Robbie Crabtree on Attorney to On Deck Public Speaking, Belief Capital and Narrative Art - E70

· Podcast Episodes,Executive,Purpose,Thought Leaders,USA

 

"So my role is to basically bridge this idea between belief capital that I have in the idea...I want them to walk me through, why should I care? Why am I excited to work with you? What is it about what you're doing that has the potential to really impact people in a really positive and beneficial way? Because those are the companies I'm looking to work with. And when they can deliver that, then I can turn that into something where they, all of a sudden can feel that belief capital, because too many times founders don't know how to tell their stories, so they're not getting the belief capital they need." Robbie Crabtree

 

Robbie Crabtree started his career working inside of the courtroom where he developed and refined his speaking, strategy, and storytelling as a trial lawyer. In 102 jury trials he tested and validated his system in murders and child abuse cases. As these skills grew, he was asked to coach the national mock trial team at SMU Law School in Dallas, TX which he has done for the past 4 years. Robbie called his system Performative Speaking and began working with founders, entreprenuers, and executives when they reached out to him after seeing him in the courtroom. Over the past 2 years he has worked with founders to successfully fundraise at the pre-seed through series B levels and advised others around leadership development, strategic communication, and best sales techniques. Robbie's role as a consultant and coach to startups and founders has put him in front of large audiences around pitching and pitch decks in both On Deck and with Jason Yeh's Fundraising for Founders. He has also taught his own Performative Speaking online program where he has worked with over 150 people in the last 9 months to turn speaking into a superpower. Robbie's big question is how can he help people with world changing ideas to effectively communicate those ideas to actually change the world.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:00:00] Welcome to BRAVE. Be inspired by the best leaders of Southeast Asia tech. Build the future, learn from our past and stay human in between. I'm Jeremy Au, a VC, founder, and father. Join us for transcripts, analysis and community at www.jeremyau.com.

 

Hey, good to have you on the show.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:00:33] Hey, Jeremy, this is amazing. I'm so happy to be here, and looking forward to what we're going to talk about.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:00:38] Robbie, I've heard great things about you. I recently had a fun chat with your colleague, Andrew, about course creation, and I'm excited to dive deeper into your journey and your thoughts ahead.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:00:50] I don't know how great I feel following Andrew. He probably said too many nice things, and so it's going to make me look bad, but I'm excited to go into all this stuff too.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:00:59] Yeah. So, Robbie, just for those who don't know you yet, how would you describe yourself professionally?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:01:06] I was a trial lawyer and have moved into more of a role of helping people to get their message out to the world, becoming great speakers. And so I think really, if I am going to put it into words now, my job description is, I'm there to help amplify people's voices, visions, and impact on the world.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:01:28] Awesome. So let's go back to the beginning. So you started out as a lawyer, I need to hear this journey, because along the way, you became a creator, content creator as they call it today, and then eventually now you're at On Deck, right? So that's quite the journey. So start from the beginning, what made you decide that you wanted to study law? I have heard a variety of reasons, was it because your parents thought it was a good idea, or was it because you thought it was cool or you saw a lot of TV? Why choose law as a course of study?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:02:00] Yeah. So why choose law? It's a good question and something that I thought a lot about back when I made that decision. So one, I did it because I wanted to be a history major in college, and when you're a history major in college, there aren't a ton of jobs that you're going to get coming out of that. So I actually knew that in my freshman year, where I was like, "I want to study history, that's the thing that I enjoy. So when I'm in college, I'm going to do the thing that I enjoy." But I also know that I need a job at some point in life because that's how we live, so I said, "I'm going to go to law school." And I told my parents that, and of course they were happy, but why did I choose to go to law school is the bigger question.

 

And the real thing boils down to, I wanted to learn how the rules worked, because I realized that everything in the US especially is driven by lawyers and rules. Politicians, when they write the rules, they're done by lawyers and their staff is filled with lawyers who are writing all this sort of stuff. And when you can start to understand the rules, then you can figure out how to play the game. And I think this is where we all go to this idea of, everyone is playing the game, whether they want to acknowledge that or not. And it's not quite as serious as Game of Thrones, we're not quite playing that level of a game, but we are, and you need to know the rules in order to function inside of that.

 

So I went to law school really to figure that out. And of course you have this idea of a lot of the movies and television shows you see, and you're like, "I'm going to be one of them. I'm going to be the next Harvey Specter because that looks cool on Suits and he has a beautiful penthouse apartment, nice cars just lives his life." But that's just not reality in all honesty. And then when I was in law school, what I really figured out that I loved doing was talking and competing, and that meant go into actual trial work, which there aren't that many real trial lawyers in the United States anymore. It is a dying breed because so few cases actually go to trial. So it's a skillset that's getting lost.

 

So in law school, I was a member of the National Mock Trial team and then started getting to know a bunch of really successful trial lawyers, and that ultimately led me down the path of being a trial lawyer where I tried 102 jury trials. I was trying murders, capital murders, child abuse cases. I was trying the worst of the worst, people going to prison for the rest of their lives, trying to keep people out of prison for the rest of their lives, super serious stuff. And it was a skillset of speaking and competing back in law school that really drove me down this path, as well as realizing that I could create this skillset that not many people have.

 

Because for seven years, I was in just a constant game theory lab environment, I was in human psychology lab environment, I'm in all the persuasion techniques and just speaking to everybody in playing this negotiation game and just a long-term chess game. So it was super valuable and incredibly interesting. But at some point, I had to get out of that world because it's tough.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:04:49] Okay. This is interesting. I get it, your history, you decided to be a law student because it's something, and then you go in and you're a legal student and you're like, "Okay, I can be a lawyer." My sister was part of that same journey. And then you became a lawyer. I think that's when a lot of people say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought I knew a lot about being a lawyer, being a law student, but it's very different being an actual lawyer, especially when you do the apprenticeships, the internships, and actual job itself. So I was just curious, what was that transition like for you?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:05:23] Law school really does teach you how to think, and it's just a cliche that people use, but it really is the truth. Because what a lawyer is all about is being able to identify problems and figure out how to solve them quickly, and then apply what you find out to the actual problem itself. And so law school is really teaching you the skillset. And when you're in it, you're like, "Oh, this is dumb. Why am I reading these old cases? They don't matter at all." It's one of these things, we've all seen it where your parents say like, "You'll understand when you get to my age." Someone older than you will be like, "I can't explain why I know this, I just do. You just need to trust me."

