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July 15, 2023
Kevin Palmieri

How to Live a Fulfilled Life?

How to Live a Fulfilled Life?

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Show Notes

Mudassir (00:00.686)
All right. Okay, so I think we should be good to go. Let me do that.

Hey Kevin, welcome to the show man, how are you doing?

Kevin Palmieri (00:08.788)
I am living the dream my friend, grateful to be here, thank you for the time, I’m excited to chat.

Mudassir (00:14.13)
Absolutely, no. Thank you so much for the time and this, you know, jumping on the call. So really appreciate that and I hope this is going to be a fun conversation for all our listeners and for us as well. So, um…

Kevin Palmieri (00:22.92)
We’re gonna find out, Moodisir. We’re gonna find out in the very near future.

Mudassir (00:25.778)
Absolutely. Yeah, hopefully. So usually I begin with talking to somebody about like, you know, what exactly is the context of their life, who they were, like what was the journey. So I wanna start us off with earliest context of your life, like who you were, who the Kevin is today, what’s the earliest memory that you have of yourself, you know, what happened along the way, and whoever you are today, like what exactly happened and how did you become whoever you are?

Kevin Palmieri (00:54.716)
Yeah, so today I am a podcaster who does seven episodes a week. We have 1355 episodes as of today, and that’s pretty much what I what I do for a living. I’m a professional podcaster entrepreneur. So that’s who I am today. The earliest memory I have, my goodness. I would say probably elementary school. That’s probably the earliest memory I have. It was me going to school. I used to live right across the street from my school. So.

my family would walk me over. And I remember, yeah, I remember that. That was the earliest memory. But for me, it’s interesting because I knew pretty early in life that I didn’t wanna take the path that I saw everybody else taking, right? So my childhood was normal. I was raised by my mom and my grandmother. And again, normal is contextual, right? I didn’t know my dad. I didn’t meet my dad until I was 27. Played sports.

I was a really good baseball player. I’d ride my bike with my friends. We’d play in the woods. We’d paint ball. We’d do all that stuff. I had all things considered. I think I had a fairly normal childhood. When things really started to kind of go off the path was after high school, because I knew I didn’t want to go to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wanted to fight professionally. I had some ideas, but I really didn’t know what my future was gonna look like, but I knew I didn’t want to go to college. So…

All my friends went off to college and I went to the local gas station and I started pumping gas. And that was my first real job. And then I had a bunch of odd jobs in between that. I eventually got this job in an industry called weatherization, where we would go into schools and large buildings and make them more energy efficient. Since I worked on state and government contracts, I was making anywhere from 60 to $120 an hour. So I was like, this is it. I made it. This is the job I’m gonna do forever.

good thing I didn’t go to college, I’m crushing it. And then I ended up sitting on the edge of a bed contemplating suicide when I was 26. Because I was so miserable. I had worked so much on looking successful that I didn’t really understand what being successful internally was. I ended up leaving my job and then going all in into what we’re doing today. So that’s kind of the, I’m sure we’ll dig in, but that’s the 30,000 foot view of the last 33 years of my life.

Mudassir (03:19.166)
Yeah, let’s start with not going to the college. Why did you decide, like, I’m not going to go to the college? What exactly happened there?

Kevin Palmieri (03:27.692)
Nobody in my family had gone. So it was almost easier for me not to go because I didn’t have a lot of that external pressure of go get a college education and be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or whatever. I didn’t have any of that external pressure. So for me, it wasn’t even a thought. I had no interest in it. I had no interest in doing what everybody else was doing because I knew a lot of people were going because they were being forced to go, not because they wanted to.

And in my mind, I wasn’t gonna work at one of these corporate jobs. That was never, never something I intended on doing. I knew if I wanted to be, because I was into fitness, I knew if I wanna be a personal trainer, you don’t have to go to college for that. And there’s different things you can do. I wanted to fight professionally. My goal was to be in the UFC. So whatever, I don’t need to go to school for that. Let me just train and lift weights and that. So yeah, part of it.

I think I was a little reckless, honestly. I think I was a little reckless and a little short-sighted because what happened after that is I left almost every job I ever had without having another job. So I pretty much quit all of my jobs when I got sick of them and just, I just went and found something else. So I would say two things. One, it didn’t even really seem like a possibility. And two, there was no pressure for me to do it. So it just made it easy for me to move on with my life.

Mudassir (04:54.546)
Yeah, you mentioned you quit a couple of times. So you think that’s a good thing or that’s a bad thing? Because a lot of the listeners that I have, the audience that we have is, so there’s like two groups of people. So one is most of the people are doing corporate jobs. They’re happy with it. They’re like, you know, again, success is subjective, but they think they’re successful, so that is one. The other one is people who are just like sick of it.

Kevin Palmieri (05:02.928)

Mudassir (05:22.434)
sick of the corporate world, so they ended up starting their own startups, doing something presumably with their love, again, subjective. And in their mind, the word quit is like, oh, no, you can’t be a quitter. So what do you think about that?

Kevin Palmieri (05:37.942)
I have never quit tattooed on my arm, so I think quitting stuff that isn’t aligned is the best thing you can do. Because if it’s not aligned and it’s not what’s best for you, here’s the thing. I think for a long time it was noble to just go to a job that you hated to provide for your family, to get ahead in life, to keep the benefits, whatever it may be. And I do think that is a noble pursuit. But

there has to be a better way, right? I don’t want people to put alignment and fulfillment behind everything else. So I would say if your current situation, your current employment, your current job, your current career isn’t fulfilling, it’s worth having a conversation with yourself about what is more fulfilling. So yeah, coming from the guy who has never quit tattooed on his arm and my handle on Instagram is never quit kid.

I have quit many jobs that didn’t serve me. For me, the quit part is, don’t quit something you’re gonna regret quitting. I never regretted quitting any of my jobs. But I would regret if I quit this podcast thing when it got hard or I quit my marriage when it got hard or whatever it is. I think you stick it out for the stuff that is really important and really valuable and really fulfilling, and you kind of get rid of the stuff that isn’t what’s best for you. Because at the end of the day, nobody else is gonna do that for you and really…

You do know what’s best for you, probably.

Mudassir (07:04.758)
how do you know what to quit for and what not to quit for? Like marriage is one. Obviously you’re like, no, there are good days, very, very good days. There are really low days. And sometimes you love each other, sometimes you kind of hate each other. It’s exactly the same with the startup thing, right? You’re loving whatever you’re building. All of a sudden it’s just like the horrible thing that I’m building and the next thing. So how do you know that this thing is worth keeping for and this thing is worth letting go?

Kevin Palmieri (07:31.236)
I try to reverse engineer regret. What will I regret? If you’re doing a startup or anything, if you’re trying to do your own business, there’s a reason for it. And most likely, it’s not money. It’s not money most likely, because there’s no money in the beginning, and we all kind of know that. When you start your own business, there’s no money in the beginning. I think of it from a core belief, a core value, and a core aspiration. What are my core beliefs? My core beliefs are self-improvement can change the world. Interesting.

I’m in the self-improvement space and probably pretty aligned. My core value is hard work, consistency, and humility. I’m doing that every day, okay, that’s aligned. And my core aspiration, and I think this is really where it sits, I want to have the most successful self-improvement company on the planet. That’s my aspiration. Will that ever happen? Don’t know. I don’t know. But it’s not about that, it’s about the journey. So I would say if you can sit down and reverse engineer regret and say, okay, am I trying to make an emotional decision

from a place of struggle? Am I making a logical decision based on data? Is this what’s gonna be best for me? Am I just trying to get rid of the pain and am I gonna regret this eventually? I try more now than ever, Muddiceer, to optimize for fulfillment. For fulfillment. Not happiness, not pleasure in the moment. What will I be most grateful I kept doing? Not what am I gonna be happiest doing necessarily?

Mudassir (09:00.866)
Got it. How do you define fulfillment? Like what’s your version of fulfillment?

Kevin Palmieri (09:03.896)
I would… Yeah, yeah, being on a mission. Based in purpose, that…

Kevin Palmieri (09:16.324)
also brings growth and contribution, is what I would say. Fulfillment for me is, I’m on purpose and I get to do what I love every single day. I will never accomplish our goals. I’m not gonna get a trophy that says you’re the best self-improvement podcast on the planet ever of all time, most likely. That probably won’t happen. But the person that I must become in order to even take this journey is fulfilling. It’s, yeah, knowing that what I’m doing is way greater than myself.

