Mon, Oct 24, 2022 10:42AM • 57:59
Summary from the host:
In this episode, Joe welcomes the great Jason Earle to the Lounge. Jason is an entrepreneur, an expert on air quality, and is the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-MOLD and MycoLab USA. He has been featured on Good Morning America, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Dr. Oz Show, Entrepreneur, Wired, and much, much more. During their discussion, Jason shared his amazing story of resilience and explains the importance of microbials, microbiomes, and their links to our overall health.
people, mold, microbiome, llama, wall street, question, hear, learned, parents, test, learning, stockbroker, book, podcast, early, microbes, years, money, terms, entrepreneur
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yo, welcome back to the llama lounge a dialogue on all things life Learning and Leadership. This is Joe Bogdan. And I have the honor of welcoming today’s guests to the lounge. Jason Earle. Jason is an entrepreneur and an expert on air quality and is the founder and CEO of one 800 Got mold and micro lab USA. He has been featured on Good Morning America Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, the Dr. Oz Show, entrepreneur, wired and much, much more. Welcome to the lounge. Jason, how are you?
Hi, Joe. I’m great. How are you?
I’m doing awesome. And I’m really grateful that you you’ve made some time to come on the show and talk because, man, I’ve heard you on the shadows, podcasts run by Tripp Bodenheimer, one of my brothers and part of the Lima Charlie network with us in a bunch of other podcast shows and, and I just was so fascinated by your story and your energy, man. So I’m so happy for you to be here. No,
it’s good to be here. Thank you.
So hey, before we get started in some of this, you know, I want I want to hear your story. Because I think that your story is so amazing. And I know our audience will love it too. But we started off the show on a positive note, what is the best thing that has happened to you so far this week? Ah,
man, it was a busy week, a lot, lot of good stuff happened. I have to say that probably the best thing that happened. It’s very personal. It’s my little boy, I’ve got a one year old and a three year old. And my one year old, was born C section and my wife had antibiotics during her pregnancy, which made me very concerned. And so he was born essentially without a microbiome. So he was born with deficiencies in his gut health. And, and it reflects in his skin and he’s constantly itchy and he’s got some significant allergies a lot like how I grew up. And that was my main concern. I didn’t want to do a repeat on that. And through a series of experiments we have and he’s just been covered with eczema and it’s just been really quite a challenging situation for us and for him of course, more so for him, but it’s a burden on the household emotionally and otherwise and and we have we have since landed on a series of steps that have alleviated this and it all manifested this week so my my little boy is clear skin he’s now chi it’s it’s enough to get me all misty eyed, actually.
It’s beautiful. That’s amazing, man. And I’m so happy to hear that I my nephew. A lot of the same issues had a lot of medical issues with right when he was born, you know, and yeah, same thing EXCOM all over skin. So yeah, grateful that your your boy got to, you know, get some clear skin and you see like, like a light at the end of the tunnel with that and you know, that microbiome thing? I don’t think most people I think most people take that for granted. Right? They don’t realize how important that is. What have you learned about that so far through his process or what have you already known, you
know? Well, you know, that’s a whole probably a whole podcast on that alone because, you know, I tend to dive deep on these things and being considered an expert in the area of microbial environments, I basically specialized in the microbiome of the home, if you think about it, and the way I think about it is kind of like nesting ecologies. So, like the Matroyshka, Russian Matryoshka Dolls, that, that collapse, you know, that each other, you know, your home has a microbiome, the outside of the world has a microbiome, every surface really has a microbiome. And then within each, you know, within each one of those subsets, we have our own internal and external one. And then even the microbes Believe it or not have their own microbiome, they have Vibrams. And so they you know, it’s like, you know, as above so below and and so whether you go microscopic or telescopic you know, there’s there’s these nesting ecologies is the way I like to think about it. And actually, for anyone who’s interested in this subject, I read a fascinating book called I contain multitudes, by Ed Young. And it’s just amazing science writer, won a Pulitzer Prize for Peace he did on COVID, about a year and a half ago. And, and that just blew the top off of my head, I couldn’t believe the awareness that that gave me about the power of our microbes. You know, in our gut, our gut microbiome consists of more microbes than there are stars in our galaxy, huh, wow. And, and in fact, your brain and the microbes in your gut, they call it the gut brain because of the relationship, it got the microbiome, and microbiota within the gut actually send signals up to the brain. And so when people have a bad gut feeling, that’s, that’s a literal thing. Many of your neurotransmitter serotonin, which most people are familiar with, as well as GABA, which is the one that’s, that’s dysfunctional when you’re dealing with alcohol and benzodiazepines are produced by microbes in the gut, so are your B vitamins. So in fact, you know, without that, you’d be mice that are that are that are raised in an environment without a microbiome, show signs of autism, they develop developmental disorders. And then they do a fecal transplants from healthy mice into them, and they then they they become restored to normal conditions, they lose their autism, they lose the invite, you can transfer blood or not obesity, and you can transfer sickness between just with a fecal transplant. So I mean, there’s, this is a rabbit hole, you can go way way down. But it’s fascinating stuff. And it is true, we do we have gotten so far away from our connection to the earth human comes from the word humus, which is Earth. And, and we’re so disconnected from that. But that’s where most of those microbes live. And, you know, the further we get from that, and the more sanitizers we use, and antibiotics, which are essentially weapons of mass destruction, the more we lose our innate microbiome, and it’s showing up in all sorts of autoimmune diseases, and asthma and all these things. So it’s, it’s, it’s an area of fascinating, it’s, it’s incredible how little we know. But it’s also in trouble how much we’ve learned in the last few years. And it’s exciting to see that because I think the awareness is growing. And we’re starting to realize that we shouldn’t be killing stuff around us. For us to survive, we need to start learning learning that we are essentially, microbes we are we are a holo buyer, we are a super organism, we are microbial. In fact, they estimate now that we’re about 36,000,000,000,030 8 trillion human cells and about 36 trillion microbial cells. So we’re almost 5050 microbial, and why are we using antimicrobials, we’re in fact microbial. Right? So, and only about 100 of these bacteria are known to cause human disease, which is really pretty fascinating. But yet we’re willing to kill all of them. And oftentimes, we’re killing the ones that are benevolent that are protecting us from the dangerous one. So anyway, you asked, and so I can keep going down. It’s fascinating stuff. It really truly is.
