Thomas Frank Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Thomas Frank
Thomas Frank is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview
He is the the owner of the College Info Geek, where he puts a totally different spin on going through the college life.
As he says to the students of the world “You know that just going to class, getting good grades, and graduating with a degree isn’t good enough any-more. You know that being successful in college takes a bit more work.
You’ve got the drive and the ambition. So where do you go from here?”
Which is a fascinating point of view, which is very different from most peoples education experience I would imagine, whereby they base this part of their life as a self contained period.
Get through college, get the grades, and then set about kicking ass in the real world.
But success takes time, so what better way to hit the ground running than fine tuning and developing your hustle muscle before you need them.
How The Dots Joined Up For Thomas
By doing things the right way whilst in College.
As he says “This blog is dedicated to helping you build a remarkable college career, which in turn will lead into an amazing life.
This is not your typical college blog.
You won’t find articles with 10 Tips to Win at Beer Pong or 6 Ways to Hack Your Laundry.
That bite-size, regular, boring content has already been written hundreds of times on other blogs. I’m not interested in it.
This blog is all about winning at college.”
And now he is certainly winning in his own life, and once simply a blog, this is now a lifestyle enthused by passion.
So how did he break free from the college mentality that most people buy into, with parties, hangovers, and late nights crouched over the books?
And does he look at what he has created as the whole package or just the starting point to what he can now achieve?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr Thomas Frank.
During the show we discussed such deep subjects with Thomas Frank such as:
Why planning his work on a Sunday is such an important task to perform, as the structure allows him to flourish in his creative endeavours.
How he recalls fondly being in the unusual position of having to fill out his tax forms as a young fourteen year old due to his desire to earn his own money.
Why he would quite happily flush a million dollars down the toilet if he was offered a job.
How he has learned with experience that college is just a period of fixed learning, whereby life becomes the true place of consistent study and application.
How To Contact Thomas Frank
If you enjoyed this episode with Thomas Frank then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Paige Burkes, Ross Jeffries, Andrew Bryant or the amazing Tom Ziglar
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Thomas Frank Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Did you know that you don’t have to struggle to achieve what you want in life anymore? Unless of course you want to, but why would you connect with us by sending an email to Join Up firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you the inside of you have a dream starters Academy, the amazing group mastermind coaching and training platform, giving you access to weekly challenges, group support, coaching, and an amazing members only podcast all designed to get you moving towards the life that you deserve. This is the how to start turning your dreams into reality. So don’t be the one that’s looking around at everyone else’s success. Become that success and join with us as you become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Join Up email@example.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 [1:10]
Yes, I’m in the back of the garden in the UK. But today’s guest on episode 466 of Join Up Dots could literally be anywhere on Earth. I’ve got no idea where he is. But I’m always interested on Skype, and he’s mentioning Christopher Walken on Skype. So I’m gonna have to sort of delve in and find out what that is all about. Because today’s guest is the owner of the college info geek where he puts a totally different spin on going through the college life. As he says to the students of the world, you know that just going to class getting good grades and graduating with a degree isn’t good enough anymore. You know, that being successful in college takes a bit more work. You’ve got the drive and the ambition. So where do you go from here, which is a fascinating point of view, which is very different from most people’s education experience, I’d imagine whereby they basis part of their life as a sort of self contained period. Get through college. Get Great, and then set about kicking ass in the real world. But success takes time. So what better way to hit the ground running and fine tuning and developing your hustle muscle before you need them by doing things the right way whilst in college, as he says the blog is dedicated to helping you build a remarkable college career, which in turn will lead into an amazing life. This is not your typical college blog, you won’t find articles, we’ve 10 tips to win a beer pong or six ways to hack your laundry. That bite sized regular boring content has already been written hundreds of times and other blogs. I’m not interested in it. He says this blog is all about winning at college. And now he’s certainly winning in his own life and once simply a blogger. This is now a lifestyle infused by passion, I suppose. So how did he break free from the college mentality that most people buy into with parties, hangovers and late nights crouched over the books and does he look at what he is created as the whole package or just a starting point to what he can now achieve? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the ones And only Mr. Thomas Frank, how are you, Thomas?
Thomas Frank [3:03]
I doing great. How you doing David?
David Ralph [3:05]
You sound like the most relaxed person I’ve ever met in my life. Are you born? Are you just born relaxed? Thomas? Is this your natural state of affairs? Or have you just had a very easy day today?
Thomas Frank [3:16]
You know, I think it’s just come through through practice today is not actually too easy of a day because I’ve got a video. I’ve got to get out this afternoon. And I have two podcasts to do. So it’s kind of a crazy day, but we’re working through it.
David Ralph [3:30]
Did you that spontaneity, right? You sort of wake up on it sounds to me like you wake up on a Monday and you go, oh, what are we doing today? And then on the Tuesday what we’re doing today, there’s there’s there’s a kind of routine with no routine involved. Do you like that?
Thomas Frank [3:42]
That could be no further from the truth. I’m actually very regimented. And my mornings are like a rigid morning routine. Get up at 530 breakfast, hit the gym, and then I come home and I usually have my week planned out on Sundays. So I basically know what’s going to be done. For the week, which breaks down to podcasts, interviews, making videos, all that stuff. Pretty planned out person actually,
David Ralph [4:06]
is interesting because I didn’t get that when I looked at you It sounded like you were kind of make it up by the seat of your pants. Just live it on the fly, but you really do plan on a Sunday.
Thomas Frank [4:16]
Yeah, I do. Yeah, I’ve got a notebook. I mean, I always I’m always tweaking my task management systems. But the way I usually do it is I’ve got a notebook where I write down my events and my tasks on one sheet of paper for the week, and then transfer each day’s tasks over to a whiteboard that just sits next to my computer.
David Ralph [4:34]
Now I speak to a lot of people and there’s some people that are very goal motivated, and they do exactly what you’re saying. And then there’s other people that say, No, I missed the big things by planning for the small things. I can’t work out on a Sunday what’s going to be happening on a Wednesday so I just like to go with the flow. Has this always been your mentality? Or is it something that’s come out of adversity that you need to be a planner
Thomas Frank [5:00]
Yeah, it was something I mean, I think I’ve always been a little bit of a planner. But the level of planning I do now is, was born out of like this mentality that I need to become a professional in my work, because my blog started as a college project. So I would just kind of do it whenever I felt like it. And it became my job in a very gradual way. But I didn’t take on the mentality of this is my profession, I need to publish on a specific schedule, you know, people are, are expecting me to do certain things at certain times. It took me a long time to understand that and once I adopted that, my website started to grow way faster than ever had. So I had to sort of infuse my life with these structures to keep that growth going and to achieve the goals that I set out.
