Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Brendan Hufford
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Introducing Brendan Hufford
Brendan Hufford is todays guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He is a man who is rocking and rolling in his life and doing something that we talk about time and time again on Join Up Dots.
He is a man working on the slide of faith, building up momentum and profile in his life, as he works towards his big goal.
And that is going to be the part that will interest me, as this guy has become a friend to me, and I have no idea as to what his big goal is ultimately going to be.
Starting his career as a Teacher for Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, he has a history of teaching and coaching, and is now the Assistant Principal in Gary Indiana.
But behind the scenes, he was finding time to build his own company OK! Kimonos, where he sells a wide range of merchandise linked to Martial Arts
How The Dots Joined Up For Brendan
But believe me if you think that you haven’t got time in your life to do what you want to do then this guy will make you reassess your own efforts.
He is working full time, training, running GiReviews.net, writing for Jiu Jitsu Mag, running Ok! Kimonos, writing guest posts,and running his own wildly successful podcast “Entrepreneurs And Coffee podcast”
So how does he do all this?
How does he manage to pack so much into his life and still have time for his wife and kids, and of course for himself?
And does he see all the different areas pulling together, or will he have to make the decision to focus in one thing or the other?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Brendan Hufford.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Brendan Hufford such as:
How he sets his days up every morning, with a fixed set off routines, positive reaffirmations, and meditations and believes it has been a game changer. for him
How he never gets fed up with receiving emails and confirmation from people across the world who have connected with his work.
Why so many of us will look at market place and be frightened by the competition, where in fact the competition should allow you to see the potential.
Why “Multiplicity with Michael Keaton” is a great insight to the mistakes we all make in business by focusing in on the quantity and not the quality
Why we should all read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, which is a life changing experience for so many reasons.
How To Connect With Brendan Hufford
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Brendan Hufford Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro check us out now. podcasters mastery.com.
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 [0:37]
Yes, I’m over everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots. This is Episode 373. And of course, this is David Ralph. And we got a great show today because we’ve got a gentleman who really is more than a guest. He’s a friend and I remember when I first started getting Join Up, Dots going he was one of the first kind of guys who connected and said some nice things, and I was some sort of talking stuff for myself. If I ever get a chance to get him on my show, I’m going to do it. Well actually, he went even more than that and got his own show. And I’ve been on that already. So it’s, it’s a great connection that we’re building. And he’s a man who is rocking and rolling in his life and doing something that we talk about time and time again on Join Up Dots. He’s a man working on the slide of faith, build up momentum and profile in his life as he works towards his big goal. And that’s going to be a big part of that will interest me today as this guy, as I said, has become a friend to me. And I actually have no idea as to what his big goal is ultimately going to be. Now starting his career as a teacher for fear Bowman Leadership Academy. He has a history of teaching and coaching and he’s now the assistant principal get him in Gary, Indiana. But behind the scenes, he was finding time to build his own company, okay kimonos, where he sells a wide range of merchandise linked to martial arts. But believe me, if you think you haven’t got time in your life to do what you want to do, and this guy will make you reassess your own efforts. He’s working full time training, running gi reviews, net writing for jujitsu made running okay kimonos writing guest posts and running his own wildly successful podcast, entrepreneurs and coffee. So how does he do all this? How does he manage to pack so much into his life and did have time for his wife, kids? And of course for himself? And does he see all the different areas putting together or will he have to make the decision to focus in on one thing or the other? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Brendan Hufford. How are you Brendan?
Brendan Hufford [2:32]
Fantastic today, David, thank you so much for having me on.
David Ralph [2:35]
You must be a man on drugs to be honest, because it’s like two o’clock in the morning your time and you’re up. You’re ready to go. You literally because I know because we do connect. You literally can can survive on like no sleep. You’re like a podcasting Terminator.
Brendan Hufford [2:52]
Yeah, I mean, we were kind of joking about it. But when the kids go to sleep, I go to sleep. So I try and get as much is humanly possible, but I also try and get up as early as humanly possible as well. Why?
David Ralph [3:05]
Why? Cuz I went through a little phase of it trying to do that. And I just thought to myself after Well, I’m just going to work harder during the day, and instead of spreading my day longer, so why do you do that?
Brendan Hufford [3:17]
Um, I really believe in giving the best that I have to the work that is important to me. And by work, I don’t just mean like my job, I guess I kind of defined work as what I put into the world. And I think that when you first get up in the morning, you have I, I’m sure there’s science behind it. But I think that’s when you’re your sharpest. And that’s when you’re your best. That’s when your body is the most rested, it’s going to be all day. And by doing the most important work that I have to give the world first, I’m able to give it my best effort. So I get up as early as possible because that gives me more time to give that best effort before my wife and my son get up and before I have to go off to my job.
David Ralph [3:59]
You don’t Do best effort at two o’clock in the morning Do you surely you must get up and walk around the house scratching yourself and getting a cup of coffee and stuff and just wishing you back in bed, don’t you?
Brendan Hufford [4:10]
I you know what I know that sounds insane. But I get up I guess I go to bed. I go to bed every day with a smile on my face because I know the next thing that happens is I get to get up and work. And I wasn’t always this way. I guess I was kind of nurtured away from it. Right. I was nurtured in a very traditional like a set the alarm, hit the snooze button five times. And then I think probably within the last couple years, I was introduced to a couple people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Pat Flynn that really got me excited about my business. And then really in the last maybe six months, I was introduced to a guy named Hal Elrod who has a book called The Miracle Morning and now I have a very strong and solid morning routine that I do every single morning with almost without fail and it gets me really primed and ready to go during the day. So I get up and the first thing I see on my phone when my alarm is going off is a picture that says you have to want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, which is a quote from a guy named Eric Thomas, who I really, really like. And I feel very strongly that’s the attitude that’s the first thing I have to think and feel when I start my day and I really take that attitude on and it’s like, Do I want this more than I want to breathe? Because if I don’t, then it might not work.
