Today’s guest was a rock concert roadie turned entrepreneur. He’s spoken in over 30 countries on six continents, helping you become a better speaker and presenter.
He’s written three books, was voted top 40 under 40, and is just a good guy. Really enjoyed this conversation. Listen to the end to hear how he almost died on stage in front of thousands of people.
Please welcome Richard Mulholland.
- 00.00.35 Richard Mulholland’s Life
- 00.01.17 Life’s Mission
- 00.04.23 Strategy for Business
- 00.19.41 Richard Mulholland’s Career Change
- 00.29.30 Damon’s Radio Days
Learn more about this guest:
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Richard Mulholland learning from others. Thanks for jumping on how are you doing, sir? Hey Dan. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m doing great. Thank you so much. I feel like we’re ready. You’re best friends. Before we hit record, we’re talking about Dungeons and dragons and skateboarding and snowboarding and all that stuff.
They’re good connectors of good people that had they’re all, you know, it’s, it’s a great way to start a conversation. Yeah. Yeah. So we got a lot we can go into, um, but let’s start with the basics because you and I got a head start before I record. Let’s bring everybody up to speed. Who are you? Why do we want to listen to you?
What are we gonna learn from you today? My name is Richard Mulholland. I’m an entrepreneur from Scotland, but I live in Cape town in south African and years ago as a rock and roll roadie, I realized that, uh, I was solving the wrong problem. I worked in lighting. I got involved in, uh, Corporate science because in South Africa we didn’t get work in winter.
So I’d like buy-side in summer. I was touring with like iron maiden and Def Leppard and winter. I was touring. It was like the CEO of a bank. And as I realized very quickly that, you know, lighting and sound could make a rockstar amazing, but lighting and sound couldn’t make a sucky presentation. And so I started missing link when I was 22.
I had no idea what I was doing and I’ve made it my entire mission all of my life. Uh, originally my first mission was to make people accept less in public and to really, really be great presenters and speakers. But now what I want to do is change people’s relationship with the stage. I hate the idea of death by PowerPoint.
I hate the idea of being afraid of the stage. And so now it’s my, it’s my goal to change that. I got a lot of things on that that you just. Already that I want to touch on, but not until ask the question. Number two is speaking of sucking less, Richard, what do you suck at? Okay. This is terrible to tell you this.
Now, after running a business for 23 years, I’m terrible at running a business. I have no attention to detail. I can’t stand. I think I’ve looked at the numbers of my business and we, we employ a lot of people and we’re a relatively decent company. Oh, if I spent two hours a year going through the numbers myself, I’ve got it.
So dialed in that my content reports to the person who runs the business, she reports a top-line to me and I get the smallest little dashboard of what I need to know, because I’m terrible at D. You know, it’s amazing. You’d be surprised or maybe not surprised that that’s a pretty reoccurring kind of, kind of feeling for some of these business owners.
It’s, it’s like you get, you get one or the other it’s, I’m totally a numbers geek and I love spreadsheets or you get something along the lines of what you said, where it’s just like, I want nothing to do with it. Like I come in, I know my area of expertise. I’m going to give value in that scope. And then I don’t care about the rest.
There’s to me, there’s two kind of parts to the business, right? There’s the solving the problem. And there’s the refining, the solution solving a problem is exciting for me, refining a solution is boring for me and I struggle come to us. That’s why I get up behind me. As we talked about her, there’s a lot of board games.
I don’t like, you know, six hour board games. I want to play it six hours. I want to play 10 board games. You know, I want to be getting into it, figuring it out, solving it, getting, yeah. And problem is with a business. This is a very long game. And so I fall in love with it quite a bit, and I realized I’m just not good at it.
Luckily I learnt that fast. I got a coach early identical replacements to me. Uh, not so long later after that, you, you know, you talk about solving problems and you brought up the board game. So for the listeners that can’t see, there’s this huge wall, like legitimately a wall, you know, and you see. A library of books, like a wall of books.
And there’s the, the S the ladder. Does your ladder move? Is that like one of those rolling lines? Yeah. So he’s rolling the ladder. So it’s like in a movie where you have this wall of books, except for his wall is board games. So you were talking to, you know, we were talking before hit record and you started touching on it just now that you like solving problems.
And then I asked you, what’s the story behind all those board games. And you started to give an answer about how you actually use them strategically with people you work with. Can you revisit. Sure. So here’s the problem. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go, I’m going to go back to, I always believe that you’ve got to slay a dragon, like if I was trying to stay some dragon and my problem was strategy is that I felt locked into strategy.
We would come up with a strategy for a business early and then. Uh, over the course of the years of we’re working that out, it stopped being as relevant. And I think strategy was an amazing tool. It created by like Drucker and co and from a business perspective back in the seventies. And it was easy to do because 1970 and 1975 were going to look very similar.
