Robyn Samuels Altucher is an accomplished entrepreneur and podcaster who has lived all over the world. She built one of the largest salons and spas in Austin, TX in the 1990s.
Robyn lived in Ghana for three years, China for six years, and Kuwait for three years while raising three amazing children. She has produced and appeared on dozens of episodes of the successful podcast, "The James Altucher Show" and is a co-founder of the website NotePD.com, the social network of ideas.
In this episode, we talked about Robyn's degree free journey and how she went from an apprentice to having a successful services business with 70+ employees.
We also talked about the importance of mastering soft skills and body language, and how it permeated through other areas of her life. Finally, we also talked about parenting and how you can teach your kids about alternative paths to college and how they can be free thinkers!
Enjoy the episode!
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Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free, where we teach you how to get the work that you want without a college degree. Now, before we get into today's guest, I do have a couple of asks of you folks. If you guys did wanna stay up to date with everything Degree Free, the best thing that you could do is go to degreefree.co/newsletter.
Every week we send out a newsletter with degree free news, tips and tricks to get you hired and ways to learn new skills and get the work that you want.
Today on the podcast, our guest is Robin Altucher. I am super excited for this episode. And I think that you guys are gonna get a lot of value out of this. Robin is an entrepreneur. Investor, mother and I think what you guys will see in this episode is that she is an expert on everything, soft skills from body language, to convincing people, to getting people, to like you.
It's instantaneous and you can see it right in the beginning of the show. Definitely give this episode to listen and hear how Robyn Altucher went from an employee going from cosmetology school, all the way to operating as an entrepreneur that has 70 plus employees under her. This show is packed with actionable advice, and we actually go into an area that we don't go too much into normally, which is parenting and how to teach kids to be degree free and to be free thinkers and to, nurture them. Anyway, without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation that I had with Robin Altucher.
So today I have Robin Altucher here with us and I am very excited. Thank you so much for making the time Robin.
Robyn: Oh, thanks for having me.
Ryan: One of the great things about having you here is we were talking about this before we started recording the podcast is with Degree Free we try to help people realize their dreams and actualize what they want to do without a degree. And it's great to have people on that have done it before. And so I guess quickly, if you wouldn't mind kind of talking about your background, I know that in your twenties, you had a business, I think you were in the hair salon business.
Ryan: Do you wouldn't mind just talking about, what you did, for your business?
Robyn: Well, I've always loved doing hair and when I was in high school, I just knew I didn't wanna go onto college and I wanted to just do my own thing. So I did, and I went off to cosmetology school and I just started working, but I enjoyed it.
It's something I really love doing. And from there I worked for people, I trained with special people. That's super important to apprentice or do something. If you wanna go to the top or if you wanna be the best at something, you go to school and then you apprentice for a while with somebody.
And that's what I did. So I worked with Toni & Guy when they first moved to the states, they're from England and they opened up their first salon in Dallas, and, it was a very small boutique salon and very expensive. Back in the eighties, late eighties, they were charging a hundred dollars for a haircut.
And, but I remember sitting there in the meetings, them telling me that they're gonna just set US on fire with all their products. So now their products are TG. Those are their products and now they're all over, Tony & Guy, but they were the very best of the best and I worked there for a little over a year and it was hard.
I'd cry. a lot because it was just hard work. And, but I, from there, I met other people in the industry. And so I always had these people, that believed in me and helped me. And it was really important to have that support. And from there, I started working for myself within a salon,building up my own clientele, and renting a chair.
And then from the, that I, eventually opened up my own salon and we had 70 employees and, , 4,000 square foot place. And it was one of the first of its kind in Austin, back in, the late nineties. And I had partners of course. So that's how it started. I mean, it was a very organic way of doing it, but I did actually reach out to the people that I respected and helped me through the years to help me with having my own brand, having my own shampoo and my own products.
So yeah, it was an organic thing. It wasn't like, okay, I'm gonna go. And I'm gonna have the biggest salon in Austin. That's not how it happened with me. It was a very organic. Thing and it just worked because I enjoyed what I was doing.
Ryan: You said that you, after cosmetology school, you went with Tony & Guy.
How did you end up getting that original job?
Robyn: Okay. So I was in the Hair Olympics. There really is a hair olympics and I competed
Ryan: there's a hair olympics
Robyn: and I competed
Ryan: what does that look like? What, what are the events and how is. that judged?
Robyn: So you are judged there's competitions within your school.
When I was still a student, and from there, I won the student competition within our school. And I then did a regional competition in Arizona. And then from there I represented Arizona in the national Olympic competition in Washington DC. And so that's called the Hair Olympics. And so you have all the best of the best of the students competing for certain things.
And they time you, they look at the quality and the time of doing a certain style. Everyone has to do the same thing. So I was really, I don't know how I got into that, but they just saw that I had some talent, my teachers and so then they wanted to do that and I was like, okay, that's great.
Well then while I was there in Washington, DC at the finals, I was approached by a hairstylist named Scott Cole and Scott Cole used to work for Vidal Sassoon's. So he's one of the big, he's sort of a celebrity in the hair business. So he approached me and said, look, would you like to be my assistant?
And I said, sure. I would love that. So I worked with him for a while doing stage work, he would do the cutting and we would be in front of thousands of people. So I would help him and assist him doing the drying and stuff. And, , humiliate me in front of people if I didn't do things right.
It was very abusive me going through all this , but it was worth . I learned not to do that again, whatever he told me not to do. But, , so he was the one and I'm still, friends with Scott. And he has helped me along the way, in my journey through hair business and through life. And, he knows everybody because everyone knows him.
So anytime Scott Cole calls somebody, it doesn't matter what salon, if it's the very best salon in the world, they'll, they're gonna know who he is. So he's always been there for me and he's always done that. So he got me the job at Tony & Guy. And that's how it all started.
Ryan: That's amazing.
Robyn: It's like, it's really kinda who you know. I know it's kind of a cliche, but it kinda does.
I mean, I'm sure there are a lot of, much more talented people out there than I am, but they didn't know Scott, so I don't know, it's just, I was at the right place at the right time, but you have to be out there and you have to not fear, like a lot of people were telling me, oh, that's crazy.
Why are you doing the competition? I'm like, I don't know. Cuz it's fun. I'm not afraid I can do this, but there were a lot of people saying I would never do that out, but it gave me the opportunity to be seen and to be approached.
Ryan: Yeah. And I think you hit on like a lot of important points there.
The who you know, you're absolutely right. It is a cliche. I mean, they say like, build your network, build your network, but it's a cliche for a reason because it works. I think they're, depending on which surveys you look at, like 40 to 80% of the job market is filled informally. And so that's like not, yeah, not through a traditional job listing.
It's like, Hey exactly. What happened to you? Like I have a rock star here. She's looking for a place to land. Here you go and, that's how majority of the jobs are filled.
