Robert Siciliano is a Certified Speaking Professional. That's a very high level person that's gone through tremendous amount of scrutiny to get that designation. He's the number one bestselling author and CEO of safr.me and he's serious about teaching you fraud prevention and personal security. Robert is a security expert fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering people so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from violence and crime.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 092
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:09] Tom's introduction to Robert Siciliano [05:08] What Robert teaches to make you safer [09:18] Uphill battle when it comes to scams [12:38] Evolutionary path to becoming an entrepreneur [24:11] Tips on electronic hacking and protecting data [42:22] Sponsor message [43:55] A typical day for Robert and how he stays motivated [47:05] The best and worst parts of working for yourself
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert's website – https://safr.me/
Entrepreneur quote – “Bad guys are good for business”
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Tiffani Hockings – https://screwthecommute.com/SYE1/
Business Graphics – https://screwthecommute.com/91/
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Episode 092 – Robert Siciliano
[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 92 of Screw the commute podcast we got a great guest I've known this guy and admired him for a long long time it's Robert Siciliano I know and he's a man cut out of my cloth man he he hates fraud he hates dangerous things you'll hear about him in a minute now the last episode Oh it's really exciting compared to this one it's about business graphics it's about my it's my Monday session where I go in depth on a topic that's either made me or save me a lot of money and it might not be exciting but I'll tell you what I can't tell you the amount of money I've seen people blow on branding and printing and Web site graphics before they even sold anything. So all that stuff nearly broke them so I'm going to tell you how to get world class graphics on the cheap and that episode I did in that episode that was ninety one. All right our podcast app is now in the iTunes store. You can go to screwthecommute.com/app and it does all kinds of cool things like you can be on a phone call in your car and listen to the podcast and then it'll pause itself until you're done with the call and then pick right back up and save your favorite episodes and all kinds of stuff. We have complete training at screwthecommute.com/app. So you see how to use all these cool features now we started our youth program. And when I say youth I mean up to early 20s where we feature a great young person that's got the entrepreneurial spirit. What about once a month so you know any kids that are like that you can give them my email email@example.com Of course all these things will be in the show notes and they can apply to be featured on this and have lots of people hear about what they're doing. All right. Our sponsor has the perfect sponsor for this episode is IMTCVA.org it's my school and I started my school because there's so much fraud in the unregulated Internet marketing field. I mean I wanted to set myself apart to get the school I had to go through tremendous scrutiny that nobody else in this field had to go through and background checks financial checks surety bonds all these things that actually took three years just to get the license. So if you want a quality education in a highly in demand field where you can start your own business or work for others or both. My school is the place to go. IMTCVA.org it's a distance learning school and it's asynchronous which means you can study anytime day or night.
[00:03:11] All right. Let's get to the main event. Robert Siciliano is a CSP for those of you don't know that's a certified speaking professional. That's a very high level person that's also gone through tremendous amount of scrutiny to get that designation. He's the number one bestselling author and CEO of safr.me of course all this stuff will be in the show notes and he's serious about teaching you fraud prevention and personal security. Now Robert is the security expert fiercely committed to informing educating and empowering people so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from violence and crime. Robert are you ready to screw the commute.
[00:03:59] Yeah I'm from Boston so we know all about that.
[00:04:05] So hey boy it's great catching up with you I haven't talked to you for 100 years or so so. So tell everybody what you're actually doing now and then we'll go backwards and see where you came from in your entrepreneurial journey. What are you doing now.
[00:04:20] Sure. So I run a security awareness firm. We provide security awareness training to a number of different niche industries our financial advisors mortgage brokers you know those who handle finances including you know even real estate agents. And we go in and we do keynotes breakout sessions workshops full day programs and we also provide e-learning tools so they can you know study at their own you know on their own time frame. And we also provide a certification program so it's called the Safe certification secure security awareness for everyone and a secure agent for everyone. We provide that to a number of different industries as well.
[00:05:09] So what kind of things do you teach people if like if you're coming into my company and I have a problem what are the types of things that you get into.
[00:05:18] Well first and foremost most people when it comes to security issues as you probably know they don't really wanna know about security.
[00:05:28] That's true.
