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How to Rewrite the Stories We Tell Ourselves and Design Our Dream Lifestyle with Steven Dimmitt, Expert Rock Climber and Podcast Host

How to Rewrite the Stories We Tell Ourselves and Design Our Dream Lifestyle with Steven Dimmitt, Expert Rock Climber and Podcast Host | Ep. 121 | Business Podcast

How to Rewrite the Stories We Tell Ourselves and Design Our Dream Lifestyle with Steven Dimmitt, Expert Rock Climber and Podcast Host | Ep. 121 | Business Podcast

How to Rewrite the Stories We Tell Ourselves and Design Our Dream Lifestyle with Steven Dimmitt, Expert Rock Climber and Podcast Host
How to Rewrite the Stories We Tell Ourselves and Design Our Dream Lifestyle with Steven Dimmitt, Expert Rock Climber and Podcast Host

Summary

Steven Dimmitt is an elite level rock climber, entrepreneur, and the host of The Nugget Climbing Podcast.

Steven had a pivotal moment in his life one day about a year and a half ago when he felt he was wasting away in his cubicle at work. He was working for a paycheck, but not fulfilled. He couldn’t imagine a lifetime living like this.

He quit, sold everything, bought a van and started traveling around doing what lit him up, rock climbing.

For the past year and a half he’s been living in his van, traveling to epic rock climbing locations and interviewing some of the world’s best rock climbers to tease out the habits and routines that make them exceptional.

His The Nugget Climbing podcast is a collection of fun stories, life lessons, and “nuggets” of insight from these world-class performers. And…it’s been paying his bills.

He lives in a van full-time, and can often be found living under a cliff with his climbing shoes, and microphone for company. 

You’ll love our conversation where Steven opens up about how all this happened and how he’s building a media company with his podcast.

Find Steven on…

Web: The Nugget Climbing Podcast
Instagram: @TheNuggetClimbing 
Instagram: @StevenDimmet
Facebook: The Nugget Climbing

And don’t miss the stinger at the very end of the episode.

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More Information on Build a Business Success Secrets

Hello Friends. Welcome to the show. Today we have an adventurous conversation with Stephen DeMott who is a professional rock climber but he wasn’t a professional rock climbers whole life, he was an engineer and one day while working he decided to drop the mic, quit, sell all of stuff by a van and start traveling around the country climbing rocks. And today he’s actually coming to us from his van where he hosts his podcast called the nugget climbing podcast and this is how he’s been funding himself while he’s climbing rocks during the day. You’re going to love his story. Here we go. Welcome to build a business success secrets. The only podcast that provides straight talk for entrepreneurs, whether you’re an entrepreneur, starting with an idea or growing your business. This show is for you, we’ll teach you how to build a strong mindset, powerful body and profitable business so you can achieve success. And here’s your host, Brendan C White, Hey steven, how are you? 

Good. 

Hi look at you. 

Steven: 

I like that recording studio. 

Brandon: 

This is my home, this is my recording studio And my vehicle only one. 

Steven: 

I’m in saint George Utah right now. 

Steven: 

So what are you doing out there? 

Steven: 

I am here to rock climb. 

Brandon: 

Um that’s what I do, that’s my main thing and that’s what I do year round is uh drive to wherever the weather makes sense to rock climb and uh surprisingly there’s a lot of really good limestone sport climbing in this ST George area. 

Steven: 

So I’m here for another week or so and then I think I’m gonna head back to the northwest for a bit, see the family and um chase cooler weather, it’s getting hot down here. 

Steven: 

So you, if I have this right, you left an engineering job, two become a professional rock climber. 

Steven: 

What? 

Brandon: 

Those, I was actually watching the Dawn wall the other day, which I, which I somehow either watched and forgot or something. 

Brandon: 

But um you know, I was I was listening to this and I was a fisherman and you know, how do you become a professional fisherman? 

Brandon: 

So I was thinking to myself, well, I get it. 

Brandon: 

I guess if you’re the first person to do the Dawn Wall or um that other guy who free climbed whatever he did, I guess you’re a professional. 

Brandon: 

How do you? 

Brandon: 

Well, were you a software engineers? 

Brandon: 

My first question, No, I was actually, my background was in materials. 

Brandon: 

So I was actually working as a quality engineer at a small aerospace company. 

Brandon: 

So the aerospace company, they manufactured a small airplane that was primarily carbon fiber composites. 

Brandon: 

So I got my start. 

Steven: 

They’re doing material like structural material testing for them. 

Steven: 

That’s really, yeah. 

Steven: 

So what I’m doing now is a is a complete divergence from the path I was on before. 

Steven: 

What type of plane is that? Is that a military plane or a passenger plane? 

Brandon: 

It’s a passenger plane. It’s a small six seater. I kind of describe it as like a, like a Lexus of turbo props. 

Steven: 

You know, it’s like about as classy as you get before you get into a jet. 

Steven: 

What is it serious? 

Brandon: 

It’s called Epic aircraft is the, yeah, epic. 

Steven: 

Uh huh I haven’t heard of it. You can see that I’m not up on my aircraft clearly because what wasn’t serious cool for a while and then I guess now it’s epic. Now they’re making amount of carbon fiber. 

Brandon: 

That’s right. 

Steven: 

So what you, you’re, I mean, you’re basically an aerospace engineer making materials for aircraft, which is super hard. 

Brandon: 

And do you just get out of bed one morning, watch a movie like the dawn wall and you’re like, hey or I mean I’m, and then you’re like, hey tomorrow I want to become a rock climber and I’m gonna sell everything by a van and do it. 

Brandon: 

That’s an excellent question. 

Brandon: 

Um, not quite know the for me, it all goes to the climbing. 

Brandon: 

The climbing came first. 

Brandon: 

I started climbing when I was in college and immediately connected to it in a way that I had not connected with anything before that. 

Steven: 

Um, I was always a jack of all trades growing up. I had a lot of different outdoor interests and hobbies, but climbing really captured my imagination and my drive in a different way. 

Steven: 

And you know, I was on this parallel path of becoming an engineer. 

Steven: 

Um, mm hmm. 

Steven: 

Really? 

Steven: 

I thought because I wanted to work in the outdoor industry, I think I wanted to make skis. 

Steven: 

I wanted to work for K2 and create skis or something along those lines. 

Brandon: 

Um but what’s interesting about rock climbing, you know, for your, for your listeners that probably aren’t as familiar with it. 

Steven: 

There’s this perception, I think in the mainstream that it’s about defying gravity and being a daredevil and being really brave. 

Steven: 

But the type of climbing that I do is actually quite safe and it’s much more about the difficulty of it. 

Steven: 

So if you could compare it to like elite level gymnastics or something, it’s much more akin to that. 

Steven: 

And this desire to, you know, find a really difficult way up the rock but build the skill set and the strength and these specific ways to be able to make your way up this climb without falling off. 

Steven: 

And so I really behind the climbing, there’s this much deeper self improvement drive that I’ve always had and I think climbing was a vehicle that allowed me to express myself and have fun in the outdoors, but also kind of scratch that self improvement edge. 

Steven: 

So what’s interesting is that, you know, the engineering thing, although it seems completely unrelated to that, I had it in my mind for a long time that, You know, living in the grind, having a 9-5 would give me the structure that I needed to uh spend a lot of days indoor training. 

Steven: 

So I had this whole training routine that I followed for years and I go climbing on the weekends. 

Steven: 

I was a weekend warrior basically. 

Steven: 

Um, but yeah, as far as waking up one day and having the idea for the podcast and doing what I’m doing now, I think that all shifted when I got my first big injury and it was a real wake up call because my job was was good, I enjoyed what I did for work, but I didn’t love what I did for work and it wasn’t fulfilling to me, it was just a job just paying the bills. 

