Welcome To The Join Up Dots Podcast With Brad Montgomery
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Introducing Brad Montgomery
Brad Montgomery is today’s guest on the Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a man who likes nothing more than having a laugh in both his personal and business life.
Throw into the mix his love of inspiring people, communicating at a high level, and leaving a lasting impression on everyone that he meets and you get the flavour of what he is all about.
Starting his career in the form of corporate entertainment, he would wow the crowds across America and on the huge cruise ships, with humorous commentary and magic tricks.
He knew that he could be funny and entertain, but could he combine the fun with the message?
Could he strengthen his proposition by tackling the issues that business struggle with, all the time still keeping to his authentic self.
How The Dots Joined Up For Brad
Well he has done just that by starting “Laugh-O-Nomics”….yep that’s a proper word, and now speaks on a range of subjects, but loves nothing more to discuss happiness at work.
As he says “Happy people have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.” and companies are missing a trick.
They haven’t quite grasped the fact that people having a good time, keeping moral at a high level, and working hard is the best thing that every company can have on their premises.
The days of setting huge targets and cracking the whip to ensure that it all gets done should hopefully now be a thing of the past?
So does he find that the hardest people to bring round to his hugely valuable message are the middle managers of the world?
And when did he realise that all his talents had come together to take him into the motivational speaking world and flourish whilst he is there?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Brad Montgomery.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Brad Montgomery such as:
How he is often asked whether he is like his stage persona all the time, and you will discover what he tells us is the truth.
How he first wanted to be a lawyer and follow in the footsteps of his Dad and Granddad, but soon found out it wasn’t for him.
How he as freaked out to become a speaker as he felt he didn’t have the corporate history to back up the words he was speaking.
How it is so important to give ourselves permission to just accept where we are at anyone time in life.
How he remembers like yesterday the day when he first realised that he could be a speaker, and hasn’t looked back since.
How To Connect With Brad Montgomery
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Interview Transcription With Brad Montgomery
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello everybody. Welcome to another episode of a Join Up Dots Episode 252. Now, it’s amazing but yeah, we’re moving towards the three hundreds and I’ve got somebody plan for the 300 already or he’s he’s lined up for it, which would be a good one to have. But hey, he’s not gonna be as good as to days. Guests I can tell you about because today’s guest is a man who likes nothing more than having a laugh in both his personal and business life. Throw into the mix. He is in love with inspiring people communicating at a high level and leaving a lasting impression on everyone that he makes. And you get the flavour of what he’s all about. starting his career in the form of corporate entertainment, he would wow the crowds across America, and on the huge cruise ships with humorous commentary and the magic tricks, he knew that it could be funny and entertain. But could he combine the fun with the message? Could he strengthen his position by tackling the issues that businesses struggle with all the time still keeping to his authentic self, but he’s done just that by starting laugh or nomic? Yep, that is a proper word, and now speaks on a range of subjects but loves nothing more than discussing happiness at work. As he says, happy people have on average 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher, their creativity is three times higher, and companies are missing a trick. They haven’t quite grasped the fact that people having a good time, keeping morale at a high level and working hard is the best thing that every company can have on their premises. The days of setting huge targets and cracking the whip to ensure that all gets done should hopefully now be effing up past. So does he find that the hardest people to bring around to his hugely valuable message on the middle managers of the world? And when did you realise that all these talents had come together to take him into the motivational speaking world and flourish while he is very well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Brad Montgomery. How are you, Brett?
Brad Montgomery [2:21]
David, I’m psyched to be here. Thank you for having me. I’m great.
David Ralph [2:25]
You seem like somebody that is always great. I can’t imagine you ever been unhappy? I’ve been doing a bit of virtual stalking. And you are Mr. Smile on you.
Brad Montgomery [2:36]
Okay, then I love that question. Because I I’m going to take a chance in that actually answered. Here’s the cool thing, David, I get asked that a bunch. Oh, you must be like this all the time. Your family must just you know, that must be the greatest. And then when I’m at a programme with somebody who knows me like my wife or my kids, that’s the question they get. Is he like this all the time? Here’s the answer. No, no, no. I think that’s important. I’m a motivational speaker and I think a lot about liberty and happiness and humour, but that’s my job title. It’s not my personnel body. So, yes, okay, I admit it, I’m probably more positive and more upbeat than average. And I might even be quite a bit more positive and upbeat than average. But I just love to remind people, this is normal. We all have crappy days, we are we’re all sad. We’re all depressed. Our job is to sort of figure ways to manage that. So that on the balance, we’re not that way most of the time.
David Ralph [3:31]
I actually am not. I’m kind of like I am, but I’m not I decide when I want to turn the switch on being who I am on the mic. And so my wife gets the same question a lot. Is he like that all the time? And she says, No, he’s the most miserable person you can imagine. And funnily enough, I kind of am but in a positive way. So personally, I choose to have a good time, but I don’t try to force it on anyone else. I’m a kind of enclosed force of positivity until I get a chance to unleash it on the world a bit like that.
Brad Montgomery [4:08]
Yeah, and I’ve heard you talk about this on your podcast, so I know exactly what you’re talking about my guests and see if this is this sounds like you. My guess is that we’re like, in that when I’m on stage. That’s really me. You know when I’m in front of an audience, that’s really Brad Montgomery but it’s kind of my better side You know, it’s like that’s the that’s the little bit slightly more prepared side that see a little bit more thought outside. I’m, you know, put my demons away beside. It’s still me, but it’s kind of like a really good version of me. I’m guessing that’s like you when you’re behind the mic.
