Zephan Blaxberg Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Zephan Blaxberg
Zephan Blaxberg is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is an author, podcaster, entrepreneur, video lover and and a guy who appears to have started moving at an astonishing speed towards the dreamlife, due basically to realising it was down to him to start moving.
As he says “I’ve held every job from being a pastry chef in a gourmet bakery to fixing iPhones at the Apple Store Genius Bar.
In May of 2013 I left the corporate 9-5 world behind to become an entrepreneur.
I was still living with my parents, had next to nothing in savings and ditched my 401K to design a video production company that would place me in the White House along with NFL and NBA arenas around the country.”
But all action starts when the dots have started joining up and placing you in a position to thrive, and from starting his career as a Student Intern at Post-Op Media he moved through a series of positions that all have one thing in common.
He is a creator and a visionary.
He likes nothing more than the process of creating something eye-catching.
How The Dots Joined Up For Zephan
So it was with little surprise that he became the CEO of ZMBmedia, a Baltimore based video production company providing online marketing videos a promotional content to high end clients including AAA and Merrill Shoe Company.
But what is surprising was his next move, as after working in his business for a year and a half, it started to feel more like a job again.
He was struggling to find the motivation to make the money he so desperately needed.
So he moved out and got his own place, built a business (which brings in more expenses) and did everything right… or so he thought.
As he says “I was in a funk and had no clue what to do. But if there was one thing that was certain, I wasn’t living my life purposefully and I had to find a way to reignite the fire fast.”
And that is where we will start today’s show, in the same position as so many of our guests who are lost, confused and know that something awaits them.
But what could it be?
So when he decided to jump from his business, and break free for California?
And how did he silence the brain chatter that more often than not keep us rooted to the spot?
And, know knowing what he knows would he advise everyone to do this, or does it take a special type of person?
Well lets find out, as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr Zephan Blaxberg.
During the show we discuss such weighty subjects with Zephan Blaxberg such as:
How his Mother gave birth to Zeph in a public toilet and why the Fire Brigade was called into action.
Learning the ability to say “No” to people, is not just a great time wasting tool, but actually allows for the super “Yes’s” to run free and power your career forward.
Why in just a few hours from receiving a totally surprising “Pinkslip”, he had downed a couple of drinks and got ready for the next stage of his life.
Why he recalls running out the Rocky steps and being more inspired by the rear of the building than standing in the footsteps of Balboa.
Zephan Moses Blaxberg Books
How To Connect With Zephan Blaxberg
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Full Transcription Of Zephan Blaxberg Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, everybody. Hello. Hello. Welcome to Join Up Dots. I tell you what. I know if you listen to a lot of Join Up Dots. You will know I say this a lot. And it sounds a little bit kind of Yeah. All right, David, we know you love podcasting, but I bloody love podcasting. And I love podcasting so much because I get to connect with people. Like today’s guy who has told me some bizarre stories about an interest in men’s public toilets. Actually, he didn’t say men’s public toilets. It could just be any toilet and sort of bizarre way but he’s been named I found some dirt already on him, which I’m gonna have to drag out to find out the whole story and it’s a delight to have him on the show because he was introduced to me by a lady ginger Kern who appeared on the show way back when I think Episode 15 and probably 105 long time ago, and she said to me, you’re gonna have this guy on the show. He’s, he’s the man you need to have. He’s an author, podcaster entrepreneur, video lover and a guy who appears to have started moving and astonishing speed towards the dream life do basically to realising it was down to him to start moving. As he says, I’ve held every job from being a pastry chef in a gourmet bakery to fixing iPhones at the Apple Store Genius Bar. And in May of 2013, I left the corporate nine to five world behind to become an entrepreneur, I was still living with my parents. I had next to nothing in savings and ditch my 401k to design a video production company that would place me in the White House, along with NFL and NBA arenas around the country. Action stars. When the dots have joined up and places you are in a position to thrive, and from starting his career as a student intern at post op media, he moved through a series of positions, but all have one thing in common. He’s a creator, and he’s a visionary. He likes nothing more than the process of creating something eye catching. So it was with little surprise that he became the CEO of Zed MB media, a Baltimore based video production company, providing online marketing ideas and videos and promotional content to high end clients including dribble a and mail shoe company. But what is surprising and it’s good. What’s his next move? As after working in this business for a year and a half, it started to feel more like a job again, he was struggling to find the motivation to make the money so he he just, he moved down, got his own place, built a business which brings in more expenses and did everything right. Also he fought as he says he was in a funk and I had no clue what to do. But if there’s one thing that was Certain I wasn’t living my life purposefully, and I had to find a way to reignite the fire up fast. And that my listeners is where we will start today’s show in the same position as so many of our guests who are lost, confused and know that something awaits for them. But what could it be? So when he decided to jump from his business and break free to California, how did he silence the brain chatter that more often than not keeps us rooted to the spot and knowing what he knows now? What do you advise everyone to do this? Or does it take a special type of person? Well, let’s find out as we start joining up tops with today’s guests. Mr. Zephan Blaxberg. Zephan How are you sir?
Zephan Blaxberg [3:37]
David, thank you so much for having me here today. And you know, I have to share with you that today is quite a special day. So if you’ve ever heard of an app called timehop, it goes back in time and looks at this exact day and where you were on social media. And exactly three years ago today I posted today I put in my two weeks at Apple It wasn’t an easy decision. But I will finally be chasing my dream and entrepreneurship. So what better day to start than today?
David Ralph [4:06]
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, this is a this is a classic Join Up Dots moment. So when you look back on those years, you know, that’s kind of forward thinking, isn’t it to leave a trail of what you’re doing? I didn’t know you could do that kind of stuff. Have you been doing that ever? Since? Can you go back over the last three years and find this app and tells you key points?