Robyn: Right? I didn't realize that, really when I was younger, but man, I know that now and I tell that to my kids, it's not just your skill, but you definitely have to have a very high emotional EQ, you know, or a people person, and they need to like you, cuz there's a bunch of other people that are gonna be just as skilled as you.
So you gotta stand out.
Ryan: What else you said there was that you have to be out there at the same time. So not only do you have to know people, but you also have to be known for something.
Ryan: It's not enough to just know somebody like you can know Scott Cole, but if you're not doing hair, then why is he gonna introduce you to Tony & Guy. If you're not a rockstar already, if you're not already in this niche, you're not gonna be introduced
Robyn: and he wouldn't have done it. If I was not good, I had to have the skill to back up what he was pitching . So, you have to, you do have to work hard and you do have to have that grit to continue on.
Like I said, I cried all the time cuz it was really hard, but I stuck with it and he knew I would, and that's why I'm always, I've always been able to go back to the people that have trained me or the people that I've worked for. I've never burned bridges. Like, you know, that's so important.
And I always tell that to my kids. You just never know, but it doesn't, there's no reason to burn a bridge. Life is short, so just be nice about it and be very upfront and people really appreciate that. So these are sort of the little things that you can do that stand out that may trump some college degree kid that doesn't have these qualities.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And it could just be this, plethora of experience that you havewith life, just kicking you when you're down. Like you said, just, crying and you have to get back up and do it again.
Ryan: You said something there about never burning bridges and I it's something in my life that I am just learning.
I, in my twenties, I was a very headstrong individual. And so I would. At the end of a usable life of a relationship, I would say some nasty things or I would burn bridges because I always like to have the last word, like how did you not burn bridges?
Robyn: Okay. So burning bridges is one thing, but okay.
So let's just define it. So what I'm talking about is you doing something wrong that it's your fault, or you created it and you left or whatever. Now, if somebody, if you say, and you're honest, I wanna leave and I do wanna open up my own place. And you're very upfront and honest with them, but if they are mean, or they say something terrible, that's not me burning the bridge, that's them doing something that's not nice.
And so I was just upfront about it. I would just tell people what I want and I was afraid, cuz I knew they'd be angry, but I just feel like that's the best way to do it. It was hard cause I knew they were yelling at me, but at the end they knew that they did something to me. And so eventually they came around and apologized or something.
Ryan: So it's always being receptive. I'm trying to boil it down, I guess like just always
Robyn: just being a good personand just, you wanna be fair and, and so you give people, notice, you do the things that you need to do that you think are right. And then if that person doesn't appreciate it, what you've done or is angry, that's not your, you're not burning the bridge.
They're burning the bridge with you, basically.
Ryan: Going back to your career, you gave a really nice and neat succinct background overview. And you said it was very organic and very natural that you went from working for Scott Cole and then Tony & Guy, and then opening up your own place. And that progression, but that's not easy.
Robyn: It took years.
Ryan: Yeah. And one of the things is like one of the biggest pushbacks that we get about when we say you don't have to go to college, is that people just assume that we are saying that it's easier to not go to college. And we actually mean it to say the exact opposite. It's actually a lot harder because the path isn't laid out for you and because you have to forge your own path.
And so while what you said was like, that's amazing, that you were able to do all of that, but what were, what was going through your mind when you were still just an employee at Tony & Guys? And now you're trying to open up your, you're trying to get your own book of business. You're trying to go get your, you're trying to hunt your own clients.
And then, so now you're gonna open up a chair, like what's the difference in mindset between an employee and being an entrepreneur?
Robyn: Well, it's pretty big. As an employee, you are bound by their laws. You have to work certain hours and you get a commission, I couldn't be free and I've never liked working for people, but I paid my dues and I did it to build a clientele because you can't just go somewhere and just all of a sudden have a clientele.
I mean, you have to work in a nice place and then they feed you business and, cultivate that. And it takes a while to do that. And back then they didn't have the internet, so I had to do it. Organically in terms of people would see my client's hair. And as where they, it's all word of mouth back then.
So it took a little longer, maybe this day and age. It's a little faster because I don't know. I couldn't imagine doing that now because I wouldn't know where to even starts. I was young,and I liked that. I liked the business part of it, along with the creative part of it. So it really massaged both the sides of my brain, but yeah, so it took time and then I inherited someone else's clientele.
She was retiring and you know, that built it up. So eventually I had, I felt like secure enough where I could go and leave and take my clients with me. Now that lady was not happy with me, but it happens in the business. So, you know, that's expected, I did it as nicely as I could and gave her notice.
And so that's when I went off onto my own and just rented a chair and my clients came to me and then that's how it started. So I did that. It took me about, I don't know, 10 years of just working for people before I open up my own business. Now, nowadays it could be a little faster, I don't know, but, I never, it wasn't like a goal of mine to actually own my own salon.
I would always cuz I was happy with just working for myself. I didn't have employees to deal with. I was just an independent contractor. I could come and go as I please, it was just my chair and my clients. And then the receptionist would answer and book my appointments. So actually that was a pretty good deal.
But I don't know. I just thought I wanted more, cuz I was successful and I was doing well. And then I thought, well, go to the next level. So I was in my late thirties orlate twenties doing that.that was hard, I had to sell 49% of the company to raise the money. I kept the 51% and it was beautiful and we were successful right away because I did hire the best of the best in Austin.
So it was really the premier salon, because when you hire the best stylist, then they, their clientele comes with them. And I gave them a really good deal because I wanted those clients to come in to feed my other services. And so it was just a strategic thing that, that I did. And it was great.
Ryan: Yeah. That's -
Robyn: We were profitable the first year, which is unheard of really in a new business. So,
Ryan: Yeah, that's amazing.
Profitable in your first year, and that's quite a big leap from like renting your own chair and somebody else's salon and going from the independent contractor, as you said, To now you've raised money.
And now like you, you got to show them a business plan. I'm guessing you got to tell them, here's my marketing strategy. Here's the market for it. Here's the talent that I'm gonna go after. Here's what we're doing. Like how did you learn all of that stuff?
Robyn: Yeah. I mean, I knew about how that I needed to do this. Right.
But I'm a big believer in hiring the best, in their field. So I hired the best law firm, the Baker Botts, which is probably an overkill for what I wanted to do. But baker bots is one of the top law firms in the country and I wanted them to set up the company and they helped me, it cost me a lot of money.
I had the best, CPA, firm to manage, all of that stuff as well. So between, I, I had a really good team of people, but like I said, it did cost me a lot of money. But to me, I feel that is money well spent because it protects you and they're, I trusted them. I didn't just hire some old lawyer that I don't know, that was less expensive.
I just believe in paying for the best .
Ryan: Where did you garner this interest for people to buy this 49% of this business of this? I'm assuming it was an idea at that point, right? Did you, was it all pre-revenue like you didn't even have a brick and mortar location.
What did it look like?