The problem is 2020 and 2025 are going to look fundamentally different from me. So the, our relationship strategy had to change. And I wanted to convince our corporate clients of this when we were dealing with them. And we often, so as a presentation company, our job is to help them roll out their strategy to, to their, to their staff.
But often they wouldn’t land. And I realized it was because it was too high brow. If I wanted to teach you one of these board games and I started using this when I was describing it to people, the first thing I have to teach you is the victory. So in this game here, Draco, magi. If I want to teach you how to play this game, I’ve got to explain to you that in order to win, you’ve got to get the other dragons health down to zero or whatever the case may be.
And you understand that everything I explained to you after that is under the premise of solving for that. Nothing else matters. Every decision you make is about solving for this. And I realized, wow, people can get that when they understand the victory condition, they can solve towards that. So any information is just, it’s just information to help them crack that code.
So what we started doing is that. Bringing businesses together and actually playing games with them and trying to get them to understand what their strategic destination was, schedule a strategic destination, where you win that’s your, instead of your strategy, rather just have a point where your business wants to be and then let everybody else solve for that.
So what it did is I realized it would give people freedom in a framework to make better decisions, because all they were trying to do is to say, well, let’s get us closer to X. So we started working with companies, playing games with them, but, uh, Getting them to figure out their victory condition. The second thing about it was that it’s an as a, as a person who coaches people and presenting analogy is an amazing tool.
If I, if I, one thing I would never play with you, if you were a banker is a game on banking, then you’d be like, oh, this is stupid, but I might pay a game with you on sheep farming. And then you pay that sheep farm and you make certain things. And then later on, we go into the, you know, the brainstorming bit.
And I talked to him about certain things. I said, well, people wouldn’t think like that. I said, but dude, you thought exactly like that when you played that game and what is then the burden of argument falls on them, then they’ve got to climb back over the wall that they’ve already crossed with me. And so it became a really, really amazing tool to introduce new thinking to smart individuals, uh, from a different perception.
Because any group of smart people struggling with a problem, it’s not because they’re not smart enough. It’s because too smart. And to go up my friend Howard man, he’s a, it becomes hard to read the label from inside the bottle. So that’s what games are. Great. Yeah. There’s so many cool things about that.
And you know, the first thing that comes to mind is when I’m hanging out with my kids and I can’t figure out the most simplistic thing, well, I don’t realize it’s simplistic at the moment. I’m like, I can’t figure out this problem. And they’re like, well, dad it’s is just like, literally right there on the label.
Totally. So is phrase, victory condition. I’ve never heard that. Is that something that you coined or is that kind of an industry term that’s better? I certainly will take quite a lot of ownership of, of using it in the business context, but pretty much every single one of these games behind me will have a section in the rule book that says the victory condition or the end game condition and the end game conditions.
See again, I realized, well, the game. And you’ve either won or you lost the problem with our businesses is there is no end game it’s supposed to be. It’s this weird game that you’re playing that has no ending. So you’re not actually sure what you’re working for. And again, so in, in, in, you know, if there’s no end game condition, you’ve got to keep on growing.
So you just keep repeating what you did at the beginning. So when I started missing link, I had to start building up and building up and building up, but because I’d never defined my enough, uh, in that manner. Uh, you know, so for a while I wanted to scale my imp my income, but now I’ve got to the point where I want to scale my impact, but until I’ve defined my enough of my income, I’m going to stay on that conveyor belt and keep on moving there.
So I had a big tree condition for a lifestyle for income, and now we have, that’s why my picture conditions changed to being changing people’s relationship because now we want to make an impact and that’s a different compensation. So we have to put these fake. In our businesses so that we know when to stop doing that one thing and we can start doing something else.
And of course you never stopped growing. Anyway, you just stop focusing on that aspect of growth, but the growth, the growth comes with you. Do you have kind of a length term length that you aim for in these victory conditions? Yeah, so we work on two very specific ones. So our financial year ends in March.
So from March to March for, to March, the 1st of March is, uh, that would be our main one. So we have our primary. This is the year of X. However, our spring day, I guess the beginning of your fault is the 1st of September. And we have a spring day goal as well. And the reason we started doing that because we wanted to have a half year interim.
So a second. Of foundational steps. So we break the year basically into two rounds. Round one, you are successful. If you do this and run two, generally, you want to start leveraging the engine that you built and run one. So for example, Ron one might not have any client or revenue targets whatsoever. It might simply be about.
Well, we need to sort out and get our capabilities up on one, two and three, because if you don’t give yourself permission to stop chasing revenue, then every month just gets measured on that one goal. And so this then allows us to focus on one thing and then six months path versus September. And then for example, this year we had several things.