Mudassir (09:20.513)

Kevin Palmieri (09:45.508)
and being grateful that I’m on the journey versus happiness I think is momentary. Right? I just bought a new car recently. I feel happy. I get happy when I see the car and I get in it. It does not fulfill me. Fulfillment is internal. Happiness is external results.

Mudassir (10:02.858)
Yeah, exactly. And I believe a lot of people don’t know the difference between them. So a lot of people, they think that, you know, so I’m from the world of startups, okay, so this is most of the data that I have to talk to you about is from that particular word. So a lot of the time what happens is, and that is like a couple years ago. So you have a cool idea, launch a product, you don’t know like whatever you’re doing, and then you raise a shitload of money.

And then you kind of spend that money doing, I don’t know, parties, yacht parties, or like whatever, going to Ibiza or whatever. So you did that. And then all of a sudden you kind of feel like, oh, okay, so I’m sitting on the top. I’m sitting on the top of the mountain. Like this is it, man. And then that moment doesn’t last. But a lot of people think that, oh yeah, okay, I was happy. And they don’t know this entire definition of fulfillment. One very interesting thing on that.

I know a lot of startup founders or people who actually start their own business, one year down the road, two years down the road, they start to hate that, right? But they’re still doing it because maybe now they’re making money or whatever, so now they’re attached to the numbers, they’re attached to the monetary gain, rewards, whatever you want to call that, but they just don’t have enough courage or whatever you want to call that to just quit, right? Because…

because the fear is just like so big. It’s like, no, I cannot do that. So people would be like, I’m more than happy to spend a shitty life doing whatever I’m doing, but I’m not going to, you know what, I’m not going to sacrifice all these few things just to have a fulfilling life, right? What do you think about that?

Kevin Palmieri (11:41.228)
Mm. Yeah. Yeah.

Mudassir (11:45.078)
And I think that’s reality.

Kevin Palmieri (11:46.856)
I understand why. Honestly, I understand why because in the short run, because it sucks in the short run. You get very few of your external needs met. So I went from making the $100,000, the most I had ever made, to going $30,000 in debt to start this. We have no investors, there was no startup money. This is like ground up. I put my credit card on the table and said, we are gonna sink or swim.

Mudassir (11:50.968)
Why do you think so?

Mudassir (11:54.935)

Kevin Palmieri (12:15.896)
and this is gonna work or it’s not. But in the beginning, here’s the interesting thing. If you start something for money, if you’re not making any money, you’re gonna hate it. If you start something for impact, you can have impact almost immediately. Then if you get paid to have impact, it is a very, very sustainable lifestyle. I think that happens with a lot of us where we start something from a place of profit and we convince ourselves we’re passionate about it. I started this out of a place of passion.

I had no idea you could even make money. I didn’t start this for money. If I was gonna start something for money, it wouldn’t have been a podcast, it would have been something else. Then we were able to make it profitable. Now I’m unreasonably fulfilled because I get to do what I love to do every single day and it’s sustainable. I’m not worried about the light shutting off anymore. That was the hardest part. So I think of it from this aspect. A lot of people jump into a pool and that’s a startup, that’s a business, whatever it is.

and they tread water until they can get out of the pool. I jumped in the pool and I loved the water so much that I had to figure out a way to swim. And now I know how to swim and I get to do this every single day. So I understand though, I mean, fulfillment is a challenging thing to grasp because on the day to day, things are hard. My life is the most challenging it has ever been by far, but I’m the most fulfilled. And I don’t think those…

are coincidental connections, I really don’t. Am I happy? Yes, I love that I get to do what I do every day, but when I looked at my calendar today and I saw I had like 10 calls back to back, I wasn’t happy. I was like scared. Like this is gonna be a heavy, heavy day. My father-in-law is coming over for dinner, we’re gonna grill. I was up early at the gym. It’s not necessarily a happy day, but when I get to the end of the day and I sit on the couch, say, wow, I had a really good day.

I had a really productive day. I impacted a lot of people. I had a really fulfilling day. That’s the measure.

Mudassir (14:20.554)
Yeah, so you have a very good perspective of life, so to speak. Like you seem like a dude who has it figured out. Maybe today, maybe 10 years ago, but you have it figured out. Like, okay, this is what I’m gonna do. That’s my priorities. That’s how I’m gonna do it. This is the way that I’m gonna live. But what exactly happened when you have all those suicidal thoughts? And like, what happened there? Like, what was the lowest point in your life that you were like?

Man, I just don’t want to live anymore.

Kevin Palmieri (14:51.452)
Yeah, so what had happened was I set a goal to make as much money as humanly possible. I grinded my face off and spent 10 months living on the road because all of our contracts were out of state. So I lived in hotels pretty much every single week for 10 months. Got to the end of the year, I opened my final pay stub, I made $100,000, awesome. Then I realized that for most of my life, especially that year, I had lived unconsciously.

I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing. I was just kind of floating through life. The opposite of unconscious is hyperconscious. I started a podcast in 2017 called the Hyperconscious Podcast. That’s where all this started. I fell in love with podcasting immediately upon falling out of love with my job. I knew that I wasn’t willing to do what it took to make another $100,000. I’m done. I’m not interested. I’m over this. I don’t want to do this anymore.

So I start calling out of work, I start leaving the job site early, I start showing up late, I am not the model employee that I once was, but here I am with a podcast that is not profitable and I have no idea, no strategy, so I have to keep going to this job that I hate. So I’m living in hotels and I’m getting depressed and I’m eating junk and I’m staying up for days on end because that’s what this job requires at times and I just wasn’t taking care of myself. So…

My mental health kept getting worse and worse and worse. And I had those thoughts of, if I leave this job, I’m gonna have to start over. Right, all of this quote unquote reputation of success that I’ve built, I’m not gonna have anymore. I’m not gonna be able to talk about how much money I make. I’m not gonna be able to have nice things. I’m not gonna be able to have financial freedom. I don’t wanna start over. I can’t go back to a job making 12 bucks an hour. I can’t do that. I just made 90 on my last job. I can’t do that. That’s gonna be so hard for me. That ego.

What really happened, I think, was my internal state, again, working on myself, my self-improvement, my internal state was so much less than my external results. And I think that broke me. It broke me, because I was afraid everybody was gonna find out. So what happened was I woke up in a hotel room, six hours from home, one morning. My alarm clock went off at 5.15, and I sat up, slid to the edge of the bed, I’m lacing up my work boots.

And the best way to explain it is there was 10 televisions on in my head at the same time and every single one is on a different station. And one is saying you’re stuck here forever. People like you don’t get opportunities like this. Never mind, leave them. If you do leave somehow, if you work up the courage to do this, what are your friends going to think? Because you make more money than all your friends. What’s your family going to think? You’re the most successful person in your family. What’s that going to look like? And then what are you going to do?

you’re gonna do this podcasting thing? Like that’s not real, that’s not real life. So in that moment, I thought to myself, if I end my life, I take all these problems with me. That was the rock bottom, basement, hopeless, helpless, stuck, trapped, don’t know what to do. Luckily, I have a very good friend who’s now my business partner and my co-founder, and I messaged him. And I said, hey man, I am struggling, I’m having these thoughts, I’m having these feelings, I’m having these emotions, I don’t know what to do. What do I do?

And he said many things, but the thing I remember the most was over the last couple of years, and you’ll hear this word come up often, awareness, your awareness has changed a ton, but your environments have stayed the same. I think it’s time for you to change your environment. So that’s when I ended up leaving that job. And then one of the questions I get asked very often is when you left, how did you quote unquote fix your mental health? And I always try to say, when I left my job, my anxiety got worse.

because I’m a very certainty driven human being and I didn’t know how I was gonna make money. I was having panic attacks for the first time. I didn’t even know what it was. But the whole depression thing kind of went away. And I think part of it was because I was so outside of alignment with my job, I was just grinding myself to the bone to be successful. My, I’m not, I don’t feel depressed. I have days where I don’t wanna get out of bed necessarily. I’m not super motivated, but never like that.

