How to Sell Without Selling Out with Ryan Carson
Henry. What's up? I'm Chase. Jarvis welcomes another episode The Chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live. We have a doozy of a show in for you today. My guest woman and I'm gonna preface is for a second. I like to bring people from every genre, including technology. Have had one other hard core technology person on the show before. And this is another one of those guests. I orient him from technology. He doesn't really think himself in that regard. My guest is the founder and CEO of Tree House, Mr Ryan Carson in the house. No good to be here on the show. I'm excited to hang. Um, has been a long time coming. We have been co mingling. I would say for, like, what? Two, maybe three years Like that. Like a lot of phone calls, A lot of phone calls, hanging trade shows every once in a while. Um, I still think there's room for us to do something big between Treehouse. Incredible. I agree. No question about that. Um, we originally connected if I'm not mistaken because we share an investor.
But what I were our conversation went original. This is my recollection And one of the reasons one of the many that I want to have you on the show is I have always looked at the notion that there is a creator in all of us, and I think there's a whole subset of our population in the world here. Creativelive people pay attention. This show who identify as creative and what people miss is that when I say creative, it's literally every person. But I want people to think like I identify as a creator, and that world to me includes writing code. And when you and I first started talking about what code was, um, and how it was creative, we were talking about your path to jobs and how the freelance economy has changed and how all this is becoming democratized. This is all me telling you what I think, though, right? I'm trying to sort of get a place where you can recap one of our early conversations about how you think about this whole sort of ecosystem. I think you were actually like I don't really it's all creative to me, and I don't think of myself as a coder, a coding. But you tell the story. Yeah, we are really trying to empower people, period, to get amazing jobs that are creative. You know, some of the most amazing developers and programmers I know actually identify as creative people. You know, they come from a musical background or, um, art background. So, yeah, I want everyone watching to know that, you know, they hear the word code. And actually, it's not at all science. It's not math. It's really nothing to do with computers or science. It's basically it's just creativity. It's just creating things. Yeah, And ultimately, I mentioned in your intro the that I've had other guests who identify as technologists one guy and protect in particular David and my hands. 37 signals, uh, ruby on rails. But what is crystal clear to me is that, um you have been on a journey as a founder CEO. You have, uh, probably seen your industry change, and that's not going away any time soon. So in order for us to talk about time, like, right now, I need you to tell a little bit of a story from where you came with your background. And how did you end up at starting this tech company teaching people how to code. It's been sometimes it feels like a lifetime. And sometimes you look great by the way I look like I when my beer girls. Man, it's great days, right? Like Okay, um, it's been an amazing journey because my life really is founded upon this idea that I really do want to help people fake. I actually grew up in this really religious home. I love my mom and dad, kind of religious and kind of intense. Maybe that's your thing. Maybe it's not, but it was really drilled into me. Help other people and serve people on, like, make their life better. So basically was going to do that. Actually, crazy was gonna be a pastor. Wow. Yeah, these things I did not know. I know. And you know, so there's, ah, part of me that was gonna go the whole route, and then I just fell in love technology and creating and everything related to that. So decided to study computer science. And it was only because back in 96 you couldn't really do anything that either chose computer science or you know something else like chemistry or I'm just like I don't know. I do the thing with computers in it. Um, so did that and then graduated. And God bless my parents. They paid for my college degree and they put me into college. Um, which now that I'm older and wiser, I I realize how privileged I am really, really thankful. Born, white, middle class America male, that male in this time in this place, right? You know, everything about that meant I was I had all the cards and I could succeed. And I'm tremendously grateful for that. Um, so, you know, I thought I'm going technology. And actually, I lived my whole life from Colorado, and I was like, I'm worried in my life. You, like, is limited somehow because I only have lived in Colorado, So I'm gonna go live somewhere else and s I watched a movie the best maybe of all time. It's called Notting Hill. Nice. In case you haven't watched, it's a romantic comedy. It's great. I hope I'm pushing your boundaries here. Yeah, and you know, Hugh Grant lives in London. And I was like London, You know, how hard can it be? Literally from Not literally. Yeah. And uh, and what? They don't tell you? It's like San Francisco. You actually have to be a multi millionaire to actually live in London. So, like its top five in the world most Yeah. I mean, it's a stupid right. San Francisco is the most expensive in the country. And then London. I like how you're thinking so. But I didn't do any that research. I'm gonna move, cause because he grants great. So, um, so moved England and I got a job pretty quickly as a web developer. Um, and, uh, this was at a time when creativity on the web was exploded. Yeah, you know, people were sharing their projects and their code and their ideas, and and it was exciting, you know, Um and so at that time, um, we actually started this thing called by designers, four designers, and it was a meet up. Um, And the idea was, let's get people together and talk about They're what they're passionate about excited about and how they can share ideas. And this is where I think we have a good connection. Like, yes, I run a school that teaches adults had a code, but deep down, I care about creativity and empowering people. You know, That's why that's all connected. Like I have a similar conversation with almost anyone who's in this converging space where people are trying. It's like human growth potential or something like that. And so you know, and I didn't grow up is some, you know, entrepreneur who's selling cookies to my classmates or trying to make a profit on candy or something, right? I just, uh it's about people and, um, empowering people. And so got that first job is a developer, and it was exciting. We started this thing called by designers for designers started meeting up. This is all happening in London. Um, and I just found that there's this community of people that were that were supportive and passionate and creative and kind and friendly, and and so we started doing these events around the world. Um, and I didn't have a wife, didn't have kids, so I had lots of time, right? So