Travis Houston – The Perfect Cocktail for Life – Opt Out

Travis Houston – The Perfect Cocktail for Life

7 months ago · 55:32

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Imagine you are at the peak of your career. Then the 2008 market meltdown takes you down with it. You liquidate what you can and move your whole family into your mom’s house. I’m sure today’s guest isn’t the only one who was forced to make such humbling decisions. But like so many entrepreneurs, Travis Houston rose from the ashes, and reinvented himself. He is the founder and CEO of Launchr, a marketing agency that focuses on growing businesses that need to take their sales to the next level. And what about that Opt Out dream of becoming a digital nomad?  Yep, Travis recently gave that a try, too.


This episode of the opt out life podcast is me and my friend, Dana. Dana, hello, Nate with me. As always, you are. And it’s the story of Travis Houston and entrepreneur here in San Diego. He’s been in the real estate game, the internet marketing game. He’s a traveler. He checks a lot of opt out life boxes. So I’m excited to get into that. And of course, he brought drinks along the first guest to show up with a bar

with a full bar. We’ve had drinks, bring us a beer. Yeah, guests bring us whiskey from their hometown. I can see it’s in there. Right now. We have not had a guest show up with an entire set to make us and shake us a cocktail. Well, Travis is a

maker and a shaker, as you’ll hear. But before we get started a few things about us. This is the opt out life podcast. It is based off a book that was written by the most interesting man in the world who joins me, Dana Robinson and called opt out. It is available on Amazon. And we’ve taken that book and turn it into a movement over the last year. opt out means people who take an alternative path to lifestyle to income. And there are thousands of people joining us in that movement these days, and we are opt out ourselves. We make our income from side hustlers from business from real estate. And if you’re into that stuff, head over to or check out our Facebook group. We’re in their chat and all the time with other opt out or some around the world and Australia and Scotland and San Diego and in Chicago and in Canada. I just had some messages from people in all those locations in the last few days. So we love to have you we’d love to see you over there anything else to add my friend?

Well, there’s a lot of ways to opt out. And that’s what I’m always impressed by his people that say I’m opt out, you know, digital nomads. We’re going to talk a little bit about that today’s episode travelers, hustlers real estate people, and it may turn out prepers.

That’s right. A little bit of that coming up soon, too. Alright, well, this episode was recorded here in San Diego and is the opt out life story of Travis Houston

Imagine you are at the peak of your career. Then the 2008 market meltdown takes you down with it. You liquidate what you can and move your whole family into your mom’s house. I’m sure today’s guest isn’t the only one who was forced to take such humbling decisions. But like so many entrepreneurs, Travis Houston rose from the ashes, and reinvented himself. 10 years later, he’s doing what he probably should’ve done all along. Travis is the founder and CEO of Launchr, a marketing agency that focuses on growing businesses that need to take their sales to the next level. He manages a unique formula and he shares it with us in today’s podcast. Travis shared another recipe with us as well, he actually showed up to the studio with a custom portable liquor bar, and mixed us up a couple of post prohibition cocktails, which after 18 seconds the vigorous shaking

gave us the perfect start to a Friday afternoon podcast. You’ll hear that bringing people together and pouring drinks is a bit of a theme for him. And they also uses this to grow his network hosting monthly dinners for 12 at his home.

And what about that opt out dream of becoming a digital nomad? Yep, Travis recently gave that a try too you want wild stories from Southeast Asia. This episode’s got him cheers, fair listener. Here’s Travis

opt out life in the studio on a Friday. Our guest has brought a portable bar. He’s made a drink for us, which is called the gold rush. The Gold Rush Travis Houston is here and he is going to reveal for us the secret of life right now.

Shake for at least 14 seconds.

That’s what we just witnessed. And it uh. It tastes delicious.

It was a secret to life is the same as the secret to the perfect pre prohibition. Ryan cocktail mixing. That is exactly right.

And I have to ask, how did you conjure up this contraption that you brought in which had fresh fruit, several different types of alcohol? There’s some mixers and some lemons and a towel and a knife and it all fit in this container. Which when you walked in, I wasn’t sure what it was like joke that it was plutonium. Where did this come from?

Turns out it just might be


honestly, this came from me screwing it up. So many times. It’s much like business, right? It’s come from me screwing it up enough times that I you know tested numerous iterations of this and Vons bags typically just rip out the bottom and we lose all the good stuff so one day I’m at a thrift store just kind of cruising around looking for I think it was a Burning Man outfit and lo and behold it’s just like it’s looking at me this device because they had it open and when this like it’s a Paul Mitchell hair stylist kit in like awesome silver you’ve seen the movie Pulp Fiction right it was glowing blue I walked up to I had that look I was like I’ve been looking for you and it’s got the little these little holders that things fit into just perfectly I was like we were meant to be

How long have you and your friend been together

years. years

we’re a thing I love it is portable party in a box like nothing I’ve quite ever seen. And I take note because I do like thrift stores. I talked about it in the book. I have not tried to craft my own portable bar but I’m I’m on the warpath now.

Ya gotta be on that. And yourself being a marketer. Sir? Have you thought about putting this up on Amazon and borrowing it? Or is it some sort of patented thing that’s out there? I mean, this seems like something that you’ve already sold both of us on buying it in five seconds. So we could be having these things flying off the shelves.

