Alignment

Aligning Your Personal Life & Goals With Your Business

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

In this weeks episode Steve & Ryan discuss why they went into business for themselves. Steve gets personal and reveals his biggest life changing moment that has redefined his career, businesses and lifestyle.

Ryan started as a contractor and organically grew his business from there. It’s a common pathway for many small business owners where they apply their skill and craft and naturally progress into running a successful business.

Steve came from the other side, where he was pursuing a career and climbing the corporate ladder. After a life changing moment in 2007 though, he decided enough was enough and he needed to make a change.

This also begins a new series of podcast episodes where we’ll share a roadmap for success in making the transition from your current situation, into running a successful business for yourself.

We think this will provide most listeners with the best value – some of you that are already in business will appreciate good tips and advice on how to improve and take advantage of new opportunities. For those who have not yet made the change, we’ll simplify the essentials into forming your own business and give you the best opportunity to fast-track your way to success.

Full Podcast Episode Notes;

Steve Fitzpatrick: Hello and welcome to The Typical Business podcast with Steve and Ryan. Ryan, how’re you doing?

Ryan: Hey, Steve, really good. How are you?

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah, I’m good, thanks, and a big hello to all our listeners. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had our last podcast. A little bit of interruption between recordings, but we’re back and ready to go. Ryan, what’s been happening in the last few weeks? You’ve had a bit of an adventure with a bit of a personal bike ride.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s right. Probably the biggest thing I’ve done in the last few weeks is take on the Melbourne Round the Bay ride which involved a 210 kilometer cycle, basically circling the bay. It was a long day of cycling, and I spent quite a few months basically training to get ready to do that. I’ve really done anything like that before, so it was pretty cool to take on a challenge like that and finish the ride on the weekend.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Was that a charity event?

Ryan: They apparently raised $1.2 million for charity.

Steve Fitzpatrick: So, you pain was their gain?

Ryan: Yeah. For me it was mainly about wanting to take on a challenge and you know how we spoke the other week about doing stuff outside of work. That was sort of that thing for me where it was all about getting away from work, clearing my mind and getting fit, but also taking on a challenge that just had nothing to do with my job.

Steve Fitzpatrick: I think we actually spoke about maybe actually talking about this a bit deeper in our future podcasts about just some of the mindset you’ve had to create as well the preparation for the actual event, because riding that far on one day isn’t something most people can just jump on their bike and go and do. You’ve obviously had a lot of training in place, and that sort of thing?

Ryan: What I’ve been doing is over the last few months just riding a little bit further each week, and it’s the sort of principles that I can apply to business where it’s just a matter of consistently doing a little bit more each time, stretching yourself a little bit more each time and going out of your comfort zone a bit. What I’ve found with distance cycling is a lot of it is just a mental game. The first half of the ride is a physical thing, but after that it’s not even so much about the physical thing anymore, it’s how focused you are and how prepared you are to go into that state of pain or challenge or whatever you want to call it. What I’ve found is that by going through this process I’ve actually been able to bring a lot of that back into the work that I do; just things to do with setting goals, focusing and challenges and going through those uncomfortable places. These are all things we’re doing in business on a daily basis.

Steve Fitzpatrick: It is interesting that you bring that up; because I remember a lot of sports I was playing that come the last 10-15 minutes when your body is fatigued and then it starts to move into your mind, and that’s where you can lose a little bit of discipline, and that’s interesting if you’re going to use that analogy because, for me, the last few months, I suppose, I’ve had quite a lot going on. I’ve had the re-launch of two different business websites of mine, rethinking all their marketing strategy, the typical business stuff that’s going on, and just having so much on my plate, and I actually had one of my staff members resign, so I’ve had to go and actually find a new replacement, but in the interim pick up their slack. When you’re talking about that fatigue, like I was just saying before we started the podcast, I felt that fatigue and a bit of exhaustion to the point where my wife said I’ve been a bit crabby and I need to back off a little bit and take a break. I actually had a full week this week clear of appointments, and I’ve done exactly that. I’ve probably worked maybe no more than two hours a day, and the rest of the time I’ve been going out, catching up with friends, watching movies, reading and sitting back. I’ve actually had a nice couple hours nap in the afternoon yesterday. Getting a bit refreshed and not feeling so drained.

