Thom Van Dyke Podcast
[00:00:35] thank you so much for joining me, I'm really excited to be able to first off be with a fellow story brand guide. I would love to get started with. A little introduction. Thanks for inviting me to be here. I was in ministry for 19 years of my career, and that ended a number of years ago. And, uh, it wasn't entirely by my choice, but I'm very grateful that it led to this in September, 2020.
[00:00:57] I started my business. I got [00:01:00] certified as a story brand guide and part of my job before was communications. The communications piece came very naturally. The business piece I've had to really pick up. I'm very fortunate. My dad was an entrepreneur. He actually built up farm this very successful farm after the age of 40, which is, I don't even know if that happens anymore.
[00:01:20] I think I grew up watching an entrepreneurial mentor in my dad and I've been blown away at how natural it's felt. I love it because I can do this work in my home. And I'm sure we're gonna talk about family, cuz family's one of the key values and things in my life and my kids are downstairs right now.
[00:01:41] And if we were on camera long enough, probably one of them would run into the room. I live in Manitoba, Canada. I grew up rural, still kind of live in a rural area, but I love it because, uh, because of the world we live in now I can do business literally around north America. And around the world very easily.
[00:01:59] So I [00:02:00] feel like the world has gotten in some ways, a little bit smaller for me since I started my business, you know, I can so relate to. With a non-traditional business background. Um, my dad was also, he was the CEO in the manufacturing world and I never went to business school per se, and never really envisioned myself starting my own business, but it really has come quite natural just because I think through osmosis being around those people in our lives, we learn a lot, not so much about the tactical tools or skills, but the mindset.
[00:02:31] The characteristics of what it takes to just keep pushing, just keep trying. Absolutely. I've always been a learner. That's been very core. I devour webinars and I read the books and stuff, but if there are people out there who are curious about StoryBrand and that community, it's amazing because. There's a number of other people in my position who came to StoryBrand out of a nonbusiness background, some of them out of non-profit world, like I [00:03:00] did.
[00:03:00] And it's hard because a lot of agencies that are in marketing, they'll add StoryBrand as value, add to what they're already doing, but they have the business model or they have the structure in place. And now they just have the framework for the messaging, for people who don't come from, who don't have an agency, when they become a, a certified.
[00:03:18] You, you have to pick up a lot of other skills. In addition to the copywriting skills and the marketing skills. I have actually collected a group of these people because we like to meet and talk about how things are going for us, cuz it's kind of a unique subset, but the community is incredible. The resources are vast and the collective wisdom.
[00:03:37] Of over 700 guides is really quite incredible to tap into. It's an incredibly generous, abundant community that has been absolutely instrumental in the success of my business. So many of our listeners I'm sure can relate because a lot of them are service providers who went to school to learn that skill, that service, and then find themselves having to run a business.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] And I love that kind of snuck in piece of advice that you just gave, which is to surround yourself with people who done it or who are also doing it and share the wealth of knowledge between you, because. There are things that you will not be able to find on the Google that you can tap into through the collective of those people, that community.
[00:04:21] So I, I love that. One thing that I really wanna talk to you about is family, because I know family is a huge part of your life and your business as well. And as also a parent, it is with mine. And I think there's this awkward juggling act that we see where it you're choosing one or the other. I'm either with my family or I'm in my business, I'm growing my business or I'm focusing on family, but I, I don't know that that's the case.
[00:04:46] And I'd love to get kind of your story about Sam Marie and your perspective on that. Family's always been a high value in our lives for both my wife, Tara and myself. We've been married for 21 years this year. Uh, she came from a [00:05:00] tight family, but a small family, just two kids. I came from a family of four kids on the youngest of four and we just did things.
[00:05:08] We traveled together, we did road trips. And so we had that value and my parents. Really believe that family was first in our lives. And it was important for us. When we got married, we had talked about how we wanted to start our family and what it should look like. And it took it just a totally different direction.
[00:05:27] We both wanted four kids. We were gonna kind of have, you know, one kid every two years. , it's just, you know, it's just gonna be perfectly timed out. Everything was gonna work really nicely. And that didn't happen. Our first son was Malak. And then we waited a long time, uh, for our next child to arrive. And when he did arrive, my wife experienced some profound medical issues that the doctor said, please, you're gonna put yourself in jeopardy.
[00:05:54] You do this again. So we talked about adopting and we had talked about international adoption and all sorts of things and it never [00:06:00] just, just never gained traction. And then because of my work with youth in the community, I got to know some social workers. And at the time this was about 2000 and, uh, 11 at that time in Manitoba, if a youth, so a teenager or a baby often entered into child welfare into the foster care system, they were put into hotels because there weren't enough foster homes in the province.
