Steve Fredlund is here with 30 years of corporate experience. Steve has launched his own business, helping entrepreneurs, micro businesses and nonprofits and other smaller organizations. And as part of his overlapping 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, he's started an effort bringing a transformation to a community in northern Rwanda, where he traveled four times in his volunteer role of executive director. And he's also served on a number of nonprofit boards, launched five podcasts, and been involved in many other volunteer leadership roles.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 571
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:41] Tom's introduction to Steve Fredlund [06:28] Creating a vibrant community for learning poker [09:33] All about Disc Golf [13:02] Micro businesses [18:08] Math has some place in life [26:43] Helping small business [32:55] Sponsor message [35:30] A typical day for Steve
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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Disabilities Page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Steve's website – https://stevefredlund.com/
Small Small Business – https://smallsmallbusiness.com/
Steve's TEDx talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdGSDx4K9LY
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Episode 571 – Steve Fredlund
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 571 of Screw the Commute podcast. And here is Steve Fredlund. Now, this guy, we love this guy. I'll tell you why in a minute. But I mean, he knows what it's like to be completely a fully engaged leader and what it's like to feel completely lost and defeated. And if you entrepreneurs have been around and been around as long as I have know that feeling and he's been 30 years doing what is kind of cuss words around here. He was in the corporate world. So we're going to forgive him for that. But what he's figured out is how to do all kinds of great benevolent stuff and fun stuff. And that's again, what we love in our lifestyle business and he's done to Ted talks to peeps and a jeep was my favorite so we'll bring him on the minute. You did miss episode 570. That was seven ways to beat your competitors. And of course there's not the only seven ways, but are things that I've lived for since 45, for more years in business and 28 since the commercial Internet started have done well for me. Now, let's see. Make sure you pick up a copy of our automation e-book. We sell this for 27 bucks, but it's yours free for listening to the show.
[00:01:45] It's allowed me to handle up to 150,000 subscribers and 65,000 customers without pulling my hair out. We actually figured it out a couple years ago. It's just one of the tips in this book has saved me seven and a half million keystrokes. And that's not an exaggeration. It's probably 8 million now. And that's just one of the tips that has cell phone automation and all the kinds of things that you can do. So you're not fighting with your computer, you're spending time taking care of customers and prospects and doing the things you love. So pick it up at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. You can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Now we're going to hear I'm almost ashamed a little bit to tell you this next thing, because I think Steve has kind of blown me away in the benevolence arena, but I'm trying to do my best. You know, I've raised a lot of money for kids and dogs and all kinds of people. But the latest thing I'm doing is with our school, where we've got this scholarship program for persons with disabilities.
[00:03:02] And it's one of the best things I've always known that it's perfect for folks with disabilities because they can not only learn Internet and digital marketing remotely, but they can also be hired legitimately, remotely. And I've been preaching this for 24 years, but, you know, since the pandemic, everybody is like, oh, you can work from home. I didn't know that. Yeah, I think so. So so check that out at the school website. It'll be in the show notes at IMTCVA.org/disabilities. And two of the people in the program are blind and they're shooting better videos than I do. So check it out. It's something you could really be proud to be involved in.
[00:03:43] All right. Let's get to the main event. Steve Fredlund is here with 30 years of corporate experience. Steve has launched his own business, helping entrepreneurs, micro businesses and nonprofits and other smaller organizations. And as part of his overlapping 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, he's started an effort bringing a transformation to a community in northern Rwanda, where he traveled four times in his volunteer role of executive director. And he's also served on a number of nonprofit boards, launched five podcasts, and been involved in many other volunteer leadership roles. Steve, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:04:24] Let's go, man. Screw that commute.
[00:04:28] Yeah. So, yeah, I love all the things you've been doing. That's what I preach to everybody. You can live two or three lives if you're not in traffic, making somebody else rich all the time. But you did that for 30 years and you're still being able to do this stuff. So. So tell us what you're up to.
[00:04:44] Man. I wish I would have heard the podcast 25 years ago. I could have screwed the commute a long time ago.
[00:04:50] There you go. Yeah.
[00:04:51] No, I mean, I spent like you said, I spent all those years in the corporate world and I live about an hour away from the metro area. And so most of that was commuting. And then I live in Minnesota, which means there's snow, which means sometimes it was 2 to 3 hours each way. And so, yeah, I spent a lot of times. A lot of time commuting. You mentioned saving seven and a half million keystrokes with your automation stuff. I don't know how many hours I could have saved driving, but but but yeah. So I mean, I've always been in the corporate world, but I'm always trying to do new things and I'm kind of a creative guy, kind of a, you know, trying all these different things. So yeah, the podcasts, the non profit stuff. And then about three and a half years ago finally said, screw the commute, and it was right before COVID. So it kind of came in a good time anyway. But now, like you said, I'm helping small businesses really microbusinesses. You know, it's a lot of times the people that really need the help, the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, the mom and pop shops, those folks, they can't really get the help that they need because all of the people like me that are consulting are looking to get the big contracts right with Medtronic's of the world. And so they kind of get left with the scraps, with the leftovers, not that the people that are trying to help them aren't goodhearted people, but they just don't have the level of experience that people like myself have. And so that's really been the focus area is trying to help those folks out.
