Running the Bases today with Adam Chronister: Digital Marketer, Speaker, Investor, and Philanthropist. The 2021 Spokane Washington winner for best SEO Company - the Founder of Enleaf Marketing
Adam is a fun and passionate entrepreneur, small business owner, digital marketer, speaker, investor, world traveler, philanthropist, student, husband, father and some might say Fashionista. How many of us have matched clothing or in his case their glasses to their laptops? Hailing from the Great State of Washington, this Spokane business entrepreneur founded his successful digital marketing company in 2009 and has contributed to digital marketing campaigns for some of America’s largest brands including Smiths, The Dallas Fort Worth Airport, and the University of Idaho. His insights and training tools have appeared in Social Media Week, MarketMuse, SEMRush, SERranking,and many more. This hardworking and dedicated entrepreneur is often on the road traveling for speaking engagements or just dedicated travel to see the world.
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I'm fascinated with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Plus, I love baseball. Every show I sit down with a small business owner and we discussed their running the bases of entrepreneurship. We throw the ball around on strategy, management, execution and innovation. Plus, a little fun baseball tug. Hey, thanks for joining us today. Settelaine, grab your cracker jacks and you know what they say. All right. It's a great day for a ball game and we are recording this actually kind of in the midst of the baseball playoff. So it's always kind of fun to have that energy going on here. But it is a great day for a baseball game and season and all of that fun stuff. This is Randy Rodi running the bases with small businesses. And today's guest is a fun and passionate entrepreneur, small business owner, digital marketer, speaker, investor, world traveler, philanthropist, student, husband, father and some might say, fashionista. Clearly somebody on my research team has a high opinion of you. How many of us have matched clothing or his case or in his case, their glasses to their laptops. I don't even know that was possible. Haley from the great state of Washington, the Spokane business entrepreneur founded his successful digital marketing company in 2009 and has been contributing to digital marketing campaigns for some of America's largest brands, including Smith's, the Dallas Fort Worth airport, the University of Idaho is insights and training tools that appeared in social media week, market muse, sem rush, SER ranking and many, many more. It's hard working and dedicated entrepreneur is often on the road traveling for speaking to the world. We love one of his social media posts, which states there are only two people you should aim to make crowd in your life. One is that eight year old you and the other is the 80 year old you. The 2021 Spokane Washington winner for best S E O company. I had no idea you are the man, the founder of in leaf marketing, Adam Chronister, Adam, welcome to the show, Yeah, thanks for having me. And as soon as the show is done, I'm going to go out and add fashionista to my LinkedIn profile, because that's a new I have no idea where so we have You definitely did their homework. homework. Yeah, so we've got a great team that does this research and sometimes some of the stuff that come up with it like, wow, really? Your eye glasses actually match your it Yeah, yeah. So is there still behind that? I mean, I really am like, what? I have a look story behind that. So I have basically a wood on lay on my my Mac laptop. And I remember I forget who it was a while back, but somebody talked about having something that stands out, especially if you're doing face to face and you know post COVID, doing a lot more conferences, getting back into that, you know, realm and, you know, I do like playing around with glasses. I'm just like, if it gets kind of crazy because she's like, do you need another pair of glasses? But so I went in and I went out and got a pair of wood frame glasses, you know, just because they kind of stand out, they're a little bit unique, you know, and it's, you know, that's one of those kind of like inside baseball, real marketing hacks. When you go to a conference, maybe where something that stands out, whether it's bright shoes or colored glasses, but when you're connecting with people down the road and doing your follow up, you can be like, remember me, I'm the guy with the orange glasses or the pink, you know, the pink sneakers. So that that was kind of the idea behind that. And honestly, I've gotten a lot of compliments about these glasses. So they're doing still behind that? I job. Yeah, is that what you're wearing now or the wooden. Yeah, yeah, I know your audience hardly can't see them. Basically, I have some some wood framed glasses and they are wood. Well, good for you. Well, I stand out just because I'm like tall, and bald. so there you go. I got a lot of skin and people can see it. It's all over. Yeah, well that's pretty awesome. Slowly before we could get too deep into in leaf and. and stuff that you're doing there. I do have to your claim to fame and the great snoops story. Snopes means? Snopes, is that what it is? Yes, yes. So, is? Yes, yes. So, okay. you about... so for those that don't know, snopes is basically, it's one of those sites that debunks myths, right? So you go and you hear the latest, you know, in Spear C3, you go there and they say whether it's true or not. So anyway, if you go to snopes in, you search my name, I am there and it's a, goes back a couple years, but essentially a number of years ago, there was a switch from analog to digital TV. you remember this? I do remember this because we were in a bit of panic at our house, like, what the heck? Yeah, everybody is, like, hope we got to go to Walmart or do you know, DTV converter boxes, right? And so around that time, that was kind of the thing in the news or everyone's talking about, oh, the switches coming, hurrying get your box or switch your TV. Otherwise, you're not going to get UHF, you know, over the air wave broadcast anymore. And around this time, I had a friend of mine who, you know, a little bit of a tinfoil hat gentleman and he was trying to convince me that the government was putting cameras in these, these converter boxes. And, you know, we had a nice friendly debate. I'm like, look, this is ridiculous. They're not putting cameras in the DTV converter boxes and I'm like, tell you what, bud, I'm getting one next week anyway, I'll tear it apart and I'll prove you wrong, okay? And we can end this debate, you know, once and for all. And so I did that. Sure enough, week later, I go out by the box and I get my screwdriver