Episode 16 - Jay Williams - On How to Thrive

Jay Williams (00:00):
I'll tell you a really awesome story, which I, I hope won't take me to tears. Most of my work experience has been about companies paying me to travel. It's been fun to watch this ride happen. It's just been awesome.

Young Han (00:18):
Hey guys, I'm young a full-time dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The girl that show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives for my guest to join me. As I research parenthood one interview at a time. This episode of the girl at show is brought to you by two 12, among the many things that I do. I'm also an angel investor. The two biggest mistakes I see founders make when they come to me for investments are one. They don't have a clean cap table. And two they're unable to clearly articulate how my equity will dilute over future rounds. And more importantly, what my ROI will be when the company exits it's very difficult for me to make my investment decisions without these data points. Two 12 solves this problem for both me and the founders for $240 a year, two 12 offers an incredibly powerful cap table management valuation modeling platform. It is by far one of the most powerful productivity tools I've seen. And I highly recommend every founder sign up modeling, convertible notes, safes price rounds, liquidation preferences, and exit events is a breeze on two 12 founders can then easily share all these complex calculations. And what if scenarios with investors and close their round much quicker. They're also giving my listeners 25% off their first year's membership costs. If you use the discount code T G D S at checkout, and if you're a founder or investor, you should absolutely get on two 12 as soon as possible. It's an absolute, no brainer. Dilution is real and complex. Cap table management is confusing and expensive. You need to get on two 12 today. What's the point of building a successful company. You don't own Jay. Welcome to my show.

Jay Williams (02:01):
Young. It's so well, awesome to see you and be here. Thanks for inviting me. 

Young Han (02:06):
I am so excited to have you on the show. I feel like it's been quite a bit of time since we've last talked about being, working dads.

Jay Williams (02:13):
Yeah, dude, I it's. And that word has meant more to me in the last year, I think, than anything else, like being a dad. So this is like such an honor to be here. Thank you again for inviting me.

Young Han (02:24):
I appreciate it. Let's get right into it. So before we jump into the other questions, I'd love to share with the listeners what you do for a living.

Jay Williams (02:32):
Awesome yeah. So I have for the last, sure. 15, 20 years been in the world of sales and I am currently working on a pretty cool project. I am at a company called thrive global, which you've never heard about it. The company that Ariana Huffington, the founder of the Huffington post started in response to all of the craziness and burnout in her life. She actually had this episode while she was in the, the middle of fundraising for the, the H for HuffPo, where she like literally passed out from exhaustion and then ended up writing a book about her experience called thrive. And it was really what led her to create the company, which is all about ending the epidemic around stress and burnout, which is something that I've been totally passionate about since literally my kids were born and trying to make sure that that didn't affect me cuz working in sales and being a dad are not really the most congruent things in the world. so, a lot of my life has been around that. And, and just to be able to actually be part of this mission now, to help people to understand that you don't have to get burnt out. That's not something you have to do to be successful. Just resonates with me so much. So that's what I'm doing now is I'm here, I'm selling thrive to companies and helping them to communicate that same mission to their employees as well.

Young Han (03:55):
That's awesome. I didn't actually know the origin story of it that's I definitely know of thrive global. It's a very, very large company at this point, but it's really cool that that's how it started. It started from her personal experience and trying to solve for this building out. I'm assuming another business, right?

Jay Williams (04:10):
Yeah, I mean the, the story is essentially that she was telling this story to time. Like I think it was it's either. I think it was mark Benning off who she was talking to and, and he said, you should start a company that deals with this and if you do all invest in it and literally he did. So that's where thrive was born, was out of that. Wow. And, and Salesforce continues to be one of the main companies that we've worked with and just launched some really cool stuff with them. So like there's a lot of growth in this area too. So like the idea of, especially after last year, the pandemic has been a massive hit on people's mental health.

Young Han (04:45):
Oh yeah. I can't imagine. Yeah.

Jay Williams (04:47):
Yeah. And especially with parents, I mean the hardest thing about being a parent is the fact that like you've had to be more than just a parent over the last year and a half. You've had to be everything from a parent to a teacher, to a counselor, to a like their best friend in many cases too, because like they don't even have that. So this has been a huge, huge help to a lot of people. And really, and just, I mean, I could not say enough, good things. I'll just go on and on. So we should ask me more questions

Young Han (05:16):
Yeah, no, I love it. I'm so excited to hear how excited you are about, about the company you're working at. I mean, that's really, really fun because I think that you do the best work when you're passionate about what you do, you know, wouldn't you say that like, it's like, it's like the cornerstone of the foundation of like doing really great work and, and to not to be too punny here, cause I'm a dad, but you start to thrive when you actually love what you're doing.

Jay Williams (05:38):
You know, it's true. The, I mean, most of the stuff that I've done in my life that I've really enjoy, it has been around the passions that have been very personal to me. And, you know, in the it's one of the hardest things to do in sales is to, you know, sell something you don't believe in. And I've been blessed by the fact that most of my life I've been able to work for companies or at least on projects that have a very strong resonance with me from like literally like childhood. In some cases, you know, the example there is that I was a huge comic book geek. And about 15 years ago I got to launch New York. Comiccon this giant trade show. The, that was all about celebrating the comics industry in New York city. Something that really just hadn't been around for a while, but like the ability to go work on that was, was so cool that I used to get like totally geeked out by the fact that like the people who were coming to the show were like literally childhood idols of mine. And I always had this opportunity to really meet all these people that I was like unbelievably enamored by when I was a kid reading books. And then I got to read and then I got to actually meet them that like, that was so cool. But like, that's just an example of like having that be such a guiding force in your life to, to want to be able to, to be a part of that.