Zephan Blaxberg [4:25]
Yeah. So basically, when you download, it’s a free app, and it hooks into your Twitter and your social media accounts. And then it’ll show you on this day in history, what you’ve posted, whether it was, you know, one year ago, five years ago for as long as you’ve had those accounts, and each day, it’s something different so you can look back and see what that day was in history.
David Ralph [4:46]
Because I’ll tell you what, my you are one of the weirdest guests that I’ve ever had on the show in a nice way. And I’ll be honest with you, because if I go over to say your Twitter feed your Twitter, I think is at Zeppelin moves Moses, but it says at the top If an Blacksburg and I thought there can’t be many Zeppelin Blacksburg Why is he chosen Zeppelin Moses? And then I go to somewhere else and what is actually your name because I haven’t nowadays it’s Devon Blacksburg, Moses and Moses F and Blacksburg Zeppelin is that what is it?
Zephan Blaxberg [5:16]
My first name is F in my middle name is Moses and my last name is Blacksburg, but most people that know me Just call me Zeff, or sometimes they just call me z.
David Ralph [5:25]
So when you went onto Twitter, there was another seven Blacksburg had already got that.
Zephan Blaxberg [5:30]
You know, I don’t even remember originally when I created the account, but I know that it wasn’t under my name. It was under some sort of username about videography, because that’s what I was doing in college when I signed up. But I don’t remember quite what the username was. And then eventually I just decided to to brand it under my name because it started to build and grow and now as my youth group kids like to call me Twitter famous I have somewhere like 10,000 followers or something like that.
David Ralph [5:58]
Now, before we move Obviously we’ve got to touch base on this fascination with public toilets that you have. I’m not saying that you spend all your time in public toilet I’m not saying that you are like the podcasting version of George Michael. No, that’s not what I’m saying. But what is it about you and public toilets but the listeners have to know about
Zephan Blaxberg [6:18]
so when I was born my mom so I being the firstborn of course, my mom had never experienced going into labour. And so she’s getting ready to leave for the gym one day she goes to the bathroom and my head pops out. And for many of you listening in that’s not normal heads are not supposed to come first. And I was
David Ralph [6:44]
supposed to come first.
Zephan Blaxberg [6:46]
I was I am sorry, my feet my feet popped out for I was gonna say I’ve been nervous had a bit of a coffee hasn’t kicked in yet moments. Yeah,
David Ralph [6:54]
I’ve been working in I’ve been bear and I’ve seen them come out and it’s always the head first.
Zephan Blaxberg [6:59]
So Fie popped out first. I’m sorry, I dropped, drop the mic there on that one. But fee popped out first and I wasn’t breathing, had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck three times and had to be resuscitated by the local volunteer fire department. And the funny thing about essentially being born in the water is that Moses, the Hebrew translation means drawn from the water because it was all about how Moses in his story, he was drawn from a basket out of the water. So I’d like to think that that’s why I got my middle name.
David Ralph [7:32]
But the fascinating part of the story is all fascinating before I move on, was why wasn’t the ambulance called Why didn’t he call a fire brigade? Obviously not yourself. But that’s bizarre, isn’t it?
Zephan Blaxberg [7:43]
Yes. So the the local fire department is actually a block of the street. They actually could have walked, they wouldn’t even need to jump in the truck to get there. But why is
David Ralph [7:53]
that it’s the last thing that I would think of, you know, if my house was burning down, I wouldn’t own a nurse. I think okay, fire burning guy that would work. If my wife’s in labour, I wouldn’t think of phoning the police.
Zephan Blaxberg [8:05]
True. I mean, it’s for us the the EMTs are at the Firehouse too. So they send an ambulance straight from the firehouse. You never expected to be talking about this on today’s show, did you sir? Not at all. And I never thought that I would mess up the way that I was born. I didn’t think I would say head first.
David Ralph [8:23]
Wait, wait to learn. So your whole journey was is it simple as making a conscious decision once you decided to do something? Has it been easy? Has it been hard? Has it been a combination? But does it all come down to that one fact? Once you make a decision when things start to move?
Zephan Blaxberg [8:42]
I you know, it’s been I feel like it’s a lot tougher because you sit here and you look around at your peers and your friends around you. And you know, in my case, many of them chose a job and when they leave at five o’clock in the afternoon, they leave their work at the office and for me I’ve definitely chosen a path where you know, my work doesn’t stay at the office, my work is never really finished, because I’m always aspiring to do more and to be more. And so I don’t think that it’s been an easy path at all. In fact, I’ve probably made many more lonely nights of having, you know, breakdowns of not knowing whether something was going to work out, then most because it’s just a very risky place to put yourself in. I find the best thing to do when you have those moments F and I talk to my people about this is to do nothing at all. I went through a dark night.
David Ralph [9:37]
Well, it wasn’t even a dark night of the soul. I just felt confused. Probably about three months ago, if I was on the right path to where I wanted to be, because what happens listeners is, you go right, this is what’s going to happen. I’m going to be an entrepreneur, I’m going to do X Y Zed and you start working towards it. And after a while, more than not you kind of pivot and you start changing direction, generally In the same kind of vicinity, but you start doing different things. And you get to a point where you get to that crossroads and you think right decision time either go that way or that way. Which way do I go? So what I always say exam is don’t do anything, just kind of walk around and just let it go. So what am I doing podcasting, then just switch off my microphone, don’t record anything, don’t go online. And more often than not that answer of the dark night of the soul comes to you and you find the right decision. Do you find that?