Robyn: No, we didn't.
No, it was just all a vision. And,, I had a couple friends that wanted to invest. They knew my work. Also, it gave me credit as well, having this big law firm involved because when people see them, they see, okay, this person is serious. It's not, better call Saul kind of guy . So that did give me credibility.
And maybe that's one reason why I've always believed in that because I don't have the college degree, they didn't, they saw my work, they knew I was one of the top stylists in Austin. So that's one thing, but when it comes to business and investing in a business, you really wanna have some seasoned people involved. So that's why I did that.
Ryan: So a little background on, on me and, Hannah, my wife, we ran a business. That's similar to a hair salon in Hawaii. And, while it never, while we never got up to 70 employees, we were okay at it and we saw some success in it. So it's very similar.
The booking and the style of business, really, the way that we did it to garner people, we didn't go, we went straight from knowing how to do a service into opening up our own shop. We skipped intermediary of renting a chair somewhere. And the way that we did that quickly was through social media and through, showing our results on there.
But as you said, back in the day, they didn't really have those things. And so. How did you garner word of mouth? Like or how would you show people that, Hey, I'm Robyn and I'm at, X Salon come book appointments with me.
Robyn: Yeah. Like I said, I think it was my work. A lot of, most of the people that I had come to me were it was from word of mouth.
That was my number one. And number two was I did a mailing list,, where I was able to get people in certain regions, , in the Austin that I, cause I was pretty expensive. I was very expensive. So I needed a certain type of clientele. So I would market through the mail, I think people still do that, but they do it maybe electronically or something like that.
I still get a lot of stuff in the mails. I think people still target mail.
Ryan: Most of my mail is just junk mail.
Robyn: So here's the thing. I was able to create something that looked very unique, very different. I didn't wanna be just a hairstylist. I wanted to be a celebrity hairstylist. I wanted to be the top.
Okay. That's my goal. I didn't wanna just, in TV they show all these hairstyles that are just uneducated, I really pushed away from that and I tried to work at just the very top places. And so I had a really great resume. And for Austin back then in the nineties coming, you know, with a resume with, Scott Cole, from Vidal Sassoon soon, Tony & Guy, you know, all of these top names, I had a great resume and people were like, wow, I'll go see her.
So when they saw that, so it's about making yourself look different, y and was not the ordinary average person, plus I charged a lot of money and that's another thing. It's a snob appeal. The more you charge, the more people think it's great. But along with that is that you have to perform and you have to give them like, they're gonna be pickier.
So my clients were very particular. But I specialized in color and I specialized in a natural looking color, which a lot of people didn't maybe want or whatever my clients, you could not tell that it was actually fake color. So I had a little special thing going and it, these clients were paying a lot for back in the nineties, $800, $900.
But by the time they left, and I only worked three days a week because I that's all I had to do, but I had a lot of assistance and I booked somebody every 30 minutes. So I was doing pretty well. And then I was able to just do only color if I wanted or just, color and cutting. I didn't have to do perms, which I hated.
So I just specialized.
Ryan: One of the things that is crazy for us as we experience this, a very similar thing to what you said is that, when we were first garnering business, we figured the only way that we could, get into the market and get people to come to us was price. And so we cut prices, we cut prices, we cut prices.
And we were like, we do better work than the, our competitors. Like, why are we cutting undercutting them? Why don't we just charge more? Because we felt exactly what you said. We felt like we were differentiated. And I think that's a huge thing of what you, of, what you hit on is differentiation and just be good at what you do.
And then along with that comes with. What's difficult is communicating that to other people. So not only are you the best, but then communicating that to somebody. And then the ultimate is what you said is word of mouth. And having them communicate that to somebody else, right? Like Robin she's you gotta go, you gotta go see her.
She's the best, and that's the holy grail, and once you get that right, exactly. Exactly. and once you get that going, it's, you're off to the races.
Robyn: And your client is your first client. Every client is your first client. That's how you have to really look at them.
Especially, you know, being in the service business is that you really, each person, you have to really detail, have a detailed relationship with them and you have to perform. You cannot, you know, that's where I learned really how to read body language because for 25 years having a person in my chair, that's spending, close to a thousand dollars back in the nineties, that person expected the best.
And so I had to read them because I, a lot of people would say they wouldn't tell me if they didn't like it. And then they would never come back. And I never wanted that. So I always had to be very aware of how they felt, even if they didn't tell me.
They could tell. right. So I would change it.
And so that's a skill that I learned, body language, which I'm, it was great. I'm glad that I did learn that. Cuz I've used that through my whole life
Ryan: with using that in your own life. That seems like that would permeate everywhere. Where else have you used that?
Robyn: Well, I used it overseas when I lived overseas.
When we moved to China, I did not know Mandarin at all. And I figured out that the body language is the same everywhere. It defies culture. It's just a very basic human instinct and so I was actually able to maneuver through China by reading body language. It was crazy, but it really worked. And I knew when they were not happy.
I knew when you know, I really didn't know the words they were speaking, but I knew maybe sometimes they were not good things they were saying. And then I could tell if they were saying good things. So yeah. And then I made up my own words in Mandarin and it worked so but I got what I wanted. I'd make up words and they'd laugh and they'd gimme what I wanted.
Ryan: That's amazing. So you would just, just say some sort of Mandarin gibberish to them along with some sort of body language.
Robyn: Yeah. Well, what I would do. Like for instance, because it's a lot of that language is very literal and they put things together, so for instance,I don't know, like Shuja waterhouse.
Sometimes they use that as a term for a bridge or a dam or something like that. I can't remember. But, so I thought, well, gosh, if these words are just two words put together, I can, I could come up with whatever I want. So I needed gloves cuz I went ice skating with the kids and I didn't know the word for gloves, but I did know the word for clothes and I did know the word for hand.
So I just said, well, yeah,
I want a shou yifu which was hand clothes. I wanted hand clothes and they laughed and they gave me gloves.
So that's how I got around China was from body language and making up my own words. from real words, I just put 'em together.
Ryan: Right, that's amazing.
That's amazing. AndI guess there's nothing like, necessity, like when you need,you needed gloves and that's right.
Robyn: What is that? What's that saying? Necessity is the father of invention or something like that,
Ryan: right? Yeah, exactly.
And it's like, I could sit here and feel like, feel dumb and be cold, or I could just be dumb for a second and then get gloves.
Ryan: That is amazing.
Robyn: And that's another thing too. I think when you do go out on your own, you really rely more on your instincts and I'm a big believer and really honing in on those instincts because that's your survival.
And I think that when you do go to college, not everybody, but when you do go, you lend that away to somebody else. You don't. you don't tap into it because you are relying on this professor to give you his idea of what it means. Whereas your natural instincts actually are much stronger and much more correct than a professor.
That's really never maybe experienced anything. He's just telling you about what he studied in a book, so I really believe in doing things and learning it that way.
