Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Keith Perhac
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Introducing Keith Perhac
Todays guest is a man who when it comes to starting a business, and taking it to huge success is really in the zone.
He knows that when there is a risk to take, to give himself a chance of achieving his dreams, he will find that risky thing and tackle it head on.
As he says in his own words “One of the things that has been huge in my life is “starting over,” or “moving to the next stage.” For me it’s always been much more drastic than most people (moving to a new country, starting a new company with no contacts, etc) — but it help to always keep in mind the following:
“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly”
How The Dots Joined Up For Keith
And with that simple philosophy, he has from his base in Japan become the Founder and CEO of Delfi-Net and Summit Evergreen and created the consultancy business with an appealing tagline “Optimize Your Online Business Intelligently”
So what is it about the start over principal that fills him with delight, when it fills so many with fear?
And does he have a track record of complete success, or like all of us, did it take him awhile to get going and find his thing?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, the one and only Keith Perhac.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Keith Perhac such as:
How surprisingly when you hear about the risks he has taken, he classes himself as risk averse, but a great decision maker.
How he has always enjoyed building stuff and realised that he didn’t like the work he was doing as he had stopped building stuff.
How he is aware that he over thinks things, and lives in the world of procrastination….but is this a strength or a weakness?
How having kids has empowered him to do better work, as he is now focused on getting the work done at key times.
How he knew that he had the mental strength to do a minimum wage job if things went bad, as it would only be a stepping stone to something he wants.
How To Connect With Keith Perhac
Or check out every podcast from our extensive articles here
Full Transcription Of Keith Perhac Interview
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. This is Join Up Dots. This is David Ralph. And I’m hugely excited because we’ve got a guest on the show today that I’ve been chatting to just before hand, I think we’ve connected already and it feels like a lifetime friends. Maybe he’s been drinking already. Maybe I’ve been drinking already. I don’t know. But he’s going to be a good episode today. And it is it’s not a surprise because he is one of those guys who when it comes to starting a business and taking it to huge success is really in the zone. He knows when there is a risk to take to give himself a chance of achieving his dreams. He will generally find that that the risky thing is the thing that he wants to tackle head on. As he says in his own words, one of the things that has been huge in my life is starting over or moving to the next stage. And for me, it’s always been much more drastic than most people moving to a new country, starting a new company with no contacts etc. But it always helps to keep in mind the following whatever a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly I should have done that in sort of Japanese always I think I will think well, what the caterpillar goes the end of the world the master goes a butterfly. And with that simple philosophy has from he’s based in Japan become the founder and CEO of delfy. net and summit evergreen, and created the consultancy business with an appealing tagline. I will teach you to be rich. Sounds good. So what is it about the start over principle that fills in with delight when it feels so many with fear? And does he have a track record a complete success? Or like all of us did it take him a while to get going and find he’s being well, let’s find out As we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Keith Perhac, how are you?
Keith Perhac [2:07]
I’m doing pretty well. Thank you for that amazing intro. I hope I can live up to that one small thing my tagline is not actually I will teach you to be rich. That’s somewhat someone else, but related to me in some vague sort of way.
David Ralph [2:20]
So So how can you throw a little bit of money in my donation?
Keith Perhac [2:24]
No. Now if I can’t, unfortunately, there are certain NDA contracts, whatever that go out that say that I can’t really talk about that kind of thing. But and this kind of leads into another thing you had mentioned when we were talking earlier that really there’s not much about me on the internet. And just as the kind of what we do at my company, we have so many MBAs we don’t really get to talk about what we do. It’s kind of like Fight Club, virtual Fight Club. There’s we don’t get to talk about Fight Club.
David Ralph [2:53]
I never want this to the second row, because I may have punched too many times. I understood it in the first room.
Keith Perhac [3:00]
I think it’s the same rule. I also have been drinking at this point so I’m not really sure but
um, yeah, so so so honestly, thank you so much for having me on the show. No, it’s great
David Ralph [3:13]
to have you on because you are somebody who is a risk taker Are you as well what I’m gonna cut to the chase on this one, what is it about risk that you like? Or do you not consider it a risk or you like other people that
Keith Perhac [3:29]
you are so risk averse I am, I am. I am one of those people that kind of stresses out and tries to take the safer which no one looking at my life would ever think because I have changed where I’ve lived multiple times. After college, I up and moved to Japan didn’t know a single person here just kind of moved here. started a new job new life, start working in a Japanese company. And then after that, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit more detail, I’m sure but and then after that, I just I started my own company. And those are all risky things, right? Yeah, no, most people would look at that and say you hopped on a plane and moved to Japan like what the hell were you thinking? Right? Um, and I think that I’m fairly risk averse. But I guess my lifestyle and my kind of choices I’ve made show the opposite. So So will you risk
David Ralph [4:27]
that this is gonna be a good question. I feel proud of this question before I even say it. But are you risk averse? Are you somebody that is a very good decision maker so you can look at what needs to be done to make that risk less so where some people can are now that’s too big for me. You don’t want Okay, if I do this, I’m gonna do this and I do this man. Okay, I’ll take it down. 50% If I do this, I’m gonna do this. Is it the decisions that you’re very good at?
Keith Perhac [4:51]
I think that is closer to the truth. I it’s not totally risk averse. It’s I’m cautious, right and i When I was growing up, I had a lot of friends. Even through my first business that we were all gung ho, I even I was so gung ho about it all. It’s like, Oh, yeah, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that we’re going to, we’re going to make like $100,000. This weekend, we’re going to do these awesome businesses and everything falls to pot, right. And he tempered me a little. And so when people have amazing ideas and get really, really excited, I’m generally the one in the room who’s like, Okay, this is a really awesome idea, but step back a bit. Let’s step back a bit. Let’s see, is this viable? Is this really what’s going to happen? What are the what’s that worst case scenario, right? And it keeps you from like, when we had our first company dumping $10,000 $20,000 into something that’s not viable, right. And so that’s, I would say, I hedge my bets, rather than being risk averse. In that case. I like to I like to look at what the worst case scenario is. And if that was Worst case scenario is still doable. Let’s go ahead and do it. Right. So it
David Ralph [6:04]
says where do you sort of come from? Because he certainly looks Eastern European to me isn’t.