Ryan: I think that’s really smart. It’s kind of counter-productive sometimes if you try to get a lot done, the best first step is to do nothing. Actually step back and either recuperate from what you’re doing before or set a little bit of a plan. It’s a bit of a cliché, but they say being in business is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. When you’re in for the long haul, if you’re not doing that stuff, you’re going to burn yourself out. That sounds pretty smart.

Steve Fitzpatrick: I also feel like I’m convinced of this. Whenever I go away, like the last time I was in Melbourne for a week, I was just having a week off. I didn’t take my laptop. I just strictly went for a bit of a shopping experience and a bit of R&R. It’s funny when you go away like that, because it takes me about three days to noticed that I’ve wound down and I’m not longer thinking about business. What I do find is as I’m out and about I seem to notice new things and look at things a bit differently, and I get inspired about my own business.

Ryan: Yeah, yeah. It’s like doing a restart on the computer and then suddenly everything is running a lot smoother and faster, but before you did that you thought that things were running normally.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah, it’s good just to step away from the day-to-day and being so close as well to the business and being able to be removed a little bit and not worrying about the day-to-day tasks and having a sort of bird’s eye view, if you like, just a different perspective. That probably leads us on to a bit of a conversation I’ve wanted to have with you, Ryan, and that is, why did you become a business owner?

Ryan: That’s a good question.

Steve Fitzpatrick: There are probably a lot of reasons, but do you remember any particular thing that sort of prompted you into thinking, yes, I’m going to go out and start my own business? Was there some sort of catalyst or some kind of trigger?

Ryan: I remember when I was a young kid I was quite interested in business. When I was a teenager I actually had a store at a flea market. I was selling second-hand books , this was the 1980s , and these huge belt buckles. Somehow I had found a source to sell these belt buckles, and I really enjoyed going along to the market at dawn, setting up my table and running this sort of little store and the kind of camaraderie of the other store holders. Then I found I sort of lost interest in business and became really interested in art and creativity and all that sort of thing. At some point I discovered actually, that I was in business without even realizing it. What I mean by that is I was working as a film maker making documentaries and promotional and educational videos, essentially as a freelancer. One day I realized, wow, I’m actually running a business. At that point I started to formalize it as a business. It wasn’t like there was any real grand plan. It was more like a realization.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Okay, so were you working someone else at the time that you were doing a bit of freelance work?

Ryan: No. I actually went to film school. After film school I picked up a job working for a museum and making videos for them a couple days a week. Then I got another job one or two days a week cutting surf videos. Then I was picking up some other jobs cutting music videos, filming events and other sorts of little bits and pieces, but it didn’t really strike me at first, “you’re a running a business”, and at some point it actually did strike me. Then I started to look at things like branding, marketing, getting a web site and all the other formal things that involve running a business. That was the lesson between the difference between a freelancer and a business owner. Where, as a freelancer, you are really at the whim of your employers. You sort of wonder where the next job is coming along, but when I discovered I was a business owner and really took charge of that, I was taking a lot more control over where the work was coming from and being able to generate more work, and that was quite exciting.

Steve Fitzpatrick: That’s interesting, because when you’re talking about the difference between a freelancer and a business owner, in the late 1990s, I was fed up with working where I was working, and I wanted to just do some contract work and work from home. I suppose that’s been a little bit of my bent. I had other interests as well, and I needed more time to dedicate to that, so I went out, but basically I was contracting for businesses. The business that I left hired me for 12 months, and I picked up a couple other companies that wanted to use my skill set, if you like. I didn’t think about it as a business. It was more just as a contractor. What was funny is when I went out and launched my current businesses, it was a really different distinction in my mind over what I was doing. It sounds like you’ve organically grown from being that contractor to actually taking that step into formalizing it, making it a proper business, growing it, scaling it and doing all the things you would do in a business.

