Know WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT IN LIFE to be Comfortable with Hard Decisions w/ Adam ErhartApr 19, 2022
Welcome to episode 44 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.
Episode 44’s guest is Adam Erhart. He was a commercial pilot, it sounds like it was his dream but he hated it and he was getting burnt out so he quit his job and became a digital marketing expert. From there, he created a YouTube channel where he has hundreds and thousands of subscribers, and he is much more fulfilled and living a happier life. He is going to share his insights into that career switch and how he manages to keep on top of his commitments and his time.
I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels.
- You can find all my work and socials here: http://amardeep.co
- Download my free Anti-Burnout Toolkit here: http://antiburnout.mindfuldriven.com
- United for Global Mental Health: https://unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support
- Find more about Adam: https://www.adamerhart.com/
- Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamerhart
- Follow her on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/adamerhartvideo
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Why it’s important to know what you actually want in life.
- How to bring more meaning into your life.
- Why it’s important to make big changes when your back is against the wall.
- Follow your curiosity.
- Why you should pay more attention to your personal interests.
- How to create goals that really matter to you.
- How to know what you really want in life.
- Why you shouldn’t be stubborn with your career path.
- Why you should be flexible about your professional path.
- How to define success in your own term.
- Follow your own definition of success.
- Introduction (0:00)
- Unachievable equilibrium (2:09)
- The realisation (7:47)
- The switch (11:25)
- Finding the value and balance and goals (15:54)
- Enjoyment, working smarter, and making a difference (23:35)
- The most arrogant thing to say. Ever. (33:10)
- You’re going to die. (39:14)
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick — bit.ly/youtube-monawonderlick
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download: bit.ly/himalayas-download
[00:00:00] Adam: But I could have, like, I would have sworn to you that, yeah, this is what I want. This is what I, this is, what I’m going for and this is what I think success is and so on, and it’s not even that it was a bad direction. It’s just that it no longer serves me at a point. And I think that’s the trick, this is like, yeah. Okay, if we’re, if we’re putting in all this hard work and we’re just kind of hating our lives every day. Well, that’s, that’s clearly not a very good standard. Just like this is not the goal of what we’re here to do, so we’re going to need to pivot. Now, it doesn’t mean that that goal didn’t serve you up until that point, and it doesn’t mean that all that hard work didn’t, didn’t allow you to accomplish things.
[00:00:36] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven Podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams.Today’s guest is Adam Erhart. He was a commercial pilot, it sounds like it was his dream but he hated it and he was getting burnt out so he quit his job and became a digital marketing expert. From there, he created a YouTube channel where he has hundreds and thousands of subscribers, and he is much more fulfilled and living a happier life. He is going to share his insights into that career switch and how he manages to keep on top of his commitments and his time. I hope you enjoyed listening.w
[00:01:14] Welcome to Mindful and Driven, Adam. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
[00:01:16] Adam: Amar. Awesome to be here. Thank you for having me.
[00:01:19] Amardeep: So you’ve got a really interesting story from going from being a pilot to becoming a marketer to building a dream life. Along the way you must have had so much advice and some of it you would’ve followed some of it you wouldn’t have. Is there any advice you will often hear that you really disagree with?
[00:01:34] Adam: Man. So much. So much. I think the thing with advice, right, is it so first of all, subjective and second of all, it’s so context important. So it’s like, we often hear these sort of like cliches and these stories about like, do this and do that, and and without the context, it’s almost impossible, especially when we start say, looking through Twitter, for words of wisdom. And it’s like, you pick up this quote and you’re like, you know, nothing about the person or their life or their struggles or their dreams or their whatever. And all of a sudden we’re giving them these, these crazy ideas. So, man, do I ever have a lot. I think, there’s a couple that the kind of really resonate the first of which is this idea of balance and striving for this life of balance, and for this sort of I don’t know, I think it’s almost sort of an unachievable equilibrium that we’re going for. Like everything’s always perfect and we’re happy, and I think certainly in my experience, I’ve always taken one of the extremes of it, and often towards the workaholic extreme. So in the early days of trying to get the business going, yeah, man, there was, first of all, there was less talk about balancing like a decade or so ago, but I I’m glad that it wasn’t there because I don’t think it would have been practical if I was trying to balance all these things, including get things going. So that’s, that’s the one I’ll throw rocks at. I think you got to go for it eventually. I think it needs to be baked into it, cause otherwise you’re going to burn yourself out and destroy your relationships. But yeah, but it’s tough. I think you do probably have to work harder than a lot of people are willing to willing to admit.
[00:02:58] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think on that, it’s what I think is, it is working in sprints, right? Because you can’t run at sprint speed for the marathon and that’s when you burn out. But there is times where if you’ve put more effort into a specific area of life, let’s say you put more effort into your work, then that will help you get somewhere, and then you get to this point with it. You can relax a bit more afterwards, whereas if you don’t do that, sometimes you never reach that tipping point. And I think that’s one of the hard concepts that it’s difficult for people to come to is that it’s not like if you put in 10 hours of effort, then you’re going to get 10 hours of output. Sometimes you have like a negative return sometimes. More work you put in, you get less out. Whereas other times, you can do a little bit more effort and it’ll be a much bigger increase because of that.
