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The Clueless at The Work Podcast

Anthony Garone talks with several experts in his network about how to navigate the complexities of professional work.

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Episode 9: Career Transition and Freelance with Chris Misterek

Chris Misterek headshot photo

Chris Misterek is a music-pastor-turned-web-developer who went through a painful career transition. He talks about the difficulties that led him to eventually start, where he’s now thriving as a mentor to others.

Chris Misterek on LinkedIn

Automated Episode Transcript

Published on: Fri, Jan 17, 2020

[00:00:03] Anthony: Welcome to the Clueless at the work podcast where we talk through a framework for being successful in your job. My name is Anthony Garone, and I’ll be hosting this show with some friends who are experts in helping people grow content is based on my book Clueless at the work advice from a corporate tyrant which is published by Stairway Press. You can find out more at clueless at the work dot com. Welcome back to the clueless at the work podcast. I’m very lucky to have my friend Chris Misterek here in the studio today. Chris, Thanks so much for coming over. So happy to be here with you. Awesome. Thank you. So, uh, Chris, you are an unnamed guest in the book, which I was surprised if I know. Flattered. Excellent. Yeah. You know, sometimes I wrote the book in such a short amount of time. I didn’t think to ask people. Is it okay if I use your name or your story or whatever we just like

[00:01:00] Chris: actually, I’m not okay. I prefer you go back and get another edition. In fact, uh,

[00:01:07] Anthony: this podcast is a confrontation. This’d is me telling you I want you to redo the book. So Chris is Ah, well, you know what you tell the story yourself tell, you know, Yeah. Who you are in the book. And then, ah, you can go further into your story.

[00:01:25] Chris: Yeah. So I’m the guy more towards the end, which I would prefer have to have been a front. But again, we didn’t have that conversation. Um, no. I’m the guy who, um, essentially change careers from being a full time musician, too, a web developer, and did that by freelancing in my free time. So more of the story, which, um you didn’t talk about in the book probably to reserve privacy. Um, but it all started when my my wife of 10 years left me. Um, and I I had to figure out a way to make more money, as as a result, because she made more than half the income for our full household. So, um, it wasn’t reasonable for me to keep doing the job that I had and expect to be able to survive and make enough money to put away for a retirement, for kids, for anything like that to have a home, you know, it would have been bare minimum. So, um, so we had a conversation at a coffee shop, and you encouraged me to look up Web development and see if I was interested in it. And so from that I went and started a course on code academy, which isn’t something else that you referred to. You referred to me and I instantly found out that I loved it. You know, um, a soon as I figured out how to type hello world in html. Look, this is a matter which is pretty sad because it’s so simple, you know, But looking back, you’re like, OK, I I felt really empowered by this very simple thing that pretty much anybody could do. But, you know, it’s it’s sparked something in me. Um and so from that, I began building websites and started doing it for friends. Um, it started getting paid for it. Then it escalated. Thio there was a demand for me building websites for people. Um jumped on a website called up work, which was oh, desk at the time. And demand just kept increasing. And so eventually it turned into a side hustle that match the income of my full time job, and I was and I was happy with it being a side hustle because I loved my work, you know, like, I was a musician. But I was I was a worship pastor to church. And, you know, you don’t do that kind of thing for money, right? And so, um, I loved being able to have something that gave me a sustainable income, but with something that I could You still have a full time job that I was really passionate about. But eventually, you know, just my passion for a Web development. What does it all and just kept growing and growing? And And I made the leap this last year and started, um, a full time position as a U X Web designer at a tech company called Show It, which is just an amazing place. And so from this from my experience, um, I was actually talking with it with one of our, um, customer support guys that show it who is going to school for computer science. And I was I was just asking him, like, Why aren’t you doing any any freelance stuff on the side? And he his response was that eats. He’s just afraid. He’s afraid of making mistakes, not knowing what to do, not knowing how to find clients. Want wondering what the legal impact would be of him if if he crashes a site. Um so I was like, Hey, like, those are all things I’ve been through. Like, why don’t you let me? I’ll help you through this. And so from that I just e I reckoned that there were other people who we’re probably in a similar place, like like, fully capable of doing something like this because in reality, like he, where he was at at that moment in time was way farther along them when I started telling people I’m a Web designer, right? And so, um, you know. So I started, um, Platform called self made Web designer with the intent of helping people go from not knowing anything about design and development to becoming either a full fledged side hustle freelance Web designer or have a career within the Web design realm. And so, uh, it’s it’s been amazing, and I and I have you to thank

[00:05:53] Anthony: for thank you very much,

[00:05:54] Chris: yeah, for giving me the the advice and you know, like I’ve actually been over at your house to go through troubles, cheating problems. Is that why my stupid website wasn’t working for a client? And Ah, and so you know, like, and I mentioned this a lot on my website. Like you were one of the mentors that that helped me get to a place to where I became self proficient. And so my hope is that I can do that for other

[00:06:21] Anthony: people. That’s awesome. That goal, right?

[00:06:23] Chris: Yeah, absolutely. So anyway, so, yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.