David Ralph [5:47]
So let’s give us an example of where you are at the moment. You’re a 24 year old guy, you’ve got more your hair or your teeth and you’ve got this, this online business that’s rocking and rolling. What kind of level of listenership and because you’ve got a podcast on there and also readership Are you getting?
Thomas Frank [6:06]
Well the number one channel that I have now is YouTube. So YouTube it’s like 135,000 subscribers right now anywhere between six and 700,000 views a month podcast is significantly smaller probably about 40,000 downloads a month i would say i mean i think you can look at subscribers and that can you
David Ralph [6:26]
know you come that’s one of the facts with the podcast you know who’s kind of listening in block but not where they coming from really suppose
Thomas Frank [6:34]
Yeah, and then a couple hundred thousand page visits a month in site. So I pay a little bit less attention to the stats and the site because like a video is my passion now, but yeah, it’s kind of like a three channel business.
David Ralph [6:47]
So you in college, was this part of the master plan? Or was it simply just playing around the main Oh, hang on this is this is starting to get some motion.
Thomas Frank [6:57]
Yeah, it was more of that. What happened was that During my freshman year, I don’t know what they call these people. But when I toured my college, and then got signed up for classes and like I was about to start my freshman year, there were these cool people wearing red polos. And they knew everything about the university. And I remember asking one of them, how do I be one of you? When I’m a student? They told me how I ended up getting that job and had to go through all this training. I learned everything about the university. I learned basically any question that a student would ask our parents would ask, no worried about this college experience. And going through my freshman year, getting all that training. I was also reading this bigger blog that was writing college hacks, articles, essentially. And at the end of the year, they put out an article saying, hey, our blog as a student, you know, for students by students thing, and we have to basically fire everyone who’s graduating, so we need new writers, and I thought that would look good on my resume. So I applied I wrote this big article for them and summarily was rejected. And I just said, well, I’ve got this article, and I don’t want to go to waste. So how do I put up my own blog went to Google and the next day I had my own blog. And it was just kind of a side project from then on just wrote when I felt like it and it was like a year before anything cool came out of it. But once the first kind of jump happened, I was like, all in pretty much.
David Ralph [8:24]
So when you first got rejected, do you look back on that now and go, thank God thank god they rejected me. I could be sitting in an office somewhere just bashing these things out.
Thomas Frank [8:34]
100% Oh, man, I remember I became good friends with most of the people who ran the blog later on we ended up collaborating and doing all sorts of stuff and had a conversation with the editor and he’s like, Yeah, not hiring you is a huge mistake on my part. And I was like, I thanked him for it because I said, you know, if I would have just done that I would have probably would have just written articles and went on with my life and who knows how good or bad it could be can ever tell but doing it my mindset. required me to learn everything involved in running a business online. So just the the breadth of skill development that I got from doing it on my own was really beneficial I think.
David Ralph [9:11]
I don’t think I’ve ever had a failure. But I look back on and I think Damn, I wish I had that that had worked for me. I always look back on them and think thank God that went wrong. I was I was on the wrong half somehow it was it was gonna be I’ve set up a couple of businesses that I look back on now and I think, thank god they failed. Otherwise I would have been sitting there nine to five every day just bashing away trying to keep up with doing what I was offering to the world. Well, yeah,
Thomas Frank [9:40]
you generally happy with what you’re doing.
David Ralph [9:43]
I love it. Well, now actually, Thomas, I’ll be I’ll be totally honest with you. I love the majority of it. And the bits I don’t love I hate and so they say certain things about I really dislike but I just kind of find it easier to do and I’ve dabbled with having vas and assistance, but I just found that they, they couldn’t do it quick enough. And I could just back out really, really quickly. But it will come to a point about the the 15% that I don’t like I will get rid of, but it’s it’s easy enough to do it and I just move on to the good stuff.
Thomas Frank [10:15]
Overall, you like it?
David Ralph [10:16]
Overall young man and I don’t want to be patronising. I love it. I love every single part of being the host of Join Up Dots. It’s a global show. Do you know it’s a global show with people in 157? countries? How could you not love it?
Thomas Frank [10:32]
Yeah, exactly. I found the people who are generally happy with what they’re doing, don’t really look back on specific events and think like, I really regret that I really wish I wouldn’t have done that. Because you can kind of frame it as a learning experience. Like it was part of the path and it probably made some decision happen in your life that got you to where you are now. That’s pretty much how I look at most things that have gone wrong or not worked out in my career.
David Ralph [10:57]
Do you know what’s strange about you in the nicest way And I’m only saying it’s drained. You being compared to me, but at the age of 24, I was just living life. I was living live, going to work getting drunk in the evening getting up the next day, nice holiday. I would never have said I have a career, you seem to be far advanced. Are you more advanced spin your peer group? Or are they all the same as you?
Unknown Speaker [11:24]
Thomas Frank [11:26]
I think it’s hard to like, have an answer to that without sounding arrogant or
David Ralph [11:31]
no one’s listening now. It’s just you and me anyway.
Unknown Speaker [11:34]
Just you and me and a few thousand people.
Thomas Frank [11:38]
I don’t know. I guess I could put it this way. When I was 14 years old. My my mom said, I don’t know how to help you with your taxes for your part time job at the grocery store. So you’re gonna have to figure it out on your own. So I had to go to the library and get my own tax forms and fill out my own taxes. And most of my friends had never even heard of a 1040 form when they were in college. So I have been steadily on my way to old man status since I was a teenager. I’ll put it that way. That’s astonishing. Now, isn’t it
David Ralph [12:07]
at number one, my brain is going to have to pay taxes when you’re 14. I thought you have to be like 16 or 17. Maybe it’s different in America. Did I get you whenever? Could you be like a nine year old paying taxes in America?
Thomas Frank [12:19]
Well, you couldn’t you couldn’t be a nine year old working. Um, I got my first job at 14 years old. And I made enough that they had withheld enough that I could get a return if I filled my taxes out. So I was like, well, I want the return. So I’m gonna fill my taxes out. Most people I know don’t work till they’re 16. So I couldn’t tell you.
David Ralph [12:40]
And then do you miss certain parts of your childhood? No did having that experience at the age of 14 and as you say, moving on to old mandem quite quickly, do you look back and think I actually I just wish I was floating around getting drunk and pulling pulling birds as we say in the United Kingdom and and just having fun. He is about me. Have your life because it seems structured.
Thomas Frank [13:03]
Yeah, the one thing I’ll say is it, I definitely had to sacrifice certain fun times, like I guess like the the quantity of fun nights maybe was lower than it could have been for other people. But I definitely still had fun. I definitely still had a lot of great experiences, I learned how to sort of compress my working time. And I know like I remember vividly there was one day when all my friends were going to go to the lake and I had to finish design for like a website. I was building for a client and I was 16. And I was super bummed that I couldn’t go. But, um, like, on the whole I still have a pretty normal childhood. I think I still jumped off buildings and skateboarded and did all sorts of dumb stuff as a kid. And now I can still do that stuff.
