Ep 36 - Entrepreneur Experience: Devon Kerns, King of Curiosity, Chaos, and Stillness

EPISODE 36

Entrepreneur Experience: Devon Kerns, King of Curiosity, Chaos, and Stillness

This episode is unique and filled with inspiration as we sit down with Devon Kerns, visionary, coach, and facilitator of transformation. Devon shares his story of becoming an entrepreneur, learning hard lessons about creation early on, and how he’s turned everything that came before into an opportunity to support other entrepreneurs and shift conversations in the world of business. You don’t want to miss this one, as it’s packed to the gills with pearls of wisdom that just might change your life.

In this episode, we are joined by visionary and master of transformation, Devon Kerns. In 22 years of business and entrepreneurship, and with over 11,000 hours of consulting, coaching and leading under his belt, Devon’s innate ability to be still, listen, and impart life-changing wisdom is unparalleled. He’s currently working with the founder of BloomTV, as well as several other ventures through his investment and holding company, Night Owl Partners.

Our conversation in this episode centers around the power of curiosity, and how important listening is regardless of your endeavor or desired outcome. Devon brings heart to the whole concept of product-market fit, and talks about the relationship between motiviation and action. We also cover the realities of busy-work, and distinguish vision versus creation versus execution.

Devon encourages entrepreneurs to first know themselves, to know what they are good at and what they are NOT good at, as both are equally important to how your journey unfolds. He shows us how focusing too much on what we are not good at will produce an entirely different result than we think, and in fact takes us away from what we are here to create and bring to the world. And if you listen closely, you’ll hear the “secret” to getting things done quickly with limited resources. (Hint: You have more resources than you think if you first know yourself.)

Devon’s wisdom covers everything from Elon Musk, Lao Tzu and Eckhart Tolle, to when being a food creator in Whole Foods is a terrible idea. This episode is one-of-a-kind and will give us doer-entrepreneurs a ton to think about!

Get in touch with Devon at Night Owl Partners.

In true Devon-form, in lieu of resources and input, he encourages us to stop filling our heads with other people’s stuff! He suggests being still and letting the universe speak to you and work through you.

Be sure to like, share, and subscribe to Precursa: The Startup Journey on your favorite podcasting platform and tune in for the next episode!

Email us with any questions or comments (startup@precursa.com). Check out our website (https://www.precursa.com) for more information on getting your startup rolling. 

Straight to you from Denver, Colorado. This is Precursa: The Startup Journey. We share the ins and outs of building a tech startup from inception to launch to revenue and beyond. If you’ve ever wondered what building a startup from scratch really looks like, you’re in the right place. With full transparency and honesty, we reveal it all about Precursa on our ride from idea to exit: the wins, the lessons learned and the unexpected twists and turns.

Speaker 1 (00:37):
Hey, everybody in welcome back to Precursa: The Startup Journey. And today we’re continuing our Entrepreneur Experience segment, and I am so excited today. We are joined by Devon Kerns. He’s a veteran entrepreneur with over 22 years of experience, building businesses, doing business development. He’s done over 11,000 hours of leading teaching coaching and consult for other founders. And he’s also founded companies across lots of different market segments and industries. What Devon wants most is to serve others who are creating with purpose, which I love, and he’s a great friend and an all around good human. So without further ado, welcome to the show, Devon.

Speaker 2 (01:21):
Oh my gosh. I’ve, I’ve gotten so acclimated to introducing people with the podcast I’m doing that. It’s fun to be on the receiving end of that. Thank you so much. You’re

Speaker 1 (01:31):
Very welcome. Thank you for joining us today. So why don’t you start by telling us just a little bit about yourself and how you became an entrepreneur?

Speaker 2 (01:39):
You know, the quick answer and I’ll tell I’ll dive deeper into it with a quick answer is I was not good at anything else. I was not a good employee. I learned it like 17 years old. I rebelled against systems and people and models and models of education, models of structure. And I’ve learned that there is importance behind that now with a little bit of a, not a lot of wisdom, but, uh, you know, that teenager who the, the truth is I grew up in a entrepreneurial family mm-hmm <affirmative> and my dad was in real estate, had his own real estate company. And I’ve seen the ups and downs just through him at a very young age, from birth until, um, we ended up unfortunately losing him. He took his life when I was 13 years old. What I watched was a man who had vision, who had passion, who had drive and purpose and contribution.

Speaker 2 (02:36):
He was president of the never Metro board of realtors, president of the Kawanas club, president of you name it, and then CEO’s company. And, and with all of that giving, giving, giving, he, he ended up on the other side of that when the, when the economy crashed in the eighties and oh, yeah. And it, uh, took a huge toll on him because he lost vision. He lost direction. He lost purpose not to bring this conversation down, but it was a major part of my, um, do I want to do this? Yeah. And, and it was in my blood. I couldn’t help it. I, I, at 18 years old was looking around going, I don’t know how to work for other people. So either I’m gonna be homeless or I’m gonna, or I’m gonna have to start my own thing. And, and so I, I started my own, my own first little business and, and, uh, yeah, I’ve had several since and a lot of failures and a lot of fun and, and a lot of frustration. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:32):
I totally get that. Tell us a little bit about what you’re currently working on. So all the things you really working on, <laugh>

Speaker 2 (03:42):
I, I look at, I guess I’ll break it down into segments. I guess you could look at, um, we’ve got a media company and that’s in partnership with this incredible female entrepreneur, Monica. She really has a passion for nature and this idea and this heart for restoring Eden from the inside out, how are we helping the planet, but understanding that we’ve gotta access people where they are. And media is a great way of doing that. And so she has launched bloom TV, which is all about the flower and flower experts, 94 experts currently around the world and growing and over 5 million in reach. And we’re just now launching on the 20th. I love that. And, and she’s just gone out and really rocked it. Her ideation around that is using media and hooking people through the beauty of flowers. She calls it the flower, the gateway drug to the planet, right?

