Expanding Your Business Followers On Social Media with Ira Bowman

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Ira joins Travis and Carol today. They discuss educating our kids about the variety of possible career possibilities. Raising kids with health issues and navigating the medical system. Ira offers his advice on how to expand your business by obtaining followers on social media.

Highlights:

{00:44} Who is Ira

{03:47} Are we conditioned – programmed in our society to believe in a formula with only one path

{07:30} Do you have to go into debt for college telling our kids they have other options

{13:20} Are we too busy and not spending enough time with our children

{22:23} Being a parent of a child with special needs

{47:55} How to go from zero to 300,000 followers

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Ira Bowman Bio

Professionally Ira is a marketing and sales expert, photographer, graphics designer, website builder, philanthropy owner, Search Engine Optimization content writer, and TEDx speaker.  Ira has built a large social media following with six-figure following counts on both LinkedIn and Instagram.

Ira Bowman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University where he graduated with a 3.916 GPA in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Business and Religion. This says a lot about who Ira is, as he has many interests, and he strives to do things with excellence.

Over his 25-year career to date, Ira has worked in the restaurant, e-commerce, print, and marketing industries. The majority of Ira’s career has been spent in a sales role in the print and graphics industry helping small and medium-size businesses gain market share and increase sales. Since June of 2020, with the launch of Ira’s business, Bowman Digital Media, Ira has focused on helping increase visibility for his clients on social media and increasing website traffic. The internet has become the main source of commerce and visibility is important to increase sales.

Ira Bowman has been married to Alicia Bowman since June of 2000 and is a proud father of eight children with several of the kids now in college. The family is located in Southern California just outside Los Angeles.

Bowman Digital Media

The new superhighway of business is found online.  The equivalent of buying property along a busy street or near the highway is increasing your website domain authority and following on social media.

At Bowman Digital Media, we help our clients increase their digital visibility by creating content, writing blogs, building backlinks, and more, so they can focus on running their business without fear of becoming obsolete. 

We create websites, design graphics, write blogs, take photos, edit videos, and improve SEO all at prices that won’t break the bank on a month-to-month basis as we’re happy to earn the business on a prove it basis.

Want to discuss how BDM can help your business?  Book a free 30-minute consultation.

Connect with Ira

ira@bowmandigitalmedia.com

https://bowmandigitalmedia.com/

Hey, welcome back to the show. I’m here with my co-host, Carol Carpenter, and our guest today was Ira Bowman. Ira is the head of Bowman Digital Media. He’s got nearly 200,000 followers on LinkedIn and over 100,000 on Instagram, which is one of the reasons we love him. But we also love him because he’s a real dude, and that’s why we wanted to bring him on the show. The Titan Evolution podcast so we could hear that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s the stuff: hidden layers, neat people. Ira, how the heck are you?

I’m hanging in there. How about you, Travis? Thank you for having me on the show. Thank you, Carol, for having me on the show.

Oh, our pleasure.

Hey, Ira, tell us a little about yourself: who you are, what you do, and so on. Don’t give the sales pitch, though.

Oh, OK, well, how about, how long do you want me to go?

We can’t possibly go longer than our last guest.

I’m a product of divorce. I know this will sound weird, but I’m going somewhere with those. I’m a product of a divorce. My parents were divorced several times each, so I moved around a lot as a kid. As an adult, I got married relatively young. I have eight kids with my wife. But I got married at 23 before I finished college, and for the next 20 or so years of my life, we bounced around like a pinball because, as my family grew, I needed to make more money. And as I needed to make more money, I had to go where the opportunity was.

So, continuing with the theme of chasing a rabbit, I graduated from college as an adult in 2013. It took me 18 years to graduate from college, but when I did that, the goal was to set some roots and not have to move anymore. I worked for 20 years in the printing business. I started in sales, just large format equipment, and then, about ten years into it, I switched gears and started selling the output. So that got me into graphic design, and over the last 20 years, that’s what I envisioned myself doing, always being an employee, always working in the print and graphics space because I liked it and was good at it.

But in 2020, I took a job in Southern California for a company that I had worked for once before in Las Vegas, and the idea was to come here and retire. But whenever you think you have a plan, God has a way of smacking you and saying, “Ha, that’s funny.” So, five months after I took that job in Southern California, I got laid off because COVID happened, so I started a business.

I’m a business owner now. I’m in digital media, so I still do graphic design. But now, I do photography, website development, SEO, and videography. I think I’ve told them all. There are six services in total. Anyway, I do that. I have a staff. I just downsized a little bit so we could talk about that too. I had swollen my staff, and then I just shrunk my staff for some reasons we can get into. But anyway, that’s it. It’s that life is messy. There are a lot of layers there. My wife and kids aren’t thrilled that we’ve moved. I think 8 or 9 times in 20 years, but we have moved a lot through it all.

I never thought I would be a business owner because, frankly, with a large family, I was committed to the thought that I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t afford to have the benefits. I was, forgiving the term, a slave to being an employee. I thought because of my situation; I didn’t think I could escape it. Now that was, Uhm, not correct thinking. I’m glad that I figured this out. There’s a lot to unpack, so I went over 60 seconds. Sorry.

It’s all good, so what do you find? We’re conditioned in our society to believe that we need to receive a paycheck, and you know, OK, let’s just go through the formula, right?

We go to school. We go to university. We have to get married. We have kids, and this is programmed into us at such a young age that we just think that’s the right path. But as entrepreneurs, you know now that we are entrepreneurs. Suppose I can spit that out. We kind of recognize the fact that that was the wrong pattern and the wrong formula to be considered.

Well, I have. I have eight kids. OK, I can’t speak for everybody’s kids, but I can speak for mine. I’m an entrepreneur. My wife was a business owner before I was. She started working for a company called Scentsy, which sells sensing products independently. One of our kids, not one of them, is talking about being a business owner. Not one of them. I just had a kid graduate with a 4.0 in high school. He is my third to finish high school. He’s going to school to be a software engineer. This kid is extremely smart. I’ve never heard him say, “Dad, I want to take over your business,” or “Dad, I want to start my own business.”

It’s all about getting that degree so they can get a job with Google or whatever, and I’m like, “Don’t you guys understand I make more money now than I’ve ever made in my life?” I’m not any smarter than I was. I didn’t work any harder than I did. I’m not more committed to being good at my craft.

The difference is that I’m at the head of the chain here. You’re in charge of your destiny versus helping somebody else make money. No, I completely agree, and this is the thing. It’s a blessing now that I have employees, right? And I get to be a blessing to other people, but this is what I’m trying to say. No, to answer your question directly, they don’t encourage you. At least, I was never encouraged anywhere along the way to think about being my business owner. Not at school, not by counselors, not by other employers. Once, I got called into the owners’ office of the company I worked at because I had started my philanthropy project. They were trying to help you grow, and they were afraid that I was trying to start my own business and I was going to leave them. They were going to discipline me, and I was like, “Wait a minute.” This is a non-profit I’m not making.

Anything I’m spending money on making? This thing goes, but that’s that. Fear-based or whatever you want to talk about. And I want to consider this too. Not everybody has to go to university. I would say that many people should consider trade, instead of going to university because when you get out of a college university, you are frequently in extreme debt. I’m talking about 8090, a 100 plus $1000 in debt, and the salary you can expect to make is not much different than if you go to a one-year or two-year job. So, we need raids as well. Schools like Blue University help train entrepreneurs for six grand or $6,500 for one year. Train. The Blue University is a steal of a deal. OK, so

You have hundreds of dollars in debt to pay back over time. I mean, that is a looming debt that you have.

