Espree Devora, the previous creator of the first action sports social network, is the host of the Women in Tech and We Are LA Tech Podcasts. With 9 years of podcasting experience, Espree continues to dominate the tech podcast market with her engaging conversations and contagious energy.
Hello everybody. And welcome to this episode of the creator come up podcast. In this episode, I had the wonderful Espree Devora on to chat. Esprit is the host of both the women in tech and we are LA tech podcasts. She was an absolute delight to talk to. And I like to think that the topics we touched on both introspective and authentic are something that I will, I'll be thinking about for weeks. If not years to come. We talked about her daily process as a podcaster, as well as some insights on how she perceives the world and what it has to offer her on her journey to find joyous moments throughout her everyday life. There were some book recommendations, some fun anecdotes, and definitely a lot of joking around. I am confident when I say that this podcast, this episode is something that I will not soon forget, and I hope you won't either. So in that case, I won't keep you waiting for that much longer for this apparently life-changing podcast episode. So without further ado, the queen of podcasts herself, a spree to fora. Alright, thank you so much for jumping on with us here. Uh, like last minute I sent you all the questions and whatnot. So I'm, I'm very sorry about that to begin with.
But as I ask everybody, if you want to give a nice little lowdown on who you are, what you do real quick so that everybody knows not that everybody wouldn't know who you are, but you know,
Oh, I don't assume anybody would know, but in regards to the question, it's interesting, I actually don't even need questions in advance, nor do I send guests questions in advance because I believe in organic conversations, my I'm a podcaster. So I built the first action sports social network, which was my claim to fame, at least my own personal claim to fame fame inside my head. Um, it's something, it's an experience that I really cherish. Um, so I took my talent in producing, um, action sports, video segments, and traveling around the world. Um, like just spotlighting athletes. Like it was so exciting and decided to use that talent to champion the Los Angeles tech community through podcasting. And then, um, I created the women in tech podcast a year after that. And then I started producing podcasts for brands and more podcasts myself. I'm right now launching a podcast called what is NFT and another podcast called brag. I just, I love the world of audio, um, whether it's podcasting or it's social audio and Twitter spaces and clubhouse and all these other apps coming about. I just think that the art of, um, connective conversation is, is so beautiful. And it's like, you're able to give access to, um, rooms and spaces that people wouldn't otherwise have access to
And conversations that, that people wouldn't be able to have on a normal basis.
No, absolutely. Now you mentioned clubhouse and I just kind of want to jump into this first question that my, uh, my supervisor. Yeah. It's how did you, uh, how did you get your, your face right there on the front of the app?
How did you serendipity?
Oh yeah. Is that the answer?
It is the answer. I didn't strive for it. I think it's really unhealthy to strive for follower counts. I think we're all like, we're all, um, what's the word like we're we all live in a world where that feels really important. So it has to be a conscious choice not to strive for that, but I didn't strive for follower accounts. I didn't strive to be the face of that app. I just showed up. Like, that's it. I just show up in service of community. Um, that's not really an easy choice to make. Um, and I, it's a choice I've made for a really long time. And it's a choice I'm doing a lot of reflecting on now on I actually moving into a chapter in my life where I'd like to be more selfish. And I, my mentor says you have to be selfish in order to be selfless. So kind of was selfless first and I'm like training myself how to be selfish, which is really hard for me.
Does that mean to you like being more selfish? Is that more with the side of gaining the followers and doing that kind of a thing or what's selfish to you?
It means taking time to wear a face mask this morning. It means going out on a bike
With followers, it means going on a hike, it means calling my best friend and asking how she is. It means I'm cooking myself an amazing breakfast. It means doing a Headspace meditation.
Okay. Now you, you run a lot, like you said, you run a lot of different podcasts. You run a lot of different businesses in the backend. How do you make time for this in this new chapter of your life of, uh, you know, the, the, the selfish chapter of a spree life? How do you make that?
I think that's the thing it's before or up until now, I've given all my time away. So it's more like, how do I give myself the time first and then decide how do I make time for others rather than giving all my time to others and then not having any time for myself. Someone told me a while ago. And I think it's a popular phrase, but I had never heard it before at the time where, um, you want to give from a place of overflow, you don't wanna, you don't want to run on an empty tank and then give from your reserves, like, whoa. And so quite frankly, um, at least in the last few years I've been giving from my reserves and not from, not from a place of overflow. And so I want to change, like, not just wanting to like that's changing period. Like I refuse to live in any other way than to be okay. Like if I'm not okay, how can I possibly serve community
How do you know? What's your opinion on the fact that, like, do you think that you could have gotten to where you are right now without being as selfless as you were and giving everybody your time?
I think this world is with like a zillion different pathways and there's no right or wrong. One is as long as you're not hurting people and they, all the pathways would take me on a different adventure.
Sure. Okay. All right. Fair answer. Fair answer. Yeah.
It's, it's a really, it's a really honest answer. Like I'm not, I'm not being, uh, abstract, like it's, it's, it's true. Like every choice we make leads down a different path. Yeah, absolutely.
Wouldn't be here where we are right now, without every decision
We've made, even the bad stuff.