Ryan: Absolutely. And I guess the statistics on professors just to, not to like poo poo college on this show, but we kind do it all the time, but most professors actually have never had a job outside of academia.
Most professors go the route of, they get their first degree, then they get their master's and then they get their doctorate. And then their track is professorship professor hood. However you wanna say it, and they've never held jobs outside of, in the real world. That's most of them, there are, there are practical professors and everything like that.
And there are some that have done what they teach in the real world, but-
Robyn: which I think those are the great ones. And like I said, and what you're saying too, not all university is bad, my kids are going, so it's just a path that whatever makes you feel good, because it's all in your mind, if going to college and having that degree makes you feel better, then go because that's what's gonna make you do well. If you feel good about yourself, then that's what you need to do. What made me feel good about myself is being independent and actually going to these top stylists and working for them. Now, not everyone can do that. I was lucky. I think there's a big luck factor in it as well, but I really worked hard at, I wasn't going to give up.
There's one place that I wanted to work at. And I, for a year I went there almost every week. I just didn't give up to just, don't give up. That's really important.
Ryan: Let's dig a little deeper on that. There's a place that you wanted to work at, and then you would just go there once a week, like asking for a job or
And just visit with the owners and just talk to them. And, there was never an opening, but then one day there was an opening and I got it.
Ryan: That is amazing that like perseverance that stick to intuitiveness, like to personally, I might be able to do that now. You know what? I probably still couldn't do that now.
Like I probably , I don't have that, and that's amazing, and that's what it takes, to do that, to just keep getting told no, and then just keep going back.
Robyn: Yep. And getting a goal, having a goal like that, , if it's something that you really wanna do and I've never wanted to work in just a normal salon, I've always really wanted to go work at the top salons because that is what made me feel good about me, and my resume that I like that it made me feel good.
And so if going to college, makes you feel that way, then do it or, you know, go to college for a little while and see if it's good for you, but don't rely on it. You gotta rely on yourself and see really, you gotta really be in tune with yourself to be honest. It's and it's hard as a child, when you're young, what do you really want?
Like you gotta, I've always loved doing hair and I've always been creative. So I knew that was something that I liked to do. So I'm glad I did that.
Ryan: What you said about relying on college. I think that's really important. And I know I, I have a degree and I was in my generation. It was not even a thought, especially for me.
I come from a Japanese-Chinese background, so they're very much about school. It was never an option to not go to school, and so, it was always expected of me, but along the way in this whole college thing, and it's definitely an error on my part, but part of the marketing as well is that if you get this degree, then you'll be qualified for a job, then you will then get a job.
But what I didn't realize at the time was that's completely inaccurate. If you get the degree, that's supposed to maybe supplement your experience, right? Like they still want to see that you've done things that are relevant in that space. Like if you have a degree, right. If you have a degree in, whatever it is, finance or something, they still wanna see that you maybe got internships or that you got an apprenticeship of finance with an accounting firm or something like that.
Robyn: Right. Right.
Ryan: I think that's something that's missing in the marketing.
Robyn: Oh, sure. And the same is even with the school I knew in cosmetology school, that, that wasn't gonna give me my job. What was gonna give me, my job were my internships that I had to do for another two, three years, which was sort of like maybe graduate school for, in the college world or something.
Cuz I went to school for a long time and I, I looked at my internships as school. I was paid for it, but it was very minimal and I had to do all the yucky stuff. But, I, that's where I really learned, I just did the school just to get my license. And from there is where you have the key in this field is to work for the top and be, an assistant for a while and to pay your dues.
But I think that's the same in everything in college, you have no real world experience. So yeah, it is important to get internships and just, even your first year out of school, you may be working in a place you don't want to, but you wanna get experience, you may not be making a lot of money, but it's all about that.
And kids, they really need to network in school. I think that's another important thing that maybe they're not doing as well as much, but I, just totally be networking with my professors cuz they know a lot of people. I would be networking with other students, in higher grades or I don't know.
It's just, it's all about who you know, it's all about, not just who you know, you have to have something that follows that up. You have to be diligent, you have to be tenacious. You have to be willing to do the crap work and work hard. It'll pay off. And no matter what you do, if you go to college or you do something else
Ryan: with the networking what's with college, what we find is that when you're networking amongst your peers while that's good, definitely in the long term, like especially if you guys come up together, for the immediate, for the immediacy of it, I mean everybody's, especially if you're in the same program, your guys are all vying for the same jobs instead of really becoming a network, your kind of competition. And I mean, that's, that's okay. That's fine. what we find is really good with networking is kind of find starting or finding a niche and then kind of, you know, something simple too, it could be starting a podcast just like this and where we meet people.
You know, I have a reason to, under the guise of my podcast, I can like talk to, you, for example.
I never would've talked to you before.
Robyn: It's a great idea because then you have something, you have a platform that you can go to these people and say, Hey, I'd like to, everyone loves to talk about themselves.
And so that's another thing I learned,because you had these clients in front of you and you have to really know what to say, cuz it could be very uncomfortable, to have silence. You want them to like you and you want, yeah. So it's like, you have to have sort of a gift of gab or learn everyone can do it, but you just have to learn to be a very social person.
So having a platform like a podcast or, writing, or you wanna interview people going up to these people and saying,I would like to write something about you. Do you have a moment at some point that I could do that? So that's a way to kind of break in. And I know kids are very insecure and they're scared.
Robyn: But do you have nothing to lose? You just gotta get rid of that fear and just go for it and not worry about what they think. That's part of the whole thing is people are so afraid to do anything and
Ryan: So afraid. And it's to the point where it's, debilitating to the point where you won't even begin.
Robyn: It is, yeah.
Ryan: You were talking about instincts and following your instincts. This is something that I really never did before ever. I didn't even know that I had instincts maybe prior to five years ago, or maybe even less than that, maybe a couple years ago. And it was very much like I have a plan.
Don't listen to any of my instincts. I think cuz I thought it was like emotions. Like whenever gut feeling that I'm having, I feel like you're being emotional. Don't listen to that. You have a plan stick to it. And now that I'm kind of listening to my instincts more, I'm starting to see outsized returns more than I've ever seen in my life.
And I guess. What were some of the keys? Like how do you start listening to your instincts?
Robyn: I feel like they're triggered by need, number one, and the thing is, it's survival. It's a survival mechanism. And when I put myself out there to not follow the traditional path. So I really had to use my instincts.
In the beginning, you don't know what they are, but I would start and I'm like, oh, okay, I'm gonna do that. Oh, okay. So it's a little by little, you start to feel those feelings and that works.
So a lot of times though, those instincts aren't triggered until later in life, because there's already been a plan for you, or you had a fixed mindset in your mind that this is the path that you wanna do.
So not necessarily people have given you that path, but us as individuals give us that path by having a fixed mindset, cuz this is the way we wanna go. So I really didn't have any path . I mean, I did, I knew what I wanted to do and I knew that, oh, I'm gonna work at the very best I wanted to just work at the very best.