David Ralph [5:31]
And then do you set your stall down the night before as well? Do you sort of because I know some people will read something so their subconscious starts working on it before they go to sleep and they wake up already an inspired
Brendan Hufford [5:45]
you know, I have to go to bed with a very clear mind or else I can’t. I can’t go to sleep very easily because my brain is constantly going and thinking and a million places all at once. So I have to be kind of Just when I go to bed, I go to bed I don’t read before I go to bed, I don’t watch the videos or, you know, watch TV before I go to bed. I just like my bedroom. It’s something I don’t know where I got it. But I make sure that my bedroom is a place of sleep. So when I’m in there, I’m ready to go to sleep and go to bed. Versus like a place of like, All right, I’m gonna go in here and watch TV for a couple hours or something.
David Ralph [6:23]
You know, when you started off saying, when I go to bed, I go to bed with a smile on my face. Just for a moment. I thought, oh my god, where’s he going with this conversation? But, but it didn’t go well. I thought it was gonna go back. Thank God for that.
Brendan Hufford [6:39]
I mean, when I also say my bedroom is not a place of entertainment. I was like, ah, I don’t know what I mean. That’s marriage, isn’t it? That’s marriage.
David Ralph [6:45]
I’ve got a little thing by the side of my bed, but actually, it’s a coaster that you put your cup of tea on. And it says I think it’s by TS Eliot. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can Go. And I look at that every morning when I’m getting out of bed. And that’s my little sort of inspiration to go. Yeah, I don’t know where these journeys going. But you’ve got to keep them walking on it, haven’t you?
Brendan Hufford [7:11]
Yeah, I think things like that, you know, I don’t I think David you and I and probably everybody listening we don’t need a tremendous amount of external motivation but I think quotes and things like that really help us focus what we already have into something a little more meaningful just instead of being this like chaotic energy.
David Ralph [7:28]
So so let’s stop really delving into your your life obviously we’ve talked about your your sleeping and your extra marital habits and all that kind of stuff didn’t quite get there but still, but I’m you what, what you enjoy most because you’ve got so many things going on. Is it the sort of the new baby but really feels your passions up isn’t that the entrepreneurs and copy podcast, which is a great show, if anyone hasn’t listened to this, go over to iTunes and look for the thing that looks like Starbucks, and then you’re straight in there.
Brendan Hufford [8:00]
Awesome. Yeah, they can I made it real easy. They can just if you go to E and coffee.com it’ll open it right in iTunes. It sucks. I always felt entrepreneurs wrong. Every time doesn’t always drop the second or it doesn’t matter.
David Ralph [8:13]
That’s American and he can’t spell
Brendan Hufford [8:16]
it. Right doesn’t auto correct. It just fixes it for me. Um, I think what I enjoy most in life is a couple of things. Honestly, with my son like, it’s making him like it’s making them laugh. That’s my favourite sound in the whole world is my son laughing. And I know that sounds so silly, but it drives me in a way that I’ve never I would never have imagined that would have been driven before I had him. You know, I’d already started my business and I was already hustling and it’s already getting up super early. But I think when we had him, I realised that I don’t want it’s part of why I get up early. I don’t want to miss my time with him. And I don’t take and I’m very grateful. Part of my morning routine is doing gratitude journal and I don’t want to waste because I don’t know how long I have with him. Just being very honest. I know that’s kind of morbid and stuff, but you never know. And I think taking every single day and every single moment and wanting to be wholly present, and not have to go off to a job. You know, David, one of the one of the times I knew that I this path in life of teaching and being a principal wasn’t for me was I got to work. And I saw that my wife was calling me on FaceTime on my phone versus just like actually calling me and I was like, Why is she facetiming me? And my son, she turns it on. My son is just sobbing, wondering where the heck I went. And he’s like, no work, no work, dad. And he like he said it to me a couple times since then, like he just hates that I go to work. And I’m like, I don’t want this to be his experience. Like I want to be able to work when I want work, and not when somebody else tells me that I have to. I think that’s really why I’m doing Yeah,
David Ralph [10:05]
I think that is brilliant. But I will say to you, Brendan, as a father, you’re absolutely right. I know you sounded movie, but you haven’t got your son for very long. Because when they’re little, they literally want to follow you into the toilet or the garriage. or wherever you’re going. They want to be dad, and my son now Who’s 13? I can’t get him off his Xbox. I say to him, come on, Dan, let’s go off to the movies. Let’s go to the pictures or something. Now, so I’d rather stay here so you don’t really have that time very long before they start finding their own feet and becoming miserable.
Brendan Hufford [10:43]
I can’t wait. You know, I’ve been working with high schoolers for the past almost near decade. So I’m sure that I’m I’m a little bit prepared, but you’re still never prepared to come home to it. Right. It’s where you work and it’s the people you work with, but I’m sure it’ll be a whole different beast when I get to come Holding to that.
David Ralph [11:01]
So So do you look at your job now as something that holds you back from your, your, your true passion do you do you look at it as something that is bringing in income which is allowing you to do this. But while you’re there, your mind is actively thinking about other stuff that is more exciting, a more, more entrepreneurial.
Brendan Hufford [11:22]
I mean, I think part of my DNA is to be very entrepreneurial. So I think it’s hard to do things that aren’t I’m constantly injecting things that I’ve learned in business and things that I’ve learned, just I don’t know that I’ve read or seen or heard somewhere. And I’m trying to put that into my my work, right. And like, for instance, in my art class, we have these tall tables. And I talked to the art teacher and I’m like, What if we got rid of the chairs for a week? What if we effectively made the art room standing desks? And he’s like, I would we do that? I’m like, Look, here’s all These studies that explained why standing desks are better for kids. And here’s why I think they’re better and all everything else, we got rid of them. And he noticed that like discipline issues went down, kids were more focused kids were more excited in class, all these different things. And I’m like that that’s really cool. But that was something you know about standing desks that I had learned on my own, and something that I had put into practice in my own kind of home office. So I’m constantly my brains constantly working in that way. But my goal, David, when we talk about where I’m headed with things, I don’t know where I guess God is going to lead me with all of this, but my goal is to put myself in the greatest possible place of service. That’s what I want out of this and I don’t know where that place is or where it’s going to be. But with regards to my job, my current job, I, I do feel that I can only be of so much service when you get into the bureaucracy of everything and the rules and stuff like that. So I think that my business my Kind of entrepreneurial side of things will put me in a greater place of service. So it does hold me back a little bit.
