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Chris kicks off the interview and shares with us how everything he learned about business, he earned by working at his grandparents pizza stand at the Erie County fair. Stay tuned for this and more lessons learned on the business owner’s journey.
[00:00:00] Julie Bee – Host: On today’s show, I talk with Chris Carro about parallel entrepreneurship, how he’s avoided becoming a workaholic, and the MVPs of business ownership. I’m Julie B, and they don’t teach this in business school.
[00:00:16] Midroll Spot: Julie has spoken to countless organizations for 13 years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership and entrepreneurship.
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[00:00:39] Julie Bee – Host: Hey there, I’m Julie B and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This and Business School, a podcast where we discuss business ownership lessons that are learned through experience, not in a classroom or seminar.
On today’s episode, I’m interviewing Chris Carros. He’s an entrepreneur and award-winning journalist and speaker. And I know we’re gonna have [00:01:00] a lot of fun talking about some of the lessons he’s learned as a business owner over the years. So, Chris, welcome to the show. I’m so glad to have you here with me today, and I’m looking forward to our conversation.
[00:01:10] Chris Carosa – Guest: Well, thank you for having me, Julian, by the way, I, I consider myself a parallel entrepreneur. Do you know what a parallel entrepreneur
[00:01:18] Julie Bee – Host: is? I do not share. Please share that insight with. A
[00:01:22] Chris Carosa – Guest: parallel entrepreneur doesn’t sell any of the businesses. He starts, it’s, it’s, it’s like a, what do they call a hoarder?
I’m a business hoarder. So it, it actually helps. It helps because when you do something in one business, you can usually connect it to another and it, and it really lifts all the boats. As the tide rises. Yeah,
[00:01:44] Julie Bee – Host: absolutely. And I could see where that would be. I mean, that’s just such a great way to put it, because I think to your point, there’s a word serial entrepreneur often, I don’t know.
That has, sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s, people don’t look at it as a good thing. Sometimes it has a negative [00:02:00] connotation to it. So parallel entrepreneurs. Yeah. That’s brilliant. So tell us a little bit more about what you do. Cause you have a lot going on, so just give us like an overview of, of what you’re doing these days and all the fun stuff about what’s going on as, as your parallel entrepreneurship.
[00:02:16] Chris Carosa – Guest: I actually got started, I’m a trained astrophysicist and I, and I got a great deal to go to Boston University. Perfect. Exactly what I wanted to get a PhD in astronomy. And at the last minute I turned it down. Why did I turn it down? Because I wanted to go into this wonderful world of business, the exciting, dynamic atmosphere of working in business.
And the last thing I wanted to do was spend the rest of my life working in front of a computer terminal. I, okay, so this was in the early eighties? Mm-hmm. Before people had personal computers. So we are all working in front of computer terminals, so that didn’t. But it did work out in ways that I’ve been able to explore many strange new [00:03:00] worlds in the business environment.
And I started really working for what is now a very large investment advisory firm. I, I was in their back office. I, I didn’t necessarily pick stocks for them and I didn’t pick stocks for them. I, I ran their operations and then I started their trust. Which by the time I left was almost a billion dollars.
I had started their mutual funds. I took all that knowledge and really decided to write a book, and I quickly found out that after 150 pages of outline, the book really wasn’t gonna sell, wasn’t gonna put food on the table. So I had to start a business. Really, it was, I was desperate. I had two little kids and I would, I didn’t know it yet, but I was gonna have a third one.
Wow. Within a couple of years. Mm-hmm. I had to get some money out. I had to feed the, feed the family. Yeah. So what did I do? I did what I knew. I knew how to do investment advice, investment advisory business, and I, I remember I was kind of [00:04:00] shy, you know, when you, when you first start something, you’re shy.
And I wanted to start a mutual fund. So I read something in Forbes about a guy who was like 70 years old, who ran a mutual fund from his basement, and I’m a really cheap, kinda low frills guys, and that, that was the sort of thing that appealed to me. And I sat down and I, and I paid him a hundred dollars or something to talk to him for four hours with the idea that I would hire him as a consultant to, to teach me.
