Living Life Off the Rails

Living Life Off the Rails

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Mr. Biz Radio: Living Life Off the Rails

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right. Welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth, and you. I want to start with a question, I guess. How many times in your life have you heard someone say, stay in your lane? Oh, you're kind of getting a little bit out here. Kind of going a little. Guess what we're going to talk about today? We're going to go with the opposite. We're going to talk about how to live life off the rails.


Off the rails. Forget staying in your lane. We're pushing that aside. We're going to talk to someone who lives her life off the rails. And I don't mean like, you know what? I'm not even going to tell you what I mean by that. We're going to dive into this. It's going to be a very interesting conversation. I know. So our guest this week is Mrs. Beverly Smirnis. She has a podcast about people pursuing passions called the Savvy List. You can find out more at we'll put this in the show notes as well.


She believes that whether or not you achieve your dreams in life comes down to the decision. Do you choose to live life on track, stay in your lane, or do you choose to live life off the rails? Before you answer that, let's hear what she has to say about that. Beverly, welcome to Mr. Biz radio.


Thank you, Ken. Appreciate you having.


Yeah, yeah. I've been looking forward to this. Know, I just love the concept. I know when we talked a while back, when we booked you to come on the show, it's like just how I did the opening. Everyone always talks about, hey, oh, stay in lane. Hold on. Don't worry. You're getting a little crazy here. And so your concept of living life off the rails is super interesting to me, and I think I love it because I feel like too many people, not a lot of too many people do live life on track, as you call it, or staying in the lane and all that stuff. And they don't want to veer too far.


And so I'm really interested to talk through your concepts of living life off the rails, as you say. Before we do that, tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.


Thank you. Yes. Well, my parents thought that I should be a CPA, even though I had always been a very creative child. They wanted me to go to business school and be a CPA. And I grew up in a very conventional household. My parents were from the golden era of, you go to college and if you're lucky, you land a job. Basically your college degree lands you a job in some corporate job, which was what everyone thought back then that they aspired to do.


And I was always kind of questioning that. But I went to school and I started out as a business major. And when I took my first journalism class, I said, wow, this is what I need to do. And it was a natural gift to me, writing. And I was very creative with it. I had interesting teachers. And so at that point, early as I went down that path, I really thought I wanted to. I'd watched a lot of movies, like kind of, well, the equivalent back then of mad Men, all that. And it was kind of a glamorized view that I had of working in a corporate ad agency, but it was a good place to start. And I did end up on the PR side of the ad agency. So I got to do some very interesting work with a lot of different types of clients.


But even there, I realized I really want to be independent. On vacation, I went on a vacation to Mexico, and I met my husband from Canada, and he grew know he's a son of first generation Canadians, and he grew up with a very entrepreneurial mindset. So he's like, how much money are you making, and why are you doing all this work for somebody else? And so when we got together, we eventually formed our own PR agency.


That was cool. We worked for a while for the canadian wine industry and helped them establish their reputation in Canada as a world class, really wine industry, small, but very good wines. And then we just branched out from there. We sort of accidentally got into Publishing, which we still do, a home building industry magazine. So do a lot of business writing and stuff for that. And then through that process, though, I love to write profiles on people, and I've always been very fascinated with people that really have a passion for what they do.


And I feel like I share that. I have a passion for writing. Sometimes that's a good thing. And sometimes I question, why did I get into this? Because how do you make money at writing? So I'm still on a path of discovery for that. And I have changed gears as recently as this year to really try to stay up with the Times but continue. I've always worked from home. It's always been in and around writing. I just have to keep adapting to stay with the times because they're changing fast.


So you said you always work from home, so how much did Covid impact you?


I guess I would ask really not at all. I mean, we had always worked from home, so not too much. Aside from, I think, part of the way that we entice people to follow us and entice sponsors to step up behind us is networking. And so networking changed. Social networking is already here, but all of a sudden that in person networking went away. So that was a bit of a challenge to us, and we enjoy the social aspect of it. So we felt a little shut in at times, and we don't like anybody telling us what we can and can't do. So that's part of our living life off the rails.


We like to not be told what to do. So that was challenging to us. But as far as the workday, it really didn't change that much.


Interesting. So in doing some of the prep for the show and going along with the living off life off the rails and working from home a lot, it appears as though you and your husband have done a fair amount of traveling. True?


