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How To Monetize Your Passion with Croix Sather

Life is about answering that call to be extraordinary. We all can take part into making the world better and inspiring each other.

Croix Sather is one of those truly remarkable people who answered to that call of greatness and now has been helping and inspiring others to do the same. He is a TEDx speaker and mindset and productivity expert who believes that in order to be special, you have to do something special.

Sharing his journey of running 100 marathons in 100 days, he talks about that ability to dream and act big and to cross the finish line. He elaborates on the butterfly effect and how we can impact the world, while talking about changing habits. Croix explores further on the subject of how you can monetize your passions and being a speaker.

Dustin
I am with my good friend, Mr. Croix Sather. Croix, how are you? 
Croix
This is awesome. I love it. 
Dustin
We're pretty pumped about it as well. For those of you just getting to know Croix, he ran across America. What I mean by that is 100 marathon distances in 100 days. On top of that, he delivered a motivational talk but that's not his only feat. As if that weren't enough, he ran through Death Valley and set the world record. 146 miles up to 117 degrees and if that weren't enough, it has the highest and lowest peaks in the continental US. He's also the author of Dream Big Act Big. He's a TEDx speaker, mindset and productivity expert. He's an all-around great guy. Croix, welcome to the show.
Croix
Thank you. I’m excited to be here. 
Dustin
I’ve got to ask, what were you thinking 100 marathons in 100 days? How did you even come to say, “I'm going to do this?”
Croix
We have to make a choice in life. We get to go through life and let life happen or we can take control of our lives. The question that changed my life is, “What would you do if you knew you would succeed? If failure was impossible, what would you do?” I was asking myself that question over and over for months and then I heard about a guy who ran across America. He said, “That is the coolest thing I've ever heard,” but I wasn't a runner.
Dustin
You're not a runner. Why? How did you even arrive at, “I'm going to go run now?” 
Croix
You just start running. I found one of the best runners in the entire world. I hired him to coach me and teach me how to run this type of running. Not one marathon or not a 5K or something but how do you run a marathon every day? A very different style, a very different methodology. I hired the best guy I could find. He taught me what I need to do, what I need to do for nutrition and what I need to do for everything and I listened. 
Dustin
Give me a timeline. You say, “I'm going to do this.” Mentally you arrived there, you're going to do it. How much training and time goes by before you set out on the 100 days marathon? 
Croix
I had the idea nine months before I was in San Diego starting to run across America. Nine months before, I wasn't a runner. I had very little running, almost nothing and then it was nine months later that I was running across America. Before we get too much into that, there's something important that we should mention. The idea is that while the run was spectacular and it's this amazing, incredible thing, it wasn't about just the run. It's about living up to your potential. It's about doing that thing that called you, doing that thing that is amazing for you and living up to an extraordinary life. We have to choose to be extraordinary. To your first question, I was choosing to be extraordinary when I came up with this idea. 
Dustin
That extraordinary feat for you was to run. 
Croix
That's what called me. I don't have an answer as to why I was running except that I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Maybe that's why because running a marathon a day sounds so stupidly ridiculous and impossible. I was like, “That's why.” It was more about the idea that it sounds so impossible that attracted me way more than the running itself. Running is just a tool for me, but it's about being extraordinary. 
Dustin
We don't necessarily have to go run across America, but we have to be present to look for opportunities or things that call us into greatness or call us to adventure. Is that what you're saying? 
Croix
Whatever it is for you, it doesn't have to do anything with running or adventure or even outdoors. What is it for you? What calls you? Is it video making or is it writing or whatever? It could be anything. If you're a stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad, be the best stay-at-home mom or dad you can possibly be. It doesn't matter what it is. As long as it resonates and it sings to you. 
Dustin
You ran across but you didn't want to just run 100 marathon distances in 100 days. You gave a talk at the end or beginning of the day. How did that work and how did you come to decide to layer on this public speaking? 
Croix
Before I ran across America, I was already a speaker. I was pretty new at that time. I wasn't getting any major things. Part of this run also was a business strategy. I do this crazy thing. How do I stand out as a professional speaker that corporations want to hire? How do you stand out when you're competing against Les Brown, astronauts, football quarterback stars and all these other people? You’ve got to be somebody special. To become somebody special, you would do something special and that was the idea of it. The speaking was before the running and so we combined them. 
Dustin
You were pretty smart. It wasn't just about this personal growth challenge, you started to add layers onto it. It’s like, “I'm doing this thing, how do I leverage this and how do I add multiple things?” Was that your mindset going into this? 
Croix
Yes, it started off as the run then what if I added the speaking into it? Now we're going to speak, what is it going to be about? How do we help it? There's a cause. Every day I spoke to different at-risk group or challenge group.
Dustin
What kind of groups are you speaking to?
Croix
Wounded warriors, addiction centers, homeless shelters, halfway houses, prisons, juvenile detention centers. I spoke to all these groups where there are people who lost their way. They’re challenged and/or in transition.
Dustin
What did you tell them?
Croix
Dream big, act big and cross the finish line, to put it in a nutshell. 
Dustin
Some of those groups, I can visualize being super receptive to this message, but prisons were tougher audiences. Did you experience where people were pretty receptive to the message?
Croix
The prisons were some of my favorites because when I was a teen, I was a troublemaker. I came within one judge of being in jail for quite a long time. Luckily, he gave me a break and saw that I had potential to do something else. I had to do a bunch of public service and things like that, that I didn't have to go to jail so I was close to that. I can connect with these guys because I was on the street and I was doing all the stupid stuff and all these ridiculous things that a young guy shouldn't be doing. My favorite part is when I go into a prison, usually they're about to come back into society. They were getting ready for you to be re-introduced to regular society. I would go into the prison and I would pick the biggest guy in the audience. Those guys were usually two, three times my size at least and then I get them to stand up. 