David Ralph [13:07]
I think it must hold you back a lot, because I know that I went on a slide of faith for many years. And when you find something that really ignites you, and makes you want to do it, you want to do it all the time. And when you’ve still got those responsibilities, and you’ve got to go off and do other stuff. I look back at my time now and I wasn’t operating at full pelt. I felt like I was I was doing the do, but my mojo had gone because it wasn’t exciting anymore. The next stage of your life is exciting, the one that you’re in control or the one that you’re trying to create new income streams and, and, and flexibility of time and all that kind of stuff. So it has got to hold you back, isn’t it in the long run, you will get to a point where you go, it’s now or never I’ve got to do something.
Brendan Hufford [13:54]
Well, let me give you an example. Like we I think, David we’re in the business of changing lives like, wouldn’t you agree one of the best things in the world that you get is an email or something from somebody who’s listened to your show? And is like, David, this changed my life. Here’s what I heard. And here’s what I did in my life. It’s different now because of something you made. Like, isn’t that the best?
David Ralph [14:17]
It’s brilliant? Yeah, I love it.
Brendan Hufford [14:19]
And when you’re teaching when you’re working in a school, like I said, I’ve been, I’ve been there almost a decade. And I think that I’ve had that experience one time, and I’ve really worked my face off to try and do that. And one time a young man came back, he left and he’d gone to college for a year and he came back on break, and he came into my room. And he’s like Mr. Hufford, I just want to thank you for everything in high school. He’s like, you know, you didn’t know but like, you were very much like a father to me. And I was like, wow, you know, this was a younger man. And I was like, I didn’t really understand what that even meant. And I was like, wow, that’s incredible. And a couple years later, that kid had some sort of health problem, like a heart problem. And he actually passed away like, at school at his college. And I was like, That’s insane. But like I had that kind of impact on him. And that meant the world to me, because now nobody else gets to have that kind of impact on him. And it was so powerful for me, and it really drove me and I really tried to work super hard. And I felt like the harder I worked, the worse things got. And I was like, This isn’t where I’m meant to serve. I guess I felt like I was kind of a square peg trying to fit in the round hole. And I was like, This isn’t this isn’t the spot for me. It’s not bad. I’m not dogging working in education because I love it. I’m a teacher, by trade and by nature, and I just felt like this is not where I can be of the The best service to people. Do you know what I mean? David,
David Ralph [16:02]
I know totally what you mean. And I was assessing my own life as he was talking did you feel when? Because I mean a real big stage at the moment with the show that it became too sloppy. And I was literally slogging, I was still enjoying it. I was still, you know, loving every moment of it, but it just seemed too hard. So now I’m very focused on trying to look at why it was so hard it was I doing the wrong things was either round peg in the square hole. So do you think that is something that people should be aware of when there’s so much effort going into getting something going, but somehow you’re doing slightly wrong?
Brendan Hufford [16:40]
Absolutely. I think there’s a number of practices that you can find will add a lot of benefit to your life and also will let you know when there’s kind of a red flag when something is up like for instance, every one of those for me, is meditation. I meditate every morning for 10 minutes. And what I found is that when my life is a little off, I can’t focus, I can’t meditate. I’ll try. But my brain would go a million different directions, and I’m incredibly distracted. And the thing is, I guess what I’ve realised is that when that happens, I need to sit down and I need to get really introspective. And I need to look at what’s going on in my life that’s taking me off balance. What is difficult? Where am I kind of out of congruence with my nature, or my, you know, my beliefs in my ethics? Am I off a little bit is something else external going on? And when you kind of do that audit, when you notice something’s up and you do that audit, and it could be a lot of things, it could be you can’t sleep, it could be you can’t meditate, it could be you’re not present, when you’re with your family. You know, all of those things are red flags for me personally. And when that happens, and I do that I notice something’s up and I can then address it. What do you think it was for you in the show that kind of made Like that,
David Ralph [18:00]
I think basically, I slightly forgot of the value I was providing. And it I got to the hundredth show. And we’ve now gone to three days a week. So I’ve got to the anniversary that the 360 Big Show. And I wrote out to all my listeners and said, What would you like from the second year of the show, and they came back big time and said, We want less content, we want less content, we want to really delve into it more than getting a show every single day and drinking from the fire hose is what they said. And since then it’s become more enjoyable again, because I’m looking at different ways of providing more value. And we’re going to do bonus shows and shorter shows and different things. And it’s become fun because I can see that there is an ability to become creative, where for a while, I was just churning it out churning it out. It was a conveyor belt. And hopefully when you listen back to the shows, it sounds like I was enjoying all of them because I do when I press record, I am Joy, every single conversation that I have. But it made me realise that every part of your journey, you’ve got to look and think to yourself, number one, is is taking up too much time is too much effort. And number two, ask your audience, ask your listeners what they want. And I don’t think we do that in business somehow. I think we’re so programmed to provide it one way, but we miss a trick. And that’s what I did. If that makes sense, Brandon.
Brendan Hufford [19:28]
No, it makes total sense. I was talking to somebody that I’m coaching right now last night. And we were talking about where his business is headed and stuff. And I said, well, so where do you think it’s headed? And he started listing out products. And I just asked him, I said, Well, does anybody want this stuff? And he’s like, Yeah, I think so. Well, do you know, he was like, I don’t know. Well, let’s not waste our time on this. Let’s make sure you know, there’s ways now with the internet and like you could even go super old school and just I mean, the old school way of doing things. David is just if you let’s say you wanted to make something I don’t know, out of coconut oil or something, and just go stand in a health food store and just ask people where they have coconut oil like, Hey, what do you guys think of this? You know, you could spend a whole day doing that and do just a very low tech gorilla market research. But I don’t think people ask anybody they just they’re like, well, I like this. And this is what I think so every but surely everybody must think this way. You don’t trust eg knows Kenya, you can’t trust your own genius.