Yeah, I think that’s just amazing. The way you described it, it was funny, I was just talking to a buddy of mine on his podcast about fitness and, and I, you know, I put the disclaimer, I’m gonna bring it idiot when it comes to stuff. I know there’s a connection. And I tried to be very, like deliberate about making sure that I tried to care my gut biome to the minimal like just a little bit I know about it, you know, but what you just described, I think, if anybody doesn’t like, try to look more into it, because how important it is, they’re probably missing out. So I really appreciate you throwing in that. And we might need to have you back on here. Just to talk about it one more time. I
would love it. I would love it. I mean, it really is. I think it’s an area that I think more people should know about because it has a direct correlation on longevity, quality of life, especially with children and especially with children in the first 1000 days. So anyone who’s got babies really being D into that, I think is a really good investment and in time and energy. And again, I would recommend I highly recommend I contain multitudes but
yeah, we’re definitely going to add that book to the to the show notes for sure. Man, Jason, just this conversations already started off, solid man. So man, before we get more into some deep things, let’s get into the first deep thing, which is going to be your story man we’ve learned at the law allows that we can glean so much wisdom off of the experiences of others, you know. So first, you know, first big question, right? Is how did Jason Earle become the man he is today?
Oh, boy, the work in progress that I am. I think maybe it’s by recognizing that, you know, I think I was very fortunate to have some early disasters in my life. I think that that was the greatest gift. Truly, my mother committed suicide when I was 14, probably the best thing that ever happened to me, for example, and my parents were both alcoholics, also, what a gift. And, and, and I say that without without qualification, but I should qualify, you know, that I would do anything to get my mom back, even for just a hug. But I wouldn’t want to rewrite that history. Because early in life, I saw that, that experience, reframed my view of the world, in such a way that I questioned her decision, even though at the time, but before that, I was miserable. I was a very unhappy teenager because of my childhood circumstances. And because of that, because because I was going through puberty. And, you know, that’s just the way teenage teenage angst is is a real thing. I don’t think anybody escapes it. And and what that what accelerated my escape from the angst though was, in fact, my mother’s suicide, because I started asking questions. And the questions were, you know, like, whose life is this? And is this something that you could or should just give away? And what perspective did she have? And maybe had she lost perspective. And, you know, I often say that she couldn’t see past the tip of her nose. She was so embroiled in her own drama. And I now I now know that, you know, the home environment, including the mold in the house may have contributed to her early demise. But because there is a link, according to Brown University between mold and dampness, indoors and depression, and then there’s subsequent studies, which which I can elaborate upon more, where they’ve studied fruit flies, and found that they actually stopped producing dopamine when exposed to the musty odor that’s produced by mold. So now I look back in retrospect, and stuff makes a lot more sense. But, but as a teenager, I struggled with, you know, the existential stuff that I think most most most teenagers do. But then that experience sort of opened up my mind to the bigger questions. And also at the same time, I was I was experimenting with psychedelics. And that was that also had me question a lot of reality. Right? It questions you, you that’s the first thing you do in that situation is you question reality. So, so essentially, I had that, that will people, many people will call misfortune that I look now at as a as a foundational aspect of who I am. And then I was fortunate enough, falling there after they get Lyme disease, which also sent me on a different trajectory, that turns out to be hugely beneficial in the long run, taught me about food, because my gut microbiome got whacked out from the antibiotics. And so I started learning about what what was healthy and what was not healthy for me, but also in the larger picture, so I got an education on food early. And then I also, you know, was essentially forced to drop out of high school, which, because I live in so much school due to my mom’s death and Lyme disease, that I ended up, you know, taking a job at the gas station, down the street. And, and, and saving money to get my GED and psychology early where I met a guy who I fix to fix his tire and we start up a conversation and he recruited me to come work for him on Wall Street. And that would not have happened at a my mother not done what she had done. And B had I not had Lyme disease and missile that school. And then from there, what I what I what I’m most grateful for about that experience was that I got, I had mentors. And I was exposed to people who thought differently, I was raised by people who were willing to trade their time for money. And the people that I was working for, were not in the business of trading time for money. They were they were they were interested in opportunities. They were interested in leveraging their, their their talents and skills in ways that went beyond the hourly wage. And, and then by that, by by by virtue of that I also saw what they were doing incorrectly. In terms of ethics and morals, Wall Street, come on, you know. And so that taught me at a very early age and I started when I was 16. I got my license when I was 17 which my stockbrokers license which unknowingly made me the youngest licensed stockbroker in history. But the Guinness World Record but the data dollar 50 up by a half a slice of pizza in New York Cities.
