Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. Joining me is somebody who has a massive-mega YouTube following, and it’s really hard to get a following on YouTube because first of all, it takes a lot of effort to even come up with an idea and then edit . . . Actually, come up with the idea, fine. Shoot the video, takes a lot of work. And then edit it. And I know people are going to say, “Come on, Andrew, you’re already doing these interviews, you’re just recording it on Zoom, and just put it up there.” No, come on, it takes a little bit more effort than that. And people want to watch something that’s a little bit more interesting.
Aaron Nace is a guy who has 1.77 million subscribers for his YouTube channel, it’s called Phlearn. He has got multi-cameras, he’s . . . All the works, he’s got nice background. In fact, just because he and I were getting on Zoom, as soon as he saw that we were using the recording of it for something, God knows what, he blotted his skin to make sure everything was right. He adjusted his camera, and like that . . . Actually, it wasn’t like that. He spent some time, gave himself a really nice backdrop. Really . . . I like the effort that you put into stuff, Aaron.
What Aaron does is, he does these tutorials on YouTube. So, I started watching them and I got sucked in. I’m now halfway through a video of Aaron showing me how to use layer masks in Photoshop. I swear, I will never turn on Photoshop in my life. I have zero interest in it. But it’s kind of interesting to watch him. He’s kind of a fun guy to watch. It’s also interesting to watch things happen, and to demystify the process of editing. How do you take someone’s dress that’s all wrinkly and out of shape and then push it into place? He shows us.
Anyway, I get lost in his videos. And it’s he’s not here just because he’s a YouTube star. He’s here because he’s built a real business on the back of this. He has a site called phlearn.com, where if you pay a subscription fee, you get to learn in more depth how to do photography, how to use the software that he teaches in depth already on YouTube.
So I invited Aaron Nace to talk about how he did it, and there are two companies that are sponsoring this interview. The first, you guys have heard me talk about before, it’s a software for collecting email addresses and turning strangers into customers who will actually close more sales than any other software ever used. It’s called ClickFunnels, Aaron, I wonder if you know them.
And the second, if you’re on a Mac you got to hear about this software that I’ve been using, it’s from Setapp. I’ll talk about those later. I have been waiting for Setapp as a sponsor for weeks, I couldn’t wait to tell you guys about them.
But first, Aaron, good to have you here.
Aaron: So good to be here. Yeah. I’m super excited. I’ve been . . . You know we . . . Unfortunately, we were supposed to chat a couple months ago, and I had to reschedule. And so I’ve been like playing this in my head like literally for months.
Andrew: Like what you were going to say in the interview? You were going through the questions in your head?
Aaron: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I’m like, you know . . . .
Andrew: Why do you think you do that? Is it because you’re naturally trying to teach everything and so you have to separate from your life to explain your life?
Aaron: You know, I think that’s definitely a part of it. And then the other part of it is like, okay, so I’m an artist who like happens to have a business, right? So like as an artist, like I’m led totally by emotion and I’m oversharer by nature. So like, it’s kind of bit me in the ass a couple of times, you know, throughout the history of the business where, you know, sometimes I’ll just tell a competitor business what we’re doing exactly and then it’s not really paid up that well for us.
Andrew: Like what? What’s an example of something that you gave up accidentally because you’re so giving?
Aaron: I gave up one of our best-selling products. I told a competitor company what one of our best selling products was. And then a few months later they came out with a product that was titled literally the exact same thing.
Andrew: What was the product?
Aaron: Oh, I’d rather not say that now because I’d still be giving up. See? Right, I’m just an oversharer.
Andrew: And this is in a one-on-one conversation?
Aaron: What was that?
Andrew: And this was in a one-on-one conversation or . . . ?
Aaron: It was, it was during a one-on-one conversation, yeah.
Andrew: It was. Why do you think you do that, why do you are . . . ? We should tell people . . . Well, in a moment we’ll say how big the business is, because I don’t want them to think that you’re just some flighty guy who happens to have hit it big. You’re very methodical and there is a solid business behind this. But why do you think in person you felt the need to tell them? Were you trying to impress them, something else?
Aaron: No, no . . . I mean, to be honest, like I’m just . . . I’m a do it yourself type of person. Like no matter what it is, like you know, when I went about learning like Photoshop and photography, that was just like hours and hours of like doing it yourself. And like the idea of like taking something that someone else has done, it’s just like it doesn’t even occur to me. It’s just like the idea that if I told a competitive company something that was going well for us that they would just rip it, I didn’t even think that that would be a result of that. Because I’m just like, again, I’m like more of a . . .
Andrew: I get that you didn’t think that there was going to be the downside. I get that, right, especially if you’re having a one-on-one conversation, you would think that they would, you know, try to protect that relationship and try to protect the honor that you see them in. But why do you think you did it? What need did you have to share? Is this the way you think things through?
Aaron: Oh, they asked me.
Andrew: That’s it. So if someone just asked you something, back then you were willing to just answer?
Aaron: I mean, it’s still pretty much now. I mean, really there’s only like a few questions where I’m like, “Yeah, it’s probably not better if . . . ” I’m just like, probably I don’t want to be like super-duper specific about this, but generally, if anyone asked me just about any question, I’ll tell them the honest answer because a couple of things, one, as my wife will tell you, I don’t have the best memory. So you can’t be a liar if you have a bad memory because it will just constantly catch up with you. So it, you know, I just learned a long time ago to just pretty much just always tell the truth and tell what was on my mind, because I can’t really keep up with the stuff that I say a lot of the time, so it’s like I have to tell the truth and then, you know, it obviously telling the truth . . .
Andrew: Okay, speaking of then, what’s your revenue? How much money are you making teaching?
Aaron: So that’s one of the things where I don’t want to be super specific, but we are in the seven figures.
Andrew: Several million dollars, but you’re not going to say more than that, right?
Aaron: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, you told our producer that. I knew going in that you weren’t going to do it but I just want to get a sense, like I want to people see this is a real business. How many people on the staff?
Aaron: We have about a half a dozen here in the office and then a half a dozen distributed, and then we work with a bunch of contractors as well. So it kind of comes and goes. We have a . . . We’re like a production company as well. So we teach Photoshop and photography. But you know, we do photo shoots and bring in instructors. So you know, when we’re doing production, all of a sudden the size of the company doubles for a couple of weeks and then it shrinks down when we don’t need external contractors.
Andrew: That’s one of the things that I liked about your channel. I went back in time to see how did this thing start, what can I find. And what I like was I think the very first video that you posted on YouTube channel said, “Here we are. I’m about to teach you this thing and we’re in a studio that’s new,” or something like that, “And by the way, over there we just have this blood on the wall from a shoot,” and you asked the camera woman to turn over and she was surprised like, “What am I about to do?” And she found a way to turn around and show that there was blood on the wall from a shoot.
And I thought, “All right, we’re seeing from somebody who actually creates.”
You grew up in Hawaii and you told our producer, “That helped me get a sense of freedom and entrepreneurship.” How did growing up in Hawaii influence you like that?
Aaron: Well, my parents really didn’t give us that many rules. I’m the middle child of three brothers. So you know, growing up it was just like, “All right, kids, like your get out of the house, you know, at 8:00 a.m., we’ll see you back here for dinner, you know, just go do what, literally whatever you want.” People don’t lock their doors in Hawaii. They don’t lock their houses. They don’t lock their car doors. I mean, when I grew up there, anyway. It was just a safe place to be. And you know, basically the island was our playground. So I think I grew like an appreciation for adventure, and also just like doing things on my own and like trusting my gut and trusting my instinct, and you know, like having that sense of like if I want to go do something, I’m just going to go do it.
I only had this realization recently that my childhood had so much to do with who I am now because both my brothers are entrepreneurs too. We’re all just like, “Okay, I want this to exist. I want to do this. I’m going to go do this.” And I have to think that the freedom that we were given as children, just kind of set us up for the mindset of like, “Yeah, just go do whatever you want.” Like you know, there’s no one telling you no.
And so I didn’t build that like you-can’t-do-this mentality in my head. For me, it was just like, “Yeah, I can do that. I’ll just go do that. Yeah, let’s do it.”
Andrew: So what did you do with all this freedom as a kid? I remember we had some and one of things we would do was we would just ride our bikes to try to get lost to see if we could figure our way back home. See? But you had to get lost, you had to be in a place that you didn’t recognize and then see if you can ride your way back home.
Aaron: Yeah. Yeah. So we would, I mean, build like forts and things like that. There was like . . . So I grew up on Kauai, Hawaii, which is not a very populated island. It’s one of the smaller islands. And there are large places in that island that are not populated at all. So behind our house we had like sugar cane fields, for instance, where it was just like, you know, sugar plantation basically. So you’ve got like hundreds and hundreds of acres of just like sugar cane fields.
And then down in like the jungles there was like an abandoned Japanese internment camp, which is what I think it was. Because there were, you know, those little paper cranes? There were like thousands of those and like books and plates and dishes. It looked like people were just kind of made to live there and then very quickly removed, like there were like shirts in the closets and stuff like that. So this is a little abandoned village. It was like in my backyard. It was like, “What is this?”
So it just crazy stuff like that all over the island. It was a little bit like the movie “Lost,” we were just like going around and exploring and finding crazy stuff.
Andrew: So how do you go from there to doing government contract work for the Defense Department? There’s nothing about you that says government contract work.
Aaron: Nothing at all. So I went to school for industrial design, which is product design. And after school I did some traveling and that’s when I get into photography, just kind of hit me. I had really no experience with photography before I graduated from college. So I was 22, 23. I got the photography bug, but still was like, “I don’t know if this is going to be like a career thing.”
