32:52] MJ: I call them fundamentals. I could not agree more.

Kevin: [32:54] You're not going to get out of the starting blocks. That's not just eating right, sleeping right. It's also, I believe, having the right company. Being around the right people is very important as well. Scott Peck, in his famous book "The Road Less Traveled." I don't know if you've read it?

[33:12] MJ: No, I haven't.

Kevin: [33:12] It's really worthwhile reading it. It came out, I think, in the late '70s. Parts of it are a little bit dated. He's passed away now. A fascinating book. He said, a lot of people ask him, "When did you go see a therapist, or someone? How do you know when it's time to see one?" He says, "Whenever you're feeling stuck." I think it's the same thing for entrepreneurs. If they're feeling stuck...

[33:35] MJ: "Just give me a call."

[33:37] [laughter]

[33:37] MJ: "Send me an email. We'll get that out."

Kevin: [33:39] There's a lot of great resources these days in all sorts of ways. Even peer resources. I think, entrepreneurship, it's a tricky balance. In a way, you need to be a leader. You need to show confidence and certainty to your team and investors. On the other aspect, you need to be authentic and be transparent, to be able to process as well sometimes. That's where the stress can actually [inaudible] etc.

[34:06] MJ: Which is why I see so many founders. Because they're constantly presenting this experience to their employees of how amazing everything is going, when internally they're constantly stressed. The big thing I noticed with really any achiever -- this isn't just entrepreneurs. We're obsessed with the question of how? How am I going to do this?

[34:26] It's the number one question. I sit down and tell someone they need to learn how to retool their mind. The immediate question is, "How do I do that?" My response to almost all of those questions is, you have the most complicated object in the known universe in between your ears. If you learn a little bit about neuroscience, the things the brain can do are incredible. It knows how to do some things.

[34:47] You don't have to ask it how so much. No one had to teach you how to learn to walk. No one had to teach you how to learn to speak. Your brain just knows. Building this internal trust in this computer that you have is one of the best things you can do. What I'm saying to people, you need to learn how to turn the logical machine off and listen to your intuition.

[35:07] You need to learn how to be able to do that. Otherwise, you're leaving your resources behind. These skills you have, you're leaving it behind. Whenever I tell people that, they're like, "How do I do that?" I'm like, "Well, you already actually know how to do it. You just need to trust the process and trust your mind." For a lot of people, that's very challenging because a lot of people have a very poor relationship with their mind.

[35:24] You have to start there. These blocks you're talking about, every problem internally, every problem in your mind, is solvable. You just have to learn the right way to communicate. You have to learn the right tools and strategies. They're everywhere, but you just have to learn how to pull them together for what works for you.

[35:42] The second you can do that, when you get stuck, you know the right questions to ask to get yourself out of that place.

Kevin: [35:49] Do you think everyone can be a successful entrepreneur if they want to be?

[35:53] MJ: I don't know. I really don't know. It depends on what you mean by entrepreneur. Can everyone go out there and raise...? Can everyone be Mark Zuckerberg? Probably not. I mean, anyone Musk? Probably not. The environment that they grew up in...Bill Gates is a fantastic example. He'd spent more time on a computer by the age of 19 than probably anyone else his age on the planet.

Kevin: [36:12] The whole 10,000-hour thing, right?

[36:15] MJ: The whole 10,000-hour rule. I think that's part of that. But I also think there's talent, right? There's a reason I'm not Shark. He's huge. That's definitely his genetics. There's definitely some of that there. Can everyone make $100,000 a year from a blog, or a hobby, or building something on the side? Or $80,000 a year? I genuinely think so.

Kevin: [36:34] I totally agree with you. This is why I say to people, if you want to have your own business that replaces your income, you're getting a salary, I'm pretty sure almost everyone can do that.

[36:44] MJ: Absolutely. If they're willing to do this. If they're willing to realize they're going to suck the first six...A perfect example from my business. I run my own coaching business, and then I have Thymos. Thymos is about putting programs into schools, colleges, and universities about resilience, and everything we're talking about. I built my business for the university market.

[37:01] All of my marketing was about university students. I tried to build everything there. I realized after six months, number one, university students don't care. Number two, they don't have the money. Rather than getting angry at myself, I said, "All right. This isn't working. What can I go find that is working?" That's going to happen. That's fine, but that's not a reason to give up.

Kevin: [37:19] I totally believe that, if you're listening to this podcast, and it's always been your dream...I see it a lot with Uber drivers. They say, "I love the independence. I finally feel like I'm having my own business."

