Hello and welcome to the Career Success podcast like Jason Connolly, if you’re a regular listener to the show, it’s great to have you back then. If you are new, welcome to the show in this insightful and thought provoking series. We speak to business leaders and people who had high levels of career success, but we also talked to up and coming and emerging business talent.
We speak to such a variety of people with across the globe. We talk about success habits and what they do in order to visually statement on their game. Listen and find out who’s in, tips to help you in your business. How do you make a company and make sure it’s a success? But we also talked about business growth and how to get your company notice practical advice to help you in your career from those who have made it to the top. In this episode, I’m delighted to be joined by Trey Kaufman. Trey is from Ohio in the USA. He’s an entrepreneur, owner of a highly successful website design and marketing agency. He’s also a podcaster, an an advocate for demanding better for ourselves. His goal. Is to empower others to look inward and find the happiness that they deserve. His spiritual awakening occurs after realising others don’t hold the key to his happiness and forbidding himself of corporate toxicity, he was able to build a business in life. He can reflect on daily with extreme gratitudes Trey. Thanks for joining me on the show Jason. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to do this. I have to iron too so we’ve had a really interesting conversation last week ahead. Of this podcast, but tell us a bit about the corporate toxicity and your background before you got to this place of having this realisation, tell us about you absolutely well. I know that’s very much an eye opening topic, and I think it’s something that a lot of people experience in their professional work lives myself. As a bit of background, in college, you know, I bounced around a lot. I think it had four or five majors before I finally graduated with a communications degree, which. It’s not nothing, but it’s it’s not much of something either, and so you know. Naturally. When I when I fell out of college and stumbled my way into the professional world, I looked for the lowest hanging fruit and I ended up with a bunch of sales type jobs. I got lucky with this a couple of small businesses which I really enjoyed my time there, but a lot of times it’s, you know we’re going to turn you in, turn you out, and if you’re not hitting your numbers for not making the number of calls that were that we require of you, then you know you’re out the door, which. Is not a great way to breed psychological safety within the work environment. I just learned that term rather recently, with from a guest on my podcast and it’s something that I think is so important that we. Need to emphasise within a work environment, making sure that people are not only happy but they feel welcomed within that team environment so they can intern to provide the best results as they possibly can for the company. And so I just I never really had that. I you know, I didn’t graduate with a degree in rocket science. I’m not working for SpaceX as much as I would love to, you know, I just I found myself trying to make money so I could live a life that I thought I wanted and. It wasn’t until relatively recently that that life that I thought I wanted it, just it wasn’t it. And so I was able to shift gears a bit. What was the life that you felt you wanted at the time? I thought that I wanted to be able to afford enough or make enough money to go out after work. Drink as much as I possibly can go home, play video games, and just live a life of leisure of hedonism. If you want to call it that, and I think I I say this, I guess. Kind of tongue in cheek. I think ambition was my problem. I had the ambition too. Want in dream the things that you know a big successful business owner or podcast or a writer would dream for, but I just didn’t have the drive to go out and do them, so my ambition held me back from living that quote, unquote life that I wanted. Always going out to happy hours or always playing video games, but at the same time I just didn’t have the drive at the time to actually do the work to pursue them. And why? Why do you think that was? Do you think it’s because there was an underlying kind of resentment that you was living in this kind of fear of constant but being booted out of the company, so to speak? Because sales environment in in any company isn’t easy, let alone if the you know the underlying culture at the company itself isn’t the nice one? Yeah, that’s a really interesting question. I I. They probably realised this in retrospect. When you actually work hard for the things that you want to accomplish, when you are willing to say no to just them. In my particular circumstance, notes alcohol, Noda, happy hours, no to, you know, random road trip. You are essentially. Segregating yourself from your core group of friends or or coworkers or whatever you want to call it, you are making yourself different and I don’t think at the time I was willing to put myself or take myself out of the fold because I wanted to be included. I I very much had a fear of missing out back in those days where if somebody was out having fun and I was at home trying to work on a book or work on a podcast I I had that anxiety that I wanted to know. What was