Permission to Heal

Permission to Heal Episode #92 - A Conversation with Adam Baruh about Thoughtful & Empathetic Leadership

January 25, 2023 Marci Brockmann Season 3 Episode 92
Permission to Heal Episode #92 - A Conversation with Adam Baruh about Thoughtful & Empathetic Leadership
Permission to Heal
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Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #92 - A Conversation with Adam Baruh about Thoughtful & Empathetic Leadership
Jan 25, 2023 Season 3 Episode 92
Marci Brockmann

Adam Baruh has over 16 years of hands-on and management NetSuite experience and is the CEO of SuiteCentric, a NetSuite consulting company. He is a creative and well-rounded technical leader with a thoughtful, determined and vulnerable leadership style. 

Based in San Diego, CA, Adam loves to travel with his wife and hopes to get into the gym a bit more to keep up with his four kids. Adam was also an international wedding photographer, having photographed over 200 weddings spread between the US, Latin America, and Europe.

Adam is also the host of “The Change” Podcast, amplifying the voice of servant leaders working to normalize the mental health conversation and build more empathy in business.

Connect with Adam:

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. The Change Podcast on Twitter.
His website- eIQ Media. The Chance Podcast

Connect with Marci

Support the show


Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Adam Baruh has over 16 years of hands-on and management NetSuite experience and is the CEO of SuiteCentric, a NetSuite consulting company. He is a creative and well-rounded technical leader with a thoughtful, determined and vulnerable leadership style. 

Based in San Diego, CA, Adam loves to travel with his wife and hopes to get into the gym a bit more to keep up with his four kids. Adam was also an international wedding photographer, having photographed over 200 weddings spread between the US, Latin America, and Europe.

Adam is also the host of “The Change” Podcast, amplifying the voice of servant leaders working to normalize the mental health conversation and build more empathy in business.

Connect with Adam:

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. The Change Podcast on Twitter.
His website- eIQ Media. The Chance Podcast

Connect with Marci

Support the show


Support the Show.

PTH 92 Episode with Adam Baruh

 Hello and welcome to Permission to Heal. I am Marci Brockmann, and I am really thrilled that you are here. Today's guest, Adam Baruh, and I have so much in common. If you had to narrow down the top three things that Adam Baruh loves most in the world, it would have to be travel, family, and a nice bottle of cianti . He loves everything about travel. He loves landing in a new city, not knowing any of the language and trying to figure out how to get on the train. He loves walking around open markets in new places he's never been to and has traveled by himself and with others. Just being in new places is a thrill for him. 

[00:00:40] And while he has lived in some remote tropical places where nature dominates over people, his favorite places are old, sleepy towns in Europe filled with cobblestone streets and narrow alleys. Laundry hung to dry on lines over the streets. He enjoys taking time to sip his cafe latte while watching the energy of the world moving around him.  

[00:01:00] With over 16 years of hands-on management and NetSuite experience. Adam is the CEO of Suite Centric, a NetSuite consulting company. He's a creative, well-rounded technical leader with a unique blend of engineering, functional and architectural perspectives and expertise, and a whole lot of technical integrations and migrations that are beyond my scope of understanding. 

[00:01:22] He is a thoughtful and determined problem solver and has of vision of humanity and, vulnerable empathy and personal growth that is really beyond the old understanding of what a CEO and founder of a tech company is. We had a delightful conversation, a really openhearted conversation about childhood trauma and panic attacks and intergenerational trauma and destigmatizing what we hope is destigmatizing the mental health conversation. 

[00:02:05] I mean, that's what Permission to Heal is all about, right? Talking about what. What ignites us and helps us along our own personal healing journeys. And, and while the details of each of our stories is different, the underpinnings of humanity and our shared feelings and emotions are the same. 

[00:02:29] And Adam has four kids and he lives in San Diego with his wife and he gets to the gym and he used to be an international wedding photographer and. He's the CEO and founder of a couple of companies and is working on yet another one. He's also the host of a podcast called The Change that amplifies the voice of servant leaders working to normalize the mental health conversation and build more empathy into business. 

[00:02:56] I'm going to be a guest on his podcast in the coming months, and I, I'm really thrilled to have him as a guest on Permission to Heal.  

[00:03:05] I hope you find the humanity that resonates in his story and, and I hope that it can connect to your own. Thank you very much for being here week after week and sharing the episodes with your friends and family and really helping this PTH podcasting community to grow. 

[00:03:31] This is one of the most meaningful experiences that I have ever had in my life hosting this podcast. And it moves me beyond words that it is resonating so well with all of you. So continue to share, continue to subscribe, continue to like, and follow and give us good reviews if you'll like the episodes. And thank you so much for being here.

 Hi Adam. How you doing this evening? Hey, Marcy. I'm, I'm doing okay. I'm, I'm not a hundred percent, but I'm good enough to record this cuz I didn't wanna miss this opportunity to meet you. 

[00:00:10] I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Yeah. I don't think anybody could always be perfect, you know? Yeah. There's always something . Yeah, exactly. I mean, and, and you might as well, I mean, first of all, I, I hate canceling meetings cuz Yeah. I, I just don't like, I know that you, you know, carved out time to you know, to be here today and just my schedule is bonkers and so it's just problematic to reschedule these things anyway, so I'm good enough to go. So, yeah, happy to be here today. Excellent, excellent. So you've got a podcast called The Change. Mm-hmm. , and you have a very, as you said, very busy schedule doing all sorts of things. 

[00:00:47] And we were talking before we started recording about how our missions seem to be somewhat in aligned. And I would like to talk about that. So, maybe you wanna introduce yourself, like, who is Adam Baruh and how have you come to do the things that you do? Yeah, I mean, it was. Quite the journey. There's been a, a lot of self-discovery and I'm gonna thank the pandemic for that. 

[00:01:13] I think the pandemic was a catalyst for so many people. Mm-hmm. I was on a podcast yesterday and I actually used the word, I'm kind of grateful for the pandemic because of this journey that I've had. Obviously I wouldn't wish any of the sickness and disease and job loss. No, of course not all that stuff. 

[00:01:28] But, I do feel like, you know, I'm not alone in this, that there's a lot of people that, you know, the pandemic really just kind of flushed stuff out. Yeah. And it helped us prioritize what, what we wanted to do and clear the decks of the things that we didn't wanna do. I think it.  

[00:01:45] That's one part of it and I think the other part of it is I really look at it as a global shared traumatic experience. I mean.  

[00:01:53] Absolutely.  

[00:01:53] What it flushed out into me in, in me was not conscious at all. It just, there was just a manifestation of a series of events. and fortunately I was trusting my higher self and I found really just a well of healing for myself that I didn't even know I was capable of. So I, I guess I'll go back now and give you kind of the story behind that.  

[00:02:19] Sure. Cool.  