Young Han (06:51):
Yeah. I love that. You mentioned something else that you were passionate about and I didn't even realize that New York had one. Did you, did you say you started it?

Jay Williams (06:58):
There was, there were a couple of other little cons that were happening and they were mostly like collector groups, like where people could come and buy and trade comics, but there wasn't anything that was like a celebration like a San Diego ComicCon it's like the that's the big one, the big one San Diego. That's the, that's the con

Young Han (07:11):
Right? That's the actual one that everyone that's

Jay Williams (07:13):
The actual con everybody wants to go to. But like the truth is that New York was birthplace of comics and it didn't have a show. It hadn't happened for years. And so when we launched it in, in 2006, the story that we love telling is the fact that we sold 18, we sold about 15,000 tickets to the show and about 80,000 people showed up. It was insane. We had literally fire marshals closing down the building. We had like lines outside. We had, it was so nuts and that is nuts. The thing that just got me through it, and this is, you know, where we can talk about, you know, kids too, is the fact that like in the middle of all that craziness was me as like the guy who was running the show and I was pretty calm. And the reason why I was calm was because about three, two years before that somebody had taught me how to meditate, and I was literally doing breathing exercises during that insanity. And that's what like got me through that in just nutty couple of days off, yeah. Like people screaming at you and the chaos and everything else was because I actually had that resource to use.

Young Han (08:18):
Totally, if you have a 15,000 mean for anybody, that's done events. I mean, man, like 15,000 person event that turned into an 80 that's like already like what? And then you multiply that with being in New York. Can you imagine putting 80,000 people in New York?

Jay Williams (08:31):
I gotta say like, you know, the, the, the little baby and toddler that we raised back in 2006 and 2007, like has grown up to be an aggressive teenager. Now actually probably a young adult who's going through his grunge phase right now, because like the show is now massive. The show is now like, you know, hundreds of thousands of people that go every year it's it's riving. Oh, wow. San Diego, if, if not beating it year over year in terms of the size. And like when we launched it, we were in two halls or one hall in, in the Javi center and now it takes over the entire J center and it takes over a ton of venues around the city and it's actually become this iconic celebration of comics. And I still go every single year. Well, that didn't happen last year, but, yeah. I'm looking forward to hopefully going back when it reopens this fall.

Young Han (09:19):
Oh my gosh. That's awesome. And, and good. I mean, I definitely wanna ask you one more question, but let's talk about your kids first. So, your dad. So let's talk about that. What how many kids do you have? Who are they? How old are they?

Jay Williams (09:29):
I have two boys. They are 13 and 17. Their names are respectfully al and chase and they're awesome. They're two incredibly independent and very resilient kids. And they are just, I love them, I, you know, they're not here right now, so I can say all kinds of nice things and they can't hear me saying it. So, that's good. Cuz it just goes to their head when I tell 'em that's right. But they're awesome.

Young Han (09:56):
I'm assuming at this age you do need to give them a bit of a hard time. Right? Cause now they're starting to like develop who they are?

Jay Williams (10:02):
Yeah. I mean, keeping them in check, especially the 17 year old, who is like, who thinks he's the center of the universe and, and thinks that every girl, you know, thinks of him as a Greek. God. Yeah. He's definitely somebody who needs a little bit of tempering down.

Young Han (10:16):
That's amazing. And then do you take them to, with you to, well, I mean you missed last year cause they didn't have one, but do you take them to the New York? Comic-Con

Jay Williams (10:23):
Yeah, I do. We've gone almost every single year. You know, the, the thing for them is that they're not, it's a different era. So like they're not as obsessed about comics, but the truth is the comic comic is sort of grown. It's not just comics, it's everything, it's gaming, it's video games, it's movies it's and so they look forward to all the other things. I look, I look forward to the comic side of things. They look forward to like, oh my God, we get to go see, I don't know, some YouTube celebrity that, you know, they're gonna go, it's gonna go interview some people they're more excited about that kind of stuff.

Young Han (10:51):
They, oh, that's right. Cuz that, even that like San Diego, like these comic cons are used as media platforms to like push movie stars and actors and yeah. It's gotten really, really commercial. Yeah, that's right. I totally forgot. Cause I, I remember like growing up, like these things were really like culty, right. They were just very, very focused on specific comics and stuff and, and the artists and the comic book writers. But I did, I did read about that and I've seen a bunch of like social media clips of the comic cons now. And it's like, yeah, like these A-list celebrities are at ComicCon it's like wildly different than it used to be when

Jay Williams (11:25):
We were growing up. Oh yeah. I mean it used to be like guys in Hawaiian shirts and ponytails that used to go and, and collect comic books. And now yeah, you have these amazingly awesome cons. It kind of started, I think it kind of started when the, I think it was, I'm gonna give him credit for it, even though I'm not entirely sure. JJ Abrams, when he was coming into his own in Hollywood was a huge ComicCon attendee. And so a lot of the work that he would do with that would do that. The other guy is Joss Whedon, who when he launched Buffy, the vampire Slayer actually released Buffy, showed Buffy for the first time as a television show at San Diego ComicCon and it went crazy and then JJ did lost there. And so those were the two sort of like 10 cool things that happened that sort of brought Hollywood and comics together. And then of course you've gotten, that's only gotten more infringed together because of Marvel and the whole Marvel, cinematic, universe and everything else. So it's been fun to watch this ride happen. It's just been awesome. As a, as a comic book fan, like every single time they really say like some obscure character into a movie I'm just like giddy, cuz it's just so much fun to watch.

