Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Derek Loudermilk
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Introducing Derek Loudermilk
Derek Loudermilk is today’s guest, joining us today on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who has been floating around my world it seems from the birth of Join Up Dots.
So why he has never been on the show before I dont know.
I do know that it is going to be a good interview for sure though.
As Derek Loudermilk says “I’m committed to helping people make their lives the most amazing adventure possible!
After getting fired from numerous jobs, dropping out of my PhD program, recovering from failed marriage, I realized I had been living someone else’s dream.
I set out to construct a career and lifestyle that would let me be the explorer and teacher that I was always meant to be.
I asked “What does it look like to be the hero of your own life?”
How The Dots Joined Up For Derek
So in 2014, I started “The Art of Adventure Podcast”, and it has become one of the top podcasts in the world for Location Independent Business, Adventure Travel, and cutting edge topics.
I’m thrilled to be offering coaching for location independent entrepreneurs!
I work with people who want to get out of their cubicles and create a life of time, financial, and location freedom.
My clients are adventurous, inspiring, creative, motivated, confident, and unique people who are ready to make a big impact on their world
Well he is certainly making a big impact on the world for sure, and when passion comes together with a vision then things get very sexy down.
So when he was in his dark times, looking for a new way of making a living that was fun and inspiring did he imagine that he would end up here?
And its ok to have the vision but when did the mindset shift to one of fun and money?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Derek Loudermilk
During the entrepreneur podcast show we had deep hitting conversations with Derek Loudermilk around subjects such as:
Derek shares those moments when his life becomes so playful that his work increased in quality exponentially.
Why the most obvious thing in life is more often not the thing that you should be doing the most.
Derek shares how customers are more likely to purchase from him if they personally get to know him. A good message for us all.
Derek Loudermilk reveals the steps that he is going to take to get Bono and Richard Branson into a room to solve food issues across the world.
Connect With Derek Loudermilk
If you want our whole collection of shows then jump over to the podcast archives here
Audio Transcription For Derek Loudermilk
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. Good morning, everybody. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning and welcome to join up dots is it does it sound like I’m having more fun on this show now? I think so. I think so. I think after nearly five years, it’s just become like a real comfortable place I love to slip into and make love to the microphone and sometimes make love to the guests. I don’t know if I’m going to do that today. I’ll be honest, but he’s somebody that you know, if push comes to shove, you never know. He’s been floating around my world, it seems from the birth of join up dots back in 2014. So why is he never been on the show before? I don’t know. But I do know that it’s going to be a good interview for sure. As he says I’m committed to helping people make their lives the most amazing adventure possible. After getting fired from numerous jobs dropping out of my PhD program. recovering from failed marriage, I realized, I’ve been living someone else’s dream. I set out to construct a career and a lifestyle that would let me be the Explorer, and teacher. But I was always meant to be I asked what does it look like to be the hero of my own life? So in 2014, I started the art of adventure podcast, and it’s become one of the top podcast in the world. He says that I didn’t say that I think I’m doing well. But yeah, top podcast in the world. But location independent business, adventure travel and cutting edge topics. That’s a very niche that’s a can be top of that niche. I’m thrilled to be offering coaching for location independent entrepreneurs and I work with people who want to get out of their cubicles and create a lifetime of financial and location freedom. My client are adventurous, inspiring, creative, motivated, competent, and unique people who are ready to make a big impact on their world. Well, he certainly making a big impact on the world for sure. And when passion comes together with a vision and things get very sexy indeed. So when he was in his dark times, looking for new ways of making a living that was fun and inspiring. Did he imagine that he would end up here and it’s okay to have the vision. But when did the mindset shift to one of fun and money? Let’s find out as we bring into the show to start joining up with the one and only Derek Loudermilk. Morning.
Derek Loudermilk [2:34]
Good morning. I am well how are you?
David Ralph [2:37]
I’m always well I am a podcast host for living. It’s not like working. I am I’m well I’m well doing that’s all I can say I am well, but whereabouts are you calling in from? Because I know it may sound that we’re face to face. But you are somewhere across the globe. So where are you?
Derek Loudermilk [2:55]
Yeah, actually I’m I’m at home, where the St. Louis Missouri in the in the United States where I grew up. And everyone, you know, I have all these people that I grew up with, and I run into them around town and they’re like, Whoa, your back last I saw you were in Croatia or Bali or somewhere and that. And now I’m running into them. So it’s it’s actually being back in the states is such a relief from developing countries. You know, I turn on the faucet and clean water comes out. And I can order something from Amazon. And it’s just it’s it’s relaxing to be in the developed world.
David Ralph [3:36]
I’ve actually just come back from America. I’ve been out there for a few weeks. And I had to say I love America. I love it so much. It’s the greatest place on Earth. But the food, the food, it never stops. I have a showing you food giving you food or giving you vouchers for food. It’s just the most foodie place in the world. I went into a restaurant and we had these ribs and they were like half a dinosaur. Basically, they were enormous. And before we even consumed them, the guests came out at the waiter came across and said, you know, would you like the desserts? And I said to him, do they not look like we’re English? I can’t eat this. It’s food all the time, isn’t it?
Derek Loudermilk [4:16]
We have so much food but we don’t want anyone else to get it. So we just eat it all it
David Ralph [4:23]
is an unbelievable place to be. And this is a remarkable place because you Americans, you don’t investigate America. Do you really, you know, you stay where you are, you’re more likely to go to Europe van sort of adventure around America, are you one of the rare ones who have actually been to the different states. And I’ve seen it.