Speaker 2 (04:36):
Yeah. And, um, and how are we really educating people on the medicinal aspects and the design elements that fractals from flowers bring into our world for mental health and, and, um, how are we cooking with flowers? How are we baking with flowers? How are we sharing and giving and, and creating with flowers? So it’s all things flowers, which I had. You said two years ago that I would be involved in flower company and media. I would’ve said, you’re crazy. Now I’m doing their podcast, which is awesome. And then we’ve got advertising and marketing, which focuses on hospitality and travel. And that’s with my business partner, Eric and that’s branched off to zeal. And zeal is a remote living, remote working community of online and offline. Nice. Uh, for those people that want to be those extended stays. They wanna work in different parts of the world and get immersed in the culture.

Speaker 2 (05:29):
And how are we giving back to those cultures? And, um, and then that’s led to how are we acquiring and serving some of these boutique and independent hotels that have gotten crushed, uh, through co and how are we bringing those back to life using this model of remote working, remote, um, living in, in digital nomads that can be staying at these places for extended periods of time. And it actually brings the cost of operations down and yeah. Um, how are we acquiring some of those, those hotels to help him out. And, and then there’s just me as the crazy visionary guy who gets to do some consulting on occasion. And I just got off a call with the city of Dustin and, and potentially gonna go down there and do some visioning for what Dustin looks like. And we’ve been doing that with Barbados and security companies. And just, I get to take my passion for driving vision and apply it to governments and cities and people and things. And you name it. It’s my, I love that. It’s my, my, my heart is in, where are we

Speaker 1 (06:31):
Going? That’s so awesome. I love to hear that. So you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, and I appreci how, how you told your story, but I’m curious, what do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

Speaker 2 (06:46):
Hmm. Curiosity. Hmm. As a person looking to ideate or create. Yeah. I need to be curious as a leader of people. If I go in thinking, I know I’ll miss the mark, um, meaning if I know my people, if I know what they want, and I’m not curious about what they want, I’ve projected instead of heard. Um, if I am building a company that is brand new, outside input, curiosity of what feedback is from customers and people and things around me, serve me tote better to create a better product or service. And then if I’m a giant company, the best leaders are curious leaders, right? So if I’ve got hundred or 5,000 or 50,000 employees, if I am not listening and curious about where they are at and where my company is at, I’m not gonna, I’m gonna miss products and services and things that can enhance our company or enhance the experience for internally or externally. So I think curiosity is probably, it’s one of my favorite things. I’m always a curious person. Um, but I also think it is crucial.

Speaker 1 (08:07):
Hmm. I love that answer. And, and it’s interesting because you have a way, so I’m a logistics and execution kind of person, right. And so where you generally go to heart first, I generally go to get done first. Right. <laugh> and so, but what I love about what you said is what you’re saying is product market fit. Like you said, it in a way that sort of opens it up and makes it less about the process and I’m putting processing quotes. Right. And makes it more about the, are the spirit of what we’re trying to get at with product market fit, which is, if you have an idea, if you’ve created something, you want it to reach the best audience possible, but you also want to meet the customer where they are and meet the user where they are and meet that need. And we can make it super technical and call, call it product market fit. But calling it curiosity and listening means that you’re actually calling forward what users want from you or what customers want from you or what, you know, to your point employees want from you. Right. And I think that’s just, I love that. I absolutely love that answer.

Speaker 2 (09:16):
<laugh> yeah. It’s funny. As I’m sitting here with my ma beads around my neck, I’m, I’m extremely Woohoo. As you know, and it’s where you and I do. I love it to dance. I, I love it. You are very tactical and yeah, yet I know you get it too. I

Speaker 1 (09:31):
Do, I can completely do a hundred percent. There’s

Speaker 2 (09:34):
There’s this I’ll lead with this, which is, you know, I ask people all the time out of curiosity is motivation. The driving force behind action, or is action. The driving force behind motivation and where I think you have mastered this. Art is what I think is truth. And that is when you act, act, you then are inspired and motivated. Yeah. If you look and seek for the motivation to go do something, you never get it done because you can find a gazillion reasons to not get it done. And so it’s why you’ve been so successful is because you act, I, I equate it to working out at four o’clock in the morning, right. I I’ve been swimming here in my building. It’s snowing and cold and, and the water is not warm, even though it’s open and it’s heated, it’s technically not heated a pool.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
It’s like a cold plunge. Right. Right. And I don’t wake up excited to get in that cold pool at four o’clock in the morning, I have to get my butt into that. O and after my first two laps of moving, I’m like, this is the greatest thing ever. <laugh>. And, and, you know, I, that’s where I think I’ve been inspired by you is you do get to the tactical action plan. And, and I never want to make it seem like, I guess in my energy field, even people are like, well, you can’t just be still I’m like, I’m not saying, be still, I’m saying, I’m saying inspired action. When, you know, when to act will dictate everything instead of busy work. And we’re caught in a world of busyness, our heads are busy. Our places are busy. We’re scrolling on their thumbs and everything is busy and we’re re we’re rewarded for saying we’re busy.

