Published: Nov. 30, 2023

Stefani H  0:07  
Welcome to another episode of Creative Distillation. Your hosts Jeff and Brad from the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business discuss entrepreneurship research while enjoying fine craft beverages. This special episode takes us underground to Boulder, Colorado's legendary sundown saloon. In the words of Joel, our producer, it's a five star dive bar. The 2023 Spring semester has concluded and Brad and Jeff hold court here to take questions from several of Brad's undergraduate entrepreneurship students. Brad must be doing something right because the students asked some very good questions. Of course, he and Jeff offer some great and useful answers. Whether you're still in school or not. There are some good takeaways here. Enjoy and cheers and congratulations to our leads 2023 grads.

Jeff York  1:01  
Welcome to Creative distillation, the podcast where we distill entrepreneurship research into actionable insights. I am Jeff York, research director at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business at the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder,

Brad  1:15  
and I'm here with my co host, Jeff It is great to see you. Gosh, Brad has been so long. Yeah, it's been a long time. I am the Faculty Director at the Deming center but I am an entrepreneur, surrounded by some really cool folks that I forgot. I don't know we're gonna get to him. It's okay. Okay, so

Jeff York  1:32  
there's a couple things that you need to reduce Eloise's who you need, because this week we are not. Yeah, you're right. Well, are we though we might distill some actionable insights out of research. I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try. It's probably not gonna happen, but I'll try.

Brad  1:44  
Do you have your little ringer? No, I don't have any little ringer things. Before we before we mentioned, Eloise, we where are we?

Jeff York  1:52  
I don't know. That's why I thought Eloise was gonna tell us about

Eloise  1:56  
this always. Okay, yes.

Jeff York  1:58  
Where are we Eloise? Well, who wait, who is Eloise? Introduce yourself. Hi,

Eloise  2:03  
I'm Eloise. I'm an undergraduate student graduating this year. And I'm the Communications Coordinator for creative distillation podcast. And we are here tonight at The Sundown saloon. Better known as the downer around here, and it was founded in 1982. And it's been a staple of the nightlife here and see you for many years and we're here with our undergraduate students from Brad's new venture creation class.

Jeff York  2:40  
You've never heard students your class before. I know.

Eloise  2:42  
And we will be doing a live q&a session here at the bar. So I'm excited.

Brad  2:50  
So always quick question for you though. So we're talking about the Donner as one of the last college bars at CU. Right. Truly? Good. My question is, is it? Oh, yeah.

Eloise  3:00  
Yeah, I would say so. There's not many college feeling divey bars around here. And I think we keep it pretty authentic here. I've

Jeff York  3:09  
been here once before I was kicked out. So there you go. Yeah,

Brad  3:13  
I was here once withdrawal. Yeah, you guys didn't get kicked out? No. Everybody So Joel?

Jeff York  3:23  
Norman. Yeah, Joe? Yeah, no, no, I love I'll tell that story was my former rock band. So I'm not making that up. It's true. Okay. No, I actually I'd like to hear a little bit about that sometime. So why are we in the downer Eloise? Like just because we're celebrating like undergrad life here in Boulder. Is that because I have not been here since I got kicked out? Yeah,

Eloise  3:47  
I think this is a place that a lot of people come to enjoy. And I'm hoping that more undergraduate students can listen to the podcast and get interested in it. I don't think entrepreneurial research has an age and never too young to start learning. So is

Jeff York  4:02  
wise wise words. What are you drinking? You have a beverage

Eloise  4:07  
I am drinking a tequila soda, a classic, classic downer drink that

Jeff York  4:13  
is a classic downer drink.

Eloise  4:14  

Jeff York  4:17  
Ska Brewing Company, a wonderful brewery out of Durango. Modus meander ENDA, I think is the name. I might be getting that wrong, but it's a mandarin infused IPA.

Brad  4:26  
What do you think?

Jeff York  4:27  
It's good. It's really nice. It's got a little bit of orange peel flavor to expect you know, what are you drinking? Brad?

Brad  4:32  
Jeff, I'm at a standby upslope craft lager. Good. You know me up. So always a quick question, though. So I know you're graduating in a few weeks. Yeah. takeaways about working with Jeff and I, for the last six or six months or so?

Eloise  4:46  
I would say a lot of laughing. I've had a great time working with this team and just getting to be really innovative in the spirit of entrepreneurship, just trying new things. I've always wanted to be part of a podcast so I'm here now Let's all live in the dream with you know, the downer living the dream. You know, this feels like success. I'm happy. Yeah.

Jeff York  5:08  
All right. Cool. So So what is what is the format for tonight's podcast? Oh, is you are the innovator behind this? What are we gonna do here?

Eloise  5:15  
So our format is we have a bunch of great undergraduate students here with us, they are going to be asking Brad and Jeff questions about entrepreneurship life. Anything under the sun, there's no no limits already, guys. Okay, these are great students, and I'm excited to hear whatever it has

Jeff York  5:32  
been like one of our previous episodes, I don't have to answer based on research to know

Eloise  5:36  
that there's no rules here. Wonderful. Sundown saloon, right? That's true. Spirit, no rules.

Jeff York  5:47  
So we should bring forth our first Yeah, so

Brad  5:49  
who's our first guest?

Lexi L  5:50  
Hi, I'm Lexi leader. And I am a TA for one of Brad's classes this semester. So I guess going off your introduction, I'm really curious as to how you guys define success, and what that means to you both as entrepreneurs and researchers and how that's shaped your life.

Brad  6:09  
Wow, that's a that's a serious question. First of all, we did not pre plan this question. Yeah. Okay. Now. Okay. So I've been accused of that before. So Jeff, what do you what do all

Jeff York  6:19  
these people like Brad pays, by the way, so just make note of that. This isn't a competition. This is success, though. That's actually really interesting. Okay, so. So I've done a lot of different jobs. And I've been an entrepreneur, I've been a janitor. I've been a river guide. I've done a lot of different things that professor in that order. Yeah, exactly that order. Success. I mean, in my mind, okay, so here's the deal. First of all, I'm gonna say success is definitely not defined by money. And I feel like a lot of times, I worry about our business school students that are a little too worried about that. Because what you'll find is that money can make things easier in some regards, but doesn't really help solve bigger problems. I think success is doing something you like doing, that you feel good about, that you can look back, and here's here's a test I give to my, my students, I'm not at these people's Professor Brad is, so they've had to listen to him all semester. But, but what I do with my students, I have them think about it your funeral. I mean, I'm not trying to be dour here. And people are talking about, like what you did with your life, and the effect you had on them in some way, shape, or form. And if the things you can imagine people will say, make you proud. And you're like, Yeah, that would have made my life worth doing, then you're probably successful. Whether or not you feel like it or not. Now, so that's success overall. Now, success and entrepreneurship, I think like, you know, again, I think a lot of times people think it's about like, well, we're gonna, oh my god, the most painful things, everybody thinks it's about raising money. Because we teach a lot classes where students are really, really interested in raising money, they're not necessarily interested in creating value for their customers, or understanding how they will create value for their customers, they're very interested in raising money. And there's different points in history, I lived through one of them, where you could raise money without being worried about creating value for customers. This isn't one of them right now, I don't think sometimes weird things happen. But you know, used to be that. So anyway, I think success and entrepreneurship really is creating something of value for other people, seeing them enjoy it and see, and, and actually having a business model that can sustain you continuing to do that. And that's the other side of it. It may not be about like, you know, raising money, but definitely needs to be about being profitable. Because like, if you're not, I can assure you as a very unsuccessful entrepreneur, you will not be doing whatever you're doing to create value very long. So I think that's, that's why I would say about that, and then research Oh, my God, that's a weird one. So I think success in research actually is related to similar entrepreneurship. When we're training PhD students. They're often thinking about research and research being a game of publishing. And the reason that is is because to publish and like so when you talk to someone who's a tenured professor at your school believes school, that means they had to publish a pretty big body of research and journals that have like a 98% rejection rate. Like there's no other way to become a tenured faculty member at our school or any research, one University, Dr. Grande University. So people really focus on that. But that's a really crappy metric, because you can't control it. So really, I think success and research is being able to make a living studying things you're interested in. And I've been lucky enough to do that. I studied how when and why entrepreneurs can address environmental problems, and particularly climate change. And to me, that seems like an important topic. And I learned enjoy learning about writing about so sorry, that's a long answer. But I mean, that's a big question.

