But it comes down to what did you do, right? Your business is your business. It’s a way to do something to give to the community because the money you can’t take with you. So how many people’s lives can I touch? Whether it’s through, you know, sending kids to the Austin Sunshine Camps, or it’s funding scholarships for college or private school. You know… Sometimes I like thinking about death but like in a positive way. And since, I mean it’s going to happen. And to me, I think that the driving force of humanity is knowing that you have a limited time to do something or some things on this planet. What do you want to do?
On this week’s episode of Establishing Your Empire A.J. Bingham. A.J. Is the CEO and founder of the Bingham Group and when he’s not advising clients on governmental and public affairs, he is very active in the nonprofit community. So we sat down to talk about how he went from employee to entrepreneur, how you can get involved in giving back to your community and how he continues to build his empire.
You’re listing to the establishing your empire show, a podcast that inspires entrepreneurs, creatives, and future business owners to pursue their passions, grow their organizations, and build their empire. My name is Darren Herman and creatively I’m best known for my photography, but business wise, my claim to fame has grown a company from 15 K per month in online sales to breaking the $1 million a month barrier. And I’m sitting down with interesting people to talk about their process, the lessons they’ve learned and how they have Established Their Empires.
Hi A.J. and welcome to the podcast. Glad to be here, Daran. I really appreciate you coming on. So why don’t we just start with maybe give us a little bit about yourself, your background, who you are, and how you, how you got here.
Yeah, so I’m sure this in the show notes, but I’m a lobbyist with the Bingham Group. It’s a firm that I started almost three years ago. We three years old, April 10th of this year. You know, it’s quick, quick overview background. I grew up in Austin. My dad was in the air force, so for those who aren’t, haven’t been here in the last ad probably 30 years or so. The airport Bergstrom used to be an air force base. We got stationed here from Germany. And yes, you know, I came here and I was eight and went through grade school through high school here.
Went to undergrad in North Carolina, Wake Forest University and then went to law school and Topeka in your neck of the woods and at Washburn law. And went straight through, graduated Oh five college or Oh four for college level early and then Oh eight in law school. Came right back to Austin right after law school. And what the goal of getting in the Capitol here, legislature and then getting the lobby after that.
So did you always think that you were wanting to be a lobbyist? Is that kinda like something you always had a passion for or did that, you know?
No, and I don’t think a lot of people do. I think it’s the lobby is one of those professions that’s not really talked about. People have, I obviously have ideas about it and generally know about it. Mostly from, you know, bad press and so on. Have you ever seen Thank You For Smoking where you have someone’s parent come to school and talk about being a lobbyist? I do a lot of talks at career days with grade schoolers and middle school and high school because I think it is a very interesting profession and definitely one that, you know, there’s definitely a need for diversity in it. And thinking that you can make a great career out of this. And so I try to come by to talk to students about it. Kids in college, kids too, just to open the doors about open eyes to what we do and what the profession is about.
So why don’t you give us like a little background with actually what lobbying is and what, what would that, what that means?
Yeah, I mean essentially we are paid advocates for a co. I mean if you will pull back, you can be a volunteer advocate or a paid avid hit, right?
But the basis of the job is on the professional side. We represent an entity, right? So it could be a nonprofit like American heart association, Goodwill, things like that. Or a PR, a business group, right? So McDonald’s, you know, any kind of corporation, large or small, right? I mean I had previously I represented some small businesses in Austin on issues and some large companies too, but that’s the base, the job. You are a paid representative or you’re an advocate for an interest that has an interest, has some interest in the government, whether it’s city hall or a capital. The capital here could be the school district, it could be capital Metro, right? But we are the lobby lobbyists are at the intersection of, and I’m business and politics.
Sounds to me it’s basically like a consultant. But because you know how to navigate that field for organizations, is that, is that a fair assumption?
Right, because you think about it, right? Like, you know, Darren, you, you’re a taxpayer and like the officials, you know, they represent you, you’re, you know, city hall and so on. You could go down to city hall and you know, directly or you could go ask for meetings with staffers and council members request those meetings. But Darren, you have a day job and that’s not to be at city hall all day or the Capitol over may be. So essentially, you know, you’re hiring us because we and every lobbyist should be doing this reporting to have one wanting to know the process and also to be able to navigate your issues as wherever they may be and that, you know, that sandbox, right? Whether it’s the Capitol or city hall or AISD or so on. Yeah. I don’t think I would do a very good job if I wanted to go there and present my case.
I’m not so sure I’d have that much power as a single person. You’d be surprised, right? Because I think the misconception is that it’s all, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s more about your presence, right? Essentially that’s it. And there are, there are some citizens, right, who are at council or at [inaudible], you know, the Capitol all the time and they are known, right? So you could, again, it’s taking away from your day job if you’re, you know, say if you’re retired or something like that, you could go and be a citizen advocate and be a presence and be known there. But essentially like anything else, this is a human relations business. And the more someone knows who you are and your face and then kind of what you’re about, it helps. Right? But, and so essentially you or hiring a lobbyist in your company, your company to help navigate the issue, but also because they are in theory, coming with a ready set of relationships and are known by the people known to the people that you are trying to reach out to influence, potentially.
So walk me through, so now you have your own company. And so walk me through like how you went from actually before he had the company and why you started one. I guess that would be a good place to start. Yeah, I mean, so I’ve been in the lobby for almost a decade. It’ll be, and it’ll be 10 years. June 1st of a Visia Heath going I think of were between 19 June 1st of this year, 2020. And you know, it’s the only, probably the last five years kind of I’d worked for different firms that the entrepreneurial bug hit me and, or bit me rather. And the biggest, the reason I think it was was, I mean, I never, my God in this business, I wanted to be a lobbyist. I never thought I didn’t want to have my own firm log. It was, I mean, I, I just want to be part of a team.
I want to be part of a team that was growing, to have my place in that, to be up a path to be successful and to reward for that and too, but also always to be part of a team and just collaborate and build something bigger than myself. And just, you know, that along the path. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs probably have this same experience. You realize in yellow if you can’t find it, you do it yourself. Right. And yeah, we reached there. I think you reached a certain level of competency in the profession or most passions where you’d come to a crossroads of one. You know, you might have that day where he had a bad, you know, day the office and you’re like, well, if I was boss I would do this. And then one day kind of, kind of, probably midway through my career that thought hit me and I could really pinpoint what I would do if I was blah.