infinite time to do things which I love my kids and wife now. But last time So we did these meet ups everywhere, and we called them Creative Fight Club. Yes, right cause Bundy already snipe that I love that. Right. Well, I might bythe now so you can have destroyed it. Created cycle rates. Fight club is the club no one talks about That is run by anybody anywhere. Um, and it's empowering. Right? So we thought, Yeah, that's it's basically created fight club. Anyone can run one of these events, anyone the world and will help support it. And we'll just put on the website. Well, we'll do it every can. And so they sprung up everywhere they were. I think we did over 50 events and eight different countries in, like, 40 different cities, you know, all the way from Milan Teoh to Chicago, you know, toe Buenos Aires like it was crazy. And that's it. And in it really built out this amazing network of friends around the world. And you know all this while I have a day job, you know, a developer, Um, And so this kind of goes on for a while, and, um and then I was gonna be back to the States because I was England's great. But, you know, I'm American bad back. I met a girl, uh, changed all that. She walked into coffee shop. And, uh, my life has never been the same. So got married. Stayed in England. And then when she is she Brit, she's a British. Got his British person. Yeah, all right. Said she's a Brit or she's a pretend. I never is the caller. She's a British woman. She's my wife. Okay, um, and, ah, you know, settled down over there. And then what I realized is I really something is going on with coding and an empowerment, and people can now make APS and they can turn it into a living. And something crazy is happening here. And it's cool that you had David on the show from base camp because all their work that they did, you know, empowering people to build APS and start companies. And, yeah, it was just a Petri dish of creativity. Um, so I was kind of formed in that Petri dish. Really? You know, I realized I could build a web app because I learned how to code, and I work in a design company. So I understand a simple problem, which was You can't send large files. A stupid thing is a problem. Back in 2004 and so built a simple web and and Jill and I just got married. And at that time, I thought I'm to make some my baps. We're gonna turn this into a little company and see how it goes. Um, but the the thread that was weaving through my life, which was empowering people encouraging people, it wasn't really met by building a start up that sends large files. It was like, Wow, that's a need. I understand. But I don't really care about this problem and so built that and quit my job and tried to sell. It did a terrible job selling it. So this is why did, until recently, didn't think I was good sales. Um, I called a couple of people and said, We, like, sign up for this thing like, no e hate sales. Okay, I hate saying all right, todo lesson embedded in here. We're gonna cover this. We're gonna go deep. So and then that that basic that things slowly failed. You know, I didn't know how to sell it. I didn't auto market it. I just knew how to code it, and it slowly died. And when it did die and you know, I want to encourage anyone that happens to you watching this that, you know, thinks people have it all figured out and they see their winds believe they never had failures like there was a night with. It was the most humbling night of my life. Basically, I had shown Jill all of these spreadsheets, You know, that said, you know, our sales are gonna go up, and we're gonna be, you know, making millions of dollars, and it's gonna be great. It's going to base camp, right? Um and it wasn't. And I remember there was one night when I just had to admit to myself like the same was in flying like and I had to go. I turn off my machine. I was working in our in our attic on this old like beige PC was terrible. I'm sorry. I get, um, and walked downstairs, and Jill owes She had already finished work. And so she was making dinner and and I was like, you know, all those spreadsheets I showed you where we were gonna win, and it's gonna work. I don't think is gonna happen. Like I think it's like I think it's gonna fail and you know all the pride I had to eat and all the you know, it was just humiliating. Um, and she's like, It's cool. I can pay the rent so we'll figure it out. And that's one the reasons I love her. Um, And at that moment, it was like OK, like let's reboot. Um and we have been doing that by designers for designers. Meet up. And I realized, Wait a minute. I have this amazing network of friends that know how to teach, You know how to build websites and had a design websites. Why don't we teach people how to do this? Because then they can take that knowledge and then they can change their life. And it was just like a light bulb went off. And so we thought, OK, let's just do one like workshop thing where we have one person speak and we try to sell, you know, 25 tickets and let's see if we can turn this into a business. It was this the same night. You still sitting at the table? No, no, this was, you know, it's interesting, actually happens on our honeymoon. That idea we were in so we couldn't afford. We could barely afford a honeymoon. We have £500 which is, like, $700 for an entire honeymoon way. We walked into you like, um, travel agent remembers those still existed. And we're like, we have £500. Where can we go in there? Like turkey. So we went to Turkey and, um, and, uh, stayed in the cheapest place for you possibly find. And you're drinking, like beer in our bed at night because we couldn't afford to go out to restaurants. And but the only thing you do during the day without dying with sit in the pool because it was so hot. Yeah, and so we're sitting the pool, and, um and I I think I think Jason Freed and David Animal Hansen for this, But they had done a workshop called How we built Base camp. And I remember reading about I thought, Mm, that's kind of a business. And we know smart people like that that could teach these things. And, you know, maybe we could kind of do a workshop like that, and that idea happened in the pool. Wow. Um, so we've been said he has happened in water, just just in case you're taking notes and they were curious about. That's right. That's why we drink. That's right. It's all connected. Deep thoughts from Jace. Um, so yeah, they do is okay. I think we can actually take what I'm passionate about, which is encouraging people and empowering them and technology. And we can kind of combine them in this really simple idea. Let's get people in a room with teacher, you know how to make a website. And we did our 1st 1 in London, and it sold out. Um, and this is before social media, right? So we didn't post on Twitter or, you know, put on instagram or you had had emailed people about it, you know? And, uh and that is the beginning, really? Of tree house, this idea of let's get people together who want to learn something that will allow them to change their life. Um, let's pick code, because I happen to know how to code. You know, you can use it to create things and you have a community, right? And I have a community. And so I had done all this hard work, not realizing it was building the foundation for launching Tree