Speaker 2 (11:21):
And I’m like, that’s the stupidest, the dumbest thing busy doesn’t get anything done. No. So I think there’s a balance there. And, and it’s hard for me to say, cause I’m, I am not that person I’m surrounded by incredible people who absolutely love action. Yeah. And they love, um, watching that checklist. Yeah. Get knocked off and it’s like their gift to the world. And it really is a gift. And so I have to honor that and love that and not expect anybody to be like me. And, and at the same time, I beat myself up on a daily basis because I’m not that person. Right. We all get rewarded for the action we take. Um, and as a visionary, there’s a lot of guilt around needing help and, and, and needing to delegate because my brain just doesn’t. I look at an email list and my brain misfires, I can’t check off those boxes the same way other people do. Yeah. I get that. We’ve been

Speaker 1 (12:18):
Rewarded for, right. Yeah. I totally get that. I love what you’re saying, because they’re, you know, I work with people all the time who have that same experience that you do, right. They’re not to doers for lack of a better word. And so as somebody, because we have a, of people in our audience who feel that way, and that’s one of the things that stops people from pulling the trigger on being an entrepreneur is it is a lot about execution, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one doing the execution. Sometimes it’s, you’re the one with the vision and you’re the one setting the path and you’re surrounding yourself with great people. And so as, so like that, as you are, what advice would you give to someone who’s like, I would really love to, but I’m not a to doer. I’m not a, you know, what, what is your advice to that person?

Speaker 2 (13:06):
You know, a lot of what I’ll say will feel at first, like cliche, but I also love diving deeper into it. I’m know thyself, right? Mm, yes. It’s fun to be a visionary. Are you really a visionary or are you an ideator or a creator? And they’re not always the same. Elon Musk is a true visionary, regardless of your personal opinion of him, he is not existing in this present moment. Period. When you watch him get interviewed about what’s happening around him right now, he’s he doesn’t even see it. Yeah. And yet you can have somebody present if you’re curious, right. Going back to curiosity, if you present a problem and I quickly can get inspired tote around that, it can like vision. Yeah. But it really is ideation and creativity and listening. Right. And so, so the importance is first and foremost, know thy self, what am I, what am I really, what are my true gifts?

Speaker 2 (14:11):
Uh, tremendous mentor that changed my life in, in about 30 seconds. He looked at me cuz Devin on a scale of zero to 10, what are you great at? And a scale of zero to 10, what do you suck at? And I went, <laugh>, I’m great at leadership sales and vision. And I am horrible at details and the minutia. Okay, great. So where would you put yourself on that scale? And I said, well, I’m probably a seven. If I’m being honest at, even the thing I’m saying I’m great at yeah. Um, cuz I can always get better and I’m definitely a two or a three at the stuff that I suck at. And he goes, okay, so you can spend the rest of your life getting from a two to a five. Right. Or you can spend the rest of your life getting from a seven to 10. And what do you think is gonna change the world the seven to 10? What do you think is gonna help you? And of course it’s a seven to 10. Yeah. And he goes more importantly, what most people miss out on is getting from the two to five, brings down your seven to a four or five. So now you’re dysfunctioning average in the world, which we don’t need more average <laugh> yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:17):
I got the truth. <laugh>

Speaker 2 (15:18):
Right. And that’s a judgment and that’s a perception. And but, but I believe being, you know, not to put pressure on the idea of exceptional, but showing up and living a life fully is what I mean. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:31):
Out with whatever. Right. Yeah. I mean, and that, and that’s part of the thing that I think is what you’re calling average, right. Is people who maybe they feel stuck or maybe they feel like, you know, I get on, put in quotes, this is just the way this it’s supposed to be, or it’s gonna be or whatever, but whatever is within them, that’s trying to get created. That’s trying to get expressed. That’s trying to become birthed in the world. Never does because we prioritize to your point being busy or these things that the world says, yay, good for you. And where the heck did that come from? Anyway? I mean, what, what started us down this path of like busy work is better than being a whole passionate fulfilled.

Speaker 2 (16:13):
And, and again, I, I try and judge as little as I can about where we’ve been. Yeah. I also think where we’ve been, isn’t where we are and where we’re going. Yeah. So we just have to look at it, not from a judgemental perspective and just realize it advanced us in a certain way, but the industrial revolution created robots. Oh. And we had to, because in order to actually go have an employee, if you look before that everybody had a craft, it was a level of mastery. Right. If I wasn’t do anything and make money doing it, I had to work with a mentor. Who’s done it for years. Sure. And do that myself. And it was an entrepreneurial spirit. Yeah. The minute I decided that I could create more of that by getting you to learn what I need you to do in order to build cars and build buildings and build everything else.

