Transcript: 8 Figure Company vs Laziness with Rob Atkinson – DS481

Doug: Hey what’s going on? Welcome to the Doug show. My name is Doug Cunnington. And today it’s going to be a little bit of a different format. It’s not exactly a debate, but I’m going to talk with my good friend, Rob Atkinson, about kind of my approach to business, which is more lifestyle design currently and his approach, which we both don’t like the term, but it’ll be easy.

For people to understand we’ll call it quote hustle culture his approach to business and we’ll dive into why we don’t like hustle the idea of so much hustle, but What we can do is debate sort of our positions and just have a friendly discussion about our different approaches. So Rob is an online entrepreneur and recently an agency founder.

I’ve done many interviews with Rob about Well, countless things will link up to all those other interviews so that you can check them out because it’s just a huge depth of information and he’s had a few big exits, some really cool stories. But Rob, I’m so excited to have this conversation with you today.

Can you give a quick intro about who you are and what you do just so people that don’t know anything about you have some context? Absolutely.

Rob: Thanks for the great intro. Super excited to be here. Yeah. And we’ll talk about like why it’s not hustle and yeah, we’ll get into that. But uh, just a quick cliff notes is, you know, uh, 2013, I had a corporate job and , like a lot of your audience was just kind of getting the itch to, to do my own thing and somehow convinced my wife and I to move to Chiang Mai, Thailand back then.

I was into affiliate marketing through SEO. And so like you mentioned, sold, uh, about four, I think five sites actually, uh, the recent one for low seven figures. And, , it’s been about 16 months since that site sale and I was kind of sitting around for a while. And as of two months ago, uh, I’m a, I partnered in a new agency and, , we do web design and we can talk a little bit more about that.

At the end.

Doug: So you pitched this idea to me because we were having a little chat after our last interview and like, ah, this maybe would be a pretty good episode just, you know, it was a conversation we were actually having, but it’s always fun to. Prepare a little bit ahead of time and then record it so that we can share it with the audience because these are the same conversations that other people are having or maybe they’re just, , thinking about it if they don’t have someone else to debate with.

Do you have any other background on this that will help set the stage before we dive into a handful of questions and discussion points?

Rob: Yeah, I think so. I think the, the biggest thing is, we talked about it in the last interview. and we talked about this concept, how I sold with a partner, we sold the last affiliate site and that was March of 2022. And in that episode, we talked about how it had been over a year where I was not sure why I wanted to work.

You know, I had, , maybe a couple of decades worth of just being able to, uh, Not have to work. So the back up against the wall, , proving yourself all those things had kind of faded So it’s like why do I want to work? Should I just chill on lifestyle? Should I try to you know, hit a home run and grow a business and that’s That kind of set the stage ultimately to where I am and why I’m more in the camp of like really wanting to try to build, and stay really committed to business, even though I don’t have to.

Doug: With the term hustle or hustle culture, why don’t you like that term or why, why does it aggravate people?

Rob: I think when people hear it, they think about Gary V and they, I think what comes to mind is someone who’s working 16 hours a day, drinking six cups of coffee. Plus. Uh, their physical health is not great, they’re not prioritizing their exercise, uh, they get, they lose their family, they get divorced, they never see their kids.

And so I think it gets this reputation, like it’s, if you do that, like you’re sacrificing and you’re just like, your other parts of your, your world are just kind of dead. And at least my definition and my attempt to achieve what I want to attempt. that’s not gonna be allowed

Doug: For me when I think of like the hustle culture idea a lot of it is social media based Which does fit right in with Gary V?

I mean his I stopped following him a few years ago But his story was like he he put a bunch of time in like Twitter, right? So we would just like reply back to To folks on Twitter and with TikTok reels and shorts, like you see people like, Oh, I’m grinding, I’m doing this or that never comes up on my feed, by the way, but that is what one would say if you accidentally.

Watched one of those like more and more would show up and yeah I think a lot of it is just appearances on social media also, so that turns people off even if someone was Actually doing well from a business sense and they’re sharing that sort of stuff. Go ahead and define hustle as we’re talking about it here today.

Rob: Just to, set a little bit of extra context I think is important and we can dive into this more, as I was taking that year off and trying to figure it out, I won’t go into the specifics right now, but I would say, like, I came to the realization That I had this talent, this gift, and I can actually point back to like some childhood memories if we want to talk about that, about these little clues about me wanting to be an entrepreneur and like getting a lot of satisfaction from growing businesses and stuff like that.

