[PODCAST] My Interview on Innovation Calling – Creating a Global Entrepreneur Community

(PODCAST) – If you are *still* wondering why we are building Founders Live and where we are going, this podcast really dives into it. We talk about many aspects of growing startups, creating culture, core values, and many other things. Thanks Erin Gregor and Syya Yasotornrat, I had a great time on your show. Listen here!
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World Tour 2019 Month FOUR Overview –Ambitions The Size of Texas

I recently announced my plans for a 12-month Founders Live world tour. This post covers the last month and other lessons from my journey and what I have learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date. Follow along here on this blog and here.

In month four of the Founders Live World Tour, I found myself in Dallas for most of the month of April. I must say after 2 full months of living in Texas, I now have a much stronger appreciation for the Lonestar State. It’s much greener and more beautiful than I expected and during the spring months, the weather is pretty darn good (outside of a few crazy loud thunderstorms) which were amazing to see and hear. And the startup talent could hold it’s own against many other Founders Live cities!

We arrived in Dallas on a Monday and got settled into the Bishop Arts area, our new neighborhood for the month. We stopped at a coffee shop to work for a while as we waited to check in at the Airbnb. I looked around and quickly thought A new city and new adventures are in front of us, I wonder what crazy shenanigans we’ll get into here?!”

The first week of April was Dallas Startup Week so we had a central location to go to each day and check in with what was on the agenda. For this first week, out homebase was Ross Tower in Downtown Dallas, which was the location of Founders Live Dallas event to happen on Thursday of the week. I didn’t partake in much of the startup week activities but there were many talks and panel discussions on startup and community topics. I tended to be heads down working on Founders Live, as well as gearing up for the event and filming to happen on that Thursday.

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This is The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado… I just like the pic so I put it first. I’ll get to that part of the trip later!

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Founders Live Dallas was held on April 4th during startup week at Ross Tower. It was an awesome event, with roughly 125 people in attendance and great energy in the room. Our city leader David Ezell (and his supporting team) did a great job leading the event. It’s been fun to stop through our cities and observe how the various city leaders run the events. Of course, me being present at the event influences and changes how they approach it in some ways, but still, it’s a cool way to not only quality check but to pick up nuances and pointers from the leaders on how to best run the events.

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The winner (featured in the image above) was Moments By Design, by female founder Leslie Flores: Moments By DesignMaking life easier with custom curated parties in a box! Leslie’s pitch was very crisp, on point and well within the time limit. She earned every vote and came out the winner of the night. All the pitches were great, the other companies ranged from a smart connected robot quarterback for pro and college football teams, to a bulletproof clothing material, to a company which collects online Food and Recipe Videos for healthy eating. All the presenters were impressive and on point, which I attribute to David and his team for the excellent training.

Monarc really impressed me and I was able to get to know the founding team a bit better over the course of the month. They’re designing a robotic quarterback – the idea here is that receivers will be able to practice routes and drills entirely independently by utilizing their tracking tag with the robot that will predict their path and throw them an appropriate pass. As we continued to talk I started to see how this and other intelligent systems are the future of sports. Well done gentleman!

Another interesting founder I met was Jacqueline Twillie and her company Zerogap.co. She is focusing on Leadership Development and aims to decrease the pay gap and gain equal representation between executives at companies large and small, which I very much agree with. “Success in Leadership Engagement requires consistent learning and development. This allows emerging,mid-level, and executive leaders to innovate new concepts. The Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their senior management teams had a 34 percent higher total return to shareholders than those with the lowest women’s representation.” Jacqueline will go on to do great things.

During the Founders Live Dallas event, we filmed a sizzle reel for Founders Live. This will require a bit of backstory I am hesitant to divulge too much but oh well, here we go! I recently connected with some people in LA and we have a growing conversation about how to turn this world tour into a more established TV show. When they heard about what I was doing on the road they asked quite obviously “why is this not a TV show?” Think of an Anthony Bourdain type of show where I travel to a new cities, investigate the innovative nature of the city, highlight five new early-stage entrepreneurs, help them through their process and then culminating in a big pitch competition where one is voted the winner.