I give an example of, “If you're out at a gas station and you're pumping your gas, your minding your own business. Some other bonehead comes in here and he starts trouble and he sees you. He gets out of his car. He's pissed off at the world because his girlfriend just left him, or he just lost money or whatever it was, he's in a bad place. This guy comes in and he sees you.” I'm talking to the big guy in the prison. It's like this guy comes in, he sees you and he looks at you. He's like, “What are you looking at? Do you have a problem?” He wants to start a fight with you and then he comes over and I chest-bumped him. I was like, “Do you want to go at me? Let's go,” but I keep getting it to a point where I get him mad. 
At first, he was laughing and then I went after him and I went after him. You could see the prison guards, the ward, and the staff. In the end, because I made such a big joke out of it, they realized, “I get it. This isn't about me.” That's the lesson I teach them. It's not about you, he's having a problem. Why are you going to step into his craziness, go back to jail because of some other idiot that has nothing to do with you? Why would you ever do that? I teach them how to start to control their mind. Why do you end up in prison? You don't control your impulses and you go do something stupid and silly. I'm teaching them how to reprogram their mind so that they hopefully can go back into society, stay there and do great things.
Dustin
Do you ever get any stories back or anything from the talks that you did, emails, Facebook messages or anything like that?
Croix
I get them pretty regularly. I haven't got any from prisons but I've got them from high school kids, from former drug addicts. 
Dustin
What's one that's had the most meaningful impact to you or you think is pretty substantial? 
Croix
One of my favorite stories is a young lady that I met in West Texas. We were talking and I interact with the audiences often. I did with this young girl and started interacting with her. We did a little bit of a role play, finding about her life, what her challenges were and she shared some with the stage, but I knew there was more. I knew it was deeper, there was something about it. From the stage, I said, “Why don't you stay after and let's talk?” After I signed the books and everything, everybody left. We stayed and we talked and had a couple of people in the room with me. I started to coach her and find out what was going on. She was in a very difficult place in terms of being, I can't say sexually abused but sexually propositioned by her stepdad. Nothing happened to her directly because she was older and she was able to say no, but she had a younger sister that was in the house too, and she was starting to get the same thing. She would do some of the work that we did together and I asked her, “What's the purpose of this?” 
She's being groped and things like that. I can't say it's sexual abuse necessarily in the terms of being violated that way physically but she was being violated anyway. I asked her at the end of it, “What is the purpose of this? What are you getting out of this now? It's terrible and it sucks. It shouldn't happen to any woman, a boy, or anybody, but it's happened to you. What is the lesson? What is the purpose of this for you?” She said, “Now I can show my sister how not to let it happen to her.” That was the main message and we're still in contact. Every once in a while, once or twice a year maybe, we exchange messages on Facebook or something. 
Dustin
I've seen you speak and one of the things that you talk about is this butterfly effect. Running across America is a huge thing, along with Death Valley. The motivational talk there that you were able to share your message and that inspired her and because of that, the effect to her sister is massive, I would imagine. Can you elaborate more on this idea that you talk about this butterfly effect? 
Croix
This is one of my favorite concepts in life. It's a scientific theory, a scientific proof that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can change the air molecules right next to it, which will change the air molecules next to that. Then next to that, it can change the current around the world. If it happens here in California, the current in Africa can change because of what this one little butterfly did. We can't see it and we can't feel it but it happens molecule to molecule. It changes and that's what happens in life. We have an impact. 
I stopped and I stayed a couple extra hours with this girl and helped her find the purpose and the meaning in this terrible thing that was going on with her. Now she helps her sister and she's going on and doing great things too. This could have been the turn down a road where because of lack of self-confidence, because of a guy doing this stuff to her, maybe she goes and gets with this jerk boyfriend and gets knocked or whatever and it keeps going downward spiral. Maybe we stopped that, maybe I didn't, but maybe I did or maybe I stopped it for the sister. Maybe it has nothing to do with me or her or the sister. Maybe there's another molecule that changed somewhere else down the line that we never hear about it. 
Dustin
That's a big story and the effect is profound. We can see it right there. How do I apply this to my daily life? I want to create change, I want to become wealthier, I want to start investing, I want to become better at me. How do I remember getting up at 4:00 AM going and cutting the grass or whatever it is? How do I keep that in check and not go crazy overboard with every little thing I'm looking at? Like, “If I do this or don't do this,” how do you do that? How do you apply it? 
Croix
The molecule effect will work in your day-to-day life as well. A very similar concept where what you start with in your day will dramatically affect everything else. If you imagine your minute by minute being molecule by molecule for the day, what happens if you start off your day and you started off slow with no plan and you’re just going along, do you ever get into a structure or do you ever get into a great flow? Probably not. You might be able to shift gears but probably not. What if you woke up at 5:30 AM and put your sneakers and your running pants on and you went out for a run immediately before you're even awake? You run, you shower, you get ready and you have everything scheduled. If you start your day that way, then it helps to make everything else happen. What if you have a mental strategy to get yourself back on track if you get distracted? You've got these phones here and then the phones are distracting you. It's buzzing, beeping and it's doing all these other things and it's so easy to get diverted and lose focus. Seven to eight hours at the end of the day and you've done nothing that is of any significance in moving you towards something that matters. 
Dustin
Unfortunately, I've had those days. What is the trick? What is the secret to getting back on track? 
Croix
It’s having a plan in advance. There’s a scientific evidence that if you do not have a plan, it's almost impossible to get back on track. If you're trying to change your eating habits, if you don't have a plan on what to do when you get that hunger at 2:30 PM and you'd normally get up and have a cookie, a cake or whatever thing you might have. If you don't have a plan to do something else, when that craving comes, what's going to happen? By default, you're going to go do the thing you've done every day before that for the last eighteen years or whatever it is because that's your default mechanism. If you want to change that, you’ve got to have a plan so now that default changes. As an example, if you want to eat healthier, what do you do at 2:30 PM when you have this craving? Drink water, walk, talk to somebody, start a project, whatever it is, you’ve got to have a plan. Whatever works for you. 