happening in the lives of others? And you know, FOMO is it’s a very real thing. And I know we get pegged as I. I’m not sure how old you are, Jason, but you know my generation so they get 30. Three. OK, yeah, so we as millennials, you know, we get paid with this idea that we’ve got this made up. You know, anxiety disorder called FOMO, when it’s actually it is a very real thing. At least that’s what I’ve experienced and it can be debilitating and you know, accomplishing your bigger and better goals. Do you think social media is to blame for that? I think it’s a big problem. I, I think that we want people to see us in the best possible light and until you realize that people, one people don’t care about you, they care about themselves. And so if you think that people are going out of their way to make you feel bad or to make you want the life you have, you’re mistaken. Nobody’s thinking about you either thinking about themselves, and when we do, our absolute best to only put our, you know. The good elements of our lives out there. We are damaging the psyches of everybody who sing that because believe it or not, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. You know somebody is not getting a billion dollar funding round just out of the blue they’re putting in years of hard work to build their companies an finally. Oh, you know, TechCrunch picked up this, you know this brand new startup that just appeared overnight and now there, you know, there’s a massive massive Silicon Valley company. That’s just not how it works. And if we think that’s how it works. Then we’re going to have that anxiety in thinking that you know others are living this incredible live. What lives. While I am here doing work that ultimately may not even matter. Yeah, I think sometimes it’s you know from people from the outside looking in. People do think, well, you know it’s OK being at the topics for it. You know the really fortunate or it. You know, it’s great if I’m only loads of money, but so off the nice handbags. Nice Holidays. Yes, OK, that that’s all well and good, but you know, it doesn’t pop gold at the end. And a big smile and. Happiness necessarily right?
So he was working. You know, in these sounds companies in kind of corporate companies and then you in your profile here you had a spiritual awakening. After realising others don’t hold the key to happiness. So tell us more about that because that’s that’s quite interesting. That’s what page the way into what you’re doing now. Yeah, and I’m going to be honest. I didn’t know that term prior to. I don’t know. Maybe six months ago. Yeah, I had it right. I guess on the podcast who you know whose focus is he’s actually filmmaker. And he actually produces films based on people’s spiritual awakenings, like, oh, you know, ask Me a year ago, but I thought that was, I thought it would have been, you know, something that’s woo woo type thing. And I I didn’t really realize what that meant for myself and what was the spiritual awakening to you? ’cause I’m? I’m interested in that. Yeah, that’s the spiritual awakening for me was realising that note like like like it. You said in the copy it was realising that nobody else held the key to my having success for myself and that. Is extended to. I don’t need a fancy house or a fancy car to be happy. Those things can add value to my life, but until I am completely content and happy with who I am and what I have and wanting what I have then nothing is going to impact my level of happiness. And once I was able to realize that once I was able to know that I am in complete control of myself and nothing else in this world. That’s when I was able to start realising that that contentment that happiness live. Live inside of me and that’s been over a four or five year. Right? OK, and then you went onto to build your business, but it was that kind of driven by a desire to kind of take, you know, your life into your own hands with destiny, into your own hands. Or was that more in the pursuit of happiness? Or was it a combination of all three and more? I think it was a combination of all three or more. I mean, it was a very gradual series of events. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself, but like I said in my 20s, I was so concerned with going out and having fun. As their the work that I had to do to actually get to a point where I was capable of, you know, saying I’m my own boss, I just I was not willing to do it. It just do. It was a simple. It was a simple equation I need to put in this much work. Here’s the work I’m putting in an. It’s just it’s. There’s not computing. And so finally if I credit any book with changing my life it’s ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday that book when reading it I realised how much how in the way of myself I was getting and when I was able to. Understand the role that ego played in my life and not to you know, not to hit over the head with a shovel and Bury it 6 feet in the ground. But to learn how to work with it and actually use it to my advantage as opposed to me thinking I know every damn thing in the world at that point in time I was really able to say, OK. Here’s what I actually need to do to get to a point where I’m able to make my own living and a lot of that was just doing research. Understanding that you know when it comes to certain things with setting up your LLC. Or, you know, having your taxes done, there