[00:06:13] Well, at least at least all that commuting that gas was cheaper.
[00:06:17] That's true. You know.
[00:06:19] I told my girlfriend I'm going to take her somewhere expensive and I said, yeah, let's go to the gas station.
[00:06:26] So I've done.
[00:06:28] So. But boy, you've had time to do such benevolent work, which I want to get to shortly. But just some of the fun things you do. I mean, I read that you have built a vibrant and encouraging community for poker learning.
[00:06:43] Yeah, right.
[00:06:44] Well, people there that lost it, I just lost 50,000 in Vegas. I need some encouragement right now.
[00:06:51] So that started like like a lot of the stuff that I do has started with me developing a passion for something and then I don't really do things halfway. I kind of get into things all the way. And, and what I found is that podcasting is such a great way to learn something. And so, I don't know, it was like 12 years ago or so, I used to fish a lot with my kids. They kind of lost interest in fishing. And so I talked to two of my buddies and between the three of us we had ten teenagers and we were like.
[00:07:20] Can we help? How can we connect with our kids? Like, how can we make sure we stay connected as they as they grow up here.
[00:07:26] At the poker? I guess that.
[00:07:28] Would go right. Exactly. This was gamble together. How about that? But no.
[00:07:31] Somebody said, has anybody ever played Texas Hold'em? And we're not. We're all like, not really. And so we actually started doing that. You know, we get together with the 13 of us and we play for a quarter for the whole night and we just had fun. But then a couple of us just fell in love with the game. And so I actually ended up starting a podcast out of that geared toward recreational players, people that just sort of play home games and that thing. And it just grew and grew and grew and it became a top ten poker podcast and eventually became like a membership site. And so we offer all kinds of training and that sort of stuff, but it's the whole goal is really, like you said, to create this vibrant and encouraging poker learning community where a lot of people that play poker, they're afraid to go to the casino because if they make a mistake or they make a bad play, somebody is going to berate them and kind of get in their face and make fun of them and all that stuff or get mad at them. And so our whole goal is to try to create this community where it's safe to play and just have fun and learn the game together.
[00:08:24] Well, yeah, that's that's cool. I just keep thinking the boy, I hope none of them get addicted and then lose their shirt.
[00:08:31] And yeah, I mean, that's always a risk, too. But I think, you know, the stakes that we're talking about, it's just pure recreational players. And I suppose that that can happen. But, you know, I think when you do it the right way, it's just it's really more of a hobby fun thing. And that's why the focus stays there. Not, you know, we're not out there encouraging people to take their life savings or to give up their career and become a professional gambler or anything like that. But yeah, I mean, obviously that does happen.
[00:08:54] And all these things have details, all hobbies and everything, because I run across it on TV sometimes.
[00:09:01] And I.
[00:09:01] Have no idea what's going.
[00:09:03] I have no idea what's going on.
[00:09:06] Well, it's one of those things that it's like so many things in life where on the surface it just seems easy, right? Like, Oh, here's the game. And it's really a pretty simple game to learn. But as you get into it, there's a whole language, there's more strategy, and there's just layers and layers and layers, just like podcasting, right? Tom I mean, you kind of get into it and you realize, Boy, this is a lot more complicated than I originally thought.
[00:09:26] Yeah. People say, Oh, yeah, you just talking to Mike?
[00:09:28] Well, right.
[00:09:29] That's 1/1000000 of the whole deal.
[00:09:33] Yep. Anybody can do that, right?
[00:09:34] Tell us about the disc golf. I mean, I played golf as a kid. The only job I ever had was I cut the fairway, not the fairways. No, the rough. They wouldn't let you cut the fairways unless you knew what you were doing.
[00:09:49] But now this golf what's the.
[00:09:53] It details to that, too.
[00:09:54] I guess it's the same it's the same thing like poker was. So about three years ago, my son got into disc golf. He said, Hey, you should come do this because I was trying to get more steps in. I'm trying to be a little bit more active, but I hate just. Walking like I get so bored. And so he's like, try disc golf. And so basically you just take like, what are Frisbees now? There's all kinds of different plastics and molds and that kind of thing, but basically it's a Frisbee that you throw and you see how many shots it takes you to get into a basket. And then there's courses set up that might be nine holes, 18 holes, whatever kind of thing. So it's just like golf in that way, but it's just how many shots does it take you to get in the basket? And so I started getting into that. And of course, like I do, man, this is fun. I want to learn from people that really know this thing. So I started a podcast, why wouldn't you write? But it's just such a great way to learn the game. It's a great way to get to know other people in the industry and that sort of thing. So yeah, so I have the Northern Chain's Disc Golf podcast, but it's all based on I love this, I want to learn more about it and I want to actually give people some sort of information that are in my shoes, like because there weren't many disc golf podcasts out there for people that are just trying to learn the game because like poker, it's, it seems easy. Just go buy a Frisbee. Well, now there's okay, there's all these different kinds of drivers and different molds and manufacturers and it just gets complicated.