No, you really can’t. And you’ll end up spending a lot of times, especially if you’re somebody like you and I, David or the people listening that are makers that like to make things that help other people or make things other people like you can’t always you know, I think it’s a good start. And that’s usually where we all start. It’s where I started with entrepreneurs and coffee. I think that’s where you started with your show. I think that’s where I started with even Okay, kimonos. But eventually it’s like, well, I want to make things that make other people happy. I don’t want to just make things I like. So let’s ask, you know, I did that with my jujitsu company, I found out that people wanted me to make a couple of things that I a couple pieces of apparel that I’d never made before. And I was like, All right, we’ll give it a shot. And it turned out great, because that’s what my audience wanted. That’s what my fans who people who are genuinely my friends wanted to buy for me. So who am I to say, No,
David Ralph [21:28]
in many ways, business is easy, isn’t it? Especially with the internet nowadays. And when it is one of those things is the learning curve. When you perceive through the learning curve, you look back on certain stages, and you think, what was I thinking I could have done that so much easier. But the easy way is to ask people who’ve already done it. And I mentioned that constantly that if somebody has got a business idea, and I get loads of sort of emails come through to me people say, what do you think of this? What do you think of that and more often, when I go back to them and go, to be honest, I haven’t got a clue. Have you? Have you looked on online? or other people selling it? Have you spoken to people? Have you reached out to somebody that is selling it online and ask them quite honestly, you know, what’s their market? Are they making a living out of it, all that kind of stuff? because somebody’s ideas sort of thrown in front of me. I just beyond bizarre, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make money on it. You just need to ask somebody who’s already making money on it, don’t you?
Brendan Hufford [22:30]
Well, I think it comes down to your mindset. You know, David, I think one of the things that really holds people back is they’re like, they see a bunch of people doing something. They see a bunch of people operating in the space, and they’re like, oh, that place that that market is already saturated. I can’t do that now. And I think that’s a big mistake. And I think we talked about a mindset of scarcity and a mindset of abundance. You know, it would have been very easy David for you to go, oh, there’s already enough podcasts out there. They don’t need me the saturated there’s too many They don’t need another one. So I won’t make that. And what a disservice that would have been to, to not just the podcast listening community, but also the world, like what about the people who are going to listen to your show, and then go make a difference in the world. that’s hugely important, you have an obligation to make that thing for everybody else. But if you let that hold you back, if anything, and this is something I’m a huge advocate of, if you don’t see anybody doing what you want to do, like you’re genuinely disrupting, and you’re doing something completely new, I would be very nervous. Like, that’s a lot scarier than going into a market where people are already proof. You know, that proof of concept is already there, doing something genuinely 100% new that’s never been done in any way before. It’s scary, because there might be a reason that nobody else has done that. Maybe people have tried and it’s not a good idea. So it’s actually less scary to do something that you already see done out there than to try something completely new.
David Ralph [24:00]
But the way to do it is find a market that’s already got people there. But do it your own way. That’s the key thing, isn’t it? And
Unknown Speaker [24:08]
I totally agree, we see it time and time again
David Ralph [24:11]
in this environment that people are replicating already successful shows. And when you listen to them, they’re not very good because I just replicating what’s already out there. And the reason that that person’s done quite well with the first show was because it’s their thing by do it in a inauthentic way. Now, I’ve sort of used to talk about this a lot. But when I launched the show in my head, there was only four other shows I was competing against now, honestly, is about hundred thousand. I don’t know what it is. But I had these four shows, and I thought I can beat them. I can beat them. And I’m still trying to beat them now, but it was that kind of that smaller market that I was going after, but do it your own way. Get that idea. It’s already out there. Great. But do it your own way. Don’t replicate because replication Just dilutes. It’s like that film to remember that Michael Keaton film multiplicity
Brendan Hufford [25:07]
I know of it. I think that’s the one where he’s like he keeps like multiplying, but they keep getting dumber.
David Ralph [25:13]
Yeah, that’s, that’s right is exactly the same way. So he he makes a copy first of all and the stories if anyone hasn’t watched multiplicity get on Netflix or go to your local DVD store if I DVD stores still exist now and get this film because it’s great. And it’s like what we’re talking about now with Brendan, he has mastered his time so he can put so much in his day, but so many of us can’t. But Michael Keaton is running a business, and he’s a builder. And so basically when he is doing one job, he’s not somewhere else. So he thinks himself. Would it be great if I could clone myself? And he vines is this, this clinic that can do this. And so they they clone him. And the very first clone is good because it’s direct from the copy exactly like you use a photocopier. You put it in, and it’s good quality. But then the next one goes from the clone and not from the original one. And it gets dumber and Dumber and Dumber, until the last one is like a monkey basically. And he’s really stupid and just running around out of control. And that’s how I see business. People get an idea. It’s a great is a powerful idea. But then they kind of get diluted, diluted, diluted to the point that it’s just not what people want. People want the authentic and original content Dudley bring them.
Brendan Hufford [26:32]
Well, I mean, think about something I’ve talked about a lot of my podcast and I’ve fallen victim to it as well, David, like, you’re just simply retreating somebody else. You’re doing effectively like the business version of That’s what she said. And it’s like, that’s, that’s not a funny joke after a while, like it’s overplayed and even a retweet. Like that’s really great that 4000 people have retweeted it, but you’re really just saying exactly what the first person said. And I think it comes down to developing your your USP, your unique selling proposition, you know, what is your differentiator? What makes you different? And what makes you special like David to you what, what makes your show different and special from everything else out there? I think it’s pretty much when I go off on tangents a bit like that multiplicity business
David Ralph [27:21]
where, you know, when my brain goes into a flow, I, I can go, yes, I can see where the connection there. But more often than not, it’s not until I finish it, but anybody else can see what the connection is. It’s just me going on a little rant. And I listened to many shows. And there’s not many that spend their time talking about Indiana Jones and Rocky and films and sort of pop culture like I do, because that’s what I’m infused by. That’s what I’m passionate about. So that’s what I did. And I just threw it into the mix. So it is literally It’s me, Brendan, if we weren’t recording now and we was having a conversation, it would still be the same not any different. And I think that’s makes my show slightly more unique, but it’s not structured in any way. It’s, it’s a free flowing conversation.