Gross Margin because of shipping isn’t going to be high enough?

Well, very good. Very good. One of the funder starts to an opt out life podcast episode that has ever existed. And all thanks to you. So Oh, I’m so

happy you guys rolled into that. Well, it’s like, who knows how these guys are going to take me rolling up on a Friday afternoon at three right with a big cocktail box. 11. You guys handle that? Well,

Happy Friday to all to all will Travis you know, we don’t do necessarily the like will tell us where you started. And then tell us who you are. But you know, we got to get into their somehow. Maybe tell us a little bit about what you’re doing today. I guess I know you’re here in San Diego. We run in somewhat similar circles, although we haven’t spent as much time together yet. So we’re going to have that all here on the microphone as we get to know each other. But yeah, what are you working on today? And why would I say that we probably run in some similar circles. I think we know

a lot of really value first kind of people. And I’ve always found that the most successful people are always the ones that are willing to be open with their knowledge how they do it and want to share. So I think we run a similar circle because we like to give and give back and share our knowledge with others. And when you’re around that kind of a community, especially an entrepreneurial community, you run in similar circles in a small town like San Diego,

right? And a lot of that knowledge hovers around marketing, internet marketing, real estate, we share all these common interest, where are you playing at, and those different today,

right. So I’m in more in the online marketing space. I help people that are doing, you know, somewhere between 500,000 to about 2 million in revenue, and they want to grow and scale the 10 million and they need the systems and the hiring practices and the marketing funnels and the lead generation strategies and the customer retention strategies and how you create an amazing customer experience and enroll that all into a product we call super funnel nice because it’s how you take a number of simple funnels and have them work together to become a process that your business starts to work without you in it as much, which is the whole goal of what we try and do

this is highly consultative I mean it’s got a nice name to it, but it’s not a product that you sign up for in any way.

No, you’re working with me and my team. Nice, nice, nice

as you learn the world of online marketing. We’ve had a handful of the people from that world on the podcast, that’s where I come from, as well. It’s always interesting to me because because it was a world that didn’t really exist 20 some years ago. So it’s always kind of funny to hear how people stumbled into it

stumbled into it because I lost everything and 07 08 09 kind of the bad real estate years for me it’d be too

so I had to sell everything I owned and oh eight and moved in with my wife my 13 year old step daughter and a newborn son and we moved into a room in my mom’s house in Salem Oregon I got the most amazing mom I mean she is like I got lucky with the level of mom I got so luckily I had a place to land after everything fell on its ass and my wife and I was she was a mortgage broker and I did I had a real estate company called the west of the five San Diego

yeah it’s a snobby reference

there’s no life east of the five exactly

what those people do except in Mission Hills

yeah for those listeners who don’t know our geography the studio and Nate’s house but if you’re

lights that we’re all doing lead gen for me I by the name of a major complex like think about condos and those complexes that have you know above 80 units and I went by the name of that complex and the city it was in so I can La Jolla this this big thing called see house I bought see house, La Jolla calm and I would set up a website to basically look like I was the property developer of that website. And people would call me, Hey, this is going on, Michael, I can’t help you with that. But would you like to know the value of your condo,

and then that would lead into a sale situation. So I was great at building those. And I realized, you know what, I’m better this online thing in terms of building websites. And I wasn’t doing real estate and I decided why don’t I get into that started building websites, started shooting video courses, and my wife and I, who she was deciding what she wanted to be. So I said, Okay, I’m gonna be an online marketer, and she wanted to be a chef, like, great, I’ll combine your chocolate with my peanut butter and make something delicious. So with no thought we created this monster of an online program called rockin body raw food. And I shot 116 videos, cooking videos, multiple cameras, multiple angles, we created all the cookbooks, all the PDFs, the membership site, the website, everything to go along with that maybe five and a half months of straight work. Yeah. And it falls on its face because it had no audience.

So then you said, How do you build an audience, right.

So I’m like, wow, that was a terrible decision. And I,

we came up with this concept after that called Minimum Viable program,

which the next time we launched a program, we’ve just put up a sales page and content and started driving traffic to the sales page to see if anyone actually wanted to buy it. And so now we’ve got this as what, 15 years later, we’ve got, you know, a number of decent strategies from when I started, I guess, building websites, and oh, five, when WordPress came out

to now we’ve figured a few things out. And it’s been a nice ride, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve failed a lot. And now we’re at a point where we can really help people get an actual result.