[00:06:28] I had a friend who was a foster care worker. And one of the kids he worked with was also in my youth group. And so we had this mutual relationship and I just went to him one day and I said, if it ever comes to it, please don't put Caitlin into a hotel. Now just, I'm gonna pause there for a second. I won't use the names of my underage kids.
[00:06:46] But Caly is 26 and she has given us permission to talk about this. She's very proud of her story and she's a remarkable, remarkable young woman. So I said to Trevor don't, don't put her into hotel, at least ask us as an emergency [00:07:00] to take her. And that was in September. I think that's 20. 2011, uh, that he called and said, we need to do something.
[00:07:08] And so Caitlin came for the weekend and never left . So she was our first foster child and our first adopted child. And we have now welcomed 30 foster kids into our home over the last 10 and a half years. Right now we have four permanent placements with us. We really just, I mean, they, they came to our home in a different way than birth, but they're just our kids.
[00:07:33] Two of them right now are in the adoption stream. So we got a crazy house. We have six kids at home plus Caitlin who doesn't live at home and she's married. So we have a son-in-law, which I am not old enough to have the son-in-law . So in our house right now, we have a one and a half year old on almost three year old, a five year old, a nine year old.
[00:07:52] And then a 14 year old and a 19 year old. Wow. Talk about a busy household. And like I have one [00:08:00] child and I struggle to manage alone with her. I need to know when it comes to having kids. One of the things I definitely started craving was more stability in my life. Right? Like we wanna provide a stable household for our kids.
[00:08:14] It's just like a natural instinct, protective instinct, the running your own business inherently. Risk and can sometimes feel unstable. What have you done to find balance between running a business that's variable versus trying to create stability for your family? First of all, I'm in an incredibly.
[00:08:36] Fortunate position. If I were a single dad, this would be next near impossible. That's the truth. My wife is incredible and she does, uh, just so much work with our kids and with specialists. Uh, our daughter has. Upwards of eight or nine specialists. It's just the way life goes. And because we have a child who's vulnerable, our kids [00:09:00] can't go to school, uh, because they could bring COVID home.
[00:09:04] And so my wife has been doing remote learning with the school aged kids, too. Your wife is a hero. Yes. Oh yes. The reason I could do this is because she's down. That's the reason I can do it before I go online. I text her quickly just so you know, I'm gonna be on camera. So be aware that I think what has to happen is you have to see your priorities properly.
[00:09:27] You have to know what the ultimate value is. And there are people who live to work and I love work. I love it. It's enjoyable for me. I get a lot of value. Like I feel personal significance in my work. I feel like I'm making a difference in the world. Everything you need to feel like a healthy human being.
[00:09:46] Right. But my work is not my identity. So anything that's becomes your core identity is really dangerous because work can change. I could injure myself like, you know, [00:10:00] brain injury and lose my creativity. There are all sorts of things that could go wrong. And if your vocation is your identity, You lose it.
[00:10:10] That means you lose a piece of yourself. Now that's not to diminish how hard it would be. Uh, and there would be a little piece of me that sort of died inside if I couldn't do this, but my kids are my priority. My family's my priority. That means that if there is an opportunity in my business, that conflicts with something that's important for my family.
[00:10:30] I say no to the business that I go. When I work on family things, one of the, one of our goals in life. And if my friends hear this, they're gonna laugh. Cuz I talk about it all the time. One of my goals in life is to have a vacation home in Florida. That's what we want and we wanna rent it out and then go down there for a Mo a month at a time.
[00:10:46] And that's amazing that we can even plan that. But because my job is mobile. I can do that. So the job affords us the ability to actually work on our family. I'll tell you what my goal is. You [00:11:00] know, it's no secret that kids in care have faced a lot of trauma and there's a propensity towards addiction or addictive behaviors, you know?
[00:11:09] So we, you think about these things and you get concerned about them. There is a natural crisis. We all face crises and there's a, there's really natural ones, sort of at 18 at graduation, and then going into college or university. And that kind of thing. My dream is that when one of my kids faces a crisis as a young adult, that they will want to return to the home for.
[00:11:35] And not their drinking buddies and not even their sports teams. Those are all great things. We want their primary support and their safest place to be their home. In order for that to happen, it has to be filled with warm memories because they're not gonna come home. If, if our home is just an angry, upsetting place or an unloving place or a place where they're [00:12:00] not accepted.
[00:12:02] So my goal as a dad is to create the kind of warm memories that are always gonna draw kids back. To us as their primary support and network, and my job affords that of us. So we can go somewhere else and build these incredible memories in another place, a beautiful place like Florida, which we do. We love traveling down to there.