[00:03:45] Adam: Listen, I don’t want to be a proponent of like, just grinding your face off, but just like in those early days, that that knowledge, that experience or whatnot is going to compound exponentially later. Like it’s just so much easier to just understand that you’re going to be sweating a lot in those early times. And then the other thing is that, well, you’re from economics, you’re going to appreciate this. It’s like, if you can imagine that bell curve, right. Of you have sort of minimum effective dose, and then you have this like diminishing returns on the other end. And what ends up happening is that I think there’s this certainly now there’s this cultural sort of narrative of like putting in those minimum effective dose. Like what’s the least I can do to get the most results and the reality is that it’s like, you’ve got to push it a lot more than that. You’ve got to go sort of that mid end and the bell curve to when you’re going to finally start experiencing a diminishing returns from your effort. And I think it’s probably further than a lot of people push. So by no means, am I saying like work 120 hours a week or anything like that, but it’s like, if you’re chilling and you’re just relaxing and you’re not accomplishing your goals, well, then I’d start to question like, are these really your goals? Cause it’s cool if they’re not, but it’s like, we don’t, you don’t need to lie to yourself. You can lie to me all you want, but like at the end of the day you got live with yourself.
[00:04:52] Amardeep: Yeah. I think [unintelligible] where the idea is it’s not about working hard, it’s about working hard on the right thing, because I think what a lot of people are burning up doing is they’re working hard for a job they don’t enjoy or an area they don’t like. So then all that hard work, it’s not fulfilling, and that’s what leading to the burnout. Whereas when you truly love what you do, those extra hours don’t feel as harrying. It’s still going to be hard at times, and that’s where it comes into what you said about how you’ve got to really understand all your goals, where your actual goals are and completely fine if they aren’t like, not everybody wants to have certain ambitions, but I think the struggle comes when you say, or you tell yourself that you do when like deep down you don’t, and then you almost start shaming yourself for doing something which you don’t really want to do, and then you get all those internal struggles so, it’s really [unintelligible] yourself, and then from there you know whether or not you want to work hard or how much you want to work.
[00:05:51] Adam: Yeah. And I mean, I think like you really hit the nail on the head. Oh man. We went deep, quick. Cause like the reality is those, that kind of level of self-awareness is a, it’s really, really hard. It’s like for a long time, the goals that I said I wanted, I thought, I, this is going to, this is going to sound a little bit weird, but I thought I wanted them. And it was really only until I had a moment of clarity or when I was able to step back, did I realize that I was sort of climbing the wrong ladder, leaning up against the wrong wall, but I could have, like, I would have sworn to you that, yeah, this is what I want. This is what I, this is what I’m going for. And this is what I think success is. And so on. and a lot of that was formed by the narrative of those around me and it was formed by the culture I was raised in the cities that I grew up in, with the parents that I had, and the friends that I had. So it’s like, everything was guiding me in this direction. And, and it’s not even that it was a bad direction. It’s just that it no longer served me at a point. And I think that’s the trick. It’s like, yeah okay, if we’re, if we’re putting in all this hard work and we’re just kind of hating our lives every day. Well, that’s clearly not a very good standard. It’s like, this is not the goal of what we’re here to do. So we’re going to need to pivot. Now, it doesn’t mean that that goal didn’t serve you up until that point. And it doesn’t mean that all that hard work didn’t, didn’t allow you to accomplish things, but it means that it’s probably time to take a step back and be a little more objective and possibly get some third-party input into, well, what are you doing? And what’s important? And what do you want to do? And who do you want to become? Yeah, it’s a, it’s a journey, man. It’s a journey.
[00:07:12] Amardeep: Yeah, and I think that’s one of the purposes behind this podcast is that the same people hit this kind of point, I’d say late twenties, early thirties, where they’ve been doing well, they haven’t been doing badly, a lot of them, they are quite proud of their achievements, but then they start realizing, are those achievements what they actually want? This doubt starts coming in. And with you, for example, like you were working as a jet pilot for many years. When did that inflection point come where you decided that wasn’t what was right for you and how did you make a transition out of that.
[00:07:42] Adam: Yeah. Yeah, man. I wish, I wish I had proper awareness to know it earlier, but essentially the most of the points of sort of realization came from friends and family while in that position. So it’s like, there’ll be soft hints about like, Hmm, have you thought about like maybe this? Or maybe that? The problem with that position, well, there, there was many, first of all, the people were amazing. It’s like my, my chief pilot was amazing. All of my friends and pilots that I worked with, amazing. Like just absolutely amazing. We were paid really well. We stayed in first class, but like, it was literally from the outside the dream job. There’s no better job in the world of aviation then than the one I had. And yet I was still like, this isn’t quite right. And so I would have chats with my friends. They’d be like, yeah, well, what about this? And what about that? But I didn’t know what else to do. So it’s not like I was like, oh, we’re going to leave aviation and go, I don’t know, start a donut shop or whatever it was. It was like that’s all I’d known, right? Like I went to school for that. That’s all I did. And it’s quite a time and financial investment to like become a pilot and then especially to sort of hit that level. So, It was not like this this moment of clarity, rather, it was sort of this like series of small things that were like, well, this isn’t good and that’s not good. And then I started getting sick a little bit more, and then I started getting stressed a little more and then I started not liking myself as much. And then I started drinking a little too much there and then started this and started that, and then sacrificing this and like things slowly went until finally it was like, I’d like to say it was a a high point, but it was kind of a low point, and I was just like, I think I got to go, I can’t do this anymore. And so I called my chief pilot and I was like, man, I think I got to go. And he’s like, yeah, we think it’s probably time. And like, we all, we’re all kind of like waiting. And then, So that was it that’s so I went home and and literally I never flew again. And like that was over 10 years ago and I got home and I had no idea what I was going to do. So it’s not like I even had a backup, strongly, strongly advise against that. Be smarter than I was, cause I was panicked, man. I was like, I don’t know what I’m going to do. And yeah, that sort of led into this crazy random transition into a field that I absolutely love and adore and fills every part of all of my needs as a human being. So yeah, it’s amazing that this happened, but I think it’s a combination of just dumb luck and also having the right people around me at the time to sort of help guide me in those, in those challenging times.