So I decided to pursue my career as an industrial designer and I worked with a company that did like engineering for like the Defense Department as well as designs. So the company I worked for was primarily engineers, a lot of like fluid dynamics and things like that. But they also had a team of designers to go hand-in-hand with the engineers, so.
Andrew: Okay. And what changed, I guess I kind of get it but not fully, and I don’t get what happened next, which was, you went for a walk, you start to think about your life. What happened on that walk?
Aaron: Well, I realized like I was going to work every day and just thinking about photography, like this was at the time when I was just like, you know, when you’re fully into something like . . . And it was new and just like I had so many questions, and all I was thinking about was photography. And I realized that I was just like, to be honest, that’s not doing a really good job at my job. You know, I was just like, “This is not cool.” Like, “No one deserves this,” like I could do better with my time in my life and my energy and also like someone shouldn’t be paying me because I, you know, obviously just like not that into what I was doing.
So basically it was like, “Well, I have to quit my job.” Like I just I felt guilty, like I didn’t belong in that position. So I quit my job. The decision was like, “Okay, I’m going to have to quit my job and I’m going to try to make it as a photographer, as a freelancer, as a creative person. I’m going to try to just pay my bills.” You know, and . . .
Andrew: Thinking that somebody would hire you to do, what? To take headshots? No.
Aaron: Oh, well, I mean, there’s so many different ways to make a living as a photographer, but my work and my specialty is primarily in conceptual photography. So I mean, there really is no limit.
Andrew: But who did you think would hire you? What was the thought process?
Aaron: Oh, you know, brands like Nike and Patagonia, you know, I mean . . .
Andrew: How would you get those brands to hire you? What was your plan back then?
Aaron: Yeah. So basically, I mean, as a photographer . . . For anyone listening who might be interested in photography and pursuing this as a career, basically step number one is, do the type of work that you want to be hired for. And step number two is find a client that fits with the type of work that you’re creating and then start pitching them, you know, “Hey, this is the work that I’ve done. Do you have anything that you need a photographer for?”
And I mean, basically every ad campaign you’ve ever seen, every photograph in every single magazine, every billboard, like every still, every ad on the internet, a photographer was hired to do that. And when you think about just vast range of images that are out there, you know, these are people that are being hired for those different specialties.
So my interest was in conceptual photography, so, you know, there are a lot of applications for that, anything like art related, music related, album covers, brands that are really kind of trying to take a chance and create a little bit more like out there type images to call little . . .
Andrew: I get it. I’m actually, as we’re talking I’m looking at your Flickr stream, and I guess you were posting stuff on Flickr back then. There is one photo that kind of looks like a Colt 45 ad but once you look a little closer, you see that the guy in it is actually shirtless and rolled up in a carpet and on his head somebody both wrote the word penis and drew a penis, and then somewhere here . . . Where was it that I saw? “Damn, last night was a killer party, if only I could figure out . . . ” Never mind, I won’t read the rest of it. So it still has that aesthetic of a really good beer ad, but there’s whimsy in it. And I could see that you’ve done a bunch of those.
The other thing that I saw that you did is, you went really into . . . Was this part of your plan, by the way, to post on Flickr? To post photos? And did people . . . ?
Aaron: Yeah, definitely.
Aaron: So I started a project called The 365 Project, in which I took a self-portrait every single day for a year. And this was my real journey to learn photography, to get better photography, to learn the technical side of it, the lighting side of it. And also just kind of gain a little bit of confidence as a photographer while also trying to build up some sort of like community response on Flickr. So at the time that I finished my 365-day project, there were tens of millions of members on Flickr, and I think I was the 11th most popular member on all of Flickr at the time when I finished that project. And funny enough, my girlfriend at the time, Rosie Hardy, who’s an incredible photographer, she was number like four or five and she was also doing self . . . We met each other through the internet. She was also doing self-portraits every day. She’s an incredible artist.
And so we both met there, and then we have this kind of like international love story happening, where . . . I’m super into Photoshop, so she would take a picture in England, I would take a picture in the United States and we would Photoshop each other and then publish those images online and people flipped out about that and things went pretty crazy from there.
Andrew: I see it. There’s whimsy in your photos, kind of like what I described but there’s also a sense of sexuality that is completely the opposite. There is no whimsy in it. It absolutely is just played straight up. It’s beautiful. It’s mesmerizing. It’s just really phenomenal photos, and I could see that you’re really into Photoshop. So is she. I’m scrolling through her photos since you mentioned her. There’s a photo of her sitting on . . . I think it was a mountain top somewhere, and then there’s a giant bear right behind her and she’s leaning up against the bear. And so that’s clearly a photoshopped photo of herself.
I get the whole thing. As I scrolled through your Flickr stream, I saw . . . Here’s one. It was called Grief underneath the photo . . . The photo the description of Grief and the camera that you used and everything else, you say, “I teach Photoshop online because people all . . . ” “I teach Photoshop online to people all over the world. If you like my work, you will love my class.” Where was this class?
Aaron: So, this was actually before Phlearn started. I was posting my images on Flickr and started just getting messages. People would send me messages on the website asking if I would teach them Photoshop. And this was like where the whole thing started. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll teach you Photoshop,” and then they’re like, “Oh, we’ll pay for this too.” And it’s like, “What the . . . ? You’re going to pay me to teach you Photoshop?” This is . . . “Yeah, that sounds great.”
So I would do like one-on-one classes, just like we’re doing right now. And I would share my screen. So just kind of showing people how to do these different types of techniques. In the beginning, it was all one-on-one. So I just built a personal website, aaron-nace.com, that’s aaron-nace, N as in Nancy, A-C-E.com. Right now it’s my portfolio site. But at the time, there was a little button that said like, “Join my online Photoshop classes.” And that was it. It was just one-on-one classes. And they filled up like . . . I sold out every . . . Like you know, I could not . . . I basically could not be present enough time, like every time I would teach a class it would fill up and like there went all my time, like so . . .
Andrew: And was it . . . It started out as one-on-one, but then it moved on to many people coming in and watching you and asking you questions and interrupting you and you would do it?
Aaron: Yes, exactly, and it would get to . . . I would give classes like up to 30 students at a time, anything more than that . . . Even 30 is a lot, but any school teacher in the country will tell you that trying to manage 30 people at the same time, I mean, they got it much harder because those are kids and some of them don’t even want to be there. I was working with paid participants that actually wanted to be there, but still teaching to 30 people at the same time, very difficult.
So I reached a cap, in which I was unable to produce more. You know, I reached kind of like a salary cap, basically was, the business side of me, it was like, “All right, I could just keep showing up to these classes and my time is a one-to-one with how much money I make. And eventually I’m going to run out,” like if I run out of time, I run on the money and I’m going to cap myself here. So I have to figure out a way to scale this to where I can simply teach more people and where I don’t have to be in front the camera all the time.
So that’s when pre-recorded video came out, and I got to say, with pre-recorded video we were able to produce much higher quality as well. Everything that we do is like really, really finely edited. We have a team of fantastic video editors. So like, you’re not wasting any time.
Andrew: I get the advantage of it. And I want to make that leap in a moment to recorded. But what did you learn from teaching people one-on-one, from really getting into your customers’ mindset, from learning how to teach them and seeing when you were failing?
Aaron: So, some of the interesting things like . . . For me, again, I’m a very you just like tech . . . I really understand technology. It’s just one of those things that comes natural to me and computer programs as well. So you know, for me to pick up a computer program, I have no problem learning it in a matter of days and you know, getting pretty good at it in . . . I mean, Photoshop is a little bit of an exception because I been doing it for 15 years and I still feel like I’m learning it, but it’s just, you know, I can go through a menu on a computer program and feel like I learn it, but not everyone is like that.
So there are a lot of things that I learned I was just taking it for granted. I just assume everyone would have a same level of baseline knowledge as I did, and what I realized now was my level of baseline knowledge is actually like pretty advanced, like the stuff that is just in my memory bank of like of-course is actually pretty advanced for the average user.
So when I started creating content for people, you know, wanting to . . . Basically what I learned is like, “Don’t skip any steps, just don’t skip any steps.” When you’re when you’re trying to teach someone something, just don’t assume anyone knows anything. And if you do it in a fun way, in a way that’s not, you know, not like super time consuming or like demeaning or anything like that like, like . . . You watched a couple of my videos and you’re not even interested in Photoshop, but you probably saw me do everything step-by-step and you’re like, “Yeah, actually, if I wanted to do that, I probably could.” Even though . . .
Andrew: I think that there was a lot of that in the video that you did with your mom, you were teaching your mom how to edit a photo that she took of you back when you were a kid. And one of the things that I noticed with her was, you didn’t assume she would know where the menu was, you didn’t assume she would know which menu to bring up or what the crop tool would mean, you explained the problem and you said, “Now, here’s how we solve that problem.” And then you would make her realize why there was . . . Was it a gradient or something on the skin that was . . . ? You would make her realize the problem and then you say, “Okay, now here’s how to solve it.” And then you tell her the keyboard shortcut. You wouldn’t assume that you would know how to bring up a palette or whatever, and you would bring it up.
And the other thing that I noticed was having watched of your few videos, you would show the thing you were going to teach sometimes in an exaggerated way. The best example I have was . . . I don’t know what it’s called, I guess liquefy, where there is a YouTube video where you said, “Look, there’s some things that we’re going to adjust about her dress. There’s this liquify tool that lets you move it.” You didn’t just explain that, you showed us how you moved her dress so much that her arm look broken, and then you bounced it back up and now I understand, “This is what we’re doing.” You can get into the subtleties of using it right, but I get the big picture. And I notice you do stuff like that. Did that come from teaching people one-on-one?