To set up this mutual fund that I could run from a basement. Now mind you, I set up mutual funds already. Yeah. So I, so I talked to this guy and he said, well, how much does it cost for me to hire you as a consultant? And he said, be, I’m not gonna do it for you. I mean, he said, why aren’t you gonna do it for me?
And he said, I don’t need to do it for you. You already know all the operations. Everybody that comes to me, they just know about picking stocks. They don’t know about the operations. That’s why they hired me. You could probably teach them just as much as I. Yeah. And that’s when I realized, hey, you know, I [00:05:00] guess I know something that I didn’t realize that I know.
So that’s really how it started. But in the, in the process of doing that, before that, before I started my own investment advisory business, I started my own newspaper. A newspaper folded. I mean, this is a great lesson. If you’re gonna start a business, you go where the void is, you find the void, the local newspaper closed.
It was doing well, but the owner. Didn’t wanna do it anymore. Yeah. He, he focused on a different paper that was in a city we live in, like a rural suburb, so it didn’t generate a lot of revenue. But I liked writing and I, again, I’m, I’m no frill, so I know how to start the businesses on a low end. I started that business, ended up selling it to my partner.
Then bought it back from her grandson after she passed away and he didn’t wanna do it anymore. And, and actually I didn’t buy it back, my wife did. So she owns the company. I work for her. We still have the investment advisory firm. She works for me [00:06:00] there. In the meantime, we’ve got all these books behind me and more coming, and each of those are each little businesses.
So there’s a lot of things that I’m doing and I’m happy to talk about all of them.
[00:06:12] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah, so parallel entrepreneurship is definitely. And that’s a new one for me. And now I’m like, I’m a parallel entrepreneur as well because I, when I’m explaining what I do to people, I sound a lot like you. Like I started out as this, that I did this and now I’m doing this, and all of these other things are still happening.
So it’s not like I’m going from one to the next, to the next, to the next is. The undercurrent of multiple ventures going on all at the same time.
[00:06:40] Chris Carosa – Guest: One business helps another, at least in your
[00:06:42] Julie Bee – Host: mind. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, this podcast is, I mean, it’s certainly under my, my personal brand, but it’s a business in itself.
Writing books, that’s the business in itself, and then consulting and all of the other things I have going on all businesses, so absolutely. So Chris, thank you [00:07:00] for that background. And yeah, as, as I’m looking at you for the podcast listeners, his background, you have, how many books have you published? Cuz I’m counting I think five right now.
[00:07:09] Chris Carosa – Guest: There should be eight.
[00:07:10] Julie Bee – Host: Okay, well I, that’s old. It’s an old thing. Maybe there is eight and I just, I can’t, yeah, it looks like, yeah. Yeah, there’s more than five, but I see everything from 50 Hidden Gems of Western New York to 401K fiduciary solutions to a pizza. What is that? What is it? A pizza. The A pizza.
The action. A pizza. The action. Yeah. That, that’s, so
[00:07:35] Chris Carosa – Guest: you really, that would be of interest to you. That that’s my, that’s everything I learned about business. I learned by working at my grandparents. Pizza stand at the Erie County Fair. Now, the Erie County Fair is one of the largest fairs in the country. In fact, when I was working there, it was number one biggest fair or exposition in the whole country.
So it was the show. When you’re there, that’s something. And [00:08:00] working in that pizza stand now, my parents were immigrant, my grandparents were immigrants and they, it was really kind of a a little family operation. But even still, you learn so much about business. And all I did is I reflected on my 10 plus years there, jotted down the rules that I was taught, the lessons that I learned, and did it in a way that was like, almost like a, you are there memoir.
Mm-hmm. And, and here’s the thing. And it, and it, and it’s work. I’ve tested it with people who know me and who don’t know me. There’s a final chapter in the book, there’s an epilogue in. Remember, this is kind of like a business book. Mm-hmm. But the epilogue I wrote, I wanted people to cry and a lot of them do when they read that epilog the epilogue, and that makes me feel so good.
