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You DON’T have to “Dent The Universe” to be Successful

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

You DON’T have to “Dent The Universe” to be Successful

You DON’T have to have big, scary dreams to succeed and feel satisfied.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on You DON’T have to “dent the universe” below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.



Five Key Takeaways for You DON’T have to “dent the universe”

1. You don’t have to reach millions or thousands of people to make a big impact or feel satisfied

There’s this idea that, if you’re not reaching so many people, you’re not actually making a difference. This notion can put so much stress and pressure on you but for what? Take a second to ask yourself, Does this align with my values and why is reaching so many people or making a “big impact” something I “need” (or actually don’t need) to strive for?

2. Recognize marketing tactics behind an “impact” mission

The ability to discern this is valuable. Once you do, you can let go of the guilt or the belief that your business has to be a certain size in order to be impactful or in order for you to matter. You can have a couple of hundred customers, you can sell to a couple of clients every single year. You can just make a very small impact, but it’s still an impact. And it’s still going to feel satisfying. Maybe it won’t be as stressful and overwhelming — that’s a good thing! Maybe it can feel small, enjoyable, and calm.

3. Give yourself permission to not feel guilt if you’re not “changing the world”

The message of “putting a dent in the universe” has proliferated so much that it can make you end up feeling like if you don’t have some type of mission that is supposed to impact the world on a humungous scale that your business or your time is not worthy. The very notion of being alive, having air in our lungs, and experiencing this weird thing we call life is enough.

4. Speaking of…focus on “enough”

Our goal is to inspire people to do stuff, but at the same time it’s (hopefully) an inspiration to stay small. It’s an inspiration to be okay with the fact that you have 200 followers on Instagram, and 500 email subscribers. You get a couple of hundred customers over the lifetime of running your business, and it’s enough to give you a fulfilling life that you can also make an impact in your community in small ways!

5. Dream deeper instead of bigger

We think this hyper-focus on size is actually irrelevant. Let it happen organically and to the degree that defining the size of the audience will help you feel satisfied but not to the degree that it’s going to make you feel not good enough if you don’t reach it. One of the best things that we did when we started Wandering Aimfully was, through a lot of experimentation and trial and error, we figured out a price point for our product. Then we figured out the number of customers that it would take to reach our “enough” number, our revenue number every month. We’re not denting the universe but we love that because it feels doable.


Show Notes for Episode 136: for You DON’T have to “dent the universe”

The famous Steve Jobs quote goes something like this: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Why else even be here.” And while that’s inspiring for some, it’s not the only perspective in life. Also, we can think of a million other reasons to exist as a human that don’t require trying to dent the universe.

In this episode, we want to deconstruct some of these big aspirational quotes that get shared constantly around social media. There’s a lot of ego at play in the “dream big” messaging and the constant striving for trying to impact millions of people.

If you’re anything like us, and if you listen to this podcast we think you are 😘😘, we’re here to tell you that having smaller goals and focusing on “enough” (in audience size, revenue, etc) can be incredibly impactful and rewarding. We also love that we can focus on making a change in a tiny group of people’s lives and that feels right to us!

🐑 Check out the Airbnb we had to abandon in Holmfirth: www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/49283125

✈️ Our pramvel stories take you through our worst Airbnb of this year and how we had to make a mid-stay move to an entirely new place. Oh, and we surprised the Mayor of WAIM!


Full Transcript of Episode 136: You DON’T have to “dent the universe”

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What is it All For?, a podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an UN-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here, too.

Caroline: Oh, are we starting?

Jason: Let’s go ahead and start. We do really fancy intros.

Caroline: I was like, my screen kept going dark, but it’s because I was on low battery mode. What’s up?

Jason: This is a really good…

Caroline: Starting place?

Jason: This is a really good explanation of the two of us.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: You live life perpetually in low power mode.

Caroline: That’s absolutely correct.

Jason: And I would actually say, not to say you as a human, you as all your devices. That’s what I’m actually more talking about.

Caroline: Oh, yeah. No, I live on the edge.

Jason: You and your devices. And I really do think there are two types of people in the world. There are “My shit is always fully charged.” That’s me. Hello. What’s up?

Caroline: Or something’s dead. Something’s dead.

Jason: There’s “My things are always about to die.” And I can’t count on the number of times you’ve been like, “Oh, that died, that died.” I can’t tell you the last time my laptop, my phone, any of those devices ever got to zero, ever turned off because they had no power left.

Caroline: Do you want a freakin’ medal? What do you want? Yeah, okay.

Jason: I like a medal that holds a certain amount of charge, and I like to keep that medal fully charged up.

Caroline: Listen, I don’t like danger.

Jason: I wonder if this is a…

Caroline: But I like this little bit of danger just being like, “Ooh, could it die?”

Jason: This is like our top sheet discussion that we had many episodes ago where we brought out the true duvetors, who are us, but then also the evolved version of myself that became a top sheeter and enjoy the luxury of the top-sheet.

Caroline: I felt like you were living a lie, like I married a different person.

Jason: I know.

Caroline: Also, can we just, not to circle back on the top sheet?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But the argument you always say about top sheet is, like, it’s more hygienic because I’m like, whether it’s a sheet or a duvet, like, you’re going to wash it. Something’s touching it.

Jason: But I think it’s the one extra layer between the duvet, you know?

Caroline: Why does it matter, there’s an extra layer?

Jason: No one wants to put the duvet cover back on the comforter. No one wants to do that.

Caroline: Okay, then let’s talk about that instead of talking about hygienic or not hygienic based on what piece of fabric is touching you.

Jason: You know, what we should invent?

Caroline: Also, why are you so dirty?

Jason: You know, what we should invent?

Caroline: What?

Jason: It’s coming from a dirt bird–that’s Carol, she’s a dirt bird–is a duvet cover, but that also has attached to one side of it a top sheet. So that it’s the double layer, and then you could just, like, velcro it off and throw it in the wash. Anyway, that’s way too much discussion about that when we have some…

Caroline: Pramvel to the pramvel.

Jason: Pramvel travel story drama to share.

Caroline: First of all, can’t wait to share it. I just want to give everyone an update because people have been asking.

Jason: People go on your journey. People go on your journeys.

Caroline: I am feeling so much better than the last few episodes.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And thank you for joining us on the journey of just, like, being a human being, which is like, sometimes you’re on a high, sometimes you’re on a low. That was a little low point for, like, two weeks there. My eye condition was acting up. But we rested and…

Jason: Quite a lot of rest. You made it through to the depths of Netflix, like, to the end.

Caroline: I was like, I think I’ve watched it all. I think I’ve done it. Do I get a completion badge? Like, what’s up? Typically, how I work with rest and just, like, taking a break or whatever is like I go so hard that I almost…

Jason: On resting?

Caroline: On resting, that I get so tired of resting. The metaphor that I like to use is like, you’re just sinking to the bottom of a pool, and you’re just, like, sinking, sinking, sinking. And then when you touch the bottom, you bounce back up. You propel yourself back up. That’s my resting strategy is I just like, sink and I sink. And I’m like I haven’t showered in days and then I sink a little bit further, and I’m like, 8 hours of TV, that’s too much. And then I sink a little bit further, and I’m like, do I have responsibilities? I don’t know.

Jason: Yeah. Yeah.

