Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Tim Hamilton on the show. Tim owns a company called Astonished Designs and they do web design, development for little apps for software, I shouldn’t say little, and also SEO internet marketing, a whole bunch of really cool stuff and I absolutely loved their tagline that they had. It was “Created with Love, Built for Results.” Thank you so much for coming on the show today, Tim.

 

TIM HAMILTON: Sure, it’s great to be here.

 

JAIME TARDY: Tell me when this company started and how you sort of got into this.

 

TH: Sure. I started the company 12 years ago actually when I was in high school, I was a junior, and I discovered fairly recently that it was possible using **** Middle School to throw a website up online and I’m an immigrant. My family moved from South Africa to Houston when I was a kid. To throw content up on the web and have my family and friends back home actually see it, it was a way for us to connect. That was really inspiring. So that’s where it all began. I had to learn more about that. I had to understand every bit of it.

 

So I started making a couple fictitious websites for myself. I really love mountain biking and snowboarding so I just kind of made a whole bunch of photography and put it together. After doing that a couple times I really thought I could amplify and heighten my learning by getting a first customer to pay me to do a real project that would actually get used. So I went over to Barnes & Noble and got a book on how to do it and I sold my first website. That was 12 years ago.

 

JT: So you were a junior in high school when you got your first customer?

 

TH: That’s right.

 

JT: What makes you, as a person that does that, because most, I mean I was a junior and I was a geek; I knew all about computers too. I built websites. I started working in a pizza shop when I was younger. So what made you decide to go ahead and really do something more? I mean that you could go get a customer yourself and you were so young.

 

TH: I think one thing we all have in common is a desire to create something from nothing, something that’s bigger than ourselves and I was very, very much in tune with that growing up. I always told my dad I wanted to be an inventor for my career. I had done a few sites, like I said, to kind of explore those and educate myself. I was just aware that if I could find somebody who would actually use the product of my work, that the satisfaction I would feel would be far greater, that the challenge itself would be far deeper and the reward, the impact would be more exciting.

 

JT: That’s impressive as a junior in high school. That’s super cool. So did they pay you? Like your very first customer and they paid you to do it?

 

TH: They did believe it or not.

 

JT: See, that’s impressive because usually, I remember being a geek everybody would ask me “Oh can you fix my computer? Can you do this?” I’d be like sure, okay and I never asked for money. What made you go from asking for money and then starting to build it being in high school?

 

TH: That’s a great question. Well I really wanted a new mountain bike. So I was motivated and with that first website I was able to buy one. I think your question was what helped me go from that go from that first customer to building a business. I did one or two like that, one or two sites, at that scale, and realized that there was so much about this work that I didn’t know and that it would be difficult to get access to, without something more, I didn’t exactly know what it was, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed an internship.

 

So I called around companies in the city locally and I found three of the biggest most successful web design companies in Houston. This was 1999. I called one in particular and I got the owner on the phone somehow and this is a 30-person shop. It wasn’t a small shop and I said, “Hi there, my name is Tim Hamilton. I’m a high school student. I’d like to come and work for you for the summer.” He was not having it. He was very nice but he basically said, “We’re not hiring. Thanks for the call. Best of luck to you.” I don’t know what made me say this but I said, “Sir, if I could just come and meet you in person I’m willing to work for free. I think you’ll be surprised; if you could just give me a chance to sit down with you and talk.”

 

He said, “Oh fine. I’m going on vacation.” He’s actually a great guy. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He invited me in after his vacation to come in and sit down with him and talk to him. He told me don’t dress up because we’re pretty laid back and I walked in there and people had tattoos and shorts on and flip flops and I walk in there all dressed up to the hilt like slacks and everything. I was so nervous. Anyway, I convinced him to give me a job and I essentially said I’ll work for free and that’s what I did and his employees were unbelievably generous with me. They stayed after hours, sometimes late into the evening, 12:00, 1:00 in the morning teaching me database theory, database normalization, back end code, front end code, proposals and contracts, negotiating.

 

JT: That’s so much. I went to school for computers and what you just did was a free, not $20,000 a year and be so much more valuable than what I did. So did you go to college too or did you just use this as your education?