It’s The Profit meets Shark Tank, with the local flavor of Parts Unknown, and the authentic sentiment of Undercover Boss, through the innovative lens of the app generation. Yep, I like the sound of it too!

So first step in the process was to get a sizzle reel – or short film example (think pitch deck but for visual entertainment) of what Founders Live is all about, and what a full hour-long show could include. I put out a craigslist ad for a videographer and received more than 30 responses for a one day shoot! I picked one and we got to shoot on the day of the event – me talking to the camera, sitting down and interviewing each founder about their concept and their questions, and then real footage of the event. It was a unique and fun experience, although a bit challenging to coordinate it all at the moment during the day of the event. These types of things are what I need to get used to if I am to have a TV show. Having a camera one foot from your face is not the most comfortable feeling, but I know I can get used to it. At this point, I am not sure where this will all go but I can tell you one thing: we are laser-focused on doing what we can to highlight and share the stories of entrepreneurship around the world, however that can happen. We’ll see where it all leads!

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This is us having a movie night at Eisenhower State Park in N. Texas.

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Due to housing issues (and no place to stay for one night), one Sunday we decided to hit a state park for the and camp for a night. We drove up to Eisenhower State Park on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, worked on the water during the day, took in an incredible sunset, had a movie night outside and went on a trail run the next morning.  As you can see Texas has stunning sunsets.

One thing to note – The weather. Dallas has the most intense thunderstorms I have ever seen. One minute it’s clear and sunny, the next you then see massive clouds, and here comes a crazy thunderstorm. Standing in the rain is like taking a shower, so much water at one time the streets just start flooding and little rivers are formed within 10 mins. Crazy stuff.

Another interesting aspect of visiting all these new cities is how you adapt to your surroundings and establish a routine and familiarity with the new community. In Dallas, our neighborhood was Bishop Arts, just 10 mins south of downtown Dallas. I quickly found my running route (3.5-mile loop around the area) and our go-to places for coffee, food and go out for a few beers. We even got to know some of the local bartenders at a brewery over the course of the month. It started to feel like we were locals, at least for a few weeks.

Many people have asked me what traveling like this feels like. It’s really really fun. But after being on the road for more than 4 months I can tell you there are downsides of travel – specifically not wanting to leave! Once you land and get established in a city you get attached to people and places and you don’t necessarily want to uproot and leave. Establishing a relationship and connection with someone can take some work, and once you do it’s very difficult to then turn around and just take off. The way I can describe it is you basically divebomb someone’s life, create whirlwind relationships and experiences, then you leave. This can be exciting and fun, but it tugs on your emotions as well. It’s something I have had to get used to during this intense time of travel. It’s actually very difficult at times. 

The last week of April it was time to leave, and we drove in the bus from Dallas to Denver. Our first stop was Sante Fe – and take in the cool, artsy, random, eerie parts of New Mexico. I told Raleigh, “ya know, New Mexico is a pretty cool place and after all said and done with company growth and some sort of exit, I could see myself here!” It’s beautiful, crisp, warm, and off the path enough where you have space and time to be creative.

We checked out Meow Wolf (the neon pictures below), even saw a concert by The Midnight, Hiking to Hot springs and camped outside in the foothills. We then Drove into Colorado, and took in the amazing terrain and got some great pics. We stopped at The Great Sand Dunes, hiked up to the top of the dunes one day, and camped at what felt like the top of the world overlooking the entire valley. No words to describe this stuff, just look at the pictures below and think of your own words to describe it!

Finishing out the trip we stayed at Dakota Hot Springs outside of Denver. If you do enough research on this place you’ll discover it’s uhhh…clothing optional (that which we didn’t participate in!) but we both quickly realized that is the modus operandi of most of the hot springs here in Colorado. Cheers to seeing and experiencing new areas of the world!