 

And we all hate that answer, "Just trust me, I know." And now when I'm talking to law students, because I teach persuasive speaking at SMU Law School and also coach the National Mock Trial team as well, I tell them oftentimes the same thing, where I'm like, "Just trust me, there's a reason this process is going on," because when you're actually in the real world, everything is different. You have plenty of time to research, you're never having to answer questions on a test or anything like that. You have time to get help and get resources to lead you down the right path, but there's different stakes. That's the big thing to remember when you actually become a lawyer.

 

So when you're reading things in law school, you're like, "Oh, okay. Somebody was harmed, somebody was fighting some issue, the government wasn't behaving the way they're supposed to." And you read these cases and they're cold and clinical, and it's just black and white words on a piece of paper. And then you get into the real world and you see how it actually affects people, and that's where you feel a different weight where you're like, "I've got to really take care of this responsibility that I have because real people's lives are being affected by the stuff that I do." So that was probably the biggest mindset shift is realizing, "Hey, this isn't a game, this is real people's lives I am really in control of and have to take seriously."

 

Jeremy Au: [00:07:13] That's really interesting. It's the stakes, right? I think that's a huge difference actually, and I've never heard it articulated that way, because before that, it's all simulation, it's all studying, and then in a real world, there are real stakes and you're an agent and you have a duty and responsibility to someone and the system. Wow, I never thought about it that way. Stakes, and then I always tell people I guess the stakes is what makes, I guess using an analogy to game, it gives it a gravity. Everybody, not to compare justice system with a game or anything, but the way I think about it is, there's a big difference between playing poker...

 

Well, my family says you're playing Mahjong right now, and when you play Mahjong, which just poker without any stakes. And it's a totally different game from when you're playing Mahjong with real money on the line, the stakes is what gives the game both joy in a sense, but also pain, and gives the incentive and motivation to learn and get better at it. So I was just curious about how you think about that.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:08:17] Yeah. 100%. It's very, very similar to what you're talking about. When you're playing with real money, people will behave differently. We've all played cards with our friends when there's no money on the stakes, and they do stupid things. And you're trying to play realistic and they just don't do it and they just keep making stupid bets and you're like, "Come on, why are you going all in on a three-eight for poker? That's ridiculous." And they're like, "Ah, well, I don't care. It's not real money." If it was real money, they would be playing very, very differently.

 

And that's the case too when it comes to being a lawyer, because you really go from this sense of, oh, you're basically playing with fake money, Monopoly money, to now real people are at stake. And so I think you also have varying degrees inside of the law of those stakes. And that's why for me, the role that I was in as a trial lawyer and trying these very, very serious cases: murders, capital murders, child abuse cases, where people were seriously harmed or killed and people are facing, huge punishments, and rightfully so most of the time, you realize it was just a different level of gravity in that situation, and so it weighs on you. And I've said this, I've used this analogy too.

 

When the last piece of my career, as a trial lawyer at the district attorney's office, I was a child abuse prosecutor for around a year. And that was a different level of stakes than anything I'd been in before. And I'd tried murders, capital murders, shootings, very serious cases, but nothing is the same as like when an innocent child has been harmed by somebody in that situation, and you're having to work with that child who's just been destroyed from that event. And those stakes are so high that you essentially... I was talking about this over this past weekend. Someone was asking how I did that because we were at dinner and they're like, "That must inform the way that you see the world, because you see the worst in humanity."

 

And I was like, "It can. That is a real concern." And I said, When I left the DA's office and left that work, part of the reason was I had two options, I either could become completely desensitized to everything in order to survive, then I would start doing things that were not good for other people because I was so desensitized, I wasn't actually looking at it a normal human being when I was evaluating cases, or I could let it just destroy me. I could still be the sympathetic, empathetic human that I am, but it would destroy me because I would see evil everywhere that I looked.

 

And so what I said you almost have to do is, in that period of time, I removed a part of my soul, you think of Voldemort in Harry Potter, not that I want to be Voldemort, but the way that he is able to remove piece of his soul and put them into different items. When you're dealing with these cases, the only way to survive them is to do something like that because it is so dark when you're in that space. So those stakes are so different, and you don't understand it until you're in there. There's a lot of trial lawyers who have tried plenty of cases and they'll celebrate their cases, and rightfully so. And then I'm like, "Here were the cases I was working on."

 

And it's a different level because you're talking about real lives, you're talking about children, you're talking about things that are just horrific that most people wouldn't even believe this stuff that I've seen, unfortunately. That does change your perspective where you realize when you get to real stakes, you've got to elevate your game, you've got to take it extremely seriously because that's what it requires.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:11:35] Wow. Yeah. It's so true. One thing I notice is that when the stakes are high, talking about it, because these are real lives at stake, real families, real psychologies and trust in the system and justice is at play. Those are real stakes. And so everyone's, like you said earlier, intentional, has a gravity, the seriousness of the work. I was just curious, talking about how it changes learning, because if there's no stakes, there's no learning. And obviously, when there's some stakes or high stakes, people are learning. But you made me think, if the stakes are too high, it almost stops your learning. It burns you out. I don't know if you feel that way or how you feel about that.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:12:22] I don't feel it stopped me from learning. In fact, I had the opposite effect where I was like, "I'm going to be the absolute best." I went all in. This is really where a lot of my growth occurred in terms of all of the speaking and persuasion tactics and all those sorts of things, because I realized the stakes I was dealing with. And so that essentially forced me to elevate. I've always been that person though that wants the highest stakes, wants the most serious stuff. In fact, the way I got my job at the Dallas District Attorney's offices, in my interview, I was in there with the number one, two and three in the office.

 

And the office is one of the largest district attorney's offices in the United States. It's an incredibly focused trial office. They're very hands off, give you lots of flexibility and freedom to try cases very early on. And I was sitting there and I was going through the interview and I was getting pushed back for certain things, and rightfully so. But then they asked, "Well, why do you really want the job?" And I sat there and I said, "I want to try the most serious, high profile, important cases that you have in this office." And I found out years later from the number three that was in that room, who ended up being my direct boss, that was the answer that got the job because he said, "I want people like that. I want people who want to step into that situation."

 

Because like you said, a lot of people, when they get higher and higher into those situations, they fold. They can't deal with those stakes anymore. They shut down. So does that happen? 100%? Did it happen to me? No. I actually went the other way where I was like, "I've be better than everybody, I've gotten the law better than everybody. I've be playing a chess game better than everybody, I've got to see all the moves, I've got to set up my board, I've be playing all the negotiation game, game theory. Everything's got to come in. I've got to be the best at persuading people. I have to be totally in control."