 

TH: I went to college. I went to UT in Austin. I actually moved from Houston to Austin to go to school and I decided I wanted to do computer science. So I did computer science for a year and a half and one particular class was my downfall. It was logic. After I took that logic class or at least I attempted to take that logic class, I decided computer science maybe wasn’t perfect for me and I switched over to business and I did two degrees in the end. I did a degree in economics and one in MIS or management information system.

 

JT: So when you were working as an intern and stuff like that, did you still have clients of your own on the side to make money? Was your business still sort of going?

 

TH: Yes. I think I might have had one or two at that time and that was really before I had a steady stream of business coming in. This was really still when I was learning and I did that for two summers.

 

JT: Did he end up paying you by the way after, for your second summer? Did you actually get paid?

 

TH: For the second summer I was able to negotiate a pretty decent pay and you know what, it really worked out. Well maybe two years after that, I was actually able to refer a client to that company and it was the biggest client. It was a seven-figure deal. It was the biggest client they had. What comes around goes around.

 

JT: It was worth it. Now he’s like oh I’m really glad I actually answered the phone for this kid from high school. That’s awesome. So tell me about you’re in college and stuff like that. Tell me about sort of the evolution of creating this into a real business instead of just something you did on the side.

 

TH: Well there was one point where I’d worked, I met some contractors in Houston and I was farming work out to them and they were getting business and their lives were in a crunch. I had a couple new projects come in and I had to get some resources to get the work but people I knew weren’t available anymore and so I struck out and interviewed a guy who was in the computer science program at UT. We had coffee together.

 

I hired him as a my first employee and he’s a brilliant programmer and we worked together for four or five years I think after that and during that time we built a bunch of sites and I got to sort of fine tune my approach to selling and process around writing contracts and proposals and really understanding, at least getting better at or closer to the benefit, understanding the benefit that we can create for people.

 

JT: And that’s a huge point because, well first before I get into that, I really want to ask you what made you go I’m going to hire someone? Usually taking on an employee is a lot of risk. It costs a lot of money to have somebody on staff. You have to make sure you’re actually getting clients. So did you have so many clients that you were like okay well I know for the next so many months he’s going to be paid for and then after that I’ll worry or anything like that? How did it work for you because it’s scary, especially being in college ready to go?

 

TH: It was really scary actually and you know I’m aware that at that time I’m thankful also that I didn’t pay attention to the fear. I consider that a huge gift that I just didn’t pay attention to it nearly as much as I have in later years. Because I wasn’t aware of it, a huge lesson that I wasn’t ready to learn at the time but it was also a huge asset in my benefit that I didn’t pay attention to the fear at that time. I felt the fear later on and have had to deal with it since then but you’re right, bringing on a first employee is a really scary thing and I had one or two projects that I just desperately needed help with and beyond that I didn’t know what the future looked like. But I was also so excited about these projects that I didn’t really care.

 

JT: So was it because you were naïve? Is that sort of the thing because that’s a really big question to go like okay later I was fearful but how are you now fearful before? You just didn’t really that it should be scary and then how did it become scary after that? After you know it worked out the first time, right, it shouldn’t be so scary the second time!

 

TH: That’s a really good question. Naïve I think is an unfortunate word and it may be correct but I would say that it’s unfortunate because I think our society teaches us that we live in a world of scarcity and too often I think we have to really work hard to remember that we live in a world of abundance. People that have that mentality, one of an abundance, that is sometimes called naïve and I understand that business is a greater issue. There are people that truly are in really tough situations and dire straits around the world and I don’t want to be insensitive to that.

 

But I think focusing on the world as a world that is built on scarcity really does amplify the fear. So I think it’s a battle that we all have to fight against – messages of scarcity – and I don’t want to head trash about what our capabilities are, what we’re each capable of. I think that’s a huge battle we each have to fight.

 

JT: Tell me because I understand completely. I just did a whole webinar on fear and what it is and how you can get past it. Do you have any tips, because it seems like you’ve gone through quite a bit of dealing with fear and stuff like that. What do you do to get over it or at least keep going even if you don’t get over it?