Keith Perhac [6:10]
It is so it’s interesting. I’m 100% Hungarian, but my family name is checklist avakian and just because of border things, things changing, all through history, etc. And after the war my, my grandparents moved to Canada than America. And then my parents and then me and I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and America, which pretty much middle of nowhere, so it’s a nice town I really liked.
David Ralph [6:39]
Elvis was Elvis
Keith Perhac [6:40]
live there. We had Elvis we have barbecue, some of the best barbecue in the world, I think. And that’s and we have blues, and that’s about it. And so I went from there. I went to college up in New York at a small liberal arts college and studied design and, and programming actually. It’s funny. Since I was about eight years old, I want to be a cartoonist. And until the age of about 2021, or no 2222, I was convinced I was going to be a cartoonist. And that that did not happen, although I still enjoy drawing every now and then. And so so what
David Ralph [7:17]
what is it with you that the fact that you Sabre, but you you wanted to be a drawer? Is it the creativity that you like the fact that you do startups, it’s very creative, isn’t it? You build something and then you almost hand it on. And I’m a drawer and I don’t do it very much now, but if my kids say to me, could you draw so so I go yes. And to be honest, I like doing the faces but I’m not bothered about the bodies so I kind of do a lots of heads and faces and
Keith Perhac [7:43]
the bodies I actually I do the same thing I stop about at the same point.
David Ralph [7:48]
Yeah. And they said to me, You count your body’s like I can draw bodies. I show you a body and away I go but I’ll just get is not an interesting thing, the body, but I find that it’s that creativity. All throwing down on the page and then go and do another one and do another one and just moving on but I like is that how I take it from that first line to an image is that creativity in you is a key point to you how you are so good at doing these startups and creative stuff?
Keith Perhac [8:17]
Well, if I’m good at or not, that’s for other people to decide. But the end whether or not I’m creative, that’s for other people’s I but I do love building. So whether or not I’m good at or not building is what I love doing. I’ve always loved doing it. But I did it when I was drawing I did it when I was building the first company when we were building stuff in the backyard. I’ve been programming since I got I got my first computer when I was like six or eight or something like that. And I’ve always just loved making something from nothing. It’s it’s such an exhilarating feeling, you know, and because you have something let’s say it’s a drawing or even code, you have this blank sheet of paper, and then suddenly an hour, five hours later, you have something that didn’t exist when you started, right? All it did was exist in your mind and you’re able to bring this out, and you’re able to show it to people. And that’s my that’s one of my greatest things and why I love the work that I do so much that I’m getting to build systems and gain to do marketing, I get to do designs and help people sell their stuff. And I get to help other people bring their ideas into reality as well. Right so I don’t get to just build my stuff, but I get to help other people bring their dreams into reality.
David Ralph [9:31]
Now the tagline to the show is joining up our dots connecting our past to build our futures and so many people and I know this is my core audience are looking for something and I thinking I can’t do this for the rest of my life. You know, it might have been good for the first five years but God This isn’t me I want to be doing crazy stuff. I want to do fun stuff. I want to make love on surfboards. I want to do that. That actually sounds pretty good. A BIT bit cold at the moment. I waited. It was was up for that, but but they want to do stuff but I can’t find their thing. Now what we say on the show is your thing is already in you. It’s the thing that you love doing when you as a little kid, you’ve just got to find a way of tapping back into your inner child. And if you were great at Lego and building stuff, when you got to look at things that that tie into that kind of element when money wasn’t a concern, you just love doing the task. And you seem to have tapped into that. And the fact that when you talk about it, you sound almost childlike. You sound like you’re bouncing, enthusiastic, and you can’t wait to do it again. Is that a key thing to you? Do you think that’s true? Definitely.
Keith Perhac [10:40]
You definitely definitely. I do and I’ve been especially for the business recently we we’ve moved in a lot of directions. And part of the main part for the business for me is trying to keep that interest for myself and the team, right and it’s not standing up WordPress site or it’s not like fixing like not being a chop shop, right? And it’s building and it’s creating. And it took me a while to realise why I wasn’t satisfied with the company I had built. Right and then I hooked into that I realised it’s because we’re not building. We’re not working on moving people forward. We’re, we’re fixing we’re like the, I don’t want to say even mechanic, we’re like, that guy in the auto shop was just just like tighten bolts, right? He’s not even a mechanic because he’s not even rebuilding or re fixing or fixing or anything. It’s just kind of Chop Shop work. And we realised that and so we’ve started pivoting the company and moving it towards building and really this idea of helping other people build things and we build things ourselves and we build things that help people achieve their dreams, right. And I’ve been doing a lot a lot of soul searching, I soul searching, it’s sounds so dramatic, but I was just thinking is I have so many interests, they all revolve around that building. But there I have so many interest from programming to design to marketing. And I was thinking about the marketing side of it and was like, why? Where did this marketing come from never formally studied marketing. My mother was VP of Marketing at a very large bank when I was growing up, so I guess it’s in my genes or in my, in my influence, but I was thinking back to when I wanted to be a comic cartoonist. Back when I was 10 years old. I remember this very vividly. I was thinking of ways to sell the comic book before I was actually thinking of any of the characters. Um, I wasn’t thinking of like character backstories what superpowers they had I was like, Okay, if we have like a Where’s Waldo in each comic episode, in each comic book, and we have people find Waldo or whatever the character was, and right in then we can do this campaign and we can get people to buy more books and we can do alternate covers and stuff like that. This was before the whole arto alternate covers boom of the 90s Nice, right? And just looking back on that and and i actually still had some of my drawing notes and stuff. I was like, I’ve been planning out how to sell the comic books more than I cared about how to actually draw them. And that was just really eye opening to me that I’ve always loved doing this. And I just had forgotten. You forget so much about from when you’re a kid, right?