Steven: 

And when I had that first injury and climbing was taken away for for those months, it really highlighted the fact that man, when I don’t have climbing, I don’t have a lot else to fall back on right now and I felt pretty empty without it. 

Steven: 

And so that really sparked this deeper exploration or this seeking of okay, there’s got to be a better lifestyle for me, a lifestyle that allows me to do more of what I love and find a way to pay the bills without having to, you know, just kind of punch, punch the clock and watch the years drift by as it were. 

Steven: 

So, so how long were you thinking about this? 

Steven: 

Were you like, is this year? 

Steven: 

I mean, it sounds like you’re doing this for years as your I don’t know how many years years as this year’s three years, five years I worked, I worked that job for like 5.5 years in bend Oregon. 

Steven: 

Yeah, well Ben’s a cool spot to hang out. 

Steven: 

It is, and that’s why I was there. 

Steven: 

You know, I could have a job, I could still get a lot of climbing in at smith Rock on the weekends and after work on weekdays. 

Steven: 

So is this something that I’m always interested in this? 

Steven: 

I call him pivotal moments because it really changes your life at this at this moment and the pivotal moments that I’ve had in my life. 

Steven: 

I can actually remember back to the exact moment when I made that decision at, I I could have been thinking about it, but there was there’s moments when I’ve just I just said, okay, well that’s what’s going to happen and it just has happened. 

Steven: 

So you’re thinking about this and you’re being analytical about it, but there has to everybody, I mean a lot of people listening out there maybe even thinking about it or already have a business and can remember back to those days, weeks or whatever, it was a moment that it happens, but there’s a it’s really a breaking point, isn’t it, that you get to and you know, did you just walk in and do the mic drop or you know, how does how does it actually happen? 

Steven: 

Because people talk about it Stephen, but nobody, not a lot of people educate people to say here’s here’s how it here’s how it can happen or happen to us and it can happen to you or if this happens, recognize that this is happening. 

Steven: 

Yeah, I love this question and I think it’s a really important question and I think this is where I wasted a lot of, a lot of time, I think I sat around in my cubicle waiting for that moment to happen for several years and ultimately with that injury and realizing like there’s got to be a better lifestyle for me, I really started seeking and I really started trying things and I think what I would say to people listening to this that haven’t taken that leap yet, or haven’t felt that that pivotal moment or stumbled into that pivotal moment as you described it, which I love, I would just encourage people to start doing something to start moving and to take a step, and it doesn’t have to be the perfect step, You know, I have a good friend of mine who’s at the stage right now, she’s in a career that she doesn’t love, she feels that she is meant for more or is meant for something that, you know, she’ll resonate more with shell, care more about the outcomes, she’ll be more passionate about the work, and I just encouraged her to come up with one idea every day, you know, one business idea and set the bar really low. 

Steven: 

It can be one crappy idea, but just start generating ideas and eventually, if you do that every day you get enough of them, a good idea is bound to come up and when it does just start moving on that, you know, and it doesn’t have to be the perfect thing because what I found for myself is I had to start down some paths that didn’t turn out to be where I wanted to go in order to know that, you know, I had to start trying things in order to realize these are the things that I actually like. 

Steven: 

These are the things that I thought I was drawn to, but that aren’t resonating as much. 

Steven: 

And so where do I pivot from here? 

Brandon: 

But if you start moving towards something, I think that, you know, it’s easier to course correct from there. 

Brandon: 

Whereas if you just are sitting around waiting for something to happen, you know, all of a sudden years go by and you’re still sitting in the same cubicle you were you were at before. 

Steven: 

So, well, one thing I do I’ve talked to, several people had pivotal moment to actually quit their job. 

Brandon: 

Um I’m not actually completely a big fan of that. 

Steven: 

I think what you just described as something that is important for people to say, hey, I’m going to do this side hustle and I’m going to get some revenue going so that, you know, everybody thinks that six months worth of savings or even a year’s worth of savings is enough to make that leap. 

Steven: 

Having been an entrepreneur for a while and realizing that nothing happens as fast as you think it will happen. 

Brandon: 

Why not start something as a side hustle. 

Brandon: 

So did I, you know, you and I haven’t talked before, I read your story and did some research on you and it doesn’t, I mean you may have, You may have saved up or not, but it seems like you really decided to drop that mic and do that. 

Brandon: 

Did you save your money and decide that, Hey, I’ve got 24 months to climb rocks, get whatever business I got going, going because it doesn’t sound like you started it before you left, Is that true? 

Steven: 

Mhm Okay, correct. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, but I completely agree with everything that you are saying and I really did take out all the contingencies. 

Brandon: 

I basically built a very robust safety net for myself before taking any sort of leap. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, you’re, you’re absolutely correct. 

Brandon: 

Before starting the podcast. 

Brandon: 

I had actually built an amazon business and it was, you know, it’s marginally successful. 

Brandon: 

I sell camping mugs on the internet, but it brings in this little trickle of money and I also saved up a bunch of money. 

Brandon: 

So I knew that I had at least a year on the road, no matter what sort of car trouble came up or anything. 

Brandon: 

I knew that I had a year without having to worry about monetizing the podcast. 

Brandon: 

And I was also really careful not to burn any bridges. 

Brandon: 

You know, I think I could have gone right back to that company barring Covid and everything that happened with that. 

Brandon: 

I think I could have gone back to the company and picked up where I left off if the worst case happened. 

Brandon: 

But I did also, I spent several months really thoughtfully preparing for my exit. 

Brandon: 

So I had already, you know, I had already done some interviews for the podcast to make sure I actually enjoyed it. 

Brandon: 

I think that’s, you know, that’s something that people don’t always think about. 

Brandon: 

You know, you you have this great idea, but is the reality actually, this is the same as this daydream that you’ve created in your head? 

Brandon: 

I mean, maybe, but it’s worth, it’s worth trying it out to make sure that it’s actually what you want. 

Brandon: 

And I’ve done enough traveling and climbing and living on the road that I know I can live really, really simply so, you know, the the bar that I needed to reach as far as making some money on this podcast to be able to live, my ideal lifestyle was a pretty attainable bar, it wasn’t super high. 

Steven: 

So, but but yeah, I mean to your point, I definitely recommend to people, you know, come up with this idea and then start moonlighting it on the side. 

Steven: 

You know, do it in the evenings, make sure that you have, there’s so much less stress when you don’t have to rely on the thing to make a paycheck and it allows you to stay true to your creative vision for whatever it is. 

Steven: 

You know, you don’t I think it’s so tempting to compromise and think overthink it and start thinking about what people want if you’re relying on them to put food on your table. 

Steven: 

So yeah, I think it’s really, really helpful to give yourself that buffer and and just give you time to focus on creating whatever it is that you want to create. 

Steven: 

I agree. 

Steven: 

Uh I only dishing out the advice because I’m the guy who quit a master’s degree with $850 in Hispanic accountant and started the company. 

Steven: 

But um that that was the first one and it and it did work out, but it wasn’t easy. 

Steven: 

And to your point, there’s a a lot of stress when you do that. 

Steven: 

I want to go back and there’s a lot of, I should say, what should I say? 

Steven: 

Stephen marketing out there on the internet that says That doing an Amazon business is this magical six figure um magical six figure affiliate or selling on amazon program. 

Steven: 

And I started selling as an affiliate on amazon when Jeff Bezos actually sent me a T shirt In 1996 or 1997. 

Steven: 

That’s a true story. 