Like it's what I've been reflecting on a lot lately. Like I've had, you know, unfortunate things that have happened in my life and I'm like, huh? Like if those unfortunate things didn't happen, I wouldn't have attained XYZ. A perfect example of this is like will Smith in his new book, um, talks about how he experienced this terrible thing between his mother and his father. But because he experienced that terrible thing, the coping mechanism he took on was to entertain. He's like, if I can entertain, then everything can be fine. There is no hatred inside of laughter. And so, so now he's, you know, one of the biggest entertainers in the world, um, I was thinking about that. I'm like, I wonder if he wouldn't have ever become the will Smith, we know today, how did he not had that unfortunate experience happened when he was a child?
I mean, right now I'm I just moved, uh, to a new continent. I've never lived outside of the states. And I'm currently living in, uh, Germany right now and here by myself, uh, right in the center of Berlin. So where we're living in Berlin style. Yeah. It's cool. I'm enjoying myself, but it's also a little bit actually like it's, it's very much like COVID restrictions of, you know, you, you have to show vaccination, you have to get tests, you got to do all this stuff to get in. But for the most part, like I've, I've been to a couple parties here and there. So if you're ever in Berlin, you know, you can always have,
And it's amazing. I've even been rejected from what is it? Burke I'm Getting rejected is like even a,
You're not a Berliner until you get rejected from hi. Oh, that's so funny. Oh my God. Back to the questions I've had. Um, well, number one, would you recommend that will Smith book? I saw it come up in my audible. Um, the recommendeds, uh, and I get my audible thing here soon.
Yeah, I haven't, I haven't listened. I've listened to like a crazy amount of interviews about the book. Like I watched his whole series, like the best shape of my life. I watched his interview with Oprah, so I've watched a lot of stuff around the book, but I haven't read the book it's next right now. I'm just finishing today, um, Greenlight by Matthew McConaughey, which I highly recommend you read
It's amazing. I'm, I'm, I'm attempting to shift, you know, how we wake up and we're like Twitter, Instagram, whatever social platform, a lot of people do take talk. Luckily I didn't go down the tick-tock rabbit hole. Um, like I'm attempting to shift my mind to say audio book, like that's the default. And then when I started a new thing recently, I hope I keep it up so far. So good when I go on the social apps or when I feel that like hankering to go on the social apps, I journal about it. So I go to the notepad in my phone and I'm saying, I feel that need again, but I don't actually want to be going to these apps. What's this need about what would I actually want to be doing? And it creates a pattern interrupt, and then my brain gets all confused.
And I feel like, I feel like I'm forcefully, um, tapping into my consciousness. So the subconscious is what's like making me just like lizard brain over to, to Instagram or whatever. But then by being like, okay, you're not going to do that. You're going to write in your journal. And then I write about it. And then it brings all that to the con to that, to the higher level, to the conscious state. And I'm like, oh, okay, let's not do that because it's not actually what I want to be doing. So I just think it's really important to, um, for me, it's really important to my life that I'm not a slave to apps that I am creating the life that I authentically want. Um, rather than the life that I feel digital society expects from me.
Yes. Yeah. I mean, it sounds, I mean, you said that you did, uh, at least, I don't know if, what you said it while we were recording or before we were recording, but you said something about, uh, doing some meditation and that's kind of just, it seems like a physical form of meditation of just like making that mental block of, uh, instead of just letting your mind go, you're you're thinking like, all right, what am I thinking about next? And so instead of letting you just like go into the routine of opening Instagram, you're stopping yourself and being like, all right, why am I doing this? That's very cool. I might actually, is it okay if I take that as well?
I should. I am. And I, and sometimes I end up going to this social app anyway, and then I journal about it. How did it feel like did I actually want to be there? What's happening inside my brain? Do I feel happy? Do I feel more fulfilled? Do I feel like my time went somewhere? I didn't want it to go. So I'm just really, I'm also doing this thing. Uh, how do I say this on a pub to not get strikes or anything? I am, I'm saying F it like everything, like, okay. Like, like I, I, I'm trying, like, if there's a habit that I want to create, and then I break the habit, typically we're like, ah, man, like loser, how did I mess up? And then you like spiral and you mess up even more, you know? And so I'm, I I'm training myself to just say effort to everything. Like I have a negative thought effort, new moment. I eat candy effort, new moment. Like I went on Twitter F at new moment, you know, like, so instead of like this like self hatred of like over and over and over again, um, just constantly telling myself every, so it's this combination of that. And the notepad journaling to do my best attempt to break these like negative secular, mental thought patterns, these subconscious patterns of like self-criticism and, um, social media addiction.
It sounds like you, uh, you listen or you may listen to a lot of Duncan Trussell. That's what I'm getting. Do you know, Duncan Trussell think you would love Duncan trust? Yeah, it's a, I mean, he has a neck Netflix, well, he has a Netflix show, um, uh, midnight gospel if you've seen it
And heard of this. Wonderful. And he seems, I think he would very much like him. So there's a nice recommendation for you. Um, but with you being on social media, all that, like essentially you, you create content for social media, you create content for the internet now, how do you, uh, that, that whole side of things, how do you couple that with this new mentality? Yeah.