David Ralph [4:42]
I called it the human equaliser where the light is like a graphic equaliser but you just bring up certain bits of your personality, which you wouldn’t normally use. And you just kind of get an advanced version of yourself in certain parts. Slide the sliders that’s what I’m saying bread
Brad Montgomery [4:59]
Yeah, I like I like that metaphor. But it is fascinating to me because I, you know, you mentioned the I speak about happiness at work. And the reason I’m so attracted to happiness at work is it’s a, it’s a semantic thing. So there’s lots of people out there and there’s lots of self help books and magazine articles about using levity and lightheartedness. And looking on the bright side, I didn’t make it lemons, or living out of lemons, you know, on the silver lining and all this crap. And I did that for years. But what I really like about happiness, is that unlike those other things, there really is some science behind it. And which means a couple things. One, we know that it works, but also it kind of is a nod to the fact that we’re not always perfect. You know, when we read those self help books or articles that, you know, it says like, Here’s 10 steps to happiness, here’s 10 steps to a better marriage, implying that it really is that easy. But, you know, I think for most of us, it’s a it’s a lifelong struggle. It’s a thing We were confronting everyday. And for me that makes it more powerful, and definitely more real. I
David Ralph [6:05]
don’t know if it is sort of that difficult really, isn’t it? Just a simple choice you can choose to be happy or not? Is that not it?
Brad Montgomery [6:13]
Yeah. So it’s simple, but it’s not easy. So I think we’re, we’re, we’re right at the point. Yeah, happened. There’s nothing complicated. And when you look at the science, behind controlling your own attitude, and there’s a science behind, you know, creating a sense of well being and positivity. None of it is rocket science. And so you don’t need a protractor and a and a compass to figure it out. It’s not that hard. Mark. not that complicated. But yeah, I think totally, sometimes it is hard. When your boss sucks. It’s hard. When you’re working with a team that you feel like is constantly shooting you down. It’s hard when you’re not sleeping enough when you’re not exercising enough. When you’re stressed about money for you know, genuine stresses about, you know, are you gonna have enough money to get your kids in college. It’s still simple, but I totally think it’s hard for some harder for some than others, more complicated for some than others. But that’s, that’s what I’m so psyched about now is because I used to say, David, I used to go into my audiences and basically say, Hey, guys, you know, cheer up, try to look for humour and work trying to find the funny part, which is totally valid. I still believe all that. But the problem was is it never really acknowledged that that portion of my, my people who are having a tough time and their spouse just died or their kid is sick, or they’re worried about their dog or they’re worried about making rent, or their manager just really bites it so yeah, sometimes I think we need to acknowledge Okay, yeah, there are difficulties. And then the next step is fine. But given those difficulties, how can we move forward and try to make ourselves better and how to stay positive in spite of it all.
David Ralph [7:56]
So if we take you back in time as a young man You will, and I pull you in a field or something. And I say little Brad, little Brad, what are you going to be when you grow up? Was it going to be what you’re doing now? Or were you on a totally different?
Brad Montgomery [8:12]
Totally not? I was going to be a lawyer.
David Ralph [8:16]
So it’s quite a laugh just
Unknown Speaker [8:18]
thinking about it.
Brad Montgomery [8:21]
My dad was a lawyer. My granddad was a lawyer. And I never really thought it through David, but I think there was some part of me that really enjoyed the safety of knowing that I was going to do that. So I went to college. And when I got out of college, I, I my plan was to take a year off and be an entertainer. But during that year, I was taking that test for the to make sure I did well on the entrance exam for law school. It was totally about law school all the time. And it really wasn’t until I admitted to myself, Oh, this is just this is just something that feels comfortable for you. You liked having knowing what the next step is. That’s why you wanted to go to law school. There’s nothing Elsa makes you want to go to law school except for that comfort of feeling like I had a future what was
David Ralph [9:07]
the dad and granddad bow but that were you trying to make them proud that you were following in their footsteps?
Brad Montgomery [9:13]
No, I don’t think so because they were they were pretty cool about it. I think it was more about me just feeling like okay, it’s sort of like the obvious next step it was me in some ways being lazy instead of saying if you know the slate were clean, what would I love to do? Which is kind of a question. Instead it was okay. Well, I seem to be pretty smart in these types of categories. And I know what alert us because I have some in the family you know, I’m I’m exposed to that. And that looks pretty cool. It was it was that it was no one was pressuring me it was all me kind of failing to think what would be really cool.
David Ralph [9:49]
Cool is a great thing to have, isn’t it? That’s what we all want. We all want cool. And I suppose when when you’re a real small child, and you you get asked what you want to do when you get older. It’s going to be cool stuff, isn’t it? You’re going to be an astronaut, you’re going to be a president, you’re going to be all these kind of amazing things. But cool kind of goes out the window as you grow into sort of teenage years and then early adulthood, and then that’s when responsibilities and you know, you’ve got to grow up, you’ve got to get a job, you’ve got to settle down and you got to be serious and all those kind of things. Did you go through that as well? Although your life now is very much focused on entertaining getting the message out. Did you sort of play a part of serious Brad at any time in your life?
Brad Montgomery [10:34]
I’m I’m both proud and horrified to tell you no, I was never serious. So right. When I got out of college for a year, I decided I’m going to give this Honestly, I was arrogant. Okay, I’m admitting stuff already. I was arrogant enough to say I’m just going to tackle this entertainment stuff. I’ll learn it in a year and then I’ll go to law school as though that were possible. And a couple things happen. One I realised it’s just freaking hard. You know, this. It’s There’s no way to learn that it here. But then the other thing I learned is it. It’s pretty fun. And it wasn’t as scary as I thought. And I got a couple lucky breaks and I wasn’t getting rich, but I was making enough money to support myself. And that was pretty exciting. So I never I’ve never had a traditional job. I’ve never had a traditional manager. I’ve never had a boss. I’ve never reported anybody I’ve never clocked in. I’ve never, ever had a job.
David Ralph [11:26]
So how would you sort of get your message across in corporate land if you haven’t if you haven’t had the terrible boss, the the bad employees, all of the kind of corporate stuff that everyone deals with? How do you get your message across and become authentic?