On a sad note, this was my last week in the Van Gough Bus. Raleigh is now on his way back to the Bay Area for his next job assignment and to start the next phase of his life. I greatly appreciate the time we spent together on the road and his graciousness, hospitality, honesty, and friendship will be missed.

Now I am in Denver and looking forward to another incredible month, new relationships, experiences, and awesome Founders Live events! If you know anyone in the Denver/Boulder area and want to connect the two of us, please reach out.

Below is a group of images that I feel sums up the last month on the road.

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On to the next!

World Tour 2019 Month THREE Overview – Heating Up The Southwest And Texas

I recently announced my plans for a 12-month Founders Live world tour. This post covers the last month and other lessons from my journey and what I have learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date. Follow along here on this blog and here.

Wow, is it April already? What just happened to the new year? The first quarter of 2019 and my Founders Live world tour has flown by like the roadsign we just past driving on this lonely Texas highway on our way to Dallas. (Yes I am writing this on the tour bus.)

For those following along, I’ve been traversing the west coast of the US throughout the first few months of this year building Founders Live along the way. In January, I spent most of the month in Boise Idaho. February I found myself up and down the California coast, visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. In between these visits, I flew back up to Seattle for meetings and to host our Founders Live Seattle events. The first quarter of 2019 has flown by like a fun Friday night.

Alas, on March 1st I left Seattle for the rest of the year! That day was both exciting and sad, as I won’t see the many friends and family I care about for many, many months.

Our first leg of the trip was driving through Utah and Arizona for our first tour stop in Phoenix.  It started with a bang! Raleigh picked me up at the airport in Las Vegas and we hit the road. We are now cruising through the western US in a tour bus! I’ll be touring the Western US for the months of March, April, May and June in this bad boy below call VanGough. It has wifi, a work station, table, chairs, sleeping quarters, a sink, and bathroom. We might paint it something other than the bus yellow! Read more about Utah and Arizona here. 

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Being on the bus and spending time with Raleigh feels like an angel was placed in my life just at the perfect time to help transition me to a better place and into a better person. Raleigh, being 9 years my junior, has somehow gained an understanding of the world many people don’t ever achieve. He see’s the beauty in nature, keenly observes people and his surroundings, and shares a world view of peaceful hospitality. He’s an incredible human being, and his many nuggets of wisdom have helped me rethink and reshape myself during this intense transition period. Agradecido por siempre mi Amigo.

Immediate Lessons from Raleigh and Touring on VanGough:  

  • Open your mind to what is possible, most are stuck in their narrow-minded ways
    • Anything is possible. You just need to break it down to manageable pieces
    • Most people are stuck in their boring day to day lives, and don’t budge
    • They are waking up the same each day, taking the same route to work, doing the same things each day.
    • They don’t give enough energy in seeing what else is out there, there are many other cities, places and people to experience in the world. Luck comes to those who are willing to risk the good for the great
  • Working remote is not only possible, it’s fairly easy once you figure it out
    • It’s far easier than you think to work remote. Think differently!
    • A major addition was wifi, so we can work as we travel. Even when the bus is rolling down the road (as I am doing at this moment!) you can work
  • Pay attention to the little details of the world
    • This road trip has taught me to see through the fog and pay attention to details
    • Where to park, where to walk, what time is sunset, what time is sunrise, what’s the temp, where to take a shower, where to get food, where’s the next beautiful national park, look at the flowers, who is around you, why are they there, etc.. just be mindful and pay attention to what’s around you!
  • When traveling, understand the motives of others and be skeptical at first
    • Taking into account who is around you, why are they there, etc..
    • This is something that I don’t do naturally, and I generally take people at their word and trust them quickly
  • Live in the moment – right now – that’s it! Everything will fall into place.
  • You can create a story for yourself that others perpetuate and that grows organically. Who are you and what are you all about?