[00:06:27] Anthony: Right on. So, um, the theme of the book, obviously, is being clueless in ah, in all things and hopefully transitioning out of unknown cluelessness into having a sense of where we are clueless. Can you tell the audience about your cluelessness? You know, when you discovered it, what those things were, Um And perhaps you could start a little earlier. Sure than just the transition to the web developer job. Because starting a new career, there’s tons of cluelessness. But you had been a musician and a pastor at this church for many years. Yeah, So you know, at what point did you realize you other than the financial, you know, because you knew going in there was it’s not a lucrative career toe work. A church, right? Um, and if it is, there’s probably something wrong, but, uh, but yeah, Like what? What were the areas of cluelessness that you faced as a musician at the church? And then what have you learned about your cluelessness in this transition share? New career.

[00:07:41] Chris: Yeah, well, so the church that I’m that we’ve had, we’ve had quite a few transitions of leadership and even, um, the name of the church. So we went when I was originally brought on, it was called a word of Grace and the senior pastor who had been there for 25 30 years, who had essentially made it what it was when I was hired at the time was transitioning out. And so, um,

[00:08:09] Anthony: quick interruption. Yes. And our guest, I think one or two episodes ago was Adam Smith, who also works at this church. Yeah, and that’s where I met both Kris and Adam. So our connections you mention

[00:08:23] Chris: his son in in the book as well? I believe. Adam’s son. No, no, no, no. Um

[00:08:29] Anthony: Oh, yeah. Gary Kinnaman breaking even sets, right? Right, right. In the beginning.

[00:08:32] Chris: Yeah. So, um So when that happened, um, it was it was pretty. It was a pretty tough transition, you know, and and like, I think any transition like that would be like, I don’t think it’s the fault of any one person. You know, um,

[00:08:52] Anthony: double churches, a lot of churches. The community is centered around a personality as, uh, you know, everyone says, Well, it should be based on this or that. You know, the Bible or the tradition or this or that. But it’s really the person delivering the message share. And it’s not just churches. I mean, it’s cos it’s effectively a change in a very, very public CEO. Yeah, you know, it would be like if if Tesler you know, if Elon Musk left Tesla and they’ve shown on someone else or something.

[00:09:27] Chris: Yeah, well, I think people are people, you know, and a CZ as altruistic as we try to be, or as humble as we try to be, like we we bring so much baggage into our world, and and that’s and that’s what I was doing, you know, And that’s where my cluelessness came from, You know of thinking like, Okay, I was hired under a certain per person, and everything that I brought to the table was valued with the new person, you know? And so I quickly realized that that wasn’t the case, You know, that that I had to learn a completely new set of skills, um,

[00:10:11] Anthony: to reestablish yourself. It’s like, absolute had a whole new job just because the leader changed,

[00:10:17] Chris: right? Yeah, I I had to learn a new way to communicate. I had to learn a new way to think of myself within the organization. Um, and that’s that’s something that’s that’s big for me. Like I I’d like to think of like like, big picture. Who am I? How do I relate to the whole of what I’m doing? And so, you know, I became much less important. That

[00:10:46] Anthony: that is such a difficult transition. Aiken. Say Justus, someone since informer where I work was bought by Allstate. Yeah, in October 2018 I was kind of ah, head honchos. Oh, you know, like there was only one one guy running development, and that was me, right of our products, you know? And now there’s like, four of us and the people who report to us. And then there’s people who report to them. And now I’m just like I’m just another dead leader. Yeah, at the company. Yeah, and it’s tough when you you’re like the music leader, and then the new guy comes in and he’s like, Oh, yeah, you do that, too. That’s cool. I’m gonna bring in my guy, right? And then he’s gonna bring in one or two of his guys. Yeah, and then it’s like, Well, who am I now, right? Absolutely. It’s so hard.

[00:11:40] Chris: Yeah, and it takes and it’s It’s healthy. It’s so healthy to go. I’m not as of a big shot as I thought I was. I’m not as important as I thought I was, because I feel like in that place you can really grow, you know, And and I saw so much growth in the three year transition period, um, that, you know, it’s It’s just like when my wife left, you know, like there’s so much challenge and there’s so much heartache. But that results in so much growth and so much learning that you’re like, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t trade it like it was. It was tough to have gone through, you know? But I’m so glad that I did. Yeah. So and I think

[00:12:26] Anthony: you can’t, um, when you’re at the top, you know, like in a company or when you feel even in your home life, everything is right. Everything is settled. You’re You’re really trying to sustain something. Yeah. And for a lot of us sustaining is not that interesting. It’s not very motivating, you know? Feel like, you know, this is why people become or companies become over taken or overshadowed by your editor. Yeah, and it’s not like, um, I’m not saying your wife will leave you for another man or something like that. It’s just something, anything. But you can become more interesting. Yeah. And it whether it’s in your marriage, you know, your home life, any relationship or at work. I think like you’re always better off being number two or lower. Yeah, always. Because then you’re striving to become number one. Everyone wants to win. But when you are the winner and everything is right, then what do you do? Yeah, you know,