[00:05:29] You know it's just one of those topics that they just prefer to avoid. Say it can't happen to me. Those things don't happen around here. Why would they want to target me and so forth and they just function in a state of denial and that state of denial that avoiding the issue becomes a significant problem in a small medium large business when those employees begin to click links in the body of emails they begin to provide sensitive information over the phone. They begin to do things that are essentially bad security habits putting their organization and their data at risk. And so I come in and I kind of expose those the mess that's going on there and why it's such a big problem. And ultimately you know the responsibility of that individual to their organization and the way I do that is by focusing on them as individuals. Meaning like them as citizens them as consumers them as spouses and moms and dads and hit them like what's in it for me like how it affects them individually because people aren't gonna do anything until they realize how it affects them because we're selfish by nature we need to be. And I focus on them as individuals first and then expand into how that then affects their organization security posture.
[00:06:56] Do you do any I think they call it social engineering one of the things you mentioned they're given out sensitive information. So do you like do a high tech or a high falutin secret shopper against them to show them that some of the ways that can be broken into.
[00:07:12] So I definitely spend a lot of time on exposing you know what the con men and women are doing out there. Social engineering is a term that revolves around computer based fraud social social engineering is phishing emails. It's even using the telephone. It's any confidence crime. And so I spend a lot of time on exposing all the various confidence crimes that happen in the physical and virtual world. How that can easily affect them and I use examples like P.T. Barnum once said there's a sucker born every minute but I take it one step further and I really believe that there's a sucker in every single one of us and then we can all be suckered. I mean hell if you've bought a time share you've been suckered. So every single person walking is capable of being hoodwinked. It's a matter of recognizing our vulnerabilities are the fact that we can in fact be scammed and once we accept that then we begin to recognize risk and a very different way. And it's not about being paranoid it's about being aware. And so I provide a level of security awareness that I hope evolves into what I call security appreciation and security appreciation as a whole not a whole nother level of security awareness security awareness as you know head based.
[00:08:39] Like you're aware that you should lock your door as you're aware that you should have a home security system and you're aware that you should take a self-defense course and you're aware that you should not click the link in the body to e-mail. But security appreciation is actually doing something about it. It's heart based it's actually like in your in your in your cellular really like you get it. Like you you actually install that home security system to actually enable it you actually like are aware you actually take it to heart and that's that's my goal is to change behavior in a way that it evolves from security awareness to security appreciation.
[00:09:18] Yeah and that's an uphill battle because you know I was developing that show I actually still am in the Hollywood called scam brigade. And people just want to hide their heads in the sand. I mean there's a famous saying something like If you think of some comments that if you think you can't be scammed I want to meet you you know some of the smartest people think oh I. Couldn't happen to me but boy it sure doesn't reflect on the amount of money that's being lost to these things every year.
[00:09:47] Yeah it's you know trillions of dollars annually in various forms of fraud.
[00:09:52] People losing their homes. Elderly people are getting it. I mean take it out of the business realm. A lot of elderly people I think when I was doing my research one hundred and twenty five thousand people a year lose their homes from some type of you know the Jamaican lottery scam and things like that. So it's it's really terrible.
[00:10:14] And you know you look at the nature of these scams whether it's the grandparent scam or romance scams or various lotteries and so forth and you say you know who the hell are these people getting scammed. Like how stupid could you be. But the fact is you know all research points towards these scams are preying upon the most naive and the most vulnerable. And there's just simply plenty of people out there like that. You know there's there's just no end to it. Know I have people in my own life like really close to me that are like literally CEOs of tech companies that as recently as this week have made the stupidest possible mistakes that you could ever make. And they call me and say OK so what should I do. I got this this communication I just got this phishing email and my computer has been taken over and I get this recording over and over and over again that won't shut up and it's telling me I've got to call a phone number. And if I don't call the phone number it's gonna wipe out my computer and I have to give credit cards. What should I do. And I say well you should take your computer to the local Microsoft authorized dealer and have them wipe your drive and reinstall your operating system to rid it of all you know whatever virus have. OK. And what do they do. What do they do next. They pick up the phone and they call the phone number and they give the guy a credit card. And it's like what did I tell you. Well you didn't know. I told you to take you to a Microsoft authorized it like it is. And that's just people.
[00:11:49] Exactly. I mean I had what I had my nightclub I had the chief surgeon of a big hospital that came by every day after work and had a beer and he actually came in and showed me if you remember the old publisher's clearinghouse Ed McMahon envelopes says Tom I just want a million dollars. I couldn't believe it. And I mean luckily it's not technically a scam. But he believed that he had won a million dollars and he's like a highly learned Chief Surgeon. So you can be anybody and get scammed if you're not aware. And even when you're aware it's it's hard sometimes. So. So you're you've got plenty of work buddy for the rest of your career.
[00:12:33] Yeah I always say you know bad guys are good for business.