 

TH: I’ll tell you a story. When I was in fifth grade, this is right after my family had immigrated from South Africa to Houston. I was like 11 or 12 years old. We were at the neighborhood swimming pool and there was a couple different levels of diving boards. The highest level of the diving board was like a story high – 8 or 9 feet – and I would sit at that pool in the summer watching my friends and peers jump off that diving board over and over and over again and I at one point had climbed up the ladder and I’d gotten to the edge and I looked down and I just couldn’t imagine how they were doing this.

 

With my tail between my legs retreated and climbed back down the ladder. I was just not going to jump off that diving board and obviously that was humiliating. I knew there was something that these kids were getting, they were understanding that I wasn’t getting and I would look up at them and watch them dive over and over and over again and eventually the thought popped into my head and I’m glad it did. It’s these kids are doing this and they’re bobbing back up to the surface and they’re pulling themselves out of the water. They’re not dying. But that was the fear that I felt when I was at the edge is that by doing this I would do. It was so against my instinct that it felt like I was going to die.

 

With that information I worked on like installing it as you would software into a computer. I installed that into my brain that other people have done this before me and they didn’t die. So I climbed the ladder and I got to the edge and I felt the fear and I felt like I was going to die and I decided that in order to do this I had to just minimize it down to a musculoskeletal set of instructions. I had to get my brain to give my leg instructions to just walk off. That’s what it became.

 

JT: That’s crazy.

 

TH: I just decided to step off and so while that was a story from when I was 11 or 12 years old, it’s one that I use still today to think about pushing through the fear is that people have done this. Many people have written books about how to build businesses – Michael Gerber and his book E-Myth Revisited. There was a lot of really great books about the tactical steps of business development like I did there walking off the diving board. There are many how tos. So the big turning point for me was when I just decided to install that decision into my brain that I was going to take the first step from all these books of advice and just start building it. For me, it was actually hiring an employee. It wasn’t my first employee that was so scary but it was an employee later one.

 

JT: So tell me about that. As you were starting to build, after you hired your first employee, where did the fear come in? Because if it wasn’t at first and you were just chugging along, when did that fear actually come in? Do you know?

 

TH: I hired like up to two employees. There was me and two other people working and with that number of people we kind of had all the bases covered. I was able to sell and maintain and do account management. I was able to do some coding and programming as well. We had a full time programmer who is really sharp and really talented at building solutions and we had a really talented designer who was able to create the front end. So we had all the bases covered and that’s where I got comfortable and I was there for two and a half, three years.

 

Just right at that level and we were able to generate a certain fixed amount of work and I really had aspirations to go above and beyond that. But to hire the next person, just sort of double up one person in any one of those areas, for some reason, was really frightening to me and I eventually had to make the decision that if you’re going to grow there has to be room for growth and right now there is no room for growth. We’re each working full time and beyond actually, beyond 40 hours a week because we love this work so much and there was no room to grow.

 

So that was the real scary decisions. I had to hire a developer ahead of demand. I had to increase supply ahead of demand and that felt again like I was going to die.

 

JT: And you’re still here so that’s good. What did you learn from that because that was, like listening to you, that was a conscious decision to go I am going to grow and that’s hard because that’s scary to see if you can grow into that, but also trying to figure out how it’s going to work when you don’t really know how. You’re so used to knowing with what you know now that growing is a whole new set of skills that you have to learn. What was sort of those next steps? Did you go okay I am going to hire a designer or I am going to hire a developer? Like how did you take those next steps? Did you find out from other people how to do that?

 

TH: So the answer to that question I think is, for me uniquely, is actually not about tactical decisions at all. It was really a strategic decision supported by people in my network. I was part of the Entrepreneurs Organization accelerator program and the accelerator program is for businesses who aspire to qualify for the Entrepreneurs Organization and grow their businesses past one million in revenue. Three or four years ago I was getting into the accelerator program and they had this thing called the accountability group and over the last two years in that program, my accountability group really solidified. It became like Napoleon Hill’s mastermind group, if you read his books.

 

JT: His book is the number one most recommended book by millionaires right now. Michael Gerber is number three and I highly recommend it too. So tell me about your experience with that.