[00:12:22] And I know that that's going to be an investment in primarily my family, and yet I get to do work along the way to, and in fact, my work is going to give me the resources to be able to do that, which is pretty remarkable world. A lot of people don't have a lot, you know, you made me think of myself there for a moment because one of the things that I'm working on personally, and I feel like I've been working on this my whole life, that more so now that I'm a parish is really being present where I am.
[00:12:51] So, if I'm on a call, I am on a call. If I'm with my kid, I am with my kid. And as a business owner, sometimes [00:13:00] your business tries to follow you wherever you go. And in this digital world there's notifications, it can be hard to set those boundaries. And so with. The dynamic family that you have and the values that you have.
[00:13:12] I'd love to know if you have any advice or suggestions on how we can start to practice setting boundaries that allow us to be home when we're home and be at work when we're at work. It's kind of funny as you speak these things, you speak in ideals, right? And there's nobody who actually lives their own ideals.
[00:13:30] So I don't want anybody to walk away with the impression that we have this thing figured out. We do not I could write great books on all the huge mistakes we are currently making. Right. We're human. Right. The good news is that brain science tells us and child development scientists tell us that you only need to get it right.
[00:13:51] 30% of the time for the brain to develop in an optimal way. at least right there. Yeah. First of all, I think you need to [00:14:00] understand the, the, the importance of what you just said. If you don't embody this, if you don't believe it to your core, that you are the most influential person in your child's life and that you are the most important person in their life, if you don't actually believe that and then put skills to that so that when they're with you are actually focusing on building into them boundaries and business, they, they won't make any sense.
[00:14:24] You won't be motivated to put them into place. So with that in mind, there's a. I would recommend called the, I think it's called the power of showing up by Dan Siegel. I've read lots of books by Dan Siegel, whole brain child, no drama discipline. If I just wrote a new one called the power of showing up something like that, about a parent showing up in their kids' lives, that would be a really great resource for parents.
[00:14:44] But then you just have to do the hard work of shutting off your phone. There are very, very, very few crises. They need solving in this moment, I used to work with families in crisis. Okay. And the crisis [00:15:00] always happens at midnight. And I used to tell people I'm actually not gonna help you at midnight because probably that problem was there yesterday.
[00:15:09] And it's probably gonna be there tomorrow. And everybody just thinks a little better when we're well rested to realize that there are actually very few crises that demand our attention. There are demanded clients who demand our attention, but we are in control. Of our own lives. I was listening to a call the other day with a different story brand guide.
[00:15:31] And she said a lot of people think that when they talk to a client in that first engagement, that the client is interviewing us for a job, she said, but what if we are actually interviewing the client to try and find our ideal client, not just one that we can work with, but one that we can help the best and that kind of client in my life is gonna be a client who is not put off.
[00:15:53] If I'm having a family day, or if I'm on a family vacation, I'm a solo entrepreneur. I don't have a team that fills in for me when I'm [00:16:00] gone. If anybody is offended, any of my clients are offended when my little ones run into the room and interrupt a meeting. They're not the right bit. They're not the right partner for me or the right client for me.
[00:16:11] And. I find that most people aren't like that. Anyways, you have to be willing to turn off the phone. You should be doing this anyways, cuz you can't sleep with your phone buzzing beside your bed. You just can't do it. I plug it in and I charge it in a different room than my bedroom. I don't put it on my nightstand.
[00:16:28] It's just too much. And that's what works for me. But you have to really believe in the importance of that family. And I'm gonna tell you something, your business will not suffer for it. It absolutely will not suffer for it. In fact, probably my business has grown because I'm seen as somebody who functions out of values and not out of endless urgency.
[00:16:56] And if I don't, if I don't get a client, I'm gonna be bankrupted and [00:17:00] it's all nonsense. If you're running a business, there's gonna be highs and lows, and there's gonna be busy seasons and sparse seasons. My family has a lot of grace for that as well. Sometimes dad has to work longer hours and that kind of thing.
[00:17:13] But at the end of the day, family wins. That's just it. And I really do believe that dad has helped my. Helped my business because people who are like-minded are finding me and want to work with me because of it. What great advice, you know, it's interesting in my business, for sure. I started to see exponential growth when I started saying no to projects that either I didn't really love or wanna work on, or that weren't going to be like a portfolio piece that fully demonstrated the way that I could help people.
[00:17:44] If there were going to be substantial. Proof showing that I made an impact and that this was functioning and working. Like I started saying no to those little projects. I'm low and behold business growth. One of the questions [00:18:00] I have is you've mentioned the word values a lot, and I know for myself personally, I have my personal values, but I also have values in my business.
[00:18:09] Most of them, I find are very aligned, but I think sometimes we start to separate the two, we pick that our business values are different from our personal values. I would love to kind of pick your brain about your thoughts around what our values are, how we can pick them and whether they should be different.