[00:02:20] So yeah, just background on me. I'm the c e o of a company called Suite Centric. We are a NetSuite solution provider. NetSuite is an online e r p system that companies can run their order management inventory, c r m, payroll, all this. 

[00:02:37] What does e r P mean? I think it stands for enter Enterprise Resource Planning. Okay. And so think of like one kind of central database that your warehouse team like can be tasked with what they need to do. Your customer support team, your salespeople, your operations. , your finance team, like everybody is in there able to do their specific job. 

[00:02:58] It's one central database. And so, you know, I've been doing it for 17 years. I've, I kind of like the development aspects of it, which is kind of where, you know, my career has been focused is in the software development side of, of working with NetSuite. Okay. But I've done a number of different things, so let me kind of take you back. 

[00:03:19] I was, I was married before and I was living in Seattle and this is where I got my start in, in this NetSuite world. And well, Seattle seems to be one of the hub, the tech hubs of the country. Oh yeah, absolutely. And I really enjoyed the company I worked for. They actually had a fantastic company culture. Really great, you know, friends and team members that, you know, I still don't communicate with all the time, but you know, we still kind of cross paths and stuff like that. I wasn't really happy in my marriage. I, there was something in me that felt that I wasn't called to do what I was doing. 

[00:03:52] I didn't connect with the projects that I was working on. I didn't, I just didn't have that relationship. Mm-hmm. and I was miserable. And my ex-wife and I decided to move to San Diego where I live today. And part of that probably was, you know, escapism and trying to, you know, understanding that our relationship wasn't where we wanted it to be. 

[00:04:15] And perhaps an attempt to, start anew. But, it wasn't long before really the writing was on the wall. We divorced, I think it was like 2009 or 10 or something like that. And what happened was, you know, 2009, 2010, if you recall, this is like when we had the great recession, right?  

[00:04:32] Sure.  

[00:04:33] So I was doing, you know, my next week job. but I was seeing that my hours were, you know, impacted. I was, I was having a hard time making money cuz I was paid hourly. So I had a friend who was getting married, I had expressed zero interest in photography. I did not own a good camera. I mean, I was interested in it, but I never really saw myself doing it as a career. 

[00:04:57] I personally don't think I'm all that artistic. Okay. I'm like, I don't even have a good stick figure. Okay. I'm, I'm, I'm that bad when it comes to graphical art. But in any regard I'm interested to see how this links up now. Yeah. So in any regard, you know, my friend asked me, Hey, do you wanna, you wanna do this? 

[00:05:13] Like, shoot our wedding? We don't really have a budget. So you were the wedding photographer? Yes. Okay. But I wasn't doing it at all. I mean, my friend just reached out. It was just out of the blue. Yeah. I, we don't have a budget to hire a photographer. Would you mind? I mean, they did an elopement wedding too, so there wasn't really too many people there. 

[00:05:28] And I'm like, you know, sure. And I wanted to do a great job for him. So. . I had like six months, so I, I actually bought a nice camera and just researched and studied and practiced and tried to get better and did their wedding. And, it was a lot of fun. I and the editing process was really fun. I, and I was pretty happy with the results. 

[00:05:50] And so, because I looked digital or film, it was digital. I mean, yeah, there's not a lot of people that are doing film. My current wife has a degree in photography, and so she studied film. I didn't even, I wouldn't even know how, what to do in a dark room, but it, it, photography was my minor as an undergrad, and I worked for a wedding photographer as an assistant for a while, and we did so many weddings and I, yeah, shot a few as a principal photographer, I was hired, you know, Kind of like you were, somebody said we we're getting married, we don't have much of a budget. 

[00:06:21] How about a hundred dollars and the cost of film and dinner? Will you shoot our wedding? Yeah. And I did, you know, a little small handful, half a dozen of those kind of weddings and, and those were film. I had to, that was fucking pressure cuz it's not like digital. I could take a thousand shots. I was using film. It was scary. Kind of a little segue here, but like, when I went to a workshop and the instructor kind of emphasized the importance of shooting manual in manual mode, that was so scary to me cuz I was like an aperture priority. I just didn't trust my ability to kind of like, read a scene and understand the lighting and set the experience and all that, but stop. 

[00:06:57] Yeah. It, I mean that really did, that was the best advice, some of the best advice I got in, in photography. But anyway, so cuz my income was, you know, fluctuating with the market at that time. So I decided to just test the waters and see, you know, if there was something there. and I did the thing that a lot of photographers kind of don't like, but hey, you gotta get your start somewhere. 

[00:07:19] I advertised myself for like 500 bucks. I'll shoot your wedding, I'll be there all day. I'll give you everything, all the digital negatives, everything. And even when I started, I, I was editing every single picture, like 2000 pictures, which I then learned later on about culling, but separate story. So, you know, I, I had a very successful first year of doing this. 

[00:07:39] For about two years I was doing both NetSuite and wedding photography. I mean, you know, my weekends were taken up, my, a lot of nights obviously working during the day doing software development. And basically decided after a couple years to go full-time with it. That was a lot of. I met my current wife, and she had studied photography like I mentioned, and had just moved from Cape Cod out here to San Diego. 

[00:08:04] And so we just started shooting together and then ended up building a business together. And that's fun traveling the world. I mean, we actually got married, we're coming up on our 10 year anniversary is on Monday. Congratulations. You, you mentioned Italy earlier. We got married in Italy in Eastern Tuscany, so, beautiful. 

[00:08:20] Yeah, so we ended up one of the greatest, the, the last two weddings that I photographed were phenomenal because we got to what I was, what I did after our wedding, I wrote a whole blog article on our website about how to get married in Italy as an American citizen. All the paperwork offices you need to go to, yada yada. 

[00:08:39] And that went viral. That post, I mean, daily I was getting people reaching out, asking questions, and I was always trying to convince somebody like, Hey, listen, we'll shoot your wedding for free. All you gotta do is pay our expenses to get out there. Which literally, like compared to what we were charging for San Diego, it was like equal, you know? 

[00:08:58] Cool. So we finally got somebody to, to bite off on that. And I spoke decent Italian at the time. It's terrible now, but I, so the promise was, Hey, I'll take you to all the offices. I'll make sure that you got all the paperwork signed by the people and, and then we'll shoot your wedding. So my wife now this about is an American expatriate, Italian wedding, coordinator. 

[00:09:20] Yeah, I mean I kind of, I just wanted to have the opportunity to travel. It was kind of like the, our brand was built around being travel photographers. That's awesome. And so the second to last wedding that we photographed before we called it quits, was at the same castle where we got married. And this was maybe a year and a half, two years after our wedding. 

[00:09:39] So my wife was actually pregnant with our now seven month old. So it was really special to be able to go back there, you know, see the people that helped us and worked with us, you know, for our wedding. But anyway, this is a total segue,  

[00:09:51] but it's fun. It's part of the circuitous and the beauty of life, you know? 