Aaron: I think so. You know, it’s basically . . . For me to understand something like, I want to be able to pull something apart and put it back together again. And I, you know, I just have this like, I’ve got a very solid like art mind. Like I’m very, very left brained, and I you know, sometimes it’s just like totally off in the clouds. But I also have like a design and like engineering and like business part of my brain too, and I guess where that comes in is, like I am an artist but I’m a very technical artist, like I’m a Photoshop artist, right? Like I’m using these super technical tools.
And like for me the only way I can ever make art is if I understand it from a very, very technical standpoint. Whereas some of the people that I’ve worked with in the past are artists, and I’ll ask them, “What shutter speed are using?” And they’re like, “I have no idea.” You know, because it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter because their art is amazing, right? Or like, you know, I’ve worked with many photographers who just like they don’t at all pay attention to the technical. They couldn’t tell you what a megapixel is or, you know, like it . . .
So because I’m such a technical person, like for me to understand something I have to understand every single step of something. So when I turn around and explain it, that’s just the natural way for me to explain something, is like every single step. Because that’s the only way that I understand something.
Andrew: All right. And you said if I were to go back in time and see Aaron Nace back when you started teaching, I could see a tab at the top called Class. I actually went back and I saw that old page. I see the link that says Class, and I see you . . . Not bragging, but you’re saying, “I’ve taught hundreds of students from over 15 countries.” So I want to take a moment to talk about my first sponsor and then come back and find out how did you go from hundreds to thousands. What was the next step? Was it going to YouTube and building the following? Was it just offering a video on your site? We’ll get to that in a moment.
But first I’ve got to tell you about Setapp. Do you know Setapp?
Aaron: No, no, I’ve never . . .
Andrew: You don’t.
Aaron: Never heard of them.
Andrew: So I’ll tell you how I discovered them. I’ve got a couple of computers in here, one that does nothing but just basic routine work for me, like move files into the cloud, adjust stuff for me. It wasn’t working very well. And I thought, “I think I need to get another computer, but I don’t want to spend money on another computer just to have it do the same five things that it’s been doing for years.” So I said, “Let’s go over to Setapp.”
I downloaded Setapp it’s a collection of different apps that are beautiful Mac, well curated collection of Mac apps. All of them you get combined when you pay them a low monthly fee. I said, “All right, I’m going to go and get this Setapp.”
And so I went into Setapp and the first thing that I installed was . . . Oh, man, where I was that? I installed Clean My Mac. I said, “Let’s just see what happens.” I had it clean my Mac, it turns out I had a bunch more software than I recognized. It started to delete it. It started to free up space. The computer started running a little bit faster. Then I kept scrolling around and I found an app that lets me find duplicates. So I installed that. It was called Gemini. And so I discovered that I don’t like to lose files, and I happen to just constantly hit copy and create multiple versions of the same file. It found them and it helped me get rid of them.
Each one of these apps would cost money on its own, but because I had Setapp, and I also actually frankly signed up for it for free at first, I had access to it for free. And I could just go in and keep using it.
I thought, “All right. I’m still part of this free membership on their free trial. Let’s try a little bit more. What else do I need to do?” And so I use one of their tools to see what was taking up the most amount of space. It turns out I had Dropbox that was not uploading into the cloud. I got rid of that, boom. Started to free up space, started to actually get my computer running fast. And I didn’t need to buy another computer.
I said, “What else do I need to do?” Well you know what I need to do? Is access that computer remotely so that I could do it from my phone. I love working on my iPad, but I sometimes need a full desktop experience. So I got a piece of software called Jump Desk, like that my iPad looks like it’s a full Mac and it has all the power and speed of a Mac that’s right here on my desktop in my office with a high speed internet. I could do the same thing for my phone, if there’s something that I need I could just go and grab it.
All of that is available just because I have a membership at Setapp. And I didn’t even get into some of the tools that will allow me to make the Mac more focused by getting rid of the backdrop and all the stuff that’s distracting me, there’s focus apps, there are timer apps, there are all these things. I used it. I paid full price for it. We signed them up as a sponsor recently. I’ve been so eager to tell everyone how happy I am with them.
So what I’m going to do now is, let you go and try it for free right now and get a lower price than I am paying for it. All you, anyone who is out there has to do is use this long URL, it’s a long URL, because Aaron, they’re not used to sponsoring people like me. If they were like podcast sponsors, boom, quick web site, short URL. They’re not, but I’m so glad that they sponsored me.
You will get unlimited access to over a 150 Mac apps. Really, these are the artisan Mac apps, 150 of them all for one low price. You could even go right now and get started with it by going to teams.setapp.com/mixergy, teams, It’s T-E-A-M-S, teams.setapp.com/mixergy. And setapp is S-E-T-A-P-P.com/mixergy.
I only went in there just to give it a shot to try it to see if it helped me. I’m amazed. Every app that I need is right in here. I could’ve gone into a whole list of them. All right.
Aaron, what was in it? I freaking love . . . I would French kissed this company. There are few things that really excite me, and usually it’s not software because I don’t want more stuff. But sometimes it is software.
Aaron: Yeah, you know, I was looking at the website right now, and I actually use quite a bit of these apps already, like Paste I use, Gemini I’ve used, a lot of these are like really high-quality apps that I use on a daily basis.
Andrew: What do you use Paste for?
Aaron: Dude, Paste is awesome. Basically it stores your clipboard on your computer and also can do it on the iCloud, so anytime you copy anything on your computer, it basically . . . You know, with a standard computer you get one copy and one paste, right?
Aaron: But with the Paste app, it basically builds like a little . . . Almost like a dashboard on your computer, you can use a keyboard shortcut. So I have mine set to Shift + Option + Command + P. So anytime you copy anything on your computer, it stores it in there. And you can also store like commonly used things. So like for instance, you know, I have a website that I manage, so like sometimes I have to code. So if I need like commonly used code that I need to go back to, I have a folder for that and I can paste it in. Or when I’m writing-copy, I can copy it from one application and then paste it into another, and then as long as your, you know, you can sync with the cloud so you can get it on your phone and your iPod and what not to.
So something that, like I’ve had situations where like some code got deleted and I was like, “Oh, what am I going to do with this?” And I realized that I had it saved into my Paste app from like days and days ago.
So something you just hit Control or Command + C from weeks or days ago, is still going to be there accessible for you. So I do a little bit of web development as well, and that, I mean, it’s just like . . .
Andrew: Yeah, I’m shocked. Why are you still doing web development?
Aaron: I just love it.
Aaron: I like it.
Andrew: At this point, some of the people who work with you would be doing that. All right, I get it.
Aaron: No, no, we have a web development firm, like we have like a badass, like they are like legit, fantastic. But I’m a designer, and so like the Phlearn website, for instance, like I’ve personally designed a very large portion of the website. Like I just I love to design things. And if you know how to code, like HTML, CSS and a little bit of PHP and you have a sense of design, I mean, you could do some really, really cool stuff. So I’m just into it. And again, like I’m a techie person, I’m a designer person and coding is super fun. It’s like learning another language, but it’s super functional too. So I really enjoy it.
Andrew: Yeah, I like your registration process. I like how you’re actually using social buttons to get my contact information so I don’t have to fill out a form. I like how the overlays come on to tell me what the options are. All right.
It didn’t start like this though. It started with you teaching one-on-one.
Aaron: Not at all.
Andrew: How did you go to the video? What was the first step that you took to creating this empire, Aaron? Go on.
Aaron: So it started with YouTube, and again, like not really a business at this point. It was like, “Okay, let me just make some videos, let me put these out there,” and again trying to build a following. At this point to be honest, my goal was still to be a commercial photographer. That was 100% what I wanted to do. And I was using like videos as a way to give back, but also like build a community. And like gain a little bit better recognition, because like you know, Aaron Nace, this like dude who wants to become a photographer is different from Aaron Nace, this dude who has like, you know, a hundreds, thousands, millions of subscribers online and wants to work with [your brand 00:32:37].
So this was my way of just building a little bit of social recognition. And that could be a launch point for my photography career. Because keep in mind, the conceptual work that I wanted to do was, you know, kind of out there stuff as what I actually wanted to do. And you know, I want to work with big brands. That’s was . . .
Andrew: I saw it, that was it. There’s a photo of you basically making out with yourself. It was so fun to go through your old stuff. But I did see that you were on Vimeo before YouTube. That’s where the artists went. The problem with you being . . . So you were using that to raise your profile so people would hire you. The problem with Vimeo is, it never became this platform for discovery. It was software for showing your work in the best possible light but not for getting new people to find it, right?
Aaron: 100%. And at the time, the reason I chose Vimeo is because YouTube actually had restrictions on the upload length. You couldn’t upload a video that was longer than . . . I don’t know, like eight minutes or something like that. And you know, it’s like, “Oh.”
Andrew: And you wanted go long form tutorials and that’s why you did it on Vimeo?
Aaron: Well, even our free tutorials we publish on YouTube, you know, they range in length from 3 to 20 minutes. Right? So even at 20 minutes . . .
Andrew: The one that I was looking at was 22 minutes on you . . .
Aaron: Yeah. And I was unable to do that in the early days of YouTube. The early days of YouTube didn’t have HD either, which is like, “What? Are you kidding me? That’s crazy.” That was Vimeo’s selling point, was we have HD and we could upload longer videos. So that’s . . . I had to go with them as like the format of video that I wanted to make was, you know, it needed to be a little bit more in-depth and . . .
Andrew: And it was still you on Flickr building awareness, sending it over to your site where people would see Vimeo. Got it. Then you at some point moved to YouTube and then from YouTube you started to promote what you were selling, which was individual videos, individual courses. Am I right?
