Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Matt Sweetwood
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Introducing Matt Sweetwood
Todays guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast is Matt Sweetwood.
He is the CEO of Luxnow, and also a successful serial entrepreneur, business consultant, award-winning marketer, social media influencer, personal branding expert, and photography instructor.
Matt was the U.S. CEO of beBee, Inc., a professional social network that helps people build successful personal brands.
He served as President of Unique Photo®, NJ’s premiere camera store for 28 years.
Nationally known in the photography industry as an innovator, he has helped acquire over fifty U.S. and International Trademarks for both language and design, and he founded and ran the Ozzie Award winning publication Photo Insider®.
Matt has been credited with the reinvention of the modern camera store, as well as the country’s largest in-store education program, the Unique University®.
How The Dots Joined Up For Matt
Unique Photo was named 2008 and “2013 Dealer of the Year” by Digital Imaging Reporter magazine.
Matt was named the Photo Industry’s, “2016 Person of the Year” by the PMDA.
Matt’s past charitable endeavours include having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at both The Aish Center, a spiritual/educational non-profit and The Josephine Herrick Project, a nonprofit that uses photography to enhance the lives of the under-served.
Matt was honored by The Aish Center with its 2014 Continuity Award.
So did he fall into the traps of making things more complex than they should be in the beginning of starting his business?
And how has he managed to reinvent his businesses so successfully?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Matt Sweetwood.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Matt Sweetwood such as:
Matt remembers the constant frustration and effort that it took his parents to build a living.
Why being an entrepreneur is so intoxicating as you see the fruits of you labours start to come real.
Matt shares how gaining custody of his five kids was the scariest thing in his life.
Matt reveals how he keeps extremely organised by structuring his day to be task driven.
How To Connect With Matt Sweetwood
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Matt Sweetwood 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, I’ll have a good morning. Good morning to everybody across the world. Thank you so much for being here on the Join Up Dots podcast. Appreciate ya. Now today’s guest is one of those guests. As you’re hearing the introduction. We literally can go in any direction because the guy has covered more things in his time in business and most people’s time of business basically. He is the CEO of Lux now and he’s also a successful serial entrepreneur business consultant, award winning marketeer social media influencer, personal branding, expert and photography. structor and he was the CEO of BB a professional social network that helps people build successful personal brands. Now he’s nationally known in the photography industry as an innovator. He’s helped acquire over 50 US and international trademarks for both language and design. And he founded and ran the Aussie award winning publication, photo insider and he’s won awards. He’s won loads of stuff. Now, he’s past charitable endeavours include having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of both the Asia centre, a spiritual educational nonprofit, and the josefin Herrick project, a nonprofit that uses photography to enhance the lives of the underserved and he was honoured by liaise centre with its 2014 continue to award Now the thing is right with all this, did he fall into the traps of making things really complex? Right at the very beginning, or did he just ease through and give himself a priority? We can move things around seamlessly. But let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Matt Sweetwood. Morning, Matt, how are you?
Matt Sweetwood [2:14]
Well, David, I am. I am just so humbled by that introduction. I don’t know if I really can live up to that, but I’m gonna have to work really hard on the show to get there. I think
David Ralph [2:25]
I think you already worked hard because it’s one of those introductions that I look at. And there are so many dots running through it. What What was the starting point being because you’re obviously a creator, you’re an innovator, you’re a marketeer, all those kind of things. But what was the sort of first doc that led you was it, you know, imagery? Was that the thing that sort of really inspired you?
Matt Sweetwood [2:48]
I think, for me, I’ve always and I believe this is a it maybe it’s a genetic trait, maybe it’s environmental, maybe it’s all of those things. The first thought for me was always wanting success. You know, I’m sort of looking back, you know, from the present day back. And I always think, for me, everything that I’ve always I’ve always gone into, I’ve always tried to be a success. And I always sort of make the joke that I wake up every morning and say, you know, I feel a little bit like a failure and I need to make it through the day, do everything as best as I can, so that I can go to sleep as success. And I think for me that I started that when I was a child, it was always sort of in me like that. I just, I didn’t want to I wanted to do something significant in my life and in the world.