 

And so for me, it just made sense. And I was always that kid too, when I played sports in high school, college, if the game was on the line, last second shot in basketball, I want to take it. If we were down a run and we had a runner on first and I was coming up to bat in college, I wanted that. That was always who I was. I love that situation. Yes, you're going to fail and it's going to be crushing, but somebody's got to step up. And most people won't, most people don't want those stakes, they don't want that pressure. But for the people that can handle that, that's where you see the greatest reward, and that's where you actually impact the most people at the greatest scale. And so that's what you've just got to be comfortable doing.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:14:44] Yeah. Help me with this. So you're competitive, and you know that you're competitive and you know that's also pushed you to be a best. Yet, at the same point of time, you also chose to stop playing this route, this game, in that sense. So what was it like? You've got two impulses where one of you're like, "I've been doing this and I've got them this really hard stuff and I can keep going." But at the same point, you also say, you're like, "If I keep going, it's going to cost me something that I didn't know it was going to cost me." So what was it like balancing that?

 

That must have been a tough call because leaving to many people will feel like, they'll say it's surrendering, you're not playing to win anymore. So how was that? How did that two impulses or those two conversations happen?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:15:32] I left the DA's office, and I remember when I told all my bosses, they were like, "Seriously? Why?" And I was just like, "Because I need to. You understand the trajectory you're on, you're on the fast track to these roles that are super high in the office." And I was like, "I get that, I do, I understand what I'm walking away from," but I was like, "I need to." And so I went into private practice for a little bit first as that bridge. And so I was doing a little bit of criminal defense and tried some big cases there. And again, I think I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it on the other side and represent people who I believed were innocent and actually win the case. And so I tried child abuse and a murder case as a defense attorney and ended up winning both of those as well and getting not guilty verdicts on those cases.

 

So I was like, "Okay, cool. I've got that too." I think that was the moment where I was like, "All right, this isn't something that... I don't see a growth pattern moving forward in that role." I can try the same cases over and over and I'll continue to get the results that I was getting, but where is that growth? And so if I would have stayed in the DA's office, my growth would have been helping other people and that would have been meaningful and fun, but that is just not a world that I wanted to continue to be a part of during that time. And so I opened up my own law firm with my partner and we went into more civil rights violations and people who have been harmed or killed at the hands of government, hospitals, businesses, whatever it may be for reasons of race, religion, gender, whatever it may be.

 

And that was a nice break because I still got to play the game, but it wasn't as brutal because it was civil litigation and not criminal anymore. But the reality is, what I really came to understand is, being a lawyer is all about minimizing risk. And I said, "I don't want to minimize risk anymore. I don't want to make sure the worst thing doesn't happen." I said, "I want to be working to maximize rewards." So I had this mindset shift where I was like, "I don't want to minimize, I want to maximize. Where can I do that?" And I had this idea starting back in, even in law school, I had said, "At some point, I'm going to use this trial experience to do something outside of law."

 

I didn't know what it was back then, but I was like, "If I build this skillset that nobody else has," because having 102 jury trials and the type that I did puts me at the top 1% of 1% of US attorneys. So I was like, "I know I have something special there that I can translate," but it was figuring out what it was. And so in about 2019, I started thinking, "Hey, there's a way to translate this knowledge to a wider audience, because at that time, I was teaching persuasive speaking at SMU Law School and coaching the National Mock Trial team at SMU Law School.

 

And every year, we'd get 100, 150 people trying to come in to the class that I teach. And I was like, "Okay, there's clearly a market here," but I said, "How can I start impacting that on a greater scale?" And I loved working with the students, and I still do, but you work with them in a very small number because you're live and in-person, it's graded, there are requirements there, so you can only work with a small handful. So I started to impact more people that way, but it's still a smaller number than I wanted to. And then COVID hit and really shut down the world, where all of a sudden I saw, "Hey, there's this online space, there's this online education space." It's really taking off."

 

And I came across Jack Blitzer and David [Peral] and said, "Hey I can do that. I have a course that I run, I can turn it into a more general audience approach and then really start putting that out there." So that was the pivot that I made. And the reason I did that is because I said, I can change this mindset where I'm going from that minimizing risk to maximizing rewards. And so that was the cool moment where I saw that. And then it was jut a different game. Now you're playing a different game of being a founder and building out your startup and figuring out how to market it and sell it and all these sorts of things, how to work with all of your customers and do that customer success story with them.

 

So there's different levels to that. And then that ultimately led me into the On Deck stuff, but also the consulting stuff where I work with founders who are fundraising, especially, but also hiring executive teams, leading them reaching their customers. And that fundraising piece, especially is again a huge game, very similar where you're trying to craft the right message, you're trying to set up the piece in the right way, you're playing all these similar things as to what I was dealing with as a trial lawyer. So I wouldn't say that I completely removed myself from that world, I just removed myself from dealing with a bunch of lawyers and now I deal with a lot more VCs and people like that, which I'm not sure there's a ton of difference.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:19:47] Yeah. Let's make sure we go deeper this one. So, because I feel the same way. I used to do martial arts, Judo and TaeKwonDo, and as a very achievement oriented person, it was always about, "Whatever the game I'm in, I'm going to fight as hard, to do my absolute best." At some point of time, I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what is this game that I'm a part of? Is this even a game that I want to be part of? This is the game that the school put in front of me, this is the game that my parents wanted me to play, but do I choose this game?" And it almost feels like, one's like the fast brain and one's a slow brain. The fast brain is like, "This month, I've got to win. This week, I've got to win."

 

And then there's people who want to just be like, I don't know. At night, you're hanging out and you're like, "Why am I winning? Is this is what I want to win?" How do you think about that?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:20:40] Yeah. Previously, when I was in that role as a trial lawyer, I definitely understood that because when I was in that moment, I was in that case, I was so totally focused on winning. And winning is like a misnomer, I think, in a lot of ways. Because again, nobody wins in the cases I was trying, everyone loses. That's the sad part. Even if a guilty verdict comes back when I was a prosecutor, that child still lost. And when I was defending on the other side, even getting not guilty verdict on like say the murder, it still didn't change the fact that for two years, he had spent all this money and had all this stress and it had affected his family. And at the end of the day, the reason he was not guilty of this case was it was self-defense.

 

So he did in fact kill his brother. So he still loses because he still has to live with the fact that he killed his brother trying to defend himself. That will stick with him. So for me, in the moment, I'm trying to win. And again, using that term as just as this way of describing how that plays out, but then you'd get home and you'd be really proud of yourself. And people would be like, "Wow, how did you do that?" And I'd get tons of messages and emails and phone calls and like, "Tell me more about that, because that shouldn't have happened." Most people just couldn't believe what was coming out of my cases in the results. But it was one of those moments where I think I was very much like you, I was like, "I understand how to do this stuff really well, but why? What comes next? Am I really winning?"