Aaron: Yes, definitely. So at that time, before I made the move to YouTube, I built out phleanr.com. So that’s P-H-L-E-A-R-N, it’s like photolearn.com. It’s a fun made up word. And I just wanted like a one word website, you know, and it was at a time where like Google and, you know, it’s like, “Oh, I’ll just make up a word, great.” So I had built out that website and it was, yeah, individual downloads. So these are, you know, buy one class, download this one class, watch this one class.
Andrew: Can I read some of them?
Aaron: Yeah, go for it.
Andrew: Pro Photoshop Tutorial Glamour Portrait Retouching, that one cost only $9.99, you were really big on that price point. Photoshop Tutorial Underwater Fantasy Including Free Brushes to Add Light Rays to Any Image. Here’s another one, Pro Photoshop Tutorial, Nude Flying Fairy, The Most Advanced Pro Photoshop Tutorial Ever Created. Again, $9.99. This was your price point. You were selling them all individually, right?
Aaron: 100%, yeah.
Aaron: And again, like the whole affordable model, I mean, this is the big one. It’s like I just got super lucky in the fact that I had, you know, my background in general, it’s just like I totally lucked out. And, you know, there are so many creative people, so many artists all around the world that just like might not have had, you know, as lucky circumstances as I did.
And the whole deal was like I wanted people to be able to learn this stuff, at either free, which is why I would continue to create YouTube videos or a very low price point, because at the end of the day, like if you can build a career for yourself, you know, in the creative arts, you can rise above your background. You know, you can go from not having much of a education, not having a job and not having a profession, to become a photographer, a graphic designer, you know, an illustrator, a web . . . Like there’s really no limit to what you can do.
Andrew: How did you learn all this when all these tutorials didn’t exist, when YouTube wasn’t around?
Aaron: Right, yeah. So again, I’m just like I get it there and, you know, I’m just like a learn it, learn it, learn it type of . . . I have a . . . First of all, I was just super into photography. And doing the conceptual stuff there was a lot of stuff that I wanted to do that I just had no idea how to do it. So I just had to figure it out. You know, it’s just like, there’s a portrait I did many years ago where I covered my whole face with fur and like gave myself antlers because I thought it’d be cool, and I had never seen anyone do that before and there’s no tutorial on that. So I just like, “I have to figure this out.” So I spent a few weeks figuring it out and wound up creating a custom brush in Photoshop that looks like fur and painting fur on my skin to try to make it look realistic.
And so this is just sort of stuff that I figured out, you know, through years and years of working with these programs and creating images. So that was the idea, is like, “Okay, I’ve spent years learning this stuff, I’ve got to turn around and share this stuff with other people.” You know, like let’s expand the creative market in general.
Andrew: Yeah. So, it was mostly, it was all you teaching, doing screen share with some video of you. That’s what you’re putting online. I got the pricing wrong. I realized that I was looking at your Christmas pricing, $9.95. You would go as high as $24.99, but we’re not looking at really high prices. It was always really low prices.
You said, “Lucky.” But I think there’s something that you did that helped . . . That was a lot of hard work that helped you take off, which is you post five days a week for a period there. I was just listening to Casey Neistat talk about how hard it is to post daily videos. What was that like? What was the upside of it?
Aaron: Well, I mean, basically it just takes over your entire life. Right? I did nothing else, like, you know, it doesn’t sound like that much work to like post a video, but if you want to post a quality video, it’s hard to do. I mean, you’ve run a podcast so I’m sure people you talked to just in your daily life, you meet at a restaurant who are like, “Oh, a podcast, cool. I thought about doing that.” And you’re like, “Yeah, but it’s a lot of damn work.” It’s a lot of work to produce anything of quality. Right? Like if you’re trying to make something that is going to stand out and actually be useful to people, it’s hard. It’s a lot of work. And, yeah.
So I again, I came off of this 365-day project where I was making a self-portrait every single day and posting it to Flickr, and through that project I gained a very large social community on Flickr. So I was like, “This works,” you know, just like do it every day and make this your life and it’s going to work out. So I was, you know, basically when it came to making video tutorials to do the same thing, make one every single day. And eventually, it’s going to get pretty hard for people to ignore you. You know, like . . .
Andrew: How did you find the topics to create how-to-videos about? Back in the early days.
Aaron: Right. The early days it was just like, “Oh, I think this will be cool, let’s just do this.” You know, like very not at all thought out. These days we’re a lot more like planned and thought out about how we create content, because you know, we’re about 10 years in here and we’re still doing it. We’re making free tutorials every single week. We just released one today, as a matter of fact, on how to create a double exposure in three minutes in Photoshop.
So, early days, it was just, “Boy, I think this will be a cool idea.” And I look back at some of my titles from the early days, I’m like, “Why would anyone watch that?” Like I had a video in the early days on how to put like rims, you know, like when a fancy car has like nice wheels, they call them rims, on like, “How To Put Rims on a Fire Truck,” that was literally the name of the name of the video, it was “How To Put Rims on a Fire Truck.” Why would anyone want to do that?
Andrew: Ah, so was just you coming up with, “Here’s something I think would be good.” That’s it.
Aaron: It was just like, “I think that would be cool. Let’s put rims on a fire truck. Why not make a video of that?” I mean, there were also a lot more useful videos of that. I’m just thinking of one that just happened to be like, you know, “Why did I make that like that?” Like, “What was I thinking?”
But again, you know, it’s been, like I said, about 10 years and I have just a much better understanding of what people actually need. So there’s always the balance between like the stuff that I want to teach sometimes is like the way out there conceptual like, you know, composite 10 people into a different environment and make someone look like their hands are on fire, and like do all this like crazy, crazy stuff.
But oftentimes what people actually need is like a solid foundation. They need to know like the base tools and how to use them in an everyday application, like they need to just know how to make their images better. And like, maybe down the line they’ll want to do some crazy cool composite stuff, but pretty much, you know, everyone needs to start somewhere. And you know, these days we pay a lot more attention to like the progression of a student, like, “Hey, if you don’t know anything about Photoshop, no problem. Start here. We’ve got a tutorial called The Beginners Guide to Photoshop.” It’s just like if you never opened the program, just watch this tutorial and by the end of it, you’ll be able to navigate Photoshop. And then from there you can move forward and move forward and forward.
So it’s something that took a long time, and it’s still something we experiment with. Sometimes we release a tutorial that I think is going to do really well, and it can kind of no one cares. It’s just like . . . And then other times it’s like, “This could be cool.” And then people go nuts for it. So you know, that’s been just a big lesson overall, like it’s very hard to predict what is going to pull people in, what people are going to gravitate toward.
So you know, the biggest strategy that I’ve had over the years was just keep making content, just keep doing it and, you know, learn from what people are interested in and what they’re not interested, go back as often as you possibly can and analyze what worked and what didn’t. But at the end of the day, just keep making content.
Andrew: All right. Let me talk about ClickFunnels for a moment, it’s my second sponsor. I’ve said that ClickFunnels will take a stranger and turn him into a customer. Have you used ClickFunnels, Aaron? It feels like the kind of software you’d be into.
Aaron: No, but that does sound like the kind of software I’ve been into.
Andrew: All right, let me introduce you to ClickFunnels and I’ll give you a URL where you can get it for free to try and you can see some of the ways that we’ve used it. I had this idea that I was going to run a marathon on every continent. So what I wanted was people to get into that world, and I wanted, frankly, to justify it as a business expense, to have business purpose behind it.
So Rebecca on our team said, “I’m going to go to ClickFunnels, and I’m going to find a theme,” and she found a theme. She says, “We need a reason for people to give you their email address so you have a reason to connect with them and tell them what’s going on and to bring them onboard when you need things like to find the right place in South Africa to go do an interview.” And so she found a theme and she very, kind of quickly, the part that slowed her down was I wanted a certain image on the site. I wanted all of the continents on there so that I can start to cross them off when it was time to cross the off. So that was the hardest part, but everything else was easy.
She created a landing page and she said, “Andrew, we now need a reason for people to sign up.” And I used to sweat what they call the lead magnet, the reason for people to give you their email address so much. And Noah Kagan set me straight. He’s a good friend of mine. He said, “Andrew, find the number one piece of content on your site and just put that into a PDF and offer that to people if they give you their e-mail address.” He says, “It’s not going to be a long-term solution, it’s going to be a start.” So with that mindset I said, “You know what, Rebecca? What if we do a monthly call? Let’s just offer that because I can use this with people who are looking to work on their goals and something for me to look forward to as I do this.” And so she did that.
So the offer was, come join Andrew on a monthly call as he proceeds to hit his goal for the year and he’ll help you, you’ll help him and so on. And then she said, “Well, we’re using ClickFunnels, you know that they actually make it easy to sell something? So if somebody gives you their e-mail address, you can actually sell it.” I said, “Who has time to create the shot?” She goes, “It’s not time. I just drag this box over.” And she showed me. So she dragged the box that had an offer and she said, “Andrew, what can we offer?” And I said, “Well, I’ve got these beads,” that you and I were talking before we started, I said, “I got a bunch of these beads, this woman on Etsy made them. How about if we send that out to anyone who pays $10.” I said, “Okay.”
So we did, and we started to get people buying beads. And then she said, “You know, it’s really easy to like do an order bump on that. What if we, after that, do two beads for just a little bit more money?” I said, “Okay, go ahead and do that.” An order bump is, after somebody ends up putting their credit card information, have a checkbox. I could go on and on with this because she also said, “Andrew, you did this whole thing on how to stay focused, how about if we sell that too?” She got freaking carried away. I got carried away because it’s so easy with ClickFunnels to make this process smooth and to make it really easy for people to say, “Yes,” to the next part of the process.