And so for me, basically what it means is. Like, I have this ability, it would be, if I look, if I go to my deathbed and I’m 80 years old and I don’t do this, there would be regret. So this, it just means that it’s a really, it’s like one of the top pillars of my priorities in my life. And then from there, the other aspects of my life.

So for example, as I mentioned, the, the, the view it gets is sometimes you’re just working 16 hours a day. You’re stressed. You’re not healthy. I want a really healthy body. I want, in fact, I want amazing health because I know doing that compliments what I need to do in business. Uh, I need to sleep well. Um, You know, I want to have an amazing relationship with my wife.

And when we do spend time together, it doesn’t have to be quantity, but when we do, it’s an amazing date or two to about two to three hours per day. I want to be like laser focused with my daughter and have family time. I don’t want, like, I don’t want more than that. I want things to. integrate around this pillar, which is the business focus.

So that’s how I would define it.

Doug: And then what about the lifestyle design portion? How do you view that?

Rob: I actually have like nothing against the lifestyle. Like if I were to do it, all I would do. Is replace the business as like the higher priority and say, I am prioritizing, like, for example, I have a friend who has a business that’s running on autopilot and all he does is spend multiple hours a day trying to get really good at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

And so I would just define switching out business and putting in one or multiple things in lifestyle that you just really enjoy that bring you value. However, when I hear lifestyle, I don’t like it when people say like, Oh, like I just wake up and I don’t know what I’m doing today. Like that’s just like lazy and unintentional.

Like if you’re doing life, if I was doing lifestyle, I would still be as intentional. about how I spend my time and how everything integrates around my pursuit to maybe get better jujitsu or whatever like that. So I would still have a very intentional way I would do lifestyle. Does that make sense? I don’t know if that’s different from, from you and your style, but I’d, I’d like to hear sort of how you would define lifestyle for you,

Doug: definitely fuzzy lines, just like with the, hustle, , definition, which we’ll keep using it, even though we don’t like the term for the lifestyle design.

I look at time freedom as like one of the highest priorities. So like you said, it’s like moving a business out of the highest priority and it’s time freedom, probably some sort of location independence, which is what a lot of people that work online, I mean. Location independence is really big.

We don’t travel a ton these days, but we have in the past We have the flexibility to take like side trips and I mean for the business I know that you’re working on like in the last Ten years like they’ve all been location independent. So that’s not really that different. The other part is putting especially when you look at the sort of the darker side of hustle culture, where you sacrifice your relationships, health, diet, like all the other priorities that you mentioned.

So, that’s one of those pieces where, yeah, I want to have time freedom. I want to be able to go and work out for a couple hours a day or spend. , a couple hours outside just walking around, walking the dog or whatever. , when you stack up all those different, , chunks of time, you only really have three or four hours to work on the business.

So it takes a back seat. Sure, you could be laser focused, but, I’m not going to stress out about certain things. I’d rather go, Go for a walk outside, but the overall theme for me is just like the time freedom typically have like a couple interviews per week, maybe a meeting or two, but A lot of times, unless it’s an interview like this one, I can, uh, shift it around and say, Hey, talk to my VA, right?

Hey, I want to reschedule this meeting and I mean that that’s fine. It’s okay with her and I’m the boss, right? So if I’m like, Hey, I want to reschedule this meeting, then it’s rescheduled. one piece that you mentioned, like I have a friend around here who he often doesn’t have any plans. And it’s really weird in a way , I don’t hold it against him, but it’s hard to make plans with him because he’s like, I want to have like it stresses him out to have something on the calendar is how he describes it because he’s like, there’s a looming thing but he knows like if there’s a party.

He has to like plan ahead and if someone invites him and the RSVP is like, there’s some things that are anchor points, but I think a lot of days he, I think he has like a normal routine that he normally does, but a lot of times it’s just like open so that he can do something different if he just doesn’t feel like doing his normal thing, or if someone’s like, Hey, do you want to go on a trip for two days, he could just say yes.

Cause he has nothing. In his plans. I think that’s too much. And like I said, it’s actually difficult to plan with him. And I think some of his friends have just I’m not going to try to make plans with you because sometimes he flakes out. He forgets that there’s something on his calendar. It’s kind of strange, but okay.

Anything else with the definition of like lifestyle or hustle culture?

Rob: yes, the last thing is like, I think it really is just, it sounds like whatever we’re just putting as like our top pillar. And if that’s. For you, the freedom to choose your day or to do five different random things.

And then just have a, like, have a little block for work block that works on the outside, the lifestyles on the top, I have business on the top. And then like, I have like, you know, exercise and family time is kind of like, those, that’s the small one for me, but yeah, they feed each other.