David Ralph [3:33]
So even as a small kid you felt because I must admit when I was a small kid, I don’t think I had any ambition at all. I just kind of existed. And certainly through my early sort of career, it was just get to the end of the month, get a pay packet go out for a few drinks. I didn’t have any sort of desire to create or, or miss out or not build opportunities in my life.
Matt Sweetwood [3:56]
I think for me, it was being around Parents who are very entrepreneurial, of course, when when I was a child, they didn’t use the word entrepreneur. They just were business people. And they ran a business. You know, it was a small business, but ran a business. And I worked in that business as a child. And I saw sort of the excitement of that, you know, I grew up in the New York, New Jersey area, you know, and this was a very business oriented place. My parents were first generation here in this country. And their mindset was to make it and I think that that make it mindset got passed on to me and they were all about excellence and excelling and finding success. So I think I got it from my parents and just being in that business environment, what we’d call an entrepreneurial environment, from a very little child,
David Ralph [4:44]
and what did they do to sort of earn a living in
Matt Sweetwood [4:47]
at that time, they were in the photographic business, selling photographic supplies to small stores. At that time, the number one item actually was flashbulbs. For those of us old enough to know what a flashbulb is
David Ralph [5:01]
Yeah, I remember those. I don’t do as much flashing now as I used to.
Matt Sweetwood [5:06]
So when you flash it a lot, so you know,
David Ralph [5:10]
I can imagine you owe me I can imagine you. So when when you look back on those days, do you have it as rose tinted glasses? Or do you remember a hassle because there’s no getting away from it being an entrepreneur is bloody hard work. And more often than not, it’s hard work because you’re having to learn constantly, you know, that’s why it’s so important to find a mentor or coach to sort of speed you through. So do you remember your parents being frazzled at the end of the day? Or did it just seem exciting?
Matt Sweetwood [5:39]
I think that I definitely had the sense that our destiny, our ability to eat and pay the rent, and make things happen happened every day. You were at risk every day and I could feel that stress in my parents, you know, I could see the way they approach things. It always creates sort of this constant desperation that you’re in. And from a child side, for me, it meant that there was a heavy, heavy focus on business. And as a result, I probably didn’t advance socially so well. And that I’m sure led to some of the things that happened in my life, which, you know, I hope we get to, and really led to the book that I wrote leader of the pack, you know, about my, my journey through life. So I think the huge positive side was I learned that, that entrepreneurs need to be desperate, you need to work your way through every day, you need to make count. On the other hand, you know, other areas, you know, sacrifice when I got to school, and when I got to those things, I was behind the other kids from a cultural perspective and all of those things.
David Ralph [6:50]
So why do it then if there’s desperation and there’s frustration and his effort, what is so intoxicating about the world of entrepreneurship?
Matt Sweetwood [7:00]
It’s the taste of success and accomplishment. Because I think that there’s nothing more satisfying than when you start something, you build it and see it successful, whatever you measure that success for that’s intoxicating. You want that more, and you want that more. And it’s not just a pursuit of money. I mean, of course, you know, one of my favourite sayings is whatever they say it’s not about the money. It’s about the money. And of course, money is the driving factor. But money is really the measure of the success of what you do. You know, so I can think of several points in my career, where I achieved success and the money still didn’t come yet, but I knew it would eventually come as a result of that success.
David Ralph [7:45]
I think money is so important. It really is because we’ve got bills to pay, we’ve got a roof over our head, we’ve got all those kinds of things, but for me now, I’m certainly in the position where is the freedom is the freedom I can’t buy that even though I have haven’t worked for anyone for about 1012 years now. I still drive along on a Tuesday morning thinking, I haven’t had to ask anyone to do this. I just go off and do it. You know, I could never go back. I’ve just spent a week in Iceland, driving around with my wife. And the same feeling never leaves me the fact that I haven’t had to ask permission. But I think about it a lot.
Matt Sweetwood [8:25]
I happen to agree with that. But I may be a little more spoiled than you because I’ve never done that. So I don’t even think like that. I just naturally assume I’m going to do what I want when I want to do it. Because I know best. I always make a joke, you know, is that I you know, I love being on a team as long as I’m the leader of the team.