Brad  9:55  
It's a really big question. It's

Jeff York  9:57  
a great question.

Brad  9:59  
So Oh, I, I can't tell you what I think think success is for you. But I can tell you about my life, kind of how my life has flown. And success for me has changed. My first 20 years out of college, I was all about making money. It was it, I was purely focused on how much money I could make, and how much more money I could make and how much more money I could make after that, and that's a really miserable life. And I was in it, and you're doing this and you don't realize it's miserable, because I was good at it. And so you kind of get these little mini trophies right, your bank account gets bigger. And so it's it's this weird, self fulfilling kind of cycle. And I moved here because my dad is getting older to spend time with him. And I would two things happen to me. Number one, my first entrepreneurial venture was a nonprofits. And I saw the power of what creative thinking did to other people's lives. And it broke that cycle, that really that crazy cycle that I was on, say, Holy, you can make a difference. And before I thought I was making a difference by writing checks to different organizations. And I actually think that's a cop out. And I was number one of COP outs, right, I can go do this. And then I can go and do something really cool and spend six months on the beach or whatever, it but I've I've helped the homeless population because I wrote them a check. That sucks. That really, really sucks. I still think that my definition of success is always moving. But I will tell you that my stage in life where I came to see you, my entire outlook of life has changed. And for me, it's the impact that I think that I'm making. Is there a way to measure that? I don't think so. But there's a way to feel that. And so I feel that I feel it by even you coming out today. And all you folks coming out today. I know one of the reasons you're here is because of me. And I greatly appreciate that. But my point is, is that I'm not looking to make new friends, I'm looking to figure out, how can I help you, in a sense, create that authentic life of yours. And if that authentic life for you like see, I think I know what it may be your some of it may be if it's whether it's making money, or whether it's making a difference, I want to help you do that and be authentic to yourself. So success, I would also say is leave living a life of authenticity, right, not changing for other people. And I think that all the folks in this room, I think that the calling is difference. And I think that's really cool. I think that no one, there's not one better or worse. They're just different. And I think that's cool. And for me, it's been a sort of source of inspiration. And a way to actually get me off of that that rants treadmill, about just chasing dollars when I can see I don't care about the money I care about what can I do? And I think Jeff talked about it right, though. For me. It's not about my funeral. I hope that doesn't come I don't want to die real quickly, because I'm a lot more to do. But I wouldn't know, I know. But I want my grandkids to say this guy was cool. Yeah. And if that's the case, then I'm good. So I think it's a great question. But here's I want to throw it back at you. Because because I do think that the definition and understanding of success evolves. What does it mean to you right now? What's success for you?

Lexi L  13:25  
I agree with both of what you guys said. I think success to me at the end of the day is like what people say about me and how I make other people feel, and it doesn't matter. I mean, yeah, making money is great, and being able to sustain your life. But at the end of the day, when you look back, I want to think, wow, I made a difference in the world. And the people around me and I made it a better place. And I think if I feel like I did that, then I was successful. And I achieved my goals. And I'll be happy.

Brad  13:55  
Right? And by the way, I want to throw one thing out to everyone in this room, is that when you get asked for about success, and you say it's not about money, I get thrown back to me, that's something that a rich person would say. Right, but

Jeff York  14:09  
actually, but that's actually a certain point, right? I mean, you need to I mean, yeah, right, but

Lexi L  14:15  
to sustain my life without having to worry about money. Then there's another level. I

Jeff York  14:21  
mean, if you've ever if you've ever bought your groceries with food stamps, yeah, and really not knowing how you're going to eat beyond that. And I'm, I I've done that. I mean, it's right in great right. Feeling and it's definitely, you know, being homeless or experiencing homelessness. I mean, it's a horrible, horrible, horrible sensation. So yeah, I mean, I agree that can sound so hypocritical. It does, but there's a certain point. Like once you get the point where you can like take care of your family. Exactly. You can help your friends and family that are in need if they if they need help. Yeah. After that, It's like, I mean, yeah, maybe you go on a cool trip or something, then great question. Do you think about it?

Lexi L  15:05  
Yeah, I do think about it, especially with my next steps in my career and figuring out where I want to go and who I want to be. I think about it a lot, and how you know, where I end up and how I'm going to define success for myself, and what that means to like my parents and my mentors and that kind of things. Yeah.

Brad  15:25  
To me, you're already a success. Yeah. Seriously.

Lexi L  15:29  
Thank you. Yes. All right.

Brad  15:32  
Yeah. All right. Thank you, guys. Thank you. That was That was great. Thank you very much.

Jeff York  15:39  
I think what you said authenticity really resonated with me, Brad, like, if you're being authentic to yourself, and what you believe is important.

Brad  15:44  
And that could change, right? Your your, your perception of it was changing for you. It's just Yeah, and in a big way, in a big way, wait a second, we have actually had the chair vacated and a new person has walked, walked in, tell us your name, your place, see you and hit us with anything.

Esme  16:04  
I'm Esme and I'm a Marketing major, currently a junior. And my question for you, too, is what are some daily habits as entrepreneurs or that entrepreneurs should know are very important.

Brad  16:18  
You want to start with the habits, you go ahead, and my day normally starts with bourbon. Okay, so all kidding aside, I don't know if I do things consciously, and repeat it every day. But I will tell you that I am. I don't sleep much. And I'm a crazy reader. So I normally read between 830 and 230, or three in the morning. And I read everything I read current events, I read books, I read whatever is out there, I'm pretty quick reader. So I'm looking for all this information to I get, I guess, to understand what's going on around me, and just digest it. And I think that having a pulse on what's going on in the world is really important for me as a human being. But I think it's also important for entrepreneurs, I really think that certainly when I was starting my companies, it was all focused on these one things that we have to do this one thing today are these three things, there are these crazy things. And I think that it's really important to take a step back and understand what's going on around you. So one of my habits is crazy reading. The other thing is though, you have to take care of yourself, as a person that had to check out and go into my cabin in the woods for two years. Because of depression. I try to go on least four hikes a week and get out with my dogs and take time for myself because I can't help anyone else. If I'm a total wreck. I do like my cocktails. That's part of my routine as well. That's why we do podcasts. I think Jeff enjoys his occasionally likes his cocktails. But for me, it's reading and it's also doing what you say you will do. So it's not been a for me, it's not being a flake, meaning that if I'm going to help you and be there somewhere or some time or whatever I say I'm gonna do I need to follow up. And that to me is really, really important. You can't can't be flippant. The other thing for me, and this is, in a sense, back to my learning. And my reading is I really tried to understand people. And I think when I was on that money Chase, which I was talking about before, I was really narrowly focused on. I didn't care about anything else going on around me. And now I'm really concerned about everything that's going on around me because I think that I can, if I identify problems, I think about ways to try to fix them, or try to help people like you've been so