We wanted to move to 100% outsource production. We wanted to get out of the least of our. We wanted to change as much metrics in our business and COVID was a gift for us. It basically accelerated everything that we needed to do as a business. And it made it easier for us to do it. And now we have a victory condition for, uh, March is we have 10 logos that we, we must have on our website as clients, by the end.
So we know we’re not looking for random growth. We’ve decided that, and they don’t know it yet, but this 10 companies around the world are going to hire us. And as far as we’re concerned, they don’t have a choice. And we’re just, we’re only working towards getting closer to that. Now, do you have a Yammer for 10 out of 10 or do you have like a list of 20 and you want at least 10 of those 20.
That’s amazing. So, uh, I spoke about this a few times now, and you’re the first person who ever asked it. And that’s exactly what it is. Eight is a fail, but we do have other ones Ultimate’s that if we can’t. So, so like nine is a fail, like it’s it’s, uh, it’s you crossed the finish line or you don’t, but we have given ourselves that if we understand it’s quite difficult, there must be 10 logos.
We want this 10, but I think our total list is like 14 that we have. So there are alternate that if we can’t get. That’s it. Yeah. And you know what, if we fail it’s okay. Because failure isn’t fatal for us. That’s not a goal that matters if we failed, but it’s really retreated as this year was a success. If we do X.
And do you have any, as of last year’s you incentivize, how do you incentivize the team to, to go for this. We incentivize people on different metrics. So, uh, I have two key leaders, uh, Samantha who runs the business, that’s her job. And, uh, Justin, who’s our head of special ops. They are incentivized on victory conditions specific.
So that is the strategic destination, the rest of the team, they understand what they’re working towards, but they’re incentivized on their tactical behaviors because somebody in a one team, they can’t make as get that clear. I don’t want them jumping on the phone, sending emails to people at this rental company saying, do business with us, but they, there is a domino effect and they understand their role and what they.
Pardon me what they have to do to make that happen. So they’re tactically incentivized and we, uh, my top tier are strategically incentivized. However, everybody understands where, how, what they do fits with regards to getting us to eggs. Always. Yeah. How big of a team are we talking here? At the moment, just because we’ve now moved to completely outsource.
So, so we were a team of 28. It’s now down to 14 internal and then a much larger team externally. So we now have a larger pool and we’ve started working more and more all over the world. You know, I was actually going to ask you about, you had mentioned you replaced yourself, but then you talked about outsourcing everything and I, I, there’s probably some commonalities in, in that question.
So it’s kind of approached both of those. How, how did you replace yourself? Uh, w did you, you know, because it seems like your role is he’s now is very dynamic, so maybe it wasn’t as dynamic before. So what were you looking for in the person, or is it multiple people that replaced your responsibilities?
Mess this up so badly. I’m such a bad job of this. The lady who’s running the business now, um, ran the business for four years. Left for four years and didn’t speak to me. And then I convinced her to come back and because the first time my office was the tree house, it was like literally a tree house. And I would kind of up into my tree house.
It was in the office. We had the slides and all of these things, and I realized that I said to her. But I was literally sitting, watching her from my tree house. Like you climbed ladders to my office, but are you the only person in the tree house or other people in the tree house? What? Like they could come and join me in the tree house.
It was a fun place to be. Sam was actually downstairs. She had built this whole big nest thing. Uh, I’m going to send you a video just to get out and look at it. So say it’s you just get a sense of it, but she had this nest, but oh, it was so terrible because it was like this command and control thing. So I said to run the business, she had equities, she had things, but then I was right there every day, looking over her shoulder, it was completely and utterly unfair.
I was in South Africa, we played rugby. We refer to a term called the hospital. Well, you throw a ball so perfectly that lands in the perfect person’s hand, right? For the tackler comes in to get them. And, uh, you know, I threw her a hospital pass, like she was destined to fail. And I remember when I went back to it and I said to her, like, Sam, I need you to come back.
And she was like, never going to happen. I said, Sam, I, first of all, I spoke to her husband. I worked 10 months on my side. We went for lunch. She said, Brad, I was going to make this happen. And I said to her, um, because she’s brilliant. But I said, I want you to come back. I know you’re going to say yes eventually, you know, I’m persuasive.
So could we just skip the bit where you say no, she said, absolutely not. That’s never going to happen anyway. She’s back. So, but what it was is not separated. And now we have a very, very clear division of labor. I understand what I’m good at. And to the point of when you asked me what I suck at, I don’t get involved in her domain and I don’t offer see it.
Um, and I speak when she asked me to speak, if I speak to the team, it’s because she said, I want you to jump on a call on Monday morning and speak to. It’s not my job to just speak up anymore. It’s her show. And I’ve learned that a lot and it took a lot of maturity, I think, to try and figure that out and to realize that, um, my worth isn’t tied with my authority and I want it to be a leader without authority.