Doug: how did you choose the path?

And have you always been. On that, you know, I want to work more side and you gave us a little context before, like , you had some free time after your last, uh, exit and then you were restless.

Rob: I think whatever you choose, whether it’s like lifestyle, um, hustle or business focused, right.

It’s like, I think whatever it is. It just needs to be the thing that gives like, you feel fulfilled, right? Like you wake up every day and you’re like, this is just how I want to live my life. And I feel great about it. And so when I got into business, the first run in like 2013, 14. All I could think about was like stacking money, making a lot of money and like, just being like, I just want to do nothing.

And then I kind of got it and I was like, uh, something’s wrong here. And I think I touched on it, but it was just sort of like, I talked to this guy in June, I met him in LA. And he was like, yeah, I’ve just been thinking about, I get very detailed about when I’m like 85, 90 on my deathbed. And, he’s like.

I have to make sure I live out my full potential of what I can do. And it kind of resonated with me. I was like, for me personally, I was like, I have always had this little itch, this thing bothering me, especially during that year off. And even during the affiliate run, I was kind of like, no, I can be building better businesses.

Like something’s not right here. It’s something, I don’t feel at peace with what I’m doing. months ago, since making this switch, everything in my life just feels like it’s flowing. Like I enjoy working, like, I just, I want to do this. Even my wife ties, like in these three or four months, I think she’s like.

I think our relationship is the best it’s ever been because now she’s, she’s looking at me like, and she clearly sees that I’m like thriving and how, like she can, she can sense this energy in me. So I guess I’m just, I found it because I’ve always been like this and it’s my true nature. I’ve been resisting it for a while and now I’m just embracing it.

Got it. You mentioned your childhood memories. You want to share a couple of those?

I was born in Canada, and we, I lived in Canada for the first nine and a half years of my life, and then My dad got a job in the U. S., so we moved there. Right when we got there, the first summer, he’s going to work. It’s just me and my brother and my mom. And we’re home every day for summer.

And I go into my room and I get this And all I do is I get this piece of paper out and I’m just like trying to think about an invention that would like change the world. I’m just like, okay, like, what can I create? And so that was like one little seed. And then there was this like little cart that we had, plastic cart that we had in the house.

And I would like go get crackers and like diet Cokes and things from around the house. Like, Didn’t even pay for my own inventory. And I’m not this kind of like kid where I like hustled by age 12 and like actually sold stuff, but I was like going around the house and I like wanted my mom and my brother to like, give me 50 cents for this stuff.

Um, you know, by 13, I was really fascinated by the internet. Uh, saw a guy making a couple 13 year old, uh, through websites, so I asked for an HTML book. I ended up making like, I don’t know, 11 or 12 cents from a website in 2000 when I was, you know, like 13 years old. And so there’s just, there’s just these little tiny hints, um, that this is just kind of ingrained in me.

Doug: That’s pretty funny. Especially trying to sell stuff to your immediate family members. They’re like, no,

Rob: no, I didn’t pay for inventory. Like I didn’t pay for my cost of goods. Yeah.

Doug: I’ll go through and think about it as well for me now that I’m on sort of the, the lifestyle design track. When I had a corporate job, I looked at the people that were like 10 or 15 years ahead of me.

This is a kind of a normal exercise you may see. And I realized I didn’t want to do that. They didn’t look very happy. They were kind of doing almost the same things that I was doing. And I didn’t really like what I was doing already. They were just doing more of it. So I was like, I don’t want to do that.

That doesn’t make sense to me. So fast forward, I end up. Working online around the same time as you. And I’m, I’m looking ahead and just like you said, like people earn a lot of money. We were fortunate enough to earn some money and it didn’t solve their problems, right?

They got to the end and they’re like, I have seven figures in the bank or whatever, and they still had the same issues that they had before. And this is, I mean, you see it across the board, right? The money doesn’t solve the problems. They have to fix their themselves in other ways. So I realized, okay, even if I had more money, like that is not going to solve the problem.

So I started seeing people that got the money and then went a little further and then started working on themselves. So I was like, okay, I could skip, I could skip a couple of years here and skip that part where I realized that money won’t solve everything. And then. When you get there, I realized it’s like, it’s community, it’s health, it’s having experiences.

And I was like. Okay, if you have enough money, then what do you, what do you do then? And it is important. Like you said, you were , a little bit, uh, unmoored while you had the 16, month, period of time after selling. Basically, I still have an itch to be like creative and produce something and have, uh, some challenges where it’s like, just a little bit.