[00:09:56] Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of learning here, but I will tell you that, and I'm not putting the blame on, on just wedding photography in general. I had a different circumstance where I had child support and I had a, just a, a lot more expenses than your, a average photographer. So I ended up going into bankruptcy really cuz we just weren't making enough money. 

[00:10:16] It's just, you know, people I've had, you know, numerous times at a wedding where people were like, ah, you must make so much money. No, no, no. But I really enjoyed that art and surprisingly, I was actually good. Like, I found my artistic talent. Right. That's awesome. So, but actually in the lead up to our wedding, we went out to Italy. 

[00:10:37] We had already booked this villa and a estate and met with the couple that owned the estate and they really helped us out. But we were in Bologna one night. We were in this hotel, we kind of went last minute to Bologna and there was some event going on in town and we couldn't find a hotel. 

[00:10:54] I had to literally book the only room available, which was like a thousand dollars a night. It was ridiculous. I didn't even have the money for that. Yikes. And I didn't sleep at all that night. I was just like, I can't keep doing this. I love it, but financially it's kind of not working out for me. 

[00:11:09] Right, right. That was a really tough thing. When you absolutely love something, it feeds your soul. It's creative. It's getting you connected on an emotional and empathetic level with my clients. I mean, I just loved that part of it. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it work financially tough decision. That bankruptcy unfortunately, is still an artifact in my life today. 

[00:11:31] I'm coming up on my 10 years now where it'll be wiped just in a couple of months. The long story short, I decided to go back that night in Bologna. I decided to go back to doing NetSuite Okay. And leave photography. And, okay.  

[00:11:44] So I'm gonna, I'm gonna now fast forward to this journey that I had kind of around the pandemic. I had kind of a bunch of different NetSuite roles. But in 20 January of 2017, I founded Suite Centric. Now because my background was in software development and I had a lot of experience in wedding photography and my college degrees in environmental studies. So I actually worked for the National Park Service for a period of time, which I absolutely loved.  

[00:12:08] this is, this is why I like you so much. And we just met during this interview because, What I can tell already is that you're a seeker and that Yeah. You're curious about things and that you're not afraid to try new things. Just to feel what it what it feels like just to experience it. So my first love that my first two episodes of the Change, focus on kind of getting outta your comfort zone, emotional courage. 

[00:12:34] Mm-hmm. that layer of vulner vulnerability and kind of putting yourself out there and, and doing something completely scary. I mean, I went through all that and so, anyway, kind of, you know, now with Suite Centric and, you know, we had a great first couple of years, but something that I was very much dealing with was imposter syndrome. 

[00:12:52] Sure. Which, you know, I, I'm sure your audience knows what that is, but it's like, you know, kind of fronting, I've heard that word too. Fronting or imposter where, you know, what you're doing isn't necessarily aligning with, you know, What you feel like you're called to do, right? And or you feel like why should someone listen to you and why, why you, like, why would you? 

[00:13:16] Yeah. I felt like a fake, be a trusted person with expertise in this particular field. You know, I totally felt like a fake. Yeah. And, a lot of that now and I'm gonna lead into this journey that I had. But looking back, really a lot of that imposter syndrome and that fake feeling was the result of some really profound negative self-talk that has been pervasive my entire life, my entire life that I can remember. 

[00:13:40] So fast forward now, I think this was around 2019, going into 2020. And I mean, looking back I can kind of see, you know, what was precipitating a lot of this, there were some legal stuff I was dealing with, with suite centric and. , but I started having really profound anxiety attacks. I had never had one except for one time, which makes sense, but I had never had one my entire life. 

[00:14:07] I'd never really had claustrophobia. The one panic attack I had was right after nine 11, like literally the day they resumed flights. I had to go to New York and work there for two and a half weeks and just, I worked in this law office on sixth Avenue and we're staring right down out of this window to the smoldering towers and just, geez, two and a half weeks walking around Manhattan. 

[00:14:27] It was somber. It was the trauma shit. I mean, new Yorker. No way to not, yeah. There was no way to not absorb that trauma. Yeah, I get on the plane to fly home. I was living in Santa Barbara at that time, and I used to always love the window seat. So I'm in my window seat and then this lady gets in the middle seat, and I think it was her mother sits in the aisle seat, an elderly lady who had a broken leg and a straight leg cast. 

[00:14:53] And there was something that happened in my mind where I was like, . Oh my God, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna be able to get out of the seat for six hours. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my god. Get me off this effing plane. Like this is right. I literally almost pressed the, the call signal to tell the steward, it's like, I'm not gonna be able to take this flight. 

[00:15:10] What I did was I just, I put my face right to the window mm-hmm. and I imagined I was outside, and that was fine. As soon as we took off, I was good to go. Okay. but now here we are in 2019. I'm having more frequent, more frequent, like claustrophobic panic attacks. I, I now kind of, that I'm talking about with these, this with you, you know, a lot of that I think was had to do with, I had my fourth kid who, you know, my younger two kids were from ivf. And the process of IVF was really, really difficult. I mean, , I won't get into it, but obviously more difficult for my wife, but still very stressful for me. Sure. Of course. It's funny, like I, I talked to hormone injections alone, make everyone crazy. Yeah. I talked to people now that are pregnant and they're telling me about their ultrasound, and I have absolute fear of ultrasounds. 

[00:15:58] I'm like, every time we had an ultrasound, they were like, oh, oh. Like nothing fortunately ended up being any sort of an issue. But anyway so now, my kid was born in October of 2019, so this must have been, yeah, now early 2020. Now that I'm kind of doing the timeline where I started to get these anxiety attacks. My little guy who's almost three now, he actually at two months old, had some, what we now know was a bladder infection, which was the result of some issue with his uretors and I, I forget the name of the condition, but my daughter had the same thing, so we had to rush him to the er. 

[00:16:36] Thank god my older two kids were actually staying with me. This particular night, cause we had at three in the morning or whatever rush, my kid out to the er. And so my older kids watched my seven year old daughter now who's now seven. They didn't know what was wrong cause they did a spinal tap, they did all this stuff and mm-hmm. 

[00:16:52] and then we had to, and once they diagnosed what his issue was, then we had to have him on antibiotics for a year. Fortunately, he grew out of this and then, you know, we're all good. He's still, his nervous system is still impacted by that. My daughter, I'd never heard of another parent who had a kid that had this, my daughter had the exact same thing. 

[00:17:10] She was nine months old. She had a high fever every single day for like six or seven days. We were back in the pediatrician's office every single day trying to do a urine analysis and yeah, to get a, a seven month old to pee on commands, you know, it's impossible. And it wound up being that she had a bladder infection, a urinary tract infection, and one of her ureter, one of the valves that connected ureter to the, exactly the exact same kidney. 

[00:17:37] Wasn't formed. So all the backflow of the urine when the bladder got full. And so they were afraid that with the bladder infection, that the infected urine would go back up and damage the kidney. And then there were all sorts of horrible things that could happen. That's exactly it. That's exactly, so she was on antibiotics, a low prophylactic dose of antibiotics for a year, and we had this nuclear scan that she had to do V C U G. 