[00:08:53] Julie Bee – Host: weird. Okay. That’s awesome, dude. That’s like, that’s like a great goal. Like if you’re writing a business book, you want the epilogue to make. [00:09:00] The reader cry maybe. Hopefully. I don’t know. Like you what? Yeah, cuz I mean, most business books are really, there’s not a lot of emotion behind them. They’re, you know, system process heavy unless they’re telling a story.
And it sounds like that’s the kind of book that you wrote. But, you know, as an, as an award-winning journalist, I mean, that experience alone, I’m sure has taught you how to take business content and turn it into a journey and a story that, you know, elicits some emotion from the audience That’s.
[00:09:28] Chris Carosa – Guest: Well, you know, one thing I learned very early on as a writer, as a columnist, I, I wrote for a trade journal, and it was about retirement fiduciary type.
I saw really kind of boring stuff. Mm-hmm. And I, I didn’t write it that way, so I was kind of different. And I was always afraid that my editor thought that I was being too flippant. I’ll say that word. And he said, no, Chris, you know what, if anything, I want you to be pro. Now remember I’m writing a column, so it’s different than straight [00:10:00] reporting.
Yeah. Where you just report the facts. Mm-hmm. Column you want people to react. So he’s, he used that word provocative. You know, you want to incite people in some way. How am I gonna incite them writing about retirement and Yeah. I figured out ways to do it. Yeah. And it’s, it’s really helped in a lot of the other, That I do, I, I don’t even, I don’t write for that publication anymore.
Mm-hmm. Mostly I write for forbes.com as well as my own newspaper column. And it’s more in that newspaper column where I do this kind of provocative style of writing. Yeah. Which my wife and kids hate because they don’t want people, you know, throwing bricks at our house. But, I mean, I’m not that bad, but you, you know, you just have to be careful in,
[00:10:45] Julie Bee – Host: there’s a line of, I was talking to another business owner.
Said that he does not want to be famous because fame is just, he’s, he has interviewed and worked with a lot of people who are famous and it is not, not pretty. So if you can find that [00:11:00] line of being known, but you know, still being able to go into your local grocery store with a, you know, a hat on or some sunglasses wanting nobody know who you are.
I think that’s, that’s the balance that a lot of us are trying to strike when we’re doing things like writing books, podcasts, that type of thing. Not
[00:11:16] Chris Carosa – Guest: just that, it’s even writing letters to clients. Mm-hmm. I mean, this was a long time ago when sort of, when I first started the investment advisory firm. You know, I, I write letters every quarter to the clients and they’re, there’s, they’re generic, but specific to the client, and there’s a, the generic portion I write so that it would appeal to all the clients, you know, like the economic overview, something like that.
And now I have an MBA and I, I got the mba. Only so that I could tell people, you don’t have to get an mba mm-hmm. To be a success in business. Nobody believes me. My, my, my, my niece insists that I, I, I was a success in business because I got an mba. No, I was [00:12:00] already successful in business when I got the mba.
Yeah. But the one thing about the MBA that was good is I learned useful jargon that, that I didn’t know before. And, and so sometimes I use. And it expresses a certain way of thinking. When you talk about the economy or economics, there’s a certain textbook approach that you need to use as a professional.
So remember how I said you should be provocative when you write newspaper columns? Mm-hmm. Well, you don’t wanna be provocative when you are in this sort of serious business, and there are a lot of different serious businesses. Investment advice is one of those. So I wrote, I wrote this. And all I’m doing is I’m kind of repeating the textbook version of what’s going on in the economy and I meet with one of my clients and it, it’s a couple.
They say, we almost canceled you. So why? What, did I do something wrong with the investments? Oh no, [00:13:00] your investments are fine, but your letter sounded just like Rush Limbaugh. Geez. And. I didn’t try to sound like Rush Limbaugh. Yeah. I mean that was their projection on my, but it was very informative cuz they told me, Hey, you know, I gotta be aware mm-hmm.
Of what I’m doing when I’m writing because cuz I have people who hate Rush Limbaugh and people who love Rush Limbaugh. Mm-hmm. And I gotta write in a way that’s right down the middle when I’m talking about this. I, you know, I don’t wanna compromise the integrity of the business in any way, so I’m not.