Yeah. And that really, maybe was a platform from which to grow the current business,

it was the platform from which to understand how to really put a new product into the market. And we call it MVP, minimum viable program. And that’s where you have the idea, and you just put the sales page up, if you write the sales page first for your product,

then you actually understand how to build the product, you understand what modules need to go in, you understand what modules to come out to us as bonuses, what you need to do to get joint ventures on board. And then you can just send traffic directly to that sales page, and just see how it converts. And if enough people buy in, you can then fulfill that program live week, you gotta hustle. Imagine, it’s like a six week program and you gotta build it live week over week, you can do that not everything has to be perfect when you’re doing a minimum viable program launch just to get it going. And then what we do is we then relaunch that same program two or three more times and do it live because of the feedback if you do it right. At the end of every program, we’ve got a process we call customer telepathy and the customer telepathy process, we’ve got a series of questions that we ask everyone is an exit interview, big spreadsheet, and we color code certain things in that spreadsheet to figure out what their pains or what they gained out of the program, what they would like to see different who else they’re learning from. And I could go on and on about this, this process. But when we do that two or three times launching the program live doing the customer telepathy process behind that, then by the time you launch it, your third or fourth time, you can literally launched it as an evergreen program. And it’s going to be good because of the feedback and the iterations you have as a result of going through those phases in a smart way. And so we’ll do this with clients all the time. If someone’s writing a new book will actually launch a program in a year, 18 months in advance of that book coming out, or even really being finished written. So we can get a program going, get some results, get some testimonials and case studies, get some ideas for what might need to be changed in terms of content, and then go through an iterative design process on that. So the book will be better. You could do that with a product. You do that with a webinar, you could do that with something physical, it’s good to go through an iterative process where it doesn’t have to be perfect right from the beginning, which is why I learned because I wanted everything to be perfect. Right from the beginning.

Yeah, you overbuilt and then people didn’t want that. So even if you took the time, you’d be reconstructing that entire thing based on your new model. And you’d be doing that. But what you do now is real time, I mean, you’re getting feedback. So that in the end, when you build the final product, it’s custom tailored to what the demand is, you have confidence,

you have absolute confidence, the products going to work because you’ve had feedback from actual The only thing that matters paying customers, I don’t care about surveys from leads, I care about customers and what customers have to say about their experience. That is, there’s where all the gold is, and really caring about their experience like really, truly being a good human and caring about their transformation while going through the product or not. And then making changes based upon that. So that you I mean, this all really depends on having a great product, right? Yeah, or being a great person. I mean, being a person of class, a person of character, a person of integrity, and then wanting to serve at a really high level, everything else can kind of take care of itself.

So you’ve applied this program you mentioned you could do it for a book. And it sounds like it’s something that you still use today for clients through super funnel. Other examples of industries or products that you’ve kind of use this and that could maybe illustrate the point even further, would you use it for glassware or something, e commerce, what have you used it for, as another example.

So imagine some guy you’d never met before, shows up your office with this on the go bar kit.

There we go. And he comes in, and he’s got like a drink he made. But the market didn’t have enough space to have an additional bottle or two, so we could have made you the next drink. He wanted to make you, but didn’t have enough space called the Vu Caray, which would really knock your socks off. But because it’s a four ingredient drink, and it’s all different bottles, I couldn’t bring that today. So what if he went through an iterative design process on getting a few customers with this smaller on the go par, and then got out to customers and ask them about their feedback. And I came back and said, Well, you know, I was on this awesome podcast with two super handsome dudes. And I want to make them a second drink. And I just didn’t have the space for that. So I’d like the option of having an upsell, slightly bigger on the go. cocktail box. And if enough people said that the worst thing is when customer service people in the comic customer service, my favorite people in the whole company, because they’re customer facing and they get so much good information. But occasionally they come to with their hair on fire saying, We’ve got this issue. We’ve got this issue this is going on. And I’m like, Well, how many people have had that issue? Oh, well, to over the course of the Oh, it’s been two people, but they scream really loud. So it sounded like an issue. I would wait until I had some sort of statistical significance. And I’ve heard that similar requests or that similar feature requests or that similar product issue enough times that I had some statistical significance to do something with feel about it.

All right, Dana. I will never forget Travis coming in here. I think we’ll probably talk about him in five years. Or like, member that dudes

that portable bar cart thing in a box that was looked like I thought I joke that it was plutonium. I didn’t know what it was. And he came in here by vicious and ready to have some fun. So it was cool to have his personality around. And of course, that thing that will never forget, I was a lot of fun. Yeah, so the story, the story, we’ve got a guy who was in the mortgage while he’s in the real estate industry, I guess his wife was a mortgage broker, we all kind of know what happened mid decade and the arts there to people in that world. But he rolls with it and decides, you know, maybe I’m better at making these websites I’ve been tinkering with on the side. And let’s see where that goes. And kind of cool to know that he was a guy who was playing with that he tells us some stories about in high school, and when he was younger programming on the Commodore 64, or whatever it was. So he’s got that ingrained in him. And he made a pivot, and it’s been successful. I like that. The story though, of him building the recipe business with his wife, and spending five months on the content and not putting it out there and leading him to this point, you can see that’s iterations, iterations and trying stuff where he’s got this thing called a minimum viable product. And there’s a lot of good tidbits, I think, for listeners in there about starting an idea and not going too far, not getting caught up in your head. It’s It’s similar to stuff that we talked about where it’s like, you need to just do something and get it out there and see what happens. Don’t don’t get paralyzed by analysis, not start and don’t go so far, and building something before you go out there and try to sell it.