Ryan: Yeah, yeah. That’s right. That’s right. I hear quite a lot of stories of people who become disenchanted with the corporate world, they have quite good jobs, but they’re not completely fulfilled, and they want to do things more on their terms. I never actually went through that experience. I studies more artistic stuff and studies film and came out of completing my studies really not all that qualified to do things other than fairly menial sort of jobs, so I never really had the chance to reject that whole path, because that wasn’t really an opportunity for me. I just picked up one small job after another and brick by brick a career organically formed, and then I formalized it as a business.

Steve Fitzpatrick: And it’s good to see that you’ve had, because as a business owner there’s so much you’ve got to do, right? There are the accounts, setting a price, and you’ve got your own office, so you’ve got to work at your overhead. You’ve got to manage that. You’ve now got staff that work for you. You’ve got to look into your contracts, and all of those things. There are a lot of people that I think love doing what you’re doing but have never learned those skills before. I suppose by necessity you’ve had to pick those up and actually get on with it. it’s actually really impressive that you’ve been able to just pick that up, learn that and get self-motivated to put those systems into place and actually develop those skills; especially, can I say, as a creative person.

Ryan: Yes. Sometimes those aren’t the things that creative people are most interested in or particularly good at. One of the things that I think was in my favor is that I started off with quite low overhead, and so there wasn’t a lot of risk. Sometimes people start a business, and they go in with these grand plans that within a year or two they’re going to making a huge amount of money. They go into debt, they get expensive offices, they buy a whole lot of equipment, and they put a lot of pressure on themselves, but they haven’t learned the lessons that they needed to. So they’ll make a few really costly mistakes which can put them out of business. I think the thing that helped me was I started off in a shared office. There were a few of us. There was already furniture there. I didn’t have to invest a huge amount in resources. I was learning from the people around me, and slowly over the first few years as I learned by lessons I started to grow and invest more into the business, but it was always a long-term thing for me. I didn’t have that plan of like “in two years I want to be making a few hundred thousand dollars”. It was more, “in a couple years I just want to still be existing in this business” and let’s see if we can grow things from there. The investment was in learning and learning from mistakes I think the first year or two.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I’ll tell you a little bit about my story because I’m in a different situation to you, because I suppose I needed first to have the confidence in myself of actually doing the job before that gave me enough confidence to step out and fully manage a business and all the facets of that. I spent time climbing the corporate ladder. I’ve been in the building and construction industry for a lot of my career. In 2006 I was approached to become the general manager of a building company, and that was a small company, but that general manager role as really what I had been shaping myself towards, and I’d done studies and I’d done a lot of courses, and I’d always been promoted in different roles into more leadership roles and management roles. So, when I got that job, that was fantastic for me because it showed me the truth was I already had the ability to do it because of my training and the roles I had already played in business. I had a good, broad understanding, but the truth was I needed someone to say and give me permission to actually do it for them. Then, at that point, when it became my responsibility I just ran with it.

Ryan: That was the fulfillment of quite a long-held ambition. Is that right?

Steve Fitzpatrick: It was, especially when I went to uni. I went to uni as a mature age student n 2001 to 2003 and became a software engineer. When I did that course I really discovered that my passion was for business not so much coding or programming or even the building side. It was more that I just love business.

Ryan: Yes.

Steve Fitzpatrick: When I took that job in 2006, you know big responsibility. All of a sudden I’ve got staff answering to me, I’m hiring and firing, all of these things that I had never done before, negotiating salaries. I’m talking to banks about funding certain projects, and all of those things. I didn’t find it was that hard. There was a learning curve, and there are things I’ll talk about in future episodes of things I’ve learned along the way, but I kind of just ran with it, and I really enjoyed it. For me, the biggest thing that happened was in 2007 my dad died, and that was a real changing point for me. If it’s okay with you, I wouldn’t mind just elaborating a little bit more on what happened?

