Episode 22 - Weston Woodward - Connectivity that Counts

Weston Woodward (00:00):
Make connections to make the world a better place. I like being behind the scenes and really pushing people to the forefront and supporting them. So I think that's a lot where I, what I've learned from my dad, but because I had a child, it really forced me to think not only about her, but like what kind of life do I actually want to create for her? I feel, think being a successful parent is, you know, showing, you know, patience, showing love. I mean, I would not be a connector if I hadn't had my kid.

Young Han (00:37):
Hey guys, I'm Young, a fulltime dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The girl ad 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 from my guest to join me. As I research parenthood one interview at a time today's episode of the girl ad show is sponsored by something I'm very passionate about coffee, blue Jean coffee brings sophisticated coffee brewing straight into your home. Delivering an elevated coffee experience all without having to make a trip to a cafe. They source their specialty beans directly from farmers all around the world and roast them in small batches. Just for your order. Are you ready to upgrade your home brewing experience? Bluejean coffee is offering a special deal just for my listeners. Really good. Visit BlueJean coffee.com/tgds to get 10% off your first order of blue Jean coffee. Oh yeah, that's a good coffee. Awesome. Love it, Weston. Thank you so much for joining me today on my podcast. 

Weston Woodward (01:50):
I'm really glad to have you on my pleasure. I'm excited to be here. Well

Young Han (01:53):
Thank you for taking the time. Let's jump right into it. So what do you do for a living? 

Weston Woodward (01:55):
So I tell people it gets a little confusing. I wear three hats. So I say I'm a connector, a producer, and a community builder. So, so connector means I basically do freelance business development, but a lot of it entails us introducing my friends to do business with one another. I'm a producer. I do television and film development work and some animation and then community builder. I love hosting events and bringing people together. So I host a weekly founders investor connector meet up here in Austin, Texas, and then also do events at Sundance. Just got back from doing an event in the Hamptons, gonna be doing art basil. So just bring in people together around good topics and good people. 

Young Han (02:34):
Oh, wow, I love it. So it sounds like you do a lot of things, but they're all somewhat interlinked around kind of like community and people. It sounds like.

Weston Woodward (02:41):
Yeah. Yeah. The one thing I found throughout my career, so I've been in Austin the last 17 years and I worked, I was in many different jobs from politics, government to community building to working for a creative agency. And the, the, the thread that I found was I love people and I love connecting people. And thankfully I had some mentors in my life that said, Weston, that can be your job. So four and a half years ago, I just started connecting and make it in my career.

Young Han (03:07):
Oh, talk to me about that. So how did you do that? Because I think everyone would say that. I mean, not everyone, but a lot of people would say that they would love to connect people for a living. How did you orchestrate that and design that? 

Weston Woodward (03:17):
Yeah. So I think that big reason why I am doing what I'm doing today is just like my upbringing. So I grew up, I'm a son, preacher, and growing up, we moved a lot. I think we moved eight or nine times growing up. So I was always the new kid and I always didn't want to be the one sitting alone at the cafeteria table all the time. So I had to figure out ways to connect with folks on a deeper level. So I was constantly listening and asking questions. And even through my career, I just found like that was what my sweet spot was. So if I was a project manager, I just would get bored with that, but I loved helping, you know, the business team, talk to the developers and designers and help communicate with one another. And that's kind of how I ended up in this position where like, literally I just help connect the dots for both brands, tech companies, and then with TB and film, it's literally bringing on strategic partners and making sure that the relationships really fit well. 

Young Han (04:14):
That's awesome. You, I feel like you're oversimplifying it cause it can't be that easy. Right?

Weston Woodward (04:21):
Oh, I see. I would say this. You know, the, the biggest thing for being a connector that I found is the best connectors are those that are give first mentality, abundant minded, just like the, I dunno, if you ever read the book from Keith Ferrazzi, never read alone, just like really thinking how you can put good in the world before you ask for of thing. And so I think that tied with, I really do listen a lot. Usually when I'm in a room full of people, I'm not the one talking, I'm the one listening, cuz I'm trying to think, how can I help this person based off what they're telling me? And then also some key points of their personality, you know, their behavior, how they work and knowing you in a better match instead of just this person can do X, Y, or Z. I know the perfect person where they're gonna have a lasting relationship. So really listening and then asking those questions to get through the surface is kind of where I found that connectors really can be successful. Cuz there are a lot of folks that call themselves connect, but the really sales people, you know, they might just know a lot of people, but I would say real connectors are those that listen, give first abundant minded and ask questions.