Yeah, yeah, I mean, these are lessons that we talked about a lot in the courses that we’ve got, we talked about it as themes that kept coming up in the podcast. And, and what a great honest lesson because it’s a lesson and the sort of iterative process of all businesses and why we tell people, hey, just try something you might fail. Because if you fail, what’s the worst can happen? I mean, you just pick yourself up and do it again, here, you’ve got, of course, a big lesson and failure from Travis where you’re moving in with your mom. But even in that I think it’s a great example that what’s worse gonna happen, you move in with your mom, you restructure, you pivot and you’re back on your feet, and you’re doing it again Now, once he’s doing that he’s demonstrating and one of the lessons we’re constantly giving you entrepreneurs. And that is just don’t overbuild? Don’t don’t think your idea is so amazing that you should just take the entire thing all the way and produce five months worth of content full time when what he could have done was just put up almost a fake lander and just to see, what do people really want? you could you could have put surveys up, he could have put up instructional materials that he wrote that weren’t shot on video just to see the gauges Do people really want this before you build it. And turns out though, that failure gave him the formula that he’s turned into his marketing agency. Mm hmm.

And I like it because it kind of flips the script a little bit where it’s like, I don’t expect to be able to come up with something grand in my own head, I have to put some something out there. That’s just a notion and have people tell me what to build from there. He talks about building products live, you know, writing books based off feedback, 18 months in advance based off a sales page that you right, it’s kind of cool. And it’s advice that I think can kind of hit hard for some people where you’re like, if I was forced to do that, I might actually have to figure out if this idea is good or not. You know, I think some people take solace inadvertently, in like this. I’ve got this grand idea, and I’m just going to build it. I don’t have to put it out, right. I’m just saying you can’t do that. That’s foolish. And if you use his system, you’re much more likely to succeed. So you can’t be afraid of that.

Yeah, love that advice. Great advice for new entrepreneurs. Great advice for people that are stuck in a launch good advice for people that are still trying to build that perfect course. We tell people, hey, go build a course and put it on you to me. Well, you could spend years building the perfect course. And it might not sell any better than somebody else’s course. It’s just a bunch of slides.

Right? All right. Well, we got another cool opt out story coming with Travis from our conversation about digital nomad things. So let’s hear what happened in his experience doing that. Well, Travis, this podcast is called the opt out life. I’m going to assume that you’ve got some qualities that follow along with that ethos that mythology, mythology, methodology. It’s mythology, Dana, mythical novel about opting out when you hear that phrase, I guess I’d like to ask how do you think it relates to your life? Because I’m always curious how the other name resonates with people who I know have some of the qualities that we’ve highlighted as opt out

I have opted out opted back in and I opted out again, off the back end for just a little while, which is not a bad thing when you want to purchase a house opting in for about eight months. So they don’t ask for income verification. Not about didn’t OPT right back out again,

right. That’s pretty opt out. So you’re just working the system with what you pretend when you opt in, right?

But in general, you’re an opt out guy, I am

a full opt out. We really opted out about four months ago when we attempted to do that digital nomad lifestyle.

Oh, yes, I remember you tell me a little bit about this phone the story. Yeah, let’s hear that digital nomad story. Because it’s certainly it runs parallel to a lot of the opt out life stuff. We’ve had some digital nomadic people on

how to go for you. Some of my just beautiful friends live a very nomadic lifestyle and have been for years. And it’s wonderful to see the Instagram lifestyle.

So we’re like, hey, let’s try it out. So we took off two months in the middle of the school year. And I have a nine year old boy. And we said, we’ll meet our friends who’ve been doing this because we want to go with pros. I think it’s always a good idea to model people who have been doing it the right way. So they rented this villa. And I mean, in Thailand, you can get a really nice villa. So they enter into this amazing villa in an island called co penguin in Thailand. And we went and we spent six and a half weeks Justin that Villa and then we bounced around a little bit, and it was really interesting to experience that lifestyle. Now they wouldn’t let me bring my Weber barbecue on the plane

didn’t bring my dog to Thailand. And none of my awesome friends were in Thailand. And have you guys ever homeschooled before

I have no Yes,

I’m terrible homeschoolers.

Yeah, my wife homeschooled for two years. So I did a little of the tutoring in the evening. But I can’t say when you say, Have you ever took the response.

Remember, we’re traveling and working right. But you’re homeschooling. And that takes three, four hours a day, I was like, I am a terrible homeschoolers. Like there’s a really nice pool right here in a great view. So Hmm. Should we do algebra? Or should we jump in the pool

right now? It’s tough to say,

yeah. So here’s the thing. I thought it was a great lifestyle. I don’t want to do it with young kids. Because the kids might, my son was hanging out with the adults for over two months. Not very much fun there. So I can see it. If you don’t have kids, or if you have multiple kids,

it could work. But for me, I like my friends and my community. And when I travel, I think I just like to travel for travel sake, not travel and figure out what days I’m going to attempt at being productive.

And it’s cool because you just recently learn that and you had the travel bug and enough to want to try it. And I think it’s cool that you went out and did that because a lot of people and this could go along with some opt out themes, my always dream that they want that to a nomad life, and never give it a go. So I think well done for figuring this all out.

You know why, if you have something that you are excited to try, there is always a way to make something like that work, we met people that had very little budget and found a way to make that work while on the road. I mean, there is such a lifestyle that can be created, whether you’re doing some sort of freelance work on any of the freelance sites out there, and you just can literally find a way to test that out and make it work. All the South East Asian countries are really inexpensive to travel and live in for X number of however long you want to be there. And so if it’s something you’re thinking about, like, go for it, there’s always ways to get on up work or some of those other sites that you can make a living from.