David Ralph [8:43]
Yeah, I can imagine that with you. Even even from the very first moment that we spoke. You seem to have a drive you seem to have a confidence. And it now seems to me that confidence has come from the fact that you have evidence has come from the fact that you haven’t seen the other Beside of the fence, you’ve always just made bozos and decisions and made those decisions work, even if I don’t work straight away.
Matt Sweetwood [9:08]
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s true. And a lot of it’s been out of necessity. You know, I had kids to raise, I had a business to run that was in a very, very challenged industry. And I knew at points that nobody else was going to save the day. So either I was going to save the business and feed my kids or, or it was going to fail. And I think, you know, going back to what you said, connecting back to the first one you asked me about, which is that desperation you learn, you just immediately go into that mode. And so I it’s not that I don’t I always have built really, really excellent staffs, and my staff in general really likes me and so on. But I always felt that as the leader, you know, you’re going to be to use a term, you’re going to be the cleaner, you need to be the one taking charge and taking responsibility, good or bad. Sometimes it fails, but when it fails, you just quickly pick yourself up in And do whatever it is to get yourself across the finish line.
David Ralph [10:03]
Yes, hey, some motivational words. And we’ll be back with Matt Sweetwood.
Jim Carrey [10:07]
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 [10:33]
Now, I probably back literally on every single episode, because I think it’s such a powerful statement to make. But it also leads to many different areas of our conversation, where it’s okay to go for what you love, but how the hell do you make money from it? And a lot of people struggle with that a lot of people end up with a business that’s just a hobby. So how did you transition from wanting to be in photography which for so many people, it is Hoping to actually making it into something that is valuable to you.
Matt Sweetwood [11:04]
Right? So I think that’s using photography is a really good example. And obviously, in today’s world being a photographer is a significant struggle. But in my business, I was selling photo supplies. So selling photo supplies is the money making side of the business. And I you know, once again, I’ll credit my my mom and dad on that, because they were always going to the money. That was their mindset, you know, they came out of the Great Depression and from them, you know, surviving and making money is where it’s at. And so it’s really a mindset. You know, if you want to be an artist, you know, this is sort of the, you know, this term starving artists. If you want to be an artist, you need to analyse the business that you’re going into and see if there’s a way you can do what you love and still make money and bring them together. You don’t go in with one eye open, you know, and one eye closed and just say I hope it happens. You look you always look for the Place where the business happens in whatever vertical, whatever area you love. And I think that’s really what it comes down to. I didn’t think like that. It wasn’t a conscious thought process. It just became a natural result of my upbringing.
David Ralph [12:14]
So if somebody comes up to you now and says Mr. Sweet word, Mr. Sweet word, I really want to do something that that fills me up with love. I’m really wanting to, but I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t got a clue what I want to do. What sort of advice do you give them?
Matt Sweetwood [12:30]
Well, you of course, you say to them, let’s take a look. You know, because I’ve coached people many times, we take a look at their assets and you take a look at their liabilities and liabilities are areas where they’re weak. So for example, for me, I mean, I’m the only language I can speak is English. I don’t know why it’s part of my brain doesn’t function like that. So you know, if you put me in an area where I’m going to have to deal in a multilingual environment, obviously, that’s probably not a good business for me, you know, on the other hand, I have strong math skills, I have a graduate degree in mathematics. So if you’re putting me someplace that’s dealing with financial money, I’m going to do better. And so you start by looking at that and you start to assess your assets, what you’re good at an honest look at what you’re good at, and an honest look at what really you’re not good at. And that’s the starting point by which you can kind of figure out what to do. I mean, I don’t think I’ve met too many people that are terrible at something but love it. So typically, if you look in that area, where you’re good at things, you start to create the seed for what it is that you’re gonna, you’re going to end up loving do to do.