house. There's so many things. And what you've said that I want to go back in 10 life story. Sorry. Date? No, no, I'd rather that that's what this That's why this podcast exists. So we can have long form discussion, right? Everything is not in a social media sound. So of the things that you talked about, one that you didn't realize that the work you were doing was going to be able to be leveraged into the next thing. Yes, to me this is a of the hundreds of people who sat here. This is a theme. You're building a thing, and you don't realize that what you're doing is building a skill set and building acts and building a Y, all of which is leverage herbal into your next right. So you're always kind of Yeah, and it takes time. You have an idea, and you really can't activate it overnight because things, especially with things like building community people believe that when you launch something, I have this video that I've recommended over and over is called the other 50% which is that 50% of your time is making and shipping the other 50%. Your time should be building a community such that whenever you do anything in the future, you're not doing it alone, right? You know, with people and with uninterested mind in an area of focus and people we're passionate about like minded things. Yes. Yeah. I think that advice is golden. Yeah, Gold. But I'm hearing that, you know, in in your story. Also, I want to touch on sales. How unimportant it was, too. At one point into up. And now what? Weaken Segway into what? You're how you're thinking about that now, Uh, and then there's this 3rd 1 which is, um, wanting to be in service. Other people years came from a particular religious background, but that's another. Um, it's another thread that is very popular on the show. So let's take him in order. Community part. So how at that point it was very sort of Let's get tactical like it was less scale because it wasn't happening on social wasn't happening other places, but you were still building it. So in a world where social didn't exist and or we can still learn from it because we don't want to rely only on social. How did you go about thinking and building and creating your community? The most important thing is that I didn't start trying to make it into a $1,000,000,000 company or a 1,000,000 person thing. Yeah, it was literally Let's have a meet up in London at a bar, right? And let's make it great. You know, like, let's get some smart people there and how we're gonna pay for the beer and how we're gonna check and see if people show up. And how are we gonna make it a good experience? And I think, you know, and we you and I have talked a lot about this. That especially into the world of today, is that you know, if if you don't have, you know, at least you know 10,000 followers on instagram social Facebook, whatever, you're nothing and nothing you do really matters, and you'll never get there like you gotta or if you're starting a business, you have to be raising money. You know, millions of dollars, you know, Or if you're doing something in YouTube, it has to be so great that you get a meat viral right. Hate that word. It's just there's, like a lack of, of, of honesty about the fact that it really has to be built on something you believe it and that you're willing to put time into. And it doesn't have to be something big right away. That's exact. Nothing is big right away. Right now. Nothing is right and there's really weird outlines stuff, and I think we just have to ignore all of that. Um, so Bt 40 Creative Fight Club by designers for designers. The reason why that turned into something special is because we weren't trying to make it big and scalable, Um, and profitable. I mean it just like there's no money in it at all. And so I think that's the key. And I want to encourage people that what you know, if you care about something, it matters. If you are passionate about, um, you know, getting together a group of people in your hometown that care about, uh, knitting something that asked you with the forest and you care about that, and that's all that matters. Yeah, And if it takes off and it goes crazy like that's great, you can figure that out later. Um, but the connections I built you know, through because I put in my blood and my sweat my tears into that they really, you know, built a foundation for me that I just cannot. I could never have bought it. So true. We're told so regularly in our culture that X doesn't matter. Why doesn't matter or you don't matter Or we tell ourselves at 3 a.m. r. Gremlin voice that we don't matter because we don't have followers or businesses and big enough And I'll tell you like, um, I'll just go on record. We have tens of millions of people on the creative life platform we've raised, you know, tens of millions of dollars building it. Um, I think it's successful by standard means, but if you sit in almost any room in Silicon Valley with a bunch of investors, your go to a conference or whatever. Nine out of 10 things we're talking about the unicorn. And so if you're always comparing yourself to, you know, on Airbnb, Joe has been on the show or, um, uber fastest growing company in history. The world you're always like. Compare Schlager to use May never be good enough for Leo's story about that's like the worst tasting liquor Goldschlager. So, like mugger, compare yourself with other folks. Be just because that's what the dominant culture cultural conversations doesn't mean that doesn't have value. And in fact, if you flip the script and you say everything that you do has value, if it impacts you or another person, there's embedded value. And I'm hearing that in like it matters. I mean, and you just have to throw out all the Vandy metrics. And and I think it's especially cheuk for creatives. I mean, you know, you hear about people that blow up on instagram or, you know, they get everywhere and their creative. It's just hard not to feel like you're not good enough. Yeah, and, you know, I guess I just want to say you are good enough. And then there's the 10,000 hours thing is the thing that it may be a little bit tired, you know, as a pop culture reference. But the reality is that everybody who has achieved any lasting success, I think you can have a sort of a fake summit, a little a peak of success. But then you go right back down. Right. Happens with photographers all over the place. They're like, Oh, my God. Remember Nike campaign tomorrow? It's the university, right? And then they, you know, they let me have on social, whatever. Two months later, like, I haven't seen a dollar right since that last night. Quickly, of course you haven't. Right. You gotta put in years and years and years. But a classic 10 year overnight success, right? You know, it's fun to do is go back in time and find someone's first like, YouTube video. Or first, I haven't done it to you. I need to go back and see, like, Meh. Episode one of whatever Chase did have benefited. Hilarious, right? Same with I mean, anything I did is hilarious. Yeah, yeah. And actually started doing out. Did it for Joe Rogan. I'm like, I wonder what Joe Rogan's first videos and it's hilariously shit. Yeah, it is. It's like some sort of live video and like some weird, you know, he's 1000 episodes intuition now, or something like that. So it's helpful toe to