BiggerPockets Business Podcast 29: Scaling Multiple Businesses and Making a BIG Social Impact with Andy Seth

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 29: Scaling Multiple Businesses and Making a BIG Social Impact with Andy Seth

49 min read
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Want to “do well” AND “do good”? Andy Seth‘s done just that—building several businesses and doing big things in his community. In this episode, he shares how he did it.

You’ll love hearing about Andy’s journey from humble beginnings, like how he hustled at every turn and how he fought with what he calls “a terrible business partner”—his own ego! (Can anyone relate?)

Andy shares great tips for finding what you’re really passionate about and maintaining your energy while juggling multiple pursuits. You’ll learn why it’s OK to bounce around as you look to make a real impact beyond success and money. And our conversation on hiring might totally change the way you look at job applicants.

Oh—and don’t miss Andy’s story about writing his book, Bling, in a shockingly short period of time. Andy is a super-thoughtful entrepreneur who’s looking at the big picture and making a real difference in people’s lives every day.

Check him out, and subscribe to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast so you won’t miss our next show!

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Jay: Let’s welcome Andy Seth to the show. How are you doing today, Andy?

Andy: I’m doing great, Jay. How are doing, man?

Jay: I am doing well.

Carole: We are so looking forward to chatting with you. You have so many awesome facets to your story. And, we’re going to dig into so many of them. And, I just know this is going to be a great episode.

Andy: Thank you, Carole.

Jay: Let’s start with … I want to see how your upbringing, your childhood kind of influenced everything you’re doing today. So, can you take us back a little bit, and talk a little bit about where it all started? What your childhood was like, and how it kind of got you into the whole entrepreneurial spirit.

Andy: Yeah, for sure man. I grew up in LA, in a motel. And, I’m Indian. If you’re hearing this on audio only, you won’t necessarily know. But, I’m Indian. And so, when you hear Indian and motel, you usually think like, “Oh! You must’ve owned it.” But, no. I didn’t own it. We didn’t own it. We just lived in it. And, we used to pay weekly. Whenever you pay weekly, that tells you kind of the kind of place you’re living in. Rent was due on the week, not on the month.

Andy: We lived in … It was my mom, dad, sister and I, family of four, motel. And, in exchange for collecting rent, my mom did the cleaning. The bathrooms, they were communal bathrooms. It wasn’t every room had their own bathroom. It was communal bathrooms. And then, laundry oddly. In exchange for doing that, we got a roof over our heads, plus a $300 a month stipend.

Andy: The whole idea was that we would be there for a couple of years when I was maybe born. And then, my family could kind of pick themselves up, and move on. We never really moved on for very long. I mean, we were there for 14 years until it was torn down. And, it was torn down because it was a slum.

Andy: Living in that environment, one, I’m the kid of Indian immigrants. So, there are certain kinds of expectations educationally, for sure. Both of my parents actually have masters degrees. They came to the states and they really don’t transfer. It’s something a lot of people understand, and a lot of reason why a lot of immigrants actually are business people. It’s because it was out of necessity. You see the motel owners, and the liquor store owners, and the dry cleaners, and all that, because they couldn’t actually just get jobs. And, my parents were not that different in that regard.

Andy: But, they always pushed, like, “Hey! Go get good grades.” Well, it sounded more like, “Go get good grades,” right? But, whatever it was, that’s what it was. But, growing up there too, I always wanted some stuff, not a lot. But, some stuff. And, I didn’t really know what an entrepreneur was. I honestly couldn’t admit to you. I didn’t even understand what business was.

Andy: What I did see was like, “This is a way I can go make some dollars, right? This is a way I can go do something, make a few bucks.” I knew that if I did something illegal, like really illegal, it would really make my parents upset and disappointed in me. And, that was a no no. I already knew I wasn’t going to slang drugs. I knew I wasn’t going to go down that route. I saw my parents being pretty craft. I remember, for example, the first time we got a phone that wasn’t a rotary, it was a Panasonic answering machine with a little tape. You guys remember those things?

Jay: I do.

Carole: Totally, yes.

Jay: I hate to admit it, but I do.

Andy: Yeah. I came home, into our room. And, we had one of these phones. And, that’s a big deal, then at least. And, I was like, “How did we get that?” And, my dad wouldn’t tell me. But, my mom explained to me. My dad had gone into the dumpster, the motel, we had one of those big blue dumpsters. He had gone into the dumpster, found that phone, cleaned it off, and it was working. I don’t know. We ended up with that.

Andy: And, that’s a terrible story in the sense that it’s embarrassing. At the same time, I know the values that it taught me. And, it’s embarrassing more for my own parents that for me. As a kid, I remember being embarrassed by it. But then, I also remember being like, “Well, yeah. What else is in the trash.” And, that’s really what fueled kind of my first business. Well, not one that I paid taxes on. But, the first illegal business was dumpster diving for stickers.

Andy: And so, there was factory that was pretty close to the house, or to our room. And, the factory made stickers. They made other kind. It was basically probably a commercial printing place. And, I took a dive into the dumpster just to see what they had. They had a ton of stickers that they were running. Stuff like skate stuff, like TNC, Vonage, those kinds of brands. And, they had some rejects. They had a ton of rejects.

Andy: I would just cut out the rejects, cut the ones that were good, and then go slang them for 25 cents each, five for a dollar. And, this was my first business, if you will. But really, what I was doing was like I was down to get in the dumpster, pick up some stickers, go sell them at school. And, remember everyone had the brown book covers, and you had your [inaudible 00:10:51].

Carole: That’s totally, yes. Absolutely, yes.

Andy: You had the trapper keepers. It was hot to have cool stickers on them, on your locker, inside the locker. When you were passing notes and fold them up in all that origami shape and stuff. Stickers were banging. The stickers were all over the place. I had a nice little business. And, that’s what bought me my first bike. That’s what they taught me.

Andy: It was sometimes a little bit through yes, educationally. They didn’t really have entrepreneurial hustle, if you will. But, we made ends meet. And, I could see that. And, I was like, “Okay. How can I do something with it.” And, that’s my first is dumpster diving.

Andy: My first legit business, federal number business, I’m paying taxes, I got capital equipment, business, was as a DJ. I started that in the summer between eighth grade and high school. Basically, I didn’t have shit to do. Sorry. I didn’t have anything to do during the week. And, I was like, “Well, what am I going to do? I got to go off to the school. I’m going off to this high shool in Indiana, I’m in LA. I want to do something for the summer. So, what?”

Andy: And, a record store opened up in my neighborhood called Funky Town Records. That name is important to remember for a second. So, remember that. Funky Town, because it pallets into the business after.

Andy: Funky Town Records opens. I’m like, “What? There’s records everywhere. This place is dope. It’s all hiphop.” I ended up learning from the guy who worked at the record store. He happened to be a pretty big time DJ in LA. And so, I started learning from him, going under … Basically, I carried his crates, and I carried his gear, in exchange for him letting me drop a set here and there. But, he would teach me stuff at these house parties.

Andy: I started then getting really into it. As I went away to my high school, I bought some decks. I had my own records by then. I’d saved up some money. Then, I would spin and practice there. The hustle at my school was, In Indiana, at the time, there was no music. LA already had music that was fresh, right? Even today. The new stuff drops in big markets. It was definitely not dropping in Indiana.