[00:18:03] Yeah. That proved that the valve was not there. And then a year later we did it again and her body had grown the valve. Yeah. And that's the same deal with my kid. I've never heard of another person who had this. Wow. He had, he had a grade four severity, which they were like, he's probably gonna need surgery by age five. 

[00:18:23] It's no big deal. It's kind of, you know, we'll get this corrected. There's not gonna be a long term, but obviously they were very concerned about the kidneys. But fortunately, a year later, so we did one V C U G, which is absolutely terrible. He's like a little, can't remember when we did it, but maybe like six months old. 

[00:18:39] He had to be strapped to a table laying down with this big ultrasound machine above him with a catheter up him, and they're flushing fluid while they're looking to see that. Yep. Sure enough, it's back loading up into the kidneys. So now magically, when we did the, the following V C U G a year later, he didn't have that conditioner anymore. 

[00:18:59] But he, the, the artifact now is he's, the body is, , he's almost three years old. I've seen progress in the last two months that I'm super happy about, but very speech delayed kid. I even said to my wife when we were having to force this syringe in his mouth to shoot the antibiotic. And then I'm like, I wouldn't be surprised if this kid's got some sort of oral issue, because it's not pleasant for him when we have to do this. 

[00:19:23] Right. But, you know, so he's getting up, I don't know if this was related to his condition, but you know, of my four kids, I think they all, looking back, they all kind of slept really well, except this little guy, he's getting up like 5, 6, 7 times a night. Oh, poor God. Now I was working about 70 to 80 hours a week. 

[00:19:44] And then the, that's not healthy. No. So when the pandemic hit, you know, I've got 25 people on my payroll. So, you know, I, I took a significant amount of responsibility as a, as a CEO and business leader too. Avoid at all costs, having to lay anybody off. I didn't wanna have to sure that we were a very company culture team first, and we still are. 

[00:20:07] And so I basically made it my mission to do everything I could possibly do to ensure the suc financial success of my business. So hence me working 70-80 hours a week because this project I was on, we had a vendor in India that we were collaborating with, and he was online between like nine, you know, Pacific time, about 9:00 PM till about midnight every night I'm up I'm working with him, so I'm working all day, then getting off and doing the whole family thing, getting the kids to bed back on the computer till about one in the morning. 

[00:20:37] I told my wife, I'm like, look, I will as much as I can since I'm already up, take Ezra when he wakes up and get him back to sleep. And so in addition to how much I was working. I was sleeping about three hours a night and that was disjointed. That wasn't even like one Yeah. Session. . So that's when I, I really attribute that to now the compounded anxiety attacks that I was suffering to the extent where every time I would go to bed, panic attack, I'd be screaming for my wife to help me. 

[00:21:09] Thank God. Being next to her was like a source of like comfort like that that resettled me. Yeah. But I remember going to a client meeting. This client called me for a meeting up in LA a couple hours north of here. And I had been to their office before. I had been in this particular conference room before. 

[00:21:28] It was probably one of the largest conference rooms I've ever been. You could fit 150, 200 people in this conference room. Wow. But it was like an interior conference room and I was meeting with this guy just one-on-one. So we're in this no window conference room, and I had to excuse myself several times because I'm having panic attacks. 

[00:21:46] I didn't tell him what was going on. The room was so big. Yeah. And you were enclosed. and I really suffered. I mean, my mental health was not good. I, I just was not in a good place. Well, the sleep deprivation alone, if you had nothing else, just the second, I, I couldn't alone, couldn't see how I was gonna get out of this. 

[00:22:03] I'm like, it's it, this is like, I had, I kind of was starting to lose hope. I was like, is this just how it is now? Like, what, what's gonna, how's this gonna culminate? I decided I had to get off this project. It was, it was burning me out and just, you know, my nervous system couldn't take it anymore. Hired a bunch of really awesome, but very expensive developers and kind of set 'em up and, and handed the project over. 

[00:22:30] And at the same time I was like, I, I actually have to do something I can't trust if I just go back to the status quo that I'll heal. Mm-hmm. . And, you know, in my role as a C E O on LinkedIn especially, I mean, I get so listed from people trying to sell me stuff every day. I mean, I had. almost every day. People advertising to me as an executive coach, business coach. And so, you know, one day I show up to work and this Kristen Taylor, executive coach advertisement came up in my LinkedIn notifications. I was like, huh, you know, and I checked out her profile. I'm like she seems kind of cool. Like, I like that she talks about some spiritual stuff and I'll get, I'll give it a shot. 

[00:23:12] Reached out to her. Took a couple weeks to get, you know, a, a meeting lined up. But, so I started meeting with her on Fridays. We had the first session where I just kind of explained everything. And then our second session, which was the next Friday, I remember having a conversation with her where, my older kids, not my daughter who's my oldest, who's now 23, but my, my son who's now 20, you know, he, I could tell from like, just getting divorced with his mom. Like he was impacted by that. And I of course, you know, carried a lot of guilt. It's still, I'm like just tearing up just like, cuz you know, I love this kid. Of course. I was having a conversation with Kristen on this second session. I'm like, you know, I harbor a lot of guilt over you know, this kind of situation after this, after the divorce. 

[00:24:03] And she said, well, let's explore that a little bit. Like, do you think you feel guilt or do you think you feel ashamed? And I'm like I, Kristen, can you help me with understanding the difference there? I don't really know. And I, and I'm gonna paraphrase her and I may botch it, but something to the effect that she said, like, shame is something that identities and belief systems are, are built on. 

[00:24:25] Mm-hmm. guilt is something that you feel terrible about, but it's not identity invoking. Right. You don't kind of build this belief system out of that. And so, you know, we wrapped up our session. I was like, okay. Went about my day, went home, did the whole thing with the family, got the kids to bed. 

[00:24:41] My wife went to bed. Fridays is usually when I would kind of binge some shows. And so about midnight, I kind of wrapped up the show. I was watching, I turned the TV off. It's super quiet in the house. And right after I turned off the tv, that conversation from earlier in the day, like, came back into my mind. 

[00:24:58] I'm like, Hmm, guilt, shame. Like, do I feel shame for anything in my life? And it was like, literally as soon as I even put that idea out there, looking back now, I mean, it felt like the parting of the sea or like being hit by a Mac truck. Wow. I liken it now cuz I, I'm not religious, but I am spiritual. I liken it now to my higher self, saying he's ready. 