and I'm, you know, disassembling it and a thought across my mind and this is, this tells you a little bit about how my mind works. I have a little bit of a dark sense of humor. I was thinking, instead of proving him wrong, it would be funny to prove him right. And so I could literally tear this thing apart. I find a old cell phone, you know, removed the little camera and a little microphone and a hot glue gun in there. I shoot a 15 second, you know, 22nd video saying, hey, I found this, my buddy was telling me that there's cameras in here. I thought he was wrong, but turns out he was right. I send it to like maybe five or six friends. I'm like, I'll tell him in a week that it's a joke, right? I think I put it on YouTube. Again, I had really no YouTube presence. And, you know, a week later, my phone starts blowing up. I get called from, you know, Wired Magazine, National like news broadcast about this. And actually, so I actually ended up breaking the story with wired.com, their threat report series. And yeah, so that's how my name in, in snopes.com, you know, basically a prank that went viral and, yeah, that was, that was kind of my first 15 minutes of fame there. Awesome. How did your friend react? So I'm curious, how did your friend react when you sent him that? Oh my gosh, found this, you know, kind of thing. know, the typical, I knew it. The funniest thing is I had a lot of reactions. The weirdest reaction I got was from my mom. And she said, I'm so proud of you. And I'm like, I'm like, I don't know if that's a thing to be a proud of. I, I, I conned a bunch of people with, but anyway, you know, I'll take it, I guess, but I, I thought that was quite humorous that of all the things like she could have said. She said, I'm proud of you. But yeah, it was funny. It, you know, it definitely caught wings for a while. Funny because for a while, there was a huge threat online. I think I had it. It was a magnovox. It was the box I got. And there were rumors of people saying, oh, magnovox is going to sue this guy. And at first, I was like, kind of worried. I'm like, oh, my gosh, maybe I, maybe I will. But then I started realizing there was all these follow-up videos where people were buying these boxes, not because they needed just to see whether or not. And I'm like, actually, magnovox should be writing me a check because I probably sold like, you know, 10% more of these boxes than they would have sold otherwise. to see whether or you should have an affiliate account with them or Yeah, yeah. And this was right before, I think this is a couple months before YouTube started doing their ad program. This is like around, I want to say around 2009. And so I was like, man, I missed that boat. It was a good testament. That was around my career, you know, my career entrance in marketing really kind of maybe a year to before I really got fully started. But it kind of taught me the power of the internet and, you know, virality and social media. And it was definitely an interesting learning lesson and I've been trying to recreate that viral event ever since. So, yeah, that is funny. That is so funny. I would have loved to been in the room, watching your friend, watched the video for the first time, right? You could have imagined how he was, you know, probably looking... over your shoulder and think, what else is out there? Yes, all of those things, right? All right, well, let's flash forward here, but from there, tell us about InLIFE. When did you get started? And some of the things that you're doing over there? Obviously, you are awesome because of your 2021 recognition. So let's hear, this is your time. you Yeah, so InLIFE started out really through, I guess my background in software development. So at a college, I studied software development and about a three-fourths of the way through my degree, I realized that I wasn't really built to be a developer. But I still loved all things, you know, tech. And the time I was started, one of my first jobs was a project manager, project manager for a software company. And at the time, it was a small startup. The company had really no marketing presence at all. And I had started dabbling with social media marketing. I realized that, you know, basically I said, hey, I'm happy to take this on. Nobody else is doing it. And of course, when you say those kind of things in a small startup, they're like, sure, have fun. And that's kind of how I fell in love with digital marketing is kind of a small pivot. Of course, these days now, we have, you know, developers on staff, as well as marketers, content writers, all of that stuff. But I leave that to other team members. But really, Emily was birthed out of that first out of college experience. I worked for a very large software development agency. They were working, you know, primarily with, you know, large name entities. And so in that process, I found out that there was this middle market of, you know, small business owners that couldn't afford the overhead that this particular business, you know, had to, to, you know, offset on their clients, but also didn't want to just throw their business to, you know, somebody out of college or a cousin down the street. So it was out of that. The end length was birthed. And we've actually really kind of resisted too much growth because that's always been our core audience as a small, the mid-sized businesses. Where, you know, entrepreneurship is in our DNA. And so not only our own company, like, rides on those rails, but we like to basically impart that into a lot of our, you know, existing clientele. So a lot of our clients are startups, small businesses, or some, you know, some middle mid-tier, you know, business operation. And we get to be very instrumental part of their growth and their strategy. And that's the stuff we love. I mean, I think at the beginning, you rattled off some of the larger name clients that we've worked with. And we do kind of touted out there just to give people the confidence that, hey, we can work with even the largest clients that we have. But at the end of the day, that's not our target, you know, audience. We really love to be part of the story. Yeah. I know, and as we were talking even before, recording buttons hit here, just about the, you know, both of us have, I think, a similar philosophy of really trying to build that, being that trusted advisor hyper-advice role with our clients. And, you know, how fortunate, I always find it fortunate when, as we develop those relationships, and because it's a great amount of trust that these small businesses are placing on us. And they really allow us to kind of look under the kimono, right? Get the phone, like what's going on with the business? And, but when we get to those points, that's when we truly can, you