Brad Montgomery [11:42]
Well, I can tell you this, I freaked out about that for ages, because I was totally aware as I was making a transition transition from entertainer to speaker, which you know, in case you don’t know, you know, for those people don’t know the words, entertainer. entertainers aren’t supposed to have any message, no wisdom, just Come and give us a vacation from our life for 30 minutes or an hour, whatever. But in speakers are supposed to hold your attention long enough. So there is that entertainment element, but then it’s a fail if you don’t have some sort of message. If there’s no takeaway, if there’s no Oh, based on the my time with the speaker, I want to do something, something different. So when I was making that transition, I was hyper aware, David of what am I doing talking to these guys with jobs. I’m a guy who’s never had a job. And really, when I say that, that made me nervous. I’m not. I’m not taking that lightly. I mean, it freaked me out. But over time, and over years, and then hopefully, over the years after collecting feedback from my clients, what I came to realise is that gives me a really unique spin on corporate America. I’ve never worked in a cubicle, I opt out of stupid meetings. I don’t do some of this crap that I hear about all the time from my clients. So when they start telling me Well, this is the way it is. I don’t have that filter of what of course it is because I understand because I’ve been there. Instead my filter is well that’s freakin stupid. Or you know, or that’s a great idea or whatever it is my filter is very, very, in some some ways peer. So I never positioned myself as Brad has been a captain of industry and as such, he’ll share his wisdom. I’m really open with Brad’s, you know, most of my wisdom has come from my clients and from my life experience. But I’ve never, you know, said he, I’ve managed, you know, after managing be a top manager at fortune 500 companies all across the globe, I have wisdom that I can share. It’s just not my deal.
David Ralph [13:40]
But that must have been scary to be able to stand up there. That would help so many people back they would have gone right. I want to be a speaker. I really like the vibe of getting up in front of people. I’ve got this message. But I’ve never really experienced it myself. No, I won’t. I’ll go off and do the safe route. What made you put your Self out there and actually go into that if it was freaking you out?
Brad Montgomery [14:05]
Well, I had a safety net, honestly.
Meaning when I was wanted to be a speaker, I was still making money as an entertainer. So I would go off and take a speaking gig, I would be hired by some client to do a, you know, a keynote. But mostly, then I’d go back and do entertainment for other clients. So it I never really cut off one in order to start the other. I never, you know, rode myself to the island and then push the boat away to say, I’m on the island. So it was a process. And then the other the other key part of that, not normally in room to remind myself that it was a process but the other key part of it is, I sucked. You know, when I started as a speaker, I was horrible. And I was telling, you know, standing up there as a guy who’s way too young and way too stupid and way too inexperienced, giving advice that I had no business giving, that is valid advice or at least advice without any authority. Either In a way that was poorly delivered, so part of the whole darn thing, I think for all of us, but you know, for me was, it’s a process. It’s something for you. I know this is 200 What did you say this? How many episodes of this podcast? Have you done? 252 is this one? That’s our rageous Lee cool. So I noticed without having to listen to the first guest, I just know 250 do is better than your first one and your second one near third one. Because it’s just part of the part process you learn. You grow into it. And that was definitely the reason being in front of corporate audiences. Yep. And and opening my job and say, I have some good ideas. I really think you should listen to it first. I just sucked and I had to
David Ralph [15:41]
go, but did you find that actually, because when you’re talking about those 252 episodes, I would actually say but I come from a presenting background. I used to be a corporate trainer and I would present on you know, I’m trust that it was gonna work on the very first time. I actually Did something and more often than not, it used to fly and I spent right. Okay, that’s great. I got that one out of me belt as the first time I ever did it. Second one used to be a bit flat. But then the third one used to find its feet and being new is up and going. So do you find that in what you’re doing as well? Or do you stick to the same message time and time again?
Brad Montgomery [16:22]
Yes and no. So it’s
a it’s a long I’ve got a long answer. So there there are elements when I do this, do what I do. There’s elements that I’m trying to bring in from whatever I did the day before. Because the stakes are high. My clients are hiring me and they’re like, well, we got 2000 of our top people here and we can’t afford for you to just try out something new and hope it works. We need you to freakin deliver guaranteed. So that means I have a lot of pressure on me not to try full hour of new material. But on the other hand, I also have A lot of pressure on me to continue to grow as an individual and also to grow as a presenter, which means I need to constantly be developing new material. So I’m always looking for places where I can put in new ideas or new stories or new ways to deliver ideas, which means I’m kind of working them in, in many ways. I feel like I’m relying on my background as a comic, where you know, that’s how you do it as a comic. You put in little bits into and then you grow those bits, and you weed out the crappy ones and grow the great ones, until the little bit is now suddenly turned into 10 minutes or 15 minutes. And eventually your goal is to have another hour. So you know, I, every time I try something new, I’m I’m pretty aware that this is not going to be as even if it goes really well even if I’m psyched afterwards and going when, when great. I know that it’s not a really great, it’s great for the first time, but the 10th time it’ll be way better. And if I can do it 20 times it’ll be significantly better. So yeah, I think I’d kill myself if I was always doing the same thing. And always what the most interesting part of whatever I’m doing is the new portion. But also, I think that I kind of owe it to my clients into my audiences to make sure you know, they’re, they’ve, you know, it’s like these corporate conventions, they’ve travelled, they’ve left their family, they’ve left their job there, by sitting in my audience, they’re, they’re in their inbox is filling up, they have a lot riding on this. And so I just feel very responsible for them and like, I have to deliver I need to make sure that I give them something that’s valuable and fun and meaningful, and I want to make them happy. And of course, I don’t want to make my clients the people who hire me happy. So that means Yeah, I’m, I’m redoing and improving all the time. How much
David Ralph [18:44]
of what you do is absolutely what you want to do at the moment. For example, you seem to be very comfortable, you’re enjoying it, you’ve got a different spin from other people. But there also seems aside to you, but I could quite imagine being the Louie ck Hey, the the stand up comedian, if you had the choice that you could either be a stand up comedian, rocking it, or doing what you do, which one would you go with?