And there’s a lot of community around this too. We’ve heard from a few other guests so I was always envisioning someone rogue sitting off on their huts and Thailand or whatever but he’s like no, I was at a co working space with 25 other digital yes co working spaces are parties and rad is there’s a lot to plug into which is nice to know if you’re thinking about doing that so what did you have to do logistically though to even try doing this you’re Weber grill you had to just leave it at home and put a tarp over it I mean a so sad yeah but you were able to like do this decided wasn’t for you and come back some people would be kind of curious is like what did you do with like the logistics at home before you made the trip and then you’re able to come back still like did you have someone living in your house that you were running it out to or what it’s called

the negotiation with the wife syndrome okay so I was like yeah we could rent our place out and I’m doing all the math I’m very practical I’m very pragmatic I had the math figured out for the unit in unit a of our condo complex rented out and they rented out for about this much and they rented about this many days a month and I know that we could do about the same and the we would pay for our entire trip by renting out anyhow, she wanted the bathroom remodel. And she won

the numbers work do you could have Airbnb property, and it would have more than paid for itself and probably thrown off some money to pay for your adventure.

Exactly. And when you think about it, we lived through a remodel last time and you talk about like making mistakes and has an entrepreneurial you try not to make that same mistake twice. So she was like we are not living through another remodel. And so we had the contractor start, and then when we got home, he still wasn’t finished,

made the trip longer.

Hey, let’s cut in here and talk a little bit about this digital nomad thing. I love digital nomads. I love the philosophy. I love what I experienced by being one and living in Bali. I loved what I saw when I would go to these co working spaces in cafes and just see this vibrance it’s created that just full of entrepreneurial zeal and ambition. And because it’s popular I think there’s this sort of site Geist out there that it’s a fantasy so many people have, they want to do that. And I’ve had people say to me, like I want to when I describe what I didn’t want to go, they don’t hear anything else. I say then I hear me talk about the mosquitoes or how dirty you are on the roads when you’re riding around on a bike just get groceries and so pretty cool to hear the gritty honesty of someone that that always had that fantasy and then realize that they they miss their friends they like their Weber they miss their dog and all of the things that make home home. And so I thought what do you maybe there’s a little bit of permission here for our OPT outers to feel like it’s okay to opt out at home and maybe take trips that are shorter and you don’t need to do that big digital nomad thing if it’s really not right for you.

Yeah, I like that part of it. It’s cool to get someone to say it’s not for everyone, even though he checks off a lot of other opt out boxes. So I like getting that story. He gives us some practical tips on how you can actually pull this off and makes it seem like more realistic for folks as well. So I love that he was able to just kind of do this they end up renovating as bathroom. But we talked about, you know, you could have rented your place out and he says he wanted to. And the math would have worked out nicely. And it’s okay that he went out and tried this and came back. So I love every aspect of like, this is something that you can do. You can try. You don’t have to rip your life apart to do it necessarily. And if it’s not for you, you can come on back home and have a refurbished bathroom. Yeah,

whatever. Totally location independence is still awesome. And you know, I remember when we bought her one way ticket, we sort of said like, what’s the worst case we just come back or will go someplace just a little more developed. I mean, you know, when you’re going location independent, you still have those choices. But it’s one of those things, it’s cool to hear both sides of the coin.

Are you part of any mastermind groups, networking groups, bring it back down to even someone who’s just starting out, we encourage people a lot to go out to meetups, if they’re into something like we’re trying to encourage people to go have a conversation to create a relationship or to learn something that’s going to like shape their idea in a different way. Because you can’t build these ideas in a bubble. My know we run in some of the same circles where a lot of these people kind of interact and stuff like do you do that? How has it been invaluable for you professionally and some of the things that you’ve been building

is such a great question. And it’s one I want to put a lot of gravity and weight on because I think it is absolutely essential much like me, right now. I’m with two very bright guys. And I think it’s important to be the dumbest guy in the room. And today I have achieved that

you do not want to surround yourself with people who you have influence over. You want to surround yourself with people you have respect for. So when I’m talking about masterminds when we’re talking about groups of peers, it’s important to find

or aspire to be in a group of people you respect and have respect for rather than have influence over

so I have always been a fan of masterminds and there’s masterminds and there’s not masterminds right not masterminds are the

hundred and 50 people groups they’re calling a mastermind you’re paying to be in but it’s like that’s honestly called a live event that you are attending of which they’ve named a mastermind mastermind is 12 people or less getting together on a regular basis sharing openly and vulnerable to where the concept is when two or more minds come together. A third mind is created and that’s something I implore you to create for yourself. So I do a monthly dinner party we call cross industry insights where it’s a table for 12 and so it’s my wife and I and we invite people of interest