David Ralph [13:24]
Well, you do. And that’s the essence of this show, trying to get us to reflect, taking us back in time for those moments. And, and when you when you were talking about well, you call it Where’s Waldo over here? It’s Where’s Wally. And I don’t really, yeah, that’s why it’s different. But when you look at that, that is such a simple idea. But it’s such a brilliant idea. And it’s the same every single time. Every single page is in a stripy top. Where is it? And if you looked about if you was the creator of fans, and somebody said you got great idea, you draw this picture and you’ve got this little chap in a stripy top, and you’ve got Find him. You kind of think you’ve gone mad somehow but that’s the brilliance of it, isn’t it? It’s the simplicity of it. So when you when you were creating these these cartoons and these characters what what superpowers were you sort of leaning towards what sort of superpowers would you like yourself?
Keith Perhac [14:17]
Ah, Wow, great question. That’s up they haven’t thought about for a long time. With the characters I was creating were very standard. It was the standard Marvel superhero thing. I actually don’t remember what a bunch of them were. I think one was like an acrobatic Wolf Man thing kinda like Nightcrawler Of course you had the guy with the blades in his hands because I loved Wolverine and know that I mean all that said there they were very generic characters. I really don’t stand by my my nine year old cells ability to come up with interesting comic book characters. But what would what superpower would I like you know, I’ve always so this is this goes back to the the cautiousness thing I’ve never thought of like superpowers. Yeah, I’d love a superpower who wouldn’t love a superpower? But I always think of the cautious way. It’s like okay, superpowers don’t come without cost, right? There has to be some sort of give and take for a superpower. So what I would love is teleportation teleportation would be my automatic like this is what I want superpower but I think to myself oh yeah who’s just going to be able to teleport as possible so what if I got tired when I teleported and I got as tired as if I had just jogged that distance right? And so I thought about okay I’ll start building myself and I’m over 20 at this point is when I was thinking this through so this is not like
David Ralph [15:41]
you think you think to
Keith Perhac [15:44]
do I do but but i but i think that also is a benefit especially in the work I do is that I analyse. I analyse too much i think i don’t i don’t know if i think i’m thinking too much. I overthink I overanalyze, but that’s Also good at why I’m good at what I do. Because I do overanalyze to two different audiences. I, I overanalyze to what needs to be done I overthink things. So that when we do build we build something amazing, right?
David Ralph [16:16]
That doesn’t hold you back though that overthinking, because I’m a kind of person that if it feels right, I do it. And I really don’t think about stuff. I just got this sounds fine yet. Let’s do it. And then afterwards, I kind of think, Oh, I should have just come back a bit. I should have kept my mouth shut for five minutes. And that’s, that’s actually one of my superpowers. I’ve always go. I’d like to be able to go back five minutes. And so when I say something, and two minutes later, I think, why did I say that? I could just go back and rewind it and then do it again. And nothing. It wouldn’t change the world. It wouldn’t because you’re always worried about he’s gonna change people’s lives on you is at that time continuum rubbish that people talk about? About five minutes, you’d get away with it, wouldn’t you? So do you think that you actually do need a partner to push You forward Did you have somebody that actually takes your overthinking and throws it out the window and says let’s get on with it.
Keith Perhac [17:06]
Um, to some degrees, I think I tend to overanalyze and overwork things when I don’t. It’s a procrastination. Procrastination method for me. So I find myself I do my research, I do my my background research and all my black background study and stuff when I don’t want to do the real work, right. And so I know I’m procrastinating from work by by working, but for me, it’s more of a relaxing thing. Because there are no deadline. So I try to push myself with deadlines and I try not to let that over. Analysis stop me is one of the main things because honestly, if and this is something we try to teach a lot of our clients when you start over analysing, when you start putting too much stuff up front, you’re never going to get anything done. We work with clients a lot building MVPs, which are called Minimum Viable products, which essentially means what is the minimum amount you can build for for a new product and be able to sell it, right? And what happens and it’s very common in the development world and kind of startup world. But what happens when someone decides to start a new project is they want to put everything into it, because it’s their baby. It’s their labour of love. And they’re like, in order for anyone to ever buy this, it has to have everything, everything under the moon, it has to be able to send email, write blogs, give me massages, tweet, like all this stuff, and they come at it with this huge piece of baggage, this huge overanalyze piece of it has to do all this and they dumped that huge bag on your on your desk and you’re like, well, first of all, there’s no way that it will ever do all of this. Second of all, it will take years to build all this and third of all, when you release it, no one’s going to want it. So what is the minimum what is that core bit that you can take? Remove all that over analysis, remove all the crap And focus in on that one bit that allows you to succeed in your project. Right, whatever that is, if that’s building something, if that’s doing a new podcast doing the writing a book, like there’s so much you can go and there’s so much that can be stopped and destroyed by overthinking. So are we talking about imperfect action? Basically?
Unknown Speaker [19:23]
I think that’s a good way to describe it. Yeah.
David Ralph [19:26]
So is it something that you see time and time and time again, because I’m actually just about to release a product that we’re building and we’re looking for the first of April, and I know what the product is going to be. But we are basically going to release it as as a fully realised product, but will get better as it goes along. Because we know that we just can’t do what we want to do within the time frame. And the keeping, as you were saying that if you get it out, bad times moved on, and so it’s almost a dead product. You’ve got to get it out and my car Who I’m working with keeps on saying, Oh, we got to do this. We got to do that. And I suppose that jumps back to where I was saying before I kind of go, come on. Let’s just do it. Let’s just get it out there, see, see what runs and he saw say, Oh, well, if we thought about this, and we thought about that. So is that something that is a key skill? Would that be a superpower that’s worth having? imperfect?
Keith Perhac [20:21]
imperfect action? Or like, if you could be pragmatism, man? Yeah, that would be amazing. Like,
David Ralph [20:27]
it’d be a very long shirt, though. Wouldn’t that
Keith Perhac [20:31]
all spelled out? It’s on the cape. It’s much easier. It’s just on the cape. But yeah, really, it’s so and it’s so hard to like I do the same thing. We just launched our new new product last week, actually. But it’s so hard when you’re the one. It’s your baby, right? You’re the one in charge. It’s your baby. You want to put all that extra stuff in and it’s so hard to just keep yourself focused on it. And I don’t I don’t know The in and outs of of your product but with the the partner that you’re working with. Are those ideas from your customers? Are those things that your customers have said, if I don’t have this, I’m not going to pay? Or is it stuff that you feel that if you don’t have it that customers aren’t gonna like it? Because those are often two very, very different things.
