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103: Walk and Talk with Mick White of the 100 Year Manifesto

Published February 1, 2022
Run time: 00:58:54
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In the most Minnesotan podcast ever recorded, Mick White joins Tim Bornholdt for a walk and talk along St. Paul’s riverbanks on a snowy, below-zero December day.

The crunch of snow underfoot and gusts of wind coming off the water have nothing on the warmth radiating from Mick’s personal journey that led to his creation of the 100 Year Manifesto.

He shares how his framework for being helps people live with more intentionality, why we should only be competing against our best selves, and how his six year old has a Rolodex envious of most entrepreneurs.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to get your own 100 Year Manifesto
  • Why it’s important to focus on what we’re trying to be over who we’re trying to be
  • Why we should be saying “no” more and what we should be saying “yes” to
  • A new twist to “Bring Your Kid to Work Day”
  • The challenges (and successes) of reducing complexities
  • How the brilliance of life lives in the simplicity of the day to day
  • How to build relationships on trust and transparency

This episode is brought to you by The Jed Mahonis Group, where we make sense of mobile app development with our non-technical approach to building custom mobile software solutions. Learn more at https://jmg.mn.

Recorded December 7, 2021 | Edited by Jordan Daoust | Produced by Jenny Karkowski

Show Links

100 Year Manifesto | https://www.100yearmanifesto.com/

Mick White on LinkedIn | https://www.linkedin.com/in/100yearmanifesto/

Mick White on Twitter | https://twitter.com/MickWhite7

Learn more about Tim’s Walk and Talks | https://jmg.mn/blog/walk-and-talk-walk-away-from-coffee-meetings

JMG Pricing Page | https://jmg.mn/pricing

Follow The Jed Mahonis Group on LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/company/the-jed-mahonis-group

Chat with The Jed Mahonis Group about your app | https://jmg.mn

Rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts | https://constantvariables.co/review

Episode Transcript:

Tim Bornholdt 0:00
Welcome to Constant Variables, a podcast where we take a non-technical look at building and growing digital products. I'm Tim Bornholdt. Let's get nerdy.

Jenny Karkowski 0:22
This episode is sponsored by The Jed Mahonis Group. We help companies and teams work better by creating custom tools and software that work the way they do, not the other way around. To see some of the projects we've worked on with companies like Great Clips, TurnSignl, Green Mill and Profile by Sanford, visit jmg.mn.

And while you're listening to Tim's conversation with Mick White as they walk along the riverbanks of St. Paul, please take a second to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. The more reviews we have, the more awesome listeners we can reach. By helping us out with a rating and review, we'll thank you with a shout out on the show. Just be sure to leave your name or company name in the review. Visit constant variables.co/review and we'll take you right there.

Tim Bornholdt 1:10
Mick White, welcome to our first ever walk and talk podcast.

Mick White 1:14
You know, this is, it seemed like it was a great idea when we came up with it. But now that it's December 7 and 11 degrees outside.

Tim Bornholdt 1:25
Yeah, I think, if I remember correctly, the exact words were, Hey, Mick, do you want to do a walk and talk show? And you're like, Yeah, let's do it in December when it's snowing out. And if it's snowing, it'll be even more fun.

Mick White 1:38
Yeah, you know, sometimes, like, I'm not really into roller coasters, but I'll do them one time. Right. Yeah. But once you get on the roller coaster, and they shoulder straps come down. You're going on the ride, like you can cry and scream all you want, but you're going on the ride, and I feel like that's it's kind of what happened. Like, it was an idea. And then the other guy said, Yeah, let's do it and neither one of us could back out. So here we are.

Tim Bornholdt 2:06
And honestly, I don't even want to back out like, you know, to kind of set a visual picture here. We're walking along down in downtown St. Paul, right along the river. The river is a nice, covered in snow. The path's not even plowed yet. It's actively snowing, right. It's gorgeous. It's a gorgeous December day.

Mick White 2:24
We should sing Christmas carols and maybe skip. I think that would be like an appropriate like, it is gorgeous out. Yeah, a walk in talk podcast in the snow. This is without a doubt, I've been in Minnesota now for 15 years. This is the most Minnesotan thing I've ever done. Maybe after 15 years, I feel like I kind of belong.

Tim Bornholdt 2:49
Yeah, maybe you've earned your cred after this. I mean, we'll get you out for some broom ball later this year.

Mick White 2:55
Let's not get crazy.

Tim Bornholdt 2:58
Well, so you mentioned, you know, being here in Minnesota, you've been a pretty active part in the community here over the last few years. But I think for those of my listeners who might not know who you are, and what you do, I'd love for you to explain that a little bit, break it down.