 

Because then it's just like, "Okay, onto the next one." And you see something similar, you see another case that looks just like the one you just tried. And you're like, "Okay. So I won that one, but in the bigger scope of things, am I winning? Or am I just kind of in this, almost like The Truman Show a little bit or even the Matrix where you're just going through the motions?" Yes, you've gotten really good, but how much control are you really exerting in that industry in your position?" And I think when you look at that and you say, "I'm playing in the game, but I'm one of the pieces. I'm not the person, I'm not the hand that's actually moving them."

 

I think that's when you start to realize, there's got to be a better way, there's be a bigger picture where you can take part in. And again, I think when you asked me earlier, I was saying like, "What do I do? My job is to help people essentially to scale their impact through their voice, essentially, and telling their story and being a great communicator. And I say that because that allows me not to be a piece so much, but to actually be a player and moving things around and saying, "Hey, I'm not just going to be helping one family, I'm going to work with companies who are tackling climate change or systemic racism or things of that nature, where they can bring on huge, huge impact into the world."

 

And that's different, now I'm not a piece of that game, I'm actually one of the players in that game. And I think that that's important to me. And that's why, like you said, that fast and slow brain when you're in that moment and it's that fast brain, you're just like, "I just got to win the next one. I got to win the next one, I got to win the next one." But then you stop and think and you say, "No, no, there's a bigger picture and I need to start getting into that." And I think that's also what informed a lot of these moves that I've made over the past, realistically like two and a half years to get to this point.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:23:48] I'm personally curious, how do you engage a slow brain? Because you had all these things happening during the day. You're moving, you're prepping, you're getting stuff done. When does your slow brain kick in or how do you code in that slow brain?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:24:05] For me, it's very much a nighttime activity, especially. That's just when things start really... my brain's basically pulled in all the information of the day and just worked through it. And then by the end, it gives me time to just really think through all these things. And you start to realize patterns and I start taking notes, I start putting things into a Google Doc or Roam or wherever I want to and writing it down and just being like, "I need to come back to this. There's something here and I don't know what it is yet, but I need to figure that out." I also do it with writing. I like writing, I think that helps me explore ideas that are in my head and turn them from this blob of a mess into some fully formed idea and thought to play out.

 

Then also, for me, I'll find a lot of this when I just go to the gym or go for walks. I try to walk fairly occasionally just to be in the moment where I'm not distracted by anything; I'm not looking at my phone, I'm not getting emails, I'm not on Twitter, I'm not doing any of that stuff, I just am thinking as I walk. And so a lot of that is allowing my slow brain to start kicking in and say, "Hey, let's do some deep work." And the last piece is honestly, travel for me, is one of those big pieces where I'm able to do that reflection as well. So what I'd find after most big trials I would do is I would typically take off for about anywhere between three days to a week and go somewhere.

 

And the reason being is, I just need that chance to reset, to really explore how I was feeling about some of those ideas. I think that is what allowed me over time to realize, "Hey, I need to leave, I need to do something differently. Because after each one of those, I kept feeling the same way. I kept having these same thoughts. You're always going to have ups and downs, life is always like that, things are good, things are bad, things are good, things are bad. It's just part of it. And so you don't want to let one or two moments where you're like, "Oh, I don't what I'm doing anymore," lead you to make some rash decision. But over the course of a year, two years, when you're seeing that after every big trial and you're feeling the same way like, "There's got to be more, there's got to be more, there's got to be more."

 

At a certain point, you have to listen and you have to say, "What is that more?" And I think that's how I did that, oftentimes, is just traveling." And I do a lot of solo travel too, where it's literally just me hanging out in places I don't know, just enjoying the scene. Like I'll sit at a cafe and just watch the stream of life, and that is when things go to work and I can say, "Okay this is what needs to be done next, and then really go from there."

 

Jeremy Au: [00:26:32] Yeah. I love The Truman Show as well, one of my favorite all-time movies. And you sound very much like Truman, this getting in a conviction or questions. And I guess I'm curious obviously like Truman, he has all these friends who... Truman is obviously is a different thing, but those are fake friends. They were like, "Stay the same, everybody's good. Stay on the island. You don't need to travel. There's nothing else. This is the world." And you had mentioned this in passing, which is, there are people who are around you who were like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, are you sure? This is the world and you have the track."

 

What was that like having a conversation like a partner or parents or close friends, all your buddies must have been lawyers as well, from law school and everything. So what was it like being, I guess, Truman in that world where everyone around you was a lawyer or law affiliated?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:27:31] For the most part, it was a lot of people just telling me I was crazy and saying like, "This is not what you should be doing." The common retort was, "You're a lawyer. Robbie, you're a lawyer. Why are you leaving the law, you're a lawyer?" And I understand where they're coming from. It's seen as this prestigious thing. And don't get me wrong, it is. Going to law school, doing the things I've done is incredibly valuable and important to me. I'm incredibly proud of the work that I've done, the lives that I've impacted, the people that I've gotten to work with. But that doesn't mean that that's all I am. And I've said this before, too many lawyers feel like their entire identity is, "I'm a lawyer."

 

In fact, when they introduced themselves they would say, "Hi, I'm Robbie, I'm a lawyer." But that shouldn't be who we are. That's not the full picture of who I am as a person. And so I had to have this discussion with people where I was like, "Yes, I'm still a lawyer, but I'm so many other things. I'm a creator, I'm a founder, I'm a writer, I'm a speaker. I'm all these different pieces. Why am I constraining myself to just being a lawyer?" But I didn't mean that it worked in all honesty. Nobody really believed including my parents, and I love my parents, and I totally get where they're coming from, because they saw lawyer as comfortable life, successful, all these good things. And it also, let's be honest. It was easy for them to explain, "Hey, my son is a lawyer," and everyone got it.

 

And all of a sudden, I was basically leaving that behind. And now they're trying to figure out how do they tell their friends? Like, "What is your son doing?" "Oh, he's the founder of some speaking company." Their friends don't understand that. So for them, it was challenging, and they pushed back. They pushed back probably up until November was the first time where they were like, "Okay, you might actually have something here." And then the big moment that changed for me obviously is when On Deck acquired the course and I put that out, then all of my lawyer friends reached out, and now it was no longer, "Robbie you're crazy." Now, it turned into, "Robbie, can you tell us how you did it and how I can do it?"