[00:25:29] And so I was like, Oh my God. When I was six years old, my parents had recently gotten divorced and my mom had this babysitter, this teenage boy come over to babysit us. When she would go out, as soon as my mom would leave, he would lock me in, my mom's walk-in closet, barricade door, shut the light off, pitch black, dark. And I mean, even now, like when I look back, I can feel that panic and that trauma that I had. Wow. Just, wow, Adam, that's terrible. Awful. But it gets worse, unfortunately. Is And your mom never knew. You never told. Well, I'll, I'll get there. But so, you know, when he, when when he would lock me in the closet, he'd invite his buddies over and they'd party and they'd be doing all sorts of pretty hardcore drugs. 

[00:26:20] I mean, I remember finally when they would let me out seeing people passed out with needles and rubber hoses around their arms. I mean, , you know, something that I knew as a six year old was very bad. I didn't necessarily know exactly what they were doing, but most likely heroin, I would think. I don't, I don't really know. 

[00:26:35] But, the worst part of it was I, I was molested. I was molested. Oh. And that was the, that was the thing where the shame came from. And of course, I never blacked out that memory. I mean, I, my whole life I knew that it happened. I, I think my parents knew, for sure. But, you know, this is like the late 1970s, so I just don't think nobody did anything or knew what to do. 

[00:26:58] It was just hush hushed. And so I had built this belief system now that, that was all my fault. That I was bad, that I caused it, of course. Which isn't, I know for a fact isn't the case. I mean, of course not. Absolutely not this year old. I, that wasn't a world that I knew anything about, but I, I kind of, and I'm no, you know, psychological expert, but I kind of, the way that I look at it is I think my psyche kind of created the story that it was my fault to give me agency over what happened. And so I was at least kind of so you weren't helpless control of it. But  

[00:27:30] so here I am on this Friday night when like literally the revelation of my life unfolded in a matter of seconds and everything, all the dots in my life, connected drug use that I had, alcoholism that I had was involved in just bad behavior that led to my divorce from my ex-wife. 

[00:27:48] You know, and just, you know, even up to that day, just some the ways that I would behave and be reactive and, you know, I had a very fragile ego and I was like, well, there it is. It's all connected to that. It's all absolutely is connected to that. 

[00:28:04] So what was your first step toward healing when you had that revelation? I sat with it for a couple of days and I mean, It was, I, I felt the, the most connected and just true and free that I feeling that I've ever had in my life. Can you tell us what that felt like? Everything made sense. It was freeing. I was liberated. I knew why the panic attacks were setting in. I mean, the claustrophobia clearly from being locked in that closet. 

[00:28:42] You know, I had never talked with anybody about what happened other than perhaps my parents, which I, I honestly, I don't even have any memory of talking to them about it. But, I know my dad knows about it because like when, you know, I kind of started talking to him just in the last year about this he was like, you know, that mother effort.  

[00:28:58] You know, kid and well, you know, in the early, in the late seventies or the seventies and the eighties, I was a kid, I was born in 68, so I was a kid in the seventies. They didn't talk about anything. No. There was all sorts of, none of shit going down. And it was just like, yeah, maybe you'd get an acknowledgement that what was going on wasn't so good, but no one talked about it. No one thought about it. It was just sort of like swept in the corner and ignored. Yeah. You know, I mean, there's a number of fact, I'm not gonna blame my parents either.  

[00:29:25] I mean, obviously nobody just society didn't talk about it, but Sure. You know, my parents also, they got divorced when I was sick. So like, they just, I don't think they were just in a place to, you know, really kind of do. No, they were dealing with their own shit. Yeah. They were dealing with their own shit. I mean, my mom, you know, and God bless her, but she struggled financially to, to support us. And so anyway, but I had, I mean, I had, I had never told my current wife that this happened. I'd never. , even to this day, my ex-wife doesn't know unless she has come across some of these podcasts that I've been, where I've spoken about it. 

[00:29:55] But, or your kids lived there. So what I, well, my kids never knew. I never told, I mean, I literally never told any anybody because I thought there was no relevance to it. I hadn't ever made the connection up until that night how that event shaped my life. So I decided the following Friday and my next session with Kristen, I told Kristen everything and she was, like, oh my God, dropping. 

[00:30:23] Yeah. What do you want to do? And I said, well, I want to open up and tell people now I want to, you know, I can't just hide this anymore. Mm-hmm. . So, you know, I talked about, how I want to kind of, I wanted to tell my. And, you know, we kind of strategized the best way to do that. I wanted to tell my kids, because I wanted to break the legacy, I wanted to break the legacy of not talking about this stuff and Absolutely. 

[00:30:46] And trying to be stoic because I think it's important, especially with young kids today, to know that you don't need to be perfect. And all of us are dealing with, stuff one way or the other. We all are dealing with stuff, which is why I have more hope today for our future as a society than I've ever had. 

[00:31:07] I, I think these kids nowadays, the Gen Z and even, I mean millennials, you know, they, they kind of started this concept of focusing on wellbeing first, mental health, wellbeing, and these younger generations are calling it out. I mean this the great resignation. Yeah. A number of things behind that. But I think, you know, a lot of that is just this, this desire to live a more healthy, a mentally healthy life. So, now you look at the popular culture, I mean, you've got shows like Ted Lasso and Athletes. Oh my God, do I love actors? I mean, people are talking about this stuff, which makes me s like so happy to be living in this time that we're living in. 

[00:31:46] Yeah, yeah. My son is 24, it'll be 25 in March, scally enough. And I see him and his friends, like he's an engineer and, and is very science oriented, but his girlfriend and all of their friends, their work is very important to them, but it doesn't define who they are. They hike and they play Frisbee golf, and they go to concerts and they go to baseball games and they go camping and they cook and they bake bread and like they're living their life and they don't define themselves by the job that pays the bills. 

[00:32:23] And I think that, I was reading an article in the New Yorker, I think recently about that as well. I just, I think that that is really heading us in the right direction. You know, this whole, yes. Somebody asked me, right, a Puritanical thing about work ethic shit that, that sucks. It's gone. And somebody asked me yesterday, I was on their podcast and they said, is this temporary? 

[00:32:45] Is this, are we just kind of, this is the, this the time now, but eventually things are gonna go back. And in my like, the way that I look at it, there's no chance for that. Like, no, we're not going back. This younger generation is not gonna stand for that. And so I'm so grateful to them and I applaud them and yeah. 

[00:33:02] You know, I try to do whatever I can to support them. So, you know, one thing I'll say to kind of wrap this up and you know, just kinda share with you is, you know, it fundamentally changed what I decided that I want to do for my life, right? So I mentioned earlier I had dealt with this imposter syndrome, right? 

[00:33:20] Mm-hmm. trying to mm-hmm. think I had to be somebody else. Well, You know, another thing that, being in the tech consulting industry for the majority of my career, it's very aggressive. There's a significant amount of competition, there's a lot of showmanship, you know, showmanship, whatever that word is. 

[00:33:37] You got it right. Yeah. So, you know, I've always had this very heightened level of sensitivity. Not a highly sensitive person, but I've always been very empathetic and very sensitive and you know, and I thought that was a weakness, and I thought that was a character flaw my entire life until now. Now the reality of the universe and, and who I was really was calling all that belief system that I had into question where, nope, that's my absolute superpower. 