from all industries and we share what’s working for us what challenges we’re having a call on the power of the mastermind to get the support we need emotionally professionally whatever the masterminds a very powerful thing. So I I think that if you’re entrepreneur and you would like to have more influence, start your own dinner group meet once a month on a regular day of that month, get interesting people together, whether it’s the same group of people, which I’m in a group that, wow, I played chess, not checkers to get in this group. It is a group of 13 guys, you have to be voted into this group. It’s a very exclusive and you can only get a spot if someone leaves. So remember the friend I told you. That was the digital nomad? Yeah, he left to become a digital nomad. Oh my god, there’s one spot in this San Diego mastermind of legends. Not gonna say who’s in the group, but they are legends of the online marketing world. And I so wanted to be in this group. I was I was outside the group I was outside the circle of trust, but I really wanted to be in it. And so my buddy Dan Martell is a phenomenal guy in the app space, amazing founder, CEO, brilliant guy. He was coming to San Diego and he does these great dinner parties for founders. He says, Hey, I’m committed to Diego, what do you say you and I do founders dinner party together and like Hell, yeah, I know, just the night we should throw it on. Turned out as the same night, that group I wanted to be in met, and we decided to create the ultimate dinner party. He brought people from the venture capital world, I brought the top people from digital marketing. What’s great about the people in venture capital is they are great at exiting. And they’re terrible at producing revenue. The people from internet marketing are phenomenal at producing revenue, but they can exit worth shit. And so he brought eight people and I brought eight people. And we held it at this amazing place at Rancho Valencia in the Wind Cave. And it was like this event not to be missed. And I invited all the guys from the group that I wanted to be in, not sure if any one of them would come because they had their meeting that night. Total risk, total gamble. It’s kind of entrepreneurs, we’re kind of always rolling the dice, right? Taking some chances. I took a chance on this, because if the guys I invited didn’t show up, I would have looked terrible to that group. But it turns out enough guys wanted to come from that event to mine that they canceled their meeting came to this one. And I was seen as a person of influence. And two months later gotten to that group.

It’s great store.

That’s cool. So there’s groups out there that exists like this. And whether you’re going to meetup groups, whether you go into those big ass masterminds, and you pay $30,000 to be involved with whether you create your own mastermind, whether you have some sort of a dinner party, or whether the way I started my mastermind, when I very first started one, which is reading Think and Grow Rich, you have to read thinking Grow Rich, or you have to at least read the chapter from thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill on how to run a mastermind. read that and then get four or five, six of your friends together and follow that model.

Yeah, we had a similar start to our group that we’ve ran for nine or 10 years here was a dinner of 12. Yeah, not on purpose, casual, good group of people that we brought together, and then we get into something bigger and bigger. But I only bring that up because I’m curious as to the format you mentioned, bring these people together and talking about your challenges and being vulnerable? Do you guys have a set format where everyone gets to speak? Or is it more casual, where it’s like, just bring good people together and have good conversation, and we’ll see where it goes, Okay, I’m gonna give you my little secret formula here.

So we get everyone together. And we say, you need to be there at a certain time. Generally, 630 meeting starts at seven. We don’t tell it starts at seven, we tell them it starts at 630, why

people are late.

Yeah, so 637 is kind of like cocktail networking, hanging out, whatever, whatever. And then the meeting starts at seven, the dinner starts at seven. And I’ve got this ceremony called the ceremony of contribution, because you want to get people out of their head and dropping into their heart. And it’s tough when you’ve been at work all day. And we’re business owners to be able to get to a place of real service or contribution. And so I created this ceremony to get people from a place of asking, What can I get? What can I get? What can I get? How can I get business? Who who can get money from How can I get business to a place of how can I serve, how can I be value first. And so the first thing we do is I bring in a magnum of move, put it right on the table makes an impression, when you bring in a bottle of Oof, put it on the table. And this works great for people that aren’t connected already. If you’re meeting with the same people, every time, you can do this with just words, I find when they’re new people, you want to do this in a way that makes an impression, right, memorable. So you put the big ass bottle of Uber on the table, and then you stand up and everyone else’s sitting down, and you stand up, you start to give this speech, which is the speech of giving value first, and what it means to be a person of giving value first. And the way you do that is you fill the glass of the person next to you. Cork, pops a hand the champagne to just anyone and say your job is to fill the glass of the person next to him. Let’s go around the entire table until all glasses are full. And then you tie that back into the intention of the meeting. Your goal at this meeting, your one goal is to fill the glass of as many people as possible at this meeting. And we want people to get in that place of giving. Because there’s where the real nuggets come from. There’s something that’s working really well in your business, share that with the group, be a cooperative capitalist, and share that information and then be vulnerable, which is like, here’s something that’s not working here somewhere. I’m completely and utterly having an issue and failing around, and that calling on the power of the mastermind was really helpful. And then an ask, do I have some sort of an ask, I want to put out there, I’m looking for this, I’m in need of this. Can anyone help me solve this, and people are very generous and giving that out.

So the benefit for you and doing this has been personal relationships, insights into your business that you couldn’t have come up with by yourself, and also being seen as a connector, right. And that’s highly valuable as we found as well,

we fed them.

Yeah, we said, we fed them

put it in a pretty place which helped to those are my favorite events, I’m just going to be flat out. That’s what I wanted to go to more of our curated events from people who have interesting networks of people and not above 200, people, like less than 100 would be ideal, less than 50 would be even better. So you have a real chance to get to know people and have a real relationship over a day or two. Yeah, so how you guys that I was literally bummed I couldn’t come to that, because that’s my favorite kind of group. If you can be the person that’s putting that together. Good things come from that.