Derek Loudermilk [4:43]
I haven’t been to all 50 states. And that was that was my goal before I turned 30 go to all all the states, Alaska was my final state. And I was saying with some friends and they actually baked me a cake in the shape of the state of Alaska. And we celebrated at but but I want to actually counter that impression of Americans because there’s this big culture in America of camping and taking family camping trips, and kids going to summer camp and the sort of great American road trip. And I think that’s actually led to America being one of the leaders culturally in sort of the conservation movement. You know, half of our country is national forests. And there’s all kinds of great organizations. And even we sort of forget that ourselves as Americans that we spend a lot of time in the outdoors. And we’re actually pretty in touch. Some of the population is pretty in touch with the natural resources that
David Ralph [5:50]
we have. You have to go outside so that you can find food. That’s how it operates. You just going you’re migrating through the woods, shooting things do so that you can drag it home and make a burger. That’s all Easter it.
Derek Loudermilk [6:04]
Yeah, and that’s why freezer sales so you can store all your food there. They’re doing really well right now.
David Ralph [6:11]
growth industry all the way. So you have got the art of adventure podcast. But of course we’ve yours is not just the podcast, the podcast, I suppose, in many ways was the starting bit it was the you putting your knowledge out into the world. As I said in the introduction, it’s okay to had the vision. But when did the mindset shift to one of fun and money. I think everybody that goes through the journey that I see as a moment when their mindset shifts, and they realize that actually, I can have fun and earn as well. It’s not just about me slugging all the time. is a world out there of play, and when play joins work and work joins play. That is my sweet spot. Do you remember when that hit or maybe it hasn’t hit and you’re still slogging around the world?
Derek Loudermilk [6:55]
Well, I think it’s hit many times. And then I forget it somehow there’s when I’m going to try something new. And I’m going to launch a new business or learn a new skill. There’s that point when you’re trying to figure stuff out when it’s you’re not playing. You’re just like banging your head against the wall. Yeah, right now, actually, I’m trying to I’m playing I’m trying to learn how to ride a wheelie on my bicycle been putting off for like 30 years. So
David Ralph [7:25]
I’ve got to jump into David me. You know, grown up? Why do you want to do that?
Derek Loudermilk [7:32]
It still is cool. It’s still cool the ride a wheelie. And you know, it’s so funny. I was I was practicing in the park the other day and this other grown up road, road by on a bicycle and he stopped and he was like cheering me on. He was like you could do it, you know, and he’s like, You’re like a little kid. But I keep falling off. And, and it’s this. I hope eventually I’ll get it. But there’s that point when you’re you you’re learning and most of the time you’re sucking and then you have these flashes of Oh my god, that was really fun. I’m addicted. And I’m going to keep going. And I and I feel like podcasting and business and all the things I’ve tried have this learning curve where you you get to taste a little bit of the the juicy stuff and and then you’re also back to be like, Oh my god, I suck compared to David you know, uh, but eventually I have to believe that I’ll get there.
David Ralph [8:28]
And do you ever sort of get fed up with the bike and go from a space hapa? or something? Do you? Do you ever ride any other children’s toys?
Derek Loudermilk [8:39]
That’s a good question. Uh, basically, what my dream house is a modest sized house with an enormous garage to put skis and bikes and boats and trailer, like all the toys, just put them in the garage. So I’m not sure if I’m ever going to grow up playing with those toys is
David Ralph [9:00]
a key point you might direct because my kids have said to me, you’re becoming more immature. They say you’re the most immature in the house and my daughter who’s 13 actually think she’s more mature than me. And I am saying to her, who says I’ve got to be mature. And she says, You’re my Dad, you’re supposed to be and I say but who says this? Who says this, and we was in the swimming pool. This sounds really bad. And it was funny at the time. So if I’m going to save it, and people are going to, you know, send in emails to say this is bad. And I was in one end of the swimming pool. And she was in the other end of the swimming pool. And I thought it would be funny to take my trunks off. She couldn’t see anything. She was a long way away and throw them across. And so that she thought that I was naked underneath. But she didn’t realize I put two pairs of trunks on and and so I swam closer to her. And she was like, Oh, no, no, no, don’t, don’t don’t and saw like ran out screaming. And then I jumped out of the water. And of course I was trunked. And she thought it was the most immature thing known to man. I thought it was very, very funny. Why do you think we have to get to that point where we think that we can’t act like idiots and get away with it. Because it’s fun, isn’t it?
Derek Loudermilk [10:11]
I know, it was you know, there’s, there’s a, you know, I’ve got a I’ve got a baby at almost a toddler now. And when I feel the pressure of providing and making sure he’s safe, then it gets so serious. But when I’m just playing around having fun and wrestling, and really when I follow his lead, and he just wants to go, you know, look at rocks. That’s and we just, you know, tossing rocks around. being there and just enjoying that. And then fun develops, you know, sometimes you come up with a little game like a stroller walk around. And it that is the reminder to me that when I’m having fun, I’m more creative, I’m more successful. I know making friends with people. And it’s all these external like, things that get in the way, the almost you don’t have to let them get there. So yeah, I think for sounds like you’ve got it handled. For me, it’s this process of constantly re learning to sort of play in all the realms of life where most people don’t play, like in business.