No, correct. I just tried to explain this to my son, who will be going into that kind of debt by the time he’s done. He will probably owe about $72,000 based on the current map.

And I’m like, “That’s a lot of money to pay back.”

Well, here’s the deal. Here’s the deal: you do not have to go into that debt to attend school. If you’re out there listening to anyone that’s told you that it’s a complete lie, it’s because there are dozens of different pathways alone, and there are hundreds of millions of dollars in unused scholarship money every year. There are apps like Scullyfastwebscholarships.com where you can sit, apply for these things while you’re in your senior year of high school over lunch, and get 5/10/15 applications a day done.

Let me give you another thing that people could do. There are junior colleges out there. Go if you’re going to go to a 44-year-old university to graduate.

I worry about that.

Yeah, look. The world lies to you. If you think you’re going to go to USC or Harvard or any of these schools and get top-rated professors to teach you underclass work, so your first year and your soft year, you will be getting teacher assistance. If you don’t know that, welcome to reality. You’re not even getting the professors you’re paying for, so why go to that school for four years when you could go to a junior college for two years, get your Gen Ed stuff done, and then get your upper-level classes done? At the school. However, you’re getting what you pay for and still get the same degree as everybody else. Who went there for four years and a half of the cost?

I know it’s ridiculous, but you know, like I started pre-med right, the only way to be a doctor is you. You have to go through the process, so you go into debt like crazy before you come out, and what’s the guarantee that you will end up in debt? You know, doing what you truly want when you have that debt looming over your head, and you’re trying to take any job you can to start reducing it.

Well, I think it’s insane that people expect to know what they’re going to do for a living, even when they start college. I’ve got kids in junior high school there, and they’re expecting these kids to pick a track so they can specialize in medicine or software or whatever in junior high.

They barely know who they are and less than what they want to do for a living.

That’s what I’m saying, right? It’s crazy that we want to lock kids in early and expect them to have it all figured out. I’m telling you; our education system is a complete mess.

It’s doing exactly what it was designed to do. It was designed to create people that would go to work, pay taxes, and not ask too many questions. We’re just not OK with what it was designed to do. But it’s doing exactly what it was designed for.

I think that parents have to take the onus on themselves, and I’m looking at myself in the mirror here. I’m not trying to make anybody else feel bad. It’s like I need to do a better job of educating my kids about what is possible and see different paths to get there because I thought that I was locked into a certain life, and it wasn’t a life. It made me happy. Frankly, I was not happy.

But you didn’t know that then.

I wanted promotions and more responsibility, and it wasn’t because, you know, I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing. I knew I was capable of it. Or something else that left me wanting and unsatisfied. And frankly, if we’re going to be completely transparent on this show, which I think we can be, it left me depressed. OK, for a long time, I felt inadequate. I felt unfulfilled, which spilled over into my personal life, creating problems. Right? I became a workaholic. Trying to achieve these things and provide for a family, you know, is super expensive because of the size of my family.

Let’s just say you don’t know what you don’t know, right? And the fact that you’ve seen what you can accomplish, and you can relate these things to your kids, They, for the first time, probably realize when you talk to them about this that they have options, and for most of us, we didn’t know we had options.

But I think for my oldest three kids, it was too late. But I think for my younger wave, I’ve got a kid who just entered high school, one that just entered junior high, and three more in elementary school. And I have a special-needs kid now, but for them.

By the way, we kind of like to talk about that too, because I know, first of all, eight kids, you know, are here. I thought two was plenty, but eight is ridiculous, so.

Eight is enough. My wife says, “Hashtag no.”

Have you gotten snipped yet, Ira?

I do not have a # stripe. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I used it up to two years ago.

Oh, good Lord, no. The only people I’ve ever known to surpass that number are families that, you know, ended up having lots and lots of girls, literally one after the other. I had a friend whose entire family is Italian and Catholic. And it went from, like, Tia to Gia to Mia and the husband. They had no joke. It was the cutest thing. Go figure, but he wanted a boy, so they kept trying and trying, but after I think like the 9th one, they stopped because they were not supposed to have a boy in that mixture.

There you go if anybody thinks that God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Right?

You bring up a great point about how parents need to be involved in their kids’ lives. We, as a society, especially in American society, are very busy. We worked as a badge of honor.

We say, “Oh.” How are you? Oh, I’m so busy, and we think it’s terrible to say. But a lot of people. I just love saying it, and because there’s just so much to do or that we’ve chosen to do so much, we end up advocating responsibility for the orchards of schooling and our country, right?

We either hire or excuse me. We elect officials, and we abdicate responsibility for them. We say, ” Hey, fix it when they don’t wear it, ” but we have no support, same with our kids.

We’re abdicating responsibility to the school system and then wonder why we’re not getting a quality product because we’re not. Taking any kind of control, personal responsibility, and I have to include myself in this. That’s something that I’ve not done a good job at. Fortunately, I’ve recently retired from the Navy, but I have tons of time with my son, but my daughter didn’t get that kind of time with me.

Yeah, well, I’m probably as guilty as anybody could ever be. I’m one step better than an absentee father. I’m just being completely transparent here. I have not spent much time at all with my kids. I have defaulted or deflected that responsibility to my wife, and I tell you, my kids resent that, right? So, it’s come at a very high opportunity cost for me to have the chance to provide for them. I mean, part of this is how I was raised, right? So, I mean, just get real. I thought that the man’s job was to provide, and then the next thing the man is supposed to do is keep the family safe. So, if you ask me how I did on these two tasks, I think I’ve done pretty well. My kids have never gone hungry. They’ve always had, you know, shoes and a roof. And all those things, right?

I mean, I’m not expecting any orders.

But what they’ve missed is essentially the time with you in the browser.

Well, I’ve robbed them. OK, I’m going to use the word “rob.” I’ve robbed them of getting to know who I am, right? They don’t know me. They don’t know how. I think they don’t know the things that are important to me. They don’t even know why I do what I do, which is embarrassing, but we’re being real here, right?

But that’s not it. That’s an embarrassment.

We try to attach feelings to many things, and normally it’s a bad feeling when you have kids. Your job is to parent, and then when they become adults, you have the opportunity to have them come to become friends and understand who you are.

But having that parent role, please don’t attach feelings to it like it’s some kind of guilt or shame.

Well, I could do better.

We could all do better, but we’re barely 100 years into having childhood as a thing in this country because child labor laws didn’t come into effect until the early 1900s. After all, the kids were going to work on 7/7/9.

So, we haven’t figured it out as a society yet, so don’t put it all on your shoulders, my friend.

Yeah, but to be here for Ira, you know your children have every opportunity to come to you and be interested. I mean, it’s not me. I don’t think the onus is completely on you. If they had questions, why wouldn’t they come to you? I mean, eventually, I know your kids start having some interest when they get older. You also can’t put all of the blame on yourself. You’re trying to provide them with life. It is your responsibility, or you own that responsibility, right?

I own it. I own that part. I have no problem with that part, and I’m not embarrassed about anything I’ve done professionally. I have a lot that I’m working on. I’m reading this book right now. It’s called the discipline of a godly man. I’m reading this in full disclosure because I like to read four different books all at the same time.

You’ve got those cool glasses. You should read it. The one that I have right here is another book. This is my devotional book called Trust and Obey. But the book I’m reading for work right now, which I like, Is this correct? And it was referred to us by one of our friends, Joel.

