If you haven’t listen to The Leo Yockey Show yet, this episode is the perfect place to start! Either way, this is a great peak into Leo’s favorite conversations and to look back on some of the greatest moments of the 1st season thus far. Leo also opens up about his true motivation in starting the podcast. Clips include the dark and light side of personality traits, utilizing privilege for good, inserting joy into day-to-day life, staying true to yourself despite society’s expectations, and more!
Note: Season 1 finale will be released next week.
Braxton Fleming; Meghan Q. Barrett; Addie Woolridge; Mwamba Nyanda; Shannon Hay; Lucas Casarez; Valerie Phoenix; Emily Sedgwick
By: Leo Yockey
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Leo Yockey show, the show where I Leo Yockey interview guests about how their unique life path led them to define success and fulfillment, we still have one more episode to go and season one, I'm really, really, really excited for the season finale. But for now, we're going to be taking a look back. And some of my favorite conversations from this season. So far, the thing about these conversations and these interviews that I have on the show is that they're, they're conversations that I have in real life all the time. You know, so if you're, if you're brand new, if you haven't listened to an episode before, welcome, this is a great place to just kind of get caught up and you can kind of just listen from here onward. If you have been around welcome back. Thank you for listening. And I think you'll enjoy this look back and again to see like, what are the conversations that I've gotten a lot out of, because I bring them up all the time, you know, I don't know if I've ever really talked about like, why I started this podcast have i, this week, I actually hit the six month mark of when I quit, you know, my six figure job in tech and basically said, I'm, I'm not coming back. And you know, I didn't know where my life was going at all. Really. I mean, I had ideas for online businesses, for writing a novel becoming a stand up comedian, maybe even getting into social services. And I was spinning in all these different directions. And on top of all that I was smoking weed way too much every single day. The times that I would drink, the amount that I would consume was starting to scare me. And I didn't really know what I was going to do. And I was like, man, I have a year until I turn 30. I'm in my last year, my 20s I gotta figure something out, right? So I started having conversations with people, people that in my opinion, actually did have their life together. And I was like, hey, person that has your life together? How would you do it? Why are you doing what you're doing? What caused you to go down this path? What makes you certain that you're on the right path? I got to figure this out for myself. And the reality is that no one really knows, you know, and I found that reassuring. But also, I realized that I had to do something right. And so being able to put these conversations on record really gave me an anchor. And it forced me to have these conversations. I couldn't just wander off and and ignore the fact that I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I had to really face that every single week with every single conversation with every single episode that came out. At this point, I have a much better view of where my life is going. You know, I'll get more into it in season two. But, you know, I went from like really having no idea what I'm going to do. By the time I'm 30 next year to I think I have like a decent five year plan or the beginnings of it. I'm actually going to sit down and write all that out tomorrow. And there's so many lessons that I'm applying from this from this podcast. You know, I've spent a lot of my life really feeling like I was always an outsider. And we talked about that a little bit in last week's episode with Parris Athena, check that out if you want to she's not going to be one of the clips in today's episode is still a great conversation. I loved every single episode, regardless of whether or not there's a clip in this episode today. You know, one of the benefits to constantly feeling like I was an outsider is that in order to really connect with people, I had to look past those superficial differences. And I loved for example, my conversation with Megan Barrett, who is going to be in this episode, but not this clip. And we were talking about, you know, how we have similar experiences of having similar feelings, even though the circumstances that goddess There are so different, you know, for her it was becoming a mother for me it was transitioning and coming out as transgender and learning to live life socially accepted as a man, you know, and some of the stuff that she shared her story really helps me. And I think that that's really cool. And I love I love being able to share this with the world and I'm about to be able to set up some stuffs so that I can share this with with more people. I keep saying it's gonna be tough. For the podcast to grow, it's it's seriously time for the podcast to grow now. And I'm I'm so excited, I have a source of funding coming in soon that I'm really excited about feel really good about. I just, I cannot say it enough, thank you for being on this journey with me. And just proving to me, what I always knew is that when people sit down and share their stories, it's interesting. And there's always something that we can learn from it. You know, at the end of the day, like I've had people who are artists who are entrepreneurs who are corporate employees, people from different gender and racial backgrounds, all of them have had something universal to say. And I think that that's really powerful. So anyway, as we gear up and get ready for the season finale next week, I'm really excited to share with you some of my favorite clips, some of my favorite conversations from this first season. And this podcast has been such an anchor for me. And anchors are exactly what we talked about in this clip with Braxton. Braxton Fleming. He's a black trans man that I've been following for years now. You know, his journey, and his willingness to share so openly has been a huge inspiration for me, both back then. And then especially now, I really admire his commitment to his mission. And the fact that he even has one and again, that there's so many aspects of that conversation that really helped me figure out where I'm going next. And, you know, this is this was actually just a little, you know, I asked, I started asking my guests, if there's anything else