Outside of my comfort zone. And it’s really good. It’s productive to like solve problems and, and all, all the things that , we’re talking about and we realize we don’t want to be idle, but. I am just, I’m changing it up. So it’s fitting into the little priority that I set aside for working and creativity and challenges.

And it seems to be good, uh, so far. And one thing I’m working on now is, health and fitness and diet. We only have so much energy, capacity in our brain and our body physically and all that stuff. So if I’m like, I want to work out hard and I’m also trying to like, watch my diet, that’s a pretty large amount of focus.

And I couldn’t do the same things business wise without taxing my system and my body a lot more So I’m literally probably doing a little less work a little bit less effort because I’m working really hard on the fitness portion of it And I was it’ll flip around right the point being like the creativity and challenging could actually be like a physical Thing where I’m like, I’m gonna put in more time and have a friend named Brad Barrett.

He does a podcast called ChooseFI. And I saw him recently at a conference. And he, this year, he’s like focused on fitness. He’s been retired for a couple of years and just works on his podcast. When I saw him. A couple weeks ago, he was jacked. He was like, I can see his arms were physically bigger. He looked, tremor and just in great shape.

And I saw him in March as well. And he was in good shape then, but he’s like, yeah, like I got a new trainer. I’m really focusing on, you know. Working out in fitness. I think he’s actually putting in less time at the gym, which is one of, it’s another one of those things you hear it and it like, it doesn’t make sense, but I’ve heard it enough where I’m like, okay, there’s some, there’s something to it.

It’s just a little more focused. The point being he’s putting probably a little bit less time in his business, but he’s like, he’s focusing on his body.

Rob: There’s a couple of, uh. Things I wanted to kind of touch on based on your last response there. So like what you mentioned with like the creative itch and, you know, setting some challenging things, I think, I think that ha like that needs to be there for most of us.

Right? I think that’s there for me. And it just, I just realized for me, like the business outlet, like that’s the game I want to play. Like that’s where I want to put my energy and whether it’s like fitness or jujitsu or whatever, like, I think just to sit there and be idle would be really, really challenging.

There has to be like something that stimulates you. You see improvement and progress. There’s like kind of a goal, like. You know, some sort of outlet.

Doug: Yeah. Look, we’re made to solve problems. So if you’re just not solving any problem and you’re like watching a TV all day or playing video games, like usually it’s not going to, it’s not going to have a good outcome at the end.

Rob: So yeah, play the game or like get your outlet wherever you want to do it would sort of be my take and just kind of figure out which one you really, really enjoy. The second thing I wanted to hit on is you talked about your friend. How he got jacked, but he’s actually like putting in less time.

And so, you know, that’s all, that’s another reason why I don’t like the hustle as much, I don’t think it’s like, Oh, work 16 hours. And like, you get the most out of your day, like at a really high level in business, I think I can tell you, like, we can interview in a few years and see how I do, but like, it’s really like a thinking game and you know, why, for example, are there people out there?

You can have two different entrepreneurs, right? Let’s just say entrepreneur a he’s grinded 60 hours a week for like two years and He makes like 200, 000 then there’s a guy that you know worked 30 hours per week And by the way, when I was going to feel it said I don’t even think I really went over 30 35 hours And like, let’s say this guy does like 2 million and it’s like, okay, he didn’t just have 10 X the outcome.

He did it in half the time. So like, I also want to keep the help. I also want to keep these other things. I’m not just going to neglect them. It’s just going to force me to be like savage with the time that I do put into business, even though it’s going to be a considerable chunk. Um, it’s just going to force me to be a really good thinker.

Just like your friend had to figure out a way, like, Yeah. He doesn’t have to go to the gym seven days a week to still get the results. So I kind of like that, that approach and that way to think through getting results.

Doug: It’s really leveraging the time well, the thing that I see a lot of people do.

Is whatever, they spin their wheels and they’re like sending a bunch of emails around. Right. So it takes, it takes some time. It feels productive because you’re shooting off all these emails. And unless like that is the leverage point in your business, like it doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense versus like some strategic decision that’ll pay off.

Like in the future, sometimes you got to send emails. I know I get emails, but no, I, no, I get it. Yeah. And it feels really busy or very specifically, maybe someone’s like changing a bunch of H2 tags to H3 tags and it takes forever. Really doesn’t do anything.

So What do you, what do you dislike most about the opposing approach?