Zephan Blaxberg [10:28]
Yeah, you know, David, I was learning the power of saying no, a lot more when that stuff came up. Because I found that often when we’re overwhelmed, it’s usually because not only are we doing a lot of stuff for ourselves and for our businesses, but we’re also being asked for a lot of things. And so, you know, when my book went out, when my podcasts went out when things started to blow up, it’s very easy for my inbox to fill up with people that have reached out you know, asking Can I pick your brain can I have a few minutes on the phone with you and you know, if I spend Every single minute on the phone with people that they had asked me for, I wouldn’t have time for myself. And so I’ve really learned the power of just saying no and understanding that you’re not a bad person for it. You just you have to set your boundaries.
David Ralph [11:13]
And the power of no brings about the super yeses Don’t lie. That is it’s one of those things that at the beginning, you almost lay yourself out to take every opportunity because you’re getting things going and you think I might miss out, I might miss out. But that comes with that natural competence that the journey, doesn’t it and when you can start saying no, that leaves the spaces that when the real big, yeses come up, you can go Yeah, I’m gonna do that and it really pushes you forward.
Zephan Blaxberg [11:38]
And if you really want to take a big risk, say no to money, I had an opportunity pop up where Facebook actually interviewed me and they were ready to send me out to California doing video work in their offices. And just from a little bit of research online, it looks like the position would pay somewhere around 175,000 a year and said no to it. And the amazing thing that came out of that was my business grew even more. I bet within the next three or four days, I probably had five clients come in. And it just it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. So how
David Ralph [12:14]
do you find your clients then obviously, you’ve got a podcast, you’ve written a book, you’re still reasonably new on the scene. So how do people find you and reach out to you?
Zephan Blaxberg [12:27]
Yeah, well, I was really lucky that the first job I had out of college was with a very, very large information marketing company. So I met a tonne of coaches, authors, speakers, and mentors, really right off the bat. And I don’t even think I knew the power of having been in that company until I left. Because if you’ve ever heard of a copywriter by the name of Dan Kennedy or a marketer, by the name of Bill Glazer, they were my bosses. And these were people that are huge in the online marketing industry. And I had no clue until after the fact so I mean, I think that that was a huge, huge event in my life that that led to a lot of things later down the road. But But
David Ralph [13:09]
what is it about us f? why our clients coming to you what what is it that they like about the work that you’re presenting?
Zephan Blaxberg [13:19]
You know, while that sent the connections, I think what I had to provide was was a service, I mean, and not in the manner of, you know, I showed up to the cash register, and someone gives me a burger and I give them $5. Like, I needed to provide a service where they’re not worried about am I going to show up on time late or not at all. They’re not worried about, you know, do I need to bring in a makeup artist for my video shoot, they’re not even thinking about, oh, you know, did he bring the lights or the sound or the this or that I’m really providing a service where it’s taking care of them. And so, you know, I’ve never actually had to market it’s just been a constant stream of referrals from that. The initial group of people that I had met, and it really is just grown from there. So it’s just been doing good work and then getting referred out again, because people really liked what I was doing. Okay, so let’s
David Ralph [14:11]
take you from where you were to now. And I love this question. So I asked you a lot, you’re in a bar, some hot guy comes up, hot lady, I have to cover both bases, and says to you, you know, what, what are you doing? What What, what do you do for a living? Do you say you’re an author, a podcaster, a video person, entrepreneur, how do you actually phrase it with so many strings to your bow?
Zephan Blaxberg [14:33]
You know, I was actually at a networking event just the other day. So this is a great example. I, it part of it depends, you know, in the context of the conversation if we’re talking about certain things. So, you know, if I were at a podcasting conference for say, I would just introduce myself as a best selling author and a podcast host. But if I’m in a different setting, like a networking event, especially locally where I might find a new client, I usually say that I’m a best selling author, a podcast host, and my full time business is a video production company.
David Ralph [15:06]
And do I find it difficult to say I’m a best selling author? Because that’s a journey that people go on. Once you actually buy into what you do, you know, I am quite open now to say I’m a podcaster and the story, but at the beginning, I was sort of muttering under my breath. I actually remember being in a pub, and I’d released probably about 250 episodes, and I was having a drink with my mate. And these two girls and a guy turned up and they were sitting on the sort of sofa opposite our society. And they said, you know, what do you do for a living? And my mate answered first, and I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t say, I’m a podcaster. I kind of went, Oh, go on you. You tell him you tell him and I’ve got him to tell him because I just hadn’t bought into what I am. So when somebody says to you, what do you do? Has it always been best selling author? Or do you now know that you’re competent enough to actually say that with conviction,
Zephan Blaxberg [15:59]
you know, it Still, I think it’s still going to take a little bit until I say it and truly believe it underneath of everything. Because, you know, I have the physical book, it’s sitting right here on my desk, but it’s interesting, you know, when it hit the number one spot on Amazon and I was sitting there refreshing the page at 11 o’clock at night, you know, it hit it, I got it, I took my screenshot. And I kind of had this moment of like, now what, you know, like, what do I do next? You know, I always want to do more and to do bigger things. So I don’t know if it’s truly clicked how big of a project I’ve actually completed yet. But I think that it’s it’s starting to get there. You know, people keep telling me not to be as humble when I introduce myself or meeting new people. And, you know, they go off and brag about me once they find out all the things that I’ve done. So I you know, it’s one of those things. I don’t want to brag, but at the same time there is this balance of, you know, wow, I really did do something cool. And it took a lot of work and most people aren’t willing to put in that type of work. So it’s starting to come around.