So I don't feel that I create content for the internet. Like I don't, I what's most true to me is I just share my story and I utilize technology as my paints and paint brushes, and, you know, so I'm just sharing my journey and I am that I am I'm, I'm proactively vulnerably sharing my journey, which scares me a lot, but I push myself through it. I pushed myself through it because I feel some sort of, um, is that word, like a martyr. I feel like some sort of thing where like, everybody is so fake, we need somebody that's real. So I feel this, like this like martyr syndrome of a, like, I'm going to be the person that's real, you know, like, so I pushed myself to be vulnerable. Um, and it's really difficult, but that is definitely intentional. And then I share the journey, my vulnerable journey of like, what's really happening, but I don't feel like I don't have a course. Um, I feel very allergic to courses and course creator economy kind of stuff. And like, um, yeah, so I don't know. I don't think I see myself as a content creator. I see myself as a story sharer, which goes into my background if I study journalism and I stay creative writing, I've been a writer since I was a little girl. So all of that is like story sharing and knowing how to do interviews. And it all goes back to being a writer and a journalist. Okay.
Sorry. I, I, I did the, uh, the age old. Um, what is it the ultimate sin of a podcast host, as I looked at the questions as you were, as you were talking.
And honestly I'm really excited to like be on with you. Like, I, I feel I'm stoked. Like I Type Studio, you know, I've binge watched your YouTube videos.
It's like, you know, me before, before even getting on here, this is very odd. Um, uh, now let's, I'm gonna, I'm going to jump back to the, the, the, what's it called to meet some quotas here, if that's cool with you, how long have you been doing the, the podcast game and when did it start? Uh, you know, w how long have you been doing this whole sharing your story, your life story vulnerability. And when did it start, um, becoming a full-time thing, becoming something that you can, you can, uh, pay your rent, essentially.
So it started in, it started, I feel like I'm not positive. Like when I became super intentional about being a vulnerable leader, but podcasting itself, I started, we are LA tech in 2012. And then because I had experienced failure with my sports company, I would not call, we are like type of business for several years. I called it a concept. Like I have a concept, even when I had staff, I still call it a concept. It wasn't, it wasn't until I was having an event at my house actually. And my assistant was listening to me talk, and I said, I have a concept. And she's like, Hey, spree. Like, I work for you. It's not a concept
For like two years. Like, yeah. But even at that point, I wasn't, I wasn't, um, on, oh, sorry. Is the sound really loud in the background? No, you're good. Um, um, the, yeah, but even like, then I didn't start calling it. Um, sorry, I shouldn't, I should have closed the window.
You're good. No, you're totally fine. Don't worry about it. I'm just making sure that I'm also recording now, you know, whatever.
Okay. Well, imperfections ignite. Um, so, so, yeah, so she said, um, she said that, and I still call it concept for a long time after, and then my team members later on started a mantra called this is a business and they'd make me say it every single day. So I just had a lot of like fear built in, um, to ever having a quote unquote business again, but it, but we early tech legitimately started in 2012 and then I started producing the podcast in 2013, aired the podcast in 2014 for w called tech. And then in 2015, aired a women in tech. Um, somewhere in there I launched hello customer. Maybe it was 2013 or 14. I don't remember to be honest. And then, um, and then, yeah, so I've been podcasting since then, you know, and doing podcasting full-time since I'd say probably end of 2013.
Okay. Where do you make most of your money? Does it through monetization? Is it through ads? Sponsors?
Yeah, sponsorships and memberships. So people pay members to, uh, people pay a quarterly membership fee to be a part of the experiences I create. And, um, and then, yeah, sponsorships.
Okay. Uh, now when you first started, uh, was this, why did you choose podcasting? What, what made you start, uh, choose the podcast with we are
So, um, I created, so with my action sports company, I produced hundreds of action sports videos. And so in 2012, I created a video series called the, we are LA tech and we shot 12 episodes. And my partner at the time didn't share my same work ethic. And so he didn't edit the videos as he had committed to. I was heartbroken. So when I discovered the art form of podcasting, so essentially what happened was like, I was really discouraged. My mom's like, you know, he's never going to do it. Right. I'm like, I waited like a year. And then I, I, at this point, like going through my action sports company and all the sacrifices I had made as a founder, um, before, before this like crazy committed founder life, I was a hardcore backpacker. I had traveled a lot backpacking this control I needed as a founder.
Um, I had stopped taking risks because I would get increasingly more scared. I hadn't traveled. I hadn't, I just build, build, build, build no dating, no fun, no, no friends just build, build, build, build. Right. Then. Um, so after this video series thing, I was like, I found this conference in Amsterdam that was like for designers. And I had heard that like, European designers are like amazing. They're so talented at UX UI. And I'm like, I'm going to go to Amsterdam to get reinspired. And at this point I was really scared to travel. Like I just, I wanted to lean into my fear. Like I had just sacrificed so much of my personal identity. So I got a ticket to Amsterdam. I decided to travel without a computer or phone, and it was supposed to be a two week trip. And, and I didn't even have music because I think I forgot like the iPod or whatever.
Are you insane?