Utah and Arizona

We spent the first few days traveling from Vegas to Phoenix, touring around Utah and Arizona national parks. I can tell you I have not seen anything like the formations and parks you find in the southwest, and they are beautiful.  

The first night we stayed in Zion National Park and hiked Angels Landing, which is a quick but steep hike to the top of a lookout point a few thousand feet up (and drop off below). The hike was great, but quite busy at the top. Then we hit Bryce Canyon. Damn.

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The Founders Live Phoenix event was included in the larger Phoenix Startup Week, and had a tremendous turnout. We had more than 150 people in attendance and the energy was palpable, I see a growing future for Founders Live in Pheonix for sure. Congrats to Stephanie Schull and Kegelbell for winning the latest Founders Live Phoenix event.  Kegelbell – Most women suffer the symptoms of weak pelvic muscles, diapers-surgery-pills are among the dangerous and ineffective solutions offered, until now, Kegelbell is the most powerful kegel exercise weight set on the market and it works to accelerate results with less work for busy women; this is real women’s health, finally.

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The next city was Austin, but first we had to drive 1,000 miles from Phoenix to Austin. We continued our journey from Phoenix to Austin by stopping in Big Bend National Park, hiking to The Window and taking in the sunset over a quick beer and bite.

Our time in Austin was incredibly fun. We pulled into Austin on Sunday, March 10th and drove to my friend Zach’s place, an empty house in which he is renovating so it’s deadly silent but he offered, so I accepted. I slept on an inflatable mattress in an empty house! We parked the bus outside his house, probably to the dismay of his neighbors. Thanks for the hospitality, Zach. And the introduction to an amazing person!

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During the first few weeks of the month of March Austin is taken over by a large festival and conference called South By South West (SXSW). Fifty to one hundred thousand people come into the city and crowd the streets with concerts, talks, panel discussions, and all out partying. It’s a force. This was my first SXSW so I was a bit overwhelmed with the volume of people and things going on. It did not disappoint to say the least.  There’s too much going on each day to even keep it all straight. The best way to go about it is to make plans for one or two big things in the day and then be flexible and open to new things sprinkled in around those plans.

I attended the Black Girl Ventures pitch competition. Many beautiful and diverse women with great ideas and lots of ambition. That’s what we want to see more of all over the world! I connected with their Founder Shelly Bell and we’re excited to work together on female founder initiatives over the next year.

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I caught an opportunity to see actress and entrepreneur Zoe Saldana talk about her new venture BESE as well as the culture of LatinX.

BESE is a new media platform that represents communities that have been left out of mainstream discourse for too long. Our mission is to broaden and reshape popular narratives by celebrating the untold stories of today’s changing America. We respect all identities and admire the people who have the courage to say, “this is who I am.”

Founders Live is interested to work with BESE and further enhance the LatinX communities around the world. More to come here!

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The Founders Live Austin event was Thursday, March 14th at The Riveter, which is a newly opened cowering community space in Austin. The event went very well, the crowd was good and the energy in the room was solid. I seem to say this each time but the aura around the company seems to build with each month and each event. Founders Live, I can’t quit you even if I tried!

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Congrats to Elyse Vardii and iWinsome for winning the Founders Live Austin event. She is building the CRM for the gig economy, and nailed her pitch that night.  Elyce was so impressed with the Founders Live experience she quickly reached out to me after the Austin event inquiring about starting Founders Live in Houston. We’ve since spoken about it and are now planning the launch into Houston. Elyce, you will do great as a Founders Live City Leader!

Each and every event we hold, people approach and ask if we have an event in a specific city, or if they can help Founders Live expand into a new region. Just in the last few weeks, the below cities are ready to launch or people have reached out to inquire about launching there soon.

Houston, San Antonio, Wash DC, Barcelona, Spain, Madrid, Spain, Gabarone, Botswana, Toronto, and Salta, Argentina.