[00:11:09] So I kind of.
[00:11:10] The golf shoes and you got.
[00:11:11] To yeah. I don't have the golf shoes yet. I probably should. But they.
[00:11:15] They have a golf cart.
[00:11:17] Well, there's, there's bags and carts and there's, you know, there's all kinds of stuff you can do. And so I think for for me, what I like to do is because I like to try to keep things simple, but then it gets complex. My role in the universe, if you will, is to kind of take those complicated things and try to hone it down to what do you actually really need to know to keep it fun, keep it light, but maybe get a little bit better?
[00:11:36] So that's kind of the.
[00:11:38] Next million dollar idea for you that you can donate all the money to Rwanda or wherever you want. So I was, I don't know, about four or five years ago, I'm driving down to 64. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It's kind of interstate. And I'm seeing these massive poles being built next to the right next to the road. I'm thinking, what the heck are they doing there, those antennas or what? And then they put a big like clear fence around it is this golf place where you eat dinner and then at several levels, then you hit golf balls.
[00:12:13] Yeah. Yeah. Is that top.
[00:12:15] Yeah, something like that. You do it with this golf.
[00:12:19] You could do something. Yeah.
[00:12:22] You wouldn't make a fence, you know.
[00:12:25] Right. The problem is that people that play, like, real golf, like have a lot of money, so they don't mind spending money in that kind of stuff. People play disc golf for people like me that are cheap because I can go to Walmart and I can get all three discs I want for 15 bucks.
[00:12:36] And then.
[00:12:37] To play is basically free. It's like almost every place is just free to go play. So you need you need people that have money and disc golfers aren't usually where they are.
[00:12:44] I tried. I tried.
[00:12:46] I'll take it. They'll take the.
[00:12:48] But, you know, there are places that have like they're basically driving range just like glorified driving ranges. And so the beauty of disc golf is I don't need to go pay to a driving range. My buddy and I can just go to a football field and throw throw discs down the field and see how far we throw them.
[00:13:02] So you've been able to channel all this fun stuff that you do, and that's only a portion of it, but into some really, really benevolent things. And when I heard you say micro-business, I kind of thought that it's where you lend $2 to somebody and and Africa and to to start a little business. But you expanded it to us regular small businesses. But tell us about some of the things you've been able to do. And you've had some tremendous experiences helping people in many, many efforts. So tell us, how how have you been able to do that?
[00:13:41] Well, I think part of the micro business thing, when I say micro business over here in the US, what I mean is, you know, places that have like five, ten employees or smaller, that sort of thing. But but some of my love for that was informed by my time in Rwanda. And so again, that whole movement was born out of my desire to do two things. One is I had a heart for what was going on with the AIDS pandemic in Africa. For whatever reason, I just felt like I wanted to be part of that solution. And then over where I live in East Central Minnesota, it felt like we just couldn't unify our community. Right? We just, like everybody, was so polarized even then over whether it was politics or religion or the schools or business or whatever it was. And it just felt sort of just just unified. And so I decided I wanted to try to do two things with one with one stone, and that was to unite the people of East Central Minnesota to respond to global poverty and to do that over in Africa. And so that's that was the impetus of this thing. And then I was able to find a couple other people that had that same passion. And so our focus for 12 years was to and it really was a project for 12 years was to do those two things, to do all kinds of things over here to unite people. So we did all kinds of things like water walks and concerts and sewing things and building medical kits and what we did. And then we'd have all these big events like these annual celebrations. And the whole message was, you know, we all have all these differences, but for the sake of.
[00:15:06] Night for the sake of the kids in Africa. Let's set that stuff aside and let's be one community. And so that was the message here. And then we would take the money that we would raise. And the impact over there was just unbelievable. I mean, I could talk for hours and hours, but it took four different teams of people over there to Rwanda and we'd spend 7 to 10 days doing the humanitarian work. And then we would end with a day or two on safari, which was all kinds of stories, of course, with those as well. But we were involved in everything from from clean water to education to disease prevention, soil erosion, micro-financing, like you talked about there, where we would actually help businesses get started. Maybe when you saw me on video, you might have saw I have a basket that was made by somebody over there. So we were just involved there. The whole point was to transform that community. So it wasn't just, hey, here's some money, good luck with everything. It was the idea was to build the financial infrastructure, to build the economic stability, to build the education centers, everything that was that would provide that sort of stability so that they could actually transform. And I should point out that we didn't do the work ourselves. So it wasn't like Westerners going over there to do the work. It was all done by the local people there because that's really the model that's sustainable. So again, I could talk for hours and hours, but that was that was the crux of what we did.
[00:16:23] Well, I understand one of your friends got attacked by a baboon.
[00:16:28] You know, so I laugh now. And we had all of.