But again, at a very young age, I saw you know, I started questioning ethics and I saw The guys who were making a lot of money weren’t the happiest. And all of these things, and I failed badly. I mean, I ended up having, you know, lots of fits and starts and I made a lot of money. But I also, I also gave it away and I developed some bad habits and all of those things, I was fortunate enough to have the perspective that, that I’m a work in progress, and I am here to learn. And the purpose of life is to grow and evolve. And to understand that, for example, as a stockbroker, I had to make 400 phone calls a day, make one sale, one sale, that means if you do the math, one out of 400, that’s a 99.75% failure rate. And that was the how you became successful, if you were successful, if you had a quarter of a percent success, but you did that every day. Say, that’s a very interesting mindset, it’s a total flip, it’s, it’s just the consistency of doing something where, over time, it’s cumulative. And then you develop that skill. So and then in ultimately, all of those things on a cumulative basis have formed me into the the person that I am today. Man,
I mean, there’s a lot to unpack there. But you know, the big thing that I took out there fortunate disasters, right. And I think a lot of people that go through the circumstances you went through, and we didn’t go in depth, but you had a lot of health issues growing up growing up, right, and, and then of course, just the tragedies that you’ve experienced with your mother, and, and all of that stuff through your career. So many people will face just a fraction of that, and be done. Right? I mean, they’ll mail it in, they’ll stay at the gas station forever, even if that person comes by they’ll, they’ll shy away from that. And I know, you talked about some of the psychedelics that you that you use early on that potentially helped you get through all of that. But it was that all it? I mean, it was that it’s just a psychedelics have opened up your eyes a little bit more, or was there more to it? You think? Would you reflect back on that? Well, I
again, you know, another another, you know, fortunate disaster was just my, the overall sort of environment in my home. As, as I mentioned, on many podcasts, you know, I was kind of raised by wolves. My parents weren’t around. And I, you know, I, I think that that sort of benign neglect helped me to become independent, and self sufficient, and ask questions and figure stuff out, you know, I’m afraid sometimes i over parent that I am too good of a parent, maybe, you know, and ultimately, I think that, you know, you can these things have a funny way of, of turning inside out on themselves, you know, all the, so my parents, I think, gave me again, a great gift by by sort of letting me just figure stuff out, you know, go run around in the woods. So, yeah, I also, you know, I did a lot of my father’s very curious. And, and he taught me to be very curious, and to ask questions, and to question authority, including him, which is, which is interesting, but I, but I do think that, that’s kind of a family value, I think, you know, is to is to question authority and question. Reality, and, and that that has never gone away. So, I think then, then you combine that with psychedelics, and you combine that with challenging circumstances where you kind of end up in a cornered you know, limited options, constraints. Constraints produce creativity. And so yeah, and I also think that, that I was fortunate enough to have had even though there was this benign neglect, I feel I felt like, I don’t feel like I was ever starved of love, which is also interesting. As much as it may not have been the, the most gentle environment. I always knew I was loved. I think that, you know, in terms of the foundational aspects of the things my parents did, right, that’s one of them. You know, they may not have been around, but, but I never felt like I was alone.
You know, that. So that’s something that you and I have in common. We’re both latchkey children, right. And I often, like, go back to that. And what I gleaned from that was that independence also, and I’m not afraid to be alone. I love being with people, right? But I’m not also afraid to be alone and being able to kind of deal with things and go through that. So I think there’s a lot of value in that that kind of upbringing. But, you know, I think you have to, like intentionally look for it, right? Because you could easily be like, Man, Woe is me. All, you know, everything sucked. I didn’t get the childhood that I see on TV, right, which nobody really does, right? And it kind of just fell into this downward spiral where you You went the other direction. But not to say that you didn’t keep on running into walls throughout. I mean, you went from drop out to work out at the gas station. And then you had an up particularly to the Wall Street thing. But then you described even as kind of like the boiler room, right like that, which was one of my favorite movies. But
it was totally the boiler room. It was Wolf of Wall Street. Yeah. What
was that experience, like, as a young kid experiencing that, you know, just seeing the unethical things going on around you.
You know, it was very intoxicating. And, you know, I was working with kids, I was, you know, 1617 when I, when I when I was 16, when I started, and I was working with kids that were in their 20s. Of course, when you’re that young, you know, just a couple of years. olders is really old, right? Like in high school, like just either like the, if you’re a freshman, the seniors are so old. And so here, I was working with these, these kids that were 2122. And they were making some cases like half a million a month. Wow. You know, buying Ferraris over the phone at lunchtime, and having them delivered on a flatbed craziness, right and the kind of like just just really obscene over the top behaviors and misbehavior is all the stuff that you saw on Wolf of Wall Street, but a lot grittier, you know, that was very glamorized. But, but the extremes were not exaggerated. And, and I and I also didn’t really know what was Wall Street and what was like this in particular firm. This particular firm was an anomaly. It was kind of like Stratton Oakmont of that film. It’s called Hannover, Sterling. And it went down in flames, glory, notoriety, I should say, the same way Stratton did. And it was, you know, those guys all went to jail, I was there only for a brief period of time, I saw what had occurred and was able to leave before before. Before that, then, and one of the things that I learned was, these guys were all kind of stuck in this with golden handcuffs, they were making so much money, and they had kids in school and big houses. And, you know, and they had to stick around, because they had this big lifestyle. And I had the clarity, because I didn’t have a big lifestyle, to recognize that this, this was not going to last, and that it was a dangerous place. And but it was, it was, it was an incredible way to learn about the way the stock market works, which is just a tool, just an emotional voting machine. And so you learn a lot about people by watching the stock market, because stock markets act a lot like emotional people. And so, you know, it was just another beautiful thing to study, and to observe, and then also interfacing with people that were much more successful than me, and seeing what made them successful. And what was it that made them not six IPSC people fail to see the same kinds of patterns emerge within human behavior with people I work with, also, with investors, you know, there’s just so much there to learn as a curious person, and then hopefully be able to glean some insights and then apply to my life, which I’ve been able to do with some some degree of success. But I gotta, like, I got like a PhD in persistence out of them, also, because you just had to sit, make 400 calls a day, but also, you know, to record to see how capitalism really works, how businesses form, how ideas turn into, into into products, how products turn into companies, how companies get bought and sold. You know, I was learning all that when I was, you know, my friends were still in high school. And so, again, you know, the gifts that I got in terms of those, those, you know, fortunate disasters all landed me in this place where I was getting a PhD while my friends were still drinking beer in their parents basement, you know?