Speaker 2 (17:00):
We, I think it was less man. I, I, it was a German. I believe somebody that we, that the government brought over or we brought over or Henry Ford brought over to start creating an, a education system that <affirmative> taught us certain things that allowed for us to become great employees. I mean, that’s the foundation of where we’re at. And now we’re back into ideation and creation and innovation and entrepreneurship. And I can be a siloed solopreneur anywhere in the world. Yeah. But we’ve lost the level of mastery that we used to have. Right. We don’t have the masters teaching us. And part of it is because it’s all new, right? Yeah. The new world needs the new masters in order to teach that next level. So yeah, I guess the, the long and short and, and to go back to the earlier point to really just drive this home is if you know yourself and you need to get certain things done, that you are not great at doing.

Speaker 2 (18:00):
Yeah. For me, what has worked for me and everybody has a different version of this as a ideator creator with some visionary tendencies, I have ability to sh to sell the vision in direction. Yeah. And because I can sell the vision in direction, I can get people on board early on and it’s that chicken or the egg where, where I can’t pay them yet. Yeah. Yeah. But they believe in this. And so they’re willing to spend a couple extra hour hours with me doing what they do best. Yeah. And knowing that they can do that thing best. And I empower them to do that best. We work as a team and 30 days, six, 60 days later, I can pay them. Yeah. And in many cases I can pay them back. Yeah. Uh, for the time that they invested or they have equity in the company and so on and so forth. So, so there’s always a way it really is just knowing yourself, understanding yourself. And then at the same time, um, trusting that, that if I can inspire others yeah. As a leader and give them my version of what I want to master. Right. Yeah. And this is all stuff that you’ve read in the books and everything else, but greatest masters are the greatest students. Yes. Right. So I’m always in that level of curiosity and in teaching and curiosity and teaching anyways, that’s a, I love that

Speaker 1 (19:22):
Whole. No, I love that. We just started a, yeah, thanks. <laugh> we just started a new year. I don’t know if you noticed and doesn’t feel like it’s so far, it doesn’t feel like it’s so far feels like more of the same, but what I’m noticing is like for the first time, in probably two years, I actually like took time off around the holidays and it was really nice. Like I had a couple days where I didn’t work at all and you know, over the week between Christmas and new years, when I did work, it was stuff I wanted to work on. And I find myself now searching for motivation. <laugh> mm-hmm, <affirmative> like realizing there’s lots of things that I said were important or that I said mattered that I just don’t want to go back to. And I, you know, given that I know you as well as I do. And given that I have heard this from a few of my own clients and my own entrepreneurs lately, I just wonder, cuz you said earlier about inspired action is what gives you motivation? Not the other way around, like how do I find this again? <laugh> yeah. You know, and you find it waning. How do you, how do you tap into that again? And is it just about, I don’t know. I’m cur I, I, something just popped into my head, but I’m curious what you, what you would say to that.

Speaker 2 (20:42):
So this is a very interesting rabbit hole and I’ll try and keep it succinct because, and, and the reason it’s a rabbit hole is 2020. Didn’t disrupt my life or your life. Yeah. It changed everything. Right. And, and what I mean by that is it single handedly took every human being and put them in time out and forced them to stare at themselves. Yeah. And that is scary across the board. And then you add disease and death and all the other stuff that, that is, you know, taking place in the fear and the media and everything. You add that on top, you’re in flight or fight for a solid year to two years. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And when it felt like we could finally breathe, it felt like what we many people, you, aren’t the only one that experienced this towards the end of the year where like, I am tired, I need to rest and I’m choosing to, and they did.

Speaker 2 (21:44):
And what they found was a little bit more personal chaos <laugh> and questions. Yeah. And how can I simplify this? I can simplify this by saying, if we look at the process of creation and I’ll bring a little woo woo into this and make it very, please woo. Tangible as well. Yeah. Woo out. There’s no thing. So in the process of creation of the universe, there was no thing yeah. In, in our, you and I, if we decided to sit down and meet for lunch, there was no idea. But we started talking about things and through chaos, usually either the explosion that led to the universe, no matter which side you’re on, whether it be religious or not religious, that said, let there be light. Same thing. Yep. Giant explosion. Yep. Chaos. If you and I are sitting at a lunch table and we start talking about the problems in the world, which is where most ideation comes from, we’re talking about chaos.

Speaker 2 (22:50):
Mmm. So in the process of creation, you have no thing, no thought, no idea. Yep. And then usually chaos. Yep. That then leads to the next step, which is questions. Mm. And questions, if asked out of curiosity and passion and heart lead to ideation and ideation is where most things stop because I’m not actually willing to do what it takes to go turn ideation into the next phase and most ideas shouldn’t yeah. To be honest with you. Yeah. Right. Like we’re sitting around talking about cool things and it’s like, eh, we really don’t wanna do that, but that would be interesting later on down the road. Right? Yeah. So, but when we do decide that this is something, so from ideation, you make a commitment to execute on that commitment itself. And this is the, the woo woo part that we’re proving scientifically now thought has a vibration mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Speaker 2 (23:53):
And if thought has a vibration, you’re actually creating wave mm-hmm <affirmative> wave. If focused on long enough becomes a frequency like a radio station. Yeah. And the law of attraction itself is functioning based on radio station, like waves and frequencies. In other words, attracting things into my world is that we’re all on this river of life together flowing in a direction when Wete, we, we ignite it through a motion and chemicals and thinking and focus and, and, and, and more ideation and chaos and creation and thinking and focus we’re, we’re dialing in that radio station. And all of a sudden people that are on those same frequencies start showing up. Now, most people in the process of creation are aiming at the material, they of something. Okay. We want to go from ideation to materialized. Okay. The materialized aspect of anything is the most boring part. <laugh> that? It’s the part where most addicted to creating.