Andy: The school was music starved. And, I had access to music that I would bring from LA. And so, what I would do is bring the records over, and I would sell a mix tape. Basically, I’d ask for five bucks, I’d write you a receipt. That I learned from the hotel, by the way, right? In the motel, we would write receipts, and here’s a carbon copy.

Andy: Take that carbon copy. Give them that. That’s their copy. And, I’d take this five bucks, collect a bunch of $5, and there was a studio in town. I would go, bring my decks, bring the crates, and I would drop one set. One recording studio, no takes, one set. I’d take an hour. Record on the tapes, and print a bunch of the tapes, and then hand the tapes to the people who gave me five bucks, and they’d give me the other five. That was my profit.

Andy: And, this is how I funneled money into buying more records. I could get into record pools. We used to shopping trips to Chicago. Chicago was like the nearest place. Well, while everyone was going to buy whatever, clothes and stuff, in the mall, I was going to record stores. And, I was diving into the crates there.

Andy: Chicago was huge in house music at the time. And so, I started getting really, really cutting edge. Even stuff LA wasn’t getting, because I was in Chicago getting Chicago house. And so, then I started making tapes on Chicago house. I got my first DJ-ing gig, steady gig, at a Marriott hotel in Chicago, in the Chicago Marriott. That was where I could have a gig and perform, and be able to actually practice this.

Andy: I started spinning at the school dances where they would bring outside performers. I was now getting to be the “outside performer”. And so, that just kind of built my DJ career until I went to school in Boston. By the time I landed in Boston, I was DJ-ing six nights a week, headlining at clubs like Joy Boston, Roxy, Cat Club, M80s, Avalon, some of the hottest spots there.

Jay: What was your plan for going to college at this point? You’ve already figured out how to make money on your own. It sounds like you had that entrepreneurial spirit. You decided to go to college. You got a scholarship. What were you studying? What was the plan at that point for after college?

Andy: It sounds like I had all these plans, man. I didn’t know honestly. I didn’t have a lot of models to look after, to look up to and say, “Oh! So and so did this.” I went to college. I double majored in economics and Spanish. My plan was, “I don’t know. I’ll figure something out.” I don’t really know. I like econ. It was cool. It taught you about how the economy works. But, I didn’t know, man. I went in knowing I love spinning, I can promote like crazy. One of the things that I did really well was … Remember AOL chat rooms? I’m like dating myself all over the place in this thing.

Carole: We’re right there with you. Don’t even worry about it.

Andy: Okay. You member AOL Chatroom, right?

Carole: Very, very well.

Andy: Yeah. I remember when me and friends discovered AOL chat rooms, they were trying to pick up girls. And, I was like, “But, wait. I can pick up like 75 girls, and bring them to the club.” Which turns into 150 dudes who will pay to come into the club.

Andy: One of my strategies, I started promoting the nigh clubs that I was spinning at so I could get a cut of the door, right? And, how would I fill my guest-list, I went to Boston College. Boston College is not exactly nightclub population. They’re bar people, right? Abercrombie bar people.

Andy: I was spinning nightclubs with international students. So, I was pulling them from chat rooms. I was gangster in chat rooms. And, AOL Chat, that, I mean, thank AOL for inventing your chat. I don’t know how I’d have pulled so many people across Boston.

Jay: Give me an idea of how much money you were pulling in doing the DJ gig six nights a week?

Andy: Yeah. My nightly rate, which was usually from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM was 1000 a night. Really easy, nice and clean. It was 1000 a night. And then, I did like tear down and stuff like that. So, I usually got home around 3:00 in the morning.

Jay: So, you’re making $250000, $300000 a year doing this?

Andy: Yeah.

Carole: In college.

Jay: In college?

Andy: It was proper. And then, promoting, I would typically get … It depends on the cut. But, it was either if they had a door, I would either get a cut of the door, or I’d get a cut of the bar. There was very few places that would let me have a bar cut. But, there were a couple of places that would let me have a bar cut, because they were not willing to take the risk on the door.

Andy: And, yeah. That would add a little bit extra change for sure to the thing. But, it was circular. If I could drive people to the clubs, the demand for me spinning went up, because when I walked in, right? I brought my own audience. Now, we understand this from a business stand point. But, back then, I wasn’t thinking bring my audience with me. I was just like, “How do I get people to come hear me? Because if they can come hear me, then the club is packed, everybody is making money, cool. And, I got an audience to play to. I don’t want to play to a dead house.”

Carole: I love that. And, this is all the extent of … What year was this, by the way? What years were you in college?

Andy: 1996-2000.

Carole: That’s okay. That’s way after us. Don’t even worry about it. But, that’s what’s so fascinating to me again. You’re doing this all in an era of chatroom, when online marketing and promoting wasn’t exactly tech whatsoever. Typically, I remember back in those days, you got people would just hand you fliers, right?

Andy: Fliers, fliers was right.

Carole: That was it. Did you grow even more of a business? I mean, it sounds like you just had this knack for seeing that tech was the way to start promoting. Did that steer you in any way?

Andy: It did, yeah. What had basically happened was websites started to become a thing, right? And, we had, in the nightclub business we had a lot of photography. We had me working in chat rooms. But, we did have websites at these nightclubs. In parallel, my work study job that paid me $6.50 an hour that I was require … Or 5.50 actually. 5.50 an hour, I was required to have as part of my scholarship, I was making websites for Boston College.

Andy: And so, I taught myself the skill over night, over the weekend, and yada, yada, yada. But, I went back to the club owners. I was like, “Hey! We should have websites.” And, I basically had to teach them what’s a website? Why would we have it. And, my value prop then was, “See all these chat rooms I’m pulling, we could put a chatroom on your website. And, we’ll bring all the club goers to the website. And, they’ll just talk about how dope the club is, and how good the night is. We’ll just put all those chat people on your website.” That was the original value prop.

Andy: I didn’t have any other clue about what this would become. That started my first web design company, or my first company in college, which was Funky Web. So, remember Funky Town?

Carole: Oh! Funky Town, because Funky Web eventually. That’s really cool.

Andy: Yeah. I started Funky Web. And, I was basically building websites for nightclubs.

Andy: By the time I graduated college, I did sell the web design company. And, by sell, I mean, I told some guys, “Here’s my client list, and I shock their hand for stock.” That turned out to be terrible. I didn’t know what selling a business meant. I read headlines, and people were like they sold their companies, right? That was the dot com boom. And so, I sold it for stock. Anyways, it never turned out to make me a dime. I didn’t know anything about selling.

Andy: Second time, I started an eCommerce business with a partner. It was called And, Golf Store, we did sell. And, we sold to a private equity. We had lawyers. And, we sold that in 2000. And so, it was prior to the dot com burst. That one, we did for some cash and equity. And, as the history would play itself out, we never went public as the whole intent was. We clawed back everything, and now there is no Golf Store. The domain is parked. Also, by the time I graduated college, I think I “made millions” and lost.

Carole: Before you were even out of college.