I still deal with anxiety occasionally, but not like that. It’s interesting how when you change your environment, a lot of the triggers around you change too. So yeah, that was how it all happened. And then after that, I ended up leaving that job. And then Alan and I, Alan’s my co-founder, him and I said, okay, how do we make this a business? That was really, that was 2018. And every single day, no exaggeration, since 2018, we’ve been working at this.

We were treating it like a business long before it was anything remotely close to a business.

Mudassir (19:40.458)
Yeah, we’ll come to that later on. I’ll have a lot of questions on podcasts and how to turn that into a business. But a very powerful message, you know, when your friend said that, you know, your awareness has changed, but not your environment. So a lot of people are not self-aware of what exactly is happening with them. Like a lot of people. They don’t know what exactly is happening to them. All they see is it’s like, ah yeah, okay, this is a good job. All of a sudden it’s a shitty job. So they don’t understand that, right? So…

Kevin Palmieri (19:44.716)

Mudassir (20:11.05)
Why you didn’t consider going to a shrink or whatever you want to call that? Like why not? I mean, yeah, I mean that was an option. You were making decent amount of money and you could have gone, okay. How did that turn out? Okay.

Kevin Palmieri (20:17.467)
I did.

Kevin Palmieri (20:21.428)
I did, I did, yeah, I did. Better than I expected. So part of the whole story, and that’s why I love being able to go into it and talk about it in depth, because it’s, in a 25 minute interview, it’s very hard to get into the details of what actually happens, but that was the second time I had thought about suicide. The first time was a couple years prior, and…

Mudassir (20:28.491)

Kevin Palmieri (20:48.56)
I had a girlfriend at the time, she came home, and I was like, hey, I was home alone all day, everybody else was at work, I had time off of work, I was playing video games, and I just had this moment where I was thinking to myself, if this is what life is, I’m not interested in it. It’s gray, it’s dark, it’s boring, there has to be more than this, and I was having, and I told her, I was having these really dark thoughts, and she said, I really think you should go to therapy. And I was like, not a chance.

Absolutely not, not going to happen. But then we had a conversation about it and she said, I’ve been to therapy and I think it would be very helpful for you. I was like, all right, all right, let me see what I can do. So I find a therapist in Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, and I have a therapy appointment, whatever, two weeks later. So I drive down to downtown Boston. If you’ve never been to downtown Boston, you wanna talk about anxiety, parallel parking on one of those main streets is a whole thing. So I parallel park on this street, I walk into the building, I walk up this,

the spiral staircase to the top floor. And I remember sitting in the waiting room thinking, I am going to cry, this person is gonna judge me, this is going to be terrible. I definitely cried, but yeah, it was a really good experience. I learned a lot about myself, I understood myself at a deeper level, and I left that day actually enjoying the thing that I was so afraid of. So that was…

That was the time that I actually went to therapy. Problem is then work got really busy and I was spending so much time on the road that I didn’t keep up with it. I didn’t keep up with it. And obviously that came back to bite me in the butt a little bit later. But yeah, so I had been to therapy, I had experienced the positives of therapy. I just thought I was good. I thought, oh yeah, I’m cool. I went to therapy, I know myself at a deeper level, and now I’m good.

Mudassir (22:42.782)
Wow. So I think, so let’s hear something very personal. I think everybody has a point in their life, which is kind of a tipping point for everybody. It’s just like you’re not getting certain things out of your job. You’re like feeling like, what the hell am I doing all day? So everybody has these certain moments. Somebody thinks like, okay, this is not the thing that I was made for. I don’t want to do this thing. I want to go enjoy, do something else. So exactly the same thing.

which is why I started podcast. So this thing happens. I have a baby boy and then, so working on the startup thing since 2021. So I’ve been like two years into that. I do not know what a weekend is. I don’t know that. So 15 hours a day is just like, oh yeah, this is what we do. 15 hours a day, we grind because we’re startup founders. So we built this thing. We continue to work on that, continue to work on that. And I like work from home.

So obviously, my son is next door or whatever. And then I did not even realize that the day he was born, we were in the hospital and I was working. I never get to realize that, what the hell is that? What the hell is that supposed to even mean? Your wife is on the bed and you’re sitting there inside the room and you’re working. And then didn’t even care about that and he turned one. So that day, it dawned on me, okay.

He’s one. But I was like, yeah, whatever. You just go back to work, start working again. And there came a day when he fell down from stairs, bruised his head or whatever, so there was bleeding and all that. And I didn’t even know, because we were doing these fundraisers, investors, and this and that, so the pressure is always there, you need to do this thing, you need to do that, things of that kind of thing, so we were keeping up with all of this thing. And then 10 hours ago or something like that.

I went to the room and I was like, what happened to his head? I was asking my wife, like, what exactly has happened? And she was like, oh, he fell through the stairs. And for the moment, I obviously get pretty pissed at that. I was like, what the hell, didn’t you guys tell me or something? And she was like, we tried, we tried calling you. You didn’t pick up because I have the, you know, the busy, personal, whatever you wanna call that mode on the phone thing, during the office meetings. It’s like, wow, man, this is wild. And I, you know,

Kevin Palmieri (25:05.492)

Mudassir (25:13.014)
That was I think the first time when I actually hit that point. Like dude, this is not worth it. Then a few weeks ago, by the time this thing go live, so he turned 18 months and I was just going through that photo apps, gallery or whatever on the phone. I was like, in 18 months, I do not have 18 moments with him. Like I have screenshots, I have all kind of crap on the phone. I do not have 18 moments with my son.

Kevin Palmieri (25:34.378)

Mudassir (25:43.242)
Literally, and I was like, dude, this is it. This is it, we’re done. I don’t care if that startup goes, become a unicorn, becomes 100 million, 200 million, whatever that thing is, this is it. So that was the day that kind of made this mind. I was like, I’m just walking out. No problem, and I do not have exactly like, I do not have a fallback plan. Like what I’m gonna do with this thing, what I’m gonna do, I was like, okay. So we try, so.

Kevin Palmieri (26:01.33)

Mudassir (26:09.986)
How did I get into podcasting is I used to do a whole lot of B2B sales in the most recent months. And one thing that I found out is like I actually love talking to new people every single time because you know, somebody told me selling is not about pitching something or like pushing something, it’s more about helping people. Cool, okay, I can talk to people, I know, you know, so I can do a whole lot of things. So and then I was like okay, so I’ll just reach out to a few people on Twitter.

Kevin Palmieri (26:29.758)

Mudassir (26:39.674)
people that I knew, New York or whatever, I was like, hey man, we’d love to have you on the podcast. They’re like, yeah, sure, do it. That’s the day, I was like, okay, let’s just get the gear thing, the lighting thing, the sounds and this and that. A week later, I was like, what the hell, this is so much more work. I never realized that this is so much work. Then still working 15 hours a day or whatever, just keeping up with all these things that you need to have, set up the production thing you need to do.

you need to hire an editor, you need to hire this, you need to hire that. It’s a lot of work, but I don’t get tired anymore. I still go, you know, take off, whatever time I want to take off, go to my son, and then we can still enjoy like two more hours, three more hours playing, like without anything else. And there were times when, even when we were at the vacation, I was like mentally absent. Like I am…

Kevin Palmieri (27:15.763)

Mudassir (27:32.698)
Sitting, I don’t know, in the mountain or something like that, like there’s nothing, no signals, no phone, no nothing, and I’m like, I’m off, absent mentally. So, and the worst thing that I did, I never get to see a shrink. Because a lot of people recommended me, you should do that. We had a therapist on the work or something like that, we should do that, talk to her once, but never follow up. It’s like, nah man, she asked too many questions.

Kevin Palmieri (27:45.331)

Kevin Palmieri (27:54.099)

Mudassir (27:56.566)
So I kind of have to open up and then opening up means, you know, being vulnerable, being vulnerable means you’re probably gonna cry. I’m not gonna cry, you know, on camera or whatever. So never did that. So I think that was pretty important. And I think everybody has that shift in their lives where they actually go from whatever they’re doing and just turn their lives upside down, totally. That’s because they just have to do it. Because, you know, as you mentioned, your internal self is just so, there’s so much at stake compared to whatever you were making, right?

Kevin Palmieri (27:56.576)
Ha ha ha!