Jeff York  18:27  
I don't know if that was, yeah, that's kind of what I'm sorry, the question, I want to make sure I could hear you all right, was habits successful entrepreneurs have or that we have? Both? Okay. So I will offer an actionable insight from research. One thing that people have real common and actually it's a it's an insight from a lack of findings, which is kind of interesting, because usually you think about research or like, well, people found this thing, it's really important. But what's really interesting entrepreneurship research is what nobody has found, is any traits or characteristics that predict individual success and entrepreneurship. And what I mean by that is like personality traits. Even more offensively ethnic background, or gender or any of that stuff being an introvert extrovert, being an introvert, being a higher intelligence, all these things IQ, I should say, not intelligence. I mean, none of these things pan out. There's research papers that show they matter as research papers that show they don't matter. So the first thing I would say like is your questions actually really insightful and dead on because it's sort of like Socrates talked about this idea of, of a noose becoming what you practice. Successful entrepreneurs are the result of what they practice. They're not the result of who they are and where they're born. They're the result of action. And that is what that is the common trait of successful entrepreneurs. They take action. They start with an idea like everyone else, but they don't sit around and talk to their roommates about the idea Until and every minutes like I heard about this idea, like so long, why don't you just go do something that's really annoying, they start taking action and talking to a lot of people about their idea. And then they find other people who find their idea interesting. And they gain what we call an academic research, self selected stakeholders, people that put skin in the game, and they join that process. And so that's what successful entrepreneurs do. They do that over and over and over and over again. But that's not a trait. Are you lazy? Well, it is a habit. Right? Like, it's easy to get in the habit of thinking your idea is really cool and not doing anything. That's a really easy habit. So yeah, so I think that's, that's what the research tells us. Like, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to continuously take action. And you also have to be open to shifting your ideas, entrepreneurs that you know, we have this stereotype and the media, like largely driven through movies about tech, tech people like Mark Zuckerberg, or whatever. And oh, they're hard hitting entrepreneurs that stick to their idea, no matter what anybody tells them, they were right. And like, no, that's not the way most successful entrepreneurs. Right, right. That's like a total outlier. And that's why it makes an interesting movie for David Fincher to direct. Because it's such a weird thing. Most entrepreneurs are very flexible, very open, very teachable, very malleable, successful entrepreneurs. And they evolve their idea based on the feedback from their customers or stakeholders, their partners and others and their investors. As for habits, I have, I am not a successful entrepreneur. But I think, a habit that I've never seen research on this, it'd be interesting to do. But I think what is important for successful entrepreneurs, and I try to be, I think Brad said earlier is being authentic, actually saying what you mean to people, even when it's hard. I mean, I'm talking about going on being a jerk, but like, you know, saying how you really feel about things, you're concerned, your interactions and and really leading from who you really believe you are, rather than it's too small of a world for. I mean, we also have, I won't name names, we have many media portray of entrepreneurs as these deceitful, like, manipulative individuals. And again, that's an outlier. In my opinion, I don't have research on this. But I think most successful entrepreneurs, the ones that Brad and I talk to, and that I know that the Deming center and my friends are people that are really authentic and straightforward to people. That's how you build relationships and build companies. What

Brad  22:26  
about you? What about your habits? I mean, I know you're successful students. And I mean, what do you do for yourself every day to keep at it? I

Esme  22:35  
don't really know, I just always get the work done. Even if it seems scary or daunting, sometimes you just have to do it like you just have to get it done. The reason why I asked this question was because I always hear successful people wake up early, and I was waiting to hear that from one of you, too. But no one said that. But I'm assuming that's just implied. I

Jeff York  23:00  
wake up early. It's not by choice. Yeah, just wake up at like, 530 no matter what.

Brad  23:04  
What. So for most of my life, I was on the road by five or 515 in the morning. Here, though, because I choose to read late because I'm doing other things during the day. Getting up at five in the morning is not an option. Be

Jeff York  23:20  
an interesting study. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. It's those are

Brad  23:24  
great questions. And remember, being authentic is is very, very important to you're being honest with yourself is important to your to separating your heart and your head, sometimes very difficult, but really important as well. So there's lots of things. And one thing that things that may work for me or for Jaffa may not work for you. Which I but I think that it's really a wise question. Thank you. Yeah. Okay. All right. Look at this. This is great. I will eat this good. Yeah,

Grace V  23:56  
I'm having a good time. So

Brad  23:57  
am I Are you,

Pilar  23:59  
I'm having a wonderful time.

Brad  24:01  
So introduce yourself, and welcome to the conversation, bring forth.

Grace V  24:07  
Hi, my name is Pilar Pheffer, and I'm a part of Jeff's undergraduate class. I think my question for you guys is how do you deal with fear and doubts as an entrepreneur? Oh,

Jeff York  24:18  
well, actually, you know, I think, I think our last, our last question, or actually, the answer to that, is you just get it done. I mean, you just have to keep powering through things. Like even when you're faced with fears and doubts. I mean, it sounds so trite, but it's the truth like you cannot, as an entrepreneur, you cannot let that get the best of you. Because you have to take action. You just have to, like you don't have the luxury that many of us do as a student or actually I have as a professor as well be like, Ah, I really don't want to do that thing. I'm just gonna put it off until tomorrow and if somebody doesn't bug me about it, it'll be okay like entrepreneurs don't have that luxury because of because the burden, right? I mean, you're always you're on a ticking clock, like all the time, like, and you're always like looking at right, I've definitely been in a position where I could not pay my employees. And I had to go, like, buy a keg with the last money I had, is running a river company. And I could say, well, we're gonna be able to pay you. Today, it's fine. And you know, that worked that night. But you know, it's not a great feeling. So you've got to persevere. And you also have to, I think, this is just true of entrepreneurship. I think this is true of leadership in general, you have to be open about those fears, but you can't let people see them paralyzing you. So if you don't acknowledge, like a bad situation, and you're just like, Oh, this isn't so bad, it'll be fine. You know, people aren't dumb, hopefully, you don't have a bunch of dumb people working for you. So if you do, you got bigger problems, but they're gonna see through that. So you got acknowledged the problem, this is where we're going, this is how we're going to try to get through it, I need your help. And we're going to try to get through this problem and rally people behind. And I think if you do that, and people think you're being authentic, and they don't see it, you're putting yourself first, I think you can get through those problems. But some problems are insurmountable. So I mean, that's just, that's just entrepreneurship is full of risk and failure. I mean, that's just the reality of it. That's a real upper right.

Brad  26:22  
So I would say, though, that your your, your question actually hinges on self awareness. So I think fear and doubt are real. But I know that you and I have had this conversation before and what risk is, and I think that fear and risk may be interrelated. And so I think that we're talking about what is your risk tolerance? And what does that mean, and that's different for everyone. And doubt is something else. So for me, I've been fearless. And it's been really hurtful to me, sometimes. I mean, I walk into things, I think that I have the power of my intellect that I can fix this, and I can't. So being self aware and understanding these personality traits that you may have, or how we act as human beings, I think is really important. Jeff, hit it on the head, though, there is no time for inaction. You can't sit back and just say, you know, I'm gonna think about this for four days, four days, the house is gonna burn down

Jeff York  27:20  
your problem, whatever it is, you're going to get better and for No, time is not your friend. You know, so.

Brad  27:25  
So yeah, I mean, you have to be a person of action, you have to listen to what others are telling you. But you, eventually the rise within you, and your knowing that your calls are going to be wrong sometime, right?

Jeff York  27:37  
You triggered something for me too. There's this interesting, I'm not getting too academic. There's this interesting concept we talked about in entrepreneurship research called affordable loss. And what it means it comes out of, I won't go into this anyway, I'll put the paper in the link to the podcast, people are interested.

Brad  27:56  
But what or how many hits are going to have on that link? It's actually

Jeff York  27:59  
pretty damn good stuff. So there's this concept of affordable loss. And it turns out that if you go talk to a bunch of expert entrepreneurs, they don't think they're risk tolerant at all. They don't think they're exposing themselves to risk. And the reason why is number one is, many of them are overconfident. Of course, that's obvious, but you kind of almost have to be to be an entrepreneur. Wait, it's not. It's not like a trait that overconfident people are more likely to be entrepreneurs, it's like, if you're gonna keep being an entrepreneur, you have to be overconfident. Because it's very risky. And if you don't believe in it, then nobody else will write that to the point stupidity. But But affordable loss means most XPrize members have already thought about what am I willing to lose to see if this works. And so for them, there's like a cap, where I'm like, I am done, I've saved up, you know, a couple of $100,000, you know, I'm gonna, I'm willing to risk that to see if this startup will work, I'm willing to take on this loan from the bank and pay it off over the long term, I'm willing to run my credit cards up to their limit, I am not willing to take out a second mortgage on my house, you know, you've got to think through what that affordable Loss level is. And if you do that, at least personally, you hopefully are not going to be paralyzed by fear. Because if you do incur the losses that you've already thought through, so be it, you already decided that was an acceptable outcome. Now, that's not something that we often teach in entrepreneurship classes. It's a weird concept I do. But it does hold up in the research pretty regularly that expert entrepreneurs have thought through what are they willing to lose? And that's where people get into trouble. I often see I teach in the Executive MBA Program, and all these people are successful enough where their company's paying for them to do their MBA. And so for them, I'm like, what your affordable loss is pretty high. You know, you gotta be willing to walk away from your successful career. So you want to take small steps. You want to sacrifice your weekend. You want to sacrifice your vacation. Are you willing to sacrifice part of your 401 K? Like, where is that line for you? You got I'd have a very high affordable loss because you're just just starting out. So I think being an entrepreneur as a young person is fantastic. Because it's like, got little to lose, and there's no company in this world. That's gonna say, well tell me about, you know, a time you tried to be innovative and you start talking about this venture, you tried to start and failed, and well, we're not hiring them. I mean, yeah, I mean, every corporation in the world is like, wow, that person tried to be an entrepreneur, that's awesome. We need more entrepreneurial people in our company. So I always really encourage people go for it. Now. It's the time to do it. Yeah,

Grace V  30:29  
I agree with what you're saying. And I feel like with the self awareness aspect of it, something I'd say to myself to kind of dismantle it in a way of overthinking about fears and doubts is just everyone has an ego, but trying to take a step back and realizing that no one really cares about you that much. Yes, in a good way. Right. So if you do fail, or whatever you see as failing, no one else is looking at it the way you do. Yeah. And that's kind of what makes a little bit easier for me when I try to go out and be confident, right?