Yes. And we were just replicating the event that we met at 10 years ago, actually, which was very similar and theme and were so many of the other people that were panelists at that had met too, so it’s a model that has proven itself many, many times over for sure. Dana Travis? He’s a master networker I guess you would say and not and maybe the sense that other people are but I think I love the stuff he says about how he he’s like I really want to answer this purposefully when I asked him about the value of masterminding and network and you can tell it’s made a big difference for him professionally surrounding himself with people that he respects I think his quote is surround yourself with people you respect, not just people you have influence over. And I think that’s a great recipe for success. If you want to grow as a person, not just grow your income, but have interesting relationships and then be challenged and be around people that excites you. And I think, you know, we’ve done that prior with our so Kelly group. And I think we’re doing that a bit with opt out life. So that made me feel good to think about the parallels. But I hope everyone paid attention to what he was saying about not only the value of doing this stuff, but how he’s pulled it off. He’s purposefully gone out there and found people to invite to his dinners, and how he’s purposely gone out there and said, I want to join that group and found a way in. That’s pretty cool.

Yeah, I think is a great example of someone who’s looking to network and off the radar a little bit too. And that’s the thing a lot of people think, is like, how do you network, and then they look for these groups. And then you go to these groups, and it’s so structured, it feels awkward and constrained. And where I was making fun of them for having badges or whatever. But how about these groups that don’t really have a name, they’re just the informal groups that have clustered together, you and I go to one that doesn’t really have a name, it’s just sort of a group and the people know, and we buy dinner and invite those people over. And so if you want in that group, you kind of have to figure out a way to get in that group and show that you’re going to bring something to the table in that little informal network. So I’d encourage people to look for those informal networks. And I think it’s probably one of the about time for us to start encouraging people to start little opt out networks in their community as well a little meetups around the opt out themes where people can meet other op doubters and come together under the things that we keep talking about. That seemed to be good for people business, personal life travel, alternative ways to do things. Why not alternative networking?

Yeah, I think we just need to come up with the pledge for them to recite, no, there’ll be official, right. That’s right. pledge allegiance, like opt out.

Flag. email us your proposal.

Yeah, we will. Once we figure that out, then we can have people doing it all around actually that blog. Wait, but why has that it’s really popular blog. And they’ll have like days, I think, where they all host them all at the same time. And they get all big on social and everyone’s sharing. And they also have ongoing groups. So that would definitely fit the opt out theme. If you start one will get you an opt out had or t shirt or something. Like try to figure this program out? We’re workshopping this year in the studio but but yeah, very good points made by Dana to give color to what Travis His story is and I think the last point to make is he’s a connector right there’s value if you can’t figure out how to break in to a group or you can even necessarily figure out what your value is yet be the one that brings everybody together everyone value us I mean it’s not that are we do it yeah and it’s like you get a place for people to meet you send an email to people come out that difficult but you’re seen as a connector you’re seen as a person of influence and and there’s a certain amount of graciousness given to that to like the, the people that put on the dinner that that we go to that we don’t organize, it’s always like when the person who’s putting on that dinner is speaking. I think they’re kind of given the floor a bit more because they’ve gone through the pain and you’re like you thank them for putting that together. So be that person. Any cool travel stories? Any funny ones from that digital nomad attempt or any other Syrian rebels?

Give us one? Give us one. Oh, you guys are gonna have

you got Okay, we’re gonna go a little are rated here. All right. Okay. So there is a community on Facebook on this island. So it was called the companion conscious community. Are you guys aware of conscious communities know

well. Okay, so it’s a general catch all for new agey people, new agey, people like free love stuff. Well, that’s the thing it’s been it would include include the yoga people, but you’ll find the polyamory community usually playing around the conscious

community. You know, it’s there is a lot of poly, there is some, it’s a choice, you need to opt into that choice,

opt out of clothes, if you know absolutely no ecstatic

dancing, yoga body work a lot of those kinds of things. Well, so I think the population of opinion is about 12 to 15,000 people. The conscious community on Facebook for coming in is like 40,000,

right? And so there was these two communities. I was like, I want to find out what’s going on in this little tiny island. Now, I’m going to also say this. This is the island where the full moon rave happens.

That’s right. For the full moon Ray, if you ever do

20 years ago, yes. Now, no, we were there for two full moon parties. I didn’t make it to one not my thing.

So that’s the south east part of the islands. The north west part of the island is where all the conscious community is. And it’s awesome. And I joined two communities. I joined one called the unconscious community, which kind of clowns little bit on the conscious media. And I also joined the conscious community,

they let you into both, I mean,

you believe that


and I like both communities, right? I’d like to segue a little I want a little bit of purple and we will and I want to go like not where we’re at all.

So Gen X.

So we go to some would go to some little conscious community things. And then I would be at a Bitcoin meetup.

And you see people at similar one. So let’s see people it’s called riding the edge, just riding the edge. So normally the conscious community was all peace and love and gratitude and happiness until one day some shit went down. The conscious community got angry, cut, upset, cut pissed off, got like some hate going on in the conscious community. Okay, so this has got to go on the show notes now. I guess you’re welcome. You’re welcome. This is going in the show notes. A guy came to the island called Are you ready for this shaft

rice, not the chef. Just shaft chef.