Rob: I sort of touched on this in a way. I think if you’re going to do it, it’s the stereotype of like saying, I’m lifestyle and I just don’t care about life or like I’m like apathetic to everything. Like I just wake up and I don’t know what I’m doing. Like if you just want like a couple of hours where you’re just like gonna walk and wander and you really have no plan.

Like I think even that needs intentionality. So as long for me, as long as the person In the lifestyle. It’s still very intentional. Even if your intention is to do nothing for 24 hours, like you intentionally did that, I think just walking around, like, you know, not thinking through what you’re doing, um, to me would be the only thing I would have against it.

You know, someone just kind of blindly. Not understanding what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, you know,

Doug: right. And I noticed this, um, usually I have some, some intention, right. But my wife was out of town and, , I’m taking care of our dog, our, our baby here and. I just did the normal routine, like pretty much the same thing for like four days straight, like walk at the same time.

And like the routine is great. Like it feels comfortable. I couldn’t remember any specific day. So like a couple days later, I was just, it flew by. Like I, I was actually pretty content and happy, but I literally. I couldn’t separate one day from another. And then there’s like a hundred other days that are very similar.

That said, if we, , travel, like it’s, it’s novel and like, we could remember those different days at the same time, like we’re, we don’t like to travel like constantly. Like some people want to be like in a new place every two days, but like that wears us out, , pretty quickly, you know, we could do a little bit of time here and there, but we do like to set up.

base somewhere for a little while, everyone’s a little bit different. So I know some people, they like the fast travel style and we’re more slow travel, hang out, like actually get into a routine a little bit. Um, but, but the point is I didn’t have any intentionality for those couple days. I couldn’t remember a damn thing.

It was just like, I lost those four days. Did that ever happen to you? For

Rob: sure. Yeah. Like the days just, you’re just going through the motions and the days blur.

Doug: So for me, the thing I don’t like about the hustle culture, I mean, there’s, there’s some pieces of it that I can appreciate, you know, we’re working hard.

I know that. Some people are like legitimately lazy and they, they don’t do enough. So it’s when people take it a little bit too far that I think it doesn’t quite make sense, but the worst part of it, I think is. Earning as much money as possible. Right. So I think that’s a topic we’re going to hit in a second, but it’s when people don’t think about like what they’re talking about and like the end end result.

And why it’s one of those exercises where if you ask why, like whatever, three to five times, like you may end up in a spot where like. You don’t need that much money, like whatever your goal is. And you just got caught up in the excitement of your peers, where it’s like, I’m going to earn as much as I can.

Or I want to make a hundred that I had a friend who was like, I want to make a hundred K a month because I know this other person makes a hundred K a month. And if they could do it, then I could do it, which is not really a good reason. Cause like, here’s how it plays out, right? There’s always someone earning a little bit more and you’re always going to lose.

Like it’s a binary situation and there’s always someone doing better than you. So like, there’s no way he could win and he’s going to sacrifice in a lot of other ways with, uh, you know, for him specifically, it would be like not spending time with not as much time with his family and then his, his fitness and diet and all the other stuff would also fall.

But the worst part for him would be like, he’s not going to be able to spend as much time with his family because he had a long way to go to do a hundred K a month.

That’s the biggest thing: putting blinders on and just running towards a arbitrary dollar amount for no good reason.

And a lot of times someone will say, well, I want to be able to do X and Tim Ferriss covers this really good in the four hour work week. You can put some pricing on. How much it costs to do those things. And a lot of times it’s cheaper than you think. And you could actually test it out as humans were really bad at anticipating what we’re going to enjoy.

So you think if I have a new Tesla, it’ll really make me happy, but it might not actually make you very happy. Maybe you should rent one and see, it turns out the self driving feature. It doesn’t work that good. Have you, have you been in a Tesla with a full self-drive?

Rob: I’ve had someone drive me, but I haven’t done it myself.

Doug: It’s fucking terrifying. It doesn’t work that well. So this, this is a November of 2023. And yeah, it doesn’t work that well. Just, uh, if you see videos and it looks like it’s working that well, they’re probably just on a straight road with no turns, no decision points, but, um, hopefully they’ll, they’ll fix it up.

My buddy got one. I don’t have one. What do you like the most about the lifestyle design portion?

Rob: I love the fact that you just. You can spend more time geeking out to your, your, your fitness, your health, and just taking time to do anything or like go for a random walk in nature, be more spontaneous.

Like, I understand there’s going to be, you know, for the most part of the year, there’s going to be a lot of structure in my life. And there’s going to be like, okay, like this is the time when we’re going to go on a trip, but it’s going to be very short and it might be different. So like, yeah, just, um, being able to like, Chill out and just kind of, um, you know, go to, go to the things that are gravitating towards you at that moment, um, and kind of tinker around and learn different things.