 

And I think that was an interesting transition. And I always use the example of if you ever go cliff diving and you don't know much about where you're going cliff diving, nobody wants to be the first person to jump because they don't know how deep the water is, something bad could happen. There could be rocks down there, it could be very shallow, you could get hurt, whatever it is. But once one person does it, he goes under and then comes back up and says, "Hey, all the water is fine," then everybody follows in because now they trust them. And so in a lot of ways, I was that first cliff diver for a lot of my friend group who were lawyers or my friends from back home who have just been stuck in the corporate life, even my family and those sorts of things.

 

Once they saw me jump and come back up and say, "Hey, y'all like, it's fine, you're going to be safe," then I started getting all these questions of, "Tell me how you did it. I want to talk about startups. I want to learn about being a founder. I want to learn about all this stuff that you're doing, because I think I could do it too." And my conversation with them is you can do it, but realize that it's hard. It looks easy because you don't see all the hard stuff that was going on. You don't see the years that built up to this, you don't see all of the months where you're working 100 plus hour a week, and not sleeping, and having zero paychecks and all this sort of stuff, you don't see that. So get ready because it is safe, you can jump in and you'll come back up, but it is also when you jump off that cliff, it is a long time before you hit that water and come back up. So you better be ready to just trust that it's going to end up working out."

 

So it's been a fun process to see that mindset shift in a lot of my friends and family. Now, my family is super proud. They love it. And that's been a really cool transition to see as well, just that belief capital, which I think is something that's so important is not money. I don't even need money from anyone, that belief capital's like, "Oh, other people see that I can do this too, which means it's easier for me to believe that I can."

 

Jeremy Au: [00:31:31] I love what you said, belief capital. That's a good phrase. I remember when I first told my peer group at Bain, well, my parents didn't know what consultant was, it's still difficult to explain. I always thought it's like a doctor, the companies and they're like... Oh, I like the word doctor, but doctor the companies is still shaky there, but still it was a status thing because you could go walk around and you'd be like, "Oh, I'm a Bain consultant." And then Rob was like, oh. Those that know would know and they'll be like, "Oh right, let's have a drink or something." And I remember when I first left, I told everybody I was going to go full time on this startup that was building, I felt so weird going in.

 

And I remember I told my friends about it and then one guy looked at me, he was like, "Oh, thank God, Jeremy. I thought I was going to be the first one to quit. Thank you for being the first to do so, taking the flack." And it was funny because over the years ton of people left, build that a startup as a joint technology. But I think I love the cliff diving analogy you had, it's very much you just jump out... Well, a lot of people have a tough time as well, let's be real, but those who do make it, it creates that belief capital for everybody else up in a cliff.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:32:46] Yeah. 100%. Your experience will be very similar, going from a Bain to leaving that, most people would be like, "Why? Why are you leaving that? Aren't you on the path to becoming a partner? What about your bonus this year? Don't you want your bonus?" And yeah, I love my bonus, don't get me wrong, but I also want to do something that I'm super passionate about and something that I see a way forward. Because it can't just be passion, that's not good enough. I think that is a big mistake people make too is just because you enjoy something doesn't mean that you're going to be successful and that you should do it.

 

I wanted to play professional baseball. That was my passion. It doesn't matter how many times I went to the Houston Astros and told them, "Hey, I'm really passionate about playing baseball, will you let me play on the team?" They're going to say no over and over and over. So it's not enough to be passionate, but if you have that passion and you also have that skillset that you've built, then it's worth taking that risk and jumping out there to see, do we hit the water? Maybe you don't, there is a risk that you'll fail. You're 100% right, but having those people to watch it, they've done it before and see it's possible, I think that's the big indicator.

 

And then having people who give you that belief capital early on. And I have a ton who I have just tons of respect. And the interesting thing is, I met basically all the people who gave me belief capital, purely online. I never met any of them in real life until last weekend was the first time I finally met some of them in real life. It was this group of people who really did early on, put it in my head that this is a real thing. And it really changed the trajectory of where my life is going. So incredibly grateful for people who give that belief capital. And I try to try to return the favor as much as I can to people I see doing cool stuff, especially early on.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:34:24] I love it. I'm writing this down, belief capital. That's a good one because I think it's social. I think everyone's thinking about capital in terms of giving capital, invest in capital, investing my capital, spending capital. But belief capital is what drives everybody, getting up in the morning, going to work, fighting to do more, fighting to change things, belief capital does go on. And then obviously now you're talking about belief capital, and I guess that's quite related because now you're talking about speaking, which is I guess the way of generating belief capital or communicating belief capital, that's one way I think about it.

 

And then I always think about it is you're helping founders raise actual capital, so generating capital and then converting that using it to harness financial capital. I'm pushing this analogy to the limit right now, but I'm curious how you think about that.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:35:24] It's interesting because when I come into work with the founder, I really am giving them belief capital from myself like, "I believe in the thing you're doing." Because oftentimes they don't know how to tell their story. And I'm like, "If you give it to me, I'll find the way," where you're going to say this and be like, "Oh, that's what I'm doing? Cool. Now, I believe that." And then you can make other people believe it too. So my role is to basically bridge this idea between belief capital that I have in the idea, because when someone comes to work with me, I'm not taking on any clients. I want them to walk me through, why should I care? Why am I excited to work with you? What is it about what you're doing that has the potential to really impact people in a really positive and beneficial way? Because those are the companies I'm looking to work with.

 

And when they can deliver that, then I can turn that into something where they, all of a sudden can feel that belief capital, because too many times founders don't know how to tell their stories, so they're not getting the belief capital they need. And so if we can get them to believe their story because now they're hearing, they're like, "That is what I'm doing," then they can go out and actually raise funds because now they can convince people who have money to part with actual capital, because they're giving a story where it makes sense to those investors. I think when I start off, I first have to believe in somebody to work with them.

 

And so I am giving belief capital because I'm giving my time and investing it in them. And oftentimes, I'll do deals where it's just a percentage of the race, so it's all backend. So I really I'm putting my belief in them because I'm not taking anything upfront. I'm saying, "We're going to be successful." And I think that goes a long ways in helping a founder see somebody else believes in me, somebody else's there, and I can do this. So I do think that is extremely valuable. And when it comes to speaking, the whole idea of speaking is to inspire people to take some action. And this is one of those mistakes that so many people make when it comes to speaking is they think if I just get up and deliver something good, that's all that matters.

 

And I have this distinction between someone who tells stories and a storyteller. Someone who tells stories is just telling them as entertainment, they're distraction. A storyteller uses stories to actually inspire action in his audience. It's creating something out of that story. There's this idea of passive consumption and active consumption. The passive is just taking it in and doing nothing. The active is actually taking it and moving forward because they learned something, they were inspired to action. That's what a great storyteller does. And that's also what a great speaker does. We're trying to give our audience belief that they can take this thing, that they can adopt this idea, that they can move forward with this action.

