Dive in, Get Dirty, and Fail Forward with Michael Klepacz

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Michael is unstoppable, passionate, and focused on bringing his vision to fruition. Entrepreneurs, like Michael, often struggle with time management and fear, but their drive and tenacity can overcome these challenges. 

Travis, Carol, and Michael talk about defined personalities, movers, shakers, provers, and makers. Shakers are idea-people who have nonstop ideas, while shakers work with the prover, who sees the holes in their vision and works to fill them. The tenacity and determination of a Titan can help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

 

Highlights:

{06:37} How Michael moved to Poland.

{09:51} Starting a company in Poland.

{15:40} Getting Max BAH after the military.

{24:37} What Makes Michael a Titan?

{35:51} Michael’s past 

{49:10} What people don’t know about Michael.

{13:09} Advice for the person struggling.

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Michael Klepacz Bio

Born and raised in the heart of Toledo, Ohio, Michael roots lie within a small Polish community, where my blue-collar upbringing and humble beginnings instilled in me the values of hard work and honest living. His parents, who tirelessly juggled multiple jobs, demonstrated that perseverance could provide a comfortable life. While their aspirations remained modest, he developed a vision for a greater future for his wife and our vivacious 3-year-old daughter.

Michael’s passion for learning and exploration was ignited when he joined the Air Force at 18, after completing Aviation Maintenance school. Though he didn’t get to see the world as he had hoped, his experience in an MLM taught him to embrace learning, fueling my curiosity for life. Though he was medically discharged from the Air Force due to injury that did not stop my ambitions in the Air Force before leaving. Michael had the privilege to be trained in Six Sigma by the Toyota Corporation. Project/process management at that moment became a life interest.

Post-Air Force, a gap year turned into an unexpected adventure, as he became a lifeguard supervisor at a renowned amusement park and later found myself teaching English in Poland. His journey overseas transformed his perspective on health and well-being, as he became increasingly fascinated by soil health, sustainability, and agriculture. His newfound passion for sustainable agriculture led him to Permaculture. This completely changed his life and the way he viewed the world. Being in line with nature was now his life mission.

Upon returning to the US, he delved into college textbooks and podcasts while working as a security guard. An acceptance into UCLA’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities redefined his life’s trajectory and invigorated his entrepreneurial spirit. This led to pursuing a business degree at a top Financial Times-ranked business school in Poland. While at university he saved up my tuition money and founded Natural Materials Unlimited, a company specializing in designing and manufacturing eco-friendly textile products for clients seeking custom solutions.

Connect with Michael:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeklepacz

https://www.naturalmaterials.eu

https://michaelklepacz.com

Hi, my name is Carol Carpenter, and welcome back to the show. That’s our co-host right there, Travis Johnson. We have a special guest today, and his name is Michael Klepacz  Michael was born in Toledo, OH, within a small Polish community, and he watched his parents juggle multiple jobs. And although they led a comfortable life, he wanted more. He joined the Air Force, after which he was accepted into UCLA’s entrepreneurship boot camp for veterans with disabilities.

And this ignited him to start Natural Materials Unlimited, a company specializing in designing and manufacturing eco-friendly textile products for clients seeking custom solutions Being an advocate for sustainable living Welcome, Michael.

This is exciting stuff here because not only do we have an I’m a military veteran, so I can have some things to chat about with Michael; he’s also a great guy, which we don’t usually get on the show.

You know, I do.

Oh, come on.

That I got. I got a little better after I left the chair for us. You know, but

The chair force? Elaborate! What does that mean?

You know, it’s everyone’s. Everyone’s got their digs, right? The Marines eat crayon pizzas, and the Army people sleep in the dirt. And we have nice hotels with actual food. And we sit in chairs because we’re the chair force.

Oh my God. I’ve never even heard this. This is completely new to me; obviously, I’m not in the military.

Yeah, we’re the pampered bunch.

Oh, you’re the fluffy bunch.

So, what happens is that the Marines will take the beach, and the army will come in and secure the area. Of course, the Navy dropped the Marines off, and then everything was safe. Then the Air Force comes in to do their job, whatever the heck that is.

Oh my gosh.

They didn’t have enough cushy responsibility that they had to bifurcate and split off into the space force, which is 0 gravity chair force, let’s be honest.

Oh my gosh.

It’s a chair-less force.

With less force, they float above them.

Rest, yeah, this is all the military inter-service rivalry and how we kind of dig and pick at each other for fun.

You notice, though, how he didn’t mention the Coast Guard.

Right.

Oh yes, I did so. What’s the reason for that?

As the coast guards, not the military.

Yeah, they’re not the Department of Defense.

Oh OK.

It’s the Department of Transportation. I’d say something like they don’t even count, but as a lot of people know from studying history, the Coast Guard was overseas in World War One, World War Two, Vietnam, and Korea. They’re over in the Middle East right now. I was there. They have their little section of cutters that patrol the harbors, the inner seas, and the Persian Gulf.

So, they do a lot of good stuff, but from the Big Brother perspective, we just pick on them; they don’t even matter.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

It’s a thing.

It’s good to know.

Civilians can’t make fun of the Coast Guard. OK. Yeah, that’s also a thing.

If you’re a civilian, if you’ve never served in any capacity, and you hear these people doing their little rivalry stuff, they’re taking little digs at each other.

You can’t join in.

You can’t jump in because they’ll all turn at you, and then you will be the bad guy, and then you will find out. You know the bad guy. It’s just when you pick on your sibling, right? You can do it, but if someone else does it, you’re better off.

Well, it’s just picking on your own racial, you know, origin; we can do it. I can pick on Asians. But dear God, if you are, let’s just say, an Anglo and pick on an Asian, we will turn on you.

It’s not a cracker. It’s saltine american. OK, get it right.

Salty American. Oh my God.

That’s the PC term for a cracker.

Oh my God. So. Funny, you’re not. You never heard that. One either. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Stay away from those types of terminals, jeez, because they’re

This stuff is my favorite because the people that can talk about it can cover any topic because they know that the other person’s not going to get all fired. You can just

But you can also push buttons with that too-big dot

You can, right? You can, yeah. I’ve been accused of that a time or two.

Oh, have you?

Yeah, I know.

I’m saying that very sarcastically.

Sarcasm, yeah.

Do you want to tell a joke? Can we tell jokes on this show.

Yeah, you can tell. We can do anything we want, yeah. You can cuss. You can.

Do whatever you want. A friend of mine who knows the joke about his nickname. We all had nicknames in the Air Force. His nickname was Charcoal. He told us to call him Charcoal.

Oh gosh.

He was the very dark, super cool dude from Louisiana. He says to me, what do you call a baby cracker? And I said, “Dude, I don’t know. I’m Polish. I’m not. I’m not a cracker”. And he says, “A crumb”.

Right.

Thank you.

I can’t believe I’ve never heard that. Well, I can’t believe I didn’t make the association. As you were saying, that’s wonderful.

The thought was amazing.

It’s funny; it’s hysterical.

So how did you and Travis end up meeting?

We met through mutual friends. OK. OK, that’s cool.

I know I’ve met you, so I’ve had the opportunity to speak to you a couple of times, and I find you know some of the stuff you do, which is fascinating and very current because we need what you provide, and we talked a little bit about it. You know, maybe you can tell our audience A little bit about the hemp stuff that we were talking about because I love this kind of stuff. Things are sustainable because our earth is only going to be able to provide so much, so we’re going to have to make do with what we have at this point.

The fall away from just being a grease monkey mechanic, which is what I am proud to be, happened when I first moved to Poland, right? So, I’m in Poland now. I moved here officially full-time in 2012.

And why Poland?