[37:33] I think if you listen to this podcast and you've always wanted to do it, A, do it. B, it's going to be a lot more satisfying than you ever dreamt of. C, it's going to be a lot more difficult than you ever dreamt of. [laughs]

[37:44] MJ: Just on that point of A. Because this is something I wish we got to all this at school. Again, this is why I'm doing this sort of stuff. I want to talk briefly about courage. You get courage in one 15-minute bursts.

[37:56] You're talking about these people who want to basically leave their job and start their own business. Number one, don't leave your job and start your own business. Start your own business on the side. Do your 40 hours a week in 20 hours.

Kevin: [38:07] Agreed.

[38:08] MJ: Then on the side, when your boss isn't looking, start your own business. Make sure you're ahead of that risk. Eventually, you're going to have your job off the cliff. For me, it was leaving med school. I basically dropped out of med school to be a life coach. Think about those conversations I was having with those people.

Kevin: [38:20] What did your family think of that then?

[38:23] MJ: My mom and dad were actually incredibly supportive. I come from a very lovely family in rural New South Wales. They love me to death, so naturally, they adjusted. But it is very challenging for them. I don't have a degree, and I'm talking to people about the deepest psychological problems people face. That's challenging for them to get their head around, but they appreciate that the world has shifted.

[38:42] The courage aspect, you get courage for like 15 minutes. A lot of people think, if you're standing on the top of this cliff, courage is a thing where you yell and you scream, and you beat your chest, and then you dive off the edge. That happens one in a thousand times. What happens in every other time is, you're standing, looking over this cliff, like 12 hours.

[38:59] You're like, "I don't know if I can do it. Should I do it? I don't know if I can do it." Eventually, you go, "Fuck it," and you jump. That is what courage is. You get that for 15 minutes. In that 15-minute window, you have to commit to it. My perfect example was, I figured out I needed to drop out of med school at 11 o'clock at night. I was sitting next to my girlfriend and we were having this conversation.

[39:19] I was like, "That's it. I'm jumping off the cliff." By 11:05, I was out of med school. Because I knew if I didn't commit myself in that moment -- and I do this all the time when people want to leave their jobs. I'm like, "Cool. Why don't you write a resignation letter right now and send an email?" In this 15-minute window, we have courage, we need to do something that commits us.

[39:36] The next day I woke up and I was already out of med school, I was freaking out. "Oh, my God. I've just worked for two years to get into Australia's best med school, and I just left." But I committed. I couldn't go back. I was already off the cliff. My brain started working on how we were going to make it work. I think that is what courage is.

[39:53] If people could realize that, that I'm not more courageous than you, it's just when courage comes up I make sure I commit somehow, then it's very easy.

Kevin: [40:01] I had a similar experience. I was actually studying actuarial science in South Africa. It really wasn't my calling. I woke up one day, I walked into the registrar's office and I just said, "Deregister me." I was about six months away from the undergrad component. She looked at me like I had gone mad. She said, "Are you sure you want to do it?"

[40:22] The head of the department said to me, "Look, Kevin, why don't you just take a weekend off? Go do some sports." I said, "No. I'm done." Similar story, woke up the next day. I was like, what have I done? It sounds a little bit similar to you. It sent me on a path of being true to myself. Showing that things work out if you take those [inaudible]. Something else interesting happened when I did that.

[40:44] Nearly everyone in my class came up to me at various stages, and said, "I wish I could do what you've done."

[40:51] MJ: Yeah. Same thing. Same thing. I have a good friend of mine, who is a doctor. He said, "I don't think medicine is for me at all." Well, leave. Leave. Again, it's because they think you need this massive amount of courage. No. You get courage for 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes, send your boyfriend or girlfriend a message. Talk to your boss. Send them an email with what you're going to talk about.

[41:11] I was with a young guy yesterday. He's about 19. He's studying computer science here at one of the universities in Sydney. He's got a really good scholarship. He clearly wants to leave and go to Silicon Valley, and go [inaudible] on himself. But he's got the scholarship. He comes from an immigrant family. He's eventually going to be an engineer, which is the best thing possible.

Kevin: [41:29] Certainty, certainty, right?

[41:31] MJ: Certainty. Certainty, but courage. In the meeting I had with him...A, he's got enough savings to live in America for six months. B, he's got an uncle who works in the same, who could definitely get him an internship.

Kevin: [41:43] Fantastic.