Jeff York  31:02  
Did you think of yourself as a main character all the time, right? Like, oh, but the why is that one of the wisest people I ever knew, said to me, he's like, You know what, we're all just extras in the movie of someone else's life. Like, everybody else is not sitting around thinking about and judging you. They're thinking about themselves and their own problems. And do I have mustard on my shirt or whatever? Right. I think that's really wise. Holy crap.

Brad  31:23  
Yeah, man.

Jeff York  31:24  
I think these are I need to start teaching undergrads again, are integrated. Yes, yeah.

Brad  31:32  
Are the are the answers help Mark people,

Grace V  31:35  
they are definitely helpful, I think, because I get in my head so much. Because I like thinking about stuff like this. hearing it from a different perspective, and kind of just connecting all together is really, really cool. And then for like, the main character thing, learning that is, it's hard and initially, because you're like, What do you mean the whole world?

Jeff York  31:57  
Oh, my god so hard. Especially. I think I have two teenage kids. And like, when you're when you're like, you know, 13, probably 18. Even out for me, probably 35. Focused on yourself, and so hard to break out and have that ability to break out and say, well, everything's really not that

Brad  32:20  
much. I'm thinking about Galileo being exorcised from the Catholic Church for 300 years. Okay, right, because what rotates the earth around the sun or the sun around? Oh, exactly. Yeah.

Jeff York  32:31  
Great, the Galileo syndrome.

Brad  32:32  
And I think, I think that you have awesome insights.

Jeff York  32:35  
Absolutely. That's an actionable insight. Yeah. Does. That really is? Yeah, well, so

Brad  32:42  
far. Thanks. Okay. Wow, we're getting some great, great questions.

Jeff York  32:45  
I totally agree. Your students are quite impressive.

Brad  32:47  
Yes, they are. And look at this. They keep coming. So introduce yourself, and welcome to creative distillation.

Andrew Rodriguez  32:55  
Thank you, Brad. I appreciate it. My name is Andrew Rodriguez. And I'm a senior at CU Boulder studying finance, specifically entrepreneurial finance. This is a comment slash question. But you know, something I've been passionate about for a really long time is, you know, just growing income inequality. And really just like, the way our financial system is set up, it, there's really two tiers, you know, the 1%, and everyone else gets all these financial services, where, you know, the rest are kind of left behind. And sure, I personally believe that entrepreneurship is actually like a really great way to kind of bridge that gap. I just wanted to see like, what you guys thought about that? And sure, yeah, just the potential for startups to, you know, make things more equitable for everyone. Cool. Well, I

Brad  33:44  
first of all, Andrew, I love your sensibility. I think that hold you 2620. Okay, so, but at that age, thinking about world problems, and, for instance, income inequality, which you mentioned, I love that you're thinking that way. So I think, and I think maybe I've told you this before that I think that entrepreneurs have the the ability to predict the future. And entrepreneurship has the ability to change and fix problems. When we talk about something like income inequality, which I think that everybody in this table agrees and issue. My sense as an entrepreneur here is, that's a really big problem. And the only way to solve it is to have 10,000 entrepreneurs, break it down into 10,000, smaller problems and fix those. So I think that as a starting point, this is a great way to go. But I think that to really take action, right? If you if you affect one life in your lifetime, that's a good thing. Right? So you can't let perfection stand in the way of action. Right? Is that an insight, Jeff? I don't know. But but the point was But I would say. So this is a problem that resonates with you select a component of that problem and go after it. And hopefully, it inspires others to go after other pieces of that problem. If you try to tackle the whole thing, by yourself or with your team, it's too big, you're gonna fail. So you have to, you have to really get in there understand the different layers. And I think that income inequality could be 10,000 different problems, pick one, right? And go at it. And if you can make, like I said, a difference in someone's life or 10 people's lives or 100 people's lives, start there and see where it goes.

Jeff York  35:35  
I agree. I mean, but me, I think, we often think about entrepreneurship as doing a startup. And like, we're gonna solve a problem, right? And then we're gonna create a business while making a profit. I don't think that's really what entrepreneurship is, I think of entrepreneurship, as the discovery creation, and exploitation, not in a negative term exploitation mean taking advantage of those situations, to create new products, market services, and, and institutions and norms. What we're talking about is a systemically ingrained, least my belief is a systemically ingrained flaw in American capitalism. And when we go on these sorts of the A lot of times, folks that were punished for entrepreneurship, have a tendency for entrepreneurship tend to also go on the sort of free market libertarian kind of things. And I mean, there's just, there's no reason why individuals need to have this much wealth concentrated in the hands of so few. There's no, there's no good reason for it. There just isn't. So how do you change that? Right? Well, okay, if you're my my 16 year old daughter, who I love dearly, you advocate for a violent Marxist revolution. Of course, she's 16. So I do think I agree with Brad entrepreneurs have the power to change these things. But I really agree with Brad on, it's like, it's got to be sort of small, breaking down the problem into smaller components. Because here's the things, if you think about levels of change, like you can change your own behavior. I mean, I know everybody's, I can't change, I have to drink five beers, I can change, I don't need to drink five beers, you can change your own behavior eat most easily, then you can change the behavior of those that are closest to you believe it or not, the next most easily, then the next level up is changing behavior of individuals within your organization, whatever you're part of the next level up from that is an organization trying to create change to institutions. And then the next level beyond that is creating change at the norms and values level. I think this country is in deep trouble and its norms and values. Andrew, correct. Yes. I, I hope you see that change happen in your lifetime. I suspect I will not see it happen in mind. But I think entrepreneurship is a mechanism where you can bring together people of different ideologies, and get them to work together to create value for society. And that's why I think entrepreneurship really is. So that's a long winded answer, but just an academic a pretty deep question. So you know, it's it,

Brad  38:10  
by the way, really good answer. But I don't want you to think just because Jeff doesn't believe that it may not be solved in his lifetime. He may be right, I hope he's wrong. But he may be right, that that stops you from Oh,

Jeff York  38:22  
hell no, no, no, we need it. Certainly it won't change in my kids kids lifetime. If we and you don't try. It takes generations to change these things. And I do believe that. And I'm just talking about America, I think American people are getting kind of fed up with all this. And I think they should be it's pretty painful when you see, entrepreneurship is a wonderful mechanism. But it does not success in entrepreneurship should not be your ascent to God, stat godlike status in our society. And it certainly shouldn't. It certainly shouldn't allow you to, and this is I go on a big rant, but we've got to have more separation between money and politics somehow. I don't know how to get there. But it's just crazy. I mean, it's just nuts.

Andrew Rodriguez  39:07  
Oh, yeah. Ever since Citizens United, you know, this. Yeah. It's only gotten worse. Right.

