Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast with Brian Weaver
Introducing Brian Weaver
Todays guest Brian Weaver serves as CEO of Torch.AI and has more than 20 years of experience leading mission driven, high growth, technology-focused companies.
Torch.AI helps leading organizations leverage artificial intelligence in a unique way via a proprietary enterprise data management software solution.
Today, Torch.AI supports clients like H&R Block with fraud detection and mitigation, and the U.S. Department of Defence with machine learning enabled background investigations for all federal employees, supporting the determination of an individual’s trustworthiness and security credentialing.
Prior to Torch.AI, Brian launched or acquired several companies all focused on technology enabled services and data connectivity.
His companies serve nearly 1,300 clients and have been recognized as Small Business of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Brian has been featured in Forbes magazine for concepts around data encapsulation using blockchain technologies.
How The Dots Joined Up For Brian
An avid endurance sports athlete, Brian has ranked among the top amateur Ironman athletes in the world, has achieved “All World Gold” athlete status five times, USAT All-American six times, Ironman XC’s 2011 and 2012 Athlete of the Year for the 70.3 distance and in 2011 for the 140.6 distance taking class wins at both the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and has qualified for and raced the Boston Marathon.
He lives in Kansas City with his wife of 20 years and two teenage daughters.
So what is it about launching and buying businesses that he loves so much, and of course where do people go wrong?
And does the endurance stuff actually make him a better businessman due to the commitment to the cause?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Brian Weaver
During the show we discussed such weight subjects with Brian Weaver such as:
Brian shared how he struggles with doing the same thing time and time again and the steps he took to overcome it.
Why it is so important to embrace your pioneer nature and complement by running a team that allow you to flourish.
Why so many people need all the data before starting to move out of your comfort zone and build their own future.
The reason that is so much easier to fascinate a customer into working with you instead of encouraging them to sign up.
How To Connect With Brian Weaver
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Interview Transcription Of Brian Weaver 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 [0:25]
Yes, hello, everybody. Good morning to get sick of us by now. But thank you so much for being here on another show. Well, today’s guest is beaming in as quite a lot of our guest today from the other side of the pond in Trump land, and he is the CEO of torch AI and has for more than 20 years of experience leading mission driven high growth technologically focused companies. Now touch AI helps leading organisations leverage artificial intelligence in a unique way via an enterprise data management software. solution. Now torche II supports clients like h&r block with fraud detection and mitigation, and even the US Department of Defence. Now prior to that, he launched and acquired several companies all focused on technologic. The karimun say, technology enabled services and data connectivity. And these companies serve nearly 1300 clients, and have been recognised as Small Business of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Now, he’s also an avid in German sports athlete, and he is ranked among the top amateur Iron Man athletes in the world. And he’s achieved all world gold athlete status five times and above a sort of very impressive stuff as well. And of course, if he’s not doing that, he lives in Kansas City with his wife of 20 years and two teenage daughters. So what is it about launching and buying businesses that he loves so much? And of course, where do people go wrong when they give it a go? And does the insurance stuff actually make him a better businessman God The commitment to the cause Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Brian Weaver. Morning, Brian Weaver, how are you?
Brian Weaver [2:13]
I’m good, David. Glad to be here. Thank you, thank you for the the wind up, but I don’t know if I should be mortified or excited or, you know, no pressure, right?
David Ralph [2:24]
If I can make a man excited as soon as he’s got out of bed, Ben Ben, that’s not bad. Is it? You know, can I can I start the day, you know, this is the way to go. So So let’s start it right with that big question. Because I think it is a good question. I look at Iron Man athletes, and I want one the Iron Man competition in the United Kingdom and I did five workshops in 20 minutes. Now that’s a good job. That’s a good job to start with. But um, is it something that does lead to a better businessman does it because I imagine by focusing in on that you kind of really Nice man. It’s the small, incremental goals that really bring success.
Brian Weaver [3:07]
Yeah, you know, it’s hilarious because most Iron Man athletes are peacocks. And there’s there’s a bit of a, I think, hilarious and embarrassing kind of component that goes with it, which is running around in your underwear. You know, being heckled, especially where I live in the middle of, as you say, Trump land. You know, Kansas City, even though I I do business all over the world. And Kansas City is my home and kids cities in the middle of the United States, in the Midwest, and it’s, you know, some farm country around us. And so you get heckled by truck drivers and all this other stuff. But anyway, the, to answer the question, absolutely. I think I think what I have found is that it really focused me on some areas of that I was really deficient. I’m a creative type, right? I’m the kind of person that does not want to do Do the same thing twice, the same way. And so with a sport like Iron Man, if you’re going to race at a very high level, which I did it that that requires consistency and discipline day in day out. And of course I’ve methodology around racing that that is also very disciplined. And that’s just not my mo man. I am just not that kind of guy. I want to explore myself and opportunities and but what I found was that the, the sport and this particular sport, one, it requires problem solving under duress, you know, in mass. And I think that’s kind of a unique piece of it, because you’re, you know, you’re putting eight to nine hours worth of effort. If you’re doing it well. It’s very difficult. And there’s problems that go wrong, you know, all day long. And what it becomes is this ultimate metaphor for business not only for yourself, but ultimately you’re going to if you’re doing it at a at a very high level again, competitively, you’re gonna have a team around you. And I had a I had an entourage and I had a team and I had nutritionists and chefs and coaches and, you know, doctors and all these other kind of stuff. And, and really, it was all about sure my performance on the day of the event. But it required a whole army of folks to support that event, that effort. So anyway, what I found was that it was this great metaphor for it, and it actually forced me to sharpen the parts of my character and, you know, sort of my approach to business that I was really fundamentally weekend, you know, just just, you’re confronted with it, and in a way that’s, I think, pretty healthy.