That’s a story, too. So, the shortest story is …I got medically retired from the Air Force. I blew out my back. It turns out that I have a narrower than normal spinal canal. So back injuries are 10 times easier for me to get. I didn’t know that at the time. Chiropractors and physical therapists got me back on my feet again. Same for yoga.

And so, I was thinking, well, this seems like a noble profession. I want to become a chiropractor. Well, they were redoing the GI Bill. At the time this was written, they were It was rumored the GI Bill would be changed in 2006 and 2007. And so, they recreated it in the post-9/11 GI Bill, but that didn’t come out till 2009. So, I had one Hell of a gap year, if you will, right?

And so, I was trying to get my residency in Michigan so I could get a decent tuition to go to whatever university over there, but we got kicked out of the house that we were renting, and the mentor, who I thought was getting along with his wife, wasn’t going to let me and my friend move into the rental house.

So, I had to leave Michigan. OK. So, I said to my mom, I don’t. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I need to. First of all, I need to get a job, right? I can’t keep living off the money they gave me when I got out of the Air Force. They gave me A bunch of money. More money than I should have got it. 

So, she said, well, why don’t you just get a job at Cedar Point, which is this really big amusement park Slash Water Park where we come? from, and she said you’ll meet some Polish girls, and I was thinking, Oh yeah, that’s true.

Oh my God.

Yeah. So.

Such a mom.

Who’s at the local water park when you’re 22 to pick up Polish women?

Well, no, I mean to call it a local water park makes it sound small; this place had 10,000 people.

Yeah, this is the largest one in the world, right in Ohio, Sandusky, or whatever.

On a day, yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

No. Yeah.

Yeah, exactly. So, it was it. I mean, it’s a global deal. But it just so happens to be in my backyard. And so. So yeah, in high school, we were always noticing all the pretty foreign chicks. Who were they? We’re all college students in a work and travel program coming to work at this place over the summer, you know? And so, without hesitation, I was thinking, well, with, you know, my medical background, I taught self-aid, buddy care, and all this stuff in the Air Force.

How not to die if you lose your arm: I could be a lifeguard or whatever. Be cool. I’ll get a tan. I met a girl who would be great. So that’s. What did I get? A tan? I met a bunch of Polish women. It was. It was amazing. And so that’s how I kind of ended up in Poland. I started dating a Polish girl and all. From Poland, the dude comes to Poland and teaches English. You can make $20.00 an hour, which was more than double what I was making at the amusement park.

So, I was thinking hell. Yeah, let’s go teach English for a while, and so on. That’s how I got here. Kind of.

So, you’ve got the mission of getting the girl. You get a girl, then you add it to moving to Poland. Oh, my God, such boys.

I mean, that’s the story here. People, why are you here? Work or women? And it’s mostly women.

Oh, my God, that’s funny.

Well, yeah, a little bit OK. So, then you get to Poland, and how did your company come about?

So, the company came about kind of after I left Poland. So, I was here for four months teaching English, and I lost a bunch of weight. And I lost even more weight from when I was working my butt off over the summer, eating what I would eat in the States. And then I came back, and I just ballooned up. And I was… I don’t know what’s going on with the food here. And that’s what made me kind of go down this whole sustainability, anti-GMO, what’s wrong with our food rabbit hole? That’s what kind of got me back in California, which got me close to UCLA. You know, long story short, go through the UCLA program. I met a girl in Poland. I was a different girl here than the one that came here for.

Man, you’re a player I didn’t know.

I met a girl. At the time, you know, I’d never cheated on her or anything. It was legit, and I’m a professional. But you know, after we broke up and I was trying to go to school in Southern California, this girl found me on Facebook. I kind of figured out that she thought I was the answer or whatever. And so, you know, fast forward two years later, after the UCLA program. I moved here. I got accepted to a top business school here in Poland. The GI Bill paid for it. And that’s how I got here. So then, right as I was finishing my bachelor’s program, I started Natural Materials Unlimited. Though, which is this eco-friendly product design company to scratch my itch about being?

Scratch your itch. Yeah, but what products do you mainly provide?

At the time, when we started, we provided a lot of waxing, so we would wax yarns and fabrics, yarns for making hemp wick, candlewick, or fabric.

You coat them, right? You coated them, OK.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, with wax, which makes them stronger. We were selling them to camping companies and outdoor places, smoke shops, and that kind of thing, and then the wax fabrics were used as an eco-friendly alternative to aluminum foil. That product pretty much took off and had its peak just before COVID started.

I don’t know how well these beeswax wraps are doing in America right now. We haven’t been producing them for a while, but yeah, these days we’re making a lot of stuff from linen. I don’t have anything floating around my desk, but this is what we produce now; fabric tape is used for dog collars guitar strap handles for bags, and belts for people.

Oh yeah, the kind of belts that have the O-ring. 

Yeah. 

OK.

We do double D-ring yoga.

Strap on and hold on. You can’t skip over that. It sounds like you made a yoga strap. Is that just a pseudonym for an organic sex swing? What is that?

I’ve not put out the option of producing sex wings.

I was going to say you have put out between two women we’ve already heard in the story.

That’s true. And speaking of just speaking, I mean, sex stuff in general, right? We do a lot of stuff with yarn, fabric, rope, etcetera. And I had not considered this. To be part of a sex thing before. But we went to a trade show, and I had wrapped my boots in a bunch of rope, and I made it look cool. Because I have a rope that’s anywhere between 4 millimeters up to 40. So, the thickness that you see holds ships… actual ships.

Oh, wow. Docking. Yeah. Yeah.

You know, but we make dog toys for Great Danes and stuff from the 40-millimeter rope. I mean, it’s huge anyway. So, people were walking up to our booth in couples, putting the rope around their wrists, and checking it. This is the thing I was, and people were buying. They were, how much per meter? You know, for rope, right? Nice hemp and linen ropes at this trade show. I’m trying to sell it for outdoor use. It was being used for sex, for sure.

So that is a huge industry. Why not get into that?

sustainable BDS.

It’s hard to get a credit card processor for that kind of thing. It’s just that I’m happy to sell.

Well, did you know you could be your credit card processor? You don’t have to get one. Can become one. Say that again: you can become your credit card processor. You don’t need to go find one. You can create one the same way anyone else creates another business.

All right.

And then you can be the guy that’s the credit card processor. You’re right because not a lot of people are serving hemp, marijuana, or all those other things. You can become that person and be the go-to guy for hemp credit processing.

Well, if I didn’t need another plate on my table, this is it.

Do you mean to spin?

For sure too.

Well, you’ve got well, I mean, we are already giving you homework, right? You’ve got the organic, sustainable tie-ups, right? Then you’ve got the hemp-preferred credit card processor. I mean this, all this. The stuff is good. Usually, the guest does end up taking notes, but I think not in this case.

I mean, I’m open to seeing the show twice.

Getting some business ideas from it.

I’m abstaining from taking actual notes so that people don’t have to listen to my pen, but I will watch this twice.

Yeah, yeah, I love it.

Well, you said you got overseas again to do your stuff with the GI Bill, but you told me something in the pre-interview that didn’t. You didn’t mention it. Is that how you get Max BAH.

What is that?

So, Carol doesn’t know because she’s a civilian.

Yes, I am.

So, Bah stands for base allowance housing, which means the Department of Defense whether you’re on active duty or using the post-9/11 GI Bill, will give you housing.

Per diem.

There you go. 

You get a stipend every month for housing.

Exactly, based on the cost of living where you live. Right. So, you know, back in 2008 and 2009, the Bah in Ohio was 600 bucks, whereas Fast forward three years, and then take me to LA.