[00:34:06] Absolutely my level of, of empathy is my superpower and that's my calling and that's what I'm here to do. So, you know, it's, I think it's forever gonna be a work in progress, but I decided to really change the way that I run sweet centric and just, you know, represent myself as a leader, which is, you know, I want to be this empathetic leader. 

[00:34:26] I want to demonstrate for other business leaders that we can run our companies and still make all this money, but not do it in a way where we're killing our team because the consulting industry is just ripe for burnout in my career as a Gen Xer in this old school methodology of business management, I mean, I can't tell you how many weekends, nights, holidays that I had to give up cuz I had to work. 

[00:34:50] And so, you know, some things that I'm doing with that, I mean, I kind of came out immediately and started doing, we, we would have this Monday company meeting, and it was prior to this revelation would be like, all right, what are you working like around the team? What are you working on? What are you blocked on? 

[00:35:05] Can we help you with anything? But now I said, I'm not doing that anymore. I think it's, I think people are bored by that anyway. We have one-on-ones, we can cover that stuff. Or smaller team meetings. So I started using those Monday meetings. Now I shortened it from like an hour to a half an hour where like, let's do some guided meditation. 

[00:35:23] I'm gonna teach you guys some breathing techniques. I'm gonna talk about the importance of anxiety and burnout and how to not kill yourself. I'm gonna make sure everybody on our team knows that we do not from our management perspective, expect anybody to work more than 40 hours in a week. Awesome. 

[00:35:36] And I don't want you working nights or weekends if you wanna do that, your call. I get some, some people they just like the work and, you know, we have like an escalation. I saw the eye roll there, . We have a, we have an escalation, you know, strategy now because people, like my team is getting hammered on the weekend from clients if stuff's not going, if something's down or whatever. 

[00:35:54] So now we have a process to kind of deal with that. But yeah, I mean, my whole kind of philosophy now is I'm really just trying to be this, you know, empathetic leader and, and just hopefully there's more and more leaders that see what, you know, not just me, but so many people are doing now. So we can change the way that business is run. 

[00:36:14] So, so in my mind, you can liken a leader of a company such as yours to the leader of a family or the leader of a small community group, or, you know, like leaders just don't, don't have to be work oriented. As a teacher, I feel like I'm a leader of each of the classes that I have. Mm-hmm. So what, what advice or strategies do you think you would give another leader who is looking to embark on more, open-hearted, person-centered, heartfelt leadership, your C e o I mean, it has to buy in to, to the importance and not just buy in, but but really explore within themselves, maybe some belief systems that, that they've thought were true. 

[00:37:03] And that's just the way things are done. Because a belief system is a belief system. It's one person's belief system. It's not everybody's belief system. Right, right. So I, I think CEOs should kind of start with exploring, you know, their own life experiences and how they can utilize those, to help people on their team, and that means being vulnerable. Mm-hmm. , that means, using mindfulness and really exploring self-awareness. But, certain like things that I think companies can do or instead of the performance review, like the one-on-one check-in, where instead of saying, how you doing today, it's like, Hey, I know, things are tight right now. 

[00:37:46] Gas is seven 30 a gallon here in San Diego. Like, wow. Scale of one to 10, how are you getting by? Mm-hmm. and hopefully elicit a little bit more of like, a meaningful response to that person. Because I think those connections are really, that's where it's at. I mean, that's. Running a team. That's what I thrive off of, is those connections that I make. And, and I understand that my role now as a CEO is to be an enabler and, and helper for my team, and to ensure that, I give them the tools so that they can succeed and, and meet their own personal and professional goals. Yeah. We're all more than our productivity. 

[00:38:23] Yeah. That our worth and our value is, goes a lot further than the things that we can produce in a day. Yeah. It's tough. I mean, look, I deal with this stuff even today. It's something that I balance with because yeah, I gotta run my company. So, you know, I work in the professional services world where the main metric is billable utilization. 

[00:38:43] Right. Because That's right. You know, we bill by the hour. So there's still, I kind of still need to get that done so that I can stay in business, but, you know, I, I try to be very sensitive, like where I'm not like, I'm happy with somebody reaching 75, 80%. Right. I mean, that's kind of like, Billing 32, 35 hours out of your 40. 

[00:39:02] And if that's where they get to, great. You know, it starts to get where, if it's less than that, where, now it's more of an expense than, you know, being, having a level of profitability. But we need, obviously we need that to come in. So this is where the self-awareness comes in. Mm-hmm. , because, just having the self-awareness, like, okay, well how, what's the best way to balance that, that metric and, and, you know, at the same time, not killing our people. 

[00:39:29] I think, in the short term or the long term, I, I think that what you're doing is building, a company in which your employees. Or human first and worker second. Exactly. That. I think that you are building morale and a joy around being part of something larger than themselves so that they don't feel like, you know, like working for the man kind of thing, you know? Yeah. Like they, they feel like they're working towards something and at the same time they know that they're respected on a human level and encouraged to have a life outside of work. Like Absolutely. They're not just a number, but, exactly. Exactly. And, and I know that 20 years ago that wasn't the case. 

[00:40:18] Mm-hmm. I've been teaching for 28 years-ish, but I, like you had a very circuitous kind of career pa, pla path and in the early. Nineties. I'd say like 90, 91, 92. I was working for a PR firm in Manhattan and we were cogs, we were numbers, you know? Yeah. It didn't freaking matter if anything around us in our personal lives was going on. 

[00:40:45] I mean, the woman in the cubicle next to me got fired because her son had strep throat three times that winter, and she had to take off work to take care of her kid. Her job was still getting done, but she got fired. Meanwhile, I was the c, the assistant to the CFO of the company and probably helping him write press releases and do all the things that PR companies do. 

[00:41:11] His Upper East Side wife with the Long Red Nails in the early nineties, . Would drop off their five year old daughter for me to babysit at work so that she could go have her tennis lesson with her tennis pro. And I'm like, so you're paying me my salary telling me that my job is important enough for me not to have a personal life, but then I'm supposed to just push that aside to babysit your five year old in our office. 

[00:41:41] Yeah. And you're firing the woman who's next to me because she can't take care of her kid when he has strep throat. I couldn't stand the hypocrisy of this and it's outta control. Like, it was insane. I had to quit. I'm like, either I'm gonna go postal and I don't. I mean, I let spiders out of the house cause I don't even wanna kill spiders. 

[00:42:00] But I was thinking these evil thoughts, I wanna push this man in front of a train this evil asshole. Like, are you kidding? Yeah. I think we live in a world where, I mean, that sort of behavior is like mm-hmm. I'm not, no I have my boundaries and I'm gonna respect them. You know, I, I left, I couldn't do it. 