Steven: 

However, things have become a little bit more competitive since my early days in Amazon and I’m wondering what’s your take? 

Steven: 

It sounds like you, you know, you invested the time and truly, really tried to figure this out because the funny thing is, is that most of the pitches out there, Stephen that I’ve seen is selling mug on amazon. 

Steven: 

So you’re selling a mug on selling a mug on amazon and it seems to be making some money. 

Steven: 

What’s your take on the amazon marketplace in these days? 

Steven: 

Right. 

Steven: 

Yeah, that, that’s an excellent question. 

Steven: 

I definitely, I’ve learned a couple of key lessons. 

Steven: 

Um, one is, if you do a really good job, you can make some money. 

Steven: 

You know, there’s a lot of products, there’s a lot of camping mugs. 

Brandon: 

I sell these enamel camping mugs with little camping designs on the front of them, and that’s great, but you know, there’s thousands of them out there. 

Brandon: 

If you do a little bit, if you do a little bit better of a job with the marketing, take really good photos, make sure you’re getting a high quality product, You can make money. 

Brandon: 

But I think the biggest lesson I learned is to really have one of these, you know, six figures in 90 days businesses that you hear about in these, in these pitches, you have to go into it, being willing to take a lot of risk and basically pump enough money into the company to get over a certain threshold. 

Brandon: 

And I think bootstrapping the amazon thing is actually quite difficult and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that um it worked out for me, I’m gonna, you know, at least break even on this project, and it’s a little trickle of money that’s helping sustain my life on the road here, but I’m ultimately going to let that business kind of fizzle out and focus on other things, but, you know, with that said, I mean, it taught me a lot, so um I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing now without the, the lessons learned and the confidence from, you know, it’s amazing what you can build, what you can build now. 

Brandon: 

Like, I didn’t know how to design a camping mug, and I didn’t know how to market anything or how to order products from china and, you know, learning that you can be a puppeteer from behind your computer and build an entire business that’s selling mugs all over the country. 

Brandon: 

Um I mean that in a way that was an invaluable education. 

Steven: 

So there is that sign are you doing inventory? 

Brandon: 

Are you doing drop shipping, drop shipping. 

Brandon: 

Yeah we’re actually amazon FB. 

Brandon: 

A. 

Brandon: 

So I order you know a large quantity of them from china and then they live in a warehouse in California and then I send them to amazon. 

Brandon: 

But amazon handles all the fulfillment. 

Brandon: 

And what was what what are one of the two Or your top two biggest top three if you have it lessons from you know you said you had learned a lot. 

Brandon: 

So what what are the, did you learn an S. 

Brandon: 

E. 

Brandon: 

O. 

Brandon: 

Lesson? 

Steven: 

Did you learn a sourcing lesson? 

Steven: 

Did you lose your shirt on an order? 

Steven: 

What happened there? 

Steven: 

I I think the biggest lesson is that you know a lot of things aren’t actually as scary as they feel at first or maybe they’re just as scary, but they’re not a lot of what we perceive as scary in, you know, 2021 is just emotional risk. 

Steven: 

It’s psychological risk. 

Steven: 

Like nothing bad is gonna happen to you if the manufacturer you’re trying to connect with with china doesn’t want to deal with you or turns you down or you know, won’t give you um low enough minimum order quantities for you to afford it. 

Steven: 

You know, there’s, there’s all these things that feel really big and scary and like, I don’t know, I’m really sticking my neck out there. 

Steven: 

But worst case scenario, most of the time is someone tells, you know, or you have to try something again or you know, you hire a designer on fiber for 50 bucks. 

Steven: 

That doesn’t do a very good job, in which case, you know, it’s 50 bucks, you learn something. 

Steven: 

So I think it just, that whole process gave me the confidence to just start really examining those uh, those self limiting beliefs that we build up in our heads, you know, and start to break those down and realize, you know, if someone else can make a podcast, you know, some other climber who doesn’t necessarily have a background in production or like a fancy studio, I probably can too. 

Steven: 

And there’s probably a way to make it sound maybe not as good as radio lab, but probably pretty darn good if I’m willing to do the homework and learn how to do it. 

Steven: 

So I think that was the biggest thing is it opened the door to if anyone can do this, I can find a way to do it too. 

Steven: 

And how did you get to the idea of a podcast? 

Steven: 

I mean I understand selling on amazon did you, did you or it was interviewing other climbers because your podcast, I looked at the statistics and I’m impressed. 

Steven: 

One is you have a very niche market. 

Steven: 

The climbers are very passionate. 

Steven: 

So I understand that. 

Steven: 

But you’ve reached several 100,000 downloads in 15 months and you know, that’s that’s a huge accomplishment, which I congratulate you on. 

Steven: 

And so I’m wondering was that the plan? 

Steven: 

You know, and how do you get to uh the podcast idea? 

Steven: 

Because selling behind the computer is different having to get on here with a webcam and your voice and actually lead a conversation or guide better said a conversation with guests is certainly a different skill and I say this lovingly because I have a lot of engineers that work for us uh you know as an engineer that that’s not generally the skill. 

Steven: 

That’s absolutely true. 

Steven: 

I’m laughing because I can, I can just think of so many awkward conversations I had at the, at the company I worked out with very stiff, very scientifically minded or mathematically oriented engineers. 

Steven: 

Um I was always a little bit of a misfit as an engineer. 

Steven: 

I think I’ve always been more sociable. 

Steven: 

I’ve always, you know, I’ve always enjoyed talking with people. 

Steven: 

I’ve always enjoyed having deep conversations that go a little bit beyond the superficial with people. 

Steven: 

Even, you know, coworkers, what have you. 

Steven: 

But getting to your question, there really was a pivot moment for me with the podcast or a moment where the idea sparked and you know, first and foremost I’m a passionate rock climber. 

Steven: 

I don’t just want to go rock climbing though. 

Brandon: 

I really want to improve at rock climbing. 

Brandon: 

I’m very driven like climbing to me is a sport that I want to get a lot better at and for many years for those five or five or more years in bend and actually probably a decade now, I really thought that having a structured approach and training and you know, just punching the clock with the training program was going to be my path towards becoming the best climber I could be, and I hit a point where I had the injury and I had to kind of zoom out and reassess and I realized, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time kind of suffering doing all these workouts, waking up really early, just, you know, it’s kind of my rocky training moment, it just wasn’t working that well and it got me to start, it got me really curious to know what other people were doing and I started having more conversations with friends of mine who were really high level climbers at smith Rock and I just started noticing these patterns that when I talked to my high performing friends or visiting climbers, smith rock as an international destination, you get really good climbers there. 

Brandon: 

None of them were doing all these structured things that I was doing. 

Brandon: 

A lot of them had a much more organic approach or a simpler approach or just the diversity of how they approached improving was just so interesting to me. 

Brandon: 

That was, that was kind of the, the first thing was, man, there’s so much more to learn. 

Brandon: 

There’s um I think if you ask anybody the right questions, everybody out there has something to teach you, that’s something that I’ve come back to you. 

Brandon: 

But you know, podcast also, I was working this engineering job and living in a cubicle and podcasts really started to change my life actually, you know, I was really leaning on them for connection because working, you’re just stuck in this cubicle all day. 

Brandon: 

Um but I was also just really amazed that listening to shows like the tim Ferriss show joe Rogan, you can really sit there and be a fly on the wall with these amazing mentors and you can learn some real life lessons and some real gems of insight and wisdom and things that these people have learned from a lifetime of doing whatever it is that they do and we get this amazing privilege nowadays with technology to have those people be key fixtures in our lives that we really get to learn from. 