Young Han (05:31):
Yeah, no I'm to be fully transparent here. I actually just heard about this role and this type of position or this kind of job just a couple of years ago. And I'm like, that's a, and you literally just hang out and talk to people and then you just match people up. You're like a professional matchmaker and I didn't, you know, that didn't even existed. And I just realized that people are doing this very, very lucratively just a couple of years ago. And so I actually I'm probably representative of many, many people that don't even know that this is something that you can pursue as a career. And I think it's really, really important.

Weston Woodward (06:07):
Yeah. I never knew until about five years ago I met a guy that had been doing it for about four years and he kind of took me under his wing and mentor on how to actually monetize it. Cause I, I think that's the other thing too, is a lot of folks like will try to monetize too early and I probably only you know, make something off my connections, maybe 10 to 15% of the time, the rest of the time. I'm truly trying to make connections to make the world at a better place.

Young Han (06:37):
Got it. So it is the, the going back to what you said earlier, it's the give mentality and then the give pays tenfold. Yeah, I love it. And, and then I, I have to ask cuz you brought it up first, but like have you taken any of your your father's pretrial elements into your life? Or are you, are you also kind of a, a outspokenly like, you know,

Weston Woodward (06:56):
Yeah. What I would say, what I've learned and a lot for my dad is just definitely the generosity mindset, you know, like how do you, how do you live your life? Like a Jesus through actions versus just words. And you know, the servant is the servant king mentality. So how do you serve by being a leader? And so I very much, I don't like the limelight. It's very rare. This is the second time I've ever been interviewed. I like being behind the scenes and really pushing people to the forefront and supporting them. So I think that's a lot where I, what I've learned from my dad and then also just like loving people and seeing where they are, like meeting them where they're at. No matter what their socioeconomic standpoint, can you say hi, Hey, my daughter does it all the time.

Young Han (07:39):
It's also a good segue. Can you actually tell all the listeners about your kids or kid?

Weston Woodward (07:44):
Yeah, I have, I have one daughter. I don't have her full time. She's, she'll be man. It's crazy. She'll be 12 next month, which is pretty wild to think about. Almost a teenager. She just entered into sixth grade. This is her first week back to school. She's a delight, super artistic, her name's Ava and super caring. So it's, it's, it's really cool when you see, you know, that caring spirit play out in your kids and like where I go to her friend's house when they have like little four or five year olds, my daughter's like taking care of them all. She like, she loves taking care of her three year old cousin. And it's just, it's, it's wild to see, you know, some of your personally personality traits, like play out in your kids. 

Young Han (08:27):
So she's 12 years old. And so I'm assuming that's middle school, right, You said?

Weston Woodward (08:30):
Yeah, she just, this was her first week of sixth grade.

Young Han (08:34):
Oh wow. So she's going back to the bottom of the totem pole. Is she is she enjoying it? Is she doing okay with that? 

Weston Woodward (08:40):
You know what's been really interesting, you know, especially during the pandemic, you know, she, she stayed home, did virtual classes all year, and this is also the first year she got a cell phone what's been interesting, which was different. Cause I didn't get a cell phone until I was 21. You know, I never had anything and I, you know, I think there's a lot of pros to have, you know, a child having, you know, a cell phone to be able to communicate, especially cuz she's not with me all the time, but then I feel like there's a lot of cons. Yeah. She's hearing some of the conversations she has with her friends that are struggling with mental health. You know, they've, they've talked about topics like suicide even. And so it's just like, you know, that stuff you can tell like definitely ways on her and going into a brand new school or you know middle school and with all that drama that happens with, with being that age and especially being a girl and with that stuff. So I, I feel for, I think she's having a good week thus far, but it it's a lot, especially nowadays for kids, just all the data, the instantaneous data I think is just really overwhelming.