Young Han (12:31):
Yeah. You're geeking out of about it. Oh yeah. And then are, are the boys into comics now at all? Like I know you said that they're interested in the actors, but they're not necessarily interested in the artists, but are they in interested in the comics itself? 

Jay Williams (12:42):
They've kind of grown. I mean, like it's kind of gone in reverse, like they've kind of gotten interested because of the films. Like I've got a, my, my Oliver is obsessed with Dr. Strange. He thinks that like he's the coolest per person in the world, which by the way he is, and very strong opinions on, on comical characters. But Dr. Strange is very high on my list. He's pretty cool.

Young Han (13:03):
Yeah. He's pretty cool.

Jay Williams (13:04):
Yeah. You know, but so he is obsessed by that. And so he has now read all almost every comic book of Dr. Strange since then. And like I've kind of encouraged that and probably spent way too much money on it, but that's okay. That's what childhood and comics is about is about spend too much money on comic books. So he's really gotten into it. The other one, not so much. The other one I will say has, has tangentially enjoyed all of the, the movies. But the funny thing is that like the 13 year old Oliver literally was born and grew up with the Marvel cinematic universe. Like these were the first movies that he saw. Yeah. That's why, so, so to be like, to just watch this grow up, this, I'll tell you a really awesome story, which I, I hope won't take me to tears, but we watched the final Avengers movie in a cinema, what a wonderful experience. And he, so, and we had, we got to go see it on, on like opening day. And he was, it was a very emotional experience for him to the point where he was he's, he's emotionally, he's crying. He's like really getting into it. And this group of kids who were next to him at the theater literally came over and said like, thank you. Like, this was awesome to watch this movie with you and to like hear and watch you experience. This was so cool because he was that invested in it. Yeah. So I hope that like that carries through and it's not just the movies that it's the comics and the characters and everything else that keep going in his life.

Young Han (14:27):
Yeah. That's awesome. And it kind of goes like to the thing of like, you know, if you, if you embody it, like your kids will naturally like think of it as normal. Right. And so I just was like curious about it because I'm trying to do the same thing with music. I'm trying to like incorporate music as like a standard in my kids' lives, you know, just because I want that to be a part of things that we do as a family. And I just was curious if comic books cuz you're like literally just like you know, a hardcore fan. And I'm, I'm wondering if you're just trying to like incorporate that into your guys' life, you know, and that's your bonding moment,

Jay Williams (14:56):
But it is. And, and I will say that like in both my kids' rooms, I mean, just comics is just in every part of their room. Like, there's a there's Thor poster in my son's room. There's a stack of graphic novels on his bedside table that, you know, I may or may not have kept putting there, And then most of, most of the quote library of comics that I have is also sitting in one of my son's rooms. I keep telling him that like, that's the only place I have to put it, but it's truthfully, it's like, it was my attempt to like get him something else that he could, you know, like occasionally just reach up and grab and, and read. So I've tried to do that. So I've tried to basically like repurpose their spaces with the things that I love  so that I can, number one, I'll go in and I'll enjoy that with them, because I think for most parents, like kids' rooms are kind of like these Santos for their kids and they don't like, they let them create it and I always, one of the things I've always believed is that if you want your kids to appreciate the things that you love, you know, share that space with them. And I know you have like a music room in your house. So I think that that's, that's really cool, but like the idea of also bringing it into their bedroom to make sure that like when they're alone, like you are still there, I think is really important. 

Young Han (16:09):
Yeah, you're absolutely right. I think that there is this kind of like little setting of like partitioning your influence in their room. Why is that?

Jay Williams (16:17):
It comes from the idea of like, you want your kids to be themselves and, to have freedoms and to have, you know, and there's also just a certain amount of like at a certain stage. And I could say this, cuz they're both teenagers rebellion where they literally just like throw everything outta your room. I mean, we went through that where, you know, I've gone, I've run the gamut of like, of like taking everything out of my kids' rooms to like forcing them to only have certain things in their rooms as, as punishments. So they're only allowed to have books as opposed to having devices in their rooms and things like that. so there, but it, it is like their room, like I keep saying, it's their sanctum. It's the place that they feel the most comfortable. and you wanna have yourself in that somehow you don't want it to just be about them. Hmm. Like, and it's a really hard thing to do. Don't get me wrong. Other parents out there will be like, no, my kid would never do that. And I'm like, I, I totally understand. But the idea is that, like, you want them to remember you or something about you in that room. So there's not just comic books. The other thing I can chairs that, like, I have a huge love of new Orleans. It's my favorite city. There's a picture of my shoulder of my favorite courtyard and down on Royal street. Like, and you know, there are pictures of new Orleans in my one son's room and then pictures of New York in my other son's room because that's my other favorite city. And so I want them to lo and, and the mats and other things that are about New York, but like the idea of it to fuse things that I really love so that they'll appreciate it. And that they'll enjoy it. Like that's the way that I feel like they're gonna hopefully grow and learn is that to know the things that I've, that I've been lo that I've loved over my life and, and either, you know, at least be aware of them, if not appreciate them