[41:44] MJ: I was like, "This is your options. You can keep doing what you're doing, and spend three years of what you know you don't want to do and keep coming to see me and try to figure out why it's not working, why you can't push yourself. Or you could send an email to your uncle right now, and ask him if you could come and work with him in two months when you're finished and you have this time off, and you have the money.

"[42:02] In that two months, get a job. Don't go and get an internship. Get the internship, and then make him give you a job because of how excellent you are. If it doesn't work, that's fine. Come home, and we'll try again. But just put your back against the wall." I haven't spoken to him today, but that's hopefully what he's going to do.

[42:18] It's the same thing. It's that courage. If he sends his uncle a message, and says, "Hey, I want to talk," he'll back out. If he sends his uncle a message that says, "Hey, I want to talk. I want to come and work with you in two months," even when the courage has disappeared, he's committed. Because he doesn't want to lose face.

Kevin: [42:32] I think it comes down to that certainty thing. When you gave up med school, when I changed my degree, suddenly you've gone from this path that's quite predetermined and it's pretty safe to, suddenly, you out there...sort of when you're snorkeling. You're snorkeling around the reef. You turn around, and you're looking into this big blue ocean.

[42:52] It's half intriguing and half scary as hell. What is that? It's OK. Some people, they're predetermined and there's value in that as well.

[43:03] MJ: Some people love their job. The only person who could tell me what to do in the world is the tax office. That's it. No one else can tell me what to do in the world. I love that. I need that, or I couldn't breathe. Some people don't care if they have a boss. I'm like, "Cool. Go get a job that you enjoy. That you have great life, work that bounce and you can travel, and do that."

Kevin: [43:23] You know what's also a very underrated strategy? I was chatting to Kate about this the other day. If you love being part of something that's groundbreaking and it's got a great energy but you don't want the crazy stress of the start-up entrepreneurial scene, piggyback. Work with someone that's in there.

[43:44] They'll absorb all the stress, do all the hard bits. You can join the rock-up shift. You go on the roller coaster ride, and you can get a lot of the benefits without some of the risks as well. Not everyone has to be a founder. Find a cool founder, and a company that you like, work with them, right?

[44:03] MJ: 100 percent. Or you don't want to do subs at all. Or you want to build harps. I don't know if this was in the podcast, or if we were speaking about this offline, but if your calling is to go and build harps, go and build them. I can guarantee you that there are enough people on the Internet who love harps, that you can make $80,000 a year from advertising. I guarantee you.

Kevin: [44:22] Interesting times. MJ, do you do Skype consults as well, and all of that?

[44:27] MJ: Yeah. As a gift to your audience, and I may not be able to this for the rest of my career, but I can at least do it now. If anyone sends me an email, I'm happy to give them half an hour of my time for free. MJ@thymos.com.au. T-H-Y-M-O-S.com.au. I won't try to sell you anything. We can just chat. We can chat about whatever you need.

Kevin: [44:43] We'll put that in the show notes, the email. That's really generous of you. We really appreciate that. That human layer, sometimes just talking to people. I always tell people I've got, I call it team care. I've got people I talk to about business issues, personal issues. Life's up and down for everyone. We've got to help each other. Sometimes, there's a magic in just talking about it.

[45:07] MJ: I know we want to finish. This is just a close up loop. That's how I met you. I reached out to Jon Westenberg on Facebook. I didn't know who he was. I had read this stuff on "Medium." I had no idea who he was. Now I just offered him some free stuff. That's actually how I built my business. Code-emailing people on Facebook, and offering them free time.

[45:25] We connected. We liked each other. We're now going to start working together, and he introduced me to you. The random serendipity nature of just helping people is crazy. I try to do it as much as I can.

Kevin: [45:35] I think a lot of that happens. I really like in the States and in the tech scenes there, there's very much that sense. In Australia, it's starting to happen. Historically, it could be a little bit more a territorial type of fear-based...

[45:48] MJ: That's another two-hour podcast. Tall poppy syndrome, yeah.

Kevin: [45:51] Where in New South Wales are you from?

[45:53] MJ: From Wagga Wagga region, New South Wales.

Kevin: [45:55] I know Wagga Wagga route well. I go through it about once or twice a year and stay there. They've got the best Indian restaurant in Australia.

[46:03] MJ: Which one?

Kevin: [46:03] Around the corner of Bay Street.

[46:05] MJ: Yeah, 100 percent. I know that one very well. The Tandoori is incredible.

Kevin: [46:09] She's won many awards. She's quite a tough...

[46:12] [laughter]

[46:12] MJ: She meets you at the door. She's like, "All right, how much do you want?" I'm like, "Wow."