Yes. We love to travel, and travel writing is kind of a passion for us. So I branched out about ten years ago. I branched out and I worked for a company that did social magazines in the city of Dallas. Well, they do them all over the country. I got very involved with the super high end luxury market in Dallas. When you say an affluent neighborhood, it means something far above and beyond what it means in some of the other markets.


So I had a lot of famous people that I interviewed in that role, and a lot of just really interesting entrepreneurs and people that had really pursued their passions. And so, again, that position got way too corporate for my taste, and I left it a year ago. But I've retained that audience by, on the savvy list. We write a lot about luxury lifestyle, luxury products, a lot of philanthropy that set in Dallas particularly, is very involved with philanthropy, which is their passion. So that evolved into my new podcast, which is called people pursuing passions, and that encompasses all different types of passions, whether it be philanthropy, whether it be the know, we do an automotive column, so I know a lot of people in the automotive industry, the hospitality industries, and certainly the home building industry that we've been part of for many years.


So that kind of gave me the idea for launching the podcast, and that's been a fun adventure.


Cool. We'll talk about that next segment, but we only have a few seconds left, but I'm going to put you on the spot. Who is like the coolest celebrity that you met, that you interviewed?


The coolest celebrity that I've met for.


You, like the coolest for you, not most popular or whatever.


I actually interviewed a very well known newscaster here in Dallas, and she reached out to me and she complimented my journalism ability, which was a huge compliment from her because I consider her like a top.


Yeah, awesome. Awesome. Guys, we're going to hit a break here. We're going to come back, continue talking to Beverly about living life off the rails.


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All right. Welcome back to the show. It is time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week. And I know that we're at the beginning of the year, and this is going to sound a little bit harsh, but someone's got to say it. So I'm the guy. You cannot fire bad employees fast enough. I said it. There you go. I said it. I threw it out there. Here's the thing. You got a bad employee. And I know it's particularly difficult right now because of all industries, all geographies, it's difficult to find good resources, et cetera.


Good resources, I said. So what's happening, and I'm seeing a lot, is people are settling, and as a result of that, they're hiring people. They're having people come in that are not good employees, and maybe they're just not good at their jobs. Maybe they're lazy. But more importantly, their attitude. And what happens as a result of all of that is you end up losing your good employees because the good employees will quickly get sick of that, right? So a bad employee quickly erodes morale because the good employees get tired of picking up a slack for the bad employees, et cetera.


So a lot of times it's addition by subtraction. I hate to say it, I know it sounds a little bit harsh, but it's the absolute truth. You have to find those bad employees. I'm not saying you just kick someone off the door right away. You give them some chances, right? You say, hey, look, you're not cutting a mustard. Here's what we need you to do. You give them a little bit of time to figure that out. And if they don't, I know it's difficult, but you got to get rid of them because again, you're going to end up losing some of your good employees, your superstars, and then you're going to be left with, then you really can't afford to lose more people.


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Check that out. All right, back to talking with you, Beverly. So I guess I wanted to ask you, you started your podcast. We talked about some of your journey. You started your podcast, people pursuing passions. What led to that? So again, you're living life off the rails. But what made you think, hey, man, the next step for me is a podcast?


Well, I just think that a lot of people, I thought it could be inspiring to try to change the statistic which the statistics in America, we work more than any other nation, and the statistics say that one in six Americans is actually depressed, especially people as they start getting middle aged or looking towards the end of their career. They think, well, what have I really accomplished? What have I got to show for what I've done?


I think a lot of people get really stuck in a rut, and I just want to say I hope that the people that I interview that have really interesting careers, a lot of people have overcome significant hardships to have the career that they have. And they've had setbacks in their careers, but they've had the gumption, if you will, to pursue what it is that they're gifted in and make a career out of it without seeking approval of other people or asking permission to do it.


They have this determination to really use their gifts and talents and make that into a career that they enjoy to the point where when you're working, you're blurring the lines. I had the opportunity, for example, to become, I've always been a writer, but I've never authored a book. So I had the opportunity to co author. Like, two books started out as another family story, and my friend Catherine Team started writing down the stories that she heard, and she asked me to be the editor.