So in order to get to that point, I wanted to cut my, you know, cut that off for me. And the net result is that she is running the business, or we had our best month in our company history in September, our best month in 18 months in August. Like this is, and, and that was after a revenue going to zero in March, zero March.
We did not a single billing from March the 15th. And so. It’s it’s like she built it and it was only because I was able to step away. Uh, at what point did the maturity happened was, uh, it sounds, you know, you don’t need to get into details, but it sounds like the relationship fell apart due to the micro-managing.
And then was it not until everything fell apart that you realized things needed to change or did you kind of see it. No, the falling apart was, was huge. And it is very tricky. I struggle in, in smaller organizations, you know, when you’re that involved, you become very close to the people you work with. And, uh, it’s something that I’ve had to train myself, not to be now to keep a distance.
And in fact, Sam. And I have a very professional, we’re not where we’re Frankie, but you know, that’s where it is because we’ve all got a job to do and otherwise feelings get hurt. And so took realizing what I had done wrong and learning and this and them. And like, I’m still learning. I haven’t, I haven’t cracked this code yet.
It’s, it’s absolutely not perfect. But, um, but I’m getting better at it. Uh I’m I’m figuring it out. And I think I’m better this time around, uh, there’s a combination of things that led to that. Uh, one probably pivotal. Thing for me. And it’s just, I want to, because I want to mention an individual, but I’m a member of an organization called E O a.
I don’t know if you’re an entrepreneur is organization and they have global leadership academy that, you know, 20 odd people from around the world get sick to different year. And I was lucky enough to be one of those. And I went to this week long retreat in Washington, DC. And it’s so bizarre. What I say is like, there’s no other way to do it.
That I went in one human. Okay. On Monday and on Friday I was a different human being and like everything changed. Every I flip a switch was flipped and I started seeing the world in a different way. And I wanted to change who I was and what I brought and the way I engage with my family. And that was, that was everything.
Yeah. I, the first change I made was with my family and the, the end result of that, the changing the way I am as a, as a father, as a husband, as a brother, as a uncle says, son, I ended up changing the way I was as a business person. I changed it. Didn’t just change the rule. And it sounds so cheesy when you said it sounds like one of these things from a self-help book, except that it’s true.
No, I totally get it. And I think that those are things that, uh, you know, we all know to be a better person to be a better husband, wife, brother, sister, whatever. But until you go through a moment, like you explained, like you have to go through it yourself to really appreciate and acknowledge and see and change.
So, you know, we can talk all day about it, but you got to go through it yourself. So you are, you are, uh, you’re a rocker, right? You got tattoos and now you’re a business. So, um, what happened in between? So I know you talked about the, you see in the lighting and the sound helping the artist, but you can’t do that with a business person.
So how did the transition happen from roadie to business owner? So, what had happened was when I actually originally went onto the road, I was offered a tour. It was with a tour called Joe Cocker, a guy called Joe Cocker. Yeah. And American singer. And, uh, I’d originally turned it down because I never wanted to be a tech.
I want it to be in the business side. So I’d said to my boss at the time, but like I’d rather work in the business. And he said to me, there’s no way I’m going to give you a job in the business until you understand what it’s like in the road. Because he came from the road himself and he said, give me two years, just give me two years on the road.
And then we can talk. And two years to the day, I just been the licensed center for the Smirnoff international fashion awards. And I came into his office. I said, like offer you two years. That was yesterday. And he said, it could be me. You wasting your talents. I said, yeah, be that as it may. This was your promise.
And to his credit, he said, what are you going to do? I said, I’m not sure. He said, cool, go sit in the boardroom til you figure it out and come back to me with a plan. And so he just paid me for a month to sit there and just to work out what I want it to be. And he gave me all the chance. I was at 21 years old, you know?
I mean, it was ridiculous. Like a, I was completely undeserved. He’s an amazing human being. And, uh, I came back to him and I said, I I’ve identified two areas where I think we can dominate the one was the rave markets, which if you think about it, this was, I finished school in 92. So this would have probably been about 94 95.
And that rave scene was just really, really built. Yeah. So I said, okay, cool. So I can help you with that. And then the other market was Cortland. And so the raves, he was wedded to the easy, uh, we went out there and they wanted what we were selling and that was cool. I’m a punk rock guy myself. So that wasn’t an area that I enjoyed.
And again, I’ve always been passionate about business. So bizarrely, I was actually more drawn to the corporate market. So I started this tiny division called PSL conferences. And I would sell this lighting sound in a B to, to corporate, to try and to help them make their conferences better. But, um, some people didn’t buy anything from us, like the bare minimum.