David Ralph [13:53]
You can do it when you want, I suppose. Yeah. You could just do it. You You haven’t got any a boss saying to you hang on you want to jump off of that in my time you can just do it.
Thomas Frank [14:06]
I have the worst kind of boss I have the boss in my brain
in So yeah, I guess like it’s it’s kind of a bittersweet thing because I can technically go do whatever I want whenever I want. But my brain says the level of success you have is a product of doing certain things in a structured manner. So you have to keep doing those. And I so I end up working more than my friends technically.
David Ralph [14:30]
Yeah, but you don’t do it because you love it as well. That’s the thing I found when when I was in corporate gig. I was like a road runner at four o’clock, as soon as I could get out of that office beep, beep boom, I was gone and I didn’t think about it at all. And now I’m doing this. I’ve actually had to set up a rotor to give me free time because I kept on wanting to do it. And so now I can see in front of me there’s certain days most evenings I have off now where I used to get our just go up and do a bit. Oh, I just spent a couple of hours. It becomes more than a job. It’s passion. You never work again, when you find your thing, do you?
Thomas Frank [15:05]
I was having a seven a chat with one of my roommates yesterday, I think it was. We came to conclusions. Number one, the only way Tim Ferriss can title The Four Hour Workweek. The way he did is if he just defines like bookkeeping, or some like mundane tasks that only takes four hours a week as his work and everything else is just passion because the man does not stop working. And that’s kind of what it is for me. And I’ve been thinking like, I don’t have a hobby that I do after work, like why do I not, I don’t know go build things are working on cars. But my job is my hobby and it shouldn’t feel bad to me if I spend more than 40 hours on it just because it makes me living like it’s still a thing I would be doing in my spare time. If I had a regular job.
David Ralph [15:48]
Well then let’s talk about Tim Ferriss because in many ways that man ruin my life in many ways. I’d like to shake his hand because I it was the four hour workweek I can see it on my bookcase now. Literally I got to the point of, there’s no point I can do this in three hours. So why do I have to sit here for eight hours? And I think that is what he means by the Four Hour Work Week, isn’t it? Instead of Yes, stretching out over 240 hours, why can’t you just do what needs to be done and get out? And most of us can compress work in a an amazingly, you know, if, if somebody comes to you on a Tuesday afternoon and says to you, I’ve got three tickets for the Superbowl, it’s afternoon, you’d be able to get your work done. You’d be out and be cheering and cooking hot dogs or whatever you Americans do. In the car parks outside a Super Bowl. You can see I was struggling for a moment. I’m not sure what they do either. But you would just get out wouldn’t you? You would get out because you’d get that work done because you have on your way and in corporate land. You don’t you just pat out time. You got to be there for eight hours. So you just make things last.
Thomas Frank [16:55]
Yeah, yeah, definitely. It’s funny. Sometimes I feel guilty working for myself. Like there is no eight hour block of when I should be at quote unquote, work. So sometimes it’s like, oh, I only worked for like four hours if I’m honest with myself today and all those people have jobs, they were work for eight hours and I failed to realise or remember that the people at the jobs probably did not work for eight hours straight. They maybe got like three hours or four hours of real work done. And that was definitely the case. I did my corporate internship. I was not always productive. So
David Ralph [17:27]
I was like, could you go back to corporate land now if somebody comes along and says, Thomas I pay you a million dollars? Could you would you would you doing
Unknown Speaker [17:36]
thank you so much the million dollars down the toilet? Nope.
Thomas Frank [17:41]
Man I have I have come to realise that once you hit a certain standard of living, like you are able to pay your bills, you’re able to hit your savings goals that are hopefully reasonable. And you can you know afford to go out every once in a while at that point, like if you’re doing stuff you don’t like or that goes against your values for more money. you’re actively working against yourself. Yeah, like money is just a medium of exchange. It’s not like it doesn’t like, actually make you happier unless that’s your core value and it’s not mine. So if somebody was like, you know, even something smaller, like why don’t you you know, shill Walmart on your YouTube channel will pay you a million dollars like, I don’t want to do that it’s against my values, and I don’t need any extra money that badly.
David Ralph [18:24]
I love Walmart. Oh, yeah, it’s a you get anything in Walmart. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you go into a supermarket. There’s hardly anything there over there. You buy guns and God knows well, can’t you?
Thomas Frank [18:39]
Oh, yeah, I mean, like, I’m not gonna say I never go to Walmart. I just, I it’s like a basically anybody who would want me to advertise. I only want to personally advertise things that fit my message and that I know would be useful to students and things. So those anybody like if it was, I don’t know, the gap or tire store like tires, used But I don’t want to advertise them. It doesn’t make sense for me
David Ralph [19:03]
well about BIA companies.
Thomas Frank [19:05]
No, I made the decision. And I probably should just just state up front that I’m like, I’ve always been the nerd who would rather stay home playing video games and go out to the bars and stuff. And I think I missed a lot of the traditional college experience because of that. But I made the conscious decision up front, that my, my brand would never have any elements of like the college party experience in it. Like there would never be any beer pong or anything like that. And I had to choose not to work with a lot of people who had sites around kind of that culture. And I think it worked out really well for me because I was able to sort of brand myself around like, Yeah, I like movies and video games and reading books about learning and memory. And that’s me, you know,
David Ralph [19:51]
when I was at Walmart, so we’ll come down companies well about them.
Unknown Speaker [19:57]
David Ralph [19:58]
I’m not gonna drag you into this disordered world of student life that I’ve got going on in my head. So my daughter is 10 years old and you are a YouTuber, I asked you what you described yourself as before we started recording and you said a YouTuber. Now, what is it about YouTube? I love YouTube and I go on there and I will watch old videos and the old interviews and, and and stuff. You can be on YouTube forever in a day, and it’s very appealing. Now she is obsessed and I don’t know if you know this guy, maybe you don’t, but he seems to be very popular in my house, a bloke called stampy long nose, and he’s a Minecraft guy who’s got like 5 million followers. And I think Minecraft if you’ve heard any of my episodes, I think it’s a boring boring game. But it’s so boring that she watches other people play it. What is the appeal about watching other people do something that you can do yourself
Unknown Speaker [20:54]
and without going into porn. Minecraft is boring.
David Ralph [20:57]
He’s dreadful game in there. It’s making boxes moving things around and little pigs that grab you.
