Dave Chesson Reveals How He Built A Killer Online Business From Inside A US Nuclear Submarine & Then Swapped A Nuclear Reactor For Nashville...

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TERRY KYLE: Okay Dave, thank you for joining me on this InflectionPoint.life interview. 

For anybody who is watching or listening to this interview who doesn’t know you, can you just tell us a bit about yourself, and your kind of big life project or business that you’re working on right now?

DAVE CHESSON: Sure. 

Well, I started off in the US Navy, and it was during that time that my wife and I talked about what life would be like outside of the military. 

That’s what got me into online marketing, specifically with niche websites and SEO. 

From there, I grew into shifting from Google SEO to more Amazon SEO, and instead of just doing all Amazon SEO, I actually worked a lot within books, and worked with a whole bunch of New York Times bestselling authors as well as publishing companies, helped them to understand the online market. 

From there I created kindlepreneur.com, my website on advanced book marketing. I also created a software called Publisher Rocket, which is the leading book market research software in the world.

TERRY: Cool. Great. Now, InflectionPoint.life is all about people who go through a really big turning point in their life, whether it’s business or just life generally. 

Before we get to your big turning point, can you just describe your lifestyle and the way you were living before you got to your big change?

DAVE: Yeah, absolutely. 

Like I said, I was in the military at the time, and the US military just kept sending me places without my family. 

So, when the time came, they’d sent me to Korea on an assignment, a two year assignment without my wife and children. 

DAVE: And we sat down and we really asked ourselves what was our definition of success in life? 

Was it to be in the Navy? 

Was it to be an Admiral? 

Was it to constantly be without family, but to make that sacrifice? 

And in the end, that’s just not what we wanted to do. 

We knew that if we continue down that path, we would end up looking back at life and realize that we had missed everything. 

I wasn’t devoted to continuously traveling without them. 

I wasn’t devoted to the job to the point that I’d make it to an admiral.

So, at that point we started to ask, so what should [our[ life look like? 

What would be that definition of 20, 30 years or so? 

If we did this, we would be excited about what we had done. 

And it was at that point that we started to really look at what I needed to do next. 

And I think that’s a really important part for anybody who’s either just starting in the online world or just starting a business, is that if your goal is just something like make more money or have more freedom, that’s not enough to get you past the hardships that are going to come. 

It was me thinking about letting my children down or not being with my family. 

That was the thing that when things got hard, when road bumps happened, I was able to say, “Fine, I’m going to buckle down.

I’m going to get this right because I can’t afford to get it wrong.” 

And I believe that that’s a crucial, crucial difference between the entrepreneurs that really see success, and those that don’t or just get lucky.

 

TERRY: Yeah. 

That’s great. I’ll relate that a bit to my own journey a bit later in our talk hopefully, Dave. 

Can you tell me… I know you grew up in a military family, I think-

DAVE: I did. Yes.

TERRY: What initially attracted you to the military and the Navy specifically?

DAVE: Well, a lot of that’s been tradition, family tradition. 

When your dad, both grandfathers and just about every male in your entire family from cousins and aunts and uncles have all been in the military, it’s kind of the next progression. 

You just grow up thinking that that’s what you’re going to do. 

But the truth of the matter is, is that I really enjoyed the opportunity. 

The military paid for me to go to college. 

And then the day I graduated was the day I was commissioned. 

But I also liked the rigid life structure that the military tells you what to wear, where to go. 

You just say yes sir, and you do it. 

It also taught me a lot about making sacrifices, and just the importance of structure. 

I think a lot of those things really led me to it. 

I was actually a submariner. 

I focused on nuclear engineering actually at the time. 

Not the best job for me. 

It wasn’t my favorite, but there were a lot of opportunities in the military.

TERRY: Did you have anybody else in your family who was in the military who bailed out, and like you evaluated their life, and went, “This isn’t the career for me,” or were you kind of the first one in your family to do that?

DAVE: I was actually the first one in my family to do that. 

As a matter of fact, my family kept trying to talk me out of it. 

They were like, “Look, you should just do your 20 years. 

So you get you get your retirement, and I’m like, guys, I’m making four times more from my side job, and this business thing than I am in the military. 

And that just never registered with them. 

And I think that’s one of the things is a lot of people who have so much importance on job stability and security, they don’t understand what the entrepreneurial life is like.

 

DAVE: I was really blessed that my wife and her family has a very deep entrepreneurial background. 

Her grandfather was a very successful entrepreneur. 

From her parents, all of them understood that. 

My family on the other hand, I think my great grandfather was the last entrepreneur that I can point to. 

So, when I told them that I was going to give up this stable, secure job, and I had 11 years at the time in the military, they just could not understand that and they fought me tooth and nail, basically thinking I was being brash and immature in my decision.

TERRY: Yep. 

And how old were you when you were reconsidering everything?

DAVE: Oh, let’s see. I was 22 when I commissioned. 

It was about seven years, so I was 29 when I was basically looking at the definition of success and realizing that just continuing down the military path was not going to be it for me. 

I worked really hard to get myself into a position where I could shift from the military and that nine to five job set to something that was entrepreneurial and would support my family. For me, that was the key.

TERRY: Right. 

Can you now talk us through a little bit about when you actually pulled the trigger? 

Because I think for me this whole inflection point project that personally I’m interested in, I think a lot of entrepreneurial types is kind of the emotions we go through, narratives that go through our mind when we’re right at that moment of pulling the trigger and making that big jump from one thing to another. 

Can you just talk us through that for you?

DAVE: Oh, when I was in Korea and we created that definition of success, my wife and I decided I would start taking actions to somehow find a way to transition out of the military. 

And that key part is how do you transition from one phase in life to another? 

We sat down and we looked at what life looked like and ultimately we decided that if I could make $10,000 a month consistently from this online thing, that would be stable enough and sufficient enough for me to get out of the military and to continue to support my family. 

So, at that point we looked at it and I started working. 

I would get up at 4:00 AM every morning, Monday through Sunday, and work on this online side project. 

Then I’d go to work and then I’d come back and I’d work again. 

And we did this for years until I was able to get myself to that safe point of hitting $10,000 a month.

DAVE: When we hit that, we let the military know, thanks guys, peace out. I’m done. 

I was able to confidently and securely move on from the military into a full time entrepreneurial job. 

I don’t think at any point did I put my family at risk and I think that was really important for us. 

So I would say that to make that transition, it’s very important that entrepreneurs truly define what the finish line is. 

That set point or otherwise you might find yourself in this situation where you’re succeeding, but you never hit the point that makes you take that real entrepreneur transition.

TERRY: Yep. How much notice do you need to give the Navy? 

Do you sign up for set periods of time, and then when one of those comes to an end you can then leave? 

Is that how it works?

DAVE: Well, you’re put on orders. 

So, I was in Korea and I took one more job. I went to Sri Lanka to go work at the US embassy there, and it was basically a two and a half to three year contract that I would take in Sri Lanka. 

While I was there the business then really started to take off, and it was right near the end of that contract where I was very confident I was going to hit my $10,000 a month and stay stable. 

So, I told the military I wasn’t going to take another contract. 

I wasn’t going to take another set of orders, and that I would start in my processing then and there.

TERRY: When you were learning SEO and going through the process of learning those skills, did you have any kind of dark times where you thought, this isn’t going to work?

I’m not having the breakthroughs. 

Maybe the dream won’t become a reality. 

Did you have those kinds of moments?

DAVE: I actually didn’t, and here’s why, and I think this was one crucial thing that allowed me to succeed in SEO is anybody who knows anything about SEO is it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of faith. 

Most people will say, “I’m going to do some SEO for my website.” 

They’ll do two or three months worth of work, and then when they don’t see direct fruition from their efforts, they just pretty much say, you know what, this SEO thing doesn’t work or it doesn’t work for me, and they pivot to something else. 

I was kind of in the mind frame of like, nope, I mean obviously it works. 

There’s this thing called Google and there’s things ranking. 

I’m just going to stick with it. 

I’m not going to pivot to anything else and I’m just going to stick with it until it works.

So, I never gave it an opportunity to kind of dissuade me. 

I just kept at it and that was going to be the thing. 

And in truth, my situation almost forced me to have to do it. 

Being in the military, I was going out to sea all the time on Korean warships. 

I didn’t have the ability to become a Facebook ads expert because when I got to sea I’d have to shut everything down. 

I couldn’t do social media because again, if I’m trying to build a Facebook following or Twitter or whatever, and use that social power to drive traffic to my products, what’s going to happen when I’m gone for a month? 

I had to have something that allowed me to work on it when I could, and didn’t need me there 24/7 and that pretty much cut out 80% of the traffic opportunities out there. 

And so, I was kind of stuck with SEO and I just dug in and said I’m going to learn.

Now, when I did my first niche website, I spent like a month of every second of my life working on that thing, and when I was finally finished that project only made me $1. 

Now most people would have been absolutely ticked off and said, “You know what? 

This doesn’t work. 

That sucks.

 I just sacrificed all this time and I only got a dollar and they probably would’ve quit, pivoted, done something else. 

The way I saw it was I just created a dollar out of thin air.

TERRY: Sorry to interrupt. What was the niche?

DAVE: The niche was the old website actually was called freegameninjas.com, and so I’d focus on writing about all the free games out there, and there was affiliate marketing where somebody, if they signed up for one of the free games, you get 50 cents or a dollar. 

So, I built this website and literally I just got $1. 

Later on, like months later, like six or seven months, it started picking up and it started making more money. 

But in the first month, and again, not understanding that SEO takes time. 

When I saw the $1 come in, I didn’t get dissuaded. 

I didn’t get down on myself. I didn’t think, “Oh, this sucks, find something new.” 

I just said, “Wow, I just created $1 out of thin air. Now if I do more or if I’m better, more effective, more efficient, I can change that dollar.”

And so then I made another website and I also worked on that and I just kept seeing that over time because I stuck with the one thing and I didn’t divide my attention to all these other things or other cool tactics that everybody’s talking about.

I was not only able to see real fruition, but I was able to grow that skill so that I could apply it later in life on other things.

TERRY: Awesome. That’s great. 

And a lot to learn from that. 

My own SEO journey, and you probably don’t know this, Dave, is that my background is actually as a professional writer, a copywriter in advertising. 

And in 2008 I self published a book with Amazon and Lightning Source, and I realized that the traffic just from Amazon was insufficient to make that successful. 

So, I learned SEO to rank my Amazon book page on Google and that just kind of took me in this whole direction that eventually wound up at WPX. 

So, small world!

DAVE: Nice. Yeah. 

Actually, it’s very similar with what happened for me is that after I was building all these niche websites, I had, all this traffic coming there, and I was just trying to make money off of some random affiliate links, and some Google AdSense. 

It ain’t going to pay the bills. 

I wasn’t going to hit my $10,000 mark if I was doing that. 

I’d have to build hundreds of websites or get hundreds of thousands of visitors per month to certain websites. 

And I was like, this isn’t going to work. So, how do I make more money?

 I then decided why not just take the information that I have on these websites, put them together in a book and then use the website to sell the book. 

And by that I mean put it on Amazon and link to it on Amazon. 

And when I started doing that, I was now converting all of my Google traffic onto this website, pre-selling them, and then sending them to Amazon to purchase my book. 

And that’s when all of a sudden these niche websites that were making 50 to a $100 a month started making a 1,000 to $2,000 a month. 

Then I was like, “Aha, I got something here.”

TERRY: Awesome. 

Okay, Dave. So you make the big change and you leave the Navy. 

You’ve discussed it with your wife for awhile, and then you’re out of the Navy. 

What happens next? 

You go back to the States, you live in the same place, or do you become a digital nomad for a while? 

What exactly happens straight after that?

DAVE: Yeah. Well, actually right before I left Sri Lanka, while I was in Sri Lanka, I was working on that software Publisher Rocket, used to be called KP Rocket back in the day. 

And we just launched it right before I left. 

And so, when I left the military, left Sri Lanka, our thing was that we didn’t have a home really there because I was military. 

I lived everywhere, so I didn’t have a central location. 

My wife didn’t want to move back to Wisconsin where she’s from because let’s face it, that weather sucks. 

So, we started looking at where we wanted to plant our roots. 

I didn’t want to be a digital nomad because I have three children currently ages 19, eight, and six. 

So, traveling around the world wasn’t going to be the thing that was best. 

We needed to get a bit of stability. 

And so, we decided to actually move to Nashville, Tennessee, great taxes, great culture, lots of fun, and rolling hills. 

I mean if you’d been there you know it’s pretty stellar. 

They also have a great children’s hospital, which is important for us as well.

DAVE: So, we selected this place. 

We moved in, and this was the first time in my life that I was a real entrepreneur. 

I didn’t have anybody report to.

I didn’t have that nine to five. 

I didn’t have to put on a uniform. 

Today I decided to wear an Adidas sweatshirt.

TERRY: Why not?

DAVE: Right. 

But when you go from having to wear a uniform that has to be perfect, and can’t have marks on it. 

By the way, the plan of the day told you, you have to wear that specific one and then you go to this. 

I mean it was just like ‘pooh’, like mind blown. On top of that too-

TERRY: Sorry there, did you actually struggle with that lack of structure when it moved to you being the boss?

DAVE: It wasn’t so much the lack of structure. I mean, one of the things that’s really helped me get through things is I’m very organized and structured. 

I have a Trello list that lists exactly what I’m to do today as well as for the week. 

I keep that updated. 

I have each part of my schedule planned out for the day. 

I’m still… I’m able to control this structure, which is great, but it was still that freedom. 

I almost felt like when I got out of the military that this was a dream that I was going to wake up from. 

I felt like I was on vacation and then one day I’m going to wake up and realize, “Oh crap, I missed getting to the submarine or I missed my report. Oh, oh.” So yeah, it took me probably half a year to a year to finally truly feel like this is the new life and not trying to think that I’m being ignorant or that I’m being immature, and that this can really happen. 

So that took me a while.

But again, we moved to Nashville. 

The software itself was really starting to pick up momentum. 

I didn’t think it was going to become that big. I thought it was just going to be a great tool. And at that point-

TERRY: -Congratulations. Good job.

DAVE: Thank you. 

I had to really become a software leader, I guess, to understand it. 

And so, for the past couple of years, another major inflection for me was when I realized the importance of hiring team. 

I’ve always been a solopreneur. 

I’ve had maybe a couple of VAs here and there doing some tasks. 

But when I realized that I can’t do everything and that the business was scaling beyond me, I had to realize the importance of not only hiring the right people, but hiring people for areas of responsibility. 

So that’s been a really big step for me. 

But it’s also been a huge step for the company as well.

TERRY: Yeah. When you go from being a ‘doer’ of things to a manager of ‘doers’ of things, it’s not that easy.

DAVE: It’s really hard because I’ve been doing it, every part of it for years, and now I’m depending on other people to do it, and I’m also learning about what it is that I need as well as what they need. 

Understanding that people aren’t going to do it exactly like I would. 

Not to say that that’s a good thing or a bad thing. 

The other thing too is just understanding the processes, the hiring process. 

You can’t just be like, cool, you’re a good fit. 

There’s so much to it. 

And then you start adding HR, you start adding legal, you start adding checks and balances, all of those things. 

But when you start doing those, it allows your company to grow.

TERRY: Yeah. Sorry. 

How many people, Dave, roughly are you managing at the moment?

DAVE: 24.

TERRY: Okay. 

Yep. I think we’ll talk about this later, but I’d love to get you on a call just to talk about this topic because I think it’s so relevant for entrepreneurs, which is this transition to management and growing teams and all of that.

We’re close to 70 here when you include our dog foundation, which operates my NGO, nonprofit, the dog welfare one, operates out of this office. 

So, all up we’re getting close to 70.

DAVE: Which I love because I can see all the dogs in the back there. 

Oh my goodness!

TERRY: Yep, we’re dog friendly here.

So, you kind of go through these different levels. 

At 10 people there were these certain things that happen, at 30 people, whatever, or 20 people, at 50 other dynamics, whole other really interesting topic. 

We can get into another interview. 

It’s a good one. 

So, anyway Dave, just back to your change, how did family and friends react when you actually did it? 

You were just talking about it now, you actually did make the big change. 

How did they react?

DAVE: Well, again, I think my grandmother kept calling me stupid for making the change. 

Like, “You had nine more years. 

You could have just got retired nine more years later, and getting 50% of your salary.” 

It’s something the US military does is if you do 20 you get 50% of your salary for the rest of your life, and you get medical and dental and all this. 

Her name is Mazy. I’m like, “Maz, you don’t understand. I’m already making way more from what I’m doing as an entrepreneur than this.”

But they just did not understand it. 

And for years they never really understood it. 

Now, over time, and I think in their mind it felt like this was too much of a risk. 

I was throwing away all of this for some dream, and I don’t think they fully ever understood it.

But here’s the thing though too, if you’re friends with me on Facebook you’ll know that I really don’t post a lot about my business. I don’t post big things about my numbers.

I don’t make it very clear what we’re doing.