Young Han (09:45):
Yeah. And I think it's so funny because you know, the previous generation will always talk about like how, you know, they had it more like, I don't know, what, what is the, what is the, you know, the stereotypes that they say, like, we're, we're like weaker, we're like, you know, we're, we're so like we, we need like the trophies and like the, you know, and all those things. But it's also really interesting because what we don't really account for that is the psychological impacts of technology and how pervasive it is, especially to the next generation. Right. I mean the access to everyone's like in like data and just livelihood in their, during their formative years is just too much. And in my opinion, cuz I mean, I remember myself in middle school. I mean I was a, I was an idiot. Like I was like doing all sorts of dumb things and trying to figure out who I was and, and like self-identification and what my brand was gonna be like, you know, you're really like learning who you are and then getting all that documented and getting cross pollinated across a wide spread of, I mean, it's just maniacal to even think about like how we even like yeah, it's just weird.

Young Han (10:48):
Right? Like I just can't, I can't imagine the pressures.

Weston Woodward (10:50):
It is weird. Yeah. Oh, I, I know. And with social media, like, and now that's, I mean, some of her friends all do too talk and all that stuff and I just, I just don't know I just, I just pray

Young Han (11:02):
Yeah, yeah. Seriously. That's all you can do and just try to be there for right. As best you can. So are you, is that what you're doing though? Are you like first off, why didn't you have a phone until you're 21? Cause now I want to know if that was because of economics or is that your parents, your parents guidance or is that you or like what?

Weston Woodward (11:17):
No, my parents, just, my parents just thought that I didn't need one. You know, I was, this was also like early, earlier on like with the no Nokia phones. I'm 37. Yeah. You know, I ended up going to high school in B Brenham, Texas, which is where blue bull ice creams made it a very rural community. And I just like memorized my friend's phone numbers and would just we would define each other, I guess I didn't really like, feel like I needed one. Just cuz I never had one. And then when I actually went off to college, I finally was like, all right, I need, I need a phone because I'm gonna be driving around and I want to talk to my friends and everyone else has a phone. So it was more so like I don't really, I didn't really press my, my parents on it too much until I absolutely like felt like I needed one.

Young Han (12:00):
Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. I, I mean, so just for your knowledge I'm 40, so we're kind of in the same generation. Yeah. And I will tell you that when that first phone cell phone came out, it was so cool, but so big to you remember how big these things were? Oh yeah. These things were gnarly. It wasn't even like functional to even have one. Cuz you had to like, like carry, it was so heavy, so heavy and like it wasn't even that great to have because you're just like, where am I gonna store this sucker? I know it's crazy. Yeah. It is crazy to think about. And then just how, how much you can do now with your device and, and now I can't live with that it, but I know. So that's good. So then your parents didn't think you needed it, but you also didn't think you needed it.

Weston Woodward (12:38):
I didn't think I needed it. No. I was just too busy, you know I went to university of Texas here in Austin and I just would roam around campus and just stumble upon friends. And I, you know, I'm a very much a curious person and you know, I, I love traveling and so I guess it just because I didn't have the phone, it caused me to have to just like explore and find things and it just, yeah, I just never really thought about that. I needed a phone now looking back I'm like, how did I, I don't know how I survived without a phone.

Young Han (13:06):
Yeah, no, I know we're like so attached to it now, but, but Weston. So if that's the case, why did you get your, a dog, a phone? That's the million dollar question here now. Right? Cause you're just talking about all the negatives to it.

Weston Woodward (13:19):
Well, because you know, we split time between her mom and me. Like I think it's good just that she has the ease, you know, the ease of access to like contact her, her mom whenever she wants to. I'll also be able to chat with her friends and she's an artist and does a lot of digital art. So she uses her phone for that. She uses an iPad and so it gives her the ability to like express herself, but we'll see, we'll see how it goes. We just started with this and we'll see how her being back in school, if the phone is still a necessary device or not.

Young Han (13:50):
Got it. So it was a functional decision and then we're gonna like kind of look and see how it per yeah. How it persists or doesn't. That's great. Yeah. And so when you think about parenting what do you think about as, as a successful parent? What, how do you qualify parenting for yourself?

Weston Woodward (14:09):
Yeah, I guess for me, you know, I, I learned a lot from my parents and just how much they expressed, you know, unconditional left towards me and just having patience and just giving us opportunities. I was very fortunate, even though we did not grow up in a very affluent family. My parents were always adamant about supporting on whatever passions I had. And so, you know, when I was 14 years old, old, I had opportunity to go to Venezuela. Of course this is before wow. All the craziness happened down there. So, and my, yeah, but see also like my parents met in a traveling music group and traveled all around the world. And so they had that same spirit of like connecting with different people, groups and cultures. And so when they saw that spirit inside me too, like they always were super supportive. So I think being a successful parent is, you know, and this is a big thing that I've learned even as my daughter's gotten older is, you know, showing, you know, patience, showing love and doing your best to really listen and seeing what they are passionate about or what they're struggling with and seeing what best ways you can do to support them in that.