David Ralph [13:37]
It’s funny, really, when you say that it’s so obvious, isn’t it? Because Yeah, if you’re not very good at something, then you know, you’re not gonna love it. I’m surprised but you’ve ever met anybody. So have you met some people like
Matt Sweetwood [13:50]
that? Um, yeah. I mean, you meet people sometimes that, you know, they want to do this and, you know, you sit there and you say to them, you know, I’ve called A lot of men, a lot of men through divorce and things like that, and they come to you. And they’re like, you know, I’m working in this job, and I’m making 150 grand a year. But I really, you know, I really want to be a boat captain. And you sort of look at them and you’re like, Well, have you ever really sit well in a boat on your own? No, do you know how much they make? No, you know, you have three kids that you have to support. So maybe you should really take a look at what you’re doing and really evaluate things realistically. So sometimes you have to give people a little bit of advice like that. But I’ve never really met somebody who really tried to dive into something they were terrible at, you know, obviously, you can improve and so on. And I’m not talking about a hobby, I’m talking about a career, you know, like, I can’t dance for nothing, you know, but probably somewhere along the way. They could cancel lesson, you know, get myself through it to improve but you understand what I’m saying? It’s, if you just really focus on that area that you’re really really good at and you apply some practical situation from your life. Think that you’re going to really find your way.
David Ralph [15:02]
Now let’s take you back because you alluded to the, the book that you wrote about joined up many of your dots. So tell us the starting dots that led you to creating leader the pack.
Matt Sweetwood [15:15]
I think for me, it was my journey as a single father. I wrote that book because I went on a 20 year journey of raising five kids as a single father. Their mom left us when the kids were very little, in fact, the youngest was 18 months old, the oldest was eight. So I had five kids between 18 months and eight. They left me I was running a very, very challenged business. If anybody knows the photo business, the evolution of technology, from the disappearance of film to the introduction of digital cameras to the change in the way the distribution model goes to the internet, very, very difficult business, and I went through some crazy or incredible journeys in my life. I’ve learned so much along the way. It turned me From a boy into a man, and I really felt that there was no voice out there for men. And there wasn’t or there weren’t very many people talking about what it feels like to be a father and what it feels like to have the responsibility of these children and to run a business, and to how to manage all of these things at one time. And of course, you know, the end story of the book I’ll give away is, you know, the kids, my kids are all adults now. They’re all successful, they’re all doing really well. And I talked about how to overcome that adversity in the book, you know, how to overcome how I got through all of that and from the spiritual way, physical, mental, all of those things. So for me, really, that’s what compelled me to do it is that it was really a chance for me, I guess, you know, I want to be honest, it was also a cathartic experience for me to sort of expel all of that stuff that happened to me and really, ultimately because I thought there was nobody really doing that for men. And the results are there because I’ve gotten so many amazing reviews and comments and book was a best seller and so on. So I think it’s really for those two purposes, I think it helped me because I think that when you write, it’s kind of like going to a therapist, you know, an imaginary therapist, you get yourself through all of that. And then on the other hand, it was really to sort of create this, this tome for men who go through very, very difficult moments in their life, and for women to of course, since most of the features actually are women. But I think that, for me has been really the motivating factor.
David Ralph [17:28]
Now, that’s quite unusual reading your bio as he was talking, again, to be given full custody because most of the time custody goes to women and even you know, in the United Kingdom, I know some awful women, and some pretty good men and the women still get the full custody of the children. So was it a surprise that you ended up with all of them?
Matt Sweetwood [17:49]
I don’t know if I would call it a surprise. I would call it the the most scary moment of my life. Because obviously, I mean, and you can obviously read In the book, and you can, you know, sort of go through the details of the story, but obviously, a woman who loses custody of her children is probably not such a good person and probably not such a good mother. And of course, the fear was that the courts would do exactly what you said. And my fear was the children would be ruined forever. And so it was a fight. It was a very, it wasn’t that she really fought for custody, she really didn’t. But it was a situation of you’re afraid that they would just do it, and he or she would have enough interaction with the children to to influence them in a bad way. So it was a very difficult time for me. And the answer is yes, in many cases. I mean, in particularly in this country, the court systems have been very, very brutal to men. And you know, I sort of laugh because you know, we we have this meat to movement going on right now. But the Me too, seems to only apply in certain areas that are convenient, you know, so I have a little bit of frustration with that. On how it goes. But no, I wasn’t surprised. I was actually relieved when it happened. And I was able to then do something with my children. Of course, I was scared out of my mind. Imagine a guy with five little kids and bills to pay and all sorts of stuff. But that’s what you know, transformed me from the sort of wimpy boy, I was into a real man. So you know, best thing that ever happened to me, I guess,
David Ralph [19:21]
is we got some income. And I’ve got five kids as well. And pre Obama, sort of, well, four of them have grown up, and they’re the last ones on our way now. And there was a long
Unknown Speaker [19:32]
David Ralph [19:35]
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. But it was a long period of my life where I was convinced I was doing the right thing for my family by going to work and bringing in the bacon until the last two came along, and I spun it totally on its head because I realised that all the things that I was saying, I’m doing it for you. They never actually asked for it. So how did you balance that with yourself, Matt? Because you were you know, You you were doing all for everybody. So the dirt they weren’t gonna last cheaper beings. And there were times that you couldn’t do it. How did you sort of like battle those feelings of inadequacy, I suppose?