Joel: Yeah,

The Bitcoin standard “I’m still not done because I’m reading four books. I’m always reading something.

I cannot do that. I cannot go from book to book. I have to start one and read it all the way through. I haven’t read it, though I’d list audiobooks.

Let me help with that if I may. Because of how I manage my day, people frequently ask me how I get so much done every day. Well, I utilize what’s called a block schedule, OK, and so the block schedule allows me to work on different tasks for a certain amount of time and then switch gears and work on a different task for a different amount of time, and so before I adopted that, Travis,

Yeah, me too.

I was just like you, and it would drive me insane. I will try to read two books. But once I started to kind of get into that mindset where I could shift gears, pardon my expression here, and I don’t mean to offend anybody, but I started to think more like a woman in the fact that I could. I could multitask better. I could multitask. So, I’m not nearly as good as you think.

Carol, are you upset? Right now, let’s get down.

Not upset at all. I mean, I mean, I completely multitask. That’s just part of my job as a mom, right? You’d have to shift gears at the moment.

Most women I know have like 17 things going on in their brains simultaneously or more.

Oh man, don’t sit.

Nobody can ever catch up with your conversation because you’ve moved on to the next one. They’re like, “Ah, did you just change the subject?”

You’ve got to push in the clutch. You ride a motorcycle. You can’t change gears without grabbing the clutch.

I could change. I could change that subject three times in the same sentence.

That’s right, and then I have people asking me, are we still on the same subject, or how have we moved on? I’m like ****; we moved one people asking me, are we still on the same subject or how have we moved on? I’m like ****, we moved on. Sorry.

We moved on. Yeah, well anyways, so.

What I loved about that book is that, again, if you guys are interested in the book, it’s called Disciplines of a Godly Man. He breaks it down. The author breaks it down into sections, right? So, there’s a family section, a friendship section, and a marriage section devotion, and I love it because some of the parts that I have been struggling with, you know, look, we’re holistic. We’re a whole person, so you’re going to have things that you do well, and you’re going to have things where there are deficits. And then I think about the goal. Just try not to be perfect, which is an impossible task, but to be well balanced, right?

So, it’s kind of like what you were talking about earlier, Travis, about the people bragging about how many hours they work. And trust me, I used to be that guy, and I’ll go because I launched an 18-month project to help you grow back in 2018. I only slept 2 hours a day. I’m talking about the whole 18 months, 2 hours a day for 18 months straight. That will kill most people, but I was able to do it, so I know how to work hard. I know how to work long hours, but the bottom line is, what was I not doing? It almost cost me my marriage back in 2018. Honestly, my wife is like, “I can’t continue if this is how it’s going to be.” We need to do something different, like

OK, let’s figure some stuff out, right?

So, time must be factored in. If it’s important to you, you should have some time for it on the schedule, right? Here’s just some advice, some life advice from a hack who’s not doing a very good job at some of this stuff. But I’m working on it. OK, there you have it. Forget your money. Your money can be worked on. You can get more money.

You know what? You can’t get more time. Time is the only fixed asset we have, right? So, if you want to brag about how awesome you’re doing in life, show me how you’re spending your time in equal parts. Give it to what you’re working on professionally, how you’re trying to develop yourself personally, and how you’re spending time with your significant other. If you have one, how do you spend time with your kids? Beyond that, what are you doing to help others? There’s more to life than just how many hours I put in. On the time clock, right? Well, I think people are so singularly focused. Yeah, because think of it as a right.

If you’re missing a leg or two, your dead chair will fall over, and that’s where I’m at. Honestly, that’s where I’m at. I am super strong, like, I have Arnold Schwarzenegger arms and Pee Wee Herman legs. Like most guys at the gym, he’s thinking, “I need to work on it, and I’m looking forward to it.” I’m starting. I’ve acknowledged it, which is a hard thing to do. It was a humbling thing to get it right. It took a lot. It took a lot for me to look. In the mirror and go, you have fallen here and here, and I’m not asking anybody for anybody’s opinion. That’s my assessment of myself. So OK, throttle back some of the stuff you’re doing professionally.

You know what? I love you guys. Are you using motorcycle terms here to throttle back and change gears? I love you guys.

We want to ensure you can keep up with the conversation, Carol.

Oh ****

So, I like analogies. I love to use analogies because it helps people understand that I have dyslexia. So sometimes, I use the wrong word. Or I say the wrong word. I knew what I wanted to say, but something else came out of my mouth. So, I like analogies because they Do it help me too? Make sure people can understand what I’m trying to say.

Yeah, well, you know. Sitting there, we kind of glossed over it. Some of the difficulties you faced as a parent of eight children are correct. And one of your children has special needs. Would you like to kind of elaborate on that a little?

Sure, it’s really hard because we weren’t aware that our children were born with special needs. OK, so they were all born healthy and normal, and everything was just as it should be. I mean, a large family, of course, but, as you know, everybody was fine. My daughter, who’s now 14, was 13 when she was; she was in school, functioning completely normally, completely healthy other than She had added, uh, a large amount of, you know, And, uh, an abnormal amount of, UM, allergies, and then she had some issues, and I don’t want to embarrass her. Still, she had some developmental issues with her female track. OK, so I’m just going to leave it at that. That’s no one’s business, but anyway. She’s had some mild issues, but nothing like that was holding her back from doing anything in her life, OK? Honor students in the school participate in all kinds of extracurricular activities. One day, back in August of 2021, she woke up in the middle of the night with a belly ache. And, like any good parent, spend some time putting your children to bed. You know, to be like this. This isn’t newsworthy stuff here.

Anyway, to tell you the truth, the stomach-ache never went away. OK, so three days later, it had intensified to the point where we started to get slightly worried. My wife took her to the emergency room, which I thought was a little premature. But you know, my wife is more sensitive, and in tune, so the way they went led to the discovery of many problems. My daughter ended up being paralyzed from the chest down. At one point, she was on what we’d consider her deathbed. She was blind. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t see, she couldn’t do anything, she couldn’t eat. She was on an Ng tube and oxygen and all these things, and they didn’t expect her to make it, and it was so bad she’s been in and out of the hospital. I think seven times now, she’s been admitted to the hospital. What makes it so challenging is that nobody knows. What’s wrong with her?

Oh my God, really? It’s like a show of “house.” If you remember that,

Yeah, God, I love that show.

At least in this episode, they never figure out what’s happening. She’s been to the House of Southern California, by the way.

With all the specialists and stuff.

Yeah, so pneumatology, it’s rheumatologists. I forget what it’s called. But, in any case, they’re the people you go to when you need to see a rheumatologist. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t. One is on television. So yeah, I mean, I’m not a doctor, right? But she’s been seen by every specialist. Three hospitals include UCLA, CHOC, Children’s Hospital, Orange County, and then Loma Linda Children’s Hospital here in Southern California. She’s been seen by all those specialists. They have teams. I believe there are eight different teams in most of those; she’s been seen by psychiatry, psychiatric and GI, the brain folks, and the general speeds.

I mean, it’s eastern medicine and medicine and western medicine. She’s been seen by countless specialists outside because when she’s outpatient, she’s still getting different help. She’s had occupational and physical therapy in and out of the hospital. She’s had EEGs, X-rays, and CAT scans.

I know there have been zero improvements.