So what, so it wasn’t just so much to me to sing it, to blow off steam. Like this is BS. And you know, I’ve, I was boss, there were, it wouldn’t be this way. Aye had my mind. Like if I was boss I would do X, Y and Z different and it would have these impacts. So it was almost the kind of the, I reached that at least that minimum threshold where I saw kind of all of a sudden the application of my experience. Right. If like for better word and what I would do, then it becomes, what do you want to do with that when you’ve, when you’ve reached that threshold, right. I think that happens in any profession, right? Professional, professional profession or even like in photography or thing else, you had the requisite skills, the baseline skills to do the job. [inaudible]
Drawn it to be, to be boss. Right. If you want to be
that’s different. That’s a different part of Caucasian too. Well, you had those skills and you can pinpoint what she would do. Then when it comes, do you want, you know, the question, you know, why don’t you do it? Right, right. And it’s not I view, you know, I think it’s, I think it’s a positive that we’ve seen the last probably decade, right? The rise of entrepreneurship as [inaudible] path. Right. When I was in high school in college, there are people who did it, but it wasn’t like promoted the way to, there weren’t college programs for this stuff right now it’s like cool to be astronaut near and I w I think it’s a good thing overall. I think it opens because I think entrepreneurship bottom line opens up a lot more pathways for those who have, you know, your creativity and the, the fortitude to pursue that path.
Right. They experience when I do it and sometimes I even that just they have, they have an idea in the forwards who’d be willing to see it through. Mmm. But you know, never one needs or needs or desires to be an entrepreneur or their there or the boss. Right. Cause that’s a thing. I think there is a separate, as I’m continuously learning, there is something different from the theory of that to the practicality of that. And then the things that come along with being, you know, see over company over may be particularly when you have employees, when you have employees, right, and skills that you have to adjust and grow, right? Like it’s evolution of things. So for me it was starting the kitchen table, the company, the [inaudible] group and growing there being a person, you know, co corporate, we are the pro a company of one to to you know, starting to get employed full time employees are going from interns to full time employees and then recognizing, okay, like I have to, I know how to be by myself in lobby, like you know, as a lobbyist.
But now you’re getting into things like I need to plot out like no, just insurance and Mmm. Culture, right, right. Am I making, am I, am I giving my people is that we’re a private company? Like I view our clients are our shoulders, but my people that work for me are definitely shareholders and the sense of who I’m accountable to, am I giving them what they need as much as were our clients need? Because if our teams are being built and it’s being functional, then we can’t serve our clients well. Yeah. I mean it’s going from being just a, an Allstar single player to be in the coach and an all star usually sometimes. And then also this good point. But, and you know, the goal will be in group is never to have a one off. I want to, I want to a deep bench of like 18 players.
It’s also too, no, when you’re, it’s the tension of going from player to coach and can you do that? Right? Because sometimes a good team, like you don’t have to be the best player to be a great coach. And a lot of, I mean, most of the coaches in the NBA weren’t players, right. But you knew there were players, there were the all stars, but they’re really good at coaching, which takes a different mentality and skillset and almost a check every ego to let it go to Bruce to star stars up. Yeah. Let go of some yourself. And it’s hard to think, particularly when it’s your own company. I have a hard time the stuff that good at of letting other people take control of it. To me we did do a whole range of services. So it’s very easy for the stuff.
I’m not the best set, very easy to let somebody else be, you know, kinda let that, whether it’s the direction of the specific project or actually the way the company wants to go, but the stuff I’m like good at it, I have a tougher time letting go. Yeah, I training right. You got to let the people within reason, you gotta they’re only gonna get better if you give them the space to get, to evolve and become better. Just like we, all, you and I both didn’t our professions, but also realizing once they reach that threshold where they are good as you are, you being better, it’s your company you’re freed up, you can do, cause you have to invest in them to give you more time to plot the future or to, you know, be with you, be on a family vacation or so on.
Otherwise you’re always going to be doing everything, which isn’t the point being an entrepreneur. Points to hopefully have some time, more time to yourself. Yeah. And that’s usually, that’s actually a common misconception is, Oh, if I work for myself, I have more time. Well, it’s always in your mind I ever gets away. So for me [inaudible] battle is I need trying to take more away time. Not so much like the company, it’s your baby. It’s always, it’s never off your mind. But the best you can do is maybe give yourself some, some space for a scenery change. Julie just slept those ideas with the company of all, you know, kind of flesh out more air out more than they would when you kind of in the, in the grind of like your market for us being Austin. Yeah, I completely agree that if you’re always in the weeds, it’s very difficult to come up with strategy and come up with new ideas.
But when you step away to a different scenery as you put it, but then a lot of times you can actually you might not be actually at your desk working, but you’re getting some other tasks done. Like strategy. Let’s back up a little bit. So how did you go from, okay, I’m an employee to say how did you actually, what steps do you go through our thought process to actually create your own firm? Yeah. You know, so the thought was there and it would kind of start, it would kind of come in and out, right? Depending, I’ll still work for the company that point and Mmm. It would come in and out and, but it was always kind of present, right? Like it would, it would, I’ll get busy for a few weeks on the project then it would always, that thought was always popping. Like you can basically, you can do this.
It was the, if you be can build or if you build it, they will come kind of thing. For those who have a certain age, remember that movie. Right. But it was that thought like, you can do this. And it was, I mean, you just know when you know yourself, you know that, that you know when you should be doing something, you’re not doing it like that. There’s that weight on your shoulders. That’s what I felt like. And then they kind of go, keep growing and no, it got to a point where I realize this is one of those key things, those key kind of crossroads where if you don’t try this, you’re going to regret it. Right. And the beauty, I think with age we brought, we’re about the same age as you haven’t have experienced to know when those thing, you know, you know, when those things even, you know, the things you’ve missed in the past, even the way you didn’t, you know what you’re great you have about those today and then it should hopefully help you inform you those decisions as those things pop up in the future.
This is one of those things I really realized like I need, I need, I can go with this. Obviously I think you know I wasn’t the type just jump into it, but I knew, okay, what am I ready to go right now? Right. Ready, ready, baked right now. But this is something probably, you know, three year horizon. What can I do right now though? What steps, actions can I take the keep meet that momentum going. So for me it was, you know, forming L forming an LLC, right? Limited liability company at least. So we came then it was real, it was on paper. It was a real, you know, had a, any deployment or defecation number EIN. I had an actual certified letter from the secretary of state’s office saying, you’re a company and you did do, do this. Why you still had a day job?
Yeah. Just to kind of put the wheels in motion. Yeah, because I mean I’ve heard, you know, like the second thing else, right? With any kind of goal in mind here, people talk a lot about what they want to do. Well, I want to start a company and these all are great ideas. Half for it. I will down and realize, look right now, like I won’t, I’m not ready to go up my own right now. I’m, I can, I can make a company up. There’s nothing where I can make a company up and have that there as something that I’ve known and wherever I kind of maybe get busy with wherever I can look back and said, this is something that keeps me grounded and I need to keep this momentum going. So it got bed done. I had a logo already made you know, bought the domain name.