Dustin
One of the things I've come across is this stoic thing. I’m into that right now. It's this premeditating thinking about the worst that could happen. What I hear you saying is that you want to plan for the worst, in this scenario it's you're getting hungry. You want to be thinking about ahead of time, “I should have some water around. I should go do this.” At least have a thought so that when this moment arrives, you're not sitting there with nothing and you go back to your old habits. Am I right about that? 
Croix
Exactly, and that brings up another point too. When you're creating new habits, they say 21 days to create a new habit, that's BS. It's a rule of thumb that works for some things. Changing a habit can happen in an instant. It can take you eighteen months. It can take you years, but it depends on how it is. If you've been eating in one way for all of your life and now you're going to change it, is it going to happen overnight? Sometimes but most people, no. You have to change it and do that habit often enough that it becomes your second nature, so you don't have to think about it anymore. I get up and I go for a run almost every single day immediately. I don't think about it. I don't want to think about it before my mind can say, “No, I'm tired today. I'm sore today. I’ve got too much to do today. I can miss one day.” If you missed one day, then it's easy to miss two days, then it's easy to miss three days. You have to stick with it until it becomes your primary nature to do this thing and to do it every day.
If you're starting a new thing, then do it every single day without missing it, regardless of what it takes to do that until it becomes a habit where you can’t miss it for a day or two and that doesn't go back to your old patterns. That can be a few weeks, three weeks, 21 days, it could be 21 weeks or it could be whatever. It can be a lot of different things, but you have to do whatever it is. If you're changing a lifetime of habits and that could be eating, it could be productivity, it could be focus, it could be being present with your kids. I've worked on that one for a long time. I'm still constantly working on that one. How do you not pick up the phone when you're with your kids or you're at dinner? When I go to dinner, I put my phone down. I used to put it face down, but now I try to keep it completely out of sight because if I see the phone, it’s like it's calling me. The phone wants me to answer. 
Dustin
Have you ever got the phantom ring? It’s like you feel it vibrates in your pocket but it's not there. That is so weird. Croix, you say, “Never give up.” I’ve got to imagine you've given up on things in life and it's a natural part of life. The more important thing to question you on is how do you determine when to quit? I appreciate the never give up but at some point, you're going to keep banging your head against the wall. How do you determine this never quit mindset versus, “I've just lost $170,000 on this investment, maybe after three times of this, I should stop with this investment?” What's that fine line? What's your advice around that? 
Croix
It's never giving up on your dream. There's a distinction there. You shouldn't be giving up everything that blocks you, distracts you or in some way prevent you from accomplishing your dream or moving forward towards it. 
Dustin
What if my goal is I want to be a professional poker player. I want to make it a business. I want to make it my career, but I keep dropping $50,000 every time I enter the thing and it's been five or six times. My dream is to be this poker player and be on TV. What do you say to that person?
Croix
Why can't you get the training good enough to do that without losing the money? 
Dustin
If you were coaching me, what would be your advice? 
Croix
To get so good practicing with play money before you get there. It’s not where you're not putting money on the table, you have to put money on the table at some point because that's part of the psychology but build up the skill set before that. I didn't go out and run a marathon my first day when I decided to run. I've run a half marathon and I couldn't walk for three weeks. I got this great idea and there happened to be a half marathon a week later and so I ran it. I got eight miles and I wasn't a runner at all. I wasn't running whatsoever and so I got this eight, nine miles in and I was hurting already. I finished the 13.1 miles, but I couldn't walk for weeks. We still joke about that when I had to go up and down stairs, I was holding onto the railing for dear life. That was stupid. 
Dustin
I see myself in you because we get motivated, we come up with this idea as entrepreneurs or as investors in life. I don't know if this is a guy or a girl thing, but I feel like we get motivated sometimes in life and we just jump off the cliff. Then our body tells us or other relationships, our spouse, they tell us that. That reminds me of that. 
Croix
What I teach people when it's something like health and fitness where you're not after a goal necessarily in terms of accomplishing something like running a marathon or whatever, but when you're trying to lose weight and get healthy and fit, that's something that matters to all of us. Even if you're at a healthy weight, it doesn't mean you're fit. You could be a good weight for your height, but it doesn't mean that you're healthy and fit. If you're going to get healthy and fit, whether it's losing 100 pounds or just feel good, then it's how do you do it and make it fun? You’ve got to lose 100 pounds and work with people all the time with this, why do you want to do it and struggle? Why don't you do it and figure out a way you can do it and make it fun so it's that you're not waking up every morning like, “I’ve got to go for a run again,” or go to the gym or whatever it is. “I’ve got to eat this shake or this vegetable,” or whatever your dietary habit is for you. Why make it boring, painful or hateful? Figure out how to make it fun.
Dustin
Do you think it's natural though to think that you have to experience pain? Sometimes I want to be fit or I want to increase my wealth. I want to do my thing, but in order to get there, I have to grow. Oftentimes growth means, “I’ve got to do a lot of hard work.” Do you think it's natural for us to think there's a lot of hard work coming or is that just a mindset?
Croix
It's a little bit of both. We're taught as a society, at least in the US, through movies like Rocky. He struggles and he gets beat up over and over at his left, right. He was knocked out, he gets up, and he won't stop. We’re taught through these movies that life is about the hero's journey. We're taught over and over all of these fables that we grew up on were some hero's journey. This is what makes a great movie, whether it's Star Wars or Rocky or whatever it is, it's all about the hero's journey and how do you overcome that. Usually, overcoming that is going through some extreme pain. It is true to some extent, but it doesn't have to be at least not with many things. If you're going through some financial growth and you want to have more retirement, is it easier to start in your twenties and save a little bit all the time so you have $1 million by the time you're 50 or to start at 48 and raise $1 million in two years? 
Dustin
You start earlier and it's easier, but you start late and that's going to hurt. 
Croix
Especially with money because you need the compound effect to financially be in a comfortable place when you get old. 
Dustin
You're a motivational guy. How do you translate either the mindset of motivation or the runner's mindset into your business endeavors? 
Croix
The patterns and the methodology are exactly the same. Whether it's weight loss, it's relationship, it's business, it's finance, it's presence, it's happiness, it's always the same strategy. Success is easy, but we think it needs to be this hard, complicated thing. Have a goal, know what your outcome is going to be and then keep moving towards it. What works, keep doing it. What doesn't work, stop doing it. 
Dustin
What gets people in trouble? The way you describe it, it's so easy to lose weight and for some people, that's hard. To change a financial pattern sometimes that's hard. What do you see trips people up that it's so easy but why aren't people achieving this more? 
Croix
As entrepreneurs, the biggest problem we have is that we get distracted by everything. Everything seems like it will make you $1 million. When you switch from one thing to another to another, that's always going to keep you in financial challenge. That's a big deal. The same thing with people losing weight, come from diet to diet to diet and you're going to always have trouble. Instead of just creating a lifestyle that every day you're moving closer to it.
Dustin
What is that North Star for somebody? What is that lifestyle that keeps me on the path? I'm not there yet, I'm just getting started but I'm going to drop some weight. How do I program my mind for doing that automatically? 
Croix
If something like weight loss, pretty easy as I'm going to lose 50 pounds, but it's not I want to lose 50 pounds, I want to weigh 185. Let's say it's a year. It’s a fairly easy goal, one pound a week. You could do it in six months, you can do in three months if you want it to. It’s not probably a good idea, but you could, so it's one year. A nice reasonable goal that you can definitely achieve. One year from now on whatever date it is, I'm going to weigh 185. What do I have to do to get there? You start setting your goals and backing out. I need to exercise every day or be active every day. I need to stop eating this food and start eating this food. You start creating your plan and then you create your contingency plans. 
I get cravings at 2:30 PM and I want to eat my Ding Dongs Hostess cakes or whatever. I don't have the Ding Dongs in the cabinet next to your desk. Go get some other foods. Put some nuts in there, bananas or whatever it is that you like that is healthy because there are a lot of healthy things. You have to educate yourself a little bit. If you don't know that a banana is healthier for you than a cupcake, then you probably got to start there. Even if people do know some of it, there's probably a lot you don't know what to do. Why do you want to eat nuts instead of a banana? Nuts give you the fat that helps you feel satiated more than a banana will. Banana might, in the moment, but the nuts will last a lot longer. Avocado, the same thing, fantastic. Avocado helps you feel full, satiated for longer. What about financial stuff, business or focus on business? What's going to help keep you more focused? One of the things is turn off all of your internet, all technology for 45 minutes. Set a timer and do nothing except for one task for 45 minutes. 
Dustin
This has been a hard thing for me because I became addicted. I feel like these devices, they have engineered it and there are stuff in the news and the report that’s all about this. It's having that discipline and knowing where you want to go to focus and that's helped me at least big time to do that. 
Croix
They've done studies that show that when a person is losing a phone, a laptop or some electronic device like that, it lights up your brain the same way as cocaine does. You get on and you start playing Bejeweled or whatever game you're playing on or texting or Tinder or whatever you're on. You go onto that addiction on your phone and it changes your brain chemistry. They’re finding out with children today that it's radically changing their brain chemistry because they're so vulnerable to it and their brains are so valuable. It's freaky and it's scary. 
As an example, my son, he's ten years old. If he's watching TV or playing video games like Xbox, it’s not a big deal to get him off. Five minutes time to turn it off, it’s no big deal, he does it. If he's on the iPad it changes his brain chemistry, and this is like World War III sometimes trying to get him off this iPad. He's on there and he's playing, not Minecraft, it was the thing of the past now, Fortnite’s the thing right now. The new version came out or something and he's addicted to it like a drug. I've had to learn how to parent differently to get him off. We’ve had battles. We’ve dragged out battles almost to get him off and we're helping him learn to not be stuck to it so much.
Dustin
Steve Jobs, what a guy, what a vision for that, but the ramifications of that genius playing out right there. I want to get into the money. I'm sure you've heard or perhaps you’ve given this advice that you can monetize your passion. You call yourself a non-runner, so let's assume your passion is running. Would you say your passion is running or not really? 
Croix
No, my passion would be more of the adventure of it. My passion is experiencing new. That's why I live in South America. I live in Colombia for six months a year because I love the adventure of it. What I do love about running though is the healthy, the fit, keeping my weight exactly the same all year round. I like the endorphins and the adrenaline and all of the other chemicals that your body creates while you're in that.
Dustin
We're going to talk about Colombia. On this line of this being your passion, you found a way to make it your passion and if you want to call it that because of all the benefits. I'm curious around this running and the monetization of it. When you go on a run 100 days or you go through Death Valley, is there a monetization model? Is it a business for you? Is there a way to make money doing this? 
Croix
The first time, I didn't know how to do it but I knew it would lead to more things, which eventually did lead to me becoming a professional keynote speaker. Speaking around the world and getting paid as much as most any professional keynote speakers. 
Dustin
You parlayed not necessarily the first time around the running itself. You didn't necessarily monetize, but you found the mindset around what it takes to achieve what you achieved can translate into the sideline thing, we call it a side hustle or a micro business, and that would be public speaking. Is that correct? 
Croix
The public speaking is my main business. Public speaking and coaching are the two main things I do. Online courses and weekend events and things like that. All coming from the run across America because of exactly what you just said, the mindset aspect of it. How do you transform your life? How does somebody go from a non-runner to one of the world's best runners? How do you go from zero to starting a business successfully? How do you go from bad relationship to bad relationship and get into a great relationship and stay in it and have it continue to grow? It's all the same thing. 
Dustin
How do you monetize running? Let's say that running is your passion. How does one monetize running?
Croix
You can monetize running and I have friends who are professional runners. They get sponsorships and you can monetize it that way. Most people aren't going to make money in an industry like that. Another example of that would be meditation. How do you monetize meditation? When teaching meditation classes, you get paid $10 a class or something like that. You're never going to make any significant amount of money. Running is the same thing, it's not a sport that there's a whole lot of sponsors throwing money at it. How do you make money on top of it? Most of the runners that I know, even the professional ones have a day job. Even the world's best runners are all on these crazy things. You read about them in the magazines. Most of them have a day job because running itself doesn't produce it. 