Mick White 3:14
Yeah, so maybe the best way today of what I do is I help people live better, which might be a generic phrase or like, very vague. Like there's a lot of different ways that as business leaders, business owners, to say like we can help drive revenue, we can help, you know, optimize for x. But really, I think we should take a step back and say, What are we really trying to do with our business, in our lives, like 100 years from now? What's really important? And then maybe through that we have a better frame to make decisions today about whether or not you host a podcast, you know. How much you want to grow your company? What's your goal in what you're doing with business? Because usually the answer is, you know, what's your goal for next year and you're like, I want more clients or more revenue or more stuff, and trying to have this idea of what what's my purpose? What am I trying to do? And once I've identified that, then I can make better decisions. So I work with people one on one. We have some small cohorts. And then I do some digital courses. And I hang out on other people's podcasts because being on somebody else's podcast is a whole lot better than having your own.

Tim Bornholdt 4:45
It's true. Like I'm sitting here, it's very weird because the only other time I've done a live podcast was earlier this year. I did a panel for Twin City Startup Weekend. It's a night and day difference when you're interviewing one person stuck behind a mic with no video and you're just kind of talking into the air. It's another one, you've got 10 people staring back at you, and then an audience of people staring back at you. And this one, it's like adding on the element of walking, and not getting trampled by a runner as they pass us or tripping over my own feet. You know, it's a whole other added dimension here.

Mick White 5:21
And if things don't go, well, we can always just build a snowman.

Tim Bornholdt 5:25
It's true. I mean, you're not wearing gloves. Like that's next level. I don't know how you're gonna make that through this whole walk.

Mick White 5:31
I am not. Charles Barkley said one time, I am not a role model. Gloves, pockets, like I think I should put them on. But we're walking right? Like, I'm just, I'm just going with what we're doing.

Tim Bornholdt 5:46
I heard him. I watched something on YouTube the other day, it was, I think Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel. They had Shaq on and they played a game called Shaq or bull Shaq. And it was just all these myths about Shaq and he was like, Yep, that's true. Like he, at one point in his life, like, tore apart a car with his bare hands. Like it was like a Corolla. He just ripped the door off, ripped the window off. And this was when he was 19. Right? Just, you know, and he was like, Yep, that's true. He bought a house and moved across the street from like, I think it was Bette Midler or Paula Abdul like something like that. And he was just like, Yeah, I saw Paula Abdul lived across the street and I wanted to live there.

Mick White 6:26
So, I mean, who wouldn't? To be clear, there's a little difference between Bette Midler and Paula Abdul.

Tim Bornholdt 6:35
Well, yeah, I mean, yeah, you got the great Miss Devine. And then you've got like, one of the the best dancers of the 80s. I guess. Yeah, I might, I guess I would prefer Paula Abdul.

Mick White 6:47
I think I'd rather live close to Shaq.

Tim Bornholdt 6:50
Yes. Same. You know you're gonna at least get some icy hot and some Papa John's from time to time if you're living next to him.

Mick White 6:58
You know, what did, what'd he say? With his kids the other day they were talking about, you know, his kids, so they use the inclusive, We have money, and we are wealthy. He's like, You're not wealthy. I'm wealthy. Kids, I don't know what you're talking about. Like, this is my money, not your money.

Tim Bornholdt 7:18
But I mean, it goes to show like even, you know, Shaq, I think that's like a perfect example of being a good role model in showing what not to do. And Charles Barkley, and you probably come at it from a different angle. Walking around in Minnesota without gloves on a negative 10 degree windchill day. That's how we do it.

Mick White 7:37
Yeah, I probably should put gloves on. But we're kind of into it. And I'm not going to.

Tim Bornholdt 7:44
Yeah, at this point, now, it's just stubborn, right?

Mick White 7:46
Like now I'm just, like, doing it because, why not?

Tim Bornholdt 7:51
Right. So I think I feel like with, you know, going on what you do and how you do it, I think it's, that's one thing I've been drawn, like, with all the posts you make online, the way that we, when we've had conversations in the past, it all leads back to having that kind of higher level thinking of not just living the day to day life, or just feeling like you have to live a prescribed life because somebody else has a Tesla and you don't. Or somebody else has eight cars and a hot tub and you don't. It's really thinking through what matters to you and how you want to choose to live your life is a big part of you going after and kind of helping other people. Was that like, what kind of led and inspired you to moving that way?

Mick White 8:40
Yeah, that's a great question. Yeah, a couple things happened. You'll want to have a background. I should take a big step back. My father has been in the life insurance industry since I was six years old. And so I think we always had, the conversations around the dinner table might have just been different I gather than other people, because there was always this understanding that we're not here forever. And so I think when you have that, in your childhood, this framework of, do as much good as you can to as many, with as many people as you can, as long as you ever can. This mindset of, what am I really trying to do? I've always had this thought of, I want to do as much good as I can.