David Ralph [11:27]
And in business, when you when you were getting sacked as we say over here, but you say fired from all the different jobs, was it because it was suppressing what we’re talking about now, it was suppressing your key spirit of actually breaking rules being a maverick, trying different things, having fun being creative, or maybe it was your drunk us at the desk, which, which caused a big issue.
Derek Loudermilk [11:52]
So the one the been fired several times. But the one that I’m thinking of now, I was working in a laboratory. And basically, the my role was to do hundreds and hundreds of repetitive experiments. And I, you know, could could do that. But what I was really interested it was making the lab more efficient, or when you know, I people, customers would come in and tour the lab. And there were times when I would sort of accidentally sell them an extra 50,000 $100,000 worth of services. I was an amazing salesperson, I love building these relationships. And they never transferred me to a sales role or business development or anything. They just kept me in this sort of technical lab thing, and you’re not allowed to make any mistakes. And I made mistakes, you know, one every 500 tests. And basically, that adds up to like a mistake every day. And really, I was just in the in the wrong position. And the management probably knew that. And instead of sort of moving me to the right position, they just let me let me go.
David Ralph [13:04]
It sounds like an image from breaking bad or something you’ve got going on there. So So what were you actually making what was happening is the poetry? Well,
Derek Loudermilk [13:14]
it was it was kind of fun, actually. So in this particular
job, we were testing food to make sure there is no pathogens in there. And the food was any any type of food from local manufacturers, including the Cheesecake Factory, the energy bar company, the local salsa company, and they would send us tons and tons of food. And we would say yep, it’s good to go. It’s safe for public consumption. And we’d have a ton leftover. So I was that person that at the end of the week, I would take home the the cheesecake and I would go to parties and stuff and show up with desserts of all kinds of hours, everyone’s favorite party guests for a year while I work. I love
David Ralph [14:02]
the fact that you actually taking away stuff that potentially could have killed you. And it goes through one test passes, and then you’re taking it to a party and giving it to everybody else. It does Doesn’t that seem slightly dodgy?
Derek Loudermilk [14:16]
Well, so we take a little piece of each slice of pie, and mix it all together. So it’s a representation of the entire thing. And we assume that if 10% of its good, it’d be you assuming
David Ralph [14:29]
dammit, you assuming? What about the other side of the pie? What about the other side, you might have taken it just from the wrong little bit. And the rest is terrible. And you’re taking them to parties, kids parties, whatever parties, and you’re feeding them contaminated cheesecake, you could have been the cheesecake, serial killer of Missouri.
Derek Loudermilk [14:51]
Well, thank goodness, everyone, instead just slowly died from getting better.
Unknown Speaker [14:59]
From the team.
David Ralph [15:00]
Welcome to America, I salute you. That’s exactly as it’s occurring out there at the moment. So so you you went from that. So at that stage, you went from a failed marriage, which we want sort of delve into when did the the sort of desire to actually do something which from the outside, if you’re not you, not me, or the listeners of join up dots or the art of adventure seems like madness, you actually want to take control of your own life and do your own thing. When did that become so powerful that you couldn’t resist it anymore?
Derek Loudermilk [15:32]
Well, I was, I was in grad school and And like I mentioned, I’m a PhD dropout. And I started, I read the four hour workweek and I started learning about entrepreneurship. And I had run businesses as kid. And really I just wanted to, to learn more and to learn by doing so I said, I want to, I want to test out these business ideas by having a business that I can experiment with. And the most obvious choice, actually, I started a business. And that went for about a month, which was I was on a cycling team. And basically at the end of the season, everyone sells their bicycles, because they’re going to get brand new bikes at the beginning of the next season, new sponsors and things like that. So I was just selling everyone’s bike for them on eBay. And then I sold them all. And then that was the end. That’s basically the end of that business. But so then I moved into cycling coaching, because I was a professional cyclist and I retired and I knew about how to get better at cycling. So I was coaching a lot of the younger riders, the juniors and the collegiate riders. And my goal was just to make $1,000 a month on the side, doing something that I loved. And it turned out that was actually pretty straightforward. I just offered to coach some people, and they said, Yeah, and I hadn’t my first sort of sustainable business
David Ralph [17:02]
was a Winfrey did they ask for a wheelie as their first thing.
Derek Loudermilk [17:07]
We so they, you know, I don’t know, I don’t really know any trick. So I gotta learn to really get to learn to bunny hop. And when it came time to do some of the more flashy stuff, you know, I was like, you guys can go figure that out on your own. But we were, you know, we did a lot of, you know, teach them how to win races, really teaching them about strategy and fitness and training and stuff like that. And, you know, I love that stuff. I love to love to geek out about strategy, race bike racing strategy is a lot like business strategy as a lot like strategy for chess, which is cool, you can sort of cross cross pollinate your, your strategy. So, so I had this business. And then the next sort of idea like I was going to try was, well cannot I do this from anywhere. And I, I left my grad school and went to Southeast Asia, Vietnam was the first place we went to, because Vietnam is super cheap. And I knew that I’m making $1,000 a month. And basically, I can live for less than $1,000 a month in Vietnam, so so basically have an infinitely long runway, I’m not going to be dipping into my savings. While I try out various types of business. Yeah. When I got there, it turns out that I was just more interested in just traveling around and basically maintaining the business but I didn’t. until I started the art of adventure. I didn’t really try anything. So it was about a year of traveling, just mostly just maintaining the business and exploring. You were drunk.