Going outta my way to avoid something that would actually be good for the client. That’s what a fiduciary does. A fiduciary’s job is to make sure you always act in the best interests of your client. Sometimes they don’t know it’s their best interest, but if you don’t act that way, you can get in trouble.
So it’s, it’s, it’s a trick even. You don’t have to be podcasting. You don’t have to be appearing on tv. You don’t have to be. Just in your letters. [00:14:00] You have to be mindful of how people read them
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[00:14:21] Julie Bee – Host: Hey, this is Julie V and you’re listening to, they Don’t Teach This In Business School. I’m having a great conversation here with Chris Carros, and we were just talking about all of the things I feel like we just learned. I just learned so much about you and when to be provocative, when you’re writing, when to not be, and you know, that ultimately comes back to knowing who you’re talking to and when you’re talking to them, knowing your target.
But Chris, one thing I wanna ask you is, what is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur? What is just the, the thing that you just love the most about, about that, the parallel entrepreneur in that role?
[00:14:58] Chris Carosa – Guest: You know, that’s funny. [00:15:00] Several years ago I was interviewed an early retirees, so I, I wasn’t retired in the traditional sense.
I was still working. Mm-hmm. But what was I. I was doing everything I want to do. Isn’t that, isn’t that what you want when you retire? Yeah. So you don’t have to stop working if you’re doing what you want to. People ask me all the time, and I don’t tell people a lot of what I do, in part because I do so much and mm-hmm.
You would take up all the conversation. I, you know, people say, oh, Chris, what do you, what do you do for a living? And my answer. Whatever I want. And that’s really the magic of what being an entrepreneur is if you do it right. Oh man, you can do whatever you want.
[00:15:48] Julie Bee – Host: I’m going to start using that because I was gonna ask you.
What advice do you have? Because I, the, the longer you go as an entrepreneur, I, and I see this through my, my networking [00:16:00] connections and my friends, very few of them kind of stick in the same, I mean in the same business or in the same career path as when they, and as they, when they started their first business.
And I am now in this position where I am, you know, concurrently doing multiple different things. So, When I, for example, when I went to a networking event yesterday, I was a business coach. When I talked to somebody else yesterday afternoon, I was a, an award-winning podcast host because I’m trying to sell a sponsorship.
So, you know, how do you, do you have any advice, because a lot of people that I’ve interviewed, and also a lot of people who are listening, have like various roles. How do you approach that when you are, you know, networking or, or talking to. You know, various people. Do you, do you pick which role to, to tell people you are or do you kind of say, I’m an, I’m a parallel entrepreneur and leave it at that?
[00:16:57] Chris Carosa – Guest: Well, you gotta read the crowd. It’s sort of [00:17:00] like what you do. Mm-hmm. And it, what I find is having gone through this a lot is I now have a pretty good idea of which aspects of my life, my business life, my work. Is more interesting appeals to more people. Mm-hmm. Believe it or not. Of all these books that I wrote, the most read and interesting book that people have, would you guess look at the books?
Which one do
[00:17:25] Julie Bee – Host: you think is most interesting? I’m going to, I’m gonna guess it’s, I’m gonna guess it’s either Hamburger Dreams or a p a Pizza of the Action.
[00:17:34] Chris Carosa – Guest: So you are, you are 50% correct. So it’s a, it’s hamburger dreams. Yeah. Now hardly anybody reads a piece of the action, even though that’s the one that really is the entrepreneur.
How to manual. Yeah. But a, a Hamburger Dreams is simply an investigative reporter, you know, an investigative journalism sort of approach of who made the first hamburger, you know, who sold the first hamburger. It’s, it’s really a, [00:18:00] a almost like a classic crime fighting. Not well, in fact, that’s the way I wrote it.
Mm-hmm. Even though it’s, it’s a non-fiction book. I wrote it as if it was a murder mystery. Yeah. Or a crime thing. And I use a lot of illusions. It has that kind of happy writing, same kind of writing style as a piece of the action, but, and piece of action came out first. But Hamburger Dreams has sold many more books.
It was a number one hot new seller on Amazon when it came out a couple years ago. An ebook version. And I’m constantly interviewed. Across the nation in top 50 markets about the story of the origin and the hamburger. That’s what people want to hear.