Young Han (15:20):
That's awesome. Like your parents sound like they, they were able to identify that very quickly in you and what a cool story about your parents traveling the country being musicians. So you kind of grew up in a very, very free spirited kind of artistic family.

Weston Woodward (15:33):
Yeah. No, my whole family, I joke because everyone in my family sings or plays a musical instrument except oh no, and so yeah, but I, you know, I always, I always loved it. I've always surrounded myself with creatives with travelers and because we moved around the United States so much, I got exposed to so many different cultures and people that had, you know, relocated the us and then from an early age, been traveling internationally. So and my parents supporting me in that has always been a, a I've been very fortunate.

Young Han (16:02):
Yeah. That's amazing. And so you're par laying that into your kid and allowing her to like, basically explore these arts. And that's one of the reasons why you gave her the phone and the device to all get, stay in touch, but also start exploring this creativity creativity and creative site. That's awesome.

Weston Woodward (16:17):
Oh yeah. And what, what kids can do now with phone? I mean, I even remember when she was like two or three and she would take my phone and the stuff she could figure out just yeah. Naturally was just unbelievable. Now she has an iPad and uses procreate and the stuff she can do with that technology is like, yeah. So amazing. Like mind blowing. Like I, I showed other friends and they were like, I can't even do that. And I do this for a living

Young Han (16:40):
Yeah. That's amazing. I feel like the same way with music too. Like all the, the, the apps inside of these things that like create music, not just art, but also music there's like, when you grow up with it at a young age, I just feel like you like, just digest it so much faster. Right. And so you're like, it's like oh yeah. It's like part of, part of like, just your, your nurture. Right. You're just like in it. So you just like master it so quickly. And so it makes me very jealous cause I'm, I'm a musician. Right. I think I'm a musician anyways, and so I definitely like see these kids like producing things on YouTube and it's just, how are that? How is that possible? It's so cool. It's so cool.

Weston Woodward (17:18):
Oh yeah, no, it's wild. I mean, the tech, the tech is just light years ahead. I mean, with like video editing capabilities, seeing these kids, like yeah. You know, edit videos where like back in the day, like it was impossible to do that.

Young Han (17:31):
So if your, if your kid wants to go and do art for a living what does that look like? Are you, are you happy with that or do you want her to kind of follow in your footsteps and be more of a connector and kind

Weston Woodward (17:41):
Of a, no, I think she's gonna be an artist. She's, she's very clearly has the talent on aptitude for it and but really like I'm gonna support her in whatever she wants to do. So if it's like completely different and she wants to become a nurse or become a teacher or run for president, I'm gonna support her in ever which way I can. 

Young Han (18:00):
I love it. Has there been any kind of like guidance in this discussion of like what you want to do and have you like kind of proded her in any direction or has it been mostly open ended? 

Weston Woodward (18:11):
Yeah, most of the time, I just like, you know, ask her like, Hey, what would you wanna do now? And, you know, just see where she's at, but I, I think she's leaning towards art right now. And, you know, especially during the pandemic, she went really heavy into it. And that was makes sense way, like to huge outlet for her, I think to keep her keep her balanced.

Young Han (18:30):
Totally think about the therapy that comes in that yeah. Creating things when you're, when you're all stressed out and locked in. What, what does she think about what you do? Does she, can she, what does she, what does she think you do? Actually, that's probably a better question to start with.

Weston Woodward (18:42):
I'm sure she still, like, doesn't quite grasp what I do. I mean, cuz my family still doesn't quite grasp what I do. Usually I always get asked like, so what is it again? Yeah. You know, they probably understand certain aspects of it, you know, TV, TV and film production. That's a little bit more easy to understand, but you know, I kind of do sales, but I really don't do sales because I'm not a sales guy. And so, you know, she's been able to hear a lot over here, a lot of my conversations. Right. Which I think has been very interesting for her. And so it's, it's fun to see her, you know, kind of listen in and, and kind of see where things go with what I'm doing with my job.

Young Han (19:22):
Yeah. That's awesome. But you don't think that she fully gets it?