So that's all I did. So it wasn't like a, this is, I gotta do this, I gotta do this, this, this, and this, it was just as I went and I was like, ah, okay, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna do that. So I would do that for a while and then I'm thinking, okay, maybe I should do this. It's like, I didn't have anyone else.
I didn't have professors telling me I should do this or parents telling me I should do this. So I actually learned, and that's where you learn it. You learn it out in the streets and it's survival. It's a shame that we don't allow our kids to get that because we don't want them to go through what we went through, 'cause there was a lot of pain and disappointment.
It's those valleys that created, those highs and the appreciation of it. So when we don't let our kids feel any of that, it's sort of boring and it's like, no wonder these kids are numb or they're they have no desire or they're like, they don't know what to do. It's like, let them fail.
Let them feel it. That's what triggers your instincts, to survive. It's just natural. It will happen. AndI'm part of the problem too. I did that with my kids and I was a helicopter mom. And, now I'm a drone mom, but, I'm way up high and I still sort of, if I see them going a direction, I do say, I don't know what do you think about.
I try not to be that way cuz my kids are now, they're doing fine and, but they know what I expect and I know that, just little things, , I want them to respect me and be kind and so all those things worked, before puberty, they gel after puberty.
So it, that was the hard work is the first 12 years is putting that, and then once that's done, you're good. They may kind of stray a little bit, but they come right back, so I'm going off.
Ryan: No no, that's awesome. Actually, that's perfect because I mean, as we said offline, I just had my first, well, I didn't have it, but Hannah and I just have our first, daughter and-
Robyn: Yeah, well,
that's so wonderful.
Ryan: Yeah, that was a couple weeks ago. So this parenting stuff is, completely new to me and it, but it's something that we do think about a lot.
Robyn: Follow your instincts with that too, by the way, the less you read, honestly, the better off you are, because you're gonna have people telling you, oh, you shouldn't do that.
Or you should, but just do what you feel you should do, you know, you'll know.
Ryan: You were talking about there is like letting your kids fail and like experiencing hardship and, that's difficult for a lot of people. I have a very good, very close friend of mine. Her mother is, she's an absolute star.
She's an absolute, amazing, beautiful kind person, but she's also, extremely driven, extremely accomplished. She's a first generation immigrant from the Philippines and she's very good at what she does. And, there was no way that this lady was ever going to be a failure. She could sell ice to an Eskimo.
But then we've had conversations. The mom and, and I about my friend and talking about how she can instill some sense of need or want, some sort of hunger in her daughter. And I was like, I don't know. It seems like it's difficult because, and I just told her straight, you've been so successful and you've basically given her everything like, because she didn't want her to, and that's not bad.
Robyn: It's out of a kind, you love your kids so much and you don't want them, but it doesn't help them. Giving them time, that's more important giving them the emotional time, but when it comes to money or objects or something, a lot of people just throw that at them because it makes the kids instantly happy and this and that, but having them look, work for it and having them, my kids worked, started working when they were pretty young and I think that's a big, important thing is for them and it makes them feel good about themselves too. But yeah, it's hard when you are that way.
And I was that way. And, but then see, the thing with me is that I have three kids and their father passed away and in front of us, he died of cancer and, it was, he was sick for 30 days and then he died and,my kids were front and center there and they were quite young.
I mean, they were like 16, 13, and 12, something like that. And, this is a bad ages as, as well on top of it, but I couldn't protect him from that. I couldn't, that's like the worst thing that a child could go through ever, is to see a parent die in front of them, just die. And I thought at that moment, I thought they've gone through the worst thing ever that they could experience if they can survive this, even though this is the most tragic thing it's gonna, it's gonna make 'em strong for life, because really there's nothing that comes close to that, you know?
So, I kind of loosened the chain a bit with the kids and, they had all gone through puberty, so they all, we're sort of gelled in their, moral compass and all their things that I taught them on up to this age. So I was more lenient and they were sort of surprised, but I figured, they've experienced it.
So they're gonna, this is gonna make 'em strong. And I think that they're gonna be okay. So that's when I sort of backed off a bit because I couldn't protect them anymore from pain. That was it.
Ryan: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that with, the kids, we have a lot of parents that listen to this show, and they're wondering about how to guide children in life and making those decisions but especially particularly in their career, how have you dealt with that?
How have you done that with your own kids?
Robyn: It's been, you know, each stage of having children. I always say it's hard. Okay, so this was harder than that one. This is, but I feel like this was, this is really the hardest I think've dealt with because it's launching them.
That's pretty tough and cutting 'em off, you know what I mean?
It's like, you're used to having 'em around and you're used to doing things and they're used to you paying for things, but okay, you wanna keep doing it, but you don't because it's something that it's taking away from them.
So this has been pretty tough. So I'm going through it now. So we'll see, I keep them on a pretty small budget cuz the ones that are in college right now, we have 'em on a very small budget and they have to work. If they want extra stuff, they just have to work and I get a lot of pushback.
I'm like, well go, I don't know, get another job. I just can't do it. I just know that. So with my kids, they are sort of like me in terms of, street smart because I've not spoiled them that much. I've made 'em do things, I'm really proud of the fact that if there's a problem, if we have duct tape, we can fix it.
It's those critical thinking skills that they have, and a lot of people don't have. So they won't be like the professors that have never lived life because I make them learn all sorts of stuff, you know? And I give them books about body language. I talk to 'em about body language. These are all the things that I think were important for me without a college degree.
.These were the things that I needed. And so I always tell them, this is something very important that you need to learn. I like them to learn these different languages, which they have. Just things that are just, , I want them to be good drivers. I want them to be able to protect themselves, so I've had them go through all sorts of different martial arts.
I just wanna prepare them for basic living. If we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, they know what plants they can eat or they know like I would feel good about being in the middle of nowhere with them. We would figure out how to survive. A lot of people I'm gonna tell you this that are even from the, Ivy league schools, I would never wanna be stuck in the middle of nowhere with them because I would die or they would die.
Do you know what I mean? So it's like you wanna have a really good balance of just practical knowledge with book smarts, but do you know what I mean? I want my kids to be well rounded in, that respect and be able to survive off the grid if they had to.
I think it's important.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. What's interesting about like the road that we've walked down here is Hannah and I do a lot of thinking about this type of stuff about what could we teach our children in order for them to like, be well rounded, I guess is the best way to kind of self-sufficient because as it's shaping up. Hannah and I both, we didn't really come from money.
We, we weren't both of our families, we weren't poor. We were both of 'em were pretty much squarely, lower middle class, like just broke into middle class, and so we didn't have everything we wanted, but we weren't always hungry. And as it's shaping up, we were doing more thinking about it because it looks like, hopefully if everything stays the same or gets better, our kids are gonna experience something that we never did, which is being more than, and so we were thinking, okay, well, if money is no object, let's use the thought experiment that money's no object, what are some skills that we could use that money for, to put to good use. And so some of the things that we were thinking about, we didn't even think about what you were saying, which is good.