David Ralph [21:16]
Well, I can tell you and this is an absolute exclusive, haven’t mentioned it on any show. We’re releasing podcast is mastery to teach people how to do podcasting. Now, it’s not a new thing out there. But what we’re aiming for is to focus in on the pain points, the things that I know from my experience of growing this show, if only someone had told me how to do that, it would make it so much easier how to edit and record a show really quickly, not just because a lot of them out there, show you how to edit and record a show. That’s great, but it’s not great. If it’s taking you five hours to do it. What you want to do is do it in five minutes. And so a lot of what we will be teaching up based on the pain points. That’s the key Setting points.
Keith Perhac [22:01]
I think I might have to get a copy of that it took us It took me six hours to edit our first podcast that I did that that was six hours of my life. I will never get back.
David Ralph [22:10]
Three and a half minutes takes me
Keith Perhac [22:14]
now, now I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I think I’m gonna have to pick up a copy of that.
David Ralph [22:20]
They got me first sale, look at that you seem perfect
Keith Perhac [22:22]
actually did and you didn’t need any you didn’t need any of the other features. Right? You just you just
David Ralph [22:27]
sell sell the benefits. And Barry goes.
Keith Perhac [22:30]
Exactly. And that’s one of the amazing things, especially with the internet economy, is that imperfect action? Or that MVP idea? Because, okay, so MVPs make no sense when you are releasing a hardware product, right? I mean, to some degree you can the the iPhone was arguably an MVP when it went out. But you can’t release a widget that only has four, four teeth on it, but say when it needs six, right because it’s really hard to sell the new ones. It’s hard to get the new ones out there and replace it and do all that. is an E book, you just ship a new version, it’s all done software, you just released the new version, it’s all up there and then we’ve got the new stuff. nothing prevents you from releasing as is and then improving as you go on. Because honestly, the improving takes 90% of the time whether or not it’s perfect the first time it goes out whether or not you spent one month or nine months on it, it nine after that the improving and the working on it. And especially Oh Lord forbid, the the marketing, the marketing takes so much more time than any of your upfront time that you spend on it. So why not get something out there that you can quickly iterate on quickly change and see if people are interested if people aren’t interested in Okay, you know, you need to change your positioning and try it again. Right. So it’s obviously something that has
David Ralph [23:47]
come from experience where you the main back was bogged down with perfection at the beginning.
Keith Perhac [23:53]
We’ve done uh, I’ve Yes, yeah, I’m just gonna say yeah, we’ve done a number systems, some go well, some go poorly. Sometimes I’m the one creating the bogged down. Sometimes it’s the clients. And like I said, it’s much easier to tell someone else what they need to cut. It’s much harder to tell yourself, this is what you need to cut, right? You get whenever you’re doing something for yourself, you get those blinders on. Right? And it’s the same with switching a job or any any job advice. It’s so easy for someone else to tell you. Oh my god, you’re in a horrible job. You need to quit go out on your own. It’s not that hard to do A, B, C, D, and you’re done. Look at this. It’s amazing. It’s freeing. And it’s much and that same person who’s saying giving that advice, they’re stuck in their own job and they’re like, oh, man, I just can’t do it. I can’t do it. Right. It’s when it’s you. It’s so different.
David Ralph [24:47]
I lost so I was that man. I used to do that. Yeah, oh, I was still in it. I realised I’d said it too many times and I had to do it myself.
Keith Perhac [24:56]
I was unhappy in my old job for I think a good here. a half, two years before I finally got up the I say I got up the courage to quit. But really we were the company was sold. So I had that tipping point, right. And so and nothing is better to give yourself that push than a tipping point, right. And whether that’s in my case, it was the company being sold or with our latest product that we just relaunched that we just launched. I gave a deadline, I said, we have 50 hours, whatever is done in 50 hours is going out the door. And so we had to make very pragmatic decisions, and 50 hours later we launched. So if you hadn’t got that tipping
David Ralph [25:37]
point in that company, do you think you would have still been there being unhappy?
Keith Perhac [25:44]
That’s a very good question. I think I eventually would have stopped. Um, I don’t know when it would have been and my life would probably be very different right now. If I had stayed on longer, it was actually interesting. So when my company got sold. My boss and I were the two named resources. So it was a is an accurate hire. So they wanted the two of us and that was the whole reason they were buying our company. And I quit. They were very shocked about that. Because they expected to be getting me and they weren’t happy about it, but we kind of we worked out our differences but would I have quit I would have quit eventually because it was just the work was too gruelling. I am even at my old company. I was home at maybe 1130 at night every night. I went to I went to work at about 7am and the company that bought us was about as rigorous if not more. Sometimes people just didn’t go home and I just I couldn’t live like that I had started a new family. I that was another thing that was like oh crap Am I really going to quit my job when I when I have a horrible she I think she was one at the time, a one year old and
David Ralph [26:57]
I don’t think she knows how did you manage to create a new family You’re getting home at half past 11 exhausted. You know, I keep it sort of shady because kids might be listening, but I don’t think I could create a family I just all I want is my pillow and leave me alone Don’t even move near me.
Keith Perhac [27:15]
Yeah, Japan actually has a we don’t have many children we have a population decrease decline problem because of that very fact that people get home too late. Got it 1130 you’re right no one wants to make a kid at 1130 I don’t actually remember I think we we had a holiday
there’s always a holiday that’s the only thing I can actually think of.
David Ralph [27:41]
is the 50 Shades of Grey on holiday isn’t it so you sit there with the paperback and and you look over and you think this is good page 42 never tried this before?
Keith Perhac [27:52]
Yeah, take take notes have a highlighter.