David Ralph [17:12]
It’s funny, though, isn’t a you know, I hate using that word, but journey, but isn’t it from the moment you decide to do something? You do it, but you don’t quite believe it. And then other people start saying to you, oh, you’re really good. And you kind of go Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah, thanks very much. But I think you’re just saying that. And then there’s a kind of groundswell that occurs. I’ve certainly saw a big tipping point from about 402. Now, that was where people really started to buy in to what I was doing, where before. It was weird. I think the guest used to come to my show because they felt that they was doing me a favour. But now I think he feels the other way somehow, but they’re actually coming on because they they know there’s a value and once you get there, it really is cooking on gas. You can’t stop it. You’ve literally set the flames up for success, haven’t you?
Zephan Blaxberg [18:04]
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think that I remember back to when I was just following Pat Flynn from Smart Passive income. And this was working my first job out of college. I never really heard of podcasting until that point. And he just said something about, you know, the first year, you’re gonna have to keep going and right when you hit that first year mark, you’re gonna start to see you know, a little jump, you’re gonna start to see things move. And, you know, it’s so tough to stick with something for such a long time when you constantly are getting down on yourself thinking, Oh, you know, Should I continue with this? Should I keep going? And just like he said, the one year mark with my podcasts, I started to see a little bit of a bump in traffic and people started coming in. And I’m like, wow, you know, I really just have to stick with things for at least a year so I can start to see the results of what I’ve done far too many times. People are just giving up, you know, through Six months in because they haven’t seen any results. And the truth is, these are things that just take time.
David Ralph [19:05]
I knew it was gonna take five years. And that was this, you know, the level that I set out. And so I’m just actually coming up to the two year anniversary, we’ve released about 555 shows with bonus shows. And I just feel like I’m getting going. And that’s the interesting thing. If you find the thing that you want to do, even though you’re not getting the rewards, that’s a great indication that you’ve found your thing would you say, sir?
Zephan Blaxberg [19:31]
Absolutely. And it’s just a matter of being able to talk yourself into staying into it, you know, longer than most people would?
David Ralph [19:39]
Well, let’s play some words. Now. That’s gonna take us to the second stage of the conversation when we take you back to probably being the pastry chef. That’s an interesting one. This is Jim Carrey.
Unknown Speaker [19:49]
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.
Zephan Blaxberg [20:15]
It’s coming to view but isn’t it 100% I mean, I took a job when I was fresh out of college and thought I had done everything right. And just over a year into working that job. They had a lawyer show up one morning and get me a pink slip and the job was pulled out from under me and I had not done anything wrong. The company was still going on without me and you can you can fail just as much at something, regardless of how hard you tried.
David Ralph [20:44]
So how did you recover from that? Obviously, you’re going in there. As far as you’re concerned, you’re building a career and it’s taken away. Did you walk out and go, right, I’m gonna show you wipe Now a couple of years I’m going to be a best selling author or did you go down the bar and drink A few beers even though it was nine o’clock in the morning,
Zephan Blaxberg [21:02]
I was gonna say, you know, the first thing I did was I went out and got a drink with my coworkers. And it probably was nine or 10 o’clock in the morning.
David Ralph [21:13]
Because you want aren’t like that will drink at nine o’clock in the morning.
Zephan Blaxberg [21:16]
Yeah, yeah. And then just immediately went to work. I mean, I gave myself you know, a couple hours to say, okay, you know, this is this is the truth of the matter. And this is where I am right now. And then I just got to work. I started doing some freelance video work. And that was really kind of the start of what evolved into my full time business today.
David Ralph [21:36]
So that’s it. That is a fascinating point. So there was no three days of growing a beard sitting in your dressing gown, watching, you know, daytime TV with the curtains drawn, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in tubs. It was none of that you’d basically had a few drinks and went right. That’s it, move on. Yeah, I
Zephan Blaxberg [21:57]
mean, I think anytime I run into trouble, I really just get myself permission to feel whatever it is going on. And you know if that means I’ve got to go watch a movie, go for a drive, whatever it is, and then continue on because there’s no sense in, you know, messing with the rest of the day and ruining the rest of the day. Because you can still recover from that. I mean, there were so many things you can do. If something bad happens, especially if it’s in the morning, and especially after you’ve had a couple drinks, you know, the ideas start flowing. And next thing you know, who knows what could happen? But did
David Ralph [22:29]
you have that ability to bounce back because you had transferable skills, it wasn’t like somebody goes into a job, and they learn something that is only applicable to that job. And so when they sort of have to leave, they think what the hell do I do with myself? Was it the fact that you could video at it that you realise that actually you had monetary options in front of you?
Zephan Blaxberg [22:52]
Well, I think that I had bounced back so quickly, really, because I didn’t know any better I was just under this impression of you know, your college graduate, you have to have a job, you have to be making money. And it just seemed like there was no other choice like this was what I had to do was be successful. But later down the road when I started to freelance more and build up the company, it wasn’t until while I was working at Apple, where someone took me aside for dinner one night and said, you know, you could do this and make a lot of money. I had never really done it full time. It was just a couple freelance projects here and there, you know, 500 bucks here, maybe $800 there, it was enough to get by but it wasn’t, you know, a full time living. So I think it really took another year or so until someone gave me that feedback of you know, you could really make money doing this before it turned around overnight. And I left a full time job three years ago to the day today and and started the business so it took about a year for that to really sink in.
David Ralph [23:54]
I have a conversation with a friend Bradley go if you’re listening to this, right. This is to me Literally every time I meet this mate that I used to work with, he is an IT guy. And he sets up all these networking things. And he says he, I don’t know what he does, but it’s all to do with computers. And he’s very, very clever, really. And I say to him, you know, why don’t you do this for yourself? You freelance or whatever, you’d make a lot of money. Yeah, but other people can do this. Yeah. And a lot of other people can’t, and they’re gonna sort of pay you for it. And he never gets off his backside. Even though I feel like that the fires have been flamed underneath him while we’re getting drunk in a pub, you know, next time I see him, he’s doing exactly the same thing. So it was unusual in the great scheme of things that you had that mindset to actually take action because you don’t see a deer.