I just took a bunch of notes here. Like all those hard skills that are just life skills, like out in the wilderness and things like that, but we were thinking more about careers and we were thinking, okay, well, exactly what you said, like paying for language lessons, that's huge right there.
Like that's something that my parents definitely couldn't do for me. And, most people can't, but what if we could afford it, that is a hard skill that you would learn. Okay. You could, you can speak Mandarin, you can speak Spanish, boom. You know? Perfect. And we were thinking maybe we could pay for them to become a pilot.
That's something that money could buy, it's just, we're just kind of do these thought experiments of like, how do we not necessarily spoil them, but give them skills for their life going forward. At least they have something to fall back on, they're multilingual and they have these hard skills.
Robyn: yeah, I think that's a great idea and that's gonna be sort of in layers, right? Cuz when they're young, you've gotta think about things. The problem is here in the states and one thing I had going for us is that they were like, my son was six and my daughters were three and two when we moved overseas.
And so I was able to protect them from commercials, TV. These kids are inundated with, I want this, I want this and we'd come back in the summertime and they'd be, oh, I wanna, I wanna buy that. And then when they go to school, then the kids have the best phones, right. The top phones and they didn't have a phone and I'm like, we experienced that overseas.
Cuz you know, these kids are wealthy that are going to their schools. But we just didn't do it. It's hard to say no, we got, 'em just the basic phone when it was time, when we thought it was time. So you have to be strong to set the boundaries. Okay. And I, one thing I wanna say is that it starts when they're babies. You can't not start when they're three, four years old.
It starts when they're babies, cuz they train you if you don't train them. And that doesn't mean being mean or like, this terrible disciplinarian, but it is mean you're there emotionally for them. Like our kids slept with us in our bed. We had a family bed there's, they never had any pacifiers or blankets that they had to carry around, for security.
They always had us. So that's a good start with that. I always made them sit. When we went out to eat or even at home, I didn't let them throw food. I didn't, when I was, I'm an older parent, so I always would go out to eat and I'd see these kids before I had kids. And I'd like, I just couldn't believe that these parents would let their kids just throw everything.
It was a mess and I thought to myself, if I ever have kids, I am never gonna let them do that. And I didn't, but it takes a lot of just on top of them. It's hard. That's all I did. That was my job. I was on them bees on honey every second, because if you don't, then it won't work. So I was really very there and I made 'em sit properly.
I made them music prep fork. Like I, these are the things that they need to learn from parents, not from school and unfortunately, a lot of parents think that the school's gonna teach 'em these things and it doesn't. And I know, I understand people work. I worked, but you still have time to sit with your kids and explain when you're sitting down to eat, this is what you do.
This is how you set the table, or this is, you're not throwing your food. This is what you're going to eatit's just very, you have to be very diligent. I never spanked my kids. I never, had to do that, but they did have time out and they still try to manipulate me.
But I see right through what they're doing, so then they stop because I just, I look at 'em funny and they know what I'm saying. so they know my body language.
Ryan: Kind of switching gears here. I didn't want to go back to, you know, your business when you were first starting, what was , the name of your salon?
Robyn: And it means beautiful in Italian.
Ryan: When you were starting at Adamari, so you raised this money, you went out, you found a place you immediately, you said you'd like to hire the best people you immediately went out and hired 70 people or did it grow solely? I had my base people and then we hired people that didn't have a clientele that were new in the business that had, that took the overflow.
Robyn: So when we rented this space, we had to build it out. It was a brand new building. So we had to go through the construction work and everything. So it was some time that I had to find the people that I wanted.
Ryan: And so when you said 70 people on staff, how many chairs did you guys have? Just kind of paint a picture of this book?
Robyn: I think we had 17.
I think we had 17 chairs, something like that and we had a bunch of assistance and cuz we offered the assistance to these people and then we had massage therapists. We had estheticians, we had nail people, and then front desk people. So we had a, yeah, it was a big business.
Ryan: When going from independent contractor, working for yourself, you're renting a chair in somebody else's salon. And then now you are the boss and now you're 51% owner of the salon that is employing 70 people. I guess, what is the mindset shift there? Is it for me personally?, I think about it 70 people.
We have one person that works full time with us and I'm just thinking like, man, to have 70 of those people, that's crazy.
Robyn: It is crazy. I know. So what again? With me, I always find a professional that's that does their job well, and we hired a manager, a good one. We paid our good money. Of course that's gonna come out of our profit, but I rather have a successful business and have a smaller amount given to me.
And have a good business, that's running well. And, I don't have to have the headache of dealing with those people, cuz that's, that's a whole nother job. And this woman was specialized in that. She was like, really really good. Cuz we paid her good money. We found, we had a budget that we wanted to find a good person cuz we didn't want to deal with it.
My partners didn't wanna deal with it. They wanted somebody good. So I think it's important to, some people are like, well I don't wanna afford, I can't afford that or I don't wanna it cut into , my profits, but I'm telling you, it's not gonna go well if I'd rather have 10% of something than a hundred percent of nothing,, that's sort of my way of thinking and always get the best.
I really believe that, when you are doing something, you know what you're good at, stay in your lane, hire somebody else, but hire the best of that person. You just surround yourself with really intelligent people.
Ryan: That is amazing advice. Were you always like that? Did you always hold that advice?
Cuz the way that I, the entrepreneurs that I meet and I'm very much like this myself, I always want to do everything. I always wanna like, we don't need to hire a web developer. I can learn that, we don't need to hire an accountant. I can learn how to do that. I think a lot of it has to do with pride.
I think that's number one thing. I'm doing this on my own, but then a second one is then exactly what you said the money, right? People get shortsighted with thinking, okay, I don't wanna, pay this person when I can learn how to do it. Was that something natural for you?
Robyn: Well, I think it had a lot to do with me not having a degree. I felt like maybe I had to surround myself with people that did have the big degrees or that were the best in their field. It made me look better. It just added something to my idea, because it's not like, oh, here's this, hairstyle's trying to, create this multimillion dollar business,they had, oh, she's got Baker Botts.
Oh, she's got, blah, blah, blah. She's serious. I think that it all stemmed from that because I felt like, well, I do what I do well, so I'm just gonna find somebody that's gonna make me look good. Like I borrow their their expertise to make myself look good. If that makes sense. They became partners with me and yeah, so that was my team.
I mean, they were expensive, and I know when people start their businesses, you are on a shoestring. The way I did it is I was making money while I was doing my business, and, when I even switched over to my salon, I was still working, doing hair. And I that's how I was making my personal money.
I was able to keep that and then the profits of the salon I would share, and I would get a piece of that, but, I'd much rather just do what I enjoy doing and what I'm good at, and then just hiring somebody, even if it comes outta my pocket, I think it's worth it because it's just more, I don't know, more enjoyable.