that they want to add, just in case, there's something that I didn't ask them that they wanted to talk about. And this ended up being what he talked about. So I'm really I'm really glad that he brought it up. And, yeah, let's get going with these clips. I hope you like, Let's go, you know, fitness is my stabilizer. I would like to say it's my meditation time. It's your anchor. It's my anchor, it's my anchor. Amen to that. Yes, for sure. If I did not have the gym, I would be wild as hell. That's just to be honest with you. Because I would, I would be way too overwhelmed. I would be just all over the place with everything. It really builds my confidence to like, you know, I always tell everybody, you got to stop caring what people think about you, you got to just let that go. And when I entered that, I let it all go. And then when I come out of there, I'm like, like right now I'm still sweating from the gym, sweating talking to you, because I'm so pumped. Like, I'm just so pumped, I had it, I had a great start to my day I went to the gym, I did what I had to do, you know, I've been hitting all my meetings, we're on time for everything. I got another meeting at two o'clock, everything is aligned everything just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And when I have that gym in the morning, I'm ready. I can go all day all night, it doesn't matter. But without that gym, I'm just not the same. I'm just not the same person. I just, I'm more angry, I'm more irritable. You know, I'm not giving the love to my family like I should. I'm more focused on making money and doing stupid shit. You know what I mean? And I anchor down into the gym, it brings me to a place where I can connect with God, I can connect with my body, in my mind, and once I'm able to do all of that for myself first. That's why I like to go out at 5am because I like to start my day for me and God. And then once I get that out the way that I can handle everybody else's problems, because I handle everybody else's problems all day long. Yeah. And that's a lot. So is long as I take my time for me first before the kids before my wife before anybody, it's just me and God. I think I can kill it. But if I don't get that time, I might kill you. Just kidding. No, I mean, I think I think that's real. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for adding that. Yeah, I mean, that's a big common theme is the importance of starting your day just for you huge common theme that's come up on this show. So I'm glad to hear that that's part of your thing as well. All right, next step, we have Megan Barrett, which I already talked about her a little bit in the intro, but what I think gets cut out of the clip because there wasn't enough time is you know, she was talking about her post postpartum anxiety which I had never heard of, I'd only heard of postpartum depression. And so I asked her kind of what the difference was and she was talking about the anxiety that she had. Once she became a mother and especially after she had her second child, and she's over here like damn if there's a fire in the house like which kid do I save first and things like that. Or if her husband's 10 minutes late home from work, you know, her mind spirals into He must be in a car. crashing in the hospital? And what do I do about bringing my kids to a hospital when there's COVID, and on and on and on and on the spiral continues if you've had anxiety, you know what I'm talking about. And I just thought that that was so interesting. And I really, I really appreciate what she had to say about what do you do with her anxiety afterward. And, you know, the conversation that ensued is a conversation that I talked about a lot all the time. Now, here's Megan, I didn't want to go on medication, and I wanted to do talk therapy. So I went about two times before the world shut down. And then that didn't happen. And I was home with my kids and trying to find a time to like dedicate an hour to therapy was giving me more anxiety than not, and so, um, around June, so maybe like four months or so after I was diagnosed, I decided to go on medication. And it definitely helped me and I think it was the best choice for me at the time. But then, I kind of gotten this it, I would take it at night, it would make me really drowsy, I basically pass out and then wake up when my son came in at seven o'clock in the morning, complaining that he wanted milk and to watch Peppa Pig. So then I basically just kind of it was great because I was able to sleep which I needed sleep, but I was just kind of using it to Okay, Now's my time to like check out of the world. And yeah, go to sleep, and then do it all over again tomorrow. And I started drinking more two, which is not the best with that medication. And I just I really got to this place where I didn't like myself, as a wife, as a mother as a person. You know, I was just stuck at home with two small children that aren't great conversationalists. And I just felt really alone and really isolated. And that was my way of escaping with, you know, social media drinking, and the medication. So, while it did help me, there were other parts that I contributed to, I have to take that responsibility that really didn't help with the medication. So towards the end of 2020, when my son turned just just a little over one, which I have to say, as a mother, when your kids turn one, you kind of start feeling like a real human again, too. And I was just like, you know, it was like I woke up, I can't even say exactly what it was, it was just like, I woke up one day, and I was like, This is it, like, I can't do this, like my kids deserve much better than this. I deserve much better. My husband does, like I can't be doing this shit. So that's when I started waking up early. And I decided to wean off my medication as well. And I'm now back in therapy, which is amazing, which I highly suggest for anybody, whether you have postpartum anxiety, depression, postpartum, whatever, whoever you are, has been a big light in my life and making that time for myself for that, too, and just having someone to talk to about those things. But yeah, I mean, it was definitely one of the darkest times in my life, there's like a lot of things that I look back on. I don't know if I'd say I regret them. Because, you know, it brought me to where I am now. But it's, it's a lot of things that I wasn't happy about. And I'm not proud of. I wouldn't change it. Right, because they all bring us here. And now. I'm feeling much better, and I'm able to help a lot of people. But you know, at the time, I definitely think all the people in my life deserve a lot better from me. Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you, thank you for for sharing that in in such detail. I think you've touched on a lot of really, really interesting things. I'm going to bring it back to you know, when you were first kind of going through that spiral when your husband was late from work, and now you're like worried that your child is going to have COVID because you will have to go to the hospital. You said something that I think was was so key said you felt like you were kind of going through the step by step like okay, well, I'm gonna have to do this, which will cause that and then this, and you said, You felt totally logical, and totally crazy. And I think you you touched on something really important, which is that, you know, every trait that we have, as people has kind of like a good and a bad side or a dark and a light side, you know, like you're you're kicking into that high gear of like, Well what about this and then that, and then what if this happens and which kid do I bring and And what about COVID exposure and how am I going to handle that? You know, this is kind of like being able to set goals turned into a monster. Right? Yeah, very goal oriented person. I do that all the time. Yeah, absolutely. And so and kind of the same thing with the, with, you know, your decision to take medication because you said something that I think is true for a lot of people, which is that finding the time to to actually go and be able to see that therapist sometimes creates more anxiety than you had before. And, you know, so at that time, that medication served a very important purpose for you. Because if you couldn't do therapy or medication, where would you be? And of course, the downside was that it made it a little bit easier to slip into more unhealthy habits, like drinking and being on social media too much, you know, but it definitely served its purpose at one point, you know, and so it really kind of speaks to the complexity of a lot of these things. Like it's not just black and white all the time. You know what I mean? I will never forget the interview that I had with author Addy woolridge. Because anybody who knows me knows that I love reading, I think at this point, I've read something like 44 books in 2021, I don't know, it's, it gets out of control. So it was really cool for me to be able to read her new book, her novel, the checklist, and then immediately interview her about it just a week or two after it came out. It was such a fun experience. And now I see it is like almost like a big sister figure in my life, whether whether she wants me or not, she has me now as a little brother. And, you know, I just I love I love her outlook on work and goals, and really figuring out exactly what you want to do with your life. Because I feel like we have so few images when it comes to success when it comes to fulfillment. And the reality is that there's no rules here, we can literally do whatever we want. So I really appreciate everything that Addy has shared with me about joy. And as far as I know, she's the only person that I have planned to be a returning guest. She will she will be coming back when she writes her second book. And if you're listening to this, now you have no choice. You have to come back when that second book comes out. I've made a podcast official. But anyway, here's Addy. One of the things if anybody's thinking about making the jump to full time creative is that I took a couple weeks off a few years ago, and I just decided to live like I was a writer like all day, right? Which live your life as if you were a full time writer, what would your day look like? And after doing that for two weeks, I was like, have I been wearing the same thing for four days? Who have I seen anybody? What like, what did I do and I realized that like, that lifestyle wasn't actually the lifestyle that I wanted, I like the structure of having to get up and go somewhere. I love that sort of structure. And I just wasn't as creative in some ways because I had all day to do my creative work as opposed to a set time in the morning and sunset time in the afternoon that I have to sit down and focus when I had all day I just kind of didn't do anything, just for like goofing off. Yeah, that's totally makes sense. And what's so interesting to me is I feel like so many people because I think it's just human nature we were so hard on ourselves all the time. I think so many people if they were to do the you know, live live as if for a little bit as like a demo which by the way, I love that I love the idea of giving yourself some sort of test run you know, if you have the ability to do that before diving right in if you're taking that week to figure out of this is what you want to do. And you kind of realize in your in your case, it was kind of an it turned into a very unhealthy schedule in a lot of different ways because one it was unproductive to you're not taking proper care of yourself and taking care of ourselves is obviously very important. I think a lot of people would have had that experience of those two weeks and said Oh, I can't do this. I'm not a writer. You have that experience and said Hmm So I guess writing works better for me more as a side hustle than a full time thing. And I love that I love that you were like no I do want to do this just not in this way because we get so caught up in what success should look like and how it should be done. And that's not the case at all. Like all you should just be doing you and in your case doing you and doing it the way that you want to do it and the way those best for you. You know kind of bucks the tradition, but again, I will just say it over and over again. Best Selling Author you clearly did something right you know like that doesn't happen by mistake, you know, so like you did what worked for you. And now here you are. And I think that that's really cool. I think there's this weird binary that people do, where you can only be one thing. And in reality, I think all of us are going to have seven, eight careers in our life, right. And instead of letting a career kind of define what I do, I sort of let me decide what I do. And where I spend my time, and I let this is gonna sound so well. But like, there's joy in writing. For me, it's a really joyful activity. So I like to starting my day with words on the page. I like if I'm in a bad place, just taking 15 minutes and writing a little bit and kind of retreating into this mental world that I'm building and giving other people problems and then solving their problems. And I think that you can