David Ralph [18:47]
You were drunk for most of the time I imagined Derek
Derek Loudermilk [18:50]
they have what’s called beer Hawaii, which is which is fresh brewed beer, it’s they brew it like every day in Vietnam, and it’s you know, gets super hot, there’s the tropics, but it’s five cents for a glass. And you just you can get fresh beer and it’s good. It’s kind of like yeast is like sourdough. You know, fresh baked bread is kind of like how how this beer is and you sit around and these tiny little stools, your knees you know, come up your needs come up to your chin, and you eat fried whatever animal they found and drink beer and it’s, it’s amazing.
David Ralph [19:25]
You could go for water is back hot and sweaty out there, you could go for water, it’s been known to have a refreshing effect on most plants, animals will ever water. I don’t see anybody else going. It’s really hot here. I’m really dehydrated. Let’s have a beer.
Derek Loudermilk [19:42]
But water is more expensive. So I guess you know back in the day, the the explorers and the sailors would take whiskey or wine on their boats because they knew that wouldn’t be contaminated. And the water is a little more risky. So drinking, drinking a lot of fermented beverages, I guess.
David Ralph [20:03]
Interesting stuff. When I’m going to play some words now and we’re going to delve back into Derek story. After these Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [20:10]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [20:37]
Now listening to that Derek and I heard some words to jump out, his dad would do anything he could to survive. Are you now at a stage where you know about? Yeah, whatever you need to do, you can survive, it gives you liberation, it gives you choice, you’re not I must get a job, I must get a job. It’s almost like yeah, okay, something will happen.
Derek Loudermilk [20:58]
Yeah, a beer because over and over, you know, when I’m in the, in the red, you know, out of money, I’ll figure it out, I’ll, you know, launch new business and make all the money we need pay the medical bills, pay the travel bills, whatever it is. And, you know, at this point, we have a lot more systems in place. So there’s safety redundancies, and all that, you know, I don’t think that ever goes away. As humans, we’re wired to wonder if we’re going to survive. And we, you know, like, we might not, I think, knowing that we could be hit by a car or have a heart attack or whatever, even if we’re normally healthy. And even if human longevity research takes us to live to 1000, like, we’re probably all going to die of some freak accident at some point. So, you know, like, knowing that, that this is part of our biology. So also is freeing in a way, because you can, you can try stuff, you can see what works. And I think in business, I started a podcast because someone else started a podcast. And at first you’re just copying. But then once you start to become a podcast, or you know, 1200 episodes on my gosh David
David Ralph [22:21]
now how many of you? How many have you done there?
Derek Loudermilk [22:23]
I not that many, almost 250, 300, something like that.
David Ralph [22:27]
So that’s still a lot more than most people, most people stopping a stupid amount.
Derek Loudermilk [22:36]
Yeah, so you know, it’s like, gosh, what a we’ve we’ve done so many shows. And, and now, we’ve tried all the stuff that everyone else has done. So now it’s like, Okay, well, let’s, let’s see how we can push the limits. Let’s, let’s figure some figure some new stuff out. And, you know, I love that your show is so different. Because if if nobody would have tried it like we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t know how it works. And obviously people love it.
David Ralph [23:07]
I’ll tell you the key thing, though, is number one, something naturally finds its place, you know, after 1200 shows it’s morphing very slowly. The listeners probably one yes. But it is moving very, very slightly into things. But it just becomes a natural fit, it moves on. But I think one of the things that you need to do, if you want to start to do something, is copy to really high achievers and ignore everybody else. I think that’s the trouble. People look at competition. And they struggle because I don’t know who to choose. So I’ll be totally transparent, right? The very beginning, probably the same issue because he was doing his stuff in. My one was john Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire. I love the way I didn’t I didn’t really go up until on his podcast, I still don’t. But I love the way that he developed a podcast into a business. And Pat Flynn from Smart Passive income, they will assume but I looked at and thought, right? Okay, I like the way they’re operating, I’m going to sort of like, study them, but then put your own spin on it. And once you put your own spin on it, and it becomes your own personal branding, you’re really sort of cooking on gas. And then you become a sort of leader, you go from being the follower to the leader. And I think that’s what you’ve done very, very well, because I’ve looked at so many similar sort of platforms. And yours looks more realize Yours looks more competent. You look like you’re in control of it. And if somebody comes to you with something, it’s no longer but Derek that was oh my god. Yeah, I suppose I could, I don’t really know how to do it. It’s more like Yeah, okay. Okay, let’s see, what happens. Are you more competent within your skin within your platform that you’ve created? Derek?
Derek Loudermilk [24:50]
Yeah, absolutely. And, and it’s, it’s funny, the the brand, the art of adventure, was just, we came up with, like, tons of it’s not the URLs not taken or but maybe it was, we just came up with this brand. But then the brand started influencing how I acted. It started forcing me to be adventurous and try to weave the analogy of adventure into everything I do. So, you know, now I’m talking, how can we make business and adventure? And so the brand itself started to shaping my life, and led me to do things like, Okay, well, what would an adventure podcaster do? Oh, they would take people on adventures to teach them about business. While they’re doing adventures, and, and it’s so it’s got a life of its own. And I just try to try to make it make it all fit together.
