Concrete Reflections: Life, Risks, and the Existential Crisis of a Barista

We’re back, BABY! After spending last week in Napa for the Concrete Hero’s Quest III, we’re sliding back into our shops, getting our hands dusty with concrete, and diving deep into the stories that shape us. In this episode, we’re rolling down the windows to let in the fresh air of simple pleasures, the daring leaps of taking risks, and those moments of existential wonder that catch you off guard. Join us as we talk about everything from casting planters going sideways to the philosophies that keep our spirits high. It's more than just shop talk—it's life, through the lens of concrete and dreams. Don’t miss out, tune in and let’s keep livin’.





Is it?

I lost you when I mentioned Eminem.


Don't bring up Eminem again.

All right.

You ready?

I'm ready.

Hello, Jon Schuler.

Hello, Brandon Gore.

We're back, baby.

We're back.

We are.

There you go.


Yep, Hero's Quest.

Sound like we went to some place like way off the charts.

But we didn't.

We just went to Napa.

Yeah, for me it's way off the charts.

It it's, you know, it's never an easy journey from Wichita to Napa.

Going there, not the worst.


I'd leave super early in the morning, coming back every time I leave there.

My flight is exactly at midnight.



So this class, Hero's Quest 3.

This class, my buddy Brian Tostado came up.

I met Brian Tostado.


I just call him Toast.

Toast came up to a workshop in Tempe, AZ like in 2005 or 6, and he's the dude.

He's Lebowski.

In real life.

They wrote the movie The Big Lebowski about Brian Tostado.

He's that guy.

So he came up and we became buddies way back then and he's been to, I don't know, 20 or 30 classes now but he lives in Laguna Beach and or Huntington Beach, I'm not sure.


But he cruised up and hung out on the last day.

And then when the class is over, him and I and Brett Pope, another person that's been to several classes, we went out, went to wine tasting, went and got food and went downtown Napa.


And I'm watching my clock.

I'm like, I got plenty of time.

I got plenty of time.

My flight's until midnight, right?

And I keep watching the clock, keep watching the clock.

And I'm planning to leave like around 839, 'cause it takes an hour to get there.

So I'm like, you know, it's an hour.

I'll get there at 10.

Plenty of time.

My flight's, you know, I'm not gonna board till 11301140.


I get in my car, it goes from one hour to three hour travel time.

It's all red on on Apple Maps.

I don't know why.

Oh, I'll tell you why, 'cause I ran into it when I left it.

Remember I left you guys at the restaurant at whatever time that was after after checking out your really cool license plate on the demo club.


For anybody doesn't everybody doesn't know what my license plate was?

'cause I didn't know till Jon told me it was 069 PSY.

That was my license plate, which is like, what?


Oh that's funny.


So anyway, the same thing.

I'm like, Oh my God, I got in and what normally takes, I don't know, 30 minutes maybe to get to Fairfield from Napa.

It was 2 1/2 hours.


Not kidding, you 2 1/2 hours and like there's no other route.

Anyway, what was it?

Turns out there was someone again, I say accused of someone it looked like in a little silver older Honda Civic or something like that.


Toyota Corolla apparently shot somebody on the Interstate.

They recognized the car, chased it down and finally right there in Fairfield, like, so what's normally like A5 lane highway, the, you know, CHP and everybody there was.


So anyway, when you drove by, there was two massive SWAT trucks, you know, those big armored black trucks surrounding this car.

There must have been at least a dozen or more police and sheriff and and CHP cars and they shut down all the lanes.


So what happened?

You know what?

They bottlenecked this whole 6 lane highway into a single lane.

And so, yeah, what doesn't come through that six lanes right there from, Yeah, all the way down from San Jose, San Francisco, you know, whatever.

So that's what took so long.


Well, it was backed up all the way back to Napa.

Like, I literally left Napa.

I turned and I hit red lights and I'm like, what cause the ETA?

I, you know, I thought it was gonna take an hour.

The ETA was 3 hours.

It was gonna put me there past the boarding time and I was freaking out and I was like, oh, what am I gonna do?


You know?

There's not gonna be any more flights out.

But I got there, dude, it's amazing.

It's amazing.

I kept refreshing because it, I guess it was clearing as I was driving.

Every time I refresh, I close my maps up and back up.

It'd be like 10 minutes less, 10 minutes less, 10 minutes less.

And I got there with 14 minutes to spare.


When I made it through security, I had 14 minutes until my flight boarded.

That's how close I cut it.

Had I just hung out for like, one more drink in Napa, You know, like, Oh yeah, I got plenty of time.

Let's just chill.

I would have been screwed.

I would have been screwed.

But yeah, worked out.


Anyway, so that's what it was.



And I I drove right past it, of course, the whole way there.

I'm just like, you know, picturing some Jackass with his hood up, right?

Or, you know, someone gotten in a Fender Bender or something and shut the whole highway down.

And not that I felt any better when I saw, you know, a dozen plus vehicles, black and white vehicles and then all kinds of offers sitting out there sitting down and laughing and talking and you know, drinking Starbucks cups and.


Speaking of Starbucks, I just want to, Yeah, recap what happened with you and I.

We went to Starbucks in California.

California is a wild place.

California is its own, its own reality.

Like it's.

I could never live in California.

I don't know you live in California, California's bananas.


But we went to Starbucks, me and you.

And we go up to the door and it's locked.

And at 7:00 AM they open at like 5 at that Starbucks, we go to the door, open it, it's or go to open it's locked and there's a Starbucks employee standing there and we're like, hey, what's up?

And I I quote verbatim what he said.

The barista that has the key to open the door is having an existential crisis right now, and she's unable to come down.


What an existential crisis.

She can't open the door.

Yep, that's the excuse.

You know, I totally forgot about that.

I totally forgot about that.

And I'm sorry if this person is listening.

But yeah, meaning that, you know, extreme anxiety and stress over confusion about one's personal identity.


It's California.

It's California.

Like I said, God bless California.

I like to visit.

I like to go to San Diego.

You know La Jolla?

Oh, yeah, it's all fun.

But I I don't know how you do it, man.

It's just it's too crazy there.

It's crazy.

All I know is we don't know what it's like to be a barista, especially in the morning when people start trying to eat their coffee or something.


I don't know, man.

I don't know.

Yeah, So what life decisions led me to this?

I have.

No idea.

How did I get here?

What am I doing?

What's the?


Meaning of life.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, that's that's what this barista does every morning.



Out just freaks out.

It was interesting.

Though, and I I kind of felt bad for the guy who had to lay that on people, 'cause, you know, you look at him like, yeah, just open the door, man.


Yeah, that's not an excuse.

We're all we're all having existential crisis.

Come on now, I'm.

Serious, you guys.

She, you know, existential.

Oh, come on, man.

Like, right.

I guess we'll go down to the next one and hope, you know, did they notify corporate?


Yeah, you know, so anyway.

Let's get to this podcast, Hero's Quest 3.

Great success.

Great success.


It was everything the Hero's Quest should be.

It was.

We bit off more than we should have.

We went into it overloaded and not everything was sorted out.


So, you know, you and I are talking about this, and I think it's an important thing to talk about at the beginning of every workshop.

It's an important thing to talk about in general when it comes to classes, as trainers, as instructors, we would love it if everything just went absolutely perfectly.


You know, they show up, boom, boom, boom, boom.

Everything just goes without a hitch and it's firing on all cylinders and it's all perfect.

But the truth is, that's not reality.

That's not the way it is in our shops.

And it's not the way it's going to be in their shops when they go back to their shop and things are going sideways like, well, it wasn't like this, Sir.


Why am I not able to do what we were doing there?

So it's good when things get a little sideways and you have to problem solve and you have to see the process and understand this is reality.

You know, I guess you could have an existential crisis if you want, but this is reality.


This is your life.

Your life is a problem solver.

If you own a business, you put out fires every single day.

And that's what I enjoy about running a business.

I would hate to go to a job where I do XYZXYZXYZ and I just do it.

Yeah, I'd hate that.

I like it when there's things popping up and you have to use your brain and come up with solutions.


So this class great example to show up Joe has, you know, like he does is way too ambitious.

We had to rein him back in.



Let's let's focus on just, you know, let's do let's do this.

Let's not do everything.





You know he was he he had all kinds of stuff prepped and but you know that being said, even what we did, you and I and Joe and Kyle Davis, who else was there that first day or maybe it's just Kyle, we're there till you know 8:30 at night doing fiberglass to just get ready.


So the next day they get fiberglass, right.

So that was.

A to be to the next step, yeah.

That was just prepping and and then the second day we're there pretty late, I don't know seven and and then the the next day after that was a little bit easier.

But you know it was just one of the things that it was it was good because we had to work through problems together as a group and everybody saw that.


I think that's a good class.

Well, and I think that's what separates not, I think what separates the whole idea of Hero's Quest is that I mean meaning, you know, and I was actually talking to somebody recently, well texting, you know, even with the first Hero Quest that we did some snickering and stuff that went on out there.


And a lot of people just, I understand, I understand training, even for all of us, the idea of training or even, you know, other places to do product demos.

You know, you want that product demo to go well, right?

Hey, this is how you use it.


It, you know, blends up perfectly or casts perfect.

It does everything you want it to do and there's no issues whatsoever.

And what ultimately happens is, you know, we go back to our shops and go, oh crud, you know, what did I do?

Did I do.

So the idea of Hero's Quest, I think is novel and it's that we, we flirt with failure to find success.


You know, we we push that boundary and see where it takes us so that we all learn and like in this case you know, we were, you know, the different resins.

And even for us, you know, like, well, yeah, this one's brilliant.

Look how you can do it all together and put them up and you know four to done in 15 minutes and find out that like, well, yeah, that solves this one.


But look at the problem it created.

You know what I mean?

And so we constantly flirt with that failure to to to find success.

And to me, that's what's brilliant about this and and this is what keeps it exciting for all of us.

That's that's a really good way of putting it, John.


I don't know if you came up with that earlier and you just said it or you just said it.

Now we flirt with failure to find success.

I love that.


That's a great way to put it.

Well, yeah, I mean, I mean the hero's quest, we slay the dragon.

I mean, it's trials and tribulations.

It goes back and forth.

It's not just all, it's not just all winning.


There's going to be, you're going to, you're going to get punched in the jaw a few times and take a few steps back, but then you persevere and in the end you triumph.

That's the goal and we did.

That is the goal.


Well, I've already always akin to sports, right?

I mean, if you if I, you know, if you handed your son a bat and said, hey, you're going to play baseball and it turns out that it doesn't matter what pitch was thrown at him and he's never, and by the way, he's never played baseball before and crap, crap, crap, crap.


He's just hitting home runs.

It doesn't.

Slider speed ball, that's the fastball.

It doesn't matter.

You know, it doesn't matter.

He didn't learn anything.

You know what I mean?

In fact, he walks around like this is boring, you know, like dad.

Why do you want me to do this?

So he never had to improve his skills in any way.


That to me is not what something like this is about.

I mean, you know, so I like the idea that we push right, if not and some right and and pull out some stuff that failed.

And why did it fail?

How did we make it fail?

And that's when we all learn something.


I agree, John.

Let me see here, pull up my notes while we're talking.

I got all kinds of just little one word things.

I want to hit on one thing that and I'm not sure how this plays into this, but it's just what I enjoy is my house here in Wichita.


When I first moved in, I remodeled the kitchen and I was, I set up a tile saw in the backyard and I was cutting tile, the concrete tile and I would dump the water out.

You know all this alkaline water from cutting tiles, dumping in the yard like an idiot.

And I killed all the grass in this one section right off the the porch, right.


And so for the first year we lived there, grass on this side of the yard, dirt on this side.

And I tried, I I spread seed.

But I'm not a gardener.

I don't know anything about landscaping, so I spread seed.

I didn't do it correctly.

Nothing grew.

It's just all dirt, right?

So this year we got seed and I got peat Moss and did it the correct way.


Raked the ground, did the seed, did the peat Moss to keep it, keep it wet and watered it.

Dude, it looks like a it looks like a golf course in my backyard now.

It's beautiful grass, green carpet.

Just perfect, right?

But when you're watching the grass grow, which is a crazy thing, I'm like an old man now.


I when the grass started coming up out of the ground, he's like little tiny sprouts of green grass.

I was over the moon.

I was the lady look, Oh my God, look at the grass.

Don't step on the grass.

Everybody stay off the grass.

Look at the grass.

You know, it was amazing to watch and you watch the grass grow.

And I was thinking about the other day how I really enjoyed watching the grass grow and how I really enjoy watching my kids grow in the same space.


I'm sitting on the back, you know, on the porch, the kids are playing in the yard, the grass is growing.

It's very enjoyable.

It's a very enjoyable thing.

But this goes back to kind of what we've discussed in in the past is work, life, balance and quality of life.

So, you know, I'm in my shop every single day, My girl.


This morning when I was dropping him off, Ursula asked me, what do you work every day?

And I'm like, well, there's work to do every day.

You know, I got stuff to do.

So that's why I go to work.

But I'm home every afternoon at a reasonable time, 4:00 in the afternoon, 4:30 is when I get home.

And I I have that work life balance to where I get to spend it.


And I get to enjoy those things.

I really do enjoy those things.

I enjoy them so much more than being here.

Slurring, batching, recasting.

That's we.

We've gotten so much feedback at the Hero's Quest.

We got it.

But I've been getting it.

Just a tremendous amount of feedback from people about the quality of life, the quality of life improvement by switching is, you know, it is in my opinion and nobody get your feelings hurt if you don't use it.


It really is the best product out there in my opinion.

That's just my opinion.

But more than that, it's a product that allows you to live a high quality life, work life balance, and that's what it's about anyways.

I just wrote that down, watch the grass grow, put that on my notes.

But what are your thoughts?



It's going to probably saying, you know, redundant, Plain and simple, man, Plain and simple.

The more we keep talking, all of us are.

I don't know.

These are things we've talked about for years, years and years and years is.

And we always say how to make a living at this, but how to make a living, how to find that balance.


You know, all the time when we were using other things, however, whatever those other things were, and fighting whatever fight, whatever Dragons need to be slay using those products.

But we dearly didn't understand.


A lot of it had to do with the products themselves, right?

And and again, nothing against the people putting this products together, but they along the road of their development had other ideas in mind and it wasn't our ideas and I understand that.


I mean their ideas, you know, we're following a different path.

Maybe it was financial, maybe it was whatever.

I again nothing against these companies or the materials they provide, none whatsoever.

They just have a very different viewpoint then, especially when you and I started coming together to be like, no, if this is what we're trying to achieve, I mean, again, I just find the balance, but everything from, you know, color richness, you know, better consolidation flow, you know, the use of certain fibers versus these.


I mean, if this is what we're trying to achieve, then why are we using this?


Well, I don't know because that's what's available.

You know what I mean?

That's because that's what I thought we had to use.

And you're like, yeah, no, no, no, we don't.


But what if we do this?

And no, it's it's this is a completely different journey, Totally different journey.

Yeah, well, I had a conversation with a guy and you talked to somebody today that had a similar situation.

I talked to a guy yesterday.

His employees are begging him.

He owns the company.


His employees are begging him to switch to Kodiak Pro because they're sick of all the additional work.

And so I talked to him and he's like, well, tell me the difference.

And I explained to him the difference.

You know he's he's using a very common product for this industry from a company that probably a lot of people buy from and it has polymer in it and it's just a very basic GFRC bagged mix.


And I was explaining to him that for years I used the equivalent of that the the mix that you developed back in 2009 or 10, I don't know when that started, but somewhere back.

Yeah, something like that, 2008.

Yeah, whenever it's, it was right around there that you know we'd gone from 4 ton VF774 to you joined Blue and then you you came out with the whole ZFRC thing and it was a a a better performance version of what had always been there and and I switched to that.


But that's that's really what these other companies are all using.

They're using what we were using in 2009.

So anyways I explained to them, I used that I used those products for a long time and at the time they were the best on the market and that was as good as it got.

But due to a lot of unforeseen circumstances that neither I nor you could have anticipated that led us to this path of Kodiak, you know, things that transpired that forced us to do that, a new, a new product, not an improved product, but a whole new product was born from that.


And now there is a difference.

And it's not, oh, it's a little bit better.

Oh, we used, you know, a better polymer or we used 4 sands instead of three sands or whatever.

Whatever your selling point is, I don't know.

I don't care.

Those are, those are slight improvements.

This is revolutionary.

So let's explain to him the benefits of that.


But you know, I told him at the end of it, it's really quality of life.

And and back to that whole thing is your guys, they're asking you to switch because they don't want to be there.

They don't enjoy slurring to pieces and polishing.

They don't enjoy batching 10 different things every day.

They want to have an easier life.


He's like, no, I agree.

He's like, you know, my he's like, we want to test it, but if we switch, employees are going to be psyched.

I'm like, yeah, they're going to love you for it.

Quality of life.

We all want.

We we all love what we do.

I love what I do.

I just don't want to be here if I don't need to be here.

I don't want to be here for the sake of just being here, just doing.


Mindless, you know, monotonous work for no reason.

And there was a time when that was the only way because there was no other option, but there's a different option.

So anyways, I want to keep beating this horse, but that's something that we're just getting a lot of feedback lately and it's good, it's good.


It it feels like for three years we've just been clawing up this mountain.

Just clawing up, you know, and we keep getting pulled back a little bit and we claw and we get pulled back and it not that, not that we're at the top of the mountain, but it it's just good to be getting kind of this wave, this avalanche of really positive feedback from everybody feels good.


It feels like we're doing the right thing.

That well, it was different.

You come out different, you know, different, scary.

And a lot of it gets fight because there's another part of this difference not to keep like beating the drum here, comparatively speaking, nothing against anybody else.


The other thing I let even new customers know is, you know, if there's something, whatever ever something you notice, they're not used to hearing this from a product manufacturer let us know that we can make modifications.

Meaning we own these technologies, we own this and this is used.


This is the only industry we cater to, this little niche, teeny tiny industry.

Because this is what you and I are passionate about and you know, like Joe Bates and I can keep going on a whole lot of anvil.

This is what we're passionate about.

This is what we do.

This is what we enjoy.

This is what we're continuing to, you know, let's say perfect if we can and we don't want to stand still, we enjoy it.


So as an example, I'm casting in Angels Camp, CA Joe's in Napa, We got guys in Wichita, KS, Georgia, you know, I mean, so I guess what I'm saying is if I put a product together that just does amazing like we're finding right now, people do different humidities.


Whatever the case may be, I can certainly have the conversation with you on how to make your own personal modifications to accommodate.

But at the same time, it gives us the information to invest, well for me anyway, to invest in possible potential movement and changes in the chemistry of the formulation that continues to make it easier and better for all of us.


And I don't that's not something everybody does or even has the capacity to do.

A lot of people, really.

That resonates very well with them being part of the journey.

Yeah, yeah.

Most companies, the safe bet is develop something.


Is it good enough?

It's good enough, Great.

Let's get it to market.

Let's not improve it from here because it costs money.

R&D costs money.

And so there's like, you know, I mean that was the fight you had with Blue.

It's like, you know, there's people there that just said, John, this is good enough.


You're like, I know, but I can make it better.

Well, I, I came, you know, I I have a new pause and I tested.

It's phenomenal.

They're like, no, no, no, John, we we're good enough.

This is good enough.

So yeah, improvement, advancement, innovation.

We can't stop.


We won't stop, we're just going to keep going.

So anyways, that's behind us and.

If that resonates like I told the Screw, if that resonates with you, that's awesome.

And if it doesn't, I understand.

All right, totally understand.


Are you ready?




Where are we going from here?


This is a topic I've been want to talk about for a long time.


Consistency in business.

Consistency in your life.

But this is going to pertain more towards business and concrete but consistency.


You know, it's one of those I I I sent you a video, Denzel Washington, it popped up and it's funny probably because the algorithm is listening.

Tiktok is listening, You and I were talking about consistency and then the very next time I opened up Tiktok it was Denzel Washington talking about that Commitment gets you started, but consistency's easy to the end.


It's easy to the success.

You have to stay consistent.

Essentially it's, I'm paraphrasing what he said, but that's that's so important.

You know, I'm, I'm back to working out again.

You're working out again.

And I was telling you yesterday, you know, I've been working out now for a month.


Do I see dramatic improvements?

No, it's only been a month.

But a lot of people, I think get to that month point and they're like, I'm not really seeing a difference.

I'm just going to stop.

I'm going, I'm going to stop.

You know, you're not seeing you.

You don't have the the 12 pack abs or whatever.

Seriously, whatever.

I want to keep going.


I want to keep going consistency because I know at two months, at six months, at a year, at two years, at three years.

Those little improvements pay dividends and time through consistency.

And that's been true with business.

One of the mistakes I've made as far as consistency goes with business is marketing, sales and marketing.


I get on these kicks where I'm really good at getting out and and marketing to architects and designers and builders and then it all the business starts coming in and then I fall off.

I don't stay consistent because I got all this business.

Oh, life's great.

And then I fall off.

And then slowly but surely, the work starts to slow down and I freak out again.


And then I get back out there and I I'm very consistent again about marketing and reaching out to architects, designers and builders.

And a business starts coming in.

But consistency.

If I was a smarter person, which I'm not, but if I was, I'd be far more consistent with that.

I wouldn't.

I wouldn't do the wave thing.


I'd just do it all the way through, no matter what.

No matter how busy I am, no matter how slow I am, I would just keep doing it because that's the smart thing to do.

Yeah, that goes for everything.


It doesn't matter if we're talking about, you know, retirement funds or or working out business.



Yeah, you know, it's what do you not?


Shoot, I can't think of the word.


Well, but you have to be a virtual discipline.

Well, but to become that, you have to develop discipline in yourself.


Yeah, it has to be disciplined.

You, you just, you know, without that discipline, you know, whatever it is again, working out.

I I think I told you since we got back, I told my son, I'm like, hey, in the mornings we're going to get up, we're going to go do a a calorie burn to really kick it up, you know, and we started it yesterday.


Well, you know, the first day of anything, you know, the first time you step up and do whatever, it's like, hey, this isn't so bad, you know?

You know, 5:30 in the morning doesn't seem so bad.

It's not, you know, if you're used to sleeping until six or or whatever.

So getting up 30 minutes ahead of what you're used to, boom, you hit the floor running.


This is awesome.

And again, this goes to whatever we're talking about.

But then the second day hits, you know what I mean?

You're like, did I need to get up 30 minutes?

Earlier you.

Know Could it be 20?

And without disciplining yourself to stay on top of it and seeing it through probably further with no true commitment and like you were just saying working out for 30 days or whatever the case may be, you have to be disciplined and build that into you.


Because the reality is we have to build new habits.

And that goes to everything.

I'm talking to somebody say now you got me all over the place.

I got some cool videos from somebody who's been using some other materials for Sealer and he's been hearing about ICT.


You know, a lot of the guys that he knows is using ICT and he's like, Oh yeah, so I'm going to get some and I'm going to, I'm going to try it.

Well, the hardest thing for him to begin was, was getting new habits and learning new habits compared to what he's used to using.


And that goes for all of us.

And once you develop those habits, how do you you have to be consistent with them.

But to do that you got to be disciplined and that's the hardest part in my opinion, the discipline.

Yeah, self-discipline.

What's his name?



David Goggins.

You know who's going to carry the boat?

Stay hard, you know?

Love Goggins.

But he's all about self-discipline.

If nobody's listened.

If you're listening to this podcast and you have not listened to Goggins audiobooks, Can't Kill Me is one of them.


Trying to think of the other one.

He's got a few of them out.

But listen to them.

They're very motivating and it really comes down to self-discipline.

He tells a story about how he was greatly.

He was like obese and he was living a depressed life and he was working as a exterminator and just, you know, hating life and deciding to be a Navy SEAL.


You know, he was £350 or £400 or something.

What are the chances you're going to be able to turn your life around?

But he did he, and it wasn't easy.

It was like so much trials and tribulations to make that happen.

But he did it and it was all through self-discipline and it's all in your mind.


So yeah, it's just one of these things.

No, I love the ones where he's like running the I don't know if he's carrying the camera or a car.

He's got a camera, man.

He's got a buddy, yeah.

Yeah, OK, But yeah, right.

You know why I'm out here, 'cause you're not the one, 'cause you're not.

It's 100° and like, 'cause you're not.


And I'm like, yeah, And right, he always finishes like stay hard kind of stuff.

But and and I know this, so I'm gonna stay with us for a minute.

We met.

Well met.

We know him.

A really, really cool guy down there.

Napa, Who is, I think he's got some really cool approaches in some furniture and stuff that he's working with.


And I see I say the same thing, the discipline and the consistency to maintain what he's doing.

And then I want to talk, if we want to talk about that.

Today I got another way to go with that because some of his pieces, I don't know, they spoke to me.


They were very, very nice, very nice.

How to how many times do any of us take it to that point and then we end up dropping the ball?

You know what I mean?

Like and for whatever reason, the next step seems daunting or you don't know where you're going to go or who do I call, you know, do I put it on Instagram?


I mean, how do I create a business out of this?

And this is what we've been saying for a very long time.

I think there's some amazing artisans in in this niche industry that everything from concrete to wood.

I mean, there's a lot of really amazing artisans, but where their businesses breakdown is that the discipline of taking that amazingness that they're used to and then transitioning that into something that makes them money without dropping the ball?


I took away a few things from that interaction we had down there.

First of all, I'm not going to post any photos of his furniture because it's still he's still developing it and it's still very protective of it, rightly so.

But what I will say and what he told us was he's doing quarter inch thick maker mix and he he said that the only way this furniture was possible was with Kodiak Pro.


That's the only way he was able to accomplish what he's doing.

And I think he's right because I've cast plenty of, you know, the the mixes that a lot of people are using out there and they wouldn't be able to accomplish what he's doing right now.

So that's really cool.

But what I really took away from this was they're willing to take a risk.


They're willing to put yourself out there without being certain.

You said, you know, a lot of people getting to the point and they don't know what the next step is.

And I literally saved this quote yesterday.

As you start to walk on the way, the way appears roomy.

As you start to walk on the way, the way appears, you don't have to know.


You know, that's that's another famous thing is, you know, the journey of a of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

Martin Luther King said that.

And another analogy is, you know, you can drive from New York to LA at night only with your headlights.

You can only see 50 feet in front of you.


You can't see the entire way to LA.

You can only see 50 feet.

But as you drive, the way appears, you know that 50 feet and the 50 feet and the 50 feet and it just keeps going.

So that's the way I like to think about it.

I've taken a lot of risk in life and I very rarely have any idea of what the outcome's going to be.


But normally not always concrete cartel comes to mind.

Not always do things work out the way you want them to but a lot of times they do Because life without risk, if you just play it safe that's a pretty boring life.

That's an extremely boring life.

And the rewards, the potential rewards are non existent.


If you play it safe you're going to be having an existential crisis.

You're going to be like why am I barista?

Why haven't I doing in my life?

This is the safe thing.

I got a four O 1K in health insurance and I hate what I do.

That's an existential crisis.

So you got to take risks.

This person that we we met at Heroes Quest, well we know him because he's been to other classes, but he is taking six months off from doing anything but focusing on this furniture line, 6 months and he's going all in.


He had some money coming to his life and he was able to just really focus on this.

But it's a leap of faith because you don't know you don't know how it's going to turn out.

But he has the faith in himself and he has the faith that things will work out if he takes the risk.



I can't tell you how many risks that we've talked about.

Even starting business started.

Nothing with a but a credit card, no.


I didn't have a credit card.

I didn't have a credit card.

Credit card going to go, Yeah, I can't remember exactly who it was.

It was in Arkansas at the time about starting this whole business.


And I'm like, bro, you know, COVID just hit, right?

Yeah, Kodiak.

Let's launch Kodiak at the worst time in history when all the suppliers are are locked in ports and you can't get in materials.

Yeah, it seemed like a good idea.

Seems like a great idea, but it was.

It was necessity.


You had to do it.

If we played it safe and kept using subpar materials and sending work out that you're not confident in, that's a recipe for disaster.

So you have to take a risk.

I watched a movie last night.

Not the best movie as far as cinematic quality, but it was a good movie.


Second hand Lions.

You ever seen that movie?


Michael Caine and Robert Duvall.



Raising their grandson or whatever he was.

Their nephew, yeah.

They're the uncles.

And you know, it keeps going back in her life of when they were young and they were, you know, French Legionnaires and they were fighting and, you know, the whole thing.


But it was a good movie because it was all about living life.

That was kind of the the end take away is they lived their life.

They really lived their lives.

And you know, when I went to Arkansas to build my rammed earth house and shop, my wife wasn't confident I could do it.


And to be honest, I wasn't either.

But I didn't say that, you know, she's like, can you do this?

I'm like 100%, I can, right?

It's like when a client, when I, when I meet with a client and they're like, you know, can you do that?


And I walk out, I'm like, I don't know I'm going to do that.

But you can't say that out loud.


You got to believe I can do this, I can do it and you're going to stretch yourself and you're going to push and you're going to learn and through that is reward playing it safe.

There's no reward.

So when I went to Arkansas and they did that, that was a big risk.

I didn't have a construction loan.

I didn't have a a budget per SE and I didn't really have ample funds to do what I did.


So I I made it happen.

I made it happen because I did it.

That sort of thing is, you know when people came to my house or came to my shop and and they're like, oh man, you know, it's really nice.

I'm like it's only nice because I built it.

I could never afford to pay somebody to do this.

You know when when I'd have a trade come and they'd give me a quote and they'd give me the crazy number because they thought I was loaded, I'd tell them, bro, don't don't look around and be like, oh you know, nice house, bro.


And mark it up 10 times, you know.

How do you know what it cost me to keep this beard in the condition it's and?

Yeah, all the products are expensive.

No idea.

Yeah, but that's that's where I'm at right now.


Not not to go down this whole thing, but I'm starting a project.

It's a big risk.

It's a huge risk.

I took a heat lock out of my house.

I'm doing a leap of faith.

It's scary.

But at the same time, it's living.

I'm 45.


It's I'm 45 years old.

For me, I want to make a legacy.

I want to build something.

This is a a real estate project I'm working on.

But when I I've met with different architects and the architects I met with, I would tell them this is my legacy.


This is I want my grandkids.

I want my great grandkids.

I want them to be proud of this.

I want people to travel from all over the world to come here because this is iconic.

I'm not doing this for business.

If I was only doing this for business, I would just build something basic and to be successful, I want to build something that is, you know it, it's it's, it's it's my legacy.


I'm 45, But what do I got realistically 15 years, 20 years left to actually build something like if I'm going to be the one building it?

I don't know, buddy.

I've spent time with you.


I'm thinking 3.


I mean, dude, I could get T boned when I leave here.


There's semis going up and down this road.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Playing it safe.

I talked to a buddy yesterday that his dad had cancer recovered right and his dad's played it safe his whole life, worked a corporate job, has a four O 1K.


He's been saving money investments, blah blah blah blah blah.

And this is a buddy locally and him and his dad have bought real estate stuff around Wichita that are duplexes and things and and you know they've done like real estate investments.

His dad's just re diagnosed with cancer, like just happened.


And his dad is like he's going to sell everything.

He's, you know, he said I've been playing it safe.

I've built up this big retirement fund.

I'll probably never get to spend it.

He's like, I'm going to sell everything.

I don't care about that.

I want to make memories with you, his son, who's my friend.

I want to make memories with you.

And that's what it's about.


It's about living your life.

So taking a risk, taking a risk, you know, back to where this started is the person that we, you know, saw at Hero's Quest.

He's taken a risk.

He's putting it on the line.

He's believing in himself and that has the biggest potential for the biggest reward monetarily and just, you know your your your own sense of self achievement.


If you see it through and it catches fire and it goes big, which I think it could with what he's done.

The way you know that that sense of success and fulfilment and confidence and just you're doing something you're not just, you're not just existing, 'cause we're not here to just exist.


You know, we're not here to just go to Starbucks and make Frappuccinos all day, you know?

Yeah, you have a mental breakdown over a cappuccino This is.


Frappuccino, Frappuccino.

Maybe it's just where we're in our life's journey at the moment, where we're coming from, but this is what's making it all fun again for me.


But yeah, like anybody else, like, I think we even did the podcast right about, you know, what do you do at burnout?

And what does burnout mean?

You know what?


You know, I'm tired of what another countertop like man.

But at the same time.


What is?

Well, answer that question.

What is burnout?


How would you define burnout?

I can tell you what mine is, but I want to hear yours first.

For me, yeah, burnout is just like, I don't know when I look at when I will do anything to get out of that next project, regardless of the money on the table.


You know, I just, I'm just not interested.

I'm absolutely just not interested.

It's not inspiring to me anymore.

It just, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't raise me up.

I don't go, you know, driving 42 miles an hour as slow as I can to get to the shop like I normally do.


I mean normally.

So you're that guy.

You're that guy in front of me.

Have an existential crisis hating your life.

I get my thrill out of going down the Grade Rd. at 30 miles an hour just to watch everybody behind me, like like we were talking about the guy on the Internet.

That's getting people all rised up now.


And that's what I'm saying.

So, So that's burnout to me, Burnout to me.

And how do you get out of that?

Well, anyway, OK, so I answered your that's my idea of burnout.

What is yours?

One word.

Are you ready?



Yeah, Monotony.


There you go.


That is burnout, monotony when you keep doing the same thing and it's nothing that you enjoy.


When I did countertops, I had burnout, I had massive burnout.

I got to where I didn't like what I did.

I didn't enjoy it, I didn't enjoy the clients, I didn't enjoy the products.


And you know, part of it was the materials we were using back then were inherently difficult to use.

The sealers I was using back then this before I switched to ICT, this was back when it was EAP.

And those things had a tremendous amount of issues, topical sealers.

So client satisfaction was mediocre at best because you're using the best you could use at the time, but it wasn't the best product for that application.


But that being said, you're just making slabs.

You're just making slabs and you're, you know, back when you do installation, you're carrying them in.

It's it's painful.

It's never easy, never goes well.

You know what you think's gonna take three hours, takes 10 hours.

It was just not a good quality of life.


It was monotonous.

I got away from it by accident.

And now we teach people how to get away from those things in our workshops.

But really, what what got away from it was design.

When I finally did something that was good design and it got traction with designers and architects, people started coming to me for design.


They weren't coming to me for countertops.

I wasn't getting a call from Susie down the street.

Hey, I want concrete countertops.

And I did a Google search.

What's your price?

Yeah, it was an architect across the country.

Hey, I saw this published in a magazine.

We have a project.

We'd love to talk to you and get your ideas on what we could do.



Everything shifted.

But it was it was accidental.

I mean, I was.

I I lucked into the shift in my business.

But that shift in my business is what saved me from burning out.

And I guarantee had I stayed on that path, I would have stopped doing what it's doing.

I couldn't have done that for much longer.


So yeah, monotony.

Monotony will kill you more than anything else.

You have to do things.

And that's what we talked about.

You know, we've talked about this on previous podcasts, but doing a design today, having a having a journal of designs and finding things that you're passionate about.

Not a client.


Do something for you.

Do something for only you, nobody else.

And I guarantee you that product will be the best product you ever make.

And it'll be the product that takes off every time I've done something for me with no client mind.

It is.

It is gone extremely well as far as like sales.


Yeah, see, that's what's I think of Vincent Cathcart with his speakers.

You know, the speakers that he made it, It's the first one.

And Ollie the 1st to tell you, I think I told him that like, no, man, you're not selling to us.

You know, put them on a put a real price tag on those things because #1, they're they're super clean and they're really nice, but the same, you know, and he's taking a big risk now as he's pushing in another direction, you know, I mean, anybody came out to Hero's Quest or something like that.


It only takes a moment to monetize what went into some of those molds that we were making right between the resins, the, the fiberglass, you know that all the steps, the rubber, the, the initial creation of, what are you going to call it, the mother mold or whatever, you know what I mean?


And but if he didn't take the moment to do all that stuff, not the moment, but like literally follow it through, then it's kind of like if you never, if you don't ask the answers no anyway.

You know what I mean.


You know you're we're always told that if you don't go ask, it's the answer is no anyway.

And it's the same thing.

You'll never, you'll never see that dream go anywhere or that idea or anything.

If you don't or we don't step up and make it happen.


And that's just the way it is.

And it's hard and it's risky and it's tough to break out.

But, you know, that's this is a lifestyle thing.

I know we talked, you know, oh, it's the best products in the world.

But you know, to me it's it's now about the lifestyle 100%.


It's about the lifestyle, 100%, yeah.

So putting it out there, I'll give you a little anecdotal story here, John about putting it out there.

So a long time ago I did ATV show, but before I did the TV show, I'd been cast for another show on NBC.

I got drug around for a long time, you know, And I finally got to the point where I just said I don't want to do your show.


I'm done.

And then another network came when we do a show.

And I said no, no, no, no.

I've already been down this path.

I'm not gonna do it.

And they kept calling, kept calling.

And finally I went out and met with them.

And when I went out there, I went out there with the intent.

My wife just said, go meet with them.

Don't, don't burn a bridge.


Like, keep the lines of communication open, but go out there and meet with them.

And then just very respectfully say, hey, I appreciate it.

I'm not really interested in this, but if you have something in the future, we should talk, right?

So I went out there and met with the executives of the network as a contestant on the show.


You know, I knew they wanted me and I when I went into it, I went into it with 0 jitters, 0 fears, 0 anxiety, because I already decided in my mind I'm not going to do this, so there's nothing to be nervous about.

So when I went in there with the meeting, you know, everybody else, I could see them in the hallway, lined up and have you all spaced out.


They were all sweating.

They're all nervous.

Adrenaline's going, you know.

And I'm just like, cool as a cucumber because I don't care.


But what?

I let me back up because I forgot the most important word of the story where where I was going with it is Before I went in for the meeting, I told my wife, I'm going to tell them behold the concrete Jesus.


Ah, she's like, do not do that, Do not do that.

They don't know your sense of humor.

They won't know you're joking.

They'll think you're being serious.

I'm like, they got to know them joking.

She's like, they don't know you're joking.

I'm like, OK, OK, I won't.

I won't tell them that.

I'll tell them I should be a judge.

She's like, yeah, that's funny.

So so you should be a judge.


But do not tell them you're the concrete Jesus.


I'm like OK.

Because you're concrete judges, you should be a judge.


But so anyway, so I go into the meeting and I did not walk in and stand on a chair and say, behold the concrete Jesus, which was my original plan.

And maybe I still should have done that.

Who knows how things would have gone?


But I go into meeting and so I'm, you know, I know they want me and I'm cool as a cucumber because I don't want to do it.

And I just say, hey guys, I know you want me to do the show and they're like laughing because who has this kind of confidence, right?

I know you do your show.

I'm not interested.


I appreciate it though.

But if you guys need to judge, I'd be your man.

And again, they're dying laughing because I'm here to be a contestant and I was like, I'd be the Simon Cowell of concrete.

All right, guys, peace take care.

And I get I in the meeting, I get up high 5I walk out, I go back to my room, pack my stuff.


Because when when you're disqualified from the process, they send you home, right?


I go and pack the the recruiter, the talent person comes up and she's like, hey, this is crazy.

They want to, they want to send you down to do a screen test, to be a judge.

I was like, what?


I'm joking.

That was a joke.

She's like, it doesn't matter.

You said it.

They looked at each other and they said, this is our guy, They want to send you down, do a screen test.

I was like, OK, but like, that was a joke.

She's like, I know, I know, but go, go right now.


Get in the car.

The car was coming for you.

Go, you know, go do it.

So I did it.

The moral of the story is had I not thrown that out there?

Had I not just put that into the universe, had I just said, all right, thank you, shook hands and walked out, None of that would have ever happened.

But it was taking a chance.


And the chance in my mind was a joke, but it was taking a chance and throwing it out into the universe that caused the chain reactions of things to happen, for that to happen.

And so, you know, I think that's an important thing for all of us is like you said, if you don't ask, the answer is no.


If you don't put it out there, you're guaranteed nothing's going to come back.

You got to put it out there whether that's design, whether that's, you know, taking a chance if.

You don't sit down with a if you don't sit down with a book and start doing some sketches, maybe you can't draw worth of crap.


You know what I mean?

Maybe you know it just doesn't matter.

But if you never start somewhere, if you don't open the book and start, you know, reading the first page of chapter one, then you can guarantee you're never going to get to the end.


That's just the way it is, yeah.


So last last thing on my list, John, to talk about was those planters I made.


You know, even though it's been like 2 weeks since we were out of town, last week, the last podcast I talked about, my wife had got these plastic planters from Walmart and I cut the bottoms off.

They're hollow and I poured concrete into them.

And that was the day of the last podcast, right?


So let me tell you how that went.

So I filled them up all the way to the top and I had pre sliced the exterior part way through with the grinder just so the next day I could break them open pretty easy.


I don't want to try to like cut them and cut into the concrete.

So I pre scored it and then I wrap duct tape around it so it wouldn't explode.

But I filled them up to the top.

Both of them.



I turn around I do.

Sometimes I look back they both settled like 1/2 inch.




It's kind of weird.

Well, maybe it's just air.

Maybe it just, you know, maybe maybe air just worked its way out and so feel it back up to the top.

Looks great.

You know, I go and clean some buckets.

Look back now.

They're like an inch low.

Both of them.

What's going on here?


I go over.

I like, you know, kind of tilt it up a bit.

I mean, maybe there's a hole on the inside and concrete's flowing in, you know, but there's no concrete.

I like, I can look underneath and there's no concrete inside leaking out.

So I'm like, man, that's weird.

So I fill it back up again.


I go and I keep cleaning.

I'm sweeping.

I look over now, they're like 2 inches low.

Like, what is going on here?

I have to go get another bag of concrete, mix up another bag because I don't have enough leftover to top these off.

And I top them off again.

Right at this point, I'm done cleaning.


I'd cast some other things, but I was done.

I was done cleaning, done cast, and everything's covered.

And well, those aren't covered because I just poured them.

But I came up front.

I worked up front for a little while and then when I went back in the back to shut off the lights, they'd settled again like 2 inches.

And at this point it's too late to do anything, right.


So I'm like, oh, whatever.

So I kind of had an idea of what happened, but it wasn't until I came in the next day that I confirmed it.

So what happened was that inside part of the mold, the part, you know, that I couldn't see, was slowly collapsing from the concrete, which I didn't think was, I mean, something I think was possible.


But I thought, it's a round shape.

It has structural rigidity just based on the shape.

You know, it's like an egg.

It's going to, it's going to resist the forces.

But no, it didn't.

And it did an interesting way.

Like it pushed in in four spots and kind of just like twisted like fabric, wood, right.


Just natural, just kind of did like this twist.

So the lesson learned was next time I do it and I will do it again.

Next time I do it, I'm going to spray foam.

I'm just going to get a couple cans, you know, Walmart, where these planters came from.

They sell spray foam for like $1.50 a can for insulation.


Get a couple cans of spray foam, spray foam the inside, put a couple scraps of wood in there and let it harden up and and then it has rigidity on the inside so it can't collapse.

So I'll try it again, I'll do it again and I think that will solve it.


But the planter itself ID molded it.

The texture is beautiful.

The top edge, there was nothing in that in that area that I couldn't see.

The top edge looks beautiful.

It came out really nice.

I told Joe because Joe, we did these planters at the hero's quest.


It was Joe's design, but he was really interested in exploring texture.

And he, you know, a lot of work.

Yeah, a lot of work to create the texture on the master that we made a mold of.

I told him, hey dude, I went to Walmart, My wife went to Walmart.

I got these planters.

And it's not exactly like that, but it's in the same vein is AT.


And he's like, don't tell me that, don't tell me that.

I was like, yeah, they're like 20 bucks.

He's like, dude, don't tell me that.

So anyways that's how that all played out.

So it was it was a moderate success.

You know, like, yeah.

What what's the the guy didn't Thomas Edison, you know, like when he did an experiment, it was the 999th experiment.


He always kept notes and it didn't work.

And a friend of his that was with him was like, when are you going to stop?

You know, that's that's 999 times that you failed.

He's like, no, that's 999 times.

I figured out what didn't work.

Yeah, you know, learned something.

I didn't fail.

I figured out what didn't work.


And so that is that mindset of like, you know, yeah, that didn't go 100% to plan, but I I learned what caused the issue.

And the next time around I can resolve that and hopefully have a perfect cast.

So, you know, we'll see.

We will.

Hey, how much time?




How deep in this are we?

We're pretty much at the end.

Is there something you want to talk about?

I think I need to get this stone guard, just, yeah, that video that you posted with the big, you know, basically the plastic, it's it's like the wraps, right?


It's like a car wrap.

Yeah, well, when I was a kid, I grew up on a farm.

When I was a kid, my grandparents farm and they would buy brand new beautiful 4x4 trucks and back then leather wasn't really thing, it was fabric.

But if you bought like a Ford F-350, you know, whatever, it had fabric seats and they need to go and get these clear plastic seat covers made of vinyl and they like have zippers on the side and they.



You sat him.

They're crunching.

Oh God, it was.

It was gross sitting on them.

You know, you it's like hot and sweaty and they just stick to you and sticks to your legs.

You're wearing shorts.

Puddle and.

Then they kind of turned yellow over time and but they did it because they worked on a farm.


They didn't want the seats getting dirty.

But you buy this beautiful truck with a nice interior and then you put the cheapest plastic on top of it.

And that's why your whole experience, the whole time you have that truck is sitting on the plastic because you only get the seats dirty, right?

And as a kid, I didn't understand that I was like, why do this?


This seems like so stupid.

And so this video popped up on Facebook that I posted to the ICT Facebook group.

But essentially it's a plastic sheet that there is kind of like tent almost.

They put down liquid, They set the plastic.

They squeeze you out the liquid on top of marble.

Protect your marble with a sheet.


Of plastic.

A car wrap?


Yeah, yeah, but it's the same idea.

Just just wrap it in plastic, which is what topical sealers are.

And that's what we was talking about is, you know, you're putting a plastic coating on it, but this is legit like a thick plastic coating.

Can you imagine mind blowing to me that's, I mean I don't see how you could like legitimately now again, right.


This is going to get all into sealers and stuff as it reminds me of one of the other products that that seemed to go on sideways, you know which was a car wrap based material.

Well, is there a car urethane, automotive urethane if somebody was selling as a concrete sealer?


But yeah, it's it's that's a clear coat for automotive paint for for the same reason you want to cover the automotive paint in plastic to protect the paint.


And I understand that 100% understand that.

I don't understand a house that's going to do that and actually use those surfaces for anything else.


But to look at the moment you start sliding something, and I'm only saying this because anybody wants to see the video, It's actually on the ICT page right now.

Hey, and awesome to these guys, it's surface or or whatever they're calling themselves.

Hey, awesome.

If this is a product that you're you're finding business with, but I'm having trouble.


Like legit, legit trouble and maybe we'll hear from him.

Like, no, you guys don't understand.

And it's very possible I don't.

I'm watching two guys basically hold a big sheet of plastic, like a sheet that's floppy and flimsy.


There's I have a hard time believing that that's going to be stable enough and hard enough to actually be a usable surface.

Well, here's what I'd say, John, because it's kind of smart in this, in this way.

They're doing a topical sealer, That's what it is.


Without the need to have sealing equipment like an HVLPHVLP sperm, and then go into a house, an existing house, they're not going to make a big mess.

They're just going to lay the sheet of plastic over and wrap it around the edge and there you go.

And the other benefit is, as anybody who's ever used topical, me included, is a lot of times there's a failure.


You can peel that plastic off in pieces, but you're going to be it'll peel off this piece, it'll peel off that piece.

It's like that sticker on something where only little bits of it come off and you send up with your fingernail just for hours trying to get it off right.

Yep, Yep.

That's the problem with a spray on topical or a roll on topical is it'll it'll deal with this it.


Could just just peel this.

One whole thing.

I mean, when it fails, which it will, somebody scrapes a knife across it and cuts through it or whatever, you can just peel up the edge and peel the whole thing off.

Like your iPhone cover screen, you know, and the glass and you just put another one down.

But the problem for me, besides the functionality of it, it's just the aesthetics of it.


You paid for marble, you paid for this beautiful natural stone, and you're going to put this layer plastic and now you're going to interact with the plastic.

At that point you should just done, Corian, if if that's what you want to interact with, If you want to feel the tactile sensation of putting your elbows, putting your hands on it of plastic, then just get plastic.


Just get plastic, you know.

Yeah, that's the part that doesn't make sense either.

But hey man, right, there's there's a niche for everybody and here you go.

So anybody go check it out.

I'd love to hear some, you know, not negatives, just what everybody's thoughts are on something like that.


Yeah, like I said, I think it's, I think it's a better way to do a topical sealer in my opinion as far as well.

Technically it's already cross-linked, right?

It's already put together into a big old sheet.

You don't even have to worry about the right sprayer.

Yeah, I didn't think about it from that point of view.

And when you do have to replace it, it's a lot easier to get it off, especially in a client's home when when it goes sideways, instead of being there with Sanders and for hours and hours and making dust, you just peel that sheet of plastic off and stick another one down, you know?


There you go.

So there you go.

All right John, I got work to do all.

Right, buddy.

Me too.

I'm headed out.

All right.

Well, we're back.

So next week, let's do it again.

Sounds good.

All right.

We'll talk to you later.




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