The BH was 1,250ish. And any veteran who hasn’t used the GI Bill yet, who’s single or whatever, who wants to, you know, get an education there’s a super teeny tiny little box on the veteran website where you can click the country, which is almost impossible to find, and they will give you maximum Bah for being overseas, so you can go to some super cheap country and get maximum BAH. In this case, it was $1,500. So, I earned more for my housing allowance in Poland. Which is five times cheaper than LA, and I was getting, you know, an extra $250 a month. So, between my 40% disability

But why?

I don’t know; it’s just the policy.

Oh, interesting.

The policy is that if you go to school overseas, Max BH, it doesn’t matter the cost of living, so it would have sucked in England. This wouldn’t have been great in London, but because I was in Warsaw…

Right. But that stipulation has easier outcomes right outside the contiguous US because almost no one takes advantage of it. A… and B would require nearly an insane number of calculations to do. Cost of living around the globe.

They averaged it out and got it.

Yeah, no one takes this crap anyway. Just click the box and we’ll give you the thing, but Oklahoma City is very low. BAH Hawaii 3,200 a month. And Hawaii right now.

Holy cow. Well, the cost of living.

Cost of living. Right. So those things match. When my wife was here in Oklahoma and I was overseas in Bahrain, she got the Bah here and I got Ohio, which is an overseas housing allowance. Yes. So, on top of 1800, we were getting here, and I was. Getting 2500 over there.

Double dip.

Double dip all through, so that was up to that figure, right? So, I had to find an apartment or a flat over there, anywhere from that number down. But they would only cut me the check for exactly what it was. So, if I went over that, out of my pocket, I didn’t get extra money and went straight to the landlord. But stuff exists all over, and most people don’t know that those things exist. I know we’ve talked a lot about government programs, but all these little things exist out there. If you take the time to look for them, you can find them. Max EH, there’s a…

Very true.

There are a zillion things available for free in college in the US, but most people just don’t even look for it. If you qualify for one program, you all of a sudden qualify for these other twelve programs that no one looks into. It’s insane how much is even available out there. But this is way off-topic.

Things that they don’t know about the GI Bill because I didn’t know, and Travis probably doesn’t either. So, the GI Bill, which is totally GI funded by the way I put $1200 in, we all did it in basic training.

So, in your first weeks of basic training, you’re getting $150.00 a week because the rest of it is going into the GI Bill, but when you finish the GI Bill, when I finished it, the VA sent me a $1200 check, and I refused to cash it. I called them and I’m wondering what this check is. I know not to cash VA checks without a real explanation because they’ll ask for the money back later. Oh, we sent you a check, and so I called them up. And there, Sir, you use all of your VA benefits and get your money back. And I was, Shut up.

I see I’m writing that down for me right now.

If you use all 30 of your six months of benefits, you get that money back.

No kidding.

You know, this all comes back to knowing the rules of the game. If you don’t know the rules. Of the game, you don’t even know where to look, right? You can’t win. And here are some rules that people are going to listen to: Now and benefits from that.

I’ve been talking about this same thing, Carol, over the last couple of weeks. If you don’t know the rules, you’ll get beat up by them. All the times that I’ve been in a position in trailer parks and foster care, very junior in the military, and a first-time home buyer… All these things—first-time entrepreneurs—all of those. Times when you don’t take time to learn about the thing that you’re doing based on the rules. You’re going to get beat up by him.

Yeah, and you just need somebody to guide you through that process because I’m sure you guys have that in the military, right, where somebody would say, hey, dude, did you hear about this? And that’s the only way you learn because if it were up to you, I’m doing my job and that’s it.

Michael. What years do you get out?

I got out on November 2.

OK, so I just retired at 22 last year, and while Carol was standing there, I’m sure they told you all these things. Michael’s face, if you’re not watching this, was all contorted; he didn’t believe it back then. I agree with Michael because there was Internet access on base and different things; it wasn’t that special, but you would get military. I would get notices from NAV admins telling me about different programs, but they published 12 of them a day.

There’s a discussion, so if you don’t keep up with it or keep your stuff relevant, you’re going to miss it. And since Michael’s gotten out, there are more and more people in charge of making sure the general population of the military area understands some of these new things. But, if you’re not going to look for it yourself, you’re going to get beat up by it. When I applied to become an officer in the Navy, there was this regulation.

It’s a 1420.2B Opnav instruction. It’s all the military commissioning programs. I went through that rulebook for the thing that I was doing 100 times to make sure all of my stuff was correct.  I was in line, and I got selected for the first time. The first time I applied, it got selected. It doesn’t happen to a lot of people, but I went through that thing’s rule book 100 times to make sure I had it right. You know, a lot of people in the US get beat up by the tax code. 

And I explained this; I’ve got some CPA friends that tell me this. Is not quite accurate. I say it anyway because it sounds cool. The first page of the tax code says you owe this. And then every other page in the tax code tells you how not to pay that full amount.

Get out. Well, that’s why I have a CPA. And that’s why I have a financial advisor. And that’s why I have people in places that are behind my back. I called my financial advisor in an e-mail yesterday because I was doing the intro and I introduced him as my wealth guard dog, and he said I’m going to use that on LinkedIn as my title.

Yeah, you take the time to learn all the rules, or you hire an expert.

Right, 100%. And again, our time is money. So, we hire an expert.

My wife hates that my wife would hate this answer because she feels obligated to know all the answers, kind of.

No, you can be educated on it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to know all the INS and outs of it, right? That’s why they get paid what they get paid because it changes. If you have somebody in the financial market, they can see the ups and downs. They can predict. I know these days they use a little bit of AI, right, to help them. And then there’s somebody to check, an actual physical person to check the work—you know, this is kind of an A1 off thing.

So we’re not going to move stuff, right? Now, right? But. I don’t think we can’t waste our time researching all that stuff, and to be correct, they do, though. That’s their job. We have to. Kind of relegate that responsibility to that.

Yeah, you have to do that stuff. I wanted to get back out and get more into some of Michael’s stuff. I’ve got to ask; I’ve been delaying this question since we began. What is it about you? What makes you a Titan?

I think the word is tenacity. I just don’t. I just don’t want to quit, right? I don’t want to quit. The thing is, once you’ve kind of looked behind the curtain, right? So, in my case, once I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which was I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, right? It’s not even that big of a book, but when I read it in 2009, once I read about the rat race and all this other stuff, I started looking at country music. Oh my God. It’s just making me… It’s making me super proud of the ****** life that I’ve created for myself. I still listen to country music, but it’s country music where it’s all right to work your *** off and get nowhere. That’s honorable. 

And so I was thinking, I don’t know this. I don’t like this at all. I want to make jobs. And I see a bunch of people who are dumber than me becoming successful. and I’m just going to keep doing it until I get there. If it takes me my whole life, I’m not going to stop. That’s it.

You know, when I asked Michael this question in our pre-interview, he didn’t have an answer. But lucky for Michael, his wife was in the car and got to speak up. 

And so, I’m kind of jabbing Michael a little bit, but I’m also saying that. We don’t often recognize within ourselves our genius, our own Titan, or our own thing that makes a special. And if you’re listening to this right now and you’re not sure how you are special, go to your best friend, send them a quick text, and say, Hey, what’s my superpower? 

And you will be astonished, and you will feel more love than you’ve ever felt in your whole life because people will tell you what your magic is. But this is what Michael’s wife had to say about him: that he is unstoppable, passionate and focused, he brings the vision to fruition. He’s willing to work for 12 days. Excuse me, it took me 12 hours to get it done. That’s from Michael’s wife because she loves you.

I mean, the Air Force taught me how do work 12 hours.

