Episode 10 Q & A With Hustle The Most : What else do you do?
As of today we are officially 10 episodes deep into the Hustle The Most Podcast. The response that the podcast has gotten so far has been fantastic, the support has been so great. It looks like people are reading the blog and listening to the podcast on hustlethemost.com and iTunes which is great. I have been pushing the podcast around the web a little and have been getting some great feedback and a handful of questions. Most of these questions came from the hustlethemost.com blog site and few came in from instagram. I think the interaction part is what this is all about so please If you do have questions about the blog or the podcast shoot me a DM on instagram or @ hustlethemost.com. I will do my best to answer everyones questions as soon as possible. For this Q and A episode I thought I would keep it short and just tackle 5 of the questions that came in and see how that goes. So let’s jump into it!
What made you decided to start recording a podcast?
The real reason is because I have always wanted to write a book about some of the adventures that I have had in my life. Writing a book about your life just seems like a pretty daunting task. It’s like having a grocery list with a 1000 item on it it’s like man where do you even start. I think like a lot of other things like starting a business or packing for a trip the getting started part is always the hardest part. For me it was easy I decided to start at the front of the store and work my way back. The podcast is really a way to get stories out and into something kind of tangible. The podcast and the blog site HustleThe Most blog run side by side and really give a glimpse into a certain time or story.
I think like a lot of other people I have all these stories in my head from when I was a kid and some of them are pretty clear but some are a little fuzzy in certain spots. I used to have people in my life that could help me remember certain details. People like my Brother and my Mom and Dad.
Most of the stories included some of all of us so if I missed something or remembered something differently they were always there to help fill in the rest of the story. My family was great at telling the same stories over and over again. It was always like “remember when Jason got that powder blue suit from Amvets and came up stairs and started breakdancing? ” I shared a lot those stories with my Dad, Mom and Brother. Over a 13 year period I lost my Dad, Mom and Brother and all the connections I had to those stories are gone for the most part.
The stories now only live in my head.
I really think that when people stop talking and reminiscing about things they much easier to forget. So the podcast is a way for me to get these stories out of my head before I get too old to remember everything as clearly as I do today.
As of recently I have a new why and another reason to keep moving forward. When I first launched the podcast, I launched episodes 1-4. A few days later I had gotten a message from someone thanking me for doing the podcast because they listened and it helped them.
The podcast and my story actually helped them.
They said they were going through a starting over phase in their life and my story gave them perspective. It gave them something that they needed that day to make it better. I almost started crying when I read the first message. It’s crazy because these are stories from my life and experiences that I have had and I do feel that there’s a lot of common ground and I feel that the are pretty relatable to people across all industries and from all walks of life. It’s the interactions like thad give me great reason to continue to do it. If my stories and experiences can give just one person clarity, or confidence or the willingness to try something then it’s all worth it.
Tell us more about learning to smile and how difficult that was?
So if you go back to Hustle The Most Episode 2 you will hear the tough story about me wrecking my teeth on a skateboard and how I lived with a busted grill for a lot of years and then how I had to learn other ways to express myself the didn’t involve smiling because I was insecure.
20 years later with perfect teeth smiling is still something that struggle with today and not because I am unhappy in anyway but more because I am still fighting against 20 years of hiding my smile. Saying it out loud sounds really dumb and silly because smiling and laughing is such a natural reactionary thing that happens. Imagine if for 20 years every time someone told you a joke and you smiled they got to punch you in the face. Eventually you learn to stop smiling. It honestly just wares you down.
It’s exhausting spending your entire life feeling like you’re playing defense.
To this day I am struggle with it and I still wait for that punch which was really my own insecurity that lived in my head.
On a daily basis I still try to smile and completely suck at it. I don’t know how to do it. I’ve taken selfies, looked in the mirror and it just feels wrong every time. I think for the rest of my life it will be a work in progress and I just have to be ok with that.
Are the guys from Spit still playing music?
Everyone for the most part is still playing music Brandon who was on the podcast in episode 5 and 6 plays guitar in an amazing band called Braided Veins.
I actually popped over to Brandon’s house this weekend because we were in town and he happened to be having a record sale. He and I kind of started collecting tapes and CD’s together years ago. I remember we had a rack of like 30 tapes and that was kind of a lot in the beginning. When I walked into house house he had boxes upon boxes of records. I was asking about him about where else he sells this stuff and he told me about his Discogs. I scored a sweet first pressing of the Minor Threat record. This record definitely changed our lives so it was awesome to have that record change hands at his house. Here is the link to his store Hyper Enough Records He has so much great stuff if you are a record collector.
Vince and Brandon and Eric played together in this band right after SPIT called Kid Brother Collective and now he plays in a really cool band called Deer Widow. Dan and Eric started a band called Dixie Hustler after he was done playing in Kid Brother and Dan has played harmonica and sang in a few different bands over the years. I am not sure if he’s playing with anyone now or not. Eric is touring all over the world with his honky tonk country band Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. And I play in a band called Old Fire here in Grand Rapids as well as fill for other bands once in a while.
(Click on record cover to link to each bands bandcamp page)
What is the best lesson that you learned from your brother Jason?
The best lesson that I learned from my brother Jason was not to lie. This isn’t something that I really learned from as much as I learned by watching him. He would lie about the dumbest things and then he would tell a lie to cover up the original lie and he would just build up and then eventually spiral back down when the truth came out. I remember sitting in these long interrogation sessions with my mom and stepdad and my brother. We would sit there for hours and hours just going over the lies that told on something like him getting caught smoking. I remember my brother threw his cigarette butts in the toilet and then he didn’t flush it. My mom and stepdad were smokers but they never put their butts in the toilet. My brother spent hours trying to convince them that they did it knowing full well that it was him. He threw them in there and forgot to flush the toilet and he go caught so he was trying to lie his way out of it. Somehow there were 2 butts and not just one so then my mom thought I was smoking.
I remember being like “it wasn’t me”. I don’t smoke.
Then I was involved trying to explain to them that it wasn’t mine. His lies started affecting me so it pretty easy for me to say that all ended terribly so I’m not gonna do that!
What else do you do?
I work for an innovation center as a designer. Where I basically get to design the future. I design experiences, spaces, workflows and dabble in things like technology, architecture, and interiors. What else, I play drums in a band. I run a startup company called KBrakes.
KBrakes is an anchoring system that’s designed to help drummers stop their drums from sliding away from them as they play. We have a handful of products that started as a napkin sketch and went to store shelves and are currently being sold in over 90 countries around the world.
I do student mentoring and portfolio reviews for the local design school here in West Michigan as well as speak at various college events around design, start ups, and entrepreneurship. I also have a few start ups that I am working out the logistics on at the moment. So yeah all of this on top of having a wife and a family and all the various duties that include being a grown up like yard work, running kids to lacrosse practice, dinners, movies and all other things adult like. Hustle The Most is about doing more. It’s about helping people and connecting through interactions, stories and experiences. IT’s about move forward and doing you best with the tools that you have in your bag.