What I learned in 2021 with Sean Weisbrot

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Sean has founded multiple companies and done multiple 8 figures worth of business.

He’s currently advising, consulting, and investing in business just like yours.

He knows where you’ve been, and he knows where you’re going.

Book a call with him today to see how he can help you get there smarter, faster, and in a way that aligns with your life goals.

Timestamps

00:00 – Intro
01:11 – A Deep Recap
04:03 – Changing Habits
05:04 – Results
08:20 – Book #1
09:33 – Book #2

Transcript

Read the transcript
So I recorded this episode already once with the microphone being set to the speaker, so it didn’t actually come out.

And I’m going to do it again for the second time.

And that’s the episode you’re going to hear.

And that’s to show you how tired I am from travel.

But I’m about to explain all of that right now.

So thanks for joining me for the 60th episode of the We Live to Build podcast.

I started this podcast in September 2020, and I’ve interviewed over 50 people in that time.

Talking to other entrepreneurs has been extremely helpful to me, and it’s almost like a free therapy session by commiserating over our experiences, especially during the pandemic when it’s hard to go out and meet people face to face.

I’ve learned so much from all of our guests and I really appreciate their time and energy.

So here’s to another 60 episodes.

One of the things I promote on this podcast is open and honest communication about what life is like being an entrepreneur, and I felt now is the time to publish a solo episode where I talk about what’s been going on in my own life before returning to publishing episodes with guests starting next week.

First of all, I’m sorry in advance for the recent lapse in publishing episodes on time, which I’ll explain shortly.

And with that in mind, let’s get to the core of why this episode is so important.

Back in February, my wife and I decided to get a divorce after being married for only two months, which I’m still in a bit of shock about.

And I’m still working through how I feel about it all.

It’s not easy. That’s for sure.

There’s days that are good and there’s days that are bad.

There’s days where I’m happy and positive and days where I feel sad.

And divorce is something that I hope nobody has to go through.

But I think when we’re working so hard on a business that sometimes we lose ourselves in it and our spouses get really frustrated with us over that.

And while that was one point of contention in my relationship, there were a lot of other problems, mostly stemming from cultural differences.

There were age differences, socioeconomic differences, religious differences.

You assume that the person you choose to be with is someone who’s resilient enough to work with you, throw through those differences.

And unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in my relationship, where I tried really hard to communicate my expectations and explain the differences in our experiences and how, despite the massive differences between us, I didn’t really care and I was willing to work through them with her.

But unfortunately, when you marry a Vietnamese girl, you’re marrying her family and I think this is quite common in Asian culture that the family becomes a huge part, and oftentimes in Asian culture, the parents insert themselves into the relationship and provide feedback that’s usually unwanted and these things get into the mind of the person and make it hard for them to feel capable of making decisions for themselves.

One of the problems we had was she was kind of stuck in between her own Western mindset and her parents non-Western mindset.

There’s a lot more depth to this. I, I don’t want to go into in this fashion, but suffice it to say, I spent a lot of time with her, and I was pretty confident that she was the right person for me, and I wanted to have a life with her.

But that’s not how it worked out, and so that’s kind of what I’m in shock about, because nobody ever goes into marriage thinking that they’re going to get divorced.

When it happens, it’s like we lose a part of ourself and she was a very important person to me, but now I’m almost 35 and two days and I’m starting over again, and that’s hard, but I know that I’ll be able to come back from it much stronger, and one of the things that’s happened to me as a result of the divorce is that I started focusing a lot more on my health, and in the last 4 or 5 months I’ve lost 16 kilos, which is 35 lbs, because I’ve been exercising a lot.

And in order to support this, I had to significantly increase the fats that I was eating and significantly decrease the carbs, and as well as cut out sugar and dairy.

So, the lifestyle and diet that I have are extremely difficult for a lot of people to sustain, but they’re worth it in the long run.

Another great thing that’s happened to me is that we’ve been able to raise several hundred thousand dollars from five investors in our seed round, and we’re still looking for more money, but it was a good start because since the beginning of the company, I’ve been funding it and it’s become very expensive and that also added to the stress that I felt.

So, finally getting money from investors has reduced my stress significantly because I’m not spending my own money on the company anymore.

So, because of changing my eating habits, my exercise habits, raising money, all of this, I’ve noticed a huge change in how I look and feel as if ten years has come off my mental and physical age.

As a result, this has given me the mental strength to focus on scaling my company’s operations, which meant empowering my team.

Therefore, we promoted our lead developer to CTO and gave him complete authority over the daily operations of tech.

We also hired a marketing director who has quickly established operational systems and is preparing to execute on them soon.