Zephan Blaxberg [24:41]
Well, you know, there’s a reason why there’s multiple car companies. It’s because another person looked at it and said, Oh, that’s a really good idea. We should do that. But expand upon that, you know, so I don’t think people should be discouraged just because there’s other people out there doing it. I mean, that there’s a good reason why there’s multiple car makers out there, and everybody’s got their own little spin on it. I mean, even Tesla is not all that old popped up recently. They build electric cars and their spin on it is they now have a car that’s self driving.
David Ralph [25:10]
I’ll tell you what, this Google car is amazing, isn’t it, like the Google one they recognise, is driven around the world three times, and it’s had three crashes. And that’s when people have gone bloodier with a Google car and driven in the back of it. It’s almost untouchable. You know, when you look at the progress, even the fact that you’re monitoring what you did four years ago, and it flashes up to say, you know, this is where you were. It’s, it’s unbelievable, but the majority of people that I know in my world here in my world here, the people that I connect with, understand it, and my coaching clients, they understand it, and they know the opportunities they’ve got in my previous life, when I meet the guys who are still in the companies that I work with, they can’t see the opportunities in front of them, even though soon we’re gonna have cars driving us around the world and nobody in the front seat. Yeah, the funny thing about that first job I worked was, you know, they teach business owners how to be better business owners. And it took me over a year to realise that I could actually be a business owner and already had the books and the right tools and everything that I needed to learn. When did it really come together? When When did you realise that actually, you had it, you had that X Factor, that super talent to bring it forward? Because you are, you know, you’re you’re working at astonishing speed, the fact that you’ve got a podcast coming up to 100 episodes, or whatever you’ve done, you’ve got the book out, you’ve got all those kinds of things. A lot of people would struggle to spin so many plates, when did you realise that you could actually do this?
Zephan Blaxberg [26:38]
You know, I think for the video business, at least, it was when I met this guy at a networking event. He was a graphic designer and had done a lot of work with NFL football teams. And he said, you know, hey, I might reach out to you, we’re looking for some animation. And about a month later, he calls me up and says, Hey, we’re looking for animation to take over and An entire sports venue. And I had never had any of my work displayed, you know, in front of that many people. I mean, we’re talking probably 60 70,000 people. And it wasn’t until I saw the pictures of my work up inside of a football stadium with you know, 70,000 people all seeing it at once we did a full arena takeover. And I think that’s where I kind of had this moment of, you know, it was almost like that I made it moment. Yeah, my works not done yet.
David Ralph [27:29]
In a sense, if that makes sense. It makes total sense. And what’s coming out on this, this is a blueprint for success. anyone listening to this is number one, you took action. Number two, you had skills that were transferable. You’re big networker, so you’re surrounding yourself with people that are doing the kind of things that you want to do, or even better, that you don’t even know are out there that can be changed and moved around so that you can actually step into that. But once you get that vision in front of you You’re in that sports arena and your works up there. That is not the biggest vision board in the world, isn’t it? You’re actually seeing it and once your brain digests that it’s possible, you really know but nothing is impossible. I was watching this documentary I spoke about this on the last podcast about Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid football player. And his agent was talking to Cristiano son, and the son must have been about five or something, you know, very small, but he was saying, nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible. It is not impossible, nothing, nothing. And he kept on going on and on and on. And I thought to myself what a gift this kid’s got, but he can grow up to see but actually, this guy is now playing for Real Madrid and he started from nothing, and it’s he’s dead. this other guy is a super powerful agent who started from nothing, you know, nothing is impossible, and that’s what you’re proving, isn’t it? Nothing is impossible. If you want to go for it. You can
Zephan Blaxberg [28:59]
you know I think we look at it was either the the four minute or the five minute mile, whatever that record was that someone had to breathe in, for for the longest time, no one could break this record. And right after the first person does it, like 100 people do it, you know, within the next year. And I think the problem is that we don’t see it made possible. So we don’t think that it’s possible once we can see for ourselves, that it can be possible, even if we’ve never done it before. I think that’s where the magic kind of happens is knowing that while I have not done it and proved it to myself before, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
David Ralph [29:38]
Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. And I think he’s absolutely right. You know, I couldn’t be a black basketball player in the NBA. You know that that’s never gonna happen. But the majority of things if I decide to do it, and funny enough when I look back on my career, or the things that were the hardest, but I really persevered at it, I think gave me so much competence to move. Word. And when I created this show, I remember episode two or three, thinking to myself, This show will be number one across the world. And I’ve got close to it. And as you know, in podcasting land, you get very close, and then it dips, and then you think, oh, Blimey, and then you have to start climbing up again. And then you get almost touching distance, and then it goes down again, you know, but over time, you’re learning the skills. That’s the important thing. You’re learning the skills, how to do it better all the time, aren’t you?
Zephan Blaxberg [30:28]
Yeah, I mean, I have a journal that sits next to my bed that I write in both every morning and night. And being able to go back and see even just in a week’s worth of time, how much you have changed, especially when you start to notice and really record and document what’s going on for you. I think that’s one of the best things about this day and age is that things are documented. Now. You know, if you went back 20 years ago, I couldn’t tell you what I did three years prior, but you know, yesterday I was sitting on my phone And I could just scroll back and see what I was doing a year ago. On that same day, I could see who I was with what meetings I had. When I went out to lunch. I mean, we don’t we, we live in a time where we can do things that we weren’t able to do 10 or 20 years ago,
David Ralph [31:14]
I’ll tell you what’s there. I am glad but you can’t go back in time. You know, I I grew up I’m now 46 or will be 46 very shortly. So I grew up in a time there was no mobile phones. People didn’t carry cameras around. Nobody carried cameras. So every time you was in a bar at your worst, there wasn’t any dodgy pictures ending up on Facebook about it the next day. You know, I I look back on my life. And I think, thank God, I can’t track most of it. So you you see it in a totally different way, but it’s a positive.