And they rocked an audience. Like, you know, those speakers, they stand up on stage and they just command attention from the second they start speaking and I was like, wow. And then other people, all song and dance and running down the hall. Fireworks should have got their nipples, like raising lights, going high fiving, people like all of that stuff.
And then they stand on stage and give a sucky crappy PowerPoint presentation. And I just, is that really? The other thing is, is a crew member.
Just sit to the back, like staging crews, like bad presenters, kill their souls. They go home every day and cry to their sponsors about the terrible presentation they see. So I just figured that I was, I was a cure for the wrong disease. Now what had happened is in the interim, I would go and I would sell these things to people.
And then I’d be like, Hey guys, like I know this guy, cause I was also the marketing manager of the company at the time. And that’s what I said. And so I said, I know this guy who can do design, why don’t you let us help you design some vertical sites? So that actually your presentation is more effective. I saw this guy and he did it this way and it was really cool.
We can do that for you. So I thought of moonlighting work to this person. And then after six months we had five employees doing that because I have this steady stream. I mean, it’s ridiculous the unethical, but like my boss knows this story now. And like we left. But like I’d started it on the back of this.
And eventually we had five people doing this full time. So you are doing this as a side hustle. So you’re getting business in from your day job, but then monetizing it as a side hustle. Yeah, so, well, I was getting business in. I was doing, and so he was happy because I remember it. So like a small amount now, but he came to me and he said to me, you’ve made us a million random billings.
And that was back then. So call that maybe 5 million ran now, maybe like, I dunno, uh, for all intents and purposes, like $250,000, but I was like a youngster in this business that was, that was in the nineties. It was just extra, uh, billing. And so he was, he was over the moon. And our clients were happy because they thought they wanted us to solve just the lighting sounded AB, but of course they were getting better presentation and they connected it all to us.
So it wasn’t like he didn’t mind because it was, yes, it was a side hustle, but it was, uh, It was a thing that added value at the top. So, so I went up to him and he actually had another problem. So he came to me with a pitch of rigidity. His frustration was that the event companies weren’t selling a high enough spec.
Booking the bare minimum. And he wanted to go to the end user clients and sell them on bigger shows with earth vision as a staging company. And so he came to me, he said to me, you know what, we’re going to have to cut out the event companies. And I saw that as my end. I said, offer, if you do that, uh, this is huge politics.
I’ve got this other little thing going on the side. Why don’t I quit here? I will start that. And I will sell directly to the end-user clients. And then I’ll spec these high tier jobs and I’ll become a preferred supplier to you. Baby do it. And so, uh, that was it. So at that time, that was the original origin story and he bought me, he bought me a carpet as a click away present.
No, I think it kind of a weird, I remember arriving at the restaurant. I was like, oh, thank you. I rubbed it. Yeah. Thanks so much. What are you going to buy a roadie? It was like a little Persian rug. So I took my carpets and that was the beginning of the business. I don’t think that’s the story I’ve thought about in years.
I don’t think I’ve ever told it to anybody, but I got to run, gets a gig away gifts from a rock and roll lighting company on well, you know, I think the unique gifts like that, um, when you look back, they mean more though, right? Yeah, Teddy, Teddy, you know, it’s, you know, it’s interesting is what you and I, you know, this is our first, this is our first meeting and this is enjoyable conversation, but we, like we said, we tried to briefly, before we hit record, one thing I didn’t touch on is that I worked in radio for seven years.
So I know like all I w I did remote cited event planning. So I’m just inside laughing at all these stories that you’re talking about, because I know the pain points that you went through as a roadie and a technician and Navy and all that. Yeah. You’re a little, you’re a little bio that I was reading before we chatted.
And you talked about you before D and I just instantly went back to like listening to the little cassette radio player, listening, you know, listen to the radio on, on a little boom box. And I remember those guys, I went in there before we jumped on record. I went and listened to them on YouTube for 10 minutes.
Oh, that’s amazing. I nearly died. That was the closest I came to that, that I know of. That was the closest I’ve ever come to dying. Is that a year before the gig? What’s the story behind that? School story. I was, um, when it was complete, again, most of my stories involve meetings, pretty stupid things. And this is definitely one of them.
Sucky things is luck. Can you picture imagine a big outdoor stage? You’ve got the stage, you’ve got the lighting and then at the side, you’ve got those two panels with the speakers hanging behind. Yeah. And then what they do is we put a, what’s called a screw over that. So the big it might have the band slow-go in this case, it was a scene of a kitchen with a rat running up it, and then we liked that.
So that’s a big way of us basically making the stage feel really, really huge. Instead of you just looking at. So it was a particularly windy day and the, the script looked like it was going to rip off. And the one, the one tag ripped off, so it was flapping. And we were worried that EBIT EBIT came off. It would have fallen down and it would have looked like the speaker set was falling on the people and it restarted a mad dash.