are people there who are willing and able an actually want to help you with that. And so when I understood that I didn’t have to do all of this on my own, that was just the first domino to fall and then I was really able to start putting a game plan in place. It sounds to me, but you’re kind of when you describe your 20s. It sounds like when you sort of describe how you was, but you know you weren’t ready for this or you know you weren’t in the right place to give that level of work. It sounds to me that those years in your 20s though. What kinds of you almost say no, this isn’t what I want, and you had to go through that experience to arrive at that place to when you have that drive and get up and go. And maybe it was seeing those things in your 20s are kind of paved way to you being a success. ’cause you obviously went through, you know a kind of journey there in itself. Yeah, absolutely. And I know I’ve come into the habit of demonising my 20s and I don’t want to do that. There’s nothing about my 20s that I regret. There were. No, there are no mistakes that you know, couldn’t be undone. So I’m very thankful for that. ’cause I did a lot of stupid crap, but I mean, I. And thankful that I was able to have that fan in that level of carefree life that I was able to have back then. And I guess I got to a point where yes to your point, I was starting to say OK, here’s what I actually want. Here’s here. The things that I thought were just going to happen overnight. You know, I’m I’m pushing 30 and none of them happen. None of none of these things have happened yet, so maybe, just maybe, I actually need to start doing work to your point earlier, I. Raised from, you know, the end of high school. Through college on Facebook and then Twitter. And then you know this social media making it seem like these things just happen overnight. And when I finally realised that wasn’t the case, that’s when I decided to put my head down and just push forward. Was it because you you felt that actually it was that easy and it just wasn’t happening to you? An opportunity wasn’t arriving on your doorstep and then yeah, you suddenly have that moment of. Why kidding and thinking? Hang on a minute and you know this. These years are passing me by and I need to do something? Yeah, absolutely absolutely yeah. That is 100% case. So today you are running a successful website design agency and marketing agency. Tell us more about that. How did that kind of manifest itself and have you gone out there and and marketed this business and you know, got money through the door, which is challenging for any business in its first year? Yeah, absolutely. You know, I want to give credit where credits do so my last real job. I was actually with a dental office. It was a small dental office but they were there. The budget was big enough to afford a marketing director, and so I was with them for a couple of years, and while there they were remember of a networking organisation. It’s called am Spirit and so I wouldn’t network weekend and week out and it was very. It was very close knit, group of individuals and I all the time credit these individuals with giving me the confidence in the resources to go out on my own and so my business has become successful because of the relationships that I’ve built an I can’t. I can’t overstate the fact that you know in the last year, or how much in the last year podcasting and connecting with individuals across the world has done. For me, building solid relationships. Building this foundational approach to working with people, and providing value in their lives. So in turn they provide value, and mine has just been. I can’t like. I can’t overstate. It’s been so incredible, and so I was able to be profitable right out the gate, because I was able to build a client base. Prior to leaving my real job, an really start to build those relationships that got me to a place where I was comfortable going out of my way to talk with new and exciting and interesting business owners around. Not only Columbus, not even not only Ohio, but you know the United States in the world as well. So it was Paul Coster done a lot of that for you prior to launching podcasting. Yet by guessing, did did a fair amount and just not having the ambition preventing me from actually connecting with people. I think I’ve met more interesting people since I’ve started this podcast, and I probably have in the last decade combined, but I think it’s I think for me it’s been about when you kind of rise up the career ladder and you you open a business and you an you go through those app Salute share struggles and then Oh my God, they have been absolutely immense and since I’ve started mine I I found myself and stepping back after a few years and going hang on a minute where all my friends gone. You know where? Where are they? And I actually had a moment of realisation myself that the people that I you know those years ago I I was struggling to have some level of relatability to people. And I think you know podcasts are a great thing. And actually I found myself connecting with people, but I I really feel understand the adversity and how much struggle its headaches to start a business and to get it successful and then to go through those milestones of growing it. And it’s really hard. But there’s, you know, a world out there and we are connected. But you know, I have my own views on social media.