Kevin Palmieri (28:05.885)

Kevin Palmieri (28:25.972)
Yeah, well even this is the beauty of it. Your core values, you can only put off your core values and your core beliefs for so long. If your core value is family, doing a startup’s gonna be very hard. It’s gonna be very, very, very challenging. When I, again, to your point, I worked every day for six years straight. I didn’t take a day off. I didn’t miss every single day. And that’s, I’m married and I go to the gym six times a week.

and we do seven episodes a week and I go on 10 other podcasts a week, it never ends. But as we become quote unquote more successful, that has allowed opportunity to say, hey, what I’m doing for my wife is not sustainable. It’s not sustainable for me to work from four in the morning until 7 p.m. every night, not for my relationship. Relationship’s important, interesting. It’s not sustainable for me to work 17 hours a day if I can’t go to the gym, not sustainable.

Health, wealth, and love, all of them. That’s our brand, health, wealth, and love. But I completely understand where, I don’t know if I’m not gonna have kids. My wife and I decided we will not have our own children. Will we adopt in the future? Maybe, but one of the reasons I don’t wanna have children is because I think it would be selfish of me. Because I do wanna grow this business. For us, it’s really about the impact more than anything. And to your point, it’s very-

If I could leave somebody with one piece of advice, sit down and write out your top five core values, your top five core beliefs, and your top five core aspirations. And if you are way out of alignment, it will come back to hurt you in some way, shape or form. I just don’t know what way, it depends.

Mudassir (30:15.682)
Yeah, yeah. You mentioned this thing that you’re building this thing as a business, and you know, Allen is helping you do that. So how’d you guys build this business around podcasts? And what, you know, why would I talk about next university? Because you know, the podcasts, the programming, there’s a whole lot of stuff that, you know, that was on when we were researching. So let’s talk about that a little bit. So, I’m gonna talk about this a little bit.

Kevin Palmieri (30:36.104)
Yeah, so Next Level University is the name of the podcast. So we do an episode every single day about holistic self-improvement, right? Level up your life, your love, your health, and your wealth. I want you to be better in your relationship, better in your body, and better in the bank. Because at the end of the day, that’s what people tend to value the most, right? So if we can figure out how to help you, right? So that’s the podcast. But we, along the way, we said how do we, if we want a podcast for a long period of time, we gotta figure out how to make money.

Mudassir (30:54.208)
That’s all matters here.

Kevin Palmieri (31:06.516)
So I remember asking Alan, this was probably two years in, two and a half years in. We didn’t make any money for the first like two years because we were working on ourselves, right? Character, competency, learning, skills, let’s, you know, skill up here. Two and a half years in, whenever it was, I went to Alan and I said, hey man, I’m $35,000 in credit card debt, right? I’ve been funding a lot of what we’re doing just on my credit cards and I need to start making money because I’m out.

I’m out, I have access to nothing else, I need to figure stuff out. He said, we should start coaching. And I was like, what do you mean? He said, well, our podcast is about self-improvement, we could coach people on self-improvement, relationships, peak performance, that type of stuff. And I said, I’ve never coached, I have no idea how to do that. He said, go get a client for free. Go get a free client, see what happens. I was like, all right, I’ll see what I can do. So I reached out to somebody who I knew listened to the show, name was Jenna. She was actually on the team for a while.

And I reached out to her and I said, hey, I’m interested in doing some coaching. It’s totally free. I’ve never done it. I don’t know if I’m any good at it. Are you interested? And she said, yeah. And I messaged four other people and everybody said yes. And I was like, okay, cool. So I had five free clients. After two months, my schedule was filling up with more things just because we were a little bit more successful. And I said, hey, I can’t do this for free anymore. What do you think of 50 bucks a week? And everybody said yes.

So I went from zero dollars to making 200 bucks a week or 250 bucks a week depending on my coaching or how many people I was coaching. That was the very, very, very beginning. Then it became, we are entrepreneurs in the digital age trying to build a personal brand. What are the problems that we had? We had to hire somebody to build a website. All right, let’s create a web team. We had to hire somebody to help us with social media. Okay, let’s create a social media team.

We had to hire people to help us with a podcast. Let’s create a production team. That really is how it all started. And then, now we have 45 other podcasts that we produce. Alan has 30 business clients. We have social media clients. We have web clients. So it really was, we’ll prove the concept on our stuff. And then if somebody comes to us and says, hey, I need help with blank, there’s a chance that we can probably do it for you at a pretty high level.

Mudassir (33:32.679)
How big the business is now?

Kevin Palmieri (33:35.477)
Last year we did $280,000 in revenue. This year we should close the double based on where we are right now.

Mudassir (33:45.566)
Wow, so that’s like 100% growth on top of that. Amazing. Why do you think others cannot do it? Like whatever you’re doing. So there’s a whole lot of people who are doing the podcasting thing, that they’re in that social media space, they’re doing all of that. So why do you think they cannot replicate your business model? Why do you think so? So, why do you think that? Why do you think that?

Kevin Palmieri (33:48.52)
Yeah. Yep.

Kevin Palmieri (34:04.416)
Humbly, they’re probably not willing to work as hard as us. That’s a huge part of it, right? I mean, we do seven episodes a week, we never miss, we’ll never miss, I refuse to miss. If Alan misses, I’ll show up. If I miss, Alan will show up, we won’t miss. That’s part one. Part two, there’s two of us. It’s very hard to outwork both of us. Alan’s doing a coaching call right now, probably. Like, I’m out here doing this, he’s doing something else. So.

Mudassir (34:10.273)

Kevin Palmieri (34:31.656)
It’s not that we’re doing twice as much, it’s more, because the way we’re doing it, that, Alan is a genius. Like Alan is a, he’s an electrical and computer engineer with some sort of connection to knowing things that I don’t know how he knows. And he understands business at such a high level. He’s got a master’s in business, that. And I think the last thing, honestly, is we’re willing to suffer longer than most people.

That’s a big part of it is like, I don’t wanna do this to work less. I didn’t start a business so I could work less. That’s not why I started. I started a business so I could impact more. And I think a lot of other people, again, nothing wrong with that, right? Like I want you to do you. I want you to core values, core beliefs, core aspirations. I don’t expect, you know, when we start making five, 10, 15, $20 million a year, it’s not like I’m gonna stop working.

I’ll be able to work better and smarter, and I’ll be able to be on bigger shows and add different levels of value and have different clients. So yeah, I would say that. It’s just, we’re in it for a different reason than most people.

Mudassir (35:41.686)
Got it. Interesting, very interesting. So how important do you think is commitment and consistency in whatever you’re building? Like whatever business you are in, how important is that? They’re everything.

Kevin Palmieri (35:53.528)
Everything. Everything. I had a call with somebody the other day and I said if you stick around for six years you will be wildly successful because most of the people that you’re competing with right now will not be here. Just it is what that just is an unfortunate fact.

There’s been 3.5 million podcasts started. The last number was there’s only 250,000 still in production. And when I say in production, it means they produced an episode in the last 90 days. Doesn’t mean they’re profitable. It doesn’t mean they have a thousand episodes. It doesn’t mean any of that. It means they’ve dropped an episode in the last 90 days. There’s not as much competition as people think. So if you can be consistent, that already sets you apart. And then,

the commitment aspect is when life punches you in the face, which it ultimately will, do you say, ah, this ain’t for me? And then you pack it in and go home. Or are you willing to go through whatever you have to go through to accomplish the mission? The commitment level of, you know, you’re you might be broke and you might be heartbroken and you’re going to go through it and you’re going to be stressed. But do you ultimately believe what you’re in it for is worth it?

that. I mean there is always, there’s a, you’ve heard the quote failure is not an option. I follow a mixed martial arts fighter named Chael Sunin and he has this, you know Chael Sunin? He, ah okay you and you and I are gonna get along just even even better than we already are. He has a quote where he says that failure is not an option quote is BS. Failure is the most readily available option at all times.

Mudassir (37:20.446)
I know him, yeah. Oh yeah, I’m a huge UFC fan, so talk to me anything about anything, yeah. OK.

Kevin Palmieri (37:40.876)
It’s always there. It’s always there. And every single one of us is gonna experience it. It’s just what level of committed are you where you just say, all right, that kind of sucks. You know, it stings. All right, I’m gonna get back after it. The people who are the most successful are also the biggest failures. You just don’t know them. You just don’t see the failures. You see the successes, you know, that. So yeah, I would say consistency. It’s very hard to improve without consistency.