know, provide some great, I think, strategy and consultation on helping them to, to expand their business. And so, clearly, you know, you must be on the path of that, as well. I have a question for you, though. So, in-leaf, e-n-l-e-a-f. So, what's in the name? What's behind that name? What does that mean? People ask me that about our agency name, but in-leaf is like, I've been trying to kind is like, I've been trying to kind of... I wish I had a great story quite honestly. The name started out as another project over a decade ago. So, you know, 2009, when we were just getting started, the company was called freelance machine. And we quickly, we quickly, in fact, that's, that's, if you look at our LSC network, DBA is, and when we started out, it was freelance machine, but we quickly grew out, grew, you know, out-rew the freelance moniker. It's like, you know, that has a different, you know, monoclinification than something else. So, I had, at the time, I was working on a project where we basically, we had created a syndicated job board where we were scraping multiple job boards and aggregating that data. And this was just kind of a short, somewhat memorable, you know, you were all that So we grabbed it and eventually pivoted that name into the core business itself. So, you know, we do like inner branding. a- you were to look at that, you would notice that we have an E logo that has steps that indicates kind of growth. You know, there's the idea of leaf, which we haven't really incorporated much into our branding from the, I guess, the natural aesthetic. So, quite honestly, there's not a ton of forethought. It's just something different and somewhat memorable, short, sweet, and to the point. And we haven't had really the necessity to make any changes. So, it's like my philosophy is if it's not broke, don't fix it. no, I just, when I've looked at it, I'm like, I wonder what he's reaching for there because I can't make a direct connection. I thought, well, maybe that's just me. I'm too simple. Well, we were doing the naming, this was back in the day. You know, this is a decade ago. This is when people were coming up with all these weird, you know, names, you know, and so that was kind of a trend. now things are getting back to more like, you know, when you look at naming conventions, there are a lot more. I wouldn't say plain Jane, but like, there's there's a broader vernacular where in the web 2.0 days when that was, you know, kind of just popping off when we kind of launch. Like, people were just coming up with all kinds of interesting and strange names with maybe lacking meaning just so that they could get the common build their web 2.0 property. So, that's kind of, that's kind of what we were burnt out of as well, that whole scenario. Yeah, yeah. So now, I'm going to ask you a little bit about, I'm not sure when you developed some of these certainly out of your background and programming and such and development. But I know on your site and before we were talking earlier, because I've used some of your tools. you're known for some pretty cool stuff, actually. And you've got this headline analyzer tool. You got some reporting tools. I saw what you're doing a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, auditing tools. All kinds of fun stuff. So how did you get into developing those type of tools and why did you go down that I mean, a lot of it, a lot of the tools that we have on our site, they're all essentially free tools. A lot of them are tools, I'll kind of consider them micro tools, quite honestly, most of them are scratching our own itch. I'll give you an example of the headline analyzer. were working with an existing tool that was a headline analyzer that very similar in scope to what we did. I mean, quite honestly, we mostly replicated the tool, but the one, there was two things I didn't like about this other tool. One, it was behind a not a paywall, but basically had to enter your email every time you access it. was kind of annoying and it would kind of, you know, it degraded into having to jump through a lot of hoops to use it. So it became not very friendly. And to this particular tool that we modeled ours off of didn't factor in keywords, you know, and as a digital marketer, where we pay a lot of attention to keywords and their emphasis, especially in the titles. And so that's kind of the approach that we go after whenever we're creating tools, we don't just do it. Obviously, it's not a part of our core monetization model. Whenever we can find a need to build a tool that really kind of meets our first, our needs first, and then we can pass it on to the larger audiences or our clientele that's great. You talked about, you know, that's one of your motivations with with podcasting is it's the value add to your clientele, and that's kind of how we think of tools, you know, we can create these tools offer value, maybe build trust. And so that's the benefit. But at the end of the day, a lot of these were kind of meeting our own needs, you know, we're looking at a couple other internal tools tool for like marketing projections and, you know, who knows we made totally many public eyes those at some point. But typically that's where those things birthed, you know, yeah, that's, well, that is that's interesting and certainly helpful. I know as another SEO, you know, it's like, wow, here's a great tool that we can use. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. And I appreciate it. started your company, so, what we want to do is we have no technology, and I want to go back to my but this is just, you know, the nonStkey Sinova offer in company. That is the reason I invited you to do Bit Blizz for this. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, every good, every. Now we do, we do still offer a pretty wide full stack. So a lot of our clients are typically coming to us at some phase of the website design or redesign portion of the engagement and then tacking on like a digital marketing strategy. And it is one of the. things that we tend to be able to leverage, particularly in our own markets, from the Pacific Northwest, is the fact that we have that bridge of understanding between website design and digital marketing has really put us in a unique competitive spot. And it's really kind of surprising, I'm sure you're probably aware of this, but a lot of our clients don't understand, you know, and rightfully so, that there's quite a different discipline between website design and development and digital marketing. I know people in both of those verticals, you know, amazing website designers and developers that really don't know much at all about search engine optimization. And vice versa, I know some amazing SEOs that, you know, they rely on their clients for development