So, think of my daughter’s health experience as a roller coaster ride. OK, it hasn’t been a straight line up or down. We have had times of improvement. Early on, after her deathbed experience, or what we thought was her deathbed, but which was it? She never died. You know she wasn’t resuscitated; she never was. She never went away. My son, who just graduated from high school, has a different story, but he drowned and was pronounced dead. He flatlined for about a minute and a half, but they were able to bring him back with a different story. She never got that far. OK, so I made a point where she was blind: she couldn’t see. She couldn’t walk; she couldn’t move anything. S

he lost her voice. She still can’t speak. I say that, but she can. She can whisper. So, if you get your head close to her, you can hear what she’s saying. When I say that, you should put your ear to her mouth. So, she has some audibles, but not all of them. Not the full user voice. What’s weird is that now she can move. Her legs when she’s asleep. Something is going on in her brain, and I think it is Partly a defense mechanism, or when your body is in survival mode, it shuts things down. So that your life-sustaining organ process systems can run fully. When she’s awake Because it requires more effort, but when she’s asleep, it requires less, and I think that frees her up.

Now I’m not a medical doctor, but that’s just my best guess because excuse me, no medical doctor has been able to figure this out. My wife, I mean, my wife is an amazing person. She has been studying and studying and talking to people and trying to figure this out, and she’s been chasing things down and possibilities down and the doctors. Some of them have been following what she’s saying and trying to do tests, so she’s working like a team member in the process. I have been overwhelmed by it, and I’m not a doctor. I don’t have time to study like my wife, so I’ve, on purpose, stayed out of it to a certain extent because I don’t want to have an uninformed opinion and stop somebody from doing something that can help.

So, I’m like, I default to my wife. I trust her. She’s really smart anyway. And on this, she’s way smarter than me. So, there’s that, and that’s kind of how our relationship has been for 22 years. It’s kind of like instead of fighting with each other over differing opinions or management styles because we have a lot of them. We were raised; differently, we have the same intent many times, but we have a different way we would go. So, it’s like, OK, I don’t want to fight with you, so I would rather just default to you and then the things that you know I want me to be in charge of, just default to me and let me know.

So, trust me that I will do the right thing, and I’ll trust you to do the right thing, so that’s how we’ve done it. So, if you’re having a conversation about medical stuff, my wife would be able to answer all your questions and give you the full diatribe for me. I could tell you this: we have seen progress. We’ve seen a lot of progress since we were next to death.

And at one point, my daughter could not fully stand up on her own and support her weight, but she had full use of her arms and could, with help in physical therapy, stand assisted. There was an uh, like a flu type thing that came to our house, like a virus that came through, and part of what my daughter has is inflammation of the brain. OK, and so this virus was a major setback at the time that it went through. All the kids were sick. My wife and I got sick. My daughter got sick. But it affected her differently. There was a regression, a cognitive regression, and a physical regression, and many of our gains were lost. Like 90% of the gains we’ve made, she lost.

Well, can I ask? Because obviously, inflammation is a cause of a lot of issues in humans. Has the medical profession even tried to prescribe something like a hyperbaric chamber?

She has done some of that stuff in the hospital. She has changed her diet. She’s changed her medication; we have tried. I hate to say this because it sounds obnoxious, I think, but it’s true. It’s like when I tell you that 40 teams of doctors have seen her. I’m not exaggerating. It’s over 40. I just don’t know.

How old is she now?

14.

Can I ask? OK, and when did the symptoms start?

So, they started on October 20. I’m sorry, August 26th. I believe last year was when she was checked into the hospital. There are numerous doctors and specialists to choose from. I’m talking about the best and the brightest in Southern California, and we’ve even consulted with doctors across the country.

When I tell you that they’re all stumped, I always hear people go on Facebook or whatever. Hey, have you tried this vitamin, or you know, this supplement, or you know, why don’t you do this type of thing, and I’m like, “If it was if it was something that you could Google, you know what I mean or something?” I hate to say it, but they would have found it already. I’m talking about the brightest of the bright here. No, I know, just It’s weird. It’s a weird thing, but there’s definitely.

There are a couple of things going on together. It’s a brain issue, right? We know it’s a brain issue because you can’t be paralyzed while you’re awake and not paralyzed or in your sleep, and have it been a physical systems issue, right? So, there’s a signal. There is a signal blockage somehow. Yeah, there’s a disconnect somewhere. Yeah, there’s a disconnect, so it has something to do with the brain. One of the natural doctors, and we’re seeing a lot of natural doctors, we’ve talked to a lot of natural doctors, and we don’t discount the natural stuff at all.

So, one of the guys said it’s probably something in her core, in her spinal cord that’s been pinched. Right, that blocks the connection. As a result, we’ve tried things like massage therapy. And what is it that they have? Does acupuncture have the ability to puncture?

Yeah, I do it like twice a month. Hip-hop and electric nodes each, tennis therapy. 10S therapy, hypnosis, and meditation. We’re trying all that stuff like we are not predisposed to any solution or have not discounted any potential solution. Like, if somebody brings me a solution and says, hey, we had something like this. Try sending it all to my wife.

She runs it by. Well, our main doctor is just, and I hate to say it’s just a PDE guy. pediatrician, right? But then we also have a specialist that’s a natural holistic doctor. My wife thinks it’s something to do with the mitochondria. It’s a mitochondrial disease, which would be devastating. Yeah?

That would be devastating because there would be no cure.

Well, it’s interesting because I know the mother passes mitochondria unchanged to the kid so that it would have the same problem in everyone’s mitochondria. Coming from her, but it’s really interesting, and we’ve gone deep on this, and I want not to shift gears, but I want to talk about my wife a little bit because she’s been through 42 surgeries and procedures herself and for every one of those, she had at least ten visits to figure out what was going on. She fainted when she was a teenager. Uh, you know, stressed out coincides with their cycle? She had all these different things that happened, but all of the doctors in our area gave her nothing, and then we joined the military and went out to California.

And then, none of those doctors could find anything. And then we went to Oklahoma City, and all the doctors in Oklahoma City at Tinker Air Force knew nothing, and it wasn’t till we got specific specialists and talked to the right person, which is crazy to find. For her endometriosis, there was like an uh nurse that just came on staff for like two days and happened to do a test and be like, “I know exactly what this is,” and we got her, and we got the surgery done, and there were 12 surgeries and chemically induced menopause. And all this stuff.

But it took a 35-year trek to determine that a Chiari Type 1 malformation caused most of her symptoms. But it wasn’t until we found the right people that we had the right MRI, and then we had to get a referral to Johns Hopkins to fly across the country three times to get this surgery done. So, I understand how stupid your struggle is. It is so heartbreaking to deal with the long-term care of people. It wears down everyone within the system, especially within the housing system. Everything is strained as a result.

Right, because we didn’t have. As I said, nobody had special needs. We didn’t have any of this stuff. I have a hospital room in front of me. When you walk into my house, you first see a hospital room. We have everything that you would find in a hospital room. My daughter is on an NG feeding tube in my front room, right? So, I mean, she still can’t eat? As a result, we must feed her in this manner.

And yeah, and then this. It all goes back to what you do for a living, and how much time you know it takes away from all of that is obvious, and so trying to find that balance is, it seems, insurmountable.

Yeah, it’s been a challenge in our lives. The previous year means Travis could tell you much better than I could, but the last year of our lives has been the hardest year by a million miles. I’ve made some mistakes. I asked my daughter to cut a semester of college short and come home to help because I was so busy with work. I understand that there’s some resentment for that, and you know, now I feel bad for doing it, but I just thought.

But the conversation has been opened too, and that’s a good conversation to have with her.