[00:16:32] These experiences where we we laugh. And I even said this one time, we were being chased by elephants, literally being chased by elephants. And I told people, well, just enjoy it, because if we die, it's going to suck, of course. But we're going to have a great story. Great story. You eat as much as you can and. Yeah. Gina. Gina. Gina got mugged by a baboon and we oh, my gosh. We got cornered while she got cornered. And they would do this. They would sort of attack and she got cornered and she had her bag of stuff and she had bananas and Clif bars in her bag, which she shouldn't have had because that attracts them. But no, she got cornered by baboons. It was obviously a very, very scary for her. And they ripped the bag out of her hand and luckily they just ran away. And then we have all these pictures and videos of these of these baboons sitting on the side of the or sitting on the edge of the woods just shotgunning Clif Bars.
[00:17:18] They would open them up and eat them and they're just like hammer and all this and.
[00:17:21] They take the wrappers off.
[00:17:23] They did. Yeah.
[00:17:24] And they actually like they were going through her bag and like trying everything like she had wet wipes in there, like sanitary, sanitary, wet wipes or whatever. And they would like take a bite and like throw it away and they were trying everything. And so, I mean, obviously very scary for her. It's a funny thing now, but the funniest part about it was right after it happened, like she came running down to where we were and she was telling the story. I said, wait, wait, wait, wait, let me get my camera out. And so I videotaped her telling the story and she.
[00:17:48] Was so.
[00:17:50] Worked up and passionate like watching that video. It's just hilarious.
[00:17:54] Yeah, we've.
[00:17:55] Had all kinds of very, very interesting experiences over.
[00:17:58] It would have been funnier if they took the wet wipes and start cleaning their armpits off.
[00:18:02] Because that would have been good. Yeah, that would have been funny. Now.
[00:18:09] Now let's bring it closer to home. Sure. I'm a little bit worried about today's youth. Now, I understand you. You actually graduated in mathematics in your undergraduate school, and you actually must have believed, which is kind of fading away, that math has some place in life.
[00:18:31] I do. I just said amazing.
[00:18:33] But I saw on TV where the governor of Oregon said, you do not have to pass math or English test to get your high school diploma. This I just can't believe this. And then thing came out of Baltimore that. Out of 600 kids, only like 12 of them could read that level at grade level. Yeah, some of them, I mean, hundreds of them were reading at kindergarten level. So I I'm wondering what we can do about this.
[00:19:08] Yeah, I don't know. It's a problem that I would honestly love to get involved with. I don't know the answers, but I consider myself a problem solver and I would love to get involved and just see what we can do with this. It's it hits close to home because my wife teaches second grade. She's done that for many, many, many years in our hometown. And, you know, it even starts there where it's tough because so many kids come into school and there's such a disparity in terms of what they've learned at that point when they're five years old. You know, you have on one end of the spectrum, you have parents that are reading to their kids every night. And and I was probably teaching my kids derivatives because that's just because I'm that dumb, you know? And then there's other kids that are just they're they're they're just never taught anything, you know? And they grow up in a tough, really, really, really tough environment. It's not emotionally safe or certainly not getting education. And so they come in there and then what do you do as a school now? I mean, what how much energy do you give to the kids that have a good education, that have a really high potential when they're in.
[00:20:04] This, the advanced classes, that's what you do.
[00:20:06] And well, it's.
[00:20:07] To the lowest common denominator.
[00:20:09] That's kind of what happens. And so it ends up being sort of you're kind of babysitting and you're no kid left behind. And I don't want to get into the politics of it cause I don't really know enough to really have an opinion. It's just it's just really, really tough. And it's not, it's just not working. And I think I've seen some good what I think are good advances in terms of having tracks for kids that to go to, like a technical school, like identifying those kids early that really have a good, good skill set mechanically, but they're not going to ever really be great at math and English, so track for them to actually become a great tradesman, which the world desperately needs.
[00:20:43] Welders are making $150,000 a year. Right. So a New Yorker cartoon, somebody was at the unemployment office and the unemployment counselor was saying, you know, we got plenty of PhDs and MBAs and everything. We need a good body and fender, man.
[00:21:00] Yeah, right. No, seriously.
[00:21:01] No, that's true. So I've seen some good things, good things happening there. I know we've got some, some local schools that have been granted funds from from a bank where basically anybody that graduates of high school locally can go to that trade school for absolutely free.
[00:21:16] Wow. Yeah.
[00:21:17] You know, just because they recognize that as a as a way to go. But yeah, I don't I don't know what to do because there are I mean, there's a lot of functioning adults that don't need math or English, but that's not the majority that you know. But I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle the situation because it just sort of that chasm gets bigger and bigger as you get as they get older in terms of who who has the ability to pass tests and who doesn't.
[00:21:42] Yeah, yeah, I get it. And I do have to tease you a little bit. I mean, you know, teaching your kids derivatives, it's I'm wondering, there's no kind of wonder why that it's hard to connect with them when they were teens.
[00:21:57] I know. Well, it is funny.
[00:22:00] Because they still talk about this. So my my boys, I mean, I'm a nerd. My boys are alternative. Twin boys were 25 now. And when when one of them when they were in sophomore in high school, one of them won this the championship for math league for the conference championship the next year. The other one won it and the senior year they tied. And I don't say that to brag just like but they're ultra nerds and they.