[00:42:18] So I created, you know, this other company be beyond sweet centric. Now I created this company called E I Q Media, which is responsible for hosting my podcast, the Change. And I also convinced my coach, Kristen Taylor, I mentioned to host her podcast, which I produced through E I Q Media. 

[00:42:35] Right. Okay. The reason I'm bringing this up is on my, on the, I think it was episode three of the Change, I interviewed this lady, Michelle Dickinson, who, had a, a really challenging upbringing. Her mom had bipolar and she just dealt with a bunch of stuff, throughout her, her life and found herself working at this job where she was getting, Michelle was getting divorced and her boss knew that. 

[00:42:58] Mm-hmm. , and it was time for the performance review. And her boss gave her really terrible like, remarks and scores. Michelle said, I always scored super high on these reviews. She's like, Michelle, I downgraded you cuz you're not your bubbly self these days. I mean, can you imagine? No. Wow. Yeah. I mean, so this is, this is why I'm doing what I'm doing and trying to get the word out through my podcast and through Yes. 

[00:43:29] Oh, I made it through, which is Kristen's podcast that, you know what? Let's, let's, I mean, the focus of the change kind of shifted here over time a little bit. It was originally kind of focused on the great resignation and exploring that, but now I'm actually, I I kind of tightened the scope where I'm interviewing servant leaders that are working to normalize the mental health conversation and increase empathy in business. 

[00:43:51] So that's, you know, I'm no money doing, doing what we're doing. I don't have any advertising just yet, but it's, it's, no, I make no money on the pod. I lose money on my podcast every month. Oh yeah. It's a, it's an expense for me, but it's worth it. It's a very expensive expense too, but it's worth it for me because I wanna make a difference. And, and, you know, hopefully, well, I know there's a lot of people out there that are resonating with this message. Absolutely. Absolutely. So g your podcast runs weekly? We're doing, the change is biweekly. We publish on Tuesdays. We just had our, I believe it was our 24th episode. 

[00:44:27] I'm actually coming up on my one year anniversary. Congratulations. She's my first episode. Kristen with how I made it through which she's about to go into season two, which, she's gonna shift her scope a little bit, talking about people that have had near-death experiences or spiritually transformative experiences and Nice and kind of how those experiences kind of shaped their lives, hence how I made it through. Right. Oh, I have a story for her. . Oh, I would love to get you connected Season one for fantastic. I mean, you know, we were able to connect with some really kind of, you know, well-known people and, and athletes and people that are on television and stuff like that, that, you know, it's all vulnerability. 

[00:45:05] It's people sharing these really d. , you know, vulnerable experiences, but, you know, just the, the power of being vulnerable and sharing a story. I mean, this is why I'm so, I'm so empathy began interested in what you're doing because it's along the same lines. I think it's so important that we in a society get to a place where that's, it's all good. 

[00:45:25] It's all good to talk about what you're, what you're going through. Because we shouldn't be hiding it anymore. No. And if they're universal. When I was writing my memoir, I, I, I was, I, I, well, I was publishing my memoir. I was saying, look, this is my story. The events that happened in this are my life, but they're universal experiences at the same time. Hundred percent, the, the details might change, but the feelings and the humanity underneath it, the trauma, the vulnerability. The pain, the anguish, even the, the celebrating and the joy are universal things. This is why 600 years, hence Shakespearean plays are still red. 

[00:46:01] Mm-hmm. , because it's the human experience. That's what we need.  

[00:46:05] Human beings are story making beings. That's how we ingest knowledge. It's how we acquire and make sense out of our experience is through the telling and sharing of stories. And we have to get back to that and not let corporate bottom lines and political divisiveness get in the way of our shared humanity and cut us off from each other. 

[00:46:29] Yeah. And I, again, I really think that that's not gonna go away. I have so much hope now for the future, and we won't let it. I think it's amazing to, to be here living in this time that we do. Yes. Me as well. as well.  

[00:46:45] Okay. So I end each interview with the seven quick questions. 

[00:46:49] You ready? Mm-hmm. . Yep. What six words would you use to describe yourself? So, I'm gonna use some e words cuz I started obviously you shared that you do this mm-hmm. , so I kind of thought about this and you know what first came up for me is empathy. And so I was like, well, I'm gonna, every word I'm gonna come up is gonna be an E word. 

[00:47:06] So I love alliteration, so let's have it. Yeah. I, I, so I came up with empathy entrepreneur. Mm-hmm. equality. Mm-hmm. Envision. Okay. Ethical, excellent. Empowerment. Excellent. There's another one I'm gonna add there, which is easygoing. Nice. I don't think I am, but I love that it's all ease. That's awesome. Yeah. I like that. 

[00:47:30] Ease for easy. What is your favorite way to spend a day? Or one of them? Yeah. I mean, when you're a guy who has many. You know, I'll, I'll just share a quick story on that. Like, when I started, you know, kind of doing the work to take care of me because I had, you know, another thing, we didn't cover it, but I never thought that what I needed for myself personally was important. 

[00:47:55] Like, what I needed to get my kids and my wife and my job. Like that was more important. Right. Well, I was actually listening from the trauma from your childhood. Hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. That's, that's so, yeah. You know, in my work, and it took a, I mean, it's still, I'm a work in progress, but that first kind of year after this revelation, I mean, there was a lot of difficult, you know, it was, I couldn't really figure out how to get my emotions in control. 

[00:48:21] I just didn't know how to do it yet. I didn't know how to get the words out. I was a terrible communicator. And anyway, so I, I, I love this podcast by this lady named Jessa Reed. Okay. And she, She was talking one day about, you know, how we're all like, she, the way that we kind of move through the world is we all kind of like, are like avatars, like in a video game where you, we can see our, our character running around. 

[00:48:47] We can see our health meter, our battery level, just going down, going down, going down. So she actually, in her in this episode, she's like, I challenge everybody to sit down with your journal and write five things that recharge your battery. And so I took her up on that and I could, it was the most difficult thing. 

[00:49:05] I could not, I, I couldn't do it. I was like, the hell do I, like, I have no idea. And then it started to come to me, you know, I like reading. Mm-hmm. . I like, I'm, I'm an ex extrovert introvert. And so I kind of, you know, what recharges me is when I can go maybe to the beach by myself with my Kindle and read and maybe listen to a ball game and stuff like that. 

[00:49:27] So, it's not, it's nothing too, it's not revelatory, but it's. But, but a perfect day for me would be that just, you know, getting some great time with my family, but also carving out, you know, a good chunk of time to take care of myself and what my mental health needs, which is journaling and reading and, and that sort of thing. 

[00:49:46] Awesome, awesome. What is your favorite childhood memory? Thank God for my grandparents. Both sets of my grandparents are the reason that I, you know, having gone through all the trauma that I went through as a child, that I was able to actually be somewhat adjusted. Mm-hmm. , my grandparents were members of the St. 