go back and look Yeah, that was really terrible. It's okay to start bad you know. So there's that threat of helping people. So that was Rudin and community felt like you had found your community with by designers for designers in a very unskilled herbal way. Yep. That's my short summary of some of my life. Okay, My pain. No. Painful. Yeah, I think is and but that you're doing something that you care about and that it's it never. It doesn't happen at scale. Overnight, I I'm gonna reference a friend of mine's words called gold plated grit. And that, my friend, is burn a brown. And she talked about people only talk about the It was hard, and they'll tell a two second story about how hard it was. Then I'll go right back to the but isn't everything's great, all right. And, uh, and I'm guilty of that, Especially with with respect to creativelive telling a story about our first class head. You know, Super Hard was in a small, greedy little warehouse and South Seattle, the room was Gosh, it was like, you know, 12 by 800 but our first class had 50,000 people, right? Uh, right, but we're great. But the reality is that spent 10 years, right going from, you know, SMP, Chapter two s and P chapter or making video on YouTube that were seen by 1000 people or honestly was before YouTube called Google Video are answering people's questions. And there's 10 years of that, right? Such that when we flip the switch on creativelive, there was an audience in a community that was waiting to receive it. So let me ask you a quick question about this because I've been thinking about it. I feel like at a certain point, you're you feel like you really need to play this game Where, um, you you do put ah, amazing spin on everything you do because it does work. Sure tell stories and thinking story. But there's there's a part of me that, just like I struggle to do that because it there's a part of that doesn't seem honest, you know, But And so there's this. How do you How do you deal with the fact that actually it is all pretty hard on, but most of it doesn't work, and then this great seven it does work, and that's actually how you get investors. And that's how you you know, make more money and that's how you x y z get the big deals. But actually, it isn't really true. I haven't. I have. Ah, I thought my thought is that I tend to look at things through a lens of the universe happens for you, not to you. And so if the universe is happening for you, what is it that I can learn from this thing? And that's the story that I'm gonna tell. Oh, yeah, but not necessarily like, Was it awesome or did it suck? It's what lesson? Because a lesson is pretty much always positive because it's a learning event. Right, Right, right. That's a good Yeah, that makes sense. And so I've started with same thing like, How do you be authentic? And how I had talked about best camera Is this IPhone app that I did with app of the year? I mean, there was, however, me hundreds and thousands of APS at the time. It was, you know, whatever on everybody's top 10 list. New York Times, Washington Post Wired magazine kicked off in part the global photo sharing craze. And yet, when I was offered to have that company purchased I said no. And then there's just a long diatribe. But how is that? Maybe one of the most awesome things, that right? And I It's easy to me to say. It was at prayer and bootstrapped and had millions of downloads. It was Phil Schiller, favorite app and wow, etcetera in reality didn't work. It didn't work right. And by every sort of financial metric, it would be a failure. Right? Certain made millions of dollars, but then went nowhere, right? So, yeah, like, I never had to pay money. Right? But it was Instagram a year and 1/2 before instagram. Right? Right. So the lesson that you draw from that s so how is like and yes, I frame that when I'm having a conversation with someone as like, Yeah, I made this app. It was half of the year, right? But see this article where I expand in detail that it was the most painful experience, my professional right, My biggest failure. And I want to read about it. Come here. Right. Interest. I actually find that you have a great balance that just knowing you're person was gonna put it out there that you um I never feel like you're gloating, but you're always moving forward, and that's to me. That's a really it's a It's a balance that makes like, having honest conversations fun. Thanks. I'll share that. Before we got a camera, were sitting on the couch right here in the CREATIVELIVE. Officer Seattle You're talking about how your you know, growing tree house now in a way that you didn't think right that you were. And it's, ironically, it's the thing. The third thing I want to touch me. Oh, touch is sort of sales. You never really thought of yourself. And this is another basically theme that a few exceptions. But by and large, people who identify as creators struggle to think about how sales, how eso. But in our very honest conversation, before we on camera here, which we stop that conversation, so wait. Good stuff. Now it's not talking, but like you, I know this is a big jump from, you know, doing by designers for designers and starting your first small workshop. Teaching people had a code, and now you're 10 years in eight years and eight acres in your then yet, and you are leading it's tree houses sales the Brian. I mean, you're the founder and CEO, but also we're selling Intel Enterprises. Yeah, let me talk about it, because I think it's fascinating to me. I think that this is a super important subject for creatives. Yeah, because I think essentially, I am a creative person. Yeah, and and And I think anyone who's watching this or listen to it I want them tow. Avoid this painful lesson. Um, this is where you sharpen your pencils, get man, right, cause literally six years of my life, um, I feel were, um no, I don't use too harsh Warlick ruined, but I want to use a strong word. Yeah, you know, that says I didn't understand that as a creative person and as a passionate people person that actually selling something was the key toe actually helping people and succeeding like, yeah, it actually is all that really mattered, right? And so let me dig into that. So what What happened is, you know, I thought, OK, I'm not start a school that teaches people out of code because making get jobs and we can make it a really amazing product. And I feel that I have a kind of a natural product mind it just comes to me easily. I feel like I understand people really well. So anything about how do we build a product that meets this human need that comes naturally to me? Um, I'm not a designer, per se, but I loved designing. I appreciate it. Um, recognizes. Yeah, and I know the value value. Yeah, right. So that all was easy. Um, but because of my deep scars, trying to sell stuff, uh, earlier in my life, I I thought selling this thing is someone else's job, right? And actually promoting it and marketing it and making people want it. You know, it's something that's kind of like solidly dirty, like it's just was created people we created. And then the 30 salespeople sell it where it takes care of itself. Because it's so amazing, right? Yeah. And it's just gonna be a rocket. It right, Um and so I kind of avoided that whole side of the business. You know, um, and