I didn’t realize how much we were adding onto it until one day I was on with my bookkeeper and I said, “I think you’ve got that wrong. What is that?” She said. “I don’t know, I just saw it tagged as this True Mind stuff.” I said, “Really?” I realized, “Oh, Rebecca’s going crazy. She’s like selling stuff on the backend so much.”
All right. That’s what ClickFunnels does. I’ve created funnels with them that have done a lot of money. One of them did over $1 million dollars. They set me up a big giant gold record with two commas on it, because there are to commas in a $1 million dollars. I highly recommend anyone out there who’s trying to build a following to do it in an organized way and to also think about on the backend, how do we sell something to pay for . . . ? Well, for me, it was to pay for ads that we use to promote it.
Here’s what you do, if you want to go give this a shot, go to clickfunnels.com/mixergy, clickfunnels.com/mixergy. All right. Cool, Aaron.
I see that you put that on there. I feel like the next big step for you was, you were starting to get sales, you went to membership. Because this one-off is nice, but what’s the problem with selling these tutorials one at a time?
Aaron: Well, I mean, the big thing is revenue was inconsistent. Right? It’s, you know, some months are up, some months are down and it can be very difficult to predict where your revenue is going to be. You know, six months, a year out and that makes . . . It just makes running a business a little bit more . . . I mean, just like unpredictable in general, you know, like we did have a great month and just be like, “Oh, good. The company is making twice as much money now. Fantastic.” You know, and then like three months later we have like our worst month ever. It’s like, “Oh, shit. Never mind, we thought we were just like made it, cool, let’s all go buy our dream houses, we’re done.”
And so you know, that’s something that you have to overcome. And obviously if that is the case in that type of business that you have, then you just plan for it. You know, you spend like a very small portion of what you make because you really have no idea what’s going to happen. But you know, your fixed expenses, your fixed costs, generally tend to remain the same, unless you’re going on a crazy hiring spree.
So you know, if you’re doing X-amount of money one month, your fixed expenses are going to be the same as if you’re doing half that or twice that. So, getting . . . Moving the subscription model basically gave us a lot more of a predictable source of income where, you know, within a certain margin we’re making about the same amount of money every single month. So we’ve got the same thing coming in month after month, year after year. And you know, provided that we continue to offer value and that our customers stick around that amount just continues to grow.
Andrew: What software you used to set that up? I know this is kind of geeky, but I’m curious.
Aaron: We are using, so our website is built on WordPress and we are using WooCommerce to build out our subscription platform. And we actually . . .
Aaron: Yeah, yeah, it’s . . . We actually just recently signed up with WordPress VIP, which is the server company that automatically, basically, like the company that makes WordPress, they offer a server, like a host . . .
Andrew: They host it, yeah.
Aaron: Yeah. And so we’re with them as well. And they’re actually rebuilding the subscription platform as well, and we’re kind of a part of that . . . We’re part of that because we’re just a very . . . We have a lot of volume. So they’re like, “Oh, cool. A good example, let’s figure out how we can do this better.” So, yeah. Yeah, it’s worked out well for us. There are a lot of other subscription platforms out there as well. You know, Shopify, things like that, but I always really like the versatility of WordPress in general.
Andrew: I did too. I didn’t realize that there was a membership feature. I’m actually on builtwith.com looking to see what you built your website with and I can see WooCommerce membership is one of the tools on the site. I have no idea there was a plugin available.
Aaron: Yeah, oh, yeah.
Andrew: Now, it seems like a natural, just switch to membership and everything goes well. It wasn’t. What are some of the problems that you had as you went to membership?
Aaron: Yeah, I mean, for anyone considering this, there’s a . . . I mean, not only did it mean just a big difference in how we made money but it also meant a big difference in how we ran the company in general. And that I was not prepared for. So you know, with our one-off-sales model where we’re selling individual tutorials and, you know, back in the early days, you know, we talked about the pricing. The pricing did go up from there. So you know, by this time when we were making that switch, you know some of our tutorials were $99, $149. Keep in mind, they were like much longer higher production like, you know, just like fantastic tutorials.
So when we made the switch, I mean, basically internally we were producing anywhere from four to eight tutorials a year. You know, and these are long very in-depth tutorials that require quite a bit of energy to make. And you know, four to eight tutorials a year, like that’s pretty chill, that’s like that’s a crazy production schedule. And you know, charging a premium price for them meant that that’s really all we had to make.
You know, there were some months and years go by where we’re just kind of like playing around, kind of for lack of . . . I mean, not playing but like, you know, we . . .
Andrew: There’s no demand to produce this higher-end content because people aren’t paying for it. They just pay for the ones that you have and you’re good. I get it.
Aaron: Exactly, exactly.
Andrew: And so it was creating more content that was an issue?
Aaron: Well, okay, so making the move to subscription means that, you know, if someone’s going to stay along as a subscriber, they’re going to, like you want content. Like you know, I’m a Netflix subscriber. Right? And I’ve been subscribed for years now and they know that they better produce a new show every couple of weeks or every month at least if they want people to stick around, because you know once you watch everything you want to watch, like you’re going to leave.
So that became a big shift in how we operated as a company, going from making 4 to 8 tutorials a year to 24 a year. So our production, I mean, pretty much overnight, went into super-duper overdrive. So ever since we push to our [subscription 00:52:48], which was in May 2017, we’ve produced a full-length fully edited like advanced pro tutorial, which we call our more advanced tutorials, pro tutorials, every single two weeks. So that’s 20 for a year, as well as a free tutorial every single week. So I mean, we’re just, basically, we just turned into a non-stop like cranking out production house, and it fundamentally changed the way we operated internally as a company.
Andrew: You say, “We,” was it you creating most of these or at that point you started bringing other people to teach?
Aaron: So, at that point it was still me creating most of these. We do have other creators on our platform as well, but when I say, “We,” I mean, you know, our team of video editors, like our marketing team, our product . . . Like, you know, there are a lot of people that go into making these tutorials. It might seem like it’s just like, “Hey, one person on a camera,” but like I’m sure you know from your podcasts, like it takes a team of people to produce something of quality, especially at this rate.
So, for instance, our team of video editors they’re just nonstop. They come in every single day and edit video tutorials eight hours a day, like Monday to Friday, you know, like that’s literally all they do. There’s a team of them. So like all this, you know what I mean? So when I say, “We,” it’s . . .
Andrew: Is somebody actually creating the step-by-step or bullet points for you on what to show? Like that liquify tool tutorial that I saw, was it you just thinking, “I think I need to show these 10 things and I’ll have it in mind and I’ll show it,” or, “I’ll riff on this tool,” or was it someone else on the team who said, “I need Aaron to have a list of things that we need to hit on and I’ll make sure that he has that bullet point, and I’ll make sure that he has these shot list.” What goes into it?
Aaron: Those I just bullet point myself, so I basically every time I make a short tutorial that we’re going to release on YouTube for free, I’ll just make the tutorial ahead of time without any cameras rolling, so I know what I’m doing and then we’ll roll cameras and I’ll just go through it again.
When we have longer more in-depth tutorials, and depending on the production, I mean, some of our tutorials involve photo shoots that lasts for multiple days where we have multiple different locations and subjects, and you know, we’re talking about finished products that are hours long, and in those cases we storyboard them out, we spent weeks to months planning in preproduction pretty much every single shot.
So you know, depending on the complexity of the tutorial that we’re going to make, yeah, we’ve spent quite a bit of time in preproduction. So, I would say that probably 50% to 60% of the work is in pre-production and post-production, and probably 40% of it is an actual making the tutorial itself, which is another lesson that I learned just in content production in general is like, you know, the pre-production side when you’re just planning how it’s going to go, like that’s kind of . . . That’s like not the fun part, right? It’s like, “Oh, good, I just get to plan this for like days and days or weeks,” like, “Awesome.”
But it’s so important, it’s so important because the more planned, the more like concrete of a plan you have when you go into something, the better of a chance you have for success. Especially when you’re working with a team of people, because everyone knows exactly what the end product is going to look like from the beginning. And when that can happen, everyone can work together to create the best end product.
Andrew: Let’s talk about one of the early peoples who is with you who isn’t anymore. You had a co-founder in Phlearn, is that right?
Aaron: So, kind of, I had a person I brought on as a business partner early on.
Andrew: Is this . . . ? I was trying to figure out who is it. Is it Ethan Davis? Is it Chris Todd?
Aaron: Yeah. So, Ethan and I did . . . Like basically we . . . I think Ethan is listed as the co-founder but he was never actually a part of the company. Basically, Ethan and I came up with the idea of Phlearn together, and it was like, “Yeah, go do it.” And then I did it and he was like, “I just want to be listed as a co-founder,” but he was never . . . he didn’t have an active role, and he didn’t have any ownership, he didn’t like actually work, he never received a dollar from Phlearn. But that was like his, you know, he helped out in the early stages with quite a bit, and he was just like, “Give me co-founder status,” and I’ll say, “Sure, definitely.”
Aaron: And then a few years after that, I brought on someone to help out with the business side of things. And we worked together for a number of years and then we wound up parting ways. Mostly just based on like personality differences. It just came, you know, we started butting heads way too much and it just became obvious that . . .
Andrew: On what?
Aaron: On money, mostly. And kind of a lot of things I think, you know, it was a really interesting and kind of weird time because like within the photo, like within the photography community, you know, you have all these events like people go to like Las Vegas for these, you know, conferences and things like that. And at the time I was . . . . Our channel was like kind of blowing up on YouTube. So you know, we would go to these events and people would recognize me and all this stuff. It just kind of became this weird scene where it was almost like I was like a mini celebrity, to use it . . . I don’t know what else to say. Just a lot of people started recognizing me.