[00:22:23] We'd be driving to school or whatever and I'd be like, all right, you know, what's, what's the.
[00:22:27] Derivative of X cubed, you know? And they didn't really get it, but they'd say.
[00:22:31] Oh, it's three x squared.
[00:22:32] You know, they would just.
[00:22:33] Go, I had no you know, they had no chance.
[00:22:36] Well, I got to tell you, for years, the people that know me and listen to this know that I've been teaching how to recruit geeks and propeller heads to help you with your Internet business.
[00:22:47] Right. And so I tell them.
[00:22:51] Hire the kid that's never going to get a date in his entire life. That's the kid you want.
[00:22:57] Right? Loves his computer.
[00:22:58] Well, there you go. So. No, that's that's that's right.
[00:23:02] All right, now, here's something you probably don't know about me, but I know about you. You were on the tennis team in college.
[00:23:09] Yeah, right.
[00:23:10] And so I've been teaching for many years, 20 plus years, how to make your hobbies legitimately tax deductible. And and so I'm a tennis nut, so I have the dubious distinction of being the largest person ever to create and star in a tennis training video.
[00:23:29] So it's called fatsotennis.com. You can see me. The trailer to the video shows me playing tennis and eating pizza at the same time.
[00:23:43] That's so funny. That reminds me of.
[00:23:45] Yeah, you've done your homework because. Yeah, I haven't. I played tennis, played tennis in college. We didn't have a high school team, but I played in high school and then. My daughter. I taught her to play tennis and she became very, very good. We have these videos of us playing when we would like record to watch her shots or whatever. And every time I'd like go into the screen, I'd just be like, I don't want I can't look at this.
[00:24:07] Look who's that monster of a man? Well.
[00:24:10] Well, part of the video is funny, because I don't know if you remember that movie with Kevin Costner called Tin Cup.
[00:24:17] I do. Yeah.
[00:24:18] He was losing his mojo, so he was trying all these gadgets. So there's loads of gadgets for fat people playing tennis. One of them is on the butt of your racket. You put this suction cup and then you can stick it down on the ball you don't have to bend over to.
[00:24:39] Now, that's genius. There you go.
[00:24:41] And there's there's all kind of creams so that your thighs don't get shaped when.
[00:24:46] They rub together. Oh, my gosh. That is that is funny.
[00:24:50] But then part of the video is like all the angles of the the real stuff to make the other guy run to death before you drop dead. And and I was playing this kid. He was on the tennis team high school, 14 years old. And we pick up at the local park, you know, and I'm tearing him up.
[00:25:09] He's getting mad. And he finally throws his racket down and and walks off the court. I'm hitting slice and he's used to heavy topspin and and and all these drop shots. I mean, you can't tire him out because they run like deer but. Right. But so he throws his racket down and walks off the court and his mother is chasing him and saying, it's okay, Johnny Toma, if I walked off the court when I was a kid, I'd have been running laps till I was 40 years old.
[00:25:41] Oh, it reminds me so much of my playing is my daughter, too, because she was faster than me, that sort of thing. But yeah, it's all tennis becomes all about placement and would drive her crazy. And then she started doing that when she would be playing high school tennis and she'd be playing against these better players that she couldn't hit. And she would start doing that. And she had another girl just break down and cry.
[00:26:00] You know, just just she sat down. She sat down and she started crying right in the middle of the match. And this was high school.
[00:26:06] It wasn't like middle school, but it was exactly that way. You're talking about like just drove her crazy because she's like, she knows this. This girl knew she was better than my daughter. Yeah, but there's nothing she could do when she just couldn't get to the balls, you know?
[00:26:18] Yeah. There's just so much fun. There's all kinds of, you know, what court to play on so that the ball, if you if you bend over to get the ball and you kick it with your foot to run it to the far fence, so you have to walk real slow to catch your breath.
[00:26:33] Oh, yeah.
[00:26:34] That's a great that's a trick I use all.
[00:26:35] The time. I go.
[00:26:37] Oh, shoot, I lost control of that.
[00:26:39] I have to get it to do.
[00:26:41] Because I'm deeply breathing.
[00:26:44] So also tennis.
[00:26:46] So what's beautiful is that you've been able to do all these things you like, raise a beautiful family, help people in other countries and still suffer through 30 years. So tell us about what you're doing now to help small businesses. You're consulting and coaching and all that.