All in all, we’ll launch another 10 or 15 cities this quarter to end June between 45-50 total Founders Live cities around the world! Not too shabby, eh!

The tour so far has exceeded my expectations. It has been fun, exciting, tiresome, challenging, party, drinks, beautiful people, great conversations, hikes, national parks, long bus rides, work, meetings, planes, and so much more. This is exactly what I needed and wanted. I needed to push myself. I needed to bend the rules of life. I needed to go to the edge. I feel like my life is transcending into a new phase and a new role in the world. It feels good.

I will not go back to what I was, which was a scared person, to be honest. I was scared of not screwing up. I was scared to go all the way to the edge. I was scared of my internal desires, which are at times strange and too ambitious to swallow. I was actually scared of success. I knew how people viewed me and my potential. How they talked about me and Founders Live. I just didn’t want to acknowledge it, because deep down I knew once acknowledged it required me to change who I was and what I was doing. That clearly meant letting go of some things and people I loved, because the life I was looking to live (and the one that I am now living) was incongruent with the current agreement and life we had formed together during those years. It had to happen. Once I overcame the fear of the unknown and acknowledged a better life and greater trajectory was waiting for me on the other side, all I had to do was simply accept it and step into this new world. 

We’re now off to Dallas! If you know anyone in the Dallas/FortWorth area I should connect with, please let me know!

There are way too many to post here, but here are a few more pics:

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Rocking out on the bus!

 

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Peace Pheonix, you were great to us!

 

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Private plane – it’s to only way to fly to Vegas with your friends for March Madness. This was a nice “vacation” from my world tour.

 

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Just a day in the office in Austin. There are so many outdoor cafes and bars to count. I love it.

 

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Visiting Big Bend in Southern Texas.

 

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Just a PSA to stay present.

 

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Austin, you’re the best. But now onto the next one!

Texas, Big Bend National Park, SXSW, and Austin – How I Am Getting Used To This Life On The Road (More Pics)

I recently announced my plans for a 12-month Founders Live world tour. This post describes another lesson from my journey and what I have initially learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date. Follow along here on this blog and here.

Ya know… I’m starting to get used to this crazy on the road lifestyle. It’s fun, exhilarating, and constantly stimulating.

But it’s not for the faint of heart!

People ask me what it’s like to be on tour, constantly in the travel mode and having very a little downtime. I usually say something like “ya know, it’s interesting, I recently fell into cruise mode with all the travel… it now feels normal to be in new cities every few weeks and meeting all these new people. There’s a small and constant buzz to it. Like, I can’t wait to see what crazy inspiring thing or conversation is going to happen today?! I feel in the FLOW of it all. And others now see and feel it too. And that’s why it’s working.” 

The biggest lessons I am pulling in right now are about persistence and presence.

Persistence – working at something as long, as hard and as diligent as you can until you reach your goals.

People now approach me looking at Founders Live saying “this is so cool, you’re in 30+ cities and touring the world. Good job!” I like to tell them it’s a great overnight success that took almost 10 years to make happen. Trust me, I have had my full share of tearful, sleepless and worrisome days (years!) wondering when MY TIME will come. Now that it’s here, I so appreciate the work ethic developed in those tough days so many years ago. Stay on track. And stay positive. Your day will come. If you are in those challenging days currently, please don’t hesitate to reach out and chat about them. I have perspective!

Presence – being HERE NOW, here in the moment. At each moment. Undivided. Whole.

I’ve learned this is the utmost (and only way) to live. This tour has already brought so many mind-blowing moments to me – some of them in nature, and some of them with a drink in my hand chatting with a person I just met. But all of them are coming in more frequently and intense now.

Stay with me here… I am trying to put better words to all this. The energy created when you are present, giving the other person your full attention and energy so both of you fully experience the moment is truly fascinating. It’s this energy which flows through both people when you are on the same wavelength that helps to put the outer layer of bliss on top of what you are enjoying. This could be at a bar, at a Founders Live event, or walking in a national park. I’m experiencing it all over the Western US and I’m excited to experience it all over the world very soon!