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

Steve Fitzpatrick: This is what I knew from my end. My dad was living in Melbourne with my mom. He was working for a very big multinational company. He was the CEO of their building and hotels division. What happened is I was home on a Monday. I think it was a public holiday here in Perth, and I had a call from my sister. She just said, “Dad’s died.” He hadn’t been sick or anything and she was actually in his office. He had gone to work that day. He had had a flu for a couple of weeks, but he had gone to work that day and had a heart attack at about 3:00 in the afternoon and died in his office.

Ryan: Wow, and how old was he, Steve?

Steve Fitzpatrick: He was only 58, which is too young really.

Ryan: Very young, yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: He was a type 2 diabetic, but he, since being diagnosed with that, had lost a lot of weight. He was actually looking better, and he was fitter than he had been for years. It was a real shock, and dealing with that, they say a sudden death actually affects you where your body and your brain goes into shock mode.

Ryan: Yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: A lot of things happen, actually. Your brain gets a bit scrambled from the trauma of it.

Ryan: Yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Some of the ways that would manifest is that, one of the examples, as you’re writing a letter, your words would be coming out all jumbled because the connections in your brain are just odd.

Ryan: Right.

Steve Fitzpatrick: You’d be writing like you normally would, and this would even happen as I was typing. I would type it and my fingers just weren’t making the right connections. Very, very traumatic.

Ryan: Yeah, yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: At the time I didn’t know too much about what had happened. We flew over to Melbourne for the funeral, and them my mom shared with me a bunch of the things I didn’t know about my dad. I found out that six months prior to him dying, and this is tragic. I’m starting to get upset thinking about it, but I want to share this story, six months prior to him dying he had been asked to resign because they wanted to take the business in a different direction. That request came because he was having problems with the national manager in Sydney who felt, my mom had said, he felt threatened by my dad’s performance. He was out-performing every other branch, every other division, and the national manager was just making his life hard.

Ryan: Yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: He was feeling threatened for whatever, and he was making dad jump through all sorts of hoops. The truth was that when my dad started in that position a number of years earlier, it was making a loss of about $200,000 a year to the point where the year he died they were bringing in a profit of $90,000,000. The turn-over was extraordinary, the turn-around of the business.

Ryan: He really helped to turn that business around, by the sounds of it.

Steve Fitzpatrick: In a massive way. After the first 12 months, they had gone from running at a loss for 10 years previously, every year, year-on-year, to their making a profit finally.

Ryan: I guess that would have left you wondering why they didn’t want him around.

Steve Fitzpatrick: That was the big thing. The board, which was in New Zealand, had argued with the national manager on this for months apparently because we also had a family friend who was on the board, and the national manager kept putting his foot forward saying, “No, he needs to go. We need to change direction, and we want to get rid of him.” It became obvious that it was more of a personal thing than a professional.

When he died, Ryan, what had happened is he had gone to the office, and I didn’t know this. One thing I should say is when he was asked to resign six months previously, he was asked to tell nobody. He only told my mom. When he died they found him on the floor in his office. His desk was clear, everything was tidy, except there as one letter on the desk, and that was his resignation letter. He had actually gone into the office that day, to that afternoon announce to the staff that he was resigning.

Ryan: Wow!

Steve Fitzpatrick: The day he was finishing he had this heart attack and died.

Ryan: Wow, I’m getting a shiver up my spine. It’s a really, really tragic story, Steve.

Steve Fitzpatrick: It is. It’s horrible. This is probably what prompted me to move back into my own business, because at that point I had to re-assess everything. My dad was such a big influence on my life. He was such a professional. There were 500-odd people at his funeral. He was very ethical, very well regarded, and very much liked as an individual, and yet he was gone. I had to put everything into place, what had happened, and I found out all this stuff that I didn’t know. My mom actually blames it a lot on the stress of the situation. Not being able to tell anyone she said was ridiculous because dad just carried around a really big burden.