Brendan Hufford [28:08]
That’s one of the things I love too is that just this refusal to format, and it’s something I’m moving away from in my show as well, like, I used to script out everything and it was very, like, you know, looking for good radio like, here’s my question that given answer, maybe I go a different way with something. But I had ideas written out. And I’m moving you know, the show I did with you on entrepreneurs and coffee was the first one where I literally, literally did not have any script. I had a bunch of ideas and things I thought were cool. And I’m like, we’ll get to these how we get to these. And if we don’t, we don’t and you want to
David Ralph [28:43]
tell me to Tuesday, Brendan, I remember you doing this. This is how best and he said, ladies and gentlemen, yeah, this might be the best or the worst show I’ve ever recorded. What a way to Someone on
Brendan Hufford [29:03]
talking about me, but it didn’t sound like hey, thanks, Brendan. That was really, um, I don’t know what that was. And I was like, Oh, that was kind of rude. So I, I think and what’s so cool, David, I guess this is now my chance to tell you I think that was one of the best one. And I love that when I look at the, in the shows that I listened to, on a regular basis, whether it’s Join Up Dots, whether it’s the gently mad with Adam Clark or the Tim Ferriss show, I find that the trend is that these shows tend to be just a conversation, a very interesting conversation that I would enjoy if I was driving to work, or working in an office. And I was listening to a podcast, these are the people I would like to have sitting around me, these are the people I would This is my carpool to work every day. And that’s exciting for me like what if I got to you know, David, I know we’re super far away from each other, but what if we Got to drive to work together every day, we would have super interesting conversations. And that would be a lot of fun. And I think that’s the allure of podcasts. That when it’s just a strict interview in the format is the same every single day. The thing is with podcasts, we don’t have a very good metric yet. But on a blog, this would be kind of or if you had an app, this would be churn. Like, yeah, we have a lot of listeners. Yeah, we’re doing really well. But the churn is super high. And I think in podcasting, we don’t realise that, that shows that have the exact same format every single time over and over again, tend to probably have a very high churn rate where they don’t have those dedicated listeners, because you just can’t listen to the same thing. For 374 episodes. You know what I mean? I know exactly what you mean. Yeah, and
David Ralph [30:48]
I’m gonna bring some words in now and only pay these a little bit earlier, but I think these are kind of key to where we are now about doing the thing that’s right view finding your thing. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [30:59]
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 [31:25]
Now, he says, you might as well take a chance at doing what you love. But in our conversation, are we pretty much saying you might as well take a chance at being totally authentic, enjoying yourself and just going for it just doing something that really is what Brendan was put on this planet for? Definitely.
Brendan Hufford [31:45]
And I think that kind of starts with doing a search of what what am I here for, and being very concerted, not just googling, not just reading, not just drinking from the fire hose of the internet. Like there’s a lot of resources out there that are really directed towards What are my gifts? And what am I passionate about? Because just like with just being a teacher, with learning styles, how people learn best, what they found is that often self reported learning styles are wrong. You know, people saying, Well, I’m a visual learner, well, I need to know like, that’s how maybe how you enjoy learning. But that’s not how you learn best. And the thing is, with your gifts, often, this is why they tell you to ask other people what your gifts are, because you can’t self report that very accurately. And I think by finding your most authentic self, like who knew that I would enjoy podcasting, and that would be an effective way to for me to communicate story. To communicate with an audience, I would have had no idea but by doing kind of a search and looking at where I was good, I think about teaching. I like explaining things I can break things down pretty well. I like telling stories that make things relatable with turns out that’s exactly what podcasting is. Since it’s teaching, and when you’re a decent teacher, when you have some chops at that, it turns out that it translates really well into podcasting. And I think if you do that, I guess let’s start first, when you are willing to do that kind of search and you’re allowing your paradigm your worldview to be moulded and be shaped, and not be Jim Carrey’s father who just didn’t have that as a part of his worldview, then you can really do something amazing. I think you can, I guess I kind of agree as well that like you can be just as unhappy. You can be just as broke and just as unhappy doing something you love. And I know a lot of people listening are going to say, Well, I have these responsibilities. I’m a father, and a husband, or a wife, and I have all of these things a mom, you know, I guess we all do have responsibilities. But all that means is that maybe it takes a little bit longer. Maybe things go a little slower, but I think David You would agree that when you see progress down that path, it makes trudging to that job every day, it makes doing the hard things that you’re not super passionate about a little bit easier because you know, you can look back and right, let’s make it that into this, you can look back and see the job, the dots joining up towards something that is meaningful for you. So it makes it a lot easier.
David Ralph [34:24]
I recently hired my first VA, and for about three weeks, I had this guy working for me, and I’ve now got rid of him because I found it easier actually to do the stuff myself, then keep on getting him to do it. And it was quite difficult. But it made me realise that there are certain times with anything that if you work harder at it, ultimately you find that easy spot within that. And when you are an entrepreneur and I see this time and time again and I’m going to ask you a question actually moment and Brendan, it’s just popped into my head. So if I don’t get to it, you remind me on it and there’s certain times an entrepreneurial route that you start off on it because you think you’re gonna have all the flexibility to have pub lunches in the afternoon. And you’re going to be able to spend time with your kids. And you don’t see any of them because you’re just slogging slogging slogging to try to get it going. But then there comes a point where you suddenly realise you’ve got all the time in the world because your efforts have been rewarded. Then you struggle to fill up that time again with something else. And that is when the opportunities come your way because you’ve got that flexibility. Do you think that you’re going to get to that point where you’re literally going, yes, that’s working really well, that’s working really well. I’m gonna do something else or would you then be walking around fields and playing with your kid and really having me time?