[00:12:39] All right so let's back it up too. So where did you come from. To get into this field I mean did you ever have a job.
[00:12:45] So I. My process has been an evolutionary one. You know I started off as a kid in the Boston area and early on I got mugged by five kids. And I kind of woke me up to bad guys and predators and thieves and a year after that I had met a young girl and I was 13 and she was 12 and we liked each other and she confided in me that her mom's boyfriend had raped her. And I was 13 at the time and you know we're going on. Thirty seven years ago and I didn't even know what sex was never mind rape and so I got home and asked my dad like what sex what's rape and you know he gave me the birds and the bees and forcible rape in the same conversation. So being a victim of a mugging in a multiple attack situation a year earlier and meeting the young girl that sexually assaulted it really affected the way I view the world from an early age. So from that point on I started educating myself on personal security and taking self-defense and begin to teach and train all those around me and got into martial arts and eventually personal bodyguard and bar room bouncing and did a bunch of different things revolving around security and by the time I was 25 I had written a book on it because you know it became a really significant focus in my life and I took all my research and all all my experience and put that in book form and then you know join the National Speakers Association. And that was my first professional trade organization in 1994 1995. So that was my first conference it was in Washington D.C. And I had never seen people talk like that.
[00:14:25] I didn't know that you could communicate like that. And I was just blown away like at the time I remember being surrounded by people like Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar and Denis Waitley and. And I was just like. I know what it is like going to church. And it was awesome. And so I just I wanted more of that in my life. And so I just stuck around and I'm still involved in NSA today as a certified speaking professional and and so I learned all my entrepreneurial skills through NSA. And then you know over the years learned you know actually how to build a business and what scale is. And so you know over the past decade you know the speaking industry has changed dramatically and tech is you know evolved and so everything is just change change change and you have to change with it. And you know I'm doing that probably not nearly as quick as I'd like to. But you know where I need to be as far as building a scalable business.
[00:15:19] Well how are you paying the bills during those early days.
[00:15:23] So you know like I said the evolutionary process you know when I get out of high school at 18 years old I remember my dad you know bringing my dinner to the gas station I was pumping gas. So at 18 years old I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. I'm from a blue collar background and my dad brought me my dinner and I'm like Dad. I graduate in like two months. What the hell am I going to do when I grow up. He's like well you're going to be a pipe fitter. I'm like well what the hell's a pipe fitter. He goes It's what I do. You know what A pipe fitter is like Okay I'll be a pipe fitter. And so I remember getting out of high school and I went to trade school and I learned to be a pipe fitter and I started working with my dad and I got into the union and remember he dropped me off at the very first gig. It was at M.I.T. Lincoln Labs in the Boston area and he stuck me in a room a construction site with a pipe machine and a threader and an oiler. And he taught me I know how to thread pipe and I'm on the job all by myself. My father left the day goes he'll be back you know 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I'm threading pipe all day long and looking around I'm saying I myself being a pipe fitter sucks. So I basically spent the next 13 years trying not to be a pipe fitter.
[00:16:42] And that's how I built my business was through subsidizing my speaking in training and security business as a pipe fitter. And by the time you know I got good at it I'd written a book and you know that you know how to book work she brings you all all kinds of attention and we'll back back in the day it did not everybody has a book. And I got on you know back in the day Montel Williams and Maury Povich and Sally Jessy Rafael and Howard Stern and all the morning shows and I built the website in ninety five and so I was on on line and before most people were and I mean so early that I owned ledzeppelin.com for like seven years. That didn't end well. But you know I've been around for a long time and then my business didn't really take off until well 9/11. So you know that kind of woke people up as to as far as like what I was doing and what security is and what it means and personal security begin to evolve dramatically. And my focus evolved as well because you know early on in the mid 90s I was talking about personal security as it relates to violence prevention and Theft Prevention primarily in the physical world. And then in nineteen ninety six my small business got hacked. I had thousands and thousands of dollars worth of credit card fraud that I had to pay back via chargebacks.
[00:18:16] And so I began to learn about information security as it pertained to identity theft and in criminal hacking in credit card fraud. And that was in the mid 90s when that wasn't like a big focus of anybody's. And then by 2001 when 9/11 hit I'd already been speaking about identity theft and I had already been speaking about data security and of course physical security. So between 2001 and here we are at two thousand nineteen. I've appeared on over 700 TV shows I've been sourced in five thousand plus articles and I have clips and links and copies of all that stuff I have every single media spot I've ever been on. And you know my brand has evolved in and over the years you know being an early blogger and bringing attention to myself the PR lots and lots of security companies wanted to align their brand with mine. And so corporate sponsorship became a big thing. You know back in the mid 2000s and so I worked at well a lot of big brands as a corporate or company spokesperson helping them bring attention to their physical digital or you know software product. And so my clients had been know MasterCard and McAfee and Intel and ADT and Schlage locks and Century safe and I mean the list goes on and on and on and I still have clients that I work with in that capacity as a as a blogger as a spokesperson.