[00:09:56] Amardeep: Yeah, and is, as you said, for people listening, like don’t wait until that absolutely low point before dumping. Try to get out before. And it was a previous case. You said, this is all, I was like, don’t wait until you’re like 90% of the way to burnout, like doing something at 50%, start preventing, and I always thought it was a good idea is that sometimes what people do once they’re burned out, or they’re very low, cause if they started with that little bit earlier, they might’ve made the dip a little bit less.
[00:10:23] Adam: But I think it’s tough. Right? Like for me, the, what, what ended up causing that in the end was that pain. So it’s like, I experienced that burnout years before I left, like years, years before, like there was things that didn’t bug the other pilots that like really bothered me. It’s like, for example, the, again, the job was just phenomenal, but when, when you’re expected to go, you go. Like you don’t, you don’t really have a choice. And so I would be really set in my routine and I liked my schedule and it would get all thrown right out of whack, and they’d all be like, man, that’s fine. And it would throw me and I’d be like, well, I kind of, and, but I didn’t have a choice. So again, I was sort of like, I didn’t like that. And I didn’t like this. And all these little pieces and like the writing was on the wall, but it was literally until finally that whole collection of things, I was like, man, this is, this is not it. I don’t know. I wish I could offer better advice to be like, yeah, definitely stop at 50% or 90%. But for me it took being like backed into a corner where I was like, I’m literally, I’m going to snap. Like I got to get out of here. So yeah, it’s tough.
[00:11:22] Amardeep: How soon was it after you went into your new career. Like did you have a few months where you took a break or is it almost straight away you tried to find something new and went into marketing?
[00:11:31] Adam: So it was like, it was almost immediate. So what ended up happening is I got home, I was like, all right. Now what? What am I going to do? And the thought of going back to flying so tempting. Right? Cause I like the second that I left that job, like the literal second, I had new new invites for, for new positions that were equally, if not better looking on paper and the money was better. Like, holy moly, like, why don’t we just, why don’t we do this? But I just couldn’t like, I was just so tired and so burned out. So what ended up happening is I sat there and I was like, what do I do? And I talked to my wife and she’s like, you should do marketing. And I was like, I don’t know what marketing is. She’s like, well, I think you’d be good at it. And so I started to like literally just, well, what’s marketing? What’s this about? What is this thing? And I read a book and then I read another book and then I got almost immediately hooked. And I don’t know if I was just hooked because it naturally aligned with my interests or just the position that I was in. But I, like, I just went right into the deep end. So I took every course and I bought every book and I listened to everything and I started doing as much marketing as I could for myself or for anyone that would let me like immediate. So, yeah, it happened really quick. Like within a couple of weeks, I was sort of hitting the ground, running, learning what I could.
[00:12:39] Amardeep: Wow. And then what were your first steps? Obviously, you’ve got a massively successful YouTube channel now. What were the first steps you took in this industry? Like how did you go about getting your first clients or, [unintelligible] you didn’t have any experience at the time.
[00:12:52] Adam: Yeah, I knew nothing. I knew I knew less than nothing. So what I did, the early days was it was just sort of following my curiosity, which is my best advice for anyone, I think. It’s like when you’re looking at a new path, it’s like, well, what what’s interesting to you. So I started learning, okay, marketing is this. And it’s communicating value and it’s making sales, but making sales without having to be there in person, which I really liked. Cause I didn’t like thought of being a sales guy. So I was like, okay, well I’m going to do marketing, then I need a website. So let’s learn how to build a website. So I built a website and then I was like, okay, well, who else wants a website? So I built all these websites and it’s like, okay, well, cool. Now we have websites, but no one can find them. So we need SEO. So I learned SEO. Okay. Now we’ve got all this traffic and then that started to get results so, I was like, okay, well I want more, so let’s do social media. So I started learning social media and I was like, okay, well I want more so, I learned social media ads. And we started running Facebook ads and then, okay, well, I want more than that. So we started doing all these other things, but one of my first clients, aside from the ones that I built cheap websites for, for, I don’t even know, say a hundred bucks. My first like official agency client, I ran ads for them and I charged them a hundred bucks and I had to drive from my house, literally to the other side of town, sit down with them for an hour meeting, go through all the ads, drive back to my house, make all the ads, then run the campaign that I ran and drove back to them for a meeting. It’s like, I must’ve paid myself like three bucks an hour. Like it was like [unintelligible], like absolutely tops. None of it made any sense, but there was a testimonial and there was some experience. And I was like, oh, this is interesting, and people get it and I can speak the language. And then I just slowly started putting the pieces together. So that led to blogging and then it led to a podcast and it led to figuring out a bit of YouTube. And I started early and I had no idea what I was doing. So I hired a buddy of mine who is a videographer, and I made him a website and he shot a couple of videos for me. We put them up and I hated every second of it, cause I was sweaty and miserable and like so uncomfortable. And then I quit after like, I don’t know, maybe it was like a year or two on YouTube and I was like, this isn’t worth it. And it’s too hard. And so I quit for like six months and I was like, wait, maybe I should go back. And it’s been I think my career has been very much like that. It’s been this like, go this direction, pivot here, pivot there, pivot there. Looking for what the best opportunities are for me to deliver the most value. I think that’s really what it came down to is I had a couple early mentors, like a lot through Seth Godin and a lot of his content about like providing value and always putting the customer first and a lot of stuff Jay Abraham talks about. And that kind of like really solidified my view of what you should do to be successful. And I was fortunate cause it just lined up well, it’s like, all right, we’re always going to be ethical. We’re going to be honest. We’re going to hold integrity high. We’re going to treat the client’s business like it’s your business. We’re going to do the best job that we possibly can. We’re going to do unscalable activities. We’re going to work for free to get testimony. Like we’re going to do all of these things that people say, especially the working for free is still controversial for some reason. But for me it was pivotal it’s because it built up a portfolio. So. That’s it. That’s the whole story.