Speaker 2 (25:02):
Why is that use? I use an example of like, oh my God, I’m finally committing to going and buying a new home. Yeah. And it’s chaos and it’s crazy. And it’s frustrating and it’s, oh, that person just bought that place and so on and so forth. And it’s nuts. We don’t, we, we, we, we, for some reason hate that part of the process. We don’t actually immerse ourself in the pain and the frustration and all that, because we want to avoid it as much as possible for some unknown reason, but it’s a part of the journey. And then we buy the house checks are cut. Everything’s cut. Furniture’s in, we sit down on the couch. And the very next question is what now? What now? What?

Speaker 1 (25:41):
<laugh> don’t you love humans.

Speaker 2 (25:46):
<laugh> it’s so stupid. <laugh> and then all you sit around talking about at your new dinner dining room table is the process of getting the new house. You don’t talk about the new house. Yeah. You talk about what it took to get the new house. And again, cliche, it’s the journey in between. Yeah. But what we haven’t mastered as the art of loving chaos. And so going back to your statement at the end of the year, so think about this in seasons, we, in business, we fight against the seasons, which I think is so stupid. Nature has done this for billions of years. And we’re like, nah, we can do it better. We are nature. Right. So when people come me in fall and they go, Devon, I have employees quitting and I, I have customers dropping off. I’m like, what season are we in?

Speaker 2 (26:34):
They’re like fall, what does that have to do with anything? I’m like, well, you don’t see the tree sitting there going, oh, not those leaves. Right? Like it doesn’t give a. Right. It let’s go of the leads. Let’s go of the things, because that’s what fall does. And then winter should be a time of nurturing. Those that stayed. Yeah. Going deeper with those that stayed and allowing the things that died to, to decay, to stir up new emotion, to come out of us and things around us. Because that decay process, that death process. It’s why unfortunately, most people die this time of year. Yeah. In the winter things die. Yeah. So as it falls off and it dies, it, it provides nutrients, fire, flame. Right. If I lost a human being in the winter around Christmas, I am devastated. But come spring, that person is gonna be the person who is most on fire for life, because they have realized what death brings and they’ve nurtured and cultivated relationships.

Speaker 2 (27:38):
I coed up and hibernated with those that stayed around, who supported. And I supported them. That is winter. Yeah. Spring comes. And if I did that in business and in life, spring comes around, I’m not gonna lose anybody that I just nurtured those relationships with. Cuz I anchored that in. Yeah. And now I have all this rejuvenated energy to take off in the spring and create new, oh, I go out new at working. I go out and sell. I go out and generate more and then summer comes around and those new people with the old people, we should be celebrating and playing and going and seeing the world. Right. Okay. And then fall comes around and some of those people fall off cause they’re supposed to right. And you start over again. Right. So what you experience and what everybody’s experiencing in winter is this I need to hibernate. Yeah. And I need to allow that to which should die to die in order to regenerate. Yeah. It’s nature. Yeah. And we fight against it and we, and we beat ourselves up over it. Yeah. And we shouldn’t anymore. Chaos is the fundamental, most important part of creation. Embrace it, love it. And allow it to stir up new creation and then be curious, what are you showing me? There’s curiosity again.

Speaker 1 (28:51):
Yeah. Uh, I love that. Oh my gosh. I love that. So what I’m hearing is this is a time to be reflective and a time to recognize what’s trying to die, that I’m holding onto, or that has already died. That I’m still trying to hold onto. And that where I am is exac probably exactly where I’m supposed to be. If I, if I could just be in the journey. Right. Like, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (29:23):
I love that. If I’m present with my journey. Yeah. And curious with my now moment. Yeah. The, the saying from LASU is to the mind that is still the universe surrenders and what that means in from, from Eckhart totally to everybody is now. Yeah. The presence of now unfolds all the ideation all. If I can see what’s around me now I can create from that. If I’m forecasting too far ahead, which as a vision, a it’s important to know where do I want to end up? Yeah. Here’s another key point. Yeah. I think vision in one’s life should be separate from the vehicle they’re driving. Yeah. What I mean by that is, uh, using real estate as the simplest analogy, somebody that decides to start their own brokerage. Well, I’ve made it when I’ve, I’ve sold a hundred homes, their Disney world, their end result for their life is now attached directly to the vehicle they’re driving.

Speaker 2 (30:31):
And if the real estate market crashes, huh. So does their vision and their dream. Huh? If I detach homes as a realtor, as a paint, the picture of a lifestyle that I want to have, the way I’m contributing in the world, the way I’m vibrationally showing up. And I envision who I am, regardless of the vehicle I drive. Yeah. Real estate dies. I can go find something else. I can go get another vehicle. Yeah. And it will keep me moving in that direction. What happened to my dad? It was the number one lesson I, I observed in him was he had so directly attached his ability to give and serve and be who he knew he was to the outcome of real estate that when real estate went away, literally it took his life. So we have to learn to separate those things. Huh? I am not what I do.