[46:19] [laughter]

Kevin: [46:20] I grew up in an inland city and Wagga Wagga's got that feel where...Sydney's so different. There's always a beach, right? There's a beach and water everywhere. Johannesburg, there's no water. Wagga's got that sort of feeling. It's just a town in the middle of a piece of land and a plateau.

[46:37] MJ: Yeah. In the middle of nowhere. Awesome.

Kevin: [46:38] MJ, thank you so much for joining us on the It's a Monkey podcast.

[46:42] MJ: You're welcome.

Kevin: [46:40] A really fantastic topic that we could go on for ages. Good luck with everything.

[46:46] MJ: Thank you.

Kevin: [46:47] I look forward to staying in touch.

[46:50] MJ: Send me an email.

Kevin: [46:49] We'll put that on the show notes. If you go to itsamonkey.com, all the details will be there.

[46:56] [music]

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Kevin: [47:41] That's a really fantastic offer of MJ Fitzpatrick, that he said he's happy to have a 30-minute chat with anyone around the world. I want to take up MJ's offer. He's certainly an interesting guy with an interesting passion. If anything, sometimes we all need a bit of a push to be decisive. Just be decisive, right?

Kate: [48:04] Yeah. I think it's good to get another perspective sometimes. So, take him up on the offer, 30 minutes.

Kevin: [48:09] 30 minutes free, either if you're in Sydney, face-to-face, or Skype. Don't worry if you forgot the email address. Just go to itsamonkey.com. We'll put MJ's email address there and you can email him. Now we're coming into Christmas, New Year. A nice time to reflect on where to...I think, we're so lucky that we live in the western world where we generally don't have to worry about food and shelter. We can actually self-reflect on a higher purpose. It's a wonderful privilege.

Kate: [48:46] Especially as well with the New Year, people tend to get a bit sentimental and have resolutions. It's good to start thinking about where you want to be and what next year can hold for you.

Kevin: [48:58] I don't know what to make of this, I think, MJ's in his 20s. I love his energy, it's intoxicating. It reminds me almost of Anthony Robbins. You want to go out, and just [roars]. It's great, you know? On the flipside, and I've brought this up in an interview with him, I wonder about this positive psychology...I want to use the word hype.

[49:31] I wonder if there is a risk of being disappointed if you get into this hyped up positive head space.

Kate: [49:49] Yes and no, I think. From where I stand, the more you're determined, the more likely you are to get it. Yes, the disappointment could be higher. I don't think if you're that determine you're going to accept that disappointment too easily. You just keep fighting until you get it.

Kevin: [50:10] That's true. That is true. I think I'm lucky. I always say I could teach pit bulls how to be tenacious. It's part of my make-up. I don't have to convince myself, which is, I'm stubborn and dog-headed. I think, also, some of the other things we brought up in the chat as well, that's something I do feel very, very passionately about.

[50:39] If people do want to start a small business, especially in Australia -- in other countries I can't comment as strongly -- but in Australia, I see all these small businesses...I love going to the food markets. People have made treats and have a unique take on a juice bar, a chai or coconut this. People are just so innovative. A lot of people just want to, even if it's a side thing, just have their own little baby.

Kate: [51:04] I particularly like the people who get really creative and crafty with their Christmas cards and tags. I've seen people do gift wraps. A really simple one recently was, imagine a newspaper print on the paper. Then they put that through a printer. They put up a quote over the top. It's got this vintage feel, but with a big print on the top of a newspaper and then framed it. Which cost them next to nothing.

Kevin: [51:35] I love people's innovation in New York. They have these little informal markets. I think last year or the year before I bought one of my nieces a gift. Which was such a clever gift. It was a t-shirt for a toddler and it had a chalkboard on it, but like a real chalkboard?

Kate: [51:51] I'll say you could actually draw on it.

Kevin: [51:53] So you could draw on it with chalk? You see things like that and just little creative twists.

Kate: [51:59] I remember when the chalkboard paint first came out. I thought that was the most amazing thing. [laughs] You could paint it on the...Our spaces for chalkboard was, but I knew that you could buy the tin of it and put it on the back of your door or on anything, a cupboard. I saw some friends do it and I thought that was amazing.

Kevin: [52:18] Anyone who wants to replace their income building a business is quite a different thing, though. Building a business with the team and scaled. I said in the podcast, "It's a lot more enjoyable than you think. It's a lot more challenging than you think."

Kate: [52:37] I can imagine.