So you’re getting, you’re knocking out these small tasks to kind of give yourself some momentum exactly as, as you went along. Okay, so, so you got a couple things going. Was there a, you know, what made you quit, get fired, released? What, what, what, how, how did you actually say, okay enough, I’m on my own. I had the fear of what if I don’t do this? You know, so my, my PR like my last, like my WT job, there was some leadership changes at the top and then I was part of that sweep on the way out. And basically it was a, I had, I had obviously planned on, it was a, I got you. I was out six months sooner than I planned. I planned on, which is how sometimes those things go. And that was it. I was like, well, I have, you know, in my case it was like I’d, I had already had the logo made and it was corporate.
It was a, you know, high end designer had all the pieces that were there to go. Right. No more excuses, contact lists. Mailing was amazed. There was no, thankfully there was, I know the scramble. It’s already made and then it became, what do you want to do? So it was there. I reached out to a friend who was a photographer. Like, look, I need to get some quick shots up from the site, you know, yo, I mean, a tie would not serve. We ran out of the Capitol right now, the city hall got those SERMO cute announcement from like a Monday morning on April 10th, 2017 and that was how we started. I love it. So you had, you had the little push, right? Yeah. Do you think without that, that third, like a push that you couldn’t control, do you think you would have started it up?
That would have, right. I mean I was on, I was mentally committed to it. It just, it’s like the, I think it was, I don’t know if Mike Tyson said it or not, but it was like the everyone has, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth of the face. And is that right? I mean, I had a set thing I’m going to, you know, I’m going to but on this day and have neck use the next previous six months to, well, I don’t apply it and so on and so on. And it was a gut check. I got knocked, you know, knocked my jaw or my gut. And it was, you’re on the ground and your knees are like, what are you going to do? Right. And in my case it was just getting back up and moving to Mokena. You know, life isn’t always in life.
Rarely goes as you plan it, right. It was more just this is how it’s, this is how it’s going to be. And I grew up Nick work and roof, but thankfully my case, I had enough foresight because I want to keep momentum going to have physical pieces there. I mean, even the logo once that was made, I mean I had copies of it printed and I still have in my bedroom, like from three years ago, I one my like on the, on my ceiling right above my bed where I go, first thing I see in the morning, one like in there kind of he spots in my room. So I, I’m looking at it. So even when I, before I officially launched my company, Mmm. Those things, it was, are always a reminder to myself and they’d kind of probably goes to kind of my personality on that end.
I think that’s really fantastic. I’ve never really thought about this, but something visual. So a lot of times when I build a company, I’ll just build a website cause I can do that and have that skillset. And even like this podcast, I was like, this start going and filming and, and, and, and putting something out there that seems real. So it’s interesting that the logo was a big, a visual representation for you to say, okay [inaudible] this could be real cause a name and a logo really when you look back as nothing, but it was something to you and it meant something. So it’s your flag. Right? I mean, to me it’s, it’s a [inaudible]. It depends on your personality, but it was a visual, it was a visual manifestation of what you’re looking to achieve. Right. Versus, I mean, everyone has that thing, right. But for me it was important to see that reminder every day and to know, I guess I, I, I’d hack my own brain and knew how I worked.
Right. To know enough to say I plus my face every day. I’m not going to forget about it. Yeah. And yeah, especially with being there. So, okay. Now that you’ve started and you’ve been going for a couple of years, is there anything that you wish you would’ve done differently when you started? No. I mean, there’s some lessons we learned like in the last kind of, I mean, two years we kind of getting, we’re getting more into version 2.0 the company going and going from one person to multiple people, more than like more than two people. Right. but no, I think [inaudible] yeah, hindsight’s always 2020, but all those things also are your hand get better. Like if I, if I had made zero stumbles or anything else or nothing had ever kind of gone sideways at all, you’re not prepared for the future.
Those things are gonna happen. Right. I’ve been surely, unless you’re playing it, I mean, I [inaudible] they’re going to happen. Yeah. You learn from them. So how, how, how do you get clients like w you know, is there like a marketing approach? Because it’s a completely different world to me. Yeah. So a lot of lobbyists don’t necessarily like they don’t, they’re not billboards for lobbyists. Those kinds of, I think the main, the main way happens in the industry. It’s referrals. Also, you know, this, this I think I call them qualified cold calls. So you could have for example, an article in the paper about a company moving to Austin. You know, you looked the company up, you see, and this is background, he related to this. In most States a lobbyist had the register or the state, right? [inaudible] Their epics commission. So you can see, you can go like our C of O the city of Austin, sir.
Certain cities have lobby registrations as well. Right? So you can go online. The state has state level and local level and look my name up and see who I represent. Right. It’s kind of the, how it goes in most, most States, the local level, not so much. Some times anyway though, you know, a company moves here, I’ll look the company up, you know, see where they came from. See they had lobbyists in that state and if they did, it’s great. It means like the hardest part is like if no one’s ever used a lobbyist, how do they know? You know, it’s, it’s, it’s the net familiar with it, right? So they’ve already used lobbyists. That’s one Hill you’re already over. They probably see the value in it. So yeah, you don’t have to sell yourself and the value of lobbyists, you just have to set yourself correct correctly.
You used to then, and also it’s figuring out a case. So you’ve got that hurdle minutes. What issue was going on in that state that’s going on here or just lay to their business? What’s going on here? That’s the tie for me to like want to call you Darren about some issue, right? So it’s not just be calling you as lobbyists, like, Hey, welcome, welcome to Austin over to Texas. It’s saying, you know, Darren, I saw, you know, you’re the general counsel of the company or even just CEO. Like I saw you were moving here from San Francisco to Austin and you know, I saw, I was looking at the issues that you’re dealing with the city out there and the state. And just so you know, you know, it’s a little different out here in terms of the makeup of our government, but a lot of those issues, a lot of those issues we’re seeing brewing here.
I saw you had some out there. So I mean, the same thing’s gonna happen here and whether you hire me or not, it’s going to happen probably. So you should probably, you know, take that what you will, but I’m money know the lay of the land here and go, where’s me? Is calling you? Trying to, okay, what are your needs? Right. It’s our job to really, to do some research. Yeah. And then also it sounds like you almost provide a little value right away of saying, well, this is what we’re seeing a little bit as opposed to just pitching them. Right. Correct. I mean, it can be twofold. I mean, some folks, depending on the industry, they want to, they want eyes and ears. So it was more knowing. It’s just knowing what’s going on, right. To not be blind, not have to be reactionary or are on your heels.
They want to be able to know if nothing’s going on, do you make sure nothing is going on, but if something is going on, how can we get ahead of it and be proactive on it versus waiting for comes out in the big, the statesman, the paper here. Right. And that’s the value. It’s his eyes and ears and then, yeah. And when there’s a need to be proactive and engage, how are we doing that? How are we having the process to be effective for, yeah, that particular client’s interest. Walk me through, I see with, you know, with your LinkedIn profile and such that you have a very nonprofit background. Maybe walk me through why you’re into that and what you’re doing and w and maybe your experience there. Yeah, I mean, this is background on this. When I first came back to Austin, I had two goals.
