Build Your Utopia






April 2015
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Today we have a great guest and inspirational story with Ben Altman of Charisma on Command.

Ben Altman worked on wall street, making great money and working 80+ hours a week. Not satisfied, he decided he wanted a career that has location freedom, geographic freedom, and freedom of time. How did he do it? What was his plan for such an ambitious Utopia?

If that isn't tough enough, how do you create a business and a hot product with 90k in student loans and only $300 in the bank? Listen to Ben Altman's interview and learn how he moved from New York to Brazil, "burnt the ships", and created Charisma on Command.

Ben Altman didn't just leave us with an inspiring story and 3 value bombs, but he gave us a 4th as a bonus!

  • Money, as a point of fulfillment, is a really hard way to be satisfied
  • Find your North Star
  • Model successful people
  • Bonus: Go talk to the people you are trying to serve

Thanks to Ben Altman for joining us and make sure you check out the resources he provided!

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 054_Interview_with_Ben_Altman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Josh and Ben talk this week's interview with Dornubari Vizor from episode 52.

Dornubari Vizor start the show discussing company names and the unique way that he came up with his company name, Yazamo.  This ended up being a rabbit hole which led our hosts to Daredevil on Netfilx and one of Ben's favorite movies, Die Hard (on Amazon).

Dornubari Vizor's comment from his episode about being careful around meet-ups and masterminds then prompted discussion between Josh and Ben about the comfort levels and openness of meetups, masterminds, and mentors. This then evolved into a discussion about creating a mastermind and what format should the group have.

The conversation then moved into a discussion about being focused at work and tips on maintaining that focus with all the distractions we face (such as email, social media, the real world, and cloud based services).

Ben and Josh then round out the show with a recap and discussion of Dornubari Vizor's top three lessons:

  • Learn to say 'No'
  • Get as many Mentors as you can
  • If you're going to start something, stick it out.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 053_53_Im_Going_to_Fact_Check_You_on_That.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On Build Your Utopia today, we have Dornubari Vizor, a 24 year old entrepreneur and co-founder of Yazamo, a Digital Marketing Agency. Dornubar is an Arizona State Sun Devil and graduated with a justice studies degree in 2012 while starting YazamoYazamo specializes in Web traffic and sales generation for small and medium businesses. He attributes his success to his mentor Joe Polish

Dornubari moved from Nigeria when he was a baby. At one point, he lived in a refugee camp for 3 years.

Growing up he's always dabbled in entrepreneurship, for example he used to sell products on eBay while a teenager.

Dornubari's definition of a Utopia is to have free time with his family and have a wealth of opportunities so he can be choosy and pick the ones that he really wants to focus on.

Currently, he's at 20% of his utopia...this he attests...because he feels he has a lot more growth individual and professionally before he is truly at his Utopia.

Luckily, he's made the wise move to turn to mentors and mastermind groups for both wisdom and inspiration respectively to help him reach his Utopia.

His #1 motivation is to buy a house for his mom and take care of his family in Nigeria. Most of his relatives still reside in Nigeria. He feels that this is his purpose since he's fortunate enough to be in the United States, unlike many of his relatives.

He realizes this path isn't easy and he has to focus on having a strong work-life balance. He gets regular exercise in to relieve stress and also has been investing, time and money, into a program called Strategic Coach that helps entrepreneurs put systems for life and business.

Finally, Dornubari left us with 3 Value Bombs that all Utopias can appreciate:

  • Learn how to say "no" to people and opportunities
  • Get a mentor and mentor others
  • Stick it out on your entrepreneurial path
  • BONUS: Pivot if you need to

Special thanks to Dornubari for being on the show. You can find him at Yazamo's Website, where they also have an incredible blog aimed at helping businesses improve their digital marketing.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 052_Interview_with_Dornubari_Vizor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Hello Everyone!  Today on Build Your Utopia our Hosts Josh Marsden and Ben Thompson talk about Pat Flynn's interview and episode 50!

They guys might get off on a couple tangents on this episode, but trust them, they do bring it back around.

Thanks to Pat Flynn, Ben and Josh spend some time talking about Gamification and how it can benefit multiple parts of your every day life.  Ben admits that he is a sucker for gamification and uses it at least 4 different apps every day.  (Check out Zombies, Run! on the iTunes App Store).  The conversation of gamification naturally leads to talks of the Apple Watch and the type of functionality it will bring to the market.

Josh and Ben also reflect on Pat Flynn's point of view on what an "F" grade in school really means.  From Josh's point of view as a father, if his son receives an "F", that doesn't mean he is a bad person or a poor student, it just means that particular subject is something that needs more attention.

Our hosts also talk about how Pat Flynn turns both his success stories and his failures into a lesson for the people that follow him. How easy is it to tell people your honest story?  Just tell people what worked and what didn't work, that way the folks that look up to you and follow you will learn from everything you've done.  It makes you a smart friend instead of someone to compete against.

Ben and Josh also reflect on Pat Flynn's philosophy of building his life around what is most important to him.  Most people have a job and they fit their life in around their job.  Pat has taken the opposite approach and fits his work around his family.  It isn't something easy to create, but it is achievable if you are committed to it and put in the effort.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 051_Im_Interrupting_You_too_Much_Tonight_with_Pat_Flynn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Happy Tuesday everyone!  We have a great guest for our 50th show, Pat Flynn, entrepreneur, podcast host, and responsible of Smart Passive Income.