Thomas Frank [21:04]
I think it’s wonderful. Minecraft represents one of the first forays into a game world where you have 100% control over everything. And I was I played Minecraft back in the alpha days when it was just in the browser, and it just blew my mind like the world’s people would create with their spare time. It was just insane to me. It can be very boring, I think if you let it but the creative aspect of this super cool. That being said under question, I think that YouTube and let’s plays in particular are so popular because it’s all about the community aspect of it. Like with a let’s play in particular. It’s not really like you’re just watching somebody else do something you could be doing instead, it’s more like you’re over at a friend’s house and they have the controller but you’re hanging out with them. It’s kind of like this shared experience like you feel like you’re part of something Like a group of people enjoying something, you’re kind of tied into that community. And that’s why I think YouTube is so successful in general, Hank Green from the Vlogbrothers wrote an article A while ago, where he theorised that YouTube is so more much more successful than things like Vimeo because the people on there, for the most part are producing content that’s only a little bit better than what somebody watching at home could feasibly think they could make. It’s not like Hollywood level quality with colour grading and cinematic aspects and stuff. It’s like a dude in a room with a bookshelf full of toys, talking to a camera, and the viewer can think like, okay, I couldn’t do that right now. But I feel like I could do that with a little bit of learning. So it’s like this guy is basically on my level or you know, a little bit close to it. I feel connection to him. And that tied in with the commenting system and everything as bad as some people think it is. Just forums, this really cool community aspect and I honestly love YouTube for that. That’s why I like YouTube more than podcasting and more than blogging because I just don’t get as much feedback from those two forms of media.
David Ralph [23:08]
I couldn’t think of anything worse than having those comment boxes because people are they’re vicious, aren’t they on YouTube comment boxes, the things that I say, I think, how can you get away with it, but like they do, they just lay it out there. And more often than not, I build these little tribes of vicious commenters across the world who sort of like gang up on whoever has been brave enough to put their content out. And I think bottom line, whoever puts themselves into a area that is open for attack should be applauded, because so many people just sit in their little rooms, not willing to take a risk. Were you scared when you first put your finger up, but it wasn’t good enough that people were going to attack you about whatever goes through your head.
Thomas Frank [23:53]
I think my fear was more that it would just remain obscure never be seen.
I’m pretty competent or not competent, maybe competent as well. I’m pretty confident person. So when I take criticism The first thing I will do before having an emotional response to it is judge like, is this valid? Does this matter to me? And if it’s just like an ignorant person yelling and insult for no reason I’m like, okay, your your voice literally matters to me nothing. You haven’t contributed anything. So there’s there’s no effect. If it’s somebody who is saying something constructive or maybe they’re mad for a reason, well, then there’s a valid criticism there and I can I can take it in there probably will be a response to it emotionally because I know I made a mistake or overlooked something. Yeah, I was never too worried about vicious comments, and I gotta say, like, 99% of the comments I’ve gotten on my YouTube videos have been positive, whether they’re questions, extra topics they want me to cover or just people saying they like it. I occasionally get the ignorant, you know, person who’s just wants to give everyone a bad day or a hard time but They usually sink to the bottom. And if I wait just long enough without responding, somebody else will generally step in and shut him down for me. So it hasn’t been too bad. I think it really depends on the area and the genre that you’re creating in. Like the people who do the gaming videos and people who do like prank videos, they’re gonna be open to more, more criticism and people who, like get into politics are really divisive topics are opening themselves up Far, far more than I am just teaching school things.
David Ralph [25:30]
Yeah, I think you you put yourself down. Really? I think that the fact that everybody has to go through school, you’re in, you’re in the catchment area. Aren’t you really of school life, people will be looking to you for answers. Because their own school life is pretty crappy. And more often than not, school life is pretty crappy.
Thomas Frank [25:51]
Huh? Yeah, I’m not sure. Did you think yours was
David Ralph [25:54]
awful? It was dreadful. Yeah. I it was. I went through in the 70s when literally you spent Harvey Time dodging things thrown at you by teachers and teachers in the 70s. Were just, you found all the lunatics and all the alcoholics that couldn’t fit in anywhere else and made them teachers. And basically, that was it. They were just that they came to torture. And I don’t mean that harsh. I’m sure that there was some good teachers out there. But I would say about the teachers I remember as good. Were probably, I don’t know, 1% all the rest were borderline lunatics.
Thomas Frank [26:27]
Okay. Yeah. I mean, it definitely depends on where you go to school. I think that I was very fortunate to go to school in a pretty good district. And my parents worked pretty hard to get us to live in the area that would get us there. So that was awesome. And then college was even better. I think. Certainly, I was like, bored a lot of the time and I didn’t want to take some of the classes, but you know, make the best of it. And yeah, like I said, like I’m trying to, I’m just trying to give answers to people to answer questions they have and whatever their school situation Maybe, hopefully I can make it a little bit better.
David Ralph [27:03]
Well, let’s play some words. Now that leads us on to the second stage of the conversation. And these are the words that Jim Carrey said,
Jim Carrey [27:10]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Now,
David Ralph [27:37]
doing what you do, I would imagine there is a generational gap between what your parents did do your parents look at you and understand how you’re making a living and why are people paying for free content and and all that kind of stuff?
Thomas Frank [27:54]
I don’t know if they Well, I think my dad understands the technical bits of it more than my mom But I’m not sure that they know intimately how exactly I make money. But they aren’t the kind of parents who look at me and go like, when you’re going to get a real job. Certainly this is going to dry up at some point, blah, blah, blah, you’re just wasting your time. Like, I think they realise that I’m pretty systematic about how I, how I look into things. I’m pretty deliberate. And I I’m not like, I’m honestly not the pie in the sky, like, I’m gonna go after my passion no matter what kind of guy I’m very calculating. So I’ve never really butted heads with them on that.
David Ralph [28:34]
But I’m fascinated by that. Because, you know, the whole ethos of this show is about finding your passion and going for it and then ultimately, you never work again. And certainly from my side of the fence, it’s it’s true. And from your side of the fence, it seems that you are living within your passion. But it wasn’t a passion that was obvious to you, you was calculated about how to create it.
Thomas Frank [28:55]
Yeah, well actually can’t tell you a secret unless it’s not a secret.
story is is a better way to phrase it. I never had any intention, or any desire to be in the public eye to do any sort of communication for living. When I was in high school, my dream was to be a sysadmin. Because I watched movies like The Matrix growing up. And I was like looking at people who knew how to run the command line and do crazy things with computers. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. And I remember like, as soon as I had money later in my teenage years, but before college, I was like buying multiple monitors and trying to learn Linux and stuff. And I was certain that I was going to run all the computer systems for a huge corporation, it would be awesome because it would be technical and challenging and different every day. So this was really a slow evolution of, I have this little side project that I do. And slowly and slowly over time, oh, I actually do like communicating to large groups of people and I do like the attention that Working in the public and communicating and doing creative things brings no huge thing I learned from my first internship is I do not have a brain that is wired to maintain things. I have a brain that’s wired to create things. So all that work of just like, can you update this firewall setting? And can you go like replug in this server and upgrade this chip in the server, like, that was not for me. I’m much better off creating things, but it was a slow, slow process. And regarding the passion thing, like I have a pretty balanced view on it. I don’t know have you ever read the book so good. They can’t ignore you.