One was to get into the lobby, be a lobbyist, but also I, you know, I’ve been away for eight years. That point almost in, I’d S I came back, the city had changed so much dramatically, I think, I think for the better overall. And just growing up here, I wanted to be a part of that. Right. And it wasn’t just like West sixth street, rainy street, all that stuff. I mean, I did that. Got a lot of fun. Yeah. It was fun. Those weren’t there when I was growing up. It was there. And I think while I was in college, I mean, we come, we came back to come back to college you know, during breaks and everyone was still going, everyone was going to [inaudible], right? Yeah. Not like the hip part East Austin, like we’re going to that little strip right there. So it was just realizing like, this is, you know, I’m here for the long haul and what do I want to contribute to the city?
Mmm. Beyond like my, my dollars. Right. And that was, it was like figuring out my place. And so I spent a few years try on different groups and volunteering and figuring out where I want to devote my, in my physic, my nonworking hours and, and, and money too. And you know, I ended up joined a, the group called a group called the young men’s business league of Austin. Why MBL? Had been a part of that for nearly a decade. I just wrapped up 2019. I was a president, it’s 107 year old organization, well in Austin. And our philanthropy is based around a group called the ERC camp called the Austin sunshine camps at Zilker park. Right, right around the way from Barton Springs, which we’ve operated since 1928. All right, so great group of guys. And you know, we raised money or philanthropy again, just Austin sunshine camps and you know, beyond that board involving issue related to some other groups as well.
I’m on the board of the Thinkery. It’s the odd, it’s like the children’s museum of an Austin trail lights for those who’ve been lost in that big, it’s so one of the, one of the Austin’s oldest kind of festivals here, but down is Looker park. A number of other groups to belong center for performing arts around Riverside there. And yeah, the fun part to me it’s just, again, drawing up here and now being a part of the city, it was enough for me to have a job and that’s it. And even even if I had a family, it wouldn’t, it would still, I’d still be involved in something that’s really important to me to be does someone who has really benefited, benefited from a lot of the opportunities that Austin’s offered to want to make sure and steward those, those things going forward.
So if say say somebody is like, okay, I would love to be more part of things like that. Like any advice for, for people that would want to get more involved in their communities or into nonprofits or even into the networking aspects of those groups? Like any advice there? Yeah, I think the first and foremost assess what your goals are, what you want. If it’s purely about business, that there’s nothing wrong with that, right. Trying network I would say. Or if it’s more on the, you know, it was more about purely about volunteering, you know, figure that out too. For the, there are groups out there that kind of blend those I think pretty well why and be able be one of them and also the young women’s Alliance as well. And for those who don’t know, like if you’ve been to an Austin under 40 awards, that’s an event that yeah, the why MBL and why did they, why did BA putting together what’s assessing what you want to do, right?
If it’s like there are some really, I think niche young professional groups or volunteer groups I’m going to build homes for the, you know, for the less fortunate or P, you know, clean parks, those kind of things. But if you’re looking for that blend of philanthropy or for volunteer service and business networking you guys assessed that for yourself. I think though it’s about vault. Whatever you do, it’s about showing up and then being reliable, right? Those things, you know, real, nothing revolutionary there, but showing up consistently and being our liable member is how you become, you get on boards. So typically, so it sounds like actually, you know, join one or maybe multiple but really figure out the one that you want us to put a lot of time and effort into. So yeah, to me I think it’s kind of like the private advice people got on their high school applications.
Other colleges like applications mean I think it’s better me personally to have maybe one or two interest. And also it depends on, you have a job, you may have a family to figure out what works for you and if it’s, you know, I wouldn’t, I would not commit to like even earlier in your career I’d focus on one or two things and then really volunteer and being give your free time to degree you want to there. And there is a, I do subscribe or subscribed that into that and you know, you get out what you put into it. So anything else, I mean showing up once a month and being a baseline member probably won’t cut it to be noticed for the board. But if you’re are the GoTo person for a key event, they put on w originally B or key then and you’re a big fundraiser or something where it’s clear that you are really about this organization that gets you noticed.
Because I mean, any good board and a lot of them, the city, nonprofit boards are always looking for quality members and it’s not just about cutting a check. What has been a big benefit of joining a lot of these nonprofits and being involved with them? For you personally? I think it’s just the connections. I mean, they’re real connections, like organic, right? I think ultimately they’d benefit. It depends on what your interests are. If it’s really about, if it’s, if it’s about volunteer, volunteer ship, that’s fine. For me it wasn’t a blend of my professional network. As well as, you know, giving my time to causes, I believe in like in that, right now it’s around, you know, youth and education and the arts and culture, right? Kind of the kind of ties and the theory and the long center and some of the groups and, and be involved with.
And why I’m, you know, the sunshine camps too and Mmm. But ultimately it’s about what you want to do. Now there are some boards, obviously the more involved you get. I mean the public can look at the boards and see yeah there people on these boards that are very civically involve. That is substantive level, right and in other parts of the community. But joining a board with that in mind I don’t think is the best track. I mean you won’t, you have to, you want to be, hopefully the hope is your a in some way with what that group is doing is not that you showing up because eventually it shows you there because you lose lose interest or you’re not engaged or one of those things. The best advice I would give is really focused on what you want to do. Are you thinking want to do and try it out and just volunteer, volunteer and be a good member.
And you know, most boards, there’s a site that bill the owner Kate, when they have spots in the board and they don’t have a trustees or governance committee and you know, don’t be afraid to put your hand up, but you want to be on the board. That’s interesting. It also sounds like a lot of fun. It’s a different kind of hope. It’s a different kind of fun. Right. Cause it’s work. I mean you’re, yeah. You’re also, it’s, you know, every always boards have different committees and such. Right. And they, it’s a sliding scale in terms of what you need to do. The Y MBL doesn’t have a, the pay staff. It’s a pure volunteer organization and so there’s a lot more things our membership and our board take on. Then say, you know, some of the more, it was well funded nonprofits in the city.
They have paid staff and the board is, there’s advisors, but there’s staff who can really take on a lot of that day to day work. Right? Yeah. That’s a complete, I worked with a lot of nonprofits. We do a lot of websites we’ve worked with like breast cancer resource center of Texas and heart gift and CLA foundation and a bunch of ones. It’s a lot of fun. But those have had staff so they get a lot of, I mean there’s a ton of tasks that they have to get done, which makes sense. If there isn’t a staff then somebody, they’re looking for people to raise their hand and help, which also can make you more involved. Back to kind of I guess your, your, your normal job or your company, what advice would you give someone who wanting to enter the world of lobbying or government affairs?