Speaker 1 (31:24):
Yeah. See, that’s such a great message for entrepreneurs because so often we get caught up in this company defines me and what I’m building defines me, or it is me to your point, we take that one step further. And so we don’t have the freedom. You know, there’s the statistic that I, I think is. Let’s just be honest. But I, I also think it’s reflective of something, which is that nine out of 10 startups that are venture backed, ultimately fail. And what’s interesting is how long did people hold onto something because they said so, or because that they identified with it when there was a flow that was wanting to happen, that it would have that go a different way or have that company die. And another company get created. That was actually more fulfilling on the vision. They originally set out for themselves, but we get so stuck.

Speaker 1 (32:15):
And so tied to this thing that I said, and this thing I created and this, this is something that I deal with all the time, you know? And I’m, I’m the whole purpose. So the podcast is that I’m very, very transparent with people about what’s the reality of not just to your point, the materialized physical journey of being an entrepreneur, but the mental journey and the emotional journey. Like what does that really look like? And I love how you talk about chaos, because if you, you know, people have listened to the podcast room in the beginning, know there’s been a lot of chaos. And, and a lot of what I talk about is like being present in the chaos and working on myself because what, what my company is really the opportunity for is to see a mirror of who I am and what I’m to the world.

Speaker 1 (32:59):
And is that really what I want to be bringing and is that really who I want to be? So I love what you’re saying. And I, I, I resonate so much with this, but you put it in such a way you have these ways of speaking and putting things in words that I just don’t have. And I so love and value that about you, Devon. And so I’m just really, I love this conversation. I’m so grateful for your heart and your willingness to share the way that you do and the way that you use words to do that. Thank

Speaker 2 (33:28):
You’re you’re means a lot. You’re especially coming from you and, and the respect I have for you and all that you’ve accomplished. So thank you. That means the

Speaker 1 (33:35):
World to me. All right. So speaking of statistics, I wanna give you statistic, and then I want you to tell me what you think about it. Okay. Because this is one that sort of colors, a lot of what we talk about inside a Precursa, but also inside of the podcast. So 42% of startups ultimately fail because no one wanted what they were building

Speaker 2 (33:57):
Fact

Speaker 1 (33:59):
<laugh>

Speaker 2 (34:05):
Um, is the question why

Speaker 1 (34:07):
My question is, what do you think about that? And, and, you know, knowing that we have an audience of entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, people who maybe have been part of that statistic, what do you think about that? And, and how should entrepreneur engage with that and, or understand it or not at all? I mean, like any of that, well, look,

Speaker 2 (34:28):
Here’s the reality. We don’t need more stuff. We don’t need more stuff. And when we are forced to stare at self, this is an indirect answer to the, to the, but it will be more directed here in a minute. I don’t need another widget or Gidget or gadget. Yeah. So I think that number will continue to go up if we’re continuing to create widget, gadgets and gadgets that have no meaning, just so I can make a million dollars. Right. The pet rock thing, fine. Sell it to a gazillion kids and make a million bucks. Good for you. Who gives a, yeah, the question is again, and it goes back, I believe to know thy self.

Speaker 2 (35:12):
If I am an entrepreneur, what can I align myself with that fuels me beyond the widget or get it or gadget that I might have created that might have failed. Yeah. Right. If you’re an entrepreneur, it is in your DNA and you cannot stop. Yeah. You know, I look at, um, oh, use Monica’s journey for as an example, right? Yeah. When you met her originally, she was this incredible baker who was using edible flowers in vegan food, in vegan, vegan, amazing food, by the way. Amazing. Holy Molly. And, and when I met her, she had this empire energy to her and she was baking and there was a disconnect there, but she was fueling a passion mm-hmm <affirmative> and that passion was connecting nature to food. Yeah. And as we dove into the business of baking, we realized that the business of baking is not a very lucrative business.

Speaker 2 (36:09):
Yeah. And we even had the opportunity to get her lavender banana bread, vegan, lavender, banana bread into whole foods. Yeah. And we, we did the math and it was a horrible idea. <laugh> because you know, the goal for an entrepreneur that is a baker is like, oh my God, I’m in whole foods. Now I get to make millions. No, for every thousand loaves, she would’ve personally made maybe $500. Oh wow. And she’s spending almost 14 hours a day to try and keep up with that. There would be horrible. Even if she delegated to bakers. Yeah. The more, it was just, it was not a good business model. Yeah. Now the thing that she had to battle with as she transitioned into moving into the media space and really connecting with flowers and, and creating bloom TV is she felt like a failure because the business that she had promised to others, which was sweet floor <affirmative> and the baking that she had committed to to the world and declared went away in order to build a new thing.

Speaker 2 (37:06):
And, and I had to help her see that if she wasn’t adding edible flowers into her baked goods, she wouldn’t have bloom TV. Right. Right. So failure is all perspective. Mm <affirmative>. And if she knows herself as somebody who’s really desired to save the planet and help the planet and restore Eden from the inside and out media and the balloon TV, isn’t the, the end game for her. Yeah. It is another stepping stone. Wow. So failure is an interesting dynamic first and foremost in the statistic. Yeah. So secondly, if I know myself and I know the end, you know, going back to what is my Disney world, how am I leaving this planet? Yeah. And what have I done? Maybe you’re not gonna create the widget or get it or gadget cuz you realize we don’t need that. But the entrepreneurial spirit is still in you and it can be applied.