[00:18:40] Julie Bee – Host: Well, and it’s, there’s a, that’s a ma there’s a mass interest in that.
That’s got a much broader, just, I think in general the, the target audience there is probably much broader than, you know, entrepreneurs that book Hamburger Dreams is something that, you know, anybody could read, whether they’re an entrepreneur. [00:19:00] Not, and, and enjoy reading it.
[00:19:03] Chris Carosa – Guest: Well, you know, and here’s the thing about connecting stuff.
So as I, as I wrote about the two individuals, Frank and Charles Menez, Charles Menez from Akron, Ohio, they’re the ones who really are credited with selling the first hamburger, September 18th, 1885, in case there’s ever, you’re on Jeopardy. And they ask trivia time. Yeah. Well these guys were also parallel entre.
And I looked at it from a different lens after a while as I’ve been talking about it, you always think of a new angle. Mm-hmm. Even on something that you write. I looked at it and I thought, you know, these guys have business lessons and obviously hamburgers are more interesting than pizza. What if I did the same thing that I did on the pizza book and I developed lessons based not on what I did, but what on Frank and Charles Manchester?
Mm. And that’s actually what I’m developing a whole series of books. [00:20:00] I think there’s like 16 or 20, I can’t remember exactly. Okay. Yeah. They’re not all done yet, but I’ve got it all plotted out and in, in an essence, it’s almost like a capstone course for an mba. Yeah. It’s all the elements that you need to know to be successful starting a business.
And each book just focuses on one. You know, I, I’ll give you an example. You know, the, the teaser, the teaser’s mvp. So money void and pivot. Hmm. So money, the first thing you do is you find out where the money is. You can start a business. You can create a product that is an absolutely fantastic product, but if nobody wants to buy it, it fails.
Mm-hmm. You can create a mediocre market, but the product, but the market is so, You don’t have to be a top seller to make a lot of money. So go where the money is. That’s the first thing to do. The next thing is void. All right? So it’s [00:21:00] like what I did with the newspaper. There was a void in the market. The newspaper left, so I filled that void.
There’s all these voids all around you. Mm-hmm. So figure out where the voids are. And then the last thing is pivot. This is something we learned during the pandemic. How many businesses didn’t close? Restaurants did this a lot. So restaurants pivoted from being in-person dining to being sidewalk pickup, and how many restaurants stayed in business because they pivoted to this sidewalk pickup kind of business model.
So those are just three of the important things that you have to do. And the mentions brothers did all three of those. When they, when they founded, when they started the hamburger, they didn’t, they didn’t start out selling hamburgers. They were selling pork sausage sandwiches because that was a void.
Yeah. No one else was doing it. But then they ran out of pork and they were only u able to use ground beef. Hmm. So that was their pivot. And then from there, The sky’s the limit.
[00:21:59] Julie Bee – Host: So Chris, one, one [00:22:00] thing I like to ask business owners, because you know, business and entrepreneurship I think is a lot of fun in a lot of ways, and I think especially for people who are creative and are always, you know, they need something new or to do it, it’s attractive.
But there’s a flip side to it. And I wonder, I wonder if you’ve ever experienced burnout as a business owner, and if you have, would, do you have any short stories you can share about that?
[00:22:26] Chris Carosa – Guest: One of the most amazing things about being a parallel and entrepreneur is very rarely do I ever experience, I won’t call it burnout.
I’ll, I’ll, you know, writer’s cramp, you know, where all of a sudden you, you don’t know what to write about. Mm-hmm. And the, the reason for that is before you allow that, or I allow that to happen on one business, I say, okay, what’s this other business? What can I do in this other business? So it’s like you’re, you’re going, you’re juggling mm-hmm.
[00:23:00] You’re juggling all these different things. And it sounds hard, but it’s actually easy and it just keeps the juices flowing. Mm-hmm. So, you know, getting to this point of burnout really isn’t something that, that I could say that I’ve experienced.
[00:23:14] Julie Bee – Host: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And I think there’s, there’s an element to.