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that. That’s, that’s a while to be experienced that at a young age and still be able to see like, Oh, this isn’t gonna go I need to step out, right. I mean, most of us would be like, Man, how do I keep on getting those Ferraris? Or how do I keep doing whatever, you know, they fall right into that trap. And you’re you had some level of discipline and restraint there, which is pretty unheard of. I think that’s pretty amazing. Just you hearing that part of your story.
Well, I’ll tell you how the when we bring a as we talk about this, some some things come back up. And one of them was that I had my dad and my parents were alcoholic, and I and I had started drinking when I was young, too. And then, when I was about 13, took a friend to a party, we got booze through my neighbor, I brought it he got very sick, almost died ended up in the hospital and I decided to quit drinking when I was 13. That’s how early I started. And then I went to work on Wall Street and I and I was able to maintain my keep my wits about me, for the most part. So I had this really significant clarity. And my intuition was extremely powerful. And I was in tune with my quiet voice that so many of us intentionally silence or or ignore or anesthetize. And as a result, I could, I could act on my on my on those impulses, but there weren’t impulse, I could act on that quiet voice in a way because I had learned to trust it. And I didn’t have any impedance, there was nothing in the way. And years later, I started drinking again and started a 20 year wrestling match, I quit drinking again, four and a half years ago. And again, you know, I followed I followed a path, and then I went off of it nice. And I stopped listening to that quiet voice. And it took me 20 years to truly get back to that level of clarity. And again, I would even look back at my own alcoholism, because that’s the that’s the reality of it. And I would say that that was that’s up there with my mother suicide in terms of the gifts that I’ve been given. And
so, you know, when I hear this clarity that you had an early age, sometimes people would look at it is like, just a masterclass on risk management. Because you’re thorough, right? You’re kind of seeing a like, this is not something I want to take a risk on. But then later you become an entrepreneur. Can you fill the gaps between that because one of the things I found super interesting was, okay, you dropped out, dude shows up at the gas station, right? You know, you end up going to Wall Street. And there’s a portion of there where I didn’t even talk about during your intro, you went from a high school dropout to being featured in college textbooks now. Right? Like, I feel like there’s such a gap there, like how did you go from because there’s risk that comes with going to become an entrepreneur, a lot of people would say that, you know, there might have been some hesitancy or risk when you’re like, I don’t want to stay in this game no more, but you’re actually looking at stuff and you’re saying there’s wisdom there instead, you know, so that’s what I say is risk management. How did you get to that next step where you start become an entrepreneur?
Well, so you know, I truncated a bunch of stuff there. But so so Wall Street, 1616 years old, licenses 17. And then I did that until I was about 25. And when I was 2322, and a half or so, I decided, actually took a job working for Mario Gabelli. I met him in a parking garage, believe it or not. Mary Gabelli is a self made billionaire fund manager and quite a character. But he recruited me out of a parking garage, I do pretty well in those apparently. And, and so I went to go work for him. And that didn’t work out. Well. It wasn’t really it wasn’t it was just not a good fit. It was institutional sales, and it was just a little sleepy. And so I left and I decided I was going to work for anyone else anymore. And I opened up the branch office of Coleman and Company, which is an investment bank, a year old investment bank. And so I opened up with an oSj an office is essentially a franchise or a division. So I opened up the Wall Street Branch, which I owned and operated for a couple of years. And then when the.com bubble burst and and then everything came on round, that firm went out of business, which essentially froze all my accounts, and I decided this wasn’t fun anymore. And I decided to go on walkabout. And while I was away, I was I was this is right after September 11. I actually quit a month before September 11. I started on Wall Street a month after the first bombing. And then he and I quit after September 11 A month before September 11. It was just bookends it was just you know incredible timing. And so I went traveling and while I was away, I was in Hawaii. And I was reading a lot of local newspapers. And by the way, during my travels, the purpose of my travel was to figure out what I really wanted to do when I grew up. You know, I’d given back all the money I had made. And which was good because I kind of felt like it had you know, it was kind of dirty and I just didn’t really the Wall Street money was easy, come easy go. And and so I, I had gone to reconnect with that quiet voice to reconnect with a sense of purpose. And my mom’s voice echoed in my mind. She always had me volunteer as early as she could get me to do it at the hospital where she was an administrator when I was a kid. And it was a rehab facility for people with with