David Ralph [5:44]
I remember one of my most stupid questions on Join Up Dots and linked in with Iron Man and I said to somebody who, who was a winner in the Iron Man competitions and stuff. I said, you know, it’s stupid that I do to swimming first. So you have to spend the rest of your time wet, wouldn’t it be better to dry at the end? And this person said no, because when you’re tired, you’re more likely to drown. And I thought, yeah, that’s that that’s a fair point. That is a fair point. So yeah, I can totally understand on that now. Now, we’ve yourself with the sort of Iron Man and the technology and stuff. Um, it’s interesting because you said that thing that you struggle with doing the same thing time and time again. And fundamentally, that’s what business is about. Fundamentally, it’s finding that thing that you can do better than anybody else, even if you have to replicate it and I’ve been talking a lot recently Brian about how a job can look sexy from the outside, but inside he’s just the same old same old all the time. So how have you overcome that that struggle with doing the same thing time and time again? Because it is that’s what brings success?
Brian Weaver [6:49]
Yeah, I think there’s a difference between being a business builder and a business operator certainly and again, you know, that’s that Rich Dad Poor Dad thing, right. Yeah. The job you Like the actual task, but the reality is monetizing that task is a pain in the ass and it’s not enjoyable. So, yeah, I think, for me, what I’ve learned and I, you know, I’m 46 years old, I’ve been on my own as an entrepreneur for for, you know, about 25 of those years. And I’ve done it kind of every which way and I failed a whole bunch. You know, you said that in your opening and it’s funny because I have enjoyed pretty consistent success over those those you know, 20 plus years but you know, the you get better every day and you learn about yourself every day, what I found is that my energy, and really my, the source of my enthusiasm for business comes from solving problems and being able to be creative. But you’re exactly right. That’s a that’s antithetical to the notion of building scalable business. And so what you’ve got to do if you’re smart, and again, you know, a really good practitioner Is it isn’t a one trick pony there, there are people that are, you know, constantly trying to improve themselves as I, as I do. Some days are better than others. But, but really what you’re trying to do then is build a group of folks around you that can take, you know, whatever success you’ve got, you know, under your belt and replicate that and scale that out across a particular market. I mean, that’s the key. So for me, what I’ve discovered over this, you know, 20 plus years is to actually embrace you know, my sort of Pioneer nature, my creative nature, and celebrate that and not get frustrated, you know, with it and not actually not put myself in a position where I’ve got to go and handle say, delivery or, you know, a particular operational requirement. I’ve got a my job really is to go out and attract the best talent I can possibly find and create an organisation that, you know, compliments all of that. So I find actually that that a lot of businesses that are just, you know, small businesses and really not built to grow are not built to scale are run by very, very competent operators, but they just don’t grow, you know, they’re, they’re very efficient, they might be very profitable, but they’re, you know, they’re not, they’re not exciting and they don’t grow from a top line revenue perspective. And I just have this this opinion that, you know, the, the purpose of a business is to grow as sort of as fast as possible to solve as many problems as possible and, and, and help people. So again, I think what I’ve learned is that there’s ingredients and I can be and I can enjoy providing some of those ingredients, but I’ve got to very quickly, make sure that I’ve got the right folks around the opportunity to make sure that they’re delivering for the customer at a very high level, continuing to satisfy those people so that the company can grow and be healthy. That’s what it’s about is it’s about you know, building teams at End of the day,
David Ralph [10:00]
well, I am mentoring at the moment a guy in Kansas City, I won’t mention his name because it won’t be fair, but he’s he’s not too far from you. And one of the things that I keep on saying to him is, he has grown the business to a certain point. And now he is still doing what he did to grow the business. And I keep on saying to him, what you need to do is grow your personal brand. You it’s all about content now. And it’s about proving your worth, by either answering questions, providing value and making you the king of your industry. Now, as far as I can see, he’s got an industry that is kind of old school, it’s a lot of old people operating it and he could come along and really shake it to its core. Do you see that as well? Do you do you think that there are a lot of people nowadays that grow a business to a certain point because they are still ingrained in what was occurred? As opposed to almost pre internet before it’s becoming visual and audio, and it’s all about the personal brand.