Caroline: And then I touch the bottom, and I’m like, this doesn’t feel good. And then I propel myself back up, and I’m like, Ooh, going for a walk was nice. Ooh, resting my eyes from Netflix was cool. Ooh, showering felt good. And that’s my strategy.

Jason: I feel like every parent listening to this is like, Must be nice. It must be nice to be in the depths of rest.

Caroline: And you know what? It is, which is why we don’t have children yet.

Jason: And I’m curious to listen back to this. We’ll have to put a little ear note in my ear to come back to this, little brain ear note. Episode 136, once we have children, how does Carol deal with the depths of rest? Because I think your pool is just going to be shallower. I think that’s it.

Caroline: For sure. I’m going to have to find new ways to sink faster and then to propel up faster.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But I also think, like, I think part of why I’m sinking so deep into these little rest recuperation sessions is because I know that we’re nearing the end of this chapter of our lives…

Jason: Not any kids.

Caroline: Just not a single care in the world.

Jason: Not a single kid in the world either.

Caroline: Not a single kid in the world that I’m aware of. Jason might actually…

Jason: Oh, okay. All right, I did donate some sperm.

Caroline: Did you? What if you did and you didn’t tell me?

Jason: Yeah. Okay, let’s get into the pramvel, because that’s already a pramvel to the pramvel to the pramvel. Where we last left you, we had driven from Scotland down to central England to a town called Holmfirth, and the Airbnb that we had picked out was actually one that we were quasi-excited about because it looked like it was in this very small town. You all know, if you’ve listened to enough of our pramvels, like, we love a small town vibe. Not a ton going on, but it was like an industrial-type building with the big, framed windows, higher ceilings, and it just looked like, Oh, this is going to be like a nice, interesting stay.

Caroline: And it was kind of interesting in this little valley with some cows nearby and some lots of trees. So it had this tree house vibe. And I’ll say, once we got there, I will say immediately, usually the second we walk through the door, our brains are computing the Instagram versus reality of it all of what have we had in our head versus what is it? And I will say, immediately upon entering, I was like, Okay, I knew it was an apartment, but this is like an apartment complex that feels like it was a very old building and they kind of updated it, but just enough.

Jason: They went…

Caroline: As far as the common areas go.

Jason: Yeah. If anybody has ever stayed in a cheap hotel where they’ve just “renovated” and you’re like, But did you? Like these floors kind of feel like you just took them off out of the box and set them on the ground.

Caroline: They’re like a little warpy, you know what I mean? Like, very thin. Everything felt thin. Anyways, the positive side of the place that we absolutely loved was this main living area had these gorgeous industrial windows that looked out onto, like, a running stream and all these trees. So you felt very much like you were in this tree house, which I loved, and it was a little smaller than I think we had anticipated, because what they did…

Jason: The photos did it justice.

Caroline: What they didn’t show you in the photos is how small the bathrooms are. How small…

Jason: Tell them how small the bathrooms are.

Caroline: Uh, Jason couldn’t fit on one of the toilets.

Jason: I physically could not fit on one of the toilets because, in Europe, you all love your towel warmer racks, and I don’t understand why these exist. It is an unnecessary feature of a bathroom that makes no logical sense to me, and it just takes up space.

Caroline: There was nowhere to hang a towel warmer because you got to have the towel warmer in this one bathroom, and so they hung it right where your legs would sit if you were sitting on the toilet. And so even I am sitting on the toilet and I had to…

Jason: You had to sit sideways.

Caroline: And I has to sit sideways. And I’m like…

Jason: Yeah, who wants to poop sideways? Everyone wants to poop forward.

Caroline: Poop forward. (laughing)

Jason: I will link up the Airbnb in case you want to get a visual. For those of you who just love listening to this.

Caroline: I will say. My other positive that I have to say just to make my heart okay, is like, the host was very gracious and very lovely.

Jason: Extremely nice.

Caroline: But none of the things that we’ve even mentioned necessarily knocks against the place. This was just like the thing that happens whenever you go to an Airbnb, which is just you live the reality versus the photos. And so we were like, Okay. By the second day, we got totally acclimated to all those things. Strike number one…

Jason: Let’s hear it.

Caroline: Was…

Jason: Not even the toilet, because they had a second toilet, which was nice.

Caroline: Jason had emailed ahead and asked about the WiFi situation because, if you remember the sawmill cottage in Scotland, we had abysmal WiFi, and it really…

Jason: I mean, it was listed as WiFi. There was no WiFi.

Caroline: And this was supposed to be our summer of, like, getting a lot of work done before we have a very busy Fall travel schedule. And so Jason went ahead and the host was like, Oh, yeah, we have fiber. It’s not a big deal. Like, it’s very fast, whatever.

Jason: When they use the word fiber, usually like, Great, this is at least passable Internet.

Caroline: Right? We get there.

Jason: Couldn’t upload a video.

Both: Could not upload a video.

Jason: And that’s not to say that I needed to be blazing fast. It’s that I needed to hit 1% on an upload faster than 30 minutes that it took for it to get.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: So that was strike number one. And unfortunately, I messaged our host, I said, Hey, I’m having trouble uploading a video. And he started to look into it, because, again, great host. And he was like, Yeah, it looks like I’ve been paying for fiber, and I literally don’t have it.

Caroline: At some point, it got turned off because we noticed the name of the…

Jason: WiFi.

Caroline: Network did not match what the login instructions were. And so anyway, we discovered for him that they had turned off his fiber.

Jason: We couldn’t get it fixed. We were going to be there for two and a half weeks. It’s how long we’re supposed to stay.

Caroline: But listen, we’re adaptable. We can hang. We’ve done it before. We’ll do it again. And so we just figured a little coffee shop. So we said we’ll go to the coffee shop and we have to upload things.

Jason: Which worked out great because I got extra pastries and extra coffee. Win-win for me.

Caroline: It was a win-win. But it was a strike.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It was a strike. Strike number two happened about four days into our stay. This is actually quite a funny story because we are watching movies. Yes, we are on the couch.

Jason: Oh, I want to mention, largest TV we’ve ever had in an Airbnb.

Caroline: Oh, the TV.

Jason: Seventy-five inch TV. And listen, I love a big TV. I actually, at one point in my life, I had an 89-inch TV that was a sponsored thing way back in the I Wear Your Shirt days. It was not a living room. It was a TV with a couch next to it. That was the living room. It was too big. This TV was perfection in size for the room. It just was lovely. So anyway, I just want to set the stage very happy to watch the movies.

Caroline: That was really cool. So that’s why we’re watching movies, because we’re like, got to use this TV. We’re watching it and we’re on the couch together. And I’m like, Babe? He’s like, what? And I’m like, that is bad. And he’s like, what do you mean? And I’m like, you farted. That’s really bad. And he’s like he’s like, no, you farted. We argue for, like, five minutes.

Jason: We don’t even have a dog anymore that we can blame on the dog.

Caroline: I was like, oh my God, he’s really committing to this lie. Because I knew that I hadn’t.

Jason: Most of the time, I’ll deny it for like a minute, but then I’ll just laugh because farts are funny.

Caroline: Who are you kidding? You deny it for 5 seconds. Normally, because you know that you did it, you’ll just own up to it. I know I did it so I’ll own up to it. We were both, like, in a stalemate of, like…

Jason: Not owning up to it.