Andrew: I would say celebrity or . . . I guess the word is influencer, but I don’t love that for you, but . . . It just it doesn’t suit you. Okay.
Aaron: Yeah. I mean, just a guy who made a lot of YouTube videos that a lot of people saw. Right? Like that’s all it is like. You know, if I spent my time like doing another project that wasn’t so visible, no one would know who I was. It was just like happen to be how I built a business. So you know, I started getting invited to all these parties and all this blah, blah stuff and I think a lot of . . . I don’t know, but there was a lot of weirdness that happened around that.
Andrew: So what was it? Was it that you were getting so much attention that he felt a little bit excluded from it or what?
Aaron: I don’t know, and I don’t want to say that because he . . .
Andrew: Okay, so how does you getting all this attention relate to what happened with the two of you?
Aaron: Well, I mean, I think at the end of the day just resentment started growing. Basically, it came to a point where it became obvious that, you know, the relationship wasn’t healthy anymore. And I think it was just a combination of a bunch of things, you know, like I was definitely like partying a decent bit in those days, and like, yeah, I was definitely like partying like for real, you know. And I think that he . . . Which, you know, like understandably that was probably super frustrating as a business partner.
And I’m also like an artist. So you know, like . . . I don’t want to use that as an excuse, but like sometimes I’d blow off work to go like go do a photo shoot or like just go do something crazy because I wanted to, or like I went to South America for a month because I just like wanted to go to South America and do Ayahuasca and like go crazy for a bit. You know what I mean? Like understandably, I can be, you know, like kind of unpredictable as a person in general. So I think that took a toll on our relationship. And when that unpredictability started to roll it into the financial part of things, I think that really took a turn. But yeah, it was . . . I mean, basically . . .
Andrew: You bought him out. You said, “Okay, I get it. I want to buy you out and then start over.” I can see this make you uncomfortable. Why don’t I go to something more comfortable? Ayahuasca. Do you have any discoveries on Ayahuasca? I think maybe I’ll do that next year.
Aaron: Oh, for real?
Andrew: Yeah. You know what? I think I’m ready for new discovery. And Ayahuasca seems like the right move. What do you think?
Aaron: Well, have you done taking any hallucinogens?
Andrew: No, not a single one. And then any drug that I’ve taken has done nothing for me. There’s nothing like whiskey for me. So maybe my body doesn’t really work with it. Like it maybe doesn’t help me.
Aaron: Whiskey is great. I mean, okay . . . So my personal recommendation if you’ve never done any hallucinogens, I would really recommend starting with something that’s not Ayahuasca, is my personal recommendation. Just because it’s very strong. It’s like if someone never had alcohol before and all of a sudden you’re like, “Drink this whole bottle of whiskey, you’re going to be fine.”
Andrew: Yeah, you don’t experience it.
Aaron: You know, it’s like you should probably have a beer first or a glass of wine. You know what I mean? It’s like you might . . . It’s like you’ll probably live through that but you’re not going to have the best experience.
Andrew: I want some big real revelations, the big realizations, the big life changes that come from it. Did you have that?
Aaron: I did. But the thing that I think most people don’t realize is like big revelations only come from like extremely traumatic events. You know, like you’re not going to like change as a person, you’re not going to like see the whole world differently from like a non-traumatic or non . . . Like if you want to . . .
Andrew: I’m going traumatized through this experience and then only after I get traumatized will I have the epiphany? Or are you saying I needed to have been traumatized before?
Aaron: No, I’m saying the experience taking ayahuasca is kind of traumatizing. I mean, it’s a very, very . . .
Andrew: What was your trauma? Can you talk about what happened to you or is it too personal?
Aaron: Oh, I don’t mind at all. I mean, basically lost, like I felt like my . . . I was outside my body for many, many hours and drifting through time and space while at the same time, Ayahuasca is a purgative so it makes you throw up so I was vomiting and having diarrhea and fully naked in the Amazon jungle for about eight hours, while completely disconnected from my body and most of the time I thought I was dead. So you know, kind of traumatic event.
Andrew: You know, just going naked actually would frankly be too traumatic for me. I don’t want to be naked in public like that.
Aaron: Well, that’s the thing is like when you’re literally not consciously in your body, that’s like the last thing that you would ever be concerned. I mean, have you ever been really drunk to the point where you would just like do something that you wouldn’t normally do and you know . . . ?
Andrew: I’ve been really drunk but all I would do is just throw up or say to, “Olivia, I’m scared, Olivia, I’m scared. Help me here.” Just like laying in bed, but not to that point. No, I haven’t even blacked out.
Aaron: Got it. Got it. So you know, it’s . . . Yeah, I mean, I’m not the type of person who gets naked in front of strangers also. But you know, when you’re, you know, literally not conscious of your own body and like you’re floating around through time and space, like what is clothing at that point, you know?
Andrew: So then what’s the upside of all that?
Aaron: Well, I mean, to be frank, I’m . . . Well, I really did think I died in this experience, like I thought I was dead because I had never died before and I was just figured like this is what death, like I thought I died. And in that moment where I thought I was dead, I just thought about my mom and I thought about how sad she would be that I died in the Amazon. And I realized that I didn’t think about me or my life at all. I just thought about like my mom and my family and the people I’m close to, and how it that would makes them sad. And there was something beautiful in that.
I mean, still, at the time I thought I was dying. So it was pretty hard, but now, I look at death a little bit differently. You know, this is . . . Like I know that when I die like it that’s what I’m going to . . . You know, it’s like I’m thinking about the people I love and the fact that they’re going to be sad, but that . . . I’m not afraid to die for me, it’s for them, so.
Andrew: And so you realized that you cared that much about other people that you’re almost willing to live for them.
Aaron: Well, I just realized that death, for me . . . And I say this, but I didn’t actually die, right? So like who knows for real? But like I really did feel like I died and I wasn’t afraid of dying, like it was not . . . That was not that bad experience, like dying for me was okay. The only thing that concerned me was my family and how they would be sad. You know what I mean?
Aaron: So that’s like now I have a different view on death. And I had a little bit of a health scare last year, and it was a pretty real health scare. And I was, you know, I was a pretty prepared for whatever would happen because I felt like I kind of had already gone through it.
Andrew: Was the health scare?
Aaron: I had a heart arrhythmia, my heartbeat just started going nuts. You know, just like very irregular, you know, they didn’t never tell me like why or whatever it happened. They said that sometimes this can be an isolated event. Sometimes this is just something that is going to happen throughout your life and, you know, we don’t really know why. But, yeah, basically I was just like sitting on the couch and all of a sudden my heart was beating like crazy, crazy fast and then like not at all and then crazy fast again.
So I went to the hospital and they put me on all kinds of drugs, slowing my heart beat down and everyone around me was freaking out pretty hard. But, you know. My wife was there, and she was super scared. But, yeah, I really wasn’t . . . I mean, I don’t want to die. I really don’t actually, like I’m a risk averse person in general. Like from the bottom of my heart, I want to live for a very long time. Like I love life. I loved being here. Like really I’m just so like . . . Like every day is like, “Yes. I get to be in this place,” like I really, really love life.
But you know, facing possible death was not as scary, maybe as it would have been had I not gone through that Ayahuasca experience. So you know, again, these big experiences in . . . Like if you want to come out with a life changing perspective, you have to have a life changing experience, right? Like you’re not just going to like sit on your couch and be like, “Hey, that was fun. And guess what? I know the secrets of the universe now.” Like no way. Like that’s not how it works. Like you have to go through something that will change your perspective on life. It’s not just like, “I have an epiphany,” like, “Perfect, I know the answer is life.”
Andrew: Honestly, that’s what I was looking for. I actually thought it would be . . .
Aaron: That’s not going to happen.
Andrew: I took the drugs or the plant medicine, I’m going to come out a better person. No.
Aaron: No, that’s . . . I mean, you might, but only if you go through that experience and then process that experience and then come out on the positive side afterwards, you know. But there’s no such thing as, you know, wisdom gained without experience. You know, that’s not a reality.
Andrew: You’re also scaring me off of . . . I was going to do this with Brandon Evans from 1Heart. He takes entrepreneurs too . . . I forget what country, and he gives him ayahuasca and I thought, “I’d like to do because I trust him. I want someone around me who can guide me.” I mean, I’m sure he’d have someone there too, but do I want to be naked with Brandon? I don’t know.
Aaron: Well, you might not get naked. I mean, that was just like I happened to be, I mean, I was throwing up and vomiting and diarrhea at the same time.
Andrew: I’m okay with that part. It’s the naked part that scares me.
Aaron: But I also wasn’t conscious. Right? So like I’m not going to wear clothes when I’m like vomiting and diarrheaing everywhere, like, “Are you kidding me?” Like, no way. But you know, like I don’t know . . . I mean, I don’t like go out of my way to get naked around people but I go to like a really cool spa in Chicago called King Spa where everyone’s naked and it’s great. You know, it’s like it’s natural.
Andrew: Men and women together?
Aaron: No, no. Men naked, women naked. And then they come together wearing robes afterwards. But there are some spas, especially like in Europe where men and women, you know, I . . . Actually, in Colorado I’ve been to a totally nude like hot springs and spas and things like that. Yeah.
Andrew: And you don’t get self-conscious or anything around that?
Aaron: You know, it’s like I always in my head right before, but as soon as everyone takes off their clothes you’re all on an equal playing field and it’s all totally normal again. It’s just like, you know, just like, I just keep telling myself like, “Don’t be weird,” you know.