Totally insane. So then it was supposed to be a two-week trip and it turned into four months backpacking all throughout Europe without a computer or phone. I didn't eventually buy an iPod out of a vending machine. And then I got music from one of the people I met on my travels. They put all their music on, on my iPod for me. Wow. Yeah. So that was amazing. Um, that was amazing.
Oh yeah. I was like, where was I going with that, that I saw on the travels. He was listening to podcasts, um, mark, uh, mark Goldberger from beta list. And he's like, yeah, you got to check this out. It's great. And he recommended some podcasts now. I didn't know. I had been listening to two podcasts before, because I didn't really know what a podcast was. Um, so I'd been listened to Justin Jackson's podcast. He was a podcast. He had a podcast called product people. He's now owns a transistor. And, um, and this other podcast, um, I can't remember what it was called right now. And, but I just access those from my computer. And I was like listening to the files. I didn't really understand this was a podcast. So my friend mark is like, oh, here at I and I had an Android. So my friend mark with his iPhone was like, look, podcasts and like weird, you don't need video for that. And he's like, no, no, no, they're audio. I'm like, great. So I come back to the states and I decide I'm going to start podcasts and he's, I could do it all myself and I never have to rely on an editor again. So I'm self-taught and produced, recorded, edited the whole thing by myself. Um, until I eventually started hiring a team to support me in production. But, um, but yeah, like that's how I started podcasting is that, uh, the heartbreak from my 12 video episodes that didn't get edited,
You just took a trip and it w it was like a, what, what is it?
Um, in a piffy, any driven trip though, you know, for four months backpacking through Europe, that's amazing. Oh my God. I, I thought you were gonna be like, yeah, I've been doing video production. And then we just thought about, you know, why not switch to podcasting and know you had like a whole epiphany, oh,
Oh no, podcasting.
Wasn't a thing then. I mean, I think it was a thing for hardcore nerds that were super into tech because it was still hard to access a podcast. And also comedians though, like, that's really who like made the foundation of podcasting. I came in before startup because I feel like startup and cereal are what made podcasting mainstream and what we know it to be today. That's what planted those seeds. But there was a whole world of podcasting before I, I got into it. Um, but it was like very underground kind of thing. Like, like again, my friend mark with his, you know, I phone, there was no default podcast app, you know, it was like, you had to know about this world.
Yeah. Wow. That's I keep forgetting that. That was like, what seven years ago. And podcasting was kind of still at its infancy at that point.
And I learned what Mike to get from Ryan Hoover because the product hunt podcast, and this is at a time when product hunt, wasn't where, I mean, it was really cool.
Everything was just still in its infancy. Yeah.
So I was like, yo, dude, you sound really good. What are you using? Audio-Technica 2100. I'm like, thanks, man.
And then I got one, well recommendation from the top man himself. That's awesome. We're on top. Yeah. Hey, um, but so when you first started it, how did, what, what would you, are there things that you did that if you're looking back on it now, you wish you wouldn't have done otherwise. I mean, based on our previous, like the things that we've said in the last 15, 20 minutes, um, probably not because everything happens for a reason, but, uh, is there anything that you would do differently?
Yeah. Um, I would have been more consistent in the beginning. I wasn't, because I was really overwhelmed and it was like, oh my God, how, how am I going to make this financially sustainable? So like my weekly podcast would sometimes come out like once a month or something, you know? So, um, so consistency, I would've been more consistent and I would have, um, I would have taken more time to really work out the process of production, like the production processes and operations, and like just been committed to the consistency of them. So what that means is like, okay, how is this produced? How, how are the files sent to the guests? Like, how has this promoted on marketing? Who's doing that and then have it all written down. And just like, if something's missing, just like fill it, fill in the gap rather than wild west everywhere. And then hopefully everything gets done.
Yeah. You have a team with you, correct. You have a team that helps you produce all of these.
Yeah. Um, now I do, but, um, and I still do a lot of it myself. Okay. Yeah. You can't hear the car alarm coming? Yeah.
I heard the car alarm, but it's okay. It was very faint. It's very faint. It's okay. And I need it. Can I close by all means, go close the window, go do it. If it's going to Do it, that's fine. Wow. We're getting the realest spurious experience right now. This is awesome. Getting a glimpse into her life. This is something you don't get anywhere else. Ladies and gentlemen, the window has been closed. The alarm can still be heard. This is great. This is great.
So we just had, like, we just had, I don't know if it's a heat wave, but it was pretty bloody hot, like a couple of days ago. And so I re-installed the AC, which needs the window to be open.
Oh, you got one of the window units. Yeah. And so I've been used to the window always being closed. And so I wasn't like, oh, I put the AC back in anyway. Sorry. Los Angeles. Everything.
Nah, it's all good. It's okay. It's it's all good. Um, uh, wha wha if you don't mind walking me through how you, how you go about each episode. I would, I would love to know your process of like, from, from scheduling a guest to a recording, to sending it out to an editor, to publish
Alex, do you want me to recite this off the top of my head?
I would love for you. I mean, I know. It's my best shot. It's one of the questions I sent this to you. You should have known this. Come on. Alright, Mr. Sending me the questions right.