It’s very hard to raise the awareness of what you’re doing if you’re not consistent. And it’s very hard to stay consistent if you’re not committed for the long run.

Mudassir (38:14.858)
Yeah, so interestingly, I think, so the last time we were talking to, I had a guest on, very grateful for him to just, you know, coming on the show, his name was Ben Yoskovich, and he was an entrepreneur, a VC, he’s done amazing things, sold a bunch of startups, did this, did that. We had an amazing conversation. One of the point that he and I ended up talking was, most successful businessmen or founders, they are like professional athletes.

so to speak, because you follow UFC in the fighting world, so it’s exactly the same. I was, the first thing that I ever get to learn about UFC or whatever you wanna call it, that was prior to UFC and that was GSP. That’s, been following that since then. And then he was just sitting with somebody, I don’t know, who just gave an interview, and he was like, where I came from, he’s from Canada, right? So where I came from.

you don’t have all these privileges or whatever you want to call that. It’s just like a constant grind, constant grind. You just have to go to the gym because you just have to go to the gym. And then Connor came to the scene and his rise was pretty meteoric. And then he did that, you know, he launched his what the company what that thing is. So he yet proper proper 12. Yeah. And then he was so he’s he’s a bit eccentric. Everybody knows that. But, you know, that one.

Kevin Palmieri (39:33.317)
Proper number 12.

Mudassir (39:41.854)
interview that he did was amazing and he was like you know in back in Ireland back back in Dublin he used to go to the gym and his now wife that then girlfriend she was like supporting and then doing all the things she could go to the gym and he was like I did not have any option I didn’t go to the gym that was like an extreme extreme level of you know commitment you you listen to Izzy he’s probably gonna talk about the same thing he was like you know coming

to New Zealand doing exactly the same thing. It’s just like you have to be, like you have to dedicate your whole self, your whole life, like that’s it. This is what you’re gonna do. So you have to stay committed. And I think I had a personal theory, I don’t know how correct is that. Most professional athletes, they could make great, great founders. Just because their ability to not give up, just because of their ability to push back to the life, like whenever it gets hard.

their ability to stand up, their perseverance, whatever you wanna call that, right? The grit, the personality, just like so much mental strength in there. What other people don’t have that. So do you think, because it is easy to relate to the support thing, because I don’t think anybody can be a professional athlete, it’s just like, it takes so much sacrifice to become a professional athlete. Do you think that level of mental strength, anybody can build that?

Kevin Palmieri (40:59.57)

Mudassir (41:05.174)
Like any person who is not into sports, who’s not into athletics or whatever you wanna call that, can he build that? So, I’m gonna go ahead and start with a question that I’ve been getting a lot of questions about. And I think that’s a very interesting question because I think that’s a very interesting question

Kevin Palmieri (41:05.679)
Oh man.

Kevin Palmieri (41:13.156)
I don’t know. If you asked me, excuse me, if you asked me five years ago, six years ago, I probably would have said yes, but.

Kevin Palmieri (41:23.444)
The reason to build it would have to be so massive, because the reason comes long before the strategy. The reason I like to think I’m very self-aware is because I have to be. It’s not that I wanna be. I didn’t wake up one day and say, I wanna know everything about myself, including all my strengths, my weaknesses, and my insecurities. I just need to know in order to communicate and accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish. I would say no. No, because…

I think perseverance is attached to belief. I was watching highlights, I was on the treadmill the other day at the gym and they were showing the highlights of the NBA finals. And I don’t know what team it was, I don’t follow basketball that closely, but the team was down by one and there was no time on the clock and they were doing foul shots and he had to make both foul shots to win. And I was thinking to myself,

You’re in front of 20,000 people who are screaming at you, hoping that you miss this, the amount of self-belief that that human must have. And he made both of them, made them both. I don’t know if you could ever learn that level of self-belief. I don’t know. I think you’re born with some of it. And then it’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy where when you believe in yourself, you try things that other people wouldn’t, and then you get results that other people wouldn’t.

And then you have failures that other people wouldn’t, but you also have enough belief to say, well, it’s not that big of a deal. So I would say no, no. Just like there are some people out there who could never be as sweet as some other people. I know some people who are like, they are such sweet human beings. And you would have to learn and unlearn so much about yourself to ever be that. I don’t know if it’s statistically possible. So I would say no.

Mudassir (43:19.126)
Yeah, totally agree to that. I used to think that everybody can be anything. I used to think so. Like you can become an entrepreneur, you can start a business, you can live a happy life. And the more that I talk to people, you know, with every passing day, I get to realize this is not a reality. Like a lot of people will never have that level of self-awareness, a lot of people will not have that level of confidence, self-belief, whatever you wanna call that.

Kevin Palmieri (43:48.416)
Yeah. You can have more. You can always have more than you have. And I think that’s empowering, but.

Mudassir (43:48.53)
One question that comes to mind is, you can have more. Yeah.

Kevin Palmieri (43:57.38)
That’s why even when you said like, why can’t somebody replicate, it’s a great question. Such a great question. I don’t know if they’re willing to go through what I’ve gone through. That’s all it is. I’m not a natural born entrepreneur. I’m not, I didn’t go to college. I don’t know anything about numbers. I had to learn everything I know about finance and sales. I just don’t think the reason would be great enough. I don’t know if the why power would be great enough for somebody to go through the amount of suffering that I have.

Mudassir (44:08.748)

Mudassir (44:19.304)

Kevin Palmieri (44:25.104)
unless it’s so personal to them, right? It just wouldn’t make logical sense. Sorry I interrupted you.

Mudassir (44:25.368)

Mudassir (44:30.802)
Yeah, no problem. So, one of the person, so I follow NBA a little bit. Not too much, but a little bit. So, and one of the person that I ended up following was Mark Cuban, so Maverick’s guy. And I was listening to something and he was like, if you are in a business, regardless of whatever business you’re doing, if you’re in that particular space, you need to know one thing. And that one thing is you need to be willing to go and put in more work every day.

than your competitors because somebody’s out there who’s grinding, who’s working 24 hours a day just to kick your ass. If I were to go in competition with you, were to start the same thing, and if you’re not working as hard as I am, I’m just gonna eat you for breakfast or something like that. Now it’s like that’s what most people are missing. What I wanna ask you is, you mentioned so there are obviously strengths, there are weaknesses, but how do you…

leverage your weaknesses to turn them into your strength. How do you do that?

Kevin Palmieri (45:34.576)
Number one, identifying them. I think that’s the hardest thing for people, again, myself included, is identifying what your biggest weaknesses are. And then you double, triple, and quadruple down on learning it. I call it specialized learning. If you’re really good at sales, the last thing you need to be studying is more sales. You need to study the thing that you’re not good at, whatever that is, productivity, relationships, whatever it may be. Usually it’s the thing where you have the least results.

that tends to happen. Your weakness is usually where the lagging results are. And then you double, triple, and quadruple down on becoming obsessed with learning that. I don’t know if there is a better way. Here’s the other thing too. Oftentimes, when you start to recognize your weaknesses, you can attach them to strengths. So I overthink a lot. I’m a big, like, I’ve always, Allen and I joke about this. Allen…

doesn’t understand what anxiety is. Alan has no idea. He doesn’t get anxious about anything. He’s weird like that. Where I’ll joke and I say my anxiety is my superpower. When we host events, I imagine everything going wrong, but that also helps me make sure nothing goes wrong. It’s like, what if it snows? I will have a contingency plan, awesome. What if the AV doesn’t work? Well, we’ll do it the day before with the people. The quote unquote overthinking and anxiety and catastrophizing that I do,

has actually become quite beneficial because I can predict failures in advance. But I don’t know if that ever would have happened if I convinced myself that that’s a weakness. I don’t think it’s a weakness. I think it’s really, really positive. Now, if I allow it to stop me from trying, it becomes a weakness. But I think weaknesses are contextual. If a weakness stops you from trying and bringing something to the world, then it’s probably something worth working on.

If a weakness allows you to flex and multiply another strength, it’s good to be aware of, it’s good to be conscious of, and then asking yourself how you can better leverage it. But yeah, long answer short, identify and then rectify through learning as much as humanly possible. That’s what I would say.