[00:50:08] Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco and by being a part of this yacht club cuz they were all into boating, you know, we got access to, to stay at this in, at this island in the middle of the Stockton, Sacramento Delta system, this island called Tinsley Island, which was owned by the yacht club and. 

[00:50:27] Those experiences going there with my grandparents and my cousins and, and everybody, we'd go for like two and a half weeks every summer. Wow. Phenomenal. I mean, I part of me is like, man, I, I want to elevate my financial situation so I can offer that to my kids to, and I'm working towards that, but it's gonna take time. 

[00:50:47] But, I, those memories that tend to the island were phenomenal. That's wonderful. I'm glad that you have that mm-hmm. with your Yeah, absolutely. Intergeneration and your family. It's very important.  

[00:50:59] What is your favorite meal? A hundred percent. It's gonna be Italian food. Oh, me too. I mean, we got, you know, getting married in Italy, we were treated to the absolute best food that you can imagine possible far exceeds any. 

[00:51:13] Like you go to, you go to five star restaurant Italian restaurant here in the States. It's not gonna come close to what you get out there. Oh, I'm sure not. Yeah. So I mean, probably like a true classic Neapolitan margarita, I would say is my number one go-to. Lovely.  

[00:51:28] What one piece of advice would you like to give your younger self, self nurture? Positive self-talk. Don't beat yourself up. You know, you did the best you can. You know, you made it, you made it work. I mean, here you got to age 50 almost, and have it pretty good. So, you know, don't, don't beat yourself up over, you know, challenges and, and difficulties. What do you do? Do you have a strategy or a practice that when you catch yourself with negative self-talk or you catch yourself beating yourself up about something, how do you refocus yourself? 

[00:52:05] Yeah, cuz it still happens quite a bit and every day, and sometimes I don't even, I, I, I fail to even catch it. Mm-hmm. , but. , you know, mindfulness and breathing techniques. definitely are, you know, those are two great tools to just slow down your nervous system. Mm-hmm. engage more of a parasympathetic response instead of a, like a reactive, sympathetic response. 

[00:52:28] And so, you know, I'm not great at it. My wife in the other room probably be like, what are you talking about? Like, you don't do that. But, at least I have the self-awareness to, you know, to catch myself in, in moments where it's important to do so. Yeah. Lately, I imagine my anxiety or the negative self-talk when I say, you know, mean shit about myself that I would never in a million years say to someone else. 

[00:52:51] I imagine I'm not a sports person at all, so it's weird that this is the visualization , but I imagine it as a little ball and that I have like a little racket, ball racket or a squash racket or something, and I like whack it out. And it makes me feel good to, to that, that, you know, the violence of it being smacked away. 

[00:53:15] Yeah. I love that. I like that. And then I've been doing 4, 7, 8 breathing. You know, you breathe in for four, hold it for seven, and exhale for eight. And I do a few rounds of that, a little tapping occasionally, but nothing really organized. And that helps. Yeah. Because that ratio breathing is really good for engaging that parasympathetic response. 

[00:53:32] It kind of just, yeah. For people that, that may not know what that is that are listening here, it's you could, you could think of like, your sympathetic part of your nervous system is like pushing on the gas. Right. Just go, go, go, go, go. And your parasympathetic nervous system is like, all right, let's slow things down. 

[00:53:46] Let's push on the brake a little bit. Mm-hmm. , it gets you back to that place of feeling. Yeah. Which is very hard for me. Very hard for a lot of people. Oh, it's, it's, it's, I think it's always gonna be in work in progress for everybody. I, I don't think anybody's gonna reach a state of just absolute, we've got it all figured out. We've got everything in control and no, definitely not.  

[00:54:08] what is one thing you would most like to change about the world? Yeah. I mean, it's, it's the work I'm doing, which is, you know, more empathy in the world. I mean, if you look at all the division that we've had and, you know, the fighting and the name calling and the polarization, all we need is a little empathy to just try to put ourselves in somebody else's shoes. 

[00:54:29] And, you know, we don't necessarily need to agree with the other person, but it's like at least respecting that. Okay. , they're coming from a whole different set of life experiences. And so Exactly. You know, I, I get it. I get why you're, why you think a certain way and, and that's okay. It's like, let's agree to disagree. 

[00:54:45] I mean, that's, but that empathy, just to try to put yourself in somebody else's shoes and, you know, it can be pretty difficult. You know, there's a lot of polarizing topics and, you know, it could be a difficult thing to do, but I think we're all human. We all share humanity. Right. So it's pretty easy when you kind of break it down to that. 

[00:55:04] Exactly, exactly. I agree with you. Okay. So Adam, it's a Friday night. The kids are asleep, the wife's asleep. You're in front of the television. What are you watching? ? So I'm trying to balance the binging these days to just prioritize my sleep, but I still do it. I just kind of went through the, that show Severance. 

[00:55:24] Okay. Which I think is really interesting and kind of touches on a lot of these topics that we talked about, which is, you know, for, I'm not giving stuff away, but I think the premises. , you know, people going through a medical procedure so that when you go to work, when they go to this company, forget the name of the lumen or something like that. 

[00:55:41] Okay. They go to work and when they arrive at work, they do not know, they don't have no memory of what their normal out of work self is. They're just in work. And vice versa. When they leave work and they get out of the elevator, they'd have no memory or knowledge of their work. That's weird. And so it's like, it's a really, it really severs them into two pieces. 

[00:56:02] Yeah. It really is an interesting kind of like, exploration of companies wanting to get the best and milk the most out of their employees. So, you know, part of that is taking away their humanity and their, their personal experience. Oh my God. So it's, it's really interesting. It's a good show. 

[00:56:19] I think they only have one season, so I'm really curious to see where they're gonna go with the next season. Do you know what streaming service you watched it on? It's hard to tell so many of them now. That's alright. I can't remember off the top of my head. I wanna say HBO max. All right. I'll look. 

[00:56:37] Wow. Yeah, I like shows that can make me think like that. Oh, this one totally does. And it's, you know, funny at times. Weird at times, like crazy at times. So it's, it covers a lot of different emotions and stuff. Awesome.  

[00:56:53] Well this has been really great, Adam. I really appreciate you coming onto permission to heal and sharing your real, true, vulnerable, raw, amazing story and just being human with me for an hour. 

[00:57:03] I like this a lot. This was, yeah, it's been an, a great to get to know you and just we, I, I feel like there's a lot of alignment with what we do, but just shared experiences too with, you know, our kids having dealt with. . Weird, whatever thing. Whatever. It starts with a V, that's all I know. 

[00:57:19] Yeah. I don't remember either. She's 21 now, so it's a while ago. . Yeah. Right. I learned more about the urinary tract system of a human being than I care to know. So . Totally. Yep. And I'm gonna be a guest on your podcast. Well, I'm so excited for that. And that's gonna be here before we know it, so looking forward to that. Yeah. Awesome. Have a good night. Thanks. You as well.