When the interview starts, Don't tell my wife, don't tell my supervisor,
No, Michael is you you've been to Michael. Yeah. I mean, he's my he's. He's got hi, Michael. Hi, Michael. He's head of marketing and I am his underling. I do all the video. Let's see. Okay. I'm going to try to recall this.
And if it's not a hundred percent accurate, I'm going to be very upset. Okay.
Um, man, I think it's 9:00 AM over here. Um, let's see. Okay. So in my situation, which I feel very fortunate. I have a lot of inbound, meaning I don't have to reach out to guests, but typically other people do. So that's something that other people do. I don't need to do that. So I have a bazillion like guests and they're just in order, there's a wait list. I think we're a year and a half out. So like, wow. So it's just figuring out like what guests are next. And then, and then scheduling those guests. And I send them a town blue link to schedule I'm. I used to do my podcast interviews on Thursdays and Fridays, but I've been finding that it was too, it spread me too thin. So I'm switching the schedule to like only record the first week of every month and seeing how that works for me a little bit better.
Okay. Um, most people don't know, but I'm introvert. Like I'm an introvert and I just have very extroverted capabilities. So all the talking really drains me. Um, then I, so it's booked using Calendly and then they show up and I use some sort of remote recording. However, that's not normal. That's a pandemic thing. So if it's, so every show I have is like, we are only tech as an in-studio show with Los Angeles tech people. And, um, women in tech is a travel show like around the world, both with different gear sets. So I'm just talking about remote recording, but I actually don't usually do remote recording unless I'm producing something for a brand, then it's remote because usually they request that. But so this is just a remote setup, but I'm excited to get back to in-person and then this whole thing I'm telling you is entirely different.
So, um, okay. So then I record them either utilizing squad, cast, or zoom. Okay. And then I put the episodes and interviews and Trello, and then, uh, my editor accesses, them, sees what's going on in Trello and he grabs the files and he puts them into Dropbox. And then, um, he edits them and I have someone who also checks them. And then, um, he adds them to a spreadsheet. And then my teammate, my other teammate sees on the spreadsheet when there, and he uploads them to simple cast for scheduling. He also creates artwork for them using headliner. And then my other teammate, um, she looks at the spreadsheet and messages guests with their air dates and then afterward, um, she messages guests with their links in their headliners, uh, headliner links. So they have assets. We do not ask anybody to share. I think that's really annoying.
So I just say, here's this, use it for your personal photo album or whatever you like. Like I can't stand when anyone asks me to share something. Um, and then, uh, and then sometimes we post that the, all those things on our socials, but we don't do it religiously. However, we are going to go into our back catalog and do those. And we used to have a spreadsheet that had every last thing mentioned in every single episode. So then we could reach out to everything mentioned via social media and say, Hey, you were like in this, um, you were mentioned in this episode and that's a really rough like outline, but we do all our, we do all our communication in base camp. So all the back and forth is amazing. So we essentially use Trello, Dropbox and base camp. We only use Trello as there's something about Trello having what's it called? Where you have the columns that you could like move things forward and base camp doesn't have that.
I don't know. I don't think I've ever used Trello, to be honest with you.
It's also in a sauna, it's an, a lot of them, uh, Kanban board, um, like the, the, we don't have a Kanban board and base camp, so yeah. All right.
Well, like I said, I don't think I've ever used Trello, but so I'll take your word for it at least. Yeah. All right. That's a thank you for giving me your lowdown on your entire life. I appreciate that. I'm sorry. I asked you that at nine in the morning or almost 10 in the morning at this point. I'm sorry. But, um, a question that I have for you is you have a very interesting, um, style for your recordings, as well as how you, um, how you form your, your podcast. And to be honest, the reason why Duncan Trussell's name came up earlier was because when I first listened to your podcast, he has a very similar structure to his show as well. Um, so I'm wondering what your inspirations were for yourself creatively, uh, whether it be back when you were a, um, a journalist or, uh, anything to any extent, what, what, what are some of your larger, uh, inspirations creatively?
Um, I think that, I think that what's most important for me in any kind of like audio or written, um, piece of work that I create is how is this positively impacting and helping someone's life? Like, does this need to exist? Am I sharing something that can't easily be found somewhere else? So I think, I think that that's my driver, like in moderating a social audio space audience first and writing a piece on a media site audience first in my podcast audience. First, some of the other things that I'll do on my podcast is like, I'll protect my guests. So I want to make sure my guests are safe, that they can't lose their job, that, that I'm not looking for scandal. I'm not looking to hurt someone's life. I'm the point of my podcasts is to elevate everyone involved. And so if I throw someone under the bus or do something, because I think it will get me more views, that's just gross.
So I just don't want to be gross
Your opinion on the idea of needing to copy other people and be like that in order to get somewhere, because you were very much about the authenticity of just like sharing your story. But a lot of what at least up and coming people are told is to kind of copy the big boys and do what they're doing. And it seems to work for some people, but
I don't think there's any original idea.