Brandon: 

And I remember I was on a flight down to SAn Diego to do a training, I was learning how to become an auditor which ties into the podcast as well as far as the engineering thing goes. 

Brandon: 

But I was on this flight down to SAn Diego and I had just purchased tim ferris’s latest book and it was tools of titans, which for listeners is, you know, tim has a podcast where he interviews high performers and he had kind of distilled a lot of the wisdom he learned into this book. 

Brandon: 

And I had this moment sitting there like man, this needs to exist for rock climbing. 

Steven: 

This would be so cool and I don’t know exactly why, but in that next moment it just hit me like I know how to make this, I know how to make this book and I think it should start with a podcast and here we are. 

Steven: 

Well right on. 

Steven: 

That’s a great story. 

Steven: 

What’s been your secret sauce to get 300,000 downloads. 

Steven: 

You drive around in your van and and and have your U. 

Steven: 

R. 

Steven: 

L. 

Steven: 

On the side. 

Steven: 

I can’t see the outside there. 

Steven: 

But I’m only halfway joking because I did that with a boat when I was having my fishing site. 

Steven: 

What what what is that key to to getting, You know, to that magnitude in 15 or what, you know, 16 months? 

Steven: 

You keep alluding to these stories of years. 

Steven: 

I want to interview you now. 

Steven: 

I haven’t climbed in Iraq, I’m afraid I’ll break my head, but I do have some good stories, but um I really want to know your story and how you got the 300,000 downloads. 

Steven: 

Yeah. 

Steven: 

You know the the lucky thing? 

Brandon: 

I mean, I haven’t really, it’s it’s interesting the timing because I’m just now in the last few months really starting to think about how I can grow this thing and I’m really being more, you know, doing things like this is a great example, trying to get more comfortable with putting myself out there and share what I’m doing with people. 

Steven: 

But um I think the lucky thing is that it’s an interview style podcast and because of who I’m interviewing, it kind of grows itself, you know, I’m sitting down with these climbers who are really, truly some of the best in the world. 

Steven: 

I’ve had a lot of professional climbers in world class athletes on the show and they’re all much more famous than me and they all have uh you know, much bigger audiences and their audiences want to hear all these stories, it’s the perfect demographic. 

Brandon: 

So every time I do a new interview, it just trickles out into this, you know, into this new audience that hasn’t heard about the podcast yet, and a lot of it’s been word of mouth, I think the key thing, you know, I recently talked about this in a written interview that I did. 

Brandon: 

I’m a huge fan of cal Newport and cal Newport’s book. 

Brandon: 

So good. 

Brandon: 

They can’t ignore you. 

Brandon: 

And uh you know, I think that, I think it comes from a steve martin quote, but that idea of if you show up and if you are doing something that scratches your own itch and, you know, for me, I was making the podcast that I was dying to listen to. 

Steven: 

I didn’t know whether or not other people would want to listen to it as well, but I knew what it could be and it was really important to me to make it the best podcast I could possibly make and to really respect my guests time and respect their stories and to do my to do my best to draw out all of the most interesting parts of of them. 

Steven: 

And I think when you do that, you know, they’re excited about it. 

Steven: 

My guests have very often recommended their friends and other high level climbers pro climbers to come on the show. 

Steven: 

And so it’s almost just this snowball and it just grows and grows and grows. 

Steven: 

And You know, I remember the 1st 10 or 15 episodes, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t be able to continue to connect with guests, to find. 

Steven: 

you know, to find the kind of guessed that I wanted to talk to and you know, now six episodes later the tides have turned and now I’m getting more requests coming to me then I can possibly keep up with and it’s just been amazing. 

Steven: 

But I mean, I really didn’t know if it would work and I don’t think there is necessarily your secret sauce questions funny. 

Steven: 

I don’t know if I have a secret sauce, but um you know, I think I really had a clear vision of the podcast that I wanted to make, I really have stayed true to that and it just turns it just so turns out that that was a need that a lot of other people were feeling as well. 

Steven: 

Do you follow a script when you do your podcast? 

Steven: 

I mean, I assume you you know, your guests for the most part, I looked at your guess. 

Steven: 

I I only started listening to a podcast today because I haven’t driven a lot, so uh I haven’t been able to listen to a phone, but I’m just wondering your approach, do you do a freestyle, you sort of have a structure, but you go with the flow and the energy or do you have some questions that you always want to hit? 

Steven: 

That’s that’s exactly it, it is a combination structure and having questions prepared also, it’s really important to me to make sure that I’m a listener first and I want to let the conversation go wherever it should go. 

Steven: 

You know, if I’m not going to assume that I’m bringing all of the most interesting questions to the conversation, so if it starts going somewhere that’s really interesting that I didn’t expect, I’ll sit back and let it let it do that. 

Steven: 

Um but you know, having said that there are some questions that I’m asked consistently. 

Steven: 

I also, it really depends on the person, you know, I think that’s a key thing with interviews, is that every person’s personality different. 

Brandon: 

Every every person’s personality is different and because of that, I think every interview should be a little bit flexible in the structure of it in the formula, you know, I have a good friend of mine on the podcast and we can just banter and we can talk to each other really easily. 

Brandon: 

There’s not a lot of prep that needs to go into that if it’s a professional climber and I can learn a lot about them on the internet, I can listen to other interviews that they’ve done, I can watch videos, I can learn a lot about them, you know, pick out all the most interesting things and have that prepared. 

Brandon: 

Um Sometimes, you know, some of these climbers very often these very good climbers, you know, it’s not like they’re Hollywood actors or something, they’ve never done podcasts before, like most of them are really good at climbing because they like to be by themselves, they go hang out in the woods and climb rocks. 

Brandon: 

So, you know, some, some of my guests aren’t comfortable with talking about themselves and in that sort of search situation, it’s my job to talk to them beforehand and make them feel comfortable and maybe have more questions prepared so they can just answer questions rather than having this, you know, this kind of pressure on them to to keep the conversation flowing. 

Brandon: 

So, um, I guess to answer you, it’s, it’s dynamic. 

Brandon: 

It really depends on the person. 

Brandon: 

So you get into engineering, you’re doing designed for a carbon fiber airplane company in bend Oregon. 

Steven: 

You’re climbing on weekends, wishing that you are climbing during the week. 

Brandon: 

You do a side hustle with amazon and you sell camping cups that does okay. 

Steven: 

I hope it does better than break even for you. 

Steven: 

And um, then you decide you’re going to do this podcast podcast starts to pick up with downloads and you’re living in a van and climbing every day, and that’s sort of where we are right now, right in your van. 

Steven: 

That’s exactly right, That’s exactly right. 

Steven: 

Tell me, Stephen, what is and what does it mean to be a professional climber? 

Steven: 

That’s an excellent question, and it’s an excellent question because there probably is no clear answer to that, and, you know, to be, to be totally fair, and to be totally honest here, I don’t consider myself a professional climber, you know, I’m on that path and in a way I’m definitely making a living now through this podcast, but that is kind of this peripheral thing, but at the same time, you know, a lot of the people that I talked to can say that they’re true professional climbers and what that means varies drastically depending on the person, some of them have sponsorships that give them, you know, salaries and they make good money doing that, but that’s a fairly small chunk of those people. 

Steven: 

It’s not a big, you know, it’s growing rapidly, climbing is going to be in the olympics this year, so I think it’s changing, but not, it’s only the best of the best and the people that are very good at marketing, the marketing themselves that can make a living just from climbing. 

Steven: 

So a lot of the professional climbers are connected in the industry. 

Steven: 

They climb at a really high level, but they also hold other jobs. 

