899: Dave Hollis: Habits That Will Help Entrepreneurs Overcome Adversity

April 13, 2020
At the height of his 17-year-long career at Disney, Dave Hollis decided to start over. He left his prestigious position as president of theatrical distribution behind to build The Hollis Company with his wife, Rachel Hollis. By embracing uncertainty, he forced himself to grow as an entrepreneur and as a person. On today’s podcast, Dave shares what he learned on his self-growth journey, including the habits he had to make and break in order to achieve seemingly impossible goals. Listen and learn what it takes to build the business and life you’ve always dreamed of.
Dave Hollis Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • Why now is a great time to reassess your business [3:57]
  • Tools Dave will continue to use when quarantine is over [6:52]
  • The two types of people in a crisis [7:44]
  • Habits you should adapt right now [10:40]
  • The lies we tell ourselves and how to overcome them [21:23]
  • The people who will succeed in these uncertain times [31:47]
  • What you can do to build your brand during quarantine [37:01]
  • How to connect with your audience [40:21]
  • The power of if-then statements [42:09]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.
Dave Hollis Business owner. Husband. Father. Bronco enthusiast. And for the very first time this Spring, published author! Dave Hollis is one half of the dynamic, powerhouse duo that is Rachel and Dave Hollis. The Former Disney film distribution chief responsible for the relaunch of the Star Wars franchise, the Avengers series, and mega-hits like Frozen and Beauty and the Beast, left his prestigious post at Disney last year to lead The Hollis Company alongside wife Rachel Hollis. Dave is the CEO of the Hollis Company, a company that exists to help people build better lives. Together with his wife Rachel, Dave hosts the podcast Rise Together , the #1 health podcast on iTunes. Outside of The Hollis Co, Dave is a member of the Motion Picture Academy and have previously sat on an innovation board called Fandango Labs, on the board of Will Rogers Motion Pictures Pioneers, the board of foster care charity Austin Angels and the board of Pepperdine’s Institute for Entertainment, Media and Culture. Dave believes in the importance of variety in a career as a prerequisite for considering any candidate — having had jobs in Research, Publicity, Talent Management, Grassroots Marketing, Brand Management, Retail Strategy, Technology Innovation and Sales has rounded his expertise and affords an informed, solution-oriented macro view of any business. Dave is the father of four children, an adoptive father and four-time foster dad. As a family, they support philanthropy in the foster care and the teen/transitional homelessness space. They live and operate the business out of Austin, TX. Related Links and Resources: Thanks for Rocking Out Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you! To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or StitcherReviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks! Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me and ask Pat anything. Don’t forget to head on over to Bare Naked Agent for Pat’s answers, and advice. Thank you Rockstar Nation, and keep rockin!

Aaron Amuchastegui: Real estate rockstars, this is Aaron Amuchastegui. I am super excited today to introduce you to today’s guest, Mr. Dave Hollis. Dave has a huge resume for what’s going on right now. It’s pretty funny. He’s a podcast host himself. Him and his wife run a morning show on Instagram, probably has a hundred thousand people that follow their life every day. A personal development speaker and coach, and just released a new book, which we’re probably going to talk a lot about today and also living in quarantine right now with his six kids. Super interesting.

He used to be the president of theatrical distribution at Disney and decided to leave that life in California, moved to Austin, and him and his wife run The Hollis Company. I asked Dave to come on here to talk a little bit about inspiration and happiness. Real estate news the last couple of weeks hasn’t been all that awesome and I figured Dave would be a great guy. I could tell our guest two things. One, we’re not going to talk about real estate at all, and two, you don’t want to miss it. Dave, thanks for coming on the show.

Dave Hollis: Thanks for having me here. I appreciate being here.

Aaron: Right now you guys are doing so much stuff to adjust in quarantine. It’s funny, you’ve lived in Texas longer than me. I should probably start with just asking, is it a big joke that quarantine happened during our rainy season out here in Texas? Every day I want to go outside-

Dave: It’s bananas. I know, honestly, you want so badly to get out and just get some fresh air and the cloud cover and the rain has really been compounding. It’s also hard to complain about, frankly, anything on a relative basis because you know what, we’re trying to make the best of every single thing that this thing comes with. There’ve been, if you can see them, if you look for them, a lot of gifts that have come in this having to stay at home, having meals with your family, having to slow down and reassess what actually matters. I wish, yes, that there was a little more sun in this Texas landscape of ours, but you know what? I’m going to choose to be happy to be happy.

Aaron: You’re totally right too. There are so many things out there that are changing for the better. Just like any situation, we can look at it both ways, like instant gratification right now is dead. It used to be like, you could have Amazon delivered in three hours. You could have groceries delivered in a couple hours. We’ve all had to learn to step back a few years, and be like, “Wait, not everything is at the tip of your fingertips anymore,” and focused on what’s around us, right?

Dave: Yes. Well, you started the show by saying we’re not going to talk about real estate, but I will say, if there were a time to think about the way that you’ve always been doing anything, including the way that you’ve always been approaching your real estate business or for us, we have a business that includes live events. Live events compromised in the short term. We have a team of 60 people, the way that we’re talking to and staying connected, creating and maintaining the culture of our company through totally unusual means in the short term. Man, it’s been a little bit of having to get our land legs, our running legs underneath us, but also it’s building in this time a way that we will do business after this time has left that is a gift because of what this time has forced us to have to do.’