trios did grow organically pretty aggressively for a couple of years, and that gave me a false sense of security too. So all the sudden six years into my, you know, professional career running tree house. I realized the Onley way for this to truly grow is for me as a founder toe, actually. Get my head around. How do I sell this service to somebody? Um and this is, like the nitty gritty. I'm actually have a conversation with Someone doesn't know me that doesn't know Treehouse isn't gonna hear about it. Doesn't care. I'm gonna try to get them to buy, right. And, uh, what I realized And this is the key Take away is that as soon as you care deeply about something, you don't have to sell it. You are simply trying toe get someone to know about it because it might solve a deep problem. They have. And that is, like, totally something different. Yeah, right. So I assume everybody listening or watching the show is pretty passionate about a subject or is creating something. They care about you. The truth is, somebody needs that product. They actually need it. Yeah, they don't. You're not trying to trick them in to meeting. Yeah, that's a big myth. We need it, right? And so that's the truth. And then you need to do the work to tell them about it. Because how are you ever gonna help them? Unless you do the work to help them find you? Because they're not. Guess what they're not gonna find about you. They're not gonna care. They're not gonna come knocking on your door. Um, and so this is a number of people who are looking is small relative to the number of people who need it and are stuck, and they're not doing looking. That's where you need to me getting to work in their field of view, right? And so I think, as soon as I started talking to people about Tree House, you know, one of the one of the key things that we do now is we help companies create talent, you know, literally. Hey, we can't hire enough developers, which is a very common theme in the world today. Everywhere? Yeah, everywhere it's looking Valley Seattle, or we are lost in New York Boston, like an immature internationally. It's same strike and and it gets even worse if you happen to be based. And you know, like Louisville, Kentucky, for instance. You know your attack company or you have, you know you need to build things. And you really can't find somebody cause no one there knows that you're there. Yeah, it gets worse. So what I realize is is that I hadn't do the work to go talk to companies and say, I know you have this brutal problem. We can actually help you solve it. And it wasn't dirty or bad or uncomfortable because either people said no, We don't have that problem. Cool. No problem. Not a fit for you or yes, we do have that problem. I want to talk to you about it. And because I'm selling something that I truly believe in. It's it's nothing like what we think is sales or marketing. And I think a lot of creative people are crushed by this. So I've always believed that, and I'd laugh when people say, Oh, yeah, Chase. But you're so good at marketing. Yeah, your a great photographer or yeah, you know, creativelive good business idea. But you're so great at marketing. I'm like, No, no, no. What I'm great at is figuring out what I care about. Yes, And I think the people that know you actually know you're not bombastic or arrogant or, you know, I was just watching you actually interact with your staff. Oh, and it was interesting because you're not arrogant at all. Um, you actually kind of stand kind of like a monkey like everybody. A personality test you can like. Go see Ryan. Kirsten. I mean, what's interesting about that is you're not at all like some, you know, um, brazen marketer. Um, people don't use the use The word slick, right? Yeah. Do. It has got, like, but this level, this is the message. Oh, that we want people to hear right is that it all comes from actually being passionate about a problem that you truly care about, right? And and I'm not really just anymore. But like it ultimately was rooted in this, like, deep, deep, deep desire to help people. Yeah, and it just happens like, Oh, you can actually help someone if you teach him out of code. Because they can get this hyping job for sure. Um and therefore, if I learned how Teoh find people that have the problem that I'm trying to solve, and I've I've learned how to talk to in part this is anyone who's watching or listening us like they may have to sell to a business like because treehouse primarily helps businesses create talent. No, I'm actually going in tow, you know, folks at work, trying to get him to care about treehouse. They're busy, you know, it's it's definitely a hard kind of marketing and sales forces a consumer kind of play, and they're both hard. But But I don't want people to think that this is on me. Ah, selling to a human, Yeah, individual to a business for sure. As a photographer, my was like You're selling into was commercial, that I might be so like Google or Apple or right Sampson or Nike. They want to. They hire photographer right to sell into Nike, right? And yeah, which sounds terrible. Um, and attention thing is that the the fear of selling to a business feels like it is a massive barrier to creative people. Right, because I think number one they feel like it's selling out. Maybe if I sell the business somehow, it's worse or not. Great Number two. It's just really hard. I mean, how do I sell to a business and and what I've learned is that all a misperception that actually, all the money is in business because they can fund all of this creation. Yeah, right. So, actually, you need to sell them because that's how you can build a living for yourself. And you can build something sustainable and profitable. And and and so it's actually all there. And as soon as you have a couple conversations to figure out how I talk about it to somebody you know, with this title, what size company am I aiming at? You know, what's the job? Title of the person I'm trying to sell to? If you can identify the those three simple things. Nothing is location, you know, Where are they? You can actually start toe, have conversations over social or email or these kind of simple things and say, I think you might have this problem that we solved. Do you have that problem? Are you trying to solve it right now? And people respond? Yeah, they don't tell you to f off and, you know, go home. They want to solve the problem. Yeah, it won't talk to you, actually, if you frame it and I have this thing and I would love to help like this thing was born from my genuine desire and passion board, and I just have I found out that this appear apparently is a problem that a lot of people have and not saying you have this problem. But if you do like I'm here, I can help. And if what I love is, certainly there's like that absolute cold turkey part of that where you're calling someone, you don't know where you're putting it on social or you're saying an ad out there or whatever. But there's also the relationship part, like so much of my any sort of success. And selling has just been having a community that people find out when, and it's super cool when you're standing for something that you're passionate about and other people will say. I heard you talking about that thing and I have that problem. Yeah, let's talk about it