And a couple things happened. So I was a financial advisor for about 20 years. It's how I got to Minnesota, and a couple things happened in my life. And one of them was that my mom died. I had been engaged for a month, 10 years ago, and my mom died from accidental overdose on aspirin the next month, and so got engaged in May. My mom died in June. And my mom, God bless her, she was a grocery store clerk, and then worked in my dad's insurance office. Like professionally, she wasn't on podcasts. She didn't have an Instagram following. She thought that your, she would remove people as friends on Facebook because she didn't like their stuff on her computer. And trying to explain to my mom, like, it's not actually on your computer. She's like, No, it is on my computer. I can see it. And so she would just delete people, like unfriend them. I'm like, that's your granddaughter. You can't unfriend your granddaughter.

Tim Bornholdt 10:32
I feel like she's a pioneer in that regard.

Mick White 10:36
Brilliant too. Like, I don't like what you're putting on my computer. I'm done. But my mom, she didn't win any professional awards. But her visitation, three days after she passed away, her visitation was seven hours long. And it was just this legacy of people that just kept showing up to say, Your mom meant this to me. Or your mom was like my mom, when my mom was sick, or just she just loved people, this legacy of love. And I thought that if my mom who barely graduated high school, got married, her and my dad got married when they were in high school, that if she could have that impact, what could someone with a podcast, what could someone with some business acumen, what could someone if they were very deliberate about their decisions, what kind of impact and goodness could they leave as a legacy if they also had a few dollars to put behind the reference.

So all of that was going on. I had some personal things in my marriage that were a challenge. And just, I had this idea of, really, about having a daily plan. You know, whether it's the daily planner, or whatever it might be like, here's what I'm trying to get accomplished today, and eternity just seemed like a long time. Like, to me, that just seems like a long time. So 100 years from now is something I felt like I could wrap my head around, as, can I put together a manifesto that includes my mission, my core values, words I live by, causes I'm passionate about, my life goals, and some guiding principles. And can I just put that all on one page? And so that's what I did. And when I showed it to a couple people, they are like, this is brilliant. I don't know if it's brilliant. It just makes sense to me. Because people would ask me, as I was going through all the stuff in my marriage and life, people were like, why are you doing this? And I just thought, like, do you not know who I am? Like, of course, I'm going to do this because this is who I am. Like it just didn't make sense to me when people say like, what are you doing? Because I had a really clear understanding of who I was. And I think a lot of people that's their struggle, is that they don't. They haven't done the work to figure out what that is. What am I really trying, life is good, but what are they really trying to do? And they didn't, they just have this, not unhappiness. But maybe they're just not full of joy and excitement about what they're doing in life. And so that's kind of how I got to the 100 year manifesto and doing what I'm doing today.

But it's pretty wild. It's hard to meet somebody that like, so what do you do? I'm like, Man, I might as well just tell him like I sell life insurance, because that ends the conversation. Like, they don't ask any further questions. But if I give them this, you know, I help people live better, or set up a framework for making decisions on the next, based on the next 100 years. It leads to a lot of people like, that's cool. Like, I don't know how you do that. But that's interesting.

Tim Bornholdt 14:10
So where do you go from there then? Like, what's the, what do you say when someone's like, How do you turn that into money?

Mick White 14:16
Yeah, so one, it's always a good question, because they're like, so do you get paid to do this? Or like, what is this, just something you do on the side? And I find that traditionally, I've worked with people one on one, business owners, because they can't afford to work one on one. They have the revenue, and probably the need to get it figured out. But what I've been building lately is some courses or speaking opportunities to say, like we just worked with, to create an online program about how to. Like here's the videos, type in your information, and bingo, Bingo Bango, there's your 100 year manifesto. So anybody can get one. They're $49, go through the course, and you get your own 100 year manifesto. So it's kind of like, I don't know exactly how to reach everybody. So I thought through some sort of digital platform, through an app, that they could, or I don't know terminology, a web-based app, or whatever it is.

Tim Bornholdt 15:28
They're all apps. It's an application.

Mick White 15:30
Some sort of application that they could get it without having to work with me one on one, because not everybody wants to work with me. Like, I don't blame. I don't know why. I don't want to either.

Tim Bornholdt 15:42
But it's amazing, having that perspective and having that kind of self awareness. Because I think a lot of times, I've been thinking a lot about that myself, and where I'm at in my life. And I think the, I've been thinking a lot about how, when you grow up, like from the time you're zero to 18 years old, essentially, you know, in the United States, at least, your plot, your life is pretty much plotted out for you. You know you're going to be going from kindergarten to first to second all the way through high school, then most people decide that it's time to switch over to college. So then you've got another four years where you kind of have some pseudo autonomy of what you can do, but you're still basically following a prescribed plan. And then the path is you jump into a job and then grow through the ranks. But it feels like that's not exactly how it should work for everyone. It feels like that's certainly not how it works for people that are entrepreneurs.

