Definitely not Peter.
Oh, you’re not Peter, who are you?
Friends with Brews.
You’re definitely not Peter.
Well, let’s celebrate that with some beer today.
This is Adam Bell.
You’ve been on the podcast before, so listeners should know who you are.
And if they don’t, I don’t know why they haven’t gone back to listen.
That’s an interesting blur.
Turn off your blur.
I have to try to turn off my blur.
There we go.
Blur your blur.
I believe in Nashville.
I believe in Nashville Blonde Ale. That’s cool.
How far are you from Nashville?
I’m right outside.
Okay, so that’s truly a local beer for you.
So I’m Davidson County.
I’m in Sumner County.
And it’s about a mile down the road to Davidson County.
The I believe in Nashville was a big push,
that logo, the flag, and the, I mean, the TriStar,
That was a big push after the tornado that came through.
Well, no, tornado and flood has kind of been like our
raise the flag mantra,
we’re gonna put it all back together.
So it’s kind of been a,
that’s pretty fairly new recently speaking.
That I don’t know.
Are they, do you know if, so they’re getting behind that by printing that on their can,
Do you know if they’re like any of the proceeds from that beer goes toward anything or?
Okay, I’m just curious it doesn’t matter I’m not judging them either way
I’m not judging you but my gosh, you guys are tight bastards
I’m not judging you, but you should be donating to charity.
So mine is actually made in Astoria, Oregon, which is on the coast. So a couple hours from here or so
it’s Buoy brand and
This is a Czech style pilsner. My wife actually bought these because she was looking for something on the
Yellowish golden spectrum not the dark spectrum and she doesn’t drink a whole lot anyway
So she just bought some of these 12 ounce cans. She bare. I think she might drink one a month at the most
But anyway, they’re pretty good. They’re not bad. I’ve had one before it’s not bad
But I’ll after I crack it open and pour it all give more detailed thoughts on it, but it’s Astoria is
kind of a fun little town to go to they’ve got
Lot of touristy shopping stuff. They’ve got some really good food, but this brewery was closed when we were there last time
And they have a restaurant there and a brewery and they were closed for some kind of renovation or repairs
I’m not sure what was going on with them, but
Presumably this beer is safe to drink now. I don’t know
Right, yes, yes, yes
Well, and then of course the Goonies came from Astoria too.
Well, and it’s funny, I read, I recently read a book that was talking about Astoria.
That’s-I guess, because that’s where all the beer was.
I mean, they weren’t talking about it from the Goonies standpoint, but they were talking about
how there was actually a lot of pirates based in Astoria back in the day of pirates were big thing.
I don’t know.
No, I think the Goonies were there before Buoy Beer was there.
I don’t know.
I haven’t looked up the history of Buoy Beer to see when they came around.
But this is the second one I’ve had and I can’t remember what the other one of theirs I had was
I wasn’t super impressed with it. I actually like this one better. Here’s what the color looks like
That’s just it this is a good summer beer it’s a little bit light so this is a Czech style pilsner and
Oh, it’s nice and clear.
I mean, not clear, but—
yeah, this is a blonde ale.
I normally go to darker, but it’s summertime now.
It says a classic lightly hopped pilsner, which I believe that’s true
It doesn’t taste overly hoppy and as you know Peter and I hate overly hoppy stuff. That’s why we don’t care for IPs that much
I don’t know how I would describe the taste. There’s a strong hint of something and I don’t know what it is
You tell me what’s the Czech style pilsner? What’s Czech style versus any other kind of pilsner?
Well, I believe it has to do with the hops, how they hop it. And then of course the yeast
that they use. You know, it’s an ale yeast, but I think it’s just really the kind of,
it’s not spectacularly different than any other ale.
Yeah, it’s pretty good. I… hmm. I don’t know exactly how to describe it.
I’m not one of those people that can make up words like “crisp and dry yet fruity with strawberry and cocoa”
taste a little bit of wooden chair in here, but there is a strong hint of something with
So do you taste any toasted biscuit?
I don’t know if I would drink this with tacos or something.
I don’t know, it’s different.
I might have this with pizza though, it might be pretty good with pizza.
It is a beer that I do like.
It is not my top pilsner of choice.
It’s not the pilsner that I would fight a mob of angry monks for.
I don’t know why monks and anger and beer go together, but…
So it’s supposed to be slightly sweet, toasted biscuit, and bready aromas.
Is that what it’s supposed to be like?
There is a hint of something toasty to it.
That is not a lie.
I wouldn’t have defined it as biscuit.
I could buy the bready part.
I don’t think it’s slightly sweet, to be honest.
I don’t know.
The toasty part overpowers the sweetness, for sure.
But it’s good.
But it kind of checks your boxes. It’s supposed to be low to medium noble hop presence.
I like it.
Yeah, it definitely is along those lines.
I do like it for that.
And let’s see, Peter’s number one priority alcohol by volume.
This is a 6.2 I think it says.
Yeah, it’s a little higher than you would think for a Pilsner.
Maybe you’re tasting the alcohol.
It’s toasted. So this one here is 4.5 percent and it’s actually a pint,
That could be.
Although I have had a lot of beers that are stronger than this and I don’t know.
I don’t know.
I believe the toasted part.
say that. Whatever it is, I’ll pretend it’s toasted.
Yeah, there you go. You’re even with me because I have got 6.2 at 12 ounces.
so it adds up to more alcohol because there’s just more volume.
Huh, you’ve talked about it before on this podcast I think, but no I’ve never had it.
I think you’d like this. There’s almost no hop. I mean, I guess technically it has to be somewhat
hopped, but I don’t taste anything but malt. Do you ever drink Yuengling?
Yeah, I like Yuengling. Yuengling is if I’m going to go fishing and I want to drink beer and I don’t
want a headache, you know, a half hour later I drink Yuengling because it’s a quality domestic
beer. This tastes like Yuengling. Yuengling has a bitter aftertaste, a bitter finish.
There’s no bitter finish. So I think you’d like this.
Yeah, sounds good. It’s probably more of what I would think of.
Can you show me that again?
Oh, yeah, it’s probably more what I think of along the…
Yeah, it’s probably more what I was…
It’s probably actually more what my wife was hoping to get when she bought this,
to be honest.
Awesome. Well, Peter is in Puerto Rico again,
and he didn’t tell me he was…
Well, I’m not saying he has to approve his itinerary with me,
but he didn’t give me a heads up to let me know I needed to find a guest for this week
until I finally said, “Hey, I’ve noticed you’re in Puerto Rico.”
“By any chance, are you not coming back by Monday?”
And he goes, “Yeah, I’m not coming back by Monday.”
I’m like, “Okay, thanks.”
I really appreciate you doing this.
And I didn’t really come up with a lot of topics for today,
Oh yeah, no problem. Yeah, I mean everybody’s a little bit different, but mine’s pretty
except for one, and you have editorial rights
over whether or not I don’t like to dictate
to other people what they like to talk about themselves.
But Peter and I have talked on this podcast
about how we got into computers and our origin stories,
But I don’t know if I’ve ever heard how you got into computers,
and what’s your origin story, and actually what led you into running
your own consulting business.
standard nerd geek, you know, I mean, you and I don’t know the differences, but you know, if I
asked some person who’s not in IT, they’re like, yeah, that’s what all of you guys say.
So for me, I have no idea why my parents bought a computer when I was eight years old.
They really didn’t have a lot of money. And it really wasn’t something that they really should
have spent a bunch of money on, but they did. They bought a Tandy 1000 and it was a green,
Oh, so you were past…
you know, monochrome monitor. So all I had was green and black and I bought it with King’s Quest.
No hard drive. I did have a floppy. I didn’t have a tape.
You skipped that whole thing.
Let’s get the tapes all together.” I’m like, “I’m not doing a tape.” So I got into that and then,
I mean, and it just, you know, it snowballed as far as gaming went and it became a hobby of,
“Okay, I need more RAM. You know, I need 16 more K of RAM so I can play California games.” And,
you know, so it’s funny, I’ve got, I don’t know why I keep this. I’ve thrown away all of my old
floppies, all of everything. But I’ve got this California Dreamin’ street rod game from my Tandy
1000 and I opened it up when you when I saw that and it’s got I’ve got the Sims 1 game in there
and Leisure Suit Larry’s Land of the Lounge Suit Lizards in there.
You have all those games from that era.
It’s funny how
It’s funny how when I thought about this topic, I was going to say,
how did you go from playing Prince of Persia to being an IT consultant?
But it wasn’t Prince of Persia. It was King’s Quest. But.
Yeah. And what was his name? Prince? Oh.
I don’t remember, I know I played some of those games,
but I don’t remember a whole lot about them, just like I know that when we first
when my brother first made his.
Alexander, I know that when we first got into computers we were using tape drives for stuff,
but I don’t really remember the experience of it because tape drives were frickin’ inconvenient.
You could only really put one program on a tape or else you had to have some sort of
system for locating where on the tape your specific program was.
I mean, it’s ridiculous if you think about it, right?
I mean, listening to music on cassette tape and trying to find a specific song was stupid
But this was computer programs, yeah, so that’s interesting.
I can’t remember if Peter said he had the Tandy 1000 or if it was a different kind of Tandy.
Yeah. So that’s how I got—
I mean, that was what I cut my teeth on.
I started programming in basic then,
I was playing games,
I was word processing.
I was trying to find any reason to use a computer to do things,
even if it was the most complicated way to do it.
Finding a way to make…
I mean, isn’t that still what we are all doing today?
Finding a way to get the computer involved and take hours to set up a system for
Yeah, I’ve got to justify a MacBook Pro. How many things can I…
something that would take minutes.
And by the way, I found it and Peter had a Tandy 1000SX at one point.
Yeah, so I mean I didn’t even have a joystick. I remember in King’s Quest I had to go upstairs
and I had to take my cursor upright, upright, upright, upright, you know, until I got up the steps.
It was awesome.
Way back in the day, when I first started getting into driving sims, I didn’t even have a joystick.
And even a joystick is suboptimal for a good driving sim. You need a wheel.
because it’s like driving a car.
You wouldn’t drive a car with a joystick, at least not very well,
although people technically pilot helicopters that way, I guess.
But yeah, I was using trying to use a keyboard to,
you know, drive a Formula One car around a racetrack.
It turns out it doesn’t work.
It turns out there’s a reason that real Formula One cars have
have steering wheels and not keyboards. It’s amazing.
Well, if not, nobody would drive.
We’d just all sit behind our computers
and race the cars, the drone Indy cars.
But so anyway, so going back, you know, I did that for,
I did gaming all the way into college.
You know, in my college years,
I was fooling around with games like Warcraft and Starcraft
and things like that, that were modem,
where I was really learning about networking at that point.
You know, you and I want to play, okay,
I need to figure out how our modems are going to connect.
And you know, I can’t wake your mom up.
So you gotta be ready, Johnny on the spot,
answer that phone. Yeah, exactly. Or we’re both going to get in trouble. Yeah, and it
better not drop out in the middle of the game because that’s going to be a problem.
Multiplayer games had to be a lot different back then because you had to tolerate a lot more lag.
[ squeaking ]
Like, now I’ve watched people play…
One of my friends used to play a lot of multiplayer games. What was the one he used to like to play?
Uh… gosh, I can’t remember.
But if there was any lag at all, you were toast. Like, everything happened so freaking fast
that even the tiniest bit of lag and you were gonna die.
In fact, one game he was getting criticism from one of the other guys in there, and I…
The guy sounded like a 14 year old kid, but he was dissing him for…
He had been slow one time, but he was actually a pretty good player.
But he’d been a little bit too slow on one thing because his computer lagged for just
a second and the guy was just jumping on him and I’m like, “You know what?
Just log off and let those guys die.”
I’m out of here.
He wants to.
Yes and no.
If he wants to complain at you, just let him die.
So in college, what else were you using your computer for actual college school for like
schoolwork related things very much?
Oh, I loved Pascal.
I was on the cusp of.
So I graduated high school in ‘92 and I was in college, you know, from ‘92 to ‘97.
And so we were on, we were still on mainframe on campus.
So we did have a MUD on our mainframe.
We did have email, you know, and we programmed in Pascal.
At that point, we were really still, if I was going to do a report, you know, the internet
was still really new and finding and sources and stuff.
It wasn’t until like my senior year that I could really use the internet for searching
So I did some searching at that point, but mostly I was doing word processing on my computer
at that point.
Did you have any computer classes or anything where you were supposed to log in and turn in your programs or your homework online?
Like to the school network or anything like that?
I like that.
In school, well, the exception was I did take computer science and we had to turn in programming,
we were programming in the mainframe, so our assignments were done in there.
We’re already there, yeah.
So slightly different, but none of my other classes.
Now we were, so I was on Geographic Information Systems, GIS.
So I was at the cutting edge of that in the mid-90s.
And so we were using computer systems for using, you know, geology.
So we would be doing industrial problems.
We’re like, “Okay, we’re finding high levels of mercury here.
And then we’d build out the map of the terrain and the watershed and how the rock strata,
and then come up with a location of where the source of the problem was.
And they were using it for commercial uses as well, petroleum.
If I wanted to use GIS, I was going to have to go into oil.
or work for the state for free.
And that just didn’t…
See, when you first said “geological information,” I thought maybe you, even before location sharing,
you knew where Peter was at all times, for example.
Or, like, you could solve the problem of, “We don’t understand why there’s a beer shortage at this particular place in Puerto Rico,”
and you’re like that’s because Peter Nikolaidis is there.
Yeah, all that 4.5 or 2 or whatever it is, it just cracks me up. It just cracks me up because
She’s drinking all the high percent, high alcohol volume.
every beer that he talked about from there, I don’t think it was even in the mid-fours at the
highest. It’s like, what? Do they have a law? Is there a law? Or is it just that they drink so
much throughout the day that they can’t tolerate any higher.
I guess yeah yeah that sounds really bad especially in the morning. I don’t think I’d want that.
Yeah it’s a constant thing.
They brush their teeth with it and everything.
So GIS wasn’t bad, but I did learn a lot of stuff about the computers that I was able to use higher powered computers than what I had as a PC at the university.
So that was kind of cool.
And then that got me into, when I graduated from college, I decided I was going to do
civil engineering because I didn’t want to do GIS.
I did want to do GIS.
I just couldn’t make any money out of it.
So I was looking at civil engineering, possibly getting my engineering degree, and I went
to work for a civil engineering firm as a CAD draftsman since I was good with computers.
And I found out I didn’t like civil engineering because we were building subdivisions, which
is really really boring.
No! And everything, you know, there’s rules. You know, sewer goes downhill. Unless it’s got to go
You don’t even get to build an electric station or a dam or something like that.
uphill, you need a pump. And you know, the water and the sewer have to be this far apart. The curb
has to be this big, you know.
That is the best rulebook sewer goes downhill unless it has to go uphill.
I like that.
I think I could have written that rulebook at him.
Yeah, I could see that as being pretty boring.
And then I got, I was looking for a gig and then I went to JC Bradford to be,
Seems very cookie cutter.
Oh, by the way, when I went to be a civil engineering CAD draftsman, they asked me if
I could be a CAD draftsman.
And in my naivete, I said, “It’s on a computer, right?”
They said, “Yeah.”
I said, “I can do anything on a computer.”
I was going to say asking them if it’s on a computer probably was an alarm bell, but
But not back then, it wouldn’t have been AlarmBell at all.
They were a lot, I mean, this was the edge of phasing out the last artists who were draftsmen.
And it was beautiful work that they did.
Those drawings were works of art.
So like I said, I talked them into hiring me.
I just pretty much said, “Yeah, I can do the job.
It’s on a computer.
I can do anything on a computer.”
They’re like, “All right, well, start in two weeks.”
So I graduated from college on a Friday and started work with them the next Monday.
Over the next two weeks, I bought an AutoCAD book.
At the time it was AutoCAD 13, and I bought an AutoCAD 11 book and learned that I didn’t
know anything about AutoCAD, but in two weeks I knew how to do AutoCAD by reading the book.
I didn’t even have AutoCAD at home.
Yeah, it was super expensive.
Yeah, well, I imagine it was probably pretty expensive.
Well, especially for me at that time, it’s not all that, I mean, it is still
expensive now, but I couldn’t afford that, but I did that, but then I went, I got
tired of that.
I was doing their, their IT in house and I really decided I wanted to do that full
And so I got a firefighting job at JC Bradford.
Once again, you know, they said, can you do this?
And I was like, if it’s on a computer, I can do it.
It doesn’t matter what it is.
I’d never been on a domain.
Like the closest I’d been to a domain was NetWare at that point.
Right. Which is not… same concept? Not the same at all.
Not the same.
They wanted me to manage or they wanted me to work, not manage.
They wanted me to be a firefighter within a 3000 endpoint system with Windows networking,
And that’s when you found out how complicated the worlds of Windows
Windows, and it was NT 4.0 at that point.
And I was like, it’s on a computer.
I can do it.
Yes, I learned about com ports and I mean, one of my banes of existence, which I finally
networking can be.
figured out how to do it was essentially mapping printers.
That was the worst thing we had to do back then.
And fighting with the com ports, making sure one was open and you gave it this.
And we were still doing a lot of Linux stuff.
There was still AS400s in our world.
Getting those things to communicate.
So once I hit that, then it was wide open.
I mean, I started there.
stayed with them until they got bought out. But I grabbed every piece of gear
that was junk and made it into something. I had a server rack. I had my, I mean my
whole basement would have, I had a domain. I had workstations. Everybody’s logging in.
There’s group policies.
Well, that’s good. You get to practice in an environment where you’re not worried about getting in trouble.
And if you don’t, A, if you don’t know what you’re doing, and B, if something goes wrong.
Yeah. One time, of course,
I’m gonna find them, Adam, and I’m gonna send them this episode.
none of them are listening to this now and it’s
irrelevant 25 years later.
I was trying Loftcrack, you remember that?
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
There was a backup domain controller in my office.
I got a domain admin password and ran Loftcrack and got
every single password of everything that was in there.
I was like, “This is awesome.
I’ll be able to log in now wherever I need to.
You gotta think, look, I know back then a lot of employers, well, a lot of employers still do take a dim view of people trying to probe their network security, even if they’ve been hired to do so.
But back then, they were less interested in the fact that they had problems
and maybe other people who weren’t so honest would exploit them than they were in just
freaking out and getting mad at the person who was telling them about the problem.
Yeah. So I learned lots of stuff there. And then, you know, I went to HCA, learned a lot of stuff
there, which I got to be in a pretty cool network or group there. I was in an engineering group
dealing with web servers. So we did all of the websites for all the HCA hospitals.
What kind of web technology was this?
And that was a big deal back then. And we kind of had this, it was kind of cutting edge. We
we were doing this template.
So we had like 15 or 20 templates
and the hospitals could choose their template
and it dropped them in there and voila,
a website spit out and it was pretty cool.
It was actually all IIS.
Was this still Microsoft or was this something running on Linux and Apache or what was this?
Okay, I’m familiar with that.
I used to do ASP and then ASP.NET and SQL Server stuff too.
I haven’t done any of it for a long, long time, but yeah, I used to.
And we were doing—
so we had-what was—
I can’t remember.
It was web something.
It was Google Analytics, but it was the—
there was no Google Analytics back then.
So we had this huge web something.
It was a huge log analyzer.
And we had eight U servers with, at the time,
maybe a terabyte of data.
But that was a lot, a lot of data back then.
And then we had hot swappable CPUs and hot swappable RAM
banks, because it ran constantly just
to be able to tell people how many visitors came
to the website.
Now we get it for free from Google.
So that was kind of my, that was where I got the, I mean,
really to the point where it wasn’t just that I was saying,
if it’s on a computer, I can do it.
It would, at that point, I kind of had the chops to do it.
But you probably weren’t walking around telling everybody that anymore either, though.
That’s how you know that you actually can you’ve learned stuff
But you’re not going around telling everybody if it’s on a computer you can do it
But I wish my teams, my employees,
had a hunger to learn IT like I did.
And that’s why it’s like, well, you didn’t—
they’re like, well, I don’t have time to study at home.
I’ve got kids and family.
I’m like, well, I had kids and family, too.
I was just very, very interested in learning.
Yeah, the difficulty is some people are faster than others, and I don’t mean that in a denigrating
way because I’m one of the people that I don’t consider to be fast at learning new stuff,
or like in the group that I work at, I consider myself to be the dumbest guy for sure. Not even
close, like the people I work with are so smart, and my boss is so fast. He absorbs information
so quick and he remembers it all, so he has an overall picture of how the entire system works
software-wise, you know, and then I work with another guy. Man, he has just in a few short
years from running the equipment to becoming an engineer and now being in charge of all the
computers that are in the equipment, that guy has learned so much when I when he he’s just amazing.
He just soaks it up. But I also remember him when back when he was a shift worker. I also remember
Uh huh, yeah. That reminded me. So I worked at train in college building air conditioners
him. You know, he was working on nights and I I’d see him still at noon hanging around, you know,
on his computer just solving one last thing or just doing one last thing. He’s just that kind of guy.
That’s what it looks like.
Thank you for listening.
and I worked a power, I was a power utility power brake operator, so I ran a great big machine
that had dies in it, went up and down and bent a piece of metal to an angle. You had a piece of
blueprint, you had to turn the metal into the blueprint. So that was my job, but there was a
computer there for looking up parts and very specific things and I figured out if I took
the vent cover off of it, I could reach inside of it and put a floppy into the computer and
run my games because that computer was way better than my own personal computer.
So I could play games on the factory computer. But you know, it’s funny, as I’ve evolved,
I really don’t do much in the way of gaming anymore. I spend all of my time in business
development now. I don’t spend it in IT learning new technologies, although I end up
learning new technologies because it’s just kind of necessary for the business.
For, you know, it’s like, “Well, somebody needs to know how to do this.” Guess it’s me.
That is the thing is if you’re in this career and you either want to keep yourself current or you have no choice
But to keep yourself current there’s never an end to learning
Now I will say I understand the feeling of not having room for more
Yeah, yeah, I had a guy that worked with me. He was like, “There’s no more room for anything new in my head.
I just don’t really want to learn anything new.” Bro, you’re in the wrong career.
But what I will say is you always do learn more, but some of the stuff that I worked on for years
the next one.
It’s kind of gone now like it’s like I don’t remember any of that stuff because all the stuff
I’ve been doing for the last five or six years has come in and shoved it out if I had to I could
probably dig some of that up, but that’s the thing is like you have to keep learning and if you start
forgetting some of the old stuff well too bad if you ever need it again maybe you can pick it up
again but you definitely have to keep learning the new stuff you can’t just say I’m done there’s no
stopping point with computers.
fooling around with a new firewall right now. It’s object-based, you know, and I’m used, I mean,
I used SonicWalls in the past. I mean, that’s kind of where I got my real firewall experience.
I mean, Cisco and SonicWall. And object-based is kind of how SonicWall operates. But I’m
programming now the firewall by building a square and a site and dragging connectors.
and all this stuff, you know, I drag a connector and now I’ve got a, I’ve got an L2TP VPN tunnel
that’s, that’s now running and I didn’t do any of it. So now I’m thinking about how, okay, well,
So you can’t do it both ways.
what’s the logic of, I’ve got to get users into that network, I create a firewall rule. No, no,
no, you got to build out connectors and you got to build out these objects.
There’s got to be some underlying code behind that thing.
Oh yeah, yeah it happens, but you don’t do it. It’s more like Star Trek now. I’m overriding the
power coupling here.
I think about some of the weird stuff we do with our networks at work and I’m not even
sure how that would function.
So you did a lot with working with other people and learning with other people, but how did
you get to the point where you said, “You know what?
I’m going to do this for myself.”
And then how do you make that transition?
That has to be pretty scary because like was that pre-family or was that post-family or
How did that look?
So well, so I tried to run my own IT company back
in 2001 or 2000.
So JC Bradford got bought out and I got at the time,
it wasn’t much money, but it was a lot of money to me then.
Little servants package, yeah.
Yeah, a little seven package.
You know, I want to say it was like $10,000, you know,
which was a ton of money.
No, it doesn’t last very long.
It is, but it doesn’t last very long when you need to make a living.
Oh my god.
So I tried to run my own company and I was billing at $25 an hour in 2000.
And I had no clue, you know, I didn’t know how to run a business.
So here is the plant we are making north, and I’ll overwrite that later.
Oh shoot, it’s getting bigger again, let’s see how we can make Wendy back down here.
I didn’t know how to bill.
I didn’t know how to invoice.
I was the only employee, you know, I was doing all these things wrong.
And then my wife got pregnant and we’re like, we needed, we’ve got a baby coming.
So that’s when I bailed on that and went back, or I went to work at HCA.
So I stayed with them a while, but it bothered me.
I mean, I really wanted to run my own company, but then the guys from JC
Bradford, where I got bought out, which was a great company to work with.
Those guys got together and said, Hey, we want to start a new company.
I’m like, I’m in, you know, I mean, we all liked working together.
So we started an investment banking firm, institutional sales trading, you know, and
they needed IT.
I was IT.
And so I went with them.
They told me I was going to be a partner, but it was really semantics.
I was a shareholder, not a partner.
-That’s a big semantic.
My, you know, I would have opinions, you know, and, you know, want to have direction and,
But it really, my opinion didn’t matter and my shareholder points didn’t matter because
they weren’t, I mean I was nowhere near a majority holder so I had no influence.
Had no influence and then it’s like okay well I still like working here even though this
isn’t what I thought it was.
I like the people here, I’m going to stay here.
They were giving me a lot of freedom to take time off because I go on short-term mission
I like to travel, but when I go on that short-term mission, it’s typically 12 days I’m there.
Well, that more or less eats my entire vacation if I’ve only got two weeks.
So they pretty much said, “There’s three of you in the IT department.
As long as we have coverage, y’all work that out.”
They said, “Don’t drop the ball.”
And so who dropped the ball?
He started taking too much time off.
He got a side job working at like concerts for fun and things like that.
And so they came down on him, which came down on me.
And he’s like, “Oh, you get two weeks vacation.
And you’ve already taken your two weeks, so you don’t get any more vacation.”
And I was like, “All right, let’s dust off the business plan, because I want more flexibility
in my life.
I want to be able to do these mission trips.
So I do want to be able to do family vacation.
I wasn’t really ambitious as far as like,
I want to make more money.
At the time, I just wanted to make a living wage
and be able to take time off.
So that was 2008.
So well, 2007 is kind of when all that hit the fan.
And I spent a year preparing for going out on my own.
And in 2008, I’d gathered everything
I thought I needed to know and went out on my own rough.
It was a rough time to go out on your own in 2008.
Mortgage rates and everything went down. So, um,
Something about the economy and…
so I went out on my own then and I,
I roped in my mother to be my operations manager, take, you know,
and so she helped me out and then I got a part-time employee.
then from there it was just trudging forward one you know one step after another building the company
you know now it’s 2023 you know 13 or 15 years how many years of that yeah 15 years we’re going on
this year we’re doing well 10 employees and got off-site service desk of another eight employees
and so it’s grown quite a bit and you know I’m able to take time off I still wear a lot of hats
Every year I take off one or two more hats, but you know, it’s an overnight success story 15 years later.
See, Peter has a lifestyle business, and I have a business business.
Oh yeah, as they all are, as they all are.
Now, how does your business withstand the effects of Peter trying to take up all your spare time?
How does that work?
He has a lifestyle business, that is correct.
I know when he was trying to sell me on who’s that guy who wrote the four hour work week.
Oh yeah, yeah, the four hour work week.
I was like, there is not one person in the world who’s not independently wealthy that works four hours a week, Peter.
I can do this. I can do this too. Yeah.
The reason why that guy is working four hours a week is because people are eagerly buying
his book to find out how they can work four hours a week.
No, somebody’s got to do the hard work and you know, I forget. Oh, so, uh, Mike Michalowicz.
I don’t know if you know him as an author. He wrote, you know, I don’t know, called
The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First are really kind of what he’s known for.
And then he’s got the Toothpaper, or Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and you know, but he’s got a book out,
Clockwork, Getting Your Company to Work Like Clockwork, and it’s kind of a next step as far
as the E-Myth and then Traction and Scaling Up. It’s kind of a step in between. And he said his
His job is not to do the work, but to make jobs for other people as a CEO.
That’s his job, is to employ other people.
If he’s doing the work, he’s taking away from somebody’s job.
That’s not to ask you.
Yeah, which in your position is both good and bad because if you’re properly building the company,
That’s not to ask you what you are considering if this is what happens.
That’s not to say that this is your job, but his job is to do!!
you have people that you either know that you can rely on and you’ve correctly selected the right
There are many different ways that he’s doing it.
people or you’ve helped develop people to the point where they can do that stuff and you can
Which we do, and we use them for self, to teach our clients and friends and Mass.
trust your team. And it’s a skill and an accomplishment to build a good working team,
It helps them think thoughtfully about could do more about his job that way if the whole
is what we should do and what we should do.
but it also means that the stuff that you used to do, presuming you liked it, you don’t really
Well, you know, just to be completely transparent, if I wanted to do things that I enjoyed doing,
get to do that stuff anymore. And like you said, if you are in there doing it,
you’ve got a problem because you’re focusing on the wrong things at that point.
I would be a system engineer.
That’s what I most enjoy doing, that if money weren’t, you know, if I didn’t need money
And I could just do a gig. I would be a system engineer, a system architect.
Um, I would be building, not running a business,
doing HR, doing client meetings, you know,
all the headache, but life has evolved as like, well,
I no longer get to do that, but I, you know,
I have kind of, uh, sequestered all of Sublime’s IT.
I do our IT.
So it kind of allows me to hit that a little bit.
It’s pretty cool. That’s that’s pretty cool. And I will say look to be able to say that you
went from not knowing how to run a business and
Having to go back to working for other people
To now being able to run your own business for as long as you have and develop a team
That’s got to be pretty satisfying because that takes skill
That is not something that anybody can just do there, you know, a lot of people fail at that kind of thing
So that’s that’s good. That’s got to be rewarding
Huh-uh. I know who he is, but…
Do you ever listen to Dave Ramsey?
Yeah, so I used to listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey.
And one of the things he talks about
in his entrepreneurial thing is he
said, you’ll create 10 businesses before you’ll
have a successful one.
And my wife and I were like, oh, no, he’s crazy.
And he said, well, every business
that you ever thought of an idea, you started on,
it was a flop and whatever.
You said, that was the start of a business.
And we were counting them up like, oh, oh,
Sublime was my 10th company I’ve tried to do.
See, I guess that’s one way to look at it, but I for sure would think of it more along
the lines of what have I put money into.
You don’t want to have 10 failures that you’ve put money into because most people can’t withstand
Like most people can’t make it past that hurdle.
Most people would be lucky to make it past the first failed business financially, let
alone a second one, let alone a third one.
You know what I mean?
Like financially, if you’re putting money into something and you think this is going
be how I support my family. That’s how I look as starting a business.
Yeah, but yeah, it was a big leap of faith.
And then, you know, there are days when I’m so sick of it that I’m like, “Oh, I’ll sell
Hi, I’m raised at the
it for a dollar just to make the headache go away.”
And then there’s days I’m like, “No, it’s, you know, there’s an old song, you know, an
old hymn, you know, it’s kind of a children’s song, the Count Your Blessings.”
And if I start counting the reasons why working at Sublime, running Sublime, and my life is
Yeah, I can tell you, I’m sure there are tons of downsides to working for yourself and being
good, if I start counting those things, I’m like, “Yeah, this is really nice.”
We all know Sublime,lingLA,
if we;m going to have live NASA fly,
responsible for other people’s livelihoods and the time that that must involve and the
it takes many hours and time,
when there are no discretionary
fact that you don’t always get to work on what you want to.
matters we can do that.
But as somebody who works for a big corporation, I’ll say there’s tons of downsides too, because
So, our hope is that we’re
going to have this.
you’re subject to the whims of people who change their minds all the time.
That’s exactly what we’re going to have to cover,
You’re subject to the whims of the stock market.
thinking about what it’s going to have to say.
So you may find yourself doing, you know, people may find themselves doing the jobs
of four people, you know, that were doing it previously, and now they’re not, and they’re
And by the way, they’re not getting any raises, that kind of stuff.
So there’s definite downsides to other people’s opinions being your law, you know.
Yeah, that is nice. I do like being the final say, you know, I take advice. I mean, it’s not a democracy,
Yeah, it has to be, yeah.
but I’m definitely going to take input and come to an informed decision,
but at the end of the day it is my decision.
Okay, so I have a question for you.
What is this one about bioluminescent bay?
How do you… What is that…
Oh, that’s why there’s question marks.
So if Peter were going to be on today, I was going to ask him if he visited Vieques.
Yeah, so there’s a little offshoot of Puerto Rico Island and within it there’s a bay
and it meets all of the environment variables to make a beautiful bioluminescent bay. So
the bioluminescent bugs, you know, creatures got stuck in there and they’ve just kept blooming.
Oh, that is cool.
And so they have a night you can go out there and kayak in glass bottom kayaks.
I mean, and it’s like Tron. I mean, it’s amazing. You get out there with these bombs,
and like you see every place you put your oar, it glows, and if you pick it up, it glows down
your hand, and you’ll see fish swimming in the water, and it’s just a light stream falling up,
so it’s a really cool thing. Yeah, we went there, I guess it was, I don’t remember what year, 2016.
It was right before they had the big hurricane there that they lost so much infrastructure.
But I was also going to ask him, it was the most, at that time, it was the most expensive
vacation we’d ever taken.
Just everything cost more there.
Oh, interesting. I wonder about that because when he, the way he described his previous trip to me was
Well, maybe it was.
a lot of the stuff that he did was, it seemed relatively inexpensive.
Well, I don’t know. He’s got his entire condo outfitted with Sonos gear. He can’t be too
I mean, you know, Peter is kind of cheap.
Yeah, well, he’s cheap in other ways.
It’s good to pick and choose. It’s good to know what you’re willing to spend money on
Yeah, yeah, that’s okay.
and then not to also spend money on everything else.
I won’t fault him too much for that. I’m still a little bitter about the lifestyle work thing,
I don’t have a lifestyle career. When they talk about work-life balance with me,
Yeah, that means when you took your vacation, did you consider the project list?
it means you better balance your life around work.
That’s right. Oh, that’s actually true, because I’ve been negotiating. I talked to my… Now,
the guy that I work for right now, he is super good about believing that, like, he’s like,
“Look, if your family wants you to be able to take your time at this time, I really want you
be able to do it, but we still have to look at the things I’m responsible for and see if it works out.
But he’s really good about wanting to make it work. So I honestly don’t have any complaints
Yeah, you know, and I, like I said, there’s pros and cons to big company, small company.
in that department, but you’re right. Technically speaking, yeah, it’s absolutely,
well, if you’re responsible for this and this thing is happening at this time,
most bosses there would probably say, “No, I’m sorry. It’s not happening.”
And one of the small company problems is if you and another person are critical to part
of the business and that other person has already requested vacation off and you’ve
requested it, I have to say, “Oh no, Scott, you can’t get, I mean, can you reschedule?”
I don’t just say, “No.”
Like, “Well, what could we do?
You know, we really can’t make this work with both of you being off at that time.”
Where my wife, she spent time working at big companies and she’s like, “I don’t care.
This is, I’ve got vacation days.
I’m going to take it off.”
Well, yeah, I mean, if you’re working with big corporate, you kind of expect that.
But if you’re working a small business, you kind of-if you’re going to take the benefits
of being a small business, you’ve got to take the bad things that come with small business.
You can’t just have two weeks where nobody’s doing this particular job usually for the
So yeah, yeah, for sure.
I’ve worked with a lot of people who are kind of like that.
They’re good at working for a company.
They do a great job, but they never could or would even dare to try to do something
for themselves that way.
It’s totally different.
Yeah, it is a mindset. I had to adjust the way I thought because, like I said, when I was,
you know, when I was trying to do it at $25 an hour completely, I was thinking like an engineer.
I was thinking, well, it’s only worth this much money. Not thinking like an entrepreneur of,
okay, I’ve got to back end all these other costs. I’ve got, you know, there’s just a lot more to it.
And, you know, I can’t bill that. I mean, even when I went back, I wasn’t billing anything
less than a hundred dollars an hour, you know, seven years later, which was less, you know,
of course we’ve built a lot more now, you know, it’s like a hundred dollars an hour, I felt like
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
was well that’s what’s needed to get everything done and but you know, right, there’s just a lot
of education that I didn’t have and then I started thinking of everything in those terms. What’s it
going to cost to do the work, I’ve got to cover it, and I’ve got to double that.
And also, you have to look at what other people are doing, not because you want to do the
exact same things everybody else is doing, but you have to at least look like you know
what you’re doing and you’re in the same ballpark, you’re in the same space.
So if you say, “Oh, $25 an hour,” and they’re like, “Everyone else wanted 150 bucks an hour,
what’s wrong with this guy?”
That can be a problem too.
Believe it or not, being too cheap can actually be a problem.
Yeah, yeah, like, oh, well, we can’t be getting the same value for sure.
Yeah, this guy’s working out of his garage, isn’t he?
His dad and mom are calling him into dinner.
I’ll be up in a minute, Ma.
All right, so what is four roses bourbon today?
So it’s just a little funny story. So I went, I knew I wanted to get a beer for the podcast today.
What does that mean?
[” Cor protein’ Battle]
today. So I was like, okay, I’m gonna go at my local pour vu. They’re a local company or a local
liquor store. I know the owner and I went and picked my beer. But then I was like, well,
when I’m here, I like to get a good bottle of bourbon. So I went to the bourbon section and I
got there and there were these two older ladies and they were standing right in front of my bourbon.
And I just said, excuse me, and I grabbed the bottle that I wanted.
And I wasn’t rude.
I was, you know, right.
And they said, well, can you—
I said, what’s the difference between—
because I grabbed the bottles that they were looking at.
And the bottle of bourbon that I got was a $45 bottle of bourbon.
And they were comparing that to the $21 bottle of Four Roses bourbon.
And they said, you know, what’s the big difference here
between these two?
Yeah, so they took out the smart ass.
that’s kind of chatty about Ryan
You know, they were ready for that.
They’re like, aside from $20, what’s the difference here?
And I said, well, OK, so it’s a single barrel malt.
I said, it’s got a darker, smoky taste, a richer taste.
I said, here’s the real difference.
Are you buying this for a bourbon connoisseur
or for somebody you’re wanting to buy some bourbon.”
I said, “If you’re buying for a bourbon connoisseur,
get the $45 one.
They will enjoy that.
If they won’t know the difference, get the 21.”
Were they buying for themselves?
Yeah, they were buying a gift for somebody
Was it Grandma Liquor Night?
‘cause they had told me, they said,
“We’re buying this as a gift for somebody.”
Well, if it’s a connoisseur, get the single barrel.
Get what I got.
It wasn’t just grandmas getting liquored up and talking about the old days.
Like, you need to look on a lower shelf if you’re just wanting to get drunk.
We have solutions for you that don’t cost anywhere near that much.
Do you ever watch Ted Lasso?
Oh, that’s awesome. That is cool! See, look! You’re still helping people, Adam.
You’re helping people make the right decisions.
That’s the business you’re in.
Yes, I watched the whole thing, yes.
Oh my goodness.
I’m trying to get Peter to resubscribe to watch it because right now he doesn’t have
Apple TV Plus.
So now I can’t watch it.
Once again, it’s another thing he’s cheap on.
I had a girlfriend that had Apple TV and I was watching it and I’d watched it for two
years and then she cut me off.
If only there was a way to subscribe for yourself, Peter, if only there was a way.
He probably would get it free with something he would upgrade, you know, or something he’s
But you know, there’s the part when, when Jamie gets his password compromised and he says,
he says, I thought I did it right. I spelled password with two S’s.
But it made me think of that. So my daughter’s car, I I’m upside down in it. I spent
$4,500 on the car when she was 16, and she’s now 22.
And I have since put $12,000 in the car repairing—
it was in positions where it’s in—
she was going to school in Louisville.
The transmission goes out in Louisville.
Well, my choice is to buy her a new car
or spend $4,000 on getting the stupid transmission fixed
So I made some if I’d taken my time I should have just bought her another car rather than
Yeah, I’m not getting rid of it now.
fixing the issue and moving on. So I said I’m not I had to spend four thousand dollars to get the
stupid thing back up and running. Yeah I’m not getting rid of it now. I’m super upside down on
this thing, thirty five hundred dollars. And so I started driving it in April. It was my in-town car
And yesterday it stopped driving over 2000 RPM.
I could drive whatever speed I could get as long as the engine was under 2000 RPM.
So I’m calling Kids for Cars today and they are coming to pick up that car and it’s being donated
Oh my god, but how do you get high enough to shift gear? I mean,
you’re like lugging in whatever gear you shift into.
and I’ll just drive my truck all the time again. But I was laughing because like you’re gonna make
a company for kids, a non-profit company, but you spell it wrong. You know and you’re like
kids you’re trying to educate kids but now you’re spelling your name wrong so it’s
kids for cars with a k. Like oh you know we know we spelled it wrong we know kids starts with a c
It bothers me for reasons that I can’t explain and they’re probably stupid, like who cares in the long run.
Yeah, yeah, they they’re gonna come pick it up I could drop it off but I can’t drive the car there
If it works for them and they succeed at business, it doesn’t matter.
But yeah, I see that and I’m like, “I… that’s weird.”
However, the business itself looks like a really good business.
It’s like 40 minutes away
So they’re they’re gonna come bring a tow truck tomorrow and haul it off
I’m sign the title and give them the keys and I get a tax deduction for whatever they sell it for
It’s gonna be gone tomorrow
Well, Adam, you’ve got a bourbon to celebrate once that car is gone.
Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of crazy.
The minute that the minute that thing hits the end of the driveway,
you’re going to be chugging down the bourbon.
That is awesome.
That’s kind of a milestone.
You’re getting rid of a car that got your kid through college, I guess.
She’s now headed to law school.
Tell her to get a move on.
Yeah, I need a lawyer.
She can support you can retire.
This is your retirement plan, Adam.
Oh, you need a lawyer. Oh, yeah.
I need a lawyer.
There’s certain spots that are really purple.
Why are their bodies buried on that lavender farm of yours that we don’t know about?
Everything grows there for some reason.
I’ll have to send you some, uh, pictures.
Cause we next week we start harvest right now.
The flowers are up.
They’re purple, but you know how like a flower it’s budded, you know,
like a rose is budded, but the flowers haven’t come out.
So the lavender is getting ready,
it’s probably bursting out this weekend
and we’ll be cutting it and hanging it and drying it.
What do lavender seasons look like? I don’t know anything about them.
Well, it really depends on the environment.
So out closer to you, your season’s a bit later.
So you’re in July, depending on the variety plan,
it’s not a hard, fast rule,
but generally speaking in Washington,
July and for the whole month of July,
the lavender is beautiful. Now it’s time to go visit. Here it’s a little bit earlier,
so mid-June to early July, that’s kind of our big burst of color. We’ve got to cut it before it
changes color and dyes. But we’ve also, we’re doing some additional varieties this year,
we’ve put in the ground, and so we’ll have some early spring blooms, and then we’re looking for
some later bigger blooms too to kind of spread it out with the plants.
Yeah, that way you’re not… that way you don’t have all the pressure on one
particular point in time and not only that you can also hopefully sustain
product that you can sell over a longer period. That’s cool. Successful business
That’s our business that we, you know, when we couldn’t do anything with COVID,
number two could be coming up here.
See, you can go back to Dave Ramsey and say, “haha you’re wrong! I only failed one
we started another business. We started a lavender farm.
time and then I’ve got two successful businesses.”
Yeah, send some pictures. I’d like to see those.
I don’t know if you have a closing process.
I don’t we don’t have a closing process
We just tell people that the website for Friends with Brews is at Friends with Brews dot com and then Peter laughs endlessly over my mastodon
Which I’m not gonna give here because all you have to do is go to Friends with Brews dot com and click on the friends link
And it’ll list that down at the bottom if he was here
He would try it and then he would fail and he would laugh endlessly
And then that’s about it and then he says time to hit the big red button
But I will let you say time to hit the big red button because you guys are the big red button experts
Well, it has been a pleasure hanging out with you today, Scott, so I’m going to hit the
big red button.
Tell your friends.