Brian Weaver [11:09]
Yeah, I think I do think that that
is sort of a fundamental and fatal flaw, even with, interestingly enough, even with, you know, venture capital funded businesses, I find that a lack of innovation is really prevalent everywhere, even with technology companies. And so what you’re talking about is how do you ultimately build a business which is the job right, the job of an entrepreneur is to build a company not necessarily just to go make a sale. And I think if you realise that that’s what your job is, you’ve got to really study the idea of of how do I continue to be prepared you. I say this around this office, often, we when we take money from our customers, Actually the kind of customers that we deal with and the kind of problems that torchy it deals with on a daily basis, we actually have an obligation to those customers to be ready to continue to solve these problems. It really is, is unfortunate if you’re not investing in innovation, and you’re not investing back into the future state of your customer. So, so again, I use the term obligation that we have an obligation to continue to innovate, to be prepared for new challenges, new threats that our customers might experience. And so, because of that, I’ve had to spend a lot of time with my team, figuring out how to build innovation into the organisational structure and what what I think is interesting is any group of people will stifle the innovation because there’s so many egos and emotional needs and as the business grows, especially a startup that that enjoys some success and start scaling. There’s fear of failure, fear of loss, and you’ve got people that are those steady hands. They do know how to operate the business and scale it out. But they also will be dealing with their own personal demons. Right? The again fear of failure, fear of loss that really drive most people. So what I found is that you’ve actually got to separate, you’ve got to actually create a little pot of humans that are free to go and explore and apply technology in a unique way if you want to continue to innovate. And that can actually be a lifeblood of the business. from a cultural perspective, and just really kind of emotional energy. Everybody wants to be proud of the new things are doing, especially in a business is driven, especially like ours, you know, sort of, you know, very close to the bleeding edge of technology applied, machine learning at scale. You’ve got to continue to innovate because the market and the technology moves so quickly. So I think it’s, I think the answer is in yourself knowing that you have a job and delegation to consider how to how to sustain innovation. And then to you got to really spend some time figuring out how to get innovation out of every one of the people that work for you, not just a an r&d group, but out of the entire team and create a bit of a culture there, no matter how big or all the businesses, and I own multiple companies, right? I invest in lots of companies. I’ve got two decent sized businesses today. One of them is 45 years old. And one of them is sort of a startup that’s, that’s now graduated out of that phase. And they’re radically different. But again, the need for continuous sustained innovation, I think is the same for both.
David Ralph [14:43]
Let’s say some words now and then we’ll be back with Brian.
Unknown Speaker [14:46]
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. Our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [15:12]
I’m always intrigued by that statement, and I play it literally every single episode because I think there’s a message behind me, which is so powerful. But I’m intrigued about when that love becomes normal. And I’m on a bit of a sort of our mission on this at the moment where people go, yeah, I really want to do this, I really want to do that. And I sort of keep on saying to them, I know you want to do that because it’s sexy, and it looks exciting at the moment, but when you’re doing it constantly, do you want a dream job? Or do you want the dream life? Is it better to be pragmatic and bring income in so that you can have more free time to do what you want? And it’s become my mission for 2020 to get people out there to realise that? Yeah, it’s all like doing the sexy stuff but sexy doesn’t remain sexy. And ultimately you end up with a 90 year old sexy sitting on the sofa next to you. That’s not quite the same once you’ve been brought.
Brian Weaver [16:08]
Yeah, but I think I mean, I think you really have to unpack what you’re talking about, I think I think there’s people that chase shiny objects, right. And you have to go back and actually look at sort of root cause of that. I became very introspective. You know, there was a time as a sole proprietor, we’re in the early stages of building my business as a sole proprietor. You know, I was sort of the hero guy. And I had a nice lifestyle business, but I wasn’t able to actually build a sustained scalable business until I learned that that was, you know, actually, you know, a negative that it really was about celebrating the the efforts of others and building that team. So I think, I think to unpack your statement, and maybe even your notion and maybe even challenge you a bit, Gavin.
David Ralph [16:58]
challenge me sir, you go for I
Brian Weaver [16:59]
will I’m going to right, yeah, you will ready, David, I am ready.