I said, well, it's a great story, but it needs a storyline, and it needs timeline, authenticity, and date checks and accuracy checks and things like that. So we got into working together, and that was a cool experience. I got to be an author for the first time, and now I want to pursue that more. My husband and I have a second home that we purchased, which turned out to be one of the best business decisions that we've made an investment in Tulum, Mexico.


The condo that we bought in 2020 is just about to be completed, and we've already got a lot of equity, and we've got a huge opportunity with the new international airport just opened there, and it'll go into the rental pool. And so our favorite vacation destination becomes a place where we can go as often as we want to, but we can make money when we're not there. So we're excited about that. My next creative series will be writing a screenplay that's based on it stays within the historical fiction genre that I discovered I really love.


So it's based on ancient Mayans and current things that are happening in Tulum at the same time. So it's kind of a historical fiction fantasy.


If you it, I like it. So again, guys, we're talking with Beverly Smirnis. You can find out more on our website, And again, we'll put this in the show notes as well, but you can follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So you got the. So let me ask you this, actually, out of curiosity. I know it's completely anecdotal, but based on your experience and your passion now, and you're following your passion, it seems like you've done that for quite a good bit of your life.


What percentage, at least of people in the United States, what percentage of people do you think are not pursuing their just, they're living life on track. They're checking the box every day. They're just going through life. Check, check. Okay, get up, brush your teeth, get ready for work, go to work, come home, play with the kids, eat dinner, go to bed, rinse and repeat.


Exactly. Yeah. The statistics say under 10% of the people, when they get to the end of their career and they look back, say, wow, I really feel like I made a difference in the world with my career, and I feel satisfied that I enjoyed that career for the years that I spent in it. And that's a really sad, sad statistic. So I think a lot of times we're forced into a particular career choice early on from parents who mean well, but they don't understand that the times have changed. There's different types of opportunities.


Traditional long standing industries are changing like crazy right now, too, so there's different career paths within an established industry that you might not even know about. I interviewed a girl that she's a 22 year old race car driver and she's studying international motorsports marketing. I didn't even know that degree existed or that career existed.


Yeah, interesting stuff. Well, we're going to hit a break here, guys. Again, When we come back, we are going to pick Beverly's brain about what are some things that we can do to live life more off the rails?


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All right.


Welcome back to the show. And it is time, I think it has to be everyone's favorite time of the show because usually in the third segment, first of all, Mr. Biz shuts his pie hole and we get expert advice from our guests. So we've been talking about living life off the rails. Beverly, you've given us some examples of how you've done that in your own life. Obviously, you're interviewing people who do it, so you've got experience with it.


What are some things, look, the people out there right now that are listening, that might not be entrepreneurs. And maybe even if they are entrepreneurs, they're still kind of living on track, right? You could be an entrepreneur and still be living kind of on track, or maybe just a little bit off, but not really off the rails, as you'd like to call it. What are some things that those people can do to really start to take some steps to get out of that comfort zone a little bit and live life a little bit more off the rails.


Well, I think it starts with just having confidence in yourself and really analyzing what your true gift is. And I think a lot of people fall into whatever's available, whether that's a career choice that they make or a choice in who they're going to spend the rest of their life with as a spouse. A lot of people make mistakes there, too. It either has to do with whatever is convenient, or maybe you're seeking someone else's approval above and beyond your own. And so my biggest piece of advice is not to seek other people's approval.


If you had a business idea and you went out and said, do you think this is a good idea? You probably are going to have a lot of people say, oh, that probably wouldn't work because of this or that. So you just have to decide yourself. And one of the things that I think you should keep in mind is, like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, none of them completed college. So a lot of know, college is a traditional on the rails path, and I should say it's a traditional on the track path, and it's not a bad path. I'm not against education, but I don't think it's necessarily for everyone.


I've watched a few college graduations, and I see these kids walking across the stage getting general studies degrees, like, what are you going to do with that but pay back $1,000 it cost you to get that? So you're going to be stuck with debt to start out with. And so you're probably then going to choose some kind of random career just to pay on that debt. So you're behind the eight ball before you start.


And I question whether, in the creative fields, how much you really learn in the classroom. Personally, I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and I got a lot of great introductions from my professors. They tended to be people from the field, so they had connections with other agency people, things like that. So that was a value to me. But what I really learned in the classroom, to me, was very common sense, so would I have been okay?