David Ralph [30:35]
Oh, my I’ve done that vaguely rings a bell. Yeah.
Thomas Frank [30:39]
Okay. Yeah, a guy named Cal Newport wrote it. And the whole book is like, kind of refuting this hypothesis that you should just follow your passion no matter what. But it’s also not in the other camp where it’s like, just stay conservative and, you know, take the safe path. It’s more than the middle camp have. You have skills, you have experience, you have connections and these four As a sort of career capital, like experience points you can spend on moving to certain areas. If you are an accountant and you want to open a yoga studio, you don’t have enough capital to really make that a successful venture. So while it’s not impossible, the probability of you being able to realise that dream really quickly is low. But if you’re an accountant, and you want to transition to something that’s, you know, pretty close to that field of expertise, but maybe a little bit different, well, you have a lot less of a gap that you have to fill. So for me, it was like, I’m not just all of a sudden computer geek, gonna stay in the basement and eat Doritos. While I code in the terminal. All of a sudden, I’m going to be a YouTuber, it was like, now I’m writing. And now I’ve learned to code a little bit and now I’ve learned to you know, do some SEO and some database stuff and I’m gonna add in a podcast as a side venture. All of a sudden the podcast is taking up more of my time. And then the podcast gave me the speaking skills to start doing videos, which were terrible at first and a year later I’m pretty good at videos. So that’s kind of my view on it. Like, how close to your current skill set is your your passion project. And I guess for me, it wasn’t even like I knew what the passion was, I just slowly uncovered it over time.
David Ralph [32:15]
You know, I think that’s genius. Because as you said, you’re playing to your strengths. And you’re creating your own economy based on something that’s close to your strengths that you can develop. But so many people out there will be looking at you looking at your YouTube videos guy that looks fun, but they won’t consider the four years, five years it’s taken to get to that point. It’s almost like, Oh, I throw up some YouTube videos. And I’ll be like, this guy from Scandinavia, there was a guy from Scandinavia, I’ll read about the other day and he makes like, a million a year on YouTube or something like that. And you you think that sounds like easy money. But of course, he’s he’s built up to that he didn’t just get a million it’s been a journey and but people will look at you and go, Yeah, that’s good. I’m gonna sit in my basement In my underwear, I make videos and I’ll be a YouTube star. But
Thomas Frank [33:06]
yeah, definitely I think most people who are YouTube stars did not start out with the intention of doing it. And it just takes so much time and so, so many little things you don’t remember, on the journey. This is what frustrates me sometimes people will be like, how did you get to the point where you can do this for living? Like, how did you get so many subscribers? How did you? How did you make money enough to quit your job or whatever. And I’m like, trying to wrack my brain, to give them some sort of anecdote or recipe for lack of a better word. And I always come back to like, the core values, which just sort of equate to platitudes, like, you just got to be consistent and you just got to constantly improve and you got to build relationships. Like those are easy ways to bottle up practices that do get results. But the reality is, it’s been five years of reading random articles. That might have given me one little tidbit that I made a little change somewhere. Just little tiny things like that, you know, and you don’t remember them. And you can never impart the value of the aggregate of all those things to somebody who’s looking at what you are at right now. They’re looking at a snapshot, but they can never truly appreciate that amount of things you’ve done. And the only the only person that can do that for themselves.
David Ralph [34:29]
So if we look at you as a tree, and you were the seed and you planted yourself under the ground, and for three or four years, you did stuff under the ground, and now you’re coming up and the foundations have been set. The root system is flourishing. How big a tree would you be?
Unknown Speaker [34:49]
Thomas Frank [34:51]
That’s Uh huh. I don’t know there’s a lot of ways I could answer this question.
Unknown Speaker [34:57]
Thomas Frank [34:58]
I don’t view my myself as anywhere near like a pinnacle point in my career. So I’m not like a little sapling. But yeah, um, maybe like,
Oh, so I’ll just say I’m a five year old tree.
David Ralph [35:14]
And the tree is quite established. But the problem once again, I suppose it’s going around in circles is there’s an awful lot of stuff underneath the ground that you just don’t see. And that’s that’s the failure point, isn’t it? That’s why people give up. Do you know how many and I always quote this stat because it kind of annoys me in so many ways, because people are doing it well, but you know, but when somebody sets up a new podcast show how many episodes they release, on average before they stop?
Do you know Thomas, I’m gonna guess I’m gonna guess.
Thomas Frank [35:43]
I’m going to guess anywhere between four to six because my friend told me that when podcasts hit their seventh episode, it’s a good indicator that they’ll keep going.
David Ralph [35:51]
You might once I hit seven. If I’m at seven, then that’s it. But you imagine all these people were like, Oh, yeah, I’m gonna be a podcaster and they bite equipment and they set it all up. And there’s there’s a certain amount of outlay at the beginning, not terrible, but it’s, you know, you have to spend money on Bing. And then I only do six episodes. It just annoys me that they hadn’t got to that core essence of what they wanted. They were obviously following suit by we’re seeing that other people have had huge amount of success. But most people have had the success are consistent as you say, and no, they weren’t try answers you gave they were spot on. But they were consistent. They delivered what the people in the audience want their listeners, the readers, whatever. And they love doing it themselves. So when it was the crappy times when you don’t think you’re getting any reward. They were still getting on there and turning their microphone on or blogging or whatever and just doing it. Have you got were you at a point in your life that you actually thought? Do you know if I never take this any further I would still keep doing it. Hmm.