So what's interesting is having this plan and having, taking a step back and feeling like hey, you don't have to just follow a plan and let life happen to you. You can actually jump out and impact it yourself, push on the walls a little bit on life and move things around to where it makes sense to whatever your goals and aspirations are, recognizing that what works for you when you're 20 isn't going to work for you when you're 30, and so on and so forth. I just, there's not really a question I'm getting to in this, I just think it's really cool that this is what you're dedicating your life to doing is helping people figure that out for themselves.

Mick White 17:19
I think the challenge is that, as you mentioned, like as a kid, we ask kids, when they're, you know, three, four or five years old, like, what do you want to be when you grew up? Like this five year old, who, you know, might still like be scared of the dark, and, you know, whatever else five year olds do that don't make sense sometimes. What doesn't make sense right now is like, I convinced my son who's six that our Christmas tree lights, if he walks up to the Christmas tree, and yells, I love you Dadda, the Christmas tree lights turn on. It's all hooked up to my phone, right? Like, it's all the Bluetooth on my phone. So this year, like I forgot about it. So we did it last year. This year, he comes up, we put up the tree, put up all the ornaments, Christmas tree lights, and he walks up to the tree and he says, I love you Dadda, and he's like, They don't work. I'm thinking like, What do you mean, they don't work? And he's like, you remember like they're supposed to work? So I'm like, Oh, crap, right? Redownload the app, right? Like, get them to work it again.

But anyway, like, six year olds think like that. And we're asking them, What do you want to be when you grew up? And they answer questions like, for me, like a racecar driver, professional athlete, a doctor, an astronaut, the president, or firemen, like a police officer, like just a doctor or whatever those things are. And yet, those aren't, we're asking the wrong question. Like, shouldn't we be asking them, Who do you want to be when you grew up? Like I want my son to be a healthy man, to love his community, to love his neighbors, to be a good global citizen. Right? Like, I don't care what he does. If he wants to be a garbage man. I think that's really cool. Like I always wanted to be a garbage man. But we had this pressure of like, Mick, you can't be a garbage man, because well, you just shouldn't. And so I think part of those questions are, we're asking kids and ourselves the wrong question of like, what do you want to be? Versus who do you want to be. And once you identify that,wWho do you want to be, the what is just, maybe you want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you also want to work at a nonprofit, and maybe you want to do a lot of different things that all converge into one overall mission or a purpose. So I think that's a challenge a lot of us have is as adults, you get this, like the dog that caught the car. Like, okay, I'm an accountant. I did it. I'm a partner at my firm. I'm married with two and a half kids, a dog and a house. And I'm 40 years old. Now, what the hell am I supposed to do? Right? Like, yeah, and there's this, like, I worked 40 years to get to this point. And yet, I'm still in that hole, unfulfilled because I was focused on the what and the occupation and the job title, rather than who am I trying to be.

And so through a lot of my stuff that I went through, I was in, you know, it's not surprising that I ended up in counseling. And the first day, I'm there, Bill, my counselor, he's like, why are you here, and I just unload on him. His eyes get big and like, just a lot of stuff going on. And I'm like, ultimately, I want my wife to come home. And he said to me, he's like, that can't be your goal. And I'm thinking like, You are the dumbest counselor in the history of counseling. You asked me why I'm here. That's my goal. He's like, it can't be your goal. So we go back and forth. I'm like, it's a SMART goal. It's specific. It's measurable, like, I know, about goal setting. And then he said, Mick, you don't have any control over that. And I just sat there. And I'm like, well just write that in the corner of your yellow pad. Because that's my goal. But apparently, it's not. So tell me what my goal is. And so he's like, How about your goal is just being the man and the father and the husband that you're capable of being?

And I think so much of that conversation today, of I'm just trying to be who I'm capable of being, like, I'm not trying to be Tim. I'm not trying to be anybody else. I'm not trying to compete against you. I'm just trying to compete against my best self and what that looks like. And so I think that's really that thought around not who do you want to be? Or what do you want to be when you grew up? Like, who do you want to be? And once we start diving into that question, and what am I capable of, I think the other part of it is, then I also have to start saying no to other people, and what their goals are for my life, yeah, and what they want me to do for them. But it may or may not be aligned with my purpose, or my limits and how much I want to work, or how I want to do things. So I think being able to say yes to our own vision and purpose in life, at the same time saying no to what other people want our life to look like. And that's not easy.

Tim Bornholdt 23:12
No, and especially when you grow up, you know, I think a lot of us are raised to be people pleasers. And the people that you want to please the most are the ones that you know, you love the most, like your wife or your family or your parents. And there's expectations around that, that a lot of times they're just prescribed to you, because your parents, you know, they with the best of intentions want you to be, you know, the best and they want you to succeed. And a great way to succeed is to get good grades in school and to have a career path that is lucrative and all that stuff. For the example you gave before with the accountant, you know, it's like, I know a lot of people that take jobs because they think this is gonna make me a lot of money. And that's what I need. And then it's like, Well, okay, well, you got a lot of money, but you also got a lot of stress and a lot of responsibilities. And maybe you don't like math, like there's all those things and it's so interesting when you do take a step back and actually take the reins on your life and say, This is my life and I want to, you know, you want to figure out what you actually want to do.