Some editing classes and stuff helped me, and the connections helped me more than anything. So if the college path gives you good connections, that's one reason to go. But I don't think that you're a failure if you don't complete college, obviously not by the examples of the other big entrepreneurs that I named before. And I seriously doubt. When they created Facebook, somebody said, do you think this is a good, you know, you would have been shot.


Know, I had this conversation with my parents because my nephew, he now lives in Austin, Texas, and he is a stand up comedian. He has a law degree, though, and my parents were just so flabbergasted with him. Know why you would go to law school and come out and get up on this stage and act silly? And I don't understand that comedy that he says anyway. And I'm like, well, I wouldn't expect you to understand because you're not the target audience, but what you have to admire is that someone has a talent enough to keep getting asked to go back up on the stage, and most of all, that they have the gumption.


So many people would never try that because you're going to get booed off the stage in entertainment before you ever succeed. And you just keep getting back up and going back on there. I think that's a lesson for parents and grandparents to learn. Don't try to pigeonhole your children into some kind of thing that might have been right for you but could have changed in their generation. Or maybe they're born with a natural talent that you don't know anything about it, but all you can do is nurture it.


People should follow their natural talents and not what their grandparent or their parent did, and it accelerates to all areas of life. I mentioned relationships. Having the right relationship is very important to your career success, too. You need somebody that's supportive of your off the rails decision of what you're going to do. Having that personal support is good, but again, don't seek anyone's pure approval.


Approve yourself, first and foremost.


Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. And I've got a master's degree, and I won't tell the whole story. I've told the story on the show before, but I got interviewed by a radio station in Portland, Oregon, and they wanted me to come on and talk about college. They. I guess they just assumed there was no prep for the interview. I didn't know. I'm just going to answer honestly like I always do. And what they wanted, I found out, because the interview ended rather abruptly, was they wanted me to talk about how great going to college was.


And I guess they assumed because I had a master's degree that I was going to trumpet that. And I came on and I said, you know what? If you want to be a brain surgeon, by all means, you got to go to college. Right? But it's not for everybody. You don't have to go to college to be successful again. I named some of the folks that you mentioned before, and there's so many other different paths you can take.


It's not the right path for everybody. And so I feel like there's a whole at least generation of people that were grown up thinking, you graduate high school, you go to college, you get a corporate job, you work there for 30 years, 40 years, whatever, and you retire. And as you mentioned, so much has changed over the years, and it's just not the right path for everybody. And the host kept trying to circle me back to how great college was. And so I mentioned some really technical fields, like, well, yeah, of course, if you want to do this, then of course you got to go to college. But, man, there's so many other things you could do. And he tried to circle me back, like, two different times, and then all of a sudden, he's like, okay. And he just cut me off. And we went to break.


And I'd been on their show before, and his producer came on, and the last time, the time previous I'd been on, he's like, oh, my gosh, you're great, blah, blah, blah. We'll call you back. And he came on, and he was like, hey, thanks for coming on. Click. Never heard from him again. This was like three or four years ago. I've never heard from him again, of course, because I guess I was off the rails for.


But, you know, I would admire a person that's off the, you know, you're not the only one that gets criticized for that. Like, Mark Cuban has come out and said the same. He's. He's one of the people that lived in the neighborhood. I did interact with him some where I did the magazine, but he's been criticized for saying, maybe people should rethink college. He's gotten a lot of flak for that. But look at the examples of people that have succeeded in spite of it, versus the numbers would say, yes. Like you say, some people need that in order to pursue what their passion is, but otherwise, it may not be the right decision for everyone.


So I would just say, just don't be afraid to do what you feel your calling is. And in every career, there's people that are successful and people that aren't. If you want to be an actor, there's a high percentage of failure in something like that. But I think the people that really make it are the ones that keep getting up, they keep pursuing it, that make connections with people that can help you because the world is all about relationships, confidence, and stick to itiveness.


Yeah, I love that. I call that consistent perseverance. You got to keep getting up. You got to keep getting up. Guys, this week we've been talking with Beverly Smirnis. Find out more on our website, Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. Beverly, we are out of time, but I really appreciate you coming on the show. Look, I learned a ton of stuff. I loved the conversation.


Good. I had a great time talking with you, and I appreciate being on the show.


Yeah, absolutely, guys. Thanks for listening. Thanks for watching. Have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king.


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