Andy: By the time I was out of college. When you think about what happened after college, honestly, I was planing on starting another what then was a tech company, and online company. And, the dot com burst was going on. Somebody I’d met through the venture capital world, and mind you I’m 21.

Andy: But, I had met somebody through the process of selling this company. He ran a VC firm, and he’s like, “You should really get into consulting.” And, I was like, “Well, what’s that?” And, he’s like, “Well, consulting is this that. You can see a lot of companies, and you can help a lot of them. But, you’ll get the exposure, and blah, blah, blah.” And, I was like, “All right. What’s the best one?” And, he’s like, “Andersen Consulting.” And, I was like, “All right. Cool. How do I get a job there? Or what do I do?” And, he’s like, “Well, they have recruiting sites. Go find out.”

Andy: I go back to my friends from school, and they’re like, “Remember all those job fairs we would go to, that’s what we were doing.” And, I was like, “That was a job fair you guys were going? What” I didn’t know that was a thing.” I just old schooled it, man. I went to Andersen Consulting. And, I’d also gone to an LA. I had an office. I just stood in the parking lot and asked people, “Hey! Who’s the recruiter?”

Andy: Eventually, this guy Chris was like pointed to me, “That’s Chris. He’s the recruiter.” I was like, “Cool, man. Hey! I want to come work for you guys. Here’s my resume. I’ve done all kinds of stuff on the internet. Hit me up.” And, he was like, “Okay. I’ll ask our recruiting cycle.” And, I was like, “All right. Cool. Figure it out then. I don’t know.”

Carole: What’s the problem? Let’s make this happen.

Andy: That sounds like something you need to solve, not me.

Carole: Not my issue. Not my issue.

Andy: I’m telling you, you can have access to me, bro.

Carole: That’s what you get. That’s what I have to offer. So, you did end up working for them, or what happened of course?

Andy: For nine glorious months.

Carole: Really?

Andy: Yeah. That was terrible. It was a huge company. It turned into Accenture. It was a massive company. What was my little ass doing in Accenture? Nothing. QA, and setting up conference rooms.

Andy: Anyway, from there, one of the benefits was there were a lot of companies pitching Andersen or Accenture as it turned into on funding them, internet companies. This group of folks came in. They were all guys. They came in. I had to set up the conference room, and make sure I reviewed their DAX so the partners could see. I mean, it was just monkey work.

Andy: Anyway, I do this. The pitch was dope. I walk out of the room down the hallway, and I tag one. I was like, “Yo! Are you guys hiring?” And, they were like, “No. We’re just partners. We just all left the Big Five consulting.” And, I was like, “I’ll leave.” And, they’re like, “Well, let’s talk about it.” I mean, two weeks later, it was done. I joined them.

Andy: And, that turned into what became … I think we had multiple names. But, became Procurian. We ultimately sold that to Accenture. I exited just a year before that. But, we built that company up. I built up the West Coast operations, as well as India, taking us oversees to begin with. And, that was a supply chain management procurement outsourcing company.

Andy: And so, I scaled that for many years, and met my wife while in India. So, a lot of good things came about that. But, that was really then the next business. But, as a group of partners, right? It’s entrepreneurial. But, not on my own.

Jay: Basically, you just told me a whole lot in the last 30 seconds. We spent, I think, a good 10 minutes talking about you DJ-ing in high school, in college, and working at the clubs, and making $1000 a night, which is awesome. And then, you kind of skimmed over that big business that you started, you sell, in the supply chain field.

Jay: It’s clear where your passions lie. For you, you’re the record producer type. Yeah, author, Andersen might be good money, started your supply chain company, and selling it to Accenture, yeah. But, that’s just kind of we can skim over that part, because that’s less interesting. It says-

Andy: Why you calling me out, Jay?

Jay: No. It’s awesome, because it says a lot about your personality. And, there are so many of us, and I say us because I’m in this that it’s kind of like, yeah. We go where kind of society tells us to go. Yeah. Of you’re in the tech world, you start a big compony. You sell to Accenture. That’s your legacy. That’s what you talk about.

Jay: But, you’re not about that. You’re about doing what you enjoy, what you find, what really gives you energy. And, I admire that. That’s awesome.

Andy: Thank. I probably should give it more credence. But, the truth was it was good work and all that. But, I mean, I don’t know, man. That’s it, bro? That’s my life? I feel like that a little bit about the wealth management world to be honest with you. I built that company after this one. I don’t want to go skim too fast.

Andy: But, after I got out of what was Procurian, in parallel, that last year and a half, I was building a wealth management company, until I finally clicked over and left. I built that wealth management company with zero dollars. I didn’t come from a brokerage or fidelity. I didn’t even have family money to bring to the table, which is pretty typical in that world. I built that to 100 million in assets. And then, even that one I feel. “All right.”

Carole: Like whatever.

Andy: It was cool. But, it was just money. That’s where I felt like so much of what I really think is important is past the money game. And, I know the money is what attracts people to hear the story to begin with. I’m telling you right now, if my stuff wasn’t together inside, this would’ve been a rough journey.

Andy: Then, there were certainly difficulties. Don’t get me wrong. But, for the most part, I’ve been very blessed. It hasn’t been as rough as most people would probably pronounce and say they’ve had. Mine hasn’t been that rough. But, I think that has a lot to do with the inner work that’s happened along the way, which we haven’t yet touched on. But, I feel that’s actually the lesson I think is most important, because that benefits you whether or not your business does scale or doesn’t scale.

Andy: So, you got to ask, “What do I feel called to do?” And, as you dial that up, and you start to make decisions that way, and you see how well, how they turned out for you, you’ll start to find that you’re willing to pump the volume a little bit more. And, you got to turn the volume on the other side.

Jay: That’s great. And, it sounds like the first step to doing that is to actually ask yourself the question. What am I called to do? What am I meant to do? Why am I here? And then, probably there’s so many of us, and I’ve fallen into the trap as well, where we don’t think about that. We think, “Well, obviously our calling is to make money, and to help people, and to do this, or do that.” But, if we really thought about it, a lot of times it’s not that simple.

Andy: No, for sure.

Jay: Yeah. That’s awesome. So, that is your calling? What are you called to do? And, how have you done that, or started to do that in your life?

Andy: Well, I’ll tell you my highest purpose in life is what we would call self realization, self actualization. And, I’m telling you, I’m not foo foo, man. When I say these words, they mean something. Self realization means that you realize the potential of your life. The full potential. I’m not saying the material potential. I’m saying the full potential of your life.

Andy: And, that full potential is internal. Maslow hierarchy of needs for example, this is level five. Once you’ve got the security and the safety, and the love and respect, and the status, what’s next? Level five is self realization.

Andy: For a lot of people that can come out as a life devoted to God. For other people that can feel like they’re at one with the universe. That’s kind of more my flavor. What’s that oneness? People can experience this in meditation, expert meditation. Like I meditate up to an hour and a half a day. So, I can experience this at times through meditation. Sometimes I’ve experienced it through doubling in shrooms. Sometimes people experience it through iowaska or LSD, or lucid dreaming.

Andy: But, there’s ways people kind of feel this oneness, and that their inner potential is realized, which effectively comes to you’ve moved beyond the ego. Your awareness goes beyond an ego.