Thomas Frank [36:58]
I’m not sure I think that the consistent growth and progress is something that I’m, I find really valuable and something that my brain absolutely feeds on. I learned about this concept called multi potentiality recently, which is basically a way to describe people like me who get into something. When we get into something, we go super deep and super hardcore. And we want to learn everything. And we foolishly buy all the books on the subject and, and everything. And then like six weeks later, we’re bored, and we’re going on to something else. And our girlfriends are very frustrated with us because we’ve bought expensive equipment, and now we’re really bored of it. And I find it surprising that I’ve stuck with my career for so long, because in any hobby. You know, I think the only one that really stuck with consistently over the years is skateboarding. Anything else like guitar or whatever it may be Magic the Gathering or reading fiction books, I always get bored and I go to something else. And I think the continued growth does To drive me forward and the continued progression of my skills, especially in video, I can learn something new every week. And if I, if I make a video once a week, and it doesn’t have something new that I learned how to do in it, I’m usually not really satisfied with the video. And it’s even hard for me to convince myself that the positive reaction from the audience is enough to validate the videos existence, I realised that the point of the video is to communicate some useful thing to the audience. But what my brain wants is, oh, you learn this new thing. And now you’re, you’ve levelled up, essentially. So I don’t think I’m the kind of person that just finds simple joy in doing the same thing. For a long time, there has to be some element of newness and novelty infused in it,
David Ralph [38:39]
which takes me right back to my very first statement about the non routine routine kind of thing. And that that was that was probably the essence I come to that the newness not that you were setting up goals and you were very structured, but it was the the creator element of you.
Thomas Frank [38:57]
Yeah, and regarding the routine thing, my routines
The I changed them in my new ways to keep my brain active. And actually I had a nother conversation with my roommate, we’re pretty similar in the way we handle productivity and everything. And I told him because he was like explaining, really proudly this new productivity system he had where he had like a certain amount of access, he had to check off for each hobby he was practising every week. So it didn’t have to be rigidly every single day, it could be like offloaded on a Sunday or something like that. And I was like, this looks cool. I’m going to make a prediction. In a few weeks, you’ll have a new system that you like, even better. And a few weeks from, then you’ll have a new system that like even better than that one, because you and I are wired to keep tweaking things and keep changing things, and we will never be satisfied with one system. And I think that’s perfectly fine. We’ll get excited about things we’ll share about how it’s the best thing ever. And then three weeks from now, we’ll have something better, or we’ll be like, well, that one was just too involved. I need something similar. And how would you vote
David Ralph [39:59]
because I’m in I’m a fiddler, and I will do stuff and I see any improvement. And sometimes I’ve fiddled around with things. I’ve seen a huge improvement. But then I keep looking and when it goes down, I think, oh, I’ll just change it back. But I change it back. He doesn’t do the same thing. How do you sort of know about your, your system changes are the right things to do. And you shouldn’t just go right walk away, walk away, go back to your homes Don’t touch anything because it’s working.
Thomas Frank [40:27]
Yeah, I mean, like I said, like, I can’t, I think you just have to kind of gauge the success of it and gauge whether or not it’s working for your brain. Good example is going to the gym. Like, I know that if I try to stick to the same gym routine for more than like a month or something, I’m just gonna burn out and not go. I my brain values, that novelty and a little bit of spontaneity. And I think I can I can mix that in with the routine. So instead of running two miles every Thursday Maybe this Thursday, I will run in bike a mile each just to get a little bit of difference in there. And if it’s at least providing some usefulness to my life, that’s like a baseline. I’m doing good. And then from there, I’ll just try to optimise. But I’ve learned that even if an optimization is really good, it’s probably not going to last forever for me.
David Ralph [41:23]
So talking about the money that you flushed down the toilet, and it was very wasteful. I have to be honest, a million dollars down the toilet. If I bought those soggy dollars out and said, I’ll give you a million dollars if you sit in a room with loads of computer screens and sort of control the world somehow, like the matrix would you do it?
Thomas Frank [41:41]
Um, I don’t think so. Well, you can’t be what what is controlling the world? That’s a good question.
David Ralph [41:48]
What would you do if you could if you could sit there with loads and loads of computers? My wife’s been watching this programme called people of interest or interesting people a person of interest, the essence of interest. Yeah. And she gets obsessed. She gets on Netflix, she finds some kind of box set and has to watch 90 episodes a night for about six weeks. She can’t sort of go to bed. She, she’s ageing terribly in front of me. I shouldn’t say that really should listen to the show. But she watches this thing and it’s like computers and cameras everywhere controlling the world. And I look at it, I think I couldn’t do that. I would try to do funny things to make myself you know, enjoy myself by controlling people. What would you do if you could do?
Unknown Speaker [42:30]
I would quit immediately.
Thomas Frank [42:33]
Okay, so there’s all sorts of like vectors here like
is this just are we crossing a line with surveillance for security over freedom, like there’s that angle. And then there’s also like, this system is actually really fascinating, technically angle, but a core thing that I’ve learned about myself as I don’t like to deal with, trying to make people do things or trying to like directly influenced the way people behave. I was an RA which do they call them IRAs in, in the UK for like college dorms? I don’t know what what is that an RA resident assistant like the person who lives in the dorm and kind of like babysits all the kids that live there in college.
David Ralph [43:19]
I mean, we have I think we have something called Halls of Residence where people sort of go before they find rubbish out houses somewhere around in the town that they can write ways into a room but I don’t think there’s
Thomas Frank [43:31]
like an older student who kind of lives there and like manages and like is the person to go to if you have a problem or
David Ralph [43:37]
if there is never heard of it. I my daughters who have been through university, I don’t think they’ve ever told me but there’s somebody that looks out for them.
Thomas Frank [43:45]
Okay, I need to write that down then because I’m working on a video at some point in the future on like the differences between UK and US universities, but in the US, we have these and I did it for a semester and I had like 60 students that had to manage and it was great because They’re honour students. So they’re all super smart and never got in trouble. But still, I was like, I don’t like having to deal with people’s problems. I don’t like having to be like, Hey, can you clean up your mess in the hall? Hey, can you not? Can you please not get ridiculously drunk and come back and puke on the hall walls and I just not that kind of person I like to be. And I also tutored, I tutor people one on one in high school. And I found it really, really frustrating. And I felt bad, bad for a while because I was like, Am I a bad person that I find it frustrating to teach somebody something useful and help them through their lives. And I think it’s just a personality thing. I’m better off sitting by myself and tinkering with something and then releasing it upon the world and anybody can take from it what they want at their leisure. And I’m not going to force them to do anything, and that it’s so perfect for me. So if it was my job to use, even if it was a super cool system for computers, to monitor people and in try to influence the behaviour ethically things aside wouldn’t work for me.
David Ralph [45:04]
I’d work for me I’d be getting them to do all kinds of bizarre stuff
Thomas Frank [45:07]
I’d have a great return cameras randomly just kind of freak people out that’s what I would do.
David Ralph [45:14]
Yeah, I would mind reading thing you know when you can just look at people and get them to do bizarre stuff that’s that that’s that’s the talent that I want. I don’t want to be a podcast, I want to control people in my mind. I’ll become Oh, James Bond villain. Here, I’m sitting behind my multi screens and I want to take over the world. Well, I better shake that off. Let’s bring on a guy now who created this show. And in his own way, he did sort of take over the world because he’s left the legacy not just because of his business acumen, but because of himself as well. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [45:45]
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. 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 [46:20]
Now, obviously, Steve said those words to a bunch of students at Stanford, but are they the kind of words that that still resonate with you now and you’ve moved on to the next stage of your life?