Well, I think we’re entrepreneurs too, don’t we? We’ll do anything for something. We have passion for it, and we will do it. You know tirelessly because it’s almost when you’re doing it that you have no concept of time. All you’re doing is heads down, focused right? And I have. There was a time when I was writing my book and I had made a promise to the people who were publishing it. I would get it done. Now I’ve disappointed them over and over again because I found every reason not to even start it. And there came a time when they just said: OK. Well, we’ve asked you now for about six months. When are you coming out with content? I didn’t want to approach it because that meant I had to deal with what was holding me back right? And I knew that it was going to be very cathartic and emotional. I did it. And I committed to reading a chapter a week. I finished it. In record time, in about two months, I finished the book. It went to editing, and we had to, of course, refine it and stuff. But it goes to show. You know that what we fear the most, we will put on hold the most. But when you have the drive and the tenacity, and when you’re OK, I’m focused. I’m going to do this. I was sitting down in front of a computer for 10 hours, and I completely lost track of time because the story was being told. 

So, I get where you’re coming from. You just lose track of time. You don’t even know what’s next.

That’s how I fired my last business partner.

What do you mean?

So, I would. I was coming off a 16-hour day, which, by the way, today is a 13-hour day for me.

Oh yeah, what time is it? It’s there, I have.

No idea. It’s 7:40. 7:45 at night, I’m going to be here. Till at least 11:00 PM, I’ve been Since 10:00, it’s been a weird day. Not all my days are like this. But today and tomorrow are busy. I got off a conference call at 3:00 this morning and then slept for five hours. And then here’s my day, tomorrow’s going to be rough. Days are rough, but it is what it is. That’s what coffee is for. But the thing is, when I had this business partner and I told him what I was doing, he said, Yeah, I’m finishing up. He called me at 10:00 a.m. and he was like, what are you doing? 

I’m writing standard operating procedures. And I’ll probably be awake until 3:00 AM. This needs to be done as soon as possible, not as soon as convenient. I just don’t know how you do it. You’re a robot. And I was a dude. I don’t know how you do it. How can you sleep with all this **** on top of you not getting it done when it’s not going to get done till you do it? He just didn’t care. He didn’t have the drive for it.

And I also don’t think it was necessarily his passion either, right? You took that. It fueled you. For him. It wasn’t his passion. So how can you feel something where there’s no passion?

I don’t know, but it’s been years, and he still doesn’t have a passion. The other day he called me and said, I think I’m going to learn Python. I’m 34, bro; you’re 34. You’ve got to learn Python when you’re 9. Trying to learn Python was when you were super geeked about it as a nine-year-old, you grew up coding. Now when can you use AI to write code is not the time. He’s just chased after the next shiny thing, and it’s sad. To me, yeah.

Well, that’s a defined personality, right? There are four core natures of work that we have, and everyone has a different core nature of work or a combination of them. There are movers, shakers, provers, and makers. The Shakers are the idea, people, right? They have nonstop ideas. 

We know a lot of these people; a lot of our mutual friends are just nonstop-idea people. Those ideas don’t go anywhere unless you also have a mover who can say yes to them. The mover then works with the prover and, if you’re an idea person, right? If you’re a shaker, the prover is the most annoying person on the planet, and the reason for that is that they’re the people who, when they see whatever is presented to them, all they see are the holes in whatever vision is. That’s a great thing to have because you need to be able to identify those and work to fill them. But the prover and the shaker can’t talk directly, right? 

So, the mover will go to them and say, Hey, here’s the idea. They’re, well, what about this, this, this, this, and this? They say it like that. But the mover will go back to the shaker and say, hey, how would you address these concerns? Just simply tweaking the language allows that thing to go back and forth until, yeah, it looks great. And then the provers work with the makers, who they are—the implementers, the people that do the stuff. There’s a chance that your friend is a shaker. He’s an idea person, and he will never, ever, ever find the maker he needs to find that other person who can implement some of the things for him, because that’s just not his core nature of work. Not that he’s lazy. He looks at the thing, whatever the thing is far, far differently. 

I know that for myself. I have been all of those things at different times in my life, but I’m primarily A mover and a shaker. I can think of ideas and say yes to them, and they’re great. A lot of the time, I need someone else to implement them because when I start doing this stuff, my energy just goes way down. I’m drained. I do something for 10 minutes.

You can’t be creative anymore.

Right, right. I have to be in that creative mode. So, I’ll do 15 minutes of work that drains me. And I’ll go sit on the couch for over an hour because I’m wiped out. Yeah, and it has nothing to do with my drive or what I want to do, but if I’m not doing the right thing, core nature of work for me. Oh my God. But look at the president…

But see, that’s why you have to surround yourself with other people. That’s the point, right? Because then everything keeps moving forward instead of you sitting there trying to. Figure out, oh. What am I going to do?

Yeah, I was going to bring up the American presidents as an example. We look at the last couple of presidents, from, you know, Clinton up through today. OK. And you can see how much these people age in office during their terms, right? Because a lot of those people, although they did, you know, a good job, depending on how you look at them, whatever you care about them doesn’t matter, right? You can tell the ones that were against their extra work by how much they aged. Obama looked like he was 720 years old. In office for eight years.

And he went white. His hair went white, man.

And it’s not, you know, an assassination of his character or anything like that. But it was obviously outside of his coronation; Donald Trump looked younger. Not that I agree with him as a person or as president, but that was the type of thing that he had always been. doing, and that gave him energy.

OK, now I’m going to push back on that. He has money too, so if he wanted to do anything anti-aging, he could afford it.

I’m sure that he could, right? I don’t know what He did or didn’t do, but somehow he looked energized by the end of his.

I don’t know either.

term or most didn’t. And I’m not saying anything. About him as a person, his policies, or any of that crap. But you can tell what the people are doing. Something? Well, Michael’s a veteran, right? You’ve seen these military memes, where? You know this. The guy looks 80 years old. He’s in the military. Wasn’t hard on me at all. It’s Jason, age 23. 

He looks like he’s a million years old.

There’s a super-old salt mine in Poland. My mom visited me last month, so I took her there, and they showed us this super cool scale model of what the town looked like 600 years ago. And the guy pointed at him. said, and this was the retirement area. This was for people 35 and up. 

35!

But think, think, think about it. Right. So, 50, you’re 7, you know, you got a pickaxe. Twenty years later, you’re 27. You’re five years from retirement or whatever.

You’re working hard, yeah.

You know what I mean? I mean, most people in the military are tired by the time they’re 38, as soon as they hit 38, they hit that age where they can retire. Maybe they stay till they’re 4550. Right. But yeah, so the salt miner in Poland was old and retired and just burned out and broken by the age of 35.

Yeah, it’s a lot of hard physical labor there.

So, Michael, I got to know: what do people need to know about your past or your childhood? What do they need to understand about that to understand who you are today?

No, that’s what I mean. That’s a good question. I mean, if you, if you look at it, from a certain point of view, I was in a very loving family, even if it was fractured, right? So, I mean, my parents split when I was 5, and I was the **** of most jokes from age 7 through 14.

Were you an only child?

No, no, no. I was. I was the second-born but first-to-survive kind of kid. And then they had my sister. And then after that, it was step-brother-stepsister. But the stepsister was never in the house. So, you know, my dad got remarried. My mom just had a boyfriend. There were, let’s just say, difficulties with some of the mom’s boyfriends that were not really good I’m not going to go into, but one of them ended up going to jail because of said difficulties.