Brendan Hufford [35:44]
Well, I guess I’ve never really experienced that. I tend to just by default, look for the next thing. But I think I pivot and I look for the next thing when I when I realise when I come to a point in business or I come to a point in a project where I’m like, this is not that this is not going to be the thing. This is not going to be the thing that takes me all the way. And I’m not saying I don’t expect, you know, I’m a young man, I don’t expect to find the thing necessarily yet. But I think constantly doing that analysis. For instance, one of the big reasons I started the podcast and got really excited about teaching people about business was because I had a very successful side business. But I I feel like that side business will always be a side business. I am not at all interested in putting like my all the manufacturing that I do with apparel is done in China and in Pakistan. And unfortunately, these aren’t places that I can just pick up and go. And these aren’t places that I can personally really hold accountable for their mistakes. And I have no interest in putting the I guess, safety and security of my family into the hands of people that I can’t talk To face to face, it makes me uncomfortable. And I’m not interested in going necessarily full time with just okay kimonos because if there is, and this has happened to people I know you know one guy owned a Jiu Jitsu company and there was a flood his literally his factory in Pakistan flooded and they lost everything. The US he lost everything. And that’s insane to me. Like I want more control over my future I want more control over the safety and security of my family. And that meant that I needed to start a project that was a little bit closer to home. So while I’m not sure if entrepreneurs and coffee or whatever I’m going to do with that is necessarily the thing. I think that’s something we all want, right? Like, I’m gonna continue to fill my day with bigger projects and different things I’m excited to I think I have a couple books in me that I’m really excited. I’m already brainstorming. Obviously, David, I think you would probably be great at this too. I want to do some speaking, I think I genuinely have something to say. And I think speaking in front of a live audience would be a great way to do this. And while I’m going to continue to add projects, I don’t necessarily think that I would be super happy just sitting around all day. Those are the most stressful days for me where I where I sleep in, because maybe I’m sick or something has happened. I’ve gone to bed late because I’m working on a project later, I have a podcast scheduled late at night. So I sleep in, and then all day, I don’t get any work done. It’s actually more difficult for me to be 100% present with my wife and my son if I haven’t had that work time in the morning. So I don’t think that I’m going to like reach a point where I’m like, all right, I have. This is my goal of money and I have it and now I’m done. I just can’t imagine that
David Ralph [38:51]
because I know exactly where my life is leading and I can tie it back to the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss book and I remember reading that four times back to back. And it really made me assess what I wanted to do. And ultimately, it was control. Ultimately, I’m a great believer in but you can create an income that is time controlled. So they’re doing the show during the show is literally my whole gig. And I’m a great believer that you can create an income based on that one thing, if you find the angle to make it work for you. And what I see time and time again, with entrepreneurs and other people is they start off, and they go, right, I’m going to be doing this and then somebody comes along and says, oh, would you coach me? Oh, yeah, I’ll do that. I mean, I’ll do this. I’ll do that. And then suddenly, they’ve got my bosses telling them what to do. And I’ve lost control of it somehow. So with myself, I know that my focus is control and I’m a bit anal on the control. So I I’ve been getting quite a lot of requests to do speaking. And I keep on saying, nope, nope, I’m not doing I’m not doing Because at the moment, I’m still learning the nuts and bolts of the show and developing back to where I wanted to go. I don’t want to be going off to this place and doing public speaking and then coming back and on trains and all that kind of stuff. So my my why I suppose that Simon Sinek start with why is his control which I’ve never had, I’ve always had to be somewhere, you get up, you get on the train, you go to the office, you stay Bertil they tell you come home and all that kind of stuff. So this is my one chance to build something but isn’t going to run away with me if that makes sense.
Brendan Hufford [40:33]
I think it totally does. And obviously, that’s super attractive to me to where I can work harder than I’ve ever worked in my whole life. But I can decide when I work. You know, I can take an afternoon and go and play with my son and my wife and hang out with them and work into the night or get up early and work all morning or get my work done on the weekends and things like That I love reading the four hour workweek, I think is a pivotal book. And if you haven’t read the four hour workweek, you really need to buy Tim Ferriss, and I took two hours, two s’s in his last name. And it was really, really meaningful for me because it’s like, Alright, let’s build this idea of lifestyle design, or a lifestyle business, where I’m not the, I wish I remember his name the CEO or the founder of Uber, or I’m trying to build a disruptive company that’s going to take over the world, like, I’m not necessarily driven, to be the best at everything, but I want to be the best at what I can do. I want to be the best, the strongest, the most successful version of myself that I can possibly be, and put something out into the world that will really really help people and really serve people. And I agree with you David, it you know, maybe when you start out In order to make things work, you have to take clients you don’t want to take and opportunities you’re sure aren’t necessarily right. But I think building really intentionally over time of like, here’s what I want, here’s the things I value and I’m not going to get let this get away from me. I think my wife is that for me in my life, she really, really holds it together. I came upstairs the other day, I’m like, Well, I’m going to write for this jujitsu magazine. And they’re gonna pay me every month and I’m gonna have to write this many articles and blah, blah, blah. And she’s like, what are you doing? What a colossal waste of your time. She’s like, she said it to me the other day, David like I love being on other people’s podcasts. I love it. I love this conversation we’re having right now. And I’ve probably been on 50 or 60 other you know, podcasts by now. And my wife is like, maybe you should take a break from that and focus those 50 or 60 hours on your business and building that up. And I was like, oh, ha, I guess that makes complete sense. So I mean, after our chat today, like, I’m gonna take a break from being on other people’s podcasts because I want to focus on building my thing. And I think when you’re just doing that kind of stuff, like it has its benefits. And like I said, I get to hang out with people like you and stuff like that. And this is awesome. This is probably the most fun. I will have all morning.