be multitude, like, you don't have to be a single thing at a single time. It's this sort of weird, like, 1950s version of like, I am an auto mechanic, and then I come home, and I eat steak and potatoes. And that is it. life has changed. And it's okay to, to have passions and interests and monetize those or don't monetize those, spend your time where you want to spend it. But I think recognizing what works for you. And where you can slot those little pockets of joy into your day, or to make your entire day joyful, I enjoy my day job. So that's great. I also enjoy my writing career, that is also great. As long as I can do both, well, why would I stop doing things I like doing, I shouldn't have to trade one for the other. And I don't need to 100% 100% and I love I don't think it's woowoo at all to say that writing brings you joy. And I love that he said that, you know, you try to do it first thing in the morning. You know, that was that was something that Marshall touched on to in his episode, you know, the first two hours of his days, give or take, he's he's writing, he's listening to a beat and writing a song. And I took to that too. And I've started I am in the beginning stages of a career in comedy. And to your point where you said, You're like, I tell people, I'm a writer, who It feels weird telling people that I'm a comedian, I gotta like, kind of get used to that it's almost like a muscle I have to work. But I think even if you're not creative, just doing something, first thing in the morning that brings you joy, it's a way to like, fill up your cup, because the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is something that's going to make you miserable. That's gonna kind of set the tone for the whole day. But if you you know, do something brings you a lot of joy, even if it's just for 30 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever, you know that traffic jam, getting to work might not bother you as much because you've already done something for yourself. You know, it's like, when we're doing stuff that makes us miserable. It's like, what's even in it for me, like, why am I doing this, but like your days already have something cool. So like, it's a great way to start today. I love that. Yeah. And I also feel like just identifying if you like, again, every job has problems, there is no job that you don't have problems as somebody who likes about their day job and their personal small business that they run, I still run into problems and being aware of the things that bring you joy, and finding ways to slot those into like, if there's a meeting I hate. And I know I hate it, and I have to go to it. I know that being outside for five minutes brings me joy. So I literally have 15 minutes to go eat a snack outside before I go into this meeting. So that I'm not miserable the whole time. And then when I come out, I go outside again. And I eat another snack like, and my life is literally better because I have surrounded the things that I don't want to do with things that I love to do. And that boosts my energy. And so I guess yeah, I just want to encourage listeners, like identify things that bring you joy and find ways to slot those into your day. Even if it's stretching, even if it's yoga, even if it you know just little things like making that time for yourself and really feeling that well like your personal Well, it's so important. A topic that comes up a lot on this podcast and in my life in general is that you got to show up, you got to put yourself out there, because you just never really know who's looking for you who's going to find you and the people that you're going to meet. My dad is from Tanzania, a country in East Africa that a lot of Americans have never even heard of. And honestly, there's not a lot that I know about the country in the culture either. You know, for for whatever reason, my dad did not teach me much about it. And you know, it is what it is. But I've always wanted to know more. And the little act of adding the Tanzanian flag to my profiles on social media has made it so that I've been able to meet other Tanzanians because there's so few of us that just throw in the flag up will will attract people. And so I've gotten to meet some technologists from Tanzania, which is really cool. And I've also been able to get connected to Tanzania trans initiative or TTI, which is awesome. So now I'm talking to several Tanzanians who are transgender. Of course, there's Mwamba. Now, the first time I talked to him wamba, and he told me about his coming out story. I'm like, Listen, dude, like, people need to see that, like, we're all the same man, like, like you're from a country that not enough Americans have even heard of, and yet your story, your coming out story, your experience as a trans person, ring. So true. To me over here in America, it's all the same man. And visibility is everything. And I'm really excited to announce actually, when his episode came out, the Leo Yockey show ranked number nine in Tanzania, people were hearing this, it got out. And I think that that's really cool. And you know, malambo has been really pushing the envelope to make sure that there's visibility there for them. And, yeah, it's just been really cool to connect with people who are from my motherland, I just love what he has to say about why he's doing what he's doing. So I'll let you hear it for yourself, here's Mama, they claim to not have transient and that, indeed, we struggle doing our own research in, in Tanzania. So it's like you're running cycles, and not hearing what trends have to say, on their side, I mean, it's nothing about us, without us, we are not there at the table to make decisions to, for us to put ourselves to visible lives ourselves. so that we may be so that we may have the data, we need to start doing some action. So, I see that is there is missing, that the gap that is missing, and now, in the community, people are still suffering, I mean, there is a very big gap missing. in the, in the, in the in the books, again, community as to the sufferings cases are not being taken from the police. They mean we need safe house, we need a place whereby people can run people can feel secure when people can. And people can kill that. Given that, you know, people can those people who are from, from violence from getting parents saying people can recover, yes, people can recover from their tragedies, and we need such spaces. And now, why now? Number one is because I have the privilege to find a resource to face. So why not now? Well, now it has been for several years, I mean, I am the voice, and I'm speaking