David Ralph [25:48]
But But that is the thing, isn’t it, you do fit it together, it becomes something and then it becomes ugly. And then it becomes a teenager, and it does fit together. You know, I’ve got a video lucrative business now. And I’ll be honest, year and a half ago, two years ago, it was just a nice business. Now it’s gone, you know, on to a different level. And it’s just because the pieces are fit, fitted better. And it’s sometimes you talk to somebody or you see somebody else doing something, you’ve got to look around and take the best. But then as I said earlier, you bring it together, I think that’s absolutely right, you become more adventurous because of your branding, and the personal brand becomes the platform brand. And I was saying to somebody the other day, I’m talking too much, Derek, but I’m going to throw it back to you. I said to somebody, if you can get your personal brand matching your business brand, it people like the business you can sell and if I like you if you can sell and if I like you, but you can sell and the two really are powerful. But I still see so many people hiding behind a kind of boring website thinking that people are going to just come across and connect. I think the personal brand is more important. The spirit of the individual is more important, don’t you?
Derek Loudermilk [27:01]
Yeah, and, you know, people are more likely to become my customers, when I’ve met them. And we connect as people. And then if I have exactly what they need in their life, if I have a product that fits the the market, it fits their desires, they already know they like me. And they already sort of know what I’ve done and the credibility is there. So it getting customers for life becomes this sort of fairly straightforward thing, where you just tell him that you’ve gotten there like, yeah, it works. And then then then there, you’re off to the races making money.
David Ralph [27:45]
And how did you meet them? How do you actually meet them personally, because this is one of the things is a stumbling block, people sit behind their computers, just going, oh, I’ve got to have Click Funnels, I cannot believe pages like this, and I’ve gotta have fat and I don’t actually meet anyone. So I hope you do it.
Derek Loudermilk [28:00]
Yeah, well, some of these people I have not met, necessarily in person, but But sometimes, you know, have online friendships that I will meet years later because I’m finally in the same country. And we we go have coffee or a drink or go to a meetup or media festival or event. And honestly, now that I have kids, I’m not doing that many networking events. So the I try to maximize the opportunities when when I’m going out to actually meet people in real life. Because Yeah, in real life is always better, of course. But I’ve had some amazing online relationships where, for example, this guy a lot in your check, he’s another podcaster, travel wisdom podcasts. And he and I became friends. And he was always sending me like, Oh, you should talk to this guy. He’s, you know, this really amazing. He introduced me to the most traveled man in the world in history. I got to have him on the show. And eventually, he came to my house when I was living in Croatia, he said, I’m, I’m passing through, and he came and stayed for a week. And all of a sudden, we’ve taken this online relationship. And, you know, all of a sudden, we’re having dinner, and it felt like we had been friends forever. Because we had all these, these shared experiences from the online world. And it’s, it’s kind of cool to see how relationships can kind of be this blend of one of both? Or maybe I’ll never meet some of these people, because I’m just never going to be in the same country at the same time with them. And that’s okay, too.
David Ralph [29:47]
I don’t know. Yeah, yeah, no, it No, he does. And he sort of made me reflect on my own journey as well. Because there was a time when I was totally isolated, I was just almost like radio host. And I, which is blasting out the content all the time, people were listening to it, and I was getting very little back. But now I’m putting more of my personality out there. As in, if I send an email to somebody, I will actually record a message. And I might send a video a lot more of myself in things are easier, because it does ultimately all come down to relationships. And no matter who you are out there, if you’re building a business, and you’re frightened of building relationships, you can have struggle.
Derek Loudermilk [30:34]
Yeah, and there’s, you know, I have I have a friend who’s worried about Can I be friends with my clients. And I think that you should be friends with all of your clients, all of your customers, because why not, you know, half of your time is gonna be spent working on your projects and delivering stuff for your customers. So why not really love it and you know, really believe in what they’re doing. Like, if you don’t think what they’re doing is awesome. And magic, then it’s not going to motivate you as much to help them out. So when I am looking for customers, I’m looking for like, what is the spark that I see in this person? What is the what is the spark I see in their business that makes me want to invest my effort to help them and so it is cool, because it kind of goes both ways. And it’s like, when you’re when you’re making new friends, you’re like, Oh, I kind of like this person, I want to keep hanging out with them. It can also be the same in business, like, Yeah, I do want to work with this person, and I’m going to kind of offer to help them and then all of a sudden, you guys have a long term relationship, and then you’re feeding business to each other. And who knows how it’s going to evolve?
David Ralph [31:54]
And what about what about Derek? If a super sexy gorgeous, say, say somebody comes along? And they’re super sexy? Gorgeous. would you go? Now Actually, I’m not going to be friends with that person? Because super sexy, gorgeous? Or would you go No, fine, I’m going to remain professional all the way through, I will become as friendly with them as possible. Because I’ll be honest, I’ll be honest, I get busy. And I know a lot of listeners out there again, go really, really have been over to your website, and I see what you look like. But I get some shockingly sexy emails and stuff sent through to me from people. And I just kind of almost delete them. I don’t even get involved in them at all. What about the sexy, oldest ones?