Andy: How I translate that into then what I do practically.

Andy: My focus has been largely on low income youth, kids like me basically, and providing them with educational and career opportunities. And so, I’ve done it in two ways. Think of it like a portfolio.

Andy: On the educational front, I ran a non profit called Minds Matter. Excuse me. Minds matter is a mentoring organization that gets low income kids into college. And, in the 15 years we’ve been here, we’ve had 100% of our graduates go to college on rides. I struck the first deal of its kind in the nation with the CU Denver, Colorado University of Denver, who guarantees admissions and rides to every one of our graduates throughout the state of Colorado.

Andy: The School of Minds just did this now. CSU just did this now. We’re creating a whole movement of kids who can go through my program, and get to college with rides. We’re equalizing the playing field for them. They got to work. And, they do work. But, we’re taking out the barriers that are in front of them. That’s how I help them on the education side.

Jay: Love that.

Carole: So cool. How are you identifying … I have so many questions, so many questions from that. Okay. A few of them. I just want to dig deeper into this, because I think this is so massively impactful.

Carole: So, you had this idea. How did you start identifying the youths? How did you go after the university to offer up this program? What was your whole strategy to … Again, it wasn’t starting necessarily a business. It was starting a social awareness, or social acquisition business. It was another starting your business. How did you go about all those steps, putting all things together so that it could impact so many people so beautifully?

Andy: This is actually a great lesson in some of the stuff I’m teaching. And, I’ve never reflected on this particular subject. So, I’m glad you asked it this way.

Andy: I didn’t start Minds Matter. I joined it in its infancy. It was about two years old. I specifically looked for a non profit who had a mission that I felt aligned with my soul. But, it didn’t have the scale yet. I just didn’t want to do startup startup. Startups, as you know, there’s a large fly wheel you have to get moving.

Andy: I wanted to see something that already had somewhat of a fly wheel. Plus, they have the curriculum, and the concepts all built out. What I wanted to do was help provide scale. That was the entry point. That’s what I look for in non profits.

Andy: Minds Matter actually we’re scaling state wide. It’s a great mission. But, it’s a different phase of scale. It’d be like going from venture capital to private equity level of scale. And so, for me, it was looking at these scale point, and could I bring that to the table.

Andy: On the deal side of it, this is really interesting. The deal happened because I made a Facebook live post. And, I talked for the first time about the vision that I had for scaling Minds Matter across the state. And, it was funny because as soon as I put the live down, I was in parking lot before a meeting. My wife called me.

Andy: And, she called me, was like, “You need to take that down.” And, she never talks like this. She never. But, when she calls and says something like, “Hey! Take that down.” I listen. And, she looks out for me, right? Because if my ego is on the way, she’ll be very … She’s very good at pointing it out to me.

Andy: She thought I was talking about it because of an ego. And, I told her that my intention isn’t to say look how great of a job I’m doing. My intention is so that people understand where we’re headed. And, I think people are going to want to join the course. Intent, every different. The words sounded kind of the same.

Andy: This was an important point, because which one was I operating from? Ego or soul? I knew I was coming from soul. She thought I was coming from ego. The words sounded the same. What happened?

Andy: In the Facebook live comments, the chancellor from CU Denver, some chancellor had watched it. And, she said, “Email me or call me.” She wrote call me. And, I was like, “Oh, oh!” I didn’t mention their name, nothing, because I didn’t have anything to do with them. I call her, and she’s like, “I saw your Live. We have the same vision of getting low income kids into our school. And, we’re not getting enough of your kids. What can we do to make that happen?” One month later, we had the deal.

Carole: No kidding. Really? So, that all worked out how it was supposed to? The intentions were in the right place, and it manifested itself into something real.

Andy: Yep. You know how it took for deal number two to come in?

Carole: Tell me.

Andy: Just got delegated, two years.

Jay: Wow!

Andy: Why?

Carole: No kidding.

Andy: What’s the difference?

Jay: You did it for the wrong reasons.

Andy: That’s right. After I’d done one, I delegated and said, “Hey! This is possible. Can you guys go after more team?” And, they did. But, the intention was now to get the deal. And, it took a lot longer. Yeah, it happened. But, two years. The first one, one month.

Jay: Okay.

Carole: That’s crazy.

Jay: I’m going to direct you a little bit here, because I really want to talk about this, because this is an awesome organization, and I think you just don’t want to brag. But, you need to talk about this. Let’s talk about Flow, because you are doing some amazing, amazing things with that organization. Can you tell us a little bit about your company or your organization, Flow?

Andy: For sure. Flow is the company that I started. It’s a holdings company, and we have a number of different operating units inside of it. And, as I grow, my intention is like a virgin brand, is to kind of create something like that. Let’s see what happens.

Andy: The reason I started it was after I sold my wealth management business, I did go into one of those classic, “Oh! I’ve got now money and time, and I’ve got a fuck. What am I going to do??

Carole: What do I do with it?

Andy: Yeah. And, I kept asking myself this question, like, “What do you want to do? What do you want to do?” It was almost impossible to answer. I had too many experiences, too many skills, too many contacts. Paradox of choice.

Andy: And then, I read this book called Bold by Peter Diamandis. And, he poses this question, he says, “If you want to become a billionaire, you need to solve a billion person problem.” And, I wasn’t looking to be a billionaire. But, I did say like, “What problem do you want to solve?” And, when I asked that question, the answer was there.

Andy: I’ve done a lot for low income kids going to college. What about the low income kids not going to college? I was like, “You ain’t do nothing for them, man. And, they got it rough, really rough.” So, I went on this process, as we would. I did a lot of research. I did my Porter’s five forces, the seven domains if you understand Mullins. I did a lot of the research that’s required.

Andy: Then, I went into a lean process to go and run experiments, and sprints to kind of build different models, and test different things. And, I tested about seven different models. And, I finally came up with a model that was revenue generating, because I wanted to do this is a for profit manner that provided low income kids a shot at a career.

Andy: What I came up with was knocked off from the Swiss. The Swiss have apprenticeships. And, other European countries do for sure. But, the Swiss are known as the gold standard, especially in banking. And, coming from the last field I was in, finance, everyone kind of knows Swiss bankers are amazing. But why? They have a pipeline of youth from the age of 16 that opt into apprenticeships. And, they can either choose to go to college or not college. But, they become amazing bankers.

Andy: And so, I looked at it and said, “Well, why don’t we have that in the US? And, especially whatever apprenticeships we do have, they’re all blue collar. But, are any of us doing blue collar work anymore?” Well, of course there’s a major part of the economy, yes. But, for a lot of us, no. In fact, we don’t touch any of that. We outsource it. But, what kind of apprenticeships do we have for white collar jobs?

Andy: And so, as I looked at this, I realized, “Oh, my gosh! There’s a massive gap in the market. There is a huge pool if talent, low income youth who are highly motivated, highly driven.” Not all of them. I’m not saying all. There are those who are highly motivated, high aptitude, and their life circumstances just didn’t take them to college. But now, they got dead end jobs.