Pat Flynn views his utopia as being able to spend most of his time with his growing kids.  He and his wife have been asked by other parents and teachers at their kids' school how they both drop off and pick up his son from school.  Pat has made it a priority to build his work life around his family life, instead of what is typical of fitting in family time around work time.

Pat Flynn recently started adjusting to a morning schedule (he self identifies as a night person).  After speaking with Hal Elrod (our guest from Episode 42), Pat decided to move to a morning routine.  He recognizes the difference between setting an alarm and getting up for work verses setting an alarm and getting up for yourself.  It was difficult for Pat at first, but he adjusted and is now on a morning schedule.

Pat's experience with moving to a morning schedule reinforced a view he has about failing.  Similar to getting an 'F' on a report card for school, that doesn't mean you are a bad person, it just means you don't get it yet.  It is something you can work on, an area for improvement.

Pat Flynn also speaks about his gamification needs.  Thank goodness for gamification, it makes every day events into something with goals and rewards and more (or easier) incentive to do better.  Ben and Pat both use apps to monitor their sleep and Pat found one for meditation as well!

Pat left us with three valuable lesson:

  • Understand that failing is okay, it's a "not yet" situation
  • Connect with and build as many relationships as possible
  • Truly understand you have the power to do what you want

Follow and connect with Pat:

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 050_Interview_with_Pat_Flynn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Join us today as Josh and Ben talk about this week's interview with Tim Lawson of Veteran Empire.

Tim Lawson not only provided Ben and Josh with a ton of valuable points, but he also inspired a great conversation.  Ben and Josh reflect on what they know and what they've heard from people about life in the military.  (Josh served and Ben has many friends who served).

Your hosts also talked about Tim Lawson's viewpoint on honesty versus transparency.  While both honesty and transparency involve telling the truth, when you tell it makes the difference.  That viewpoint has changed the way Ben thinks of himself, considering himself a transparent person.  Now, he sees himself as honest because he doesn't always offer up details, but he doesn't hide them when asked.  Josh also provides an example of when transparency isn't always the best solution according to robots in Interstellar (on Amazon and iTunes).

Josh and Ben also talk about the type of life that a small business own lives.  Is it just a pie in the sky, all the time is free time, and we can do whatever we want when we want?  While it is more flexible, it isn't exactly that life.

Ben and Josh also talk about Tim Lawson's podcasts (he hosts more than one), and specifically 1, 2, Many: Veteran Suicide.  The timing of Tim's episode and this show is interesting because a friend of Ben and his wife (who is a Vet), committed suicide last Friday.  His family set up a fund to help pay for these unexpected funeral bills.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 049_Honesty_Versus_Transparency_with_Tim_Lawson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

We have an amazing guest for you today, Tim Lawson. Tim is a Marine Corps veteran, college student at American University, found and owner of Lawson Entertainment, a company that has 4 weekly podcasts. The Veteran Empire Podcast for example was nominated for a 2013 Podcast Award in the Culture and Arts Category.

He's been able to do all this before the age of 30.

At 17 he defeated cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, it was an experience that really helped him have determination and perseverance. He actually feels blessed to have cancer at the ripe age of 17 with his immune system able to recover fairly quickly after treatment.

He believes that he is the product of his top 5 people in his life, which include his co-host Brandon of Brandon's Bromantic Comedy, his girlfriend, and colleagues in his life.

He's working towards true freedom currently with his efforts as an entrepreneur, an internet marketer, a podcast host on several shows, and a full time student at American University. He's driven to control his time and run his life on his own terms.

The Utopia he is working toward is building his business so he can maintain his lifestyle that he has currently has ripe with freedom and being able to spread his wings while working anywhere.

"The more freedom I have , the more freedom I have to do the things I want to do. "

Compared to being a Marine, he now has to create his own opportunities and has to work hard to make everything work. These are sets of challenges that he relishes.

He loves the challenge of figuring out entrepreneurship and the opportunities it yields.

He gives his girlfriend the credit for providing a level of peace that he had never felt before.. Awww.. how sweet.

"Every day is a vacation day but every hour is a working hour." Aka the life of an entrepreneur

Tim's 3 Value Bombs for Utopians:

  • Time control is way more important than time management
  • The opposite of sadness is peace, not happiness
  • Be in constant pursuit of what that 3rd title is (ex: veteran, podcast host)

Thank you Tim for your service and for being on the show! This guy is a stud and you'll definitely want to listen to this great episode in all its entirety.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 048_Interview_with_Timothy_Lawson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Hello and happy Friday Utopians! Today Josh and Ben talk about Vickie Kerr's episode earlier this week.

Ben and Josh think about a comment Vickie made about sacrificing now to have the time later in life to enjoy her time with her husband and when the time came, her husband had passed. Josh and Ben both have a hard time putting themselves in her shoes and dealing with a similar situation.

Our hosts also discuss gender bias towards women, especially working women and expecting mothers. Josh understands the 'old school' gender roles, though he may not agree with them, and Ben is just confused by that mindset.

We also find out that Josh was a guest on a show this week (that makes two for him and zero for Ben, so far Josh is winning).

Josh and Ben then get into Vickie's three points, and dive into the first about negativity and negative people. Our hosts explore how to remove those people from your life, even if they are family or close friends.

Josh's son turned six this week, here are some of the things they did together:

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 047_Removing_Negative_People_from_Your_Life.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST