Sky's the Limit 14 Nov 2023

How to Develop the Heart, Mind, and Spirit of an Entrepreneur


Paul Solli is the Co-founder and former Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Aperio Group, an investment management firm customizing wealth portfolios based on market exposure, taxes, personal values (ESG), factors, and risk. While at Aperio, his team managed over 30 billion dollars in assets. He began his career as a CPA at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company, a Boston-based accounting firm. Before founding Aperio Group, Paul also worked at management consultant companies, including Bain & Company, Salomon Brothers, and Financial Design Educational Corporation. Beyond the world of finance, Paul thrives as an avid adventurer and world traveler, recently embarking on an exhilarating motorcycle trip through Tanzania that exemplified his spirit of exploration and curiosity.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Paul Solli reminisces about the first buck he earned
  • What was Paul’s most pivotal life lesson?
  • The importance of having a backup plan when taking risks
  • Paul offers advice for aspiring startup entrepreneurs
  • Why hiring managers should design assessments based on skills, ethics, and integrity
  • Paul discusses the impact of having a life and career coach
  • Tips for managing stress

In this episode…

Starting a business has several pros, including being your boss, creating your schedule, and the possibility of becoming wealthy. Nonetheless, entrepreneurs need more than an entrepreneurial spirit to operate a successful business. They need a solid business plan, strong leadership skills, the ability to problem solve, and the forethought to pivot. 

Paul Solli, a retired business leader, cautions that starting a business comes with risks, and aspiring entrepreneurs should have a backup plan. He also recommends examining the company culture you’d like to build and the talent needed to uphold the organization’s mission. To do this, you may consider creating a pre-employment assessment for job candidates. Assessment tests measure hard and soft skills, job knowledge, analytical skills, and integrity. Though assessments aren’t perfect, they help hiring teams determine a candidate’s ability, personality, and work style.

In this episode of The First Buck Podcast, Nicolas Cary welcomes Paul Solli, Co-founder and former Partner of Aperio Group, to discuss entrepreneurship. Paul shares the importance of having a backup plan, advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, strategies for hiring top-tier talent, and tips for managing stress.

Sponsor for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Sky’s The Limit, one of the largest nonprofit programs for underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs in the US. Sky’s The Limit is a quick-growing digital platform that connects entrepreneurs with their peers, volunteer business mentors, training resources, and funding.

Our goal is to develop the social capital that founders need to chase their business dreams.

To learn more, please visit today.

Episode transcript

Intro  0:04  

Welcome to The First Buck Podcast, where we feature stories about entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Now, let's get started with the show.

Nicolas Cary  0:14  

Hello, and welcome to The First Buck Podcast brought to you by We feature stories about entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Today we're joined by Paul Solli, Co-founder and former Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Aperio Group. Paul and his cofounders started Aperio Group in 1989, as an Asset Manager that offers personalized tax optimized index tracking equity, separately managed accounts that reflect the goals and values of each investor. Now that's a mouthful, but this team had over 30 billion in assets under management being before being sold to BlackRock in 2021, the biggest asset manager in the world. So in addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Paul's an avid adventurer, a world traveler, and recently completed a motorcycle trip through Tanzania. So I'm really excited to have Paul on the podcast today. Paul, we've got a little tradition around here. We always start off our podcasts, same question, how did you earn your first buck?

Paul Solli  0:14  

Well, I'll tell you, I think my first buck. You know, it's interesting, I guess this maybe speaks to the type of entrepreneur I am. But I started at a paper route. And I guess I didn't like the discipline of the paper route. And so my first book was probably delivering papers in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where my father was stationed as a diplomat. And, but then after I decided I didn't like the routine of the paper route, I discovered that there were a lot of wildflowers growing in my neighbor's yard site, I started a business picking the flowers from their backyard and going to their front yard knocking on their door and selling the flowers in their backyard and bouquets. But I also recognize that division of labor was good. And I was I had the idea of selling the flowers, but I hired the cutest kid in Chevy Chase to, to actually go to the front door and hold a bouquet of flowers and, and, and the combination of the flowers and this cute, gentle and the flowers made I think that made the sale. So I'd say I you know, those are my two first bucks, and then went on from there to you know, doing things like being a dishwasher at Denny's to loading suitcases at an airport in Norway to selling leather goods on the street, to selling chairs, imported from Norway in business school. So I would say up until Business School, lots of little, little things like that.

Nicolas Cary  0:21  

Well, that is always love asking this question because how people got started toward the end up is certainly never a straightforward path. You know, I love the selling wildflowers to the people from their own garden, it's a, there's an old phrase in sales, if you can sell ice to Eskimos, you're probably going to do a pretty good job in your career. So that's an amazing, thank you for sharing that. So let's talk a little bit about from the lessons you learned early on from, you know, finding Product Market Fit sales, you know, working with other people to help present things that you've built to the experiences you had, you know, dealing with customers, whether as a baggage handler or selling chairs, you know, what were some of those pivotal moments in your career that you know, kind of crystallized into things that you took along, you know, further on in your in your career development. 

Paul Solli  3:40  

Um, you know, it's interesting thisis this is actually kind of a silly story, but it actually gave me an insight that I think I I use throughout my, my career. And that is that I went to a licensed high school in Massachusetts for a year. And it was arranged by unit a unit B, and it seen that D unit, each unit had some personality. So the a unit might have the cross country team, the B unit might have the football team. And then there was a H unit and a J Unit. That's where all the intellectuals and so the computer nerds hung out. And and, in fact, one of the computer nerds there at the last name of Einstein, and his father was a professor at either MIT or Harvard. And but anyway, for some reason, I always felt like I straddle two worlds, the world of the jock and the world of the nerds. And somebody invited me into their fold. They were avid war gamers. And so we would create these elaborate tables of mapping out WarGames strategies in one day, they said, you know, we're gonna act out these war games in a snowball fight in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and you know, you want to join us to sit Sure. So we went out there and I had a pretty good arm, and these were really kind of nerdy guys. Right? Remember, they would come in with some nice in it? Yeah, well, I almost took up the I have one of them because they didn't have quick reaction and I have pretty good arm, but they had talent in the computer programming and the Wargaming and the analytics that I didn't have. And it was just this pivotal moment for me where it is thought, you know, They alone are limited, and me alone, I'm limited, but boy, together, we've got, you know, the intellect and the arm. So anyway, so um, I always felt like, you know, don't try to be everything, you know, try to try to go around it, but also try to understand what your particular skill set is. And my career started out as a CPA with Mark, I went, worked at Bain and Company as a associate consultant before business school. So I developed a, you know, a strong set of analytical skills and so on. But I always had a bent towards the more creative, sort of strategy and marketing side. And, and so in thinking about starting a new business, I realized that I needed in a sense, the, you know, I was the arm and I needed the intellect. And so I was able to find a fellow became my business partner and the start of my company Aperio, that the two of us together just were a powerful team. And I think that, that, you know, each felt kind of funny about how much better one of us was at what we were good at, versus the other. But we recognize that the two of us together were really powerful. And I think that that's, that was maybe the most important lesson I learned early on. And it actually also speaks to the importance of having a team as you as you bet you grow a company.

Nicolas Cary  6:49  

Thank you for sharing that. So one of the questions I wanted to ask you is, it seems that especially many successful entrepreneurs, at some point in their lives, they learned how to start taking kind of bigger and bigger risks. And sometimes that means taking some precious time or capital and putting that to work. Can you maybe describe a moment early in your career, maybe even middle career where you got a little more comfortable doing that, and sort of how you went through ascertaining whether or not that risk was worth taking, and maybe the outcome of that?

Paul Solli  7:25  

Yeah, so I don't know. i It's funny I'm, I'm, I'm a funny mix of somebody who likes security and wants secure base. But I also love adventures. And so I think I've always had this, this, this desire for adventure, but I always want to make sure the adventure was was was, was not putting everything on the line. And so I, you know, if you're an entrepreneur actually not enough, if you're a if you're a VC or private equity person, right, you're going to, you're going to make investments in risky enterprises, that you'll have at least one out of 10, or in a VC, maybe one out of 20, that will be a blockbuster. So what you do is you put together a portfolio of different investments and, and you're spreading your risks, you know, but if you're an entrepreneur, you're a portfolio one, right. And we saw that during era, where, you know, everything was going up, and people got greedy. And you could see how they would stick to, you know, stick to one company, and it would go up, and then they wouldn't diversified. It just kept writing it. And then ultimately, when the dot com bubble burst, the NASDAQ was down 90%. And, and so one of the things that, that, that that watching what happened, it wasn't really my personal experience. It's more just watching what other people experienced seeing this, this great wealth that they accumulated, and how they never took any, any money off the table. And then when the crash hit, it was done. And, and it was interesting, because when, when we've done a lot of work with folks at Google, and it was interesting to watch when they went public, how quickly and in a disciplined way, they started selling their stock, not because they didn't believe in Google, but they decided that, you know, over time, it will start to diversify, because they've learned their lessons. As as as, as employees have individual enterprises in the past. And, and so that really stuck with me that if you've got to do something, you better make sure you've got the ability if it's your if your business fails, that you're there for the next round. And so people go out, you know, you look at Google, well, that's, you know, we got all the lights it didn't work. And if you look at a venture capitalist or private equity funds, you know, they've got their hits, but they've also gotten mostly losers. So again, as an as an entrepreneur, you're you've got a portfolio one. And if it's a success, you better start taking money off the table. And if it's not a success, you better make sure you've got the resources behind it, we haven't bet everything. And you can go on to go on to the next, the next opportunity.

Nicolas Cary  10:23  

Being at Sage sage advice. And, you know, studying history definitely provides a lens upon which you can learn lessons from those that were unsuccessful, and also study the ones that had positive outcomes, and also see what they've done post outcome. And I think there's an adage that history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. And so I'm sure the folks at Google witnessed everything that happened during bubble and said, Well, we're not going to do it that way again. And so that makes a lot of sense. All right. So a lot of early stage entrepreneurs think they need to go raise a lot of money right away, or get a loan to get their business started. But what advice would you have for a young person thinking about a startup idea today?

Paul Solli  11:08  

Well, you know, it's funny, I mean, I think so many people have gotten, you know, it's been so many success stories, or at least the been so much written about successes that are out and that I think a lot of people today think that it's a lot easier than they, then than it is. I've got two kids, daughters, 32, who's got no desire to be an entrepreneur, but I've got a son who's 30 probably does have a desire to be an entrepreneur. And, and, you know, I think this is presumption that all, you know, look at what dad did, I can go do this. My wife jokes, you know, that my son wants the success that I had, without the work that goes into building the success, actually, I'm short changing him. He's been we've worked actually at BlackRock and he worked at biomaterials firm, so he's paying his dues. But what I was gonna say is, is, you know, I think that developing a really solid set of skills in a particular area of expertise, that makes you valuable to accompany so you can go out there and be productive in the workforce, earn a wage, contribute to that company, is important. And I also, you know, ideally, if you could then establish a credential, you know, get a CPA or get an MBA or get a law degree. Or, if you don't do that, get the kind of experience that makes you valuable. And then from there, now you have, you know, a skill set that you have credibility actually in the marketplace. So when you're starting a company, ideally in the area that's related to your area of expertise, your doors will open. You know, Lester Korn the CEO and Founder of Korn Ferry international editing for you said, you know, by the time you're 35, you better be in the industry that you want to be successful in. And so built up a set of skills, getting to the point where you've got a level of expertise, and then beyond that, you want to be always reading and being aware of trends at the higher level that you want to aspire to. So I think that not thinking that you can just go out there and be an entrepreneur, but you have to pay your dues, through your your education, developing skills, developing some credibility, and then staying abreast of of things that's that, that you're you're sort of a spot you're you're you're getting ready for where you want to be.

Nicolas Cary  13:47  

Yeah, I think this this, you know, circles back to that point you made earlier, which is like kind of lean into what you're good at, cultivate at work on it. And the most successful people I've worked with, all have a very learning mindset, they are never finished acquiring knowledge and skills in their curiosity is something I've noticed, a lot of people have that are constantly trying to add a little bit more, I would say like sharpening their toolkit, you know, all the time. So let's talk a bit about building teams. You mentioned how important that's been in your career, finding people that complement your skill sets in your talents, what are some of the, you know, maybe what's your, like, favorite interview question, or what are some important lessons you've learned? And, you know, figuring out who is best to work with you? How do you go about, you know, assessing talent, or maybe you can tell the story a bit about how you, you met your cofounder at Aperio.

Paul Solli  14:46  

You know, I mean, one of the things they've studied is that, that, you know, people don't often do a good job of assessing talent. And and what they do is they tend to try to, they tend to When they meet somebody, if they feel a certain kinship with them, if they're sort of a member of their tribe, they get more comfortable. And they, they, they're, they're more inclined to want to hire people that are like themselves. And what we've seen through a lot of the studies of teams is that teams that are more diverse, tend to perform better. And so we have specific questions that we, when I was at Aperio Group, we have specific questions, we asked people in the interview, but you know, studies have shown actually, if you never meet the person, and and conduct the interview in a way that that where their personality basically doesn't come into play, you can often make better hiring decisions. So we were less concerned that I've always been less concerned about the specific interview questions, I think, then we have about, you know, how do we get to somebody who's really talented? And to figure out I'm motivated to work with us. So the way we did it was, I think you're seeing more and more of this, we created a set of four questions that we would ask people or it was basically a test was a, it was a quiz. And for the most senior people, in the most technical jobs, I was a four hour test that had four questions. The fourth question was actually a series of mid side Q. puzzles that just test rock horsepower. But the other three questions were programming or analytical questions, attention to detail type questions, that that really gave us a sense for, you know, are these people detail oriented, are the analytical, and because it was a four hour test, it took a commitment from the employee to want to actually take the test. And we had people that would sign up for the test that never show up. And that told us something. And we found that the more incense hurdles, we put in the way of people in the hiring process, the more we get a sense for, you know, how committed and how interested they were in, in our company in our job. And then the test results, let us really take a look at do they have the skills that that worked for us. But I will tell you one, one question so and for us. Ethics and personal integrity, is really important, are really important. And so you know, what am I in business school, I remember this, as we had a Harvard law professor come in and do a case study. And he asked one of my classmates, he said, Look, you're the CEO of a company. And you have a dishwashing detergent. And this dishwashing detergent is really good. But it's also something that you found that the house lights that are using it, that sounds sexist, but I like it so much, that that they, they use it to you know, make their hands feel good, and so on, so forth. And but one day, your chief scientist comes to you and says, you know, I've been conducting some tests, I had 10 rats, and I've been testing our dishwashing detergent, double rat skin, and found out that it's caused some some cancerous tumors in in, in two of the two of the rats. And, you know, I'm really nervous, this could be an issue for our customers, you know, what do you want to do? And I remember the the students said, Well, you know, sample size 10 isn't very big. And so I think you should go back and and expand the size of the tests, and really see if there's an issue here and Eligos, well, you know, that could take a couple of months to really work through this thing and say, well, let's get going on it. So then the CEO goes home and finds his wife bathing their newborn baby, in in this thing, and, you know, what do you think he's going to do? Anyway, so I would often pose the, the this test to a candidate that just sort of see how they think about the customer versus themselves, or the business versus themselves. So in our company, we, we, we wanted every single person there to feel like you know, what they were delivered to the customer is what they would also want to deliver themselves. But that was the I think there's a lot of examples in business where when you're away from the customer, and you're thinking about company, you come to a very different decision than if you start by yourself.

Nicolas Cary  19:47  

Like that storyline. Thank you for sharing that. So one of the things we've surveyed in our entrepreneurial community that has caused people to think twice about going in entrepreneurship is the date the lack of role models, and And that's something I wanted to ask you about in your career on who was the most important mentor, um, you know, you talked about your son having that entrepreneurial spirit, I'm sure, the apple won't fall too far from the tree if he's had kind of access to the conversations and you know, sort of the things that you've been able to cultivate in your household, but, um, you know, where did you get it from, who were people on the way that, you know, encouraged you that talk to you about the value of integrity, you know, this intellectual curiosity, you have talked to me about some of those, those personalities that helped shaped your personal, your personal leadership style.

Paul Solli  20:40  

You know, I think like, like a lot of us, right, our parents are the primary role models that if we're lucky enough to have parents that, you know, act in an ethical, you know, exemplary way, and I was lucky to have, you know, two parents that, that I can use as a role model.

Nicolas Cary  21:02  

But, you know, in terms of

Paul Solli  21:03  

mentors, I was thinking that I never really had a mentor was interesting, when I was at business school, there was a, I went to business school at Dartmouth, and they had a program with the medical school where they did a study for Fortune Magazine, on on sort of the personality characteristics and qualities that business school students how and, and at the end of the two years, they came up to me and I said, you know, you're, you filled out these, these, these, these, the, the profile of you was so consistent on all dimensions, and so consistent with your, your, your, your, your, you're now going to Wall Street, and we'd like to share the results with your classmates as part of summarizing this study we did for fortune. And, and, and this is 1985. And any of the picture of some guy that was like ready to go to Wall Street, and you know, be very thoughtfully listen. Yeah, it's like all the boxes. And actually, I was, I don't know if you've ever book called liars, poker, but it's written by a guy named what's his name now? Michael Lewis. And, and my boss at Salomon Brothers, he describes as the human Parana. So that was the mindset that I had, you know, going into Wall Street, and I hated Wall Street, I hated looking around looking at people only looking after themselves. And about five years later, I quit to be actually a stay at home, dad for a couple of years. But during that time, I hired a woman at Stanford, who was kind of a life career coach. Name, our name is Sue Gould. And she had I started the public management program there. And she ran a button battery of tests on me. And, and the picture that was that was painted was the exact opposite of what I what, what I obviously been at least what they represented than I was five years earlier. And, and she said, you know, you, you, you are not meant to be a consultant, they're not meant to be working a nine to five job, you're not meant to be working for somebody else, you really have all these entrepreneurial qualities, you know, and you have this desire, you should really commit to that. And so the lesson I got from that was that, that, you know, our preferences can change through time. And it's also good to try to understand, you know, who you are different stages of your career. And so I think I understood who I was in 1985 and I understood in 1990 91 and 92, that I was someone different. And, and, and then but having gone through a process and tried to understand myself better, was really important from that time forward, where I decided to commit myself to be a entrepreneur. And I didn't renew my CPA certificate, for example, as a way of incense burning the boat, no retreat. Yeah. And, and, and so it just kept me on a path going forward. So it's less of a mentorship than not, that I that going through a coaching and understand myself exercise. And part of that was also and I think this is the most valuable thing that anybody can do. I don't care if you're an entrepreneur or whatever, but write your own eulogy. And, and, and, and then, you know, write the eulogy you want people to deliver, and, and it'll edit. And it's amazing. I mean, I wrote that eulogy, and describe what I wanted for myself, describe what I wanted from my wife, my kids, my family, my friends. And at age 60. I look back and it's amazing. I could You could read my eulogy right now and it will bow almost perfectly to the life I've lived. But then, at age 60, I'm like, wow, or when I sold Aperio Group, it was oh, wow, have an update. I, you know, I it's sort of ended at that point. So now I'm in the process at age 66, of, of trying to figure out, you know, updating the eulogy for the next exam, you get a little bit perhaps, yeah, yeah. But, but spend the time to understand who you are, and understand that who you are, will change. And, and, and whether it's friends, family coaches, you know, get some, get some outside help to do that. And write that eulogy.