The funny thing is that I had fantasized about murdering the guy until my mid-20s, I found out that when I got a job as a sushi server, this is the first time I’m saying this publicly. But I got a job as a sushi server in my hometown. After working at this amusement park. It turns out that a girl who got hired two weeks after me was this guy’s daughter, whom I knew when I was a kid but didn’t recognize, and he came in and visited her at the bar while I was there. I had a chance to murder him, and I missed the opportunity.

Oh, my goodness.

Did that do that interaction? Interaction changed how you felt. About him when you had a daughter.

You know. No, because I knew her when we were kids, right? We were all tormented together. I didn’t know who she was at the time. I didn’t find out who she was until six months later after I had quit the job I had. Somehow, I found out who it was. And so, I didn’t remember. Her dad, whom I had met six months prior, I didn’t develop a memory for because it was just, you know, her dad or whatever. 

I just remember thinking, oh, yeah, that’s a sad-looking old man or whatever. And they have no relationship or anything like that. But I mean, the thing is, is that regardless of how much you got kicked as a kid or you know, I mean, worse abuses, rape, and this, that, and the other thing it’s you’re only a victim if you let yourself be one, right? 

It’s a mindset to some degree, and I think there’s a lot of healing that has to go behind it. It too. And you know when it depends on age too, when things occur because they can stay with you for a very long time, but you know that’s where you need to get help and work through those things so that they don’t have to define you.

No, for sure. I mean, am I going to say that? My heart rate didn’t go up thinking about some things, but right now… it did. You know what I mean? I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen a shrink about it or anything like that. I’ve always, I mean, there was this great book that the body remembers or something like that. I can’t recall…

 The body keeps the score. 

That’s the one. I’ve read lots of books about how I’m ****ed up to try to fix myself or something, but yeah, you know, for me, it’s just you, and this was a big thing in between 7th and 8th grade. So, when puberty I shot up and bulked up. I’ve been this size since I was 14, which is 200 pounds. And six feet plus, and so on. 

But all of a sudden, I wasn’t I was still the nerd, the outcast in my school. But when I would go to the other junior high dances in the schools, they had no idea who I was catching phone numbers, I was like, what is happening, you know? What does that mean?

You go to the other schools so that you can have a fair game versus what they have seen you as since you were a child.

Right. So then, when I went to high school, I was like, I’m going to go to school. I didn’t choose to go to school where no one would know me because of this, but because I wanted to go to school to be an aircraft mechanic, I had to go to an out-of-district school in my hometown. 

So, because of that, I was going to be in a brand-new school where no one even knew anything about me. So, I was I can either step into the school on day one, get my *** kicked, get made fun of, and all this other stuff or I can just try to be nice to everybody and not take **** from anybody. And so, I was the first sophomore to get in my face didn’t like what happened. I was more or less one of the popular kids while I was there in high school.

You earned your right the first day, essentially.

I guess, well, that’s interesting. Right. So often we have to leave our home area to be recognized for, you know, the skills that we have. Jesus couldn’t be a prophet in Nazareth because everyone’s there; you’re just the carpenter kid, right? He had to leave to build credibility. You had to go to a different school. 

I had to go to a different military community before they weren’t holding stuff from 12 years ago over my head. You know what I mean? the mistakes you make as you’re growing as a person. I went overseas to Bahrain, and I got plenty of accolades. I’ve got all the stuff. The good feels all the things you want to have when you’re leaving and I’m like, why the heck couldn’t I have that back there? That I’ve been for so long. Then it hits you.

They still remember when you were 22 and running your mouth. They still remember wearing your 26 and you, you know, saying something stupid. They still remember all those little things. Don’t go away just because you’ve been there for a long time.

But isn’t it Sad, they don’t celebrate who you’ve become. Instead, they remember who you were. It’s almost like they didn’t grow with you.

Right. That point in time, right when you go back to your hometown or you go back for a high school reunion, whatever the heck, which I just got back from last week If you haven’t nurtured those relationships over that time, you’re the same person that they remember from 20 years ago. You’re not, and you’re not anywhere else. 

And when you’re there in person every day and they see you grow, they might not care. Oh, he said something nasty to me three years ago. We’ve never worked it out, and I’m never going to bring it up. Again, they’re holding it against you. For God knows what reason, I couldn’t tell you, but it’s so, so interesting. Do you have a story like this? You had a story like this where we had to leave to be recognized for being awesome.

No, not really, because.

Just always been awesome.

No, no, I didn’t say that. Oh my God. Here we go. No. No, I think I’ve changed and evolved so much that, as you know, I don’t tend to. Go back. I just keep moving forward, so you’ll know if they happen to be reintroduced into my life again. They see where I am. They’re holy crap, you know. But it’s not… I spend time with them regularly. So, what they think or even say about me just doesn’t phase me anymore.

Yeah, my wife and I are from the same town in Minnesota. And we were. We went to visit, you know, the cousins and some friends and grandparents. We were talking, and we’re still the same people that they always have been. 

People who are grumpy or hold grudges are still grumpy and hold grudges. The person who’s a shaker and has all these ideas but can never implement them they’re still talking about the big ideas. Right, they’re still plagued by all the same things. I don’t know if this is true for them, but for the people in this camera right now, we’ve done a lot of personal work and development. I’ve worked hard not to be just a complete *******. I’m still a *******, but it’s only a part of who I am now, right, it’s I’m not a whole *******, but getting that feedback, implementing it, and being willing to have people say, hey man, that’s not cool., You shouldn’t be doing that. 

And then listening to it and then implementing it—I know how hard it is. How many people? Do we know that she won’t ever take any advice?

Well, hold on. They ask for it. But then they don’t implement it. And what do we call it?

Travis, those are ********. Yeah, they ask for advice, they don’t implement it, or they implement the opposite, right? Those were asked.

It’s almost A challenge for you, right?

Yeah, yeah.

I’m going to prove you wrong.

Well, do you have people to whom you give the opposite advice to see if they’ll listen? Turn it around and do good things.

Oh, absolutely.

I’ve got some people in my circle who are perpetually late and lie to them about what time the thing starts.

To make sure they are at least showing up somewhat on time.

Right. An hour or 90 minutes. And then we’re, hey. They’re, oh. Am I late, and do I expect to be late now that you’re about 10 minutes earlier, right where we wanted you? You lied to me, blah blah blah. Blah blah, it’s Well, you feel your time is way more valuable. Important than our time. So yeah, yeah, yeah.

That happens in Poland. People are always late here. Are they? It’s weird. I mean, super, super late.

Is it habitual or is it cultural?

It’s a bit of a culture, so German people are crazy on time. super on time, whereas here and there I didn’t grow up here. So, I really can’t judge. But I got accepted to an accelerator program, and it started at 9:00. That’s what the paper said anyway. 

So, I got there at 8:40, which was close to 8:45, which was the goal, you know, and the organizers didn’t show up until 30 seconds before 9 or 5 minutes after, you know. coming in all casual and I was the first. One to show up, and the last one please every time.

So, ah, yeah, yeah, it must be cultural to some degree.

Maybe people are you know, you can blame the bus if you want. You can blame traffic, or the subway, or the trams, or whatever.

But you have to take a step. That into account before you leave too, right? I mean, when you go to work, if it’s raining, and you know OK. Usually, when it rains, there are a lot of accidents. So, my normal 30-minute drive will probably be more than an hour and a half. I’d rather be early than late. Late because it shows such disrespect. For the individual that’s receiving you.

No, no, for sure.

I think if I feel I’m going to be late. I sent him a text. But you’re on time, I was, I’m you’re on time was, Yep. It’s good that you’re going to be late. I was, and I thought I might be late. I wanted you to let me know.

It was a courtesy. Yep. Yep, 100%.

Yeah, same.