Matt Sweetwood [20:09]
Yeah, I think for me, the inadequacy side, you know, comes for a lot like it does for a lot of men, which is like, are you really spending enough time with your children? Are you really like, in my case? Are you fulfilling the role of mother? And actually, I have a chapter in my book where I talk about this, I’ve written a few articles about this. It wasn’t until I sort of exercise some self love, and self love as a man where I said to myself, you know, you don’t need to be a mother, just be a father and just treat them like you would normally treat them. Do your best. You know, I’m a very organised kind of person. I manage my schedule and everything. You know, I hate this term work life balance. I don’t really think there is such a thing. I think it’s just you try to do as much as you can in both areas. You try to manage it as well as you could. And in the end, there were many moments. Where I thought I was negligent as a father, because maybe I wasn’t there as much, let’s say to do homework with them, I had help helping me with that, or I wasn’t there. But in the end, I realised, and this, like I said, comes out in my book where I think if you just love them enough, and you help them build their self esteem, I think that sort of time in with them is that’s the most valuable time. So it’s very easy, particularly for dads, you know, who are going to work bringing home the bacon, and sort of look at how do I get enough time with the kid? I think it’s not about the question of how much time I think it’s a question of the quality of the time. And for me, I it took me a while to get over the guilt of that because there’s just no way to run a business with $100 million business with 120 employees, which is paying the bills and paying the taxes and paying everybody and all of that stuff and then get home and you know, spend you know all day with them. So you have to really pick and choose your time and it’s just a question of yourself of self Love and getting over this sort of stigma that you don’t spend enough time with the kids. Just make the time that you spend extremely valuable. Try to make it all work, do your best. And if your intention is right, you love your kids, you build yourself to help them build their self esteem. I think it’s going to turn out well for you.
Unknown Speaker [22:18]
We’re talking to Matt sweet word and we will be back with Matt, after these words. Are you ready to make a full time living online? Check out the amazing Join Up Dots
Unknown Speaker [22:27]
business coaching. Hello, my name is Alan. And I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David
Unknown Speaker [22:33]
before I started working with David
Unknown Speaker [22:35]
Actually, I had no idea at all where to start.
Unknown Speaker [22:39]
I had a lot of ideas about what I probably thought was going to be good business. David was able to help me through that though to find that passion.
Unknown Speaker [22:48]
Within literally minutes. We had we had a business idea and for the last seven weeks we’ve been building on it and building on and the position I’m in now but if you got an ever got here on my own
Jim Carrey [23:00]
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 [23:14]
David helped me understand, okay, what were the next logical steps that I should do? 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 some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business, whether as a full time job or 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
Unknown Speaker [23:40]
an exaggeration to say David will totally save you years.
Unknown Speaker [23:43]
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 [23:54]
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 being 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. So we’re talking to Matt sweetwood. And one of the things that we’re touching on at the moment is how a single dad has to juggle so many things. Now, I would have said, Matt, looking at your, your endeavours, adding charitable stuff on it. It’s just another thing on your plate. It’s a good thing to do. Wasn’t it? Another thing that you didn’t need?