How do you create a business around meditation or energy healing or anything, name it, barefoot walking? You’ve got to find another way to be able to do it. I do the speaking keynote events, which is for big corporations that can pay a lot of money for an hour's talk. I also get money for books. I get paid for selling books, I also get paid for coaching. I have somebody coming to Colombia with me for three days, a private one-on-one for a life transformation event that I do. I do events that are more typical of larger audience events too. I sometimes speak on stage where I sell my books or something from the stage. There are lots of different ways and I'm using all of them and some of them work better than others. Some of them don't and that's how you figure out where you're going. 
We both have a friend, Dave. He's selling from the stage like nobody can. One of those best sell from the stage. That's not me. I'm not that guy so I don't make money like that, but I do things that he's not good at. You've got to follow what resonates with you. I’ve got a friend who's doing meditation and he's figuring out how to monetize it. He has classes and things like that. He makes a few dollars on it but not a whole lot. Now he's been smart, and he goes into the corporate level of showing corporations how meditation can improve their bottom line. He's starting to get some events within the corporation, showing them, teaching them. Instead of teaching for $10 a class, now he's teaching for $2,000. That's a whole lot better. You make $200 for an hour or you make $2,000 for an hour, which one would you rather have?
Dustin
You mentioned Colombia. Are you down in Colombia because it's something like a new age tax shelter? Why live in Colombia? 
Croix
I love Colombia. I enjoy being in Colombia as much as I enjoy being in the US, for some reasons even more and it has nothing to do with finances. As a US citizen, taxes pretty much follow you anywhere in the world. As far as I know, there aren't a whole lot of tax strategies to avoid by moving out of the country. There are some and that's way beyond my pay grade, but Colombia is not one of them. 
Dustin
You're able to run the whole biz from down in Colombia? 
Croix
The coaching that I do, we get on a phone call, Skype, whatever, we do it from there. Everything's on Wi-Fi. Colombia’s got a strong Wi-Fi. I live in Medellin and it's becoming a tech hub now. A lot of digital nomads. A lot of people who can work remotely are there because you're within a ten-block radius of restaurants, clubs, bars, dance lessons and Spanish lessons or whatever you want is within walking distance. I don't own a car anymore in the US or Colombia. I don't need it. I come to the US and I rent one because I'm only here for short periods of time, a couple of weeks at a time and then when I go to Colombia, I walk everywhere. If I go to somebody's house that's outside of the ten-block walking distance, I take an Uber.
Dustin
Does it even occur to you, Croix, most people would think that's crazy? You don't own a car, but did you have to change your mindset around that or did you feel like the pressure to have the white picket fence and all that stuff or did that just fall away once you committed to traveling the world and doing your thing? 
Croix
I don't have a car and I don't own almost anything. I don't have an apartment. I rent fully furnished apartments, whether I'm in the US or in Colombia. I go into my place and I stay there for a couple of weeks, a couple of months, whatever it is and then I move on. When I go back to Colombia, I'm going to meet that client from Australia and she's coming in for the three-day private event. I'll rent a different apartment. It's even cooler than my last one as if the other one wasn't amazing enough. I'm renting it fully furnished and everything's there, pots, pans, tea maker, the whole thing. It's all there and it's like your home the second you walk in the door. 
Dustin
What's been the biggest benefit of this lifestyle? 
Croix
The biggest challenge has been letting go of that concept that we should have the white picket fence, the house and the whole thing.
Dustin
When did that click for you? I'm sure this took some time. How long have you been living this way? 
Croix
I didn't jump into this. I would go away for a couple of weeks and a couple of weeks turned into a month and then the month turned into a couple of months. I did three months of traveling around the US in my car and couch surfing with my friends. One of the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life and because I know so many people in the US, I posted it to Facebook, “I'm going to be driving around the country, looking to stay at people's houses.” I did that and I got more opportunities than I needed for night's sleep. Almost all my friends had a spare bedroom, so I didn't sleep on a couch. Twice I did. 
Once, I was in the middle of nowhere and I couldn't find a place to stay so I slept in my car one night, but it wasn't necessarily by choice. It would have been too difficult to find someplace so I crashed in a Walmart parking lot and slept. It was a lot easier than trying to figure out where to stay. When you're in Texas, sometimes there isn't anything for many hours’ driving. That was one of the things, I was in the middle of nowhere in Texas and I was going to sleep for three hours anyway. Not because I only slept for three hours that night but because I had to get somewhere for a gig. I needed to get there and I’ve got a three-hour nap in my car and kept going.
Dustin
What do you say to the person that's like, “I could never do that, I've got too many things, I have kids, I've got responsibilities,” but they desire to have this lifestyle where it sounds freeing? You traveled the world and you meet cool people. They've got that voice that says, “I could never do that. I'd love to but I just can't.” What do you say to that person?
Croix
You’ve got that inside voice in your head, then you've got everybody else say, “You can't do it.” I still get oppositions from it, from friends, from family and everything else. I'm a single dad now and I used to live right down the street from my kids. Now I live 3,000 miles away from them and I see them more now. I have a better relationship with them now than when I was living down the street. Instead of a few hours, one night a week or two nights a week, now when I come back, I'm here for several weeks and I see them every day or almost every day for several weeks. I get to be with them often as compared to only seeing them for a few hours while they're doing homework and everything else where life is in the way of building any kind of real connection.
Dustin
What I see there is I could see how society would say, “You’ve got to be doing better here,” but they don't know you, they're not you and they can't judge the value and the quality time of that relationship. They may judge your time like in a town, but they can't judge that and so you own that.
Croix
Nobody knows what you're doing. Do I do everything right? Not even close. Are there things that could be way better? Probably, and I try to continuously adjust. We talked about that, how planes almost always off track and it's constantly readjusting. I'm always readjusting and trying to figure things out because there are challenges in life. Hopefully, you get to a better level of challenge as you go through life, but I don't worry about what other people think about me too much anymore. Even when one of my friends told me that, “You're selfish and it's mean for you to do that, to go live in the country.” He was a good friend of mine, somebody I admire and respect and he was bashing me, but he doesn't get it and I'm not living for him. 
I'm not living for what my family might say. I'm living for me. If I can raise my kids and have the lifestyle I want and do both and it works for everyone, then why not do it? Why not figure out a way, but it doesn't have to be that way. Maybe you're not a single person and you want to do it. I know people who are traveling as a couple and they travel the world. They’ve lived nomadically like that or semi nomadically. I don't live nomadic anymore. That was a three-month test. Now I'm hybrid nomadic. I stay someplace for several weeks or several months and then move back and forth. I'm not living out of a car anymore. I'm not intentionally homeless out of a car anymore, which wasn't homeless, it's a joke. I'm living a hybrid life. I enjoyed three months on the road every single day, almost being in a new place. It was super cool, a great experiment. I loved it but I didn't want to do it. I know people who are doing that on the road and they’re a couple. I know a few people who are doing it with the family and they're on the road. 
The reason I'm in Medellin, Colombia is because of a guy who is with his wife and his three kids under five and they're traveling every country in the world. They want to be the first family to have visited every country. It's 178 countries If I remember right, and they're now halfway. They’re 80 or 90 countries at this point. He went around all of South America with his wife and three kids under five. I asked him, “What's your favorite city in South America?” He said, “Medellin, Colombia,” coming from a family guy. Colombia’s got a bad reputation. If he said it was safe, and he said it was great, he said that was his favorite city as a young man with a family and he's a family guy. He's not this crazy lunatic. He's a normal guy. It just happens he’s traveling the world and he's not making a ton of money yet. He's learning how to monetize traveling the world and his body’s building it up slowly. He’s losing 50 pounds over a year. What can I do now that makes me a little more money? What can I do tomorrow that makes me a little more money and then the next day? His curve, his upward trend is moving in the right direction, but he's figuring out how to monetize it as being a travel blogger guy. He’s got a little bit of coaching, a little bit of that, selling books, doing some things and he's showing his kids how to move around the world and live that way. That's pretty damn cool. 
Dustin
I know in your past, you flipped houses and I wanted to touch on that a little bit. Tell us about your house flipping adventures.
Croix
I grew up, my dad was a carpenter and my brothers were carpenters. My uncles were carpenters and so what did I become? 
Dustin
You became a carpenter.
Croix
When I was in my mid-teens, probably fourteen to fifteen years old, on summer breaks and winter breaks, I used to go with my dad to the job site because we couldn't afford babysitting and stuff like that. We can’t hire somebody to come in and so I had to stay at one of my parents and so I’d go with my dad on the vacations and the framed houses before the plywood and everything's on the roofs on, those were my jungle gyms. I'd be two, three stories up in the air on the roof rafters. If my mom ever knew that I was doing that stuff, she would kill my dad because she's afraid of heights too, so that makes it a little worse. It would've killed her. That was my jungle gym and so my dad didn't care and I like climbing. I had fun and so I grew up in the tree. I became a carpenter, eventually became a contractor and then started flipping houses. I played a lot on the law of buying a house, living in it for two years and flipping it and you pay no capital gains. That was my primary source of income for years. I did pretty well with it. 
Dustin
Tell me about your favorite deal. Think back to your favorite deal that you did or more substantial deal.
Croix
I remember my second deal because I bought the first house that I was currently renovating. I had heard about a house down the street and that was a hoarder house. There was a path and there were piles of stuff going up to the ceiling, like sand piles going up to the walls. It was crazy how somebody could live that high. The guy's mom died. He wanted to sell the house, he didn't want to clean it and so I bought it from him. I had him hold the mortgage for a short period of time. It was a couple few months or something. A very short period of time, no money down. He held the mortgage. All I had to do was pay the taxes upfront, which was $1,700. I paid the conveyance fees to be able to take ownership of the house. 
We went down to the city hall together, did that deal, closed it, second mortgage. I ended up paying $700 interest by the time I flipped it, put it in the paper the next day and had it sold within a week. I closed it in within two months. It would have closed a lot quicker but I made a brutal mistake. I didn't do a title search. I thought they owned it since the house was new. How can there possibly be any title issues? They don't owe any money on the house. This was a good clean deal. I didn't have to pay some attorney $700. I think it costs me $2,000 or $3,000 to get out from that, which was a clerical thing but it wasn't a clear title, so I couldn't pass it along to another. How was I able to buy it? I'm not sure, but I couldn't sell it to someone else. I got stuck in it, but I still cleared $25,000 at the end of the day. It was not bad for a second deal at 24 years old. 
Dustin
You’ve got to tell me the worst deal. You’ve got one that you'd rather not talk about. That's the one I want to know about. 
Croix
It was the last deal that I did. I had several houses at that time and this was a house that I used to like to buy, the ugliest houses that were and I renovate it because I could. I would make more profit by doing the renovations myself. I buy it, renovate it and sell it. I bought it with a piece of property that had a bad driveway and it was a shared driveway. I couldn't sell that thing. Then that was 2008 when the market was crashing and I couldn't get out of that thing. Then finally I saw one of my mentors and he was like, “Whatever it takes, get out.” I was dropping about $10,000 a week until it was sold and eventually, I sold that. I had some other properties. I got rid of them and ended up losing probably $50,000 net loss, which is way better than some of my friends who lost everything in 2008.
Dustin
Kudos to you for taking the advice because sometimes you don't want to lose and so you hold onto the bad losers and you go all the way down. You were able to get out. 
Croix
If I didn't get out of that, I probably would have lost my personal house too. I got out of the real estate deals, lost a bunch of cash, but I didn't lose my personal house and I didn't end up going under because of it. 
Dustin
How did you maintain your composure losing $50,000? It's never fun. 