Caroline: A stalemate, a STALE-mate.

Jason: (snickers) Yeah.

Caroline: And we were like, this is atrocious. And I was like, why is he committing to this lie? I know I didn’t do it, so it must have been him. Okay. Turns out neither of us farted.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Jason gets up and he’s like, what is this? And he goes, there’s a bathroom that’s closer to the living room.

Jason: Yes, this is the one where I could fit on the toilet.

Caroline: And there is like a sewage smell coming from the sink.

Jason: I’ve started to find out the sink. Yeah, like, I smelled the toilet first, and I was like, oh, it’s actually not strong. I mean, closer than I wanted to be. Approaching closer than I wanted to be. I find this smell and I’m like, oh, wow. Yeah, it’s coming from the sink drain. You know this building is old. It has been renovated. Sewage issues can happen. And actually, we’ve stayed in places before in Lisbon, actually.

Caroline: In Lisbon, there was a little bit of a weird smell, at night, that would come out of the drain.

Jason: Certain times and listen, it just happens. But the problem with this one is that it was not leaving, and it was getting stronger.

Caroline: It was so strong, y’all. I was like, this is some methane gas type. I don’t know.

Jason: That was strike two, because it lingered all the way until the next day. And we were just kind of like, we’re going to leave it and not mention it. Just, it would go away. It didn’t go away. So I sent a message to it. He’s like, oh, this actually happened…

Caroline: One other time.

Jason: One other time. It should just go away. Run some hot water. This isn’t even a strike. I ran hot water for three minutes in the sink. The sink started leaking from the bottom.

Caroline: You didn’t even tell me about that.

Jason: I didn’t tell Caroline. I was just like, okay, I’m turning the sink off. I’m not doing this. So I sent him a message with some photos, and he was like, I can have a plumber come by tomorrow. I said, okay, well, let’s just see what happens one more day. So that’s strike number two.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Now let’s go strike number three, which was the next night.

Caroline: It was the next night. While we were waiting out the smell, we are sleeping in a tiny bedroom, and it’s hot, and we’ve just gotten to sleep.

Jason: There’s no AC.

Caroline: There’s no AC. And at…

Jason: 4:00 AM.

Caroline: Four o’clock in the morning, Jason and I are startled to our absolute heights out of our slumber by the loudest…

Jason: Fire alarm?

Caroline: Fire alarm that you’ve heard?

Jason: Carbon monoxide alarm?

Caroline: It wasn’t just in our unit. It was, like, everywhere.

Jason: No, no. It was just in our unit.

Caroline: It was our unit? Well, it was loud enough…

Jason: Yeah, because that’s the thing. So it’s 4:00 in the morning, and actually two nights before…

Caroline: It had beeped a little bit.

Jason: It beeped at 7:00 PM.

Caroline: And it was just like…

Jason: We were sitting in the living room, and it was like beep boop beep boop. We were like, what was that? And we looked around.

Caroline: But it went away. It wasn’t like…

Jason: This, at 4:00 AM, went off for, like, 30 seconds non-stop in our bedroom, right above where we were sleeping in the living room. And so we get up. It’s 4:00 AM. We’re frazzled. You’re in your deep sleep.

Caroline: Also, from my perspective, you’re fine, because you’re like, this is just an inconvenience. My brain is like, we are in an apartment unit at the very top floor of this apartment complex with very thin hallways, and it’s the very last unit. I don’t know what the fire code is, but you can’t get out of this building without going down one stairwell and past all of these other… So I’m like, if there’s an actual fire, we’re screwed.

Jason: Yeah, but here’s the thing. We weren’t, because those walls were so thin in that renovated place, we just bust right through them.

Caroline: Anyway, I’m having that experience. I’m like, is this fake or is this real?

Jason: So we’re trying to figure it out. We pop our heads out into the hallway. Not a single other person’s doors open. We’ve seen other people’s shoes in the hallway, so we know other people are there. We walked down the hallway. We had to put some clothes on. We walked down the hallway. No one else, no sound, nothing.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: We go back in our place, and now we’re at that awkward stage of sleep where you’re like, do I fall back to sleep?

Caroline: Is it going to go loud again?

Jason: Is it going to happen again? So even me, someone who never feels anxiety, I’m just laying there waiting for this alarm to…

Caroline: And my heart is just racing. And also, I’m like, then also the dots are getting connected where I’m like, I know I made the joke about the methane gas, but I’m like, is there some type of gas that’s being emitted? Was it the car–from the sewage thing? Is it a leak? Was that the carbon monoxide detector? It’s not your house. You don’t know what this sounds

Jason: So wrapping all of this up. Three strikes are out. So I sent the host a message. Actually, I didn’t. So three strikes are out, that morning of the fire alarm, 4:00 AM, we both fell back to sleep. I got up at like six. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I started looking at Airbnbs around the area. Now, the only side caveat to this, because we could have gone anywhere, and our next spot was in the south of England, which we’ll share some stories about in future episodes. But we were going to surprise a WAIMer, and this was 1 hour away from Holmfirth, which was where she lived. And so we wanted to drive to meet up and do this whole surprise thing. And so we couldn’t move that far away. We didn’t want to have to stop the surprise.

Caroline: We had to triangulate this area where it was like, not that far from our next destination then, because we didn’t want to go in the opposite direction. So that would be a longer drive for me. At this point, my eyes are bothering me. So we’re like, we have to pick a place that’s close to where we are currently at Holmfirth, close to where our next place is going to be, but then not too far away from where we’re supposed to meet this WAIMEr. So it’s kind of a weird thing.

Jason: It really was.

Caroline: Not to mention, by the way, this is last minute and it’s in the height of summer.

Jason: There were three options that we essentially found, and we ended up choosing one in a small town called Waddington, which is right outside of Clitheroe. And the host was very lovely. I sent a message. I just said, hey, I saved her all the details. We’re dealing with a sewage issue. We have to change Airbnbs. Is there any way we can–I see your place is available. Could we come today and get out of this place? And she wrote back and she was like, I can make it happen. Like, the cleaners are actually there now, blah, blah, blah. So we booked it. We were just like, we’re going to book it, we’re going to do it. We set up a contingency fund in our savings for this to happen, because when you’re staying at, so far as of recording this, 28 different Airbnbs/ hotels, something’s going to go wrong. And it did. So we booked that place. Then I sent a message to the host and I basically just said, like, hey, you’ve been really great, but three strikes are out. I can’t sleep a night in this place with a sewage smell and a potential alarm going off. I just don’t feel good.

Caroline: We weren’t even that comfortable to begin with to be perfectly honest.

Jason: We weren’t even that comfortable because of the flimsy floors, which they weren’t flimsy, but they felt like it. And he wrote back and he was like, I feel so terrible.

Caroline: He felt so bad. He was so lovely.

Jason: Yeah. He said, My wife and I have never had these issues.

Caroline: It broke my heart. I was like, are we the taboo?

Jason: No, he totally understood. I asked if there was any way we could get a partial refund because it was a no-cancellation thing. He was like, I’ll absolutely partially refund you the nights you’re not going to be there.

Caroline: It’s so nice of him. And he could have really fought us on it, and he didn’t at all.

Jason: Which is just great. And it just goes to show you that if you’re just honest with people and you’re just truthful of people in this full time travel life, people will do the right thing, I think, for the most time. And we just found that with Airbnb host, when you book places that have people with good reviews, most of the time they’re always going to treat you well in these situations, which is really nice.