David Ralph [27:54]
Yeah. And away away you go. So it’s funny though, because I know a lot of other podcast is had started zoning in on this fact that when you are going to have a family and you were kind of in mentally go, that’s too risky a time. But that’s actually more often than not, it’s, it’s the time that you kind of think Blimey, I better get going here the, you know, I’ve got a little kick to support here. I can’t just volley around doing what I’ve been doing for the last 1520 years. And if you read the Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich book, there certainly seems to be that stage of life. And also when you’re kind of in your 40s and moving to or 60s between 40 and 60. More men become multimillionaires, because in early years, but I think I’ve got all the time in the world. And when the kids come along, and you’re kind of busy with them, and then once I start to sort of leave you slightly you think, Oh my God, I’ve wasted all my life. I need to get going. I need to get going and I certainly felt that strongly. But I had to get going and I couldn’t remain in what I was doing. It was time to start talking Going to prove myself. So if you go back,
Keith Perhac [29:04]
yeah. And it’s interesting, because right now in this in the startup community, especially in America, there’s really an age bias. Especially like, and it’s really low. It’s like 32, right? And it’s like everyone over 32. Like, what could they possibly give back to society? Shouldn’t they be like venture capitalists or something, right? Like, and it’s very strange, because I actually find that having kids has empowered me to do better work. And that’s for some very specific reasons is, so before I had kids, I could work constantly, essentially, right? Like, I enjoy my work. I love working. I love programming. I love marketing. I love all that fun stuff. And so if you were to ask me, What do you want to do today’s like, I’ll stay up from 7am till maybe 2am. I’m coding. Right? And I had so much time. I had all this time and I was like, is this productive? Is this going to move me forward? The business for now I’m just I’m just screwing around programming something cuz I want to programme it right? I want to build something so I’m just building it, I’m I’ll probably throw it away afterwards or it has no real purpose, right? And having kids means that seven o’clock I wake up, take kids to school back at eight. work starts at eight unless I had any meetings earlier 530 I have a hard stop 530 I stop put kit get kids bed, put kids in Bath, put kids in bed. And then if I still have work to do, I can go back to work but it’s already eight o’clock at that point and maybe I want to relax me I want to have a glass of wine. Maybe I want to, God forbid have some family time, right? And so now I have this specific timeframe of Okay, eight to 530 is the time I get to work. I can’t just screw around on the internet for four hours, because then I’ll have wasted most of my day, right? I can’t just produce Something because I might as well programme it when I could pay $10 and buy the thing on the same thing online. So it’s made my choices much more pragmatic. It’s made my choices much more. I don’t want to say business focus, but if I have a limited amount of time, what should I focus on? So that I make the most out of that time? Right?
David Ralph [31:23]
Yeah, perfect. Yeah, I was in the bathroom this morning, brushing my teeth. And my son was standing beside me, fiddling around with his hair and he fiddled around with his hair forever in a day has to be absolutely perfect. And he said to me, Well, what what you doing today dead. I said, oh, I’ve got five shows. I’m going to record today. And I said, and it’s great, because the time zones, you’re in Japan at the moment. And so that is your evening. So I find a lot of my shows are American based, and they obviously start later in the day. So I record quite late into the evening. And so today I’ve already done three shows and what we now have past 10 In the mornings, I started quite early. Oh, wow. And I said to him today is one of those brilliant days, which I would love to get to when you don’t actually know. But I work for a living dead. But I’m here all the time just kind of being myself because the work has fitted around times that I’m not required. And it’s funny that you say that because my focus is very much on that. And it wasn’t. When I started the show, it was literally 20 hours a day, I was just pushing this boulder uphill. But I can already see the time now that I can structure it so that the kids go off to school, I start recording when they come home. That’s bad. And that’s it, you know, and I think that’s how life should be.
Keith Perhac [32:42]
Yeah. And I remember when I started the company on my own, and I still had that crazy Japanese work ethic. And I remember one week I told my wife, you know, I have a consulting client this week, they booked me for the whole week. You’re gonna have to be a single mother this week. And, like, now think about that. It’s kind of unfair. For me, like I, I don’t want to put my family through that. And I’ve also got, and people think, Oh, you were you had such better work ethic you work so much more that you were so much more productive. I really wasn’t. Right, I can get the same amount of work done now than I did before. Because I’m being much smarter about the work I’m doing. Right? Hmm.
David Ralph [33:22]
Well, I’m gonna play some words now, just because I want to get your flavour on that. But I’m going to come back and carry on to this because I think this productivity discussion that we’re having is, is prime for people starting out in a new adventure. But this is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [33:38]
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 What you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what
David Ralph [34:03]
you love. You’ve done that, haven’t you? I don’t know whether you’ve taken a chance because you’re risk averse. But you are doing what you love. And you are I am. you’re one of those people that almost is having his cake and eat it. You’ve got a lifestyle that you love. You’ve got a family that you love, you’re doing what you love. But you put yourself in that position you made that happen.
Keith Perhac [34:25]
Mm hmm. Definitely. And I, you know, I don’t think that it’s a binary choice. It’s not a binary choice of, oh, if I’m working for someone else, then I’m unhappy. If I’m working for myself than I am, then I am happy. Because there were times when I worked for my own company. That was I was incredibly happy. I was incredibly happy there for about four and a half years. And I’ll get into that in a second because there’s something I want to mention on that. But I also want to say like, just because you’re working for yourself doesn’t mean that you’re going to be happy all the time, like the amount of I have so many great Hair is now because of my my current job because it is much more stressful. I love doing it I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it’s a lot different than going in and having the the salary and doing the same things every day right? Um, but I do want to talk real quick about what I what I feel you need to be happy, especially at like a day job kind of thing. And I feel that you need what you need. There are three things that can make you happy at a job one is that you are paid very well. One is that you have a lot of free time to spend with your family or the things that you want to do. And one is that you really enjoy the work you love the work. And the best jobs have three great jobs have to if you have one, then you probably want to look at another opportunity. And if you have zero games you get out of there. And what has happened with my with my Japanese job is that I had started with all three I love the Work Pay wasn’t so great. But it was good for, for my age range. And I was able to get out there at six o’clock and I was happy. And as time went on the, the money went down a little. Well, the money didn’t go down, but the relative to the number of years I was there, so the money stayed the same. And the time I was working there went up. And I still loved the work. So I was at that I was at one I went from three to two and then I went to one, and then I stopped enjoying the work. And at that point, I was left with nothing. And I was like, Okay, what am I doing here? When I’m not happy? I’m not being paid well, and I never get to see my family like, what kind of life Am I living here? And that’s when I thought I said, Okay, I’m gonna try this out on my own and I fail I don’t fail. I can always go work at McDonald’s. Right? And
David Ralph [36:58]
and you wouldn’t get it There’s nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s is great place because hey, if you weren’t working there, I’d have to wait longer than me burgers. But when you work in a position that has got a certain amount of kudos, that’s a key strength is a mental strength to be able to say, the worst case scenario is I will pick up rubbish we’re living at the worst case scenario, I don’t care. It’s a stepping stone to what I want. And so you felt that strongly.