It wasn't bad experience.
Ryan: Right. That is extremely extremely wise. I need to learn from that myself talking about your salon, you're not still running it. How, how did it end?
Robyn: Well, so I started having kids, children, and I was not there as much, and we had moved out of the city and so with me owning, the 51% and my three partners owning the 49%, it really wasn't fair.
You know, I was the visionary, but, I would come in like once a month and do some clients and then leave. So my partners approached me and said that .. Would I be interested in being bought out. And I, I talked to my husband about it and I thought that's probably the fairest thing to do is to do that.
'Cause now I'm really a full-time mom and I had three kids in four years, so I was pretty busy. And then we did that. So they bought me out.
Ryan: How was the transition into full-time parenthood? Was it easy? Did you feel like you were missing something?
Robyn: I did miss the business part of it, cuz I do love business.
Love hair, but I love the business part of it too. So I did a little bit of hair, when there, like I said, I would go back and forth, but then when we moved overseas, that was, my son he's the oldest. So he was just turned six. And after that I couldn't work because I didn't have a work permit.
So I had to just be the mom. And, but that was a big job. being a mom over, like in Ghana, whether we had no running water or electricity. It kept me busy chasing water trucks and stuff like that. So I had other stimulation just survival when living over in these places. Being a parent so it did keep me occupied and I liked it.
I liked it a lot. So, yeah.
But now that the kids are older and you know, I am doing a little bit of stuff. I'm working with James, with some things and I'm considering, you know, doing a podcast, a small one, starting out, just talking about just things, experiences that we had stories overseas that are kind of funny.
And with my friends, I, my friends are all over the world. So it's fun to reminisce and talk about some of these things that you can't really make up. So, and then maybe about parenting, I don't know. I'm just sort of in that time of my life, where my kids are sort of flying away and I gotta figure out what I'm gonna do.
That's my big thing right now.
Ryan: Right. You're kind of in, you're in another transition right now.
Robyn: Yeah. Seems like I am.
Ryan: One of the things that we see with career transitions in general, like whether it's, selling your business or, moving from, we see a lot of like teachers or nurses transition into tech or even becoming full-time parents.
We see that's one of the biggest things is kind of missing something. I guess, to add a little bit of spice in the day, but I guess what you said about just worrying about surviving is pretty that'll keep you busy.
Robyn: Oh wow. It was, it kept me busy for sure. That was very stimulating and being, if anyone ever has an opportunity to live abroad, it's very different than travel.
And it was great. It was great for the kids. It was great for me. Talk about skills that you need, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills you definitely need in places like that. Like I learned how to be a plumber. I learned how to be everything because things break there and you need to figure it out how to fix it.
Ryan: So in Ghana with the, you said you didn't have any running water and you had to wait, chase water trucks. How does that work? So they come with big, like tankers?
Robyn: Yeah. A big water tanker. And they just go around, they pick up this water from these water holes that are just so disgusting.
And Ghana has all sorts of water bacterias and stuff like that. And I'd have to grab one and then you have to pay 'em cash and then they'll come and then they'll pour it into your big tank that you have. We had two large tanks. and I mean, very big. And then my late husband worked for an oil company.
They took pretty good care of us, but then they put in these huge, I'm talking huge filters and there were like three or four of 'em. They looked like rockets. Okay. There were so big and the water would have to filter through all of those three or four of them until they came out into the house, out of the pipe and we still couldn't drink it.
We could bathe in it, but we could not drink it. So it was crazy. And I had to do that every other day and go find water. And then there's no electricity because they would still all the, copper wiring from the, from everything. So we had a generator that we had to work on all the time that didn't work half the time.
Ryan: So what did you guys do for drinking water?
Robyn: We had to get, special water. Brought in or we would have to, y when we cooked, we would boil it, the water really well, but we couldn't even hang clothes outside to dry because of those tsetse flies that would lay eggs on the fabric.
And then when you wear it, you put it on those little worms bur into your skin and they grow and until it matures and then it pops out of your skin. That's the kind of stuff that they had and we didn't have a dryer. So I'm thinking to myself, we had a iron everything, cuz the iron would kill those worms orthe eggs and even your underwear, you had to iron and you had to iron it super well because you didn't wanna have any of those in you.
Well, I had an idea. So see, these are the kind of things that really stimulated me. I was thinking let's just put those, bed net. Which are impregnated with pyrethrins, that would not allow bugs or insects to come near it. I said, let's just get those. And we put 'em over the clothes and then we didn't have to iron them because none of those bugs went over there anymore.
Then we didn't have to spend time ironing. We could wear our wrinkled clothes. Like we liked cuz I didn't we weren't used to having everything so ironed in our underwear and everything. So it worked and I'm like, well, this is a great thing. Why doesn't everyone do this? I don't know. But it was fun living in places like that because you can invent stuff that these people haven't really thought of really yet.
But I like that. Every day is different.
Robyn: There's no one day that was the same.
Ryan: Robyn, I wanna be respectful of your time. I have, a couple last questions. Yeah. Thank you for coming on. One of the things that I ask every guest is for people that are looking to do what you did be a successful entrepreneur, without a degree, learn all of these soft skills.
It seems like you are expert at soft skills from a body language to getting people to, buy into your vision. You're a hair stylist with a chair, and then you have a vision you're selling 49% of a dream. You have all these, soft skills. Are there any books or resources that I could point them to, that you suggest a lot of?
It is true that I think is probably the most important thing to, to have. Is that a skill? Because the thing is, if you look about, think about it, people just wanna be around somebody that's positive and happy. That makes them feel happ, and it's super important just to be a positive person.
Number one, okay, if you're a negative person, I don't really think you need a book for this, to be honest.It's just, these are just simple things, that if you really think about it, It's just common sense and what do they say about common sense? It's not very common, but if you just really just go just, it's just very simple, you be a good person.
You find out what you really wanna do and you don't give up and it's people talk about grit. They there's all these self-help books and it's great, but you really have to find your own gate. Okay. But I do know there are certain things that are important.
One is you really wanna be a people person. You really, but sincere, you don't wanna, I can see through somebody right away. That's not like if it's all this fake, you don't wanna be fake. You wanna be down to earth and you wanna be real. and, there's nothing worse than someone that's, like that.
I don't wanna be around someone like that. So you just wanna be honest, an honest sincere person and just talk to people about them, ask them questions. It's this world right now, everyone is so into themselves. They're taking pictures of themselves. It's very narcissistic kind of, yeah, I'd be embarrassed if I had some of these Instagrams.
That are all me.It's like I, and I tell my kids this, I don't want that either for them because it doesn't look good. I know everyone is doing it, but I don't know. It still seems a bit weird. So if you just follow just your natural, just think about why are we here? What is our natural environment, is our natural environment being in a huge city where you can't see any trees?