Weston Woodward (19:27):
Probably not. No. I mean if, if my, if my parents and you know, they're very intelligent folks that they can understand it. You know, I think, I think what my daughter thinks I do is that I'm involved in television film. Yeah. So I think that's kind of the direction she goes towards and, and she is right with that. Totally. I think connecting stuff in like more the tech and investment space is a little bit overhead right now.

Young Han (19:49):
Have you ever parlayed your skills and connecting on personal relationships? Have you ever done that? Like I have you have?

Weston Woodward (19:56):
I have, yeah. So I've started there's two married couples right now. One has three kids. One has just had their first and then there's another couple that I introduced during the pandemic and they're going be strong right now. So I have create done some matchmaking within the relationship space as well.

Young Han (20:16):
Wow. So the skillset can be transferable to a lot of different areas. Yeah. That's wild. Any big projects you're working on right now? 

Weston Woodward (20:24):
Yeah, there, there's a couple of interesting one. One the fun one that I'm really interested in, there's not really necessarily any like monetary gain out of this for now, but there's a race team that's developing the first American British hypercar using net zero hydrogen cell. And so that one is really interesting. And then another one is a VR media project around black wall street. So the burning of, of Tulsa and how do we capture some of the stories from the past present and then cast a vision forward for African American and entrepreneurs.

Young Han (21:04):
Wow. Those are really, really cool project. Yeah. Kind of on the opposite spectrum, but very cool. Nonetheless. Yeah, that's really great. 

Weston Woodward (21:12):
And then, so I get bored easily, so I gotta keep it diverse.

Young Han (21:14):
Well, it sounds like it, cuz you're basically taking a core tenant of like being a people person and loving to connect and then you're use you're, you're creating different vehicles to exercise that, that, that passion of yours. Right. Oh, and I'm sure you can spill it into multiple things. It sounds like you even found a fourth. I mean, matchmaking might be the fourth avenue that you Barlay that into.

Weston Woodward (21:34):
That was just fun. You know, it's fun. Especially like the, I just remember the first couple I was actually still in college and these two kids were both 18 just graduating high school. And the one guy was my friend's younger brother and he comes over to me. He's like, Wes, can you introduce me to that girl that came with your group? And I was like, yeah. And then here, years later, they're they're together. Yeah. And the next couple was my cousin and one of my good friends. Yeah. And so I was able to connect them. So I, I, I love doing it. I don't wanna profit off that. I'd rather just do it to put, put good out in the universe.

Young Han (22:05):
Yeah. And I think that's a, that's a really cool thing because is, I don't actually know if it's something that you can actually teach, but it sounds like you had a mentor that kind of walked you through how to do this, but the idea behind it is, is that it's it's, it's basically figuring out the right need. Right. It's like being able to, into it, not only the tactical stuff, but the nuances that go kind of in between the gray so to speak, cuz there's like these feel like you're listening for not only what their actual problem is, but how they're articulating the problem, the, the velocity of the problem, the importance and urgency of like you're, you're computing a lot of different things right. To do this. Well, I I'm assuming, right.

Weston Woodward (22:46):
Yeah, no, I'm, I'm taking in a lot of different stuff and you know it, it took a lot of practice too. You know, you, you start, especially when I was younger, you know, I would just jump at it and start doing intros. And now as I've gotten older and you know, maybe a little bit wiser just really leaning into the listening portion and, and that's the big thing. I, not many people listen, holidays, people like talk. And so I've really tried to practice. And a lot of that too came, I lived in the Dominican Republic for a year, right. Outta college and my Spanish wasn't the greatest. So I just always had to just sit and just listen and then practice. And you know, over the years have just really tried to hone in on being a good listener.

Young Han (23:31):
And so now that kind of leans, leans me to the question around how do you quantify success in your business and in your life? And I'm assuming that's one of those things.

Weston Woodward (23:39):
Yeah. I would say, you know, for me my kind of my purpose statement is to connect people. The, the full one is to connect people with the service of God. Good and all that's beautiful. So really my idea of success is making strong connections and seeing, you know, things happen out of it. So, you know, if a marriage and a family is born out of it, like that's a huge win for me. You know, I've heard some folks get like funding for their documentary or for their startup because I made an introduction like that stuff. Like I just love hearing. So sometimes when I'm I do have like a Google doc where like, I'll write down some of those non monetary transaction wins just to remind me like, yeah, what I'm doing is like living out my purpose. And just that, it's like a helpful reminder for me. 