Steven: 

Some of them do uh you know, photography or production work on the side or they work with magazines and they tell stories uh uh you know, a lot of them speak at clinics or do coaching, there’s there’s a lot of different hats that these people wear and a lot of them work quite a lot, you know, they work in a way that is flexible and allows them to pursue their lifestyle, but for me it’s really, I’m still thinking about lifestyle design and it’s more about, okay, I’ve created something that allows me to pursue this dream lifestyle of mine and I want to continue to, or I want to leverage that to improve my climbing and reach some of my goals. 

Steven: 

But what it means to be a professional climber depends on who you talk to do. 

Steven: 

You find irony in the commercialization of climbing when you said it earlier, A lot of and maybe yourself included other you seem to be very outgoing, more so than a lot of climbers, but climbers climb To be alone. 

Steven: 

For the most part, I know you can do it in teams, especially if you’re doing a big ascent, you’re going to go spend 30 days on a wall or 10 days or four days on a wall. 

Steven: 

But in general you’re probably no bigger than 22 person team. 

Steven: 

And a lot of people really do it just to be to themselves. 

Steven: 

So to commercialize it and to put people on the front of magazines and things like that, I would I would assume there is a segment of the climbing community as is in general, all communities that are specific sport or niche hobbies that don’t really like that. 

Steven: 

Mm That’s absolutely true. 

Steven: 

That’s very perceptive actually. 

Steven: 

Um you know, it’s, you see this, you saw this in skateboarding and surfing and now it’s definitely happening in climbing as well, where it really started as this kind of renegade counterculture escape from all the norms. 

Steven: 

And there has been this shift, you know, with indoor climbing becoming more prevalent, There’s gyms popping up in every major city now, a lot of kids start climbing really young and they start climbing on these climbing teams that are all geared around competition. 

Steven: 

Um A lot of the best climbers I’ve talked to, don’t even know, I shouldn’t say a lot, but some of them don’t even necessarily climb outdoors very much at all. 

Steven: 

You know, their main focus is training inside for these competitions, like I said, it’s going to be in the olympics, so it is kind of becoming bifurcated uh in a sense where there are these different subsets of the climbing populations. 

Steven: 

Some climbers think of themselves as athletes very much so. 

Steven: 

And you know, they train like athletes, they have coaches, they have diet plans, they have um you know, training facilities in their garage in case they can’t make it to the gym, They train at multiple gyms, whatever it is they train indoors year round and then others never set foot in the gym and their climbers because of the connection to nature and they want to be away from all that. 

Steven: 

So it is really interesting, climbing is actually a very interesting chapter right now, where those two, those, I don’t know those two different paths are somehow still coexisting and I’m really curious to see if they continue to and if they feed into each other or you know if if there is a growing divide between them, but what you often see is that people as they climb longer and longer tend to grow in appreciation of whatever opposite camp, you know it whatever is opposite from where they sit. 

Steven: 

So maybe you start climbing in the gym and then over time you you get exposed outdoor climbing, you start to respect it more. 

Steven: 

Maybe you started climbing in Yosemite and all of your early climbing was on big cliffs, but you start to appreciate as you pursue harder and more difficult goals that, okay, thinking of myself as an athlete in bringing a little bit of that to my approach, is actually going to help me do some of these amazing things I want to do. 

Steven: 

So. 

Steven: 

But yeah, it is an interesting question. 

Steven: 

And what the other thing I’m I’m wondering is what makes a good climber. 

Steven: 

I understand that some people do these a sense that have never been done before and it doesn’t matter about time and then someone does it and this is true for most things, right, the running everything really, and then someone does it and then someone says, so now the competition becomes, well, I can’t be the first one to do it. 

Steven: 

So now I’m gonna do it faster than you and and now at speed and you know, you you’ve said this several times and I I’m I I just wonder what is a good climber, right? 

Steven: 

Is it because some people would say, well it’s the person who gets to the top the quickest and then there’s style and then some people I know will say, well yeah, he or she made it up in that time, but that was just there was no climbing to that, that was just scaling the wall was there’s no style. 

Steven: 

So I mean what do you think about all this? 

Steven: 

I just, I’m really curious because it’s a it’s so we talk about these things that are so hard to define and it means so much. 

Steven: 

So it means different things to different people. 

Steven: 

But at some level in the climbing community, when they’re like, hey, that’s a good climber and you, you know these epic climbers that I say that because I saw him on your podcast, I’m like, well that’s an epic climber. 

Steven: 

But then I was asking myself like, why did I say that he like lives, lives an isolated life in a van, and I think that’s cool, Like, what is it? 

Steven: 

Yeah, it’s really an excellent question and it’s again, it’s a hard one to pin down because climbing is so vast, there’s so many different facets of climbing. 

Brandon: 

So what it means to be a good climber, if you are hyper focused on, you know, just bouldering, let’s say, or just sport climbing or just traditional climbing, uh you know, that means something very different than someone who pride themselves on being an all rounder or some focuses on calling competitions. 

Brandon: 

But if I had to really focus on 11 answer or give you one answer rather, I think it would be about the difficulty of the climbing, climbing is a little bit different from a lot of other outdoor sports and that there are these grades, these difficulties associated with every single climb that we do and they are consensus, it’s really difficult to come up with an objective difficulty of a piece of rock, but as you climb more and more and as people travel around and climb in different areas, you kind of build this scale of different difficulties. 

Brandon: 

And so, you know, every climber myself included, like I have very clear goals that are based on these difficulty numbers that are associated with different rock climbs. 

Brandon: 

And and there are certain climbs that I want to do just because they’re beautiful, just because I walk up to a piece of rock and it’s really inspiring to look at. 

Steven: 

But it still has some grade, this difficulty number associated with it. 

Brandon: 

And so it gets even more complicated because climbing in the big scheme of things is still relatively young. 

Steven: 

It’s a young sport. 

Steven: 

And so what it means to be a really good climber who Did most of their client in the 70s, like Ron cow, who I just had on my show is very different from a top level climber now who’s climbing in a league, a completely different league as far as difficulty goes, it changes so fast. 

Steven: 

But um, you know, so the context of the time and what was what was happening at the time and what the standards were at the time, That’s all part of the equation as well. 

Steven: 

And that scale is something, is it a five scale? 

Steven: 

Like 5.8 is up in the top and it’s all based on five or they’re forced to, right? 

Steven: 

So that is the american rope climbing scale, so that the Yosemite scale. 

Steven: 

So The five is 5th class. 

Steven: 

And don’t quote me on this, I’d have to look it up for the exact definition. 

Steven: 

But I believe fifth classes, basically a vertical face where you would be foolish to go up there without a rope. 

Steven: 

You know, you’d be taking the risks that Honnold Alex, Honnold is taking when he goes free soloing. 

Steven: 

So fifth class just means vertical, you want to rope to be safe. 

Steven: 

And then the, you know, 5.8 5.9510. 

Steven: 

Um It does go up from there and it gets a little bit confusing because once you get to 5 10 and above it gets subdivided even further. 

Steven: 

And then you have a. 

Steven: 

B. 

Steven: 

C. 

Steven: 

And D. 

Steven: 

So a 5 10 A. 

Steven: 

Is easier than a. 

Steven: 

5 10 B. 

Steven: 

And then C. 

Steven: 

And then D. 

Steven: 

And then it goes to 5 11. 

Steven: 

And these days amazingly the hardest climbs in the world, I believe there’s two of them Are actually 5 15 d. 

Steven: 

Which is harder than I can even fathom. 

Steven: 

But like a straight up wall with nothing to grab onto. 

Steven: 

And you could be spiderman or or or an octopus or something to climate essentially. 

Steven: 

Yes. 