 

And if we do that and do that well, that's really where you start to see the power of great speakers, and we've all seen them, whether it's in bad ways in history, that's certainly been true. Speech has been used for hugely horrific things to occur, but it's also been seen to do so much good, JFK talking about going to the moon when the technology we had is less powerful than the iPhone that we have now. And essentially willing that into existence. Martin Luther King's, I Have a Dream, and ultimately willing civil rights in America into existence because of his word, because he inspired that action.

 

And I think that's the power of great speaking is if you can give people their own belief capital because of what you start inside out of them, then you have a chance to really see that impact go beyond. And I say as a creator, the creator mindset is basically me plus one. And when I say that, I say, I give every speech or create, every piece I do for myself, I always want to be proud of it because if I don't it like and I'm not proud of it, I shouldn't be doing it. If it's not authentic and true to myself, I shouldn't be doing it. So I've always got to make sure I take care of me, but then one more, if I can impact one other person with what I do, I don't know what that ripple effect will be.

 

And so if I get some sort of, "Hey, this changed my mindset," "Hey, this led me to take this action," any of those sorts of things, or, "Huh, I've never thought about it like that." And it changes the way that they see the world. To me, that's the creator mindset and that's what I'm trying to achieve because then I've transferred that belief capital, because now that person believes something that they didn't when they first came into either the article I wrote, the video I created or the speech that I give. So that's how I to think about bridging that belief capital to actual capital and why speaking is so important today's day and age.

 

And in fact, I think this beginning just to get more and more important to me because the ability for AI to take over a lot of the automated tasks, whether it's writing, and we see that right with GPT-3 and things of that nature where some of these tasks that we think that we need to do as a human, we don't. But speaking, I know Elon Musk has the idea of neural link where you can basically communicate seamlessly between two people and maybe that'll be a thing, but that's way off in the future. So I don't think that that's coming anytime soon, which means your ability to speak and connect with people and move them is always going to be incredibly important in the coming decades.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:40:19] What I agree with you definitely is that many founders don't storytell, and maybe it's a function of they don't know how, two, is a function of if they choose not to. And I've literally seen hundreds of decks where my feedback is like, "Why is this a problem?" I think that was one deck I saw recently which was you're talking about how the targeting of minority group that they belong to and it's a problem. And I was like, "You don't say it's a problem. You make it seem like it's something that happens to them, but you don't talk about why it's a problem to solve, let alone why it's valuable." Looking at the deck this week and I'm just very much like, "Whoa, you're talking about numbers, you're talking about a growth, but what are we going after the problem? What's the vision?" I think that's the phrase.

 

And I think one thing, of course, I think the easy part is when founders are like, "I don't know how to." Which is, "I don't know how to storytell." Because that's an easy part. That's this is like, "Let's go to the deck." This is a far off, but I've seen a lot of founders who will say, "I choose not to." They almost look at speaking better as a bad thing, or evil thing, or a deceptive thing. They're very much like, "The numbers should speak for myself. The business should speak for itself. To some extent, the deck should speak for itself." And those are the ones where I really have the toughest time having a conversation with, because it's not a transactional one-hour conversation where you can crush the storyline with a whiteboard, but it's a deeper conversation.

 

And to be honest, I do my time and I tell them, I say, "I can help you this far, but if you want to be a founder, you've got to communicate to create some of this." Anyway, I think I'm just sharing about how I feel. I'm wondering if you see that in your practice and what you see as well?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:42:19] 100%. You see those two areas, either I don't know how, or I don't want to. And you have a lot of people who are very technical or maybe they're scientific, they're engineers, things of that nature. And they agree, the technical aspects, just speak for itself, the features should speak for itself, the numbers should speak for themselves. Here's the thing, you can make all those things part of your story, those can tell a story. That is actually the interesting thing is you don't have to be story or numbers, it's both. You use the numbers to tell the story. So you can still do it in a way that's compelling.

 

It's this idea of people want to believe that humans actually operate where if we think of the saying, don't judge a book by its cover, people want to think that that's reality, but it's not. There's a reason book covers matter so much. You go into a store or look on Amazon and the book cover 100% matters. It's like, why are we putting our head in the sand saying, "Oh, well, don't judge a book by its cover." You know what you're saying there when you're a founder and you're saying, I don't want to, storytell, you're saying, oh, the cover doesn't matter, they'll just get to the numbers and be like, 'We're good.'" Guess what? If you don't have a compelling cover, they don't care because your customer isn't going to care if you don't have a good cover.

 

Your customer isn't going to get the numbers, the customer isn't going to connect with you. You're going to have no business brand, you're going to have no moat around yourself. There's going to be no reason that anybody wants to come to work with you as an employee. There's going to be no reason your customers are loyal to you. If you have the best product, they'll stay with you, but then someone's going to replace you and then they're going to move on to that one. The story is what allows people to connect. There's a reason throughout human history that we love stories. Why did the Iliad and the Odyssey still exist to this day?

 

They started thousands of years ago and they were told through oral tradition and they were told to teach lessons, but they were entertaining at the same time, and that's why they continue to get passed on, and pass on to the point that they got written down by Homer, to the point that they end up getting made into movies, whether that's Troy or a remake like O Brother, Where Art Thou? And I'm sure we'll see more in the future because those stories matter. The idea of the Trojan Horse, we all know what that means. And that comes from the story of the Elliot. So if we really think about it, if we can start tying some of these founders to, "Let's talk about history, let's go into great historical moments and talk about why they tell it in story format."

 

So that's what I have to do when I'm dealing with the founder who's maybe like, "I don't want to tell the story." I'd be like, "Let's go through this." I can basically pull out all these examples and be like, "Let's do this thing, and now tell me what you see in common about them." And then they start to pick up on it. And the ones who are like, "No, I'm not going to tell a story," I don't work with them. I'm not going to bang my head against the wall when I know what works. I know it'll work on a human psychological level, I know it'll work when it comes to pitching. I know it'll works when it comes to being a speaker. And that's telling a great story.

 

And it doesn't mean you're telling a fairy tale, it means you're telling it in a narrative art, that you're taking your audience on an adventure, on a journey, where they feel like they're a character in the story, but it doesn't mean that it's some make-believe and fluffy language and all sorts of things. In fact, many times story arts, I've worked with people who are VCs and trying to get better at pitches to the partners in their VC firm, and they'll have 30 seconds to deliver a pitch. And I'm like, "We can still make that pitch have a narrative art." So you can still tell a story even a 30-second little bit, if you do it right. It just takes a lot of work and a lot of understanding of how best to structure that.