with we need it. That is why we are trying to fundraise so that we may have for our own people so that they can survive. I mean, they saw that they may grow, they may grow meaningful, they will get education of causes, they will have access to libraries, they will have the space to grow their talents, they will have space to have enough use of technology. I mean, they can take advantage of that. We need to build our own people, starting with a safe space. Yeah. possibly my favorite episode to record in all of season one was the episode was Shannon hay. And I think part of it is that I just think it was so cool to interview someone from my hometown. There's so much laughter so much love in this episode. And in a way it's like, through letting all into this conversation. I'm really letting everybody into my background and where I grew up in my roots. I just I love the conversation that we had. This is actually the longest clip by far. All of the clips are well under 10 minutes each, but this is this is definitely the longest one. So I'm not even going to give it any further ado, but Shannon olevia here, Shannon? So did you find that in doing theater did it did it always feel like almost like it just didn't quite fit? Like Was it something was it something where like, you enjoyed it, but it just didn't quite feel like it like like you're close, but not quite on the mark of where you're supposed to be? Yes and No, like, the thing I think that drove me away from theater and I think it's something that I think a lot of people in the LGBTQ community relate to is I had a lot of characters that I related to that I could that I knew going in that I wouldn't Never be right for as far as director was concerned, because I'm five foot three in stacks. And I tended to relate to a lot of male characters. And I was like, I know I can never, like get those parts. Even though I think I'm a good actor. And I'm a, I'm an okay, singer, I'm not very good. But this is objective. I'm not trying to be down on myself. You know, it's like, it was never like plans to go to Broadway or anything. But just like, it was really disheartening. Which is why I ended up going to improv because an improv you can play whoever the hell you want to play. Because it's improv, you just kind of jump into the role that you need to take the time. And that kind of drove me towards realizing more and more what I liked about boarding and, and comics and things because you're kind of every character. When you do that you're acting through art. And you're, you have to kind of put all the things that you would be doing on a stage into a drawing. So you get to kind of be every single character that shows up in the show every single character that shows up in your scene, like you get to act that part out. And that was really fun for me. And I think that character work that I I learned to do in theater is a really big part of what pushed me into this particular career. So I can't why that person said storyboard artists or just theater kids who don't want to be on stage anymore. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I think you touched on a very interesting connection here. Because you know, what, one thing that I'm kind of observing both from my own life, and, you know, people that I've interviewed on this podcast, and even conversations I've had off, Mike, is that when you're part of the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ plus community, you know, you, it usually involves a level of self discovery and self reflection that a lot of other people, even if they do it, it, it's not as much of a necessity, you know, what I mean? Because the world is very heteronormative. And when you fit into that category, you know, the world is doing a lot of the thinking for you, and a lot of the refraction for you. And, you know, so for you, it feels like some of these things kind of go hand in hand, right? You know, because you had, you had this, you know, understanding that you wanted to be able to play certain parts that, you know, because, again, going back to the hetero normativity of the world, you wouldn't be able to play, you know, like, the the leading, you know, male character in a play or something like that, even though, you know, like, you, you know, that that is a role that you would both feel comfortable embodying, and would you want to embody, he had, you know, if you had been in a position where that was available to you, maybe you wouldn't have been able to do this self reflection required to, you know, to get to the point of realizing that, like, Hey, I'm actually not as into verbal communication anyway, like, what are other paths for me, and like you said, you know, kind of being able to get to embody every character in, in, you know, storyboard, you know, you kind of get this, like, it's not the same, but it is like a different type of experience, where, you know, you kind of said before, like, I also get bored very easily, you know, and you, you know, you kind of just mentioned Broadway kind of just because, but like a Broadway actor is playing the same role over and over and over and over again, until that show is over. And even if you're on a like, you know, say you're on a, you're working on a TV show, as a storyboard artist, you know, even if you're working on kind of the same characters for a while, because you get to bounce around from different characters throughout, you know, you kind of get this like richness and variety of experience. And, you know, it kind of seems like these things go hand in hand a little bit, because the fact that you're able to do that self discovery, you know, you're kind of able to veer off into this, this path that works better for you anyway, because you, you, you enjoy presenting things in a visual way. You know what I mean? Like, like, I'm totally off base by trying to connect these two dots together. No, no, I think you're absolutely right. Um, I was just, you mentioned, like, being able to bounce around and kind of it made me think about how, even just on my last job that I was working on, it was a it's a six character ensemble show for little kids and you know, do you want to tell us Do you want to share with us? This is a humble brag. I got to work on Muppet Babies last year. Yeah, down here. Oh. Legend of Lancaster. Ah, come on. But yeah, it was Really fun, fun experience and talking about how you get to kind of bounce around and play different characters every day, or, you know, every week or whatever. It's true. And it really does keep you or keep people like me anyway. Intrigued and like interested