and then you write and you're still trying to come at it from like, Oh, well, it would be awesome if this works out right. If it doesn't no big deal, we're still friends or we're still writing community, right? Whatever. And that's what selling is actually like Yeah, and I didn't know that. And I think a lot of people don't know that. I would say of the folks listening or watching nine in 10 are scare shitless of the concept of selling in or the actual to understand the tactics. And you know that first tactics, like, you know, there's lots of great classes or right. I'm sure because the placing little in that sure, just go figure it about Go figure. But I think the concept is the major hurdle, like it feels dirty. I feel gross or scared, or rejection is horrible and all those things are true, right? But if you re all right, I love this. If you take Ryan Carson's advice here and reoriented towards, you're sharing with your passion about right and you're you saw the particular problem and this person either has that problem where they don't right. How simple is that it is? Actually, the process is pretty simple, and I was talking to you on the couch, But yes, actually, sales is not complex. It's simple, it's hard, but it's simple. And the thing I did first, you know, because I don't want people listening or watching to think. Well, that's great. Like, how do you actually do it? Yeah, right and all. I did waas I started off with a couple of people that I already had a connection with. You know, they would taken email or call, and I could say, I think you have something like this problem. We have built a solution to it. I just want to run a bite. Can I get some feedback? Yeah. Is this helpful? Really simple. And, you know, if you don't have this problem, just people and say I don't have this problem. And and so actually, the first couple folks that I sold to were people I was connected to rough. They weren't like friends, but I knew that they, you know, knew me. So I think everybody probably knows one or two people in their network somewhere where they can ask that simple question. I think I've got a solution to probably have Schwantz a feedback, you know? And if you don't have this problem, just say you don't have it to zero pressure and then you get your first meeting. You know where you can say I've got this thing but actually tell me about your problem. Yeah, that's the key, right? Right. Asking, like, what's your problem? We're going there. Problem? Because you heard them talk about it somewhere else. It's like I heard you say the problem, or you have to hire X number of designers a year or whatever the thing. Yeah. And then, you know, this is all, like, people conversation stuff, But get them talking, you know, just listen and hear them out for a while. People love to be listened to, right? And and so do that a couple times, take notes. And then what I did to say I would you actually pay money to solve this? And, you know, we're gonna eventually charge a bunch of my new this. But theoretically, would you actually, you know, pay 1000 bucks for this and then you're asking, like the actual Hey, is this actually something you would pay this all if if not, then. You know I don't waste your time. You know, I don't waste my time. And so we kind of get into those, like, dirty questions only because they're truthful and honest. You know, Is this actually something that you want us all And so I think that process, you know, fast forward. Now a year I've been selling, you know, Now we're talking about, you know, a lot of money is is being produced by our sales team. And it's all because we started with this simple little process by me who did not a cell shifting years that's been about sales and the creator and all of us feeling cringeworthy. And, um, I want to talk about two different things. One in particular is finding the thing. Most of the people that I know who haven't found the success that they expected for themselves or have not yet sort of reached that thing. I find it's largely because they're focused on the wrong thing. And the thing that I want them to focus on is how to find your thing. The thing that you love, right? So that's thing one I want to talk about something to is a bunch of single one liner questions about you personally cool that we're gonna say they do it. No, that's that's be thing a is. How did you figure out that this was the thing that this was your calling and then we heard a little bit of the back story. But how did you know? Did you not? And then you're like you just started doing, and then you feel like, Oh, my gosh, I totally love this. So I call it my Why? Um and I only discovered it when I was 32. And so for all you 24 year olds out there, right there, you have a long way to go. And that's okay. Yeah. And even when I was 32 it wasn't clear to me that it was exactly my why it It feels like, um, like a dream. You know, like, there's something here, but it it wasn't a lightning bolt. And the way it happened for me is I realized, you know, as I've run four companies, um, you know, to have one failed sold one kind of fire sale style. And, uh uh, then I sold another and then tree house. And it's not until treehouse that I actually truly believe in what I'm doing. And this is the thing that this thing? Yeah. Yeah. And I often say this is the company I wanted my gravestone. Yeah, you know, So how and why? And I think the answer is it's OK that it woz a wind e path. And it was not clear that there is a nen point, right? And so only in hindsight I look back and say, Oh, cash there there was a path and it started by me admitting, you know, this whole sending large files thing, This company I give a shit About what? What am I doing? Not not an emotional meeting point. Yeah, probably helping people send porn, right? I mean, this is madness, right? And I don't care about it. And so I need to move closer to something that I care about. But it was, you know, it was it was clumsy. It it was Okay, let's do a workshop where we teach people how to do PHP, right? Like PHP. I mean, that was okay. And then the thing that actually that worked is we did that first workshop that I talked about. And afterwards people came up to me and they were smiling, and they said that was amazing, you know? Thank you. And I was like, Thank thank me. You know, you just paid me, like, 500 quid, like I don't get it on like that was an amazing day. I learned so much, and I'm better. Happier person. So then I was like, tick, you know something? Is there still not quite right, you know, And then it was evolving a little bit more and a little bit more so I think I think the way did it is just asking myself, you know, over and over again. What if I died doing this right now? Would I feel like my life was worth living? Um, and most the time it was No, it was like any large files note. Um, like, helping 30 people who are basically already wealthy, learned code? No. Um, okay, let's take that idea and make it more foretell by putting it on the web and doing over video. Yeah, um, but getting there, but getting there. But but, you know, and then again, sort of realizing, actually, what I'm truly, truly passion about is empowering, uh, underserved people so they can get jobs. You know, underrepresented people of color. Women folks who