Young Han (17:52):
Did your parents do this with you? Like, is that kind of like how you kind of came up with this idea? Where did this idea come from? Because it's actually fairly unique. You say it like it's normal or obvious, but I'm telling you right now. Like I never even thought about the fact that I had a partition in my mind. Like, I don't, I I'm like, I'm like, I I'm actually thinking about what I did with Lily or what we're doing with Lily. We're asking her questions, you know, like we wanna paint your walls. So do you want rainbows? Do you want pink? Do you want, like, what do you want? Right. And like, she, like right now, like literally this morning, we just had a conversation with her saying like, Hey, do you want a bunk bed, princess bed? Because like, you know, I want her to have a bunk bed. And my do my, my, my wife wants her have a princess that, and you know, we're asking her but it's like one of those things where it's like, you know, I, I don't know. It's just like a partition. You wanna make sure she's making those decisions for some weird reason or another

Jay Williams (18:39):
There's time when they can do it. And there's a time when they just, they don't know. And so I think steering them a little bit provided it's, it's coming from a place of like, of honesty and a place of, you know, personal experience. Like you want to infuse the love of things that you have into your kids. And that was really my Genesis for, it was the idea of like, if I'm gonna get my kids to appreciate the stuff that I love, I wanna put it in their room. And to, to answer your question, like, like, yes, there was a little bit of that for my, for my parents that, that I got mostly, it was from things like memorabilia and experiences. Like whenever we traveled with my parents, cause we traveled a lot. My mom would always make sure that pictures of the places we went, went in my room, like she would always have a photo or something of like the last trip we went or something. So I would remember that. And then, and she'd also put things that were like, like antiques and mementos and other things from our family into our room. I still have this dresser that I got from my grandmother when I was like a kid that was the dresser in my room that I remember. And it connects me back to my, to my grandparents. Like there's little things like that, that my parents infused in me, like the appreciation for love and family, family, and travel. And that's all I think, clearly due to putting those influences in there. Yes. I had other things that they didn't really like, like, you know, pictures of half naked girls and beer cans and other things that were in that room. But you know, my, my father may have liked that, but I don't know. But my mom, I know didn't

Young Han (20:09):
Yeah. Can we talk about your childhood? Like, what was your childhood like speaking of your parents, like walk us through, walk us through the journey. I, I feel like there's so many parallels to how you're raised to how you raised, you know, well,

Jay Williams (20:19):
You'd think oldest of three, I have two younger brothers. We are all very close in age. I have literally from beginning to end, my youngest brother is 33 months younger than I am and there's a kid in the middle. So my mom literally went bam bam bam in a row with like a slight little break in between. I think there was a trip, a vacation or something that they went on in between, but which is may have been where my second brother happened. But anyway, the, the idea of family and being close to your kids was, was it was always something my parents Stu stuck with us because we were, I, I say this very lovingly, but we were trapped in a motor home for most of the summers when I was a kid, because my parents loved the idea of traveling with us and taking places. So we got to travel a lot when we were little kids and mostly driving around the country and seeing different places. But as a result like the, the, my brothers and I had periods where we were very close or we hated each other's guts. And because we just were on top of each other all the time, but my parents were all about that. They were all about like introducing experiences and, and giving the opportunity for us to, to go see things and do things that, that were, you know, probably new to us or foreign to us. But also just to celebrate things, celebrate like parts of America. And then eventually we did a little trip in Europe and some other things too, but like, they were really about that. They really about educating us and making sure that we were outside of our bubble. I grew up in Ohio, which is a one wonderful place to live for anybody who's living there. Now. I love it. I'm I'm never gonna go back there, but great place to grow up. Very safe, very protective. But if you only stay there, you don't get to see the fact that like, there's so much else out there in the world. And, and that was really what my parents were trying to infuse in me is there's so much out there, go experience it. And so that's what that was about.

Young Han (22:09):
Yeah. Those are really far cries Ohio and, and your two favorite places, New York and new Orleans. I mean, those are like, I mean, it's like, not even on a, not even on a spectrum, those are like, they're like multi plane spectrums. Right. Cause I I'd even say new Orleans and, and New York are completely different in wildly different ways. Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting. Yeah. So maybe you're like, you just like started searching for things that were continuing from that kind of search of like finding new things. And that's kind of what, what led you to do these travels to different cities find favorite cities?

Jay Williams (22:40):
This is true. And, and I've kept traveling. I mean, that's honestly, what's funny is that most of my work experience is been about company he's paying me to travel, because like I found that that has been a really, really cool aspect. The secret is that secret of world, that's the actually working world. It's, it's something that's sort of killed me in the last 18 months as I literally haven't gotten on a plane. Yeah. But the idea that like everything that I, every place I wanted to go or anything I wanted to do, I, I actually had that opportunity because I was traveling for them. I mean, and literally, I mean, I just, somebody used to ask me this the other day and I was like, yeah, I think I've now been to like 45 countries in the world. And like, it's amazing. I mean, to be able to go and experience that. And most of it was not like me, some of it was me, but a lot of it was work. So, so that was beneficial. And I, so that that's, that is something that I've tried to give to my kids. But yeah, that, that's, it's something I, I totally thank my parents for, for infusing that with me.