or maybe they have a partner. And that's been an advantage for me and, and Lee personally is because I have that software background, I can, I can help bridge those gaps with our clients and with our team members and make sure that the process is, you know, holistically relevant from, you know, design development to optimization. And in fact, that's even one of our unofficial models is design develop optimize. nonStkey right. So what is a team at Inleaf look like now? So you assume you've got, you know, a number of folks are kind of working with you, which is great. Are you remote? I know all of my staff is remote. I do have somebody that comes in about a half time now into the office, but for the last couple of years through the pandemic, we've all been remote and really maintained to do that. Is that We've been, you know, we've been very much what I like to call a virtual company even before COVID because we have team members all over the place. You know, I've had multiple team members in New York, I'm one right now in New York. Interestingly, we end up getting a lot of writers from the East Coast. So that's why we say they have say they have developed. I have two writers on staff that are like a new Yeah, it seems as soon as there's something about the East Coast and creative writers that I don't know. But again, it's not broke, don't fix it. Right. A lot of our development team is overseas. So we have two overseas developers that we worked with one for probably four or five years, another for about two years, you know, who are trusted. We do have kind of a web development oversight manager who's in textis and another, you know, data entry and general processing members that are scattered, you know, either across the US or overseas. So yeah, we're very much a virtual company. It's always worked well for us. And now it's a lot more accepted. But when we first started out, it was kind of a rare thing. So you were building the machine, as we will call it, surely you've stumbled on various obstacles. You've had challenges, everybody does, right? And so so many of our listeners, small business owners, I mean, they're constantly pushing, you know, the ball up the hill and, you know, always challenge with various kinds of things. Tell us about maybe some of the challenges that you've faced. How did you guys overcome it? How did you of Yeah, I mean, we're always facing challenges. I mean, I think if you're not interested in dealing with challenges, you probably shouldn't be an entrepreneur because there's, you know, there's always something to be solved. But on the flip side, that could be some of the, those can be the things that can also be just as exciting. I'll give you a good example of something we're going through right now and it's an ongoing process is, we're kind of almost in a step phase where we're trying to better two parts of our own business. One is operations. And then I guess as a subset of that is the project management side. So as we speak, I'm, you know, on boarding and working with a new team member who is kind of redeveloping our project management system and going to be taking on, hopefully a lot more of the operations. And I have, you know, along with the rest, you know, of our team started to build out or systemize or product guys, a lot of our services, there's always, there's always holes that can be filled. And so right now, like one of the things we're going through is just how do we better refine our processes? And I think that's, that's the key. Like sometimes I have people that don't, that, you know, ask maybe they're, they're at an earlier phase of their business than we are, especially in the, the marketing realm. And they ask, well, what would you do if you're getting started? And I don't know if this works for every business, but there's in each and every business. I know for us, one of the things that I wish I would have done much earlier was case studies. things that I think I think I were in like five year, five or six before we ever did any case studies. And that was a game changer for my business. you We did that. So now that's a regular part of our practice. So that was a big, important piece. So those are the kind of things that you learn. Some of them trial through air, but I think the biggest thing, especially if you're a small business, you have to do marketing and sales. And the sooner you can get your head around building an environment of trust to your prospects, the better you're going to be. So maybe that doesn't look like, you know, maybe that doesn't work out to be case studies for you, but maybe it's customer testimonials or maybe it's video testimonials or whatever you can do as a business owner to position yourself as an authority and a trusted advisor in your space. So those things are key, Yeah, and I love as well, just when you're kind of talking about operations and process, I always kind of think as well what we have done at our specific agency is that we've always and continually try to think about how do we simplify either a process or an operating procedure that we've established. How do we simplify either to make it smoother or to take touches off of a process, so to speak, but you know, just to flow through faster and to make it as automated as possible, because as we find, as we can do more of that, then it allows us to do more of some of the other things that you're talking about, like the marketing and the sales piece, right? So I want that to be our focus, rather. Obviously, we want to develop and provide outstanding services, but we say some aspects of our internal operations that we should just continue to become more and more efficient on. And as we can do that, then it allows us to do some of the other things that can help us grow or continue to build relationships with the clients, if we're not so into the weeds on some cumbersome process or something, but yeah. So after I was looking through my notes here and I'm like, oh, this is really weird. And I remember I was talking with person who does our research and she showed me this thing like that is weird. That is crazy stuff associated with you, finding things on the internet. So I think they found this on either yours or your wife's Facebook page, the world's largest Olaf. I think there's a picture of your daughter with like this thing must be like, any feet tall or something like this standing in front of a house looked like a huge snowman. Only it's like Olaf shape. Was that in your neighborhood with the So not in our neighborhood, but one of the kids joining me was and yeah, you guys dig deep because that was a couple years ago. Yeah, my I hadn't even thought about that until now, but yeah, they somebody had decided at some strange world record created this giant snowman. I