Are we in a connected well more connected than ever? But actually I think we’re so disconnected in a lot of ways. And you know, I don’t use social media ’cause I just don’t think it’s. I use LinkedIn then I’m a big big big LinkedIn fan, but I just don’t think it’s great for his mental health and it’s not some, but I really want to be involved in. But I do think it’s great. You know to you know to have those connections and make sure that you know finding people who relate to tell me so that the podcast you host. The Mosaic Life podcast. Some very nice name. I like. Well thank you, but man it’s all about people who are demanding the best for themselves and the lives that they want. And they’re on a mission to do better. Each day is what it’s all about. So tell us what you’ve learned since doing this podcast, because you’ve probably heard a lot of stories with very similar threads and people who you know really been through similar experiences. Tell us a bit about the podcast and your experiences. Yeah, you know, the first word that pops in my head when talking about the podcast is the people with whom I get to speak there. They’re unapologetic, Lee themselves, and I think that’s really important, because if you’re going to do something that nobody else has done before, or nobody that you know, or nobody in your family has done before, you can’t apologise about it. You have to be willing to make yourself uncomfortable for a time being so you can find comfort in the future. I know I generally say it’s a podcast about happiness and discovering what it means to us as individuals, and why so many of us. Who are chasing it? Never find it. And of course you know without fail. The next question is what is happiness? And I, you know, I’m not. I’m not trying to do this so I can define happiness because it is very abstract. It really really is and you know the people I’ve spoken with have all sorts of definitions of it. I’m doing this because I want to find the code I just defined an algorithm for happiness. You know, if you, whatever, no matter what place you are in your life, there is a way there’s a path for you. To find that happiness, the things that make you that bring you genuine joy and contentment and put you on a path to just riding that happiness wave for as long as possible. And so when I talk with these people like you said, you know I demand for myself to do better all of the time. You know, if I feel like I’m slacking I need to do better. You know, if I’m at the top of you, know whatever project I’m working on, how can I do it? Still a little bit better because I know you really need it to be in command of your. Your own motivation, your own ambition, and your own emotions. To be able to find yourself an in that state of happiness. And it’s just. It’s been very interesting to me talking with these people to get a firm understanding of what it is they do day in and day out that allows them to experience that you mentioned an algorithm. Do you? Do you think that your anyway? First, before we put finding a particular formula to find happiness, you know? All of the all the time I say, you know, I’m a sample size of one. I do intended. Actually, I would love to talk with more psychologists about the actual chemistry that makes up. You know, our serotonin receptors in all of that. I just thought that is over my head at this point time, but for me, you know the sample being one. I know that when I have a an anxious or a negative thought, I’m allowed. I’m giving my percent myself remission. Have that thought? But in order for it to not be toxic. For me I need to remove any judgment from it. I need to say hey, I’m anxious about this project that I’m working on. Why is that? Is does or anxiety right now it does. It need to be done 10 minutes ago? Oftentimes, the answers to those questions are no. I do my best to be positive when it comes to my outward appearance. I want to be positive because I want people to. Yes, I want to project that and so that doesn’t mean that I’m extremely optimistic, positive person. That’s not the case at all internally. I’m having negative thoughts all the time and that’s just that’s part of the human condition. But if I’m able to remove the stigma and the judgment from those, I’m able to observe them as I guess from a third person point of view and say, OK, here’s why. Here’s this thought I’m having why am I having that thought? What can I do in the future to avoid having this thought and it’s just been a very interesting thought exercise for me and I’m able to a lot of times prevent those from coming into my head in the 1st place. Yeah, I completely agree with you. I think for myself, I. I very much like you. I project that that positivity and everything I do in a business sense. And I I very much tried to echo that in my personal life. But I think we all get these unhelpful and sometimes they can be helpful, but a lot of the time they can be unhelpful. Negative thoughts and I I think it’s I think you make a really valid point and I think it’s about knowing when you get that unhelpful for what is the facts that supported? What are the facts against it? And then knowing what the more balanced alternative viewpoint and perspective is. And I think that it’s about going through that process because in any one day you can get, especially when