Derek Loudermilk [32:34]
Well, I that’s probably a sign that you’ve that you’ve made it. You know, like if you if you work with enough people, right? certain percentage of them are going to be sexy. And, you know, my current coach is, she’s a beautiful woman. And it’s, it’s cool to be able to acknowledge that, you know, someone is dynamic and attractive, and all these things, and to also feel totally clean. Because you guys know, what is? What is important? And I don’t know it’s it hasn’t it hasn’t come up. Because all of these, all these relationships, actually. You can you can tell they’re not clean. Like if if someone wants something more, right? And then it’s like, is this weird sticky? This and the relationship you’re like, Oh, I don’t know. And that just doesn’t seem to happen when when you guys are when you have when you have a mission and you’re excited about doing stuff. And that’s the that’s the important stuff is is what you’re creating in the world and what you really want to do. And I, I just got married, and I have my family and it’s exactly what I wanted. And so also having that sort of taken care of, I think makes you stop looking for our opportunities
romantically for sure.
David Ralph [34:03]
Well said. Well said. And it was just a question that popped into my head. I wondered out there somewhere if there is like a, a Harvey Weinstein of podcasting, right, he’s just going to abusing their power, because it is it’s really bizarre. People hear you, they see you and they act differently to you. It’s really, really bizarre. And I’m a married man, for 100 million years. I’m not even sure how long I’ll be married. But I remember a time when I wasn’t married. And I’m the most unattainable person. I still get these weird emails and stuff being sent through to me. It’s very
Derek Loudermilk [34:40]
interesting that Yeah, I could just just your, your honey, honey, dripped tones, your vocal tonality, I guess is what does it for people?
David Ralph [34:54]
And my massive microphone, that’s what it is. It’s huge. like a like a huge microphone? I’m sure they do. I’m sure they do. I shouldn’t put that on the front of the website. So So where is your business going? On awaiting of sort of 10 being absolutely finished. Brilliant. And we know we’re never going to get there because the vision just gets bigger as you move along. Whereabouts Are you from the starting point to you know, absolutely walk away from it is done and dusted on a scale of one to 10?
Derek Loudermilk [35:25]
Well, I’m one of those people that I had to be very careful because I have about 300 business ideas right now. And I know that I’m only going to do two or three of them in the next year. So I have to be very careful about what I start. So that I can actually finish some things. But the the vision for the next few years is that I I really want to start making a global impact. And I think the way to do that is with a conference with a sort of I this this theory I like if you get all the all the geniuses together and you get people with access to resources together in the same room, people with money and political influence, then you can just let them come up with solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Because theoretically, we have all the resources that we need to solve our biggest problems like hunger and poverty and clean water. And they’re just not mobilized to solve those problems right now. And, you know, taking a page out of Bill Clinton or the United Nations, but figuring out a way to make it fun, like mixing something like the TED conference and adventure. I think that’s what I’d really like to try to see if we can actually get people really excited about solving these big global problems together. Because now that we’re all connected through the internet and air travel, we’re really, for the first time in history, we could all come together to solve a single thing, global warming, or whatever we choose to do. And you know, we’ve already done that with polio, for example, eradicating polio. Wow. And that was decades ago. So I think that’s cutting edge stuff is solving global problems. And I want to, I want to hop on that wave. And I think a conference is is where I’m going to start.
David Ralph [37:32]
Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. And before you even said that, I thought conference, and I would have said, based on the fact that you have got adventure, travel, independent business, it’d be quite easier would imagine to get some pretty high level sponsors on bat, who are a global entity, you know, somebody like virgin, for example, I would think that they would buy into that quite easy. It’d be an interesting one to do wouldn’t do that. Because where does the art of it actually sit into the art of solving world hunger, for example?
Derek Loudermilk [38:06]
Well, I think adventurers themselves, if they’re out there exploring, they see the they see the ice caps melting, if they’re, you know, going to the south pole or the North Pole, or they see really what the living conditions are, like, in the poorest developing countries. And they know that, you know, even farmers don’t have enough food to feed themselves. And they’re, they’re actually seeing on the ground. What’s happening around the world. So So, first of all, adventurers really have a sense for what needs to happen in the world, which is, which is cool. And then adventurers are also the type of people where impossible is not really part of their vocabulary. It’s just like, how long is it going to take us to figure out how to do whatever, climb this mountain? And so yeah, how long is it going to take us to make sure that everyone has clean water and food? How quickly can we do it? Is is the real question I think.
Unknown Speaker [39:10]
David Ralph [39:11]
that’s a good thing. So get Bono get Bono as well. He’s always involved in any
Derek Loudermilk [39:17]
I that you’re that you’re telling me like, Yeah, get Richard Branson involved and Bano. And, you know, that’s, I mean, that’s exactly if we can get all these people in the same room. And I’m sure they’ve been in the same room before and thought about some of this stuff. But but maybe we can get them in the room and have a conversation that that really makes things happen. Or maybe, maybe this stuff is already happening. And I just I’m not high level enough to know that Richard Branson and Bono already have this stuff all figured out.
David Ralph [39:48]
Yeah, but you’re, you’re already high level, the fact that number one you started number one, you’ve been doing it coming up five years. Number one, you’ve got a global podcast being listened to across the world, you have a nap already on you. There’s no reason for you to be saying, but you’re not in the same level, as Bono. And to be honest, when was the last time he wrote a good song? You’re beyond him? Because you do quality podcasts all the time. And he hasn’t done anything since about 1987. that’s worthwhile.