Keith Perhac [37:26]
I did. I did. And you know, I, this is part of being cautious, less risk averse. I’ve structured my life so that if I needed to, I could survive having a minimum wage job at McDonald’s. I could also work at a at a factory and get off at 430 spend time with the family and do what I love on the side I I have I’ve set up my life so that I don’t need extravagance, right. I don’t need all this extra stuff. I could live on that. I don’t know if it would be tough. It would be like pulling. It’d be good. Pulling toenails at some point, but it is possible. And I structured and that’s kind of what helped me get over that initial hump of Okay, I’m going to try this out. And I was, I don’t think it was luck. I think everything has luck. I’m not gonna say his luck. I’m not saying oh my god, it was so amazing that I did this because I’m so awesome because that’s not true either. Everything is a combination of your environment, and what you put into it and what you have around you. And just like the quote, you said, Jim Carrey said, you can fail at their safe bets, you can fail at what you what you love to do at that challenge. So you might as well take the challenge. You might as well do something that you love, in order to make yourself happy. Give yourself a chance of happiness with your life. Right?
David Ralph [38:54]
Yeah, but I see people and I talked to people and I meet them down the pub and Because I’m involved in this, this sort of environment, I actually have to stop myself doing that. So a live version of the show where people behind me, because I’m very much kind of come on Well, you know, you’re not happy in your job, why are you doing it? You know, let’s get out some exercises. Let’s do this for you. And I know in my heart of hearts, even though I’m sitting there, and I’m telling them what they need to do to at least give themselves a chance, but he will do it for half hour and then go and watch Breaking Bad. And then, you know, I’d meet him up the next time. And I would go, Yeah, well, yeah, I’ve been busy. I’ve had this, I’ve had that and you kind of think, well, No, you didn’t. You made choices to decide not to the busiest people in the world. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. But some people like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, create empires, and other people get through the end of a box set of Breaking Bad. And that’s your decision making, isn’t it?
Keith Perhac [39:55]
Yeah, and it’s an it’s not a and I you know, I think A soft spot from Netflix as well. And it’s funny because I can tell when I’m getting over exhausted and burned out because I’ll start watching a series on Netflix. I never watch TV except when I’m just like brain dead. And I don’t even want to think and then I’ll start watching something but
David Ralph [40:16]
what was what is Netflix of choice? What What do you delve into?
Keith Perhac [40:21]
Um, I watch an entire series. I watch an entire set right now I’m watching once upon a time, which is I I don’t know. Do you guys have that in the UK?
David Ralph [40:30]
Well, we do have Netflix and I’m very much like that. I watch no Telly, but if I do, I will dip into that. But now I haven’t heard about one that the one that did get me was loofa with Idris Elba. Have you seen that? No, it’s on my list. Yeah. It’s about the only thing because I normally start with an episode. And then by the second episode, I’ve lost the will to live and that’s it. He’s gone. And my wife will very much say that then Don’t you want to know what happens? I didn’t really want to know what happened at the beginning. So now I’m two episodes in now. That’s it. Going but Luther has one and that moved me in and I I will promote it to everyone you watch that waste waste days of your life watching Luther.
Keith Perhac [41:09]
I have to also permit promote once upon a time because I not only went to school with the lead actress, but I also was in a play with her so
David Ralph [41:18]
I didn’t find this on the internet. So So what was the name of the actress and what play were you in? And was she any good?
Keith Perhac [41:26]
Yeah, she was really good. She changed her name. I can’t remember her stage name is Jenny Goodwin. And I think she changed it. Jennifer, Jennifer with the G is how she spelling it for once upon a time, but she and I were in Pygmalion so we actually had our horrible English accents going. She had a much better English accent than I did, because I did not listen to the training tape as much as I should have.
David Ralph [41:51]
So did you play Professor Higgins?
Keith Perhac [41:54]
No, I was off ready actually.
David Ralph [41:57]
So I said when you were watching an actress, but you know Are you aware that she’s just making it up? I would think I’d find that very strange thinking. You just saying lines. That’s not what you would normally do.
Keith Perhac [42:09]
I don’t I, you know, I get really wrapped into movies. And I, it’s interesting because I try to, especially if it’s a movie I’ve seen multiple times, I’ll try to find like those little easter eggs or the little, the little parts of the movie that, like, how did they make the scene? How do they structure it, etc. And that lasts for about 510 minutes, and then I just get wrapped up in the story again,
David Ralph [42:31]
but I don’t know if a person as you do the
Keith Perhac [42:34]
same there. Yeah, same thing.
David Ralph [42:36]
Switch off, but it’s so and so. And you actually believe she’s the character?
Keith Perhac [42:41]
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. It also helps. I haven’t seen her in what 20 years but um, but yeah, definitely. There’s there’s just something about it. Like maybe if it was someone that I had a closer intimate relationship with, like maybe it was my best friend or maybe it was my wife. I’d have something different, but even then, I think it would be very similar. My wife actually apparently looks like a Korean actress. And I watched one of the movies and it just felt like the character,
David Ralph [43:12]
right. I was trying to think of any Korean actresses. And this is terrible to say the only picture I had in my head was Jackie Chan. And I thought, Well, hopefully your wife doesn’t like Jackie Chan.