Doug: And for me with the hustle culture, the thing that I actually do appreciate, like I said, It does emphasize hard work, and I think people can be a little lazy.

They think things are going to be easier than they really are. So it does kind of set people up to think about, Hey, I’m going to have to put in the time. It’s going to be a bit of a grind. And I think, especially in our world of, uh, earning money online, it’s a little sleazy. People are selling things that, they’re like, ah, it’s going to be super easy.

You can set it up on autopilot and usually like that’s, that is not really the case at all and it emphasizes work. So that is a good thing overall. I’ll actually give a prompt to the listeners and the viewers to shoot us an email, like if you have any thoughts or opinions on like lifestyle design versus, hustle culture and, you know, working really hard, maybe that’s a stand in that we can throw in there, but yeah, shoot us an email, feedback at,

or you can leave a comment on the YouTube video if you’re watching it. think the biggest thing that I have an issue with, with the hustle culture, and this is just my own personal. Opinion. It looks very stressful. It looks like there’s always something going on if you really embrace the Grind and you’re like I’m gonna work a ton and one thing that I realized the last few years is I really don’t like to have like back to back meetings because you’re always kind of running around and when I see other people that are consistently late to appointments or , they’re just, rushing around it.

They visually look stressed out and they look like they feel like I don’t want to feel, and as I’ve. added, time in between meetings as I have a more leisurely schedule, I’m way less stressed out. And even, these days, if I’m going to meet up with a friend and I have to drive, I’m like, I should leave much earlier than I think, just so I’m not stressed out.

There’s always like extra traffic or construction, like many places in the world, right? So that’s one of the areas where I’m just like, It looks so stressful from the outside Any thoughts on that?

Rob: I’m definitely, you know, in the beginning stages, we’re talking like two or three months and, you know, I have like a vision where I kind of want to get to in five years.

So this is really early, so, you know, we can touch in and see. I’m doing. Um, so far, like for me, it’s, it’s pure, it’s enjoyment. Like I want to keep solving these puzzles. Like the fact that I have this, uh, like bar set so high to me. It sounds weird, but it’s kind of like, uh, the most intense video game challenge that you just been given.

And you’re like, I have to figure out how to like beat the video game. And like, it may be stressful, but it’s really like, it’s fun to try to figure it out. If that makes sense.

Doug: One of Jocko’s lieutenants got used to Jocko saying good whenever he brought him bad news. , consistently. And Jocko was like, ah, good. It’ll give us basically it’ll give us a chance to figure out this issue and problem and then come to like a resolution And he’s just like good.

I’m up for the challenge, which is uh, I mean using the military things You know went wrong all the time and they had to adapt and figure out how to go through it So it’s uh, it’s a good way to look at a stressor. So okay as we’re moving on here something about the hustle culture approach that people might assume to be true, but you think is not necessarily true.

Rob: Kind of touching on what we just talked about with the stress and stuff like that. Like, uh, you know, maybe to the outside observer, you know, it just looks like this torture or like you imagine if I was in that position, like I would just. And I do think, again, I do think there are people that are striving for big business goals for maybe the wrong reasons or, um, it does stress them out.

Like you see a lot of people trying to make money, just like you talked about, like the corporate, you know, you saw them 15 years out. Like, I really do think that exists. Uh, in my true definition, I think. I think there are a small breed of people out there really trying to set the bar high. They really like achieving goals.

They like the character build. They like everything that comes with trying to solve this puzzle. And they, if you told them that this puzzle had to go away, they’d be like miserable. So like, I think the assumption is. I’m miserable, but it’s like, I’m absolutely the happiest I’ve been in my life, so.

Doug: Right.

And I think what you’re doing, like, you, you have many other priorities, and you’re not sacrificing them completely, and. You know, like you said, we’ll, we’ll check in, in a few months, a couple of years or whatever, because as you’re growing a business, like things are going to take longer than you think, or turn out different than you planned.

And you will have to either not work on the business as much and, you know, go spend time with the family, spend time sleeping, making sure you get enough rest or that stuff will get dropped. Like. You’ll have to make decisions now, right? Yep, I’ll answer the same thing. So things that maybe people misunderstand about like lifestyle design.

And I think it’s, it’s like, maybe people think that it’s just laziness. Which I think is okay. Actually, my friend and I are writing a book on laziness and anti productivity, but for most people, they don’t work hard enough, but there’s a group of us, right? That like we’re motivated and we can’t turn it off.