Zephan Blaxberg [31:44]
Yeah, you know, I think that being able to document both the positive and the negative aspects really allow you to see the bigger difference. You know, if we were just looking at all the good things that have happened to me, I don’t think you would realise that All the things I had to go through to obtain those things. So it’s kind of important to see the bad stuff too. And that’s the problem, isn’t it with life, we see the the highlights, we see what is visible at that time, you don’t see the 1015 years of underground struggle until Coldplay end up playing at the, you know, the Super Bowl, you don’t see all the dodgy bars, and they’re sort of trying to learn the instruments, you just see the end product, and that stops so many people in their tracks. And I think that’s also part of the problem with a lot of not just podcasters, but personalities that are putting their information out there is they’re not sharing that part of their story. And I think not only are they robbing themselves of an experience, but they’re robbing their listeners of an experience too. And so being able to go back and share at least you know, some of the lessons that were learned that helped them get to where they are today is just so crucial.
David Ralph [32:54]
Because Pat Flynn does that very well doesn’t he talking about the Smart Passive Income guy and if you Go over to pats earnings and I’m just looking at it now because I love this so I’m gonna read this directly off. He’s He’s side, but every month Pat Flynn on Smart Passive Income calm reliefs, he releases his income reports. And it looks very good you go over there and the last month was like 150 grand, but you can scroll all the way back right to the very beginning and see like his first month was about $47 or something. And he says I didn’t and this is quoting him. I didn’t get to where I am overnight. It’s been a long road building blocks of hustle and my fair share of mistakes and yet, through persistence and passion, I’ve managed to build something amazing something I never thought possible. When I first launched SPI you can do that too. I take hard work and it won’t happen overnight. So don’t look at my income numbers and thing, I could never do that. That’s not the point of my income reports. The point is to share that amazing success and growth is possible if and only if you put in the time and effort to build it using strategy. And tactics that actually work.
Zephan Blaxberg [34:02]
Now, isn’t that brilliant? Well, I think that I applaud him for being a little bit vulnerable there. I mean, he’s sharing what it took to really get there instead of just going out and making wild claims, you know, oh, I made $150,000 this month. I think that’s that’s the important part of this is that, you know, I think we have a duty to share with others that our success was not something where we just flipped a switch and woke up the next morning.
David Ralph [34:30]
Yeah, I think that’s the beauty of podcasting. If you go back over the last 500 plus episodes of my show, you will hear some pretty raw and open discussions, where I’ve literally said, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, you know, I just don’t know where to turn. And I remember recording these and putting them out and people saying, What are you doing, that’s not what people want to hear. But I got more feedback from those moments. And they were my stepping stones. They were my dots. I got stronger And now, every single person that I work with, we’re literally on 100% success rate of the coaching clients that I work with that have come to me, not Alberta believe that they can do something wanting to do something or being lost. And within about six months, they’ve got the beginnings of a business. And once they start to see that, then it you know, it’s full speed ahead, of course, it’s going to take years and whatever afterwards, but tying into what Pat was saying, Bear, he found the thing that he wanted to persevere on. He found the thing, but he believed in and so but late nights, the early mornings, wasn’t hard work for him. It was something that was, you know, something he was willing to put into, because he knew that he was going to reap these rewards. He had his vision, and he was going to go for it.
Zephan Blaxberg [35:47]
Yeah, I think one of the best things that he said ever on a show was that if you take a pack of dogs, and you were to toss a rock into the middle of the pack, the dog that yelps the loudest is the one that was hit. And I think that when you go and play Get yourself out there and put out this content, whether it be a book, a podcast, even just a business, that people that speak up and say, oh, you’ll never be successful or you can’t do this. Those are the ones that were hit the most by what you’re doing. And it’s a very interesting conversation if you have the ability to turn it around and really find out what’s going on in their minds, because it’s coming out of their own fears and their own limitations.
David Ralph [36:23]
I’m very lucky I don’t get many of those emails and comments directed at me more often than not, I get some lovely glowing ones, which is always very nice. But I’ve had some ones that have been really, really rough. And my my kind of standpoint is, oh, I you say something nasty to me, I’m going to say something nasty back to you. That’s the kind of thing that you know, just comes out of me. But fortunately, I haven’t. And I have responded in total cleanness to these people. And more often than not, they will then come back to me and go Yes, sorry. Yeah, yeah, I was just at that dark moment. I listened to your show, and I just launched because you was my target at that time. There’s very few people out there I think that truly believe that life is crap. I truly believe that most people live with the fantasy of anything is achievable. And once they move past the fantasy to the reality, that’s when it starts going. But I think we grow up with the fairy story, stories, the kind of things that are fantastic. And we realised that at certain point, that’s not true. But I think we go through a part of our life when we realise that life isn’t true either. It’s got to be hard. It’s got to be a slog, you know, why should I be having fun? But it comes together doesn’t is F
Zephan Blaxberg [37:37]
absolutely i mean it I forget what the quote is, but it was something about you know, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Yeah. And and I think that’s Helen Keller, who said that, and I think she was absolutely right.
David Ralph [37:49]
Well, she was absolutely right. And I’m gonna play some words from somebody now who’s also absolutely right, is Rocky.
Rocky Balboa [37:56]
You mean nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But a lot about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward, how much you can take it, keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
David Ralph [38:12]
I’m feeling all inspired in this show, sir, I feel that this is something that is going to change lives. What do you think?