mean, it was the thing was taller than that. That was exactly the crafted like a giant Olaf. And of course, you know, my daughter had to have a picture in front of it. So yeah, that wasn't us. We're not that ambitious yet. But I was impressed. We we stop it just general good old snowman. But yeah, it was that was fun. My daughter definitely got a kick out of that. I have to remind her about that when she gets home. She remembers than that. That was All right. So we're going to tap into a couple of other things. I know you've got a lot of other interests beyond digital marketing and things that you're in. So I want to get our arms around that a little bit. But before we hit the buttons on that, it is that time. it's time for the seventh I love this part of the show. So if I can start by guess with a little bit trivia and it's such a fun time of the year right now with baseball playoffs happening. So you know, it's a good thing. I don't even know. Adam, I didn't even get to ask you. Do you like baseball? Do you follow baseball? know, you're going to be disappointed because I don't I don't watch a ton of sports. That's all right. Yeah. Don't hate baseball. It's probably the sport I know least about. That's a lot. Well, you just I am a team player. You aware that your state team, the Seattle Mariners are actually in the playoffs right now. Right. Are you aware? I'll just pretend that I knew that. Yeah. I'm sure I knew that. All right. And then the kind of guy. And the guy that shows up at the Super Bowl party and he like who's He played. Okay. Yeah, that's fine. All right. Well, they had a tough game. I'm like Tuesday night. Tuesday night was the little bit more in this first. Well, Tuesday night was their first game. They had a hard night. They were winning up into the eighth inning and then a Houston hit. Came back with a win with a three run, a homer to win it in the bottom of the ninth. So it was like, oh gosh. That was a hard, hard loss. It takes the win. I night. Tuesday night was the I do know they've, you know, throughout the years. They had a pretty good baseball team. They want to do a little bit of a low. It seemed like for a while, but hopefully they're making a little bit of a comeback on this team. Yeah. See how I'm saying, know, so well, did you know that the Seattle Mariners are the only MLB team to have never reached the World Series? You know, I think I've heard that before. I couldn't be dreaming back. There's six teams that have been called up. They've gotten very close, but never actually gotten in, that have been called up. They've Yes, they've never gotten in. There's six teams that have never won the World Series. Obviously the Mariners are one of them. And then there's the Rockies, the Rays, Padres, Brewers, Rangers. They have never won the World Series. But the Mariners are the only ones who have never reached the World Series. Never have even gotten there. So and as a matter of fact, this year's the first time they've been in the playoffs in 21 years. So. Yeah. So this is a big deal for them, right? So to have them be there. All right. So focusing on the Seattle Mariners for you trying to bring this a little home for you. They actually, even though they've had, you know, a bit of, you know, somewhat of a of a spotty success rate. We'll say, actually, when I lived in Seattle, I lived in a Seattle for five years, kind of years ago. It's when the kingdom was still up and you could go to a game with the kingdom, go to a baseball game, get a beer and a hot dog for five bucks altogether. It was like, go to the game, get a beer and a hot dog, five bucks all in. That was a great day. So here we are. Seattle Mariners, they hold an American league record for the most wins in a regular season, which was in 2001, which was the last time that they were in the playoffs. Do you know how many games they won that season? So this is It was couldn't tell you. Yes, you got to throw something out there, put a little game. How How many games they won in that? I 15. like 160 to a games in a season. So I know I'm just not like yeah, 116, 116. Wow. But wins that season. Yes. And so they are the, they hold the American league record for that. And they still, even in that season, they did not go to the world series that season. Unfortunately, I do want to let you know that they actually share that same record with the national league team. At the same number of wins, 116 wins. And it happened to be my favorite team, the Chicago cups. They did that 1906. So there we go. A little bit of trivia for you. So you'll have, I think they play tonight. That's great. Yeah. So you I'm did that to, you know, I know that they're doing so well in there in a pivotal moment. Maybe it will peak my interest. And what the, what the manor you're doing. So I am definitely a fair weather fan. I can tell you that. So And what you go. So now you can go sit around tonight with your friends, Columnum. And like, hey, you guys want to go grab a beer, watch the game. And they were like, what? You even know what's going on? You could do some of those. It's cool. A You could do some of those. It's cool. A little bit. Yeah. This is like the, you know, the Ys that take notes about the Super Bowl. So they drop their husbands. Yeah. One of the One of the things this is what you can do. You can be that friend. All right. Well, let's get back into it. More baseball. Like all all kinds of buttons. I don't know what the heck I'm doing on there. So here we go. So we do know you've got a lot of other interests going on here. I got to hit you up on this because I've seen you kind of post and talk about crypto and currencies. Crypto currencies. And what in the world is your opinion? What is going on in the crypto markets? Because it is crazy right Yeah. It's not just crypto markets. Everything is. It's going crazy right now. Yeah. But it doesn't it hasn't certainly hasn't like, panned out well, you know, at least in the short term, both for crypto's end. And you know, if you're paying attention to the stock market, those are two, you know, general areas that I look at and pay attention to. I never actually considered myself an investor or formally publicize that until at least a couple of years ago. And you know, you start doing a thing like. enough and then you kind of, you kind of like, oh wow, maybe I am actually halfway good at this thing. So, you know, to back up, my when I started out a years ago doing buy and hold real estate and got, you know, fairly proficient at that kind of felt like we had an understanding of that environment and it was number of years ago, maybe it's been about five plus years now, I was thinking, well, I know enough about real estate, but I don't know anything about the stock market. So, I spent a good year