As much as, man, it is not an easy thing to have to deal with this disruption in the time that we have, because things are slowing down, and the time that you may have as a person listening to this who works at real estate, where there may be are fewer buyers or sellers in the market in the shorter term, how can you, instead of focusing on how you might traditionally in your 9-5 or your 70 whatever it is, hours a week of serving your customers, think about the way that you might think differently about serving customers in a time like this?

What needs do people have today inside of quarantine that you could maybe change the way that you are trying to meet them where they are, so that when things return to some kind of normal, normal being different than what we came out of, but something that resembles what is going to be a more normal kind of way of doing work, that because of the relationship that you’ve created during these extraordinary times, they think of you differently, because of the way that you were able to extend and deliver value to them in their quarantine during this window?

Aaron: Right. It’s like throwing gas on the fire right now, don’t take your foot off the gas. Figure out, how can you jump? How can you make changes? How can you innovate? There’s so many, just local companies, I went to Best Buy the other day. I buy on my phone, I park in the parking lot and these guys are running out and they now deliver stuff in your trunk. Or there was a sit sit-down Mexican food place that I went by and they have a full-on drive-through set up out in the parking lot where they were bringing bags out to people. So many people are changing their businesses.

Or even like the movies. That’s a big part of where you were. Any movie that was supposed to get released this week, a lot of them are releasing just straight to online distribution instead. Do you think there’s going to be a lot of things that people come out of this and realize when it does go back to our, whatever that version of normal becomes, they say, “Oh, we started doing this during quarantine, we’re going to keep doing that. We actually learned that’s a good way to communicate.” Can you think of anything off the top of your head that you guys will probably do later?

Dave: Absolutely. There are some software like connecting tools that we’re using right now in Asana or Slack that we may have used a little bit prior to quarantine, but the way that it is just a dependency on us continuing to get things done has been a massive gift in the way that we will, after this is done, continue to use them as project management kind of tools.

I think, one, it depends on how long this lasts. I tend to be someone who just thinks that things will last longer than we’d hope. That way I can manage my expectation and the expectation of the humans in my house, for this just being the way that things will be for some length of time. But in that the longer that it ends up lasting, the more likely that consumer behavior is going to change coming out of it. That’s one.

Two, there are two types of people inside of crises like this. There are the kind that we’ll wait to see how the sand settles, how things end up returning to, or not a sense of normal so that they can make plans on the other side of having clarity on how things are now going to be. Or there are people that are going to, in real time, be an active member in defining how things will be when they are either in the midst of, or on the other side of it.

Innovation is going to happen that meets the needs of changing consumer demand, whether you are a part of it or not, so why not be part of it? That’s more the way that I think of it. When I think about the way that people may think differently about the necessity of meeting in an office space, as a, for example. Telecommuting and network, doing virtual work is something that is going to exist for maybe a quarter of the year this year. In that some of the preconceived thinking around the necessity of having your entire team inside of a physical space will be challenged just because of time.

Like any habit, whether it’s, “Hey, I want to start running,” or “I want to cut this thing out of my diet,” usually habits are things that can be formed over a 30-day period. You get to 90 days and they are something that you can stick to for the rest of your entire life. We are in real time being given, whether we like it or not, the gift of a window to build a new set of habits. Some of the habits that we adopt, whether they’re physical habits, drinking water and moving your body kind of habits, or getting comfortable with how we have virtual teams that can be as productive as they would have otherwise been if they were in offices, is a thing we need to take note of.

If you’re working in real estate, this is a thing I’d keep my finger on the pulse of, especially if you work inside of commercial real estate. What is this going to mean potentially for the way that you are projecting the needs that some local business that was planning an expansion may now, in fact, not have that kind of need because of learning something out of this window? If you know that, are there ways that you can come to this new reality with a set of solutions that still keep you relevant in a world that may be shifting a little bit in real time?

Aaron: That’s such great a great point too, like you talk about habits and habits form over 30 days, and we’re getting forced into this new maybe 60, maybe 90, who knows how long, for this habit and so being able to jump in on that, and then see what’s out there. Over the next couple weeks, we’re going to start to see the habits that are happening and in the business world, people can start to see that, just like you said, everyone’s going to realize that, whereas working from home before was a no way possible, I think some people are going to see they’re actually more more productive, or they’re not driving here and there anymore, they actually have so much more time on their hands, as they get to make those changes and so we start to see that.

Your book, you talk a lot about habits, right? I think one of the parts that talks about, inside out, you’ve got all these different thoughts inside your head, but really, we don’t have any control over those. The only thing we have control over is our habits and so what are some of the habits right now that you guys are pushing with your next 90-day challenge or you as a personal coach that people really need to adopt now, because they have 90-day training wheels, where it’s should be easier to adopt some of those habits, I would think?

Dave: Having a daily routine, and sticking to a daily routine during this window, is such an important thing. Going to the bed at a consistent time, exercising on an every single day basis, making sure that you’re eating and taking care of yourself. The things that you do every day, trying to do them as often as you can around the same sequence. Creating a sense of normal in an abnormal world is important. At least from a mental health perspective, but also just from a momentum perspective, moving our body every single day is critically important.