[00:18:26] Well, I think that there are compartments to our lives. There are values that are going to govern how we do business. I'm gonna do value based pricing as opposed to hourly pricing. That's a, that's actually a value that we would have as a, in my business. So that makes no sense though, in the home but there are, again, it comes a little bit down to your identity.
[00:18:49] There have to be values that are bigger than. Those values. Some people might call them transcendent or [00:19:00] true for all time universal, but for me, there's some kind of a hierarchy of values. So I have kind of these ultimate values up here. And then I have values that sort of encompass my relationships in my family.
[00:19:14] And then business is underneath that. It's not to say that they all need to be perfectly aligned, but when there's a conflict, you need to know which value is going to. Be more important than another value and the same is true in business. So there are times when, just because we value family over business.
[00:19:33] Sometimes our kids will feel like dad, come on. You're you're not spending time with us. You're working a lot lately. And so our values get flipped around. The priorities get flipped around, but the ultimate, like if you look at the overall, there has to be things that are outside. Of our business that drive what we do.
[00:19:51] And an example would be, um, I got offered a job a few years ago. It was a great job and it wasn't, it would've been working in an [00:20:00] organization again, it wouldn't have been running my own business and that kind of thing. And Southeastern Matt Toba. And the organization was in Winnipeg and it's only a 45 minute drive, but it would've made so much sense to move in the end.
[00:20:13] We just said no, like it, in fact it wasn't even in the end at the beginning, I said, no, it was easy to say no, because first of all, we live on a two acre tree lot. It's beautiful. It's peaceful here. We have space to run here. It's a dead end street. So the kids can, it's just safe. Right? It's a safe community too.
[00:20:34] Our kids have seen a lot of trauma and a lot of dissonance in their life. There's a lot of, there's just a lot of upheaval. I just don't feel like moving them to new schools and new friendship circles and in new hopes where they have to figure it out again, because the value of family is more important than my vocation.
[00:20:54] It was an easy way to say no to that particular offer, even though it was very attractive, it [00:21:00] really would've felt good for my. honestly, it really would've. They were pulling out the stops for me. And I just said, yeah, but it doesn't serve my family as well. So that's how it works. You see people run into problems.
[00:21:14] Including with mental health when they don't understand their values? Well enough, what I mean by that is this. I have particular values that are based in, in a personal faith choice, a personal worldview, but other people have values like that, that are not based in faith, right? Valuing life or valuing peace valuing.
[00:21:37] All sorts of things. And when our business or our lives do not align with those ultimate values, it creates dissonance in our lives. And that's a problem. And it actually creates this inability to feel soul because the things that we ultimately believe in, for example, serving the poor, or we should be socially [00:22:00] responsible.
[00:22:01] And yet down here, I'm finding ways to cheat and just make an extra buck. And it's costing people. It's costing poor people. That's hypocrisy. That's what it is. But that internal dissonance is gonna create tons of problems. So the more you do work on understanding your big. Capital V values and aligning your smaller V values and building that hierarchy the better you're gonna feel about yourself, the more fulfilled you're gonna feel.
[00:22:31] And sometimes people need tools to help them do this. I love Donald Miller's latest book hero on a mission because it helps you systematically work through what your goals are, but goals are linked to values. And so it really helps you look into the future. Say, this is what I want to be remembered for.
[00:22:51] This is what I want to accomplish now. How am I gonna work towards that in a way that brings purpose to me and [00:23:00] to the world and to the people around me. Yeah. Yeah. So instead of being you're becoming yes. Yeah. And thought all values are created equal. I really, I appreciate that. I think sometimes we, we feel that conflict between our values.
[00:23:13] Like they should all have this stable place and they should all be equal, but that's just. Right. Yeah. There's so much, so many different levels. You know, in business, we say you should niche down in the states. They say the niches are in the riches doesn't work so well for us. Canadians cause we pronounce it correctly.
[00:23:33] as niche don't say to the southerners here, but we're right. Yeah. Yeah. We just, we think English properly. I'm struggling to do that by the way. Right. I'm struggling to figure out what my niche is and whether it's a, whether it's a product or whether it's an industry, you know, a service I'm sorting that out right now.
[00:23:53] But that, that actually causes me stress. It causes me anxiety and I'm trying to get it [00:24:00] right, because I know that the research shows that I'm gonna run a better, more profitable business when I do that. Okay. Well the same is true for values though. You can't be all things to all people. Why would you even try?
[00:24:17] I don't assume that my values are the same as the next person's values. My values don't need to align with your values for me to feel like a whole person, but my values need to align with my values. Right. And behavior always follows belief, always correct. Belief leads to correct behavior. That's just true misbelief or untrue beliefs lead to.