Young Han (23:41):
That's awesome. And then are you carrying that onto your kids? Like, do you have an RV that you travel with or are you at least, are you at least traveling with the kids? Or what does that look like?

Jay Williams (23:48):
Not in an RV. No, but yeah, my kids have done some travel it's I will say that, that I don't have the same, the difference between the, there was a shift that happened when I grew up, which was that it was much more of a celebration to travel and, and it was also much easier to travel, I think back then, too. And, and yeah, the motor home was a cool thing to do. I am not gonna, and put my kids through that. I can't do it now. They're both, they're both, I'm six feet. I'm six foot, two inches tall. My kids are both five, 10 and, and five and six one, I think now, so the three of us all in space, like a motor home would be, would be totally uncomfortable but yeah, the travel thing I have tried to infuse in them. I sent my oldest son to outward bound out in Seattle because I wanted him to go experience like another part of the country mm. For camp we've, you know, we were planning on going to Japan am for the Olympics this last summer. Oh, wow. That didn't happen. But yeah, there is still a trip on the, on the horizon and, and we're, you know, I think what I'm, what I'm most excited about is the fact that like growing, living in new New York for the last, you know, 10 years, the city is such a cool experience for kids to be able to, I try different cuisines and food and things like that. So yeah. You know, going out for sushi or going out for Korean barbecue or going out for a Brazilian steakhouse or, you know, any of the number of great food experiences, like that's got him to experience it in New York. And that was something I never do in Ohio. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like you could get Chinese takeout, but that was about the limit of what you could do for international cuisine in Ohio. I knew. Yeah. Yeah. New York is sort of accessible to all of those different cultures and so going to different celebrations in New York of international, international just culture or something that we definitely did.

Young Han (25:40):
That's awesome. And so do you, do you like, think about your kids in, and in a way of like not necessarily prompting travel, but just prompting experiences and like helping them try to find new things? Is that, is that kind of like what you're taking away from your parents' kind of RV, extra kids? I mean, you're, you're kinda sounds like you're kind of converting that passion for discovery into your own kind of way.

Jay Williams (26:04):
They have definitely been my catalyst for, you know, getting out of my comfort zone and going to do things. And so for much, much of the time they were growing up every weekend, we did something it may have just been in the city. It may have just been going to Mets games, but it was, you know, it was at least something that wasn't just, you know, staying inside your bubble and being, you know, really just self-involved, it was about going to do something, going to experience something. And, and yeah, we did the fun things like going to amusement parks and other things, but like we would go see cultural things more than we would do those fun experiences. And, and that I do blame my parents who are thanked my parents for, because it was just an opportunity to, you know, just kick your and basically go out and do something, and the, impetus behind it was like, I wanna do something with the kids. I wanted to have some something that's memorable. And, you know, some of it was, was definitely too early. There's I, you know, I took in with Bahamas, that was the first big trip that I took them on. And they were like one and five and neither one of the five real kind of, he kind of remembers it 12 years later. That's right. Yeah. But otherwise, like you know, a lot of the stuff that didn't really start catching on until they were like, till they were like five and nine or six and 10, like, and that's when they really started to remember things and, and like, remember going rock climbing and the Catskills, or going to go see Washington DC and walk around the, the national mall and, and like go and do fun stuff like that. So there was definitely a time where like, you know, I was trying too hard, but I think we're at the point now where like, they, they actually now get to provide a little bit of input on this and like reciprocation,

Young Han (27:41):
Like they're part conversation. that's exciting

Jay Williams (27:44):
So that's really fun for me now is to be able to do that is to be able to talk to them about, Hey, like, what do you wanna do this weekend? And, and, you know, one of 'em wants to go up to they're both. So we can get back to music. Cuz you wanted to talk about you because you're really big on music. They really wanna go up to Tanglewood because somebody, somewhere I didn't do this has, has, you know, brought out the idea of this big music festival that's in Eastern or receiving Western Massachusetts called Tanglewood, which is where, you know, the Boston pops play and, and like a ton of great music happens that for them was like somebody said it to them cuz I don't, I really don't know where, but they're like, we should go. And I was like, all right, cool. So, and it's opening up this summer, so we're gonna go and lay August. That's gonna be one of our trips as we're gonna go up to Tanglewood to go see music, just go and listen.

Young Han (28:29):
That's great. I love it. I love that, that it was self prompted as well. And so as you think about like your childhood and you think about your kids and, and now they're becoming adults and one of S actually gonna be an adult. Like it sounds like next year technically, right? 

Jay Williams (28:42):
I mean he thinks he is already, but yeah.

Young Han (28:45):
How are you qualifying success as a parent? Like what, what do you think that means to you?