 

TH: Well, my accountability group was me and three other people that all wanted to grow and all experienced some level of pain but we were separated by these forces in society that give us the information that we all have to appear totally competent, totally on top of things, totally together as if fear doesn’t factor into our lives. There was one meeting when the four of us, in that room, decided to show each other that we were all vulnerable and that we’re struggling with this and that we are scared. That was what made all the difference in the world is that we realized that if any one of us ever realized our greatest fear which is essentially to lose everything, everyone’s couch was open to everyone else who needed to sleep on it for a night.

 

So I knew that at the end of the day my greatest fear of going out and living, ending out on the streets and just losing everything, it just was never going to happen. What occurred to me is that I was able to find and I think this is the most important part of that experience is that I realized that my security, the security that I am searching for every single day, I think we’re all searching for every day actually comes from relationships and that was counterintuitive. I thought it came from some other magical place. I thought it came from a certain amount of money, a signed contract, a verbal commitment from the next huge customer, but it in fact comes, I think the greatest source of security comes from relationships.

 

JT: I got chills on that one. That’s awesome. It’s funny because we don’t really look at that enough, you know what I mean and I think that’s huge because in the fear webinar that I talked about was the exact same thing. We don’t realize our fears and realize that 9 times out of 10 they’re never going to happen and we freak out over them but knowing, you said exactly what I said in the webinar except you articulated it having to do with your relationships because I said the same thing. I thought I was going to live in a van by the river. When I quit my job it was like okay she’s going to be by the river. I was like I have my parents. They’d never let me live in a van by the river hopefully.

 

You forget about family and friends and all the people that are there, especially probably now. You probably have so many relationships within your business that it’s an amazing thing that they can help you when you need help. So tell me about relationships to you and how you have been able to form such really good relationships in what you’ve been doing.

 

TH: I am going to think about that for a second. I think really interesting things happen between us humans when we can get to a point that we do actually show each other that we’re vulnerable, that there’s a part of our humanity, I think, in each and every single one of us that we really try and kind of keep to ourselves again in pursuit of this competence pattern like we’re trying to create this very confident and capable façade but at the end of the day, if we can just show each other that we’re a little vulnerable and we’re having a hard time, that can take relationships from scratching a surface to getting to the bottom of the ocean and it can create depth and meaning and openness and, for me, that’s really what allowed us to meet that goal and to finally qualify for EO is that I was honest with myself and with the people around me that I’m having some fear here, I’m having a tough time there and in doing that I was able to work through the fear myself.

 

I really believe that if you can call this stuff that I’m talking about head trash, it’s really destructive and damaging and it’s my number one impediment. That’s the number one force that I’m fighting. I think that a lot of us are fighting every single day is our own internalized self-limiting beliefs about what’s in our way and how smart or not we are or how good or not we are, how capable or incapable we are. I think the most effective way to push through that is actually by bringing in other humans to fight that battle with you; that really believe in you.

 

JT: Okay that’s huge. So how did you do that? How did you bring in other people to help you? Was the accountability group the only piece that really helped you in that battle I should call it?

 

TH: I’ll go out on a limb here and actually share with you that I’m a huge believer in talk therapy. So I took principles from talk therapy and stuff that I’d learned about the mountains you can move if you show other people that you’re vulnerable and worked with my accountability group to create an environment like that in that group. I believe that therapy is a really helpful and healthy thing for every single person to do. Just like a professional athlete needs a coach to go to the Olympics, I need a coach to help me fight the battles that I’m fighting every single day.

 

JT: It’s funny. I’m sorry, I have to jump in. I’m a business coach and this is huge because everybody thinks like all I do is talk about tactics and oh you should be doing this the next thing and then this is your thing and it’s not like that at all. Like 9 times out of 10 I’m either helping with head trash or trying to tell people that they are good enough; all that stuff that you don’t think is important in building your business, but seriously that’s it. We limit ourselves so much. We pull back so much that the biggest strategies and the coolest tips aren’t really going to do what we need to do.

 

It’s getting ourselves over that hump to actually go do it and to feel like you’re worth it to go and do it. So being able to hear you say that, someone who is on the other side, I’m going like okay I pushed a lot of mountains, I’ve been climbing for awhile, is a really, really cool and inspiring thing for everybody to hear. So tell us a little bit more about where you feel like you’ve come from. So you started with the EO accelerator group which I highly recommend. I think you have to make at least $250,000 a year in revenue in order to get into one of those programs.