[00:15:46] Amardeep: Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show.
[00:16:22] What do you enjoy the most now? So you do all these different things. What’s the bit that you think like, this is what I really love.
[00:16:27] Adam: For me, it’s multifold. The first of which is I still find marketing and the psychology behind it, like infinitely fascinating, unbelievable. Like marketing is about people, and it’s about what people do with the stuff that really matters, which is kind of like their money. So it’s like, I like watching how people act and behave and do all these things, but when they start putting dollars down, it’s like, well, that speaks volumes for what they actually believe in, what they’re willing to support. I find that interesting. And the other thing is being able to look at a client’s business and see things that they can’t see about the positioning or the offer, or like finding the value in there that they’ve been either sleeping on or they haven’t fully exploited or haven’t fully communicated. That to me just makes me so excited because it’s like, you know, when you meet somebody that’s super cool and they don’t really know it. And you’re just like, man, you’ve got all these things and you can’t see them. It’s like, you got to, got to share this and talk about this and then having that result in like an actual, tangible ROI. So they actually make more money from it. I don’t know. I find, I find that just unbelievably fulfilling.
[00:17:29] Amardeep: Yeah. And you said how at the beginning you were working crazy hours and grinding hard. What’s your lifestyle like now? Have you found a bit more balanced now that you’re able to, because obviously I’ve got family now too, and hobbies, how do you fit those all in?
[00:17:42] Adam: Yeah. So, it’s funny. It’s funny to start this conversation right, Amar. Like we talk about, what’s the thing you disagree with and I say balance, and now I’m probably about as balanced as I, I’ve ever been. So, when I first started, yeah, it was admittedly embarrassingly, it was like 16 hours a day, seven days a week. And I did that for years. Like not, not one year, not two, probably like a good three or some odd years of just grinding. And then my first son was born around six and a half years ago. And and I remember it well because my wife came to my office and sort of like knocked on the door, she was like, we need to talk. And it’s like, no conversation that ever starts that way ends well. I was like, those are always the worst. So I was like, all right, what’s going on? I’m like shutting down calls and this and that. And and I can’t remember exactly what was said because I was sort of in a state of shock, but it was, it was very clear like, hey, you’re missing your son’s life. It’s like, all you do is work and we never see you and you’re never home. And all you’re doing is working. And I think you’re going to regret this. Like later on when you grow up and you, and you look back at him and and she left and I can’t remember if I cried or if I just sat there, but I remember these emotions being just like, oh, that sucked. Like, that was just the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had. And because I knew she was right. I knew that like all of the things that I claimed were important to me were not the things that I was actually doing. So basically from that, I cut it to like 40 hours a week. That 40 was kind of closer to 50 probably, cause I figured I could squeak out a few in the morning by waking up earlier than that, but it got dramatically cut, like by a fraction, and for some reason, revenue grew and happiness grew and success grew. And it was like, what is, what, how does that work? Anyway and so, now today I hover around that point. I try to limit it to like 40 hours a week of actual work, but I just, mostly now it’s just cause I love it so much. So on the weekends, I’ll do reading about things that I like in that, but I try to actively step away to get more experiences and things outside of business because I find that I can then bring them to the business, which makes it better.
[00:19:40] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think that’s one of the hard things [unintelligible] be yourself, is working at those hours, because for me, for example, one of the people I work with is LA based and they’re eight hours behind me, so they’re always emailing me when I kind of want to be wrapping up for today, but because it’s interesting and cause I enjoy doing it, I can’t help but check. So I’m trying to set those boundaries a bit better now, because, like you said, I don’t want to be working those hours. And I find when I am working those hours, what starts happening for me at least is there’s more zombie time. There’s more time where I’m tired, so I’m not getting things done as quickly. So I’m working longer because of that, and then it becomes a bad cycle. And for me, it’s easy to slip into that sometimes because it’s like you said, when you’re enjoying it, that can sometimes kill you because, if you don’t like it, you can start rebelling against it. [unintelligible] this is fun. This is interesting. Then it kills you slowly.
[00:20:31] Adam: Yes. Yeah, very much so. I think I’ve had the exact same thing. It’s tough. Like I can say, do what I say, not what I do and be like, here’s the perfect example of how you should live, but the reality is that I still battle with that today. And I still get regular checks and balances from my family as well. So I think they, they help to do it. Friends, help it as well. When I, when I realize I’ve said no to too many things that I shouldn’t be saying no to, that’s another one. But also yeah, putting in those boundaries and those guidelines are helpful, and I use them as that. I use them as guidelines, more so than boundaries. So it’s like, look, if I’m pushing my work past XYZ hours or doing this on this time or whatever it is, something’s wrong. And very much, like you said, it is those zombie hours where they’re not really that productive. I’m not really enjoying it anyway. It’s kind of like a bad social media session where you like sit down and you scroll your phone and like 30 minutes later you look up and you’re like, I didn’t even like that. Like that wasn’t even fun. Like, I don’t think I even, I feel worse about myself. I feel worse about the world. Why do I do these things? So it’s sort of putting in the safeguards to try to prevent that from happening is about the best you can do. And then knowing that it exists. That’s it. You’ve just got to accept, all right. This is a thing that I’m going to have to deal with.