Yeah, so I’ll have that conversation. I just learned she’s not here to have it. I just learned about the resentment while she was gone. So, my wife and my kids are up in the Bay Area. They’ve been there for two weeks. They’re coming home tomorrow, so they’ll be back, but Travis, I wanted to ask you something. So, one thing we’ve heard, especially in the beginning, was that this is all in her. It’s all in her head. They kept trying to make this a psychiatric issue, and I’m like, are you kidding? She’s faking being unable to eat. The way that they’re saying it to you.

It is enraging, right? Oh, we heard it.

We heard it from multiple doctors.

That’s what they told my wife for 40.

That’s what I’m saying.

I know my wife grew up on a German family farm, and they are hard-working and dedicated.

Loyal people, and she’s like, “I’m in this pain.” I’m in this thing, and we had a situation where we heard the nurse walk out of the room. It was typical drug-seeking behavior, and I summoned her here. I was like, “Get your *** back in here.” I heard what you ******* said. I was super ******* I was like, pull up her chart right now in front of us and find a single opioid in her chart anyway. We don’t give a **** about the drugs. We want the solution to the problem. She went back through, and there were 15 years in there and not a single time. Has she prescribed opioids? I was like, “Now get the head of the hospital in here.” Because this is ******** They’re assuming that she’s just drug seeking because they can’t find the cause just because you’re not aware of how something works in the body.

And for those who don’t know, the specialists aren’t even specialists, like you go to a neurologist who specializes in migraines. That person went through pre-Med, medical school, and neurology, focused on that, all the other stuff in the head and the brain. They don’t know about it. Their specialty is just migraines. So even though a Chiari malformation is at the back of the skull where the spinal column comes into her, her neurologist had no idea how to do it because they focused so far down on this tiny slice.

The minute, yeah.

If Ira had seen a specialist for his daughter, that specialist might have had no clue about the thing and then found the right specialist because we went through this stuff like we don’t want all these tests. We went to a specialist in town, uh, a neurosurgeon, and he was like, “I can’t fix this surgery.” Are you even talking to me? I was that arrogant about setting an appointment with him, and then we went on a group trip, and I was like, this is a thing. My wife had to do some research into a Facebook group for Chiari and get some conversations started. Found someone in another state in Oklahoma. There’s not a carry specialist in the state, right?

and say, “Well, how did you do it?” Well, I got a referral to TRICOR. I went to Johns Hopkins and saw Doctor Eric Jackson, the foremost expert on this procedure, who talked. He took over for Doctor Ben Carson. We went out there. Wonderful man. She spent like an hour and a half with us for an appointment over the last six visits to her neurologist didn’t get an hour and a half of time, right? He sat down. He’s like, “Well, here’s the thing.” Here’s the danger: Here’s this: Then the other is like There are a couple of things we can try to see if we can fix the symptoms with an external procedure.

Then doing the surgery would have nothing to do with the results. Yes, we could. We could do surgery to do the thing, but if the symptoms are being affected in another way, we cannot do the surgery. It’s not this that’s causing the symptoms. And we’re like, “Well, that.” It was simple and enjoyable. Any other doctor could have said that, so we went back and had the Tilt Table test and a couple of other tests. On a different MRI, you make No, it’s good. Like, what do you think? It’s like we’re going to do it. We went out, and we didn’t have it done. My wife woke up for the first time in 40 years without a headache.

Wow, that’s huge.

But it took all of that stuff to go through all those doctors.

Nobody and nobody are ever going to apologize to you for that, yeah.

I don’t. I don’t need an apology. I don’t care whose fault it is. It is, but don’t say it isn’t the correct order. All this says it’s not this when he’s not the expert. Just say that you’re not the expert and you need to consult with someone else. I’m like; I don’t know, I’m not familiar with this. I need to talk. Yeah, I don’t know about somebody else, so people were unwilling to say they’re not the expert. Just ******* say you don’t know. I do podcasts. I do it fairly well.

It’s worse than that, though. From our experience, it’s been that they try to make you feel stupid and that you’re making stuff up, and they’re the acts. There are the experts, and you are just the lowly parent. It’s like

Call him out on it. Don’t try to make me feel ignorant or stupid for not knowing this ***. That’s your job, and she still says something is wrong, and I believe her; either you can’t find it, or you need to find someone who can. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, well, I’d say this to my wife. Who’s a much more patient person than I am, frankly, much kinder than I am? She’s had to bear most of the brunt of this because I would probably be in prison now if I had to deal with it.

These people, if I would’ve gone to that last appointment with my wife with a surgeon in town here, I probably would have popped him in the mouth. I can’t surgically help you. What are you doing in my office? You had her do all these tests. You want to explain why you can’t do anything surgically, and then he was wrong anyway because we got it fixed.

Anyway, the thing I want to leave everyone within this section is that if you experience something that isn’t a classic diagnosis, a common case, don’t just take the first person’s word for it, whatever they say, because, as Travis said, a lot of these quote-unquote specialists are not specialists in as much as you think they are. It is amazing the differences of opinion just going from 3 hospitals here in Southern California and the different types of things they specialize in and the type of care they offer.

They want to get your insurance money, and as soon as the insurance money stops or as soon as the insurance money is unavailable for what they want to do, they just want to get you out of their way. I could tell you a story. I will tell you a story. I was discharged. My daughter was discharged. She was crashing. She was crashing. OK, what does that mean?

That means you can’t eat. She can’t function. We’re done with her. We want you to go to another hospital. They couldn’t get us to the other hospital, so we were at Loma Linda, and they wanted to get us over to Chalk. We couldn’t get the chalk approved because we were at the hospital. That’s closest to us in our coverage. That is what our insurance provides. So, we had been at CHA. I’m sorry, Loma Linda. I guess we’re out of insurance money for about three and a half weeks. So, they’re like, “We’re discharging him,” and I’m like, “Ah, she cannot eat.” She can’t eat. What are we supposed to do?

At that point, we didn’t have an N G2. Something at home, and they ordered one for us. Isn’t that nice? But it wasn’t here.

So, did you find secondary insurance or a nonprofit to help you with these medical costs?

I mean, I haven’t to this date, and I’ve had a lot of people say, hey, you should start a Go Fund Me, but I have a personal belief system that doesn’t allow me to do that; because I think Go Fund Me is for people with more important needs than what I’ve got, right? So, there are people that are struggling worse, so I’m not doing that, but

Right, but just because someone is struggling worse doesn’t mean that other people’s dollars will go to your daughter instead of someone else. Maybe they would never donate to anybody except for your cause, so you’re not taking money out of someone else’s pocket.

I probably need to re-evaluate my position, but that’s what I’m just telling you. I’m just telling you where I’ve been and why I haven’t done it right.

But there are a lot of people that feel that way. Same with veterans that served; they won’t go to the VA for anything because they feel like if they’re getting benefits, someone else has it. Worse, if they’re taking benefits out of someone else’s pocket.

You’re away.

That’s not true. There’s

No, I need my psychology brother to help me. I mean, he needs help.

Well, here’s the deal. Here’s the deal: What if it was specifically a dollar? You raised $13 million, and the person who had the answer the entire time doesn’t accept your insurance, but it’s going to take all that money, and they can fix your daughter by the end of the month. So, we’re paying out of pocket.

OK, so we have insurance. We’re going to take advantage as much as we can of everything that insurance provides. But we have also been paying out of pocket. Yeah, I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars.

It’s a financial burden as well. Oh sure,

There’s a financial burden in multiple ways, not just the cost.

No.