just reading books and learning, slowly putting my toe in the water and building up a pretty healthy portfolio and then, you know, come 2017, this new thing, relatively new at the time, a called crypto and Bitcoin came on on the scene and that's where I got really kind of fascinated with the story behind it, you know what I mean? And, you know, I bought in early and, you know, made some pretty good money off of it and, you know, I have kind of rid that wave ever since. I mean, now if you look at a lot of my portfolio, although I'm still in the positive, you know, we're definitely going through recessionary periods. I mean, it's tough, but I definitely, actually, I love these kinds of periods because this is, you know, as an investor, this is where you make all of your money. But the problem is your battling psychology. As you see, you know, you see numbers going down and you see your, you know, quote unquote, net worth going down. instinctual side of you is like, okay, I want to pull my money out. I want to cut my losses when really the intelligent investor would say, okay, in fact, I spent, I put a number of, did a number of purchases today, primarily in the stock market, but I'm also, I'm dollar cost averaging into Bitcoin and Ethereum. But yeah, that's the thing that not only are we in a really interesting recessionary environment where I think we're going to look back, those that are able to put money into markets, be it, you know, crypto or I think the look back and find it to be, you know, a good decision in the long term, but a lot of people don't understand general stats and trends. I looked at my calendar today and I a reminder, typically October has traditionally been a very down and volatile month in markets. Right. This, this year, even more so because we're on an election cycle, we're a recession. This is like a perfect, perfect storm. And as quickly as the markets can fall, they can also come right back up. so for me, I love this period of time. I have to like, you know, not check my portfolio every day, just know that, you know, in the long term, you know, scheme of things, you know, markets do recover and typically, you know, an annual return, average annual return is, you know, roughly seven percent over time. So yeah, it's something I like, you know, I like looking at it's not for everybody, but I think I'm, I can be relatively robotic as far as that stuff goes, which maybe helps me out in the long term. I get overly emotional about gaining or losing money. So yeah, is. It's going crazy right now. you definitely have to have nerves of steel, I think right now. I agree with your approach to it. I think you just have to look at historically and know that markets will come back. do come back. Historically, have always come back and have always continued to grow and long term investment growth in equities have been about seven percent a year, long term. That's kind of long term return. if you've got time, you know, let time work on your side and doing dollar cost averaging is always the smart way to go, you know, just buy, put in a couple hundred bucks every first Monday of the month, I'm doing it every month and just keep doing it. It doesn't matter what the price is up down sideways. It doesn't matter. Just keep doing it because long term, you get the average and some benefit to to you. As far as like crypto, like my thought, it was one of the sharks. It was Mr. He said something which I agree with. He basically said that he believes in the next number of years that, you know, blockchain coins like Bitcoin and others will become the third rail of the stock market. And that's kind of what I see happening as well. I say 24 months ago, things like Bitcoin and Ethereum and these other blockchain were not parallel to the stock market. They were almost counterbalances like gold silver were, but as as institutional money gets into these assets, they more closely align with the stock market. And. So, yep, I think consider that. I look at now, and I didn't always look at it this way, but I look at things like Bitcoin and Ethereum, very much the same way I look at it, stock like Tess or Shopify, or these other tech-innovated-year growth stocks. I just look at it as another line item with maybe additional applications. And I think as people think about crypto, you really have to look under the hood a little bit and think about what are, and you throw out the term projects, because there are so many interesting projects that are built on the blockchains of these various cryptocurrencies. So like Ethereum, we enrassed in Ethereum, and Ethereum is really involved with a lot of different cool projects that are big, big companies behind them on a mass-card visa. You have some governments that are building things on top of the Ethereum blockchain that just adds value. So it's not some crazy scam kind of thing out there. These are real things, investing serious dollars on building some incredible technologies on blockchain technology. And yeah, so. so. That's when I tell people, one of the ways I like to bring a good analogy is like, so there's a protocol, SMPP, even if you've never heard of that, you use it that probably every day, because SMPP is the backbone of the internet, email and whatnot. And so imagine that there was some kind of monetary or investment vehicle that would allow you to return gains from a protocol. And that's kind of the thesis for a lot of these cryptocurrencies and there's in one layer, there are protocol that build a new web-free infrastructure, but on the other side, you can invest in this protocol in a different way than you would invest in a centralized company. It's not for everybody, but it's for those that are interested in the future and where that may lead. It can be an interesting thing to consider as part of a larger investment. Oh yeah, so I Oh yeah, so I agree. All right, and so I will put a caveat in it. Neither Adam or I are investor. We're not here to provide investing advice. So we're just two guys on the internet. So do your own research. That's your own financial advice or all that All right, so I know you love to travel and I know you hit a lot of conferences every year. And I actually worked together just a couple of weeks ago at a conference, not a Nashville, which was great, loved it. You'd had a great presentation. I'll thank you. And I know earlier this month or not this month, this summer, you spent a month in Costa Rica when you were living for the month. You were still working. Tell me about that. You that month, and I was watching you sitting on the beach and you were like, had your laptop, what the ocean, in the backdrop, I'm like, he's living the life that I want to live here in a few years. It's exactly what I want to do. Just go travel, continue