I think Plato said that or Socrates or something like I, so we're all copying one another. Um, I think the thing that I strive for is vulnerability. Like yes, being authentic too, but it's more about vulnerability. That's the uniqueness. And, um, I totally learned from everybody, I have a ton of books on my bookshelf right there, where I'm totally inspired like Tim Grahl and his writing and that I have the writer's journey and made to stick and all show your work. I mean, like there's different types of copying and learning and learning about formats and structure. Um, but do I plagiarize? No. Do not be, you know, like, do I, yeah. So I think I'm just very, um, um, my leader is being vulnerable, so it's like, am I just sharing my story in a vulnerable way, but yet I'm learning from people all the time, I guess, I guess. I don't know, to what extent you mean as copying, because there really is no original thought anymore. We're all copying one another all day long. True.
I guess it's more, I grew up in the YouTube age. So a lot of, uh, the up and coming YouTubers were always just seeing what the, the large creators were doing and just recreating it themselves. And like when somebody would post something, somebody would just take that same idea and then do it themselves. And then that would gain them attraction. And it's like piggybacking, but you, you seem, uh, you as well as a bunch of other creators that I have followed, uh, seemed to have this idea of, uh, allow your authenticity and your, um, vulnerability to speak for itself and allow that to tell a story rather than, uh, polling the audience towards you. You're letting them come to you. Would you, would you agree?
Yeah, but that's not copying or not copying that's that for me is like the difference between the word, like, when people are talking about building up an audience, instead of like leading with how can I serve this person? They're like, how can I get, how can I convince, like, get convinced there's such like aggressive words. Like if you have to get or convince anybody of anything, like, they don't really want it. You're manipulating someone, you know, you don't really want it or need it. It's I was having this conversation with my girlfriend, Justine, everybody keeps asking me to make a course. It's like, and it's so against my ethics to like, make a course. I was like, just Dean. She's like, listen on the home page. You write exactly how you feel. You write. I haven't made a course because I feel that like, you can do this on your own, that you should believe in yourself.
A lot of times, the reason why we sign up for things is because we think that we're not enough. And I never want to encourage you to think that you're not enough. You are like, if I want to be very clear that you don't need me, that you could go about your other, any other way, doing this, you don't need anybody. And the last thing I would want to do is pray on your insecurities in order to capitalize. So, you know, dah, dah, dah. I was like, I can say it. She's like, yeah, you can say that.
I'm like, oh, well maybe then I dunno,
You just changed my heart to all of those, those, uh, courses and stuff. Oh my God, what was that? I said, you changed my heart and my thoughts towards all those courses right now with just that that's that. Wow.
I think a lot of those times, like, that's what it is. It's preying on, you know, your fear. And I just don't want to contribute to preying on anyone's fear. Like, that's just not a way to make a life for myself.
Oh. And I think it might be a little bit of fear as well as people wanting a quick, a quick answer to something that's not necessarily something that's just going to happen overnight. I think that's also part of it, but no, I completely understand. That's. Wow. Okay. Then don't do any, don't do any courses now.
I know, I, I think I made, I think I made do something. I'm not sure, but like what it came to me in the shower the other day of, and I don't know exactly what it looks like yet, but this was very true for me. I thought this isn't a course, this is a relationship. So if you're signing up for a course, this is not for you. This is a real, but like, I don't know what that means to me yet, because I want to make sure that I'm energetic, energetically fulfilled. And if I'm consistently depleting myself for all of these relationships, to people around the world, um, that's not what I want. So I don't know what it looks like in a way that I'm preserved as well. You know, that line of it's not a court, this is a relationship where I like genuinely invest in. You care about, you know, about you, you know, like it's not like a, a get rich, quick scheme, get rich quick scheme. Yeah.
It seems very emotionally draining and involving That's a commitment. I, the whole heartedly, uh, commend you for that. And I, and I would love to, whenever you, whenever you figure that out and I'd love to check it out. Um, but, uh, that's a comment that you made a little bit earlier, um, about having some sort of stress. Uh, and I know you gotta go here and like 10, 15 minutes,
Uh, I could even message my team. So we got this. It's fine.
All right. Um, you did make a comment earlier about, uh, the, the kind of, I don't know if you use the word fear or stress that comes with being essentially a public figure. Um, there's a lot of behind that. And I, I personally have been, I've been feeling that a little bit recently myself with all of this, you know, putting myself out there on the internet, uh, for, and being the face of certain things and whatnot. Um, what, how do you, how have you pushed yourself through the mentality of a lot of people looking at you and a lot of people seeing what you do, um, and just kinda keeping going, what, what's your, what's your motive there?
Yeah. Um, well, I do things for me, meaning like that, it's my, my own internal drivers, like, um, my motive to lately, it's been really difficult to keep going, because I've been going for a while and I've gone that path. So certain statements like, um, if you're just, if you just persevere, you'll win. I think these things really annoy me because you don't, you're telling, you're selling people like a false, a false hope. Like there's no guarantee that you'll win. That's the truth. Yeah. So I think the thing right now that I'm stepping into is really embracing the journey. Um, which sounds so cliche. So many people say that, but my friend, Danny Miranda, who's a podcast or with the Danny marina podcast, he's like such a cool human. And he said, we, I was having like a low moment and I asked if he can make time.