Knowing when you’re approaching that and knowing when you need to sh, you know, go into a different gear. And one of the ways that I manage that is I kind of have these, these other things going. I, I volunteer for an organization and like that’s a force I have to stop working on my business and work on that.
You know, my job as a volunteer organization because, I, I would be a workaholic if, if, if I didn’t have those, those, you know, circuit breakers or built-in, you know, stops. Because I, I love working on my business, but everybody needs a break every once in a while. So that,
[00:23:53] Chris Carosa – Guest: to me, that’s a bigger issue. Yeah.
Workaholism. Yeah. Oh yeah. Especially when you’ve got a lot of businesses going on. [00:24:00] Mm-hmm. So how do I deal with that? I make sure that I integrate my, my family life, my community. Into what I’m doing. So just for example, I, I like to be a speaker. Mm-hmm. I’m a So how do you practice speaking? Well, you sign up, you volunteer to be a lecture at your church.
Mm-hmm. So, you know, when you’re there, you, you get to speak. I like to, I don’t know, I guess I like to help people and in my businesses. Mm-hmm. Sometimes before you actually have a product, so to speak, that you can offer to help people, you have to figure out, well, what people are, what are people looking for?
Sort of like a market research kind of thing. Mm-hmm. So how do you do that? You join community activities even with the family and now my family’s kind of different because we’re all involved in the businesses, but maybe. Is just something that organically appeared because we were young when we started the business.
Even [00:25:00] if you go back to our wedding video, this is before everything started, one of the things my wife says, and like the photographer or the videographer, so this is one of the first weddings where they had videographers. That’s how old I, the videographer goes to my wife all by herself. I wasn’t there.
And she says, he asked her, well, what do you, what do you wanna do? Or how do you, what are your expectations? And she. I can’t wait to work in business with Chris. And it’s like, I didn’t, I didn’t ask her that. She didn’t, I didn’t tell her any idea. Well, maybe I did, but I had to if she said that. But it’s like it wasn’t a priority.
Mm-hmm. But it’s something that was on her mind. Yeah. And, and that’s exactly what happened. Again, it was, we fell into it, you know, we, we fell into getting the newspaper back. Say here even that I. I gotta tell you this, when I started the newspaper in 1989, I didn’t even know my wife, but my thought was, Hey, this would be a great thing for my wife to do.[00:26:00]
I didn’t know. So I sold the newspaper after I got married. Yeah, 30 years later, or 20 years later, we get to the newspaper back and I said, you know, Betsy, my wife, I said, it really, you should own the newspaper because I own the advisor. You should own the newspaper. Mm-hmm. And she said, fine. Yeah. And what do I find out later?
When she was in college, she was actually the business manager of her newspaper of course. So she, she knew what she was doing. Yeah. And her back, her real background is banking, so that’s why she helps me on the advisor side cuz she knows all about this finance stuff. Mm-hmm. And it’s very helpful. So there’s this sort of integration with the family and even the kids, the kids all do their own different things, but there’s aspects of the businesses that the kids do.
Mm-hmm. So, for example, my son, Who hates to read, by the way. He hates to read. He helps a lot with the newspaper. You know how he helps with the newspaper. He doesn’t, well, I guess he does write every once in a while he does broadcasting. We have a video arm of the newspaper, video [00:27:00] broadcasting arm of the newspaper.
He does play by play for the high school, high school sports teams. Hmm. And you know, that sort of thing. And it, it’s just amazing how it all works together and that, that sort of, It helps reduce the likelihood of you have of, of having workaholism, or I guess maybe people will say that still being workaholic, but at least now you are a diversified work workaholic.
Yeah. Where you’re, you’re getting everybody involved in your little game. So, and
[00:27:30] Julie Bee – Host: that, that is what I would call like work life harmony, you know, is kind of all flowing together. I mean, not that you don’t have moments where it’s not, but you have, you know, there’s a flow there of your work and your.
Working together, basically being really well integrated and, and I think for business owners it’s really hard to have, you know, quote unquote work-life balance. I, I, I don’t, I’ve never really liked that term because balance just implies you’re constantly juggling, which it’s, it’s [00:28:00] hard to do that and, and have things be equal in all parts, in all aspects as a business owner.