Yeah, well, I know you. I know you’re a great guy, and every time I need help with something, you take the time out of your day to help me with my thing. I know Carol has the same thing, and I know a dozen people that feel the same way about it. What you’re doing right now is robbing everyone you’ve helped of the opportunity to bless you in return.

Yeah, show their gratitude.

Why can’t people bless you, Ira?

Because I’m stubborn.

We can do it right now and set up a go-fund page on your behalf for your benefit. I’m going to do it.

I need a tissue.

People, people ******* love you, Ira. You’re a fantastic guy.

Yeah, you do. You are.

You take care of not only the 10 of you in the household, right? You and your wife and the eight kids, but all the people you helped mentor and guide with all the things you do with LinkedIn and Instagram, you’re one of the top guys on LinkedIn. They had built a LinkedIn first profile. Yeah, there are stars, and this and that and that come in. They have five. They already had a following.

You built your following. From the ground up, this project helps you grow out of your pocket to help other people get jobs. For the last time, you have done nothing but bless everyone in your universe. I don’t know how old you are. Forty-plus years, 45 years, and you deserve it. To let other people, have the chance to bless you.

That’s very kind, and I’ve done my best to help others, but I’m far from perfect in my family.

You don’t want to be perfect anyway. They crucified the last perfect guy. Nobody is going to be perfect.

Thank God for him.

Seriously, seriously?

No, I’m not. I’m serious about thanking God for him. That’s the only hope I have.

Let’s switch gears, guys, because you know, Ira? He is an incredible individual, and the stuff he’s done on social media is inspiring. We should probably get to that too.

It was definitely

It’s the reason most people want to talk to me.

Well, no, no. And because it is quite a remarkable story, I’d like to hear how you went from 0 to as many followers as you have today and how you’re helping other people. And again, this goes back to you helping other people achieve some of those goals themselves.

Yeah, sure, so I mean, I could take an hour on this topic alone, so I’ll try to give you Maybe a three-minute brief overview, and then we can jump into any of the details you want. So back in 2018, well, first of all, I joined LinkedIn in 2009. OK, August of 2009 is when I signed up for my account, and I didn’t use it in any interesting or creative way. I think I was using it the way most people in sales work. I was in sales. I was looking for a research tool, but I could look up prospect information and figure out how to better communicate with people who might want the products and services I offered.

I know this about people. If you show that you’re interested in somebody, they’re far more likely to be interested in you. OK, so when I say a research tool, that’s what I mean. I want to figure out where you went to school. What are your hobbies? You know, what are your professional goals, those kinds of things? You can find much of that on LinkedIn, so I’m not talking about sales navigator. People are misusing LinkedIn now because they’re using a sales navigator or some lead generator and spamming People with all these DMS, which is ridiculous. After all, you’re just burning bridges at an A and a Rampant Pate pace.

But I’m talking about spending 5 to 10 minutes on Travis Johnson’s profile and getting to know as much about him as I can. Then, when I finally met Travis Johnson, I was taking the time to find information on you, then see you, whether it be networking. The event at your office? And then there’s talking to you about things in your profile, not necessarily saying, hey, I went to LinkedIn and saw that you’re interested in blah. Blah blah blah. I actually would try just to work. I put it into the conversation like if I were looking up Carol, I’d say, “Oh, my dad loves Harley-Davidson, and I’m a photographer.” I love taking his pictures. You know, that’s one of the things I like to do. And you’d be like, Oh well, I’m into motorcycles. I mean a little different type of motorcycle, but open to conversation.

We could just kind of work it in there, right? I am not a motorcycle guy, and it’s not because I wouldn’t. I’d love to do it, but when I was healthy enough to do it, I couldn’t afford it, and now that I’m wealthy enough to do it, I’m not healthy enough. That makes sense, right? My back is injured, so it’s not. It’s not a sport that I can do. I can do So anyway; that’s how I used LinkedIn from 2009 to 2018. research tool. Find out more about people and then work in conversations to build rapport. That’s what I wanted to do. In 2018, as I referenced in my TEDx talk, I heard from one of my connections. He was explaining how LinkedIn works and what he was saying. It was kind of brash. He’s a brash guy, but he’s honest.

Right, he’s honest.

He’s so honest that he comes across as brash.

In his video, he said, “Hey, if you’re smart, call me,” and his phone number was in his profile. I am not super intelligent, but I was smart enough to know that he was onto something, so I called him. I had a two 1/2-hour commute from San Francisco to my house in Mantika, just outside the Bay Area, south of Stockton. Fifty-five miles takes two and a half hours to drive on a good day. So, we had that time, so we talked for two and a half hours. I hung up on him when I got to the driveway and said, “Hey man, this has been awesome.” Life changes even, and now I got to go all right because I’m home, so get off the phone. But anyway, he told me some things I didn’t know. I didn’t understand how LinkedIn worked. Why is there a first, second, and third level? Isn’t there a connection for one?

What is the point of these? With that information, you said how many people you are connected to because you need to connect with people in places like Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria, which scared the freaking heck out of me. OK, because stranger danger is now that we’re all taught stranger danger, right? I’m just trying to make it simple, but that’s the truth. We’re afraid we’re going to get scammed. Whatever, and I didn’t understand how LinkedIn would work at all. So, once he explained over a two-and-a-half-hour period, we talked about some other things too. But he explained what the first level, second level, and third level are. Why is it so important? Why do you want to connect with people outside your industry and your area? When he explained those things to me, I said, “Now I’m a person again.” I’m not necessarily the smartest, but I’m only that guy that’s good at applying what I learned. So, I took what? I learned that day and said, “Hey, I have from 2009 to 2018, I had 15,120 connections.

I had only 1,400 followers, which means 120 people that connected to me thought I was very interesting. They unfollowed me, but they still connected anyway, so I’m not interesting, right? But I thought, OK, well, when I first started my Rolodex. I had about 500 people in it. So that means over nine years, I gained about 100 people a year, so I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could create this apparatus?” To help me get a year’s worth of growth in two weeks, this is how big my thinking was, right? I want 100 people to connect with me in two weeks. That would be amazing. That’s what I was thinking.

So, I came up with this idea and called it “project help.” You grow the idea was that this was a growth incubator. This was the idea’s growth incubator. I will get 99 strangers to join me in this growth incubator. We’re all going to blindly accept each other because I’m facing the same problem. A lot of people are. You want to grow on LinkedIn but are out of natural connections. Right, you don’t know 30,000 people. And that’s the limit on LinkedIn. So how do you get to 30,000 if you’re unknown? Well, you have to blindly accept some connection requests. That’s the truth.

Nobody wants to admit that because they feel like it makes them dirty. It doesn’t make you dirty. It makes you smart. Let me explain this 30,000-ohm connection limit. Think of them like fuses in a fuse box. How much power are you using? If you have 30,000 fuse slots and only 15,120, as I did, you’re running at how much of your maximum capacity? Very, very little, and why does that matter? It comes back to the first, second, and third-level connections on LinkedIn. All about becoming an It’s about visibility. If you’re past a third-level connection with somebody on LinkedIn, you will never see their posts unless you go specifically and search for their name, but you don’t know them. The question is, how would you look up their name? I would ask you, OK, so they’re not going to be in your feed. They’re not going to show up when you search for hashtags. They’re just… it’s like they’re there, but they’re not there.

When you connect with more people and get them in your first, second, and third, all of a sudden, you can start to see their stuff, and guess what, they could start to see your stuff. OK, so I can go into as much detail as you want about that, but anyway, that was the idea.