Nicolas Cary  25:38  

And I think that's such a, so many people need, you know, a foil or a coach or a mentor to help them understand their blind spots. And it takes some courage to sometimes go do that. But a lot of people don't want to look at the man or woman in the mirror, and in an authentic way. And it's challenging. I love that exercise around the eulogy. I think it was David Brooks, who wrote about this test in Road to Character, which is one of my favorite books. And he talks a lot about how we spend all this time in our careers chasing these resume virtues, you know, how much did our sales arrows quarter over quarter? Or did I get the right credential? Or did I update this thing, but really, at the end of life, there's these far more deeper, soulful purposes, and you can really work backwards and have a really kind of balanced, large term time horizon in perspective on on all of that, which, to me has been very helpful. Because as someone in the early stages, it was ambitious, and wanted to get all those resume virtues checked off. So that, you know, we're satisfying some criteria for something. Ultimately, that doesn't really, it can make one not feel in my from my perspective, and in my experience, not very cool.

Paul Solli  26:54  

Right. Really soulful stuff. Yeah. So yeah,

Nicolas Cary  26:57  

thank you for sharing that. All right. So it's a it's a busy world out there. What do you you know, where do you keep up with news these days? And what's, you know, I find this to be an interesting question now, because the pursuit of understanding what's happening in the world seems to be noisier than ever. So how do you go about keeping up with current affairs and what's going on in the industries that you you're passionate about?

Paul Solli  27:20  

We'd have slightly I'm retired now. And sort of, in between now being sold a periodic trying to figure out, you know, sort of what, what what next chapter is looked like, and, and I don't know how anybody can, you know, keep a full time, job and, and family and do all the things and also keep abreast of everything that's going on. I mean, there's so much to read. You know, so I do the normal stuff, I read the, I try to get a diversity of opinions. So read the New York Times, read the Wall Street Journal, I read The Economist to get an international perspective. I read Bloomberg. Bloomberg, and I also listened to a lot of podcasts, I would imagine that your your people that listen to this podcast, maybe a non non trivial number that listen, Prof. G, or Pivot podcast, Prof. G is a brand marketing professor at NYU, doesn't really good job is its target audience really is sort of late 20s to mid 40s. Right. And he gives lots of great career advice. But you know, there's a, there's an economist, I think his name was Herbert Simon. And he said that, you know, the, you know, one of the worst, at least efficient ways of gathering information is, is through reading newspapers. And, you know, increasing your right to certain that, you know, whether it's it's print media, or whatever media is, they just really want to capture your attention and keep you online or so there's not a lot of news, they're just sensational. So in whatever your field is, I guess I would say you can you can, you can, you can spend a lot of time getting your news through places like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but that's maybe not always the most efficient way of doing that. And so for me, increasingly, I'm finding magazines like The Economist, that that that seem to be a little bit more disciplined and not going sensationalist, to be more valuable time.