brain trauma and amputations and stuff like that. So you saw some pretty pretty sad cases and also some very inspiring ones. And and I worked in various different areas of dietary so I would flipper food up to the floors and purchasing so I got to see people up close and personal and hear their stories and stuff. And she always encouraged me even to her, you know, she she she didn’t live this way fully she gave herself to a fault. But she said you know if you improve the quality of other people’s lives, the quality of your life improves is so natural. You know, so contribution to the greater good was it was a major tenant of a philosophical tenant that she that she pushed on me. And and so while I was traveling, I was thinking about This. And I when I was in Hawaii, I was reading a lot of local newspapers and one particular story jumped out. It was about a guy who’d gotten sick from the hotel where he was an employee is the Hilton Waikiki village. anybody’s ever been to Honolulu. Waikiki village is prominent right there. And there’s this Kalia tower, which is one of it’s like their flagship property, Ottawa, and had been shut down for mold when I was there for about six months. And this story was about a guy who worked there and got sick and had developed adult onset asthma, as well as all sorts of sensitivities to foods and environmental stuff. And, and I had a deja vu moment. Because, you know, it’s like a, it was incredible, because when I was, when I was about four years old, I suddenly lost 30% of my body weight in a three week period, and I was having difficulty breathing. And my parents took me to the pediatrician who said, No, you need to take him to the hospital, take him to Children’s Hospital. And because they’re, they’re renowned for a renowned respiratory clinic. And so when they brought me there, based on symptoms, and my my family history, they diagnosed me with cystic fibrosis. Wow, which was a death sentence back then, and also devastating to my father. But their biggest nightmare biggest fear was that that was going to be true, because my dad had lost four of his cousins to CF before the age of 14. So so they they waited six weeks for a second opinion. They say they cried for six weeks. And then they brought me in and they concluded that I did not have cystic fibrosis, evidenced by the fact that I sit here with you at 46 years old. Yeah. But I had asthma compounded by pneumonia, and I was allergic to every single thing that they tested me for. So my early memories actually was the allergy tests. They put you in just st jacket for a toddler. And they put you know, the grin on your back and do these antigen tests, these little skin tests. And my dad said, the ladybug should be red swollen back with lots of dots all over. And, and so I essentially lived on inhalers. Most of my childhood because I was I was raised on a little nonworking little hobby farm was surrounded by all the allergens, you know, in high concentration. But my folks split up and then my mom died. And so I moved out of the house and never went back. And by the way, when I moved out of the house and never went back, I never picked up an inhaler ever again, all of my symptoms went away. And to this day, I do not test positive for any allergy. And this, this is something called spontaneous remission. That some people, you know, experience with cancers and things like that happens with with asthma with adolescents as well. And that’s what they chalked it up to was just that my grandfather had gone in his asthma and I graduated. But here I am in Hawaii reading this story. And seeing this guy had developed sort of like he was the upper kind of like the, you know, he did this on the opposite end of the spectrum. But it immediately made me think, Geez, I wonder if we had a mold problem. And I asked him, I called my dad from a payphone which probably isn’t there anymore and asked him if he thought we had mold. And he laughed at me. He said, of course, we have mushrooms in the basement, you know why? Why do you ask? I told him what was going on. And I asked him if he thought mold would have been an issue. And he said, well certainly couldn’t have helped, you know. And so anyway, bottom line is that I immediately in that moment had sort of a white light experience, where I immediately became fascinated with this idea, not of mold, per se, but of how the buildings that we live and work in impact our health. And so it filled me up with a sense of curiosity, the curiosity that was already kind of in need, but with a sense of purpose, too, because the more I looked into it online, the more I saw that people weren’t really talking about this. And yet, we all live in buildings, we all breathe air, right? Like this is and so so it just it just really, it was one of those things that I went out on this journey with the purpose of being open, and then happened to be relaxing. So just being receipt receiving, if you will, and then all of the like the puzzle piece just fell out of the sky and landed in completed this picture, that was not a picture of where I was more of a map, another journey that I was just going to begin. And I had no idea that it was going to turn into what it’s turned into, quite frankly, you know, the idea that it would be you know, that I’d be doing this for 20 years is something that I think now in retrospect, I would never have imagined. But I also can’t imagine doing anything else at this point. Because it’s, it seems like the culmination of all of the things that I’ve ever worked on, you know, in terms of myself, in terms of my family history, you know, it’s, I kind of feel like it’s like mining your history for your future gold, you know, I think everybody’s got something that something they’ve overcome, which if you can find a way to, to codify that and then share what you’ve learned with other people that are going through it. You have a business of potentially, right, because that experience is so valuable, right? And it’s something that you can’t really you can’t manufacture it has to come from a place of authenticity. And and I think that’s it I think when it comes down to how do you bridge the gap between and take that risk, you have to be willing to do something where the why is so big that any obstacle you have to overcome on the way to achieving it is minor. If you get it just do a business because you want to make money, or because you don’t want to work for the man, or that kind of thing. It won’t get you through, it won’t get you through the hard times. The thing that gets you through is the why I’ve been broke so many times. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been broke. And I’m willing to deal with the diversity and the difficulties that come with those kinds of risks. Because, because the why. The why is what gets you through.