Mudassir (47:50.062)
Okay, why do you think a lot of people do not get to a point where they can figure out what are their weaknesses?

Kevin Palmieri (47:58.108)
I don’t think they want to admit it. Two reasons, one, their self-worth is attached to how good they are at something. So the second they say, yeah, ego, I’m not good at something, therefore I am bad. I’m not a good human. That’s a tough place to be, that’s part one. And then part two is the belief. If you do not believe you can make something better, you’re probably not gonna go out of your way to recognize it. So I would say, yeah, either,

Mudassir (48:07.464)

Kevin Palmieri (48:27.964)
it’s attached to your self-worth as a human being. I am bad at this, therefore I am bad. Or you don’t ultimately believe you can change it. And if you don’t believe you can change it, you’re not gonna, think of it this way. If you think there’s a monster in the closet, you’re not gonna turn the light on. If you think, you know, if you think it’s a mouse and you’re not afraid of mice, you’ll turn the light on. It’s not a big deal, it’s just a mouse. So if you’re afraid of it, you’re most likely not gonna seek it.

Mudassir (48:56.618)
Yeah. What kind of, you know, when you coach someone on all these things, what do you follow actually? What’s the principle frame? What exactly do you have? Like if I were to come to you and I say, you know, Kevin, I have like so many mental problems, just coach me, help me get to the next level, explore myself or something. So how do you do that? What exactly have you in your arsenal when you talk to somebody on?

Kevin Palmieri (49:27.068)
Yeah, it’s a great question. I get asked that very often. We have a lot of frameworks that we’ve created just from doing all the episodes and all the interviews. A lot of it though, is just listening and then actually decoding what somebody is actually saying. There’s a drastic difference between somebody saying there’s a problem and then you realizing that problem is just a symptom of a deeper problem.

And so I would say this, I focus now way more than ever on identity over everything else. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing every day if you don’t understand your identity, your self-worth, your self-belief. We go internal first, internal. There’s a lot of strategies. I can give you 500 ways to grow your podcast, awesome. If you have a subconscious fear of success because you’re afraid…

Every time you’ve grown, you’ve left people behind and you’ve been villainized. So you’re afraid if you keep growing, you’re gonna leave people behind. My strategies don’t mean anything. That is usually my approach is, let’s figure out the identity of the human because the identity of the human controls the behaviors, it controls the beliefs, it controls everything. That is my typical approach. I coach podcasters more than anything now. So I don’t do a lot of next level coaching. Alan does a lot more than I do, but it’s usually that.

Everything starts at an identity level. That’s why self-improvement is a challenge because you can listen to a podcast that motivates you, but motivation doesn’t change anything because it doesn’t change your identity. And if it doesn’t change your identity, it doesn’t really change you that much.

Mudassir (51:10.446)
What do you mean by identity? Like, is this like who you are actually behind all these faces, behind all the masquerade or whatever?

Kevin Palmieri (51:17.98)
Yeah, who do you identify as? We did a group coaching program recently and we always do an introduction, right? Kevin, if you listen to the podcast, you know, blah, blah, blah, this is who I am, this is one thing you should know about me, all that. And somebody forgot to unmute themselves and they started talking. And I said, hey, just so you know, you’re muted, just make sure you hit unmute. And the first thing they said is, of course, I’m the type of person that that would happen to. Boom, identity.

you are the type of person that that would happen to, therefore in your mind you’re probably a ditz, therefore you probably make dumb decisions, that. So yeah, anytime you say I’m the type of person of, or I’m not the type of person of, I could never do that because that’s a, I had a coaching call recently, and they’re health coaches, there’s two people that run the podcast, and I said, how’s business? Our main focus has been business, I know you.

You want more clients, like talk to me. And she said, I had a breakthrough recently, based on what we were talking about. And I was like, what’s up? And she said, you know, I’m not the type of person that promotes myself to people. And I was like, go deeper, what do you mean? She said, I had a client, a very, very warm potential client who literally said I could really use your help. And she said, I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. I just shelled up. Because I’m not the type of person that brags about myself. Interesting.

interesting. That’s your identity. Now, a layer deeper is where do you get bragging about yourself when it comes to helping? I mean, that’s a deeper level, right? That’s another layer under that. But this person is self-identified as I am not the type of person who puts myself out there when it comes to my unique skills. It’s going to be very hard to win in business, no matter what strategy I give you. That’s an identity. That’s an identity. I am a podcaster.

Moodis here, I am a podcaster. If you meet me in the streets and you say, what do you do? I say podcaster first. That’s my identity, I am a podcaster. And then people say, well, if I took everything from you, who would you be? I don’t know. First of all, good luck taking everything from me because I will come to bat for my podcast. And I just start another podcast problem because I’m a podcaster. I don’t know what else I am. So yeah, it’s what you think you are.

What you think you are is more important than what you actually are because you operate on your thoughts.

Mudassir (53:51.746)
Okay, a lot of that comes down to a fact that you need to face your failures, fears, sorry, not failures. How do you do that? Like how do you face your failures? So I’m just gonna give you some anecdotes here. So met somebody and we were just, you know, potentially having this pretty good idea. He wants to start a new business or something like that and he was like, I don’t know if I should come to your podcast like right now.

once I have raised enough amount of money, they were raising something, or once we have that level of success, I was like, why any of these things are tied up to coming to the podcast? Why? And then he was like, okay, so here’s the thing. So if I were to come to your show right now, we’re fundraising, so we haven’t done anything. We’re just like, we haven’t done anything, we’re just making 50, 60K a year in revenue, which is obviously nothing.

So we were raising like five or 10 million, five, five million I think. And then if I were to raise five million, that’s when people would perceive me as a success. I was like, okay. And I was like, okay, what then? And he was like, but if I were to wait a couple more months down the road, that’s when I will come a founder who has just raised a decent amount of money.

you know, grow a team from, I don’t know, 10 people to 50 people because now that we have all that money, so we did this thing, and I look cool on your podcast, and a lot of people would love that. I was like, so a lot of that comes down to, you know, how others are going to perceive you. That’s it, right? So you don’t want to come to the podcast because you want to enjoy the journey, whatever you’re doing, you don’t want to share, you don’t want to do any of the things. It’s just more like you just want to be perceived as a thought leader.

You just want to be perceived as you’re amazing. You’re just killing it out there, regardless of if you are killing it out there or not. So you just want to be perceived as that. So yeah, how do you battle your fear, like these weird kind of fears? And I know everybody has that. I think everybody has that.

Kevin Palmieri (56:04.9)
Definitely. Yeah. I went on a… I tell this story because I think it’s… I don’t know. I imagine if you’re listening to this, maybe you can resonate with it. That’s why I try to tell this story. I was getting ready for a podcast recently. So at this point, I’ve probably gone on maybe 700 other podcasts. I don’t know the exact number. I have it somewhere. I got to go through and figure out the exact number. But I went on a podcast recently and this person was a doctor.

who was trained with NASA. This person was a space doctor, okay? I didn’t even know that was a thing. And I’m getting ready to get on this podcast, and I remember thinking, there is no way I’m the right Kevin Palmieri. That something must have happened, and they must have got like the wrong Kevin, or they found the wrong podcast. There is no way this person is interviewing me. Something is wrong. And I end up showing up, and I give it my best shot, and went off, it was great, this person’s great. And I got to the end of it, and I said, wow, that was weird.

Okay, interesting. And then I go about my day. Okay, here’s what I do. I have two things. One is somewhat hardcore. One I think is applicable to most people. The applicable one to most people is I look at the most recent and relevant proof. The most recent proof before that was I went on four podcasts yesterday and they all went really well. Cool. Relevant with

in regards to what I’m talking about relevant, like in the same bucket of what I’m talking about. Okay, I went on a podcast with a very high level therapist like the week before that. And I had the same thoughts of this is gonna go horribly wrong. And they said it was one of the best interviews they ever did. Interesting. So I look at the recent and relevant proof based on the fact that, well, I gave a speech. Yeah, there’s more people this time, but last speech went okay. Okay, cool. Try to look at the logic. I also have this agreement with myself. And this is my agreement.