Caroline: Which is why we go so far as to pick places with good reviews.

Jason: Yeah. So that morning, we essentially just start packing. So I give you the choices in the morning. We make the choice. We book, I let our host know, and we just pack up.

Caroline: We did, before we left Holmfirth, go to our favorite burger place called Lou and Joe’s because, when I tell you this burger was delicious…

Jason: I mean, we were only there for a week and we went three times. That tells you.

Caroline: Yeah, and I’m still feeling it.

Jason: Yeah, well, and I miss it. I wish we could go back again. It was so delicious. It’s just a cute little place. But yes, the sad thing was that after those couple of days, Holmfirth was really growing on us.

Caroline: It was so growing on us.

Jason: It was such a cute little town that you could walk around.

Caroline: It had these little parks. Like, it had a community vibe.

Jason: The coffee shop that I found, I really loved. They did a great little pour over V60 coffee. The little grocery store I really liked. It’s just like everything started to click into place. We found a really good dinner restaurant that was very fun to sit outside. And, like, all of the charm of this town that we had found was just basically, like, about to leave. And so that was the only bummer. But we ended up packing up the car. We drove, I think it was about an hour and a half to get to our replacement place in Waddington. And it was a replacement place. It was one of those where we would never have picked it, but we were so grateful to have an option. And truthfully, I will say that I think the shining star of this place is that we ended up staying in the UK heat wave at the place in Waddington. And the place did not get hot.

Caroline: It did not get hot.

Jason: We were so fortunate.

Caroline: The way that it had just enough light for me to feel okay, but it was just shaded enough that it just didn’t heat up during the day.

Jason: We did have fans the whole time, but yeah.

Caroline: And so we rode that kind of heat wave and came out relatively unscathed. There was one night where it was kind of uncomfortable to sleep, and then there was, like, tons of sheep very close to the place. So we got to walk every day and say hey to the sheep.

Jason: The irony is…

Caroline: The irony is that the industrial place in Holmfirth was called the Woolery, and it had this sheep theme. And then we go to Waddington, and there’s real sheep.

Jason: In the backyard.

Caroline: In the backyard.

Jason: Yeah. That we got to say hello to. They didn’t care about us at all, but it was very cute. Okay, so that kind of, like, gets you caught up on the drama that we experienced.

Caroline: It’s our first real Airbnb drama.

Jason: Do we want to talk about surprising Rachilli to wrap up the pramvel?

Caroline: Sure, we can end with that.

Jason: I don’t know if Rachilli listens to our podcast, which is kind of funny.

Caroline: I don’t either. But we wish we could stay and meet up with…

Jason: Oh my gosh.

Caroline: Every single one of our WAIMers or even just listeners. We would love that. But the reality, if you’ve been listening to our episodes, the reality of this whole year and process is that it’s hard on me, and it’s amazing, and it’s wonderful, and I would never trade it for the world. And it’s hard on my body, it’s hard on my energy, it’s hard on all these things. And so we have to be really careful, and the timing has to work out just right to be able to do these meetups. It’s raining. Cute. But one meetup that we knew we really wanted to try and make happen if we could was to meet up with I would go as far as to say, and I don’t think anyone inside the WAIM community would disagree.

Jason: No disagreement.

Caroline: That she’s sort of the mayor of WAIM.

Both: She’s the mayor of WAIM.

Jason: She’s the mayor of WAIM and she’s also the queen of the Sneak Peek Club. She told me recently…

Caroline: She is the queen of the Sneak Peek Club.

Jason: Which is fantastic.

Caroline: She loves a sneak peek.

Jason: Her name is Rachel, but she goes by Rachilli.

Caroline: Yeah, that was kind of her online persona. And she’s just a delightful human.

Jason: She was our second ever paying WAIMer.

Caroline: Second ever paying WAIMer back in 2018.

Jason: She was so mad about that because she wanted to be the first, but Nikki ended up swooping in and I guess, I think Rachilli had to go do something for an hour, but she always carries that with her, which is hilarious.

Caroline: And so anyway, we wanted to make this happen if possible because these people who you’ve known online for years and years, you’ve never met in person, it’s just such a fun thing to be able to meet in real life and chat. And Rachilli and I always joke that we’re twins because we just have so many of the same -isms, like an ennneagram 4, a highly sensitive person, just like can relate on so many levels.

Jason: You’re both creative.

Caroline: Yeah. We orchestrated this whole surprise.

Jason: Yeah. So I’ll go into this just very quickly. So another WAIMer, Kim. Hello, Kim. I know you listen to our podcast. You’re amazing.

Caroline: Thank you for being our accomplice.

Jason: She hates secrets.

Caroline: (laughing) So do I.

Jason: It was tearing in her core to keep this from Rachilli because they talk, but she was helping us set this up. So the whole idea was…

Caroline: The whole set up was…

Jason: The whole set up was Kim was going to come up and meet Rachilli. We weren’t going to be there. There was no mention of us. It was just, they were going to meet up, but we were going to show up. No, Kim there. It’s us. And Kim helped us set this up.

Caroline: Yeah. We’ll bait and switch.

Jason: So, through a ton of Slack direct messaging, we plotted, we created these plans, we set the date, we did all these things and we finally get close to it. And the day of Kim sending me messages through WhatsApp, she’s like, oh, I kind of messed up in my story. I said I was going to be there at this time, but I don’t think she noticed. And it’s hilarious. So we get to the parking lot of the restaurant I had scouted out, made a reservation for, told Kim to tell Rachilli

Caroline: Which, by the way, it’s really weird because we had to choose a restaurant that would be convenient for us to drive because we were like an hour away. But we have to then somehow relay to Kim that she has to convince Rachilli to eat at this restaurant. Like, oh, I’ve just been really wanting to try out this spot.

Jason: So we get to the parking lot. We’re about 20 minutes early because we got to be early and the parking lot is basically empty.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: So we kind of park in the far side. Imagine there’s like two rows of cars. We parked on the right side, tried to be inconspicuous. We didn’t back in so you couldn’t see us. Everyone loves backing into spots in the UK, by the way.

Caroline: Definitely.

Jason: So we’re sitting there and then, car by car, people start to show up because it’s around lunchtime and so like a car pulled up, I’m like, oh, no, that’s a dude, not Rachilli.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: A car pulled up, I’m like, no, that’s two older ladies, not Rachilli. One person showed up and we’ve never met Rachilli in person. We’re like, is that her? And then we had to watch because it’s kind of far away. Like no, that’s not her.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And then finally, it’s like, right, like two minutes past the time we were supposed to meet, a car pulls up. The person takes a little bit longer to get out of their car.

Caroline: We’re like, oh, that could be her.

Jason: She’s, like, sending messages.

Caroline: That’s what I would do. I would sit there and I would kinda…

Jason: Getting ready, composing yourself. And she pops out. We go, that’s her. And so we hop out of the car, and we didn’t want to run and scream and surprise because that would be scary for you, Rachilli is similar to you. And she saw us from far and she just was like…

Caroline: No. No. Which was my favorite reaction ever, in total disbelief. It was so, first of all, surprises, I’ll never do it again. It’s too much pressure.

Jason: You were dying in the car.