Yeah, I mean, well, you just like I just hearing you talk about that reminded me of that. The Japanese philosophy the iki. Guy, I don’t know if you’ve seen that before. Yeah. I like it. Like you just pretty much like described it without describing it. Yeah. And I think that’s really cool that, that you got to experience that. And I think that takes a lot of, you know, soft flexion, of course, and digging back and intentionality. And I think it’s, it’s pretty awesome. You got there. But you know, a question I still have is, how do you go from, you know, like becoming this, like, when I heard you talk about the gut biome just a moment ago, like that you went deep. And I know, you know so much about mold and air quality and all these things. So did you go to school for that, like after, after all this? Or is it? Like, how did you get to this point right now, because Dude, you’re, you’re brilliant when it comes to this?
Well, thanks for saying so, you know, I, I read a lot. And I also reach out to people and always have, before the internet was really, you know, was as robust as it is now, I would reach out to academics, that, that were thrilled to talk to you about mold, because no one wants that their wife doesn’t want to hear about it, the husband does want to hear about it, you know, so I would reach out to people to talk to them about these, these subjects, and I have friends, close friends that are really prominent researchers in this space that I’ve been friends with for 20 years now, because of those initial calls. And we’ve kept in touch. And it really does come down to curiosity. You know, I’ve got building science may, I had building science manuals in my bathroom for bathroom reading and stuff, you know, like it and again, that comes back down to the why. Because, you know, especially in this space, you know, like the mold, mold and and indoor air quality is truly a multidisciplinary field, you have to understand construction, I was kind of raised in a construction family and a health care family. So I really, I was born for this in many ways. And, and so I understand how buildings are put together, I understand how to take them apart, I used to do a demo with my uncle, who owned a contracting company when I was a kid, mostly shoveling up the drywall on the plaster but, but I understood how I was learning how these things are put together. And then and it the and then of course, you know, there’s the biology side of things and material sciences and then there’s, you know, then there’s the physics associated with how moisture and these things move through buildings. So, you know, I, I’m a true autodidact in the sense that I don’t, I’ve never gone to school for anything. In fact, Mark Twain’s quote really resonates with me, which is I never let my schooling get in the way of my education. And so I find that if you’ve got that curiosity and a passion for something, if the outcome that you’re seeking, which is you know, for me, it was to understand this so that I could help people navigate it. The route, wouldn’t you the learning I was I’m actually probably learning disabled, to be honest with you, I have a difficult time, I had a really hard time with my stockbrokers license, I would become overwhelmed and have to sleep after like, 15 minutes of studying, it was just really a matter. I’m not a guy who some concepts really bogged me down, I failed Algebra One. And then two years later, I was a stockbroker, you know, sort of figure. But you know, because there was an outcome there, that was very compelling to me, I was able to overcome that, that those those learning challenges. And the same thing goes with my my current career, you know, this microbiome thing. I love that stuff. But my my little boys issues really fueled my desire to understand this on a deeper level, and then you start to see not not dissimilar to this Nutritionals how these ideas stack up and or they’re morally Venn diagrams, if you know what I mean, this overlapping circles. And so you start to see these patterns emerge and suddenly, you know, the thing that you’re learning over here connects with the thing you’re learning over Hear, and, and, you know, maybe that’s not the way everyone’s brain works. But I do think that’s the way most of the entrepreneurs that I know. That’s the way their brains work. Because Because you’re, there’s no manual for this kind of stuff, right, you can read all the books you want about entrepreneurship, the truth is, the only way to do it is to is to just jump in and figure out find a problem, this is my formula, find a problem and solve it. Yeah, and then solve that problem for someone else.
And then, and then go do that. enough times that, you know, that’s a repeatable outcome, and then fund it. But I usually fund my entrepreneurial efforts through my customers, believe it or not, almost all the money I’ve raised to fund the creation of the got Mold Test Kit and the money Hunter got mold, it’s actually come from the people that I’ve served. Because the idea was that they want to help me serve more people. And so it’s very, very organic. But it came back down to you know, find a problem and fix it, and then and then fix that problem. And then do that on a repetitive basis, and then fund it. And then and then learn to scale. And then surround yourself with people who share your values. Don’t listen to the people who the naysayers don’t hang out with losers. You know, I mean, it’s they’re really simple. You become who you hang around. And, and, and, and, and right now with the internet, you know, I sound like an old man when I say that, but you can you can connect with with people right now you can go on masterclass or any of it you can I mean, when I was a kid, you had to physically go find people or read book, I used to listen to books on tape, Zig Ziglar, and stuff like that literally on tape. And now you for like for free go on YouTube. And, and instead of watching garbage, you know, like fail videos, you can watch, you know, Richard Branson talk about running a business and startups and stuff like that. And it’s just incredible. The resources, you know, so, so the, I don’t know where that comes from. But I do you think it comes from a combination of curiosity and, and purpose?
Yeah. Yeah, I think, you know, I say this actually, pretty often, as, you know, one of the greatest leadership traits is authentic curiosity, in our domain. And you know, and for a longest time, I thought entrepreneurial, just that mindset was all about business. But what you said is, you know, somebody brought this slightly long time ago, it’s about problem solving. You know, that’s what it really is. That’s why we need even within the Air Force airmen to have an entrepreneurial mindset, because we need to solve problems, right. It’s not all about just that, that that bottom line to the other side of things. I mean, that’s involved. But yeah, so I think that’s a great perspective to have. Man, love this conversation. Jason, we got to have you on again, man, because there’s so many other places, I want to take this conversation that would be such a fragmented three hour Joe Rogan episode, you know, we went there. But so we talked about God Mode a little bit, but can you talk a little bit more about what you do now? And how do people get a hold of you? If they’re, you know, if they want to know more about it, and you know, some of the projects you’re working on?