David Ralph [43:30]
Right? Unless you go upstairs with a smile on your face again.
Brendan Hufford [43:34]
Now, I mean, I’m just I’m being totally facetious, David. Honestly, I love conversations like this. But I think you have to build super intentionally and you have to be super thoughtful with what you do. And if I just built an added and added and added I’m the type of person that would literally run myself ragged and I would have no time for anything and I would make myself probably absolutely miserable. So I have to build with that intention.
David Ralph [43:59]
Because I’ll be is with you, Brendan, and I’ll be honest with the listeners when I started the show, the show is part one. And then there’s going to be part two, part three, Part Four. And I already know what where it’s going to go. And it’s a five year plan. And so when people request for me to go on their shows, more often than not, I don’t, I’ve only done probably about eight or nine other people shows yours was one of them. Because I looked at it and thought, Wow, what an opportunity to sell a product or to bring more people to your product when you’ve got a product ready to go. So stage one was always going to be get Join Up Dots coming. And when stage two was going to be podcast as mastery.com, which is released now. And then it’s going to be to that stage, as you say, going on other people’s shows and it’s very enjoyable. You just turn up and you sit there and you try and be the best guest you can possibly be. And at the end of it, you do a little bit of promotion about your own work. So I never saw the point in doing But until there was some kind of relevance for me being on their shows, but I see it time and time again, especially once people get new podcast, they come on anything that go to the opening of an envelope, if it means getting their name out. And you think to yourself, what is the point is I I think your wife is totally right on that. And you know, leave it, give it a break, and then come back later on and say, Oh, I got this new programme. I’d like to come on and sort of talk about it if I could, okay, and then you’ve got something worthwhile avenue for your time.
Brendan Hufford [45:32]
I completely agree. Because what what have I had to say? I mean, I have a lot to say about business because I have chops and I have experienced, but I also think that pretty much what I’ve been saying so far is, hey, come listen, you like me on this show? Come listen to my show. And maybe that’s been beneficial, right? And I don’t want to I don’t want to be disrespectful to people who have given me their time. Like there’s a lot of 5060 people out there who have given me an hour of their life and I can can’t overlook that. That is
David Ralph [46:03]
our back, Brendan.
Brendan Hufford [46:05]
Right. So I don’t want to say I don’t want to act like that not something that I enjoyed, because it really does mean the world to me. But wouldn’t it have been better if I had done what you’re suggesting and gone there with? Hey, guys, here’s a bunch of stuff that I’m going to talk about that’ll maybe help you. But here’s a bunch more stuff. If you want to check it out later, that would be super helpful for you. So come to my website and get even more. You know, I think it might have been better if I had done it that way. In retrospect,
David Ralph [46:35]
so So did you plan Did you plan as say, I did that the five year plan? Or did you just go This looks good. Do this. This looks good. Do this and kind of work it out as you go along.
Brendan Hufford [46:49]
I’m very much an execute or in a Dewar. And sometimes for better or worse, I end up kind of just doing and going No, I didn’t really have a plan. I didn’t know what which in this probably drove my wife crazy. Like, I didn’t know how I was going to make money on it. I didn’t know how I was going to build it into a business. And I did that very intentionally with the idea of like, I’m going to build an audience, and then I’m going to see how I can help them. I’m going to see what they want to know about. They want to see what their struggles are. And I’m going to help them with that, because I know enough about business, especially running a side business that I can genuinely help people with those issues. So that’s what I did. And that’s kind of where I am right now.
David Ralph [47:33]
And where do you ultimately want to be I know, we’ve kind of touched on it, but if I could really go, I need an answer. Brendan, do you want to be living on an island reaping your rewards? Or do you want to have multiple businesses ticking along with you at the hub of it? What is your key key focus?
Brendan Hufford [47:55]
Um, I want to be able to make a bigger impact. with smaller things, like instead of making a million small things, I want to make like one big thing. I want to have one course one podcast one thing exactly like you do, David, where you have one, you have your show, and you have podcasters mastery, and I want to have that be the thing that affects everybody. I don’t want to be the guy who has a million projects going on all at once, where I have good reviews and I have Okay, kimonos, then I have the podcast. And then I have my course. And then I have the coaching and all the things. I want less things. And I want to build one of them into something very, very significant. So when I get up in the morning, it’s like, all right, this is my business. This is what I have versus kind of dabbling and going a million different directions. I mean, where do I want to be someday? Gosh, I don’t know why anybody would choose to live in a place with a winter Eat winter so much. I’m from upstate New York. And I’m from I live just outside of Chicago now, and it is so cold for eight months of the year and I hate it. And I’ve promised myself at some point in my life we are going to live somewhere where there is no winter they must keep mustn’t it? I guess I don’t know. It’s, it’s brutal. And it makes me I get very frustrated in the winter times because I very much like to be active and outdoors and all of these things. And it’s really hard for me, but I guess so that’s part of it. But then also just building that lifestyle where I can work my face off, but have it be on my terms. And when I decide to stop working is when I decide not when, you know, the whistle blows at the end of the day and we can all clock out. Like I just don’t see that, you know, I don’t think I fit in that type of environment.
David Ralph [49:57]
So just before I play that the whole theme of the show Steve Jobs speech. He said over 10 years ago, when you look at the podcast is out there there, there are certain names that have become very well known for a show. But now they’ve got another show and another show and another show and literally wherever you look there, but but names are sprinkled around. Do you think that ultimately kind of dilutes the effectiveness? Do you think ultimately people will look at that and go, God, it’s another show, and it will affect their core business, that the one that made him successful in the first place?