Young Han (24:30):
Oh man, that's deep. So your personal KPIs are more around your intention of like connecting and providing value and money is the secondary secondary thing. So it goes back to the first thing you said on the podcast, which is just abundance, my right. Like I'm sorry, generosity, and then abundance. Yeah. That's so fascinating. I, it must have taken a while to figure that out. I can't imagine like the, the professional journey you've taken to get to this point where you knew that that's what you wanted to do.

Weston Woodward (24:59):
 I mean, Yeah. And I, I always, yeah. And I always thought, you know, money was never like a big thing cuz you know, is cuz my parents asked me Weston, what do you wanna do when you grow up? And I was like five years old and I was like, I want to be a missionary. And they're like, why? Cause I was like, I wanna pet monkey because I had someone that had come from Africa and had a pet monkey. So like my the things that I look for that I'm most interested other than money is more like a experiences, more like, you know, living a life worth talking about or writing about. So like Hemingway is my favorite author and you know, I love his stories of just like adventure and just sitting with interesting people and, you know, meeting folks like AJ, Leon from misfit who like quit his job on wall street the day promote and lived on the streets of New York. And then now since built this global organization to give back to the world, like those people in my life have been truly inspiring to realize that. And also having friends that have lots of money and are really unhappy, kind of like I was, I was fortunate enough to like, have it click early to know like money is not the thing you should be pointing your chip towards. It should be something completely else.

Young Han (26:10):
That's amazing. I I'm like learning those components of it mostly around like the time aspect. Right. And I know we, I know we haven't really gotten into each other's backgrounds, but like I started a consulting business mostly because I wanted to better control my time to basically figure this out for myself. Right. What place does money have in my ecosystem with things that I want in my life. And I think you're hitting it, you're hitting it on the head. Right. Because I think a lot of people don't figure this out until they're later in life. And yeah. And like I know I'm 40 years old and I feel like I'm restarting a new career and kind of rebuilding from ground zero, but designing in a way that incorporates more facets that I want to incorporate. I'm not saying money's not important to me. I think it's more important to me.

Weston Woodward (26:57):
It's nice. It's lemme tell you I like money, but I try not to make it be like the number one.

Young Han (27:04):
That's exactly. That's exactly better. Yeah. That's a better articulation of what I'm trying to say too. I think it's just like I do like it. I just think that it needs to sit in a, in a more reasonable place than society has placed it, you know? And definitely like the way I grew up, right. Like in, in Silicon valley, like it just sits so much higher than it needs to. And I love that you're talking about it like that and it's really great that you were able to have those epiphanies and, and kind of uncover that very quickly. How are you teaching your kid that?

Weston Woodward (27:33):
I think as much through this example, you know, the, the coolest thing about my daughter is her spirit of generosity. So if she ever sees someone like a kid sad or upset, like she wants to give them her toys you know, we've driven around Austin and she's seen, you know, folks on the streets, you know, without homes and she went home and she wanted to make care kits with the shampoo and soap for, for us to pass out to the homeless. So like, you know, trying to not only say things that we should do in this world, but also like live them out to let her be a part of that, to understand like how how we should be giving back is really important to how I wanna to raise her.

Young Han (28:20):
That's amazing. I love it. That's really, really great. Sounds like you're raising, a really great human being. I need to definitely take some pages from your book cuz I am, I'm just like the complete pushover dad that you'd go like my girl, literally just walk all over me dude!

Weston Woodward (28:36):
My daughter, my daughter, definitely. She, she, she likes to get her way. She's she's a master master manipulator. Let's just say, but she's so sweet. Yeah. She's literal like the sweetest girl.

Young Han (28:47):
That's awesome, man. Yeah. I think it's mostly like, I think maybe you're the same as me, but I think the reason why my girl girls are master manipulators is because they're master manipulators of me. Like they don't get away with it with my, my wife, you know, like it's just with me, they know they can get away with whatever, like they know exact what to do window, give you the dough eyes, wind decline. I'm just like, yep. Let's do it, you know?

Weston Woodward (29:10):
 Yeah man, no. Especially when my daughter was younger too. And she was just oh man, she had these little cheeks and she would just look up at me and gimme the puppy dog face. Like I would give into whatever she asked of me. <Laugh>

Young Han (29:23):
That's right. That's right. There you go. Hey Wes. So I do wanna make sure that I ask you some rapid fighter questions that I want to ask every single guest. So I do wanna jump into that right now, if you don't mind. I did, I did increase it. So in, you know, I have five now, so just so you know, so there's gonna be one that you haven't heard that you didn't care before. Perfect. But here we go. You ready? I'm ready. What advice do you have for other parents? And soon to be parents?