Caroline: In the car, I was just like, I hate those.

Jason: We both had to pee really badly.

Caroline: But I would do it again because it was so special and so fun, and we had such a nice lunch and just got to chat, and it was so lovely. That really made our whole week is just being able to do that.

Jason: Especially a redemption from the three strikes you’re out Airbnb that just…

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: Really put a damper on that part of our trip. So Rachilli lifted it up. Great to meet her. Rachilli, you’re awesome, if you listen to this. Kim, thank you again so much. All the other WAIMers, we wish we could meet you in person, and maybe we will over time. We shall see. All right, let’s wrap up the pramvel and let’s get into denting or not…

Both: The universe.

Caroline: Yeah. So let’s get into the meat of the episode. The inspiration for this episode came from just a thing that I heard in passing. I was watching a YouTube video of a creator building a studio.

Jason: Name shame them.

Caroline: No, building this huge studio to film classes and online courses and things like that. You’ve seen these videos of people building out their studio. At the very end, the person was like, I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this. And it was like, $100,000 studio?

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: It’s, like, a big deal. They were like, I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this. But we just wanted to create a classroom that was worthy of teaching the entire world.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: And in that moment, it felt very…

Jason: Altruistic?

Caroline: Expansive, the way that that sentence is supposed to sound. But my immediate thought after hearing it was like, why do we need to teach the entire world? What an ostentatiously large ambition. And I think that’s the point of it. So this whole episode, I just want to talk about this notion of this idea that our ambitions have to be so astronomically large in order to have an impact. And I want to kind of deconstruct where this notion comes from, how people sometimes use it as, I think, a marketing tactic. And then also to maybe give some of you listening permission to not feel guilt over not wanting to build a huge change-the-world type of ambition.

Jason: Yeah, and I think just starting off right off the bat is that you just don’t have to reach millions or thousands of people to make a big impact.

Caroline: That’s what I want the takeaway to be, for sure.

Jason: You really don’t. And I think there’s this idea that, if you’re not reaching so many people, that you’re not actually making a difference. And I just feel like there’s so much that goes along with that that isn’t talked about, and we’re hoping to talk about in this, but also it puts so much stress and pressure on you, the creator, the business owner, the human, the mom, the dad, the parent, the person to try and do this big thing for what?

Caroline: Exactly. So I want to actually talk about this and how this has shown up in online creator culture. So I want to talk a little bit about the messaging and the phrases that we hear very often. And maybe we’ll put this in the title, maybe we won’t, but this idea of putting a dent in the universe, I actually didn’t know that this quote came from Steve Jobs. Did you know that?

Jason: I didn’t. You mentioned it.

Caroline: I looked at the original quote, and I don’t know the full context of when Steve Jobs said this.

Jason: But isn’t it great just to pull quotes out of context?

Caroline: I do love a quote lacking context. That’s a joke. Don’t do that. But I’m going to do it. So the quote is, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Why else even be here?” And I think that this often gets cited as this inspiring message, right? Like, we’re all humans. We’re only here for a short amount of time. We’re here to make a difference. We’re here to change the world. And the reason it sounds inspiring is because the very notion of being inspired means looking for something bigger than yourself or being called to your better self or your higher self or your other self. But in doing that, this phrase of–we’ve heard it in so many different places–putting a dent in the universe, I feel like it has been proliferated so much and then you end up feeling like the entire especially online business creator culture, but I’m lumping in startup culture and things like that too, gets to this place where you start to feel like, if I don’t have some type of mission that is supposed to impact the world on a humungous scale, that my business is not worthy or my time is not worthy. Or it’s like that second part of the quote I feel like is the insidious part, which is, why else even be here? It’s like I can think of a million reasons why to be here other than making a dent in the universe. It’s like, how about just the very notion of being alive and having air in our lungs and experiencing this weird thing we call life. Why is that not good enough?

Jason: And I think one of the things for us, especially when we started Wandering Aimfully in 2018, I really wanted a mission that didn’t feel like a big mission. Like, I wanted a very just kind of like, simple… Again, the name Wandering Aimfully. We’re wandering. We’re not like, changing and we’re not growing and we’re not impacting and we’re not all these things, and there’s nothing wrong with doing those things. But I just wanted something that felt like it would be calming and it would be if we just had eventually 1000 customers, that would be enough. Like, we would never need to reach more people than that and we can make a huge impact on those people’s lives. And now we’ve seen that. We actually have had, over the course of the existence of our business, 1000 customers. And I do feel like we make a meaningful impact for those people. And that feels like enough.

Caroline: Yeah, I feel like this is the tension that’s sort of at the crux of what I want to talk about, which is that I’m not saying that we shouldn’t aspire to greatness or that we shouldn’t want to impact the world or any of those things. I’m just saying that’s one perspective and I think that some people find a tremendous amount of value in this default state of striving. And I certainly used to be that way at one time in my life. I think it changes throughout your life and depending on who the person is, I found a lot of value and fulfillment and striving and dreaming and hoping and evolving and all of these very active towards the future postures. But the older I get and the more I see the trade offs that come with that type of way of doing life, of the striving constantly. and I find myself… You can get into this imbalance of constantly looking towards the future, constantly striving, constantly trying to achieve, achieve, achieve. And now I find myself in a little bit more of what you just described, which is a more peaceful place of being in the present and things being a little bit more simple, a little bit more satisfied, a little bit more content of just looking around and going, I can just be I don’t have to constantly go, go, go. And I know it’s not the same thing, but I think there’s some type of connection there between a world view that says I have to go out and impact millions in order to make this life worth living, because why else be here? Versus, yes, I’m going to find some things that I like to do in this life and I’m going to try to make a positive impact on the people around me. But there’s nothing that says that can’t be ten people versus 10 million people.

Jason: Yeah, there’s just this notion of like, leaving a legacy behind. And I think this is such an ego driven thing that we do as humans where you got to be remembered for making change, you’ve got to be remembered for impacting, and you got to remember for spurring some type of new innovation or doing something. It’s like, or you could just not be remembered.

Caroline: Right?

Jason: That’s okay too.

Caroline Right.

Jason: You could just have existed, and it’d been okay, and you weren’t constantly striving and stressed out and overwhelmed.

Caroline: Well, you and I are very much aligned on this, and I remember us having a conversation about this years ago because I do think this notion of legacy is very romanticized, and I don’t want to totally just shit on it because I think that there are people who it’s important to them. It’s a value to them, and that’s their paradigm on life, and I don’t want to take that away from them, and I don’t want to tell them that that’s not important. But just speaking for you and I personally, we very much align on this, which is, yes, what if it doesn’t matter when I’m gone? Because wouldn’t that bring more value to the time that I spend here? You know what I mean? Just you and I have always been the same way of that, of, like, trying to remove that ego piece that says that after we leave, that there needs to be some…

Jason: Everyone needs to remember Wandering Aimfully when we’re dead.

Caroline: And again, going back to, like, it’s not binary to me. It’s not black and white. It’s not saying that impact or trying to change the world is a bad thing. I’m certainly not saying that because I definitely do subscribe to the idea that I want to leave the world a better place because of the actions that I took while I was here. It’s just that I don’t need to be remembered for that, and I don’t need to quantify that impact in terms of millions of people or in terms of some vision that goes beyond just what organically grows out of the gifts that I want to utilize and put into the world. Does that make sense?