are LGBT Q like these are the folks that that society is really locking out. Right? And so we've evolved the idea even more now. And so I think what I want here to people, people toe. What I want people to hear is that it it is very much like a wind e path, you know, through a map. And as long as you keep asking herself and my okay, this being the last thing that I ever do And if the answer isn't quite yes and you're privileged enough to be able to do something about it, Yeah, because that's another topic. Greater Sure. Sometimes you just got to do a job toe, feed your kids, right, And that's something different. Um, if you can slowly move towards that, you know, you end up in a place where no amount of money, uh, could replace the amount of joy that I get when somebody uses treehouse to change their life. And I get up at 4 30 every morning. You know, I'm driven like a crazy person, you know, But it's weird how that unlock happens, right? Doing the thing you're doing the thing unlocked, this crazy person who you know, you'd have to kill me to get me to stop. And but I didn't know that's where I was gonna end up and I didn't have a secret plan to get me there. I didn't have a system that, you know, optimized my life. It was just a simple question. Is this the thing that I want to dio and can I move closer to that thing? And what would those things look like? Yeah, what's something that's a little bit more like that and then being patient and willing to put in like we talked about the years and years of work. And then you end up in a place where, if you're privileged enough to have the important things ticked off, you know, safety food, you know, uh, enough money to live, then you can start to move closer. That and it's just I feel so fortunate. That's great. What about the I'll say myth, But I'm giving away my personal but of like bet the farm. You're all in entrepreneur, entrepreneurial, thinking. It is a myth. I think there is absolutely no reason you have tow bet the farm or take the big risk or put everything in danger. I think actually, it's much better to do the Hey, I made this thing. Let's just see if I can get one person to buy it, right. And I should like it. Then buy it, then. Yeah, great. So then one person liked it and bought it, and it was kind of a low price. So let's see if I can get someone like an invited So a higher price, right? And then a little higher price. And so I think you can actually, um, gently walk your way into that. Um and I I think eight years in 40 years old, you know, I think I've seen business after business and project after project where people said you have to go big or you're gonna lose. And it's never true. I mean, like, it just isn't. And so I think it's a total myth. I hate it when I'm done with it. So Well, is it? Has it been some pressure that you felt in your in your career? Yeah. I mean, like, who's telling you go big or the people, the people you admire and appreciate. And then you do you go away and have to stew and go. Oh, shit. What am I doing wrong? How do you How have you managed that for yourself. So there is a lot of pressure. Um, you know, from, you know, everybody it you know, You see, other founders and entrepreneurs are raising a ton of money and and appeared were growing very fast and, you know, and there's that And then there is, you know, the media who puts people on a pedestal, and then you have your own mind, you know, which is three and voice. That's messing in your social feeds of everyone else's highlight reels in your day today. You know what your data days like and you're looking They're not that, Yeah, you know. And then, you know, then all the the doubt creeps in and it you got a dark places, and I think it's all there. And what I've learned is it doesn't stop, You know, you would think. I mean, just look at what you build it creativelive like, look at what I build a tree house and I still haunted. Yeah, by feelings of not being good enough and, you know, so they can see answers. It doesn't go away. And I bet every person that we talked to that's at one step higher than us would say the same thing. And then when we get to that step, you ask the people above you and they say the same thing and it happens until you die, right? So I guess there's an element of, you know what I think, what I am doing matters. I know that people I sell it to I know it matters to them, and that's good enough when I'm in a balanced place. I remind myself that when I get unbalanced, this is the line that I'm going to hear from a piece of my brain, and that's not there to keep me happy or safe. Used to be there to keep me alive. But that's not required anymore. So go back to go back to work. I should probably write that down somewhere and use help, lessen it. Listen to this show. We're one hour in four minute mark. What I think how you personally think and act is that's what I like shift gears to we can because I find that there's a lot of insight based in if if I can learn from someone else's mistakes and I don't have to put my hand on the burning breast, for example. So, uh, morning routine. What do you do? How do you take care of yourself in the morning? So or evening air? Just in general, I use the little IPhone app. That's like the bedtime app. And I aim to get it's like seven hours sleep a night. So go to bed it. 10 sometimes 10. 30. Wake up at 4 30 Um, and, uh, have a quite alarm goes off. And what I do that's been tremendously helpful is a mealy put in my your phones. And I listen to crazy dance music like because I need to change the chemicals in my brain, right? Cause when I when I hear the alarm, I think I don't want to do it every day. There's never day I'm like, Whoa, let's go. I'm like, fuck like, Okay, it's time. Do it again, you know? And then I'm like, OK, that's just tired physical body talking. Let's get out. And then I listen to, you know, like just hilarious dance music, right? And then I, um And then I walk downstairs, get turned on the coffee, have a protein shake. And then, um, as I was telling you, out there. I'm a sales person right now. So I do all my sails past, you know, from, like, 4 40 toe 5 45 And I can crank and get things done. You know? How long do you live in the music? Still with the music where you're coming? I was into a while, then I'm like, this is a game. Distracted. Yes. You just get it up and moving. Yeah, for a while and then probably turn it off, You know, 10 minutes and email and and stuff like that. And then then I work out down in my basement from 5 45 to 6 30 And I've kept that really simple because I realized I don't have time to go to a gym. Yeah, I I don't want to do that. So I'm kind of training for I do spartan races. That's kind of my thing. Mutters And I have one coming up. Actually, I'm excited about it, so just do a bit of it. And that's, you know, that's another. I was a big up blocker in my life is getting physically fit. I didn't realize how much energy it gives you and how it changes your mind. So I do that. I'm not some crazy fitness person, you know. Not like I don't have a percent body fat and I and I don't know, not drink alcohol like I'm kind of That's order No, You normally Yeah, gently healthy and then on. And then what I do is 6 30 hits on and I make a cup of coffee for my wife and I take it up