Steven: 

I mean imagine very often the hardest ones these days are over hanging. 

Steven: 

So if you look up at, you know imagine a cave that’s hanging above you and climbers would be climbing on the roof of the cave. 

Steven: 

But the best climbers in the world these days, I mean imagine watching the gym, the gymnasts in the olympics and the routines that they do. 

Steven: 

You know, it’s that level of athleticism and strength um and coordination and you know, grace and flow and all these things that make those climbers so good. 

Steven: 

So let’s talk about the training because you said something earlier about going from a very regimented schedule to a more free flow. 

Brandon: 

And I was thinking about that as you were talking because we have a really big wave here in half Moon bay California called Mavericks uh which is one of the largest waves in the world. 

Brandon: 

And and you gotta be crazy almost to serve this thing. 

Brandon: 

I mean it’s so heavy and People die here and we just had the Mavericks Awards and Peter Mel, who is I think 51 or 52 Stephen one, all the awards, best wave, best ride, best everything. 

Brandon: 

He cleans house. 

Steven: 

And I know some of the younger guys who train and I see them like they, You know, they’re carrying rocks underneath water, they’re doing weights and they’re holding their breath for 29 minutes and you know, doing breath exercises before they go out there. 

Brandon: 

And I was thinking about Peter Mel because Peter Mel works a full time job. 

Steven: 

He has a surf shop in Santa Cruz. 

Steven: 

I’m not saying that Peter doesn’t do that because I actually don’t know, but it feels like he’s a little bit more free flow and you get to this point where you’ve done the fundamentals and so you have this base foundation that you’ve developed over many, many, many years and then you can sort of free flow it. 

Steven: 

So what is your training, what does that mean for you? 

Steven: 

And are you hanging by your fingertips on these exercises that I see that it seems like almost incredible to hold yourself with? 

Steven: 

Yeah, absolutely. 

Steven: 

Um I mean I actually have a hang board here in my van mounted right above the door of my van. 

Steven: 

Um that is one of the main things for climbers actually, especially for someone like me, I started climbing at 18, you know these days kids, they start so young that the climbing is is always with them and they go through puberty climbing and their fingers adapt to that and they just have these amazing fingers that can hang onto anything for someone like me who started later, I have to do a lot of supplemental work with my grip strength and my finger strength. 

Steven: 

So I spent a lot of time hanging around on little wooden edges with weights attached to my waist, trying to get my fingers stronger definitely. 

Steven: 

Um But it is interesting, I mean to your point climbing probably is somewhat similar to uh surfing to some of these other lifestyle sports where there is a huge element of skill and flow and efficiency and all these other less tangible qualities that make a really good climber. 

Steven: 

I just did an interview with Steve McClure, he’s a professional climber from the UK. 

Steven: 

And he’s 50 years old and he’s still one of the best climbers in the world and he is he says he hardly ever trains and he does some but what he does really well is he brings a lot of presence to every day at the cliff. 

Steven: 

And he’s really thoughtful about his climbing and he’s been doing that for decades and he’s probably better than anybody at really knowing how to try his absolute hardest when it’s time to try hard. 

Steven: 

And he brings this persistence and tenacity to these climbs that he wants to do, he just falls in love with them and he wants to do anything it takes to make them happen and just slowly chips away at them over many, many days of trying. 

Steven: 

But he’s not in the way, jim, you know, he’s not doing loads of dead lifts and these other things. 

Steven: 

So, you know, I think a lot of the best climbers in the world combined both. 

Steven: 

They do some of these structured training things, but they remembered they remember that the training is a supplement to the sport and the skill of the sport and uh, you know, the mental side of it, learning how to try hard things like that, like that should all come first. 

Steven: 

Is there a weight ratio for climbers? 

Steven: 

Most climbers aren’t heavy obviously because you have to hang more. 

Brandon: 

So is there like a body fat? 

Brandon: 

I’m trying to figure out, I’m trying to figure out this ratio and for listeners I As a bike rider, I know that when I’m below 150 for me, I get fast now if I’m over, if I’m 1 51 55 I’m fast, but not as fast. 

Brandon: 

Certainly not. 

Brandon: 

Can’t get up the hill as fast. 

Brandon: 

I mean £5 adds up whether you’re climbing, peddling whatever that is. 

Brandon: 

So is there something like I was I’m looking at you and you seem built for a climber, which I guess is good and that meaning you have muscle, although you’re probably gonna sweat it all out in that van to your the But Is there that do you do you try to do that, do you say? 

Brandon: 

Okay, I gotta be at 10%, 7% body fat and that’s where I got to stay or I’m really gonna not climb well. 

Brandon: 

Absolutely. 

Brandon: 

And this is this is a topic that most climbers, most driven climbers that are focused on their performance tend to get very obsessed with. 

Steven: 

It is absolutely a strength to weight ratio, sport. 

Brandon: 

Um And it’s it’s really tricky. 

Brandon: 

I I think it’s something that I’m definitely still exploring and thinking about a lot and trying to find the line because, you know, a few years ago, living at smith Rock where it depends on the style of climbing, you know, it’s perceptive of you to say like you’re built, you have muscle that’s got to be helpful and harmful because you’re carrying more weight and and that really depends on the style of the climbing that you’re doing. 

Brandon: 

It can be more of a boon or bane depending on where you’re climbing and what you’re doing and smith rock. 

Steven: 

That area rewards people more than most for being light and I got really sucked into that. 

Steven: 

So three years ago I was £138 and I’m 1 68 right now. 

Steven: 

I’m five ft 10 um because I became obsessed, I knew that it would help me a little bit to drop some weight and there’s a very slippery slope there and I kind of fell down this rabbit hole. 

Steven: 

You know, the number on the scale became the goal. 

Steven: 

And what’s really difficult about it is that it does help to a point. 

Steven: 

But what happened for me is that, you know, your body can’t sustain that. 

Steven: 

I was training, I was climbing a lot and eventually the wheels come off and then what are you, what are you left with? 

Steven: 

So I’m actually an interesting chapter right now or feel like I’m learning how to climb in a new body and it’s been it’s been really strange, but you know, yeah, I do feel stronger. 

Steven: 

I feel more powerful and I think if you learn how to lean into one thing I’ve talked about a lot, I’ve, I’ve shared this story on the podcast because it kind of developed into an eating disorder. 

Steven: 

You know, I started gaining weight again after I’d screwed up my metabolism and was struggling with some injuries and really had a hard time accepting that I was gaining weight again and my body needed to kind of normalize, my hormones needed to normalize. 

Steven: 

I was really hard on myself. 

Steven: 

I was really fighting it. 

Steven: 

I was really feeling ashamed and it led to some really dark, uh, some dark months and some um, kind of dark behavior around, you know, like binging and fasting and things like that. 

Steven: 

But what I try to tell people is, you know, at the end of the day, all of us have whatever genetic, um, you know, hand of cards we were dealt and I think some genetic cards are more ideal for climbing than others, but you’re only going to become your best if you lean into your strengths and your body type and embrace that and work with it rather than trying to fight it. 

Steven: 

And it’s interesting, luckily this is a positive trend in climbing right now, a lot of people are coming to the same realization and a lot of climbers look really strong nowadays, they look more like the gymnasts that you see in the 2000 twenties versus the gymnasts that you saw in the nineties, who were borderline anorexic. 

Steven: 

You know, the same thing happened in climbing. 

Steven: 

If you look back at climbers from the nineties, a lot of them were very, very thin, scary thin, so I think things are moving in a positive direction. 

Steven: 

Well, I appreciate you sharing that, because I was going to ask you, I was like, do you think that led to an eating disorder? 