[00:21:38] Amardeep: Yeah. I was thinking that like McDonald’s, right? Where you sometimes you feel like you really fancy McDonald’s, and then you have it I didn’t get that. I feel really bad, I shouldn’t have done that. I think it’s so easy for it to happen without you realizing, because you have the urge beforehand, but then when you actually have it and it’s like, oh wait, that wasn’t worth it. And like on the wall behind you for the people watching on YouTube, you can see this guitar. Is that something you’ve always done or is it something you picked up in the last few years?
[00:22:04] Adam: Yeah, no, I’ve always played. Yeah. I started, I started playing music when I was really young and and played throughout childhood. It was a lot of lessons and a lot of playing and yeah, I played throat being an adult as well, but then there was a period of like literally a year, if not two years where I probably didn’t even touch it. Didn’t even look at it. Like everything was just this laser focus on the goal and this revenue number and this and that. And it’s, ah, it just, it kind of sucked. And then I played it again. I realized how much fun it was to do. And and I think it’s important because what ends up happening is if you become this sort of one dimensional character, especially in our world, right. Where it’s like, where it’s a lot of personality driven and it’s a lot, it’s like you become a really boring person. It’s like, you’ve just got nothing fun to talk about. And then again, like, think about what kind of an example you’re setting for all of the people that are looking to you. It’s like, well, what do you do? It’s like, I just work. I just work. All the time. It’s like, what do you do for fun? It’s like, I never have fun. Like, what a terrible life. That’s a horrible example. So yeah. I try now to like actively pursue things that are either challenging or enjoyable or yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of things that I don’t necessarily even enjoy at the time, but I know I’m going to after, so it’s basically any trip with kids. There’s a was a good example. So it’s like, anytime you do any kind of traveling with kids, it always sucks. Like it’s just not fun, but there’s always those elements that are just amazing. There’s like that one key element that like makes everything worth it. When all the screaming and fighting and kicking over, like who stole my toy and whatever it is, there’s always that one thing that makes it a highlight and therefore the whole thing is worth it. And you’ve got to engineer those because if you don’t, they’re never going to happen automatically, cause again, it’s painful. It’s like I’ve got four kids, and so it’s like, we’ve got to pack up car seats and strollers and diapers and clothes and this and snacks and this. So it’s like every event is like a three hour thing, even if we’re just like going to the beach for a bit. So yeah, it takes effort, but it’s worth doing.
[00:23:53] Amardeep: Do you find as well, like having a guitar, because obviously you have, four kids can be quite intense at home as well, and then your work is quite intense. And I feel like some people, sometimes they ditch their hobbies because they say, oh, they’ve grown up. They’ve grown out of it. Or I just really disagree with that. I feel like you can’t outgrow somethings that you enjoy, but you’re, what you enjoy might change. It might be that you learn a different instrument. You do something else. But I feel like you always need to have time just for fun. That there’s no responsibility or anything.
[00:24:24] Adam: Yeah, yeah, no, a hundred percent. And in fact, we have, like, we have sort of this unset budget in our house where we have a couple of things that almost have no cap on spending. So one of them is books and anything education-wise, it’s like we just have, I don’t, I don’t even care if my, my wife will mention a book or my kid will say this about like, I’ll just buy any book by that author, whatever I can, like, we have an unlimited budget for learning and for growth and for science projects, whatever it is. The other thing, I don’t want to say an unlimited budget, but a quasi budget is anything fun, family, sports related, anything that we can do. So for example, I’ve got, this is like the most random admission ever, I own not one but two unicycles, and and I was like committed to learning how to ride this thing. And I thought it was, not only was it going to be interesting for me to learn, but I practiced in the backyard, and the key thing for me was that we filmed some of it, but I wanted my kids to watch me fall. And so I fell off the thing, I don’t even know, like we’re six, 700 times, like to try to learn how to ride like easily. But no, finally half crack the code, but it’s like, we’ve got to take these things and we have to make play, and we have to make adventure and we have to make learning a part of it to stretch and to grow, and to also, I think, bring you back to learning what you like and what you don’t like. So it’s like, maybe didn’t need to buy a couple of unicycles. We could have rented one or who knows, but the point is like, you’ve got to test these things to find out what do I like? What do I not like? What do I like about it? What do I not like about it? And then yeah, if your life is devoid of fun, I don’t know. I got to be honest. I was like, why, why, why are we doing this? Like, if you’re, if you’re just doing, working all the time, and so again, easier for me to say now than it was in the early days, but yeah, I think it’s an important part.
[00:25:57] Amardeep: Yeah. And it’s like, I think if you find that you don’t have any fun in your life, then experiment, just try something. Maybe it’s a unicycle, maybe somebody listening right now can go buy a unicycle, fall over a bunch of times and have fun and love themselves. Yeah. And wear protection. Make sure they’ve got a, have their helmets on. But you just never know what you’re going to enjoy and if you know you’re not enjoying what you’re doing at the moment, then there’s no risk for you, right? Because if you’re going to [unintelligible], and you might enjoy, you might not, then at least there’s the hope. At least there’s a chance that you are going to enjoy it. And you know your lifestyle at the moment, so you’ve, you’ve got better balance now. So you do 40 hours a week or so. Do you feel that this is what you’re going to continue doing? Or do you think that you’re going to adjust it further in the future?