So my boss said to me, run up, we’ve got to fix this script. So the two of us went up. So we’re at the highest point of the stage of the two corners and me being stupid. Instead of, I mean, again, so sorry, you know, the proverbial rocket cutting the salt. When you sit on the edge, you cut. I grabbed it, trying to hold it in, but then I ripped my, I had a Kershaw knife and I ripped the ties closed off so that we could drop it, but the wind took and it blew me off.
So I’m not hanging off over there. The audience holding onto this thing for dear life and my boss. Luckily this guy, Tim Dunn. He grabbed his end and he ripped it back and he pulled me back over. So I’m standing up there. I’m like, I don’t know how old I was. I was to be like 18 or 19 years old. And I looked at him and I just started to cry.
I just like, okay. Jessica says, Hey. Do you have a show called? This is the second bit of the story, but it’s kind of cool, I think anyway, so, so he says to, do you ever show call? And I said, um, I guess I’m on follow spots. He said, cool. I’ll find somebody else come and find me when the show begins. And I thought, okay, he’s taken me off all the spots I’ve been I’m in big trouble.
And, um, anyway, it comes to the show begins and I go to where he is. He’s the area, uh, the dimmer racks. Hey, cool. Come with me. And he walks me onto the stage. And so they are performing and he ran to the front right in front of the scrim where we were standing and he says, have a seat. So we sit in there, the band is performing and we just do crews sitting on the stage.
And can you picture those lights at a rock show? They’re called Morphe, but they’re those big audience? Blinder lights. Yeah. Yeah, they come on. So we sitting, we waiting and those are up above us. And I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I just feel like this is the worst. Give me into trouble I’ve ever seen in my life.
And I’m sitting there and all of a sudden, whatever song comes on and is that scene where the chorus comes and then those big audience, blinding lights come on. And the whole audience, like, I’m not what it was 40,000. And people are like, yeah. And he put his arm around me and he said, this is why we do it.
This is what makes it worth it. And I was like, yeah, Yes. And that’s what it was. He just wanted to let me know that it seems so trivial, but this is why we in rock and roll, put her in life’s on the line, like on these big stages and high up there. So people, those people can get an experience of don’t ever forget.
And that’s an experience I never forgot. Oh man. So I got all warm and fuzzies from that story just from my radio days. And, um, you know, You ending it with, this is why we do it. I got so many, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Um, Ray, even though I’ve been out of radio for 15 years, it played such a huge part of my life.
I, I knew that I wouldn’t do it long-term because I saw how transient it was and unstable. It was, but the, the years in it, I still to this day, and I’m sure you do have tons of friends from, um, those years and doing roadie stuff and traveling and, uh, It played a big part of the events that my, my now wife, her and I went to and shared those moments.
And, you know, I remember as you were describing being on stage and saying, this is why we do it. One of the first pictures I have with my wife is I took her onstage to a concert and we got a picture of me on the left side. And we did a panoramic picture. We piece two pictures together because this was before digital cameras.
And I got a picture of my me on the left with a, with a super soaker like mega squirt gun spraying the crowd. And then later we saw a picture of her doing the same thing on the other side of the stage. And so we pieced it together and we have this huge panoramic in front of 10, 20,000 people just squirt squirt guns.
But, um, hopefully the, hopefully your passion and, you know, our stories we’re sharing can transcribe through to the listeners because it’s such a unique experience to be in those moments. This is what people, and I think this, I mean, so I’ve never unpacked this, like this for somebody before. So many people by not having that precarious.
They miss out on a lot. Like I can still see the guitar behind you there. And there’s a story behind that as well. Right? Like the, the soulmate much of who I am was those, I mean, it’s two years. It was like nothing. Two years of my life were spent on the road and then another year working in the, in, in the industry.
But again, I was on a call with one of my mates. That that time, about three weeks ago, like we stay in touch with them. These are formative. And part of the reason is industries like ours, their bond building industries, because there is a live show. There’s a live audience is showing up and you have to bring it and no matter what, so the work ethic and what we learned that that foundation sent me.
Like I believe, and I’m not to say that, you know, don’t go to college or things, but that was my college. That was what it was for me. And it gave me a headstart that I never would have gotten it. And I believe a bit of an unfair advantage. Yeah. You know, I, I could go on and on and on forever. Um, about this.
Let me, let me kind of circle back a little bit as we get kind of closer to wrapping up and, um, you know, you talk about that was your college. And I fully agree in a, the listeners have heard me talk about kind of similar topic a lot of times before. Um, but I’d like to get your opinion or maybe have you elaborate on the importance of delayed gratification and learning what you like.