These lessons are helping me not only get used to life on the road but actually really embrace love all aspects of this tour.

We continued our journey from Phoenix to Austin by stopping in Big Bend National Park, hiking to The Window and taking in the sunset over a quick beer and bite.

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Lovin’ this mobile office!

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Being in Austin and attending SXSW has been fun! There’s too much going on each day to even keep it all straight. The best way to go about it is to make plans for one or two big things in the day and then be flexible and open to new things sprinkled in around those plans.

I attended the Black Girl Ventures pitch competition. Many beautiful and diverse women with great ideas and lots of ambition. That’s what we want to see more of all over the world!

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I caught an opportunity to see actress and entrepreneur Zoe Saldana talk about her new venture BESE as well as the culture of LatinX.

BESE is a new media platform that represents communities that have been left out of mainstream discourse for too long. Our mission is to broaden and reshape popular narratives by celebrating the untold stories of today’s changing America. We respect all identities and admire the people who have the courage to say, “this is who I am.”

Founders Live is interested to work with BESE and further enhance the LatinX communities around the world. More to come here!

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Our Founders Live Austin event was Thursday, March 14th at The Riveter Austin, which just opened. Thanks Amy Nelson! The event was great. Congrats to Elyse Kingdon and iWinsome for winning the latest Founders Live Austin. The CRM for the gig economy.  https://iwinsome.com/

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Be where you are, now.

A Tour of The Beautiful Southwest – Utah and Arizona Parks (Caution, HOT images)

I recently announced my plans for a 12-month Founders Live world tour. This post describes another lesson from my journey and what I have initially learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date. Follow along here on this blog and here.

If you want to go somewhere in the U.S. where you can climb incredible cliffs, see breathtaking rock formations and experience amazing sunrises or sunsets, you must go to the Southwest. Month three of my world tour has brought me to Utah and Arizona. Below you will see some of the places I enjoyed and the pictures I took over the last few days as we drove from Las Vegas to my next stop in Phoenix. The lesson here is to get the heck out of your city and see the world!

We started at Zion National Park. Here’s Angels Landing. Yes, we climbed it to the top along small ridges and thousand-foot dropoffs!

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This is our ride! I’ll be touring the Western US for the months of March, April, May and June in this bad boy call VanGough. It has wifi, a work station, table, chairs, sleeping quarters, a sink, and bathroom. We might paint it something other than the bus yellow!

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We then drove to Bryce Canyon and saw this…

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Then we woke up early and caught one of the most incredible sunrises at Bryce Canyon the next morning.

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We then drove into Arizona and checked out Antelope Canyon, simply no words to describe the formations of the rock and sandstone in these caves. It’s like a whole other world.

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Yep, I know what you are thinking….

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And this is my favorite. Took it with my iPhone.

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In between these excursions I worked on the bus on the wifi. Life is good. Can’t say enough about everyone taking their own World Tour.

World Tour 2019 Month Two Overview – California was good, but the best is yet to come!

Here’s an overview of the last month on the road for the Founders Live World Tour. Throughout February I traveled throughout California, with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Below are the highlights and what’s up next. (Read my tour announcement post here for more context of this trip.)

TLDR – Regardless of some ‘interesting’ weather, California was great, at times majestic. Next stops are Phoenix and Austin. Know anyone I should meet?

Carlsbad Beach!

 

Los Angeles

I landed in LA to down-pour rain. Geez, I thought. Here I was creating a world tour and thinking I’d head down to Southern Cal to get warm and sunshine. Nope. Wind and rain. For days on end!

I stayed with our previous LA city leader Lucas Capestany in Playa Vista area, close to LAX and Santa Monica, along with his friends and startup cofounders. I was taken back to college memories and the “scrappy startup” living experience. Setting out on this tour I intended to see what entrepreneurship looks like in many different cities and countries. Mission accomplished here. Lucas and his team are dedicated and will do just fine. Thanks Lucas!