And I think it's kind of translated into me, having kids, I think one thing I've seen in you and seeing you exhibit is just with your son. You do bring him, frankly I'm surprised he's not here, like I thought about bringing a third mic because you bring him to everything which is phenomenal. Like you don't see often business meetings with like, the lunches you put on, you bring in all these, you know, important business people and entrepreneurs and stuff and you've got your son sitting there just watching it and soaking it all in. It's like, that's the kind of behavior I would want to model with my kids. And so it's kind of cool how you, you know, you're doing as well, like you're teaching how to think and how to be a good person as opposed to, Hey, you should go be a garbage man. Because that's, you know, what you chose when you were five.

Mick White 25:07
Right? Yeah. And I think with that with kids of so often that accountant too, you ask him what his his dad did. He's like, Well, my dad was an accountant. Yeah, like, oh, so, shocking. And in sometimes we do, we want our kids to do things that we do, because it makes us happy. And it may or may not make them truly happy, but they just want to spend time with us. And so they go along with it. And so I'm really cognizant with McCallister, who's now six, and wants an electric guitar for Christmas. I don't know anything about electric guitars. I don't listen to music at all, like even in the car, like, the car is just silent. I just think. And he wants this electric guitar. I'm like, Alright, let's do it. Like if that's, in allowing him to pursue his own interests is what I'm trying to embrace.

But part of that, as you mentioned, yet, for the better part of six years, my son's been with me most of the time, like he's in school right now. But I have a lunch coming up later this month. There's no school that day. He's coming with. And a couple of things have happened through that. It's been really interesting. That one, maybe three things, one, people will say to me, you're such a great dad. And I'm like, I appreciate that. However, I'm not so sure if I was a woman who brought their kid to a networking event you would say the same thing. Because I'm a dad doing it, you're like, Oh, you're so involved in your son's life. I'm like, There's millions of women doing this all day, every day. And it doesn't take me very long to get ready in the morning. Like, I don't have any hair. Like, I don't. Like I shave once a week, right? Like, this does, I may or may not have worn this outfit yesterday. Like it just doesn't take much time. But this thought around millions of women are doing this. And just because I as a man I'm doing it doesn't make me special. But what I really want to get across to people is that they'll say things like, and these are CEOs and owners of companies with 30-50 million in revenue. And they're like, Man, I wish I could take my kid to lunch. And I'm thinking like, What are you talking about? Like, you can. You can. Yet they don't know how. Like, they don't know how to do that. So if we can think if people will say like, well, Mick, you have a lifestyle business. I'm like, what is the opposite of a lifestyle business? Like if anybody should be able to take their kid to a business lunch, it's that guy or gal who has 50 employees, or 100 employees and 100 million in revenue.

And I learned so much for the first nine years of my business career, I worked with my mom and dad. We drove separate cars to work. We didn't talk about personal stuff at work, like it was the most productive nine years of business because we already knew what was going on in each other's lives. So there was no water cooler talk. There wasn't like, Hey, what are you doing tonight, like, we knew what each other was doing. But I kind of see a different side of my parents, that my sisters who are elementary school teachers, they never got to see. And so I'm, I think I'm really appreciative of that. Being able to take my son somewhere, and he sees his dad engaging in the community with other people. And not only that, he sees what other people are doing. And people will say, like, I couldn't ever bring my kid because, you know, I just can't take them to restaurants. Like I don't know, if you do it a couple 100 times, you'll figure it out, right? Like you figure out how you can get them to sit still to be a part of it.

So my son, he's got his own business cards, because he saw everybody else having business cards. So he'll walk up to somebody and like, hand them their card, or his card. And then he just stands there like waiting for their card back. I'm like, He wants your business card. Like he knows how this works. It's like, oh, hey, like, hold on, let me get my card for you. But so recently, like last summer, or the first year, he's, you know, pandemic, he's in kindergarten, online school. And one day, like, he just like, we talked about it for a couple months and we pretend like he had a YouTube channel. And one day he just walks in with my phone. He's like, let's have our first video. So we just lay on the floor and make a video. And this is morphed into Macalester Ultimate, and he's got his own YouTube channel. But one day, he's like, I want to sell T shirts. I'm like, Man, I don't, I don't know a lick about selling T shirts. I don't know how to make them. I don't know where to get them. And, then, you know, all these things happen. I have a client who make T shirts for her company. She's a physical trainer. She makes her own t shirts. I'm like, show us how to do it. She makes, you know, shows us how. She makes a video out of it, we figure it out. And what sold me on it was he said, for every t shirt we sell, we could give one to the cardboard sign people. And he sees the cardboard sign people on the corners. And he's like, if they don't have a T shirt, we could give them a t shirt. He figured out social entrepreneurship without me saying a word about it. I'm like, because he's around my friends and clients who are doing things like that.

And so I think it's so important to surround our kids with other adults who we trust, who we like, who are going to model the same behaviors and beliefs for our kids. So it's not just, Well, your dad said this is what you should do it. He's like, Well, Tim said, Aaron said or Mr. And he just rattles off all of these people as like his friends. Like the kids got a Rolodex of cards that, you know, most entrepreneurs we would be envious of. And so anyway, I think it's having all that as a framework of if I'm bringing my kid to lunch, bring your kid too. And this shows this realness of, if you don't like the fact that I have a kid with me, that's a pretty good filter that maybe our values don't line up. And I'm not saying it's right or wrong. They're just my values. If you don't think kids should be there, my lunch isn't the place to go.

Tim Bornholdt 32:17
It's not like your lunches are at Hooters. They're at really nice places. And it's with, you know, I think you do a really good job of setting the right kinds of people that you would want in your son's life. But it is, you know, I have a five and a half year old daughter myself, and she, the other day, we went to the library, and they were selling off the old books. And she saw that and was like, What is this? What's going on? And we were explaining, like, it's a book sale, you know, you get rid of books, you sell the books you don't read anymore, and then you get money. And she's like, And then I can use that money to buy things? And I'm like, yeah, that's how it works. And she's like, we're gonna have a book sale tomorrow. And I'm like, you know, it's tough, because my reflexive response is just, you know, like, cause it's more work for you than it is for them. But, you know, with her having the idea, it's like, the last thing I would want to do is say, we're not doing this. Like, of course, it was like after that initial just kind of hesitation, it was a resounding, What can I do? And you know, my wife ran out and we bought, you know, signs, and we got chalk, and we chalked up the whole neighborhood and we sold books. And you know how many books she sold? Virtually zero, because she didn't know marketing. But you know, my parents came by and a couple of neighbors stopped by and she luckily has a friend who's pretty aggressive at or she's developed a gift early on of manipulation by guilt. So she was there was some lady who was walking and she stopped by and she picked up a book and she's like, Wouldn't that be a nice book to have for your daughter or granddaughter?

Mick White 34:01
Hard closer.

Tim Bornholdt 34:01
Yeah. Oh, yeah, it was impressive. So it's all of this combined, it's like the point is it all comes back to what your values are. And for me, it's like, I want to continue to think about how I want my kids to be raised and how they should see the world. Looking at Macalester, like having that impressive Rolodex, it's like you look at some celebrities out there that are like, I think of like Miley Cyrus as an example. You know, she grew up with a very famous dad and was just around all these famous people all the time. And it would be like, Oh, yeah, my Aunt Dolly stopped by the house the other day, and it was like, Oh, you're Aunt Dolly Parton, like, seriously. But then you learn like that's how you know, for us, it's like if we really want our kids to move up to the next level quote, unquote, it's like well, the earlier you can realize there is no like next level of like, actually it's really like getting comfortable with the people around you and just being put in the situation and see that we're all trying to figure this out. Those are the lessons that are the best to impart to our kids as early as we can.

Yeah. So Macalester has, you know, just be ultimate, that's kind of just the shirt we make, a couple different colors. And they're 20 bucks. We started doing some hoodies, but for the story, they're 20 bucks. And it cost me about $5 a shirt, plus, you know, to make them and he gets 10 bucks for a shirt. So he knows any toy that he wants, we just start doing the math. I'm like, that's three shirts. Right? Like you can buy whatever toy you want. This is how many shirts it takes to sell. And so he starts, he knows about inventory and shipping costs, and you know the cost of the product and all of this. He wanted to hire his brother then he wanted to hire his best friend. I'm like, You got to pay them out of your pocket. Like, but it's this thought that he's seen what entrepreneurship looks like. But he's also learning about marketing and math and sales and making videos and doing all these things.

Mick White 36:16
But I think what's what's really cool about a lot of things is one day, we're at Handsome Hog at one of the lunches. And it's this summer and he's there. And Justin Sutherland, who's been on Top Chef and a whole bunch of celebrity type TV shows and a couple restaurants nearby, he's a friend of mine. He just comes walking around the corner, not knowing that we are going to be there for lunch. And he's got a be ultimate t shirt on nice. And McAllister just kind of looks up at him, sees Mr. Justin with a shirt on and goes back to like the conversation he was having. Like, he just thinks it's normal for people to be walking around wearing his swag.

Tim Bornholdt 37:01
Yeah, he wasn't like, Oh, my God.

Mick White 37:03
Yeah. Mr. Justin has my shirt on. He like, he doesn't care that this guy has 60,000 Instagram followers or he's on TV. He's just like, yeah, that's Mr. Justin. He wears my shirt, or we're twins game and clique Rogers shows up, sits down next to us. And he and McAllister both are wearing the ultimate t shirt. He's like, Yeah, Mr. Clique, he like, he doesn't get that this isn't normal, one to have your own YouTube channel. And like, we have, like 400 subscribers. It's not like it's a big channel. But he sees all of this and for me, like, this is just who I am. People say you're such a great dad. I'm like, Well, being a dad isn't everything that I am. Yeah, like, I like to think I'm a person first who happens to be a dad, who happens to be an entrepreneur, who happens to do these other things. But that to me, he's got to going back to the 100 year manifesto is like, having this mission for myself first. And once I identify that, making these decisions around spending time with my son, or taking him to games or lunches or events, it's just living what I feel I'm called to live for my life. And I'm not saying everybody should take their kids to work every day.

Tim Bornholdt 38:25
Yeah, not for everyone. That's certainly not for everyone. And there are obviously jobs that it's not safe, or it's not appropriate, like, but for a lot of I'm sure people listening to this and entrepreneurs, especially, why wouldn't you bring your kid to work with you. Just at the minimum, you could throw a tablet in front of them and let them do their thing, but they're gonna pick things up through osmosis and just seeing the kind of, you know, leading by example type of thing that that is. I think it's incredible.

Mick White 38:54
I think it also helps kids make connections at school of what they're learning about. Like it makes their school life a whole lot more applicable too, because they see that, you know, whether it's learning how to read or write or speech class or communication, whatever it is, like, they get to take some of what we do every day back into their worlds. So yeah, I think it's knowing when it's appropriate, knowing when, I can't have my kid next to me all day, every day. I get it's difficult to get real work done. But there's a time for it. And there's also a time for him to go to school. So he can learn from other people, not just me, my friends, clients, whatever it might be.

Tim Bornholdt 39:20
Well, and tying it into, you know, I feel like we haven't said one thing about mobile app development this whole time. So I guess tying trying to tie this into something that we talk about on the show, I think that is the, just going out and doing it in that mentality, I think above all else is the best gift you can give to somebody of empowering them to the point that they feel like they can at least go and figure it out. They might not know that this is inventory control. They might not know about sourcing materials, you know, but they're gonna learn like the things that you do. And then eventually, they might think, Oh, I'm gonna dive a little deeper on this and get a little bit better at it. I was, lately I've been really into, there's a YouTube series called odd tinkering. And it's this guy from a, it's a Scandinavian country of some sort. But there's no music, there's no words, it's just all natural sound. And this guy will get like junked out Nintendo's and Gameboys and Xboxes. And he will go and piecemeal disassemble them, clean them up, like he will remove, they'll be like in a smokers house, you know, so they're like tinted yellow, like just gross machines, and he will remove the yellow tint, and he'll like, polish up the stickers. And he'll do all that, like it's just amazing watching him solder and do all of it. And I've always been terrified of hardware. Like I'm a software guy through and through. I figured like, oh, circuit boards and all that like soldering, that's not my thing. I don't know how to do it. It's unapproachable to me. But you can go on and watch this guy do it. And it's like, I feel like I can figure that out. You get the right screws and the right couple of tools, you could figure this stuff out, too.

Mick White 41:34
I think with the mobile app development to me, like, I don't have to know how to do that. Right. Like, I just need to know somebody who does. And I may not even know what exactly I'm looking for. I need someone else to draw that information out of me. Yeah. Because for me, thoughts around, like, what's your purpose and the core values, all these things? Like it's just what I think about all the time, like, it's shocking to me that other people don't. Because it's all I think about. But I think, for me to have a mobile app, like I don't even know what questions to be asking of myself. And sometimes I think it's just having someone to like, Mick, just kind of share with us your vision. And then don't tell us anything else. Like, we're gonna go build it for you. Because Mick, if you get involved, it's just gonna be crappy. Like, the more you're involved in this process, Mick, of telling us how you want it to look, probably the worse user experience it's gonna be. Like, just let us do what we're great at. That's why you hired us.

But I think a lot of times, you know, mobile apps or things can be confusing for non tech folks. Yeah. Or it's got to cost 100,000 or 200,000. I want it to do all, your like, I remember when I was thinking it through. A friend of mine was just like, trying to get the 100 year manifesto on one page and how you could fill in a section and it would readjust the other ones he's like, It's just math. Well, you put it that way, like, okay, like I can, I can at least wrap my head around, It's just math. But anyway, I think with mobile app development, I think, so often, non tech people, it's this foreign language. And like, I have no idea. Do you make the Facebook app? Like what are you talking about mobile app, and it has to be this big, complex monster. And it doesn't.