Brad Montgomery [19:11]
I’d like to do what I do but with but with a with a condition. So like when I know because I’ve done both when you’re an entertainer, it is so fun. It just take It’s so fun to take an audience and change their mood. It’s really fun. And you know, and to kind of like be thinking, Oh, man, I can’t wait to Thomas punch line. There it is, oh, they liked it. I mean, it’s just so cool. And you know that from being in front of audiences, it’s exciting. But when I started speaking, and especially when I, when I started speaking and doing well. What changed for me was the response after the programme, so if I’m working well, now my audience is laughing during the programme. But afterwards, there’s always a small percentage of the people that they just want to, they want to say hi, or they want to shake your hand or they, they just want to maybe they want to tell you a story or you remind me a My uncle bubble or whatever it is, but as an entertainer, it’s always Oh yeah, that was fun. Or I had an uncle who did comedy or I’ve studied comedy or boys. Well, I love Louie ck. And now, what happens is I do get some of those comments, but I also get these crazy, humbling, outrageous interactions where people are crying and they’re telling me the about their sister who’s ill, or their brother, who they lost or how they’ve gone through this whole horrible time and I’ve changed it. And what’s crazy about that it is has nothing to do with what I said, because I am smart enough to realise that what I say is not that brilliant, but when we’re talking, we don’t know where our audiences minds are and they’re kind of hearing what we say through their own lens. So I’m talking about whatever I’m talking about in the what they’re hearing is, he’s talking about my brother, who has leukaemia, this is about me dealing with my brother who has leukaemia and their their mind is off on something that I’m not taking. They’re doing all of that, but it’s not That kind of journey for them was never possible when you’re just doing straight entertainment. It’s so I love what I’m doing. However, here’s what I would change. Louis CK. He’s awesome, because well, not only is he brilliant, but I love his job right now. And I’m jealous of him because people buy tickets because they love him and want to go hear him. And so by the time he walks out, they are psyched, David. They’re like, Oh, man, Louie ck, I can’t wait. My clients hire me and say, my audience needs to hear this, or I want my audience to hear this, or I hope my audience enjoys hearing this guy. I’m not a celebrity. And they don’t have any ideas. I’m just, they go to some corporate programme or or a corporate meeting or a big association of whatever their industry is. And here’s the keynote speaker and they have no buy in. There’s no sense of I’m so excited to hear what this guy has to say. So that means in many ways, I feel like you know, my job is a little bit more iffy, because it’s My, my audiences are really different places it depends the time of the day is different. They might have just come out of some hellaciously horrible session or maybe some session were really bad news was delivered or they might be through a full day of really high content training and they’re like, okay, Brad, trying to get some perspective on this before dinner. And, you know, sometimes it’s a blast. Sometimes it feels like you’re taking it but man, sometimes I wish I was a comic where, oh, man, I wish these people had to buy tickets and get dressed and leave their house and get in the car and come sit in a table just to see me to have that level of commitment.
David Ralph [22:37]
Did you think that the sort of the entrepreneurial spirit closely matches battled the stand up comedian is that the ultimate entrepreneur but they’re literally out there. Ready to die every single night is either going to go well or it’s going to go bad. Do you do you think need that that hustle muscle to keep on going keep on going keep on going until it comes together somehow is where your ship Really fights fights it’s gonna.
Brad Montgomery [23:03]
Part of me thinks Yes, but yet I know so many brilliantly funny people that are just the worst at business. They just, they can’t they can’t keep themselves, you know enough money in their bank account to prevent them from having to take a real job. So the parallel Yeah, I do see that. I love your phrase, hustle muscle. But certainly stand up comedy, you got to be a pretty big risk taker because you’re, you know, you’re putting your soul out there and you’re waiting just to see if they step on it, hoping they don’t. And that part of it is very similar to the entrepreneurial thing, but I’m not. So I don’t know I’m seeing parallels but I’m just having a tough time because I see I no se and know so many people I just think are brilliant and have way more talent talent than I’ll ever, ever have. And yet, you know, they’re working as a waiter. There. They’ve got a normal job in insurance, because it’s something they don’t want to have.
David Ralph [23:59]
I’m going to play Some words now have a famous comics moved into Hollywood and he said something that was so profound that I like to play on the show. And I’d like to get your feelings about it. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [24:10]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [24:37]
Now, obviously, Jim finishes with a positive phrase, but his father could have been a great comedian but didn’t have the belief in himself. Is Is that what we all need over listeners out there? Do we need to find that inner belief before we start something or do we need to start something and then find that in a belief
Brad Montgomery [24:57]
that silence is me thinking? I don’t know.
I’ve heard you play that good. That’s from a commencement address, I think. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker [25:05]
Yeah, I’ve seen that.
Unknown Speaker [25:09]
Brad Montgomery [25:12]
So yes, yes, yes. Oh, yes to all those things. And I’m like the audience is I want to clap after he says that because he because he just makes me want to get up and have go balls and run towards them. But there’s part of me that is wants to give a hug to the realist in the room, because I have noticed that there are risk takers, we’re just risk takers. But on the other hand, I’ve noticed that people’s background affects their ability to take risks. So for example, people who don’t have a lot of money, you know, growing up, I find to they invest their money and save their money differently than people that had a lot of money growing up, people who had a lot of money or feel a lot more confident and their take a little bit more risk, you know, they invest more and they risk more. Whereas people who have had a really tough crappy childhood tend to save more. None of it is it would be hard for me to condemn the savers. The people who are less risk adverse to say, well, you’re an idiot you got to be you got to take a goal. And I think this is true with what Jim Carrey is saying for some reason for to oversimplify it. It is tough. I’d hate to have someone who says you know what, I’ve had a really ridiculously difficult childhood. So for me taking this nine to five job that has benefits that has a regular paycheck that takes us a lot of stress out of my life because of that. It’s not my first choice but but it’s going to help me get a lot of what what I need, which is stability, and the ability to support my family and ability to have passions outside of work. It’s hard for me to really condemn them and say, well, you should have goals your you sold out because you’re, you’re doing something you don’t love to do. Part of me wants to give them a hug and say, all right, yeah, you’re there. I get it. So some people yeah, I think they need to hear Jim Carrey and immediately quit the job. The hate and go after the They love if they’re, you know, because they can guess like he said, You fail either way. And I only also understand those people are saying, No, no, no, I need this clarity. I’ve just because of my, my personality and because of my history, I need the security. Well, what do you think that makes sense?