[00:13:35] Chris: absolutely oddly enough. Like there’s there’s So I played, I played sports growing up, huh? And I was huge into baseball, and I was convinced I was going to be a professional league baseball player. Um, despite my small stature,

[00:13:52] Anthony: But I was convinced to when I first met you, I thought you said it was gonna be a

[00:13:56] Chris: baseball. It’s amazing. Maybe there’s something to you that maybe that’ll be my next career. 47? Um, no. So I my my freshman year in high school, I got up to that on, um ah, the freshman freshman team and my first that bad. I hit a home run. And so it was. It was my first home run in this size of field. Like when I was when I was in grade school. Um, I I was a home run hitter like that’s all I did. I just hit tons of home runs. And so then I got to this new league and I was like, Oh, man, I can’t hit it to the fence. And then first at bat in high school and I had home run, but I never got another home run the entire season. Ah, because I was. It’s psyched me out, you know, like I’m like, how do I talk this way, eh? There’s nothing more to aspire to like I’ve done it. And I got they took me off. They immediately took me off freshman league. Oh, our freshman team and put me on J B O. And so now it was amongst people who are much older than me. So accidental success, right? Accidental success in and and I couldn’t sustain it. And ah, and so you know, And then not long after that, I realized I didn’t want to do baseball home. Yeah, you know, So I ended up I didn’t ended up quitting. But, you know, I think I think it could be that way If if we allow ourselves to think I’ve reached the Mecca, you know where this is all there is there. I feel like there has to be a certain amount of striving and everything that we do in order to grow. And and that was that was a part of my cluelessness, you know of going Oh, wait. I’m not everything I thought I waas and there’s a great book, um called. What got you here won’t get you there.

[00:15:47] Anthony: Oh, yeah, I have that,

[00:15:48] Chris: um and and it. And it was super encouraging to me, too. To know that, um, is your my stuff.

[00:15:57] Anthony: I think the whole world heard your stomach really hungry. Well, another 10 hours of podcasting and maybe you’ll learn a meal

[00:16:10] Chris: just like music streaming. Yeah. So I had thio. I really had to take some really tough looks at myself and ah, it was painful, you know, like like looking back, you know, we can’t We can look at it in a vacuum in a sterile environment and go, Okay, this is what I did. But like, there were tears there were wanting to quit. There was questioning myself and my worth and my value and all of those things that, you know, you go through when, like what you bring to the table is challenged, you know, but that

[00:16:46] Anthony: Do you attribute that to your ego or two? I guess ignorance or went when you you know, when the new guy comes in, the new leader comes in and they don’t replace you. You stayed in Technically, you’re same job. You know, the role description didn’t change. The title didn’t change. Your salary didn’t change. Yeah, but everything else changed? Sure. Like what was it that made it so hard for you? Do you think it was your ego believing that you were bigger than you actually were?

[00:17:20] Chris: Of course, Yeah. I mean, yeah, there’s there’s a ton of you go in it and and then there’s a ton of just ignorance. There’s a ton of cluelessness of, um, not knowing who I really was the role that I actually played, you know, Right, And, um and so it was. It was a good wake up call, you know, and and an ego is something. You know, that I think all of us fights one way or another, and we fight it in different ways, and and it can be one of the biggest killers. Thio are, um, success and moving forward in life and Fordham work and the things that we’re doing, you know? But there’s there’s either the eagerness of feeling like we’re more important than we really are or the ego of feeling that were much less important than them then we really are. But all of it points to self, you know, um and, um, there’s another book that’s been been great by, um carriage. Wake my mindset that you know it essentially, de couples, who you are in the value that you have is a person from what you’re able to produce. Have

[00:18:32] Anthony: you read Ego? Is the enemy

[00:18:34] Chris: Iran holiday? Yeah. Yeah, Another good one. It’s good. You know, um, I feel like there’s this ah, wave of stoicism that is creeping into the career world. Totally. I’m not a huge fan of Yeah, but I think there is something to learn.

[00:18:51] Anthony: Well, it’s good for Ah, uncharismatic people like me. Yeah. Uh, you know, it’s like, Oh, there’s a word for my lack of emotion.

[00:19:03] Chris: I don’t know. I’m Stoick. I’m not just,

[00:19:06] Anthony: you know, on the spectrum. I’m Stella. My wife is like,

[00:19:10] Chris: I think you

[00:19:10] Anthony: have Asperger’s. Like, really? That could be true. Um, and I’ve spoken to a couple people in there, like,

[00:19:17] Chris: Yeah, I could see

[00:19:17] Anthony: that being true, but I like saying stoic students is in my own head. I don’t like saying it out loud. They’ve said stoic more times in this podcast than probably in the last six months. Yeah, but yeah, I agree. There’s there’s there’s room for all kinds, Sure, but yeah, I think your ego mindset is great because in your fixed mind, you’re the best. Yeah, but in your growth mind, you are growing and you are someone who there’s always more to learn. It was always more opportunity to grow, whatever it right.