So If we’re not working on something, we feel like we need to go work on something. And sometimes it is good to be idle and you do need the rest and you could actually be more productive in the long run and have better ideas and more creative if you do like chill out for a little while and let, let your brain rest.

But I think some people might get the impression that, uh, people that are interested in lifestyle design are really lazy and they. You know, they, they’re not intentional and they’re just kind of fumbling around, but there might be more going on than it appears from the outside.

How has your support system, like your family and your friends, uh, other peers reacted to, you know, your goal? And I don’t know, you haven’t mentioned your goal specifically here, um, can you tell us a little bit about that as well?

Um, maybe mentioning the agency and what your ultimate goal is with it.

Rob: Yeah, so I’ll, um, I’ll put, postpone sharing the, the five year vision, um, right now, um, maybe in a future show, I’ll, okay, because it’s not fully crafted out the way I would like to before I talk about it. However, uh, the two year goal. Is like real, like I’ve been talking to people here.

I’m at the Chang Mai SEO conference and you know, like, what do they call it? Big, hairy, audacious goal. Like it, it sounds crazy to say, so I’m starting my first agency. I have a business partner, uh, known for a while. We want to hit 500 K a month, uh, monthly recurring revenue in two years. Uh, and have to attend a 90 minute once a week call under the EOS entrepreneur operating system.

Like that’s how the, they have a 90 minute call once a week. And so to have a leadership team that basically would be able to run that company. So, um, hopefully like roughly around to me, a hundred K net, uh, which would then fund and fuel year three to five to really try to put the fuel into the, that, that big run.

So everything revolves around the agency to be a, uh, cash cow

Doug: Okay. And how has your support system reacted to your goal or, uh, random people that you’re meeting at the SEO conference and you tell them this?

Rob: Well, actually, so, I mean, they, like the agency people are like, okay, like, you know, this is your first one.

This is, that’s, that’s pretty audacious. However, like everyone I’ve told either, you know, a portion of my five year. Vision or this two year thing. And surprisingly, everyone’s like, I think you can do it. And I’m like, are you, are you like, wow, like what? I’m like, yeah, you can, you can figure it out. And I’m like, okay.

I like, I want you to say no. So I’m like, maybe I like try harder or something. Um, no, so the support’s been really good and I think. I, I touched on this before, but one of the most important relationships to me is my relationship with Thais, my wife. And when I first got started in entrepreneurship in like 2013, 14, I had like a pretty, pretty intense goal and stuff that I wanted to hit.

And I came into the relationship, I was very clear on where I was going and what I wanted to accomplish. And kind of when I hit that, uh, that milestone in, I don’t know, 2018 or something like that, 19. The next two or three years, I kind of just became, even though I had a business, it was making good money, I kind of became lost myself.

And so like, in some ways over a while, like I think she sort of just could tell intuitively that I wasn’t. Being my like true self and like something was off for me And I think that ultimately caused like our relationship to to not be thriving like it wasn’t the worst But it was just it wasn’t but great and then in the last year and specifically the last three or four months as I’ve like Gone and like committed towards this I think I know that this is what I’m supposed to do she feels it and she’s like she’s like she’s like fired up to be around me because she’s like This is the guy I married the guy who like knows what he’s after and like full conviction is doing it.

So She’s been very supportive because I think she can feel the energy

Doug: Yeah, it’s a big goal for your first agency, which We’ll check in I mean you you hear people doing stuff and accomplishing things so like obviously it’s not impossible well, I

Rob: think I think by setting that, right, it becomes your North Star.

And it like pushes you to like, not just accept that this is the way things will run, you know, whether it be getting mentors or people who have done it or got to this level, like short cutting, like if, if that’s what you have to get to, then your mind automatically has to like, think bigger, like solve problems better.

And so even if we fall short, like it just tunes our mind to try to go there. If I was like, Oh, you know, 50 K in two years, it’s like. It’s you, it would change the way you make decisions.

Doug: That does make sense. So like any, any decision that you have to make, it’s like, does this get us closer to the ultimate goal?

Yeah, it really like clears a lot of the noise out of the way, I think. So we are, we’re coming up towards the end of the interview here and discussion. So we’ll, we’ll go a little quick here. How do you view retirement and how does your goal align with your retirement vision?

Rob: Well, I think this piggybacks off everything we’ve been talking about.

You know how people think lifestyle is just being lazy and like not pursuing growth anything like that I think the word retirement should more just be like switched with financially independent if you’re financially independent Then it’s your decision kind of what you want to work on.