My favorite part of this leg of the trip was how close the beach was and being able to go on a nice run every other morning. It’s so refreshing to run on the beach – it’s a zen thing for me – and one morning I even got up before the sun and ran out there to see the sunrise. It was breathtaking. I had one of those (they are more common now) moments of “man, can you believe this? It feels so right and so perfect right now. Hang on to this feeling.”

I enjoyed working in Venice a few days out of the week, camping out at Tom’s Shoes store which has a coffee shop in it and a back patio where you can chill and work. I met a few new contacts in the LA area, which as enjoyable and educational. Another enjoyable aspect of the trip has been the numerous introductions from you all! Keep them coming, please! The relationships which have started just from these early trip introductions will be long and meaningful.


The Founders Live Long Beach event went very well and I have a feeling it’s going to grow into something quite larger in the community.  The winner was Nicolette – Nicolette is a health tech company that empowers patients with visual data, curated education, and engagement tools. Great pitches all around and the FL Long Beach city leader Josh Rencher did very well, We even made it into the local newspaper, which has already resulted in a few new opportunities in Long Beach.

San Francisco

I flew to SF on 2/11, and stayed a few nights in the Hayes Valley area of SF (thanks Brek Goin, Founder of Hammr) and then a few nights in Oakland (thanks Amanda Townsend). It was fun to see the different sides of the bay area, different cultures, and communities. Yes, the bay area has its issues, but by and large, it was fun to be in the tech epicenter for even a short time.

Another event in a new city, yet the same response. It’s fascinating to me how impactful and inspiring Founders Live really is to a local entrepreneurial community. Maybe I am so close to it I don’t see it anymore but the Founders Live event really does have a meaningful impact on people. I love to just sit back and observe people at our events, the looks on their faces, and how much they are inspired to go do great things in the world.


Thanks to our partnership with Google Cloud we held the event at Google Developers Launchpad in the SOMA area of downtown SF. The winner was RWB Canine  RWB Canine Inc. – Advanced Canine Wearable w/ Real-Time Physiology for Pet Lovers, DHS and DOD. Pretty cool stuff! Founders Live SF city leader Stone Strickland has done an excellent job of getting Founders Live up and running in the city. We had a strong crowd and based on the response I can only see an upward trajectory in SF.

Something struck me in Oakland after I had a few lunch meetings with two people who I had just met during the week. The conversations were magical and inspiring, where both people left totally energized and almost floating. When I left the restaurant I walked around the lake in Oakland and was left awestruck with what is transpiring in front of me in my life and business. Most of it I cannot explain, but simply follow what is pulling me in the direction of growth and leadership. I think the best thing about it is seeing how people are impacted and changed when they pitch at Founders Live. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving.

Being on tour has taught me to just live in the moment and take it all in. When on the road, you are perpetually in motion and navigating new and uncomfortable circumstances. There’s no zeroing out, level setting or ‘resetting and recharging’ by chilling on your coach or going back to your 9-5 job during weekdays. On tour, you’re always on. This IS your 9-5, but more accurately your 24/7. It’s constantly moving and the best thing to do is always be present, be in the moment, to take it all in. Something strange and unique set in that day in Oakland – that of which I have a hard time putting into words but the best ones seem to be FLOW, BLISS, GIFT, and ENERGY.  I hope there are many more days of revelation like that one in my future.

San Diego

I stayed with my extended family for a few days when I arrived in San Diego, so I decided to “be on vacation” for 2 days. Monday we went to the Carlsbad beach, walked and had a late brunch and cruised around for a bit. Such a beautiful area. Tuesday I ran on the beach, went down to Encinitas and worked a few hours at a cafe. Trying to not work on this trip is difficult. Partly because we have momentum and you always want to keep it going and not lose any of your edge, but also I hate email build up and aim to stay inbox zero. It’s not easy as the volume is now increasing. I am working to fight the natural urge to always be working. It’s a work in progress!