So I usually tell, you know, my clients and people I talk to, what you’re looking for is harmony. You’re looking. You know, where again, there’s a yin and a yang to it and they play off of each other. Yes. They are integrated, but one isn’t overtaking the other. And you know, that’s what you just said is kind of a perfect example of how, how all of that can flow together.
[00:28:26] Chris Carosa – Guest: Yeah, I like that. And that’s, by the way, that’s one of the things that I learned in talking to people is you tell little stories. Mm-hmm. And the per, the more personal the stories, the more likely people are to connect about. Mm-hmm. Connect with. And, you know, someone who’s not used to speaking or being trained as a speaker mm-hmm.
Will say, well, I don’t wanna make it be all about myself. Mm-hmm. Well, yeah, you don’t make it be all about yourself, but to use yourself as an example. Yeah. Because it, it makes you more honest, it makes you more credible. Mm-hmm. If people know that I lived the [00:29:00] experience, the, through the. So not only am I where they’re at right now mm-hmm but I got through it.
Mm-hmm. That gives them more confidence that helps them. You can have
[00:29:12] Midroll Spot: weekly leadership tips and insights delivered straight to your inbox. Sign email@example.com and if you’d like to connect with Julie, she’s available on the web and most social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and
[00:29:26] Chris Carosa – Guest: Instagram.
[00:29:28] Julie Bee – Host: You are listening to, they don’t teach this in business school. I’m the host Julie B, and I’m here with Chris Carros, and we are just having a fantastic conversation. Chris, I wanted to ask you, how do you define success for yourself these days?
[00:29:45] Chris Carosa – Guest: Again, it goes back to do what I, doing whatever I want to do.
Got it. It’s, it’s, and, and, and actually one of the things that I do, or, well, one of the things that I’m trying to do is I’m actually trying to help people. Define success for [00:30:00] themselves. Mm-hmm. In, in, in one of the, the, the more popular series that I’m writing for Forbes is all about that. Mm-hmm. You know, how do you find success in what you do, particularly for entrepreneurs?
Mm-hmm. It, it’s funny, you know, I’m supposed to be writing about retirement and I do. I know a lot about entrepreneurship and I constantly tell my editors at Forbes and say, should I be writing in the entrepreneur category and say, no, no, no. You don’t have to do that. You can stay in the retirement category and still write about entrepreneurs.
Mm-hmm. And they suggested, why don’t you think of a way to do both? So I started focusing on retirement side hustle. As a way to do things. And in fact, I just wrote an article today, published today that that kind of mentions this is a should you work when you’re retired. I mean, that’s kind of be that what the article’s all about and it’s giving you examples of people who are and why they are and, and everything.
And I said, you, you gotta think. [00:31:00] I mean, if, if you don’t have to work now, some people have to work just for supplemental income, but if you don’t have to work, you gotta figure out why are you. You know, how is it getting you closer to your lifetime dream? Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that you’re at your lifetime dream.
Mm-hmm. Maybe you’ve gotta do something that pushes you farther ahead and what’s your lifetime dream? And essentially that is your definition of personal success, where you’re, where you wanna be, what you wanna do, how you wanna do it, who you wanna do it with. That’s all part of your lifetime dream, and that’s your definition of
[00:31:34] Julie Bee – Host: success.
That is. Brilliant, and I, I think success has to be defined as something beyond only goal achievement. I, I usually tell clients goals. Goals can be part of the definition, but what I found in my own personal life is if I only define success by goals, then I never really feel successful [00:32:00] because I’m the type of person that when I achieve a goal, I’m thinking what’s next?
Immediate. Within 24 hours, no matter how big the goal achievement is. My, my thing is, okay, what’s next? So I’ve, I’ve learned how to define success outside of goals because of that. Because I, I mean, for example, when I got my book contract, The next day I was asking myself, okay, what, what’s next? You know, okay, now I want to be a, you know, a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, or New York Times bestselling author before I’d even gone through the first, first round of editing on my books.
So I, I, success is just one of those things that you have to define it for yourself. And I, I usually do advise. Defined in an outside of only goal achievement because otherwise I, I see so many business owners that just don’t feel successful because the only way they define success is based on a number of something or something they’ve reached, and then they’re just kind of like, okay, great.