[00:19:51] And were you able to do some of these sponsorships concurrently because they weren't competitive.
[00:19:56] I've never worked with the same product in the same timeframe.
[00:20:01] So you're able do multiple sponsorships as long as they weren't competitive.
[00:20:06] No problem.
[00:20:08] That's great you can really multiply your amount of money.
[00:20:12] Oh yeah. Yeah. So often they would complement each other as well. So in that that aspect of my business you know was was really hot from around 2010 to around 2015. And then what happened was at least for me and I saw it coming I understood I understood it was happening you know when Big Data really figured itself out when social media you know Facebook primarily figured out how to monetize all their traffic then the game changed significantly. So big data meaning like they took all the information that they've been compiling over the years and they were able to sift it and sort it out and be able to you know basically digital advertising changed from being a banner ad.
[00:21:05] Highly targeted. I mean they know everything about you and me and or what shoe size we have.
[00:21:11] Exactly. And Facebook being you know one of the major players in that marketplace. They were able to you know basically provide advertising for companies and they could tell you specifically to the penny what you're ROI is and so PR the type of PR that I would had been doing for quite some time bringing attention to my brand in my clients brands. It didn't happen you couldn't really determine the ROI what you're going to track it exactly like they could. Yes. So once big companies figured that out you know that they could spend the same amount of money every single month on advertising via you know social and so forth. You know even in online marketplaces the type of advertising that I was doing as a spokesperson didn't have as much value in it because I couldn't figure out the ROI. So you know my business has changed and evolved and grown and you know it's a rollercoaster. But now today I'm doing just fine.
[00:22:14] Well how do you keep up with all of the electronic attacks. I mean do you are you technical yourself or do people at the. Keep an eye on that stuff and report to you or what.
[00:22:24] So I'm not a hacker. I've never been inclined to code or even you know as a software developer. I'm just not a hacker and hacker is not necessarily a bad word.
[00:22:36] I have a friend of mine that's an ethical hacker. That's what she does is get paid to try to break things.
[00:22:41] Yeah. And I guess your audience would understand that. I have never been technically inclined but I know in that regard. But you know as far as you know being a first adopter in understanding tech and I've been doing that you know for a good two thirds of my life at this point but I am consider myself on top of what is new and ahead of what is next. At all times regarding information security personal security you know security awareness. So like I'll get a call from the Associated Press and they'll say hey did you hear about this particular hack. And I'll immediately search it online and I'm instantly able to respond to what happened and why. Because when it comes to fraud and hacking and personal security and workplace violence and scams and all that stuff I speak to the fundamentals and the fundamentals and you know the fundamentals they never change the nuances might change in certain aspects of fraud or scams or violence might change. But then you always go back to the fundamentals so no matter what occurs whenever what happens and matter what tragedy there is. I can speak to it because there's nothing so dynamically different from one hack or one exposure or one breach or one you know workplace violence incident to the up to the next Jim and they just you know active shooter scenario is this it all is the same to a certain degree.
[00:24:12] All right well from the electronic point of view we have a lot of people that are solopreneurs and small business people with one or two employees. What are some tips you would give them from the electronic aspect about phishing and protecting their data and all that.
[00:24:28] Yeah well there's a number of things that one needs to be aware of. So getting to the fundamentals you know your hardware you have to make sure that you generally have devices whether they're laptops desktops tablets mobile phones androids iPhones so forth. You have to have hardware that's no older than three to five years. Once you get beyond five years once once your hardware is beyond five years old it lacks the capacity to handle updated operating systems updated software. So you really need newer hardware. If you've got an old 10 year old laptop or or P.C. it just does not have the capacity to thwart the viruses the vulnerabilities that are coming across today.
[00:25:12] So you think you're saving money and you're all proud of yourself for taking care of your equipment but you could be opening yourself to enormous hassle. Right.