Steven: 

Because it’s almost, it plays with your head? 

Brandon: 

I mean, it does, it does. 

Brandon: 

And what was so interesting for me, you know, it’s it’s a it’s an interesting story. 

Brandon: 

I encourage people if you want to learn more. 

Brandon: 

I did share this long episode on my podcast about it, because it is a longer, more in depth story, but the whole thing started because I got a dexter scan that turned out to be inaccurate and it made me think that I had a lot more body fat to lose than I did. 

Brandon: 

So the losing weight, that part of it wasn’t really the eating disorder part, the part that really was dark was the rebound from that, you know, I I took things a little too far. 

Brandon: 

I lost a lot of muscle, I I think my basal metabolic rate was really was really affected in a negative way and I didn’t have any energy and then I started gaining the weight again because I just kind of broke. 

Brandon: 

And the shame that I felt, you know, the the way that I felt like a failure because I couldn’t stick to this thing that I had set out to do. 

Brandon: 

Like, that was the eating disorder part that part of it was really hard to to kind of come back from. 

Brandon: 

So, um it’s it’s a risk. 

Brandon: 

I mean, what’s interesting is a lot of climbers are starting to talk about that more. 

Brandon: 

And there are these other stories coming out about um about climbers facing the same thing, you know, like you lose a few pounds, you do a climb that you really wanted to do. 

Brandon: 

That was really hard for you. 

Brandon: 

You feel amazing and it can very easily, you know, slide into this into this dangerous pattern. 

Brandon: 

So you’re not going to believe this. 

Brandon: 

But I got a deck scan this morning and my second one and my body fat is way, way too high. 

Steven: 

I mean, not even, not even close. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, if you talk to my brother, he said I’ve had a bad relationship with food. 

Steven: 

Um but when you’re, when you’re an athlete, I think the important, what you’ve mentioned, like it’s important. 

Steven: 

I mean, you’d be, there is a line between becoming good at what you do and needing to be a weight or a proportion. 

Steven: 

I don’t know that it’s a weight. 

Steven: 

Everybody’s separate, different like you had brought up. 

Steven: 

I I believe that um Covid definitely hurt me for and I didn’t think it would, but I guess my second decks can be candid because I wasn’t sure the first one was real and second of all, um I’m going to measure it now, but I think you have to keep that balance and I, you know, Look, man, you’re a rock climber, you know, if you’re gonna ride your bike or you’re gonna surf big waves or you’re gonna I mean you’re gonna climb rocks, surf big waves or ride your bike 500 miles or something else along those lines. 

Steven: 

Like you’re you’re a little bit off anyway, so there’s gonna be some crazy craziness that you’re gonna have to keep control of and be aware of. 

Steven: 

I I’m as I listen to you, when will you know that you Stephen have become a professional climber? 

Steven: 

Like, are you are you there? 

Steven: 

Do you have this? 

Steven: 

When will you know that? 

Steven: 

You know, I don’t think I don’t think I need to be anymore, I think um I don’t know if that ever really was my goal. 

Steven: 

I mean, I have big goals with climbing and they would be absolute life dream goals for me, you know, things that I never thought I could have achieved when I started things I didn’t even know where possible by anybody when I started and now, you know, still their audacious enough that I don’t know if I can do them, but I really want to strive towards those big goals, these really difficult routes one particular at smith Rock because of how it will focus my life and keep me on this path that I really love. 

Steven: 

You know, I really love doing hard climbs, I really love challenging myself, I really love being forced to examine myself and figure out what are the things either mentally or physically that are holding me back and how do I improve those things? 

Steven: 

Um but you know, whether or not I’ll ever become a professional climber at some point, you know, with the way that climbing is changing, with all these kids coming out of the gyms, it’s kind of like I missed the boat and um I mean you’re you’re a cyclist, I’m sure you know what I mean, Like if you you can become a very excellent cyclist and you can become a cyclist who You might be in the 95th%ile in the country. 

Steven: 

But the difference between you and someone who’s going to the Olympics is, you know, it’s worlds apart, right? 

Steven: 

So that’s certainly the case for me and whether or not I’ll ever be considered a professional, I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter to me anymore. 

Steven: 

I’m more in love with doing the podcast uh than I ever thought I would be. 

Steven: 

It’s my favorite thing that I’ve ever done. 

Steven: 

And it also allows me to do this other thing that I love, which is climb. 

Steven: 

And in a way I feel like I’ve already succeeded in that because the, you know, the becoming a professional climber was so much about being able to travel, being able to climb at all these areas that I had daydreamed about when I was sitting in my cubicle and it was about being able to follow the weather and and go wherever the season told you to go. 

Steven: 

You know, smith rock is an amazing place to climb. 

Steven: 

But it’s not good in the summer and it’s not good in the dead of winter. 

Steven: 

It’s really nice to be able to to travel and see some of these places and diversify myself as a climber and have all these amazing rich experiences. 

Brandon: 

So in a way, in a way I can say that I’ve already achieved that. 

Brandon: 

Um the professional part, who knows, professional climber podcaster, I’m pretty good with that title. 

Brandon: 

I think you are, are you do you have a plan now? 

Brandon: 

Do you are you going to do this for 10 years or 20 years? 

Brandon: 

Do you see yourself in this van? 

Brandon: 

Maybe a new one every once in a while? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that’s a good question. 

Brandon: 

I think what’s next for me? 

Brandon: 

I think I I really love this lifestyle a lot and I think I will continue to do it without much changing, just focusing on growing the podcast, trying to improve my own climbing for at least a couple more years. 

Brandon: 

I think the next step is to find a place that I really want to live as a climber. 

Brandon: 

I’ve kind of, you know, I’m kind of shopping around as it were, as I travel around, I’m asking people what it’s like to live in certain places and I have my eye on a few places, Saint George where I’m at now in Utah being one of them, it’s a really good place for, for outdoor rock climbing. 

Brandon: 

Um, so I see the next step is, you know, where do I want to live and then maybe laying down some roots, but continuing to be able to travel at least part of the year, you know, have the van, keep the van um, maybe have chunks of the year where I’m a little bit more grounded and I’m building a local community and uh, investing myself in that community and spending more time at the local, you know, climbing areas, whatever. 

Brandon: 

And then parts of the year where I continue to do this lifestyle and travel, I think that’d be a really nice, really nice balance right on well. 

Brandon: 

Thanks a lot for sharing your story and coming on Stephen. 

Brandon: 

Um, I do have one last question. 

Brandon: 

What would be three tips that you would have for? 

Brandon: 

Really, you’re an entrepreneur, business owner out there who want to pursue their dreams and are, well, it could either be for people who are starting or people who already have an existing business, which we have a lot of listeners out there, what would be three tips that you would throw down? 

Steven: 

Yeah, so I wrote these down, I was anticipating this question and the first one we already talked about, but I’ll go over it again. 

Brandon: 

I mean it’s really to start moving to just find that idea and to start start taking actions on it and don’t worry about it being the perfect thing because once you start building some momentum and some confidence and you start making mistakes and learning from them, it’s a lot easier to pivot to the thing that is going to resonate that you’re going to enjoy. 

Brandon: 

It’s also it’s really hard to know what you actually like doing until you start doing something. 

Steven: 

And you know, a lot of us have these ideas about jobs that seem like they would be great, but it’s really useful to try things out and you learn a lot really quickly. 

Steven: 

So, you know, for people that are already doing something, this is something that I’m still learning is really pay attention to really pay attention, pay attention to what you find yourself doing. 

Steven: 

Pay attention to the things that you enjoy. 