My wife and I are in the midst of a challenge with our community called, the next 90 days. Just assuming that we collectively in isolation need community more than ever to stay in a posture of being able to not just survive, but thrive through whatever ends up being thrown our way. There are some things that we’re committing to every single day that include moving our body for at least 30 minutes, making sure that we’re drinking half our body weight in ounces of water every single day, getting up an hour earlier so that we can actually spend some time by ourself.

There is an impossibility to be totally alone when you are quarantining in a house of six humans, but getting up an hour early is my chance to actually put some of the oxygen mask on myself first before my kids show up and need their homeschooling or need whatever it is that four kids between 3 and 13 years old need when they are all inside of this house together.

Making sure that we are focusing on gratitude every single day is an important part of how we’re approaching every single day. Then we have committed to every 30 days of the next 90 days trying to pull one thing that we want to just show ourselves that we can commit to promise-wise out of our food regimen or drink regimen, so that we can be fueling our body in a way that actually hasn’t showing up the way that we hope.

Tortilla chips as a coping mechanism during this time is something that I always lean on and, man, I’ve chosen you know what, no tortillas for the next 30 days, I’ll switch to something else. I just, yesterday, celebrated not having a drink for a year. I committed a year ago when drinking as a coping mechanism after long days after stress showed up. Drinking had been a casual thing in my life for my whole life and then it became less casual when the stresses were stacking on top of each other as we were scaling our business and trying to work together for the first time I was writing my first book. I made a decision, you know what, I’m going to show myself that I can not have a drink for a year.

Man, what an awesome thing to have made that choice for more than anything showing myself that if I make a promise to myself that I can keep it. Now that I’ve made it through a year of not drinking, I know that I can frankly take on any kind of a promise to myself.

In this season, in this quarantine, in this crisis, where it’s going to escalate before it deescalates, having a set of habits that you can lean on instead of routines that you can lean on are critically, critically, critically important. In part, if you are not totally familiar with the way habits work, you are going to be triggered. It is a guarantee in life, there is no way that you can not have triggers show up. When you are triggered there is a routine that you go to and that routine is something that produces a reward and that is called a habit loop. You’re triggered, there’s a routine, and then there’s a reward.

The challenge for you is to understand when your triggers show up because your triggers are going to show up, you can’t not have triggers show up and when they show up have a routine that serves giving you the reward in a way that is healthy for your body, that is consistent with your personal brand, that helps you still show up well for yourself and for your family.

For me, when I previously was triggered by life, stress, fear, anxiety, whatever it might be, I would reach for a drink and it would produce a reward. I didn’t have to think about those things because I was numbing some of my anxiety. When I decided to not drink, I still got triggered all the time got triggered but instead of grabbing a drink, I would go for a run. So, in that run, I could still produce the reward. I didn’t feel the anxiousness, I didn’t feel the fear because while I was moving my body on the road I was able to process that fear. In this time you’re going to be triggered, in this time you need to have a conscientiousness of your habit loop so that when you become triggered you choose an activity, a routine, that, yes, still provides you the reward, but does so in a healthy way.

Aaron: You were able to take that, quitting drinking, to really, when you were triggered you would run. Then you didn’t just start running, like you did marathons or you did like the everlasting hike, or just really all sorts of different things, you kept pushing the envelope further and further. Now you’ve seen all the benefits of it, but at the first time, was there a moment where you said like, “Hey, I’m going to try to skip this?”

Maybe as it applies to people that are at home right now, as they’re looking at we’re in our face, seeing our bad habits all day long, our spouses are seeing our habits all day long, was there a moment that happened that you were like, “Hey, I’m going to give this a shot,” and then a moment you were like, “Wow, I’m definitely going to take this through my year?”

Dave: Well, I decided to commit to a year because I tend to be wired a little bit more all or nothing and I didn’t want to give myself a chance to negotiate with myself, because I’m a decent negotiator and I can rationalize, just having a drink only when things were like this, and I truly was hoping to rewire the way that I thought about alcohol as an effective coping mechanism.

What I didn’t appreciate at the time, but what I can see very, very clearly on the other side of it is that alcohol, or pills, or food, or any of whatever you list and are your coping mechanisms that don’t serve you, any of those coping mechanisms they are not local anesthetics. You can’t take that negative coping mechanism and apply it just to your fear, it also mutes your joy.

You can’t just apply it to your anxiety, it also stunts the opportunity to grow because the rough edges that you are trying to take out of your long day, those rough edges are actually the place that growth comes from. In this crisis, in this window, where you’re questioning, what the heck am I going to do with this slow down and how am I going to try and drum up as many customers and what does that mean for the commercial real estate market and whatever it might be, the thing that you have to try and do though it is uncomfortable, is sit inside of the struggle and let the struggle be the catalyst for breakthroughs and innovation.

It’s an easy thing to say it’s a hard thing to necessarily want to practice, but the last time there was a major recession, I think people probably know this so this isn’t new information, but between 2008 and 2010 the kind of companies that were born in the midst of economic crisis are some of the most important in terms of market capitalization in the world now. Uber and Square and Venmo and Slack and Airbnb, these companies that came in and totally revolutionized the way that people either did business or do business.

Think about Airbnb, one of the biggest companies in hospitality, doesn’t own structures, right? Uber, one of the biggest brands, market cap wise, it’s the biggest transportation company in the world, doesn’t own cars, right? They were born inside of this space. The ability to afford innovation to take place requires that you’re able to sit inside of the disruption, the struggle, the friction, the pain, and not mute it.