And don’t like, and the way you put it as a pre career, because I think a big mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make. Especially with social media, amplifying, you know, the wins and that’s great, you know, share your wins, but you just don’t get a realistic perspective of everything that went in before the winds.
And so people compare themselves to their friends that accomplished something or somebody that they’ve been following, accomplished something. And I tell a lot of people to stay in your lane. Don’t get too excited about what they’re doing, because you have to go through and learn things on your own. You can’t just see it and read it.
You have to feel it and experience for you to truly take away something from it. Is that something you could elaborate on? Well, I mean, I honestly, we, we, we chatted for the first time for five minutes before, before this, this is, I couldn’t agree with you more. I, I kept on playing other people’s games. I kept on measuring my score and their victory condition.
And like, it was, I was, I am a threat version of many of my friends in the ER, they want to, they measure themselves. And this is, I don’t want to sound like I’m being derogatory. They measured themselves. On how, you know, bigger hosts they have. So about a hundred, maybe 10 years ago. Now I bought myself, the Panamera had come out that Porsche and I buy myself this thing because I thought that I’d wanted one for my entire life.
Uh, you know, as a kid, this was like my dream and I buy this car and basically I became an instant. And I’m not saying that everybody is one that buys what some people would just like. Cause I just like being seen in a flash car and I wasn’t in that. I just, it wasn’t that I acted differently. It was that I would look to see who saw me driving.
And I realized one day sitting at a traffic light, looking out the window to see who’s watching me. There’s another dude sitting there in a Ferrari. And I realized like, I was like, oh, come on, man. In the Olympic games of being willing. I was never going to be a player. Like if there was an Olympic games of being rich, I wasn’t getting, I wasn’t getting on any of the teams, no matter.
Even if I fulfilled my wildest dreams, that thought, why did I choose this to be my metric? Why, why compare myself to what other people are doing and decide that that is the game that I want to make. And then I started thinking like, where can I win these the Olympics? What can I focus on? What lane can I stay in?
And I realized that, so I’m a presentation guy. That’s all we do. Like, we help people deliver presentations. We help speakers and entrepreneurs figure out how they want to deliver something on a stage. And I thought, yeah, I can win the Olympics of that. Like, that’s the thing, that’s, that’s an area of authority that I can own that we don’t.
But in South Africa I’ll be with captain the team in Africa. If there was an African team, I think we’d still captain the team on a good day. I reckon we could get a podium on the Olympics of anybody who does what we do in the world, but I want to make sure that we get a guaranteed gold. Yeah. That as soon as I decided on that, then all of a sudden the money thing didn’t, wasn’t the metric because, and there’s that quote, I don’t know who said it, but I love it.
It’s the comparison is the thief of joy. And I was miserable because I’m in this organization of really successful entrepreneurs and I was measuring myself on their success. And, and again, I was never going to be that I couldn’t be there. So I had to figure out what was, what was my thing. And, and the book I’ve worked on now is called listen to the power of more, uh, the businessmen that excites me the most is a guy called Jimmy Steg Meyer.
He has a company called stone Meyer games, and he’s built like a $10 million business with one. And he’s like, he’s like, doesn’t want to go to two because he doesn’t want to lose the culture. And I think that’s so cool. Like that’s amazing. And you know, every day, every, every Saturday he’s going to post pictures of his cats.
And if you don’t like pictures of his cats, then you know, don’t buy his games. He doesn’t care. And then the other thing he does is he everything he does in his business. Right or wrong. He writes a blog post on it. Every single day does like a Seth Godin type thing. Or like he invites these blog posts at one blog posts where we’re going to show you what’s the Netflix, the next one will be on what he learned by this failed experiments in his business.
And he is, he’s like, uh, so now I realize. That’s that’s the dude. I want to figure out my victory conditions based on his ones. And I’m trying to build towards that. So this is a bit of a it’s just because this is an air I’ve been thinking about so much lately that you asked about that I’m on a bit of a tangent to you, but I really think that we’ve got to, it’s not about staying in your lane.
It’s about figuring out what your lane is. I think that’s what most people haven’t decided on. It’s not that they’re not successful as they haven’t been defined. I haven’t figured that out yet. The start bear. Yeah. Yeah. The, you know, there’s a quote by, I think it was by the actor, Jim Carrey. And I don’t remember the exact words, but it’s kind of along the lines of what you just talked about.
And he said something, um, I hope everybody finds fame and success, so they realized it’s not what. It’s not, what’s going to make them happy because that’s what everybody says. Everybody says, you know, at Facebook, at some point in their life, everybody says, I want to be rich. I want to be famous. And so he has this amazing simplistic quote that I’m going to slaughter, but it was basically that, you know, go find fame, go find success so you can move on and get past it because it’s not what you’re looking for.