Same, same, same. I’ll show you. I’ll, I’ll. I’ll send someone a text just for you. I’m, hey, I’ll probably be late, and if I show up one minute early, you’re early. No, I’m not early on. The time was 15 minutes ago. You know, I mean, this is late.

Yeah. Is that? Is that a military thing? Because I know I’ve heard that in the military, “early is on time. And on time is late.” Yeah, yeah.

Do you know what we have? And I learned this even while motorcycling. And with somebody. From the military, they said. “One is none, two is one”. Does that make sense to you guys?

It’s referring to…

If you only have one backup, chances are you’re going to use that backup, so you don’t have one, right? So, if you have two, you at least have one extra.

Yeah, that’s huge. That’s huge in aviation, right? 

There’s a reason that most commercial jets and transports don’t have one engine. There are at least two in the military. They’re 4/4 engines out of the C134 engines on the E6B. When you have problems, and you always will, there are so many problems. You want to find them on the ground, but when you are. Airborne, you’ve got to have backups working as needed. 

There was an old … Oh, my God… There’s an old story about this guy flying an A1 engine. Little Cessna near a military airfield. And he’s calling for an emergency. 

When someone calls for an emergency, other airplanes get moved out of the way. They get to, you know, circle here, take a lap, go around, and let the planets have an emergency landing. And they said, sorry, we’re having a problem with the I don’t know if I can get the aircraft right, the BB 7. I mean, and he’s, oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to take the runway. They’re doing all those rare 7-engine landings because it’s got 8 motors. Sorry, you’re one of eight out. My only one is dying on me. We’ll make way for the seven of eight, yeah. It’s absurd.

Love it.

I love it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So what? What’s something about you, Michael? That most people just don’t know?

I have no idea. I have no idea. I mean, there are lots of crazy things about me.

I’ve been known to tell stories that people think are just absolute lies, but there are at least four or five people alive who can verify them.

Well, hey, let’s hear one of those stories.

There you go. All right, so in my favorite, that never happened. The story was so I went. So I went, as I said earlier, to high school to learn how to be an aircraft mechanic. I’ve been obsessed with airplanes. My whole life, I still AM. And so we would have to… We would have to do either. Take the bus. To the airport from home and then to the high school. But once you learn how to drive, you could drive from the airport. I mean, you can drive yourself around. And so, we had a 25-minute drive from the airport to my high school. And so, my mom had just bought herself something for, say, her 40th birthday or whatever. Her first brand-new car was a 2001, or whatever, Honda CRV.

Oh my God. Please don’t tell me you wrecked it.

I had fun. So, I had just wrecked my car, right? Someone hit me on the highway, and I just got totaled. My first car was It was a bummer, but nobody got hurt, which was great. And so she left for Florida to go visit. Her friend left me her car, and I filled it up with all my buddies. We were taking this Boondocks Rd. through to get to the high school, and I stopped at the stop sign and looked at my buddy in the shotgun seat and said, hey man, we’re going to see what happens. And he knows because it’s just a straight shot down the 35-mile-an-hour road for 2 miles. There’s no one ever on this road, so it’s we’re going to step on it and see what happens because this is brand new, I want to see how fast it goes.

Oh, you have to break in the engine a bit, though.

And so, I stomped on it right past the Air National Guard base entrance and just floated, and we floated right past this cop car that was sitting in a church parking lot. And I saw it out of the corner of my eye, you know. 

So, I immediately slow down, and the cop just, you know, whips out behind us and pulls me over. And then my buddy, who was following me but was way behind, ended up getting pulled over by a different cop. But that’s a whole different story. The cop comes up to us, and he’s, you know, licensed and registered. I gave him my license. Dude, I don’t know what the registration says this is my mom’s car. 

But I was Sir, and I had my hand; you know, I’m doing I’m being super respectful, but it’s just for brevity’s sake. I’ll casually tell the story anyway, so he runs my license, and he comes back, and he starts giving us an earful. He’s sick and tired of picking up y’all’s dead bodies on. 

The thing is, there’s so much blood. On these roads you took, you must have been going 60 miles. Just an hour. And I was yes, Sir, I was because I was doing at least a buck10. Buck20, and 35. And so, without hesitation, I was going. Yes, yes, I was going.

Right, yeah.

Half the speed, for sure.

Right, right.

Because I it. And at that moment, I knew that guy was just eating lunch in the church parking lot or something. He had no idea he hadn’t clocked me. He just saw That’s it. And so I got off of the verbal warning, and by the time I got to high school, I was a legend. It was amazing. I love it. I got a verbal warning for doing 100. And 20 and 35, thank you.

God, he wasn’t clocking yet.

How my mom was In Florida.

Oh, she would have murdered you. I’m telling you, she

Oh, she knows the story.

Had found out. Oh, she does.

Knows the story now.

Now, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, that’s funny.

The stories tend to come out much later when the car is no longer theirs, nothing matters, and no one gets hurt. Then you get the real story, right? My daughter comes home from work one night, and she’s missing her front bumper cover. Right? That goes over the bumper, and I was, and you want to tell me what the Hell, you were doing hers. I don’t know; I just caught it on a little snow or whatever and just ripped. And I was like, I don’t believe you, but I don’t have the time to, you know, get a new one right now. If we let it go, and now it’s four years later and she’s like, oh, yeah, it was jumping snowbanks in the parking lot.

Oh my.

What do you do with the crappy car you had for your first car. Nothing good.

Speaker

Oh my God.

And she’s… Oh, the first day she had her license the first day, she took me and my son Cole to go grab a Taco, which is just a quarter mile away, and came back just coming in hot until the cul-de-sac. And I was, you got to slow down, push the brake. Jake jams on the gas and runs into the garage door. The first day she had her license my wife was in the living room, and she thought the car was coming through the house. It was loud. 

Oh my God.

No one was hurt. A little bump on the car garage door needed some loving banging up. Dents and whatnot but first day.

I was still trying to think about what people don’t know about me that I wish they did.

Not that you wish they knew that they

I don’t know. They don’t know. and literally. We had one. The gal that we went down this vein of believing in the supernatural, right?

Oh, it was.

We went down that vein. She started talking about Robert. Doll, right, Robert. The doll. The evil. No, and no. This is where it is in Florida, can you tell?

Yeah. And people.

She wants to go see bizarre ****. Haunted objects sleep in abandoned asylums, and all this different stuff goes ghost hunting.

Oh, my God. Well, she’s us.

I went down that one and there was some creepy stuff, yeah. It was crazy. So you know. Just something like that. We had another individual, I think, named Amy Anfinsen. She did a What was it, an Angel tour?

Yeah, she hit well. First off, she said she was not very interested, and then she went to this place in Arizona and New Mexico and was doing all these things with the spirits, and then she flew her husband out to meet her physics experience and well, that experience right there is the thing that you right, that’s the she’s. I guess I just really don’t think about what communicating with angels is. A big deal.

If we can talk about woo-woo fun stuff A huge part of my identity is the fact that I’ve been to Burning Man. I use tarot cards. Tarot cards are a big deal. I think they’re great.

I read them.

Yeah, awesome. I mean the thing is, and this is for anybody, whether you think that they can tell the future or whatever, here are the facts. The facts are that there are only so many scenarios that can happen in life. And you can pick any one of these cards and every single one of them will always vibe with you. 

For me, I use it more as a mental exercise. You have this idea; you’re stuck on something I’m stuck on. I’m creative in general, and so I’m stuck on something that’s not going right. I want to read some. Some stories, you know, are all archetypes about what can happen?

100% Yep. Yep. What’s your stone?

This guy, yeah. I don’t know. It’s from New Zealand. My wife got it, and she went on vacation for it.