Nicolas Cary  29:23  

Yeah, is interesting. I was interviewing a farmer the other day, and they have a totally different time horizon for how their world passes by. And I asked them where they get their news and the guy the guy has said, I don't read the news, I read books. You know, I don't have an interest in what's happening in the exact moment. I want to have the perspective of time and someone that's very dedicated to studying the issue to reflect on it and in the long format, and learn that way. And I, I thought that was so you know, I sort of missed You know, thinking that way, because so much of our time is captured in these attention seeking systems today platforms or Twitter or social media and everything else. And like you said, those tools are they exaggerate sensationalism, and they capture your attention. And I think that it's, you know, that can be entertaining. But it's in the pursuit of knowledge that everything's a little bit more nuanced. And it takes time to really understand things.

Paul Solli  30:24  

Yeah. So Jane, more more more books and more magazines like The Economist, and yeah, bears or whatever, it depends on your field, obviously, too. But also more and more podcasts too, are getting. I'm getting good.

Nicolas Cary  30:36  

All right, so one last question here. So taking steps toward to pursue entrepreneurship, I think can be really intimidating or scary? What tips can you give our listeners and our community on how to manage some of the stress that comes with running your own business?

Paul Solli  30:53  

Well, you know, it's interesting, when when, when the financial crisis hit, you know, the big, you know, the great recession, the stock market went down about 40%. And, and, you know, I think, at least we were able just part of our company's investment, one of our investment solutions that we offered was social responsible investing. And, and I think when, when the market crashed in, in, in that, during that period, a lot of people were like, wow, you know, I was just going out there showing profit, and now the markets down now, whatever I got, and I think at that point, I think we could see it, where people are, like, you know, what, if I incorporate my values into my portfolio, and if the market crashes, you know, I, it's not all bad, I've at least been in there, and tried to direct my portfolio towards more of a social mission. And, and so there's almost like a hedge, right? If, if, if it's, if it's, it's the market crashes, you still don't feel quite as bad. And, and so I think, as an entrepreneur, you better you know, you gotta have energy to, you know, lots of sacrifice, lots of late nights, lots of working the weekends, and missing vacations, and so on, so forth, into making a company successful, you're an entrepreneur, but, but you better have a life that goes beyond just that. And so, you know, spend taking the time to work on your relationship with your spouse, your family, your kids, your friends, getting exercise to stay healthy. Eating well. And, and also, I like to surf and do things like that, you know, doing some activities that just make just make you smile. They're fun, whatever that is. And so it's not losing sight of the fact that you have to have some balance. And so if, at the end of the journey, the, you know, the business doesn't work, you've got all this other stuff that, that you all other parts of your life that are so important that are there. So it's, it's really that make sure you got a well balanced life, and then water all the plants.

Nicolas Cary  33:15  

Yep. And it's funny that you end with that, because someone said something funny to me the other day, they go Cubans, they're just really complicated plants. And I like that. And it's true. And some plants need a bit of stress in order to grow stronger. But one of the things that I'll take away from our conversation today is just from your early days as a paperboy to practicing entrepreneurship, to pivoting and taking these lessons across your life and calcifying them. You know, I think diversity is a big one, it's like, you got to put yourself out of your comfort zone, need to learn the important lessons. And the path for everyone won't necessarily be linear. And it may take very circuitous route sometimes. But as long as you're learning the right lessons, and having a learning mindset, I think, you know, there are a lot of great ways for people to build businesses. The one thing you mentioned to me at the end that was really important is that you got to live your values a bit in finding purpose in your work is so important, because it might be easy to make that decision to, you know, to keep selling the toxic, dishwasher liquid for a little bit longer to get a little bit more money out of it. But if your legacy is that, you know, you cost a carcinogen, to kill some babies, that's probably not the right you know, it's not something you want to be put on your tombstone. And so there's a short term trade offs are not the kind of things that lead to a wholesome longer term life. So thank you for sharing these many pearls of wisdom with us today. Paul, we're really grateful for it. Okay, so without further ado, at we connect underrepresented entrepreneurs with volunteer business professionals for free one on one mentoring and coaching. We also provide business guides to all of our members plus monthly funding opportunities, you can sign up for free today. And if you like what you heard, please subscribe and share.

Outro  35:08  

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