 

So I push back on the people who say I don't want it, and say, "We can either fix that mindset or we cannot work together because that's just the way it's going to end up being." I don't need to deal with that issue.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:45:45] Yeah. I think that's very true. And I do a fair, I'm often in the same boat, because I can easily help revive the deck and create a car narrative loop, whether you want to do it or not is all this separate question altogether. And I want to pick up on what you said, which is that you said the numbers can be part of the story. And I think that's so true, nobody wants to see a fairy tale without numbers. And I always tell people, the people on the other side of the table are very sophisticated, the venture capitalist, or angels of whoever it is, or customer, whoever it is, or future employees. They've seen this story hundreds of times, thousands even, so they need to see both.

 

I'm just curious, why do you think people make it binary? Is this some limiting belief like we started teaching kids the story versus numbers? Why do people believe there's a binary choice between story and numbers? I'm just curious from your perspective.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:46:42] I think a lot of people look at story and have this picture in their mind that it's like Harry Potter or Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and it's all make-believe and that's not really... They're serious, they want to be seen as, "I have a serious product. I have real numbers. That's all that matters." And I think it's this idea that people have this mistaken belief that logic and reason and numbers and those sorts of things convince people to take action, and it's just not true. We take action as human beings because of an emotional response that we have. Now, how do you create that emotional response? You need to have numbers and logic and reason because humans essentially don't want to say that we're emotional creatures.

 

No one's going to say, "I bought this thing because I felt this way inside." No investor is going to be like, "I invest in you because I felt some way inside." They're going to be like, "I saw this number, this number, this number, this is what spoke to me." What they're doing is they're using the numbers to rationalize the emotion that actually led them to that decision. So we want to give numbers and we want to do all of the normal content to help people rationalize why they made the decision. So it was always those two pieces together. But I think the reason people fall into this, it's a binary issue is a lot of them come from the tech space, a lot of them come from engineering or science backgrounds.

 

And their coworkers and the people that they know get numbers, and numbers speak to them, or data speaks to them. The mechanics, the technical specs. Those are the things that they've been dealing with day in and day out. Understand. The problem is most of the time your customers aren't those people. So most of the time, somebody who is an investor wants to see how you're going to articulate your product in a way that connects with your customer, because at the end of the day, if you're not getting any customers to your product, what's the point of the product? Now, maybe there's still a point, it's not for everything, some things you are going to be just fine if you don't speak to your customer, because maybe you already have a deal in place with the US government if you create this thing for them and they just don't care, they just want to problem solved and you're the one who can do it.

 

Great. That's fine. But for most people, you've got to show how you're going to tell that story, to bring customers to your vision, your idea that you're building. And not just customers, you also want investors to see that you're going to be able to get other investors too to join on, so that the round can be fully funded. You're also going to want to be able to demonstrate to the investors of the growth that's going to come so that they know they're going to get a return on that money that they're investing. You also want to be able to attract the right employees. So if you're a solo founder and you're trying to figure out how do I hire an executive team, where are those first hires coming in? If you don't have a story to tell them, and you just have numbers, you're not going to find the right people because you don't need somebody just like yourself in that role.

 

Most of the time, if you're a founder, maybe you have the vision, but you don't have the technical chops. So you need to make sure that the person who has the technical chops can come in and understand your vision in that story and say, "Let's figure out how this works together." Or you're a technical founder and you're trying to find somebody who can be the marketing arm. Well, the marketing person is going to be thinking about vision and thinking about like, how does this relate to our core values, the ways that we see the world? And if you are just telling numbers, the marketing person like, "I don't know how to just talk to a bunch of customers about numbers, no one's going to care. That's not going to work."

 

So I think it's also that investors want to see the ability for you to connect with a wide range of people and stories do that, and investors know and that's why they're looking for it. But I think that the mistake in terms of why people think it's a binary issue is because they feel like that's adding, persuasion is not the right word, but it's adding manipulative tactics to it. And I always say this, there's a difference between manipulation and persuasion. Manipulation is when you're just trying to extract value. Persuasion is when you're trying to get value, but also deliver value. And there's a difference.

 

And so the way we tell the story is persuasive, not manipulative, but I think a lot of people who are so in this world of numbers, numbers, numbers, think adding any sort of elements of persuasion actually is manipulation. And that shouldn't be the case. And I think that's actually where their mind goes. And if we can start to create this distinction between persuasion and manipulation, people will be much better often and realize that persuasion is totally good because when you go into an investor meeting, you're telling them, "I need you to give me money, but I'm going to return the money to you. I'm going to deliver value to you." And so it's a two way street instead of a one-way with manipulation.

 

That's how I to frame it. And hopefully some people will listen to this and start realizing it's not a binary issue, you can do both.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:51:18] Yeah. I think you've really kill a lot of the core points here. It's like, prior, book environments. It's about the perception, it's about the false perceptions of binary trade-off, it's the fear, it's manipulative. One thing I added that as well, just a thought in my head is, whenever we're working on a business that already exists, there are so many numbers. When I was a consultant, there was so many numbers, from a client, I downloaded a spreadsheet about company data, and it was so big that my laptop couldn't handle opening up the Excel spreadsheet. There's this so many numbers. So I had to find a more powerful laptop, delete a whole bunch of numbers that were irrelevant to just the numbers I could have and then do that analysis on my own laptop.

 

But I think the interesting thing about startups as well is there's so much value to be created in the future and even with a seed or series A or series B, it's still so early in the journey that if you can't storytell the future, you're almost like what? Visualizing the numbers in advance for people. You made me think quite a bit actually about this. I got scratch-ish in my head.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:52:30] Yeah. I think the one that I always love about this too is, using Elon Musk as an example, he basically told a vision of the future for Tesla for years when there was really no Teslas anywhere. And you know what I see now everywhere in Dallas, Texas? Are Teslas. Everywhere I look, Teslas, because he essentially didn't have the numbers to back it up early, but he was like, "Here's the vision, here's where we're going." And it came true because it was so clear, I could see it. I remember following this journey for as long as I can remember being like, "He's going to do it, he's going to do it." It's so clear in the way he's describing it, he is seeing it in his head. And if you can see with that level of clarity, you know how to get there.

 

And I think that's where that storytelling is so important too, because it shows that the founder has the ability to forecast the future. And if you can forecast the future, what you can essentially do is reverse engineer from that forecasting you're doing and figure out, here's where we are, how do we get to this future? And then take the right steps to actually get there. Now, he's done it. The same way with SpaceX. That thing is nuts. That thing is absolutely nuts that he was able to achieve getting rockets in the way that he has done. And yet, again, it comes down to this idea. He told a story early on, a vision of going to Mars and what that looks like, and why we need it.