Kevin: [52:39] Another underrated strategy which I've mentioned a few times in this podcast is, "Piggyback on someone else." Let them absorb all the stress in the business, the team or the founder going somewhere. Piggyback off them. You'll get nearly all of the benefits. You'll get so many benefits. You'll go home at the end of the day and you can forget about it.

Kate: [53:00] For a lot of people, too, the accounting side, the finance side and the legal side are the most intimidating.

Kevin: [53:08] Yeah, scares people.

Kate: [53:09] Unless you come from that background then you've got to learn this huge new beast. On the flipside, you know all that but you don't have a skill to build your product on. It can go both ways.

Kevin: [53:25] My accountant, he's a friend and accountant. He knows that stuff in and out. He doesn't get drawn into the creativity or the new ideas or execute on something different.

[53:43] The exciting thing is that, and I think it was Steve Jobs who said this, or someone significant, that, "The people succeeding significantly aren't really that different from you and I." People don't believe that, but they aren't really. They may be able to synthesize things in a bit of a different way and have some level of intelligence that's relatively robust, but they're not superhuman.

Kate: [54:14] No. I think one of Steve Jobs' most famous quotes were, "The people who think they can change the world are the ones who usually do." Crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.

Kevin: [54:29] Exactly. Anyway, that's MJ Fitzpatrick. Great guy, great energy, great vibe. I think he's going to go on to do great things. He's from a little town, Wagga Wagga. You've ever been to Wagga Wagga?

Kate: [54:44] Once, a very long time ago. My cousins got married there.

Kevin: [54:48] Nice. As I said, the town that's so great they had to name it twice, right?

[54:52] [laughter]

Kate: [54:52] Wagga Wagga, yeah, for sure. I think it's, from memory, just a small country town.

Kevin: [54:57] Small country town and it's literally in the middle of nowhere. Approximately halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, and quite a humble town. We go through there on the way to a festival about once or twice a year. We stayed at an Airbnb in April, where they had a pet bunny rabbit in Wagga Wagga, at the Airbnb. That was really fantastic.

[55:26] It's a country town where you drive 10 minutes from there and you're really in the Australian bush. There's even a state park 10 minutes away where you can camp for free that we've camped before. You can just camp there.

[55:40] What's so beautiful out there, if you're listening and you've never been to Australia, or even if you are in Australia, what's so beautiful out there is the sky. The sky out there, especially...

Kate: [55:52] The stars at night?

Kevin: [55:52] the stars at night. The stars at night. Sometimes when we're driving at night, we pull over on the side of the road around that area in the middle of nowhere and we'll just lie on the roof of the car and just look at the stars. It is so dense with stars.

[56:09] I once met a guy who lived around there and I said, "Wow, you must love the sky around here." He said to me, "Don't know. Haven't really noticed." [laughs] As humans, we get so conditioned to so much.

Kate: [56:21] You don't notice all the air pollution until you leave the city.

Kevin: [56:26] Yes, and you see it from a distance as well, sometimes.

Kate: [56:29] You just see a fog.

Kevin: [56:30] Johannesburg, when we used to go camping with the school, you could see the light pollution on the horizon. Johannesburg, very industrial city, lots of mines, lots of lights. They work at night. Anyway, that's all our live podcasts for 2016.

[56:44] Next week, we're going to play a repeat. Maybe Phil Libin, maybe Melanie Perkins of Canva, someone from a while ago. You will have access to the podcasts next week and, potentially, the following week, we haven't decided yet. You're not going to hear from us directly, but we will have some great content for you. We're going to keep going with the podcasts in the new year.

[57:09] We've got great things for ManageFlitter planned, going to be rebranding to ManageSocial and have all sorts of functionality. We're going to be pushing out tons of content, so I'm pretty pumped. We're all going to be taking a couple of days off to recharge. That's another part about the entrepreneurial journey, especially in a start-up.

[57:28] You guys, as well, the team in a start-up is part of it. You guys have nowhere to hide, as well. You work pretty hard as well, all you guys. You really do. We all get dragged into the thick of it together and we're going to go away and recharge a little bit. We'll continue live streaming, as well. The Periscope's been pretty good this episode.

Kate: [57:52] It hasn't gone too bad. Our viewers have fluctuated up and down a few times, but we've been getting some hearts, a few comments, which is nice.

Kevin: [58:02] Always nice to see you creating content that people like. Have a good Christmas, have a good Hanukkah, have a happy New Year. Let's hope 2017 brings in wonderful things for everyone, and we'll chat to you soon. Thanks for joining. We hope you enjoyed the show.

Kate: [58:27] See you.

[58:28] [music]