[00:25:20] That device at best might be hey for a media server in your home but it really shouldn't even be connected to the Internet so that you know this one thing. Update your hardware and then of course update your software and software it comes in two forms. Basically at your operating system as you know the primary mechanism that handles all the different software programs or update your operating systems whether it's your android your or your Mac or your iDevice or whatever windows and so forth. You have to have the latest version of your operating system because that you know is like making sure that your engine in your car is running good and your tires are up to date and your operating system is huge like its vulnerabilities in your OS are huge. And then beyond that make sure your all your software is updated. So Adobe and your office in whatever you use on your windows or mac all your apps have to be updated.
[00:26:21] Are you generally safer if you're using a software as a service like say. I got Adobe cloud stuff that I paid 20 bucks a month and so it's their problem to keep it updated then right or not.
[00:26:33] That is correct. That is correct. Yeah but your operating system still has to be updated. But any local software you have. You know whenever it prompts you to update you know there's a reason behind it. Because of functionality issues or more often you know security vulnerabilities. In the way you can look at updating operating systems updating software for functionality issues and security issues is like if you get a notification that your airbag in your Toyota is defunct then they determine they determine and vulnerabilities if there's a recall. Well that's what software updates are all about. Like it's a of form of a recall. Now you have to update it because it's something wrong with it and it doesn't mean that the software company did anything wrong it just means over time and exploit was discovered and they had to fix it. So beyond that you know security software is antivirus and spyware and do phishing and a firewall you always have to run security software on your windows machine and your Mac your macs are vulnerable. You need an antivirus on a Mac.
[00:27:45] Yeah. Never people never used to worry about that but that's changed right.
[00:27:49] It's changed dramatically Macs are ubiquitous at this point and they're a target. And people who have a little bit of money in the bank often have you know Macs. That's just the way it works because they're expensive and so they're a target. So you have to have antivirus for Mac antivirus for an android. Definitely for any android. They have hundreds of thousands of viruses targeting androids. You don't need antivirus for an iDevice like an iPad or an iPhone. It doesn't even exist. From my understanding from what I know I don't know if there are any and the virus is a target iDevices. Unless of course you jailbreak your iDevice jailbreak is made. Basically you take it out of the walled garden of Apple. But you don't need or even have access to antivirus for iDevice and then beyond that password management one of the path of least resistance to get access to your devices or your web accounts is passwords. And the problem here is that most people are using the same password across multiple accounts.
[00:28:54] Yep that's for sure. And I read an article awhile back. Let me get your opinion on this. That was saying that putting all these question marks or I mean exclamation points and stuff is cool. But this article said that if you had a password that was like I don't like to punch Bob in the face twice a week is better than all these other things. What is your opinion on it.
[00:29:20] So passphrases are better than passwords generally because they're longer and they might include uppercase lowercase to have uppercase lowercase numbers and if allowed characters. Here's what it boils down to. It really doesn't matter whether it's a passphrase. A password it matters uppercase lowercase numbers and characters and what also matters is that you don't have words like you know Princess Robert or consecutive numbers or consecutive keystrokes like qwerty and so forth using the word password is not a good password. And then beyond that it's not having the same password across multiple accounts. That that's kind of the big one because having the same password across multiple accounts means that if one account is compromised and that one account could be some old social media site that you subscribed to a decade ago and you use your gmail.com as a username and you use this reused password that you've be using for 10 years on that old social media site. And then that site gets hacked. Now your username and your password for that old site is now exposed.
[00:30:41] And so a bad guys then do is they take your credentials for that old site and they plug it into Visa MasterCard American Express. You know eBay Amazon iCloud and they plug it into like 100 most popular sites on Earth to see if it works and often it does. And then beyond that there have been billions of records compromised in the past decade billions. When I say billions like 20 billion records or more have been compromised in the past decade. Just in the past three years there's been 16 billion records compromised between 2016 and 18. So that's usernames and passwords.
[00:31:34] Which is email addresses and associated passwords and all of that data is circulating. It's out there it's literally available to anybody who wants access to it. And they sort that data. I mean think about sorting a billion records in an excel file for that matter. Right. You can sort it by name by email address by password and you could literally see you know somebody has information that's been compromised on 20 different Web sites. You could see all the same user names and all the same passwords of that person and then literally just take that data copy and paste it and log into that to their accounts.
[00:32:12] And they got scripts that they can hit a button and just watch this work automatically.
[00:32:16] And that's it. So it's been made really easy for the bad guy. And so if you have the same password across multiple accounts today that's often how they get into your accounts and take over your accounts and you know liquidate money from the bank account and so forth.
[00:32:29] You just don't want to learn this lesson the hard way. So. So what kind of stuff to small business people what can a what can I get off for you to help them and learn about this.