And he was talking to me on the phone and, and I was like, and I, I just know he's going to be really famous. One day, I have a gut feeling. And, and he's like, he's like, how cool is it that because where I am in my life right now, I have the time to be there for you on the phone. He's like, I want to embrace every step of the journey. I don't want to rush to like start them or be really big because there's certain privilege and liberties I have right now that I may not have that, like talking to you for a while to be supportive of my friends. You know, I was like, wow, I never looked at it that way. And so I kind of, I just, I want to let go of any end goal. I want to challenge myself on this, like digital society need of how we show up.
Like right now, like 11 year olds are like, we need, I want to be famous. I'm like, why? Like, why does everybody got out all of a sudden have this need for fame? You know? Um, I want in my private life behind closed doors, I don't want to like continue to backpack the world and I want to smile and I want to go on hikes. And I want to like laugh with my friends and I want to fall in love and I want to be healthy and I want to eat delicious, yummy foods. Like that stuff has nothing to do.
Follower Accounts. No, it doesn't. You know, what keeps me going is, um, is this continual self discovery? That's what keeps me going in the beginning. I think what kept me going was I wanted to be like Kevin Rose and I want, you know, I wanted to be like huge tech founder. And so maybe it was like a status thing, not a fame thing, but a status thing. Then after that, it was really about living a purposeful life that I really wanted to know when I'm on the other side of whatever exists, like in the life thereafter. Um, I was good and I feel like I feel really proud of my work, um, up until now. Like I've done really great work. And now in this next chapter, I just want to like fall in love with me. So am I creatively inspired by what I'm doing? Um, am I enjoying it? Am I not enjoying it? Like, how do I want to be investing my time? So what keeps me going is the curiosity and then adventure, and truly like being attached to the journey rather than the destination.
Now, how do you, how do you, uh, how do you do that in your daily life? Is there certain things that you do in your routine that help you kind of pull back and really dive into that mindset?
It's almost like letting go the routine, like I've set up so many rules for myself. Like I have to wake up at 5:00 AM orals and are going to be successful and I have to drink, you know, blob, you know, every tech person used to drink Soylent. I never drank Soylent, but it's a good example, you know, like, so, so yeah, I want to, like, I just want to like, feel joy inside my body and like do constant check-ins if I have that inner ease and joy and, um, and let go of the rules and just like, as long as I'm delivering what I need to deliver and I'm being a good family member and I can, you know, pay my bills. Like I just want to like, be curious and explore and like let go of, I think that the proactive thing I'm doing is what we talked about earlier is letting go of the self criticism. And it's not, I have the self criticism super loud, like a megaphone, but then being like F it and then start over, like, you know what I mean? Like, so maybe I have like a zillion efforts going on right now, but then yeah. Continually starting over.
So what's your, what's your, uh, what's your passion right now? What is something? Cause I, I think I feel what you, what you mean is like, you know, whatever's in the moment right now. What are you passionate about right now?
Um, joy. Okay. Now what does that mean? Like joy and what asks. I should enjoy. I have, I've been a tech founder, my entire career, and I've just sacrificed everything for the alleged way to be a tech founder. And I just think all those things are like hype. Um, but then again, you also are now at the spot where you can take the time to focus on your joy and stuff, all because of where you all the, all the, uh, previous experiences and, and hard work that you put.
So, I mean, that's, as an assumption you're making because of a perception that you have based on digital vanity.
Oh, you just call me out. I'm sorry, it's free. My bad.
Nope. I'm going to take offense, but that's the thing. We're all living in our own perceptions of the world. And we're all making these like justifications and excuses based on like, oh, they can do that because like, even in the Matthew McConaughey book, right? So outside looking in super famous actor has had a LA a longevity career, which is really rare in, in the film business, blah, blah, blah. But if you listen to his book, he proactively, I'm going to not say too much in case somebody listens. Well, what I it's fine. Spoiler. Um, he proactively took 20 months committed to not being in a romantic comedy because he didn't want to be in romantic comedies anymore. He turned down, he paychecks in order to stay committed to what he knew would bring him joy, not knowing if his few, like, if his future would be okay.
It was a complete gamble. There's no guarantee. Now looking back his future was okay, but there was no guarantee when he was living the 20 ma I mean, 20 months, that's like almost two years of uncertainty turning down these huge paychecks, like that's crazy, you know? So, um, perception, we perceive, we perceive that he's, you know, you know, celebrity, like amazing doesn't need anything, but like the reality was he's a risk taker. He took this huge risk. He risked it all. And, and, and in end, you know, luckily for him, it worked out. But do like during that 20 months, you probably would have said the same thing to him. You're a successful actor. You could do dah, blah, blah, blah. Like, yeah.
Now how much of that do you think that, uh, even with that though, is how much do you think that is luck or you, how much do you think that is? Just him being a great actor and this kind of goes with everything yourself. And how much do you think of your, your success with your podcasts and such is luck, uh, as opposed to hard work?