Ryan: It sounds like basically he was a really successful guy. He did the right thing. He went into an organization and helped turn it around. Even when he was asked to leave he did the right thing by them. You saw an example of someone who did all the right things in the corporate world and yet things didn’t work out for him at all. It sounds like a real lesson or a bit of a shock that if you follow the path that is laid out for you it’s necessarily going to yield the right results.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah. That’s exactly right. This is where I look at things and say, there is no assurance that you’re going to have your job tomorrow, if you’re working for somebody else. Politics and personality can come into a lot of things and affect your ability to earn and all of those things. I’m in the building industry and I work in a cyclical market, so we have boom and bust periods. In the bust periods, I’ve been made redundant before when I was out-performing every other person in my job, and I was only paid about 10% more than they were, but because I was the highest paid the accounting guys at head office said, well he’s got to go along with these other 20 people. I’ve been in that situation before myself, and I understood this. It took me about a year to re-define what was most important in life. It always to me comes back to people. My dad was a people person. He had a lot of friends and a lot of good relationships, and he gave time to them, but the truth is you can’t do both. If you’re that focused on your career, you’re putting in a lot of hours. It does mean you’re missing out on time spent doing other things. That was important. The other thing was the decision of being able to get out of the cloud of stress, and most people in the work place say that stress is caused by them being put in a situation where they don’t feel they’re in absolute control.

Ryan: Right.

Steve Fitzpatrick: That’s where it becomes stressful when you have someone demanding things of you or putting you under certain situations where you’re not fully in control, but you’re being held responsible and all these other things. I just made a decision about a year after that, that I said to Jan, “I just don’t think I can do this anymore. I don’t want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and climb the corporate ladder, when I’ve seen not only my dad but in so many different situations where people have been let go, and they’re good people, they’re good at their job, and they’ve had to go because of whatever reason; a downturn or personality conflicts, or change in direction of a business.”

Ryan: I imagine that was still a really hard decision because you were walking away from certainty, from probably a good salary, from a position of power. It must have still been hard to make that decision.

Steve Fitzpatrick: This is what’s interesting, is because I was earning more money than I had ever made. My salary package was in excess of $200,000.00 a year. The company had grown really well. We had an over 35% increase, I think, in profit and turnover year-in, year-out. We had grown from having five staff when I started to, I think, we had 25 when I left. We had a lot of success, but the truth was I just got to the point where I felt the same conditions where the owner of the business and the direction of the company was out of my control. A lot of stress was being placed on me, which was unnecessary because the group of companies was relying on what I was doing as being the cash cow and feeding other businesses that weren’t performing very well at all. It was stressful. It wasn’t something I dealt with well either, because I had in the background my dad and what happened to him. When I went into business for myself I made the decision that I wanted to be in control of my own destiny.

Ryan: Yes.

Steve Fitzpatrick: I’m quite happy to be under stress if it’s me causing the stress. If business is bad, or if I’m looking at my cash flow projections and it’s tough, well that’s me, and I can control that. I have an element of I take responsibility anyway, so I run with it, but I didn’t want to be in that circumstance where I had someone else dictating to me my happiness, my stress levels and ultimately causing my demise.

Ryan: Tell us about what your life is like now, the lifestyle you have, and your level of happiness compared to then.

Steve Fitzpatrick: When I first left, I think what was important is that when I did that role it gave me the confidence, like you’re talking about, of being able to do everything. There was nothing I was afraid of, and I needed that sort of pat on the back to say, “you’ve done a good job, you’ve run a profitable business for the last four years, it’s been due to your decisions that we’re in that situation.” Even during the GFC, which was tough, we still turned a good profit, and so that gave me enough confidence to step out. When I made the change it was a breath of fresh air. It was just like a massive weight off my shoulders. It changed everything. My life now is shaped around my values, what my core values are as a person, and that is having time for relationships, friendships and family, but still running a successful business and building a team of people. I have about nine people working for me now, and we’re slowly growing. We’re not in a rush. I have a lifestyle business, I suppose; where I work a lot from home. I’m in my house the majority of my time. I do my meetings at cafes. People ask me to come into their office, and I say no I’ll meet you down at the café, and we’ll have a cup of coffee and spend some time in a more relaxed environment.