David Ralph [27:16]
It makes total sense. And he pulls together with one I believe I believe that if you are in a crappy situation, and we talk about the slide of faith on this show, we don’t talk about the leap of faith that’s too dramatic. I couldn’t have done that. I’ve got responsibilities in there. But what I did I work towards something that I wanted, so that at that moment, I could slide easily across to it. And I think that’s what people need to think about when they are in a situation that they don’t like, but they know there’s something that they love. And I’d really like to take a chance at it. work towards it. Do something in between, get another job, earn money off the internet, there’s loads of different ways, but you can create that slide of faith so that it isn’t so dramatic. You are losing that stability to get the dream
Brad Montgomery [28:05]
but I love the way you phrase that and you know as as I listened to myself in this interview I kind of hear this really negative side of me coming out which is wrong. That’s not the way I believe. But at the same time I feel like there’s a lot of crap out there with everywhere from podcast festive to books and articles just like hey, yeah, john, you can do it have goals go after him You can do it. And a little bit of that Jim Carrey quote taken out of context feels like that like Come on, go chase your goals. But I really if it were my pal or my, my kid, I’d really want want to say like, yeah, chase your goals, but please Don’t be an idiot about it. You still need you need some basic things in life. So fighting towards it. I love that metaphor. Yeah, my metaphor is baby steps. You want to get across the, you know, you want to go hundred miles, you can still go there. But by taking baby steps consistently and regularly, it’s shocking how far you get over time. Even though it feels like you’re not doing much, I just keep moving. So same thing, different metaphor.
David Ralph [29:05]
Yeah. Have you ever had a time in your life, that you crave stability because you as you say, You’ve never had a job, you’ve never had a boss, you’ve never worked in a cubicle, all those kind of things that kind of pass all that word stability, it’s a job. You get the income at the end of the month, but ever since you was a kid, really? You’ve been out there doing your own thing.
Brad Montgomery [29:26]
Yeah, so I have craved it, but not enough to go after it. Meaning so apparently, there’s been enough I’ve been a barely, barely able to hold my medics off together to stay with it. But definitely there’s been times especially you know, early in my life where I just thought, Oh my gosh, I’m working so hard and and I don’t, I kind of felt like I didn’t see my goals come towards me fast enough. And now I’m 49. Now I look backwards and say wow, things went pretty well. This is great. It I was moving towards progress all the time you’ve been during those times, always making mistakes. I was moving towards progress. But at the time, I didn’t know it.
David Ralph [30:03]
Well, you never do.
Brad Montgomery [30:05]
Those times I thought you, yeah, maybe a state paycheck would have been nice.
David Ralph [30:08]
I like I love the fact that you were aware enough to say, Yeah, my goals weren’t coming towards me quick enough, but you kept at it. Because that that is the stumbling block, isn’t it when you’ve got a dream, and you can see somebody doing something that you want, and you want to do it so badly. There’s a mindset that kind of starts you off with if I do this for three months, I’m going to have that. But really, it takes a lot longer, doesn’t it? You’ve got to keep on working, chipping, chipping, chipping away. You never see the the highlights of somebody’s life. broken up into all the million tiny little stumbles and falls that lead up to those highlights.
Brad Montgomery [30:48]
Yes, hallelujah. Yeah, and giving us giving ourselves permission just to be there. It you know, relax, chill. I’ve got so I’ve got this young woman who’s a A friend of our family, she just graduated from Harvard. And I couldn’t remember where she was on this path. So she’s got this great hotshot job in the financial industry on the East Coast, and she’s making some money and she’s feeling good about life, but she’s not feeling good about her job. So I just soldered saw her at Thanksgiving, and she’s really ready to write off her whole industry and looking for new things. And she’s online apparently taking personality tests and what your personality is suited for what type of job and she stressed out. I’m telling you, David, she is like, I’ve got to decide my future right now. If this is the wrong, I gotta find your way. Now. What do you think? Maybe law school and what have you? And the problem for her is that you just can’t Hurry it up. She wants to know instantly. What is my future? What are the three steps I need to take to get there fastest. Whereas really, she needs to, you know, for job sucks. She’s gonna have to leave it. And she her if she wants a new job, she’s gonna have to do some research to find what appeals to her but just Well, you know, she’s waiting for that it’s in thing. You know, I want to be happy in my life and I’d be totally satisfied. Yeah, well, honey, she’s like, what 21 or 20.
I don’t know what to tell her.
David Ralph [32:12]
What I would tell her is basically listen to the shows on a daily basis, because you won’t hear one person say, I went from this to bad job done. It’s never that way. It’s always that you go into a path that you think is going to be right. And then somewhere along the line, you end it that the stories are so similar, that we all seem to start off on the wrong path is the path that our parents want or the path that we think our parents want, or our peer group one, or whatever. And somewhere down the line, we start to get that that inkling inside or hang on. I don’t think I like this. What the hell am I doing with my life? But can you see the big picture? No, of course you can’t. So you’ve got to start opening loads of windows and looking out and you get on the internet and you start listening to shows like this. And even though they don’t get the answer You’ll start to be aware that is a process that you’ve got to go through to find yourself. And she’s 21 the fact that she’s thinking back now is great. I was 44 before I started doing well, actually, that’s not true. I was 44 when I did me slide, but I started having those vibes when I was about 25, I suppose. And it took me all those years to actually find it. And I think that’s what she needs to realise she needs to realise that if she’s already feeling bad, then that’s half the battle. She’s got to go out and start knocking on doors and looking around and seeing what other people do. Because more often than not a jobs going to appear but she didn’t even know was out there. And that’s the one that you go, yes, that’s the one I want to do. I can see that. I can see how I can do it. And as soon as you get that, I feel I can do that. You’re halfway there. did did did you have that actually with the speaker was Was there somebody that you saw? And you fall? Yes. Actually, you bet that that’s my new path. I can see that I be quite good at that.