 

And I think to me, when you have somebody like that who's able to articulate it in such beautiful detail and paint that picture for us, that's where we get excited and we say, "I want to know more about that. I'm going to stay following that. That's the thing I want." And then again, he's just basically reverse engineering from this vision that he has for the future. And that is allowing him to be successful in the steps that he needs to take. And so if we're just looking at cold numbers, most people who are dealing with just numbers are going to do projections with numbers, but it doesn't really tell me anything because are those numbers going to be true? Is it going to continue to move that way?

 

Things changed. Nobody in 2020 would have seen COVID coming. You could have been giving me projections about real estate prices for business offices in New York at the beginning of 2020, and you know what, I guarantee you, 2020 showed you that those numbers were not right. But if you have a bigger vision and you're saying, "This is where the world is going long term and I see that vision. I know how we can get there." That's different. So numbers give us a projection which can be wrong, a vision gives us a bigger blueprint of 10 years, 50 years, 100 years.

 

And that allows you more freedom because as you get more finite in your time domain, your ability to forecast gets harder and harder and harder, little things can put you off course, whereas a bigger vision that maps it further out, actually gives you more freedom to adjust along the way and still get to your end goal. If we think about quickly like Lord of the Rings, one of my favorite movies and books, that journey to get to Mordor was very circuitous for Frodo and Sam, but ultimately, they got there by going different routes. And that's how I think about a founder when they give their story and their vision, there are multiple routes to ultimately get there. But if you're only using numbers and projecting things, it becomes very challenging because now you're really beholden to those numbers.

 

Jeremy Au: [00:55:31] Robbie, you've chosen to sell the company to join OnDeck right. That means that you believe that you plus them equals something special, right? What's the special OnDeck costs? What are people going to get out of the cost that you brought to OnDeck, but also what are they going to get with that alchemy between yourself and OnDeck.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [00:55:58] Obviously you come into a speaking program to get better at speaking, will that happen? A hundred percent. That's just a no brainer, but what they're going to get is an experience that they're not expecting. What I say by that is the level of connection that you create inside of that community by going through this program, the way it's designed, you walk out where you'll continue to be friends with these people. You'll continue to build with these people because you're being vulnerable and you're sharing yourself. You're exposing who you are to all of the members of this community. That's what speaking is. We do it in a way that's safe, but also lets you get to know one another and lets other people get to know you. I think that's the beauty is actually seeing those connections as they build and watching them really blossom.

 

Where I ended up in the last program, I had people who ended up hiring one another to work together. That's the type of thing where you want to see that come to life, but really what you want to see. What I think people will be surprised at is how many doors open in their lives that they don't realize are there right now. That's actually what happens with speaking is you start seeing doors that didn't exist before. You start seeing opportunities that you never knew were there. That's a really cool thing. It's not just because you're better at speaking. It's because you're you shift your mindset, you start seeing things differently. That's actually that transformation that we talk about. I know Andrew Berry has coined the term transformational online courses and that is 100% what this is geared to be.

 

That's the surprise is it is actually geared to bring about transformation of the person while also making sure that they get better at speaking. I think the magic in OnDeck really is the quality of the individual coming into the program. I think that that's that secret sauce is you really get great people who understand the power of community and also how their voice can amplify their skillset. This isn't a course where it's for a bunch of guru learners who want to just get up on stage and teach other people how to get up on stage and never deliver anything. Like I told you earlier, speaking is all about creating action and what this is designed to do is to create great holistic speakers, where you create action and use the skills and expertise and experience that you've built over your career to really change and impact lives.

 

Not just get up and tell my story so I can teach you how to tell your story so you can teach somebody else how to tell their story. Everyone sounds the same because here's the thing, I don't need another Robbie Crabtree in the world. We've got one on me. That's enough. I need everybody else to have their voice. I need everybody else to tell their story, but I need them to tell it in a way that impacts the world. That's what I focus on. That's what we focus on in OnDeck and the people coming in are all on board with this idea. That's why I joined with OnDeck because it is essentially this force multiplier. Just like I say, I can give you a force multiplier by teaching you how to be a great speaker and letting that amplify your skills.

 

The same is true with me and OnDeck, pairing up, we can force multiply each other where one plus one equals three. That's how I like to really think about this idea is all of a sudden you have access to this change and this community that you never expected beforehand. That really is kind of this beauty and the way I like to think about it too, is my goal is to give people a megaphone and a scaffold. We're trying to get people a megaphone to reach more people. We're trying to give them a scaffold to reach the right ones with the right message. [silence]

 

Jeremy Au: [00:59:33] That was me. I forgot to hit the mute button on my end. We'll edit out the sound editor. All right. Sound editors, God, please edit this out. Robbie this has been a great hour. We've had such a deep conversation about not just your personal journey, but also what you got out of it. We've talked a lot about belief capital as well and how there's a false dichotomy between numbers and story. For those who want to get deeper to you beyond of course, applying to OnDeck for your course, I just a hundred percent recommend as someone has gone through the OnDeck founder fellowship and the podcast fellowship, but how could they reach out to you?

 

Robbie Crabtree: [01:00:06] People can always reach out to me on Twitter. It's @robbiecrab, R O B B I E C R A B. That's the easiest way. I put tons of content out there. I respond to DMS. I love talking to people. I'm here to help. That's the easiest way you can always email me too robbie@beondeck.com.

 

You can go to my personal website and this is going to throw people a little bit for a loop because a little bit different, but it's robbiecrabtree.com. That's where I write. So far this year I've written 30 articles. I also run a very deep year in review in story format, true to myself for 2020, which actually Chronicles kind of the entire journey. If people are interested in learning more about kind of how that process played out. I'm on a mission to write a hundred articles this year and publish them. I'm 30 in and have 70 to go. If you want to continue to read my thinking and thoughts and all those sorts of things, feel free to check out the website. Of course, Twitter is where I'm most at home and you'll see me post links to all those articles there as well. If you need anything, @robbiecrab is the best place to find me.

 

Jeremy Au: [01:01:09] Awesome. Thank you so much, Robbie, it's been an absolute pleasure just chatting and shooting the breeze and getting deep.

 

Robbie Crabtree: [01:01:15] Thanks so much, Jeremy. That's been amazing. I look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. 

Jeremy Au: [01:01:20] Thank you for listening to BRAVE. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share this episode with friends and colleagues. Sign up at www.jeremyau.com to discuss this episode with other community members in our forum. Stay well and stay brave.