Jay Williams (28:51):
The hardest thing about being a parent is that you're always second guessing. Everything you did like is, you know, in hindsight, you know, there's a lot of, there's a lot of question of whether or not, you know, they're gonna remember this or they're going to like whether or not it was even worth it. You know, that's what I, like I was saying before about all the stuff I did with them. When I was a kid, when they were kid, we were little kids, but I, the successful things that I have with a parent as a parent are the things that I found that they latch onto that are important to them. And the fact that they start having those things, this, that they have things that are, that are, that mean stuff to them. And so music is a good one. Both my kids play the guitar, they, you know, we started them. I was a very big fan of music. I played like a ton of instruments when I was a kid and awesome. Real. And, but that, that was my, that was my, that's my one complaint though, about my mother. She never made me stick with one, so I never became really good at one. I could play the piano, I could play the drums, I could play the guitar, but I'm never gonna be, you know, the insert name, a famous musician here. I know how to do it, so that's great. But yeah, I don't really have a, have an obsession with any of 'em. So I was really, so one, one of the changes that I made from, from that from my kids was I really wanted to pick 1, 1, 1 instrument and stick with it. Hmm. And so we picked the guitar cuz it was the easiest one and I could, and I could play along. And so both of them have been taking guitar lessons since like literally they were holding a ukulele cuz they couldn't hold a guitar. And, and that for me has been, what's been really cool to see is that they send me songs now that they wrote, or I hear them, I hear them talking about their friends about what this cool song is in listening to them, play it. Or like the 13 year old wants to start a band or he's recording his own music online and putting little jams together. Oh my gosh. Like, so that kind of thing is, is fun and there's, and there's other little things that I've done, you know, or that they've done that are just sort of awakenings for me where like they've made it their own and, and they've really made it important in their lives. So that, that kind of stuff is where I really measure myself is how many of those things am I building in them? How many of those little tent poles along the path are they gonna be able to to point to and, and, and hold onto.

Young Han (31:15):
That's an awesome answer, man. I love it. I love it. So just to kind of do the opposite side of it, how do you qualify success, some business in your work life? Have you learned that? I feel like that's constantly evolving as well. Cause I, I mean, yeah,

Jay Williams (31:29):
Yeah. I mean, it's, it's not, I can't base it. I can't base it on the successor of the companies that I worked for. I worked for a ton of really, you know, established companies and companies that aren't like or companies that are just literally trying to establish themselves. So I've worked both then of the gamut working for literal fortune 50 companies and looking and working for companies that hadn't even made a million bucks yet in terms of revenue mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I think it's more about just the learning ex the learning experience that you get out of it and whether or not you are growing as a person from it, if it's something that contributes to your growth. Like I, you know, we met when I was working at journey and which precede startup or a seed seed startup, and I'd never done anything that small before, and it was an incredibly challenging, incredibly stressful working experience because you were, you felt like you used the one man band analogy all the time. You're literally doing everything yourself, you, and like that was while it was, you know, an incredible challenge. I think I grew as a person because I recognized how difficult it was to do all these things. And I got an appreciation for it. And I also was able to go like, okay, I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna do that. So I was also being able to help focus me in terms of what I really wanted to do with my career. So that's, for me, what success is, is that, are you shaping your skills or are you testing your skills in a way that is allowing you to get better or grow, grow, or sharpen what it is that you do wanna focus on? Cause I figure that I, you know, I, I'm gonna be working for probably another 30 years and I like to continue to get better and to continue to, to, you know, become really, really good at, at something that I love and that I'm passionate about. Think it's gonna end up being something in sales, obviously, but there's so many different aspects to sales that I gotta say that, that, that to me is what really defines the experiences that I've had when I look back on what I've done.

Young Han (33:32):
Yeah. And that's a great answer. I mean, I feel like I'm more aligned with that answer as I get older, like I'm starting to realize that like the importance of is much less about what I wanted when I was in my twenties. Right. And as I keep getting older and older, I'm looking for things that are gonna provide the lifestyle that I want, the value that I want, that, that are gonna teach me things that, that, you know, it's like, you know, when you first get outta college, obviously this is the opposite spectrum. You just wanna make money, right. So you can survive and, and you kinda leave the nest and, and stand on your own two feet and you just kind of have to do for lack of better words, whatever you can. And, and then as you start to get older and wiser and you start having kids, you start to realize that like you need to also, you also need to like in tandem, make a living, but also figure out what it is that you want. And, and I feel like it's such an interesting point because I don't know if that necessarily happened for me until I had kids. Like the moment I had kids, my minds started shifting into this mindset of like, no, I, I don't want to just do this for money anymore. Like I need to do this for bigger reasons than, you know, and, and I don't know if you would feel the same way, but I feel like that's something that I, I had a really cataly moment at when I had kids.

Jay Williams (34:36):
I mean, this is where I can actually, I mean, I'll go back to, to what I said about Ariana, the, the, the work that she did in the book that she wrote was called thrive and to define thrive. She actually went back and looked at how we define success and to traditionally you're right. Wei, we decided that success was really about two things, fame and fortune mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, and, you know, it's, it's kind of like, she, he talks about it being like a two-legged stool. You know, it can't support you. Like eventually you're gonna fall over mm-hmm <affirmative> and there's need, there needs to be a third leg. And that third leg that she, that she created or talked about is thrive. It's the idea that, you know, you need to continue to grow and you continue to, and you also need to be connected to something in your, in your life. That's important to you. And that, you know, if it's not your own wellbeing, then it's the wellbeing of your family, or it's the community that you're in. But whatever, whatever brings you to life, whatever makes you thrive, that's what you need to have in your life. Because if you're just going after fame, you're just going after fortune, you will literally fall on your face, because eventually you're gonna burn out. Like there's not enough there to sustain it because there's always a higher metric. There's always somebody who's more famous. There's always somebody who's richer. And if you're always trying to like, just work your way up that, up that pole, then you're never gonna get there. But for thrive, you are the person who defines that. Like, it's your success? It's your community, it's your wellbeing. And so you, if you are able to do that, I think you do ground yourself in a, in a way that makes this achievable, whatever it is for you, you know, for, for a lot of people, it's about like staying connected with their family. It's being really simple for other people. It's out, it's about travel. It's about, I wanna make sure that I'm spending enough time, like traveling the world and like the work's nice, but I wanna go travel. Yeah. That's, that's what helps you thrive, but it could be so many different things for different people, but I think that's, what's unique about this. And if you can find that, then I think you can sustain whatever else, whatever growth you need to to maintain that.