[00:19:56] Chris: Yeah, it’s it’s really that, like, output doesn’t even really matter, right? You know, it’s it’s more about the journey of learning and getting better and and so that that’s that’s been huge for me and and and, you know, transitioning into Web development. Um, cause me to see it again in a new way. You know, like that there was another big known clueless

[00:20:22] Anthony: cluelessness because you’re in your late thirties. Exactly. And I mean, none of us have that experience when we’re young. Obviously you don’t have the experience of age when you have no age but to enter a career in your early twenties and then to enter a new career in your late thirties, man, the wisdom that you can carry with you all the jerks you’ve worked with. You know, the people who failed you and how I’m not just in work but in your personal life. You bring so much new perspective share. It’s like I think about my college experiences. You know, 20 years ago, I started college. Now I look back, and I think I would have gotten so much more out of it if I started now. Yeah, right. I think back to classes I took that I didn’t appreciate, you know, But you can’t You can’t go back and change that. Yeah, but I think for you, um, starting a new career in an entirely different industry in your late thirties, especially as a freelance entrepreneur, you know, you have all sorts of great advantage and perspective.

[00:21:31] Chris: Yeah. I mean, there is that aspect of, like, you know, I bring a certain amount of wisdom that I’ve carried over from other things that I’ve done and things that have been through. Um And then there’s also that the sucky part of looking at people who are a decade younger than me, yeah, who are much farther along, you know, technologically, you know

[00:21:53] Anthony: only. But as you and I both know and we talk about in the book like the actual responsibilities in the job description are like 20% of your job, so they may excel at knowing, you know, the latest CSS three. You know, grid layout methods or whatever. Um, but you know what it means to please a client? Yeah, Shad is so different.

[00:22:20] Chris: And I think because we recently, um, we did like a side project within our company at Show It Where, um, we built out, um, almost like an evaluation reporting system that we we value it ourselves every month. And so we’re doing it all in excel, um, or Google Sheets. And so the CEO has as a learning opportunity, was like, Why don’t we just were development company? Won’t we develop something that fits our needs for this thing? And so, um, I was, um, one of the like, his person when it came to

[00:23:02] Anthony: know Senior, you mean?

[00:23:02] Chris: Yeah, Senior, um, when it came to, like, react, you know, uh, well, backtracking I was this the most senior person when it came to react that was willing to actually, like, help people it, like that had time and is scheduled to be able to do that

[00:23:20] Anthony: For those unfamiliar with react, it’s ah, Java script Web framework that allows you to build applications. He’s not talking about reacting,

[00:23:29] Chris: Thio. Yes, sir. Um but I’d never like. The only thing I knew have react was knowing that it existed.

[00:23:40] Anthony: You’re that much further ahead. Yeah, You really had a

[00:23:43] Chris: young man. I was super senior. Um, it’s oddly enough people put it on the resume all the time when they apply. Like, I know Java script. Which is which means they’ve heard of jobs. Yeah, that’s right. So, uh, anyways, um so I was I was essentially leading a team of people, um, on the react side of things, you know. And the whole goal was to learn it was like an immersion kind of experience where you just go and you figure it out. And so the thing that I told my team was like, Honestly, I’m you guys might know more than I do when it comes to this stuff, but I know howto learn, like I’ve gotten really good at knowing what I don’t know and knowing how to bridge the gap between that and what I need to know on. So, like, that’s really what I bring to the table. And so

[00:24:45] Anthony: the things you don’t know that zone incredible.

[00:24:50] Chris: It’s all about humility. you know, it’s all about just I

[00:24:54] Anthony: can bring my lack of knowledge to any

[00:24:56] Chris: project. It sounded better when I was in the meeting. Uh, no. And it happened multiple times Where, you know, um, we have this one, really young guy, but super intelligent kid. Well, who, um, knew much more about development than I did. But, you know, because I had learned the skills of, you know, basically learning is just trouble shooting. You know, like, why is this thing not working? And how can I figure out how to get it to work? You know, And I would I would help him, help him multiple times, figure out how to find solutions, you know, And I didn’t know the solutions, you know, But we would work on it together. We’d learn in a search. I talked to him about methodologies for, you know, looking up things on the Internet, you know, and and how to filter through hundreds and hundreds of articles that aren’t going to help it all versus finding the one that will get you to the place where oh,

[00:25:54] Anthony: cool. I found it so well. It’s funny. You said earlier. You said, um when you got the screen to say Hello world, You’re like It’s funny how much value you place into something that anyone could do, you know, in a few seconds. But I think it goes to show that all you have to do is be willing to get your feet wet in in something, something that’s not natural to you. Something that’s you don’t inherently already know. Yeah, and I think that’s true for so many things in life. And it’s true for what you’re saying right there, like the rial expertise is in the recognition that you don’t know things 1% and that you know how to close the gaps between what is necessary and what is available. Yeah, for sure.