Matt Sweetwood [24:43]
It was another thing that I didn’t need, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it. You know, those of us that have been ageing gracefully or not so gracefully. We get to a certain point in our life, where we feel we’ve been very, very blessed. I know that that’s the case for me. have five just amazing children. I’ve had, you know, difficult but really amazing journey career, you know, look, I wrote a book about it. So, you know, something good happened along the way. And you get that moment, you know, you realise that there’s probably less years ahead of you than there were behind you. And you need to do something to help people to, you know, pay it forward, pay it back, it’s actually maybe even a little bit of guilt that sort of in you, not not a negative guilt, but just sort of like you realise how lucky you are. And the best way to show gratitude to show gratitude to God for everything that’s happened is to get involved like that. And, you know, one of the things I am good at is fixing things and, you know, both the, you know, several of the nonprofit’s that I’ve gotten involved that they needed fixing, you know, nonprofits are, I don’t even like the term nonprofit. It’s actually a very upsetting term. You know, it kind of makes my my body shake and tremor. So you walk into a nonprofit and they take That term literally and they need, you know, major adjustment and I’m good at doing that. So it was really in some respects right in my sweet spot to go in and help out. Of course it took time and you know, juggling my kids were a little bit older obviously when I did that, and you know, between the business and the nonprofit’s obviously, it’s a lot to handle, but it’s also once again, very rewarding. And I began this the first God, I talked about what success and when you can take an organisation, like one of the organisations was helping veterans and helping autistic children, if you can create a success there. I mean, that’s intoxicating. That’s like wow, what did I you know, I did something amazing, you know, and look, look at how it’s helping people you can feel really good about yourself for that.
David Ralph [26:42]
I love the fact that you say just because you shouldn’t do it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it just because it’s another thing on your plate. How do you stretch your day event? How do you decide what is going to be most valuable to you to put your head down on the pillow at the end of the day and say now do that that was a worthwhile day?
Matt Sweetwood [27:01]
Yeah, I love that question because I get asked that question in various forms a lot, because, you know, it’s like, how do you do so much? I think, first of all, you number one, you need to keep yourself extremely organised. You know, I keep everything in the cloud, I have very careful monitoring of my email and my text messages and all of the my schedule and all of those things. And so I basically, I basically keep extremely organised. And the night before or sometimes in the morning, you know, as I’m commuting, whatever, I take a look at the tasks that I have for the day. And I always sort of keep that task list in mind and like a soldier, I go through them, you also get enough experience to leave space in there for things that are happening. And my goal is, is I don’t really look at rest period. I don’t really look at like that I have a little ADHD myself, you know, I’m always kind of on the go. I like it that way. And so I just basically go from task to task to task to task to task and I try to accommodate as much on that list as I can, in terms of priority, obviously, you know, business scheduling, when you’re running a business, there’s just so many different pieces going on, you just try to fit them all, I think my priority comes from arranging the items so that I can accomplish the most for the day, you know, sort of thinking about if you were going out for errands and you were going to stop at five different stops, you obviously put them in some sort of geographic order, you don’t, you know, go like zigzag all over the place, you go to the you sort of try to create, you know, an arc. And I think I do that with my schedule and my time, obviously, you have other people involved and so on. But I still look at my schedule, always like that. I look at my week like that. And I try to create the shortest distance between all of the events and try to do them in a way that I can accomplish the most. Because to me, when I go to bed at night, I know that if I did everything on my list, and that list is substantial. It’s a really good feeling.
David Ralph [28:58]
Yeah, I agree with you now, Marvel wife doesn’t agree with you at all there. And she just adds more and more on to her day back and forth, back and forth. And I always say to her, you know, if you’re going down on Friday, why don’t you just wait till Friday and do it all in one go? And she’s, oh, no, I need it today. But even the simplest things like when I walk out of a room, I always look around being, can I take anything with me to where I’m going? It’s all that kind of just structured mindset. But it does make it so much easier. I run my whole business on my own. I don’t have any assistance at all. And I don’t find it too onerous, because I had the systems in place.
Matt Sweetwood [29:36]
I mean, I couldn’t agree with you more, I like to say that I do exactly what you just did on on steroids. You know, you’re always looking to, I don’t want to call it multitasking, because that actually has a negative connotation. But I think it’s cool. I think what we really should come up with a term for that, but I think it’s called multi planning. So what you’re doing is you’re creating the most efficient path through your day, both physically and timewise.