[00:24:40] Behavior, that's not helpful. This thing of belief and value. It's very, very important and it needs to be deeply personal in order for it to be congruent. It needs to be deeply personal. And there are wonderful conversations we can have about my values and your values, but at the end of the day, if you at least know what grounds you, then you're in a good place, but you [00:25:00] need to do the work.
[00:25:02] And a lot of people kind of just exist. They just exist or they haven't considered that maybe running a really big business, that status is important to you. Is that something you really wanna be remembered for? Is that what is ultimately gonna give you the greatest value or the gr greatest inner piece and that kind of thing?
[00:25:22] Or is that just what people have told you? Is that just what you saw on suits or some other show, right. Where have you gotten your values from is a very important question because if not all values are created equal, then we need to do the hard work of looking at am I believing something are my values in sync with what is actually true.
[00:25:43] And research does show that as your values align, and as you note who you are, you feel healthier and, and filters right down into business. Again, people will sense that from you. Yeah. They just absolutely. You mentioned knowing who you are. And it brings us back to kind of that [00:26:00] identity conversation. I know for me, for a very long time in my life, my identity was tied to whatever it was I was doing for a long time.
[00:26:07] I was being an athlete. And then when I first started my business, it was my business. But I get to this place where. You feel conflicted, right? At least I did. I felt very conflicted over trying to find myself amidst the expectations that I was setting on myself and others were setting. I'm curious to know how you went about or experienced finding your identity outside of your vocation and maybe any tidbits we can steal or use or borrow to help ourselves find who we are outside of what we do.
[00:26:38] I'll talk very personally. And so just so you know, I don't mean to push any of my values on anybody else, but for me, my per I have a faith that faith is important to. Everybody has some sort of faith. It can be a faith in nothingness, but for me, I believe in God, I believe there is a God that faith is important to me.
[00:26:59] And I [00:27:00] grew up in a family that was Christian and did go to church and youth group was a value for us. My dad would kind of, if I wanted to skip youth group on a Friday night, he'd say, well, why. And I'd say, well, I'm not feeling good. He he'd be like barf and prove it. you're going to use proof. my parents with sports.
[00:27:19] Totally like the same. Right. yeah. And, and we learned something so valuable from that, right? I mean, you will have grafted important values into your life through sports. Right. And having something that is worth. Practicing at and showing up for that's all part of it. I'll bet you, your values took the major hit when you had a child, right?
[00:27:45] Yeah. Big time. A lot of people think they're really good until they get married or maybe just start dating or move in with their partner. And then they realize they're not that good. And then hopefully you get things sorted out and he thinks you're [00:28:00] pretty good. And then you have kids. And if you realize you're really good when you're well rested and can vacation wherever you want, whenever you want.
[00:28:10] And you know, like you realize actually there's a lot more, uh, darkness in and you realize right there, there is something so good about that, because if you think about it every time, Something in, you was revealed as unhealthy, you had the opportunity to work on it. I think that a re the reason that a lot of people run from relationships, they talk about the fear of commitment.
[00:28:37] But what does commitment mean? It means that eventually darkness is gonna come out of you, something you don't like is gonna come out of you. And now you're either gonna have to deal with it or ignore it and leave the relationship less it show itself again. Right. So I see that as an opportunity. Not everybody does.
[00:28:55] But having kids, what happens is each time you, you move into a new relationship where you [00:29:00] have that incredible parent child relationship, your values become external to who you are. So, whereas before it was you, it was your survival. I mean, quite frankly, if you're single and you try a bunch of different startups and they all go grow, it's on.
[00:29:19] Right. You don't have a child, a vulnerable child in your home that needs to eat when I was a young adult and I was poor going to university, I ate may sandwiches. That's what I, and in fact, when my girlfriends. Dad found out he bought me peanut butter cause give the generous guy like that. but I would never do that with my children.
[00:29:46] Never. So something that's helpful in determining your values is to look at whether they are entirely internal and self-center. or whether they're others focused. Mm-hmm now let's say you are a single person. You go, well, I'm [00:30:00] not interested in a relationship right now, or I'm not interested in having kids or whatever the case.
[00:30:04] What do you do in that case? You find a way to give back period. So you find the organization that works with people that make you feel uncomfortable and you go and you volunteer at that organization. Every time you move outside of yourself, you're going to first test your own personal values. And you're probably gonna strengthen the ones that are good.
[00:30:28] I would really recommend that. I think it is also worthwhile. Uh, I think it was Socrates. Socrates are Plato. He said, uh, the unexamined life is not worth livid. Oh yep. We need to examine our lives. That includes everything. We believe there's four main questions by the way, the philosophical questions that everybody answers, although they don't all realize that they answer it.
[00:30:54] Everybody needs to answer. Where did we come from? What is our origin? What is the meaning of [00:31:00] life? What is purpose? How do I tell right from. How do I know what is, what I consider moral or immoral and what happens after we die and the way that you answer those four questions will determine your values in life.