Ryan: Yes, yes. So for you, you absolutely made the right decision, by the sounds of it?

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah. I don’t have any regrets at all. What was interesting is that after I left actually the dream job that I’d been chasing got put on the table for me. Literally I think it was eight weeks after I had launched my business. I got offered a job which had the potential to pay over half a million dollars a year. That was what I had been striving for, and I went for I think four interviews, they offered me the job, and they put the salary package down, and it was more money than I had ever earned. I kind of keep that in my mind, because I think I was very much chasing that before. That was my bent, and that was where I was going and everything that I wanted. Then, after my dad died, I re-assessed my values and what I care about most, and realized I’ve never been one for position. I don’t care about position, power or ego, or that sort of thing, although I have a healthy ego, but holding a title doesn’t mean much for me. The money side was definitely what was attractive. With that kind of money does come a kind of lifestyle that’s quite nice. Good holidays, nice things, security, I suppose to some measure.

Ryan: What would you say to people who are in a job that is quite unfulfilling for them, but they’re making a decent amount of money, but they’d love to be doing something more fulfilling? They feel either that they’re stuck there or are too scared to step into the unknown and do something which connects with them a little bit more.

Steve Fitzpatrick: The thing that I would encourage them to do is to listen to the next 15-20 episodes of Typical Business. Because the reason why we took a little time off is that I’ve actually re-defined what we’re going to be talking about on this podcast, and what I want to share is the steps right from the mindset of someone in my position previously, to actually making that change, through to actually putting everything in place to actually get up operating and running.

Ryan: Yes.

Steve Fitzpatrick: For those people I would say, have you ever done a dream chart, Ryan?

Ryan: A dream chart? No I haven’t.

Steve Fitzpatrick: A dream chart is, if you do any kind of business coaching, quite often they’ll say to you, develop a dream chart. A dream chart is where you get a big slab of cardboard, and you cut out images that are all things you would like to have or experience in the future. You might cut out your ideal home. It might be a large home with a swimming pool and a tennis court. You’d probably have a skateboard ramp. Then you’d have your dream car and your dream holiday. You’d put up a photo of you maybe 10 years ago when you were slimmer, and say “that’s my dream physique”, and all those things. I did that years ago, and it was the stereotypical thing of what I just spoke about. When I re-wrote itright after leaving my previous job, it was totally different. Because I got real about what I really wanted, and what I wanted was more time with my friends. I didn’t want to wake up to an alarm clock in the morning, and I wanted to work flexible hours, and I wanted to be in control of my own future. All those things were only possible by going out and working for myself.

Ryan: It sounds like you went a little bit deeper with that dream chart. Possibly the first time it was more on a superficial sort of level, so what material possessions can I acquire, and maybe as time went on you realized those aren’t actually the things that are going to make me happy, you know? Sure, they sound nice.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Big change in my values after my dad died. I would still like a nice house. I live in a nice house, and I drive a nice car, but I don’t care about those things as much as I do about being able to take off a Friday afternoon and go down to the pub with one of my close friends and have a beer for three hours.

Ryan: Yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Or a few beers. Anyway, that’s a little bit of my story about how and why I decided to go into business for myself, and I’ve set out a road map, Ryan, which I’ll share with you over the next coming days. I’ve used a bit of a mind map to actually map out a bit more about that journey so that other people who are perhaps in the position like you and I were of trying to get started, this will actually give them a really good platform to actually take away and ask themselves a few questions and get some good advice as to how to get started and put everything in place. We’ll cover things like launching the business, setting up your marketing properly, how to manage sales, software you might want to put in place and use that’s quick and easy to learn. I’ll talk a lot about outsourcing as well and building a team. You and I have both had experience with that, and a lot of big businesses still don’t do it. We’ll talk about all of those things, and that’s really, again, we talk about what’s a typical business? Well, I think your business and my business is the typical business today.