[00:32:39] Well for one you know subscribe to my blog and follow what I do. SAFR.ME and come to my blog and in signup for my newsletter and you know communicate. I I send out a newsletter and I keep my audience on top of what is new and ahead of what is next on all things security all the time. You know invest in e-learning for you and your staff. Bring a security expert who provides security awareness training and breaks it down at the bite sized chunks for your people into your organization to you know basically jumpstart a security awareness program so that your people are fully aware of what it is that they should be doing. I got a book you know definitely the book helps. Go to Amazon and search Robert Siciliano you'll see all kinds of you know I've written five books so identity theft privacy is my my recent one.
[00:33:45] Oh great. Okay. Because we'll have all this the show notes for everybody and the spelling of your name and so forth. So so they can can take advantage of. But some of them happened to be a bigger companies. They can book you at the same site.
[00:33:59] Yeah. That's you know that's one way I feed my family. And I've worked with some of the biggest companies in the world Cox Communications U.P.S. Exxon Mobil Merrill Lynch and you know the list goes on and on and on.
[00:34:13] Do you have kids that are using cell phones and stuff.
[00:34:17] So I have girls in there 10 and 13 and they do not have mobile phones.
[00:34:24] Talk about that a little bit because I'm sure a lot of people out there are struggling with this issue.
[00:34:32] It's struggling because they introduced it to their kids and they gave it to them because they caved. As parents we control the information flow and your child at ten eleven twelve thirteen even 14 even 15 frankly does not have the emotional capacity to deal at all that goes on in the web. They just don't. And they don't have they don't have the ability to fight off all the various tech that is designed to addict them to that tech. It literally is addicting on purpose. And so when you put a 10 year old when you when you let a mobile phone or tablet babysit your 10 year old at dinner or while they're waiting in line you are exposing them basically to technology that is going to mess their head up mess them up emotionally and all the research is out. I mean this has been going on now for 15 20 years and book after book after book written by neuroscientists social psychologists and others point to addiction and technology. And it's a real thing.
[00:35:44] Well there's a I just heard on the news the other day there's rehab centers opening for this specific thing for children addicted to technology.
[00:35:52] Yeah. This is not a technology problem. Ladies and gentlemen this is a parenting problem. And when parents throw their arms up in the air and go oh my kid knows more about tech than I do. Well that's a problem. You know like in when you just say Well my kid has a phone at 12 because all his friends have phones and he kept hounding me. That's a that's poor decision making. You haven't done your research and I'm not. Yeah I am slamming parents because they haven't done the research. You know you giving your kid access to hardcore violent pornography when you give them a mobile phone at 10. Right. Would you give would you give your kid the keys to the car at 10. No. Would you give your kid the keys to the car at 16 if they weren't safe and secure drivers. No. So why would you give them access to everything at 10.
[00:36:48] Now what about the argument I hear some of them making. Well if they get in trouble or something they can call home.
[00:36:54] Give them a dumb phone get him a feature phone. My 87 year old mother-in-law has a feature phone. It allows her to make a phone call. It allows you to make a phone call. It's a communication device.
[00:37:08] So is this not a burner phone. Is that what they would call it in the underworld.
[00:37:14] I mean you know like this there's this jitterbug I mean if you go to AT&T Verizon T-Mobile they get all kinds of phones that are feature phones.
[00:37:26] Ok. I don't have any kids so I never have to deal with this problem. I hear about it all the time.
[00:37:31] Yeah. Well elderly you know generally you know post say 75 may have a hard time with a smartphone. So they have feature phones for them and you know we've all had feature phones if you're you know I don't know 30 plus you've had access to feature phones. They've been around. They haven't gone away. And so you know that's what you provide them as a communication device not necessarily a smart device to everything. And in the social aspect of being online when it comes to bullying. I mean forget about it. Like none of that is OK. Look at my kids world is their mom and their dad. Right. That's it. You know there's no there's no 24 hour news cycle going on in my house. There's no access to a full blown web 24/7. There's no access to what's going on in this world like they know what we we provide. We control the information flow and that's that.
[00:38:30] Do you home school them.
[00:38:30] They go to a private school.
[00:38:35] But that's in a way controlling them because you know you wouldn't have enrolled them if you didn't agree with what they do.