to work, but then work wherever I am. Once my kids are off into college, there we go. How was that? How did you, I guess, kind of score that kind of an in It was great. This is the third year that we've done summers in Costa Rica. Luckily, my wife is a teacher. So that basically frees up our whole summers. And I, of course, can work, you know, being that NLIFA is very much a distributed virtual company. We don't have a, you know, an office, a physical office. We work for multiple co-working spaces, but most of our meetings are done online, you know, the way that a lot of businesses are working these days. So gives us the opportunity to, you know, pick up and move for the summer. And as our kids are getting a little bit older, traveling has become a little bit less diverse. I think COVID also helped with that too. Kind of, but so we've been kind of just comfortable spending summers in Costa Rica. We've already got a plan to do it again next year, potentially buying some property down there to turn into vacation rental. But yeah, we love, in general, we love traveling. My parents, when my wife and I first got married, booked our honeymoon in a port of Ayarta, Mexico, and my wife and I have been hooked on travel ever since. So we typically are our goal. I think before COVID, our running back was like two international trips a year. And we had a running joke that we've seen more of the rest of the world in our own country. Now we did fix that during COVID, because we were, you know, somewhat landlocked, not really, but, you know, we basically didn't feel like we... to venture out while things the world was kind of going crazy. So we made up time and saw a lot of our own country which again we have some stuff on our own backdoor which is absolutely beautiful but really for me and I think my wife would agree getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing other cultures can be amazing for your mindset. When you're running a business day to day it's in your you know in your schedule, your routine, same city, same office, same environment, it can get really mundane and it's I know for me it's easy to get stuck in my head but when I go and I leave my comfort zone and I pick up business and I do it somewhere else, the thing that I take away is like well there's a whole world, a whole culture environment that works just fine without me in it. So it really gives me a lot of perspective and also my brain kind of operates that way. I love the other reason that we kind of shut down our office you know a couple years ago was I like working from different environments. Today I'm in my home office tomorrow we had a co-working space. It's not unusual for me to hit you know more than one coffee shop in a day because I basically have termed something that I call spatial ADD. You know it doesn't I don't know if that exists but it exists for me where I get bored with environments very quickly. So if you also suffer from spatial ADD you know reach out we can maybe you know I have a support group or something but yeah that's that's kind of part of the travel of scenario two is it just opens up my mind frame for different possibilities you know. I love that term I I love that term I don't know if that's actually given a term that's dying. I don't think so I think I invented think so I think I invented it. I'll give you a credit for it. I could come up come up with with a part of my personal hang-up song and some moving around all the time. I love you a credit for and some that I'll give you credit for it. That is a great term. I think I as well have that. I can be throughout the day I'm fine to be in one place but I do like there are certain times during the year like okay we have to get out of here we have to leave somewhere and do something yeah that's good that's a good with you because you're involved in so many different things so you have your business been successful you're building continue to build this great enterprise you invest in a lot of different kind of directions you love to you present you travel you're going to these conferences I don't know I can't remember if we talked if you were going to go down there's a big conference down in Texas next month rock stars you go into that not going to go to that one but interestingly I may be speaking in Vietnam so I've been asked to speak next year in Vietnam at another SEO conference so at least verbally it's it's done I know people won't sign everything yet but so yeah and I actually would also be speaking in January at a another conference less marketing oriented and actually oriented towards small businesses all the speaking to a Texas-based insurance company franchise a the been trying to to get a little bit more out there on the speaking circuit this year especially post-COVID COVID kind of put a hang up on some of that stuff but you know the next couple years I want to get out there and do more of those but I am taking a little bit of a break from conferences just in the next probably three months just taking it easy you know but yeah if it was up to me I'd be at all the conferences but then like I probably wouldn't be married and go to shambles but I do know some people you probably know some of them as well that their conference junkies and I oh my gosh you know I'm trying not to become a conference junkie but I'm right on the edge I'll and go to well I want to shine a little bit of light on one of your other endeavors that more on the Philanthropic and that is the orphanage that you have co-founded and are a part of why don't you tell us a little bit about that it's the mowcf and I'll just let you go talk about it so my wife and I also kind of oversee an orphanage in Liberia I'm called Mosiv it's a long acronym but basically we just call it Mosiv we started that probably about eight years ago and long story short I basically connected with somebody on the ground over there in Liberia who went through as a youth into an adult through refugee camps and there's a whole history of Liberia that I think most of the west don't understand and realize I'm during the turn of the century you know around 2000 they were at the end of you know it's a long civil war and just massive chaos a lot of bad stuff. And so anyway, through this connection, you know, I started to think, well, I don't know the first thing about running an orphanage, but I know how to build a website and I know how to do marketing. So that's really where this started just baby steps, you know, and then that turned into some fundraising and then that turned into like formal, formal like systems where we have a 501C3 in the US and then a non-government organization and then a non-government organization in Liberia. And now, fast forward, we've had about eight kids go through there. A