Unknown Speaker [17:02]
Brian Weaver [17:04]
I think I think you really have to sort of explore the emotional needs of that human being. And it’s not so much the shiny object, but what’s driving the yearning to be attached maybe somatically, or a brand or a persona that they’re looking for, you know, certainly I understand the idea of organising a business around a market sector that that just makes obvious sense. I mean, watch a shark tank Episode 90% of the people that walk across the in front of those investors don’t understand the notion of market or market sizing, right. But you go back and you say what’s really driving they have it, they have a need, you know, maybe they have, you know, some kind of weird ego issue. They have a need for approval. For me, I have kind of two things. I need to have a creative outlet. And if I don’t have that I get really frustrated very quickly. And then number two, what I’ve discovered over time, Is that I’ve got a fantastic relationship with my wife very fortunately. And I sort of deeply want to make sure that she’s happy, healthy, safe, and and appreciates how you know what i’m doing for her and my family. And that’s what really kind of drives me that’s that kind of Bazell instinct saying so I can’t be
David Ralph [18:19]
but you can say that because you’ve got it up and running. You know what, until? People? Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Brian Weaver [18:26]
Yes. No, no, I’ve had dark I have had dark moments. I have I have borrowed from my kids college fund to make payroll. I am not. I am somebody that has has bumps, bruises and lots of scars, building in companies. And because I’ve done things the wrong way often, I’ve survived because I’m scrappy. And I’m resilient. And I, you know, I’m, I’ve got good people around me and I’ve always been able to be thoughtful about that. But I think I think the real skill is That I think you’re trying to promote here. Someone should sit down and say, you know, really, what am I trying to protect? You know, what’s that jewel what’s driving me and be introspective and if you I think if you gave yourself some time and it took me a long time, it took me a couple years to really unpack what was really motivating me. I’m kind of a pleasure pain principle guy, right? I’m not going to change my behaviour unless some something’s inflicting something, or someone’s inflicting pain on me. Otherwise, I’m going to just seek pleasure and you kind of, you know, steady seems kind of thing. But if you continue to unpack that, and you figure out what really is driving you, you might discover for example, that you really need the creative outlet. It’s not so much what it is like whether it’s AI or flower farming or something else, right. It’s, it’s really what is it inside you that’s driving you to create or to want recognition or, or whatever it is, and I think the faster you can acknowledge that The more successful you’re going to be unfortunately for me, I acknowledged it when I was young,
David Ralph [20:04]
you know? Well, basically this is it. And so basically buying, you’ve said, David, yes, you’re right, in a roundabout way. Because, yeah, absolutely. Everybody knows this part. Oh, I just find a way of getting myself to be proved right time and time again, I might, it’s episode six hours long if I get to that point, but you assess yourself and you looked and you made those decisions, okay. And I speak to so many people who go out a bit, I hate my job. I really hate my job. And I say, Why do you hate it? Because it’s just boring. No, I want to know more. And we sort of drill down into it. And we get to a point where you can see that they’ve got every skill, they need to go up and do something. And with the online world, it doesn’t have to be that you sacrifice you can sort of side hustle, we see it time and time again. But let’s do or not willing to do it. And that’s what I’m saying to you. Fundamentally, your Beast because you asked the questions, you vent took action, you knew there was going to be obstacles and crossroads. But you were willing to go that way very much like myself, when I started this six years ago, I didn’t have a bloody clue. I really didn’t, I just sort of turned on the microphone started talking and hope for the best. And little by little, you realise what you’re actually aiming for. Only when people come to you and actually asked for it. And then you kind of pivot and you sort of move around. That’s the difference between you, Brian. And that’s what I see time and time again, people are trying to look for these really big, let’s create apple. When I’m saying to them, why don’t you try to create $50 First of all, thank you so much all of inspiration that you can actually create your own money and then scan it up.
Brian Weaver [21:47]
Yeah, I think I want I think you’re you’re exactly right. I what I think is interesting. And what I’ve learned over the years is that, you know, there’s there’s different types of people. There’s all kinds of surveys and tests and everything else that you can take kind of trying to, you know, peg people, but at the end of the day and especially running a software company, right, we have very, very brilliant people around you that are also very disciplined. They’re, they’re very inquisitive. You the type of brain that is successful at building software is a creative one. But at the same time, they get all the facts lined up. And they study and and they’re, they’re not like me, right, who’s a little more of a pioneer type. The best software developers certainly have creativity and ideas and they I think of them as artists, frankly. But they’re the kind of people that need to have all of the data in front of them before they make a decision. That’s just generally folks in it business. And I think those people are the ones that kind of get frustrated. And what I found is that teaching them that that’s okay. It’s okay to recognise that you need to have information Before you feel comfortable, and you know, you’re you’re probably not going to be the kind of person that makes a decision without just a significant amount of information. And that’s, again, antithetical to the notion of being an entrepreneur, which is taking risk. And I think, again, I would go back to what I’ve learned just whether it’s me helping my team be introspective and learning about themselves, or it’s learning about myself and how I can help motivate other human beings. I think that that component of it is, is one very fascinating. It’s a bottomless bucket of information. But it’s the key to being successful. And so of course, you’re right, I’m a risk taker by nature. But as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned that, you know, I’ve got to bring others along on that journey, and those people might not be that way. So I think I’m agreeing with you in a in a roundabout way for certain
David Ralph [23:59]
women baseline memory Do you didn’t say I saw me I guess
Brian Weaver [24:02]
paml I just I just make payroll. And I pay all these people and I’m, I’m, you know, it’s it’s this weird, you know, I’m coaching them and I’m sustaining them. And I’m putting food on the table for their family all at the same time. And so yeah, it’s an interesting. It’s an interesting dynamic.