Young Han (36:38):
That's awesome, man. Really, really cool. I, I also love that you just like paralleled it in and it sounds like you've, you've really landed in a great place that kind of aligns exactly where you find and define success as a business person at your point in life right now is that's really great. Yeah. I, I don't even know if there's like a better, better situation, right? It's like timing and evolving, but also be being able to like, do what do what's right for you at that moment? Cause I feel like I'm sure we'll change like you and I, as dads will. And, and as, and you know, as professionals we'll evolve again, you know, when we're, when we're empty nesters or, you know, as we, you know, start to retire, we're gonna change again. And so I think life is all about like being cognizant of those changes and doing the best that you can with what you have. So I love it, man. I love that. I love that passion and, and story. I really appreciate you sharing that. That being said, I do have a couple of questions that I want to squeeze in before we end this. I'm trying to ask every single guest the same questions as kind of like my rapid fire questions. So I'm gonna fire those off right now. Okay. Yep. What advice do you have for other parents and soon to be parents?

Jay Williams (37:41):
The best thing I ever did for my kids was teach them to meditate. And I used it in a way that I think replaced the idea of timeouts Hmm. That instead of punishing them, by making them go stand in a corner for no reason, I actually would help them channel whatever emotion or whatever issues they were having by going into a breathing exercise or going and sitting quietly and just thinking about, you know, whatever it was that they're, whatever was agitating them. And like that experience to me was, was so essential in terms of developing them because it was intentional every time that they, you know, acted out misbehaved whatever, or just got emotional. And I didn't wanna deal with 'em. I'm like, you need to go take a walking break and, you know, had them go outside and, you know, taught them how to do a walking meditation or taught them how to do a breathing exercise so that they would just calm down, like those, those little changes in the way that I parented for, for me and for them, that's the thing I continue is they still do it. Like they get, they get upset or emotional and they still go, like they take themselves outta the equation now. So for me, that was a huge thing that I learned that, that, you know, I was doing it myself. And to be able to pass that on to my kids, that was a huge thing.

Young Han (39:01):
That's awesome. If you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would it be? 

Jay Williams (39:07):
Stay connected to your family? Hmm. The, the thing that I grew up with that I still a lot is the idea of having a lot of family around you all the time. Not just your, not just you and your kids, but like extended family, other experiences. Oh, got it. And, and the idea of having that extended family around more, you know, that's something that I, that I definitely look back on and, and, and wish that, you know, there'd, there'd been a way to keep them infused. And we sort of, you know, like my par, my parents moved to Florida. My most of my family was in Ohio. There's very few family members that I had that stayed, that went to either that, that came to the east coast. Yeah. So we kind of self isolated. And I will say that, I think that my kids are really missing out from that experience, not being able to have as much time with other family members. We do, we do one thing, which is every five years we do this like big family reunion where I get all the kids together and all the parents together, and everybody else have been doing it for like 75 years. But the, the fun thing for that is that they get to see and hear from other kids that they're related to in some tangental way. I wish they could do that more. So I would definitely say that I would, I would probably find a way to do more of that when I was, when I, when they were younger, was to, you know, get them around more of their family. Awesome.

Young Han (40:23):
Yeah. That's actually hitting me really hard right now because, you know, I just moved to Austin, Texas. Yeah. You know, last year and, I grew up, you know, kind of near my extended family. It was like a huge family and we were fairly tight-knit. You don't realize how tightknit you are and what you're missing out on until you extricate yourself in the situation. And luckily it's been okay because, you know, the pandemic has also caused a lot of that siloing and partition building, but as we start to open up, you realize, oh man, like it's not as easy for me to just to hop over and grab dinner with my, my parents or my, my sister and my cousins and all the, and all the extent, any family that I have. And so that hits really hard for me right now. And I'm wondering if like, I need to like, make an intentional effort. So I appreciate you answering that

Jay Williams (41:05):
Yeah. I mean, the benefit of technology is that like, yeah, they can FaceTime. Like they both, both my kids have cousins that are their same age, my brother, and both my brother and I both have kids that are the same age. We have two, he, he has a 17 year old girl and a 13 year old boy. These kids could not be more different, like, like where my kids are, are musicians and kind of geeks. These, his kids are like athletes and, and totally social creatures. And that's really cool, but that's what I'm saying is like the ability to know that there's somebody who you're connected to, that they can, you know, talk to, I, they, they do text and they do occasionally FaceTime and do other things just to, you know, complain about us probably. But the, like that technology has been our friend in that respect. So it's easier now than I think it ever was when I was a kid, cuz I had cousins and that were my age that I never saw except when they were in my face at Christmas that came from Boston or came from California and the ability to just pick up the phone and be like, Hey dude, how you doing? Or you know, be in a chat room or be on a, be on a Facebook page or whatever, or, you know, be on, be on their, what be on their TikTok, feeder the WhatsApp. So, but definitely using technology that can stay connected to your family.

Young Han (42:13):
Yeah. That's definitely good. So what is the most surprising thing that you learned about yourself parenting or becoming a parent?