Thomas Frank [46:31]
Yeah, absolutely. When people ask me, where do you see yourself in five years, Thomas?
I can I can say celebrating the five year anniversary if you asked me this question, and nothing else. I have no idea. Maybe I’m still making videos. Maybe I’m making ridiculously awesome documentaries. Or maybe I’ve quit making videos and I’m an author or maybe I have become an eccentric billionaire and decided to go to Mars. Who knows? Like you said, You You can’t connect the dots going forward, all you can do is what I do. I try to improve every week, I try to expose myself to as many ideas and new pieces of information as I can. I’m constantly trying to drive myself forward and learn. And I trust that doing that will lead me to new and exciting opportunities, which I will look back on as dots that were collected from wherever I was.
David Ralph [47:22]
A big part of your backstory is really the education piece, isn’t it that you’re willing to constantly upskill you find something that you don’t know, you feel you need to know. So you learn it. That’s a big missing part that so many people don’t want somehow, but they don’t want to put the effort in to upskill themselves.
Thomas Frank [47:42]
Yeah. Okay. So one thing you mentioned in the intro, is that a lot of people see college as like this sequestered off a little experience that you do, and then you get through it and then you go into the working world and they’re totally separate different things. And I saw it that way as a student. This is my four years. I live in this, you know, quaint little campus that’s so beautiful. And then after I’m done with that, I’ll go get a job and I will be in the real world and my work will be work. Now it actually, I want to, I want to make clear that for a long time, I had doubt about my future with with college info geek because people were telling me, well, Tom, you’re going to graduate and you’re going to become an old bogey. And you’re never going to be able to connect with students again, you won’t know what their experiences are like, and you might as well sell your site and do something else or change it to life info geek. Since graduating, I’ve realised that is not the case. Sure, I don’t really identify much anymore with like sitting in a dorm room, eating ramen and trying to finish your math homework before the midnight deadline, but college is just a concentrated dose of learning. And the real big difference between it and any learning you do afterwards is it’s more likely to be structured and it’s more likely to guide you through a curriculum that’s Somebody else set out for you. But that’s really the only difference, that one of the big differences, you’re going to get a lot of feedback that you won’t get in your learning later in life and in your work. But once college is done, you can choose to still learn in a structured way as you want, you can go through Coursera courses, you can do what I do, I’ve read books as my unstructured learning. And then I also just do like all just in time learning where, oh, I need to know this. So I can do this. Go out and learn it right now, kind of thing. And if you’re constantly learning, like, how much of a difference from your college experience is that you might have more money now you have live it, you live in a different situation, but you’re still growing and progressing and learning new things. It’s not that different. So, honestly, like, I chose the name college info geek five years ago as a freshman, the name really doesn’t fit anymore because I’m not doing videos on like, here’s how to do your laundry in the dorm. Here’s how to fill out your FAFSA forms for student loan stuff like occasionally I’ll do stuff like But for the most part of doing like, here’s how to get work done when you have like no time. And here’s how to deal with perfectionism issues that we all face no matter what stage of life we’re in. And focusing on students helps me to be specific and like have a sort of brand that people can think of me of and I think that helps with growth because I’m not deluding myself, but the topics. They don’t really change and importance to you as you move on too much.
David Ralph [50:28]
Yo, Pete Faris Anya, I’m listening to you talking and I think that you are, you’ve got a Tim Ferriss vibe running through you. I don’t know if I,
Unknown Speaker [50:37]
I don’t know if I like that or not. Now,
David Ralph [50:41]
you look for sort of hacks and ways of doing things faster and more streamlined, which is Yes, he’s kind of core essence. Isn’t it? Really?
Thomas Frank [50:51]
Yeah. Yeah, I definitely do. I think I’m less of a kind of, I’m less of a hacker than he is because I think Tim Ferriss is the kind have to be like, I really don’t care what the scientific literature says on any of this. I’m going to just try really weird, crazy stuff. And I’m a little bit more reserved than that. But I am always looking for like, Okay, how can I do this better? Why aren’t you guys doing this better? Why aren’t you guys looking for a better way to do this kind of thing? And I do resonate with him on that, on that level, for sure. And he was a huge influence to me, you know, I don’t agree with every single thing Tim Ferriss says, but I gotta say the four hour workweek was one of the formative books that kind of set me down this path. The only thing I remember from it is like his little example of setting up the business, that dropships little French striped shirts and selling them without any involvement, but like that kind of planted the seed in my mind. You could have a system that makes you money, and you’re entirely removed from it. Okay, well, maybe I’m not going to build a business that does exactly that. But the principle is the same. There are things you can set up that will work for you or they You can you can, you know, front load work ahead of time, that will just keep the locomotive going down the road and you don’t have to keep adding coal to it. And that’s, that’s a guiding principle and a lot of the work I do a lot that
David Ralph [52:13]
I love, and I want everybody to go over to your your Yeah, it’s not it’s not a blog, is it? It’s more than that. He, well, what do you call it? Because it’s a platform, isn’t it more than a blog?
Thomas Frank [52:23]
Yeah, I mean, I guess I could just call it a website, like the blog at least collects everything. So whenever there’s a video, I write an article, I basically like, format the script as a blog post and try to add some extra value to it. podcasts have show notes. So the website is kind of a hub for everything, and you won’t miss anything if you’re there.
David Ralph [52:41]
But just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, I’m interested with your impossible list. And yes, where did that come about? Because you know, that is their big goals and the things that you’re taking off there. And your current focus is how do you choose what you want to do and Are there any that you would do again once you’ve done them because I’m looking down the list and some of them look dreadful. And myself? What do you think? dreadful? I think a tough mudder sounds terrible. I know what the Spartan races that’s beyond terrible because I’ve interviewed the, the, the creator of the Spartan Race. And he was well he was an interesting character to say the list and walk feet 40 feet on a slackline why would you want to do that? No, no, there’s, there’s a lot of these stuff on this list that I think to myself. It’s good. It’s good. But why? How do you choose or how do you choose these things? You know, right here is a good one. Learn wolf flips. Why what how is that going to benefit you in any shape or form?