Brad Montgomery [33:59]
Yeah, I remember that. I remember the instant I remember that day. as clear as can be. It was a so I was in here’s my path was that I was in corporate entertainer and I was booked by the same people who pick or who booked corporate speakers. So through that booking process and some showcases and some business, the silly things. That’s how I met some of these people who became friendly. You know, they turned out to be pals, who were speakers. And up to that point, I thought, motivational speaker and it’s like the dumbest thing ever. That’s like Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar and rah rah rah and Jaron, I’ve climbed Mount Everest and if you have goals, you can do amazing things do and I had nothing in common with what I had imagined to be a motivational speaker. yet here I was meeting these people that were a lot more like me. Normal people without a you know, some incredible resume like winning the Olympics. Normal people that had not overcome some unbelievable obstacle as I hadn’t not overcome either. And yet they were kind of sharing their, their ideas and their path with audiences and making a difference is, that was pretty cool. But the specifically I was booked at a conference with a guy named Rick and I stayed over so I was booked as the evening entertainment and I found out Oh, no way Rick is doing three hours from nine to noon the next day changed my airline ticket so I could listen to three hours. The motivational speaker and you know what I was so impressed with what this guy is great but also as impressed with Wait a minute, it’s working I’m I’m finding myself motivated. This guy is not full of crap. He’s not you know, telling me Come on. You can walk on goals if you just believe he know he’s talking me through it. And that just that fires me up in a way that I could not believe I just didn’t know there were such a thing as motivational speakers that were cool.
David Ralph [35:53]
And the easiest, simplest way isn’t it? It’s one person is one book is one podcast. You said something interesting. Early on in the show, you’ve said a lot of interesting things. But it was how your content can translate to an individual just because they are right for that message. And you might be saying certain words, but I hear it in a different way. And I find that on this show, I will do shows where people will email me ago, that that was amazing. I love that show. And I actually didn’t feel it was a particularly good one. It didn’t sort of resonate with me, but they got it. That bloke was right for you at that time. And a simple thing like that is life changing, isn’t it if the message is ready to be heard by you?
Brad Montgomery [36:40]
Yeah, yes. And it is life changing. And it is. humbling, isn’t it? Because, you know, we’re in the communication business, David. And I know we’re both the same. We think, Oh, I got great ideas. And I’ve figured out a way to present them and, you know, have a big enough ego to stand in front of audience and think that I actually have something to say, but it’s totally humbling to have People come up and say I connected you in a way with you and your message in a way that totally shocks you. What? Yeah, I’m, here’s what I heard. Here’s what I learned. And those were not the things that I said or the things that they taught. So, you know, you gotta take a big dose, a big slice of Humble Pie every now and then say, all right, my job is to set the mood to get the tone, to get a feeling to give as much information as I can, because that’s how most of the people learn. But know that there’s a huge still a huge group of people in any given on audience who are you know, they’re in their own head, which is where they’re supposed to be there in their own journey, which is worse than it sounds kind of sappy when I say the word journey but you know, that’s just how it is.
David Ralph [37:42]
How do you work a room then bread when you get in there? Because being a really good presenter is as much working the room as what you’re saying. Do you set it up or do you go in and it’s just cold? I the chairs already there. People are sitting there with their arms folded. How do you actually work the room
Brad Montgomery [38:01]
Yeah, it depends because my audience is very a lot. So I’m often in front of really huge audiences like two or 3000 people with and you can’t work it, you know, it’s a very formal setup and I can’t possibly meet them all. Because you know, they get a, they’re coming in, they have a 15 minute break. And then here comes the keynote. On the other hand, I also work plenty of rooms where it’s 100, you know, managers of a hospital or something. So my preference is to do exactly what you say I love to work the room, I like to have lunch with them. I like to ask about their job. I’m always coached by the time I come in, and I like to like to kind of basically checked on, hey, all these things they told me about you. Are these true? What about this? What about that and then hear them so on good days. I know some people in the audience before I start, but sometimes, and it’s pretty thrilling in an exciting and scary way. Sometimes you’re backstage, it’s very formal, and they say Here you are, and you come out on a stage where you because of the lighting, you can’t see the audience and you cannot connect in that traditional way that we use Do you gotta connect with a, you know, a very different way. So, so I don’t have a way to do it
David Ralph [39:10]
is success about making connections? Is that how the real movers and shakers get to the top by networking, providing what the audience wants or their clients want providing value? Is that the key thing to success?
Brad Montgomery [39:29]
Wow, I’m so flattered that you would think I would have the key to success.
I’m just enjoying this moment. I’m really enjoying him. Okay. I don’t know, dude, I don’t know. I’m just one guy. But I can tell you for me. Absolutely. As I grow with Mike and Mike, career, and as I see, I look back at my career to say what things went well and what things didn’t go well. Even when I look on individual programmes or things that I’ve written, the ones that work well, or just like you said, when I’m myself when I’m true to myself. When I’m authentically me, including the week, this is what I’m just a real guy up there. Those are the times it works. And you know, when I’m interacting with clients or I’m trying to get people to, you know, to do business with me, it’s the same thing. Like when I’m authentically me, that’s when it tends to go well. So I don’t know about if I could tell a global here is the key to success. But I’m telling you, for me, it just seems like whether or not you’re talking about your own personal health and well being, or the relationships that you live with, you know, people you live with and people you care about, or your job, being authentically, yourself, whatever that means. That’s a we could have several podcasts about that. That seems to be a huge step. Don’t you think we got to be us? I think totally
David Ralph [40:45]
and we talked about this a lot actually, Brad, but when you realise that you are just being yourself and you’re not trying to force the issue. Everything starts to move easily around you and you’re not playing a part you Playing yourself. And because you’ve grown through an entire life, 49 years of being Brad Montgomery, you should be pretty skilled at being Brad Montgomery. So if you can take that essence and put it on stage and people resonate, then that’s where life does become easy and over, they’ve been really successful guys out there. I’m sure that they have worked that out. But actually, if they play to their strengths, if they play to their talents, if they play to their beliefs, if they play to their values, then things start to work for them. And it’s when they start to go against their gut intuition, intuition, or start listening to other people more whatever. But that’s when it all goes awry.