I did this thing. I’m really excited about it, but [00:33:00] now I’m already looking at the next goal and never feeling successful because of
[00:33:04] Chris Carosa – Guest: that. Let me ask you a question. Mm-hmm. Yeah. When you write a book, what is the purpose? Of writing that book I
[00:33:13] Julie Bee – Host: wrote the book that I wrote. I wrote it one, because there, there is a serious void in the market.
Two, there was nothing out there to help the people that I wrote it for. And three, the people I’m, I wrote it for are business owners and entrepreneurs, which I’m super passionate about helping in general. So those were really the three reasons. I, I had an experience that I went through. I went out there looking for resources there.
Nothing that was specifically targeted towards business owners and entrepreneurs about, and the topic I wrote on is burnout as a business owner. And there, there’s, there was nothing out there. I mean, you’ve got stuff for burnout for women, burnout for men, you know, burnout for teachers, for doctors, for all of these professions.
But when I googled, when I [00:34:00] searched for resources, burnout for business owners, everything that came up was either take a vacation and do less, or it would talk about burnout for your employees as a business owner. Mm-hmm. So I, I wrote a book about that and I pitched it to the Publishers of Traction and they, they, they picked it up.
I mean, they’re, you know, a traditional publisher. They’re publishing my book. So, but the reason behind it was there wasn’t anything out there and I, I had this very personal experience of needing resources and not having something that spoke specifically to me as a business owner. And I also wanna help business owners.
[00:34:38] Chris Carosa – Guest: Yes. You mentioned though, your first thought after you published it was, how do I get to be a bestseller in Wall Street Journal in New York’s time? But let me ask you this. Mm-hmm. If you had a choice between a new being, a New York Times number one, best. Or having your book transform the lives of, say, 50 [00:35:00] business owners.
Mm-hmm. Which one would you pick
[00:35:04] Julie Bee – Host: Tran, transform the lives of 50 business owners. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:35:08] Chris Carosa – Guest: And I think that’s really the secret to writing.
[00:35:10] Julie Bee – Host: My publisher doesn’t want to hear that, but that’s a whole different story. Yeah. It, it would be to transform, I mean, I, I, I often say if, if any of these podcasts help just one business owner, I feel like I’ve done my job.
Because that is, that’s really at the heart of everything I do,
[00:35:29] Chris Carosa – Guest: and that shows through, that shows through, and that makes you more, more believable, more credible, uh, people are more interested in interacting with you. It, it, you know, because you’re doing it for them and it’s clear that that’s what you’re doing.
[00:35:44] Julie Bee – Host: Well, I appreciate that, Chris. I really do. We have had such a great conversation and I do, I have to start wrapping it up though cuz my sound editor is always like, keep it at 30 minutes and we’ve, we’ve already gone past that. But I do have one question I ask everybody on this show, [00:36:00] and it’s, if you were gonna teach a.
To future business owners to, or people who are considering being a business owner, what’s one thing, what’s like the main thing you would really want them to take away from your Class
[00:36:14] Chris Carosa – Guest: Y? You know, so I did mention that I had this idea for the capstone ca class. Mm-hmm. And if you would look, if you would try to identify the thread throughout that, tho those, those classes within that course say mm-hmm.
It’s communi. So it’s not just your ability to communicate, to speak, but your ability to listen. People might call it market research, but I, I’ll call it communication. Mm-hmm. You’ve gotta hear, you gotta hear everything, especially hear the silence, hear the voices that you can’t. Because they’re out there
[00:36:54] Julie Bee – Host: and that is, yeah.
That’s a fantastic lesson. So we will leave it there. Chris, I have [00:37:00] so enjoyed having you on the podcast today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your background, and I just, I know that the people listening are going to gain so much valuable insight from from this episode. So thanks for being on the show.
[00:37:13] Chris Carosa – Guest: Julie. Thanks for having me.
[00:37:15] Julie Bee – Host: And that is it for this episode, but stay tuned because I’ll be back soon with more lessons learned on the business owner’s journey. I’m Julie B and they don’t teach this in business school.
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