Jay Williams (42:23):
The most surprising thing that I learned was that it's, it's all new, I was a brother. I, I was a son, but like there's very little that I experienced when I was younger with my parents. That is the same now. So there's all kinds of situations I run into with my kids, from, you know, conversations with girls, to other things that are just unique to them. And they've really shown me that the, the they've shown me that like, you know, the experiences that I had as a, as in, in the roles that I played were, were when I was younger are referencable, but they're not repeatable. And that's something that I've had to learn is that like in, when I'm telling stories about what it was when I'm telling them, I mean, they mostly just shake their head and like that's not the world anymore. Like, okay, fine. You know, that's fair. That was 30 years ago and it's a totally different world, but that's the thing that I've definitely learned is that I can't, I can't directly pull from my own experiences. I have to try and look through the lens of their lives now and apply some, you know, some bit of what I did when I was a kid to their world. But I can't repeat it. And, and that's definitely the thing that I, I keep coming back to and thinking about that it's, it's referencable, but it's not repeatable. So you can't do the same thing that, that you did in their lives. Yeah. If that makes sense. Awesome. Yeah.

Young Han (43:56):
It makes a lot of sense. I love it. And then what actually I have, I have five now, so I, I forgot that I, I changed this about five episodes ago. So two more questions, right? Okay. What's your all time favorite business book?

Jay Williams (44:09):
It's the little red, the little red book of selling. It's literally right behind me on the shelf.

Young Han (44:14):
 It's the little red book of selling

Jay Williams (44:16):
The really worth selling it's by a sales group by the name of Jeffrey Gier and cool. He is. He's awesome. And it's like this elementary book that's that talks all about everything. That's the basics in sales. Mm. How to treat your customer, right. How to listen to people, how to, how to show value to others before you ask them to buy something for you from you. Mm. There are so many fundamentals in that book that, that a mentor actually handed it to me. Cause I was not always in sales. I, I was, I mean, I was, but I didn't really accept it for a long time. And when I finally like said, okay, fine, I'm gonna work in sales. A really good friend of mine now. And a mentor of mine said, you need to, you need to read this book. Like, this is, this is where you should begin. And I still have it. It's a reference for everything I do. And it's definitely one of the best that I say to anybody and, and anybody who works for me, I've bought them the book if they, if they've never read it. But yeah, the little red book, the little red book of selling.

Young Han (45:18):
Nice. That's a great one. I've never even heard of it. So I can't wait to unpack that one. I think everyone needs to learn a little sales, to be honest with you. I think it's just like one of those core core skills that we don't emphasize enough growing up. And then as an adult, you realize like your whole life, life is selling, being a parent is selling, being an adult is selling like no,

Jay Williams (45:37):
Anything you're either being sold or you're being, you're selling. It's the two experiences you have in your life. There's very few instances unless you're alone in the woods, meditating that, you know, that's right. That you're not in, in one side of a relationship in, in, in a sales conversation.

Young Han (45:51):
Yeah and my final question for you is, and I think we actually talked about this quite a bit, but my final question is what, what personal hobbies date that do you have? When you're not, you know, when you're not crushing it at work and, and thriving at work and, and being a great parent and dad,

Jay Williams (46:05):
I still consider parenting to be my full-time hobby for the next time, several years. That's what takes up most of my life, because it's what I spend most of my, of time doing.

Young Han (46:13):
Full-Time hobby. That's a great explanation

Jay Williams (46:15):
Of being dad. It's totally true. I learn from it. I evolve from it. It's everything it's like, and I'm gonna, I wanna put it on my resume at some point, but that's clever, but the, no, I also like I play music. I have a guitar I'm I, I have a piano. I, I still thank my mother for the things that she allowed me to learn, earn I bike. But I will say that I spend a lot of my time, like in thought meditating, that's something, I spend something doing every single day. So I don't know if I can call it a hobby. It's more of a habit than a hobby mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative>, but it is something that I find to be incredibly helpful for everything else that I do. So, and it also helps me like zone out. Awesome. Get, get in my own space and just think about things. So you know, that's, that's something that I, if, if I had to say like I do every single day, that's what I do every single day. 

Young Han (47:04):
Awesome, Jay, thank you so much for taking the time to be on my podcast. I had a really great time interviewing you and getting to know you better.

Jay Williams (47:10):
Oh, Young. I miss you. We should do this more. Maybe a weekly thing. I would love that.

Young Han (47:14):
Yes. I mean, seriously, right? What's better than talking to another dad about work life and, and kids.

Jay Williams (47:20):
It's so hard. It's been, look, everybody who's been through this in the last 18 months, deserves a medal. Like you're watching the Olympics and like there should have handed out gold medals for everybody. There's no second. There's no third. Everybody gets a first place medal because just surviving and getting through the last 18 months has been, I think, an awesome experience that you will hopefully, hopefully look back on and cherish because you gotta spend this much time with your kids. Yeah. But at the same time it's been, it's definitely something where like, it's been an influence on everything I've done in my life. So so glad, glad to be able to celebrate it with you. So thank you for the opportunity. Great way to close out the episode. Thank you so much, Jay. My pleasure. Young talk to you soon. Good luck with the podcast. Thank you brother.

Young Han (48:00):
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the girl that show, we hope you enjoyed that interview. If you wanna subscribe to our email list and learn more, you can head over to thegirldadshow.com. Thank you and see you next time.

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