David Ralph [24:23]
Now, one of the things that I’m really fascinated in at the moment, and I use that word fascinating, is the fact that a lot of companies out there have become boring. There’s so much and we were talking about at the beginning, so much innovation, but even if they’re doing creative stuff, people aren’t seeing it because they’re not embracing the way that people see stuff now, and my wife is always showing me stuff on Facebook and always showing me this and but I’m not on any of those platforms, really. But how do you make your business fascinating because there’s no getting away from it. If you’ve got that side going business come You, you know, it’s easier to fascinate, a lead more than it is trying to grab a lead.
Brian Weaver [25:08]
Yes. So from a marketing perspective, I think you know, and that’s just been my nature. I think, my very first company that I started, we were doing behavioural analytics before you really call them behavioural analytics with motor sports racing fans. And so you know, that that just inherently is kind of sexy, because you’re showing people things that they’ve never seen before. But I think yes, I am. I do not. I’m not the kind of guy that is a marketer. That way, you know, what I really enjoy personally, is solving a problem and in the heart of the problem is, the more interesting it is to me. And the way you go about solving those problems often is is just Super cool or super interesting. So I think one the way I approach it now is I have unpacked, you know, what are the capabilities that this particular group of people have? And what’s the technology we build? How applicable is it to a particular problem market. And then really, I like to sit down with those folks and just learn about their world. And often they have some simple problems and some very difficult problems that are all nested together. And I kind of take it upon myself to try and live in their world for a while and take some risk. I think that’s a little different than some what some other people do. Most people are are not willing to take risk on behalf of their customer or prospective customer. They feel like showing them a PowerPoint showing them a demo, and sort of demanding that the customer take all the risk is is the right equation and I’ve just never subscribed to that. I believe that that whether it’s a prototype or whether you Spend, you know, hundreds of hours studying their particular problem, that’s where some of the magic is going to come from is your investment in their world. And I think if you do that consistently, and you figure out a way to scale that across numerous customers and numerous problems, statements that again, are all relatively aligned with what your business mission is, you can actually create that demand generation and and i think it creates a better customer, especially these days when, I mean, you know, Ai, nobody even knows what AI really is. You got it on your phone, it’s in your TV now. You know, all this other stuff, but nobody really knows what it is the fact that a machine can learn and iterate and how that’s that’s applied to, you know, problems like fraud or trust or whatever we’re what we what we do. But, you know, what I find is that the that storytelling is absolutely critical, but unless you have a deep understanding of your custom situation. You know, it’s it’s just a monologue. And so that’s the part where I think, again, I’m agreeing with you here. I think the monologue approach is really a sad state, especially in technology, these venture capital firms. You know, they see early traction with a particular customer group, and they don’t money on it. And it’s this monologue thing with a certain p win percentage, and away it goes, and you’re right, no innovation, no real depth of understanding of the problem. You know, I look at cyber security as a sector today. And I’m just astounded by the approach that some of these guys take, I mean, you’ve got customers that are just in dire need of a solution yet, there’s not really a lot of really good companies doing some great things. There certainly are some but but writ large, I think, you know, it’s a challenge is not as much innovation going on as there should really should be there. So. So yeah, I mean, guerrilla marketing, hand to hand combat, whatever you want to call it. That’s definitely more my area of expertise for sure, then then what I would call advertising.
David Ralph [29:06]
Yeah. But uh, there’s a company that I’m aware of, and I’ve never used them. I think they’re called Jet Blue or something here in America, but have real, I’m sure it’s this company, but at Christmas have arranged amazing gifts for guests and passengers. And the effort that I go to make a customer happy, has paid him back, you know, multiple times the fact that I’m sitting here reflecting that I’ve seen these videos where people have sort of shared where literally passengers are crying, we’re crying because it’s, it’s just personal. And that’s what I keep on coming back to now, I think but most businesses lack back personality. They lack that, that that storytelling with the customer and the guy that I’m sort of mentoring near you. I keep on saying to him, you know, it’s all about you being the best at doing something knows it. You know, you’ve got to get out there and you’ve got to bring those stories to the world.