[00:31:13] And it's very important to answer those questions and, you know, maybe a listener's going, are you kidding me, Tom? Like, I'm just a cog on wheel or starting my own business or whatever. Why does that matter? Well, it matters. It absolutely matters because if you believe there is no life after death. You live a certain way.
[00:31:33] If you believe there is life after death and possibly. Being there. Who's going to have a conversation with you about how you lived. a parent in the sky, so to speak, you're gonna live differently. It's the, I mean, it's just true. That's human nature. We act differently when the teacher is in the room than when the teacher's out of the room.
[00:31:55] So whatever you believe this, isn't a question about your values. All I'm saying is [00:32:00] those four questions are foundational to your. And they will influence the way you speak to other people. They will influence the way you interact with, um, you know, whether I'm going to see my business as exclusively for, um, building revenue and money or whether I'm gonna see it as partly as a force of good in the world.
[00:32:25] And now I'm gonna give back a portion of that money to support organizations that are doing really good. You know, so it, it does take work. It really does take work. It's not easy, but it's very, very worthwhile and it, it can start at any point in your life. It doesn't matter whether you are 20. Quite frankly, 15, whether you are 35, 45 or 85, it just doesn't matter if you do the work of examining your values, even if you realize, oh my gosh, I've lived off course for a lot of my [00:33:00] life.
[00:33:00] It doesn't matter. You can, at that very moment, make a decision to start to turn your life in however much, however long is left towards living withs values. And it will make the rest of your life better. I guarantee it will make the rest of your life better. I for sure have avoided answering those questions for myself.
[00:33:20] And I think a lot of people do because it sometimes scary to think that we might have the wrong answer. And so we think it's better not to answer than to have the wrong answer. But I think when you don't answer, you don't allow yourself the ability to truly live based on your values. Absolutely. Now there's something you mentioned there.
[00:33:41] That I, I wanna dig into a little bit, which was choosing to run your business based on revenue, driven by revenue, different by profits versus driven by values and purpose. And I know that you obviously run a value driven purpose driven business. Sometimes I, for sure, for a while, assumed that you [00:34:00] had to be like revenue and profit had to be your number one in order to be successful.
[00:34:04] But with time and wisdom, you start to learn that maybe that's not necessarily the case. But for a long time, we see that kind of value driven or purpose driven business has to be in the associations or has to be nonprofit. It can't be in a capitalist market, but I'd love to know how you've experienced this.
[00:34:25] And maybe some tips for those of us who are on that edge of trying to find balance between driving revenue, but also running a value driven business. Yes. Money makes the world go round. There's no escaping that we need to have money. Now. There's people who have chosen to live extremely simple lives.
[00:34:44] There was a, a very amazing Russian philosopher, Alexander za, who was ex incredibly critical of the communist government. And it got him sent to the Golis for, uh, seven years. But when he came out of the go likes and started to be a [00:35:00] vocal critic outside of the Soviet union, where it was safe, everybody was excited in.
[00:35:05] And then he moved to the west to, I think Vermont, somewhere in there. And now he was critical of materialism the materialism of the west. I think there's a good lesson in that we do need money, but we can't make money. Everything quite frankly. Well, you can look at any organization in the world that is doing good.
[00:35:27] If somebody doesn't make the money to fund it, it won't do good. It, it, it can. How is that possible? Right. I struggle to know whether I am liberal or conservative fiscally, you that line there? Yeah. yes. I try to be balanced because we need to make money, but I believe we have an obligation to take care of those less fortunate.
[00:35:51] And I don't believe in always getting a charitable receipt. Either. I haven't done this yet, but I love the idea. We have friends who just [00:36:00] have a stack of Tim Horton's and McDonald's gift cards. Tim Horton's coffee shop for our American friends. It's a Canadian staple. it's it's tear dunking donuts, essentially.
[00:36:14] Yes, exactly. And when they come up with somebody who's unsheltered, who's asking for. They give them a gift card. Oh. So they can go and buy food. They're not gonna get any terrible receipt for that. They're not gonna get any recognition for that. And they are genuinely helping their fellow, man. They're not going and saying, Hey buddy, you know what?
[00:36:36] I run a construction crew. Why don't you come and work for me? And now you've got somebody who's very at risk. Who could harm themselves or others. It wouldn't be a safe option for everybody to just be so called rescued and given that job. Right. But everybody deserves dignity. Everybody deserves to feel like they're part of a community.
[00:36:56] And when we who have plenty. [00:37:00] Reach out to those who have less, we're reinforcing the idea that humanity is kind of all together in this thing. We really are. So I think that's one thing we can do when we think about the idea of rescuing. Not everyone needs to be rescued. I think a lot of times when we see the strength in others, it reminds me of a conversation I recently had and the ability to see the strength in someone else and their ability to rescue themselves.