[00:27:05] Yeah, it's really kind of whatever they need, you know, it starts, I think like any good coach or consultant just starts with really getting clarity on what's going on. So, you know, I have a whole toolkit of things that we can do coaching, consulting, training, facilitation, whatever it is. I've got a huge network of people that want to help these folks, but rather than saying, Well, here's all the things that you can do, it just starts with a phone call. Let's just figure out what is actually going on. And I think one of the things that I think a lot of humans suffer from, but especially small business owners suffer from, is just lack of clarity of what's really going on and what they really want to do. Like I ask small business owners, so why did you start the business? And it's amazing how many can't really answer that question. They say, well, you know, I guess, you know, I don't know. My mom had a business and it seemed like the thing to do. And so that's fine. But like if you don't know why you're in business, like why are you why do you run a small business rather than go to a job or that sort of thing? And why do you have this business particularly and why are you doing it that way? And people have no idea. And so I think we're so many people are living sort of suboptimal. They're unhappy, they're miserable, and they don't know why even when they're successful. And I think some of that is because they don't have clarity. And so it always starts with, all right, let's just before you get into what you think you need, let's just sit down and have a conversation.
[00:28:18] What do you what are you trying to do? Where are you trying to go? How are you trying to get there? Let's just get those questions answered and then let's see if I have some way that I can help you. And I think that just it's like release is a pressure valve and people because I think they're like, okay, I'm plateaued. I don't need to know. I need to I need a consultant. Steve, come in. I'll pay you to be a consultant. And it's just sort of like, ooh. And then I start asking these questions and they just sort of like, he's almost like sense. They're just sort of like calming down, like, okay, let's just figure out what I'm trying to do, you know, let's just let's just take a pause. Take a breath here. And so that. Really, I think, is one of the main things that I offer people is this opportunity to be reflective and really get clear on what they're trying to do with their business. And then from there, I can maybe help them. Maybe they need to go another direction or whatever. But I think just bringing that value to people and getting clarity on what they're trying to do. It takes a lot of pressure off off of folks when once they know what they're trying to do, they can then develop a path to get there. And then yeah. So then on top of that, once we know what we're doing, then yeah, it's all that training, coaching, consulting, facilitation, whatever that might be.
[00:29:23] I've seen you coined as a business happiness coach.
[00:29:26] Is that. Yeah.
[00:29:27] So, so those questions are probably what lead to people to the direction so they can be happy and not just tied to their own job where they're the employee of the month every month.
[00:29:38] Yeah. And that's really been been my, my focus the last, I'd say the last few months only it's been always kind of been there. But I really started calling that out as I'm a strategist and I'm a happiness coach and I think we just the world just needs happier people. Like I want to be happier. You want to be happier. We all want.
[00:29:57] To be happy.
[00:29:57] Or I'm more happy than I could.
[00:29:59] Then you should be.
[00:30:00] I should. I need to be sadder.
[00:30:02] You want to be sad? All right. I'll be a sadness coach for you. But most people, unlike yourself, want to be happier. And that could be in their personal lives, relationships, it could be in their business, could be in their nonprofit leadership. And I think people don't know why they're unhappy. And so that was sort of my story is I had everything was perfect 15 years ago. Everything was perfect. I had this great job on paper. I was just named Employee of the Year at a Fortune 500 company. Just got a big promotion. My marriage was great, my kids were great. Everything was great, right on paper. But in my heart I was miserable. And I think there's more people than we realize that are sort of in that situation where they don't know why they're unhappy and they feel what makes it worse is you feel like you have no right to be. And so who am I going to tell about this? I'm not going to tell my mom who grew up really poor, just trying to make enough money so that she could rent out the basement of a house for her and my brother and I like I'm going to tell her, oh, I'm sorry, I'm making $200,000 a year. My marriage is great. My kids are happy, but I'm but I'm miserable. Like, I'm not going to burden her with that. I mean, I don't want to tell my wife that because I mean, I don't want to get her all nervous. Then I'm going to quit my job or something, you know, and my friends don't really get it. And so you just kind of feel really lonely and you feel like you have no right to be unhappy. And I think that's what keeps a lot of us in that unhappy state.
[00:31:16] Well, speaking about telling your wife, so how did you leave the corporate arena and start your work? Did you transition? Did you save up money? How was that transition? Because a lot of people listening are in that boat.
[00:31:28] Yeah, we talked about it for quite a while. I frankly wanted to about ten years earlier, but we talked about it and it wasn't about her versus me, but the kids were still in high school. We kind of wanted to see something happen and I just eventually got to the place where I could put together for, well, you have to know your spouse, right? And so for her, I put together a plan which said, all right, here's what I want to do. I want to leave the corporate world. And she I was in a lucky enough situation where she teaches teaches second grade. And so she actually has benefits. So that's a big piece. But I said I feel like I'm marketable enough. I can go back to the corporate world or find a job if I need to, but I want to leave and then I want to give it six months and then I want to do a check up like in six months. I want to do a check up in like two years. And every year we'll just kind of assess is it working or not? And so having a plan like that did help her. I think in our situation, you know, she's much more risk averse than I am. She grew up very poor as well. And one of the things that I had promised her, I said, I'm always going to make sure that we're financially stable. If I have to work ten jobs, I'll do it. Like I don't want to have that situation for us or for our kids. And so me leaving a great job after going through actuarial studies and getting all those designations and all that was kind of scary for her. And so I wanted to get to a place where she could actually be a champion for that as well. And so it took a little bit of time with her. But for for her, it was having a plan and saying, we will evaluate this thing every so often.
[00:32:55] Beautiful, beautiful way to do it.