Derek Loudermilk [40:19]
Well, that’s a good, that’s a great perspective. Because it’s, it’s something that, you know, I still look up to these people, and someday they’re going to be peers, you know. And it’s not going to feel weird. It’s going to feel normal. But right now, I still have this sort of starstruck. You know, if I was hanging out with Oprah or Bano, I would still be peeing myself. Because, gosh, that’s so cool. I would I wouldn’t even know what to do. I would, I would say, Hey, remember when you wrote that awesome song? Or? You That was cool. And he was, okay. This guy is some Star Trek fan. So yeah, I guess I gotta take care of my own feeling of, you know, I am high level. Damn it. And I can hang out with bond. Oh,
Unknown Speaker [41:18]
yeah. All right. Yeah, you damn it louder milk. Yo, yo, yo,
David Ralph [41:23]
you know, cuz I’ll be honest, and this isn’t cocky. This isn’t arrogant, or it? Well, it might come across like this, but I wouldn’t be starstruck by anyone anymore. No matter who I met. And there was a time I would have been, but they’re just people, you know, who’s earned more money than most, you know, celebrated across the world or whatever. But I still wake up with a snotty nose. I still, you know, laying there Jim jams on the morning, you know, they, they, they still exactly the same. So I wouldn’t be starstruck if if I met say, who’s really really famous Paul McCartney, for example, I’m more likely to say you want a cup of tea more than ask him a question. You know, I just don’t feel it anymore. And I don’t know if it’s because I talked to so many people on a daily basis where I think to myself, actually, more often than not, I haven’t got a clue what they’re doing. They just doing stuff and some work, some doesn’t. Some flies, some dies, you know, and in Little by little, the more things you do, the more things you get there. I don’t think I’d be starstruck and I was only starstruck when I saw that Derek louder. milk from the art of adventure podcast was coming on my show. And I thought, Blimey, Blimey damage louder milk, he’s on the show that sent me that sent me up.
Derek Loudermilk [42:39]
This is great to hear it, it’s a good reminder, it’s a good reminder for me, too, because everyone, everyone has some problem that they’re that they’re working on. And I always think about big wave surfers, for some reason, surfing a 75 foot wave, and it’s just as impossible sounding feet. And for them, they serve to 65 foot wave the day before. And so it’s not really any harder. It’s a little bit bigger wave. But it’s really just like showing up for a day of work for them. Because incrementally it’s, you know, half a percent more challenging. And it’s, it’s a good reminder for me to see when people are doing really amazing things, that for them, it feels just like normal life, and they’re still having the same problems that we all are. So thank you for that reminder.
David Ralph [43:32]
No, and you thank you for the surfing because when we’re talking about that, I used to have the analogy all the time, I don’t talk about it now, how Surfing is just like business, you’re paddling, paddling, paddling, paddling over time. And when you jump on the board and fall off. And then after about four days of paddling, suddenly you get a bit of momentum, and it takes you forward. And then you paddle paddle paddle, it’s very similar to surfing, the more times you get on, the more times you got to fall off, the more times you get on the more you gain a few inches until you get at that one moment. And it’s just because you’ve been trying all the time to stay on that board. The more you try it, the more you can achieve is only when you give up, don’t you think Derek?
Derek Loudermilk [44:12]
Well, can we let’s actually take this analogy a little bit further. Because one of the keys, at least as far as professional surfing goes, is being able to read the waves and picking the best wave from a set of waves or are all day. You know, if you pick the one wave that lets you have a really long, amazing run better than someone else who has the same skill as you. So there’s also you know, these servers, they show up early and they sit on the beach, and they just watch and the way the waves are coming in. And this is like us watching the trends of the world watching the business environment, watching what the market wants, and waiting until we match our skills with the perfect conditions and then going for it with everything we’ve got. So so i think that’s that’s another cool part of analogy, because you can get really, really tired paddling, paddling, paddling and missing the best waves. If you don’t understand the conditions.
David Ralph [45:16]
It’s take the surfing analogy, even the icon I wish I could have finished on the big one, Derek, I can’t. I can’t think of any more surfing analogies, but um, it was powerful stuff on it, you me back and forth, back and forth on that theme.
Derek Loudermilk [45:33]
It’s good stuff. It’s good. I don’t know where
David Ralph [45:34]
to go with that to your adventure, you almost drowned under the passion.
Unknown Speaker [45:41]
Oh, but I’m
David Ralph [45:45]
okay. So what I want to do now is just before we put you on the Sermon on the mic, I want to listen to the words of Steve Jobs and he said these words back in 2005. And they became join up dots and we play him
Steve Jobs [46:00]
possible 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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:33]
And will it make all the difference to you.
Derek Loudermilk [46:39]
Gosh, there’s, that’s that’s a really powerful clip.
And he’s talking about listening to your gut and your heart. Which that’s, that’s something that is can be pretty challenging for people. I think. That’s that’s what, what really spoke to me there.
David Ralph [47:01]
You’ve done it. So how did you get quiet and listen to your heart and start creating the life that you have?
Derek Loudermilk [47:10]
Well, honestly, when you get fired from a job, the universe is trying to tell you something. But I ignored it right? Because I got fired many times. And then you know, all kinds of bad things happen to me. My, my house got flooded. I lost my house, I lost my marriage, I dropped out of grad school, I had a traumatic brain injury, a blood clot and my brain all basically at the same time. And eventually, I was like, okay, the universe is giving me this big sort of slap in the face, put on the brakes. And you know, use get like, okay, somebody has to change. What do I need to go back? What did I love as a kid? What do I really enjoy? What do I really care about? How do I feel happy, and you have to start looking at all these things. And it actually it took me a long time to listen to to my gut and my heart, or these kinds of things.