you’re running a company. There’s so many things that you could you know allowed to kind of consume you, and a lot of this goes back to kind of by no means an expert on psychology in the brain. I proclaim that now. But you know, I know it’s about kind of the primitive brain and the primitive brain is larger than the intellectual part of the brain and the primitive brain is that kind of fight or flight lion modes and that kind of takes control. And it looks at. Everything that happens, but some negative thought as the save Sabre tooth Tiger is coming to get you right and you know, I I, I know that ’cause I’ve been on my own journey in regards to this and you know I’ve had therapy over the years to talk about different things. And you know, it’s important though, but I think that you make such a valid point about unhelpful thoughts, and I think it’s about knowing how to deal with those unhelpful thoughts and how to process them. And knowing which unhelpful thoughts to allow to. Maybe you give more thought to and which ones are being held in a minute buddy. I’m in apt 4. I’ma leave it there for now. Yeah yeah, now you know one of the most important terms that I’ve learned over the last year is emotional intelligence. And that’s exciting me. Already. I I talked about this a lot. Carry-on train, yeah, in 80 and I will be the first to explain that. I’m not an expert in the field, but I understanding what it is outside of, you know, intellectual intelligence. It’s so incredibly important, and if if anybody is curious about it whatsoever, Google it. Research it, learn about it, because if you can develop emotional intelligence, you will put yourself so far ahead of the rest of the pack. I can guarantee it. You are going to be in such a good place. I agree, I get this. This podcast is about you Trey and I keep talking, but you’re making so many absolutely valid points and I, I think emotional intelligence is something that is actually a gift of mine. And I think it’s something which I find jeans over the years and the amount of times you’ll get someone who so highly intellectual. But actually they lag large amounts of emotional intelligence, and it’s actually the emotional intelligence in the connecting with people in the finding. Those common freighters. And you know, finding those connections which would drive you forward in in your career. And you know, I agree with you, I think it’s one of the main things that I ask people in interview interview for our company. I say tell me what you know about emotional intelligence because it I I work in sales, but it’s it’s so in such a valid point and it’s so relevant in life what what do you think is the main? Saying that you’ve learned from the podcast since you’ve been hosting it kind of, in a nutshell, not to put you on the spot race. Not at all, no. I appreciate that. They so much we could talk about baby. Yeah, you know when I get when I have the opportunity to talk with entrepreneurs like yourself are authors or thought leaders, or TEDx speakers or stage speakers or anybody? I see it difference between them and the person who I was ten years ago. These people believe wholly with their whole selves in their mission. They believe in what they are talking about. They believe in what they’ve dedicated their lives to and I can remember I can remember very vividly working for somebody else and again, this is just this is just me.
But working for somebody else. Either I can tell you a time that I bought into the mission of the company I was doing what I was doing it to make money, and if you can believe so incredibly much and A cause that is propelling your life forward, it is something you’re dedicating your life to. You are going to be so fulfilled whether or not you’re making $20,000 a year or 20 million, it does not. It does not matter you if you believe in your mission, in your cause and your work, you are going to set yourself up for happiness so much better than somebody else who. Is hustling and grinding for somebody else who doesn’t really believe in that mission? It’s just it’s so important to know that what you’re doing is making a difference. Yeah, I agree, I think we’ve company mission statements, values and this now the other. I always think that yes it’s important to have one right, but it’s about the people there and you know someone could give me a mission statement. But as soon as I walked into an interview. But really, that’s kind of parked right in the back of my mind. I’m really focusing on this once before me and the people in front of me. A company spend this. Jet to imagine how much some big companies spend on getting these missions, reasons I think it’s important to make sure people are on the same line. You know, people do have those values, it’s important, but what’s really important is the people that work there, and I think a good recruitment strategy is really important. What is its been the most challenging kind of moment for you? Then write your business, career or life. It’s kind of had a big impact on, you know things and your thoughts and what you’re doing now. Yeah, I’ve had a lot of conversations about this, specially recently. For some reason. What we didn’t get into, you know, prior to starting. The business that I’m in now I started a different company with the same, especially the same