Jason: Do you want to talk about your second quote here? It’s not necessarily a quote, but it’s, like, a popular phrase.

Caroline: Yeah. So kind of speaking on, so that was the kind of dent in the universe idea. But I remember something that’s like an offshoot of this a couple of years ago, and I think it’s still around, but I remember stumbling across this quote that said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” We’ve all seen this on Instagram, and, like, what…

Jason: If you’re asking for people to raise their hand if they’ve…? We’re on a podcast.

Both: (laughing)

Caroline: Raise your hand if you have seen this on… But I remember stumbling across that quote, and this is so connected to this idea where I just was like, what?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And again, I understand where it’s coming from. I get that it’s meant to be inspiring. I get that it’s meant to motivate you to try to dream bigger and challenge yourself and spark your courage. And to the degree that it does that, it’s great. But what I don’t love that it does as a side effect is I think the way that it’s phrased by saying they aren’t big enough, it’s making you feel like, if you don’t have some grand ambition, you are not good enough. You are too scared. But my retort to that is, who wants to be scared all the time? I remember being like, there was like a couple of years ago, it was probably because this had seeped into my head and I was like, maybe I need to say yes to more speaking engagements because I was getting a lot of requests for doing speaking. And there was a part of me that really enjoyed it, but there was also a big part of me that it requires travel and it took a lot of anxiety for me, like, when I did my TEDx or whatever, that was so anxiety-inducing. And a lot of kind of speeches a round that time were so anxiety-inducing. But because I listened to all this messaging, I was like, oh, well, that’s a good sign that I need to do it more, and blah, blah, blah. And I finally woke up to this place where I was like, I don’t want to be anxious all the time. What if it does scare me? And what if I have now chosen that I don’t want to be scared all the time? And why can’t I choose that?

Jason: There is so much room for motivation. And I think that as two people who run an un-boring coaching program, our goal is to motivate people. Our goal is to inspire people to do stuff. But it’s almost like an inspiration to stay small. It’s an inspiration to be okay with the fact that you have 200 followers on Instagram, 500 email subscribers. You get a couple of hundred customers over the lifetime of running your business, and it’s enough to give you a fulfilling life that you can also make an impact in your community in small ways. You can do some wealth redistribution, you can feel good about the work that you’re doing and giving scholarships to some people. Like, you can do all those things. But it can be at a very small scale.

Caroline: If only to provide an antithesis or a pushback to this notion that if you don’t grow bigger, that you’re not important.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: I want to be someone… I hope that what people get out of this podcast is a voice of two people saying, what you’re doing is enough. It is. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t want it to be bigger. It doesn’t mean that you can’t want to grow and evolve. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want to leave an impact on the world. I just don’t want you to spend time feeling like your work doesn’t matter because it doesn’t reach some quantifiable masses.

Jason: As the person who says more eloquent things than I do in life, do you have a quote you want to replace that quote with?

Caroline: Yeah. The phrase that came up for me when I would come across that quote is I would just say to myself, “Dream deeper, not bigger.” And so what that means to me is instead of the focus being on this again, on this quantifiable big-ness, it’s more about the trueness. It’s about dreams that are authentically tied to your values and what you want out of your life. So if that’s small, it’s small. If it’s big, it’s big. If it’s neither of those things, it’s neither of those things. I just think that this idea of the size being what we focus on is putting our attention in the wrong place. I think the attention needs to be put on dreaming dreams that are authentic to you and your values.

Jason: Fantastic. From here, let’s talk about the size and scope of the Internet and how just because we can connect to everyone in the world doesn’t mean we absolutely need to or feel the pressure to.

Caroline: Right? And so as we were talking about this, I was asking myself, why is this, why do we now feel this need to impact millions of people? Because I hope that you, listener, have seen it like I’ve seen it, which is this is so often in mission statements of worlds. Right. It’s like I want to reach a million teachers. If it’s like that audience of teachers or we want to change a million, it’s always a million. Why is it always a million?

Jason: Yes. Or it’s just like I want to help every female entrepreneur in the world and it’s like…

Caroline: Every single one you want to help?

Jason: Also you think you can? Just like it’s so ego-driven, these messages. And I think part of the thing that really stands out to us, and especially as we’ve been traveling too, is just the focus of your own community, the focus of your small group of people around you. Like going back a little bit in time. And I know that, listen, we’re not saying anything that people aren’t already doing and starting with impact in your local community. And I definitely want to talk about the online business part of this too. And we’ve got some more of that in a minute. But I really do think some of this is really just like taking a step back from this millions of people to the couple of hundreds in your community.

Caroline: Well, yeah, that’s what I was going to say is, when I ask myself where this messaging has come from, I think so much of it has come from the Internet. The technological revolution that was caused by connecting. And not everyone in the world is on the Internet. But I think we can all agree by now the world is connected through the Internet. And so this technology has enabled these numbers that we’ve never seen before. And that, I think, is one of those situations where it’s like, but just because you can now connect to millions of people doesn’t mean that you should connect to millions of people.

Jason: Also doesn’t mean it feels good to be connected to a lot of people. And I think that, again, as I’m saying, shifting into the online business part of this, having a smaller audience of customers, subscribers, followers, etc., and making an impact with those people, as two people who have smaller audiences, quote unquote, as compared to a lot of the people that you think about who have large audiences. I feel like we make an impact and I feel good about the fact that we aren’t stressed out by our audience sizes.

Caroline: Exactly, because it’s balancing the impact that you can make on the people that you’re trying to share your talents with. Balancing that with not then overextending yourself to do that because then it’s like, then you’re sacrificing everything that you… And it’s only going to lead you to burnout. But I just think there’s something to that idea of balancing, like the things that you’re pouring out of yourself and the things that you’re taking from yourself.

Jason: Yeah, and I see this too as like, we’ll have someone sign up for Wandering Aimfully. They’ll send us an email. I will write back as I just think you would when someone pays you for a product. And the person I’ve got to be like, I bought so many things and I never hear back from the person that I buy from.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And again, that’s no criticism of the people that they’re buying from to say that they’re running their businesses wrong. But I just think, like, what are those people probably doing? They’re probably just focusing always on churn and burn, like they’re just trying to get more customers, more things, more money, more everything, and they’re losing the connection and the impact that they actually make with each individual person. And I want to hit home the point that we have seen this in spades, that staying small intentionally and not trying to grow for growth’s sake has created such a great connection with our customers and with our followers and with our subscribers. And I don’t even like to use those types of words, just like the people that we have a connection with, our community, people that… You folks listen to this podcast. Like, you send an email, I will write back, Caroline won’t write back. She doesn’t check the inbox, but I will write back to you and you will hear from a person. And that is something I always want to be able to do, so intentionally, we don’t do things to grow beyond the means of keeping up with that.

Caroline: Right. And if you’re someone who, you know, you like managing a team that’s something that’s important to you in your business is like kind of building out this group of people that can then… Maybe you can then serve a larger community but define that for yourself and know that that is within your capability. But I think a lot of people that listen to our show are people who maybe are solopreneurs or have maybe an assistant or want to stay small. And again, what I hope that this podcast does is just provide another voice saying you don’t necessarily have to subscribe to these huge world-changing mission ideas in order to be impactful.