Brian Weaver [30:10]
Yeah, I mean, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, you know, a business like ours, for example, you know, torchy, I focuses on very large commercial enterprises and government programmes. And that just inherently, you know, you’re not going to, you know, run an ad on on the Super Bowl, or, you know, you’re not going to do a big viral social thing necessarily, like Jet Blue might be doing. But I understand I understand the premise. Right. I, you know, I, I’m much more of a believer in what I would call sort of network marketing. You know, whether it’s the old notion of referrals and things like that, I think, I think we are all part of a very complex social structure. And most often, what I find is that people especially Entrepreneurs or business owners or even just sales people, people that might be listening to your show, they don’t even realise how powerful their current what we used to call a Rolodex or Filofax, right. But they don’t even really understand the value of their current social graph that they’re part of. Whether it’s through LinkedIn or some other social media, you know, platform, you probably have hundreds of millions of dollars of potential that you’re already connected to. And you don’t even need to, you know, virally approach it you can just sort of start being very thoughtful and invest in those relationships and, and that will scale on its own. So I, I don’t disagree with you, but I, I also think, I certainly agree with the notion that the art of selling has has disappeared. I mean, Jesus in the 90s it was it was true solution selling. And these days, it’s you know, so Engineers making presentations you know via you know web platforms and and that personal touch is certainly disappeared so I totally agree with that. But I really do believe that there’s a lack of focus around your current you know network
you know and and relying on
you know, the notion of a loosely coupled referrals and having people help you grow your business, it’s just, it’s unfortunate, but I don’t think people take advantage of that the way they should.
David Ralph [32:35]
We’re talking to Brian Weaver and we will be back with Brian after these words. Are you ready to make a full time living online?
Unknown Speaker [32:43]
Check out the amazing Join Up Dots, business coaching. Hello, my name is Alan. And I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David before I started
Unknown Speaker [32:52]
working with David Actually, I had no idea at all where to start. I had a lot of ideas about
Unknown Speaker [32:59]
Well, I probably thought was going to be good business time without me through that door to find that passion. Within literally minutes.
Unknown Speaker [33:08]
We had, we had a business idea. And for the last seven weeks, we’ve been building on it and building on it. And the position I’m in now, I don’t think I’ve ever got here
Brian Weaver [33:17]
on my own because of the amount of information that David gives the structure. He’s got the full package here, and he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work.
Unknown Speaker [33:32]
David helped me understand, okay, what was the next logical steps that I should do? How, how can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this as an excellent course helping you if you have an idea if you have no idea, really teasing that out and at some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business whether as a full time job was a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it for anybody thinking about setting up their own business. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say David tereus a few years
Unknown Speaker [34:01]
thank you David for all your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you so you’re awesome.
David Ralph [34:12]
So if you would love to become my next success story and have your own life changing online business following my step by step system, fine tuned over many years to take away the effort and expense that others struggle with, then come across to Join Up dots.com and book a free call with myself. Let’s get you living the easy life as it’s there waiting for you to get it that is Join Up dots.com business coaching Okay, we’re talking to Mr. Brian Weaver from torch a I and so far Brian, we’ve talked very much about the the struggle, the struggle, the hustle and the struggle that goes on creating a business now is taught a I know is it your legacy work? Is it the thing that you really go Yeah, if I if I died Today, this is what I’m going to be remembered for.
Brian Weaver [35:04]
Man. That’s an awesome question. And I have never been asked that question before. So so i think so I think what’s really interesting about what I’m doing now, you know, I grew up the son of an Army Intelligence Officer in the United States. And today, I’m doing work with the US Department of Defence. We’ve done some work with the UK Ministry of Defence, work with the Australian Government a little bit to through some partners. And I think I think that we have found ourselves in a spot where we’ve developed a capability that’s very broadly applicable, but we’re solving some very, very difficult problems for some some really important customer. So I think yes, it doesn’t have anything to do with money. By the way, I think the business we have is actually very successful, very healthy financially and will be For the for the foreseeable future. And so that’s that’s certainly rewarding. What I think what I’m working on now actually is, is really kind of beyond me, I find myself in a spot again, like I said, I’m 46 I find myself in a spot where there’s this little spark of opportunity where I can help other people and and potentially even help the region that our business operates in not only the customer in a kind of a bigger way beyond just the solution that we’re selling to them. But But really, fundamentally help change the direction of some of this. And I think that that’s an investment in academia, that’s an investment in economic development for a particular region. So I think I’m on the cusp of building that legacy and it’s actually a pretty rewarding part of my my day job, that I get to have the luxury of spending some time and it isn’t an ego thing. It