Yeah, cool. So, as you mentioned, in my in the intro, we have a Mold Inspection Company called one 800 Got mold, and we do sick building investigations and remediation, consulting, so mostly referrals from doctors. And that’s what’s kept me busy for a couple of decades. But a number of years ago, I became frustrated with the fact that most of my customers were very affluent, which is great when I’m, especially as investors because that’s, like I said, where most of my capital, my expansion capital is come from, but rather, you know, I, I was frustrated because my parents, my own parents could not have afforded to a Mold Inspection through what a undrinkable, hmm, and and so, you know, there’s this World Health Organization quote, which is the healthy indoors a basic human right. And, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. In fact, I believe that, you know, healthy indoor air is should not be cost prohibitive. But yet, most of the people who need need us can’t afford us and so, so a few years ago, while it’s been a long time, actually, I put together a dream team of scientists and engineers, and designers to create a do it yourself test kit, that would allow anyone to be able to test their air for mold for a couple 100 bucks without having to deal with conflicts of interest. You know, inspectors that also do remediation and trying to schedule appointments or even just trying to find a qualified person is difficult. And so that’s the got Mold Test Kit, which we, which we just launched in March, actually. And by the way, in terms of persistence, I that concept began 15 years ago. It took me four years for the last four and a half years of really concerted effort. For. And sobriety, by the way, because I quit drinking four and a half years ago, to to get this thing on the market. It’s been a huge, huge, huge lift, I mean, I’ve got two babies, I drove a third, I got two little boys. And I’ve got this this this baby I just gave birth to after 15 years, you know, as long as gestation in history. And, and so we’re really excited about that. And we’re we’re also working with a bunch of military affiliated organizations, including the Armed Forces housing advocates, who help people that are dealing with construction related issues, including mold families that are dealing with the military housing, the privatized military housing, which is notoriously moldy. And so we’ve got a relationship with them, which is, which is wonderful. I love those people over there, they’re doing great work, also Hunter seven Foundation, which works with vets, and enlisted men and women that are having health related issues due to toxic exposures of any sort of time. So we’re just working on partnering with groups that already are serving people beautifully, to give them the tools that they need to be able to serve them better. And, and so but we’re also working with a lot of physicians, we’re doing a bunch of conference bunch of medical conferences to really be the sort of go to test solution for doctors all across the country. So the idea is really, that we kind of learned what we need to learn through the inspection side of business and had a great time helping people and family and one family at a time. And then figured out where we can have our greatest impact. And then turned basically, what I wanted to do is essentially put myself out of business really, you know, just to create something where we could have a large impact, but be able to touch the people who we really truly couldn’t serve all the renters that can’t afford a professional inspection aren’t even allowed to bring in a professional. And so that’s really what the Gottman test kits all about. So for any of your listeners who want to learn more about that, we put a welcome page together for for you firstname.lastname@example.org slash llama leadership, ll a ma leadership. And if you go there, you’ll see that there’s a free ebook that that we get a lot of positive feedback about. It’s got inspection checklists, and FAQs. And anyone who’s curious about whether they have may have a mold problem, this will help navigate you through, you know, the initial steps and questions. And then there’s also a coupon code there. For anybody who’s interested in getting a test kit that’s 10% off and it’s your coupon code llama 10. As a as a thank you for anyone who’s who’s sat here and listened to, to our conversation today.
That’s amazing, man, you know, and we’ll definitely link all those and we’re going to promote those just opportunities that you’ve granted us. And I just think it’s just just fantastic what you’re doing, man, because I, you know, we’ll go from the beginning talking about the gut biome and, and then the biome or the home and all the things that you can, why would you not, you know, it’s an affordable test, man, it’s pretty easy to do, and go ahead and do it just to check because if you’re not doing it, what are you, you know, subjecting yourself to that you don’t even know and maybe you’re causing a lot of to health issues that you think is something else, you know, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot to that. So really appreciate what you’re doing and, and really your support to the veteran community and you’re in our active duty folks are just super grateful for you. Thank you so much. Now, it’s my pleasure. So I’m here for ya. So hey, great conversation. Like I said, we got to have you on again, because I want to go into so many more places with this, but I would love that. You have man, that’d be great. I’m gonna I’m gonna hit Mark Aranda up right after this to schedule the next one. But, but can’t let you go without hitting you with what we call the life learning leadership rapid fire. And it’s I don’t know why we call it rapid fire still, because it’s not really rapid. But I hit you up for questions. And it’s really however you want you interpret the question, however you want to answer it sounds good. Yes. All right. The here’s the first question. What is something that you recently learned that you didn’t know before?
That’s a really good question. Okay. So one of the things that I’ve learned recently, is that when it comes to being a parent, I used to think that before I had kids, that I was going to create these great children, that I was going to mold them into something that was going to be reflective of me, you know, like, so, are there going to be better than me? Or is there something I always had to do with me? And what I have learned is that my job is not to mold them at all. My job is to expose them to different experiences and to get out of the way and just to love them and and that’s a profound difference between my active intention of creating them who already I was I contributed in In the way that I could, and the way I did, but I’m not creating my children’s as so much as I am supporting their unfoldment hmm. Yeah. And that’s that’s been a profound awareness for me.
