We had the good fortune of connecting with Ted Whetstone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ted, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is a subjective word. Educated risks are more like leverage. Whereas careless risks are just reckless.
For instance, spending $1,000 on lottery tickets is stupid (sorry). The probabilities of winning are typically less than getting hit by lightning. That’s pure risk (and dumb risk).
However, if I have a clear goal to increase my net worth and I borrow money at a low interest rate to make an investment (e.g., buy a house) that could potentially make a bigger return, is a calculated “risk” with a fairly good chance of panning out.
I’ve invested in projects that went south because I didn’t do my homework. That was dumb risk. But I’ve invested in others where I minimized risk and maximized upside potential – they generally worked out!
As for my career, I’ve started my own business and forewent the security of corporate life. Indeed, it was a “risk” since odds were that I’d make less money (that happened). But, when you align with your internal purpose and self, then the only “risk” is NOT following that inner compass. Zero regrets!
What should our readers know about your business?
Life is an awkward set of stumbles and I’m not sure it can be done any other way. My grand “aha” is to know thyself. I spent most of my career NOT being that. Here’s what I mean:
In high school I would wash my dad’s car (yes, for beer money!). I found a cassette tape in the dash and pushed it in. I heard the booming voice of Earl Nightingale about Acres of Diamonds and I heard Zig Ziglar talk about motivational themes. Later in life, but early in my career, I read Les Brown – another motivational type. I’ve been a self-improvement junky all my life. Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Landmark Education, all of them.
But I used it to support my life and career. You see, I had ALWAYS wanted to be like those inspirational influencers but that was never for ME to do (so my inner voice said).
Finally, after ignoring the call for years, I stepped into coaching. It’s who I’ve always been. I resisted it because I misunderstood the craft as “therapy.” It is not. Now I see how the mind is the most powerful tool in the universe.
The great news is that now I’m a little older (56) and have a plethora of experience to draw from. I also have the self-confidence to know who I am and what MY point of view is on the world. My journey has been one of trusting in what I have to offer versus trying to create myself as what I thought others wanted me to be (to buy my services).
So for younger folks, I recommend, get a career counselor or interview 10 older, successful people and ask questions about what they do. Listen for WHO YOU ARE. Then have the gumption to have a point of view. Exercise it because that is your differentiator: YOU.
Who I am is that people are infinitely powerful in creating their own reality. My point of view is that humans tend to think from a physical reality perspective but once they understand the nature of nature (I’m a physicist by training), then they’ll realize there is an enormously more powerful paradigm available in the non-physical world of human nature.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Personally, I feel like going to a new restaurant is like groundhog day: same thing (food), different format. I feel that way about bars, museums, sights and any typical activity.
I like to have people to have new experiences. Ecstatic dance on the beach (there’s a Facebook group for it) has to be way up there. Headphones and dancing seaside is something I would have “never” have done, had someone not introduced me to it and I treasure the experience every time.
Another fun one is the drum circle in Venice on Sundays and of course the Electric Light Parade in Venice where everyone’s bikes are lit up (and probably so are the riders) and it is an absolute ball!
Basically it all comes down to Venice where the eclectic is available to all.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A neighbor of mine in 1980 (I was in high school in Geneva, Switzerland) took me to his office on Saturday to teach me Lotus 123, the spreadsheet precursor to Microsoft Excel.
While I had NO need for spreadsheets in high school, my first job out of college required some reports to be created and my boss at the time only knew to do things manually. I used my Lotus 123 knowledge to create an entire reporting system for all the sales reps in the US. I surprised myself but I REALLY surprised my boss!
I barely knew that neighbor. But he was the kind of guy that “paid it forward.” Big shout out to him for being that kind of person. I forgot his name but, if you’re reading this, you know the same person who did a similar thing in your life.
Now THAT’s being neighborly! Now I pay it forward all the time.