Jeff York  39:12  
And it's really troubling. But I do think entrepreneurs are the people that can change that

Brad  39:16  
from the ground, by the way, you can be an entrepreneur in public policy. Oh, absolutely. Right. And so maybe, Andrew, what you're talking about, and I know you're referring to a couple of different policy issues. Maybe that's a really cool path for

Andrew Rodriguez  39:29  
you. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, the main thing I was thinking is really just on the finance side, right? I don't think you can really change human nature, like in the end, but if you know, everyone has like better access to certain services, like for example, I've been using this app called extra card. And you know, I've been using it to build credit and it's, it's amazing. Yeah,

Jeff York  39:51  
that's a hell of a lot better way to build credit than like me at a large predatory lending institution. Say, Hey, Andrew, why don't you take this 1000 isn't a credit limit card, go on a snowboarding trip, we're only gonna charge at 27% interest and make sure you get hammered with $50 and late fees when you're one day late, but it's awesome. You're building your credit score. Yeah, I was. I've been part of that. Like, I mean, that's what you're talking about, resonates deeply because I used to work in financial services, and that is a predatory and exploitative industry for the most part. That's, that's why I do this now. That's a great question, though.

Brad  40:25  
Andrew. Thank you. Yeah,

Jeff York  40:26  
you can't take you. Seriously.

Brad  40:28  
Wow, man. The questions keep coming. Jeff. I think that it's impressive. It should make us really happy about it. Thanks. Televisa

Eloise  40:35  
questions and the viewers gonna say

Jeff York  40:40  
thanks to our communications director Eloise.

Brad  40:42  
Look at this. The line just keeps growing here, Jeff. Couple more questions. By the way.

Jeff York  40:49  
I just gotta say if anybody out there listening to this, I don't know who listens to this podcast. But thank you very much. If you're looking for people to hire me, these people are really

Brad  40:58  
smart, really smart and the good. And the hard workers and they the values that they represent. I'm getting really, really amazing. So got it. So

Jeff York  41:08  
with that, you guys.

Jesse  41:13  
My name is Jesse. I'm a strategy and entrepreneurship major. I'm a senior at CU taking Brad's course as well. And this is this is awesome. I'm really excited to be a part of this. So I think Andrews questions are pretty good transition into mine. Earlier, I heard you guys mentioned the word impact a lot. Talking about success. Sure. So when I think of that, I think social entrepreneurship. Yep. So it's a kind of a two part question for you. When do you focus on social entrepreneurship and making that a core part of your business? And then along with that, how do you balance you know, the need to actually make a social impact? And the balance of you know, you need to be a financially sustainable business as well. Awesome

Jeff York  41:51  
question. I think it's my turn to go first. Yep. So I get a lot of trouble with this kind of thing. Because there's Sophie Bach was here, she get really mad at me and correct me. But she's not so I get this. I don't know, there really isn't any such thing is social entrepreneurship. You know, I think there's entrepreneurial ventures that create value, that's not economic. I think all entrepreneurial ventures do that. Some negative, some positive. So I think if I can just sort of recast your question a little bit, to say that, I think if you want to affect change, to a social and I study environmental problems, so I'm much more qualified to talk about that and social problems. They are, they are social problems at the end of the day, because you know, the the Earth itself is not creating, right, we're creating our own problems with by violating what systems can tolerate. But anyway, you got to think about how to align incentives, and a way that you can create value for customers, and create a business model that generates enough revenue for you to keep doing that. And the most successful people in doing that are the ones that also figure out, for better or for worse, how to make people rich at the same time. So I think a lot of times when we start thinking about, like, I'm gonna launch this social entrepreneurship venture, I think that's, that's fine, that's great. But if it doesn't have a sustainable business model behind it, and if it doesn't actually create real value in the long term, it basically ends up being a nonprofit, we got an awful lot of nonprofits already. And they don't tend to work very fast or efficiently having been on the board of quite a few. So I really think the power of entrepreneurship is creating business models to simultaneously address this problem. Is that easy? No. It's like being an entrepreneur with like some, you know, cinder blocks tied to your ankles as you try to swim. It's a hell of a lot harder. I teach a class called Sustainable venturing. And it's like, so much harder to figure out how to do this when other people are just trying to figure out I'm gonna create an app that people give me money for, okay, fine, but I'm trying to solve a problem. I felt like the till your question was almost about, like balancing philanthropy and giving back between creating financial outcomes. And I think that's the beauty of entrepreneurship is the best entrepreneurs that are making impact. Don't see a trade off there. I have studied this quite a bit and, and the successful ones don't think about it as a trade off. They think about it as a yes. And it's almost like improvisation, like saying, well, we got to make it. Yes. And yes. And, and I think one place you can really see that happening is in the in the green building industry. Now a lot of people will say there's all sorts of greenwashing and things like that, and that's true. But the fact remains green building is arguably the most effective movement slash industry at removing co2 emissions that anyone has ever created. So way more than anything they've ever done at any of the cop meetings, global meetings on climate change, and it's made a lot of people really rich. So That's the kind of stuff I'm interested in. I hope that's a useful answer for you. I know it's like just make them go together. It's not I'm not trying to be glib, it's super hard. But it is possible and people do it all the time. But you got to be focused on that business model and has it keep generating wealth to keep doing more. So red is a social entrepreneur, actually.

Brad  45:19  
So I have I have a couple of things. First of all, I've worked with some nonprofits that are agile, really gets a whole nother podcast. So I want to remove, I don't want you to paint all nonprofits with

Jeff York  45:32  
Yeah, and I apologize, I should not do that. You're okay. So the ones I worked with, yeah,

Brad  45:37  
so So agility is important. So Jessie, once again, I really like your sensibility here. When you talk about social impact, or when you're talking to two old dudes, here, social impact is up to however you define it. And don't let us define it for you. So I'm not sure how you define it. We don't have to go through that today. But I want to, I want to tell you that when you're creating whatever organization, your values and your culture, actually drive, whatever that social impact is. So I would say it's not about waiting till you have X amount of revenue. It's from day one, we're doing this here, and this is who we are. And part of our mission is social impact. And however you define it, right, Jeff could talk about environmentalism or climate change, I could talk about homelessness, the social impact is still giving people jobs, right? I mean, somebody that comes in works for you, and you start a viable business, that's an impact. So you need to define it yourself, and and then be able to articulate that to the folks that you're working with. And I think that if you do that, you'll find like minded people, it's actually easier to recruit, I think it's easier to retain employees. And I think that you're going to actually find customers that relate to you, not only because you're providing whatever good or service that you're doing, but they love the mission as well. And we could actually point to a bunch of stuff companies right there. There's a lot of companies that we could talk about there. So I

Jeff York  47:05  
have companies that fail those two, though. No, no, but

Brad  47:07  
there's right.

Jeff York  47:08  
I mean, that's true of any

Brad  47:09  
I mean, so I would say the social impact is just part of your values. So if we talk then, and I don't mean to brush the question away, but I think it's creating a values based organization. Yes, all of these need business models, whether you're nonprofit or not, you'd have to keep the doors open. You have to be able to pay folks, you have to be able to do things. But I would just say, and I hate to repeat this, but this is authenticity once again, right? And all in all of these talks. So Jeff, I think your answer was was really interesting. It but it really starts with who you are, and

Jeff York  47:41  
let people know. Yeah, absolutely. I'd say build a company around what you think the social impact you want to create is Yeah. And you know, there's always ways to integrate that into the mission as well, like, you know, but I really, I mean, if it's a problem, go after it. I mean, no, somebody's got to like,

Brad  47:58  
we're actually seeing, we're seeing some commonality and the questions that we're getting, though, but how do you make How do you make a difference? Yeah,

Jeff York  48:04  
I mean, and that's why I don't like to think about entrepreneurship as startups, right. I like oh, no, no, it's creative. It's, uh, yeah, it's smart folks that call it a science of the artificial. What they mean by that is like, entrepreneurship is the science through which we bring human made things into the world. Artificial, everything surrounding us right now, because we're so far underground. I mean, this is all science to the artificial, right. I mean, it's there's nothing here that nature created. So that can be good or bad. You know, Mother, Teresa was an entrepreneur. So was Hitler. So there we

Jesse  48:41  
go. There's an ending thought, right. Jesse? Yeah. Did I really appreciate that? I

Brad  48:47  
mean, I think it's really, I think it's a really cool issue. Just keep being true to yourself and let people know that you already think that things. Things work. Awesome.