Brad Montgomery [41:42]
Yeah, agreed. But the only thing I would add to that is that it’s not always as easy as it seems like just I’m 49, which I think gives me an advantage over somebody who’s 29 I’m a little bit better at being myself than some people who are younger. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, and I got a specific anecdote. I was just Did this event in Las Vegas and it was for top cattle producers. these are these are not ranchers. These are like multi million dollar business people who own and handle cattle. So that my client was coaching me beforehand and said we have had top speakers here, and they have blown it. And, and then he started naming some of the top speakers and I started getting really insecure, because he’s naming like rock stars in my world. And so like, okay, what’s what’s going on? And he said, what happened is they came in and they see these people, and they look like hell folks. Some of them, you know, they just look unrefined mind, they’re going to be wearing a dirty flannel shirt. They’re going to be they might be wearing an old pair of boots, they’re going to be wearing hats and big, big, big belt buckles. And you’re in there from tiny towns and you’re going to be tempted to under, underestimate them and try to relate in a way that you can’t. And so now now I’m getting nervous right? Like what I’ve done a lot of agriculture groups and this that doesn’t feel bad. But what he said was other speakers in the past have come in and tried to connect with crap. Meaning they would say, well, I’ve written a horse to or I visited my granddad on a farm. And that has nothing to do with these guys who are running these huge businesses. And he felt like when they wouldn’t speakers in the past tried so hard to connect, they failed. So, you know, after I got over my nerves, I had to do exactly what you’re saying, David, which is just to remind myself okay, just be myself. Just go out there and do what I do. It’ll be fine. But but that I had to take the time to remind myself and I did get nervous and I you know, I did have to take myself for a walk, sing. Right, coming back down. Just be yourself. So why am I telling you that my point is that even very successful people in in my given field, but I think all fields forget this and they No, I forget this and we all it’s a constant struggle sometimes because everyone Now and then we feel like, Oh, I want this. So I’m going to reach up and grab it. And that means I’m going to try harder, harder. And often that trying harder means getting, just to be yourself. You know, we can try hard, but make sure you’re doing it as you
David Ralph [44:15]
do it as you I believe in that I tell you, somebody who did do his thing as him, or it seems from the outside his view is Steve Jobs. He didn’t seem to give him an inch. He had his vision, he had these dreams. And even when things went badly, he would then do things his own way to get back on. He’s on a journey. I use that phrase as you did. And it’s something that we were all on where we’re just doing stuff on a daily basis. But if you do more stuff on a daily basis, you’ve got to make movements forward. And I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs now because it’s so important, and it is the theme of the show. So this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [44:52]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference. But here’s cut out for a second David say the question again.
David Ralph [45:29]
Can you join up your dots?
Brad Montgomery [45:31]
backwards but not in the future? Job Steve ism Steve Jobs is a rock star. Yeah, I mean, I that’s why I love your show. It’s exactly right. Yes, I’ve totally I can connect the dots. But just like he said, only looking backwards.
David Ralph [45:44]
He’s in a big.in your life when you look back on it that really started to make Brad who he is.
Brad Montgomery [45:50]
Yeah, that again, that silence is just me thinking like, are you like, Are you asking is there a major epiphany that made me you know, the angels come out and sing and the sun was brighter and the bird singing
David Ralph [46:00]
Doesn’t have to be it can just be something that you look back on it and you go, yeah, that’s when it started to come together. For me. It could be a conversation with someone, it could be a keynote just went particularly well and you realise that you was on your game, it could be anything.
Brad Montgomery [46:15]
Well, there is something that comes to mind. Dude, you’re good at this. No wonder.
No wonder Join Up Dots is so good.
I remember being at a conference of speakers for speakers to learn how to be a better speaker. And I’m sitting there next to a guy named villus ozel. And I’m talking to him about the convention and we’re, and he said, Well, this conference brand has been perfect for me. And he said something that I’ll never forget, he said, because I’ve seen people who are amazing people that are so good. I honestly can’t even fathom ever being as good as they are. But on the other hand, I’ve also seen people who either aren’t that good or make me feel like I’m on the right path. Did you know like, okay, yeah, I’m right where they are. So I’m getting That, that, that inspiration and oh my gosh, I didn’t realise what was possible at the same time I’m getting an Attaboy and a pat on the back and feeling like, okay, you’re on the right path. And that I can’t tell you that was a 20 years ago. And I think of that really frequently. Because it’s not just, you know, it works for any any industry. We see people who are amazing, and we think I can’t do that. I can’t do it. That’s fine. Keep watching them because they’re important. But at the same time, you know, every now and then you have to open up your eyes and look around and realise, wait a minute, I am actually making progress. And, you know, every now and then I like to say, you have to embrace your awesomeness. You just have to realise, yeah, I’m doing it. Check it out. I am awesome. I’m working. Not as awesome as those people but I’m, you know, that’s my goal.
David Ralph [47:47]
Well, you will, but you’ve got to, as you said earlier, you got to give yourself permission to be where you are. I spoke to a chap many, many episodes ago probably in the 80s. And he said he realised that he’s path to greatness was easier when he stopped beating himself up. And he remembered one of these mentors or his dad, or whatever similar if you’re going to beat yourself up, pick up a feather and put down the bat. And he realised vain that he needed to be gentle with himself and he needed to go Yeah, okay, it went terrible that did. Nobody laughed. They were all looking at their phones. That was dreadful. But I’m going to learn from it. And I will go again and I will go again. And it is that just giving yourself permission to go, yeah, I am where I am. I’m not as good as those people, but I’m aiming to be, but they weren’t as good as my point either. And I might be actually better than they were at this point. I just don’t know. So I just go again and again and again.
Brad Montgomery [48:51]
Brilliant. Yeah. And another metaphor is it goes back to stand up comedy, because when you bite it in front of a stage In front of an audience, it’s brutal. You just don’t feel good. We both know it does not, it feels. I can’t think of anything worse. But you somehow have to be able to say, all right, but I’m going to go up again. And I’m going to, you know that I know what doesn’t work. So let’s try something else and see if that does work. And it’s also similar to athlete so I’m always impressed, especially with baseball, because baseball is such a game of failure. You know that. It’s not really a cliche, but it’s said so much that the best baseball players in the world fail 70% of the time, they can’t hit the ball 70% of the time and they still rock that would kill me to go in front of a crowd of 40,000 cheering people and fail 70% of the time I don’t I don’t know if I could still do it. But it as a rookie anyway. But then you know, those veterans like Yeah, but you’re in Islam now. It’ll average out you’ll be fine. Just have to hit 30% of the balls and you’re awesome. And that that is hard to do when you’re at it when you’re at the plate.