[00:38:42] That's correct. In even the conversations we have with other parents a lot of the parents that recognize risk you know they don't phones for their kids either. But there's a lot of parents that are still in the dark but at their school specifically they are not allowed to have mobile phones on campus. And I would not I would do everything in my power not to send them to a school that allowed mobile phones on campus in the one time that phones were allowed on campus for previous school they went to that we remove them from the friggin fourth grader that went to school with my daughter showed her porn in fourth grade and we were gone a month later. That's just not happening. You know parents need to know like they can control this. So and it's going to get worse. It's not going to get any better and the kids going to get younger because parents are clueless and frankly like the only good that's going to come out of all this you know kids having these devices and and in beings you know so like anti-social at this point is that my kids are going to be CEOs of major companies because they're the only ones going to be friggin social because all the rest of the kids like my kids go to parties and they come home and I go how's the party. And they were like it stunk. Why does it stink. They said because there was 30 kids at the party and twenty nine of them were just buried in their phone the entire time.
[00:40:09] You see them out in a restaurant and nobody's talking to anybody. Look at that.
[00:40:16] This is no longer a joke. This is a serious problem. And these kids can not articulate a sentence they can't communicate like they don't know how to be social. You throw my 10 and 13 year old in a room with adults they'll carry on a conversation with anybody about anything. Whereas you have all these other kids like they're just being stymied.
[00:40:38] This one father got his girl had twenty thousand texts in one month to her best friend who she sits next to on the bus it's just crazy.
[00:40:51] So a one a part of a family that were so close with the last year they got their daughter the phone. And in seventh grade and like they didn't understand was happening like all of a sudden their daughter's gone for like three hours a night like she's gone from like five to eight o'clock and they didn't understand what was going on. And she'd come out and all of a sudden like she started coming out of her room at 8 o'clock every night crying and they couldn't understand what was going on like they're thinking hormones you know whatever. And they figured it out because they finally got access to a phone that she was involved in this massive chat with like 30 girls and then like all bullying each other and talking about each other. And this went on for like months and months and months. And it was affecting her development and her grades and everything else. And they finally took the phone away. And when they took the phone away like it was like tragic taking the phone away and after about two weeks the girls like Mommy Daddy thank you so much for taking my phone away. Oh what a relief that was. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with any of that B.S. any longer. You know like so the parents it took them months to step in but once they did the kid appreciated it. So it's not too late if you're one of those parents it's facing all the drama. You know you can put your foot down. I'm telling you this problem digital literacy in this country is a huge issue and it's and it's going to get worse before it gets any better. Parents need to wake up.
[00:42:22] That's for sure. What we need to take a quick break from our sponsor when we come back we're going to ask Robert what's a typical day look like for him. How he stays motivated and all that kind of stuff.
[00:42:34] So folks do you know what higher education entities are doing. I'm really against this. They are inflating grade point averages to make it look like they're doing a better job of teaching students when there's mountains of evidence that says they aren't. And I beg you to watch the Higher Education webinar we have over it screwthecommute.com/webinars or you can just click on webinars in the nav button. But it's it's an exposé by not just me because I'm promoting my my vocational school my internet marketing school. It's high level educators who are seeing what's going on in higher education. And listen this could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted money and effort and They found that the they've tracked two thousand kids over many different universities and colleges. They're spending a total of eight hours a week not only preparing but attending classes the rest of it is eating and partying. Now I don't know if I'd want to mortgage my house to pay for that. So check out that webinar. But be prepared to be mad when you see it. And if you want something that's legitimate and quick and has an in demand skill. Check out my school at IMTCVA.org.
[00:43:57] All right. Let's get back to Robert what's the what's a typical day look like for you. Let's say one when you're working and one when you're out on a job somewhere and one when you're home.
[00:44:06] Sure. So you know being a solopreneur. My day consists of Well you know being a family man you know if I'm home then either getting the kids off to school I mean taking them to school or I'm working out of the Home Office. And we have an office out near the kids school and then from there you know it's administration. And that might involve you know cleaning up e-mails and making sales calls or work on the various projects that we have going on or dealing with. You know the the client administration I'm constantly creating some creating programs revolving around all the various certifications we offer them constantly working with all the different partnerships that we have we have partnerships in Boston and in Arizona with different companies that we have LLCs with. So we're always in creation mode implementation mode bringing attention to the brand. And you know how many different facets of that there are And then and then there's execution. You know there's once you have an agreement then you are getting on a plane and you're going to present that program or you are doing that webinar or that coaching call. So you know there's a number of different things that we're doing.
[00:45:27] You say we a lot as your wife and kids involved in the business.
[00:45:31] So my wife administers and she handles all of my travel and all of my dealing with clients.