really is. I’m really driven by this, this notion of an opportunity and just just seeing where that might go and, and enjoying that part of the journey. I’m more I’m a very private person. And I’m an introvert by nature. And so I’m not really, you know, one of those guys that runs around very flashy or anything like that, but at the same time, I do feel an obligation to one help a customer, you know, fun, not only solve some problems, and that might even be bigger than the solution that we’re currently selling to them. And to when you think you could, you could have a much bigger impact when you get into the notion of economic development, which, you know, sort of $1 equals maybe 20 or $30 for your community in economic impact as that money cycles through, you know, different companies and support organisations and, and real estate and you know, infrastructure development, all those kind of things that get Really interesting to me. So very long winded way of saying, not quite yet. But But I really really am enjoying the idea of of, of seeing where that that might have again, I don’t have an ego around legacy I think that’s a bit foolish but but I’m really enjoying some of the projects I’m working on now and building a campus in Kansas City for, you know, some research and and i’m doing an endowment with a university that’s that’s relatively close to a Kansas City and I find that those kind of opportunities very rewarding
David Ralph [38:40]
because I think I do have a legacy passion and one of the things that worries me is that most of my legacy is built online. And so if I die, you know, and somebody doesn’t keep on paying the hosting my whole
Brian Weaver [39:00]
sitting here thinking to myself, I can’t stop listening to the ad for your coaching. Where the hell were you for me 20 years ago, and I’m laughing at myself, right? Because I had never really had mentors or got into all that stuff. But but really why why for you is the legacy important
David Ralph [39:16]
that Well, let me tell you why, because it’s about a Roman soldier. And this is a real strange thing. But I references and I think about it, I’m just about to turn 50. And when I was 11 years old, I went on a school trip up to the borders of England and Scotland. And if you know anything about that area of England, the Romans many, many years ago, build a wall, bit like the Great Wall of China called Hadrian’s Wall, and it runs all the way from Northern England all the way across. And it was supposed to stop the the the Scots from marauding down like Braveheart, into England, and I was about 11 years old and I was up there and I looked at this brick wall and most of its boredom. pieces, you can see some of it quite good. But other bits, it’s just, you know, a bit of grass and some bricks. And I got struck with the fact that some Roman soldier had put a brick there. And it was still there, you know, he’s Mark had been left. And I look back on that. And I think to myself, that is really the only reason that we should be on this planet to leave a mark. And then when I started delving into that, I discovered it was something like 94% or maybe higher of the world’s population coming go. And don’t leave that mark. And that terrifies me that the fact that my life and you could argue, yeah, I’ve had kids, I’ve got grandkids and all that kind of stuff, but actually to leave a mark like the greats. That is my legacy and I never know whether it’s going to get there. I speak to people when I say are Without you, I wouldn’t be here and without their and great, but by they will die as well. So that legacy will kind of disappear as well you know. So it’s that all defining Something left behind Brian, which is my why and which made me start this and work on it like fury for so many years.
Brian Weaver [41:08]
Yeah, that’s interesting. I my family
my family’s from Charleston, South Carolina, which is a big historic city in the United States with with just incredible legacy and the rest of the family was from New York and, and they actually have there’s a couple of folks in that bloodline that are historical figures and and what I find really fascinating is no one cared until someone pulled out the, you know, the family tree. And, and one of the great aunts started doing a bunch of research and, and wrote a book that’s, you know, hundreds of pages long that memorialise some of the some of the the effort I almost think about, you know, some of the Latin cultures where they celebrate their dead and I think that, you know, maybe cultures like the United States And if I could, if I could be as bold as to lump the UK in there too. We don’t have historically cultures of celebrating, you know, our, our ancestors and the way some of these Latin communities do. And I almost wonder if that maybe that maybe you should focus on that a little bit too. I don’t, I’m not going to judge, I am the opposite. I need to to make someone happy or solve a problem for a human being, you know, today and and I struggle with, you know, the vanity of the notion of a legacy. You know, I’ve never called one of my businesses I’ve never, you know, named it after my family name or for me or whatever. I’ve always I’ve always had this sort of anonymized brand name. Because of that, although a lot of people in my position would, you know, call it you know, Brian Weaver, consulting or Brian We were technology or whatever the heck it might be. But I think that’s interesting. So I’m going to be open that is my takeaway today is is to consider what you just said and, and study that a bit more. So I appreciate you sharing that. It’s a good challenge.
David Ralph [43:15]
Well, next time we have you on the show, Brian receiver, things have run out of pace. But what we’re going to do now, we’re going to play the words of Steve Jobs, he certainly did create a legacy. He also created a kind of underbelly of loyalty and also hatred as well. A lot of people don’t like him. I
Unknown Speaker [43:34]
wasn’t able to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road. will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [44:10]
Now, how do you sit with those words? Because you’ve done so much, and you’ve done so many different things as well. Is it simply a case of trust? Or is that too simplistic?