Keith Perhac [43:24]
No. And and he’s an actress not not Korean, not an actress either. He wasn’t like Jackie Chan. Yeah, if my wife looked like Jackie Chan, I think it had some problems.
David Ralph [43:34]
But I think on this episode, I think we aren’t giving a blueprint for success. I think, you know, if we sort of take it back and summarise, number one, we’re looking at imperfect action, create a product or whatever and get it out there. Secondly, we’re looking at productivity. Make sure that you work while you’re energised, and don’t just flog a dead horse until you can hardly move. The next thing I think that we looked at was really Know that yes, it’s okay to sit and watch Netflix, because you know, you’ll come back stronger. And it’s all those kind of elements that when you’re in a startup, you you, you know aware of about you, you do do the stupid hours you do do the trying to make things perfect. You do try and do all those things. Is that what the successful people have the fact that they can kind of go, right let’s create an airline and three weeks later, there’s an airline, is it the fact that they just managed to find people that can make these things happen?
Keith Perhac [44:32]
It now I wish I was that successful? I wish I was a Richard Branson or Steve Jobs. So I can’t really speak to that level. But I did. But I think so it has to do with that. I have two great quotes for that. One is a quote that my friend says he’s a he owns his own business as well. And he said, entrepreneurs are people who can see the world how they wanted to be, can see the world how it is now. See the steps that they need to take to move the world towards that. So there’s a lot of people with ideas who see the world how they want it to be. But they either don’t realise how the world is now or they don’t know the steps to take it there. And same with people who are kind of stuck in that dead end job or that that place that they don’t want to be they see the world as it is now, but they can’t imagine it being better. And what you need you, you have to, you have to, and he call it he’s and I agree, you have to be crazy enough to see that perfect world. It has to be so real to you. This is the world that is going to exist. And here’s how we’re going to push forward to get into that world. And that I think is the most important part is that vision and, but also, the vision is so overused, right? As a word, it’s like, oh, I have a vision. Okay, what are you going to do to get there? Well, it’s a vision. No, no, no, it’s not a vision. It’s a hallucination. If you don’t have steps to get there. It’s not a vision. It’s a hallucination. A vision is a goal of Vision is how it’s supposed to be. And then what are you going to do to get there, right? And talking about to how people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs kind of do this all i there was this great, great story I heard at the microcopy. Europe, which I went to. And the speaker was talking. And he said that Steve Jobs only talked to six people in that company, the entirety of Apple with its thousands of employees, he talked to six people. And he trusted those six people to share his vision to share what he wanted to get done, and to be able to execute it, execute on it, right. So he didn’t have to micromanage every single person that was doing and that’s what you have to do. If you want to be able to build a company of that size that is able to accomplish things like that. You can’t talk at every level, you have to watch the vision you have to know Okay, these are the steps that we’re going to take and you have to be able to delegate that to a small number of people that you trust. They can actually get that done as you would do it right here. It is, it is a giant pyramid scheme. But it’s an effective pyramid scheme, right? We call it a pyramid of power, pyramid of power. You know, I think
David Ralph [47:15]
though that that is, once again, that’s fundamental. When you look at it, take the pyramid, right? You start something and you have a dream, don’t you you had the dream, you’re aiming your your yourself to that top of that pyramid. But if you turned it round the other way, and so you’ve got the pointy bit at the bottom and the wide bit at the top, then it seems more doable because you are moving into more and more opportunities as the pyramid is getting bigger. And I think that works on both ways. I think that if somebody is looking to create a startup, look at the final product, look what you want, but draw in a pyramid with the flat bit that was normally on the ground at the top. That’s your goal. And then start with yourself at the beginning. And when you get that the smallest tiny pointy bit, you haven’t got that much decisions to make because you haven’t got that much room to manoeuvre, then go to the next level, and then go to the next level. And little by little as you move forward, you will find that that pyramid is wanting more people are coming into your vicinity, more decisions are there to be made, because you’ve created that opportunity to move forward. I’ve I’ve just been inspired by a key
Keith Perhac [48:30]
I think I think you’ve been very inspired and inspiring as well. You know, in when people are launching new products, especially in the kind of startup such bootstrapper community, people who are trying to do this without funding we’re just trying to build a new product. they they they talked about customer acquisition as concentric circles right? So you start out with your supporters, the people who you know your friends and you say Hey, would you use this let’s let’s get some people together and they start using you get feedback, then go to the second group which is people That they know or people you don’t know so well and you go to the second group, and that’s maybe 50 people. And then you have these 50 people, and you’ve gotten feedback from them. And then you go from them and say, Hey, who would you recommend this to? And you go up to the thousands of people, and you just keep building and building and building and building on top of that, right? No one launches, and unless you have tonnes of funding and tonnes of marketing, and go, Hey, we have 100,000 people on our first day, no one does that. It’s a process, right? And it’s just like you say, it’s, you take it from that small point, you start at the small point, you say this is what is possible in this small point. Once you accomplish that, you move on to the next point. And suddenly, before you know it, you’ve grown into this big upside down pyramid. I’m spinning top.
Unknown Speaker [49:43]
David Ralph [49:43]
play the theme of the show now because based on is the part that we we basically nicked from Steve Jobs, so I’m going to bring him on the show. He’s going to say some powerful things. And then we’re going to talk about it. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [49:56]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was 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.
David Ralph [50:31]
You know, different animals but in many ways you seem very similar to Steve Jobs, but you You seem to be somebody that’s quite happy to go off the path and see what’s there and create what’s what’s yours. Did you do buy into those words?