because you kind of get to, even though it's like a little kids show like you still, actually I kind of like that it's a little kid show because everything is much more streamlined, streamlined, streamlined. In like, the characters, personalities, everybody's got a very, very distinct personality. And, you know, they have like, very distinct motivations and very distinct mindsets. And it's really, really fun for someone like me to bounce around and get to, like, kind of see things through that character's perspective. And like, understand that character's motivations and like, kind of get to develop how they would act in the situation or pitch an idea of view and like, how would they respond that would be stronger for this character that would be better for this story, and still make sense for that character and the other characters involved. And it was just, it's, it's almost like, almost like an empathy exercise. And just learning how different people think and different people respond to things and might be babies is such a cute show for that. Because it's like always, the moral is like trying to understand each other better. And I think that as a storyboard artists, that's kind of what you get to do. Yeah, it would actually be fair to say that this podcast would not be here. If it wasn't for this next guest, Lucas casarez. Lucas is my financial planner, which, by the way, I'm pretty sure I kept calling him financial advisor, I probably should have asked him what the difference is, maybe he'll be another repeat guest. But anyway, when I was really down and out, and I was starting to get really sick, again from stress, and hating my job, and not sure what I was going to do, Lucas actually told me because I've hired him, he he is my financial planner, and, and already was at this time, and he said, Hey, you know, you can afford to quit, right? Like, it looks like you're really upset. And you're really hating your job. Like, just, you can go if you want, like we'll figure this out together. And I did. And, man, if it wasn't for that, I don't know if I would have ever done this podcast. So I guess thank you for returning the favor, Lucas. And for that to make sense. If you didn't listen to his episode, check out this clip right here with Lucas, one thing I wanted to tell you, Leo, I've actually written you a message multiple times. And I always deleted it. But since you brought me on to this podcast, I think I should tell you. So you reached out to me at the end of November. Yeah. And prior to that local financial planner, here's like, Hey, I see you hustling. I knew, like you're good guy. And you're doing good work. How about I buy level financial planning, I buy your clients, you come in work for me do financial planning for us. And I was thinking about it very, very intensely. But then sure enough, when I was kind of getting to that final part of that thinking process, and it wasn't because business wasn't working, things went mostly as planned. But it was still stressful for me to like think, well, I still need to grow and keep growing. And all these things. It's I don't know what was going through my mind at the time. But yeah, next thing I know, Leo reaches out and just kind of reminds me of what level of financial planning is all about kind of aligning, like who you want to be. And I Russell, we don't know all these things just yet. It's a journey and path. But I decided, Nope, that's not for me, I'm gonna keep doing my level up thing I rely on creating the content. Within the following five or six weeks after I talked to you, Leo, I got six clients, I don't like the following eight or nine. Like all together, I got like, I grew more and a month and a half time period than I did all of 2020. Like it was ridiculous. And it was like you started that. So I wrote those messages multiple times. As I do this feels too weird to like sign like over a message. But it just kind of lines up perfectly with what this podcast is about. And just that little bit of like timing, and then just kind of persistence and pushing past like some of that uncomfortable stuff. I don't know what it was. But yeah, because I decided to just say, you know what, like, I think I'm onto something I think like I am on the right path, even though it hasn't felt the greatest all the way through. I think what I'm doing is adding value, and that there's a need in for that. And so, yeah, I just want to thank you for for kind of reaching out when you did because everything could be tied to that specific encounter, where we started talking a little bit more intensely about those types of things. That's amazing. I was so glad that you told me that and what a man, I swear, it seems like when we're feeling uncertain about what we want to do, it seems like there's like a temptation. That's always when the temptation shows up. It's like you're questioning what you want to do. And here's this, here's this offer being dangled in front of you, Hey, I'll buy you out. Here's security again, you get to your clients. And then as soon as you said, No, it was like the floodgates open man, I don't, I don't know why it is that that happens. But I do where it's like, it's like you're saying to the universe like No, I wasn't kidding. Did I stutter? What I said, This is what I want to do. Like, I'm serious. So that's, that's really amazing. I've really been mulling over the some of the topics from this next conversation with Valerie Phoenix. She's the founder and CEO of tech by choice, I think about change a lot like personal change, personal development, do we change? Or do we just kind of become more evolved versions of who we've always been? and Valerie kind of shows us that our values will kind of stay the same. And we just get better and better and better at practicing those values. You know what I mean? And that's a very interesting conversation. It's been a very interesting debate. I've posed the question in a couple of different ways on Instagram before, and I really love everyone's responses. So yeah, let me know what you think of this. Because here here is that theory and practice with Valerie ever done stuff in the past, like before in your previous life, pre tech, where you were really involved in a in a community or any kind of like giving pack? Oh, my god, you're connecting so many dads, I'm just like, oh, wow, I am very like community base and everything I do. That's why I'm hosting the podcast. Just call me the millennial Oprah. No, I think thinking back to like, how I grew up, my mom did daycare. So we had like, anywhere from like, 10 to 15 kids in the house at any given