 

I’ve been hearing amazing things about them and so from there to crossing the million dollar mark, what did you have to get over? If you don’t mind being vulnerable with us a little bit, if you remember, what are some of those things that you had to get over and how did you get over them so that way maybe you can help people that are going through some of that stuff right now?

 

TH: Sure. The bit about building supply before there is demand was a huge piece of it. If you think about brick and mortar businesses that have to go up there and set up shop or build up an inventory before they can sell the first product, they had it a lot harder than I did. To start my business, I got a copy of Photoshop.

 

JT: Which is expensive, right?

 

TH: And a book about HTML. I used my family’s computer and I was off to the races. I didn’t have any real fixed costs. So deciding to build the supply before there was demand was the fear that I had to overcome but the real turning point, for me, was I actually worked with an E-Myth master impact training coach for 14 months. We had a phone call just about every week and the focus of those calls, just like you said, it’s so much more about self reflecting and introspecting and really understanding the self-limiting barriers. What I realized there was if I could create in words a painted picture of what I’m building, a one-page document that describes my dream and my vision and what this is going to be like when it’s done, I can remind myself why I am doing it every single day and it can be a compass for me when I lose sight of the direction day to day. I was going somewhere with that.

 

JT: Actually, let me stop you, you’ll totally lose your train of thought after this one but I want to know what did you do? You made that one sheet. Millionaires talk about visioning all the time and it’s not something woo-woo we’re crazy, it’s something that’s tactical and really works and helps us. So what did you do with it? Once you created it, was it tacked up somewhere? How did you keep referring to it? A lot of times it gets lost somewhere in your computer and you never look at it again.

 

TH: I realized that every part of that vision document had to permeate every other corner of the business in the way that I talked to customers, in the way that I talked to my team. So the first thing I wanted to figure out is who is the right team? Who is the team that’s going to be able to build this future with me? So what I did is I did more vision work but at a lower level. I shut myself in a room and I closed my eyes and I thought to myself, okay I have to hire this next person. They have to be smarter than me and more capable than me. They’ve got to blow me away.

 

I shut my eyes and I imagined sitting down with that person one year from today celebrating the past year and reflected on what would have needed to happen for us to be in that room together celebrating the most incredible year, the most incredible partnership for both of us. It needed to be successful for me as well as for this new person. I didn’t use a word processor to write it down. I just opened up a good old notepad, no formatting, nothing to distract myself and I just did a stream of consciousness about what this person and I are going to accomplish in the next year.

 

I was informed by the strategic document, the painted picture. So at the end of that mediation essentially is I came up with a bunch of bullet point lists of experiences, narratives, descriptions, competencies that this person was going to possess and there’s a book about this called Who by Jeff Smart and it’s an incredibly powerful book. The stuff that I’m talking about here is building a scorecard that describes the five outcomes over every person in the team and those outcomes have to have a link back to your strategic document. They all have to link back. I wanted to deliberately recruit and deliberately interview and deliberately hire people that, from my perspective, were likely to help me produce the result that I was trying to create.

 

One tactical tool that I’ll share with you that I used to get over my fear is remember on the high dive I had to minimize my thinking to just moving my legs to push me off, well often times in business the steps of business development, there really aren’t any steps to business development that don’t have anything to do with interaction. You’re always interacting whether or not you’re interacting with a customer, an investor, a partner or an employee. Everyone of them are interactions and that’s the stuff that’s scary because we don’t know how it’s going to happen. We’re focusing on the outcome. What I think is key is that we focus on the process.

 

So what I did is I wrote scripts for myself to use when I talk to people as I am interviewing them. So I don’t have to think or worry about my brain being clouded my fear when I am out there actually doing the work. I get inspired at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and that’s where my best thinking comes into mind. I don’t want to lose that thinking and so I write scripts from it. That’s how I run my day to make sure that it’s going to be in line with the strategy.

 

JT: Nice. So how do you do that? Do you have like a little notepad by the side of your bed or something like that to really pay attention?

 

TH: Well Michael Gerber would be proud. He talks about building systems; systems on business not people. So I try and build systems, which essentially are Word documents that describe step one, step two, step three and when it is my turn to talk in their systems, I read the script. So that’s literally the way it manifests in my business.