But you don’t know that it’s like we talked about before. You don’t know that until you go through it yourself. Right. Totally. I mean, I mean, I go into, I wish I have a tiny slither of a taste of celebrity in the tiniest little microcosm of presentation guy in a small little country that is a pimple right there in a small little area of influence.
I’m the man. And even then it means, I think like my kids don’t take me any more seriously. My wife will roll her arms at, at, and, and you know, like there’s nothing it’s complete. Sometimes people say to me, things like you’re so down to earth, I was like, well, I hope so because I’m just like a dude tried to like ride his skateboard and longer prominent and have fun and, and hope my staff don’t ever figure out that I don’t know what I’m doing like that.
We’ll make sure to not share this podcast with them. Think they know, do you, you know, the last I’ll leave you with and then I’ll give you the opportunity to put your contact information. Is, um, are you familiar with Derek Sievers he founded a company called CD baby. Derek. Sivers like right now I’m I’m I I’m working through his book.
Hell ya know, again, that, that if you had pushed me for one more than Jay, then Jamie steak Meyer would be civics. I just, that guy is just like, man, I’ve got a, I’ve got a fresh he’s the angel crush. He’s totally what you described. Where, where it’s like. I just, you know, he found his happiness, he found his lane and he just does his thing.
He sold this company for a couple of million bucks and not to say that’s a lot or a little, but that was enough. And he’s not out pushing for hundreds of millions and billions. And he’s just kind of enjoying life in a way. Right? Like he gave all his money away. He sold the business and he gave it all the way to the music industry and the cannabis city figured it out.
Hmm. And, uh, my favorite example, I can’t remember, never remember the guy’s name, but people talk about MySpace being a failure. My space guy. Yeah. He’s sold the business for like more money. A hundred million. Yeah. Yeah. And people call them a failure because they measure him against Facebook. If you measure anybody against, like, why would that be your measurement?
And it’s such an arbitrary thing like this isn’t. Who sold his business? It to me, the ultimate success, he sold the business for enough money to live his best life and realize I don’t have to do this again. I’m done like build a statue of that guy. That’s that should be building a statue of that guy. Put it downtown Silicon valley and mountain view, California.
And then people realized like there’s more after that. There’ll be an after, not just a, a night. Yeah. It’s so inspiring that book. Hell yes or no. I’m busy with it right now and I highly recommend it. If you go to tsipras.org, you, you, yeah. You get them all there. Richard, this has been awesome. Um, I think, uh, you and I, we’re going to, we’re going to do, um, we’re going to have monthly therapy sessions where you and I will jump on and talk and we’re going to go snowboarding one day.
We’ll do that. Yeah, no, I, I still got my gear. So next time you’re in park city. Let me know. Um, Richard Mulholland, thanks for jumping on learning from others. I’ll give you the floor and what a wrestlers know how they can find out. Yeah. Thank you so much, Damon, uh, would love to chat to you if you are in any way, interested in figuring out how to really, really, if I hear a story on using stages, uh, the stages like podcasts, but stages like events and webinars, there’s never been a better time.
So if you want to go to story to stage.com, you’ll be able to find a little bit about our speaker mentorship program and how we can help you there. If you’d like to learn about the other aspects of our business, go to, I need Michigan. Dot com and you’ll find everything there. And then lastly, we just want to catch up with me and chat to me and talk about anything random.
If you go to get rich dot F you will find links to all of my social profiles and just let me know that this is how you find me, and we will get to chatting after that. So thank you so much. Damn, I need you and you, everybody for your time and attention, I didn’t even know dot AAF was a domain extension.
I’m going to go, I’m going to go snatch up a bunch. So should I know you want to wind it up, but if anything, so I was doing a talk last year in Saudi Arabia and I didn’t even know what gun AAF was. And there was this morning, they shared my URL on the screen, and then there were other components like. Why do you have Afghanistan as Afghanistan?
That makes sense. So it’s not Afghanistan, but the other one we use, if I want to share a link to anything, we’ve got one of those short links and I found that you can get the domain WTF. So we have MSN g.wtf as well. You can get your name right. Well, WTF had a running joke with one of our podcasts guests, um, Nate Bailey and, um, it’s all, you know, warning upcoming swear word.
Um, so Nate Bailey it’s, it’s always like hit him and I joked back and forth about being sexy as fuck. And so we’re always in our posts like Nate looking good, looking sexy. Yeah. It’s like a personal, it’s like a perfect inside joke at the moment. So I appreciate that Nate is sexy, the best 10 bucks you could spend and give him this.
And it’s just going to redirect to a picture of him. That’s it.
I want to see that I dig it now. You’ve made me commit to it. Thanks. You too. I sexy as fuck. So good job. Thank you very much for having me. That’s a wrap.