service offerings, and I quickly took on two partners and that was a lesson for me. We certainly we worked together for I would say roughly a year before things really just started unravel and I used to hold a lot of resentment against the two of them and just feel like I was taken advantage of or whatever, whatever you want to call it. I was the person who would place the blame elsewhere and so for me the challenge was just. Looking at this from a 50,000 level view, learning from that failure and knowing that failure is OK, it really is you. As long as you are taking what you’ve learned from that failure and utilising that in your future endeavours. Failure is part of the process that is the scientific process, and it took me a long, long time to realize that I should not be ashamed of anything that happened in the past. As long as I’m able to move forward and create. A better, not only a better company, but a better version of myself from the things that I experienced because of that. Yeah it, it’s I think he’s not necessarily the failures you’ve had, but what you’ve done and how you process those and what you ultimately learn from them and what you change moving forward. If I had a pound for every time I made a failure, you know. Well there be some welfare for sure, but you know, I always say yes, I might make a mistake. But you know, I very rarely make the same one twice. Yeah, you know, I’ve had some painful lessons to learn over my. What advice would you give to someone who’s maybe knew to business or some of its thinking? You know I want to start my own company, but boy, I don’t know where to go. How do I, you know? How do I do that? How do I? How do I make sure that I get clients and market myself working in marketing? I guess this is a great question for you and being next marketing director, it’s great question for you. But what advice would you give to people who may be starting out in the business world? Yeah, I’ve got two pieces of ice of advice, you know one. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something. There are people out there who specialise in every area of business that you want to start. For me, I was always my cat. My excuse and this is what it was my excuse for not starting business was I don’t know how to do business taxes when I didn’t realize or I guess I didn’t want to believe that I could just hire somebody to do that for me. And that was a very big turning point for me. If you have questions, there’s a community of people out there who are willing to help. And want to help and get a lot of value in a lot of you know good positive vibes from helping others and newcomers into the business world out. My biggest piece of advice and this is the one thing that I cannot, you know state enough and this will make or break you as a business person and will make or break you as a business. If you say you were going to do something, do it. Do not make excuses. Do not say oh I I couldn’t do this because somebody else said they were going to live or something else and. It didn’t work. If you say you are going to do something, find a way to get it done. It might not owe. You might sometimes miss a deadline, but get it done and make it right by your clients. The best marketing tool you have is word of mouth referrals from other people you have worked with in the past. If you say you were going to do something, do it. I 100% agree with you. I think that delivering I think in general I think it really comes back to managing expectations and I think when I know I think sales people can be. Awful at this. It’s saying yes, we could do this. Yes, we could do whatever is necessary to get the contract through the door, but if you mismanage expectations then you failed massively and you’ve lost business it it’s better to under promise and over deliver and over promise and under deliver then you in a whole negative side. Absolutely yeah, I agree with you totally. So really interesting conversation. I think you made some really really valid points. Obviously people want to listen to your podcast the Mosaic Life Podcast. Where can they go that one iTunes or yes everywhere? So if you want to go straight to the website, it’s V Mosaic lifepodcast.com. If you search in any podcast player to make your life easier to search for.
I’m yet to listen to an episode, but I definitely definitely will do I. I think the the whole ethos of it is great and in regards to your marketing agency, I can absolutely vouch for you or someone who cares is passionate about it. Well, you said it yourself. Try you deliver. Every time where can people go to find out more about the website design business and the SCO in the marketing work that you do? If they want to find out more, absolutely so. My company is called 2237 Designs an the URL is simply2237designs.com
I think you’re offering three months of website maintenance with the 4th month free. So yeah, you heard it there. If you are interested then you can go there. Trey, thank you so much as being. Lovely to talk to you. I think it makes really valid points and I think it’s been really fascinating to hear about your spiritual awakening work, how you thought it got to where you are you. I wish you all the best. I’m Jason Connolly. This is the career successful past that this trait often and until next time goodbye.