[00:32:58] All right. So, yeah, we've got to take a brief sponsor break. When we come back, we'll ask Steve, what does he have a morning routine? Does he what's a typical day look like for him and how we get a hold of him? So, folks, I know about 25 years ago, I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head in that everybody at my level was charging 50 or 100 grand up front to help people with Internet and digital marketing. It wasn't much digital really back then, but Internet marketing. And I thought, you know, I knew a lot of these people, you give them that money, they'd be hiding out in Rwanda and you never see them again because they wouldn't help you. So I said, you know, that's too risky for small business. So I'm going to I'm going to fix this. So I, I charged an entry fee, which was ten times lower. And then I tied my success to their success. So for me to get my 50,000, you had to net 200,000. And so people really loved this idea because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them. And 1700 students later, the program is still going strong. It's the longest running ever and most successful and most unique in the Internet and digital marketing field ever. And I always triple dog dare people to put a program up against mine and they won't do it because I'll blow them away. There's so many unique features to it. It's one on one with me and my entire staff. You're not lumped in with people more advanced or or less advanced than you. You have a retreat center immersion visit to the retreat center here in Virginia Beach.
[00:34:34] It's the only facility of its kind in the world. You have a scholarship to my school, which you can either gift to somebody or use it for extra training. It's the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the United States and lots of other really, really powerful things. You get a separate trip to my TV studio and we shoot videos for you, edit them, send them to you when you get home, put all the graphics on them. It's just loads and loads of things like that. And we, you know, one of the things I say to you is you're forbidden to spend any money unless you ask me, because there's so many people out there that'll take your money with great copyrighting, but lousy product. So, so anyway, check that out at great Internet marketing training income. We can get you started right away and on online to see what you can do with 97% profit in the Internet and digital market. How you like that?
[00:35:35] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Steve Fredlund is here. We love this guy. Just met him, but he's been able to do benevolent stuff. He's been able to do all the fun stuff he and his family enjoy. And he suffered through you know, he's had the persistence to suffer through 30 years in the corporate world. So we applaud him for making it through their alive. And Steve, so what's the typical day look like for you? Do you have a morning routine? Do you meditate? What do you eat? What's the what's it like in in the Fred home?
[00:36:08] You know, I wish I had a morning routine. Well, I say I wish, but that would be contrary to who I am. Like, I've tried. I mean, I am not a routine guy, which is funny because you mentioned all the 30 years of doing that. That was the routine, right? Because I worked in investments global globally. So I had to.
[00:36:26] Be really you're not the routine guy because you can't stand.
[00:36:28] Anymore. I don't think I ever was, honestly. I think I was always a square peg in a round hole with the whole corporate thing. Like, honestly, I did that because I should do that, right? I should go to college because I was good at math. So I should get a math degree. I should become an actuary because I'm good at math. I should get promoted. I should work at Fortune 500 like I should, should, should. I just got should on all the time.
[00:36:47] And so I think I think.
[00:36:49] I should on.
[00:36:51] I should ask h o uld FCC. Yeah, so, but no, no, I think I allowed myself to do that. And so anyway I think, I don't think I'd ever routine guy here's, I've tried like, okay, here's what I'm going do in the morning, I'm going to read in the morning that that didn't really work. Okay. I'm going to do my do my learning or I'm going to do my social media right away in the morning. And I used to try to time. Block I just can't I'm just not wired that.
[00:37:19] Way relating.
[00:37:20] To this because the only routine I have for sure is keeping the dogs from pooping on the carpet.
[00:37:26] You know.
[00:37:26] So so they kind of dictate that part of the day, but then from there.
[00:37:31] It's all over.
[00:37:31] Yeah, I think I think I will be more routine once the business sort of really settles into a flow. Like, right now I'm, I'm doing so many different things and I'm finding out what works, what doesn't work. And like you said, I'm involved in a lot of other things as well. And so my days are so sporadic, some days you're like pretty clear calendar. Some are like, like today I've got like nine different meetings going on. And so you're kind of it's hard to have every day be different. Like I was on a podcast at in, in Poland today, and so I was up really early my time to get on that thing. And so I struggle with that and I think it feels like a square peg round hole trying to force myself into a rhythm. But I do want to have some things that are more like, I do these things every day, but I'm just not that way. And I don't know. Part of me feels like there's something wrong with me. Part of me feels like, no, that's just who I am.
[00:38:18] Everybody's different. I mean, you get some people. Oh, yeah, I get up at five by 515. I'm done with my meditation. I drink 32 ounces of wine.
[00:38:28] These are my my buddies are all like this. That's why this is this is part of my whole thing when I talk about happiness is, you know, when you're surrounding yourself with with people like that, you just feel like, what's wrong with me? That I'm not like that. And so I'm really trying to be become more honest with myself about who I am. I am not that person. I'm not a person of routine. And, you know, my my ideal day, honestly, if I could just get paid to think all day. Like that would be my ideal thing. I told my wife this, like, what? She'd be like, What's your perfect day? I'm like, Somebody gives me something to think about all day or some problem to solve, and I just work on that all day. Like, that's what that would be my dream.