[00:26:50] Chris: Well, and I think you know, when I was hired onto the team at Show It as a freelancer, you come with so many ideas of what it will be like when you’re a part of it. A development team, right? Oh, yeah, like you just there’s this false imagine. You know, imagine Torrey situation of like, Okay, these people, they know everything and they’re just typing 100% all the time, every day, writing code you know, And then I got there to realize, like, Oh, these guys, they’re doing the same thing that I’ve been doing is a freelancer. Like they they come to an error and they don’t know how to figure it out. And then Google, you

[00:27:28] Anthony: know? Oh, yeah. There’s no magic between a company, you know, with 100 developers. Yeah, and the company of one you know, like there’s no magical new way of working that you only find out when you work for a larger company. It’s It’s not that at all. It’s Yeah, it’s really What’s the difference between freelance and full time employment? Other than finding the work and keeping all the money, she versus having a steady stream of work that’s coming from some other mysterious channel? Yeah, And then you get paid a fraction of what that brings in.

[00:28:04] Chris: Yeah, and And there is something to be said about, you know, a collective knowledge. Mmm. And experience of people sure, like coming. Coming to a solution takes so much less time on a team. Yeah. Then then it would. When you’re on your own,

[00:28:20] Anthony: you can just say, Hey, does anyone has anyone seen this error. Exactly. Your team like Oh, yeah. Especially if you’re working on a shared project,

[00:28:29] Chris: right? Yeah. And so there’s a lot of value on it when it comes to that. Um, but I think that there’s just a real big misconception of, you know, in a lot of areas, but especially that the tech world of, like, feeling that you have to be at a certain level before you make the step into trying to find work were becoming a freelancer. And and I’ve talked to a lot of people, um, from self made Web designer who, you know, they they asked the question of like, When am I ready to start charging? You know, And and the answer is always you’re ready to start charging when somebody’s willing to pay you.

[00:29:11] Anthony: Yeah, you know. Yeah, Well, that’s what in my book, I’ve got that, like, is the person who has a van full of plumbing tools? A plumber? Yeah, is a person who got the certificate online? A plumber. It’s like, No, you’re you’re a plumber. When you’re fixing pipes in someone’s house. When you’re fixing a toilet or a sink, then you’re a plumber like it’s not about what you have or what you know. It’s about what you’re doing. Yeah, And if you are doing plumbing, you are a plumber. And it’s the same thing with software or any other practice. Like, if you’re doing it, then you are it. Yeah, but our education system raises us to believe you need the credential. First you and then you like, you need some. Imagine the level of experience before you’re allowed to say that you are something. But in the real world, they’re Charlottenburg everywhere saying, Oh, yeah, I’m a senior, this and that. And then there’s just everyday people humble people like you sing. Well, I think maybe now I can start charging. I’ve been doing free work For what, A year? Yeah. Maybe now I’m a web. Yeah. All

[00:30:19] Chris: right, well, and you know, there are certain things that I think are good. Do you have certifications? Like I wouldn’t want to be. Oh, but I

[00:30:30] Anthony: mean, for for any practice or trade that could be picked up with with no special Yeah, knowledge or certification or whatever. Like you are it when you start doing it present. And my wife and I had a very long discussion about this. Like because she was looking at becoming a freelance writer, you know? What point are you a freelance writer. It’s like, Well, when When you’re doing work, right when you’re writing for someone else to go and either they’re paying you or they’re not? Yeah, but it’s they’re still in exchange of time for value.

[00:31:07] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, one of the buzzwords right now, um, in the end, the career world and businesses, the impostor syndrome And and I think it’s and the reason why it’s a buzz word is that so many people resonate with it, you know, because most of us are going along thinking when someone figures out that I don’t know what I’m doing than then the gig is up, you know, like I’m done right now. And even even Tom Hanks, um, talks about how key figures when people really understand, like he’s just winging it, you know, like his acting career is gonna be over, you know? And there have been multiple other people who have said the same thing that we look at and we aspired to be like them. Yeah, and so I think you know it There has to be, like, a just jumping off the edge with both feet and going. I’m going to figure it out as I’m falling, you know?

[00:32:07] Anthony: Yeah, I agree with that. But I think the more important question is, what is that edge? Sure. And I think that edge is a dysfunctional ah, infrastructure that coddles us and leads us to believe that we need it. Sure, you know, like, it’s sort of this great trick where you need to just jump off the edge. But the edge has been free falling through space with you. You just have had your feet on the whole time. You know, they just cause there’s no school and there’s no formal education around. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. And before there was the formal education system, people were surviving, you know? So I think we all need to recognize that we live in a system that creates cluelessness. Sure. And it’s like, uh, you know, it it can teach you. When was when was World War two? Yeah, and you can have a concrete answer, but why did it happen? Well, right, that’s a much harder question here, and I need to go read my history books, and I need to do this and that, like then you feel like a home unprepared share. But the reality is whose lives nowadays are affected by why World War Two happened. Yeah, we’re substituting value for I don’t know what it is, but I just think that we have We go through this system of schooling for I don’t know how many years I was in school from, like, age five to age 28 or 30 or something like that. And, um and I think it conditions us to believe that we need certain things in place before we’re allowed to do something. I need to get my degree before I can do this. I need to finish this class before I can start doing this. But where’s the class on parenting that you need to complete before you have kids? You know, like for sure or getting married or keeping you know, a sustaining a marriage or dealing with a family member who is in the hospital there? There’s no classes on that. Yeah, and I think that, like we believe our careers and our work and our beliefs about ourselves need to come from some systematic, you know, well organized education, whereas everyone is just winging it all the time. Sure, And once you accept that, everyone is winging it all the time. Life is so much easier.