Speaker 2 (37:57):
I think in today’s world, most important that entrepreneurial spirit can be applied to someone else’s vision. If you are not the visionary, oh you can still be an entrepreneur and partner together and find ways to partner together. I look at the nonprofit world, one of the most impactful models if you use correctly, but one of the most delusional and stupid models. Yeah. I think personally because everybody that loses somebody to cancer creates a nonprofit. Now, all you’re doing is diluting the money to actually solve the problem. Instead of taking that passion and applying it to a singular focus, someone who has the greatest vision and direction and business model yeah. That can create real results to solve cancer. Yeah. If we’re putting all of our minds in the same bucket and all the money in the same bucket, we’re gonna get it done. If we dilute the money, we dilute it with a bunch of stuff it’s pointless. Right. So what is, is the unification of entrepreneurship? Not the singularity. Look at me and look at what I built. Oh, that’s delusion.

Speaker 1 (39:03):
Ah, that’s fascinating. I love that entrepreneurship. Not as me, the entrepreneur, but as us, the opportunity and my entrepreneurial spirit as a driver or mechanism that can move that forward. Mm. Interesting. I love that. What’s the real, um,

Speaker 2 (39:26):
What’s the real objective.

Speaker 1 (39:28):
Yeah. And I love what you’re saying. Change

Speaker 2 (39:29):
Or another widget. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (39:31):
I lo well, I love what you’re saying about that. It’s not about a widget or, or a gadget. It’s about connection. That’s where we are now. You know, we went from, and it’s kind of funny how we evolve as humans back to where we were, but at like a higher level maybe, or maybe not a higher level, I don’t know. But it used to be all we had was connection, you know, and, but we were mostly focused on survival and then we solve survival. And so then we got into abundance, but abundance, a way that was not as fulfilling as what we thought it would be because to your point about buying the house, right. Like we thought the house was gonna be the answer, but now we have the house and we spend most of the time talking about the journey to get to the house, not being present and being abundant in the house.

Speaker 1 (40:11):
And so now it’s like, okay, survival’s handled. We understand what abundance looks like, material level. What would that look like if we were actually connected in abundance, like our, what we had in abundance was connection with each other. And I love that. You’re saying that’s the, that’s the real opportunity of being an entrepreneur is how can I go beyond what we know works? And again, I’m putting that quotes to create the next evolution of what it means to be human and what it means to be happy and free and in life like present. Right. So it is love that it

Speaker 2 (40:49):
Is it’s it’s necessary right now. Right? Because yeah, regardless of your political viewpoint or, or whatever vantage point you’re coming from regarding the planet, we know the planet’s changing and, and we know that there is, uh, a chaos. Yeah. That is forcing us into unity. Yeah. We can see it across the board right now from a political perspective from our, our, our racist perspectives from the separation of, and, and the delusion that man and woman are aim. Right. Somebody’s Kayla was telling me about the science that up until the last 15 years, we all science was based on man. Assuming she worked the same way, right? Yeah. What, what, and the uprisings and the upheavals and the chaos and the creation and the, and the earth and the, I mean, it’s all tied together. Yeah. When you, when you were talking about, it feels cyclical.

Speaker 2 (41:44):
Yeah. Something during one of my plant-based medicine journeys, that was so obvious to me that was shown to me, um, from whatever wisdom and wherever that wisdom comes from was it is cyclical. But we have a one-dimensional perspective from this, which is either we viewed as a pendulum mm-hmm <affirmative> or we view it as a circle that is stays in the same place. What it is is actually cyclical, where it’s moving forward, everything in the universe is spiral. So it’s more like a spiral and everything is moving forward. So, so it feels like the same place, but we are further ahead. Okay. Right. Okay. So, so even right now, the most dense human beings on the planet, <laugh> which in the us, we have quite a few of those. No offense are maybe, maybe there needs little bit I’m, I’m one of those in many areas, I’ll take ownership of that.

Speaker 2 (42:38):
My, my mom’s a good example. 82 years old, um, would have, uh, a radio station with her political views playing while the TV station is playing with her political views. And one day I walked in because she’d been stuck at home for so long. One day I walked and it was dead silent in her house. And it never, both of those are literally running 24 hours a day, unless she’s sleeping. Yeah. And, and, and I walked in, it was quiet. And I went, mom, what is different in here? And she goes, I had to turn it off. I had to turn it off. And I went, even at 82, there was a conscious in this shift for her. Yeah. Yeah. Right. And, and she’s a brilliant woman. Yeah. But we get caught in chaos. Literally forced her to go, what is, why is my head spinning? And she found out why. And it was because she was allowing others to project to her. And so she consciously chose, and those are little steps. Right. That it’s one step forward, even though it feels like the same thing over and over again. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (43:41):
I love that. I love that. So there’s hope is what you’re saying.