And that’s not because I’m trying to hide it, it’s just that some people can’t really handle these things on social media.

They see that there’s a bit of jealousy or also too maybe there’s a bit of security making sure you don’t post these sorts of things.

But I just don’t really go into that.

But over time though, things have happened, just images me speaking on stage or just some of the book deals or some of the famous authors that I’ve worked with, pictures of me with them.

And I think over time they’ve started to realize that, okay, I don’t really understand what Dave does, but it seems like he’s doing good.

The family is sort of getting after me less and less or not thinking I’m as ridiculous as I was.

But it’s funny and at Christmas time they’re like, “Yeah I don’t really understand what you do, but it looks like you’re doing great.”

I’m like, “Well, thank you.”

And yeah it takes a bit to explain it all.

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TERRY: It seems like a real thing now. Just takes some time. 

So, looking back on it because you’ve had some time and space, and you’ve mentioned six months of kind of adjustment when you made the big change.

Looking back on it now, what do you think is the core principle or learning that was so crucial from you making that change that anybody listening or watching this interview might apply in their own life if they’re kind of stuck and afraid to make the jump or other obstacles or things like that?

DAVE: Yeah, I think it really goes back to actually setting a trigger point for when you make that decision. 

If I hadn’t have set the $10,000 a month trigger point, and we even said that it had to be 10,000 a month for three months so that we knew that it was consistent. 

If I hadn’t set that trigger point, I could’ve easily have fallen into the hole. 

Well, I’m just too scared. 

I mean, it really was scary. 

I had a lot of things going right. 

It looked like were really trending, but I was scared. 

I just could not break out of the mentality of just holding on to some job that’s always going to pay me as long as I show up and don’t get fired, it will pay me. 

I have that money I can count on. 

Whereas in the entrepreneur world, you never know.

DAVE: If I just hadn’t set that set point, I might’ve been stuck, stuck in fear. 

So to anybody listening, my number one recommendation to help you make that transition is to truly define when you make the transition, and then use that as your guiding point.

TERRY: Yep. Good advice. 

Now on this journey, Dave, have there been specific books or thought leaders or courses or people who’ve been a really important influence on you, books that you read or whatever that were really powerful, really hit you and also help kind of drive some momentum here?

DAVE: Yeah. I think one of the books that really helped me, and I’ve made it almost a point to listen to it a once a year is The One Thing by I think it’s Gary Keller and I can’t remember the other author. 

What I think was important for that one was that sometimes we as entrepreneurs we see all these things. 

There’s so many things to work on. 

You can do this, this, this, and if you can just sit down and focus on the one thing, you’ll get way more out of it. 

So, where I saw a lot of people in the online world spinning their wheels doing all these crazy things, I believe that my focus on one thing was what helped me to really pull away from the pack. 

So, I use that to rebalance myself a lot. 

But when it comes to thought leaders and everything, there’s just a plethora of people that have been important.

DAVE: One person that I’ll make a major shout out to was Pat Flynn of smartpassiveincome.com

He’s become a personal friend of mine now. 

But way back in the day when I was starting, I had this fear that making money online was either a joke or you had to be a greasy salesman in order to do it. 

You had to sell your soul. 

And I was about to quit on it thinking that that’s what it takes. 

When somebody introduced me to smartpassiveincome.com, and Pat would say things like make the internet a better place and here’s how. 

And I just really resonated with that. 

And I knew that here’s a guy that is not only succeeding in every facet from finance to life, you name it, but he’s also able to look himself in the mirror. 

And from there I knew it could be done. 

So, I would say he’s probably the most crucial point in my story and an excellent website follow.

TERRY: Yeah, he’s helped a lot of people for sure. 

It’s great advice, and something I say to people like affiliate marketers or whatever is that if you want to succeed in a niche, whatever it is, just ask yourself, what am I prepared to bring to this niche apart from my desire to make money. 

What I see with you, what I know of you from Facebook and your interaction with WPX and all of that is that you’re an obvious leader, which is awesome, and I think if you’re going to-

DAVE: Thank you.

TERRY: … lead, you have to kind of go into it with that ambition of being the leader. 

And sometimes that’s not too comfortable. 

You can take some flak, and some heat from the haters and the trolls or whatever. 

But one of the big things we’re about here is about change and innovation. 

This is our seventh year at WPX, the original motivation was to fix web hosting, which was just incredibly horrible back in 2013 to use. 