Andrew: Don’t look like you’re not supposed to or anything like that.
Aaron: Yeah, just like other people in the eyes, and I think for the most part, everyone else is thinking that too and, yeah, it’s been all good, actually like totally. Even with like my close friends like, you know, it’s like, “Oh, boy, you’re going to see me naked,” and then like literally 30 seconds in and it’s like totally normal again. It’s like the idea of like normalizing, like things tend to . . . You know, when like . . . I don’t know. Have you ever like listen to like a really cool piece, like sound system or like driving a really cool car or like dated someone who you thought was absolutely gorgeous? And then like a year later it’s just like normal.
Andrew: I don’t wait a year just because if it’s that good. But yes, I get what you’re talking about, right, I think that . . .
Aaron: Well, not a year but like after a certain period of time, anything that seems like crazy can be normal in any given period of time.
Andrew: Actually, no, I take it back. I do think that for the most part I am really hopped up on a lot of things or don’t care. There’s something in me that gets me . . . I was going to use the iPhone as an example. You get the iPhone after waiting so long, they announce it on stage, you finally get it, and maybe a month later you don’t care. No, I still get excited about it.
Aaron: Right, but what happens when the new one comes out? The old one is pretty normal to you, right?
Andrew: Right. You’re right. Whenever there’s a next new thing, then you’re right. Hey, I want to ask one other business thing. But as a way of transitioning, why don’t we talk about this thing that you mentioned before we started? You saw my beads and you said, “Hey, Andrew, what’s with the beads?” I told you that it helps me focus that I have a monitor and I move a bead, think the mantra and so on. You mentioned something with tapping. What’s the tapping thing that you do?
Aaron: So, this is actually, you know, for anyone who knows me in my personal life knows that I’m pretty into energy work in general. I do quite a bit of energy work. But this tapping technique it’s called the emotional freedom technique or EFT. It’s actually something . . .
Andrew: Look it up.
Aaron: Yeah, it’s something my dad showed me, actually. And basically, it’s the same idea. It’s . . . I want to use this word but I don’t want it to scare anyway. It’s basically, a way of hypnotizing yourself, which the word hypnosis is, I think gotten like kind of scary weird rap. People are like scared of being hypnotized and then forced to do something that they don’t want to do. But like that’s not how hypnosis works. And like, honestly, hypnosis is incredibly helpful as a therapeutic tool. And especially if you learn to hypnotize yourself, because like where this kind of stuff starts out with, for instance like what I use this for is just like going to bed.
Andrew: Yeah, let’s about the specific that I think will give people an understanding. How do you use it to go to bed?
Aaron: Yeah, yeah. So like I did this last night, for instance, basically you . . . I mean, you could just say to yourself, “I’m going to fall asleep. I’m going to fall asleep. I’m going to fall asleep,” and it sounds crazy but if you just say to yourself, “I’m going to fall asleep,” enough times like you’re going to get pretty tired.
Andrew: I tell you what works for me. I did something like that, and I just kind of figured on my own, I would tap on the mattress, though I told you before we started, and about my wife said, “What are you tapping for?” And I was a little embarrassed, I stopped. Then I shifted to tapping on something that she wouldn’t notice. And the reason that it helps is, it brings my focus back to what I’m saying mentally. And for me, it might be something like, “Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep,” because my mind will otherwise start to wander into all these other things, “Well, I’m not asleep yet. Maybe I should get up. How about if I just go get a slice of cheese because I’m kind of hungry. A slice cheese is pretty quick. Hey, why did I say that thing to Aaron? I think that was a really weird thing to do and I didn’t pay attention, right?”
And my mind would wander but if I’m tapping and I’m saying, “Sleep, sleep, sleep,” my mind will bring me back to sleep. The tapping, even if your mind wanders, you’ll say, “Why the hell am I tapping? Oh, yeah, yeah, right, sleep, sleep, sleep,” and it brings you back. It gives you no space to think about the stuff you don’t want and it forces you or drives your attention back to the stuff you do want to think about. And that helps.
Aaron: Exactly, exactly. It works on the same principle like with meditation, for instance, like there’s a type of . . . I mean, most meditation that I’ve ever done is based around breathing. So when I meditate, I just count my breaths. So I breathe in for four seconds, like a strong breath, I hold it for seven seconds and then I exhale for eight seconds. So four, in, hold for seven, exhale for eight. And I count this in my head. And part of having different numbers and a part of counting it is like it just does not allow you to think about something else, it keeps to you, it keeps you counting, it keeps you counting. And that’s the idea is like it keeps your mind on some very specific thing. And you know, I think that, you know, with your bead work, you’re focused on your beads, you’re focused on your beads, your focus on your beads, your focus on an attention in your beads. It kind of keeps you in this loop and, I mean, that’s meditation. That’s basically what that is.
So you know, it’s basically activating, and I don’t understand from a science standpoint, but your mind functions in different like waves, you have like alpha waves, beta waves, theta waves and certain patterns are more prevalent when you’re awake, certain patterns are more prevalent when you’re asleep and in REM sleep and things like that, but there are ways where you can activate different types of patterns that are typically associated with REM sleep while you’re actually consciously awake, and meditation is a way to do that.
And that’s, again, kind of like that’s the whole idea behind things like hypnosis and meditation, it’s just like you’re just kind of like putting your . . . You’re changing your mental pattern a little bit kind of just space out. I mean, honestly, you know, kind of like shut off your conscious mind a little bit and allow whatever is behind it to kind of just like run.
Andrew: Yeah, that distracted mind. And then once you do it in meditation or do it and sleep by tapping or do it as I walk while using the beads, I start to get much better at it so that if you and I were at a dinner conversation and I was starting to second guess myself and what I said or wonder if I’m interesting enough, my mind automatically knows to tune that out and to focus on what I want, which is the conversation. And I find it incredibly helpful to be able to do that, I wish I’d been taught to do that when I was much, much younger. I wonder if I should teach my kid how to meditate. We were doing that when they were three.
Aaron: You just should teach everyone how to do it. You should just do it on your podcast, you know, have like a special episode where you just teach you how to . . . I mean, right? Yeah.
Andrew: I like that, I never talk about my own stuff here. It’s always other people. I think you’re right. I think there are a couple of things that help . . .
Aaron: Yeah, I mean, you have a different podcast where you do your own stuff. I mean, I don’t know, but I would love to learn your thoughts and methodologies on meditation like, “Yes, please, teach me that,” like 100%.
Andrew: I think I’ve got a Google doc that somebody said, “Andrew, it’s enough with the Google Doc,” it was like truemind.com/theguide, I think. Let me see. I’ll give it to you. I was sitting in Napa Valley one day, and I . . . Oh, yeah. I’ve been linking to this as a Google Doc and I guess it caused issues for people so Rebecca turned it into a PDF, truemind.com/thedoc . . . No, the guide, the guide. It will give you that whole like story of what happened to get there, to get me here and how it helped me. And there’s no email capture or anything, which come on, Rebecca.
Aaron: Oh, this is you. Yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. Punching with the beads. There I am, sitting in Napa writing this.
Aaron: Yeah. Fantastic.
Aaron: So you did it. Yeah. You did it. Fantastic.
Andrew: I do love it. It helped me a lot. I’m going to close out by talking to you about how you grew beyond where you were trying to get traffic on your own and how you partnered with universities and high-schools, which I think is really impressive.
But it feels now, it’s too businessy to end on. Like we just got into this good place here and an emotional level. You feel like you’re your super happy? You are. Do you feel like you’re happy person?
Aaron: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: You do?
Aaron: Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean for damn sure.
Andrew: You’re not bored with ten years of doing this day after day?
Aaron: No way, man, no way.
Andrew: I saw you were teaching classes on Saturday. Saturday at one point was your date to review people’s . . . Where is it? Here we go. Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. At night you’re freaking doing this.
Aaron: I had a job.
Andrew: You had class on Saturdays, yeah. So at the end of all this, you’re not . . . This is 2011, eight years ago that I’m reading this one snippet from . . . You’re not tired of this? You’re not saying, “You know what? I think I’m done, I’m exhausted”?
Aaron: No way, man. No way. No.
Andrew: No? Why? How do you stay . . . ? Somebody asked you that on Reddit once, like I saw Reddit question, somebody basically said, “How to keep yourself motivated?” What is the answer to that? How do you keep yourself from being exhausted after all these years from not [caring 01:18:45]?
Aaron: All right. So like, I really think that for me it has a . . . Like just my mental state in general has a huge effect on whether I’m going to be satisfied with what I’m doing. And what I’ve realized along the way it’s like it doesn’t actually matter what I’m doing. It’s all about my mental state at that time. And I’ve, you know, I’ve just been doing this for long enough, and at periods of time I’ve loved it, at periods of time I didn’t want to do it at all. You know?
So what I focus on now is just making sure that my mental and physical and spiritual self, those energies are as like clean and pure and healthy and strong as possible. That’s what I focus on in my life, is like, “How can I eat the best food, how can I exercise, how can I like heal my body, heal my mind, how can I make sure that this being that I’m occupying is constantly operating at the best possible place it can?” And then anything that I do, I’m into, I’m enjoying it, I’m just enjoying life.
But as soon as I slip, I just start eating food that’s not good for me, I stop exercising, I start thinking negative thoughts, as soon as I go down that path, no matter what I’m doing with my life, I’m not enjoying it. So to me that’s like that’s kind of it. Right? Like it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing.