Andy: With the right training, can we get them careers that will break poverty? So, I created the nation’s first digital marketing apprenticeship. When I looked at the most in demand jobs in Colorado, because I focused here first. I looked at the Colorado pipeline report. It’s just a report that comes out from the office of economic development in conjunction with the department of labor, that says, “Here’s all the top jobs we have in our economy that are unfilled. And, I just went sort descending order. Show me.

Andy: Coding, number one. Sales for tech, number two, digital marketing was somewhere around four or five. I was like, “You know what? I’ve hired digital marketers. You don’t need a degree. We don’t even know what degree you have. Couldn’t care less. Can you do this skill?” And, that was when I had the aha.

Andy: I created an agency that would teach digital marketing skills to these youth, while they had to perform a service for money. We started with live chat. Want to see a full circle. I’m really good at chat, right? AOL. And, I was like, “I bet you I could teach some kids how to chat.” Turns out I can.

Andy: We had started with a live chat agency. What’s the unique value prop? It’s very simple. They’re US based, native English speakers. And, they can solve complex problems on chat. We do Leadgem. I just said, “You know what? Lets go after the revenue. If we can attach the revenue, we’ll be in good shape.”

Andy: I taught these kids some marketing, and some sales, and how to converse on chat to make a sale. Book appointments, whatever it is, right? Book appointments, convert leads. That’s what they learned. They do that 40 hours a week. On top of the 40 hours a week, which they’re paid for, we sell a live chat service.

Andy: They have a curriculum. It’s a three year curriculum that they can self pace through. But, they have milestones on every quarter that they have to hit in order to complete it within three years. They can do it faster.

Andy: Once they’ve demonstrated that they’ve learned the skill intellectually, we then give them hands on application so that they can actually use the skill and demonstrate it. It’s one thing to go to a class. It’s a whole another thing to do it. We give them roughly 105 time in the class, 90% time practicing the skill.

Andy: Once they demonstrate that have the skill, instead of outsourcing that project, or that job to somebody else which a company would need, we in-source it. I pay them a lot less money than I would pay somebody to outsource. In exchange, they deliver me something that’s very productive, and I’m building their skills to the point where they can then advance to the next step.

Andy: As the demonstrate more skills, they get paid more, until they reach the three year mark, or whatever that final milestone is to complete their apprenticeship, and they make $40000. And now, they have a career path that can accelerate past the 40. The 40 is just to break poverty, okay? 35 technically breaks poverty. So, we wanted to give a little bit more. Build their skills a little bit past that.

Andy: But also, give them the trajectory that whether it’s within Flow or out of Flow, they can go and have careers in this field. The reason why I went to a holdings company was I needed to create career opportunities for the to go into, right? I had to have a place for them to go. And so, that’s why we have now live chat. We have content marketing. We have knowledge base building. Like when you go to a self service knowledge base, someone writes those articles. Someone organized all that.

Andy: All my talent, we have management and all the leadership. But, all my youth talent are excellent writers. Their core skill is they write really well. They just didn’t go to college. And, they are academically strong. But now, we teach them copy. We teach them content, right? You guys know the difference. Academic writing doesn’t mean anything in this world like that. Not in the marketing world. But, if you can write copy, you got a whole business just writing copy. If you can write content, you got a whole thing doing that. Social media, you got a whole thing doing that.

Andy: We teach them this because their core skill is writing. And, of course we have a phenomenal management team who I’ve put together. Now, they run those different divisions and build it with a combination of apprentices and contract folks who can come in, kind of on a daily basis, until we can train up an apprentice to do that gig, and now we don’t need those contractors. And then, have a leadership team. And, it’s a very simple model. Grow our talent in house.

Carole: Very cool. That’s awesome. I want to touch on one common thread throughout so many things in that description, that story. You touched on many times, you said the words core skills, right? And, I am especially one to explore that just a touch more because I think that one of those things that might be really beneficial for our listeners to hear. As we’re hiring, like you’ve mentioned. When you saw the need for this, that digital marketing was fourth or fifth down the list.

Carole: But, it occurred to you we hire digital marketers all the time. But, we don’t know. They don’t need college degrees. I can teach them to actually have got that skill. My point of this is if there are something … This is kind of an aha light bulb moment for me. Should we be looking less to college degrees, less to specific experiences, less to qualifications. Are you advocating when we as business owners are hiring people, we should truly be looking more at core skills, rather than those different experiences and other things they bring to the table? At the heart of it, is really all about identifying those core skills, would you say?

Andy: Yeah, 100%. And, I’ll go way past just saying hire for skills. I would say, if you are hiring for education and experience, you’re doing it wrong, you’re wrong. And, you’re not wrong ethically. You are limiting your potential applicants. And, you’re setting yourself up for lower probability of success. Therefore, I’m saying it’s wrong. There’s a higher probability of you having a strong hire.

Andy: All this game is odds, right? Business is odds. There’s not assurances on anything. If you’re hiring for education and experience, you’re basically saying, “I’m looking at signals to see could they do this job I have.” They’re signals. They’re not evidence. Skills are evidence.

Andy: If you can identify what skills your job needs, and you can interview for those skills, and score them on how well they demonstrate those skills, then you’ve increased your odds. The problem most of us have is how do I turn a job description into a skills based job description, as opposed to an education and experience job description?

Andy: The resources I can point to are the Markle Foundation. M-A-R-K-L-E Foundation. You can send them a job description. And, they will turn it around. It’s a non profit. They will turn it around, and turn it into a skills based job description. That’s the non profit’s mission, is to hire people on skills.

Andy: Why? Because you open yourself up to a lot broader labor pool. And, one thing you don’t realize probably is a lot of people won’t ever apply to your job because they don’t think it’s realistic that they would get it. And, there’s a lot of talent that could actually be great at it. But, because they don’t qualify in the ed and the experience, they don’t ever apply. But, their skill set might have actually been spot on.

Andy: So, you weed put people unnecessarily. The Markle Foundations is a great one. O*NET Online. O-N-E-T Online, it’s a government website. And, it’s booty. It looks terrible. But, they do have a search field. And, in that search, if you type in, let’s just say, marketing specialist, or manager, whatever, they lay out all the skills that’s required for that job. It is brilliant the database. The UIUX, not so awesome. But, all that data is in there.

Andy: You can actually translate your own job description by simply popping in that job into that search field, identify what skills are already there, both foundational, what’s known as hard skills, and soft skills, right? Translate that. Put that onto a job description, watch the applicants.

Andy: Almost every one of my jobs goes viral, viral. I’m not saying I have a lot of applicants. Viral. Why do they go viral? There are people out there who are YouTubers, who pick up the job, and they have a whole audience of people that are looking for certain kinds of jobs that they can’t get because they’re getting weeded out for education and experience.

Andy: They then show these people on YouTube how to apply for this job. Not what to say. But, here’s what they’re looking for. Here, do this, do this. Make sure you upload your video here. Hit submit. They walk them through. And, they go viral. In the thousands. So, I’ve had to automate a ton of processes in the backend, because we would literally have … We literally have thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and thousand of applicants. We have to get to six on the other end.

Carole: What a good problem. That is an awesome problem to have.

Andy: How many times have you heard someone saying their jobs went viral?

Carole: Never. You just don’t hear that. But, it’s all because it’s approached in a completely different manner.