So, it’s like, OK, I need to grow. I need to increase the bandwidth of my visibility, both in what I can see and what others can see. That’s what my challenge was. So, 100 people, because I think that’s a year’s worth of growth in two weeks. Well, here’s what happened. I made a post about it because I don’t know 99 people. I said, hey, who wants to join this thing called “project help you grow?” It’s a growth incubator. In two weeks, you’ll connect with 99 other people, including me, blindly. OK? The day I made the post was May of 2018. I gained 400.

Four hundred new connections that day.

Not in a single day?

In one day.

Oh my God.

I had 15,120 connections. By the time 24 hours had hit, it was almost 2000. Oh my God. One day, so again, I’m not the smartest person in the world. But I’m like, “Uh, that’s yatzy.” But why does it have to stop? Right, And I didn’t even really get to implement the growth. The project because it was already four times what I originally thought. So, here’s what I did. I created a group page called “Project Help You Grow” by IRA Bowman. It still exists. You can join it on LinkedIn. If you want a group page, I think that is OK. This will be the growth incubator.

You had to be connected with me to join the group, which helped me grow. OK, that alone helped me grow because everybody wanted in. They had to connect with me. But if they wouldn’t connect with me, they had to connect with everybody else in the group. You have to connect with everybody.

I didn’t know it was going to get so big. Right, that was the condition of joining. I went from 2000 to May 5th, 2018. I made 15120 connections by the end of December 2018. I had 25,000 connections. By February of 2019, I hit 30,000. I was maxed out. I’m at the cap now, and I’ve been there before. Ever since, OK, so then I had to change the rules in the project topic or the group. And let everybody in, but they’re supposed to connect with as many as they can, right? So, is there in Project Healthy Girl when they send a connection request? You’re supposed to say, ” Hey, I’m a part of Project Healthy Growth now.

I haven’t been monitoring. That has been going on for years, so I doubt anyone is still doing it, but the group still exists. It’s a dormant group because I don’t do much. Much of it is the way LinkedIn treats groups is not friendly to promoting your posts, so until they fix that, I’ve kind of stepped away from groups, but there are advantages to groups now. Anyways, that’s a long intro. But here’s what happened. Project Happy Girl helped me grow my visibility. I launched in September of 2018 a website to help job seekers connect with recruiters and employers.

The secondary function was to train candidates on how to better go about finding a job because most are out of a job. After all, their strategy is awful. So, how do you write a resume? What is the ATS? How do you prepare for an interview? How do you research the market, so you know what? You know, the kind of salary that asks for everything. What exactly is fractional work? So many different topics. And then I have a show that I did called Project. It’s called Project Podcast. And I had about 50 different people on the show; I interviewed them. They resumed writers, HR folks, and other people to help. This is a 100% free resource. I never took a dime from anybody for it, except that I did have a couple of sponsors for a while. I had a piano sponsored me and a couple of others that were in and out quickly, so I did have some help there, but Zip Recruiter jumped in early, and Zip Recruiter wanted access to all of my international jobs because this works around the world. And so, we traded. You can have access to the jobs I want access to.

So, they gave me an API key. Every job on Zip recruiter since September of 2018 has also been on Project Help You Grow, so you can get all the ZIP recruiter jobs without getting any of the spam from Zip recruiter because, on my site, you don’t even have to have a profile.

That helped people see my heart, that I’m not a selfish person, and that is what I believe led so many people to want to follow me on social media. Anyways, fast forward to 2020. I got laid off in May of 2020. When I got laid off because at that point, I had 100,000 followers on LinkedIn,

And I knew from my work with project healthy growth that the average job search was pre-COVID-19 was six and a half months in the United States. In other words, if you were looking for work, you could expect it to take 6 1/2 months on average to find one.

Now that’s across the board. Industries vary in types of work and levels of pay. All those things make a difference, but I didn’t have 6 1/2 months’ money in the bank. Honestly, I don’t think I had two full months with money in the bank, so I took a bold step, as we talked about. I said, OK, I’m just going to launch my business and what I’m going to do, what my business does, is take advantage of my social media. And it helps small businesses increase their visibility, right? Right? And then we have a bunch of other stuff that we do with SCO and things that we do with graphic design. And anyway, all kinds of services, but they’re all designed for one purpose. I needed to figure out the same thing to get project help you grow because I’ve never spent any money on marketing for project help you grow. It’s all been organic. So, in figuring all that out, I’ve just replicated what I did for them for all my other clients, and that’s how I got to where I am. So again, a little over 3 minutes there, but that’s the story.

You got the opportunity to do a Ted talk about just this very topic. If I remember correctly, everything you say and talk about is built on relationships and providing value, which you believe. When commenting on other people’s posts, make a valuable comment of at least five words or more. It has something to do with how amazing it is. Is it the number one way to get connections and build relationships?

I learned, and we’ve talked about rapport before, and even how I was using LinkedIn, which is different from how many people use it, even if you weren’t trying to build rapport. Which would be a mistake, right? If you weren’t trying to build relationships, the comments would still be the better way to use social media on every platform. Because this Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you have 2500 followers, 2500 connections, or whatever subscribers, followers, or friends you have. Pick your platform. They say different things, OK? You’re 2500; I don’t care what platform You’re on. This works for all of them.

You make a post. And there’s this thing called an algorithm. The algorithm is going to determine how. Many people see your post based on your response rates and your engagement rates. OK, how many people click on it? How long did they view it? Do they click to read? Do they follow the link? All that stuff is measured, weighed, and measured. And then, based on that response, you get more petitions from more people now.

Your splash rate, which I call it, is determined by the size of your network on every platform. OK, so I don’t care if you’re on YouTube. I don’t care if you’re on Twitter; I don’t care if you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, wherever you are right. Right? Your size determines your splash rate because it’s a percentage of your network. That’s why you should build your following. You have a higher splash rate, but the danger on the flip side of that is if you’re connecting to people you don’t know. That response rate can be bad unless you do what I’m about to Talk about, OK, the comment. That you create. Is it being fed to the other person? So, let’s say you take. This would be an extremely fast process for post content creation. You just threw something up.

However, most people spend between 15- and 30-minutes crafting. You know, some type of artwork to find a meme or whatever and then to figure out their words and find the right hashtags and all that stuff. So, let’s say you’re doing 15 or 30 minutes, whatever, but how many intelligent comments can you make? In that five-minute window, or that 10-minute window, or that fifteen-minute window, certainly more than one, right? But now, if you’re doing my strategy correctly, like what you just said, five or more value-added words, not just hey cool post or I agree, or something whitewashed right, but something that, you know, let’s say we’re talking to Carol and Carol. I just made a post about her book that was released today, and I went onto one of her posts and said, ” Hey, congratulations, Carol, on that book. I am excited to see how it performs. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I made that comment. Now, what do you think Carol is going to do? Do you think she’s going to ignore it? Probably not.

She’s going to take notice of it, I guarantee it. But even if she doesn’t, everybody else who sees it will go, wow. I mean, that’s more than three words here. And it wasn’t just a flip.

The comment was, “that’s a cool dude; now that took me 60 seconds.” Let’s make four more of those in five minutes. Now I’m going to go to people like Simon Sinek and Gary Vee talking about stars. People like Tim Tebow, who has millions of followers, right? Natural followers.

Then I’m going to come to people like Ira Bowman. I’m going to go to somebody like Tao Lao, or so some of my friends say. They have a million followers or a couple of 100,000. Followers like me, right?