Keith Perhac [50:46]
I do. I do. I don’t know if they specifically relate to me. Um, but only because I am very bad at self reflection. Right. I am very bad at understanding who I am is They continually try to fix. But I think that’s very true for, for everything in, you have to trust that there is a meaning. And I don’t want to be religious, less philosophical with it. But you have to trust that there is something that will let you connect back. later on. They’re there. I believe that there is a meaning to life, there is a meaning to what we do. And it’s something that you cannot see going forward. Right? You can, you can only make those connections going back. Because if you’re looking forward, there’s nowhere to make the connections. And what I find a lot of time is that people try to make those they try to force those connections going forward. It’s like, I’m going to be friends with this person, and he’s going to introduce me to this person. Sometimes it works, but nine times out of 10 they see through it, because it’s not real. Right. And I think that’s a that’s an important part is trusting in reality, but also trusting in yourself and being authentic. I think authenticity gets gets a bad rap in a lot of places, but I think it’s very important to and to be true to yourself, not just how you feel, but also what you were talking about earlier. Look back at your childhood, what do you want to do? What do you what is it that you love doing Be true to yourself. And there’s, there’s, I hate using platitudes. They always sound like Hollywood, but I think it is so true that you need to figure out who you are. And you need to act as who you want to be. Otherwise, you’re going to attract the wrong people you’re going to become you’re going to find yourself in the wrong situations, because they’re not true to the life that you want to live.
David Ralph [52:39]
So So what would be your big dot? I asked this question literally to every guest on that Join Up Dots timeline, when you look back and you start connecting your dots. What was the one when you went? Yeah, yeah, that was it. That was the moment.
Keith Perhac [52:53]
I’ve actually had a lot. So if we looked at business, if we looked at business where I am right now Now, the biggest dot was probably taking the Japanese class that I took when I came here. So I was in my second year, and I took a Japanese class. And that’s where I met my best friend, Patrick McKenzie. And he is really the reason why I’m here. He’s the one who inspired me to quit my job. He’s the one who introduced me to my first client. And he’s the one who’s really been an inspiration to me to kind that I could leave the that I could leave this life, right that I didn’t have to be stuck in a job I didn’t like or I didn’t have to be in a company that I didn’t want to work for that I could choose what path I want to take, and he’s, he’s really been instrumental to me being where I am now.
David Ralph [53:52]
And when you look at the life you’ve got in Japan, bear in mind, you’re sort of Hungarian upbringing and all that kind of stuff like the connection That doesn’t blow your mind where you are,
Keith Perhac [54:03]
I would completely blows my mind. It’s it’s really bizarre that I that I am here. I’ve always liked Japan though. I was in second grade, I was checking books out of the library on kanji on the Chinese characters and copying them over and stuff. So I’ve always liked Japan or Asia in general. But if you would have asked me like, hey, do you ever think you’re going to live there now? Never. And did I ever think I’d have a family here and a house and, and my own business here now never. I remember the first night I spent in Japan when I saw I had come twice for study abroad which I mean study abroad, you’re protected. But the first night I moved out here and I was I was in my house and I knew no one. I knew absolutely no one I didn’t know if there was an English speaker within 100 miles of me. And I laid down on the on the mat and the floor and I was like, oh crap. What have I done? Like, and you’re always going to have that fear, you’re always going to have that doubt. But I’m so glad that I made that decision. Like I wouldn’t give up. You know, people always say, Would you ever change something you did in the past, and I wouldn’t change anything I ever did in the past, because it would, who knows how it would affect my future. Like, there are things I wish I hadn’t done. There are things that I that I’m embarrassed of, or that I’m ashamed of. But those worked to make a better me, they work to make the me that I am now. And I wouldn’t change anything because I love the life I’m living, even though sometimes I’m very stressed out by various things. I love the life that I’m living now. And having changed any of those dots means I would be living a different life.
David Ralph [55:49]
Absolutely. Well said. Well, just before I send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, I think that the key question and I think it’s a question that really needs to be posed to you was was My Japanese accent at the very beginning of the show was that was that spot on? Did did I sound like a master?
Keith Perhac [56:08]
sounded like a like a kung fu master? Yes, I’ll put it that way.
David Ralph [56:12]
Well, that’s what I was aiming for. So I got mad.
Keith Perhac [56:16]
It was spot on.
David Ralph [56:19]
Well, this is the part of the show when we’re going to send you back on time because this is the Sermon on the mic. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young key, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you out. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [56:39]
Here we go with the best of the show.
Keith Perhac [56:58]
So this is our Message pretty much for all ages, especially in college. The the number one thing that you need to remember is that it doesn’t have to be perfect that it just needs to get out there. So you looked at, you know, you always had that comic book you wanted to put out and you worked on it worked on it, Keith, you rewrote it four times you read through the whole damn thing. Four times never submitted. It never did anything. You know, Aaron, he submitted his his comments weekly, since he was 12. And he got he got his job as a cartoonist. He’s doing animation now and he loves it. And while you’re not going to dislike the life that you’re going to have, the one thing that you need to remember is to follow through and just do it. You always leave things at 90% and you need to take it to 100. If you don’t take it to 100, they’re never going to get done. They’re never going to go out the door. So that’s my advice to you. Just do it. Get it done. Get it out there. stop procrastinating.
David Ralph [58:05]
Can you How can our audience connect with you sir?
Keith Perhac [58:09]
best way is on Twitter, I suppose. Twitter or email or you can find me on my, my company website which is delfy. net com d e l f i hyphen net.com. And on Twitter, I am it’s Japanese. How do you send bomb 79 H, ri es E and B o n 79. And it’s funny because everyone who reads that thinks My name is Harris and bone. I’ve had multiple people say hi Harris. How are you? And I just I have no idea where they get that from.
David Ralph [58:47]
You see, every superhero has an alter ego and that could be your one
Keith Perhac [58:51]
that I I’m going to get a mask that says Harrison and I’m gonna wear that around probably.
David Ralph [58:56]
Yeah, just run around with your cape flying behind. That would be
Keith Perhac [59:00]
like cape with pragmatism man and my mascot says Harrison bone. I’m think I’m set.
David Ralph [59:05]
So you found your thing you have found your thing. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build a futures. k Thank you so much.
Keith Perhac [59:21]
Thank you so much, David, you have a good day.
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