Yeah, for those who are interested in lobbying and government affairs. And this question, I’ve had a few kind of emails about this or that, the year or the last few months. And I mean the best advice I would give, it’s one to apply actually to any profession. Reach out to folks who do, who do what you think you want to do. More so mostly making if this person is in college or high school, reach out to people who are already doing it. Whether you know him or not. Right. I mean, trust me, it’s always need to get kind of, kind of a emails from folks from college who are looking to do what they want to do and like, or asking for you for your advice, right. Cause you’re like, well, I’m sure and and get a good take of it. See if you can shadow them. Steven, you get a good idea of what you’re doing.
And looking, I think of that meme from a long, few years ago about, you know, what my parents think I do, my friends think I do and so on. And you know, I would say for example, the misconception about our business is that it’s all, you know dinner and events and those kinds of things and gala gala is and all that stuff. Right? It’s a part of it, but it’s also a lot of like watching and waiting. So it could be you at a hearing, whether watching it your office online or, or at the, at the hearing room in city city hall or the Capitol watching it and waiting for your bill, your ordinance or your item to come up on the agenda, which you know, could be at four o’clock in afternoon or it could be at midnight or it could be at one 1:00 AM, well, you’re watching right the whole time and you’re just watching you.
You’re waiting just waiting for your, your item to come up. Right. So you might be there all night for, for 30 minutes of action or they postpone it and you come back, you come back next month for it. Right. That’s a big part of the job is, is that in like emails and phone calls people and arranging meetings and, and thinking and also just thinking about what’s going on, all the inputs, right. What are you seeing? What do you, what from what you know about that sandbox, what’s gonna happen next six months, next three month and so on, and try to stay ahead of it. Have you had any like you know, any resources to help you along on this journey? Like to, to get better in your field books or people, mentors. Some of it. I mean, a lot of it’s experience, you know, just right too.
It’s experience. You, you see [inaudible] you see, you know, you watch a lot of hearing, you see, you know, you see other lobbyists testify or, or work and you kind of, if you have, I’ve had some, some folks who I’ve worked with, I was able to early in my career to work under and see how they worked and operated both the business of this. And then there’s like the business of lobbying, a lobbying firm and the actual lobbying and having good, I think a early examples and, or just kind of how this whole business works and mentors too. Mmm. But yeah, not really books. I mean, a lot of it, yeah. Lobbying. It’s one of the professions isn’t that really again, talked about or published about. Right. Typically there’s no Lux CLA school on this. I should get that back. I think another, I think there’s a program like Georgetown is a program, some certificate for advocacy, but the best is just from like doing it.
Yeah, go on, I’m being around it. And then you pick up skillsets there and yeah cause it’s never, it’s really what you think it is. So what’s your favorite memory related to on in your own company or starting your company or just running it right? Yeah, I think it was, you know, there’s always that Bay, that big account moment, right? We’re in like you’re, you know, you’re kind of, you go from, we’re moving, we’re getting some revenue coming in or some income income coming in. And then that one hits that. That really, you know, based on your books, your number is that this establishes you in terms of the thesis is proven. I mean this is just kind of being, it’s being tested and like month, month you’re going to be like this one really, let’s you, it gets you over that, that, that threshold or that, you know, quote unquote that threshold may be that point.
Right now it’s what makes you believe that it’s real. Like it’s not just you that thinks you can do this, right. You have this different, right. There’s, there’s the checks. I mean there’s like there’s the accounts you get obviously that people believe in what you’re doing and you’re buying. Right. But then as the business, you know, knowing it depends on where your, your goals are to grow is that one, you know, and you re, you know, I’ve been reading a lot of just kind of, you know, biographies or autobiographies about different entrepreneurs who started big companies. I, Phil Knight [inaudible] and thinking about, okay, like you know that an influx, right? Won’t, there’s, there has to be in a corporate history of anyone’s history. There are, there are key threshold moments. Man. It’s very important. Right. And I think one of my fondest memories, yeah, the F was to one my press the button to send my announcement again, April 10, 2017 that there was real, real, right.
Cause you know, you might tell people your mind, okay, I’m starting a company and so on. Well, I had a list like a hundred people, city hall staffers, cattle folks, people in the community and like I’m putting it to the world and again, you’re putting, you know more so what is your thing? My name’s on it. It’s my last name’s on it. It’s to the world like this is the thing and you go and that’s to your complete professional world. That was everybody. You probably knew you act because that’s a thing you, you again, I think you know the businesses are going to come to the English people. Let people know what you’re doing. Right. Which is you should be common sense, but a lot of folks don’t really, I don’t me do that well. Right. So that, that threshold obviously of making it real, like real, real beyond like the, I mean it was real on paper.
It was an entity, but who knew about it, right? I think my friends and family, this was the people I didn’t know or not like, they weren’t like Perth. These are business relationships. There’s that threshold. Yeah. Then the threshold when you reached kind of those key accounts that, and you know that figure, you know, in someone’s mind everyone’s business may be different. Right. But it was when I launched it and then when we got to that threshold of a, of accounts [inaudible] account and accounts [inaudible] loud, I knew I could move the next level of getting office space and then hiring people. Yeah. It’s kind of interesting cause that was probably something you might have been really known that that figure was in your head. But like as soon as it hit you like you, it was this justification of what you’re doing. Mmm. How long did it take you from when you started to get the first client?
Yeah, you hit that, send that button. Did it happen right away or was it crickets for awhile? Cause I’m sure this sales cycle isn’t two seconds normally it’s probably a longer sell side. That was very, I mean at least I’m like so on the contract lobby side, right? So yeah, you have folks who are working in house for a company. There are lobbyists, right? Like the government relations professionals. So they’re registered lobby, but they represent one client and that company on the contract side, it’s very, I mean, it’s what you kill, right? I mean, you’re not there in the same industry obviously, but you have people you work with, you have accounts for shoots or anything else or a site to my develop or you don’t, and you have to go there. You’re jumping a business. So in mine, yeah, I launched with zero clients and but day one I realized I’d been around this business enough to know most people don’t, is it wasn’t from lack of experience.
They didn’t make it right or, or even not artist ability. It was just the client part. Right. Could you, could you last long enough to get those accounts coming into your fund, your business or your runway and everything else and Mmm. Thankfully, you know, I had prepared that for that financially. Some, and I had it. I know I knew it. My kind of number was in terms of how long I had to do it. And thankfully, I’ve never, I mean, I’ve always been a very strong networker even before I launched this. Right? Just growing up. So I put it out there and it was coffee meetings, coffee meetings. I mean it becomes, it is, well shoot is this day your full time job, right? This is very much, I tell this to people, where are you going? This is a, a lifestyle profession, right? There really is no, even me coming here.
Entrepreneurship in general is a lifestyle profession because even let’s say that we’re not in the office working, like we’re always working. I’m always networking, always chatting. You never know when the next thing’s coming from. Of course you kind of have your marketing approach and you hope to get a certain amount from that, but it is this lifestyle. It’s a completely always on in some form or fashion. You never know who you’re meeting and who you’re networking with. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. It was listening to show and like when you post an hour, he share it. Right? I don’t know who, how it gets out to write, but everything. Oh, I love why. Why telecon of why I’ve realized last few years is Mmm, is that so much of a lobbyist? I am a lobbyist, but it’s that I’m an entrepreneur who, who won, who went to lobbying is like their pursuit.