Thomas Frank [53:46]
In high school, I had two friends. We got together and we formed a parkour club at our high school. And first what we did is we like awkwardly taught ourselves a bunch of parkour moves and got really good at them and then we started teaching other people And it was actually really cool. The only problem is like, people kept calling the cops on us and kicking us off school playgrounds because they thought we were like training to break into the school or something. I don’t even know what they thought. But it was so much fun. My, it’s my dad, my dad has always been a single minded person with fitness. I am a power lifter, I want to lift as much weight as possible. And that is going to drive every one of my fitness decisions. And I’ve always been very different. I’ve always been like the kind of, I want to be like super competent in any physical discipline. I want to be Batman, I want to be able to run really fast, climb up walls, do backflips and be really strong at the same time. So that’s what kind of got to me like tough motors are cool because it’s not just a boring run. You’re also going over obstacles and running up hills and crawling under barbed wire and stuff that’s fun, and gets your blood pumping. Wall flips. I’ve always thought that Parker and tricking was the stuff like that. It’s just really fascinating. And one of my favourite game series is Assassin’s Creed. Because one because it just like, infuses so much history and you get to actually kind of learn what you play. But to it’s just, there’s something amazing and alluring about moving through an environment in a really adaptive flowing way like they do climbing over things. And I’ve always been fascinated with complex paths through environments and just weird ways of getting around. So that’s where the parkour goal came from. And then I had a club that I went to in college where they were trying to teach me wall flips, and I was always just too chicken to do it. I can do a really good backflip on a trampoline
David Ralph [55:39]
but, but you can do something else wet as well. I’m reading here, I’ve got an urge to do something and see if you can guess what I’m leading up to. Now, Phil Collins in the room, what am I leading up to there?
Thomas Frank [55:54]
I’m guessing you’re leading up to like, releasing the full rap album. That’s
David Ralph [55:57]
right. Give us some rap. Give us some of rap, I can’t freestyle. You can come on, you can do any possible goals and you can’t freestyle.
Thomas Frank [56:07]
No, I’m very deliberate with rap. And rap is one of those things where I will write something and I’ll be very happy with it at first. But like, even three days later, I’m just like, I don’t really like that. It says really bad. But yeah, I like to just sit there and like, write it out for days and then practice it over and over again. And, yeah, it’s kind of an interesting thing. extemporaneous speech is easy for me. But yeah, performance like that is it’s much more of a prepared thing came on with my roommate. I released a full Rap Album when he was a sophomore in college. So that’s kind of where I got the inspiration for that one.
David Ralph [56:48]
I’m gonna rap I’ve got an urge to rap. Should I should I start rapping? Alright, the first time I’ve ever done this, okay, but you did a drumbeat.
Thomas Frank [56:57]
Oh, you want me to do the drumbeat? Yeah, okay.
David Ralph [57:00]
Don’t even know how to do it. Come on Thomas. Okay van back to basic grasp the shuttle tolls in your fat laces, a little hand claps and some funk faces and make your body move in the following places and up your back and bend down your spine and when it hits your head
Thomas Frank [57:20]
that’s pretty good.
David Ralph [57:21]
Yeah, that’s good. Well, I can’t say that I made that up the top of my head, but still you say, stick that on you impossible goal list. I’ve you started off with such a flourish and you’ve gone down in my estimation, sir. It happens being the kindest, Okay, anyway, let’s get back to the show because this is the part that we call a 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 Thomas, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna 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 [58:05]
With the best bit of the show
Thomas Frank [58:20]
Hello 14 year old me, we need to have a chat.
So, I guess we have it we have a travelling audience with me and my 14 year old self so I have to explain some little backstory stuff. The first job I ever got, was it horrible sort of affair where I had to march through cornfields for 10 hours a day. And the ground was like V shaped because tractors go through the rows. So you’re like your ankles are breaking and it’s always muddy and then it turns into the worst like hot thing ever. terrible job. You work walk like 10 miles a day. And if the bullet tops off the corn for reasons that you can google probably but I did this Because there was a video game I played when I was a preteen called Dance Dance Revolution. And the best version of this game is in the arcades, where they have like a crazy awesome metal pad. And then you could buy like the crappy, like the cloth ones for home. But this company from I don’t know, Texas, maybe they built their own version of like the arcade metal pad, and my 14 year old self was like, I need that. I will acquire that. But it’s $350. And that’s like a zillion dollars to a 14 year old. So into the cornfields that go. And that was my goal. I had a saving goal. And I was working really hard to obtain it. And then I got my first paycheck. And over the course of the summer, which is only like two or three weeks, because that’s like the peak picking season. I made like 600 bucks easily enough to buy the thing. But when I got my hands on the money, I was like, Oh, I could buy clothes with this. And I could buy small things with this. And then all of a sudden find myself like, Hey guys, let’s go to McDonald’s everyday with this. And before I knew it, every dollar that summer job money was gone. And I never bought the thing I set out to buy. And I worked all throughout high school, still never bought the thing I set out to buy. And I think like, part of the reason was is it was such an expensive thing that it like it would feel bad to lose all that money at once. But the main thing is that I just let these little purchases that were just completely like not even my thinking about them. Take over and let me lose sight of my goal. And this was a trend. All throughout high school I worked between 20 and 30 hours a week and I did the calculation. And I think with the money I would have made. I could have paid for like three fourths of my college costs and had almost no student debt throughout my entire college career. So what is happening is I went to college I was able to pay off all my student loans, everything was fine. And when I, when I think about these exercises like going back in time talking to myself, I’m always like, wouldn’t change a thing because everything fell into place all the dots connected, I can look back, and I’m here and I’m happy and all was great. But I would have taught myself, I would, I guess, teach you do yourself that principle much, much earlier on, you have to have goals in mind. And if you cannot stick to your goals with sheer determination, which most of us can’t, then you have to construct systems that will bind you to following that system like that goal. Like what I do now with my bank account is whenever I get paid, I have automatic deductions into my investment accounts. It’s not an option for me, it just happens. And this is what you should have done. So you could get your DDR pad and be way more skilled than you are now. See, I’m going back to my TARDIS.
David Ralph [1:01:57]
Thomas was the number one best wave our order can connect with you, sir?
Thomas Frank [1:02:02]
Yeah. College info geek, comm and Twitter. I’m Tom frankly over there.
David Ralph [1:02:07]
We Oh, didn’t know about that one. I’ll have to look that one up. But we’ll have all the links on the show notes. And Thomas, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And 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. Thomas Frank, thank you so much.
Thomas Frank [1:02:26]
Yeah, thanks for coming on the show, David.
David Ralph [1:02:30]
So what do we learn from that show? Well, you learn that you you make it up as you go along. But then you get better and better at doing stuff. But it’s a journey. It takes a while to get going. If you’re expecting success overnight, it really doesn’t happen and the only people that can sell that to you. They’re the ones who get rich, not not yourself. It’s something you’ve got to put the effort in, find the right thing and start working towards it, as Thomas has and he’s reaping the rewards now, thank you so much for listening to the show. Thank you so much for supporting it. I’m David Ralph, this was Join Up Dots. We’ll see you again.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.