David Ralph [48:20]
And now you listen to them? Do you still listen to them all the time? Or do you ignore them? Do you look at it and go, I knew that was going to go wrong? And I still went for it? How good are you at listening to yourself?
Derek Loudermilk [48:35]
It’s it’s a work in progress. So this, you might have heard of shiny object syndrome? Basically, I will see someone do something that they do it really well. They make a lot of money. It seems really exciting, whatever. And I think I could do that even better. And I will leap into it. Because it seemed you know, podcasting. I thought oh, I’m a get rich quick scheme basically turned out not to be a get rich quick scheme. But that’s what I thought, you know what? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker [49:06]
Derek Loudermilk [49:08]
get rich, really, really slowly.
And so leaping into things is great, right? You know, that’s a hallmark of adventure, like you got to take the first step to climb the mountain. So leaving an action is, is great, I love it. But I probably leap into action too much still. Because once you’re doing something and once you have several things on your plate, you can’t really take on any more. And then what if something even better or more suited you comes along? So it’s I’m learning to be a little more patient to do less to not necessarily think that something worked for someone else. It’ll work for me. So yeah, I guess I guess, clearing my plate of more more things so that when the right opportunity comes along, I’m going to be able to jump right on it.
David Ralph [50:02]
Well, hopefully appearing on join up dots was one of those opportunities that was classed as a good one. So you left on it. And you’ve you delivered so much this afternoon, great stuff. But of course, you’ve got another journey to go on now. And this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to, but we call the Sermon on the mic, when we’re going to 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 Derek, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fades, you are up this is.
Derek Loudermilk [50:57]
Alright, so young Derek 23 year old Derek, this is coming to you from 35 year old Derek 12 years later. And I know that at 23, you’re thinking about a life as a professional cyclist. Because that seems really fun and amazing. And you you have some genetic gifts, but not enough to be a world class cyclist. And so you that’s not going to be your career. And there’s all these other things that you’re going to try that aren’t going to be your career. So all along the way, you’re going to be trying things and then you’re going to move on. And that’s totally okay. Because you’re going to love grad school, you’re going to love being a scientist, you’re going to love being a cycling coach, eventually, you’re going to find something that is even better than all of these things. And that’s one of the hard parts is to give up and move on from something that’s really fun, and awesome, and that you’re good at, and that people tell you you should be doing in order to move to something that’s even better. And
there is there’s, there’s a formula that
that makes you successful. And and this formula is you’ve got to have some some concrete place that you’re going you’ve got to have some some real dream, some hard goals, some way of measuring to know when you’re getting somewhere. But you also have to have some fire some desire, some fascination, because that makes you obsessed with things, you’ve got a history of getting really good at things because you’re obsessed with them. And you can’t imagine doing anything else it becomes your your be you have a one track mind about these things. And so if you can tease apart what the rest of the world is telling you to do, what the script that they are putting in your head, with the script, you can write for yourself, the things that you are really obsessed about. And then give yourself good people around you. Give yourself good mentors, set up the conditions so that whatever it is you’re obsessed about, you’re in the best possible scenario to succeed and and know what that means to succeed. Because sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s winning a race, sometimes it’s discovering a species. So actually say it out loud, or write it down and say, here’s what it means for me to succeed. Here’s the game that I’m playing right now. So that I know if I went. And the cool thing is that you get to keep winning over and over again, because you keep making the rules of the game up. And things are just going to keep getting better and better. So my advice is, don’t, don’t sweat it and experiment. And if you and if you can listen to your gut and your heart, and try to ignore the invisible script that everyone else is trying to get you to play by
David Ralph [54:28]
powerful stuff. Brilliant stuff. So Derek, what’s the number one best way but our audience who have listened today can connect with you, sir.
Derek Loudermilk [54:35]
You can find me at Derek louder milk calm, or at Derek louder milk on all the socials on Twitter and Instagram. And of course, we’ve talked about the art of adventure. And I’ve got a book out superconductors, which is a multi year project. So I’d love for people to check out we actually our publisher is UK based. So if you happen to be in the UK, you’ll see it around in bookstores there. So I’m told. So
David Ralph [55:04]
yeah, there you go. And we’ll have all the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible to connect with a marvelous Derek. Derek, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you 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.
Derek Loudermilk [55:24]
Derek, thank you so much, David, thank you. It’s been fun.
David Ralph [55:32]
So that was interesting, wasn’t it, he starts a podcast called the art of adventure, and then has to sort of grow into being adventurous. And now he will take people around the world on these trips and stuff. I love that because most of us try to become the thing to been bring out to the world, but he became the thing that he’d already put out to the world. Is that right or wrong? I don’t know. Let us know. Send us a message through. You can connect to us on the website join up firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address. But you can just go to the contact form on the website and and send us a message and send us a message. Anyway, tell us where you listen to us. And we’re going to start trying to pinpoint where our audience is because I’m finding that there’s places like Germany Hello Germany, we’re getting more listeners in Germany is that the light to have you here and France never used to have many in France. So as a Yeah, if you’re listening in a country where other people aren’t, drop us a line and we will say hello to you on the show. But until next time thank you so much as always for listening to join up dots that was David Ralph and I will see you again. Cheers
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com o download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots