Eddie Thomason, bestselling author, speaker, consultant, and creator of the Simply Secure podcast, comes to Hacker Valley Studio to discuss financial independence, the freedom of a healthy work-life balance, and habits that have helped him succeed. As a father of two with a full-time job and a thriving content creation career, Eddie explains not only how he does it all, but also how much he cares about helping other security professionals achieve the same level of success.
[00:00] Eddie’s background & his current cyber role with Data Locker
[06:07] Growing up in Baltimore City & finding his podcasting inspiration
[13:10] Balancing work & life with calendar planning
[19:13] 4 essential habits: reading, listening, association, & work
[28:20] Advice for digital content creators & security professionals
Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and AttackIQ for bringing this episode to life!
Want to learn more about how Mindbody enhanced their asset visibility and increased their cybersecurity maturity rating with Axonius? Check out axonius.com/mindbody
AttackIQ - better insights, better decisions, and real security outcomes. That's why we partnered with them to create free cybersecurity trainings! Check it out at academy.attackiq.com
What is the connection between cybersecurity and this financial independence and freedom mindset you have?
In his book, on his podcast, and throughout his career, Eddie has emphasized the importance of financial independence, especially when it comes to diversifying his income. Instead of calling his projects and revenue streams “side hustles,” Eddie prefers to think of them as baby businesses; small businesses in the infant stage that have massive professional potential. With COVID severely changing Eddie’s economic perspective, he firmly believes in having multiple sources of income and in fostering the growth of each project until he’s seeing revenue to rival the full-time income he already makes in his day job.
“If you look at it as a side hustle, that's all it's ever going to be, it's just something that creates a little bit of extra income, but if you look at it as a baby business, that could really replace the income that you currently make.”
How do you balance content creation, day-to-day job responsibilities, and fatherhood?
Being an author and a cybersecurity consultant can both already be demanding jobs, but throwing 2 young children and an entire podcast into the mix makes Eddie’s success borderline hard to believe. However, Eddie credits his success to understanding his priorities and heavily managing his calendar. Entrepreneurs need to think of their schedules down to the minute, maybe even the second. Eddie is not afraid to set aside time for his children, even if it means he has to work in the evenings on his own entrepreneurial goals. Eddie knows that when he puts his calendar together, he is giving himself the time he needs and deserves to work and spend time on what’s important to him, even alongside all his other responsibilities as an employee.
“If you're going to work for 8 hours a day for somebody else's dream, then why can't you come home on a daily basis and give yourself at least 2 hours? We're not talking about a whole nother 8, but give yourself at least two hours. From the hours of 5 to 7, what can you do to invest in yourself?”
What are some successful habits you’ve picked up throughout your life and that you mention in your book, Unlock Yourself?
Four successful habits guide Eddie through his busy life as an entrepreneur and full-time worker, the first of which is reading. Reading is a source of knowledge and connection with others, and Eddie has learned amazing lessons from reading books and articles. The second is listening, which, just like reading, offers Eddie the ability to learn and to connect with the world. Coming in third is association. Surrounding himself with people who inspire him and are dedicated to his goals reminds Eddie of how badly he wants this. Fourth and finally, work. Putting in the work without expecting the success to happen overnight helps Eddie with his patience and always leads to a much better payoff.
“If you surround yourself with incredible people who inspire you and uplift you and encourage you, then there's no reason why you should not get to your goal. There's no reason why you should give up because you have people that understand how badly you want to accomplish your goals. They won't let you quit on yourself.”
Do you have advice for those looking to achieve success similar to you?
Although it may seem daunting to tackle a career as extensive as Eddie’s, Eddie is confident that his mindset around work can help anyone become successful. Most specifically, amongst all the entrepreneurial advice Eddie gives, his strongest point centers around understanding the “why.” Knowing why he does what he does not only helps keep Eddie on track for a solid work-life balance, it also allows him to see the impact his work has on the people around him. With his wife being a stay-at-home mom and his children being young, Eddie understands the necessity of his hard work and wants to inspire his family with his continued success.
“If I don't perform, the people around me suffer. If I don't do what I need to do, then the people around me are not going to be better off. The impact that it is going to have on them is so much heavier than the impact that it'll actually have on me individually.”
Purchase a HVS t-shirt at our shop
Continue the conversation by joining our Discord
Hacker Valley Studio 00:07
Who says tech can't be human?
I know that was a long-winded response, but that was bringing me all the way back to this idea of betting on yourself and believing that no matter the environment that you grew up in, no matter the circumstances you were born into, you can still create the success you want, if you just make small positive choices that compound over time.
Hacker Valley Studio 00:30
Welcome to the Hacker Valley Studio podcast.
What's going on everybody? You are in the Hacker Valley Studio with your hosts, Ron and Chris.
Welcome back to the show.
Glad to be back again. We are joined by a man who cares. Not just about himself, but his family, his community, and making an impact. When I met our guest, I knew we had to have him on the podcast, and here he is. Our guest this episode is Eddie Thomason. Eddie is the creator of the Simply Secure podcast, as well as a bestselling author, as well as a serial entrepreneur and a consultant for Data Locker. Eddie, we got a lot to talk about this episode, but most importantly, welcome to the podcast.
What up, what up? So excited to be here with you guys. Looking forward to this incredible conversation.
We are, too. Eddie, it's not fair how good your stuff is so early on in your content creation career. It took us years to get to where you are today, but for the folks out there that don't know who you are just yet, we'd love to hear a little bit about your background and what you're doing today.
Absolutely, man. I felt like my background is kind of like, what do you call it? Like a McDonald's Happy Meal, right? Like, you just never know what you're gonna get. It's filled with so much. Man, I mean, my background, all the way back to the beginning. I'm a sports guy at heart, right? So, I played a lot of sports when I was in high school. Football was definitely my go-to sport. I earned a D1 scholarship to go play at Bryant University up in Rhode Island, and basically took this this background in sales, man, you know? Went through sales, probably since when I graduated in 2015. But I got a background in sales from when I was nine years old, selling hats and t-shirts at the Orioles and Ravens stadium. So, it's been a while. Now, I've transitioned into this incredible space of cybersecurity and now I'm working with a company called Data Locker. And it's been an incredible ride and incredible journey, but I know we'll hit a lot of spots along the way.
It's funny that you mentioned having that start into sales because Chris always talks on the podcast about a story of selling candy. Chris, what was that story exactly about how you got started in sales?
I was a business man at the ripe old age of, I don't know, seventh grade or something like that. I saw people selling candy and I was like, "You know what? I could do that. All you got to do is buy some and then charge more for it." So, I'd buy these pixie sticks. You know, pixie sticks are probably a half a cent apiece, but I was selling them for 10 cents. I mean, look at the margins on something like that, and that's really where that entrepreneurial bug bit me.
Absolutely. It's funny that you say that, Chris, because man, you share that story. I was in middle school. I sold stuff when I was in eighth grade in middle school and then, when I got into high school, I diversified my inventory. I had Hi-C boxes and Capri Suns and everything else, and I was told to cease and desist by my high school because I was making the vending machines lose money.
So, when did you realize that this was your future? You know, selling. I meet a lot of salespeople, some people have always thought of themselves as a salesperson, and some people have thought of themselves as one step closer to being a CEO selling their big idea. So, where did it fit in for you?
That's a great question. Ron. I will say Initially, it started working for an entrepreneur, like I said, when I was nine years old. So, I worked for a guy who sold hats and t-shirts and peanuts and things like the Orioles and Ravens stadium and I just saw the lifestyle that he had right. I realized that he put a little bit of extra hours into doing what he did as a business owner, a small business owner, but at the same time, he really controlled his income and what he could make for his family. So, from a very young age, I got paid, I think was like 20% of those commissions, or 20% off of the total revenue, right? So, I remember being, from 9 years old all the way up until I was 18 basically, I worked for this guy named Damon, today he's like a father figure to me, and I remember I told Damon when I was 18, I was like, "Damon, I'm gonna go work inside of corporate America, man, I want to see what it's like and see what I'm missing out on," blah, blah. And I said, "I'm gonna take this job working for Finish Line. And I worked for Finish Line for like, two weeks, and was like, "This absolutely sucks. I don't understand how
people work for these kinds of wages." I worked for probably like, 30 hours in a 2-week pay period and in that 30 hours, I only get paid like, $500 on a paycheck. Where if I was working for Damon in my sales role, making 20% of commissions off of everything that I sold, I would come home with $500 in one day. So, the fact that immediately I was like, "Nah, I can't do this regular old employee thing, I gotta definitely be in sales, or do something that allows me to earn more commission, and more money."
So, what was it about betting on yourself? Like, we were speaking a little bit before the podcast about you going around, doing speaking engagements and things like that, which could definitely lead into your career as a podcaster, but where did the selling thing come from? Was this something that you done innately? Like, you're a people person and you like to speak? Where did this all come from, and what was the story of that trajectory going through speaking and podcasting?
Absolutely. Man, that's a great question from the aspect of, speaking more so stemmed from just wanting to help people and at heart, I have a passion to help other people just get out of their own way, right? So, stop having so many self-limiting beliefs and preventing themselves from moving forward, just because of poor mentality or poor mindset towards your surroundings, or the current resources that you have. So, I feel like in order to give you the right context, Chris, I got to take it back a little bit to give you, I guess, the right content right in itself to kind of understand it because when I was a kid, I grew up in a single mom household. My mom raised me and my brother on a $13,000 a year disability income, right? So, when you say broke, we were broke, broke. I had to come back to this idea of what I thought my only options were to be successful were to sell drugs, play some type of professional sport, some type of athlete, or be an entertainer have some sort, a rapper, dancer, singer, or something like that.
I definitely wasn't street enough to sell drugs. I didn't have the talent to actually be some type of entertainer. So, I picked the athletic route and kind of ran with that. Along the way, I've realized that was my outlet to really get out of the environment that I was in, right? Growing up in Baltimore City in an environment that wasn't the prettiest place to be inside of, right? So, I used that as an opportunity to overcome some family curses, to break some generational curses, which one, I was the first male in my family to graduate from a university and then, the first male in my high school to ever earn a D1 scholarship out of my high school, right? So, those two things, people always ask me, like, how was that a thing? How did you even do that? Or whatever else it may be. Now, I just use that story as an opportunity to go back inside of different schools and universities and share that story because most people, they just need to hear somebody who's been where they are, so they can understand and believe that they can get to a higher ground, right? So, that's where that kind of stemmed from. In regards to the sales piece of it embedded on myself, I felt as though, yes, of course, I had incredible
people in my corner that were supporting me, like my mom, and my brother, and a lot of coaches and some different teachers and things like that, right? But also had a lot of people that was naysayers and told me that I couldn't succeed and that I couldn't win, right? And I just use that stuff as fuel. I know that was a long-winded response, but that was bringing me all the way back to this idea of betting on yourself and believing that no matter the environment that you grew up in, no matter the circumstances you were born into, you can still create the success you want, if you just make small positive choices that compound over time.
I love it. That is a powerful story just in itself. One, getting out of your previous life situation and making it better. One word that comes to my mind, especially when we spoke off the podcast previously, we spoke about independence, but from a financial perspective, financial independence. I think that's one step closer to financial freedom. Really being able to move and operate, not just knowing that you can cover your expenses, but to really grow and really make an impact. I would love to hear: What is the connection between cybersecurity and this financial independence and freedom mindset you have? Where is the next step for you? How would you look at financial independence or freedom when you're explaining it to someone else?
So, great question, I'm gonna start with the back half and then come back to the middle, if that's okay with you. I think, when you look at financial independence and what that looks like, you already mentioned, Ron, I think it's a matter of being in a place financially where you don't have to depend on somebody else to pay you an income or pay your wage, right? And I think is very important overall to have, some people call it side hustles, whatever you want to call it, right? I call them, basically baby businesses, right? Because if you look at it as a side hustle, that's all it's ever going to be, it's just something that creates a little bit of extra income, but if you look at it as a baby business, that if you are a cybersecurity professional and you're getting paid a decent wage, right? Which most of us are inside of this industry, then you should still be focusing on something that you can do outside of that, that's going to pay you a long-term income, that over the next 5, 10, 15 years, could really replace the income that you currently make.
So, to put this in numbers form, let's say you're making a six-figure income, you're making 100k, then you should be having some type of side business that can, over the next three to five years, replace that income. So, now when you're working, it's like gravy, right? It's extra income that you can make decisions, based off of the merit of the decision, not based off of whether or not you have to work that day, right? Like, one of my favorite things to do is, if I want to spend some time with my wife, or spend some time with my kids, I'm not in a position where I feel as though I can't reach out to my boss and say, "Hey, I got a vacation that I want to go on," and my boss is coming back and saying like, "Well, you already used up 7 of your 10 free vacation days." I really don't care about that. I'm just gonna let you know. I'm not asking for permission, I'm letting you know. This is what is going to happen, right? Now thankfully, the position I'm in right now, it does have unlimited PTO, but it has not always been that way. This is the first company I worked for that has had unlimited PTO. But majority of the time, I let
those employers know, like, "Hey, the values that I have goes in order of importance." Number one is my faith. Number two is my family. Number three is actually my business, and number four is this role, this position, right? It's important for me to keep my business going because if something does happen, like COVID 2020, and you have to let me go, then I'll always have something that I can fall back on.
Security controls fail everywhere, they fail constantly, and worst of all, they fail silently. That's why you need Attack IQ, the leading automated insights platform to continually validate your defenses. Better insights, better decisions, and real security outcomes. Get it all with Attack IQ. Plus, check out the Attack IQ Academy for free cybersecurity training, featuring the good people here at Hacker Valley Studio. Register today at Academy. AttackIQ.com, and let them know Hacker Valley Studio sent you.
You're talking to two guys that know intimately what you're talking about, but I'm sure a lot of folks out there, they're looking at this thing called time. One of our favorite books ever, and it actually has been a minute since we mentioned it, but it's Cal Newport's Be So Good They Can't Ignore You. Like, let's say you have a side business that's not even related to the role that you're currently in, it's something else. In order to build that value, you need to invest time, you need to invest energy, and sometimes, you have to invest money in order to make it something valuable that you can do in the future. Obviously, you're a man, you have a family. How do you balance the time of building something on the side, doing your day to day role, and then also being a husband and a father at the end of the day?
That's an incredible question, man. I'm going to be honest, that's something that I'm always working to try to improve. But number one, I would say to answer that question in a very simple term, calendar planning. Your calendars or friend. Become a student to your calendar, and you'll be surprised how much you actually can do and what you're actually capable of, based off of what you put inside of your calendar, right? So, that's number one, but before I dive into how you do that, I gotta first go back to the mindset because the mindset, if you don't get that part right, you're gonna fail before you even start.
Here's the thing that I tell people all the time, if you're trying to start something new and you're trying to build it from scratch and you're bootstrapping, whatever it may be, here's what I tell people in regards to time. If you're going to work for 8 hours a day for somebody else's dream, somebody else's business, something that you're scaling, helping them scale or helping them grow, then why can't you come home on a daily basis and give yourself at least 2 hours? We're not talking about a whole nother 8, but give yourself at least two hours, right? From the hours of 5 to 7, what can you do that's going to invest in yourself? Invest in your dream, invest in your future, so that over time, you can hopefully replace the bigger income, which is the role or job that you have, right? So, that's the number one thing is that mindset. You got to first understand, if you're already giving time to somebody else, then you should try
to find time to spend for yourself, right? Another way of saying it is, basically, if you should have the mindset of if I'm going to build somebody else's dream for X amount of time, I should be able to build my own dream for at least half that time, until it gets to a point where I can actually grow it beyond that and spend more time doing something I'd rather be doing, instead of something that I have to be doing, which is typically a job, right? So, that's the first piece of it.
Now, how do you get to calendar planning in itself? Here's what I've learned. As an entrepreneur, and you guys probably know this 100% of the way, we think in terms of minutes, we don't think in terms of hours, right? And some of us, who have really gotten really good at it, and our time has really spread thin, we think of it in terms of seconds, right? So, for example, if we feel as though somebody reached out, they're like, "Hey, man, you got a quick second to talk about this." They'll look at our calendar, and we'll be like, "Oh, yeah, I actually got nine minutes between this meeting and the next, let me go ahead and jump on this call." Where most people they're like, "Nah, actually, I got a meeting in the next nine minutes, so I'm going to take that time to search on social media, or do whatever else. I need to, quote unquote, prepare for this meeting that's coming up," but at the end of the day, you're not preparing for it, you're just waiting for it to happen, right? So, that's one thing of it, right? And another thing, it's funny, this happens more often than not with some of the people that we mentor, me and my wife. When they say like, "Oh, you know, what do you guys have going on a Tuesday night or Wednesday night?" And they're like, "Oh, well, I got like, for the sake of example, the NBA Finals, or the NBA Playoffs is happening right now. Oh, I gotta watch my team play at 7 o'clock." It's like, "Alright, but what do you got going on at 6." "I don't know, but the team is playing at 7." You can't meet from 6 to 7? I don't understand, but as a business owner, that's what you do, right? Like, you find time amongst your calendar, wherever those little— Actually, not find it. I say you steal it. You steal time in these different pockets of your calendar to go make things happen instead of just waiting for them things to happen.
So, number one thing is calendar planning, man. To give some quick tips, I would say from a family standpoint, from 5 to 8:30, nothing goes on my calendar other than time on my wife and my kids. My phone goes away because like I said, my values in itself, I prioritize my family and my relationship with my kids, especially since they're only 3 and 2 years old. I'm very necessary in their life at this point in time, right? But outside of that, everything business-wise typically happens after that. So, if I'm doing stuff for my woodworking business, or for the speaking business, or for our coaching business, all that happens typically after that 8 o'clock time period, and then, sometimes during lunch break during the day, right? But then, I still give my full hours to the company that I work for, which is Data Locker for the moment. That time nine to five? That's spent doing data locker stuff, right? Because I have so much going on, I have to be intentional with my calendar and what's going on during that time to make sure
that everything can still get done, and nothing feels like it's getting the leftover pieces of me, if that makes sense.
100%. I mean, that is so strong to implant in your mind, just because, if you don't look at it that way, you're going to easily miss out on opportunities to spend time with the people that you care about, or even to spend time alone, maybe learning a new hobby or reading a book. If you don't think of the time as something that you can use and fit things into, then how can you be sure that you're going to accomplish anything?
I was gonna say, I'm gonna add on that because there's actually a whole chapter in my book that talks about morning routines, or routines in general. It's not just morning routines, but as I say, everybody should have a morning routine and a nightly routine because at the end of the day, that's really the only time that you control throughout the day. You can control how you wake up, and you should be able to control how you go to sleep, and if you can get really good at being intentional about, "Hey, I'm going to read during this time, I'm going to listen to a podcast during this time to start my day." Like, you got to pick up those success habits that other successful people do, and incorporate that into your routine. That's another way of just focusing on calendar planning, but it really starts with when you get up and when you go to sleep, everything that happens in between is usually adaptive time.
That's true. And you always hear the term "winning the morning," but no one talks about winning the night because winning the night is how you win the morning. You got to go to bed on time if want to wake up early, and if you don't have to wake up early, then maybe you should be doing the things that you really enjoy before bed. You know, that's what I like to do. I really go deep into cooking at night and that's my time to learn a new craft, but I did want to talk about your book a little bit and also success habits. I've got two questions for you, I'm going to interweave them together. What were some of the success habits that you've learned just throughout your life and that you mention in the book? And also, how does one find other successful people to be around? So, I would imagine that that's also one of habits, just being around positive, influential people with also good habits.
Absolutely. So, it's funny how you ended that off, because association is a very big portion of it. What I come back to all the time is— I'm gonna say these four things, and I'm gonna go back and talk about them, right? But at the end of the day, here's the four habits that any person needs to really create, in order to create success in whatever endeavor that they want to go into. Number one is reading. I actually had to learn that the hard way because I graduated college and I met a mentor of mine, he asked me if I've read, and I was like, "No, I don't read no more, man, I graduated college and I said I'm done reading for the rest of my life. I absolutely am done with it." And he laughed, and he joked, he had frace with me, and he asked me, "Do you want to be a leader?" I said, Of course, I want to be a leader. I played sports my whole life. I'd consider myself a leader. I would love to be a leader, especially in the
business world." He was like, "Well, all leaders are readers, but not all readers are leaders." And then, he said, "You probably hate reading so much, because you were reading all these textbooks about things that had no direct application to your life. You're learning about the War of 1812 or a book about something that just didn't relate to you, right?" I was like, "Well, yeah, I think you got a point there." He started giving me success principles books, right? Started giving me things like, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He gave me Think & Grow Win, he gave me How to Win Friends & Influence People, and all these things. I was like, "Oh my gosh, these are incredible." I basically developed a huge appetite for reading. I think I read 58 books in the first 12 months, just because I became so infatuated with the idea that I need to learn and learn more. So, reading and what I always say is reading from a self-help book, or some type of professional development book. You can learn from novels, put yourself in the shoes of
Harry Potter, but that's just not how my mind works. It's an option, I'm not gonna say it's impossible, but I typically say stick with self-help books, professional development books, and read at least 15 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be a full chapter, it doesn't have to be a lot. Just start with 15 minutes a day.
Outside of that, reading is number one. The second piece I always come back to is listening. Most people really don't listen. I think it all just goes in one ear and out the other. So, for anybody who's listening right now, you will understand that whatever you listen to will determine the direction that you go, right? If you have a dream or goal of owning a successful business or becoming a successful salesperson, or being a successful cybersecurity analysts or pen tester, whatever else it may be, then you should probably start listening to other stories from people who have accomplished what you're trying to accomplish, right? For me, when I was a broke kid, just trying to make my way and earn a scholarship inside of football, I was listening to stories from Ray Lewis and I was listening to stories from Carmelo Anthony, any athlete that felt like they came from nothing to creating something, those are the stories that I was listening to. How do you do that? Podcasts, man, I mean, we're listening to one right now, right? So, if you haven't added Hacker Valley, everything that they do to like, subscribe to everything, you probably should, or if there's something specific that you want to get into, if you're just breaking in the cyber, you probably want to go look up other cyber podcasts, right? Those are things that you can listen to, to hear stories and glean the hope and inspiration that what you're doing will actually get you to the success that you want to create, right? Because it's a process, but you just need to continue to listen to the right people.
The other aspect of that, and if you buy the book, you can learn a whole lot more about this in itself, but we don't have enough time to go deep into it, I would say is, the fact that you got to learn the difference between advice and opinions. You can listen to the wrong people, right? You can listen to people opinions and get really, really, really crappy results. Or, you can listen to people who have had fruit on the tree, or has fruit on the tree and is willing to help stick their hand out and say, "Hey, I can help you get here. I can help you get to where I am," but those are the people that you have to listen to. Now, a prime example of that. I'm a mama's boy, I always have been, always will be. I always say I never really had a choice, right? But because I'm a mama's boy and I respect my mom so much and I love her so much, it's funny because some people will come up to me and be like, 'Hey, would you follow advice from your mom about how to have a successful marriage or how to grow a business?" And as much as
I love my mom, I tell them, "No, I actually wouldn't." And not because I don't love my mom, it's not because I don't respect my mom. It's because my mom doesn't have any fruit on a tree from a successful marriage or a successful business, right? Although she has a genuine interest in my wellbeing and wants me to be successful, she can't speak to me from a standpoint of experience there, she can only speak to me from a standpoint of theoretical advice. I don't want theories, I want results. You got to learn how to listen to the people who are in the standpoint of life where you actually want to be and can help you get there.
The last few things I'll hit on really briefly. Number three is association, and I'll wrap up with that one, since you brought up that one first, Ron. Number four is just work, man, I'm so tired of living in an environment, in a society, where people feel as though they can get something from nothing. They just sign up for a course or they sign up for this thing, and then stuff is just supposed to fall out of the sky, because they signed up. Well, that's not the case, man, you got to work. I think anybody who's created success in life understands that you have to pay a price. Success comes with a price, right? It's a price of discipline, typically, and it's doing things that you really don't want to do, but at the end of the day, it gets you the result that you want and that's what work is. I feel like a lot of us are unfortunately in this microwave mentality type of society, where they just think things are supposed to happen immediately.
If you start doing work today, typically what I've learned, you don't see results for that for the first six to nine months, right? It takes time, and you gotta be okay with that, you got to plan for that. You got to push through it and work through it, and how you do that is what that last point is: association.
Coming back to association, the fourth thing. If you surround yourself with incredible people, people who inspire you and uplift you and encourage you, then there's no reason why you should not get to your goal. There's no reason why you should give up, when you're only a month into it, 6 days into it, a week into it, whatever it may be, right? Because you have people that understand how bad you want to accomplish your goals, so they don't let you quit on yourself. They don't let you quit on the future people that you're going to help because that goal was accomplished. How you do that? Because that was your original question, Ron. I remembered it, I think. How do you find those people? A lot of it, to be honest, I found a lot of my connections through LinkedIn. I feel like LinkedIn has an incredible community of people that are willing to have a conversation with you. If you don't try to solicit people in their inbox all the freaking time, but you literally just show up as a human being, and say, "Hey, man, I
really do appreciate the content that you're putting out. I appreciate your perspective on this certain topic, I would love to pick your brain about how I can start implementing that for my own self, or implementing that in my business, or implementing that in my marriage," whatever it may be. I think people are more often than not willing to help you than not willing, but you gotta get out of your own way in thinking this person is going to judge you or they're going to feel like you're less than them. Majority of the time, that's not. I would like to say I'm one of the humblest people in the world, from the aspect of, if you reach out and say you need help, I'm not judging you. I'm literally just trying to find ways to help you. I think finding those different environments, and those people will be incredible. Outside of that, you show up. How many of us have been in a LinkedIn group or a Facebook group, and since you're in the group, you just expect people to help you? If you start showing up, on other people's posts or content, things that they're sharing, and you provide value, those people take a genuine interest in trying to learn and get to know you as well. I think that's another aspect of it. Hopefully, that helps. I'm gonna run it down really quick, but it's basically coming down to reading, listening, work, and association. Those are the four habits that you really need to accomplish anything.
That is sound advice, and definitely a framework for getting stuff done, and it is about the work. When you talk about success, you could say like, "Oh, someone won the lottery," but that doesn't necessarily make them successful. They might have money for a short time, but that doesn't make them successful. They might be born into it. They might have money, but that doesn't necessarily make them successful. You're doing so many things. You're doing things in cybersecurity, you're doing things for content, you're writing, you're coaching, you're doing all these things, and there's someone that's listening right now, that doesn't really have that framework of success for themselves. They're doing their work, and they feel like they're doing a good job, but they don't feel like they're moving towards becoming successful. For the folks out there that are listening to this and they want to step into success more tomorrow, what is the best way that they can do that?
It's a great question. I'm bringing it back to when we first talked about Chris's establishing a routine right? Well, actually, you know what? Before we even get to the routine, here's what I highly recommend. People understand what their "why" is, right? Have you ever heard the book Start with Why? It's Simon Sinek. Start with Why is an incredible book from the aspect of it makes you focus on why you're actually doing what you're doing, not just what you're doing in itself, or how you're doing it in itself. When I think about every single day, when I get up. I was about to say when my alarm goes off, but really my body just wakes me up at this point because it's so ingrained. But when my eyes open up every single day, I remind myself, if I don't seize today, if I don't win today, my wife does not work. She does not have a full-time job, she doesn't have employment, right? If I don't seize today in all different areas, my wife won't eat, my kids won't eat, those are the things that I come back to on a daily basis.
If I don't perform, the people around me suffer. For some of you guys, maybe that's what you need to see or need to feel, is like, if I don't do what I need to do, then the people around me are not going to be better off. The impact that is going to have on them is so much heavier than the impact that it'll actually have on me individually. If you're single out there, here's what I did because I started passive income opportunities and things like that back before I was even married and everything else. Here's what I thought to myself: Although I'm single now, I'm going to have a wife and we're going to have kids, right? I'm going to be in a relationship and I need to feel as though, when I do get married, I want my wife to have the option to say, "I don't want to work." Like, if you wanted to work because you love it, feel free, but if you don't want to work because you actually want to be present with the kids and everything else. That's great, too. We have the option we have the flexibility to do so.
So, I would say anybody who feels as though they don't know exactly how to do this, but they want to be successful is first, come back to: Why do you want that success? Because for me, it stems back, for always, from this point on, is always going to be my wife and my kids, right? Like, making sure that they are setup better, and not just my kids, but my kid's kids and beyond, right? The good books says you leave wealth for generations, not just your generation, right? So, that's one piece of it for me, but even before I got married, it was like man, I just want to be able to provide a better lifestyle, and a better example for what my nieces and nephews have to look up to. A better example for my mom, who only has been trapped, like basically, she's traveled to Myrtle Beach and that's it. That's the furthest south that she's ever been. She has been on a plane one time to come up to my senior game at college in Rhode Island, but outside of that, my mom has never experienced anything outside of Baltimore, the city streets of Baltimore, right? When you come back to think about those things and your success depends on other people getting to experience life at a higher level and at a deeper level, I don't know anybody who that wouldn't actually inspire to keep doing more and keep pressing forward because those people are dependent on you.
Absolutely. I love it. Just look at the people that depend on you, the people that might depend on you, and that might just get you moving in the right direction towards success. Eddie, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to hop on the mics with us. For those out there who want to stay up to date with you, your podcast, and all the great things you're doing out there in this world: What are the best ways that people can do that?
Number one way is LinkedIn. Man, I mentioned it a couple of times in this conversation already, but feel free to shoot me a message on LinkedIn. Let me know and put in the little note, like, "Hey, I heard you on the Hacker Valley podcast," and you probably have the highest chance of me actually accepting your request. But yeah, I would say that's probably going to be the best way to reach out because that's where I spend the majority of my time.
Excellent. Thank you, Eddie. We have dropped your information in the show notes for everyone to stay up to date with you. I would highly encourage everybody to check Eddie out on LinkedIn and grab his book, and with that, we'll see everyone next time.
Hacker Valley Studio 33:27
If you found value in this content, it would mean the world to us if you shared it on social media, sent it to a friend, or talked about it over coffee