Jesse  48:56  
Thanks, guys. All right, let's

Brad  48:58  
get everything great question. All right. We have another I know this person that's sitting next to me. I don't know this person. So that's cool. Introduce yourself, please. And welcome to creative distillation. Hi,

Grace V  49:08  
I'm Grace Vaughan. I'm a senior at CU studying entrepreneurship.

Jeff York  49:11  
Awesome. Good to meet you guys.

Brad  49:13  
Hi, Grace. Good to have you here. What do you think?

Grace V  49:16  
Well, someone handed me a book recently called the second mountain and I was about 30 pages into it. And I found out that what I personally am seeking is community. I haven't had community in a while and I want to find that. So I wanted to ask, how do you approach finding building and being a part of community? And then based on what you talked about earlier, American values and norms are skewed. So how do you take an individualized culture and bring it back to community focus? Oh,

Jeff York  49:43  
man, that's awesome. Oh

Brad  49:48  
okay, wait, Grace, I need one. So you said finding building and there was one more component and being a part of a community and being a part of Yeah. Okay. So before I get to what I thinking here, is it important For you to be the builder, or that your participation goes into kind of expanding this.

Grace V  50:07  
I mean, I think to be a part of a community, everyone does sort of have to have that builders perspective. Because if you're not actively building the community while being a part of it, then you're not so much a part of it as members

Brad  50:20  
of a community have a responsibility. Yes. Yeah. So you keep it coming. Okay. This is hard. For me. This is really hard because I'm an introvert. Yeah. Yeah, so for me, I look at this, and truthfully, look around you guys are about community, and being able to help a person like you great to get to know you, or all the other folks in here. So finding a community, I actually think you're talking to the wrong person. I really do. I think that this is, me, personally, I find a community in my work. Here's how I would say how I would look to find a community. And I may have told you this before, but I really mean it. And I talked to one of my kids today is that hanging out with people that inspire you. And if you hang out with people that inspire you, that community, that building, that's all part of and participating in, that will be great, because if you're hanging out with people that inspire you, you probably inspire them to. And so there's this, there's this mutual give and take this mutual respect. And not everyone knows everything, right. And if you hang out with somebody that inspires you, and you think they're smarter than you or have more experience, or whatever that is put that away. Because by definition, them, allowing you not allowing you but whatever that is, is inviting you into that community means that they actually think the same things of you. Because I would say inspirational people are really, really selective of who they hang out with. So for me, it's it's people that inspire me. And it was a hard part of my life because I had people that were acquaintances that weren't friends, and acquaintances or friends and are really different. I would say, my age now I still have five, like really good friends my life, and I bet 1000s and 1000s of people. But no, that's in this world of community. You have to be okay with being alone for a bit to find that community. Otherwise, you settle. And never frickin settle. I don't I don't know if I'm helping you with this question. Because, because it's a personal thing to me of what you're saying as well. And it was a difficult thing for me in my life. But I do think people that inspire you, and then the whole thing grows, it needs to be organic, right? You can't you can't have this plan. Hey, you know, I'm gonna have this group of people. This is how we're going to build it. It has to be you have to be trusting and all those things that come into relationship building. But I wouldn't say they'll be selective and who your friends are. Yeah. Do you think Jeff?

Jeff York  52:50  
Be fair to say you were an outlier in high school? I'm just curious, Brad. Like, were you like part of the cool crowd? Yeah, me either. Like I was definitely I didn't want to be either. It was you or really we were in high school kid. If deep in your heart somewhere down in there. You didn't want to fit in? And that was that fit in you? Sadly, the coil crowd? Yeah, not necessarily. I didn't want to Polish people either. But, but I definitely didn't want to be such a weirdo and an outcast as I was. So there's two options that I'm just speaking my personal screen. I don't know how you answer this question, except for your personal experience. One option that I embraced was like hanging out with anyone, they'll hang out with you. And I think there's some wisdom in what Brad was saying in that. That's that always worked out real great. You know, it's like, you end up in these like, kind of weird codependent relationships with people who you know, aren't a good influence on you. And like your interest revolves around drinking, or whatever. So that's not great. So I will say this though, like, you know. Joe's gonna to love this. Our producer loves us. I'm not going to talk about fish. Good. I recently in the past, like five years, started playing Dungeons and Dragons again, which is something I had not done since I was like, 13 years old, probably I started playing again, because I was running it for my kids. And I said, Well, wow, it'd be cool to like, do this with other adults like, because you know, doing it to kids is fun. Like, you know, I know my kids friends. But that alone was like an amazing gift, right? Like how many fathers knew and could talk about their 11 year old daughters to talk to their 11 year old daughter's circle of friends about something they would be like, really excited about talking about, we could talk about our Dungeons and Dragons campaign. And it's pretty amazing. Like, I got to know those people's personality. And then I started to like, sort of broaden that and look to play the game with other people. And I am friends now with people who I shared no background with. We are couldn't be more different. I mean, you name it. There's people that I play Dungeons and Dragons with they're much more wealthy than I there's people that are much less wealthy and there's people they'd have very different sexual preferences and backgrounds and gender identities and racial identities. And I just think that's an amazing thing. For me, it's just being able to have a commonality and hanging out with a bunch of different people. And now I can serve these people, my friends. And that's been really enriching for me over the past five years. So my suggestion is, just find something you're passionate about something you enjoy doing, and try to find other like minded individuals and enjoy doing it together. And they aren't going to be like you probably, hopefully not right. And that's a real and in my mind, that's like, you know, we all have communities based on our backgrounds and where we came from, and where we went to college. And that's all great. But when you have a common interest, and you actually bring this back around a little bit, entrepreneurship, the most inspiring entrepreneurial ventures I've been part of, were a similar thing, where everybody was passionate about something, right. And that's what brought us together. And and the least inspiring ones have been where is like, well, we're doing this because we think there's a market. We all believe in there's a market. So I don't know if that's helpful to you, it's been helpful to me, because quite honestly, I started I started doing a lot of this reached out because I was lonely. I had friends at work and work was my community. And that's, that's I don't think that's all there should be to life, right? Say, well, but I think you're also putting your finger on something people are really hungry for community and live interaction, especially after the COVID pandemic is over. But but man that was that was devastating. So I think finding things we can interact with people ever sound like we're sitting around this table, or out even better outdoors, if you can do it, those are the things I think are valuable and, and to build that I think you gotta give before you get a lot of time at least that's been my experience, you got to contribute, you got to show up and be like, Hey, I'm willing to coordinate this thing. I'm willing to, like, you know, put up my apartment for this. I'm willing to find a place to meet, I'm willing to, like plan this out. I think that's when people view you as a valued member of the community. Before you know it. You're like, now you got a bunch of people revolving around, and they're doing thing. It's just cool. What do you think? Right? Yeah. Sorry, that's a long winded answer. But it really did touch me actually. Because it's been a meaningful thing for me last few years.

Grace V  57:12  
I don't know, like, I think finding community is, is hard because you got to put your, your put yourself out there, you got to be out of your comfort zone. And that's not something I'm good at. Right? And so, because I'm much better in smaller groups, so like, I think for me, it is going to be have to be building that. Because I'm not one to find that necessarily. So that's that is where the entrepreneurship comes in. For me, like I want to be able to build that community and have those people around me, like what you said, you sort of become the crux of something almost. Yeah. And that that is to me, like social impact. Being able to provide that community provide that space for people to to exist in. And that's what's important, too. That's fabulous.

Jeff York  57:56  
You know, honestly, I mean, if you think about all these questions, in some ways, all we actually have in this life, our relationships with other people, right? Like, I mean, everything else is kind of just your own, like mind games, you're playing on your, like, your consciousness is playing on itself,

Brad  58:13  
I'll tell you something about myself that if I'm going to speak in front of 1000 people, I don't think about it, I'm trapped, I know what I'm going to talk about, I'm ready to go. If you take me to a cocktail party, and put me in a room of 100 people that I don't know, I feel like I want to just crawl out of my skin. So really, really kind of weird.