Weston Woodward (29:48):
I would say be flexible. And you know, give yourself a break, you know, especially with a lot of my friends that had just got newborns, they've either adopted newborns or just given birth to newborns. A lot of 'em like have a lot of pent up stress. Like how do I change a diaper or anything like that? You know, I was a, a single dad. So whenever I had my daughter was born, I had to learn how to change a diaper by myself. And so what, what I tell new parents is, you know, give yourself a break, know that like you're gonna do okay. If I can do it, you know, you can do it

Young Han (30:25):
We should make an ad for that. And like, just get it out there with your face on it. If this guy can do it, you can do it.

Weston Woodward (30:31):
I'm like you guys, you guys can definitely do this. You're over a lot of people overthink it, but I understand it's a very scary thing when you first, when you have a, a fragile little newborn in your hands, but you'll be okay. 

Young Han (30:42):
It's very sage advice. I completely agree with it. I, I totally know what you mean. I, I remember like coming home with my kid and just going, like, that's it like, you don't need to double check anything <laugh> yeah. So let's go to the second one. So if you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what will you tell yourself?

Weston Woodward (30:59):
I would say, you know, I had to learn about a lot of things are outta your control, it's like the idea of like, and I think actually, especially for men, like we want to control things and to know when you have another human being that you're responsible for that sometimes doesn't listen to you. And I wish I would've like worked on that more, you know, when I was younger, but you know, I also had my daughter when she was, when I was 25. And so it was, it was, and it was a surprise. I wasn't expecting to be a dad. So like, I would just say to my younger self, like one be like, everything's gonna be okay, you'll get through this. And then two, just like stop trying to control, stop trying to control things that are out of your, out of your hands.

Young Han (31:48):
Wow. I didn't, I didn't realize that. Yeah, that was the, that was the origin story. Do you mind sharing a little bit about that?

Weston Woodward (31:55):
Yeah, basically, you know, I had just moved back from the Dominican Republic and you know, started hanging out with my daughter's mom. And then about a month later I found out I was a dad. And so it was a very very surprising moment. It's one of those things, where is the scariest moment in my life? And, but it was, I would not be where I am today. If that never happened. My trajectory was probably gonna be, I was probably gonna be working in DC as a lobbyist. Right. You know, today and probably not liking my life, but because I had a child, it really forced me to think, not only about her, but like what kind of life do I actually want to create for her at a really young age, at a really young age? Yeah. When no one else. And my friends had, you know, had kids, you know, most of my friends were out, you know, living their early twenties, you know, lives. And, you know, I was starting to be responsible before a little one. So it really forced me. It's bit, I dunno if you've ever watched catch me if you can with Leonard de Capri. Yeah. But there's a scene with I forget who plays his dad, but his dad talks about when a mouse falls into like a glass of milk and it's trying to get out. Eventually it will get out cause it'll churn it into butter and it'll get out. Like, that's what I felt like my career path. It seems all over the place, but it was literally me trying to find a pathway to create a sustainable life, to not only be a dad, but also like have a career and also do something that I felt was purposeful in my life. And if I didn't have that, so aria, I would not have, I would not be living a life that I truly believe is like my best life right

Young Han (33:45):
Now, podcast over I'm no more interviews after that. That was amazing. Yeah. What else do I need to interview after that? That was, that was amazing. That was beautiful. That was unbelievably beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. My pleasure. What is the most surprising thing that you learned about yourself? Becoming a parent.

Weston Woodward (34:02):
I don't know about you, but I know I never really cried until I had my daughter. That was a very surprising thing. So now, like anytime I think about like, I might start up crying right now, it just makes you more like emotional, especially I think being a girl, dad, you know, I want the best for her and she's just, you knows such a, a powerful responsibility to be looking after her. And it definitely softened me in a lot of ways. And it really changed me as a human being a dad, especially to a girl.