So my view on it is retirement isn’t this thing where you just like stop, like, you know, you’ve seen so many people who just like had jobs for 40 years and then they stop and they’re like completely lost. Right. So it’s just, um, for me it’s just, you know, if you’re financially free. which is kind of like a version of retirement, then, you know, it’s about just deciding like where you want to grow, where you want to put your energy.

Uh, so I don’t think my views really changed that much. I, I’m still going to be, even if after this business, like I’m doing martial arts or something like that, I’m still gonna be doing something

Doug: I mean, I have some friends that said, Oh yeah, like I’ve retired and then they, they’re running like an events company.

Like they’ve, they’ve created a conference. Right. A lot of people use it to say like they’ve retired from a corporate job and now, and I think that’s acceptable, right? It’s like whoever is using the term, um, can like define it, what, what they mean. So I, I never say I’m retired because I’ve like continued to be self-employed for the last few years, but like, I’m not going to have to get a job again.

And I think you hit the nail on the head, like typically on my other podcast, Mile High Fi. We talk about financial independence and we use the vernacular of like early retirement, but typically people may take a break for, you know, a year or two, but then they get the itch and they’re like, doing something else on the side.

Maybe they start a blog. A lot of people learned from blogs, so they naturally kind of follow that path. But I do have a friend who’s, he’s in talks to potentially open like a coffee shop slash like lounge in town. So he’s been retired for like Maybe three years or so. And he just keeps thinking about it.

Kind of like what you’re saying, like he’s waking up in the middle of night and he’s like thinking about these coffee shop plans and doing a ton of research. So he’s looking for a space and like, he’s really energized and excited. And he’s like, there’s going to be a build out, all this stuff.

retirement can be a loaded term. And then you have in the fire community, a lot of people call it the internet retirement police, where they’re like, that person didn’t retire. They’re still blogging or whatever.

And it’s like, you’re missing the point. Like they stopped their corporate job where they were earning a huge amount of money and they’ve saved enough. So it’s like they retired from the corporate job. It’s like you’re. People are, semantically sensitive, I think. , any other thoughts on that?

Rob: It’s just, I mean, with the, with the coffee guy and wanting to like, do his own thing and he’s just up at night and he just loves it. It’s just like, it just kind of reminds me of what I’m doing and it’s just like, this is what I love and he’s having fun and it’s just fun. He’s just having a good time.

Doug: And one thing I’ll mention before we, we wrap it up here.

I haven’t told you this, Rob, but like, I mean, I get the itch too. So like, as time has gone on, like I started a second podcast with my friend. That’s been a couple of years and I have this idea in my head about starting another show and I’ll, I’ll tell you more about it after we, uh, hit stop and we can do it offline, but, but basically like I get the itch too.

And I’m like, Oh, I can, I could do this for monetization. I have a really. You know, interesting approach and I could document the whole thing. And that’s the other thing. Like once you start producing some stuff online, you realize people do want to follow along with the story.

All right, Rob. So we talked a little bit about the agency, but can you break it down for us? Like, what do you have going on and give us some details.

Rob: Yeah, so we’re in the beginning stages. I’m co-founding a web design agency called Sumo sites.

We’ve made the decision. We’ve kind of stress tested whether we should go general or go niche. We are 100 percent committed. To start off, uh, going niche specific with the industries that will serve or the industry that will serve. And so by the time this comes out, we should have chosen the niche we’re in and be aggressively trying to, acquire clients

Doug: Where should people get in touch with you?

Rob: If it’s okay with you, I’d like to put my, uh, personal phone numbers. So if they want to shoot a text or a WhatsApp, that’s totally cool. Uh, I’m down to, uh, contact that way. Also LinkedIn is great. And I just want to say like, if, if anyone’s watching who is, uh, you know, a marketing agency and you deliver, , SEO results, PPC rankings, you know, leads for your client.

Um, but you’ve always been frustrated or not quite happy, or the customers ask. Or, , can we improve the website and stuff like that? And it’s just not, it’s not your bread and butter, you know, connect with me. I’d just love to chat. Maybe we could, , find a way to, show you what we can do and, , see if it might be something we can help with.

So. Just, reach out and go from there. Yeah.

Doug: We’ll link up for all that stuff to Sumo sites and your own personal phone number, which sounds crazy, but I’ll let you do it. If you, if you know what you’re getting into and LinkedIn profile as well. So Rob, this has been fun. Thanks a lot.

Rob: Thanks, Doug. Thanks for having me.