If you can try and see the opportunity that might come in not muting some of the things that happen in a state of fear like fight or flight, you get to choose. If you decide flight is your option, you decide to drink instead of have to deal, then, yes, you will not be dealing with the pain or the fear or the anxiety but you’re also not going to get any of the benefit that comes in the fight. Those that fight end up being the ones that are able to disrupt business and industry and there will be someone who’s listening to this, who has the fight instinct instead of the fight instinct, and they will fundamentally changed the way that they approach real estate because of this opportunity that’s been afforded to us, but only because of their willingness to sit in and honor the discomfort of this struggle.

Aaron: Yes, it’s the same. if you mute emotion, if you want to mute the sadness then you’re going to meet the happiness. You can’t mute some emotions exclusively. You think back to Airbnb at the beginning, those guys were like, “We just needed to pay rent.” They rent out a room and that was just how giant that industry has become and everything else out there.

There’s a lot of innovation that we even talked about at the beginning, companies are doing them and then somebody is going to take it a step further and go, “Wow. Now everybody wants to do business like this.”

Aaron: Let’s talk about your book a little bit. It comes out there, because I think so much of it applies now as well, the book is really a bunch of lies that we tell ourselves. It’s like lies are– It says, my work is who I am. The things that have worked for others won’t work for me. Or self-help is for broken people or self-help is also like self-improvement. There’s all sorts of ways in that.

When you started going through this book, were there any lies that we tell ourselves that stand out to you as being like, “This is one of the most important ones to handle first as like a domino to start the rest falling”? Do you have a favorite or one that really had the biggest influence on you?

Dave: Yes. Well, I think it’s important for us just to begin with. we are all operating against the backdrop of a set of stories, lies, beliefs, that were given to us over time. Some of it was given to us through life experience. Some of it was given to us by our family of origin. Some of it was given to us by societal structures, but there are a set of stories that govern the way we operate. Whether we are conscious or unconscious of it, the more you can become conscious of it, the more you can affect whether you believe in the things that you believe in. Or that you still afford credibility to the sources of those stories.

In the midst of this season, before I answer your question, I just want to say, if you are operating currently against the backdrop of a set of beliefs about how you do or don’t have the resilience, can or can’t be the person who makes a pivot, do or don’t have the ability to see what is happening as an opportunity instead of something that is going to destroy your business forever, you have to ask where your belief in that story comes from.

Was there some experience that you had one time when adversity showed its head where you didn’t actually come out as strong as you’d hoped that you’ve stayed anchored to? Was there something in the way you were raised or is there something in, if you’re a man or a woman, the way that a good man or a good girl operates in the world that you have allowed to become your truth, even if it was told through the lens of someone else’s fear? I would start there.

The biggest one for me was that everyone is thinking about what I’m doing. Because so much of what limits us from doing the things that we’ve been put on this planet to do, so much of what affects the way that we think about taking chances. The people who are going to succeed in this environment right now in the midst of this crisis are those that are willing to take chances that might have them publicly fail because of wanting to learn from that public failure. The reason why so many people will not take a chance and probably fail is because of the way ego is connected to what other people might think of us doing something and not being great at it the first time out of the gate.

The more that you can spend time thinking about whether you believe the lie that everyone is thinking about what I am doing, because I believe that lie, everyone is thinking about what I’m doing, and was afforded this wildly massive gift in my living Disney to come and do this work, that as much as, yes, I still have people that I’m connected to. Man, I’m sure there was some emotion around the going away party, the second time I was gone I was replaceable. The minute I was gone they were still breaking records. They still had the greatest team. They still have the greatest collection of intellectual property. It’s Disney.

So, any time that I delayed leaving a situation where I knew I wasn’t growing as much as I needed to for the opportunity to do this work with my wife time that was wasted because of a belief that other people were thinking about me, and because my choice to go do this work made sense to me, but not them, I was unwilling to go venture off into doing this thing that I might fail at for the worry of what they might think and no one was thinking about me.

If you are hearing this, no one is thinking about you. Please hear this, it’s a gift. No one is thinking about you. This is, and I have to say this every time, that’s not an indictment on the people I was working with. It’s not an indictment on the people that are in your circle or your friends. You are probably friends with people who are listening to this episode and they’re not thinking about you, because human nature is to think first about ourselves. I think about myself first and so do you, each of you listeners.

If someone is thinking about you and they have a problem with something that you’re doing, it may be that they, in some ways, are begrudging of the fact that you have a belief in yourself that they do not yet themselves have a belief in. Or that you are so comfortable pursuing failure in a way that reveals their discomfort with being seen as a failure. They’re feeling something about you that is more a reflection of their fear than it is a reflection of your truth, is not a reason to not go and make a step in the direction that you feel called, that you feel pulled.

The way that we can reframe failure as being for us and failure as being the only way truly that you will ever learn and grow to become the kind of broker, the kind of agent that you hope to one day be, that’s the day when you become free. I have sat with my team and had to have this conversation many times. They don’t love this conversation, but at the beginning of the year, as we were giving them the vision of where we were taking our company five years from now, the audacity of the dreams of where we’re trying to build our company, had me having to let them all know that with the set of skills that they currently each possess, none of them will be sitting at the leadership table of our company five years from now. That includes me, because they have not yet taken chances on and failed in areas of our business that would equip them with the experience to be qualified to sit at that table.