Brian Weaver [44:20]
Man, I don’t know how you can trust it. So the funniest part about it. And again, I love the name of your show. And I know that speech by jobs very well, it was a commencement speech that he made, I had the luxury and the honour of doing a commencement speech to a graduating class in 2019, and it was actually one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Because one, it was very difficult. You had multiple group audience groups there, you had parents, loved ones and you had the students themselves and figure out how to reconcile those two audiences. But what it forced me to do was to sort of even though we know that probably weren’t going to listen to remember any of it forced me to be very introspective and connect the dots and and i actually stole that line from jobs in my commencement speech, because it was so profound. I thought of all these twists and turns as mistakes and war wounds and things I wish I could have avoided. But when you do look back on them, you realise that for example, I mentioned that you know, borrowing money for my kids college fund to make payroll that seemed at the time a very low moment really risky Why am I in this situation? But But when I now look back on it, I sort of look back on it with pride that I was either stupid enough or or you know, had was brave enough to kind of you know, keep keep the lights on and keep pushing forward because I believed in something and helping people and, and again, you don’t see that until you you do reflect back on your past and realise, you know, there’s no mistakes and every every little twist and turn is actually part of the story and I wouldn’t I’ve made mistakes, big ones. But I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t undo any of that. So I would, I would say, one, the statement is exactly 100% accurate. The problem is, unless you’ve lived it, and then take it, you’ve been forced to sit down and say, okay, when I was depressed, or when I had anxiety over this one particular decision or whatever, this low in my personal performance, and I thought of this as a low point, you’re not you can’t think of it clearly in the moment, right? Especially if you’re a business builder, the kind of person listen to this show. The only way you can do it is if you sit and you’re, you’re introspective, contemplated, and you look back on those things, if you can remember them, right? A human being typically forgets the pain pretty quick, which is sad. But if you can remember him, the only time you can kind of string it together and get some wisdom out of it is if you’re forced to do it like I was when I wrote this commencement speech. So, man, I think the notion of trust is so hard. And I don’t know if it’s just getting older. I joke I’m gonna write a book someday. And the first chapter is going to be titled, there was no brochure. You have to learn all these lessons, the hard way every time. And I think that’s, that’s a tough thing. But But yeah, again, I found great wisdom, in his words there. And I think it’s, it’s absolutely true. And certainly, for me. Some of these moments on their own are sometimes embarrassing, sometimes frustrating and disappointing. But at the same time, I find myself today in a spot where I can impact so many people. You know, we’re doing things that are that are profound at where we believe not only through the technology we’ve built, but just the way our people work and the way our people think of themselves and the team. We build the culture that we can change the world and I think that only comes from having a journey like that, you know, it does not come from having a boring you know journey where you haven’t tried to stretch. It only comes from an extraordinary place So anyway, I appreciate you sharing that. That little sound bite because it’s it’s it makes me smile for sure.
David Ralph [48:22]
Well, we appreciate having you on the show Brian and of course we’ve been leading up to the bit that is all about Join Up Dots is when we send you back on the journey to Join Up Dots and have a one on one with your younger self and we call it the Sermon on the mic. And so if you could go back in time and speak to the young Brian, what age would you speak to and what advice would you like to give him Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the music, and like magic you can be transported back face to face is the song. We go
Unknown Speaker [48:56]
with the best beer on the show.
Brian Weaver [49:13]
Well, I suppose it wouldn’t it might not be the funny part went back to just the Brian of yesterday. But I think there’s a moment in your life where if you’ve experienced some great success early on, which I did in my 20s and 30s, I was able to build some very nice businesses and found some very early success. And and as you then task yourself with growing, you go through some very interesting stresses and you got to grow as a human being and you’ve got to help grow others around you. And I think probably what I would say is that recognise the advice that I would give myself and my younger self would certainly not listen to it. But the The advice I would give would be recognise that all these little stresses just like a, you know, physical effort or training session, they actually stretch you and they create resilience. And that, to me is the best gift that the older self can give the younger self right, I am a more resilient, happier human being with much better relationships with those around me, because I’ve lived through those moments and so I would say, you know, enjoy the journey. And I mean that soak up those tough moments you know, whether they’re with others or or things that are sort of self inflicted wounds. And just enjoy that that moment, as painful as it might be because it’ll be a learning experience for that future self and and creates resilience in a and a resource that will be very valuable in the future.
Again, I probably wouldn’t listen to a word of that.
But but man I, I would, I would probably say it 20 or 30 times over and hope, hope that my 30 year old self would listen.
David Ralph [51:15]
Great stuff. And Brian Weaver, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with,
Brian Weaver [51:20]
I find that LinkedIn actually is a pretty good resource. And I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve got a lot of talented folks that have reached out to me. And I’ve been able to make some good relationships and even some business arrangement, some deals through LinkedIn. So I enjoy that platform and would welcome anybody that wants some advice or just stuck in misery.
David Ralph [51:40]
We will have all the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Brian Weaver, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Brian Weaver. Thank you so much. Hey,
Brian Weaver [51:59]
Thanks, David. I enjoyed being on the show. It’s an honour and a pleasure.
David Ralph [52:07]
Mr. Brian Weaver from Kansas City. So is it about creating value? Or is it about listening to people because as he was talking, it made me realise that so many people out there, building businesses kind of sit in silo, and they make these decisions. And they think that is going to work is the simplest way to just go out and speak to enough people to find their issues. Brian kept on talking about solving issues, solving other people’s problems all the time. And that’s where the true value comes to you. I think it’s a good way of doing it. Get off your booty. ask people what they’re struggling with. And if you find enough people who are struggling with something, or they don’t like when can you monetize it? Can you build it into a business and mortar not you can and it’s not too hard after that. Until next time, thank you so much for everybody. Who is connected to Join Up Dots and is listening to the show. And I will see you once again. Look after yourselves. And
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or 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.