Either I do what it takes to be successful, or I do not get to complain about the fact that I am not successful. That is something I’ve been trying to run for the last six years where I am terrified of planes. I just, I know that’s not, it’s probably not an easy thought process to go through. Either I do it or I don’t get to bitch about the fact that I’m not successful. That’s it. It’s my fault I’m out of shape. It’s nobody else’s fault. I haven’t been going to the gym. It’s my fault.

Mudassir (58:11.704)

Kevin Palmieri (58:28.52)
Nobody else’s fault, it’s on me. That’s how I try to put it, because the second you give up responsibility, you give up opportunity. It’s, yeah, I’m afraid of planes, but what am I never gonna get on a plane? I’m not gonna be able to speak across the country or on another continent, that’s not sustainable. I’m not gonna be able to have the level of impact I want. So I tried to form this agreement with myself early on that either you do what it takes to be successful,

or you do not get to complain about your lack of success. And that served me, I feel like it served me really, really well because I’m scared of most of the stuff I do. But usually it goes better than I think. And here’s the last thing I would say. Whether you are somebody who has no belief in yourself or all of the belief in yourself, action is necessary because it creates feedback. And sometimes the feedback is gonna be way better than you thought. Other times it’s gonna sting and it’s gonna suck.

But if you’ve done it long enough, you’ll have enough positive feedback, you’ll have enough recent and relevant proof where you can say, damn, I bombed this speech, not my best work, but the last six I did were really good, this is an outlier. And you can kinda look at the logic of it.

Mudassir (59:42.75)
Yeah, yeah, totally agree to that. You mentioned one thing, and that was like, your identity is a podcaster, right? Wherever you go, whoever you are, at the heart of it, that’s who you are. So how do you kind of balance your professional obligations being a podcaster to your audience? Like, you know, you just need to provide value, you just need to find the right guest or whatever. And how do you balance the whole thing with your own personal growth?

Because you’ve been doing the same thing for six years now. I mean, there’s gotta be a certain level of things where you realize, this is what I need to do for myself, this is what I need to do for the audience. So how do you balance all of that?

Kevin Palmieri (01:00:24.832)
Yeah, full disclosure, lately I haven’t been doing nearly as much for myself. Not in a negative way, I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t feel like I’m hurting myself in any way. It’s just been business and relationship. Business, relationship, Kev. Business, relationship, Kev. Relationship, business, Kev. Kev hasn’t been in the front of the line in a minute. But the interesting thing about it is two things. One,

when I say that, I just mean silence by myself. So it’s really cool, and again, I don’t want this to seem, I’m very privileged and I’m blessed to be able to do what I do. I’m eternally grateful. But it is hard being in front of people all day. Like sometimes I just wanna sit in the quiet and close my mouth and not say anything. Like sometimes I like not talking for hours and hours. If I could not talk for a day, that would be a wonderful thing. So obviously that gets hard. But I am in an interesting position.

where the second I stop learning, that I can’t add value anymore. I’m in a very good position, but also a very pressure-filled position where I can’t ever stop learning. I can’t. Number one, I won’t be able to add value to the audience. Number two, my business partner will leave me behind, for sure. He is obsessed with learning, obsessed. He is on this earth to maximize his potential and add as much value as humanly possible.

I don’t believe I’m on the earth for the same reason as him. I know I’m supposed to help him do that, but he is obsessed with learning. If you asked him who he is, he is self-improvement. He is peak performance. That is who he is as a human being. Now, I am self-improvement, just not to the level he is. So I would say I try to check in as often as I can with how does Kevin feel. So…

I have a relationship page, my wife and I, what are we doing? Okay, cool, how is that page? What’s on that page? Cool, we have the business page, and then we have the Kevin page. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of writing on the business page and on the relationship page, not enough writing on the Kevin page. But yeah, you gotta sit down, you gotta reflect, and you gotta ask yourself, am I getting my needs met? How full is my cup? How do I feel? You know, am I?

Am I as fulfilled as I once was? You have to ask those hard questions. And luckily for me, all of those things are still green and trending up. So I don’t feel like it’s a bad thing. But here’s the thing, and this is very timely. My wife is traveling Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So I’m gonna be home alone with the cats. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I am intending on taking that opportunity to fill my cup and just be.

Just be quiet, have Taco Bell, play some Call of Duty, whatever, whatever comes up. UFC’s on this weekend, I’ll be watching the UFC card, of course, and just reconnect with Kev and make sure Kev is getting the self-love he needs.

Mudassir (01:03:37.23)
Okay, that’s very important I think. Like you need to, like what the hell that you’re doing in this world, like whatever are you doing in this world, you just need to take enough time for yourself out. Otherwise it’s not gonna be worth it, right? It’s not gonna be worth it. One thing that comes to my mind is whenever you start a business, whenever you start something new, it’s a hobby or like whatever, and one word that.

it’s somewhat of a buzzword actually, these days is hustle culture. Like you know, you just gotta hustle, you just gotta have a side hustle, you just gotta do this thing, gotta do that. Make extra bucks, do this thing. What’s your opinion on this entire hustle culture? Like do you think that’s healthy, it’s like unhealthy, harmful for entrepreneurs, self-improvement enthusiasts, like what do you think about this entire hustle culture company, whatever you wanna call that.

Kevin Palmieri (01:04:31.216)
Yeah, it’s hard because some people do need to hustle more. That’s the thing, that’s why it’s so hard. You can’t take anything you see on social media because there are some people who the reason they’re not as successful as they wanna be is because their approach is off with the amount of work. So, okay, let’s do this. I’ve worked with clients who do not believe that they’re worthy of success and they don’t believe they can create success.

Mudassir (01:04:40.31)
Why do you think so?

Kevin Palmieri (01:05:00.86)
I’ve also worked with clients who think they deserve success and they should already have the success. The people on that end usually say, if I’m not successful in the first 50 episodes, I probably won’t continue. You’re gonna lose. You should, you need to hustle more. You need to hustle more. Where somebody who’s out there grinding their face off, so this is what, if you came to me and asked me that question and you’re the example,

feeding into your family at the rate that you want to, you need to hustle less. That, it’s contextual. It depends on the person, it depends on the goals, it depends on the core values, it depends on all that. Because there are some people who do need to get up out of bed and get after it. There’s also some people who need to take a minute and watch an episode on Netflix. Because you’re burning yourself to the ground. It depends on the person, it depends on the person. But, and it depends on the goals. I had a buddy recently and I said,

I know you got money saved up, but you got to start living like a broke entrepreneur or you’re going to fail. You’re going to be in trouble. I promise. I promise. The behavior is not aligned with the goal. You need to hustle a little bit harder. You need to hustle a little bit harder. But there’s also people on the other end of that where they’ve accomplished almost everything they want, but they’re just so type A that they continue grinding and grinding and grinding because they don’t know any different. So

Kevin Palmieri (01:06:27.092)
I don’t know that it should be considered a culture, because you could ask the same question. What do you think of the self-love culture? I think self-love is extremely important. I think it’s necessary. But I also think you have to balance self-love with ambition. So that’s an, or I’ll say juggle, not necessarily balance. I think it’s contextual, and I think some people need to hustle more. I think some people need to hustle less. I think some people need more self-love.

I think other people need to understand that having self-love doesn’t mean you don’t work hard. Some people are super logical and they need to be more emotionally intelligent. Some people are super emotionally intelligent but maybe not as logical as they need to be. I don’t know that a…

Kevin Palmieri (01:07:15.768)
A top of the funnel social media podcast episode can ever cover all spectrums and it will always help some people but hurt other people. I don’t know if there’s any way around that.

Mudassir (01:07:32.638)
Yeah, yeah, I think so. Speaking of self-love, do you think that’s a privilege? Because I kind of get the sense that it’s a privilege. Not everybody can enjoy that.

Kevin Palmieri (01:07:40.992)

Kevin Palmieri (01:07:44.388)
Yeah, I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at it from that perspective. Yeah, I would say it takes practice. You know, I think there’s a lot of people out there who that is maybe a foreign concept too. So…

I would say that’s fair. It’s definitely a practice. And, you know, if you’re, yeah, if you’re not getting your basic human needs met, somebody asked me recently, very similar to the question in the conversation we had, they said, do you believe anybody can accomplish anything? And I said, there’s somebody in another country that doesn’t even have internet. Their ability to grow and scale a global business is, they’re already,

I mean, they have to do so much to even get the opportunity to get internet. I feel like I’d be selling, yeah, I feel like I would be ignorant to say, yes, anybody can accomplish anything. Because some people just have different circumstances. I’m blessed that I was born in the US and I have great internet and all that happy jazz. So I would say, yeah, it probably is more of a privilege than I had originally understood. And maybe a lot of people do.