And leave a comment. Guess what? I’ll bet you that those five comments are seen by 100 to 1000 times more people than your post. Would it get you more visibility? What gave you more credibility? Because what is everybody’s favorite topic? Now, this isn’t everybody, but most people, yeah. So, it is said. They’re interested in what they’re doing. They’re interested in what? They’re talking about So if you show interest in what they’re talking about now, I could talk about strategies all day long. But if you do that enough, you’ll find enough people to go. That’s the kind of dude, or that’s the kind of chick that I want to hang out with because they’re not just self-absorbed.

They’re being proactive and helping me. That’s the kind of person that I want to hang out with.

If you do that 80% of the time that you’re on social media, whatever platform you’re on, you will grow like a weed. But you’ll not just grow for numbers’ sake; you’re going to build relationships with people, I promise you. Most people will fight fire with fire. They will also do a tip for tap. Give to receive.

If I come to Carol’s post today and go, “Hey, congratulations on that book.” Look, I’m so excited to see how it does. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. She’s not only likely to respond to her comment, but she’s also likely to find something of mine that she can reciprocate. And now. It’s paying off exponentially.

Right, then? Now it’s a bunch of people.

This whole strategy increases your visibility and increases your likeability. Even if Carol never responds. Everybody who sees it will think, “Wow, I was a pretty cool dude.” And they may not respond that first time, but they may see me playing.

So, by the way, they may gain interest because I’ve had many people who don’t know people who have liked my stuff, and then they immediately go to their profile and friend them. So, it’s just an automatic, and today, if I could tell you yesterday what occurred, I wasn’t sure I was going to have a book launch today, and it was probably one of the most stressful things I’ve had to go through.

We had a technicality on them publishing the book, and it took two days and numerous calls to the publishers to get them to release it, and I didn’t find out till 8:30 last night. It went, and it went live. Nobody talks about, you know, the things that you do to get to where you are and all the struggles and adversity that encompass your life. They see the big, shiny picture. In the end, they think, “Oh, somehow you’re lucky to get there.” You didn’t have to work hard. It was gifted to you, you know, and what they don’t see is the struggles behind it. And there are family struggles.

There are personal struggles, there are work struggles, and there are all those struggles. And, you know, people look at your IRA and think, “Oh, who’s he, I mean?” How did he find out? Do you do this? He must have. He must have gotten lucky. He must have, you know, gotten there before everybody else did. So, you know, he had some advantages, and it’s like, no. Just a ******* hard worker, dude.

I have yet to find a substitute for hard work. I’ve been lucky in everything I’ve done because I’ve worked hard.

Create a pill. We’d make billions.

Yeah, if it was, it was luck. There’d be someone out there selling it right now. I wanted to mention before we wrap it up here that I did. I tried to, but earlier I did the 5000 things on Facebook and fought to get up there for more visibility and stuff, which worked at the time. And then I discovered that none of those people had anything to do with anything I was doing. So, although they were there, they were empty shells of followers. I might as well have paid someone to get, you know, a cell phone farm in India to become all my followers on Instagram because it wasn’t of any use to me. So, whenever I want to meet someone new and connect, I have to go through my list and find someone I don’t know. I have a lot of people to get rid of, so I can add people of value.

I call that weeding the garden, and what you’re going to find is true no matter how you build it up. Because here’s what happens: you cannot stay personally involved in 5000. Now we’re talking Facebook here. 5000 is the limit, and a lot of them have back limits. 30,000 is the biggest one I know of. Everybody gets mad about LinkedIn’s 30,000 likes, Facebook 5, and Twitter 5. I mean, there are a lot of rules here that people just don’t know, but here’s what it is. People don’t want to feel like another number.

And as much as I try to help people, as much as I try to stay connected, try to engage, be involved, I am. I promise you; I’m probably as busy on social media as anybody. That you know. I’m probably busier than most people. You know everything comes together. This is why I do this full-time, right? It’s my job, so I’m really. I was busy with it, but I hit just a fraction. Of the people in my network and the posts they make, I don’t even see him. And I hate to tell you guys this because it sounds arrogant, but my notifications don’t work. It doesn’t work on Twitter. It doesn’t work on Instagram; it doesn’t work on YouTube. I get so many notifications that they just don’t work, and people don’t even know what I mean by that. But here’s what I mean I am following you; we’re friends, but when you post, I don’t see it. So, I’ve had to develop different techniques.

These are not full proof, but different techniques to try to manage that, but if you post a few times and people comment on your posts, and then you don’t reciprocate and go and make it come under, or they’ll have a large, significant event. This book launch for Carol is a significant event, and let’s say IRA, who loves Carol, loves Carol too. She’s like my sister, right? What if the IRA does not? See the posts, go to the post, and comment on the post. Carol might be thinking in the back of my head. What does Ira like? Seriously, I thought we were.

That’s what she was thinking.

She told me earlier that.

Oh, don’t you know, Travis?

Where is the IRA right now, and what about full disclosure? I haven’t done anything for Carol’s book yet, so I’ve been preoccupied with some other stuff.

We haven’t done anything yet.

But I’m just saying, Travis, what are you experiencing there? And that happens even if you build it up with five thousand of your best friends because I’m promising you that however many you can manage and keep up with everybody else, they will become disgruntled. They are unfollowed and treated as distant relatives. They’re like, “Well, you must not think I’m important or not appreciate the comments that I’ve made.” And it’s it, dude. I’m telling you, as I’ve grown my account, the level of hate I’ve received has grown exponentially because people think he’s arrogantly looking at me, so he’s so self-absorbed that he doesn’t even respond to my private messages. They don’t realize that I get about 2500 private messages daily. It’s impossible to keep up with my private messages, and that’s just on one platform where I get emails.

Get to 100,000 on Instagram. Look, we know how wonderful you are, but we have to wrap it up because we get 2 minutes before our next interview. Ira. Where can people find you even though you’re not responding to them?

Well, I will respond to some, but the easiest thing to do to find me really, if you want to find me personally, just go to irabowman.com. It’s just my name. I mean, that’s pretty simple.

That’s my purse. That’s my photography website. I own Boehm digital media so you can go to Bowman Digital Media.

I mean, you could just Google my name. It comes out that I’m pretty good at this. Do stuff, but Project HealthyGirl.com is the job search. A website you can go to is LinkedIn and follow me. I do follow every single person back if you follow me, and I follow you back.

The only exception is that sometimes people don’t have their settings set where I can follow you back, and that’s not my fault. There’s nothing I can do. You have to be open there, but on Instagram, I follow everyone back. My YouTube channel is growing. I’m over 10,000. Followers or subscribers, they call it on my Instagram. Twitter is a great one to follow. I think I’m only at like 4800 right now on Twitter. Yeah, that’s my smallest. That’s my smallest one, I think.

Only 4800.

My goodness.

Yeah, if you want personal attention from me, I guess.

Go to Google the IRA, go to BowmanDigitalalmedia.com, or irabowman.com.

Yeah, all the links around Boamah digital media, yeah?

Thank you so much for being our guest today and getting down there and sharing the struggles that you’ve had with your daughter over the past year. I appreciate you being open, honest, and raw with that. It’s super tough to talk about, and I had to grab a tissue for those who didn’t watch the video. It’s real. We want to hear real stories. We want to know that people can do amazing things and still struggle and have many struggles they have to overcome. So, thank you so much, IRA, for being our guest today.

We did. I promise you; we didn’t even scratch the surface of my struggles, but it’s been therapeutic. So, thanks for having me, Carol. I love you, and I will go try to promote your book a little bit for you right now.

I love you too, Ira.

It was great to have you.

Thank you. 

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