[00:26:41] Adam: Yeah, it’s interesting. I think if you asked me a couple of years ago, I’d say that it’s probably going to stay at this point forever. Knowing what I know now is that it’ll probably fluctuate again. Like it’ll probably go, it’s probably going to stick around 40, let’s say for the next foreseeable future, but there’ll be periods where it might dip down to 30 and then say, once the kids are all in school, it might go up to, 50 or might stay at 30. I think what’s important now is realizing that I hate this. I hate the saying, so bear with me here, but it’s like, you know, the work smarter, not harder thing. Well, there is an element of truth to that, and I think what ends up happening is you have to work like crazy to figure out what smart even means. And that’s the problem is that in those early days, I didn’t even know what smarter was, so I could just, I could make up for that lack of knowledge with pure effort. I think now that I have a pretty clear understanding of what what’s good and what’s not, and what I’m good at and what I’m not good at, as well as the ability to compound all of those other things. So for example, YouTube is probably the perfect example of you build this library of marketing assets, and then once the assets are built, they compound in value over. So it’s like, I could never make another video again and there would still bring in traffic and clicks and calls and so on, not to the same extent, but it would still continue to grow. So I think by being strategic about the work that you’re doing, you can build up these assets that could pay off later. So. For me, I like work. I find the value of of allowing it to become a person that you’re, that you want to become by basically testing yourself to do hard things. I love marketing. Like being able to help people. So all of it lines up that I’m going to probably stick around this level for a bit, but I’m also open to change.
[00:28:19] Amardeep: Yeah. And I feel like with that as well, what you said about the growth and like getting more subscribers and it’s, to me, it’s not necessarily about having picked the numbers in terms of bragging rights, but it’s my way of measuring how good I’m doing. Right? So if people are subscribing to me, that means I’m adding value. That means that they’re enjoying my content and that’s what makes me feel good rather than the number and I think it’s quite similar with you, right?, It’s more like a hundred thousand people with you. I’ve watched your videos and thought that this guy is good, like I want to follow him. And when you take a step [unintelligible], I said, that’s crazy, right? A hundred thousand people.
[00:28:54] Adam: It’s insane. It’s totally insane. So I’ve got, ah, it’s like, okay, so I got two things to share with you. I’ve not told anyone. So the first of which is that sitting right there beside me, I’ve got the, yeah, it’s hidden off, off screen. Is the um, yeah, exactly. I’ll drag it over. It’s not, it’s the YouTube plaque that they mail you when you get a hundred thousand subscribers. So that came in the mail. I haven’t opened it yet. Like, it’s literally been sitting there in my mail to open and and I think it’s because before I had it, I wanted it so bad and then when I got it and I realized this with flying when I was like, okay, as soon as I get this, or as soon as I get that. But as soon as I got it, I realized that man, that wasn’t even the point. Like it was like, okay, that’s cool. And I’m glad it’s there. And we’ll probably chuck it up on the wall and some proof and things like that, but it was almost, I don’t want to say irrelevant, but quite anti-climatic and like, okay, well now what’s next? And the second thing is that yeah, a hundred thousand. I’m so pumped and lucky and everything we’re in like, man, did we ever work hard to get it. But what was interesting is I had a conversation with my dad the other day, actually, because he said, hey, I was looking through your YouTube videos, and one of the most common questions or comments you get is this is great. Why aren’t more people watching it or why aren’t there more subscribers? And I told them, I was like, it’s because they’re not good enough yet, to be the million or to be, I was like, it’s good. And it’s valuable, but it’s not like it’s it hasn’t hit the right buttons that needs to, to go to that next level. So for me, that’s the fun, it’s like the reason I want the million subscribers is because then I have to figure out the code that I haven’t cracked yet of what is the million subscriber channel like. And so I work with thumbnail coaches, and video coaches, and scripters, and other coaches, and consultants. And we try to figure it out and no one really knows, but we all have an idea. And it’s a, it’s just a game. It’s the big fun game.
[00:30:40] Amardeep: Yeah. I, I completely agree with that. That’s what drives me in a way as well, because it’s lovely to know that you’re making such a difference in people’s lives, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I enjoy working out how to make a difference. That process of working out these problems that people have. How can I help them to solve their problems? And that enjoyment of the process is what drives me in a way, so like you said, reaching different targets of subscribers or followers, or likes, it’s just a way of me measuring myself about how well I’m doing in that scale. It’s not what the actual end result is, that’s not the end goal.
[00:31:16] Adam: Yeah, I feel the same about revenue and business in that, what’s interesting is that again, depending on where you live and depending on what your needs are in that, but it’s like, if I’m, if I’m honest with myself and we look over our finances, the amount of money that I need to live a ridiculously comfortable life with all of our needs met. It’s not that high. It’s just, it’s just not like it’s a very achievable number that we’ve hit. I don’t even know how many years ago, like it’s very doable. So why do you keep growing? Why do you keep pushing? Why do you keep launching products and services and taking on other deals and so on? And again, for me, it’s just the growth opportunities that come with it. So it’s like, yeah, I liked seeing zeros accumulated in the bank account but I don’t like once then once your needs are met an extra 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, like, it just doesn’t have that same impact. And it’s interesting to talk to other successful entrepreneurs or creators or whoever it is, and once they’ve hit that number as well, they’re just like, yeah, you something changes and you realize that another, whatever X, Y, Z dollars, isn’t going to be the answer. Now, in the early days, it’s absolutely 100% going to be the answer. You got to hit that number. If you don’t have it, you just grind until you hit it. But then once you hit it, you realize that, cool, that’s not the game anymore. So it’s yeah, it’s it’s wow. Crazy world we live in.