Young Han (34:32):
Yeah. I know. I just, I had a moment where I'm like like, I'm like, why are you putting me on the spot? You know what I mean? You know, like, I don't know about you, but I'm like, yeah, me too, man. We just started crying on this podcast just together. Just like girl adding it up. No, I, I completely agree. Like, you know, what gets me the most, this is so stupid and I've never really told anyone with my wife about this, but there'll be moments where I'm like watching them play or I'm holding them or whatever that may be. And then I just imagine them like inevitably like getting married, leaving me. Right. And then I just start, like, I just start crying. I just start crying, like thinking about it. It's a very specific like scenario, but I can't stop it. It's just like the worst. But yeah, I definitely got a, I, I agree with you. I, I will openly admit and be transparent with the listeners that yes, I have also a lot more emotional and I do cry a lot more. That's really fun. I also wanna know. It sounds like you do a lot of reading, but I'd love to know what your favorite business book is.

Weston Woodward (35:29):
So you know, the thing that's really inspired me to do what I do today is a sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway. It's not a business book, but it was a book about someone going off on an adventure of self-discovery and just like living life, even in the simple moments of like sitting in a cafe. And that book truly inspired me. I read it in junior year in high school and I carried it with me when I back backed Europe when I was in college. And that literally set me off in a trajectory to want to live a life worth. That that wasn't boring. I would say more of business style book would probably be Keith. Rossi's never eat alone. I think I resonate with a lot of stuff that he writes about. And I think every, if everyone lived like some of the points that he puts out, like I think the world would be a better place.

Young Han (36:23):
Wow. That's great, man. I like love this story because like it, in some ways, and if you don't mind me saying this right, cuz it might come off a little bit harsh, but in some ways having a kid tied you down, yeah. You were kind of like this floater, like just kind of like letting the wind take you like almost Jacky right. You're just like off into the, into the world, like, you know, in south America and then maybe DC, I don't know, lot just wherever and just kind of explore. And then you had this unplanned circumstance of having this kid that basically forced you to either make a decision of choosing your path that you were going or rooting yourself. Yeah. And it sounds like you chose, rooting yourself and that, that forced a lot of things that you probably weren't thinking about. But it sounds like if you don't mind me kind of like psychoanalyzing you a little bit, it sounds like you took that creative mind and you created it within the constraint of the local a hundred percent.

Weston Woodward (37:25):
No. I mean literally like the reason why I haven't left Austin in 17 years was because of my daughter wanting to be close by and be a part of her life. And what's crazy is I probably travel more now than if I didn't have Ava. So like that's the crazy thing. Like I think because I had that constraint and it definitely crushed my soul. I'm not gonna lie. Like it was not easy thinking cuz I thought I was gonna go either I either DC or go travel the world. And because of that constraint, it made me think very CRE you know, creatively. And I mean, I would not be a connector if I hadn't had my kid.

Young Han (38:02):
I can't wait to tell her this when she's older that you have heard a thank for your success and your new career and your life passion. That's awesome. Yeah. okay. So this is the this is the last question I have for you. So what does Weston do when he is not being a super dad? Super girl, dad, and an awesome connector in the world.

Weston Woodward (38:19):
You know, I love so money might not be like the number one thing that I look for entertainment, but I love like I'm kind of bougie in some areas like food. I love good food. Nice. When I travel, you know, I like, you know, like staying at nice places. Yeah. Usually if you, if you know, if I don't have my kid, if I'm not working, you'll find me a lot in the Dominican Republic is still like my second home. So I spend a lot of time down there just on the Northern coast and just watching movies, man. I, I can watch I'm obsessed with movies. And so it's fun now actually like being such a huge Cile to now like being a small piece of the pie of the movie industry is fun.

Young Han (39:01):
Awesome. Yeah. So a little travel, little good food a little bougieness and and some movies. Yeah. That's great, man. That sounds like you got a, a really good outlet as well. That's great, man. You got a lot of stuff out. It's great.

Weston Woodward (39:16):

Young Han (39:17):
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to join me on the podcast today had a ton of fun having you here and I really appreciate you sharing so many of your stories with us.

Weston Woodward (39:25):
Well, it was such a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Young Han (39:28):
Hopefully we an get together and get the girls together. I love for, I love, yeah, I know.

Weston Woodward (39:31):
Yeah, definitely.

Young Han (39:32):
Man. Let's do it sounds good, brother. I'll talk to you soon. I right, bye. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the girl dad show, we really hope you enjoyed that interview. And as always, please take a moment to review, rate and subscribe. We'll see you next time.

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