[00:34:47] Chris: Yeah, well, yeah, it is. There’s a There’s a system ization to it. Um, I think it’s also just a normal part of the human experience. Yeah, you know, because, like, you can like de personify a system, but the system’s air people, of course, you know. And so, um,

[00:35:10] Anthony: but it’s people creating security through systems like

[00:35:13] Chris: right and and I think that’s more of the core of it. It’s the the humility, ego ride aspect of like for wider world war to happen. You know, like I don’t feel like I can offer an opinion because I’m not researched enough because what if I’m wrong, you know, Or what if I change my mind right about my opinion, like

[00:35:38] Anthony: and there’s no five answers that are direct right? These are complex systems with complex answers

[00:35:45] Chris: right now, and you know, starting out and doing anything or or changing a career like it’s It’s scary, but why is it scary? It’s scary because we’re afraid that we’re going to fail. And that failure is going to point to our value as a person. Yeah, and And you have to like, in order to become become less like clueless or unknown cluelessness. You have to uncouple that, you know, you’re what you offer versus who you are and how valuable you are as a person. Yeah, you know, And and and it’s tough. And I think all of us are, you know, walking contradictions there, moments where I’m like I don’t care if you like this, I’m gonna do it anyways. And then there are moments, right? Do you like this, please? Like it? Will you like my instagram photo? Thio Onley 12 likes it. I like it. You know, when I get a negative response to something I’ve written or done or said like it crushes me. Oh, yeah. You know, like, it’s hard and you talk about it in the book as well where people are. Um, you know, there’s a YouTube video that you put out that little or just crazy. Ridiculous.

[00:37:01] Anthony: Let me. I’m just gonna read this comment that I got I think yesterday? Uh, no, just It was so funny. I I know that a two years ago I would have been like, uh, yeah. Well, why don’t you read this comment? It’s no, you know, right of

[00:37:18] Chris: the top. Yeah. How stupid are you? A men? Yeah, that’s it. It’s It’s devastating, you know, Can

[00:37:34] Anthony: be until you realize everyone is just winging it. You know, like this person drove by my video, they watched a little bit of it. I don’t know why. Maybe it appealed to them in the first place. And then they realized I don’t like this. I need to tell this person, you know,

[00:37:53] Chris: like, I didn’t even say I was paying for

[00:37:57] Anthony: this person that watch, You know, I had no ad campaigns or anything yet I am subject to someone winging it, trying to project their value onto me. Yeah, and that’s I’ve had to learn a lot through running a YouTube channel. Yeah, And in that same, that very same vein, like I have people who will leave comments like you are an idiot. Yeah, and I’m like, yeah, when my response to that person’s comment was I’m very, very stupid. How stupid are you?

[00:38:30] Chris: Which is a great response. Yeah. I mean, I think so. I have a friend who, um, started a blawg, um, called kid nurse. She’s a nurse practitioner, and, um, once wants to help Mom’s figure out how to take care of the kids. Health wise and all that kind of stuff is a great block. Her very first post went viral. Okay, Cheese show like

[00:38:55] Anthony: your first home run?

[00:38:56] Chris: Yeah, exactly. School. And so, um, this this story is, um she grew up in a community that didn’t believe in vaccinations. Oh, yeah, um, and went to school to try to disprove vaccinations in their value. And, you know, in the midst of her studying, she changed her mind. Uh um And so the hurt first post was talking about that. And, like, she she hit, publish her, and her husband went to have dinner, and they just started watching Google analytics like, first, quickly reached the 1000 then 5000 and then got up to 100,000 views in an evening, you know? And so, um, with that comes a steady amount of hatred, you know? I mean that that topic specifically, but anything like, Yeah, you could say anything that gets attention and you

[00:39:57] Anthony: will get ridiculed. That’s right. There’s, Ah, this show called Mr Show from the late 19 nineties Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, who are now probably B list celebrities. Back then they were D or E list. But they had this show on HBO, and it was revolutionary and very innovative. Super funny. And they have a sketch that’s called it is called, uh, if you’re going to write some comedy, there’s going to be some rat feces in there, you know? And I think of that all the time because anything we put out into the world is going to face haters your hatred. Yeah, it’s just a matter of time before it gets in front of them. Sure, if you keep producing, you will get in front of your haters. Yeah, no matter what. Yeah. And they’re gonna hate you. Yeah, and they’re gonna say you’re stupid. You’re an idiot. I had a guy call me an effing Nazi for a Frank Zappa video. It’s like, Dude, we’re talking about a hologram of a guy playing guitar. We’re not talking about, like the the inherent dignity and value of a human being, like so thio. But you read these comments and you think, Oh, my goodness, this person must be right. And when you have that imposter syndrome thing going on and you’ve got that like, it finds a weakness that the comment finds the weakness your Achilles heel, and it’s like it injects that poison that venom right into your veins. Yeah, and your shattered, You know, you just feel like broken. Yeah, but after a long time of haters, you just kind of like, Oh, yeah, that’s funny. That was a good one. Yeah, right. It was a good one. Well,