majority of them still under, you know, under the care of the orphanage. We have our own building. We're actually trying to launch businesses over there in Liberia. We have one launched. I'm not without challenges. There's always challenges. And you think running a business in the States is hard. Try it in Liberia. So, but yeah, it's been a learning endeavor. It's kind of a business in and of its own. Of course, we're not reaping the financial benefits, but we're able to pour that back into another community. So yeah, we've, that was something again. And it's a lot like business too. Like, whether it's business or nonprofit, I think the biggest thing that I've learned through that experience, as well as the business experience, is you don't have to have all the answers. In fact, you will never have all the answers. And I think it's very easy as entrepreneurs and small business owners to get analysis paralysis. And think, oh, I got to have everything button. I got to get my LLC or I have to do all this stuff. And my, my recommendation when you're trying to build something, you know, be it a nonprofit, a business is just get started. Do the bare minimums get some momentum. And the rest of the pieces will, you know, if you're passionate about it, they'll fall into place. But you don't have to have all the answers at front, because you'll, you'll never have all the answers. And there always be more questions to solve. But that was kind of, that's kind of where we started. And it's, again, it's one of those things you look back, you know, eight years later, you're like, wow, look at all we built, but we didn't do it all overnight. It was very gradual, you know, incremental baby steps until, you know, until it actually starts making an impact. So, well, good for you. I think that's terrific. You know, I'm sure you guys are putting a nice thumbprint on the lives of those kids. So good for you. That's the goal. it's definitely been rewarding to feed back into a community that is in such need. Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, let's change gears here another time. Here we are. We're at the bottom of the ninths, Adam. And this is where we get to ask you what advice do you have for what we say rookies in the game for those just starting out those small business owners and or entrepreneurs starting out in their own business or maybe have already opened their business and they're looking for some guidance, words of wisdoms from old grizzled veterans like yourself. What do you have? Well, you know, bit about a little bit on that in the last, like last phase of the program, but to echo that would be just to get started. You know, I mean, don't feel like you have to know all the answers. And then something else that I I wish I would have done sooner is really get good like mentors and, you know, council. I think the last half of my business I've invested, you know, I've always invested in myself through, you know, books and training and programs. But it's probably only been in the last, I don't know, five years, maybe the second half of the life of our business that I've really doubled down on conferences, masterminds, really just buying into those connections that I can learn from others that are further along. I think that's that's the fastest hack I could give for anyone in business is figure out what rooms you can get into where you're the dumbest person in the room. And that's been my goal the last couple years is it's very comfortable. I feel like you're the smart guy and, you know, pat your ego and luckily in digital marketing, you know, there's plenty of that where you can feel like, especially like in my local market, you know, sometimes I feel like I'm a rock star. But that's not even though that's comfortable, that's not the best place to be. That's not the best place to be. That's not the best place to be. That's not where I'm going to grow. And so the last number of years, I've attended events we spoke about one earlier where I typically feel like I'm the dumbest person in the room. You know, just this last month, I was able to speak with people that just a couple of years ago, I still look to them. Go me wrong, but I never thought I would be on the same stage at these these folks. And interestingly, I haven't really shared this with anybody, but one of the individuals there who have followed their career for a long time, I came up to them and I said, Hey, man, I've been following your stuff for a while. Every time you speak, it was just amazing. I was blown away, this person who, you know, I put on this pedestal said, you know, I've been following your stuff as well. And actually, I'd like you to start contributing to a program that we're running. That was amazing. how did I never branched out to be that dumbest guy in the room? I never would have had that opportunity. And it's those kind of things that have led to other opportunities. I would say as far as like short cutting those windows, figure out who those people are that are, you know, three, four, five steps ahead of you. And whatever it takes to get in the presence of those people and those rooms and those events, that is going to propel, you know, your business growth, your personal development probably faster than just about Oh, that's great advice. I know, and I know exactly that feeling that you're elaborating on about being around some of these guys. You know, I walked away from that camera like, oh my gosh, that was so awesome to like connect with some of these guys that I've looked at and followed from afar and just to be, you know, in the same room with them. Small, you know, this conference that we were at with a very selected group of people. And it was so great to be a part of that. So yeah, good advice, good advice. Well, let's say Adam is so fun to have you on the show and to hear in everything that you're engaged with. I want to be sure to send folks over. You can find more information. check out some of his cool free tools that he has available on their website in leaf.com. That's ENLEAF.com. So go check some of that stuff out. It's some really good stuff. And again, man, thank you for being on the show. I'm sorry. If you're not going to hit some kind of references yet this year, I'll miss you. But, you know, hopefully next year we'll connect on next year. year. I'll be back at it unless you're going to be at the one overseas. We'll talk about that. That what I want hear about because I would love to get over a couple of places overseas. I know have some fun stuff going on. All right, folks. that's the ballgame. So thanks for joining us today. And if you like our show, please tell your friends, subscribe and review. we'll see you around the ballpark. 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