Speaker 2 (43:45):
Well, we have no choice. Yeah. But to have hope <laugh> so, so yes. Cause what’s the alternative. Yeah. What’s the altern, the turn to his death. Right. And, and I mean that with absolute certainty for anybody listening here, if you, if you can’t see, I, I experienced as a 13 year old kid, the consequence through my father’s eyes, the loss of hope. Yeah. He could not see outside of that. Oh wow. And so he had to leave the planet. Yeah. That, yeah. We have no choice. Yeah. It’s the only way we can be inspired to, to take the next step. Yeah. And it’s hard to have hope unless we embrace chaos and realize it is actually there to service. Mm. Pain is a mechanism to healing. Mm. Yes. Chaos is a mechanism to creation. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (44:48):
I love that. Oh my gosh. I love that. This has been the most heartful <laugh> podcast I’ve done in a long time. And I love that. And I’m so thankful to you for creating that for me and for my audience today, Devon.

Speaker 2 (45:05):
Well, it’s an honor to even be invited here. I was, I was like, oh my God. Of course I will.

Speaker 1 (45:13):
So one last question for you. Yeah. Do you have any books, resources, other podcasts that you would recommend for our audience, um, that you think would either forward this conversation or be supportive of their, their own journeys?

Speaker 2 (45:30):
Wow. I just got luted with a million. Here’s what I’ll tell you. Yeah. My answer is no. Ooh. And here’s why, yeah. When an author decides to write a book, particularly a self-help book or a business book, they want to be of service. I believe that they also wanna make money, which I believe sure. It’s totally fine. The problem is the way they did it. Isn’t the way I’m gonna do it now. Are there lessons, are there systems, are there models? Are there ways? Yes. Yeah. But I had to ask myself, you know, the number one thing that was pointed out to me at 18 years old, when I started my entrepreneurial journey is learn, learn, get mentors. I did all that. Yeah. And by the time I was 33, I caught myself regurgitating every word that was coming outta my mouth from other people’s perspectives. Yeah. And I did not have my own gift, my own message. And I stopped and I went the greatest leaders in the world. Not that I’m comparing myself to them, but they wrote the book because they took time to discover their own message. And it was transformative. Yeah. So my suggestion maybe is as scary as it is to stop filling our head with other people’s stuff, because we don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing. Put the fricking book down, turn off the podcast and be still because to the mind that is still the universe surrenders. Wow.

Speaker 1 (46:59):
I love that. Okay. Well, I’m gonna put that in the show notes <laugh> but still you’re, you’re the king of like curiosity and chaos and being still, and it seems like all those things should be at odds with each other. And yet from this conversations, very clear, they are not, they are all part of the same intentionality and the same awareness. Right.

Speaker 2 (47:23):
Creation. Yeah. Creation. The universe is this, this universe, which I don’t know of others. Yeah. But I believe there are, is the process of creation. Yeah. And creation is those things, there is nothing. And then there is chaos. Then there is questions. Then there is ideation and ideas that turn into frequency, frequency turns into materialized manifested things. Right? Yeah. Study science. Yeah. <laugh>,

Speaker 1 (47:52):
That’s what it does.

Speaker 2 (47:54):
<laugh> and it doesn’t in a cyclical pattern, right? Yeah. So it comes back around. But if you can pay attention to the fact that I am not where I was last time, this came around, you have advanced, you have evolved. So celebrate that. Yeah. That’s the whole game. That’s the whole

Speaker 1 (48:09):
Game. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Devin, my friend, you are a light in the darkness. You are the embodiment of hope. You are the physical manifestation of hope and the opportunity of hope. And I am so grateful that you spent some time this, this morning and that you shared levels of wisdom that are amazing. They’re truly amazing. And I’m very, very grateful to you for having spent some time with us today. So thank you so much, my friend,

Speaker 2 (48:43):
It was my honor, and so excited and proud of all of the amazingness you’re creating and serving other with this podcast and in so many ways. So yeah, it was my honor.

Speaker 1 (48:54):
And if people want to get in touch with you or follow what you’re up to, or find out more about something that you talked about, what’s the best way for them to do that. Sure.

Speaker 2 (49:02):
You, um, night owl partners spelled exactly the way it should be. Night owl partners.com and you can find, find me, reach out to me and, and, um, or just find me on social media. Okay. Send me a message. Call me. I’ll give you my phone number. I don’t care. I I’m like you. I love serving so.

Speaker 1 (49:23):
Awesome. Well thank you again so much for being here today and um, yeah. So thank you to my audience for joining us for this episode. Uh, I hope that you have gotten a little bit of wisdom, a lot of filling of your cup and as always happy entrepreneur, and I will see y’all next time.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Precursa: The Startup Journey. If you have an idea for us startup and you want to explore the proven process of turning your idea into a viable business, check us out at precursa.com. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to podcasts so you never miss an episode. Until next time…

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Cynthia Del'Aria

Cynthia Del'Aria is a serial entrepreneur and tech startup ninja, specializing in product-market fit and idea validation and helping new entrepreneurs reserve their time and money for the idea with the best shot at success. With two successful exits before 30, an active high-profit-margin SaaS in the commercial airline space, and two additional startups in the works, she knows what it takes to traverse the entrepreneur journey, the highs, and the challenges of turning a vision into a successful, viable business.

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  • Denver, Colorado

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Copyright © 2021 Precursa  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Site Created by Natalie Jark

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