Right? Because you know, I mean I have my own podcast, the BG podcast or the firm does rather in like, that wasn’t something I needed to do, but I had that epiphany probably a year ago. I think there is sweet something I should do here. Right. And you know, it’s not lobbying. It doesn’t make me any money. Well we had some sponsors, but it’s not like a thing I rely on for funding. Right. But it was like why to have a podcast? Like why does lobbyist and a podcast, and honestly, when I first started, I looked around the market nationally and there may be one or two firms that had their own own shows, right. I’ve been in one of the other persons shows the logging show, give a shout out to Jim O’Brien, the lobbying shadow out of Connecticut. But like, yes, the hustle part right there, but by his idea, it’s the idea that, you know, [inaudible] are you just, I’m doing air quotes now, are you just this or can you be more?
Right. [inaudible] I don’t know. I guess this idea of having a little imagination about what you want to do and how you can market yourself and your firm, and this is a difference between having a day job where you’re kind of told what to do. Whereas when you own your own company or entrepreneur or even have an entrepreneurial spirit that you have to constantly looking for ways, what can I do better than others? What can I put do different? Cause marketing, there’s a lot of ways, right? I think a podcast, a form of marketing, same as coffee, going to coffee shops, same, same as a joints and nonprofit groups or whatever it might be, or even just going to a happy hour. Yeah. The thing is, is some of these will take some time and some effort, but it’s, you know, it’s different than spending just a bunch of money on ads.
To me. I like to do all of it, right. So, you know, and, and test it and see what works. But I think it’s a, and you’ve, you’re up to what, 70 episodes on your podcast? We post the BG, the BG podcast posted ruins day, and I’m just shout out, we’re on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google play. But every Wednesday, so this Wednesday we’ll be posting episode 71. Wow. And you’re right. The cool part is, and again, like I, again, I saw your post, but your show probably a month or two ago, and thank you again for having me on. It’s, it’s it’s just being consistent, right? And getting momentum going. And I know we talked this before your show started. A lot of it is once you get a steady recording cycle going, you won’t miss it. It’s like getting out or you won’t miss that, that post.
It’s like getting up and working out every day. Or maybe it’s a habit, right? You do it. You’re already going to have a show. You’re not going to like, Oh, well it was an off week. So it recorded this week. You’re going to make sure you have some content, whether it’s you get on the mic for five minutes, you’re gonna post something. Right? Yeah. And that’s just, you know, that’s, it’s not rocket science, right. It’s just you want it making, setting that intention of doing it wherever that that period is or is every two weeks or however you want to do it. But you have to stay on top of that for me realize once a week. Yeah. There are so many holiday breaks and so on. But once we typically was the pace I want to do, I thought I had a big enough network and things to say that that would work.
Yeah. And I think you mentioned something that was very interesting that I believe in is habit forming. So you’re saying, Hey, basically you’re gonna just have this habit of doing it once a week or are twice a week or whatever it might be. Can you talk to me about some other habits that you perhaps have that you do on a regular basis? Yeah, I gave it 4:00 AM every morning. Wow. I like to, you know, I get sick my me time. Right? So like four to eight in the morning. Yeah, I’m a, I’ve always been early riser for one. So I went to, I went to the magnet school in Austin. It’s like a smart kid, public school boy. You’d apply it in. And that’s goal. I had to get picked up to go there like five in the morning, I’d give it five to get to catch a bus together.
Six. Right. So I’ve always been an early riser and because of that, that stuff, and no, essentially I got it for, I read the news, I do a daily news blast. Like that snap I send out at 6:00 AM in the morning. Well I get up early. Even when I had no clients, I first launched, the goal was I need to set habits to keep myself kind of, not kind of, I needed to set habits to keep myself structured. Right? So like I’m gonna get before I’m going to start doing this, Margot, you know, posts Q, the news last go to the gym [inaudible] five 30 to seven and come back. We share on all my accounts, like make coffee meetings and so on. But that was like, I was establishing kind of the book end, the front and the routine at night. Kind of do the same thing kind of cue of next day.
But if I could set some patterns, it would keep things stable neither. And I still do it to this day. I’ll never get that part of you don’t have more associates. I like seeing the news and seeing what’s what’s going on and ensuring that with all of our clients. So I, it’s, it’s fantastic that like right before you started or right when you started that you decide, Oh Hey, you consciously decided that you’re going to create these habits. Oh, I’ve just got a new job, not too a couple months back. And one thing we talked about, it’s like, okay, well you’re going to have habits for me created whether you know them or not. Let’s go ahead and think about what habits you would like to have, whether it’s a scheduling, a time thing, and I think that’s easiest way to do habit. You know, for instance, I go to the gym over lunchtime like 11th, 11, 30, 12 o’clock every single day Monday through Friday to me.
Do I work out five times a week? Not always, actually not common, but if I miss one time a week, now I’m still getting four. Right. But that’s kind of my habit. And then I try to learn something after, after. Why eat lunch every single day? So I’m always trying to learn something, whether it’s, it’s usually just YouTube because that’s the way I enjoy learning something. But if you do these things, I think it’s a great hack to too. If you look two years ahead, you’re going to be, you could become an expert in something or be really fit if that’s what you want to do with the gym or for your case. I think that was interesting that you, you do something every morning to send out to clients. I bet there’s a lot of people that look for that. Yeah. So it’s cool to like, I remember a few, probably like a year into it, right?
I was just, can I get in? I was getting burnt out and doing it right. And so I brought a post out saying, I always email, Hey, I’m canceling this and I got some, I got feedback, go, Hey, Oh, I love this stuff. XYZ mean it. It’s basically, it’s, I’ll post the headlines for, I’ll find three Austin Metro stories, Brown business of politics, three state of Texas stories and warranty national stories. Then I’ll throw in on Wednesday post, I’ll put a link to our blog or a link to our podcast rather, and a blog post if it’s something going on. But there was a, you know, people were reading it and then they went to, I used Squarespace so I can see you when you, when people open it and like, you know, obviously is that everyone on your list, but it looked for the, there’s the con there was consistently people were opening it like right where I post at six.
Wow. Right. So you realize one, okay. Again, w the business know your market and everything else. So the core group of people, I mean I’m the third the same way as me. They’re early risers, love them are either heads of companies or business owners and they have a lot of things going on and that morning, hour and this is, you know, it’s kind of relating to the entrepreneurship but the kind of the, there’s the cult of 4:00 AM right a lot people were like I’ll be CEO’s good for him. I think it’s true. [inaudible] Is because you realize most people don’t expect you to respond to an email between four and eight o’clock in the morning as nobody bugging you. So I yeah to me I’m more of a night person so I get a lot of hard times sometimes at like 10:00 PM midnight cause nobody expects me to chat with them.