Ryan: Okay.

Steve Fitzpatrick: We’ll give people the tools they need to be able to create a good business and have a win and have a better lifestyle as well.

Ryan: That sounds really good. Just quickly, who are the sort of people who this will be helpful for? What are the types of situations they’re in?

Steve Fitzpatrick: I think a lot of people would be detesting or have some uncertainty about their role or being frustrated in their role. There has been a trend for people working from home. There are a lot more people that want to do that. There are people who want to understand how to make money online, because that’s a big opportunity and a big window for all of us. Those people will get a lot out of it. They’ll want to know what’s out there that can help them win customers, help them develop their brand and actually build a business rather than being leaving their current job just to be a contractor. We’ll talk about actually building a successful business and all the things you have to put into place.

Ryan: That sounds really good. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your dad. It’s not always that easy to talk about these things, particularly on a podcast, but it really helped me to understand you better and the sorts of things you say and the life that you have. It sounds like that although it was kind of an incredibly tough thing to go for it’s galvanized you and really helped shape the kind of life you want to live.

Steve Fitzpatrick: You know I’ll share something with you that might surprise you, but my son, who’s 17, he and I watched Hot Tube Time Machine. Have you seen that?

Ryan: Yeah, I have actually.

Steve Fitzpatrick: We watched that one night, and I said to him at the end of it, “I bet it would be cool to go back in time and change something.” My son’s 17, so what does he want to go back to? He doesn’t want to go through puberty again, so he sat there and said, “Why would anyone want to do that?” I said, “Well, can’t you think of something you’d want to change in the past?” and he just looked at me and said, “Nothing. I’m happy with the way it is.” He said, “What would you change?” I said to him, “I’d go back and I’d whisper in my dad’s ear that you’re going to have a heart attack. I think you might want to call the doctor and get looked at.” Zach thought about it for a bit, and then he said to me, “But would you really want to do that?” You know what? I sat there, about a year ago, and I thought the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life have come from that experience, and if that hadn’t have happened, I would have been forging my way to making the mistakes that he possibly made, and possibly put myself in that situation. It was kind of a horrible thing for me to say, but I said to Zach, “You know what? Maybe I wouldn’t, because my dad’s probably happier that I’ve learned what I’ve learned.” I’d give anything for my dad to be back.

Ryan: Yeah.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Don’t get me wrong. There isn’t a week that goes by that I think I wouldn’t love to just pick up the phone and have a chat.

Ryan: Yep.

Steve Fitzpatrick: The truth is, that definitely taught me a hell of a lot.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Steve Fitzpatrick: The changes that have come from it have been big, significant changes, for not just me and my family, including my mom, not all good, definitely some sad areas, but there has been a lot of good that’s made us all realize a lot of things.

Ryan: You know, regret is a pretty powerful thing, but acceptance is much more powerful. Basically just accepting the situation for what it is. Once you do, there is a lot of learning that comes from that which is very powerful. That’s why when you look back you say well, there are things I would love to change, but they’re so now entangled in positive learning that that’s why you say I actually just accept that that’s the way my life had to play out, and I can see all the positive things that have come from the negative things.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. Anyway, we’re at the time limit, Ryan. Thanks very much for indulging me in sharing that story, and I appreciate you taking that in. I guess this is the start of new things. New things for Typical Business, new things for us both in our businesses, and now we’ve got lots of good things to share in the future. Thanks very much Ryan. I appreciated coming on, and we’ll chat again soon.

Ryan: Thanks mate. I look forward to the next episode.

Steve Fitzpatrick: Cheers. Thank you.

Ryan: Bye.

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