Woo, dude, I would have been. Researching that F out of that

I did. I did. But I don’t want to be wrong about the name. I don’t want to miss, you know, I mean, I have, you know, gold, silver, copper, whatever.

Say it. Say the thing and say it. You might be wrong. Well.

Know what it is. I’m this guy. That’s the Navajo God of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, you know, and I have my Christian ring on.

And the appropriate finger.

It’s been there since I was 16.

There you go. What is the name, even if it’s wrong for yours.

It’s been so long since I’ve heard it, and it came with this cool little card. I just. I think it’s beautiful. It’s this cool little Figure 8-looking thing. So, for me, it stands for infinity. because it’s got a Figure 8 now, yeah.

The interesting thing is to find out. The kind of zone it is, if it’s only indigenous to that area and that… 

it is 

OK, and then what are their properties, what properties are held within that stone, right?

All those things are pretty cool., As you know, stones are our conduits of energy and they use what is ground quartz in electronics. Because it creates a frequency.

Thank you very much. So, the name is because I hate not knowing ****.

That’s just Travis. He’ll look it up too when we’re talking, yeah.

Yeah, up here. I’ll look like an idiot on video. I don’t care.

Yeah, of course, of course.

Pounamu is a term for several types of hard and durable stones found in southern New Zealand. They are highly valued in New Zealand, and carvings made in Panama play an important role in the Maui Maori culture. So, this was carved by native people, but the specific shape and I’m going to find out. We’re not going to get off this call until I know exactly who’s around.

No, I’d just be interested. If it helps with clarity of vision. You know, some stones help you find your voice, right? Some stones increase your ability to receive. Through your heart or be What is it then? The Rose quartz, right It’s to open up your heart to be able to give and receive more, right? So, all these different stones have usages, obviously also in chakra. 

Chakra, right

So, I love this subject because it’s so much fun for me. I mean, I use them when I read.

Yeah, so here is the Hay Matthau, which is the fishhook from that movie,

Oh, OK.

And so this is called a picture, which translates to twist, I guess. And it says the twists refer to the unbreakable link between two people, whether they are parted for brief or extended periods. It’s reminiscent of these people’s life paths, so it’s super romantic that I got it.

So it’s, Oh, I love that.

But it’s tied to hemp.

Yeah. Oh, OK, yeah. Yeah, everything has to be of natural origin. Of course. This one has leather.

leather necklaces. They feel good.

So there you go.

This one is invisible because I don’t work.

Yeah, you know, I like a little bit of bling. I got the eyebrow ring, bracelets, watches, rings, and necklaces

Can you see that?

I love.

It moonstone.

So, for those who are now watching the video Carol just shared with us, her moonstone ring

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I am a moon child from the month I was born, so I resonate very highly with when the moon comes in to become a full moon.

That’s cool. I was born on a full moon. 

Maybe you need a moonstone ring.

Sometimes at the bar I drink, Blue Moon is at the Saint.

I want to know what a moonchild is.

Look it up.

September 28th, 1985

Cancers are moon children, balancing justice all the time.

Well, does anyone want to guess what I am?

What are you?

No guesses based on how long we knew each other.

Scorpio.

Nailed it. First shot.

I know way too many. Scorpios are all I’ve got to say.

All right. So, Michael, why did you say Scorpio?

Just by looking at your face, you looked like a Scorpio.

The Scorpio look.

It was just It was just a reaction. It was an ethereal reaction. 

There you go. There you go.

I felt it. Which I believe that some part of my subconscious that lives out here did. There are also things that people don’t know about me, like my love of metaphysics. I’m thinking your water bottle and all that stuff, yeah.

Yeah, yeah. What is that Dr. Lamar? The language of water.

I don’t know the specifics—the specifics that he did, I’m not sure—but water The great mystery was really that it was a documentary that was written a lot about his research and making snowflakes, saying things, that water making snowflakes. The idea is that water is a hard drive.

Right. And it’s also energy. So, it takes whatever you put in and magnifies it.

Right. And you know, we are water. That’s why I tried to explain to my 2-year-old the other day, you know because I took her swimming, and she didn’t want to. And I’m, you know, kind of drinking it. You’re made out of it. You can swim in it; you can float. It’s not going to hurt you.

Yeah, well, water, if you and This is why we do these, what we call intention Vas, is that if you’re in the water, you’re a conduit. 

So, if you happen to be focused in meditation right on certain words, and sometimes the words aren’t with you at that moment, but you, it can come to you, and let’s just say you’re going through a particularly hard time. In your life, you’ve been there, done that. There are words you could focus on. To give you strength. Right. And there was a point in my life where I needed it. I needed strength and courage, and I focused on those words. Did an intention lead to a lot of great things happening from that.

That’s cool.

That’s what we’re made of.

I mean, water is water, which is a big deal. Have you ever done a deprivation tank? The float tank?

No, I haven’t.

Anybody. No, no, no one.

There’s one another by me that I’ve been invited, but I haven’t gone.

Yet you’ve got to do it.

My schedule has just been so busy since I retired. There are all these long walks to the fridge. I get sidetracked.

Well, you know, you just, you just get to.  lay in. Pitch black body temperature in water for an hour, and it’s bizarre.

Well, it’s a form of meditation too, though. I would think you’d have. To be pretty calm and relax and let your mind water. 

I think it could be a really good place for you to be extremely creative as well because sometimes we need to step away from things that we’re working on to gain clarity. Right. 

And I think there have even been scientific studies that have said if you’re stuck on something, don’t try to figure it out, walk away from it, because in the background, as you walk away and do something else, let’s say, as mundane as going to mow the lawn or cleaning the house.

You’ve got all these systems processing in the background, and eventually, you’ll know ping in the middle of whether you’re cleaning or mowing the lawn. An idea comes to you. It didn’t go away. It just needed time to, you know, kind of work through the system.

Oh yeah, no.

And fit it out.

For sure, I want to sleep. I sleep on stuff. I got accepted to this accelerator program I told you about when I got it. 

So, a friend of mine signed me up because he likes what you’re doing, you’re doing with eco-friendly packaging. These guys want startups; we’re doing packaging, and I’m nowhere near being accepted into an accelerator, but whatever. I’ll sure go ahead and throw because that’s how I care about certain things. What’s the harm in throwing your name in that hat? Right. So, they accepted me for the pre-accelerator weekend or whatever. 

So, they invited me to come visit all the people who were accepted on Friday, and I’ve been an entrepreneur for a while. I’ve done dozens of business plans I’ve advised that I’ve done lots of things, so it’s not that I’m some chump who just shows up without an idea, but that’s exactly what I did. 

And so, I said to my wife on Wednesday, I said this is probably not going to be worth my time. I’m just going to decline it; I should be concentrating on this. I shouldn’t let myself get distracted by this thing. I should just It’s not the right time. I’ll do the next one next year. Or something, and then but the little voice in my head was don’t be a *****. Just do it, you know. 

And so, I show up, and there are people there with businesses that have won awards and have been developed, and they just need an extra boost, right? They’re not in Series A or something, but they’re good. They’re getting some. They asked me. They’re so good. What are you here for? And I’m. I have no idea. I don’t know. And they’re what? Do you mean you don’t know? I’m, well, I design eco-products for a living, and I don’t know. I’m hoping that maybe while I’m here Someone will say something like that. I’ll just pull something out of the closet.

And so at the end of the night, a bunch of the mentors or whatever that they brought to take to the thing they asked me, do you know? Are you going to do it yet? I’m thinking no. They’re just shocked because it’s

They’re probably stressed out. Oh my God.

I feel like they’re looking at me. Should give a ****. You know, because they give a **** and they’re scared for me, but I don’t care. because there’s so much. Other things to give a ***** about This isn’t one yet for me.