time. And so I learned a lot of like, how to be a person from my mom and like modeling how she worked with the kids and work with the parents. And she was very, what is the group want to do? How does the group feel about this? She was never the type of person to say like, Whoa, everyone's going to eat this. We don't like it, then you just don't eat. Like that was just not the way she handled things. And so I think that was my first understanding of community. And the way she ran the daycare, she made us feel more so like a family versus like, these are the daycare kids. They're separate. Like, no, we were all together doing things. And we had a lot of fun doing it. Um, so I think that's where that comes from in the way that I decided to like, be it show up as leader and the way that I look at Tech by choice, because it's pretty much now that I think about it, like the colors we have protect by choice is actually the same colors that my mom had for her. Her childcare logo. So I like your you'd have no clue like how you thought she just connected right now. I'm just I've turned into my mom. Like, in the best ways, though. It sounds like Yeah, yeah, I'm just my mom. And I didn't realize that until like right now. Um, yeah, community. It's just second nature for me, I guess. Yeah. I love that. That's so cool. And pardon the pun on Phnom Penh. But the the colors being the same as the daycare that's quite a quite a callback. if I do say so much. You got you got it. I don't know how many other people's gonna laugh at that. too. It's funny because we mentioned callbacks. So it's a literal callback. And then it's it's a pun on the callback functions is huh. Yeah. Yes. Who two nerds just laughed a lot at that. Yeah. That's really cool. I love that. So what about in college? Were you ever involved in any community stuff in college? college I just that was probably the only time in my life I act at my age. So there was no no community base anything happening. But in high school. I was a part of a lot of I think I was a part of almost every club at our at our high school. Please don't ask me why or how, but I was. So a lot of community there. And then I was a part of this program called upper bound. That felt like a second home to me. And we really focused on like how to get to college and all this other stuff and they help with like resources and workshops and classes. You nobody else Very familiar. The tech by choice. Okay. Very familiar. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm just a repeat of my life. So yeah. No, that's, that's good. Yeah. So I think that was another farming community, what other, I also will know, in college, I did come back and like help volunteer for that program, the upper bound programs, I worked with a lot of like high school students getting ready for college. And that was a lot of fun. I think I used to one of my favorite things that me and my mom would do together. Growing up is beauty that relates to life, events, local events, so being able to go hang out in the park and like, get that together. And so I guess, there's a lot of aspects of my life that has been very community based driven and stuff like that. Yeah, that's really cool. So I think I touched on it before we recorded that. One of the things that I was going to try to figure out remember, I said, I have questions that are geared towards trying to figure out why, of all of all the people that know that these problems in tech exist? Why was it you that started tech by choice? And not? And not in a like, Who are you to say, but almost the exact opposite of like, why isn't everybody feeling like, you know, empowered to do this? And the reason why is because you already had so much experience in that you know what I mean? Like this is, this is just what you do, like you are a community driven person, and you believe so, so close to the core of who you are in the power of community and community driven things that it almost seems like if you see a need for that community, it's like you can't you can't help but do it because it is just such a part of who you are. That was so sweet. Are you a motivational speaker too? Because that definitely made me feel good. All right, last, but certainly not least, is my dear friend Emily. And my friendship with Emily has always been really special to me, we met at a job at a theme park and going to Disneyland together has been a big part of our friendship, you know, so there's just a lot of lot of interesting, unique experiences Emily and I have shared and we also have been able to have really interesting, deep conversations, you know, it's something that I feel like a lot of people don't think about when it comes to the Disney adults, is if you're spending a lot of time with someone at Disneyland, you're spending a lot of time with them in lines, you ended up having a lot of conversations. And I really, you know, there were actually there were so many different opportunities in so many different episodes. Really, this is a theme that kind of came up in every episode. But this is one of the ones where it was the most explicitly laid out to know what you want to do in life, you have to know who you are, and you got to be true to yourself. I really, really appreciate not just Emily, but really everybody's willingness to be open and to share all the different parts of themselves with me. So that we can really see that principle in action. So that's exactly what Emily nine talk about. Let's check it out. When I graduated college, I was still living with my parents for a couple years. And so there were to me, I had like these three major things that I needed to fix, because I was an adult now, and I shouldn't be like at this stage in my life, I should be at this stage in my life. And number one was housing, I wanted to have my own place, or at least not live with my parents anymore. Number two was my job. I wanted a actual like real big girl job and not like a retail job. And number three was our relationship. And I don't think I wanted a relationship necessarily, because there was anybody I was particularly interested in and like wanted to be with, like I wanted a relationship because I wanted that experience that so many other people in my life had had. And I felt like I must be missing out on something by not having like a long term relationship with somebody. And so that kind of, I think made me I don't know if I would say depressed, but definitely just like questioning myself and my self worth. And it really played a lot into my self esteem, which wasn't the greatest for me, you know, as a young adult, and