[00:39:03] That's crazy, Steve, because I was I know a guy that's a billionaire and I was invited to his house and have dinner with he and his wife. And he said, Tom, you should be sitting by your pool and thinking all day. That's what you should do. Now, I grew up blue collar and I'm hands on everything, right? It was pretty foreign to me, but that's what he said. He said you should be thinking all day. And so there you go. You're right on track with the billionaires.
[00:39:29] I just have to figure out how to make money doing that.
[00:39:31] But that is the idea. And so when you talk about like I mean, I'd love to talk to you more about what you do with the Internet marketing stuff. But what I've been trying more and more to do is I used to have more things I had to do every day. But now I've got Vas, I've got people doing things, and that has helped me so much, not just in the time thing, but because now I have more time to do just thinking related things.
[00:39:52] Well, too bad we can't talk about it much more because you dumped me off on an off year on your podcast that I'm going to be. You're too good for that to.
[00:40:04] Know I miss it. Tom So yeah, I started the Small Small Business podcast. Now Annie is the host of that, and I know you're going to be on that show, but I missed that like I let it go because I just sort of had to with everything wide in half do I chose to, but, but with everything else going on. But now she's having these conversations. I'm like.
[00:40:20] Oh, I want to have that conversation. I want to ask this question.
[00:40:23] So well, we had we had one today pretty, pretty good. So yeah, so but that's beautiful because a lot of people like you feel like, oh, I have to have this routine. I have. I never had any routine my whole business career 45.
[00:40:37] Years and.
[00:40:39] And just fine do just fine. So right so yeah. That's great that that I found somebody else is the same way.
[00:40:47] But but it feels like, right? Like we have all this pressure. I feel like honest, like, you know, people that are telling us here's how to run a business, here's how to do this, and here's the seven steps and the four steps and the 12 steps. And, you know, when you when you don't fit into those steps, I think a lot of times we feel like we're somehow less than. And part of this whole happiness project that I'm working on is how do we really identify who we truly are and try to be truly authentically true to that, because otherwise we're going to be miserable trying to fit ourselves into like if you if you don't like to meditate and you force yourself to do it every day, it's going to make you miserable. Now, some people will say you'll actually learn to love it, and that's great if you do. But when you're forced to do things you don't want to do, we all hate that. And that's part of your whole screw the commute.
[00:41:28] Because that gets rid of a lot of things that you're forced to do that you don't want to do.
[00:41:33] Well, we don't do we don't talk about 12 steps here. That's our poker addiction.
[00:41:38] Program, that is.
[00:41:39] Yep, yep, yeah. So fair enough.
[00:41:42] So tell tell everybody how to get a hold of you.
[00:41:45] Well, the best way is just check out. I've got two websites that are pertinent and they've got my email addresses out there, but smallsmallbusiness.com.
[00:41:51] Yes. So that's not an accident, folks. It's small small business.
[00:41:56] Correct? Yep. Two smalls.
[00:41:58] Small small business. And then more of my speaking stuff is at Steve Friedland. So my emails are both Steve at whichever one of those that you you prefer. But one's more focused on the business coaching, consulting, training, the other one's more focused on speaking workshops, that sort of thing.
[00:42:14] And SteveFredLund.com and that will be in the show notes. So Steve, thanks for coming on, man. Thanks for taking the time. I guess what if I could be in Poland right now helping out there? I would.
[00:42:32] Yeah, for sure.
[00:42:33] I didn't realize they were doing podcasts from there.
[00:42:35] So that crazy. Yeah. Well, Tom, it was great to meet you and I love hearing all that you've got going on, too, so I'm sure we'll be in touch.
[00:42:41] Sounds good, man. So everybody check out Steve's stuff. It's Steve, Fred, CNN.com. And then what was the other one again?
[00:42:50] Smallsmallbusiness.com. I wrote it down next to peeps in a jeep.
[00:42:57] So. All right.
[00:42:58] You can watch that TED talk.
[00:43:01] Yeah he's got a two TEDTalks. What was the other one?
[00:43:04] The other one is actually not live yet because they had some production issues. But it was about living your most vibrant life. How do we how do we cultivate vibrancy in our life?
[00:43:13] I think I'm going to pitch him on Fatso Tennis Talk.
[00:43:16] I love Fatso Tennis. I love to have like a cameo in that. I feel like I fit right in.
[00:43:22] Check out the the trailer of the video.
[00:43:24] I'm going. I got it right.
[00:43:25] So tennis icon write down right next to greatInternetmarketingtraining.com.
[00:43:30] All right, folks. Well, thanks so much. I was just thrilled to have Steve on because it's just representative. Even though I've never been in the corporate world, it's living the life you want, helping people, doing good things, enjoying the people around you and doing the things you love to do. Lifestyle, business, if I ever saw it. All right. Thanks, Steve. We'll catch you next time.
[00:43:52] All right. Thanks, Tom.
[00:43:53] All right, everybody. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. We'll catch you later.