Andrew: You’re right. And I don’t respect that in myself enough to do it, and I should. That I don’t . . . I always think, “Ah, who cares what you eat? You’ve got to get things done.” Well, yeah, you care out of vanity, but it’s more than that. Who cares what you’re thinking about right now? Sometimes in my mind goes to that. I have to keep saying, “No, I wouldn’t treat my car that way, I wouldn’t treat my computer that way, Setapp I put on my computer to clear it out. Why am I not clearing out the junk from my body?”
Aaron: Yeah, friends and family. You wouldn’t want them to treat themselves that way. Or you wouldn’t treat them that . . .
Andrew: Why am I saying, “Yes,” to phone calls that I don’t care? Why am I saying, “Yes,” to projects that I don’t care about? Why can’t I just say, “No,” and know that because it’s making me better, I’m going to produce better stuff? Because it makes me . . . I don’t know that happy is the word. But I get what you’re saying, because it takes care of my being, I know that it’s going to make the products of my being better.
Aaron: 100%, and the mind is such a powerful tool. We have no idea how it works. Honestly, like the thoughts that you hold in your head can literally shape how you see the world and how the world forms around you. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the last few years is that when you start thinking . . . . When I start thinking you know thoughts that aren’t pretty . . . You know, just put a pause on that, and say like, “You know what? No, I’m not going to think that, instead I’m going to think of something totally different.”
I mean, I’ve had . . . Again, I mean, we’ve already talked about some experiences but I just had some incredible experiences healing my body through thought, just literally thinking, “I’m going to heal this,” like I’m going to heal this. I mean, everything from like cuts or bruises on my skin to, you know, like chronic knee issues that I’ve had, like . . . Just, I mean, an amazing amount of . . . I mean, basically everything that is not functioning at peak performance with my body and in my life, I just, you know, I just stay, “I’m healing, for instance with my knee,” you know, I’ve had a knee injury from running. I just focus on my knee and say, “I’m healing my knee. I am healing my knee.”
Andrew: You know? I never talk about it because it does feel too . . . Like it feels unbelievable so I keep it to myself. I do that stuff too. Like even with the basic common cold, absolutely. I will myself not to get a cold, which isn’t to say that if I get a cold I’d beat myself up, sometimes fine, let it go. And it’s not . . . It doesn’t take away from my sense of power to beat the cold, but I’ve got to tell you, I beat my cold.
And I’ll give you one other example that I never talk about. I used to wear glasses and then I switched to contacts, and then when I went to Argentina I said, “You know what? I think, I’m not driving so there’s no damage to anyone here if I don’t put my contacts in.” I know I went out of my way to buy this stack of contacts so that I have it. It feels oppressive to have to carry my own contacts just to see. I’m going to see what happens if I don’t have them.
And I stopped wearing them. And then my wife thought, “Well, maybe what you’re doing is compensating or something or maybe because you’re not wearing contacts you’re tricking yourself into it.” I went to have my eyes checked, when there was like something in my eye they got . . . It turns out there was . . . I needed some solution for whatever it was it was in my eye. I said, “Can you please check that my eyesight is good?” It was better than 20-20. And before it clearly was not 20-20. And I never said this out loud at all to anyone except my wife, who can accept that I can talk like this, which doesn’t mean necessarily she’s crazy about this, but she’s noticed it. I notice it. And I always feel like, “Ah, you can’t talk about that, no one is going to believe. It feels like a lie.”
Aaron: It’s great if you do. No. I know exactly where you’re coming from. And a friend of mine, who does body work, she does Rolfing, which is a really interesting form of body work that works with fascia. She wore glasses. She read a book by someone who basically just said out loud and practice having better sight, like, “I don’t need glasses anymore, I can see better.” She read a book from someone who did exactly what you did, and then did it herself and she doesn’t wear glasses either. So, exactly what you did. I know two people who’ve done the exact same thing. And one read a book about it.
It’s just shows the mind is way more powerful than modern society would have you believe. And the fact that, you know, if you’re thinking in my head like, “I hate my job, I hate my job.” Dude, you’re going to hate your job. Like for sure, you’re like . . . If you’re thinking in your mind, like, “I am going to heal my knee,” like, “I’m healing my knee.” Day in and day out. And I, you know, I say this sort of stuff like hundreds of times a day. And dude, it’s like I went from like not even be able to climb stairs like a year ago, to now I can go like 5, 10 miles like no . . . I climbed a mountain last week in Alaska.
Andrew: Where you in Alaska last week?
Aaron: Yeah, last week, check out my Instagram, I climbed a legit mountain. What? When like literally a year and a half ago I couldn’t climb stairs, like I had real, real trouble. And I didn’t go to a doctor. I didn’t, you know, there’s no surgery that happened. I just say, “I’m healing my knee, my knee is healed,” you know, many, many times and, you know, I’m putting my energy . . . I mean, bodies have an amazing capacity to heal, just like you’re just telling your body what to heal. It’s like, “Dude, go to work on that knee,” like let’s get that thing fixed. Like, “Come on, I ain’t trying to hobble around the rest of my life, like fix that thing.” And like your eyesight, man.
Andrew: I do that too. I feel like nobody would believe it so I never talk about it, but there is like . . . In the book “Psycho-Cybernetics,” I think one of the things that the author says is you just give your subconscious mind a direction and trust it to do it. And I don’t know why it’s going to fix it. I’m just trusting, it’s your job now, take it over. I’m not going to pollute you with thoughts of why my body’s not going to work.
I see a lot of photos here of you with a camera. Is this you taking photos in Alaska? Let me take a look on you Instagram.
Aaron: Yeah, probably.
Andrew: Yeah, no buildings, no cars, nothing, setting foot here, “Setting foot here feels like going a million years back in time.” The Instagram is AK . . . Wait, what is your . . . ? And you’ve used this I think on your Twitter account. How do you end up with Aknacer?
Aaron: So my first name is Aaron, my middle name is Kerry, so there’s AK. My last name is Nace, so there’s N-A-C-E. And then surprisingly that was taken, So I just put an R at the end. I could put 123, I guess, but yeah I just put an R at the end because I thought that would be fun. So, yeah, I also . . .
Andrew: But also it’s true on your . . . That’s your Twitter account, I think I’ve seen it a couple of other places.
Aaron: Yeah, I’m everywhere. AK, N as in Nancy, A-C-E-R, you can follow me on Instagram. Check out that mountain that I just climbed with a knee that used to be not so functional.
Andrew: You know what? There was something I was going . . . I know which one I was going to watch next on Phlearn. I’m going to watch the video where you show us how to change colors. There’s a woman holding her shoes, I guess, I closed out that tab, holding her shoes, this is from like six years ago. And standing in front of one color background and you’re going to show how to change the color of the background and the shoes and other stuff. I’m going to watch it and I’m never going to use it, and it’s just going to be very calming for me. I have no interest in it. I just like calming stuff like that on YouTube. All right.
Aaron: Yeah. Perfect. I just want to learned stuff all the time. Hey, by the way.
Aaron: For anyone out there, there’s one other thing that like goes along with this whole topic of like, “Hey, probably don’t talk about that in public,” but I’m going to talk about in public anyway because, yes, please. There’s something that I learned to do about a year and a half ago was use a pendulum, and it’s basically the . . . Have you heard of kinesiology or like muscle testing?
Andrew: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. They ask you to think about something and then they try to move your arm down and when you’re thinking about certain things your arm will move down and others your hand will stay strong and arms stay strong, I mean. Yeah.
Aaron: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. So, using a pendulum operates by the same principle. Basically, you can train your body to make certain types of movements based on responses. So for instance, like if you have a yes response, you can train your body to like make subtle movements. And by holding a pendulum, it will exaggerate those movements. Have you done this?
Andrew: Yes. So I had a live event here in San Francisco, I bought globes and I put them on strings, these beautiful little tiny globes, I put them on strings, and I had people just mentally, without moving their hands, shift the globe in a circle and it did, and I said, “Now make it go back and forth, but don’t let your hand move, force your hand to stay still. Think back and forth, back and forth,” and people’s, the globe at the end of the string would just go back and forth and back and forth. And I said, “That is amazing, isn’t it? This is what we’re doing.”
This is why when I say that my heel was damaged last year and I kept running on it, I needed to run seven marathons this year, I kept saying to my body, “Just figure out a way to solve it.” I trust that it’s going to come out. There are little things, the micro movements and I’m going to make, maybe it’s the way that I walk on it, maybe it’s a decision to go see a doctor in some way. I don’t know what it is. I’m trusting that it’s going to work.
And I saw a doctor, she said, “Don’t start running until June. I don’t think it’ll work out.” And then I said, “I actually need to do seven marathons. Can I start running a whole marathon?” All right. You’ll figure it out. I ran, it was fun.
Aaron: That was fantastic.
Aaron: It’s fantastic.
Andrew: Great. Aaron, I got stuff to do, and I also want to keep remembering, before the interview is over to end it by saying, “I’ll Phlearn you later.” But first I got to say to everybody, that was in my head from the beginning of the interview, “Make sure to end it right.”
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All right. All right, I get to say it. Do you just say it or can I say it too? Phlearn you later.
Aaron: I think you got, I think you nailed.
Andrew: I freaking love the catch phrase. I love your show. I got sucked into your life. This is when people say, “Andrew, you do a podcast anyone could do it.” You know how many hours I have to go into Aaron’s background, into his past to see like, “Is this real, is this guy just some kind of sham?” No, the dude put in the freaking hours. Hours of work that I went back in time and saw it. Respect, my friend respect. Thanks so much for being in here.
Aaron: Same to you, and really glad we were able to connect about more than just business. It’s been a super cool conversation.
Andrew: Yeah, me too. I like that you went there with me. Thanks, bye, everyone.
Aaron: Right on.
Andrew: Bye, everyone.