And a lot of my, I have a lot of freelancers and employees overseas so it kind of helps with that too. So my, my Dave’s flip flop, but it is, I literally can just shut down email and it’s very, you get much more done I think when you could turn out none only do stuff that you want. So what does success look like for you? It’s having, you know, I, I assume internal goals from how I want the firm to grow and it’s having that in place now also having folks who are, who are they still respected and, and all the, you know, financially in terms of also just personally and professionally in terms of all those things. You know, I want to get down in the details of that stuff. Right? But [inaudible] I’d say success for me is kind of a clear metric, right?
Right. I think, and also being happy and happiness. There’s a spectrum of that, right? Happy isn’t wrong is finding the right word is being fulfilled. Because I think an entrepreneur journey in entrepreneurship, there are highs and low days and I’m generally knock missing person and happy person. But there are days when you’re low, but overall there’s no day that I’ve woken up as I started this. I felt that I’m not wearing to be. So when you have those low days, is there any thing that you do on every to get you out of that that funk? Yeah, I mean, I remind my, I remind myself of what I have in my life. Like fully, I have no, like if there was no social media right now, that if Facebook went away like that or Instagram or those things, I have friends actually reached out to me.
Yeah. Not like a, like on a, on a wall. I’ve friend friends, I have family that’s, yeah, my family is on Austin. That, or they loved me and there were tight group. I have my health and why wake up in the morning? The very, I mean, besides looking at my logo and my ceiling, I, you know, I, I just kind of do that SIS check ride. I’m like, okay, I have all my arms, my head, everything’s working, I’m breathing, I’m alive and I’m, I’m, I can, I can walk right. Like, I mean, real basic stuff. But I think a lot of times you don’t take it for granted until you lose those things. Like you can’t, you get hurt your leg, it hurts. I’m like, that is the fact that you’re alive. Right? And you’re Bob Brown. And so let’s start with the thing that matters the most, right?
Oh yeah, you’re breathing right. You’re breathing and then rock and roll. But it’s all about like I have, I have my health, I have my family, I have you know, my, my, my, my mental faculties, right? And I have a, you know, a good life. And then from there, everything else is kind of the details. Right. But I try to, I try to bring it back to the basics because I’m definitely a person who overlay, analyze things for better or worse. So bring it back to kind of what do you got right now? Like, you’re here, you’re breathing. Like, you know, you have a sh you have a chance for the day. And a lot of people, honestly, I, I try to perspective to that. Well, if anything, you know, whenever you have a your down day, there’s always someone who would like give everything they have what you got.
I should more often than not. Right. Where that’s you mean there are times like where I live in Austin, you know it’s, there’s some like apartments that are kind of, or you have to be the age restricted I guess or the 55 or older. So on. Well I’m running sometimes and you’ll see someone like in a wheelchair walking the dog or walk or a mechanized chair and realize, look like they are, I’m sure they’re going to be on their feet right there on share this, you know, they’re moving in but like they really be on their feet, run in all this stuff. Like you got this, you have youth. Yeah. Relative youth and 36 but you have relative youth. All of these things like in, I really enjoy what you got right. And like you don’t, there’s always, you know, life isn’t like life’s a, it ebbs and flows in terms of the pros and cons, blight or the negatives and positives.
But you have a lot more control controlling. You realize where we’re kind of your mindset, I feel. Yeah. I think about being having gratitude and realize what you’re grateful for can be very powerful. And, and it’s also nice just to take a step back sometimes and realize what do I actually have, not just my, not all the negatives that’s happening right now. Most folks don’t see that. Right. I think it’s really easy to keep to zero in on like what you’re doing God versus what you do have. And you know, I think for me, like just even going to college and like I went to, I went to wake forest and you know, there’s a lot of like really well to do kids there and I’m friendly. I have some saw great friends from that school. But for me, you know, it was like I gave an example, like I was the only kid from Austin who went to wake forest.
It wasn’t from West Lake, right? And West lakes. Like, it’s like you’re, we’re, we’re, we’re part of town wherever city who, listen, if you’re listening to this, you’re from, it’s like a rich part of your city. Right. And it was a cultural thing for me because I didn’t, I mean I knew about West Lake as that West Lake thing. I didn’t know anyone from West Lake. Right. And so you meet the meet people from there and you know, you meet people as human beings and everything else and you see them. There were people and you realize it for they experienced me was recognizing you know, like where you’re from, money has everything else. There’s, there’s the human condition of life and there’s things, you know, like having money doesn’t mean like nothing bad is going to happen to you. Right. Or like your life’s perfect. And it was, it was very it, and I’m thinking of this and we’re on the show now, but it was definitely a grounding experience cause I thought I knew I, I F I thought that in the abstract parents always taught, you know, you know, monies and everything and so on.
But you see it close near friends, you know, even though their lives, right. Nothing bad, but you see like life is life and you know, obviously having money helps a lot comfort and things like that. But some things it can’t, you can’t protect from yeah. Money. It can be definitely fuel. But yeah, it’s not gonna it’s not everything by any means. Yeah. So who, who’s had like the biggest influence in your life? I mean, I think there are several people, right? There’s some teachers, some key teachers like just growing up like in point to Mmm. But yeah, obviously my, I think my parents, I’d put as the first and foremost adults in my life, they provided you, no one gave me life and made sure I survived to adulthood or anything else. But you know, I think, you know, paid for my undergrad and put me in position me as best optimally as they could on a platform to then jump off of and go where I need to go.
Right. I think they said, Beth, you know, not having children, but that’s, I want that someday. But like, that’s the kind of the, the ideal is look like [inaudible] you know, we know, we know and we’re doing this and giving the best we can for you. But ultimately, once you reach the point where you’re an adult, you’re a man, you’re a woman, and you gotta make the moves for yourself, like your parents, you know, ideally can’t protect you and save you from everything. You’ve got to go out there and go, what did we do with that? And hope the best is that they’ve equipped you enough to be the man and woman you’re meant to be. And you know, you’re going to stumble along the way is you will. But that you know, you, you’re, you, you will go, you know, you survive those and develop the person you’re meant to be.
I mean, you still gotta make something for yourself. I mean, they, they gave you a great starting point. They did very much. I mean, we gotta work though. I mean, I see them. Yeah. I mean, it’s a lot of work, but like, I, you know, I, we, I’m near their house every Sunday. I mean it’s, it’s yeah, they, they did everything and gave me everything that they could possibly give. And even like, you know, Randy, I ran the three and marathon half marathon rather last Sunday. They picked me up early in the morning. You know, we’re at the, at the start of the race where the end of the race, you know, joking back to my office to change on the gals we’re hanging out. So I mean toss even to this day, you know, it’s, you know, no, everything that I do a lot. I might’ve been a lot of events just so they can see, I had the fruits of their efforts.