David Ralph [30:03]
Now, I agree with that totally, because I don’t think multitasking works. I really don’t. I think you just do things badly. But I do agree with batching. And I know that I check my emails first thing in the morning, and I only read an email once. I don’t read it and come back to it, because then I have to read it twice. So I just deal with it, delete it, move on. And I literally keep maybe four or five emails in my inbox. But I get about 30 to 40 a day, I try to keep it as zero as possible. And I think there’s a lot of that with business where people start doing a TAS. They don’t quite like it at that time. So they think, oh, I’ll come back to it. But effectively, just get it out of the way. Just move on to the next thing.
Matt Sweetwood [30:45]
Well, I think we must be brothers from a different mother because that is exactly the philosophy that I take and what I’ve coached I know you coach, that’s basically what I teach people. I’m clearing out my my inbox, whatever form that is. Whether it’s email or whatever it is, you deal with it, you task it. Now, what’s interesting about that is that you have to sometimes give up perfection for speed. And that allows you to accomplish a lot. And we say don’t let perfection be the enemy of doing or finishing. You know, it’s not that we don’t want to do a good job, we don’t want to do a great job, but you’re taking the same tactic that I have, sometimes it’s better to answer an email right away, get it done, move the process forward, as opposed to sit there, compose, think about it, get input, do all of this, just just sort of keep the balls rolling, and get them out of the way. And I use my inbox, my email inbox a lot of times as my test list. And typically I’ll end up with 3040 at the end of the day, because I’m getting hundreds You know, I’m running the company looks now I got all sorts of things going on, but I use it like that, too. I use it as my task list as soon as I have an opportunity to answer it or have the info answered, move on. So I love that strategy.
David Ralph [31:58]
One of the things I’ve started I had a guest on the show who has a company called bom bom video, where basically you connect with your webcam, and you click on your email and you can record a video straight into your email and you can send it. So basically, you just have to click record, you talk, and then bang, it’s gone. And it saves so much time because obviously you’re not composing, you’re just talking. But it bridges that gap of personable interaction with people as well. I think it’s the most powerful thing that’s come into my business recently, by actually being able to send out real world videos talking to people directly, but he’s saved so much time bom bom videos, brilliant.
Matt Sweetwood [32:40]
Yeah, I think you know, and I’ve gotten a few similar kinds of products like that. And I’ve actually entertained it myself. One of the reasons why I think the nature of the business that I’m in right now is that a lot of people connect on the go, they’re on the mobile, and when you’re on the mobile, you’re on the train, you’re on the plane, you’re in The car, whatever the case is, it may be a little harder to do that. But there are times when I should absolutely do that. And I love the suggestion and I’m actually going to take it and do it.
David Ralph [33:10]
Yeah, Bom Bom video, it really, really works powerful stuff. So Matt, what I want to do, I want to bring on the words of the founder of apple and the founder of Join Up Dots as well as these words that led to where we are today. Here’s Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [33:26]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [34:00]
When you listen to those words, are they still powerful words for all of us?
Matt Sweetwood [34:05]
They are absolutely powerful words. You know, one of the reasons why I wrote a book is that I realised that all the dots connected for a much greater reason. Even though when I was standing on those dots, I had probably very little idea that this unbelievable story was unfolding and such a learning lesson along the way, and it’s given me faith to move forward. It’s where my faith in God comes from my faith that everything is happening for a reason, for a reason, that’s for the good, and so motivates me on a daily basis, even when things go really wrong.
David Ralph [34:40]
When they do go really wrong. Can you just breeze past them, the donee still sort of not cued wayside, or have you got so much experience now you just smile at them, and strolled on confidently.
Matt Sweetwood [34:53]
I think it’s somewhere in between. I don’t let it affect my momentum or motivation. I mean, sometimes, you know, somebody needs to be a I come from New Jersey in the states here in New Jersey, they always say we walk around with baseball bats. So sometimes someone needs a bat, but then you just move on, and you fix the problem. And you, you, you just you just got it literally while I was on this podcast, someone dropped a note on my desk. And I got a note from my bank saying they cancelled one of our programmes because we were outside a parameter now it looks now we’re a startup. You know, we’re peer to peer marketplace where I have a new business a startup, it’s really cool. And that would they do that to us? It’s really like a nasty thing they did. And you know what, I had a very uncomfortable phone call with them two days ago, I suspected they would, they might do something like that. So in those two days, I already set up with another financial institution. And when I get off this podcast, I’m actually going to hit click on the Accept the application and it’s going to be screw the bank and I’ll be on to the next one. Actually, I got a lower rate. So I don’t normally this could have shut us down actually what happened, but I didn’t let that happen. I just sort of said, you know, okay, you want to do that I know how to get through that I’ll do whatever it takes.