Yeah, you know, I’m not a parent. But I’ve seen a lot of a lot of times, you know, the what you just discovered? A lot of parents don’t discover that at all right. So I was I was actually reading a book called The Secret to navigating life storms with Terry Lyles, and Dr. Terry Laos was saying that, you know, his son has his son had a learning disability. So he has a lot of issues, and sometimes outbursts, he realized that he was embarrassed himself, the son didn’t have any issues with the way he is, right. So when he had that moment, he realized he needed to get out of the way and stop letting his ego project onto his son. Right. And I was like, That’s a profound moment like that you really think about and it’s not just like, if you’re parenting to like, if you’re supervising leading Airmen, or soldiers or whatever, because, you know, you feel like you have that parental role as like, you don’t have to project who you are onto them. Right. So I think that’s, that’s very profound.
Yeah. In terms of leadership, you know, that that that has been really helpful for me, this recent awakening in terms of me being a better employer, a better leader, to be a good father, or to be a good parent is to be a good leader. Yeah. And I think a lot of that has to do with letting go. And allowing people to fail the way I was allowed to fail. Even though it’s not fun, you don’t want you don’t want the people to fail around you. But those only one where they learn.
Yeah, yeah, there’s something about that, like people who came through hard times. And then they they made something of themselves a lot of times they have children, you see famous people have children, they’re like nothing at a level they are because they probably taking care of them too much. You know,
dude, that’s my biggest one of my one of my one of my fears. Yeah.
All right, question number two, if you could only do one specific workout, like a particular lift, or a movement, you’re only allowed one for the rest of your life. You know, I do anything else besides that? What would it be?
Walking? Yeah, I mean, walking, because, first of all, to be able to be in motion. I don’t think there’s any more natural movement. Yeah. Right. And you can do that in, you know, depending upon where you are, whether it’s you want to, you know, if you’re really challenged if you stay flat, or you can, you know, climb Mount Everest. So I would say walking, and you can make it as challenging as you want. You can turn it into a meditation, walking meditations are very powerful for me. And so I would have to say Walker.
Awesome. All right. Third question, what is a recent book, article or podcast that you’ve recently listened to or consumed that you got value out of?
I’m right now reading. Another one of Edie Young’s books, okay. It’s called an immense world. And it’s an amazing book, as all Edie Young’s books are, and it’s about animal senses. When I began doing inspections, mold inspections, it’s another podcast, probably, but we, we pioneered the use of mold detection dogs, mold sniffing dogs. It’s really what made what made our name. And, and I realized that dogs have this incredible sense of smell, which when our sense of smell very limited, and also the credible sense of hearing, and I was using infrared thermal imaging cameras, and you can see the six sheets spectrums of light that we can’t see with the naked eye. And I started realizing that boy, you know, human senses, we only have this very narrow experience that we call reality, we can only see a band of light, let’s very narrow band of light, like 1% of the available light. And hearing same kind of thing, we hear only a very narrow range, sense of smell. And, you know, so So what we call reality is really these filters, these really narrow filters, and Ed Yong goes into just glorious detail about all the animal senses, and really what this world is about, if we actually experienced all of that, we’d be so overwhelmed. I mean, it’s just, it’s amazing. And he takes you down that path in such an elegant, elegant way. So anybody who’s willing to question reality and expand their concept of what it is to see or hear or feel or taste or smell that that would be a book that will will change your world.
Yeah, awesome. We’ll make sure we get that one added to the show notes as well. All right, the focus
on some as young books here I should yeah, all right. I should give them a call and let them know I’m selling books.
All right, final question. This is the deep question of the day that the llama louder all about life learning and leadership. So how do you find your harmony between life Learning and Leadership?
Good question. Silence huh? silence helps a lot. I’m an avid meditator took me a long time to get comfortable to just sit. But I’ll often just right before a podcast or right before work is over, and I’m about to go out and, and, and play with the kids, I’ll sit for five or 10 minutes. And it really it, I think about meditation, like, there’s this river of stuff coming, coming down. This is life, right? Your emails and your voicemails and your tasks and your worries and your fears and your anxieties and your enthusiasm, all this is a river, and it’s flowing so fast, and it’s filled with mud, there’s all this silt and stuff. And so you can’t see through it, you can’t see through it, you see, take a glass of that water, and he put it on the table. And you just let it sit. And then the silt settles out, you know, and then you can see through you can get the clarity that you need to be able to navigate the life Learning and Leadership right so and to be able to silence all the, the, these these nesting voices that pop up inside of us, so that I can make sense of what my priorities are. And, and these things again, goes back to that quiet voice until you can separate out your egos voice from the quiet voice, the really quiet voice you’ll be driven by that ego and all the fears and concerns and desires and things that that drive most of us crazy. But in the silence so allowing the silt to settle allowing the water of your water, the river of your mind to clarify the integration of life, you know, learning and leadership all come together. Yeah,
yeah, just fantastic answer, man. Bro, thank you so much for coming on. I know it’s been a great journey, going through your just amazing story and and really just seeing, you know, hearing about all the great things you’re doing now to for everybody out there. I’m grateful for this connection and look forward to one day having you back on soon. You know, like, like I said, there’s so many other ways we can go on with this conversation.
I would love that. Thank you for having me. Yeah,
thank you again, and thank you to all our listeners. And a huge shout out to our sponsor blazing star barbecue Mike stars out there working hard veteran owned business. Bring into flavors from his world travels to your backyard, check them out blazing star barbecue.com. And until next time, be safe. Stay healthy llamas out.57:40
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