I’ve been using hosts since 1998, I think. 

So, I think if you go into it with a sincere attempt to do better, and fix a lot of the bad things, innovate, embrace change, and be a a strong leader in that, that gives you a pretty good shot at success if you’re prepared to do that.

I see that a lot in your work. In fact, I can’t think of… you probably know them, but I can’t think of any obvious competitor who stands out as an obvious leader in your space like you do. 

So, great job, Dave. Really well done.

DAVE: Thank you. 

I think a lot of it is we actually have a rule or we have 10 rules. 

I call them the 10 rules to bodaciousness that everybody who in our organization has to follow. 

And rule number three, which we… We always quote the rules in meetings, when we praise, when we criticize in private. 

But rule number three is that we don’t hit publish until it’s the best thing on the internet. 

So that allows me to look at my writers, that allows me to look at the team and just flat out say is this rule number three? 

If they come back and they hum and ho, it’s like take it back, make it rule number three. 

And until you can look me in the face and tell me it’s rule number three, we won’t publish it. 

One of the things I think that really does is that it makes it so that we just don’t crowd the internet with just more information, but instead-

TERRY: It doesn’t need any more mediocre stuff.

DAVE: Exactly. 

And through the years of really ingraining that into our operations, I feel like we are benefiting. 

Maybe when we first started we didn’t directly see it, but now we’re benefiting from that. 

I think our SEO is way more on point because it just is better content, and Google’s working to make it so that they always find the better content. 

But if your intention is that you’re going to do better. 

Our readers are interacting with our articles more often because they know that if we just wrote an article on something, it’s probably worth reading. 

And so, when you really put that forward, it makes everything work better I think.

TERRY: Yep. All true. Good advice. 

Now, I had some other questions, Dave, but we’ve kind of covered that already in what you’ve said. 

So, I’m going to go a bit off script him, man. I’m going to throw a bit of a curve ball at you-

DAVE: That’s good.

TERRY: … that you weren’t expecting. 

So, you’ve pulled off this big change, and obviously your life today still benefits from the courage and kind of consistency and commitment to follow through on that. 

What’s the game plan going ahead now for Dave Chesson five years, 10 years ahead? 

What’s the strategy here?

DAVE: Well, one of the things I’ve been doing is a lot of diversification. 

As I’m growing the team, and we’re growing the responsibilities of the people under it, it’s allowing me to kind of step back and be more of a strategic mind inside the organization. 

It’s also allowed me to be a part of more projects. 

So, we have Kindlepreneur, we have Publisher Rocket. 

There are also some other organizations as well. 

Right now I’m buying a 35% stake into a software development company so that I can develop…not only develop more software but also be kind of a bridge between some of the other online marketers that I personally know and give them the opportunity to create their own tools like I have.

I’ve also been moving into other industries as well. 

Kind of taking my SEO and pairing up with the right people to grow out new products. 

So, it’s really hard to say what that’s going to be like. 

But thanks to building the team structure like we talked about. 

This is allowing me to do a lot more, and we’ll see. 

But I like the trajectory we’re currently on.

TERRY: Okay. Second final question, two to go.

DAVE: Okay.

TERRY: On a day to day basis, Dave, what motivates you? What’s the fuel in the tank? The engine, what is the big motivation?

DAVE: Progress. 

Now, if you’re in an Enneagram fan, there’s this thing called the Enneagram that helps to understand one’s motivation. 

Really helps with kind of understanding the people that I work with. 

I am a three and threes just inherently want to see things progress. 

They’re usually organized, they’re just inherently motivated because I would like to beat yesterday. 

That’s kind of like my personal motto, make today better than yesterday. 

And if I make tomorrow better than today, things just keep progressing, and things go from there.

DAVE: We have some personal goals as a family. 

That’s also a part of it as well. 

My wife would like to buy 20 to 100 acres of middle Tennessee land, which is not very cheap. 

But we would also like to have a place where our children when they go to college or when they’re done with college would want to come back. 

We also want to start foundations. 

So, we have a whole bunch of personal goals that we have. 

But I think the intrinsic motivator for me is just making sure that today is better than yesterday. 

And if you keep doing that, your vision for life, you’re on the right path.

TERRY: Cool. I know for me a long, long time ago, money was never that good a motivator I’ve found, and being that a really long time ago, if it ever was that powerful. 

And for me though I don’t talk about this that much, the reason that I want to blow WPX up huge is that it has the financial resources to fund my shelter dog work. 

So, where we are here, we’re based in Eastern Europe. 

We’re in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the scale of the problem in Eastern Europe for homeless dogs, shelter dogs, and to a lesser degree cats. 

We do a lot of work with cats as well and the situation is so big that it needs a lot of funding to build a really big organization to have a huge impact here. 

So, for me, I don’t necessarily just want to grow for growth’s sake. 

That’s kind of the cliche for startups or tech companies or whatever you’re going to grow. 

Grow, grow, grow kind of thing. 

But for me that’s not sexy. 

It doesn’t work at all.

Already WPX puts a lot of money into our dog foundation and I want it to put in a lot more in the future, and that’s what motivates me kind of on a daily basis, that foundation work. 

I think everybody can find that thing that’s really significant for you. 

You might have your own projects, foundation projects that you just… 

They really connect with you, and you really want to make a big impact there. 

It’s different for everybody. 

But I think one of the great things in the time that we live in now, and we’ve kind of talked about it a bit today is, and it’s true in my foundation, the startup principles that we use for a tech company work extremely well in trying to fix some broken system for shelter dogs and homeless dogs.

A lot of the strategy and thinking applied to this company, to WPX for example, works very well in massively fixing a really big problem with animals here in this country, and surrounding areas.

So, I think if you have these skills and you’ve talked about quite a few of them today, they can just make such a big impact at the foundation level for change.

DAVE: Yeah, absolutely. 

One thing I’d like to add to that is, one of the things I hear a lot when people are getting started is find what you’re passionate about and do that. 

What I want to do is I want to take a step back and make sure people understand what the word passion really means. 

The word passion back in the day comes from the root word ‘pati’, which means ‘to sacrifice’. 

So when the word passion was originally made, and what it’s truly intended for is not about what makes you feel good or what makes you happy. 

What it is, is about what you’re willing to do in order to… And you’re willing to do it, and sacrifice for it.

So, when people say, well, I’m passionate about money or I’m passionate about a house or I’m passionate about a car. Are you willing to sacrifice for money? 

Are you willing to sacrifice for a car for you? 

For you, you were willing to sacrifice for the dogs, for the mission that you were working on, that was worth the sacrifice. 

That’s what works for you to get up early every morning to think about everything that you’re doing, to push the envelope because you have something you’re from the old traditional sense, passionate about. 

When you are willing to sacrifice for it, when the hard times come, you’re not going to back down. 

For me, sure money was the mark. 

But the reason for the money was for my family, to be able to take care of my family. 

I was passionate and willing to sacrifice for my family.

And again, for me, I got through every one of those bumps in the road, no problem, because I would’ve quit over money, but I wouldn’t quit over my family.

So, for anybody listening, I think it’s really important that you really think of the root word of passion and what you’re willing to sacrifice for. And if you do that and you know what that is, then you should succeed.

TERRY: Yeah. If you’re dealing with a difficult issue like this one is there are many really horrible, uncomfortable experiences you just have to go through and live through (e.g. witnessing terrible cruelty to animals) It’s not a feel good thing. 

Definitely not, but it’s really important. 

Okay, Dave, just to wrap up, great talk today. I really enjoyed it. 

By the way, I’m actually writing a dog book about relationships between dogs and people. 

I’ll come back to you for your advice on that later in the year, man. So I’m going to get you on video now committing to that.

DAVE: Sounds good.

TERRY: I’ve got you. For people who have watched the video, the interview today, where would you like them to catch up with you?

Is it Facebook or kindlepreneur.com which I’ll put up on the screen at the beginning and end of this video. Where do you want people to hook up with you?

DAVE: Kindlepreneur.com, that’s Kindle entrepreneur, kindlepreneur.com. I have a contact page, and go ahead and hit me with any questions you’ve got.

TERRY: Okay. Dave, it’s been a pleasure. One of the best interviews I’ve done with a fellow entrepreneur over the years.

DAVE: Well, thank you.

TERRY: So, you’re doing great. Great to talk to you, finally, we got around to it. 

So, thank you for your time. I appreciate that today, and everybody should go and check out Dave’s stuff because it’s awesome.

DAVE: Well, thank you for having me.

TERRY: Cool. Good stuff, Dave, dynamite man.

DAVE: Awesome. Thanks. Glad to help out.

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