[00:45:41] You know I'm not good with the clients much. I respond in two words via email where you know she says nice things and everything else. So I'm better off just not dealing with the clients because I'm could like that other that you know I have teams of people that handle all my tech least as far as like you know desktop publishing and creating market materials and building out web pages and and I'm dealing with them you know pretty much every day because again we're always in creation mode. And then you know the various partnerships that I have with other very short occasions we have various hardware and software that we offer and affiliate relationships the various companies that were promoting their products so I mean there's hundreds of balls in the air right. And in every day revolves around managing all of that and making sure that everybody is getting what they need. And in every end everybody's taking care of their responsibilities and so forth and now want to get a plane to go speak you know it's hotels and airports and rental cars. And then you know getting on the client site wanted two hours ahead of time and making sure that you know the event goes off as it's supposed to for the planner. And following up with that planner and gifting the client and you know and starting all over again.
[00:47:06] So what do you like best about working for yourself and what's the worst part.
[00:47:10] So you know I am essentially UNemployable. I've been asked you know I've been head hunted and I've been asked to come on board and to commit and you know I wouldn't even know how to answer to anybody you know. So you know that said you know I'm still a team player and you have to work in a team. So I do know how to effectively communicate with multiple people via partnerships and so forth. But you know unemployable and I like that I like the fact that you know if I want to plan a vacation I could plan a vacation with a family around you know speaking and consulting and everything else. And if I get a gig that is you know going to bring in some bacon then we cancel the vacation sometimes you know sometimes you got to move things around. So I have that flexibility and that's what really it all boils down to is all that flexibility that we have.
[00:48:11] I will say that you know when when school's out mid-June that you know we spend a lot of time on my boat. So from the middle of June to the beginning of September you know I was on my boat twenty three times last year with the family. And that means up and down the coast of Massachusetts in New Hampshire and Connecticut and Maine. And you know we go to all kinds of fun beaches and little islands and you know boating is fun for the family especially you know on the coast of Massachusetts area. And so I don't know most of the people that I know that have actual jobs in boats. They did not spend 22 days on their boat.
[00:48:54] They might have but twenty two years paying for their boat and use it once a year.
[00:48:59] And yet I plan my summers around the good weather and you know sunny days not a lot of wind. So not a lot of chop and get in that boat in the water and you know that that's that's summer camp for my kids and it's good family time too. So you know we've seen a lot and done a lot and a lot of good food and had a lot of good wine and you know so my kids have seen more and done more in their lives already at this point than I did before I was 30.
[00:49:33] You know you know what I feel bad about it feel sorry about is when your girls get older and guys start coming around because it reminds me of those guys that are standing at the door with a shotgun when when the boy picks her up for a date. What if the kids come around and they've got cell phones what are you going to do.
[00:49:55] So while for one whenever we have kids over the house we have no cell phone policy. There's no mobile phones coming in my house. You know they dropped off you know that my wife takes them. So no cell phones in my house. And then when my kids are invited to parties one of the first things we ask the parent is you have a no cell phone policy because my kids aren't going to parties where there's gonna be cell phones any longer. We did that for a little bit. It's always turned out bad. So we make sure that any party they were invited to that there's no cell phone party. And we're we're upfront about it. And usually the parents appreciate that you know that their kid may be a cell phone kid but we bring it to the parents attention. You know they always honor it. It's never a problem.
[00:50:41] I think a lot of them never even heard of such a thing.
[00:50:44] Oh yeah well more and more you start and you start to see it because of all the drama you know getting back to my kids and you know shotgun I always tell my kids you know just tell your boyfriends down the road that you know your dad's going to walk in freezer and a wood chipper.
[00:50:57] Oh boy it's been great catching up with you. And this is really great. So I want everybody to check out the show notes so you can get Robert's name spelled correctly. We'll have links over it so you can check out all these books if you happen to be in a company that needs this kind of service. I mean this guy is the bomb. This is going to 5000 interviews and this guy is the real deal and I can tell and I've known him for a long time he'll tell it like it is you know because the last thing you need is patted on the back for for a poor performance that's going to hurt your company. That's for sure. So thanks a lot man for coming on.
[00:51:40] Anytime. Thank you.
[00:51:41] Yeah. And for everybody else. Make sure you get a hold of our app so you can listen to this again. I'm sure you're gonna want to play this one for some parents that you know or for your spouse if you happen to be listening to this because there's some heavy duty parenting information in this that I was not expecting but I love it so. So check it out check out our app so you can take us with you on the road. And we will see you all on the next episode. Catch ya later.
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