 

JT: That’s really cool. I know my mentor, when I got into business coaching, was like scripts are great. I was like but it’s hard to sound natural and all this stuff when you’ve got a script in front of you. But now I know the power of the script and the power of the making it sound like it’s not a script and all that sort of thing. So what did you learn in getting your script? You don’t actually know when you’re writing your script who this person necessarily is going to be and what you really need to ask them. So how do you sort of formulate a script?

 

TH: There is an art to it. As you know, the script is the music and there are going to be strings of 8 and 16 bars of improv that you’ve got to fill in there.

 

JT: I like that analogy. That’s great.

 

TH: This falls very much within that. There is another tool that I used I’d love to tell you about. It’s called the Sandler Sales Method.

 

JT: That’s what my mentor did. That’s really funny. I love that too, go ahead.

 

TH: Sandler has the most incredible thought. They have a system. They have a set of scripts and a system, a framework for achieving disarming honestly in business communications. That is so hard to do sometimes, but I found a huge amount of resource in getting their material and reading it and digesting it and making it my own.

 

JT: So tell me about that because I know a lot of the listeners don’t know about Sandler and I listen to everything they have. I think they’re awesome too but tell me sort of some of the takeaways that you’ve gotten from that so that way maybe we can give some nuggets to the people that haven’t listened to the 50 hours plus of content that they have.

 

TH: One of the most interesting nuggets is, well the whole method is about disarming honesty and one of their things is, if you feel it, say it. So, Jaime, if you and I are talking, whether or not I am interviewing or whether or not you’re interviewing me or whatever the situation may be, it’s likely that we’re going to have some concerns. We’re going to have things in our brains and if I can just open up to you and say, “Gosh, Jaime, can I share a concern with you,” all of a sudden you’re going to see that I lowered my voice and I’m just about to be really sincere and honest and vulnerable with you and you’re going to say, “Sure” and I’m going to say, “You know, I’m feeling a little pressure right now. Why might that be?”

 

That’s going to help us to get to that human, talking about feelings level and it’s going to be real. All of a sudden, the whole societal pressure of each of us has to maintain this very confident, very sort of competent façade which may or may not always be the case. That can be dissolved and a real communication can be achieved.

 

JT: I think that’s, like we were talking about relationships before and how that happens because that’s huge. I think talking to a real person to real person is so different than doing, you know, whether you have a sales call or whether you are trying to make small talk with someone and you’re like oh yeah the weather, yeah. Oh nice to meet you. That is not real. Everybody knows that’s not real but we don’t want to talk about it because you know we’re good.

 

But being able to open that up, it ties right into your vulnerability and sort of going like okay I’m a real person, I have thoughts and feelings and I just want to share them with you and be honest about it and being able to do that in every interaction is huge. It sounds like that’s one of the key pieces that you got out of Sandler but it seems like it has gone through everything else that you’ve been doing.

 

TH: Absolutely.

 

JT: How long ago did you do Sandler? Was it early on or was it later?

 

TH: It was later. I’m still going to classes every week. I am still a big participant in Sandler now. I see myself doing it for a long time.

 

JT: Tell me more! Give me another takeaway that you’ve gotten from Sandler because I know they’ve got good stuff. We’ll just kife all their stuff and have you tell us all so that way we don’t need it, right?

 

TH: One really powerful part of Sandler is the up-front agreement. That at the beginning of every single meeting that you talk with your counterparty, if it’s a sales discussion or an interview, you basically say, “What’s the objective? What’s your agenda? What are you hoping to get out of the meeting and what’s the outcome of this meeting?” If it’s a sales call, really the outcome, if we’re going to be honest about it is you as the prospect could decide that this isn’t a good fit and it may not be a good fit for us.

 

If we’re being honest about it, we can talk about that, but most of the time, people don’t want to talk about it, because it’s scary, it’s rude, it’s certainly counterintuitive. But if you can just open up with the person on the phone or in the meeting and say, “Look, hey, before we get going, Jaime, one of two things could happen during our time today. One is you could decide that we’re not a good fit and I want to make sure that if that’s the case, you feel comfortable telling me. It won’t hurt my feelings.”