If you have given a vision for where you’d hope to lead your team or grow your office, or have this certain number of houses or apartments or dollars that you’re generating, hit a certain threshold, you are not qualified yet for that because you have not yet pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone far enough to fail at enough things that would equip you with the experiences to know how to do that as well as is required. If you already had those skills you’d already have that office. If you already had those skills you’d already have that revenue number.

You’re not there yet, and that’s not an indictment on you or anyone on my team. It’s just a statement of fact and reframing the way that we have to think differently about our worry of what people might think of as failing gives us permission to go out and actually build a set of skills that would make us qualified to sit in the headquarters you dream of five years from now, or sit in the headquarters I dream of five years from now.

Aaron: There’s so much freedom in that? Realizing that no one really cares. It’s like when your kids are at a dance recital, I’m only looking at my kid. I don’t really care– If my kid falls down, I can tell himm, “Look, I’m the only one really watching you.” The people around us are the ones that care, the ones out there that we tend to think, too much about that they aren’t paying attention.

When Dave saying this, he had a huge rollover at Disney and it was a job that a lot of people are like, wow. You get to talk to famous people and movie releases and all the fun stuff that people see around the world and getting to go leave to run a business with his wife, imagine what would have happened had you not. Had you not made the change, what would the differences in your life be? As you get to make that progress. One of the parts of your book, you talk about the Hawaii story and you’re reading your wife’s book for the first time.

In there, I think it’s a lot about what you just talked about too, you’re reading and she’s telling the stories of your guys’s marriage and the stories of who you are and as you’re reading that, there’s things in there you’re like, these are secrets. I don’t want anyone to know this, you can’t release this book. You probably didn’t want her to release it whenever that was first coming out because it’s all those things that we think, what are people going to think and do that— The looking back now, what did it take at that time to be okay with it? Were you ever okay with it until after, and then, how do you feel looking back when you see now the secrets are out there?

Dave: My first reaction, my wife wrote a book. If you don’t know my wife her name is Rachel Hollis. She wrote a variety of books but her biggest book was something called Girl, Wash Your Face and in this book she describes 20 lies that she believed that kept her from being her best self. In the 20 lies, she’s telling stories of very, very personal, very transparent, and honest things that she struggled with.

I thought that that vulnerability was a liability and I did argue very, very hard for her to not release the book. I’m super excited that she didn’t listen to me after it sold 4 million copies but it was a thing at the time that I, man, thought was a mistake. It wasn’t until I was able to see how much the people who bought the book in their ability to see themselves in her stories were able to, one, feel less alone. Two, in seeing a little bit of how she was able to stay out of her own way, they were afforded some tools on how they might also make life change to not have to step in it the way that she maybe did.

It turns out that vulnerability is a superpower. It’s not a, it’s not a liability and as I was able to take that away, it’s been applied in every single part of our business now. The more that I am comfortable in owning the things that I’ve been through, it connects me 100% of the time to the audience who universally struggles. If you’re listening to this, you struggle whether you want to admit it or not, you struggle. Why do I know this? Because humanity, because as humans we all struggle and in acknowledging my struggle and how in getting through certain things, I feel different on the other side of that struggle.

I was able to take something that I at times have carried shame for and turn it into power. If there’s a way for you, as you’re listening, to think about the way that the customers that you’re interacting with, the brokers that you’re interacting with, the team that you’re trying to build also shares your humanity and your ability to connect with them with authenticity, that doesn’t necessarily always try to convince them everything’s great, “Trust me, it’s fine,” but instead meets them with, “Hey, this is what’s really going on.

This is how I’m processing this anxiety. This is what I’m feeling about the market, these things they happen to be real but here’s how we believe that we’re deploying a set of resources or solutions to help deal with these real life, real world things.” It connects you in a way that, especially in the hyper curated world of social media and the way that there is so much of people trying to put Polish on the imperfections of just being human. I’m the person who’s willing to own a little bit of their personal struggle will actually, in my mind, breakthrough and connect with the people you’re trying to connect with in a way that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to, it can be a superpower.

Definitely is something for me that has afforded me power by owning with honesty and with some transparency that struggle that I’ve been through in a way that I– Again at the beginning of this journey never would have afforded anyway.

Aaron: Four million people they find out, they get to read all that stuff that you’re afraid of and then you see, now it’s probably, it is definitely a strength in social media and probably anybody out there to realize– If everyone knows your secrets, you’re not blackmailable. Nobody can actually say, no I know it’s the other way. I got in so much trouble in my twenties and I remember being– Early in my thirties being like, “Oh man I hope people don’t Google and find out that I was arrested,” and all this stuff, and again, thinking that people cared. Then when you finally get on a podcast, well let’s just tell everybody about it’s no big deal.

First one, you realize it’s no big deal and then two there’s this freedom and the idea that now you can be your authentic self. There’s no secrets in the stories and you and your wife, both, you’ve grown like huge social media channels and the– Is it every day? How often do you guys do that? You do a morning show where it’s just you guys talking, just being authentic talking about whatever, and that seems to be one of the most popular things you guys do so many people are drawn to you. How often do you do that and how did that start?

Dave: We do something that we’ve branded The Star Today Morning Show. Monday through Friday 9:00 AM central, we are live on a variety of social media platforms. The replay ends up going into iTunes as a podcast. There are about 250,000 or so people per day that are in one platform or another engaging with us in community. I would just say this is something that consistency compounds.