David Ralph [36:12]
Max sweet word. When you look back on everything away from the personal aspect, what is the thing that you would say is your legacy work that being that you remove everything away? You would like to keep that one thing?
Matt Sweetwood [36:26]
I mean, for me, I mean, I don’t know any way to say this other than my, my children, to create five children. I mean, you know better than anybody, and to have them go out. It’s their legacy and the legacy of their children that are going to make all the difference. I mean, what I do in my business, it makes money. I’ve done some cool things in the photographic industry, I changed the business. I’m credited with reinventing things. You know, I got lots of awards for doing that, but ultimately, in the long span of time, it’s those amazing lives that we create and teach them To go out to be productive, meaningful members of society and create their own legacies,
David Ralph [37:07]
powerful stuff, let’s take you on a journey. This is the journey that we’ve been building up to. And it’s the part of the show that we call a sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you on for one to one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Matt, what age would you like to speak to and what advice would you give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the music and when it Bayes is your time, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Sermon On The Mic [37:37]
He we go with the best bit of the show, sir man, my
Unknown Speaker [37:47]
Matt Sweetwood [37:54]
Okay, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to my younger self It’s funny, we phrased that because I actually wrote an article specifically about that. And I thought to myself, I could go back in time and say, Hey, you know, watch out for, you know, watch out for the women in your lives, you lack self esteem, you lack self confidence, you’re gonna end up you know, marrying really a woman who’s going to hurt you. But the problem is, if I tell myself not to do that, I wouldn’t end up with the five amazing children that I got from her. I could tell myself not to marry my second wife, because she was going to do some similar things to the first one and you need to learn your lesson. But from that relationship, I gained the sense of spirituality that I wouldn’t have gotten today. I can tell myself not to go into the photography business, because it’s really hard. You know, there’s going to be flashbulbs are going to go away. Films going to go away. Digital cameras are going to take Over Amazon is going to come into the picture it’s going to crush your business is going to be cell phone. They’re going to be all of those things but I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I wouldn’t be the businessman I am today if I didn’t go through those struggles. So I guess my answer to myself is number one, I would just tell myself to hang in there. Trust your instincts, do what you know best, be tough, and it’s all going to turn out great.
David Ralph [39:25]
Man, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Matt Sweetwood [39:29]
Very easy. You can connect with me on social media everywhere at m sweetwood. That’s m sweet with like my name. I answer on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. You can also I always like say email me I’m mad at Lux now calm my current job peer to peer luxury network. And I love hearing from your listeners. I’m glad to talk to them and so on so reach me at m sweetwood.
David Ralph [39:57]
Great stuff. We have all the links on the show notes to make As easy as possible, Matt, 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 pasts is always the best way to build our futures. Matt, thank you so much.
Matt Sweetwood [40:17]
No, David, thank you. The pleasure was all mine and I’m anxious to go out and put a whole mess more dots down on this earth.
David Ralph [40:27]
Mr. Matt, sweet words. So it’s all about building a business that you love. Is it or is it all about building a business that brings in money because as you know, money is the key thing. But do you need a lot of it? Do you need tonnes of money or do you want the lifestyle you want freedom I tell you what, wherever you want is fair for you. You just have to make a decision and you have to go after it. I know people that are making millions every month. I know people that are making a few thousand every year but they’ve reduced their overheads they’re living in some fallen Country Well, I don’t need that much money coming through. It totally is up to you. It really is, you can make a decision today to start. And of course, our Join Up Dots. We’re here to support you all the way. So thank you, as always for listening to this show and keep on coming back. If you’ve got any suggestions of other guests that you would like to have, come on, or if you’ve got any questions that you would like to have answered on the show, just drop us an email, Join Up firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a video back from me. Yes, I will send a personalised video back to you and also answer your question on the show. So it’s a double Win, win. Go me and go you look after yourself. And I’ll see you again. Cheers. Bye bye.
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.