[00:32:32] Amardeep: And I think that all the people hit this in their corporate careers as well, once they get a promotion, they have the money that the younger version of themselves wanted or they thought they needed. But because it doesn’t actually give them the happiness they wanted, then they’re like what, wait, what, like and it’s that kind of, and that’s the inflection point that so many people hit is, wait, so what do I do now? Do I [unintelligible] it’s, I think it’s tough for people when they have a target where all that masters is hitting that target because they’re not enjoying the process itself, and that’s why I think in what we do and what other people do in the creative spaces, it’s so great for us because we enjoy the process of working out how to get that number. It’s not just about that number.
[00:33:12] Adam: Yeah, very much. The whole flying thing is that, is that quintessential example of like in aviation, there was at least in regards to the path that I took, there was no higher position than business jet, captain, corporate captain, like that was, that was it, and I was way too young. Like all the, all the stars aligned and I got in way too young and I hit it at, I don’t even know, 27 or 26 or something, some crazy age that I had no right to do basically. And then I looked ahead at like, well, not even 36, but 56 and 66 and all the guys that have been doing that for awhile. And some of them were happy, a lot of them weren’t, but like pretty much every career, but I couldn’t see myself doing it. And once having achieved it, I was like, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to just sit here and kind of ride this out for the next 40 years. Like it was it was scary. Yeah, it was really scary. And it was also fortunate, it happened young enough, I didn’t realize until till later, but fortunately it happened young enough to realize that, alright, it’s not going to be this. I don’t know what you call it. Like external validation, whatever monetary form of success. I think you have to hit it though to realize it. It sounds, I wouldn’t have believed it either, if someone told me that like, Adam, don’t chase dollars. You’ll never be happy. I’d be like, screw you, man. I need some food, like I’m hungry. I need, I need, so I think you have to go and pursue it aggressively. And then once you hit it, accept the fact that cool, now, now I need other stuff. But yeah, it’s tough. it’s hard unless you’ve experienced it.
[00:34:35] Amardeep: Yeah. I’m sure there’s people listening today now who are thinking what they’re talking about. I want to make a million dollars a year and that’s just going to make me happy.
[00:34:42] Adam: Yeah. It’s the most arrogant thing to say ever, especially if you haven’t hit it to, to have someone that has tell you that it’s not going to matter. It sounds superficial. And which is why I’m saying, go for it. Go, go, do the million a year, hit your million a year, and then you’ll realize, and you’ll have other things, but what’s cool about like, say we set the target of I want to make a million a year, it’s the person that you have to become in order to hit that. That’s, what’s exciting. It’s like you have to become a different person with a different skill set that provides a million dollars a year of value to the market that you’re doing. And that’s exciting. So if that’s what kind of juices you out then, then go for it. If it’s just the money in the bank account, I don’t know. Again, there’s only so much you can spend realistically like after I forget there was a couple other successful people, and they’ve said, yeah, 20 grand, 30 grand a month. And you’ve basically spent about all you can, like, there’s only so much food you can eat and cars you can drive. I was like, yeah, it’s a terrible financial challenge. Exactly how to blow 30K a month. But but it’s kind of true. Like if you, you don’t even have to do it actively, but if you do it theoretically, if you, if practically, if you write down your ideal life, a realistic life, not a crazy dream life where you never work again, but what’s a realistic day. I would be shocked if you were not able to buy the car that you wanted, live in the house that you want, eat the food that you wanted, wear the clothes that you wanted for around that number. Like it’s just not, I mean, nope, unless you want a 50,000 square foot beachfront place or whatever, but like, you can get a nice couple million dollar home and have this hundred thousand dollar car and travel to this place, and you can do that all with, I think, less than, than what a lot of people talk about. So yeah. it’s doable.
[00:36:21] Amardeep: Yeah. I think for me what the ambition is going to be once I hopefully eventually get to those kind of numbers is being [unintelligible] can have through using the money for like charity or things like that with different needs. That’s how I’m going to kind of see it. It’s like, I don’t need that money for me. But if I can get that kind of stage and then use it to raise awareness or help different people who can’t raise that kind of money, that’s what I think the best use would be because, It’s something I’ve always thought about, It’s like, is it best for me to kind of volunteer and spend my time and effort there? Or is it better for me to spend time and effort in which I really enjoy and I’m good at, because then I can then raise the money to support those people who want to dedicate those sort of things. And it’s one of those kinds of almost internal conflicts I have is what’s the best way to help people and I think, doing what I’m doing and getting really good at it, so I can then drive that revenue to then fund other people is probably the best way for me. But that’s going to be different for everybody. What’s, what they think the best thing is.
[00:37:17] Adam: Yeah, absolutely. It’s going to be different for everyone. So my, so I’ve got a couple of thoughts on that. The first of which is there’s no greater form of happiness than serving other people. Again, it it sounds, like if you told 18 year old Adam who like only wanted a Lamborghini, I’d be like, you’re so wrong. It’s still Lamborghini. But then it was like, once you buy your car, you’re like, man, I can’t even drive this thing in the city because it’s not practical to park. So it’s like again, when you’re 18, it’s very different than say when you’re 36, 37, 38 or whatever, 26, 27, 28, even. You’ve got to realize that it’s in the service of other people and, and helping them in the best way possible that gives you the highest levels of all of the brain chemicals we need. Dopamine, serotonin reduces cortisol, like all of these things happen. We’re basically engineered this way, biologically programmed to want to help and serve other people. So yes, making as much money as you can to help as many people as possible, I think it’s phenomenal. I think the secret is, is there is going to be a balance and what you feel is best for your other time or money is good, but doubling down on your strengths and doing all that you can is always a good path. My brother and I walk slightly different rows there he’s, he’s quite successful as well, but he gives away, I don’t even know how much of his revenue, his money to charity, but it’s like all of it, basically, he just like literally makes a dollar, gives away 90 cents every time. He lives on very little, lives in a very expensive city, has very low needs and low maintenance. And for him that’s the key, so rather than he invest a little, so he can compound it and give away more later. But his thing is just giving away all of the money cause he’s like, I don’t need it and other people need it. And he loves that. Me, I like to find that combination of what can I do with my money that allows it to grow so I can give him more later and then find the charities that need the greatest impact now. But, it’s it’s up to you. Yeah. Whatever, whatever makes you feel the best and allows you to help the most people that you feel, because that drives more success. Like if you’re giving to a charity, you don’t care about, you’re not going to work as hard, so.