[00:37:28] And just being able to show them, like, I believe you can do this can be one of the most powerful things we can do for others. But the other thing it brought up was the idea that money is the resource to do the good, to have the purpose, to achieve the mission. Yes. It's not the mission itself. We need it.
[00:37:46] Yeah. In order to accomplish the mission. It is the tool. It is just the tool. We ran a summer camp for many years. Part of the ministry I was part of in Southeastern Manitoba. I don't know if this is still the [00:38:00] case. It used to be that we had the highest per capita rate of millionaires. In north America, not north America, for sure.
[00:38:07] Canada we're sparsely populated so, you know, it doesn't mean there are tons, but there are lots of millionaires and it's re the reason is because of the farming and especially the hog industry. I had these friends who had a massive hog farm, and they would every year pay for any one of their employees, as many kids as they had, we will pay for you to go to summer 10.
[00:38:31] Incredibly generous. Okay. Incredibly generous. Then 2008 hit and everything crashed down. And especially the hog industry, farmers were really, really hard hit. And I noticed one summer that this family didn't have their son signed up, uh, for summer camp. I said, well, that's strange. So I actually ran into them and I said, Hey, I, I noticed your son isn't signed up for camp.
[00:38:54] And the mom's face just went gray. Like she had been caught. [00:39:00] She said, Tom, I, we can't afford it. I said, so we have like bursaries and scholarships available so that every kid can go to camp and she goes, yeah, but Tom, like, you know, last year we paid for all these people and I'm embarrassed to access the scholarship.
[00:39:19] And I said, well, that's on. like, if your pride is gonna keep your child from having a great summer at summer camp, that's on you. But I get it. I mean, they didn't sell their Hummer they were still driving a beautiful vehicle. Right. And now she's, she can steal all this incongruence, this dissonance again, right.
[00:39:40] Mm-hmm , you know, But the reality is money is just a tool. That's all it is. It's a tool that can be used for great, good or incredible harm, incredible harm. And so we're just better off to use it for good. Yeah. Right. And not hold onto it. So tightly, I'm listening to a book right now by I pulled it up so I could [00:40:00] get the name of it.
[00:40:00] Call barking up the wrong tree by Eric Barker. Really that's his last thing. I didn't even pick that up. uh, prince. That's pretty funny. And just yesterday, one of the things he said was that counterintuitively people who give away money who are generous, make more money in their businesses. That's what the research shows.
[00:40:27] Yeah. But it takes an amount of faith. Like it takes faith in something to let go. It's not necessarily an instant reward, instant gratification. It might be delayed gratification, but the research shows that over the long haul, people who are more generous also make more money. Yeah, it's crazy. When you think about it that way.
[00:40:52] So it becomes a flywheel, right? It feels really good. [00:41:00] yes. Yeah. It really feels good. Yeah. Uh, there are some transactions that are just not worth, you know, marking down and making sure everything is equal and stuff like that. It feels amazing when you just give money to someone. Yeah. It kind of brings up my memory from seeing a bunch of entrepreneurs and.
[00:41:22] So busy trying to look successful, that they actually stop themselves from being successful, spending money on the things or holding onto the things so desperately because they think it's going to make them look a certain way instead of just owning up to where you are. And in my experience in networking and connecting with mentors and people who have helped me exponentially in my business, It's what I'm honest to tell them.
[00:41:44] I'm struggling, that they give the most support and help, and I end up making leaps and bounce forward. But when you pretend like everything's okay, and try not to get caught, that's when you miss out on opportunities for growth. Absolutely. And you know what? I can't remember who wrote this book. I was number of years ago, it was [00:42:00] on scarcity and abundance, but this scarcity mindset is gonna kill you.
[00:42:05] It absolutely makes you a self-centered selfish, unattractive. UN fun person to be around. all the UN it just, yeah, it just does people who live with an abundant mindset who believe that, you know, we're in the same industry. You're not my competition. Yep. I'm my own competition yesterday. I was driving through Winnipeg and I looked at all the little mom and pop shops.
[00:42:32] I go, how on earth do these, all these places stay in business. What did they need that I could offer them? Right. And there is so much work out there right now that I don't need to see people as competition. I just need to do a good job at what I do and people will come. Yeah. There's no excuse to not have work right now.
[00:42:54] It's just, it's out there. I just always save always money. There will always be money. [00:43:00] We just have to figure out how to kind of get there. Not everybody has the skills to tap into it in the same way, but I just believe that that's true. And so if we have the resources and the mindset to go looking for it, um, we'll, we'll find it.