Andy: When I tell you what I’m saying, I’m not saying it as an opinion. I’m telling you as a matter of fact. My jobs go viral. And, they go viral with really amazing candidates. And, it increases my odds of getting it right. And, that’s all we can ever hope for in this game.

Jay: That is fantastic. Okay. I want to talk now about some of the stuff you were doing that I imagine is all about your soul, and not about your ego, and part of your calling. You have just released, a couple of days ago, a new book, and an album. It’s not often that we interview guests who … We talk to guests all the time who are releasing books, and who have books.

Jay: But, we don’t often interview guests who just released an album. So, I do want to hear about the book. But, I definitely want to hear about the album. Tell us about those two things. Is there any relationship there, because I know they dropped on the same day. Where did those come from? And, tell us a little bit more about those.

Andy: For sure. To the best of my knowledge, aside from kitty books, it’s the only book that has a soundtrack. And, the basic idea was when I was writing the book, it’s a book about a rapper who goes on this self development journey. And, at the end of the journey, creates this magnum opus album.

Andy: And, as I’m writing this, I start hearing the sounds. Mind you, my DJ background now. This isn’t totally unusual. But, I’m hearing some sounds. And, I’m like, “This shit is fire.” It’s like Indian sounds with hiphop beats. And, there’s a couple of songs out there, right? There like Eric Summons’ React, Jay Z with Punjabi MC. There’s a couple of songs. But, there not enough of them for me, at least, to my taste.

Andy: I started hearing the sounds. And, I was like, “Oh! I wonder if that’s for an audiobook.” So, I go googling music for audiobooks. And, sure enough, there’s websites that have audio music for audiobooks. But, the music for that is hockey. It’s like Enya and Yanni type songs. Not stuff I would. It was just, no, no, no. That ain’t it.

Andy: I was like, “You know what? If I just lay this beat.” I was like, “Well, cool. I don’t really know how to make a beat. But, I know how to hire people.

Carole: There you go.

Andy: And, I know what it sounds like here. As long as I can communicate with my mouth what is sounds like in here, what it sounds like in here, I’m pretty sure somebody can figure out how to translate that in with their art, right?

Andy: I was like, “All right. If I make beats, I just wrote a book. What if I write some lyrics? I write anyways. What if I wrote lyrics? That would make a song. Well, if I made a song, what if I made an album?” And then, I was like, “Yeah. What? Make an album?”

Carole: That’s amazing.

Andy: All my life, I’ve been like, “I wish I would’ve continued on the DJ path, producing, making music.” And, here I had a reason. Not that I needed one. But, I finally felt right. The calling was make this album. So, the name of the book, and the name of the soundtrack is the same, Bling. B-L-I-N-G, bling. The book is under my real name, Andy Seth. And, the album is under my artist name, A-Luv. A-L-U-V, who’s also the main character in the book, who goes through and makes this album. So, super meta, right?

Andy: And, it’s chapter for chapter, track for track. The idea being that I know the book will land when you read it. But, music will help you retain and recall, right? Because different things are happening in brain waves. And, we don’t have to get into the study of that, although I can. But, we can talk.

Andy: Your brain waves, different things are happening in your brain that allow you, through repetition to recall music, and you’ll get the lessons like this. If you ask me, “Hey! What are the three lessons in your book, or the five lessons in your book?” You know how I remember them? I remember the track titles.

Andy: I know them conceptually. But, to rattle them off super fast, I didn’t have to memorize them. I’d just list off track one, track two, track three, like I got them in the track, even though they’re the names of the chapters. Something is in a book, hard to recall. You guys tell me, how many songs can you recall from the ’90s?

Jay: A million.

Carole: All of them. Every last one of them.

Andy: Right. But, it’s been decades, y’all.

Carole: Yep. But, I still can, because you attach them to those memories. That’s right. You attach them to those experiences, a lot, just a lot. More than we care to admit. It’s really that simple.

Andy: But, tell me a paragraph you can recite from a book.

Jay: None.

Carole: Zero.

Andy: Right. And, I learned this when I was the board chairman of a school called Kipp Schools, K-I-P-P. Kipp Schools is the largest charter school in the nation. I was the board chair of Colorado Kipp. And, we helped expand that into multiple sites across the state.

Andy: One of the things I learned from this brilliant teacher was … She taught math through rhyme. And, I watched her do it. And, I was like, “What is going on?” And, the kids understood the concepts because they could recall. And, that stuck to me. Your ability to recall through music is infinitely greater than it is in a book. By having this device, the lesson spread faster.

Jay: That’s awesome.

Carole: I love it.

Jay: Let me ask you a question. Do you of any other artists, any other writers who have ever done this, or this is unique? Is this a first?

Andy: I went looking, legit. I went looking. The closest I found is Logic. Logic is an amazing rapper. He wrote a fiction book. And, he made an album. But, the album is like … He’s a musician. He made an album. It wasn’t necessarily that went with the book. But, he’s the closest one that dropped under the same title. It’s called Supermarket. He dropped a book and an album. But, it’s not a soundtrack to the book necessarily as much as it’s another album that he dropped. And, he dropped a book with that.

Andy: Mine is intentionally. If you hear it chapter for chapter, you’ll know exactly that story. It’s not verbatim, obviously. But, the spirit of the chapter is coming out though each track. So, if you listen to the seven tracks, you will understand the complete message, whereas Logic’s is more like they’re good songs. They’re good songs that work. But, they’re not thematically with book.

Andy: But, that’s as close as I’ve seen anybody out there do it. And, shoot! If I’m in company with Logic, player please. I’m happy.

Jay: That’s awesome. I’ve written a few books, so I know the process, and I know the amount of time and dedication it takes to write a book. I can’t even imagine writing a book and an album. How long did that take you to write this book, and then write the album?

Andy: No, man. The book took me five days.

Jay: What?

Carole: What? You wrote a book in five days?

Jay: Okay.

Carole: You just said you wrote a book in five days.

Jay: Okay. Let’s hear the story about this. How did you do that?

Carole: Mind blown.

Jay: I’m taking notes.

Andy: The thing is prior to this book, I had another book in my publisher’s hands that was going through the rounds of edits. And, that one took me about a year, okay?

Jay: Okay.

Andy: And, this book’s message came to me in a meditation. And, it felt like a download. It felt, “Hey! He’s this message.” I came out of the meditation. I was like, “Yo! What was that?” And, I thought it was for a speech I had to deliver. So, I was like, “Maybe it’s for a speech.” I sat and wrote thing for the speech, the night before the speech. And, it was way too long. Like way too long. So, that was day one. Rom 11:00 PM to 2:45 AM. We’re calling that day one.

Andy: I go do the speech. And, I just read it. I had no speech. I mean, it’s the fourth year I’ve done this keynote, everything. And, the audience, standing ovation. We had an hour and a half Q&A. But, we’re talking about all this internal tools. We’re not talking about my story anymore. We’re talking about one of the things that I’ve taught.

Andy: And, the Q&A was out of this world. And, I came back to my wife, Natasha, and I was like, “Babe, you will never believe this. This is crazy. But, here what happened.” And, kids had spring break a couple of weeks later. She’s like, “Just take spring break and go write it.” Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, it was done.