Start thinking about what as a human, what is our habitat? Well, our habitat is really being outside in the green, being with the animals I feel that's a really important thing to do is being in, in, in contact with just nature. Okay. Then just, talking to people, finding, asking questions about them, Take it off of you and put it on other people.
People wanna talk about themselves, so these are very simple things that you can do and you can practice anywhere. You wanna be, you wanna have the questions, good questions are the best thing. It's better than the answers, and don't always think that you have all the answers, no one wants to be around and know it all either.
So I'm a different generation than you. I'm a different gen, I'm probably the generation of your parents, but that's another thing and when you're older, don't become, don't stay those same way. You are. Learn from the younger people, don't have a closed mindset. I think that's a really important thing is have an open mindset, experiment, try new things.
Don't be afraid. Just put yourself out there. Sometimes it's hard for people. They're not extroverts. I'm an extrovert. I like people, I like, but maybe it was some, a skill that I had to learn. Maybe I wasn't like that in the beginning, but being in behind a chair for 25 years and dealing with, clients, I had to be that way.
So I don't know if there's one book, of course my husband's books are great and that's how I met him. The Choose Yourself was the one that I read that I thought was amazing, and that's how I met him. I had a, I read his book and then he was at a meetup for investing and I was like, oh my God, I wanna meet him because I read this book.
And that was very a great book for me, one of my favorite books. And, I just, I think it's pretty basic and it's just sort of taking a step back and maybe getting off the grid for a little while, because I'm telling you social media just really messes with you so much and I think it takes away from really learning your own.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely.
Robyn: Knowing what your own gate is, what your own pace and what your own instincts are, cuz you, you wanna be like everyone else and you shouldn't, you should really be yourself. So I don't know if that answers anything.
Ryan: No, that was perfect. That's exactly. That's exactly. No, that's exactly what I wanted. Thank you. And the. As you said your, James's your husband's books, choose yourself skip the line. I've read, both of them I've read more than that, of his books multiple times and they're awesome. They're great. And, it's a lot of the reason why, Hannah and I do what we do is following the advice in those books.
So yeah, we definitely can't, recommend those enough and the last Robyn, where do I send people to learn more about you? About what it is that you're doing? Some different projects that you're working on?
Robyn: I haven't figured that out yet. I mean, sure. No worries.We have notepdd, which I do have a presence on that it's that notepd.com.
And I do share some of my ideas on that. That's something that we're doing, which I like. Once I do something, I'll probably put it on notepd. If I do a podcast or if I do something like that, it'll probably go on there and I'll announce it on there.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And if you ever, if, and when you do start your podcast, if, when you wanna promote it, please, if you'd like, please come back on and let's talk about it.
Robyn: Yeah. That'd be fun. , one other thing, when you were asking me about, about what a good thing to have, when you start out, one thing that I think is super important and something also to teach your kids is having a good moral compass. I think that is super important because that follows you through your whole life.
And, if you don't, it will definitely come back and bite you. So if you continue, that's the one thing you wanna be consistent of. And that, that goes through everything in your life. If you are, for instance, like at the oil company that my late husband were for, if there was anything, like when we were in China, there were some families that were broken up because the one of the husbands cheated on his wife.
Okay. And they were not and it really, it's a close knit group. When you go from one country to the next, you kind of stay within your group. And it really created a lot of fear and problems for families. So they have a policy that's unacceptable and they send the family back to the states.
They can't fire 'em, but they put 'em in a different area but they figure, look, if you have a character flaw there with cheat, cheating on your wife or your husband, then you'll cheat possibly with us. So it's like a bad fault, like sometimes that fault goes through a whole person's life in every aspect of their life.
Okay. So I also use that as a, if I see somebody that's doing something, it may be, oh, it's just this. No, I think, okay, if they're doing it there, I wonder where else are they doing it? Right. So I don't trust that person. So that's a very important thing to, to have. And that's also something that is in my arsenal in terms of my instincts is when somebody does something like that, I think, okay, there's a red flag but that protects me.
Ryan: You know it's funny. I think you'd save the best for last there for, with the moral compass, because for myself, thelike we kind of talked about in my twenties, early twenties, especially I was very like talking about morality. I was very like envious. I was very selfish and the way that I always came through was I would look at other people and like one of my buddies would get a good job, like a great job.
And I'd be like, man, I'm smarter than that guy. I've done harder work and I've worked harder than that guy. That guy's an idiot. How did that guy get that job? I would literally, I would always tell myself these stories and I would always say, not only tell myself, but I would tell other people these things and later, it wasn't until later that I completely shifted my mindset or my moral compass to not be invasive people and to instead be happy for people. And so now when my buddy gets a good job or, somebody succeeds in life, even if they are direct competition to what I do, even if we were going for the same job, I'm just, I just look at them and I say, and I genuinely feel it inside.
And I say, awesome, good for you. I am so happy for you
Robyn: and learn what they've done., what was it? Yeah. What characte did they have? You could always learn from these people too. Maybe he was a little more gregarious or likable. It's weird people. People like you for we're all mammals, right?
So sometime even I know this is gonna sound weird, but even maybe somebody's and you don't know their smell. Everyone has their own smell, but sometimes you don't smell it, but your mind, you do your body knows. And sometimes you wonder why. I wonder why I don't like that person, but there's a reason and you've gotta follow that feeling.
Do you know what I mean? Like , when you meet somebody and you're like, I don't know, you just can't put your finger on it, but you've gotta trust your gut. There's a reason why, so I don't know. It's very interesting. And I think studying the way humans interact, I think that's very interesting, in psychology and all of that.
I never studied it. I guess bits and pieces of it, but, it's very interesting, but it's really being in tuned with yourself and what you're experiencing and you really had to sometimes be very still and very quiet. And I guess maybe meditation can help you that, but it's like when there's something that doesn't feel good and I don't, I gotta really sit down and think, why do I feel this way?
And I have to really go inside and think, why am I feeling like this? So it's really important to listen to these little things. Yeah. Because it will really protect you very much safety and professionally.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And once again, Robin Alger. Thank you so much for coming on the Degree free podcast.
Robyn: Yeah. This is fun.
Ryan: This was awesome. I had a great time. Hope you had a good time too.
Robyn: You too. I did. Yeah. Anytime I'm available. I'm here.
Ryan: Yeah. yeah, definitely. And like I said, whenever it is that you want to come on, whenever you start your, the Robyn Altucher show.
Robyn: I will let you know for sure, but this is a lot of fun.
Ryan: Awesome. Once again. Thank you so much, Robyn.
Robyn: Okay. Thank you. Bye bye.
Ryan: I hope you guys got as much value outta that episode. As I did. I really love at the end, how we started talking about moral compasses, and then we saved the best for last there. A few things before you head out, if you guys haven't already please consider leaving a review or sharing this podcast with somebody that would be extremely helpful.
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