We had a small launch party for the Founders Live SD event on Thursday 2/21. It was supposed to be at a cool outdoor venue but the weather was terrible on Wed and Thursday of that week. Stormy and rain/hail. Of course… So we had it at a local establishment called Bootlegger. It was a good turnout for being relocated at the last minute. That’s okay, Founders Live SD will flourish in the near term and I have full confidence our city leader Alex Resnick will run a great show.

I finished off the California trip staying with a good friend in Pacific Beach / La Jolla. We hung out Saturday on the beach, played volleyball, went to a few popular spots in Pacific Beach and then out to downtown San Diego. Pacific/Mission Beach is the place to be down in SD. Needless to say, I would have difficulty getting work done in the area, but I feel a strong kinship with the city due to its SoCal laid back vibe. In a parallel universe, it’s my home.

I flew back to Seattle for a quick stop to see friends and host our event on Thursday 2/28. Another week, another big event and back in the spotlight. The event was unforgettable, about 300 people in attendance and doubled as a send-off party for me and this trip – I won’t be back in Seattle until 2020 at the earliest. Equal parts sad and exciting, the last FL Seattle night went off without a hitch. This month’s winner was Melissa Strawn and MyPeopleNow  – Do What You Love. Let Others Help You With The Rest. I am so proud of Melissa, she has worked very hard and come along way over the last 6 months. She is another example of how anything is possible for anyone out there if they want it bad enough.

Up next I head to Phoenix (3/5 – 3/9) and Austin (3/11 – 3/30). We’ll arrive in Phoenix for Phoenix Startup Week and the Founders Live Phoenix event is Thursday evening, at The Foundre Hotel. The next week we’ll be in Austin for SXSW and our event which takes place on Thursday 3/14.

WHO SHOULD I CONNECT WITH IN THESE CITIES?

To say I am excited about these next few months is an understatement. This tour has been one of the best things to happen in my life, and we’re only 2 months into the year-long adventure. Lessons – Don’t let anyone dictate what you can or cannot do in life. Don’t take no for an answer if you feel what you are doing is good for the world. Don’t doubt yourself, you have much more capability and adaptability than you think. You have everything it takes to be great, sometimes it’s so deep down inside your soul you just haven’t discovered it yet. All you need to do is figure out how to go deep enough to tap into it.

See you on the trails.

Gratitude And Love For All Of You

I recently announced my plans for a 12-month Founders Live world tour. This post describes another lesson from my journey and what I have initially learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date. Follow along here on this blog and here.

Today is Valentine’s Day.

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A new phrase has started coming out of my mouth more frequently: I don’t have the words to describe my life right now and what I am experiencing. It’s that good.  

It’s weird. It’s difficult to be going through an experience and not be able to describe it, to not be able to translate it so others could also understand and feel it.

All I can say is this thing just keeps getting better each day. The people I am introduced to are more connected than ever. The conversations I am having with – strangers, or fast friends – is truly heartfelt and on levels I haven’t tapped into for a very long time. Having the opportunity to take the stage and address a new audience in a new city each week is such an honor.

I acknowledge these experiences are not normal and I am lucky to be right here, right now. But I also have immense gratitude for everyone who has come around me and Founders Live. The support, assistance, conversations, roofs over my head, food, drinks, applause, introductions, teachings, and everything else that comes with this position does not go unnoticed.

Recently I have learned more about Gratitude and Appreciation than I have in a long time. It hit me as I was walking up a big San Francisco hill today. Sometimes it takes falling off the cliff and feeling all the people who are picking you up, helping you to get back on your feet to really understand gratitude.

It’s such an honor to be doing what I am doing and I appreciate all of you. Today, I don’t say I Love You to any one person. Today I say: I Love All Of You. All of you who have supported me and Founders Live, this is for you. And I am so excited to see what no only tomorrow but the next few months bring us!