They’re all wrapped around the it, and you’re overlaying in the daisies, looking at the clouds.

Yeah, you know, I’m just trying to relax. That I could pull out a solution. Of the ether. I can’t force an idea to come, you know, and so on.

So, Saturday morning rolls around, and I thought I’d sleep on it. I’ll wake up cool. Which is usually what I do. I have a dream or something. Something weird. I show up at 8:40. Everyone else is late. I’m still sitting there thinking about it and looking through my notebook. I’ve got nothing. I’m blank.

So, while they’re giving their little, this is how it’s going to work. That’s when it hit me. I was just doodling nouns and verbs, and just I was, this sounds cool. And so. I thought of it. And then I looked up to see if the.com was Free…the.com was free. I bought it. Right there. And the girl sitting next to me is looking over my shoulder. I grabbed a couple of little icons from the noun project, which is a great place to get icons, and I just Adobe Illustrator a little logo and ****, and after they were given their little speech, they were, OK, who wants to show their idea? 

And I’m me, me, me, me, me. 

And so I full screen, the logo I was thinking this is a bass pack. It’s going to And I went on for 5 minutes about how it’s going to be the most ********. bass fiber, you know, eco paper prodigy ever. And there, where did this even come from… I’m, I just You heard it. I was just making it up. This is it? And that speech was not that different from the actual speech that I gave two months later, after all, their practice and all their mentoring, or whatever it was, you can’t be in this space for so long and not know. What you’re talking about, but you can’t. Just lie your way out of it, right?

But I think it’s also A gift, right? You know this about yourself?  I’m not going to panic. It’ll come to me. Right? And it did, you know? And it’s the belief; I think part of it, too, is believing.

It was super cool about it and very humbling. And you know, I just get excited to have these kinds of conversations. I’m so sorry for cutting you off on Sunday because there were 14 teams to pitch and then there was me. 

And so, I’m thinking, this was fun. It was a cool weekend. We had some good food. I’m not going to get it. In some of these ideas kicked ****. You know what I mean? The thing was, they were only going to accept 3.  I was the 14, whatever it was, 3 and I was, whatever my heart had been racing all day. I’ve been watching it on my Apple Watch. I now give a ****, you know, on Sunday, 2 days later. 

And so when they said my name on the third one, because they instead announced 4 instead of 3, and they said me. Third, I just sat there. They made a joke, he just came up with the name yesterday. He doesn’t remember it being him. That’s what they that’s what they said.

Oh my God.

And I was. No, no, I know. I’m just mind-blown that out of these great projects, the one that I pulled out of my *** 12 hours ago? You know what I mean? I got selected, which was hilarious and cool.

But can you imagine how some of those people felt? I knew because they had worked so hard. And spent months and worked endless hours with their mentor to help me find an idea and then put it all together. And meanwhile, you pulled it out of your *** and just went up, presented, and got accepted. seriously.

Yeah, yeah. There was one girl who was super, super, super mad. I was like, hey, I want to help you develop because I’m good at cost calculation. If you’re going to make a product and it’s made from things, by the time I’m done, you will know how much each pallet costs, right? You will know what I mean and how much that pallet weighs you down. I mean, you’ll know how many bottles, labels, and man-hours every penny. How much does the pallet cost? And so I asked. This girl was

See, he’s a maker. He’s a maker. Travis, right?

I can’t say exactly what I am. I’m an enigma, as I’ve been told. But I said to this girl who had this cool It was sunflower yogurt, and I said you know, because she brought samples, it was good. And so, I said to her the same question I asked everybody: Much for a pallet. Because I think, and as a manufacturer, I think in product and pallets.

About sourcing it. Yeah, you’re talking about sourcing it and how much each ingredient costs to bring together.

I want to know specifically how much it costs her to produce a pallet and how much I can buy a pallet for. How much does a pallet cost? On the pallet, what’s the lead time? Want to know all? The stuff because you know you’re here for the accelerator. You had money before. You should know that you’re ****. She didn’t know. 

And so, I offer to show her one of my work calculators. I just punched in. No matter how many units the order is, I know it’s going to take 207 man-hours to produce. Approximately this many days ago, I will make this for you. And she’s OK, OK. And then after, she didn’t get in.

Doesn’t understand the value behind that.

I mean, maybe not, because two weeks later I saw her at a trade show, and I was like, hey, by the way, don’t forget. I will still help you with this calculator. She’s nothing. Nothing.  You could pay me $1000 to make you a calculator like that.

You popped her balloon because you were accepted. And sheets?

It’s not my problem; I still offer.

To help, I know it’s not about those best intentions, you know.

Hey, as we’re getting ready to wrap up here, in theory, we’re over time, but sometimes just to construct, we do whatever the hell. We want it anyway. What advice would you have for someone who is struggling with something and trying to find the right idea to work through it? Would you just tell them to relax? What would you say? Someone who’s struggling right now.

I would tell them to go get as many jobs as quickly as possible.

OK, why?

Yep, if they have some kind of inkling into what they think they might do, then go do it for a month, you know, I mean. And then go do something that’s related to that for a month.

Are you saying they understand the processes?

Sure, you know, I mean, I would always tell people I would never work at Subway because I loved it. And I know that if I worked at Subway, I wouldn’t love it anymore. You know, I mean, but when? I got into this niche. I somehow. I was lucky enough to go work for a wholesaler who worked. In this niche. You know, they were one of the largest wholesalers of novelty products in the country. 

So, I got to thinking that I didn’t want to go be a picker in a warehouse and pack boxes. It was beneath me. But I got to see from the inside how it worked. I got to see trends not from a computer screen, but from what I was picking. I got to see, who bought what and where. What was being sent all around the country? You dive into the thing and see how it works. The advice is to dive in. You know, get your hands dirty and fail forward.

Do your research.

Yeah, even if that means you’re going to quit your job at one point. And my wife doesn’t understand this one to this day. I was making $12.00 an hour as a security guard when I could be making six figures. At the time, but the thing was because I was just a security guard, I was able to read books. A security guard just walks around once an hour and lets people in and out of the gate, but they sit in the air conditioning in silence. 

The rest of the time I was reading college textbooks. Listening to podcasts, I read so many books that if I had a real job where I had to work, I would have been able to sit and read books. I got paid to learn. And that was a year of my life that I sacrificed being a nobody to get paid to learn.

I love that perspective and finding the way that you can unlock yourself the most. 

Some people have to get quiet. Some people need to be in the shower.

For me I got to be moving and distracted, my favorite is driving my truck and listening to an audiobook. Eventually, the audiobook will just fade out, and whatever the inspiration is, it will come to me. People, you drive all over the country. That sounds terrible. 

What sounds terrible is jumping into an airport and getting herded through cattle, you can’t have things like, I don’t know, water to get through the line there because it might be some other thing, and you sit there next to people you don’t know or smell bad. Then you’re going to pressurize the airplane, and it messes with your head. And then, yeah, that doesn’t sound funny either.

So, I don’t know what you’re talking about, because I think driving is great, but find the way that you can unlock yourself—your inner thing that allows your spirit. Really to speak to. You, Michael, if people want to get a hold of you. What’s the one place you would send them?

This will probably show up on the recording, but my phone number is right there. You can hit me up on WhatsApp. You can also find me at michaelklepacz.com or on LinkedIn, which is just Mike clapping out I.

Think, Michael, that’s three places.

In many places, I’m digitally all over.

michaelklepacz.com, and the number will be in the show notes. If you want to send him a text or a call on WhatsApp, thank you so much for being our guest today, Michael. Thanks for having me.

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