If you are wondering, all right how do I create something that draws crowds like this? Consistency compounds. We have done this every single weekday morning for almost three years worth of time. In doing it, every single weekday morning for almost three years worth of time, at least 30 minutes per day. We are in a Gary V kind of way, Jab, Jab, Jab, jab, jab forever before you write who can ask someone to actually transact financially with you. We’re just trying to deliver a massive amount of value to the audience because that is what building a community is about.

Listening, listening, listening to what their needs are and then serving them tools that can meet those needs. We are in real-time doing an activation with our community called next 90 days, where for these 14 weeks of the next 90 days of time, we are every single week having a theme during each week. Yet last week was the first week, it was about perspective and we had a couple of guest speakers come on and talk about it. We had our podcasts each talk about it. We’ve got a variety of podcasts that run during the week. We have some coaching that was created specifically for it, and yet, we had five days worth of this morning show that was talking about it.

We have about a half million people that signed up to do this activation. There’s no charge to it? There’s no charge. The idea is if you can just overwhelm people with content and build them in a community, is there a way that they can feel affinity for your brand? Is there a way that they might after they’ve received a bunch of really great valuable, but free content ask if there are deeper ways that they can spend time with you inside of a live events, with a book, with a journal, or some product, with a TV program that we’ve created. We’re just fanatical about serving the audience well.

Here, in this time, I would ask, what are some of the things that you can do in quarantine, no matter what business that you operate inside of? The thing I would say is you can create tons of content. We have a camera set up in a room and we are creating massive amounts of content to put on social media and the thing is if you are putting it up so that you can get 250,000 people a day to watch it, then don’t start because it’s not going to happen on the first-day, consistency compounds.

It is going to take you deciding to do it for the seven people who decide to watch it for the first month for it to get 25 people and then 250 people and then 2,500 people over the course of time. If you can focus on serving the needs of your audience well, what do people right now have concerns about with regard to real estate, given the state of the world? How valuable is the asset that they’re currently holding? When is the right time to buy? Does the financing of homes or of a business change with any of the subsidies that might be coming from the government? Are there things that the rates changing with the fact–

You have a set of information that there is a ton of appetite for whether someone is in or out of the market and if you can satisfy giving some answers, some knowns in a sea of unknowns, you’ll be seen as a resource. The first thing I would say, man, just focus on how can you create inside of this window and then do it because of wanting to deliver value, not because of hoping that you’re going about a sale, not because of thinking you’re going to get a new customer do it because you are committed to serving the needs of your potential customers long from now, long from now.

Aaron: Right, that consistency completely compounds. I remember I saw your wife Rachel at a conference and somebody had asked her like, “How did you grow your social media so big.” She was like, “Well, the after days and days and days for years, providing just content and consistency and that there’s no overnight success with this.” When you started that morning show three years ago, you didn’t have 350,000 people on there.

Dave: No.

Aaron: Now it’s changing every day, right? It’s a great opportunity to log in at the same time and be authentic, another thing we were talking about was just being able to be completely honest with who you are, and be able to share the news because people do want to hear it. You guys said at the beginning, probably, I think if someone were to told you there was going to be 350,000 people on your daily morning show, your wife probably would have said yes and you probably would have said no, right?

Dave: That’s real. I’m a skeptic, I’m always skeptical of what the heck is actually happening here. I think the thing too, that you have to have a handle on as you’re listening is, who is your ideal customer, and what is their specific need set because there may be someone who’s listening, who has high-end, speculative commercial real estate types. Who would 100% be in the market for this is the time where millionaires are born, because the market’s low and if you’ve got some liquidity now you can just rush to buy, and when things turn, you’re going to be, right?

Then there’s some of you that are working in residential, lower price point housing, that if you start talking about this is where millionaires are born, where people are having a hard time making ends meet to make their rent payment this month, you’re going to completely turn off the possibility, it sounds tone-deaf. You have to I think, first start with just understanding a little bit of who is my ideal customer and what is their specific need set and how, with the expertise that I have, could I deliver resources and value to them in this time, given what I know is on their heart or on their mind?

What is worrying them and how can I maybe alleviate a little bit of that worry with information that would help make them feel a little more sure in an unsure time?

Aaron: Such great advice, because everybody has that. Everybody has a specialty, everybody has an ideal client. Every one of those clients needs something different today than they needed two months ago and for the next 60, 90 days, they’re going to need that too. Let’s talk about the real relationship. You guys go on a date night, every week. I think your books every Thursday night and for the rest of your life, you guys have that and now we’re at home so we can’t. I’m curious about what you guys are doing to help with that because it was such a good habit that you had.

Then also, you’ve been working with your spouse for a while, so people right now, are you at home all day long with their spouses, there’s also a lot of changes that happened during recessions, maybe one spouse starts working that wasn’t, breadwinners change, you’ve experienced so much with all of that, what are you doing right now with your relationship are there any hacks that you’re doing during this? Also, any tips for being a spouse, working closely with your spouse or friends, or anything else to have those conversations?