I think part of that was that reason and you know, a lot of people have misconceptions about asexuality or like don't understand that it is a spectrum. So just because you you know aren't sexually attracted to people doesn't mean that You aren't necessarily romantically attracted to people or, you know, you kind of feel almost like a platonic bond. But like, it's almost more than that, like, Oh, yeah, like, I want you to be like my person. But like, I don't necessarily want to sleep with you. But like, I want us to not be just friends, you know. So it's like this weird, like, in between feeling. So it's difficult. And you know, there were times when I was interested in in men and had crushes on people. And it was just kind of it was weird, because it's like, you want to this, this person. And it was just kind of messing with my head a lot. And I think, realizing that there are other people like me, who have who experienced the same thoughts and feelings that I do kind of made me more comfortable being like, oh, okay, well, then, maybe this isn't something that I need to be looking for. Because I feel like now, if somebody who wasn't also somewhere on the asexual spectrum, I don't think it would work out. And I think I would, that would just give me another reason to be depressed. And yeah, I don't need that in my life. So I think coming to terms with who I am, how has made me realize, like, oh, like, maybe this isn't one of the three things that I need to focus on, you know what I mean? Like, I don't need to focus on this to make my life better. I can just, like, cross that off the list and be like, you know, if I meet someone great, that understands and kind of feels the same way that I do. Awesome. If not, no big deal. Like, I am so happy and being independent and taking care of myself. And I think having another person to share that with would just kind of be like an added bonus if it were to happen. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing that. You cut out in some parts of it, but I think so hopefully, hopefully the recording recorded okay, but even. Yeah, man, you just cut out again, I think we got the the most important stuff, which is that asexuality is a spectrum. And honestly, the biggest clue that maybe you were asexual was that you kind of realize that your desire to have relationships mostly came from societal pressure, basically, like, this is what everyone's doing. So this must be what I want. Which is, which is so fun. Because to me, that's kind of like the theme of the show of this show. Even though it's more with like careers, it's like, you know, we don't just like, go to college and get good grades and get a good job. Like, we have to be a little bit more creative. Like that was kind of your experience, even with your sexuality was like, you know, it's not just, you know, graduate from high school, meet some nice young man and then marry him and have babies it was, you know, something wasn't quite right with that. And you had to figure that out. And now, now that you've figured it out, there's you know, that that nagging feeling of Am I doing something wrong is subsided, and you can you can live your life. And I think that's great. Yeah, me too. I'm very, very happy, just kind of having that having the knowledge and knowing like, you know, I don't need to waste my time with dating apps. And I don't need to waste my time trying to find somebody to be with for the rest of my life, because that's not my path. And that's not, you know, it works great for some people, but it doesn't work for everybody. And I think a society and just people on a on a broader level need to understand that what works just because it works for a lot of people doesn't mean it works for everybody. And you don't you know, just because somebody just because someone is single, long term doesn't mean that they're unhappy. All right, thank you so, so much for listening to the best of season one. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider sharing it with someone, especially if you think that they would enjoy one or more of these clips. Like I said, I started this show because I like having conversations, and nothing would make me happier than to know that these conversations that that we have on the show, are inspiring other conversations out there in the real world. So share it with your friends, make it your Instagram story. Take a screenshot of this. Wherever you're listening to it posted to your Instagram story, you can tag me at Leo Yockey LEYOCKE why it's a great way to let your friends know what you're into without feeling like you're bothering them or anything like that. If you really liked it, if you want to really support the show, leave me a five star review original review. You know, let me know what you're into let me know what you liked about this show. And I do read these reviews and I and I put them into consideration and hey, like when you hit me up and say I'd love to talk about this, or I'd love to hear about this. I just had someone asked me recently, if there's a good episode about time management, I was like, oh, there's there's a couple of examples. But now Now I have that in mind. And I'm going to be looking for someone where we can really get into talking about time management. I actually have a couple of potential guests in mind for that. So hopefully, I'll be able to get them in for season two. So yeah, let me know like, yeah, season two is coming up. We're we got one more episode left to go with season one. So okay, we're not really taking a break, though. So let me let me kind of break down how this is going to go. We have this episode coming out today. Yeah, August 24. Next Tuesday, August 31, is going to be the season one finale, which I just realized, there's some interesting symbolism to to that date. So that that's amazing. Okay, I'll talk about that next week. The week after that September 7, I'm going to be releasing the trailer for season two. So if there's any time that I'm taking a break, it's then and then September 14, we're rolling right into season two, so it's gonna be good stuff. I'm really excited for it. I've actually already recorded all of the interviews for the month of September for the first month of season two. It's gonna be fantastic. We're taking this in a slightly different direction. It's still gonna be a lot of really interesting deep conversations with a wide variety of people. But I think you'll like the direction that we're going. And so, again, thank you for being on this journey with me. I'll see you next week for the season one finale, stay evolving.