Jay: Wow!

Andy: And, that is a large part because I can trigger flow. And, from 8:00 AM to 10:00PM, all four days, I was in flow state. And, that’s a lot of … When I talk about internal work, let your ego get in the way and see how you write a book. I’ve done it. It takes a lot longer, because you’re trying to consider this, and consider that, and consider this, and consider that, right? And, you’re like, “Should I do it like this?” And so, you rewrite. This was a one shot.

Andy: Now, there’s rounds of edits, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to downplay all the work that happens after. A lot of edits, and proof reads, and all that stuff. But, the entire message, the book was done in five.

Jay: You poured your calling into it.

Andy: Yeah. Exactly. And, that’s the different. When you’re trying to build multiple businesses, how do you … To your point, how can you possibly do all that? Well, it took me five days. You can do something in five.

Carole: That’s awesome. Okay. 

Jay: Andy, what are some of the major themes of the book? As a reader, what are going to get out of the book?

Andy: Yeah. Well, as I was just talking about how I wrote this book in five days. The lessons in the book will teach you how to do something like that. And, they’re pretty much a few things. One is what we talked about ego. How do you separate the ego from the soul, and really tactically understand that to the point that you no longer operate from the ego, but you operate from the soul?

Andy: The second one is how you manage energy. We talked a little bit about energy, and how everything and everyone is all energy. But, what we don’t really think too much about is energy management. We talk about time being a precious resource. And, I don’t have time for this, and I don’t have time for that. Even the questions we talk about. How did you have time for that?

Andy: The truth is, I believe is how do you have the energy for it? Because what we do know is when things are priority, the get done, right? What we have though is a limited battery size. We all got different batteries. How much energy we have is different. And more importantly, how do we manage the energy, and how do we prevent leaks?

Andy: There are three things that cause leaks. And, I talk about about this in the book. But, I think it’s important to really drill this home. If you have unintentional leaks of energy, you don’t have energy to do the ambitions that you have, because energy went out of the door. You can’t get it back, remember? It can’t be created. It gets transferred.

Andy: If you leaked it, it’s gone. So, how do you prevent those energy leaks? And, there are three ways, three primary ways, that energy does leak from you. And, I talk about those three, and how to solve those those three things so that you hoard your energy, and you are able to go after those ambitions at a higher level.

Andy: And, the third one then is the ability to concentrate. If you think about it, we’re like master distractors, right? All day, every day, we’re distracted. Everyone can admit and agree to this. But, we’re actually really good at it now. We’re like multiple tabs for sure. The cellphone, we got this thing slack pinging us, we got emails running, we’re actually good at managing distraction. But, how good are you at managing your concentration? How often do you practice concentration?

Andy: Concentrations is actually really tough. But, what I know is if you’re able to concentrate, you can trigger flow. And, when you can trigger flow state, a lot can get done. But, if you don’t practice concentration, in a way that’s repeatable, every single day, that takes almost no additional effort, like, “Well, I can’t block off more time to do this.”

Andy: Well, okay. How can you do it within your every day? For example, my one way when I used to try and build this skill was every time I wash my hands, which is multiple times a day, right? I just look at the water for 30 seconds. Just look at the water, and watch how often you’ll watch your thoughts shift from the water. It’s wild.

Andy: All I’m saying is look at the water for 30 seconds bro. You can do it. But, it’s hard. And, I had to develop that concentration skill. So, every time I wash my hands, that maybe gave me what? In total, five minutes a day? I don’t know. But, five minutes a day, I could practice concentration. And, I built from there.

Andy: What are every day tasks that you can build concentration so that you can get into flow state? When you’re trying to build and scale a business, or build multiple businesses, you know how good you have to be at concentration? You’re distraction ability is going to kill the business, right? Your, “Oh! I have ADD.” Stop it. It’s not good. That’s not going to help you. That’s really going to hurt your business.

Andy: And, if you’re trying to build something with purpose, believe me, you’re trying to pull a two trick pony out. When I build a business with a social good, that a two trick pony. We’re at B corp. B corps are those certification of all the socially good companies that have audited independently for how impactful their business are. We just got rated top 10 percent worldwide of all B corps.

Andy: Let me tell you how much concentration it takes to pull that two trick pony, that we can make money, and can solve a social problem. That’s hard to do. So, concentration is one of the other skills. And, there’s a lot of other different things that I teach in the book too. But, when you start to unlock these skills, these are very practical. And, they will help you achieve greater ambitions, while not feeling that suffering and pain of like, “I haven’t achieved something,” or the expectations you have. That’s the management of self realization. That’s the ability to go play this game at the highest level, and not ever feel like you weren’t good enough, or you didn’t achieve something, and you don’t have to suffer through it.

Andy: That’s all nonsense. I think if somebody said what’s something that you could … What’s some belief you have that people don’t often have? It’s that you have to suffer. In none of my story have you heard me talk about suffering.

Carole: Not once.

Andy: Right. Was it difficult? Very, but it doesn’t mean suffer. How I experience that difficulty is my choice. That is your choice. And, that’s what we have control over. And, that’s, to me, self realization. Getting to that self realization.

Andy: But, why do we have to suffer? That’s nonsense. You might go through pain. But, pain doesn’t mean you have to suffer. It’s just hard. It’s hard. But, you can be happy about that. There’s plenty of time when you’re in the gym and you feel that rush, right?

Andy: Anyways, this is what I’m teaching through here, and I believe are really valuable business lessons. But, more importantly, they’re great for your life. They will permeate throughout your life.

Carole: That’s awesome. That’s a great way to just bring everything together, right? Everything that you’ve done since you were a kind, since you started hustling at 10 years old, through all these different businesses that you’ve grown, all these social areas that you’ve tackled. And, it’s all about not just building businesses. It’s about enriching your life, your life and the lives of others. And, that’s just such an amazing way to live, and a great mindset to encapsulate as you go through this journey.

Andy: Thank you. Yeah. I appreciate it.

Carole: Very cool. Okay. So, with that Andy, I would love to jump to our four more. So, our four more is the segment of our episode where we ask our guests four rapid fire style questions. We’re just going to ask you a question, tell us the first thing that comes to mind, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Are you ready for the first one?

Andy: The soul is ready.

Carole: The soul is ready. Jay, take the first question.

Jay: Okay. You already told us about your first job. Well, it was a job dumpster diving for stickers.

Carole: It was a gig.

Jay: It was a gig. I want to hear about your worst job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Andy: Oh, man! Worst job I ever had was selling knives. I sold knives door to door. And, I’ll tell you, I was good at the selling of knives. But, what it did to me was not pleasant. What I allowed to happen to me in ego was not pleasant. I sold my own a set of knives. And, these are expensive knives. And, my mom was like, “Can you just show me how they work?” And, I was like, “You got to schedule a demo.” Oh, my God! Can I have a bigger ego.

Andy: Yeah. Did I sell a lot of knives? You bet. Did I like who I became? Hell no. Worst job because of what I became, not because of the job. And, by the way, that’s the kind of ownership that I’m talking about. I designed that. And, I designed the flaw.

Carole: Yeah. That’s a great learning thing from that right there. That’s such a good take away.