Jeff York  58:31  
But if you went to a meeting of 100 people, and the topic was solving poverty through entrepreneurship, totally different, you would have a great time, I would have a great time, and you would likely make a lot of new friends. And that's what I mean is it's like, I think lasting community is built around some even I'm talking about something very silly yet. Make no mistake, like this is a very silly past, difficult to learn, and definitely for nerds that like to sit around and do math in their spare time. But like, silly and trivial, but it becomes meaningful, because it becomes a gathering point of people who care about each other and you end up learning about their lives. And that's cool. So I mean, I've had a similar community around like home brewing beer, I mean, weird, esoteric hobbies, a lot of times that you think are not the important things in life. Like I should be more focused on people who have given me crap in my career about the you have too many hobbies. I'm like, those are where my friends and relationships are. I mean, you know,

Brad  59:30  
so My hobbies are fishing offshore. So I go out and I can't see a boat on the horizon. I mean, we get

Jeff York  59:37  
we talk, we talk about our weekends, our meetings, and I can predict what Brad's weekend wasn't he can predict. Tomorrow's Friday, Brad, where do you predict what you're gonna do? Yeah, you're gonna go home. Yeah, you're gonna have a beer or two. You're gonna cook a delicious dinner. You go look at some new cooking techniques. You're probably gonna hang out with your wife and your family, of course. Exactly. And what am I going to do tomorrow night? Got

Brad  1:00:00  
a d&d game starting at 630? Probably. That's correct. Gonna make sure that the beer is filled in the fridge. Oh five, and then you're gonna have a great time.

Jeff York  1:00:10  
Yeah. And we're really good friends.

Brad  1:00:14  
So Right. It's crazy. Yeah. So great question. Great. Thanks. So thanks for coming on. Yeah,

Jeff York  1:00:18  
absolutely. Okay. If you want to play d&d in Boulder look us up boulder tabletop society.

Brad  1:00:24  
Are you a gamer? Okay,

Jeff York  1:00:25  
come play. Stephanie's gonna play video. I'm gonna get Brad to play d&d. That's gonna be awesome. I have to take him to a fishing. Yeah.

Brad  1:00:32  
That'd be the same night you got to get you to the fishing.

Jeff York  1:00:34  
Maybe maybe I can do that. How's it going?

Lou West  1:00:37  
Good. How are you guys? Good. Welcome. Welcome. So I'm Lou West, I'm a strategy entrepreneur major. See you I'm just wandering through all the successes and stumbles in entrepreneurship. What keeps you guys motivated? What? What keeps the drive there?

Brad  1:00:51  
So stay motivated? Actually, I answered first. So you're up. Staying motivated.

Lou West  1:00:55  
Keeps the drive there? Like what keeps you going?

Jeff York  1:01:00  
I mean, I don't know, I'm kind of entrepreneurs seem to be it's an interesting thing. But like, Okay. I mean, is a hard thing to remain motivated. And to keep going in this life, it is not an easy life, no matter. I'm sitting here, I'm absolutely the beneficiary of so much privilege. I am a white male that grew up in the South. But you know, I think everyone's human journey is hard. Like, it's just, life is difficult. So what keeps me motivated, is people actually, I'm not just saying that, like, I really don't like to let other people down. If I don't do something for myself, like I can deal with it, I will beat myself up a little bit over it. But I really don't like letting other people down. And in entrepreneurship, if you are the entrepreneur, there's a lot of people counting on you that in some ways, they're counting on you to pay their mortgage for you, their family. That's pretty damn motivating. For me. And whenever I've been a leader of a team, and even in my research, I'm working with doctoral students. Like, I'm not saying it's for the ego, I've published enough work. Now I don't really need to publish any more papers and publishing papers sounds like something fun and easy to do. It's not as miserable back breaking work. I don't need to do it. But I get really motivated by my doctoral students. So what motivates me is helping other people quite honestly. And proving people wrong. That's also fun. Like, when you fail. I mean, it's pretty cool to like, come back a year later and go like, yeah, you people told me this would never work. There it is, right? That's pretty. I'm not sure. It's a healthy motivation, but it's definitely one of mine. What motivates you, Brad?

Brad  1:02:37  
I'm a little different here that I'm really just my DNA. I'm highly motivated. Yeah, you are. And I, sometimes it's like, people are like, Dude, chill out. Yeah. But I've said

Jeff York  1:02:47  
that on occasion.

Brad  1:02:48  
Yeah. So for me, it's a it's a personality thing that I'm highly motivated to learn. And I'm highly motivated to help people like you. So that's motivation was never ever an issue for me. I always wanted to do things. I always wanted to try things. I wanted to try new things. I wanted to see how it worked. Testing. And that's that's kind of what I like about entrepreneurship too. Because you test you fail, you test, you fail, and all sudden, boom, you hit something. So I think it's a personality thing. But I would say, though, that for the most parts, that I'm doing things that I really liked doing. Yeah. And how do you get motivated to do something you hate? I think is probably or dislike is probably impossible to find something else. Yeah. So you have to trust in yourself that you can go in and find those other things to do. So you never settle. Right? You keep looking because you know that once you hit your groove or your hit your interest for me, it's not a problem. I know. I know, that didn't answer your question.

Jeff York  1:03:44  
I think that's really wise actually. Like it's a total cliche, but it's so true. If you have to motivate yourself to do something you hate, then your real motivation needs to be figured out how to do something. Like there's a reason I'm not an entrepreneur, and I'm a professor, I like writing a lot more than executing on businesses. I don't want to manage people. I don't want to be beholden to investors. I don't want to have to worry about this crap. I just want to write my papers, read my books, teach my students. I'm perfectly happy doing that. And it's enough for me, but it took me a long time to figure that out. Yeah, so the quicker you can figure out like, Hey, I love doing this thing and I can make a decent living at it done. Right. You know, if you love windsurfing, or that might be tougher but but you know I mean you guys got to figure out what is what's that tipping point between doing the things I love and making enough a living where I can accomplish whatever goals I have to like, my own comfort.

Brad  1:04:34  
Just help Yeah. What about you? Are you feeling lack of motivation? Because like

Jeff York  1:04:39  
how do you motivate yourself to get reds class because that must be tough. Yeah, that's gotta be brutal.

Lou West  1:04:43  
I think my motivation is definitely to just the people around me and like just like, I think they motivate me and then but I do agree with you guys. How like it's finding what you love that because that's the motivation because if you have to put like if you have to dread to put your boots on then why put your boots Not, everything's

Jeff York  1:05:00  
hard. I mean, sometimes like even even, like, even Stephen King's like, yeah, writing novels sometimes it's hard, right? For sure. I'm sure John Coltrane sometimes struggled to play his saxophone and feel like it right.

Brad  1:05:11  
Listen to him last night.

Jeff York  1:05:12  
But like, if most of the time you can achieve a state of flow, you have to love it all the time. You just got to be able to get in a state of flow where you let the day go. I mean, I'm sure you have that experience teaching. Keep doing this. Oh, no. I

Brad  1:05:27  
mean, I mean, I love it. Yeah. Because of all the other crap that's involved in it.

Jeff York  1:05:31  
I mean, no, I love the craft to work in a unit. Yeah, but I love what I do. Exactly. Me too. We're very fortunate.

Brad  1:05:38  
Cool. Well, thanks.

Jeff York  1:05:39  
Thank you. Okay. And

Brad  1:05:40  
we have one final person on the podcast tonight.

Jeff York  1:05:45  
We got we have together the crowd background. There are a lot of people here despite the silence, like quietly drinking in the background. So end of the semester walk there and Brad's class. They're pretty depressed.

Brad  1:06:00  
Welcome to Creative distillation. Introduce yourself and what we do for you. So

Blake B  1:06:03  
I'm Blake Bosch. I'm in Brad's class. And I go to see you marketing student and getting my certificate in entrepreneurship and management. Awesome.

Jeff York  1:06:11  
Welcome, Blake.

Blake B  1:06:12  
So I was just kind of curious, like, I'm kind of at a crossroads right now. Where, like, I had this prestigious job that like my parents were super excited about, like offer in New York, I couldn't bring myself to sign it. Sure. And like, I don't know, I like wanted it so bad on them. And I got it. And I'm like, that's what I'm passionate about. Like, it's just not something that I'm just like, not sure. Because what I'm looking at now, I'm, like, passionate about it. It's in the fashion industry. But at the same time, the pay is it's like barely livable for where I'd be living. So I'm just like, how do you balance kind of like your passion and finances and that so you're getting on the right track?