Right. Cause you can go with that. Right. [inaudible] so like more so for my mom, right. And I go on a tangent. It’s just like, imagine I can imagine growing someone growing someone and then like you’re a baby. Like you don’t know if this baby’s going to be, you know, it was, Tyler was going to be there, even bugs and stuff, right? Like you’re like, Oh kid. And then all of a sudden you’re on stage presenting an award or giving a speech. Right. And like imagine, I mean, I want that thing one day to see like, you know, your progeny row ever going to be, but it’s a powerful thing. And for me the best gift I can give my parents beyond great vacations, this is, I mean it is him saying, okay, we didn’t mess it up, right? Yeah, sure. I’m junior tier, right?
I’m, I’m, I’m the first born. So I just like it saying, okay, like, you know, he hit his head, but he’s all right. He’s still kicking around, he’s doing something with his life. So what does your future hold? I think feature, you know, continued growth of the firm. The growth, my community, my civic and community involvement you know, being able to give more, I think it’s been interesting to me. Just, you know, as you kind of come into your, you know, your mid thirties and your career’s going go going a certain way. It’s a, I think as I’ve, as I’ve made more my capacity capacity to give grows, right. And like, it’s fun. Like I definitely put that in my mom in terms of she’s, she’ll give her shoes, she’ll give her shoes away or the nails. Right. She’s always had a great grieving heart.
Both my parents, my mom especially has been influencing me in that way. [inaudible] I have, you know, it’s just being able to give more, I mean, make more, give more and, and and have fun and like in the city’s growing immensely, I’m enjoying it. I don’t know. I mean, I’m a local who loves the amount of capital coming here fiscally or financially rather. And is human capital. The ideas, energy is bring risk coming here. I’m enjoying it and just, you know, want to take advantage of all that and grow with it. Yeah. You’re sounded like a little bit more like me. A lot of people were upset about Austin, Texas and how we’ve, how it’s changed and it continues to change. It’s always changing, right? Like changes inevitable. It’s got to be there. Either our city’s gonna yeah, Austin’s going to, there was no kind of stagnation, right.
Either the season, let’s do a slow death or as going to, we’re going to grow girl. That’s the way I look at it too is like what would you redraw that opposite? You know, like [inaudible] I think there’s some that probably would want to have like nothing changed, but that’s not the reality. What would you title this chapter in your life? Man? I was just called, you know, chapter three, the 20s does being 20, 20. That’s decade, right? Like I think it’s at, it’s funny, I can, I look at my life as chapters, right? Just give perspective on, yeah. Not necessarily a fixed like age, right. But just, you know, usually there again, there are those, those moments, those transition moments, right. That kind of bookend start and never kind of represented close of a chapter. And definitely where we’re going now going into this decade definitely aligns with that.
And yeah, I’m looking at him looking forward to see where, how we come out in 2030. Yeah, that’s fine. So last question how would you like to be remembered as, I mean, someone who cared about the community? Honestly, I mean business is going to come and go. Right. And you, you see that other, you know, you know the railroad, railroad barons, you know they have tech Titans now, right? I mean ultimately you make all the, even back then they had the mid East, she always people, right? And that are the men and she rather [inaudible] spokes, right? We all this money but it comes down to what did you do right? Your business is your business, right? It’s a way to do something. Yeah. I want to, I want to, I think if I had two goals is [inaudible] it’s obviously to be successful from our clients. Two to grow and to help develop and foster a lot of great careers for my associates and and so on.
Yo personally the wealthy but also to yeah, to give the community and because the money you get here with you, so how many people’s lives I in touch, was it through, you know, seeing kids at the Austin sunshine camps? Was it too funding scholarships for college? Our private score may be or what? Right. But like to me that’s the end of the day Mondays. Like how many lives you affected. And like I think about it sometimes. Yeah. When you do you think about, yeah, thinking about death but like in a positive way and since, I mean it’s going to happen. Right. And to me, I think that the driving force, if you Maddie, it’s knowing that and knowing you have, you have, you know, a limited time to do something or some things in this planet, what do you want to do, but that are finite. Nature is what, sure.
It motivates me anyway and no everyday again, it’s a blessing to wake up and breathe and be able to be on your show or these kind of things. And you know, you max your time out, right? I am more so it’s interesting being in your mid thirties like we’re, no, we’re not. Yeah, I’m 36 37 like we’re, we’re not old, we’re not young. But it’s just the fact of like, we know, you know, there’s, you know, when there’s a clock, right. We all have a clock and it’s just recognizing, it’s almost like how much can you pack in, right. But is this photo cause me, it’s like it motivates you. I mean for me this year I recognize, you know I yet again yesterday Sunday ran, you know, half marathon and 13 miles and I already signed up for the Austin marathon next month per half mile. I got some, I got a Spartan race and Oh like an obstacle course race in may.
I’m trying to pack in summer things but like recognizing, you know, you’re, you know, it’s, it’s just I want to rock and roll and push it man. Like and go like, well then you know, not like heal myself obviously, but just I have a lot more to go, more gas in my tank and I think if I had to close out my chapter or close up the book rather, wherever that is, is not to have any gas left. Cause what’s the point right? That day, everybody’s like coming home day, we will, my, my culture is like being able to think about is that point. I’ll say that drives me to, it’s just did I do everything I could have done right? And you know, I’m fortunate enough to have had the experience earlier on when I misses opportunities, when I should’ve act, I should’ve done that thing, what I’m quote.
Right? And now I never want to miss those sticks. And I tried to evangelize. You know, like your point about learning something every day. I mean, getting more input, more read, more inputs, more reading, more it’s audio books or wherever else. Getting it all in. Like we have a lot more free time in our day pushing this country, then we want to recognize or acknowledge, right? And for me it’s like you realize much Tommy wastes in the past. Boy, boy you have it can wait one. You realize that. But now you have today to do what you want to do and what are you gonna do with it? You know, we sit there and watch me, I watch Netflix and those kinds of things. But also I made sure, like for me, my goal was I’m reading two hours a day, so I break it up into 20 hour increments.
Sorry, 20 minute increments or three maker mints. I get it done, but I find the time, right? So if I go to the gym for, you know, four or five, four, four, 10 to four 40, I’m reading a book now they go to the gym, I come back, I’ll read in 20, you know, you make, you make it work, you can do it. No, I love it. I think you’re well on your way to your of how you want to be remembered. And I, you know, AGA, I really appreciate you being on the podcast is a, it was a definitely a pleasure. Darren, they drove him the Sheryl of VBAC some point in the future and it’s fun. And again, it’s the Bingham group, the www.binghamgp.com, and we’ll definitely have that up in the show notes on YouTube. You’ll be able to it’ll be all over the place and the website establishing empire.com all cheers. All right. Cheers.