Zephan Blaxberg [38:20]
I’m pumped up, you know, I ran up the rocky steps not too long ago, we actually, we had some stairs that I ran up two days ago as well. I went to see Gary Vaynerchuk speak. And it was pretty similar. It took like an hour, I feel like to get to the top of it. And I think that’s really kind of a good metaphor for how this all is gonna work for you is there’s tiny steps. And eventually you’re going to get to the top and it’s going to take a long time and you might be sweaty and you might smell really bad. But you’ve got something really great on the other side of that.
David Ralph [38:50]
All I had to wait is experience running up the rocky steps many many years ago and if you listen to a lot of these shows, you would have heard this story, but I’ll just summarise it quickly. For about mumps beforehand. I knew I was gonna go to Philadelphia and it was about February time, so it was freezing cold. And I had the rocky music playing in my head constantly. It was like just going around my head. And it wasn’t the,
Unknown Speaker [39:10]
due to the, to the to the,
David Ralph [39:13]
you know the bit at the end when it’s done
Unknown Speaker [39:15]
David Ralph [39:18]
Adrian. I just had that music just going around my head all the time. And I couldn’t shake it. It was just constantly there. And I went to Philadelphia and it was a terrible, stormy snowy day, the whole two weeks was just terrible and freezing. And I ran up the rocky steps and they cleared all the snow it was just this little bit. And when I got to the top there was these two Chinese people. And the lady obviously didn’t know rocky at all. And the guy was playing his mp3 player loud and he played that music Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba and I turned around and I jumped and for the only time on that two week holiday, the clouds parted and the light came down, and I was bathed in light at a time. It was like an alien abduction. And from that moment, that’s music just went out of my head never came back again. What do you reckon that was all about?
Zephan Blaxberg [40:13]
I feel like it was something going on, like this constant reminder of a thing that you had to fulfil. And so your mind just kind of kept knocking on the door and saying, hey, until you open the door and walk through it. We’re just gonna keep knocking. It was emotional. No, did you feel emotional running
David Ralph [40:28]
up those steps?
Zephan Blaxberg [40:29]
Hey, you know, I actually my emotional side came out when I walked around the back of that building that those steps are actually because I’m a rower and there’s boathouse row is the street that goes right behind that. And that’s where all the rowers and the crew teams have their boat houses. And so for me, I was like a kid in a candy store as soon as I walked around the side of that building, so it was like, run up the steps, you know, this huge accomplishment. Get to the other side, and there’s this awesome reward of I get to see all of these amazing rowers out on the water and check out their boat houses because that’s history right there where some of those boat clubs have been around for over 100 years. Wow, this is this is a metaphor
David Ralph [41:12]
for life. This is amazing. So just before we bring Steve Jobs on to the show, we’re playing all the clips on today’s episode. What Where are you aiming for? You know, is it more video? Is it more writing? Is it public speaking? Because you’ve obviously got opportunities coming your way? What you say no to and what you’re saying yes to.
Zephan Blaxberg [41:32]
So I’m really aiming to work with people. I’m definitely a people person. I think that if I’ve looked back and connect the dots between all the different things that I’ve done in my life, just working wise, it’s really come down to two things creativity and working with other people. So the only way that I can combine those things is, you know, between speaking coaching, so I’ve also got a coaching programme that I’m doing working with people from my backyard to Brazil. And on top of that, really just bringing it all together with the podcasting, and just putting out a lot of good content, a lot of creative stuff.
David Ralph [42:10]
And when it when you look at it now compared to two years ago, is it where it should be or you as surprised as anyone?
Zephan Blaxberg [42:19]
Like I couldn’t have told you that it would be here two years ago, I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that big because it you know, I was living under this limited idea that, you know, I have to do and be the same thing for a really long time. And so when I first saw it out to start this business, I thought that I had to have this business for the next 40 years. And the second I started to realise that that’s not exactly true. And there’s this amazing word called pivot that we can do in our businesses and in our lives. Once I learned how to pivot. I think that the whole world of possibilities just opened up brilliant stuff.
David Ralph [43:00]
Well, these are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005, to the guys leaving Stanford University and they were vitally important, Ben. They’re vitally important. Now they’re going to be with us forever, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [43:12]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was 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 [43:47]
So I think you are a kind of guy who would buy into those words totally.
Zephan Blaxberg [43:52]
Yeah, well, I think he missed one little part because he says, you know following your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. Think that he forgets to mention that you are guaranteed to be let off the well worn path. Guaranteed when you when you take that risk and you take that leap, that’s you giving the world permission to throw whatever and anything at you. And so I think that it’s just important to know that that’s that’s not a maybe that’s a guarantee.
David Ralph [44:19]
So when you look back over your life so far, is there a big.as? We say I ask this question almost every episode, but is there a big dot where you think yeah, that’s really when it started to really come together for me when I I kind of saw what I should have been aiming at.
Zephan Blaxberg [44:35]
Oh, yeah, I know exactly where I was, what I was wearing at the time, I was hiking up a mountain in Boston on a retreat. There’s an amazing organisation called the higher purpose project. And that’s actually where I met ginger, who’s also been on your show. And we went on this four day retreat up in Boston. We’re hiking up the side, and I’m just kind of thinking about, you know, the next year and What I want to accomplish and what I want to do, and I turned to the person next to me, and I just said, California, I need to go to California. They’re like, What are you talking about? We’re like talking about something totally unrelated. And he said, You don’t understand, like I always said in college that I was going to walk across that stage at graduation, go to California. And that’s where I was going to get my life started. And I never did that I had that dream of going there. And I knew that one of the dots would get connected when I got there because I just felt so drawn to doing this thing. And I never done it because I was scared of what was going to happen. And as soon as I got back from that trip, I actually taught myself travel hacking, so I could rack up tonnes of skymiles and free flights around the world. And I use them with my first stop being San Francisco, California. And as soon as I made that trip, I really started to learn who is effin as a person when you take away the securities of having your car with you. Having your Home to go back to at the end of the day having your bed. You know, I was sleeping in strangers houses between Airbnb and couchsurfing and actually made my way around the country for a solid two months and really just took this break from my life and my business to find out who I am. And it just that was really probably the biggest dot that changed things for me because when I got back, the podcast was born the day after I got that,
David Ralph [46:25]
and who are you, Ben, who did you find on that journey?