Jeff York  1:06:48  
So you have like another viable opportunity? It's my turn, right?

Brad  1:06:52  
I can make sure I have no idea. I

Jeff York  1:06:53  
don't remember. I don't either always keeps you as beer. You have like another viable offer in the fashion industry of options. Right? Is that correct?

Blake B  1:07:01  
Right now? No, because the options was more in tech. And I was just so you want to be? I want to be in fashion. Okay, yeah. So

Jeff York  1:07:08  
here's the deal. Like, and this took me a while to figure out too, and I had to learn this through life experience. Yes, absolutely. Go do what you're passionate about. Follow your passion. Very important. Long term happiness, you should do that. I don't know anything about this job you're describing in New York, but sounds like a job at a Is it fair to say highly legitimate, well recognized. that'll pay. Okay, I gotta be honest, you're not gonna like this advice. But I agree with your parents, not because I'm excited about you doing that. But here's the deal, going and doing jobs that you're not necessarily excited about, but are at places with smart, talented people, even if they're evil. Even if it's an industry you don't like, even if it's not the place you want to be. Create opportunities in the future for you. Because you gain insight, what you don't want to do Blake is go get locked in. Because this is the trick, what's gonna happen is you're gonna go there, and if you do, well, they're gonna start offering you have stock options, they're gonna start off, this is gonna pay very large bonuses, you're gonna get a lifestyle you become accustomed to, you're going to make more and more money, you're going to be like, Wow, I can afford this, I can do that. Oh, my God. And before you know it, you're stuck. And then you're like, it's 20 years later, and you're like, What have I done? Don't do that. I'm not telling you to do that. What I'm saying is go there, learn, find out that you really don't like this. Gain competencies that will allow you to move into your desired industry, make context there, spend all of your spare time learning more about that industry, making context there, and priming yourself to enter in a much better opportunity. Now, if you set here, you told me I've got two comparable jobs, I got one industry I care nothing about, I got another one that pays, I don't know, even 50% less. But since you take care of it, go for it, go do that. But that's not what you're telling me. You're telling you, you got this great opportunity. And here's the thing, great opportunities don't necessarily come around as often as we'd like to think. So I would say go learn for it. Give yourself a time clock, say you know, make your mom and dad happy. That's always good. Say I'm a mom download tries for a year, you know, you've worked hard you've, you've sent me to school, I guess I don't know, I'm going to try this. But if I don't like it in a year, I'm gonna I'm gonna find something else. But you're finding something else from a position of power. Because you have you're giving up a job that's well paid. Whereas when you come out of school, it's like, what's your best alternative working at the downer? Yeah, I mean, there's other words into doubt. But you know, I mean, if that makes sense, yeah, no, totally. But I had to learn that I spent a lot of time being a river guide and running river rafting companies. Before I finally got job where I could make a living. And I was like, Oh my God, and then that led me to be able to do other things. So anyway...

Blake B  1:10:06  
No, definitely.

Brad  1:10:07  
Like, what do you think I'm gonna say? You're gonna say don't work for anybody? Probably, maybe. But what else would I say though? If you're gonna, if you're gonna take a job and you have these two options, what do you think that I would tell you?

Jeff York  1:10:18  
He doesn't have the two options. He has one.

Brad  1:10:20  
Right? Excuse me one option. But it doesn't it. Let me just rephrase to make sure I understand that it's in the fashion industry where where you want to be, but it doesn't pay? Well,

Blake B  1:10:28  
no. So I have two offers. So one is like super well paid, and the other one that's in New York and the other one would be in LA, and making like, at the poverty level, not in your desired industry. Now, that wasn't LA's definitely my desire. Oh, it is I'm sorry, I misunderstood. No, no, no worries.

Brad  1:10:45  
Oh, so for me, I'm gonna go to LA. Yeah, I'm gonna go and follow your passion. See who you meet there. It's not about the money right now. This is a time in your life where you know what, live in poverty, go and do this. Get involved in the industry. See what's out there. See the type of people that are there. And I think that within a year, the knowledge that you'll acquire will allow you to make a better decision either to move and pivot, they'll pay you more whatever it is, I would follow your passion. The industry you want to be in and you start meeting new people and you expanding your network on day one. I think that's a no brainer. Yeah.

Jeff York  1:11:24  
I didn't really show the opportunity was in the industry you care about? I'm sorry? I misunderstood. No,

Blake B  1:11:28  
maybe I said something wrong, too. What

Brad  1:11:30  
do you what do you think?

Jeff York  1:11:31  
What What do you mean? Yeah, I mean, there's like what you want to do? What do you think you should do?

Blake B  1:11:36  
I think I should definitely take like the one in LA just because it's like something I'm actually passionate about and has the opportunity to open doors and do it. But I also know like, I don't know where it'd be able to even live like I don't like I'm like It's like

Jeff York  1:11:48  
that level like you got you got to be pragmatic, but

Blake B  1:11:51  
it's like it's like a really reputable agency, but the salaries starting, or just,

Brad  1:11:57  
maybe it's part of the

Jeff York  1:11:58  
process. You're gonna live in the valleys where you're

Blake B  1:12:02  
an hour plus drive to work every day, but nothing

Brad  1:12:05  
would be perfect. Meet the people and move forward. I had drinks there with you. Oh, God.

Blake B  1:12:15  
It's a brutal city.

Jeff York  1:12:17  
Brutal city. Yeah. To be poor when you have to.

Blake B  1:12:21  
I have to let them know by the end of May. Month. Yeah.

Jeff York  1:12:26  
What's right for you this could you differ with that lay people? Would they let you defer the job and say like, I

Blake B  1:12:31  
don't think so. Because I already reached out to them and said like, hey, because we're the one in New York had to let nobody like next week.

Jeff York  1:12:37  
Oh, nothing's perfect. Take

Brad  1:12:38  
a job. You living in poverty. He's not going to feel like poverty, because you're gonna go do something that you're really into. Like can be true. I should

Blake B  1:12:46  
give you my parents your number. This is what they need to hear.

Brad  1:12:49  
Not no parents.

Jeff York  1:12:53  
We've given a balanced set of advice. Yeah.

Brad  1:12:55  
I hope it helps. Right. Yeah.

Jeff York  1:12:57  
Hope it helps. I mean, really, at the end of the day, you should follow your passion and do what you want to do. I mean, nope. I don't know, man. I've been really poor. All right. Well, thank you.

Brad  1:13:10  
Thank you, Jeff, for that. We talked to some amazing students tonight. What do you think?

Eloise  1:13:15  
I think tonight was awesome. I totally agree. I'm glad you guys agree. And I'm glad that we took the time to do this.

Jeff York  1:13:23  
Thank you so much for all your help. We've it's a pleasure working with you. And we wish you all good things. But yeah,

Brad  1:13:28  
without question, you know, I feel about you. I appreciate you so much. What you've done for us what you actually bring as a representative of your parents to so thank you, Eloise.

Eloise  1:13:38  
Thanks, guys. Cool. Thank you, everyone for coming today. Yeah, this

Brad  1:13:42  
is awesome guys that came late. Appreciate all of you. This has been awesome.

Jeff York  1:13:48  
Jeff. So I am Jeff York, research director at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business and I

Brad  1:13:55  
am Brad Warner. I'm an entrepreneur and I appreciate everyone that came out today. Thank you, folks. Yes, wishing you all the best. And this was cool. I hope to see you at the doubter another time so thanks, guys. Cheers. Cheers, man. All right.

Stefani H  1:14:09  
We hope you enjoyed this special episode of Creative Distillation. Recorded in front of a live audience at Boulder's Sundown Saloon, they don't have a website. You'll have to go and experience the downer for yourself the next time you're in downtown Boulder. We'd love to hear your feedback and ideas email us at And please be sure to subscribe to Creative distillation wherever you get your podcasts. The Creative Distillation podcast is made possible by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business. For more information, please visit That's D-E-M-ING and click the Creative Distillation link. Creative Distillation is produced by Joel Davis at Analog Digital Arts. Our theme music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" performed by your humble host, Brad and Jeff. Thanks for listening. We'll see you back here for another episode of Creative Distillation.