 

JT: You’re telling all my secrets! Anyone who is a prospect, no, and I think this is huge and I think everybody should know this. What I loved about it is it’s just being a real person. It’s what you really want to say but you don’t actually say. You know what I mean? You’re like oh yes, you’re going to love me, thank you very much. Buy my stuff instead of going this might not work and, if it doesn’t, that’s totally cool. And if it does, awesome, I’d love to work with you. That’s real. That shouldn’t be that hard but it really is. So why do you think, I mean I am getting deep with you, right, why do you think that is? Why do you think we need to have these personas? Why do you think we have to be perfect all the time?

 

TH: Well, if you think back to what school was like, you know, like elementary school and middle school, there are a lot of forces that play out in those environments that set us up to conform, to be obedient and well behaved and not interrupt and do all the things that are considered polite. I guess, I think we’re a little confused as a society that those really serve human beings well. I don’t think they do. I think they shut down our thinking and forces like intense competition and shame and humiliation actually I think do more to damage us than they do to serve society.

 

So later on in life, when we’re adults, we’re having to fight those battles and we’re still feeling the residual effects of humiliation and shame and intense competition. Like there’s a game that we’re going to lose and it’s built on the scarcity model, that the world is a scarce place. It’s harsh and that people are harsh and hard on each other. I think by our nature, actually the opposite is true. So those are some thoughts there for you.

 

JT: I love that. It’s funny because, as you talk, and I am sure all the listeners sort of have this too, because as you talk about like elementary school, what comes up in my head is all these images of me being a little fat kid in elementary school and going like I didn’t want to say anything. I did a speech with a friend of my mom’s a couple weeks ago and she was like I never imagined you would be talking to a group of people because you were so like this. I was like I was like that because it sucked.

 

When you’re in school and you say something and it’s wrong, people go oh. So having that as an experience, when you’re little, when you try and go and become an entrepreneur and they say failure is inevitable and mistakes are going to happen, we go [gasp] oh my gosh, like I don’t want mistakes to happen. They all look at me like I am crazy when I have a mistake or something like that and we really need to change that mindset of kids nowadays, especially, but also of us to go back and go hey it’s totally fine and being able to hear you say that and say I have gotten through a ton of stuff and I’ve had to get over it and on the other side is there’s still more stuff to work on but at least I can see how far I’ve come is really awesome.

 

So I really appreciate you getting vulnerable with us and being able to tell us sort of some of that crazy stuff that goes on. Unfortunately, I know we have to start wrapping up soon but I could talk to you for a long time. So maybe we can have you back on the show and we can talk about other things next time. But what is, for the last question that I always ask, what is one action that listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?

 

TH: We’ve been talking a lot about head trash I think and again, for me, that was my number one impediment at every single stage of the game no matter how much access I had to books and resources about tactical business development. The number one thing I had to fight against was head trash and I think the most powerful way to combat that is with other people that know you deeply and love you deeply and cherish you and understand that you are smart and capable human being.

 

So I would say that if folks can identify one piece of head trash, just like you shared with us, Jaime, the experience that you had in school and the misinformation you got about your abilities and who you were. The misinformation you got. If people could take a second to think about the misinformation they got about themselves, some self-remitting belief and get with somebody that knows them really well and talk about it for an hour. Sit down and talk about it and be vulnerable and go through what’s hard, I would say that would be the most impactful bit of advice I could share.

 

JT: Awesome. We don’t understand how much that could do for us because it seems like it’s just talking to someone but it’s totally more than that. So I think that’s awesome. So everybody that’s listening, go ahead and write it on your calendar. Pick someone that you could talk to and just get it out there because you’ll feel so different after. It’s amazing. I do this all the time with my clients. It’s amazing sort of the shift that you can see from talking to someone and that’s it. So thank you so much, Tim.

 

Where can we find more information on your site and online? Do you do social media or anything like that? Go ahead and pitch whatever you need to right now.

 

TH: Sure. Our site is astonishdesigns.com and our Twitter handle is AstonishDesigns.

 

JT: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. Like I said, I’d love to have you back on. So I appreciate it. Have a wonderful day.

 

TH: Thanks, Jaime.

 

Just to note, you can download the top ten tips from these millionaire interviews on the blog.

 

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