Brendan Hufford [50:34]
Well, I think there’s two things. I think it really depends on how much value they’re bringing. I think you have some people who have podcasts who treat a podcast like a website, where it’s like, all right, I have this product. So I’ll make a podcast for this product. And then I want to do this, so I’ll have a podcast for this. And they may have 10 different podcasts for all their different products and whatever else because that’s just how they market them. And then there’s other people who have A lot of podcasts who bring a lot of value. Um, I really like what Pat Flynn has done he has a lot of he has to ask Pat, he has Smart Passive income, he has one day Business Breakthrough. Probably others I’m forgetting but you know, I think the value in there also different from one another. And the value is so high in them that I actually really enjoyed those. I listened to every episode of Smart Passive income and every episode of one day Business Breakthrough because the format of those shows are so different and they bring so much value that I like it, versus somebody show where I can tell you know, alright, so this is a, your your show is 10 episodes long, and at the end is going to be a pitch, I’m pretty much opting into an email funnel. If I start listening to these, I know the teaching that might be met, but at the end, you’re going to have a pitch by the product, blah, blah, blah. And I’m just not into that. I’m into shows that provide a tonne of value. You know, I’ve recently been turned on to this guy named Omar. I think his last name is Zen home. Yeah, the hundred dollar MBA was like teaching and education and bringing value. Every show for a number of shows exactly what we were talking about earlier, David. That’s what I like. That’s what I’m into. So while I do you think it’s a mistake to dilute yourself and be the guy that does everything, like I was just saying, I don’t want that in my life. But I also think that if you do have an idea for another show, and it’s not going to take away from your main show, and it’s going to accent or augment it, and we’re going to build out the brand, a little bit, then that could be beneficial. But again, you have to do it with intention.
David Ralph [52:45]
Yeah, good, good. Good on stuff, but man we go, there’s nuggets of gold in those hills.
Brendan Hufford [52:50]
So I have no idea what I just said.
David Ralph [52:52]
It’s too early, you got no idea. These are the words that Steve Jobs said 10 years ago and I love having these and they did create that Fullmer of Join Up Dots. So let’s listen to him one more time, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [53:04]
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.
David Ralph [53:39]
So what is your big dot then Brendan, in your life when you look back on everything that’s led up to this point?
Brendan Hufford [53:47]
You know, I think that when I look back just from building my first website that then brought me to gear reviews, which then you know, whereas reviewing other companies jujitsu keys, which then inspired me to start my own jujitsu Company, which gave me the knowledge of business, and everything else that I teach and talk about on my podcast, which then leads me into courses and coaching and things like that. The dots really do join up. And that’s exciting for me to be honest, David, because it makes me feel like whatever I’m going to do next, wherever I’m going to go and whether it’s this or whether it’s something I end up wanting to pivot to, or whatever, that it matters. And as long as what I’m doing now informs what I do next, that and even if it doesn’t seem like it does, now, it will, it will looking back. And it gives me a sense of freedom and a sense of hope, and a sense of I am doing the right thing, no matter what I do next, it is the right thing, because it’s leading me towards, I guess my greatest place of service and when you first feel that way you, you really can’t fail. And that’s how I feel right now talking to you today.
David Ralph [55:05]
I know you’re doing the right thing, because you are, you know, I’m not blowing smoke up here. You’re one of the nicest guys I have connected with through this environment. And you’re just doing things for the right reason and you’re trying to provide value, and it’s going to come back to you, it’s gonna come back to you big time, and you’re going to have that special time with your son, even though you won’t want to know you when he’s 13. And you can’t drag him out of his bedroom. And I’m talking about myself too much today. But um, yeah, so it’s, it’s, it’s there for you, because you already starting in the right way. focusing in on your audience is the only way, isn’t it?
Brendan Hufford [55:41]
I think so. I think by putting yourself into service of other people, they’ll tell you they’ll inform what you make and what you do. And when it comes down with David like that, I guess is where we started today was just that’s the best. That’s the best one other people have, can tell you and can articulate how you’ve helped them in their life. lives, I don’t think there’s anything greater in the world. And when you serve people, when you serve an audience, then it makes it that much easier. Absolutely. I think building that audience, and then finding out how you can serve them is is the way to go.
David Ralph [56:14]
Well, this is the way to go now because we’re at the end of the show, and we’re going to send you back in time because this is the bit that we call the Sermon on the mic 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 and speak to the young Brendan, what age would you choose and what advice would you give where we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [56:42]
We go with the best
Brendan Hufford [56:59]
so Think I would talk to my 18 year old self, and the one who went away to college. And I would tell him that just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. There’s literally nobody watching you for the first time in your life. And just because you can do whatever you want right now with your time, it doesn’t mean that you should, because you’re at a point in your life now where every decision you make is going to become a habit. And everything you choose to do with your time is going to affect your future. And if you choose to waste that time, with alcohol and drugs and parties, and things like that, it’s going to be harder to get away from that in the future when other important things come up and you want to pursue them instead. So, look at your nature, look back at where you’ve come from, look back at all the entrepreneurial things you’ve done in High School in elementary school even. And let that be what you focus on right now. And just because you can party and just because nobody’s going to stop you and just because you’re not going to get in trouble for any of the stupid stuff you do, it doesn’t mean that you should. And I guess I would also tell him that just because you can doesn’t mean you should is something that you should remember for the rest of your life in every aspect.
David Ralph [58:26]
So how can our audience connect with you sir?
Brendan Hufford [58:28]
Um, I think by email or the website is probably best. And then also, even if you if you want to send me something shorter if you are one of those awesome articulate people who can tweet effectively and 140 characters or less, they can hit me up on Twitter at Brendan Hufford or they can just hit me up on I guess, with the website. And I one thing David I’d love for them to check out is I’m doing a series of webinars and if you go to Brendan hufford.com slash webinar, I’m doing a bunch of side business workshops from kind of active Relating to people the three best and most simple ways to start their side business and started effectively. It’s called The Art of the Start. And no matter when people listen to this, Brendon Hufford comm slash webinar will take them to the next upcoming workshop.
David Ralph [59:14]
Brandon, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining 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 our futures. Mr. Brendan Hufford, thank you so much.
Brendan Hufford [59:29]
Thanks so much, David as my pleasure.
David Ralph [59:33]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is mastery.com. Now
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. 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.