[00:41:41] Chris: and I think you know that that that’s a huge part of of growth. Looking at something and going. I know this is gonna be painful, but I have to do it, you know? And, um, that’s a lot of the reasons why I started self made Web designer. Knowing that it might get attention, it might not, but I feel an obligation to try to help people and,

[00:42:10] Anthony: well, you are a pastor. You know, whether you’re at working at a church for sure. You’re working at a web design company. One

[00:42:16] Chris: 100%. Yeah. You know, I can’t dichotomy eyes how I view the world, right between what I believe about God and what I believe about work. Great. I mean it. They they both inform one

[00:42:28] Anthony: another. You know, you’re just a person at work. Never mind. I have nothing to say. I can’t pray for you

[00:42:34] Chris: right now. Uh, yeah. No. So I think it’s I think it’s good, but Ramiro, it all starts with with ego going. I know I’m gonna make mistakes. I know I’m gonna be wrong. I know. I’m gonna have to change my mind and admit that what I did was stupid. But it’s worth it. It’s It’s worth the heartache

[00:42:55] Anthony: and add it to me is known cluelessness when you can acknowledge Look, what I did was dumb. It’s not what I should have done. And now I think I know better if you’re still clueless. You’re saying okay? I definitely know better. But if you know that you’re clueless, you’re saying I hope that I know better next time, right? You know, I am going to try to not make that mistake again, right? And that’s really what cluelessness is all about. Like we are all clueless. We are all winging it, and the only people that don’t believe that are the people fooling themselves share. And unfortunately the world elevates those people. And I think you know, I’ve got this book or I’ve got my Twitter account or whatever it’s like Well, I’ve only got a few 100 followers. I’ve only sold a few 100 copies of the book like Who cares? You know, like, if you’re if my book sold 10,000 copies or AH, 100,000 copies, then I would probably start being clueless because I have no idea what it would be like to sell anything in that quantity. Shen how I would behave.

[00:44:04] Chris: Yeah, yeah, but I mean, there’s never ceiling No, there’s never a ceiling, you know, like there’s like if you sold 10,000 then then you to reach a level of probably relationships and resource is that then starts saying, How

[00:44:21] Anthony: do I reach 100,000? If I was less clueless or more clueless, I think if I was more clueless, I would like to go to my head, Sure, but thankfully, I’m aware of my cluelessness. Yeah, and so when I am successful when I have that first home run, you know? Oh, his first book Sold. Whatever. Yeah, Hopefully that doesn’t happen. Hopefully, if I keep writing books, the third or the 5th 1 will sell 10,000. 20,000? Yeah, because otherwise I would I would be defeating the odds. Yeah. When you defeat the odds, you start believing things about yourself. One

[00:44:58] Chris: 100%. I think that this struggle conditions you for success, right? You know it Because if if you don’t struggle and find success like, that’s a real volatile situation, Yes. You know, like, um, there’s just I’m so grateful for the process. I’m so grateful for the pain and staying up late at night and and wondering if this client was gonna sue me. You know, like I’m grateful for all of those things because it’s it’s made me who I am today to be able to figure out things. And and, of course, the problems that I face today are much more complex than than what I faced when I first got started.

[00:45:43] Anthony: Well, you see these? Ah, there’s this big twitter fight going on about how many hours a week a developer should work. You know 40 hours, is it? No, you. If you don’t work 80 hours a week, you’re not gonna be successful. And of course, there’s truth in everything. Sure, but I think what you’re after is the real answer. Like, be grateful for the struggle. Yeah, and if it means 40 hours a week for you, great. Yeah, make it a great 40 hours. But if you if it needs to be 80 hours, make it 80 hours. Sure. The point is work hard as often as you can, within reason. Yeah, and some weeks it’s an 80 hour week because you realized you really made a big mistake or you really need to get you overcommitted. Hopefully, you don’t over commit for your next project show. And that’s really what it’s about. Be grateful for the struggle for the process. The odds are against you at all times. The in terms of being successful because anyone who believes this is a walk in the park, yeah, has either done the project 100 other times and has experience to say that or is fooling themselves.