Dave: Well, I’m really big on this idea of, create your values, whether they’re personal values or relationship values, and then understand what you need to do to engineer the most likely scenario of making those values come to life. I’ve called it my if-then statement, right? If I want an exceptional relationship, then I need to do these things. If I want to be an exceptional father, then I need to right? When it comes to if I want an exceptional relationship with my wife, then my calendar needs to reflect my desire for an exceptional relationship, the way that I am actively in pursuit of my wife, our commitment to intimacy has to be something that all of the things.

Yes, standing Thursday night date night is a thing that has been a thing for us prior to quarantine, and during quarantine. Now, we’ve had to be creative, because we’ve got four kids. My niece happened to have moved out here about a year ago and so she quarantined with us from the beginning because I knew that I was going to need some help with these 1000 children that live inside of this house and I didn’t want her to have to be alone, but man, what a gift that we have an extra set of hands that lets us this is our date night last Thursday, we got in the car. We went to a drive-thru carwash and we listened to a podcast together before we came back home and resumed our life.

That is not a traditional date night. We drove the long way, we live out in the middle of nowhere south of Austin, Texas. We drove the long way so that we would have an hour just an hour of time by ourselves. Finding time for yourself, even if alone time means sitting out on the back porch after the kids have gone to bed, you got to fight for that, you got to do that. We have been working together for about two years. It has been the best two years of our relationship and it has been the hardest two years of our relationship.

The thing I would say, if you work with your partner, man, you already know it can be challenging and hard. The best advice that I would give is really trying to find clear lanes that define what you do and what they do so that you can eliminate as much as possible the times where there’s overlap or ambiguity in who’s doing what. For us, she is the what person, she is the visionary dreamer and she creates the what, and I am the how person, I am the practical, pragmatic integrator of our business. I figure out how to take what she’s created and make it available on as many platforms as possible to as wide an audience as possible, in a way that they are ultimately hoping to receive it.

Man, that’s been good for defining how we do what we do, and yet, there’s still plenty of friction, because by nature, an integrator and a visionary are supposed to have friction. We had to change the way that we thought about engaging in constructive conflict so that we could serve our team of 60 people well, so that we could still want to make out at the end of a long day, so that we could resolve things fast. One of the things that we had to adopt was this idea of Radical Candor, which is a book that a person named Kim Scott wrote, there’s a great 20-minute YouTube video that explains this thing super, super succinctly if you’re interested.

It’s the idea that if you are in relationship and respect someone, and you know what they have suggested are their personal values or what they aspire to in their personal brand and you see them deviate from those values or deviate from that brand, you have a responsibility as someone who cares about them, to pull them aside and have a direct conversation about what you’ve witnessed so that they can take that information and apply it to how they might have maybe shown up better, or how they might show up better next time.

It still can sometimes be emotional. It was definitely a deviation from us, having been a little more I would say even codependent prior to working together, we were trying to keep each other a little more happy than we were wanting to deal necessarily head-on with what was going on. It has become super normal for us to have hard conversations, because the frequency of hard conversations, they happen all the time, but they’re not that hard anymore.

In this environment, now where we’re together in quarantine, I don’t want to make any recommendations about disrupting more things than not. I also will say, if you can find a way to have constructive conversations so that the things that you’re feeling don’t fester, it creates a lightness and an opportunity to push through so many times, the things that I think she is feeling or the intention that I believe her to have, when I’ve actually confronted her about it, is completely not there. Many times we have these conversations, and each of us have to start our sentences with the words, my intention is.

My intention is to get clarity on what you’re doing this thing or that thing was so that I can really understand what your motivation was or why you were trying to do it. My intention here is to and if you find yourself in a place where, man, you’re frustrated, guess what? Being in quarantine with the humans that you love is going to create frustration for sure, it’s a guarantee. Finding a way to have a harder conversation or courageous conversation in a way that they can hear is super helpful. I will say this last thing, sorry.

Aaron: You’re good.

Dave: When things have become particularly tough, when we have had to deal with things that are harder, we’ve resorted to emails, because there is something in shooting an email to the other that affords that person the opportunity to read it, become emotional about whatever it is that they’re being confronted in, have that emotion de-escalate and then come back and have a more constructive conversation after they’ve processed it in a way that hopefully is less defensive and more open to actually having a conversation. That has been super effective.

Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still hurt your heart when you get an email that says. “You have not been as connected to your personal values or you veered off of who you said you want to be as a father or a husband but it’s something that has worked for us.

Aaron: Yes, in your book, you’ve got a few examples of those emails. I won’t do the spoilers, but I thought those were those are some really powerful things that help, the communication. I think that that’s really great advice right now, especially for quarantine, for spouses that are going to have those conversations for the first time, spouse roles are going to change, breadwinners are going to change within the relationships right now. Anytime you go into a recession, much stuff changes. Being able to start that conversation with “My intention is,” that’s a very safe spot and then sending that email if it’s a hard one, you have a certain amount of time where, hey, if I send you an email, you got to cool down release an hour before you come in, or?

Dave: We haven’t really gotten there. I mean, truly, like when you get an email, and at the top, there is the declaration of the intent, hey, I am sending this because, it’s easy to de-escalate the emotion when you can stay anchored to the intention of the person sending it and the fact that in part of their declaration, they’re representing how much they care for you and how hard it is to, frankly, you have to sometimes confront someone about something that they inevitably could be they could feel some shame for or they could feel, any kind of feelings, but it tends to be a thing where you give it a night’s sleep, right?