And he shows up to the islands. And he posts this one image that I’m sure if we go look it up. It is still on there. If you go back to the April May thread you will find this. Okay. And it’s shaft and there’s this picture. And he’s this skinny indian guy with kind of the creepy you know, the creepy mustache is kind of thin, and kind of has comes out to the sides. And this twisted and waxed and all of that he’s skinny Indian, fairly good looking guy thin, maybe 5758 so you know, kind of small, thin, svelte and he’s got this full on gold crazy outfit. And in big, bold letters on top of this image. It says I am a sacred sexual jet.

I was like, This is interesting. And of course, what’s the first thing I think, gosh, I wonder what this guy’s business model is?

Yeah, right. monetize. So

I start to look into everyone else’s. So people in the conscious community are getting angry and posting some pretty terrible things. And some people are like, Oh, it’s about love and choice. And this and other people were being like flaming him in the conscious community of all places. That is not supposed to happen. And so his business model this is this is just where it gets good. So he does this thing called double the Yoni massage.

We know what your needs are we have a stuffed

Yoni over there are my Lord. There’s a stuff do any with those two of them.

We could do w show. Yeah.

So his thing is, he charges 800 euros per girl,

and you do it together. And he charges $800 per girl for a double Yoni massage session. Now, I did not get to experience of that. But there was lots of pictures of people who he had cancer him into very beautiful women. So I’m saying if you’re looking for a new business model,

he has a video on vice that has over 20 million views, because he’s starting up this thing called the unicorn movement, which is he went to Burning Man A number of years ago and realized that he self identified more as a unicorn then as a man

and so he came back from Burning Man identifying as a unicorn and created this thing called the unicorn movement in London and so it’s very polyamorous I think they’re taking you know, maybe a little bit he here and there and having these huge rave parties so in case you guys don’t have anything to do this weekend, you might want to head the London

morning movement. Well, I’m intrigued enough that I’m gonna try to join the cope and say you’re

at least waste like oh

no, no,

no, no good retargeting. Now

we at least have to watch the vice video is literally hilarious. But it was just this one time that it was very out of character to see a community who’s normally very, like, open and accepting, having some real shit go down. And the island was in an uproar for a few days.

Yes, it sounds Well, that is not your run of the mill travel story.

And then I we were gonna, we were literally going to go see his talk at one of the yoga centers. And that day we were on Have you seen the movie the beach? Yeah, of course. We took this little tiny little boats. There’s been a kind of boats half an hour out to this secluded private beach, where some of the conscious committee was having a kind of an awesome dance party, and we were playing frisbee in the I’m in this gorgeous bath water. That turquoise, blue water. You can see all the way to the bottom, the most gorgeous day right before sunset on this small secluded little horseshoe style beach. I mean, epic. The day is perfect. We had this most amazing meal at this place called bamboo hut and we’re playing frisbee in the ocean. And my friend throws the Frisbee. It’s a little bit off center, maybe about five feet away. But because I catch every frisbee, I turn, pivot jump out of the water and completely tear my Achilles tendon.

Oh, no. A

that’s a miserable thing to do. On a remote i that is off from another remote island, which is hours from

Yeah, a 17 hour one way trip to the hospital fairies. ambulances cars do it just long ways away because the little island didn’t have an MRI. So you had to go to the mainland and just getting there was it or deal. Oh, man. So the lesson from this is by travel insurance. I didn’t buy travel terms until a day before, because a friend of mine just happened to suggest it. Great idea. If you’re gone for that much time. It was so cheap to get travel insurance. And it would have been so crazy expensive. Had I not?

Yeah, Australian friend of mine just said. I’m surprised that you stupid Americans think nothing bad’s gonna happen to all these by travel insurance was a couple hundred bucks. Oh my

gosh. Except for the one next to me in the ER. I get taken to the ER and they put me in the bed next to an Ozzy that had a bone sticking out through his arm, like a lot out of his arm. Like I could see the actual bone. And he is screaming in pain, negotiating with God and the doctors to give them pain medicine, but because he didn’t have the travel insurance, and he didn’t have insurance, they weren’t giving him pain medicine.

Oh, really?

That’s called any cards. Yeah.

Put that on the checkout page.

More things for the show notes.

Exactly. Exactly. Well, some good travel stories. Like I said, definitely not run the mill and sounds like we could have many more stories and you will be invited back with your portable bar card. Every Friday

will have a special episode will actually start a new podcast for habits.

Yeah, yes. That’s what it’s about. Come in. make an impression. Do something different. When you’re gonna come into a new environment with people you don’t know. Find a way to be remembered. And interesting. whole mission accomplished. Thank you for coming down to drink. You guys. Thank you so much.

If you like what Dana and I are doing these stories of cool people sprinkled with our insights are valuable to you. Do me a favor. Wherever you get your podcasts, go and click the subscribe button right now. Our goal is to spread these stories to as many people as possible and change lives. Let’s do that. We need subscribers. Hopefully, we’ve helped you to start to see things differently. And there’s more to come after you subscribe to the podcast. Go over to, get on our email list and join the opt out life movement. Being on that list will get you early access to our course which is called the opt out life blueprint as well as our tribe membership and upcoming events hosted by the opt out life. I promise you. I am sitting watching my inbox right now waiting for you to sign up. So come say hi.

Our Guest

Name Travis Houston
Instagram travishouston

Key Points


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