Jason: And I also wonder like, what at the root of subscribing to those ideas are you trying to do? Are you trying to make a lot of money? Well do you actually need a lot of money? Because what are you trying to do with that money? Are you actually trying to really inspire change and make an impact and do all that? Okay, that’s a wonderful ambition, but are you really the person to do that? Do you have the qualifications? Do you have the things? Do you have the energy? Do you have all of the stuff that goes along with that? And I think for a lot of people, the real answer is no. And that’s okay.

Caroline: And that’s okay. Exactly. This is not meant to be reverse inspirational. We’re like, don’t try.

Jason: Don’t have dreams.

Caroline: Don’t have dreams.

Jason: Don’t you dream. Stop doing that.

Caroline: It’s not to discourage you, it’s just to be honest about what you actually really want. I think that’s the point of what you’re trying to say. I do think it’s worth also talking about and examining further some of the more like nefarious parts of this type of messaging because so far we’ve been talking about it and examining it in a way that takes it at face value by saying like, yeah, what if you are someone who actually really does want to make an impact on the world at a large scale? But in my opinion, and I’m not usually the cynical one…

Jason: You really aren’t.

Caroline: In our relationship.

Jason: It’s usually me.

Caroline: But this is something that I’ve just seen a lot lately. I think some of these bigger businesses, the startups, the big creators… Personally I think that sometimes they hide their own ego-driven, hyper-growth ambition behind this notion of changing the world.

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: Because if they can wrap it in an altruistic package by saying, who’s going to argue with like, oh, I want to positively impact the entire world.

Jason: I want to end world hunger, I want to get rid of all these things.

Caroline: Who’s going to argue with that, right? But what I think some of them, not all of them, but some of them are doing is going, I just want to grow, grow, grow. I want to have more people, especially for some of the online creators, I want to have more people following me. I want to be able to have the clout that comes with these number of subscribers and number of… I want to pad my bank account. Again, not to be so cynical about it, but I believe that some of them are hiding their ego inside of an altruistic package. And that rubs me the wrong way.

Jason: Yeah. And I don’t know. Again, I go back to this idea that a lot of people are customers of these people and they’re not getting treated like the people that the people at the top are saying they’re wanting to treat everybody, if that makes sense, right? Where it’s like, I want to impact everybody. I want to inspire change. I want to motivate people. And it’s like someone buys their thing and then they never hear from them. You never hear from them. How am I supposed to be inspired, man or woman or person? It’s not actually the thing that they’re ending up doing. And listen, we’re not trying to paint a whole picture here, like Bob Ross, and say that every person who is trying to reach any of these large goals or ambitious things is doing a bad job because some people are doing fantastic things. Some people…

Caroline: Are changing the world.

Jason: But I just think especially, as we’re just talking about as we always do in the online business space, using this as a mission is really just a way to kind of like use the lazy marketing tactics.

Caroline: Right. Because they know that the second that you say, join me and change the world for X, Y and Z, people’s ears are going to perk up. But it’s a very compelling marketing message. And again, this is not to say that there isn’t some truth in it. The only thing that I want people to take away from this particular section, because you and I don’t typically like to be just like critical sake, it’s to have a more discerning eye when you’re out there in kind of the Internet and you’re thinking about who to learn from and you’re thinking about what courses to take.

Jason: Which videos to click on.

Caroline: The next time you see some type of messaging around this idea of help me change a million lives or do this or bring this to the entire world, I just want your spidey senses to go up just a little bit and go, Do I think this person is coming from an authentic place or do I think that I’m being marketed to right now in a way to just try to persuade me?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It’s worth asking.

Jason: Where do you want to go from here? Got a couple more bullets here in our notes. We have notes. We’re so fancy. Now that you’re back, we have notes.

Caroline: Oh, the other thing I want to say about that is, another reason why I think this is worth questioning is because I was listening to a book. I think it was the book, 4,000 Weeks, and it was just an off handed data point, but they said that they had done like a research project over at Amazon–this is like many, many years ago. And they found that loading… The whole point of it was talking about instant gratification and how we’re so impatient. And so just as an offhanded comment, he was like, they did a test that said, for every extra second that it took to load the home page of Amazon, they lost something like a billion dollars in revenue or something a year.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And I was like, hold on. I was like 1 second, a billion dollars in revenue? And what it just illustrated to me is when you get to have a scale so big as something like an Amazon, positive change goes a long way, but negative change also goes a long way. Right. It just illustrated for me, like, the impact that such a tiny ripple in that huge pond can have. And it kind of scared me. I was like, wait, that’s the scale that we’re talking about here. And the tiniest thing, 1 second to the biggest amount of money, a billion or whatever it was.

Jason: It’s not fun to think about that.

Caroline: It’s not something to think about. It’s scary to think about. And so, I don’t know, it just kind of highlighted for something in my brain about some of these missions to bring whatever it is to like an entire world. It’s like, okay, yes, good things can go a really long way, but bad things can go a really long way too.

Jason: Yeah. And also I think…

Caroline: Which we’ve seen with some of these things like Facebook’s of the world.

Jason: Oh wow.

Caroline: And the environmental impacts of like an Amazon.

Jason: Are we super old? Because we still call it Facebook and it’s called Meta?

Caroline: The app is called Facebook.

Jason: It’s still called Facebook? That’s how old I am. I don’t know what it’s called anymore. I don’t even know how to keep up.

Caroline: Do you think they’re going to stick to this whole Metaverse thing?

Jason: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Because unfortunately, they’re denting the universe. Okay.

Caroline: They are denting the universe.

Jason: Let’s talk about some biz owner stuff for our business owners who listen to this show. And maybe they’re feeling reverse inspired, which is great.

Caroline: That’s what we’re here for.

Jason: I think one of the things that we really want to come across through in this episode is that you just don’t have to be a big anything or have a large anything in your business to make an impact.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: And I feel like our little podcast is a really good example of that. For those of you who listen, I know it’s a very Meta example. Watch out. What’s up, Mark? Don’t sue us. We don’t have the money to keep up. Is that in just real truthful honesty. We get 1000 listeners to this show a week. 1000. That is enough. Plenty. We get emails.

Caroline: We love all of you.

Jason: Very often from people saying, thank you for this episode. It completely changed my mind in this. Thank you for these ten episodes that now it’s shifted my entire business to a whole different direction that I feel so much more uncomfortable and in control with. Thank you for talking about cinnamon rolls ad nauseam for months and months and months during the pandemic because what else was I going to talk about? It’s just like these things matter to people and the size of them don’t have to be very big.

Caroline: The size of them altogether and certainly the size of them individually.

Jason: And the size of a cinnamon roll. I’ll take any size. I’d prefer a larger one, but I’ll take a smaller one.

Caroline: Do you see where now you’re just trying to…

Jason: Fit cinnamon rolls into the conversation?

Caroline: Now you’re just going to be, I want to…

Jason: I miss American Cinema rolls, I should say that.

Caroline: Whoa.

Jason: I really do. Yeah, I really do.

Caroline: Is that the only thing?

Both: (laughing)

Jason: Yeah, 100%. Yeah. Okay, so let’s talk about some other business stuff here to kind of like wrap things up.