[00:43:15] And the, the abundance mindset is the attracted mindset. It. It just makes you a more lovely person. It's not necessarily instantaneous. You might have to test out what I'm saying, but I would say if somebody needs a challenge to say, I'm going to give away 5%. Of my profits, just my net profits for this year, I'm gonna get five, 5% away and not just in a lump sum every month, I'm gonna look at what my profit was, my lump diet and give away 5% immediately.
[00:43:55] And tell me after 12 months, if your life hasn't improved, because you're just [00:44:00] not holding on you're 5% more generous than you used to be. And if you are already giving away 5%, give away 5% more because it's, it, it just seems to have this return effect on us. It makes the world better, but I will say this too, you, you don't only have to be generous with.
[00:44:18] Being generous with time being generous with knowledge. So I help out at this thing called coffee for a cause I got connected to it through StoryBrand again, it's outta Texas. I'm like the resident Canadian. And what they do is they bring these nonprofits together and then they do a pitch video y'all and there's this big group of professionals in the room.
[00:44:40] And then we all separate. We advise them for about an hour and 15 minutes on a problem that they're facing as a nonprofit. These are nonprofits that wouldn't normally be able to hire a business coach or a leadership coach or whatever. So that's a very tangible way. It costs me. Two hours every two months.
[00:44:59] [00:45:00] It's not a huge price tag, but it could add money and revenue to what they're doing. So there's ways to be generous in. It's just that when we think about money, it's so tangible. If you're good at being open handed with money, then I'm willing to bet you're gonna be open handed with time and knowledge and talents and all those other things as well.
[00:45:22] It brings us back to that conversation around. Money being the resource and the purpose of the business. Absolutely. And don't get me wrong. There's clearly, you know, competitions and competition and non-compete clauses and we can't all, you know yep. All the soccer teams can't get gold, like. I mean that, that is real life too.
[00:45:42] This is also about positioning yourself in the market. What is my unique selling proposition? Right? Am I gonna be exactly like everybody else out there? Or am I gonna have something that actually meets somebody's needs slightly better, right? You this Fs army nice. Or the scalpel? Exactly. Yes. That's a very [00:46:00] good way of putting it.
[00:46:02] If I have a client that doesn't quite suit my particular method or tools, do I have the humility? No, not even humility. Courage to say, Hey, you. Mickey, could you use another client cuz I'll refer them to you and don't even worry about a referral fee yep. I wanna close up with one final question. And this is my favorite question to ask because typically it leads to the most actionable thing our listeners can do after getting super inspired and, and ready to, to tap into their values and, and be more purpose driven and be more present.
[00:46:36] If speaking to our listeners who are. Busy solopreneurs business owners who are ready to make these kinds of changes, but just have it started yet. They're in that ideation and they haven't quite gotten to action. What's the one thing you would tell them to do today to get started living a more value driven purpose driven [00:47:00] business.
[00:47:01] Find quiet. Find some quiet. Yeah. Um, there is a reason that from the Jewish tradition, Way way back into the modern day, Christian tradition and many, many other monastic traditions that we say it's a really great idea to set aside one day a week when you're just not working. And when you can just be quiet, you know, the Quakers, uh, you know, it's a church.
[00:47:31] I don't know if they're in Canada so much, but there's for sure in the. They actually sit in silence at church , it'll be horrendous for a 10 year old , but thinking about like three and a half year old would not work, but there's something beautiful about learning to sit and quiet. And it's really nice when we can start our day with 20 minutes of meditation or, or quiet or yoga or whatever it is that just centers you.
[00:47:59] [00:48:00] But actually to set aside more time, once a. When you go into nature or whatever, just brings peace to your soul. That's what you. It can be, it can literally be sitting in your living room, watching a feel good show. Right. But just something that just quiets that inner angst and just allows you to reflect a little bit.
[00:48:25] If you haven't picked up a journal, pick up a journal and write how you're feeling start. I mean, if you want the most practical thing you can do, just start every day by writing down five things. You're grateful for. Gratitude is so powerful for creating white space in our mind. It's just so incredible, but I would say fine, quiet.
[00:48:47] That would be the, the number one thing to do. Oh, we could always use the word quiet that's for sure. We live in such a noisy busy world with things and notifications and people stuff constantly nagging on us. And, uh, [00:49:00] it reminds me, I can't remember the exact study. I'll have to go back and reflect on it, but there was a study about.
[00:49:05] White space in your day and how it increases creativity and problem solving and all of these great benefits, but you actually have to shut off your brain. I give yourself that quiet, that white space. I love that advice. Oh Tom, thank you so much for your time today. This was wonderful. I definitely am ready to reflect on those big picture values that are guiding my life and answer those tough questions and, and start to feel a little bit.
[00:49:29] Open with my hands towards being generous. Uh, so I thank you so much for your time today. Thanks for having me. It was a real pleasure.