Mudassir (01:08:54.314)
Yeah, you know, one weird question on that. How important is, a good health is to self-love and living a happy life. How important is that? Because a lot of, yeah, good health, yeah. Because a lot of the time what I see is, so I know a lot of people who just like, they’re going to the gym, which is fine, you know, so they’re working out, the big dudes, you know, stuff like that. And then they get this entire entrepreneurial.

Kevin Palmieri (01:09:07.688)
A good health?

Mudassir (01:09:23.81)
journey or whatever and they’re working so hard, you know, they’re putting a whole lot of weight, like not going regularly to the gym or something. How important is that to actually maintain a good healthy life in order to have, yeah, in order to be self, yeah, from the self-improvement standpoint, how important is a good health?

Kevin Palmieri (01:09:47.504)
Oh man, I mean, it’s in the words, right? Self-improvement. It’s unbelievably important. Fitness is one of those weird things where you get so much more out of it than you realize. A lot of people, I mean, you can be, when you’re in shape, you’re probably more confident. I mean, I’m more confident when I’m in better shape.

Mudassir (01:09:51.444)

Mudassir (01:10:01.73)
How so?

Kevin Palmieri (01:10:11.06)
Right, and I’m somebody who has, I have a very good relationship with my body to the point where I can be on a podcast and say, like, I am out of shape because I have not been in the gym as consistently. Now I’ve turned that around and things are trending up. Great. But you going to the gym probably will help you be more productive. I don’t have a study that I can cite, but I’m willing to bet the type of people who go to the gym consistently are probably also the type of people who are very productive because they have a lot of discipline. It requires discipline to go to the gym. There’s some…

There was a study recently that said, I don’t know if it was exercise for a half hour a day was as good if not better for depression and anxiety than any medicine on the market. That’s something, especially as an entrepreneur, you’re gonna deal with a lot of stress, so that’s big. You being in your body is never a bad thing. You’re gonna feel more competent. You’re gonna feel like you’re investing in yourself at a deeper level. You’re gonna be able to do this for longer.

Yeah, I would say it’s unreasonably important. And that’s why it’s important to understand that it’s not just about business success, and it’s not just about relationship success, and it’s not just about health success. They all can connect together in a way where the happier and more fulfilled you are in your relationship, the healthier you’ll be, and the more you’ll be able to pour into the business. Interesting. The more you pour into the business, the more you’ll be able to have a…

better relationship potentially because you might be able to travel or whatever it is. Last thing I’ll say on this. I don’t believe in a work, I don’t believe in balance, work-life balance, work-relationship balance, whatever it is. I believe it’s all juggling. Because when I’m at the gym, unless I’m live streaming the workout and I’m with my wife, I’m only working on myself. I’m not working on the business or my relationship. When I’m doing this right now, my wife is not here, I’m not working on the relationship, this is more I’m working on me.

maybe the business as well. That understanding of at all given times, you only have 100% effort and 100% intention, and you can really only put that into one thing. I would say making sure at some point in the day you’re putting it into fitness is drastically important. Health, whatever health means to you, not necessarily fitness.

Mudassir (01:12:31.314)
Okay. You’re on that, you know, socials everywhere, right? Do the podcasts, so everybody, like people around the world knows, know you guys. How do you, you know, how do you, you know, work with critics? So people who just came and, you know, show a whole lot of hate, because that’s a question I actually wanted to ask at the beginning, but yeah, how do you, you know, deal and cope with all that hate? Because I know.

I know actually you can put a great content out there and you’re talking about mental health, you’re talking about self-improvement, talking about all these discoveries and this and that. And some random dude, I don’t know, with weird name, weird handle or something that is gonna come in, slide to your comments and gonna say like, F you, you know, you don’t know anything, this and that. And that one thing can trigger like the whole sea of emotions in you.

So how do you deal with all of that, especially hate?

Kevin Palmieri (01:13:33.764)
I wish I could say that I’m such a balanced human that I let it slide off. I initially get angry and my natural tendency is like, well, let’s just fight. We can just fight then, that’s fine. Let’s just do that. I’ve worked a lot on that because that’s just ego and that’s just temper. Two things, two thoughts I have around that. One, and again, I know this is gonna sound like philosophical and this is what I’m trying to get to. I just try to understand that

If somebody is taking time out of their day to crap on my goals and my dreams, they probably don’t have that much going for them. Honestly, I try to empathize with that. You must be very unfulfilled, you must be very sad, and I must represent many, many, many things that you’re insecure about. That’s part one. Part two, I also understand, and this is a balance, if I was 20 years old, I would probably trigger myself.

If I was 20 year old Kev looking at this version of Kev, I would probably get triggered and say, oh, there’s no way he’s that confident or there’s no way he’s that good of a person. I can see myself saying that when I was younger. So I try to have empathy for it. I’m not a perfect person. I’m trying to do good in the world, sure. But I also understand there’s a lot of people who are struggling and the people who are struggling are looking for people to…

create struggles with. Those are the big pieces. And then the last thing is, I used to have this quote where, I understand I’m gonna get punches on one side of my face, like I’ll get punches on one cheek, but I’m also gonna get kisses on the other. I’m doing this more for the kisses on the cheek than I am the punches, and the kisses drastically outweigh the punches. I’m very blessed. Our community is primarily women, so I don’t get a lot of that. And I mean, I’ve gotten messages, of course, but.

It’s, believe it or not, it’s actually less than I thought. So I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that it’s not that many, all things considered.

Mudassir (01:15:43.182)
Okay, so Kevin, one small ritual that we have on the podcast is we ask every guest a question for our next guest. Okay, so, and that’s like not a part of the recording. So we have a question for you, and at the end I’m going to take a question from you for our next guest without even knowing who the next guest is going to be. I have a very interesting question for you, and it’s going to surprise you as well. What if everyone, what if everyone were to stop?

Kevin Palmieri (01:16:02.504)
Okay, I like it.

Mudassir (01:16:13.334)
supporting you today, what would you do?

Kevin Palmieri (01:16:17.396)
I’d be devastated.

I’d start over. I’d start over. You know, you said this earlier, sales, everything. At the end of the day, if you wanna make a difference, you make a difference by helping people. So number one, I would sulk and I would be devastated because all the people closest to me and all the people I love no longer believe in what I’m trying to accomplish. That would hurt me terribly, probably take a couple days, and then I’d start over.

Knowing what I know now, I feel like it probably wouldn’t take as long to get where we are today. So maybe I’d have a little bit of a head start. So yeah, I would do exactly what I’m doing today, just hopefully smarter and it would be quicker based on the information I have at hand.

Mudassir (01:17:03.202)
How would you bounce, you know, if any of such thing were to happen, I hope not. How would you bounce back? Like what exactly, not the framework, because we can talk about frameworks all the time. So how would you bounce back? Like what’s the cheat sheet here?

Kevin Palmieri (01:17:18.276)
I don’t know if there is a cheat sheet. It’s just going back to what else am I gonna do? This is who I am. I don’t know anything else at this point. I don’t wanna know anything else. I would tap back into why did I start this in the beginning. Six years ago, I was just a kid who wanted to podcast. And now I get to do that for a living. And I don’t ever, ever, ever, ever wanna lose sight of how much of a miracle that is and how blessed I am.

So I would go back to gratitude. I would go back to why I started this in the first place. And I would go onto Buzzsprout and I’d start a new podcast. And I’d think of a really good name and I’d say, all right, cool. This is what we’re gonna talk about. And I’m back at it. That, because I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I did something else. I wouldn’t be fulfilled. And I have another podcast about podcasts. So technically I’m already ahead of the curve because I have another podcast.

Mudassir (01:18:13.518)
Okay, alright Kevin, appreciate it.

Kevin Palmieri (01:19:16.964)
Well, number one, I appreciate you having me. This was truly wonderful, great questions, great conversation, great research.

Mudassir (01:19:27.249)
Oh, okay.

Mudassir (01:19:31.734)
Yeah, no problem at all. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

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