[00:46:53] Chris: Yeah, well, and I think there’s There’s also a self awareness of knowing limitations, like what you’re talking about. Like if if a 40 hour work week is a struggle for you than you’ve done a good job, like if like not that it’s a struggle to hit 40 hours. But like if

[00:47:12] Anthony: you’re if you’re eating down to 40 you mean

[00:47:15] Chris: right? Exactly like if you are filling that 40 hours with nonstop productivity, you know, that’s not an easy thing, right? That’s that’s actually really tough. Yeah, you know, And and I think that, you know, hitting 80 hours is is more because we’re not disciplined more than anything else. But, you know, like I think, um, we have to understand, Like, I add a place. When I first started, I had 15 20 hours a week outside of my very demanding, full time job to devote to learning Web development. And so it was really easy to get discouraged and think, Why am I not making more progress? Like, why am I not farther along? Like I’m really passionate about this. I love this like my cannot be

[00:48:08] Anthony: there. And I’m here. The gap. Yeah. Book the gap

[00:48:11] Chris: And and and looking at somebody who doesn’t have kids. Yeah, and is single and is only responsible for themselves. If I compare myself to that person, I get discouraged. And I quit, you know, but But I have to be self aware. And even now, as I write, content for self made Web center, you know, like, and we’re talking about a really long article that I’m writing and how long it’s taking me, and it’s really easy to get discouraged. But I’ve got a brand new baby, so I literally have stints of time, right, that I have to go. Right, Right, right, right, right, right. Change a diaper. Yeah, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right. Feed him to milk. You know, like that’s that. It’s It’s hard. Well, it’s gonna take forever,

[00:48:56] Anthony: and no one can see that, right? No one will know that. Yeah, like you, I listen to an amazing record, and it’s like, Wow, this person is a genius, but they’re probably doing the same thing, you know? Like, yeah, write this song, right? The song. I’ve got a great verse. Oh, crap. I’ve got to go. Take I got to pick up my kid from school right now. Yeah, none of the everyday stuff is captured in the the output, you know, And so even for you, how you’re saying, Well, that single person without kids, they have all this time and freedom, That’s you projecting your own, your own struggle onto them. And it’s like they don’t have a struggle. We don’t know. Yeah, the output never contains the struggle. And it’s a blessing and a curse. Yeah, because someone, you know, I could put my heart and soul into something, And somebody writes, you are an effing not. And then I just think that person has no idea how much this video cost in time. Money stress, you know, sacrifice of my time away from my family. But it doesn’t matter. Yeah, and they don’t need to know it.

[00:50:04] Chris: Right. Do you do fall gaby at

[00:50:07] Anthony: all? I don’t. So many people have told me I would love to be, uh I’m sure I would. Yeah, it is very difficult to follow anything new or beyond what I am currently. Well,

[00:50:22] Chris: I understand that, but I only say that because I feel like he has a good perspective on haters. Um, and it’s that, like, he genuinely feels compassion for them, you know, and and responds with compassion, right? You know, to think like there’s there’s a person out there who their lives are, are are so devoid of significance that they have to find it by bringing a stranger down online, right? For something that you’ve done for free,

[00:50:57] Anthony: right? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I’ve taken that angle with some commenters like, Hey, man, I I’m sorry this video upset you. I hope whatever’s going on in your life gets taken care of. It has. This is the least important thing in the world. My YouTube video, which will get at most 30 50,000 views more likely an order of magnitude less like that. This means nothing to the world. Yeah, there’s no significance in what I’m doing here. I’m trying to have fun. And if you need to express your vitriol, right, you know, and I try to encapsulate it, you’ll see it in several other. I mean, you like no one’s gonna go read my comment responses, But anyway, like

[00:51:40] Chris: I am now, sometimes, yeah,

[00:51:42] Anthony: sometimes I’m like, Yeah, man, you’re being a jerk. And other times, like, I hope whatever’s happening in your life gets resolved. Yes,

[00:51:49] Chris: Why else would someone

[00:51:51] Anthony: leaves such vitriolic, you know, ridiculousness to a stranger with him on that

[00:51:56] Chris: and that I feel like that ties back to you where we find our value. You know, like you, like, ultimately content that we create. It’s not like it’s valuable, but it’s not like,

[00:52:10] Anthony: of course it’s. And three years from down the road, you’re going to delete it, cause you’re like, Oh, that was so stupid. You know how many how many Blog’s have disappeared over the years? Because the designer did their annual refresh and they were like, I don’t need a block anymore. I haven’t written a post in years, right? And then somewhere there’s like 500 people who were like,

[00:52:31] Chris: Where that post go, Theo? Yeah, yeah, its interesting. But, uh, yeah, I think ultimately, like you, you have to have a foundation in a worldview that places value on who you are as a person. Intrinsically dis, despite what you have to offer, don’t have offer.

[00:52:52] Anthony: Absolutely. And I think that’s a great note for us to end of this extremely long

[00:52:56] Chris: things is fun. How long do we go for,

[00:53:00] Anthony: uh, an hour? Nice. Probably. Um I tried to target half an hour episodes, but here I am wasting more of you. Dear listener. Chris, thanks so much for showing up.

[00:53:12] Chris: Hey, so so happy to be on and and really just want to say you’ve done a fantastic job with the book. I really hope that a lot more people read it then have bought it

[00:53:20] Anthony: currently. Thank you very much.

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About the Author

Anthony Garone headshot

Anthony Garone is a creative technology leader with a heart for helping people understand who they are, where they excel, and what they can offer the world. He has co-founded and advised several startups, runs Make Weird Music, and leads software and technology teams at an identity theft protection firm, InfoArmor, which was acquired by Allstate in October 2018.

Anthony lives in Mesa, Arizona with his wife and three children.