Like people always say, like, don’t go to bed angry, I 100% believe that you should go to bed angry. If I get an email like this, or we have a hard conversation and it doesn’t feel like we have the emotional energy or the time to actually unpack the conversation, then get a good night’s sleep and then with a fresh set of eyes, and maybe the benefit of a little time to consider the intention of their having brought this up in the first place. You can have a productive conversation in a way that doesn’t get, super emotional. The alternative is to not say anything, and not saying anything, you are guaranteeing two things.

One, it will fester and it will become a bigger problem over time, and two, you will not actually pull into the light, whether the thing that you were thinking is real or imagined. Often, I mean, so often, the thing that I’m thinking is an imagined thing that does not actually exist and it’s only in bringing it up that I get to be free from it because it never was there.

Aaron: Yes, those tough conversations are tough for both parties. Just like you said, a spouse never wants to hurt someone else’s feelings. They don’t want to get into there and trusting that everybody goes into that, and a good night’s sleep can solve a lot of stuff.

With business, it’s the same thing. We have these problems in these stresses and we pray about it go to bed and we wait, something we wake up with a solution and so I like that change of maybe it’s going to bed angry and wake up with a way to solve it. We’re almost out of time but what I really want, I want you to tell us about the Hollis company right, started as some books and now it’s gone into many different phases. Have you got these giant conferences now, I don’t know how many a year, you’ve got the business conferences. Tell us about Hollis company, what you guys are doing what you’ve been doing this year, and any of the big stuff.

Dave: Yes, the Hollis company exists to put tools in people’s hands to help them have the fullest life possible. The idea is any of the products or services that we’ve created have truly come out of listening to the audience represent their interest in us going into a certain whether it’s platform or medium and there’s live events, there are women’s conferences called the Rise Conference, there’s a business conference called rise business. There is a run, we’ve gotten really into running and there is a half marathon five days that’s happening this year.

There is digital education, there’s a portal that has a whole host of ways that you can be coached by myself, by Rachel, or through some other people that we’re bringing into a network for coaching. It’s been an awesome way to connect community but also to serve individual needs, whether it’s in life or career, we have a variety of different products. There’s some product lives at Target around planners and journals. There’s some direct consumer stuff that we create with hats, water bottles, different paper goods and then there’s books.

I have this book that you’ve talked about Rachel’s got a series of books that, have been put out. Beyond the books, inside of the media space, there’s podcasts and some different fun TV stuff. Rachel has a show that’s out on a new platform called Quibi. We’ve had a movie that lives on Amazon called Made for More anyway, we just make a whole bunch of media, we make a bunch of media that hopefully, in meeting people and their needs, where are they represented they exist will help them to have a richer, fuller life.

Aaron: That is a huge elevator pitch but I know much of the stuff you guys have. I think when it came to the journal, it was people told you they wanted a journal. You made one everybody’s like, well, hey, what do you do for this and so it was listening to people like how did that your products were going to be awesome is because your people told them told you exactly what you wanted. You put that together, and then you released it.

Dave: I think it’s interesting and this time, like it, you bring up a great point, like, when originally we had an idea to do a conference, it was one day and then people represented an interest in some additional things and it became two day. Then we had an experience at a conference where we realized that health was the thing that we weren’t touching on enough because of some of the reaction to some of the material.

We added a third day, when people were talking about this gratitude practice that Rachel was doing in a notebook, and asking if we would create a gratitude practice in a journal, it became a massive part of our business, because they were interested in doing this thing, and we’re raising their hand suggesting it. If you have stayed connected to the ways that your teams or your customers are consistently asking the same question over and over, that is them telling you to create a tool that would be of value to them?

You need to just follow that trail of breadcrumbs and I don’t know what it might be specifically for people who work inside of real estate or an agent but, man, if you’re hearing the same thing over and over, that is them, the universe, telling you that that is a thing that you ought to pull on the thread of.

Aaron: Yes, listen to what’s out there. People want to join the next 90 Day Challenge. Is it too late?

Dave: Not at all. We’re doing it for 14 weeks, you can head over to the hollisco.com/next90, and every single week, there is going to be a different theme, and every week you’re going to get a 45 or so minute coaching. Last week, it was on perspective. This week it’s on joy, next week, it’s on habits but each week we’re going to do this thing as a community and we’d love to have you join.

Aaron: If you guys want to hear more about Dave or his wife on Instagram, they do a ton of stuff on Instagram and Facebook you go to atmosphere Dave Hollis on Instagram or at the Hollis company, that’s where they do the show and your podcast the rise together podcasts out there.

Dave: I get right Rise Together is on Thursdays it’s a relationship podcast and, man, it’s a mix of Rachel and I talking about every single part of our relationship but also bringing on fantastic guests to talk about their specific expertise. We’ve had, Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of Love Languages on we’ve had a sex therapist on a couple of times. We do call-in features where people that are out there just telling us the things that they’re struggling with. We try to dive into all of it. That’s every single Thursday.

Rachel’s got a great podcast that was the number one business podcast last year on I heart called to rise, it comes out on Tuesdays and it’s just practical tactical tips on how to scale your small business and each of you as you’re listening, you’re a small business owner. If you have not yet give rise a listen.

Aaron: Yes, you guys have many resources out there something for everybody. Dave, thanks for coming on today and I hope many people reach out and follow you.

Dave: Right on, Aaron. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

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