Caroline: Well, no, I think it’s related to what you were just saying, which is let us kind of be an example to show you that you actually don’t need these big… As big of numbers as you might think that you do. And again, if you want to go for it, that’s not…

Jason: But just have a real reason why that’s not an ego driven reason. Like actually boil it down to, I want to create generational wealth for my family for the next five generations where we’ve never had generational wealth before. Great. That’s a great mission for you if that’s something that stands out to you. I want to invest in my community and really build up like the community center that we’ve needed a refurbishment on forever. My business feels like a conduit to be able to make that happen. Awesome. That’s like a very tangible, practical goal.

Caroline: Yeah. I think defining a size of audience is helpful because of the enough factor. And for those of you who don’t know, defining the size of the container that you will feel satisfied, helps you feel satisfied when you reach that number. But I’m also okay with this idea that we don’t actually need to define the size of our audience in order to make it impactful.

Jason: We just don’t have to choose for it to be big.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And it’s going back to my point about dream deeper and truer instead of bigger. It’s like this hyperfocus on size is actually irrelevant, I think. Let it happen organically and like I said, to the degree that defining a size of audience will help you feel satisfied, great, but not to the degree that it’s going to make you feel not good enough if you don’t reach it.

Jason: Yeah. And I think for us, one of the best things that we did when we started Wandering Aimfully was, through a lot of experimentation, through a lot of trial and error, we figured out a price point for our product. Then we figured out the amount of customers that it would take to reach our enough number, our revenue number every month. And that number basically came out to 200 customers per month. If 200 customers were paying us a recurring payment per month, we would have enough to live the lives that we want, to be able to travel the world, to be able to do all these things. And that to me felt very empowering because 200 people is a very small amount of people. We’re not denting the universe, we’re not putting a speck in the side of the universe. We’re not even near the universe at this point. Like it is so small and infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things. And I love that because it feels doable.

Caroline: And the irony is that, because we defined that number and we didn’t try to get to it too fast that we overextended ourselves and burnt out and we are just caught up in trying to do all these things, I can be a more mentally healthy version of myself, which means I can cultivate relationships within my family. It means I can be a better partner to you. It means that my interpersonal relationships are stronger, which then means that I think that is making an impact on a global scale if we all do that. You know what I mean?

Jason: Yeah. And I think that there’s a lot to be said for the folks that are constantly in striving mode and then want to change the world mode. The people closest to them and around them probably tend to get ignored because…

Caroline: Right, because you’re so focused…

Jason: All the time and energy…

Caroline: On the big dream that it’s actually causing you to overextend yourself and then the lack of impact…

Jason: Yeah, you can’t actually make an impact. And again, not trying to paint broad strokes over everybody, but just saying that’s what you run into when you’re constantly striving and trying to grow.

Caroline: Yeah. And all I want to do with this podcast is provide some food for thought. These are the rambling conversations that you and I always have, where we just go like what does this mean? And where did this come from? And why do we think this way? But if there’s kind of two big takeaways that I want people to have from this episode is just to, number one, be able to recognize when these big businesses are hiding their hyper-growth and ego-based ambitions behind an impact mission. I think that’s valuable of being able to discern when that’s happening, but then also just to let go of the guilt or the belief that your business has to be a certain size in order to be impactful or in order for you to matter.

Jason: Yes, absolutely. You can have a couple of hundred customers, you can sell to a couple of clients every single year. You can just make a very small impact, but it’s still an impact. And it’s still going to feel satisfying. And maybe it won’t be stressful. Maybe it won’t be overwhelming. Maybe it won’t keep you up at night and working 16 hours days because you feel like you’re constantly trying to keep up with everything.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And instead, you can just live a more comfortable, manageable, calm life. That’s a much better version.

Caroline: And enjoy the experience that it is to be human, because we only here for none of us knows how long.

Jason: I mean, I know exactly how long I’m going to live. Yeah.

Caroline: Would you want to know if someone told you exactly, like, when you are going to die?

Jason: Ooh. Yes, I think so.

Caroline: Oh, no.

Jason: Because I think it would change, like, my outlook in every single day.

Caroline: That’s true but, as someone who deals with anxiety…

Jason: Well, that for you would be very difficult.

Caroline: It’s better the days that I forget that I’m going to die. I shouldn’t…

Jason: Just so you know.

Caroline: Need to frame every day like that.

Jason: You are. Just so you know, you are.

Caroline: I know. And my therapist has tried to work with me on this but…

Jason: And every Goop Ball listening to this knows.

Caroline: Every single Goop Ball.

Jason: Every Goop Ball knows, you’re going to die.

Caroline: You’re going to die.

Jason: And that’s just part of life. That’s what happens. Anyway, that was our episode. We hope you got some reverse inspiration from it.

Caroline: Are we going to bring back our movies? Because we’ve been doing movie nights.

Jason: We have been doing some movie nights. We have a lot of different segments here. We need to really, like, figure this out if you want to do that.

Caroline: Well, who says that you need to have less segments?

Jason: Oh, no one says anything.

Caroline: I’m just saying, maybe in the future, we bring back…

Jason: This is the most unfocused podcast I think anybody listens to, for sure. We just go all over the place, but that’s a great thing. All right, I think that’s it. I think we’re going to wrap up. Call it good.

Caroline: Great.

Jason: I don’t have anything else I need to go over, any addendums?

Caroline: I’m so grateful that I’m feeling better. I’m so grateful that we’re on this trip together.

Jason: Hey, we just hit 200 days.

Caroline: We just hit 200 days. It’s hard to believe.

Jason: Our stories are a little bit lagging behind, but they’re still fun. So I think you all are enjoying our travel stories, but as of recording this, we just passed the 200 days traveling fulltime mark.

Caroline: I can’t believe that.

Jason: It’s amazing. And I think you counted. We’re at our 28th bed of the year, which is wild. For those of you who don’t travel, I want you to think about sleeping in 28 very unique beds.

Caroline: They all have their own…

Jason: They really do.

Caroline: Shortcomings and…

Jason: Oh, I didn’t mention this because we haven’t talked about the last place that we stayed. But, like, boy, Europe really does bed sizes uniquely, because I’m just saying, we’ve stayed in nine king beds that are all very different sizes.

Caroline: And none of them are the kings that we slept in the United States.

Jason: This is very true. That I didn’t expect, but I just mean some of them are, like, so long that my feet don’t hang off the edge.

Caroline: And other ones aren’t.

Jason: But then the other ones are like the one we have now, we’re like this is a queen bed.

Caroline: And some of them are just two twins put together.

Jason: Which is actually good. Yeah.

Both: We like that.

Jason: We like the separate duvet, as we talked about. I’m going to also invent that duvet with the top sheet velcro to it, and it’s going to go over well.

Caroline: Not in our bed.

Jason: Okay, everybody, that’s it. We’re done. We’re rambling here at the end. Let’s get up. We’re going to go to the leisure center and do some leisuring.

Caroline: We love to leisure.

Jason: Okay. All right. Talk to you later.

Caroline: Bye.

Jason: See you. Goodbye.

You DON’T have to “Dent The Universe” to be Successful

(Big Fat Takeaway)

You can serve a small audience and still make an impact. You don't have to reach millions or thousands of people to "dent the universe."

IT IT

This article written by

Jason Zook

(he/him) Co-head-hancho of this WAIM thing. I used to wear t-shirts for a living, now I just wear them because I'm not a nudist. You can usually find me baking things, watching JCVD movies, and dreaming of living on an island.

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