We’ve also hired a product manager, and she has taken over my product and project management responsibilities by offloading a tremendous amount of responsibility and trusting the team to handle it.

It’s allowed me more time to start transitioning into the next phase of our company’s development, which is why I decided to leave Vietnam.

I arrived in the US on Monday, June 14th with this goal in mind, and that’s one of the reasons why there was no episode on Monday.

We’re fast approaching the product being stable enough for the team to test it internally, and a month after that, I’ll start working to bring our first batch of beta testers on.

So if you’re interested in learning more about Nerv and the internal team collaboration platform we’re building, let me know and we can talk about bringing you on as a beta tester.

But since most of these beta testers live in the US, Nerv needed me to return to the US to focus on establishing and executing on business development, onboarding, engagement, and customer service systems, which is critical for ensuring the company’s success in the short to medium term.

I also went back because it’s been over two years since I saw my family.

And I have a lot of personal things to take care of here before I can really leave again.

For example, I wanted to get vaccinated from Covid 19 so I can deal with some of the fear and anxiety that has built up inside of me over the last year or so.

I also want to help my parents declutter their house because it makes us all feel better, and it’s hard for them to do.

But with my help it becomes possible.

And I am researching alternative treatment options for my mother’s declining cognitive functions that I couldn’t execute on while living abroad.

But it’s something that I’ve known about for several years.

Once Nerv is starting to gain organic inbound leads in the hundreds or thousands per month, I’ve taken care of the personal things in my life, and I’ve had enough quality time with my sweet puppy Max.

I’m planning to spend the first half of 2022 in Europe to start our expansion there, before eventually returning to Asia, probably in the summer of 2022.

I’ve loved doing the podcast until now, because I get a lot of awesome advice from our guests, and I noticed that when I try to implement their suggestions in nerve, things only seem to get better for me personally and for the team at large.

So while my life is about to get very hectic and challenging in a positive way, the frequency of episodes won’t change.

If I work smart. By the end of this year, hopefully I’ll be able to bring on an editor and an assistant for We Live to Build, which might enable me to produce two episodes a week again.

So thanks again for all your positive words of encouragement and support. It helps me know I’m taking the podcast in the right direction. There’s one last thing I want to share, and that’s two books I’ve read recently.

I highly recommend everyone look at the first book is Pencils of Promise by Adam Brown.

This book shares how Adam went from working on Wall Street to building a global, four purpose social enterprise that builds schools in impoverished areas of many developing nations, but only if there’s a true need.

And the local community and local government are really willing to buy in with. The helping to build the school, staff the school and encourage the students to go to school.

The great thing about his social enterprise is that when he was really young, he started backpacking around the world, and for some reason he decided to ask someone, a poor kid on the street, what was one thing that he wanted more than anything else in the world?

And he said, I want to go to school.

His story is very inspiring, sweet, and may make you cry at times.

At the heart of it is a replay of his thoughts about what he has done, why he did it, how he did it, and what the results were.

Even when people kept telling him to stop or that he was crazy.

It’s something we can all relate to, and it made me want to focus more on giving back, even though I already feel like I do a lot for others.

We can always do more. And this takes me to the second book you really need to read.

This book is called Give or Take and was written by Adam Grant in the book, Adam talks about how there’s three behavioral patterns people use when employing a social strategy related to cooperation.

The first pattern is called giving, where people give, possibly with the goal of getting nothing back, although this depends on the person and their pattern.

The second pattern is called taking where people take from others, possibly with the goal of not giving anything back, although again this depends on the person and their pattern.

The third pattern is called matching, where people give back as much as they take, or ensure that they give as much as they take, in order to make sure that it’s an equitable or fair relationship in the long term.

The book uses examples of different real life people to show not only which pattern provides the best results short term, medium term, and long term, but also how to learn the skills you need to determine which patterns people use and why they use them.

Spoiler alert the people who are genuine givers are the most likely to be very successful in the long term, because people around them appreciate their giving and want to see them be successful.

So these people do whatever they can to help these people succeed.

Now this is assuming the giver is not also a pushover who allows takers into their life, who just suck their energy and networks.

So I highly suggest you read this book to get a better sense of who you are.

And if you find you aren’t a giver, I hope you consider reflecting on how you came to adopt this pattern that you use and why you use it, and consider changing the pattern that you employ.

I hope you enjoyed this episode.

Stay tuned for our next episode on Monday the 21st with Benn Stancll, the CEO of Mode, which has raised $80 million to date.

And we talk about how raising funds changes you, your team and your company.

Don’t forget that entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.

So take care of yourself every day and make sure you tell at least one person important to you today that you love them, because hearing it makes people feel good and you don’t know how much time left you have with each person in your life.

Thank you.