Steven: 

Pay attention to the things that you find yourself putting off for hesitating on or dreading and you have this amazing opportunity if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re building something new to create, whatever it is that you want to create and you can create a business where you do more of the things that you enjoy and less of the things that you don’t. 

Steven: 

Um I really like Derek Severs book anything that you want. 

Steven: 

Derek Severs is the founder of Cd Baby and he built this company and You know, No one told him he didn’t know how to build a business, he just built a business, he didn’t know better. 

Steven: 

So he broke all the rules and built the business the way that he thought it should be run and it was a great success and you know, there’s such a, an amazing gift to be able to listen to. 

Steven: 

Like for myself, you know, I was putting a lot of energy into certain parts of the podcast and doing certain things that I realized like I don’t actually like this and I don’t think it makes a difference to the listeners, so I’m going to just scrap it and do less of it. 

Steven: 

What would that be? 

Steven: 

Um marketing ideas, you know, like I was spending a lot more time on facebook early on and I thought I had to, you know, I was overly concerned with capturing emails and just kind of trying to check the boxes of like the, the things I thought I should do as a responsible entrepreneur rather than just focusing that time on connecting with more interesting tests and letting the thing grow itself. 

Steven: 

Um you know, I had some ideas, I have a Patreon now and that’s how I support show. 

Steven: 

I had some ideas for bonus content that I found myself. 

Steven: 

They were good ideas and I think they would have worked pretty well, but I just found myself hesitating and I kept bumping it from my monthly to do list to the next month to the next month and I just wasn’t pulling the trigger and I finally realized I don’t want to do that. 

Steven: 

You know it doesn’t sound fun. 

Steven: 

I was I had this plan for all these solo episodes I was going to do and I realized I’d way rather have conversations with people, I’d way rather answer questions if people have questions for me. 

Steven: 

So I started doing Q. 

Steven: 

And A. 

Steven: 

S instead of doing solo episodes where I just riffed on the topic for instance, But if you’re not really paying attention to that inner voice, that’s you know, that’s guiding you, it’s really easy to miss that. 

Steven: 

Um You know, a couple other things, you know, as far as three things get organized, that’s really key. 

Brandon: 

I have a couple organization tools that I lean on really heavily. 

Steven: 

One of them is called the to do list app. 

Steven: 

Uh it’s a to do list application that is kind of my one place where I put everything, I really like to stay at inbox zero when I can, you can link all of your emails that require action to, to do it. 

Brandon: 

You can put reminders in there for yourself, you can put, you know, um if there’s a movie, you’ve been meaning watcher book, you’ve been meaning to read our website, you can attach it all there. 

Steven: 

So I really like that and then I really like having a weekly planner, a paper planner. 

Steven: 

I think I’ve tried a lot of other digital things, but just being able to see my week laid out, there’s nothing better for me, as far as like getting my head around what I have to do that day or that week, so I find that really helpful. 

Steven: 

And then number three is make sure you have more than one thing that you’re putting energy into. 

Steven: 

You know, if you’re starting a business, that’s amazing, it’s gonna take a lot of energy but have something else in your life that you’re pursuing. 

Steven: 

You know, for me, I I think it’s a tim Ferriss thing, actually, he really likes to have three different goals at any given time. 

Steven: 

You know, he likes to have a physical goal, whether it’s, you know, a certain training goal or whatever you have. 

Steven: 

Uh and like a creative goal and then a self work kind of, more spiritual goal and or a business school, whatever. 

Steven: 

I, I really resonate with that and I really like to have multiple things that I’m pursuing at any given time. 

Steven: 

So for me, you know, I have specific climbing goals, short term and long term and I kind of know what the steps are and pursue those, but then I also have goals for the podcast guest that I want to connect with certain numbers that I want to hit as far as listenership and growth and things like that. 

Steven: 

And then I also have some self improvement goals, you know, these are kind of less less quantifiable, less tangible, but like right now for instance, I’m working on just being more present and it’s so easy to get locked in this kind of spinning wheel that is your business life as you’re building something and just staying busy, busy all the time. 

Steven: 

So I’m really working on being present and if my climbing is not going well and I’m not achieving that goal then that’s a great opportunity to work on this other goal that’s being present goal that I have. 

Steven: 

Um you know or or the podcast. 

Steven: 

If I reach a goal in the podcast it takes pressure off the climbing and then I actually do better with my climbing and then the confidence from my climbing feeds back into the podcast. 

Brandon: 

So it’s nice because it takes the pressure off but it’s really easy to find these different goals that really support each other. 

Steven: 

Um even though they’re in completely seemingly uh you know disconnected parts of your life. 

Steven: 

Well I love those H. 

Steven: 

Three H. 

Steven: 

P. 

Steven: 

T. 

Brandon: 

S. 

Brandon: 

Thanks for sharing them and thanks for taking time out of your climbing regime to come onto the podcast. 

Brandon: 

I really appreciate it. 

Brandon: 

Yeah I appreciate you having me on. 

Brandon: 

And um I was going to say I feel like we’re kindred spirits a little bit. 

Brandon: 

I actually checked out your show as well and I don’t know if you notice that but we actually start our episodes the exact same way. 

Brandon: 

I always kick off my episodes by saying hello friends we do. 

Brandon: 

I noticed you did to taking that out. 

Brandon: 

Yeah well we’ll have you on again after you’ve conquered smith rock and um I don’t know discovered some other things out there on the on the trail. 

Brandon: 

I’d love it. 

Brandon: 

I really appreciate you having me on. 

Brandon: 

I’d love to do it again. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. 

Brandon: 

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of build a business success secrets. 

Brandon: 

Before we go, let me ask you a quick question. 

Brandon: 

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Brandon: 

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Steven: 

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Steven: 

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Steven: 

That’s b as in business success secrets dot com. 

Steven: 

And until the next episode, remember you are just one business plan away, I’m rooting for your success. 

Steven: 

Hey, thanks a lot for coming on man, appreciate it. 

Steven: 

Are you there? 

Steven: 

Yeah, we’re done okay, but thanks a lot. 

Steven: 

Yeah, I meant to sent you, let me turn off this stream. 

Steven: 

I meant to send you a video. 

Steven: 

I usually do a pre interview. 

Steven: 

I’m like, hey man, here’s what’s going to happen. 

Steven: 

But I got I did this dex can I had two hours of dental work yesterday and I forgot that I had this dental work, I couldn’t talk afterwards because my mouth was so sore so I was like, you know what? 

Steven: 

He’s a climber, I checked him out, he’ll be fine, he’ll roll with it, he knows what he’s doing and you’re a very good podcaster, I mean, you know, thank you. 

Steven: 

Yeah, yeah, I’m exclusively focusing on Patreon right now. 

Steven: 

Um I might, I might actually start doing some coaching um for climbing in for podcasting actually, but right now it’s all paid john I haven’t run a single ad on the go at this point and I do follow up calls with my guests. 

Steven: 

So climbers are always, we’re always talking about a specific route that they’re working on a goal and then there’s this great opportunity, you know, months later when they accomplish it to have them back on and you know, do the debrief. 

Steven: 

So I’m doing bonus episodes like that for for like $5 a month, gets you access to that sort of thing. 

Steven: 

I got you. 

Steven: 

Yeah, and you’ve been able to get a decent amount of subscribers. 

Steven: 

Yeah, it’s going really well. 

Brandon: 

I really didn’t start until october and the response is an amazing the podcast is growing really rapidly. 

Brandon: 

So I um, so yeah, I think I’m just going to continue to focus on that for now and see how far that goes. 

Brandon: 

And I’ve got other ideas as well, as far as other ways to monetize and uh huh. 

Brandon: 

Yeah

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