Croix
It wasn't dark, it was frustrating. It was frustrating getting out of it and you don't feel the financial implications of it necessarily until a little bit later on when you’ve got to do the taxes and everything else. The economy was tanking and continued to tank after that. Had I knocked that out fairly early on when the market starting to tank then it would've been a hell of a lot worse. 
Dustin
Do you do any other investing, into stocks or anything like that, oil and gas?
Croix
In the past, not a lot now. I was in crypto for a little while, while I was still climbing. I got out of that just before it peaked. I wish I got into it earlier. 
Dustin
How did you get into crypto? Was it through buddies? Are you a crypto nut? How did that happen?
Croix
I knew almost nothing about crypto but I kept hearing it from friends. I did a little bit of research and I was like, “Why not? Let me put a few bucks in there.” I put $750, maybe $1,000, I forgot. I put that in. It was fairly a small amount of money, but then that doubled within five days or something like that. It went up a little bit higher and I didn't get out. I was telling myself I should get out now. I went to school for finance, I know this stuff. I was a day trader for a short while on the side. I never got any money in day trading. I did it for fun and so I was like, “I knew I have to get out.” All the indicators were there to get out, even though there were no real indicators in crypto because it's all BS. I didn't get out right away and it started to tank. I got out when it was tanking, but then it spiked back up. Now you're doubting yourself. I'm happy. I doubled my money at the end of the day. I doubled my money in six days or whatever it was. 
Dustin
What would you say your favorite investment is? 
Croix
Investment in me. Everything starts with mindset. Mindset makes all the difference. As Jim Rohn said, “Work more on yourself than you do on your job.” Meaning that if you take care of yourself and you continuously improve yourself, then everything else will improve. Your job will improve, your relationships will improve, your health will improve, everything will improve. You've got to always work on yourself. 
Dustin
What are your favorite ways of working on yourself, bettering yourself? 
Croix
Constant education. 
Dustin
What would you prefer to read books or podcasts? 
Croix
I prefer going to live events. Not necessarily live events but live experiences. There are some things that I'm considering, trying and I don't know, Tim Ferriss talks about stuff like this a lot, but I'm not sure. In Colombia, you can do Iowaska, which is this crazy. It's a root vegetable or whatever it is. It's supposed to bring you to this higher spiritual level, allow blocks to get away from and stuff like that. I'm scared of it and I don't know if I will or not, but I'm doing my research and maybe, maybe not. The people that I know who do it, they're not the people I want to take advice from. You hear somebody like Tim Ferriss talking about with some others that are smart with it and they're having good luck with it. It’s like, “Is this the next level to a higher level of consciousness?” I'm unsure. I'm not saying I will. I'm not saying I won't, but I am looking into it. I'm curious about it.
Dustin
One of the things I did want to highlight on is you're a productivity expert. I know personally that you launched a productivity product on Kickstarter. I’ve got so much to ask you here. Number one is describe your productivity secrets or your structure or your system. 
Croix
There are so many different ways. The first thing is that you’ve got to have a plan. You’ve got to know what you're doing because if you don't, you're just going to wander especially as an entrepreneur. If you don't know what you're going to start with the first thing that day, then how are you going to ever get that day to make any sense? 
Dustin
What you're saying is structure your day first.
Croix
Structure first, not structure it the day, know the plan the day before. That way when you come in to sit down at your desk, whether it's at home, office or wherever, you know what you're starting on first thing and what is that one most important thing you get done and you tackle that right away. Do that first thing. Brian Tracy talks about eat that frog. It’s the same idea, it's more than eat the frog. It's what's that one thing that is going to get you closer to your big goal, your big dream, whatever it is. What is that one thing that's going to make the most impact for you? A lot of these things we do are things that don't matter at all. At the end of the day, we're twiddling our thumbs and moving sand around on the beach, shoveling sand back into the ocean and it's just coming back. You keep shoveling sand in the ocean, you're never going to fill the ocean up with sand. It doesn't work, but that's what we do at work most of the time. We're doing things that are non-essential and non-productive towards your goals. 
If you've got only one thing done now and it was something that moved you closer, then that day was a success and hopefully, you do a lot more than that. You know how it is, your day goes sideways all the time. What if at 10:30 AM you already got that one most important thing done and for some reason, your day goes sideways? You’ve got to put out a fire. You’ve got to go out like here, I'm here in California. We didn't plan this. How can I be in a different city for two days when I didn't even plan for it? It’s because things are already planned for that, so I can figure out how to do that and still be productive and be present with you guys and not working. He knows I'm not on my phone. I'm not getting anything. I'm here with you guys. I'll work on the plane ride going home or I'll work in a couple of days from now. 
Dustin
One of the things I want to touch onto is the Kickstarter. You promote your own books and stuff online. Why did you choose to go that method and any lessons learned that we can benefit from? 
Croix
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website. With Kickstarter, you're putting something on there that, in theory anyway, isn't built yet. People are going to fund you. They're going to buy it in advance for something that's not built that you're promising to build, and you have a plan and a structure needed to do all these things. It's a way to get funding for something that's not constructed yet or not manufactured yet. That's why Kickstarter is a great thing. Kickstarter is also a great thing, so it's got its own community and they support their own people. When you're in Kickstarter, it's not going to sell itself no matter how great it is, unless you got the marketing behind it. 
Dustin
A lot of people make that mistake, just put it up and everyone's going to show up.
Croix
They're going to show up and nobody does. You might sell $1,000 or something like that, but you're not going to sell tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
Dustin
What did you do to market and be successful on the platform? 
Croix
Facebook ads. It's a traditional marketing but it's moving them towards the Kickstarter platform, which is good and it's bad. It depends because now Kickstarter is the landing page. They're going to a sales page and so you're landing on something that there's no way to collect their email. There's no way to market to them in other ways. There's no way to follow them. You can't cookie them. You can't do any of the traditional things you would do in regular online marketing because you're going to Kickstarter.
Dustin
How do you know if it was working or not? What was working? What was your gauge or metrics? 
Croix
If you're converting enough, that was your only real gauge. That is how much you're putting into marketing as compared to how many people are buying because it's a yes or no, buy or not buy. That's the only metric that you have. 
Dustin
Would you recommend people that have an idea, a system, just something they want to test out, to use this as a platform or do you see another method for them?
Croix
It depends on what you're selling. Some things naturally lend themselves to Kickstarter, Indiegogo or one of the others, but not everything does. 
Dustin
Like an information product and the one where we package our expertise into something. Should we use one of these platforms? 
Croix
Far way better off without it, especially because you have to follow the rules of Kickstarter. The good thing about Kickstarter though is that they do run the credit cards. If you don't have merchant processing, you don't have a way to get people to pay you. Kickstarter is a great way because they do all that and they take the cut out of it. They're reasonably priced costs on that, it's not outrageous. It's reasonably priced. You can do that, and they give you the webpage. They give you the builder and they do everything for you. 
If you're starting off from scratch and you know nothing, it's probably a good place to go. If you’ve got a little bit of experience in this and you can do it, then depending on your product, especially information product, you're better off doing it on your own. You still have to Facebook market, you still have to send them someplace. Now you can send them to a Freemium, collect their name and then market to them or you can Facebook Pixel. You can pixel them so that if they come to your website, now they have a pixel, now they can follow you. You can have your ad show up everywhere they go on the internet. 
Dustin
That's like if you go onto Amazon and you don't buy and then you go to another website, there's an ad there following you around the internet and you're like, “Are they stalking me?” That's what you're talking about?
Croix
Yes, you’ve been pixeled.
Dustin
We're all about action here. I want to have three ideas that we can immediately act upon from our conversation. Let's take it this way, I want any area of life because you're big and it doesn't matter what we do, so we could choose to go invest in something we could choose to start a business. We could choose to work on ourselves. What are three things that people can do to get the biggest results in their life? What are the smallest things that we can do that yield the biggest things? What would you advise? 
Croix
One of the best strategies you can learn to master is focus and consistency. That's two, focus and consistency. Focus is how to stay locked down, doing something, and getting it done. Then consistency is making sure that, as most things are in a three-hour project, most things are weeks, months, years sometimes, how do you stay with one idea and get it done so it's out there? As compared to entrepreneurs, and you know tons of people like this, they start a project and then move on to another one, then move on to another one, then move on to another one. They never get anything completely finished. 
Stick with one idea, finish it consistently, and keep marketing and building, doing whatever it is to build up your business. One idea and then stay consistent with it because most people are not consistent. They're not consistent with exercise. They're not consistent with being a great spouse. They’re not consistent with being a great parent. They’re not consistent with being great to themselves. These are all the challenges. You go out and you meet somebody new, you're single, young, old, it doesn't matter, but you're out in the dating scene. You go out, you start dating someone and you treat them good in the beginning. You're buying her flowers or you're doing nice things for him, whatever it is. You do all these great things when you're trying to woo someone over. Then what happens after you've been dating for a few months or a few years?
Dustin
I've been guilty of this, but we slide. You forget, we're not consistent.
Croix
What happens to many couples over time, they fall in love, they get married. They’re great for a little while and eventually, 50% of people get divorced. Why is that? Partially it's because of communication, but part of it is because we stopped trying to keep it amazing or one person stopped trying. Then eventually you're in two different directions, weight, fitness, the whole thing, the same thing. There's a consistency. If you treated your spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever or if you treated your kids in the same way that you always treat them when you're at your best. I’m not saying you should expect to be best all the time, but if you consistently on a regular basis buy her flowers, have date nights, you take your kids out on special events and just one-on-one with your kid and doing things like that, you do those things regularly over time, the relationship never dies. 
You have a relationship with yourself. You treat yourself, you meditate, you read books, you do whatever the thing is that makes you feel good. You go take a spiritual bath as I heard Les Brown call it. A spiritual bath is where you go and have a private time, me time, whatever they call it and it's not about the bath. It's about taking care of yourself and then you have a great relationship with yourself, your bank account. It’s the same thing, no different. If you keep overspending, are you going to have a great relationship with your bank account? If you keep saving and being smart and putting money into 401(k) or whatever it is that you do for your finances, then you’ll have great relationships. It's focus and it’s consistency. To tie into that one would be, know what your outcome is. Pick the goal, stay focused and be consistent until you achieve that goal. 
Dustin
I’ve got to ask, any new crazy records or adventures you're chasing?
Croix
I'm under a contract, which I can't speak about it much but it's much bigger than running across America. It's a different continent. I'll be running for six months straight, 35 miles a day, and this is to bring water to people who don't have water. We talked about the molecules. This is that whole, the butterfly effect and change in the molecules. This is a whole butterfly effect. This is the legacy that I and the people I'm working with are doing to bring water and change lives. Not just that, the way it's structured is that this helps bring water. Then it helps them get loans for business. Then it helps them move on to the next level, so it empowers those who want to be empowered. It's not a handout but it's helping people be empowered who choose to be empowered. 
Dustin
I love it. What I don't love is the contract that precludes you from telling us more and so definitely, I want to stay in touch and understand that. This leads into how can we keep tabs on you, this big thing that you're about to tackle when it comes out. Where can people find out more about you and what you're up to these days?
Croix
You can always follow me with my name, Croix Sather. My book is DreamBigActBig.com. Dream Big Act Big is all about my philosophy of life and the strategies that we talked about and it's about how to do that. You could go to those two places are probably the best. Social media and I’m on Facebook, Instagram and all that good stuff. 
Dustin
Croix Sather, marathon man, world record holder, all around great guy, super pumped. Thanks for coming on the show. I appreciate you.
Croix
Thank you, Dustin.

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Check it out! You can improve your productivity by keeping a work checklist. Learn how to write one and take your career to the next level.

Check Yourself: Keep a Work Checklist & Up Your Productivity

Jill Huettich

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Developing a Warrior Mindset

Developing a Warrior Mindset

How to Shatter Your Fear, Upgrade Your Brain, & Fight Your Way to Financial Freedom

David Fabricius

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