[00:39:10] Amardeep: Yeah. And what’s one mindset shift you think you can make that’s going to make a positive difference to the way they live their lives.
[00:39:18] Adam: One, just one, one mindset shift. There’s a stoic quote that says memento mori. It’s basically you’re going to die. So for me, as morbid as that is, I’m an optimistic happy guy, but but I think of that all the time, because what ends up happening is what stops people from taking action is fear, more than anything else. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of mostly fear of judgment of other people. And memento mori, or this, this constant reminder, and I remind myself at least once a day, if not twice, that man, like, first of all we’re were infinitesimally small, like if you ever go out in the morning and you look up at the stars and you realize you’re this tiny little speck on this earth, second of all, if you ever look at any famous person that has sadly passed away in the last couple of years and how little we talk about them today, like again and now, who am I even in comparison to them, and then you think about your life and how short it is and the things that you have. It’s just like, you’ve got to do the things that are going to make you happy and allow you to look back on your life and be happy with what you’ve done. And then you’ve got to try to not let these fears of other people and their judgements, because it just, man, it just, doesn’t matter. Like it’s so hard to say because it’s hard when you’re caught up in the moment and someone like leaves a comment on your YouTube video or your Instagram post or whatever it is, and they, I don’t know, take a knock at whatever you’re doing. And it’s hard to remember that first of all, they’re probably hurting themselves, but second of all, that, it literally could not matter less. And you’ve got to just, yeah, you’ve got to kind of like seize that day. So that to me is the biggest one. Again, if you need to approach it from a positive side or a negative side, you got one life, depending on your religious views or philosophical, spiritual views, you got, you got one shot here and and it doesn’t make sense to, to waste it being scared.
[00:41:01] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think regardless like grudges and keeping hold of negative thoughts, I think something that’s changed in me a lot, the last few years, because I knew myself. I used to let things wind me up. I think about it for so long, and then after a week it’s like, wait, why did I bother wasting all that time over something that doesn’t even matter. So I’m trying to catch myself quicker on that now. It was like, is this actually going to matter to me in a week’s time, if it’s not, then just let it go.
[00:41:28] Adam: Yeah. There was an expression I heard once that said, and I’m going to butcher it, so we’ll have to Google it later, but it was if it’s not going to bug you for more than five minutes in five years, it’s not worth your time. So essentially it’s like, if this is still going to bug you in five years, then yeah, pay attention. Worry in that. But like, whose going to care. So again, I think, kids are probably the perfect testing ground, but friendship and all that can, the amount of stuff, this sounds bad, but the amount of stuff they wreck on a daily basis, it’s ridiculous. I was like, I don’t even know how they go through so many, like they record their clothes and they put holes in the wall sometimes. They wreck all their toys and they spill milk on the floor. And it’s like this never ending thing. And it’s got to remind yourself, Hey, in five years, am I going to care that this happened? And if the answer’s no, then it’s like, well then chill out, man, like, and it’s tough, like if you’re an overachieving type A personnel and you want to drive and you want to succeed, it’s hard to let the small stuff slide until you realize is that expression goes, it’s really all small. Like in the, in the grand scheme of things, it’s our friends is our family. It’s our passions. It’s our, our love, our ability to serve. Like that’s, that’s kind of all that matters. And if you follow those, man, you’re probably going to be okay.
[00:42:33] Amardeep: It was great chatting with you today, Adam. Where can people hear more about you or find out what you’re up to?
[00:42:38] Adam: Yeah, so the best places are just the website or YouTube channel. Both. Either. Go to Adam Erhart. Or you can go to YouTube and your search for Adam Earhart and you’ll, you’ll find me there as well.
[00:42:48] Amardeep: Can you repeat that last bit? Because I feel like your mic dropped out for a second.
[00:42:51] Adam: Yeah, for sure. So yeah. So the best place to find me is at adamerhart.com, which is A D A M and then E R H A R T.com as well as on YouTube as well. So if you look up Adam Erhart, E R H A R T, you’ll find me there.
[00:43:05] Amardeep: Then the final question, I always end up on is, what’s one small thing that’s what you joy recently?
[00:43:10] Adam: One small thing has brought me joy. I think it’s funny that we’ve talked so much about kids, probably because I just came from inside. But my youngest child, new baby girl, who’s now three and a bit months old. She just started laughing. And so it’s hilarious to watch because if you want to look at pure unbridled joy, and you want to look at someone that’s living life in the moment with no concept of anything else and no concept of anything except love, that’s, that’s it. And it’s cool to watch her laugh because it’s absolutely unrestricted, unrestrained, just happiness. And so I think there’s, there’s a valuable lesson there for all of us to, to just chill and have fun and laugh once in a while.
[00:43:55] Amardeep: If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes.
Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.
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