Andy: Still got the knives though.

Carole: Of course you do. Actually, after you demo them on yourself, because that was the time commitment you had to make so massively important. Okay. I’d like you, Andy, question number two. Is there an opportunity somewhere along the way that someone’s offered you that you just said no to, and in retrospect was the right decision?

Andy: Yeah. For sure, plenty of things I say no to. I’ll you what to me is the greatest testament of feeling in here versus … The soul versus the ego, in this regard. That is letting go off business. That is saying no. But, it happens all the time. It just happened last year.

Andy: My largest client at Flow was not acting out of integrity. And, they were doing things that I could see on the outside, but I stood what was going on. And, I thought, “Man, they’re our biggest client. But, that’s dirty money.” It might not be illegal dirty, but it’s ethically I don’t like what they’re doing. That’s not right for other people. And, while you can legally get away with it, man, I don’t need any of that. My company will take quality, thank you.

Andy: And so, I had to write a letter. Imagine you got to write a letter, and had to make it sound like … I wanted to make is sound encouraging to them, so that they could do the right thing, and also know we’re just not the ones going to do it with you.

Andy: And then, when I sent the letter, the response was, “Okay. Thank you very much.” Obviously, what are they going to say. But, my team rejoiced. They were like, “Thank you. When you talk about this stuff, we know you’re down for it.” That’s our largest revenue client. And, hey man, quality over quantity, right? Well, do you really do that? For me, I say no if it’s not the right quality of money.

Jay: Love it. I love that. Okay, question number three. There’s a lot of bad advice that’s floating around out there. What’s some of the worst advice you’ve heard either in your industry, or your life, and how would flip that around and turn it into good advice?

Andy: Every single quote and meme that has anything to do with world domination makes me want to gag. When I see world world domination, I’m like, “Player, please. World domination? You can’t dominate yourself. And, we’re talking about the world? How about we get after self domination? Because if you could dominate yourself, guess what, we’re all connected too. You do actually help the world. But, you’re tying to dominate the world as if it’s something to be conquered. And, that conquering, this is speaking from an Indian brother, we don’t get down with the conquering so well. You know what I mean? Hey! Let’s not get into reparations.”

Andy: My point is like, “Hey!” Conquering is not something to aspire to as if the world is yours to be taken. Yourself should be taken. Go figure out you. Dominate you. If I could put a meme up that said self domination over world domination, that’s the right one. Everything that has to do with world domination is wrong. Wrong morally, it is wrong for you. It will bring you zero joy. It will only bring temporary pleasure. You will feel suffering because you have not dominated such things. Man, get the out of here with that stuff. Nonsense. That is nonsense

Carole: That is major nonsense. I need to interview you more.

Andy: Yeah. And, if you title this episode world domination … Don’t even do it.

Carole: Oh, my gosh! Just for fun, just to mess with you. Okay. Here’s our fourth question, Andy. This is one of my favorites. What is something in your personal or your professional life that you’ve splurged on at some point that was totally and entirely worth it?

Andy: I just redid my closet.

Carole: Nice.

Andy: I’ve kind of had this trademark look with these polos and stuff. And, I went to India. And, India just has beautiful fabrics and textiles. Rich and vibrant in color. So, I went into the shop, and I started getting … I wanted to get three shirts man. I had this idea. It’s kurta which I’m wearing now. It’s a kurta shirt. Kind of this kind of Chinese collar as they’re known. They’re a little bit longer. They fit.

Andy: So, I was like, “Oh! I’ll go get three shirts made. Just something when I have the festivals and stuff like that that are Indian, I’ll look the part. But, I kind of had this idea. I was like, “Yeah. But, I can make it kind of western too.” As you can seel, if you’re not watching the video, I got this fabric matches this part, but on the inside. But, I don’t have it on this side, right? Anyways, I ended up getting 11 made.

Carole: Wow! Good for you.

Andy: Instead of three, I got 11 made. I came home, wiped all the … Literally all the stuff came out of my closet. Put those 11 in. It’s a splurge, because did I need 11? No. Financially, I think each shirt cost me like $17 to custom make, and pick the fabric, down to the stitching, the buttons, everything.

Andy: So, dollars-wise, was it a splurge? No. But, my mentality isn’t usually to go and do 11 of something, right? My mentality is usually I am three. Just go get one. This was quite the spurge for me.

Carole: That is awesome. And, it’s all that for $17. I think it’s way cool.

Jay: Awesome. Okay. Now, we’re going to jump in the moral part of the four more. And, that’s where you tell us a little bit more about where our listeners can find out about you, they can get your book, they can get your album. And, if they want to find out more about your business or what you’re doing, where they can connect with you.

Andy: Awesome. The book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and all that stuff. Just such for Bling, B-L-I-N-G or Andy Seth, and you can find those there. There’s also links to my website The album is under my artist name. So, if you search for A-Luv, A-L-U-V, I’m on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, everywhere.

Andy: And so, the album is available there for streaming and for purchase. Also, the music videos are all on YouTube. So, every song has a music video with it, because I wanted to make music videos. And, why wouldn’t I? I love music videos.

Jay: Awesome.

Andy: So, I got music videos. The music videos are up on YouTube. The central hub for everything really is That’s probably an easy place to go. And, you can find your way into all those different things.

Andy: For Flow, which is the company I talked about, as I mentioned with you like the live chat, we’re doing content marketing, we’re building our knowledge bases, you can go to, which if you’re a hiphop fan, you know that’s a song by Naughty by Nature. And, a ’90s song.

Jay: I was about to say.

Andy: That’s for sure. And so, feelmeflow is the name of our domain. And, there you can inquire about all the things that we do there as well.

Carole: Awesome.

Jay: Andy, this has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, and for inspiring us, and just giving us so many great tips and things to think about.

Andy: Thank you, thank you. That warms my heart, for real. I appreciate both of you guys. You guys have been really awesome to get to talk with too. Honestly, when we talk about intentions, I don’t go out and pitch, and do all that stuff for a podcast since they’re like, “Hey! Anybody that wants it.” I feel like the show has got to have the right vibe too. And, I’ve listened to you guys. And, I appreciate the vibe that you guys have had with me. So, I thank you very much.

Jay: Thank you so much.

Carole: Thank you so much, Andy. That’s so kind. We appreciate that. Congratulations on your book, and album as well. It’s an awesome book. And, I’m really excited for you.

Andy: Thank you.

Carole: We’ll talk to you soon, okay?

Andy: All right. Take care guys.

Jay: Thanks Andy.

Andy: Bye.

Carole: Thank you. Bye, bye.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Andy’s upbringing and how he grew up struggling financially
  • Making $300K/year as a DJ in college
  • How he sold two tech companies before he graduated college
  • How to build businesses in parallel
  • How to not fall victim to your ego
  • His hiring and job description tips
  • How he was able to write a book in five days
  • Why he dislikes “world domination
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “Don’t fall victim to your ego.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If you want to earn a billion dollars, you need to solve a billion dollar problem.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Your ability to recall through music is infinitely greater than it is in a book.” (Tweet This!)

Books Mentioned in this Show

  • Bold by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  • Bling by Andy Seth

Connect with Andy