to her in bed. And then we said we talked like minutes, and that's been a big game changer to justice, sort of. Let's just talk for a little bit And the kids were crazy. They're like, trying to, like, jump on my head or they're fighting with each other. It's never like perfect, but it's a good spot where we talk and take away as you decide that you're gonna have some time. That's, like, connected. Yeah, and it's It's like the Bible. I mean, it's like 6 30 to 7 is is just hang out. So we do that in it, and sometimes it boring. We talk about logistics. OK, so who's picking up? You know, the kids and what not to do that that does happen. And then breakfast. I make breakfast because we eat. I tried it. You know, you've already had a protein shake. You did that for 40. Yeah, right then, I tend we tend to eat sort of paleo style. So it'll be eggs. You know, salad, Um, some bacon, You know, avocados like that. And I want that. I know that's how good. So and then I don't do enough cooking. I think so. I try to do that in the morning to contribute. Also show my kids taken, taken, do that stuff. And then it's, um, walked the kid that I used to walk the kids to school. And this has been something that's hard. Actually, Since I took over sales, I realized I need to be in a 8 45 because we have a stand up meeting and I need to, like, be the example. And actually, I still kind of haunted by that decision cause I've chosen now to not walk my kids to school. Yeah, and it does kind of like mess with me. Um, I choose entry ass on my kids are now. I don't know, like, this is really important, but maybe temporary things permanent. I guess that's what you can. It's a season, Miley. Right? So then I kiss my kids goodbye. My wife and they walk to school. And then I happened a truck. And I have a $3000 Dodge Ram with 170,000 miles on it. Pretty proud of that. Got a lot of mold on it. Um, and this is a whole nother side story, and then I go to work. That's my morning. Almost every morning. That's beautiful. What about C? In there? A little bit. Is your personal care So it sounds like sleep like good food. Not enough sleep. I need to be getting more sleep. Yeah, I feel like this season my life. I need to get less sleep while I kind of boot up in sales a tree house. But then I'm hoping it will go back to more normal. You've mentioned it many, many times, talking about seasons. So how do you How do you think of your life in seasons like that? Clearly you do. What do you mean by that? Yeah, I feel like you have to kind of push hard on parts of your life at different times, Um, with a foundation of there's certain things I really want to make sure I don't, you know, not Do you know, as you can hear, my relationship with Jill's really important, my kids really important. My health is really important, but right now it's sales and marketing. And so I think of that as, like, I've got to put in a lot of hard work for a period of time until I feel like I understand that problem and how to solve it at scale. Yep. And then you evening another something different. And then a new Chinese will come in. Yeah, they figured out right? And then I can hire people to actually do that thing cause I can actually understand how toe support them and how to manage them. Um, And then it's the next thing, and I assume that will continue forever. Right? Leadership skill. What do you think is, uh, a your superpower? And what is something you learned from the your ship? My superpower is being visionary. I It's really easy for me to see the future and like the way it's going to be. And we're always like a 1,000,000 miles from it. You know, like, of course, in the future, no one's gonna hire college grads like that's crazy that we do that. Yeah, you know, let's just go to a new place where they don't do that. Everyone's like what? You know. So I'm really good at that, and I'm really good at. I'm really good at 11 like So when I'm in a room with somebody, I it's just me and them and nothing else matters. Making feel special, right? Yeah, I feel Special City. You are special number one. You, but I can see what That's so great. That innate ability. The thing I was really bad at that I've I've become acceptable at his, um, staying focused on something that's really boring, um, and and staying focused on it until it was done. Um, and I know for entrepreneur like founder types, this is often a problem, right? And with sales, it was very clearly you have to execute, you know, 37 sales task every day. Whether you love it or hate it, there is nothing happens. So what's something special that you haven't said in another interview that people don't know about you that you need to want them to know, or you have to capitulate and tell me something. Yeah, that's a great question. Um, if you don't think I've shared this, um, so good. Start to the answer. Yeah. So I have three sisters. Um, and my mom is amazing on. She always kind of drilled into me. You know, your sisters, we're going to your sister's no matter how would you get And what Until what? Some of you die like your sisters and brothers. Right? And we were really mean to each other When your kids, you know, my sister threw me into a glass table, and I've got a scar. Someone in my face. I used to stab the pencil. You know, we're not We didn't like each other at all, and now we're best friends. And, um and that's because my mom, um But what we do now every other week is we have a group conference call. Wow. So we hop on, and sometimes you can't make it, but it's like, Hey, how's it going? And we just go around. Carrie, how's it going? It's like going on your life. Wow. Amazing. And it really is amazing. And it's got a so tight now that we actually do a yearly sibling like retreat where we don't invite our partners like no kids. And we just go and my sister has a cabin and we stay And we just like, you know, talk about people are always prying this, you know, we've rounded off, and so it's really helped us be like close family. It's been pretty great. Wow, Crazy How that is a super amazing. I have never heard that it's either really were really cool. I've heard family board meeting said that, but yeah, it's a little bit more, but still more formal, right? All right, last question you mentioned on your epitaph. Like or your tombstone or whatever you like starting to rehab. What, like that is an acceptable answer. But how would you like to be remembered both on this show and, um, certainly in life, hoping there's a correlation there there is, um, I I want to be remembered as someone who created a new path so someone could get a job that would change their life. That's what I want to die. Doing well does. You can't top that I'm working hard towards that. Super grateful to have you on the show. Thank you so much for making it happens. Been fun. Three years in the making. Not that Ryan Carson in the fight. Your at Ryan Carson on all of pretty much everywhere. Running cars on Twitter, instagram and so on with no end. Carson. Yep. Croson and tree house is team treehouse. It is? Yeah. Just Google Treehouse. I'm pretty sure one number one way beat out the tree house building companies. I love it. Thanks for me on the show, but really appreciate it. And for those you turn in watching listening, we'll probably hopefully in two years.