Zephan Blaxberg [46:31]
I found someone who really can take advantage of his own self reliance. You know, I was raised a Boy Scout I can tie all the knots but I think that I had never really put my street smarts to the test whether it was you know, figuring your way out around the city. You know, figuring out how to make new friends in a foreign place when you have no one to introduce you finding your way into really cool places. So while I was out there, I got a tour of the Facebook headquarters. I also Got to go and get a tour of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium when I was out in Texas. So I really got to figure out where when they say, you know, the sky’s the limit, I got to figure out where this guy was.
David Ralph [47:12]
That is the title of this show. I think that is absolutely perfect. I’m not going to rewrite that. I had it as a year of living purpose purposefully, but I’m gonna change that. Do you think that’s a good one? Yeah, let’s do it. I’m gonna do that. Well, this is the end of the show, sir. And this is the part that we’ve been leading up to 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 Zach, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme, and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [47:55]
of the show.
Zephan Blaxberg [48:10]
Hey, Jeff, I know that you’re extremely young, only about 13 getting ready to go up to your bar mitzvah and it’s the time in your life when you’re supposed to be become a man and make big decisions and make big changes for yourself. And there’s a there’s a tough time ahead. You know, you’re you’re feeling a little down right now. You’ve been depressed for probably about a year. And I know that things are really tough right now. But if you could only see what’s going to happen. You have such a bright future ahead of you for the people’s lives. You’re going to touch, the accomplishments you’re going to reach and just know that anything you’re going through right now is all a step on the path to making yourself stronger. And I want to share with you something that you actually keep in your wallet now at all times, and you keep on you, and it’s this little paper that just says, Be proud of here. And I want you to make sure that every moment everything that happens to you whether they’re good or bad that you be proud of where you are here in this moment, and don’t miss out on what’s going on right now. The future hasn’t happened yet. And the past already happened. The only thing that you have control over is the here and now. So be proud of that and go and make something out of it.
David Ralph [49:38]
Zef what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Zephan Blaxberg [49:43]
You know, the best way to connect with me is really through Facebook. I love chatting with people on there. And I also would love to offer out to your audience David, if it’s okay, I have a free gift I’d love to give to everyone, right?
David Ralph [49:55]
Go for it very generous.
Zephan Blaxberg [49:57]
So as you know, I launched my book library scripted back in January of 2016, and I actually have the audio book up for free, all you have to do is head on over to Rhys scripted dot life slash free. And you can actually sign up there and get a free copy of the full audio book and download it straight to your computer. I’m going to go and get a copy
David Ralph [50:15]
of myself. So that’s what I’m going to do. I love a freebie.
Zephan Blaxberg [50:19]
Awesome. Well, yeah, I’m glad I could share that with you and with everyone listening in and you know, the the paperback book is on Amazon. But really, I didn’t put this out for the money. That was not the intention for the book. In fact, it probably hasn’t really made much of anything, because it’s expensive to put out a book. But really, this is this is just for you guys. And I hope that it makes a difference in someone’s life.
David Ralph [50:40]
That is great Zephan,thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures, Zevon Moses Blackbird Moses, Zeppelin, Zeppelin, whatever your name is. I thank you so much for being On the show.
Zephan Blaxberg [51:00]
Thanks so much for having me here, David, I really appreciate it.
David Ralph [51:06]
Now, if you ever hear an episode when a guy is as open and honest, Zeff was, but he, he didn’t know what he was doing, but he just started taking action, you’re not going to hear it. But that one was a blueprint, it really was. You need to take action. You need to look around, try things. You need to network with people you need to enjoy. And you need to just keep on wanting to get better and better and better. And as he says, you set your stall out for a year and then look back, what progress Have I made two years, three years. And as I say to my kids, you know, if you could guarantee that you work for 10 years, like a madman, and the rest of your life is amazing. Would you do that? And I think everybody would want like, you know, I’m 46. Now, if I work till I’m 56, and then I’ve got the next 30 years, swarming around with Katy Perry in limousines and stuff. I’m Gotta do it. Just don’t tell the wife. Thank you so much for listening to this show. I will see you again soon. I was David Ralph. That was Join Up Dots. Cheers, bye. So if you’re sitting there listening to podcast after podcast, reading book after book and still fed up with the life you are living waiting for something amazing to happen. I have one thing to say to you, and this is it. Nothing is going to change your life. Unless you start taking action. It’s 100% down to you. Stop making excuses and get yourself out there. Start working towards what you want in your life. Now, we work with people like you every day of the week who need the help to change their lives. And we’ve plans targets accountability, or just offering a shoulder to cry on when needed. Our members are seeing dramatic changes in their lives. They’re breaking free from the things that are stopping them earning the money they want. Finding the love they want or just loving their life. They are making it happen. So I need you to stop listening to podcasts and start shouting beats is my moment I’m starting today I’m going for it. I need you to stop making excuses. Come over today at Join Up dots.com forward slash get the dream and begin the rest of your life. I look forward to personally working with every single one of you, but you’ve got to start. This is Join Up dots.com forward slash get the dream