I, I think that, I think that I want to put a lot more energy into manifestation and it sounds so woo-hoo, but, um, there's just something to it. I mean, even Matthew McConaughey brings that up in his book, uh, of like different things within his faith that have come to be, but a lot of really successful people do a lot of visualization and manifesting. Sure. And so I don't really think it's luck. I think, I mean, maybe some people have luck. Sure. Yeah. Fine. Yeah. I definitely don't think it's just talent because I live in Los Angeles. There's like a zillion talented people that are still, you know, starving artists working as a dishwasher. Um, I think there's some things that are lucky if you're born into like, uh, like an abundance of economic, like wellbeing or, you know, or that, you know, we're born in geographies that have liberties, um, that is luck like period, you know, um, that I have a healthy body, maybe that's luck with lucky jeans, you know?
Um, but I think when it comes to like future casting, it's a combination of drive and, um, taking the steps to position yourself, to show up to the opportunity when the opportunity presents itself. And I think maybe with manifestation and really putting together all your energy forces, like if my constant thoughts are like, self-deprecating, then maybe I'm going to create more of that. But if my thoughts are of abundance, maybe I'll create more of that. The reason why I think about this is I think I'm extremely lucky. I, I believe like with all my being that I'm extensively lucky in traveling, like putting the word luck aside, but that's how I visualize it. I just, I do. It's not even a visualization. I just, that is just my belief system. Sure. I don't have that same belief system about business. So I have a lot of like chaos and up and downs and friction in business. Sure. I'm like, in my travels, everything's been really fluid for the most part. Like it's amazing in my business, everything is like crazy for firm. So it's exactly as I imagine it both worlds. I wonder if I had the same belief system about businesses I have about travel. What I have a different reality in business. I don't know.
I'd have to. Is that what you're trying that at this point to try, I'm not trying to get, I'm not there yet.
First. I'm just trying to get over the self-deprecation. But um, being a millennial, I guess, are you, I think I'm right on the edge of it too. So welcome to being a millennial. It's all self deprecation right here.
Oh my gosh. So funny. Oh my gosh. I have all the sounds going on.
Okay. I think we, we hit our, hit our quota for the time anyways, a spree. And I should let you go to your, your meeting here in a little bit where
It's coming right away. Here we go. I have to, it's like, by the way, I did want to say that we've had like, speaking of ups and downs in this, even in this interview, there's been, um, there's been ups and downs and that's totally okay. Like everybody who wants like perfection or you think you need to look like Alex looks like wicked professional right now. He has these crazy cool lights behind them. Like an air in a sound foam board, like on his wall, gorgeous mic, mic arm. Ha nice headphones, like super professional. Like, and it's great. But like, like I don't like it and podcasting for a million years and it's okay. Like do that stuff because you genuinely like want to do that. Like I think it looks dope and super cool, but it's not necessary to be perfect in order to create an order to move forward. Like my alarm's gone off Los Angeles has decided to have street cleaning and car alarms and you know, all this stuff who cares, what matters is that you listening are walking away being like, wow, that really like meant something to my life in a way that, that I'm gonna make some changes or like, oh, now I know I'm going on the right way.
Or it did something positive for you. So it doesn't really matter the production quality or that every step was matching that everything was perfect. What matters is that you just keep moving forward and that you're enjoying it. Like, I'd hope that Alex like has all this stuff because it was fun for him because it's fun and it's enjoyable and it's cool. And it feels fun, right. For me, like getting dressed as a drag, like, you know, so I like, I want to do things where I don't have to get dressed too much, like where everything's super chill, where I could like go on a moment's notice. We want to create architect the lives that we want to be living. Don't do something because you feel like you have to, in order to be worthy, do something because like it's fun and creative and it's what you actually want to be doing, which I think Alex actually wanted this and I'm doing what I actually wanted, but it's just all the little bumps and hiccups in this episode is like a perfect example. Like it doesn't take away from it being perfectly imperfect, you know?
Wow. Thank you for calling me coming to my Ted talk
So sweet. No, that was amazing. Oh my God. I, I don't know if I am going to come away with, from this podcast. I wasn't gonna say anything, but like for real, like this podcast was awesome. This was so cool. Uh, as for you're such a cool person, I was nervous coming into this. I'm always nervous. Every time I turn on this camera sitting here waiting, I usually set up my stuff like 20 minutes before and I just kind of sit here and I wait and I like
I absolutely care. And that's the thing. And I can, I definitely cared. I don't want to mess this up and I want to make sure I go through all my questions. I try to keep everything in line. So I just like jumping on this and you being really cool. I really appreciate that wholeheartedly. This was a lot of fun and uh, I really hope you check out the Duncan Trussell podcast when hunter said it, like, I don't know. Do you want, do you want me to send that email or LinkedIn or whatever? Okay. 100%.
No, I've been grateful to be. I told you I really enjoy your YouTube videos and I, I love Type Studio and I've been grateful to be on the show and that you invited me on. Like, I, I feel really grateful. Thank you.
Yeah, This was amazing. All right. It's free. Well, if you don't mind, actually, I have some questions afterwards. If you don't mind, I hit the stop button, but uh, thank you so much for coming on and hopefully we'll talk again.
Everybody say hello. Um, you can message me as firstname.lastname@example.org or at Espree Devora on all social.
There you go. I was about to ask how, where do we find you? But there you go. That's where we find you. Awesome. Sweet. Thank you very much. And uh, like I said, hopefully we'll talk soon. Cool.