David Ralph [49:58]
Hard to do or is it hard? swing. That’s the thing, isn’t it? You know, if you swing enough, you’re going to hit something eight. I’m probably the world’s worst baseball player. I just imagine I am. But I’m sure if I swung 100 times, I’m going to hit one or two of them.
Unknown Speaker [50:15]
Yeah, I love that. So you got to
Brad Montgomery [50:20]
it’s pretty hard to walk up that plate with the bat, though, isn’t it? Is it?
Yeah, totally. Come on. It’s easier. It’s easier to sit at your desk right now and your crappy job being miserable than it is to say, I’m going to go up and take a chance to do something different. Totally. It’s easier. That that’s why that’s why so many people are, are stuck. Because it’s easy to be stuck. It’s easy just to say you’re miserable. But it’s a lot easier than saying, All right, I’m going to get up. I’m going to move. I’m going to create action. I’m going to start. I’m going to articulate my goals and I’m going to move towards them. Yeah, I think that’s hard.
David Ralph [50:57]
Come on, listeners. Get out there and start swinging. That’s what we’re saying. And you’re going to, you’re going to miss most of them to begin with. But when you hit one, it’s going to be sweet. And it’s going to fly over every person’s head. And then all you’ve got to do, you’ve got to just walk after and get it, and then swing again, swing again, swing again. And if you do it three or four times, you’re going to look behind you, you’re going to realise you left your path a long time ago, and you’re somewhere new. Unfortunately, more often than not, even if it’s not right for you, at that moment, you’ve created momentum in your life, and you’re starting moving forward. And that’s the hard thing. The hard thing is getting going, as Brad was saying, The hard thing is picking it back up in the first place. But once you start doing it, it gets easier and easier and easier. And I swing every day. And I would say probably 50% of the time I miss terribly. But then when they it does work, it works big time and I take those 50% wins. And it moves me on. It’s better to win 50% men Not at all.
Brad Montgomery [51:55]
Yeah, it’s a it’s a small steps. Just keep moving. Just keep moving. Just keep moving in. And, you know, next time you look behind you, you’ll go Holy crap, I’ve gone quite a ways.
David Ralph [52:06]
Absolutely. I’m going to play the, the end of the show now. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic. And this is when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time, Brad, and speak to the younger version, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme tune now and when it fade to up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [52:37]
Brad Montgomery [52:49]
All right, I’m talking to you Brad. It’s me, right?
I’m from your future, yo. Alright, so I choose to go back and visit my At the start of my career, so I’m out of college. I’m trying to figure things out. And here’s the problem that I was having. Generally speaking, things were going pretty darn good. But I was so concerned about, are they going good fast enough? Are they going good in the right direction? Are they going good in the direction I want? I was so concerned and stressed out about stuff. It affected my quality of life. You know, I was like, I’m not I wasn’t positive, I was happy. So if I could go back and talk to myself, here’s what I would say. And here’s what I have to say to anybody’s listening. Ready? Calm the heck down. Just calm. Take your breath, calm the heck down. Take a breath, and you’re doing fine. So here’s what you got to do. Keep doing what you’re doing. Meaning, yeah, you’re gonna have to keep learning. And yeah, you’re gonna have to keep experimenting. And yes, you’re gonna have to keep drawing. And guess what you have to put in the hours. Because you all those things are important sitting, sitting in bed, eating cheese balls does not get anywhere to where they want to be. So you’ve still got to do all those things, but At the end of the day, take a breath, go for a walk, hang out with a friend, have a beer and enjoy life and just trust that you’re going in the right place. So here’s what I know now from our future. It worked. I am nowhere near where I thought I would be. I’ve done things that I never in a million years could have predicted that we would I love this concept been buying and can you tell? We have never do I we’re doing things that we never could have predicted we would do. But I’m telling you, they’ve all been good, even the crappy thing have been good. Even the bad things have been growth. So just you just gotta take a breath, keep working hard. So what I’m not telling you is to lighten up in your intensity of work, right? So if you have an idea, go for it. Figure out break it down into steps and start moving towards it. If you can get help get it immediately. And then see if you can adjust it, adapt it and adopted and move forward immediately. But then, you know you got to play So go play some soccer. Pick up a beer, go out with friends. It’s okay, you can do this. You do not have to worry. You don’t have to be a workaholic, in fact that it makes things worse. You don’t have to stress because guess what, it didn’t help. I can tell you I can tell for now. It didn’t help. Just work, keep moving. Pick a goal and move forward. I promise. It’s gonna work out. That’s it. I gotta go back to my 49 yourself. Give yourself a hug. Give yourself a high five. You’re doing fine. Now get going.
David Ralph [55:33]
Brad, how can our audience connect with you, sir?
Brad Montgomery [55:38]
I’m so glad to be on your show. David. My website. My name is Brad Montgomery and that’s my website. How cool is that Brad Montgomery. com come there and you could link there from Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and whatever you want. You can send us drawings with CRAN or smoke signals, whatever you want. We’d love to hear from you and love to connect and do what I do. I’m such a believer in your message and your show and it’s really cool to be here. So thanks for having me.
David Ralph [56:07]
So delight to have you here and thank you so much for spending time with us today joining up those dots and please come back bread when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is actually the best way to build our futures Brad Montgomery thank you so much
Brad Montgomery [56:23]
You rock thanks for having
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices including the two that changed his life head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots
David Ralph [56:52]
you know I felt like I’m because you bought the show it ended But no, it’s me again. Can you do me a favour I’m really looking for some fine star ratings and reviews on iTunes. It really is the Rocket Power that pushes you up. I haven’t wanted to ask before because he felt a little bit embarrassed about it. But now is the time that I need to make the move. So if you love the show, and you’ve loved listening to it as much as I have loved doing it for you, go over to iTunes and look for David Ralph at Join Up Dots and all the reviews will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for everything you do. Thank you so much for simply listening. But if you could do this as well, wow, we’re going to be we’re going to be mates forever. Thanks very much. Bye bye.