Tim Bornholdt 43:43
Right. And I think that's going and tying it all together. It's like, just like you know, as a kid, you figure out things through observing and osmosis and what have you. I think a lot of times, just like when you're going through life, and you decide I'm going to be an accountant, and then you're 40 and you're looking back and being like, what have I been doing? What should I be doing? You get all these, you forgot how to think and you forgot how to do that kind of not coasting on what has worked for you in the past. And I think with whether it's learning a mobile app, whether it's raising your kids, whether it's figuring out where you want to go, it's really like having the ability to take a step back and be self reflective of what you want, what could life possibly be, as opposed to here's where people get so stuck into how do I get there? You know, people are like, I want to be a multimillionaire. I want to have 12 cars, but you think it has to happen overnight. Rarely does that ever happen. Overnight successes are usually what 10, 20 year like endeavors. So I just think like overall the message that I hear from you and what I see how you interact with Macalester and all that is just leading by example. And just being who you are and thinking through it like, you're right. I think about mobile apps probably way more than I should. Just like you probably think about, like how you steer people into that direction. And it's hard to get people thinking on the same lines of where your, you know, you assume everyone's thinking the same thing as you are, but they're not. And I don't know, it's fascinating.

Mick White 45:25
It's, for a lot of people, whatever we're doing, like, we make it a lot more complicated than what it needs to be. Like, to me, like the 100 year manifesto, like, it's not that complicated. But the genius or the like, the challenge is reducing that complexity, and making it simple. Yeah. And I think you maybe with a mobile app, people come in, like, I want it to do all these, you know, to look and do and all that stuff. And you're like, Okay, let's take a step back. What are you really trying to accomplish? Like, we don't need all these extra widgets. Maybe that makes it worse if it has all this extra stuff. I think so much of the brilliance in our day to day lives it's just really simple. It really is. And I think that's where mobile apps or great companies, they just make it super simple. Like how many how many products does Apple have? They have like four or five? Yeah, you know, they have a phone, an iPad, which isn't that different than a phone, a computer and maybe air pods and a pencil?

Tim Bornholdt 46:35
And a watch.

Mick White 46:36
Like, there's five. That's their whole company.

Tim Bornholdt 46:40
And they make a lot of money.

Mick White 46:43
And yet, there's all sorts of other companies that have 50 and 80 products, and aren't near the company that Apple is. And so I think it's being able to reduce it to very simple, What's that app look like? But that's where people like me don't even know where to begin.

Tim Bornholdt 47:01
Yeah. Yeah. And that is usually, you know, first thing that I do when I do meet somebody new that wants to get an apple built, you always, a lot of times - good how you doing? You know, a lot of times when I first start building software out, or when I meet somebody, they come with an idea, you know, more or less fully fleshed out. And it does take a lot of time to get to the point where it's like, okay, you have this idea of what you think is right. But now we need to rewind it back. And it's, you take it more of like a physician's approach where you might come to a doctor and say, My foot hurts, like you've got, you've got a sore foot, but you don't go to the doctor and say, I think I have my left tarsal is inflamed. And you know, you don't know that stuff. They do. And they're the ones that see 1000 sore foots every year. And, you know, it's like you said, you don't need to know everything. You kind of just need to know who are the right people to go to to help you walk through that logic tree.

Mick White 48:02
And with that sore foot, the doctor might say, like, whoa, the reason why your foot is sore is because you have a bad back. And we should really treat your back. And that'll fix your foot. And I think a lot of times, I at times, it's difficult working with people who think they already know what they want. And they go to an expert, and you're like, Yeah, you're, I think you're wrong. Right? Like, if we're going to do this project, we're not going to do it that way, and maybe somebody else would. But that's really not who we are, right? And being able to turn away a business when it also doesn't make sense. Like, whether it's our values or your vision for what you want. You know, for me with clients, if they want to make $10 million a year and keep it all, I'm out. If they want to make a million dollars a year and giveaway 200,000 I'm in, right. If you want to make 10 million and giveaway 3 million, I say give away like, do good with it. Yeah, like or if you just say I want to, I just want to have more time off. Or you know, I recently I picked up a client, because I posted on LinkedIn that I'm really available from 8:31 until 3:29. I drop off my son at 8:30 at school. I pick him up at 330. And so my first meeting starts at 8:31 in the car, and he sent me a message. He's just like, I need to be at home more with my boys. And he's like, I don't know how you're doing this. I don't know how you got to this point. But I want you to help me get there. And I'm thinking like, this guy is wildly successful. And yet he's still seems like he's missing something, right? And I'm not saying like, you need to spend more time with your kids or whatever it is, but being able to identify that for your life, and then reaching out to someone to say, like, Tim, you seem to know what you're doing. Like, I've watched you for a while, like, I trust you enough. Just take care of this for me. I want to get back to doing what I'm doing over here. Because I don't really want to be an amateur app builder. And sometimes I think those are the clients that are the biggest challenge who want to build that app with you. Yeah. Like, okay, like, you're paying us to do this for you.

Tim Bornholdt 50:43
Oh, yeah, those tend to be the hardest ones is when you, when they say I'll handle the design, you handle the coding, and it's like, ah, kind of need to do that hand in hand, right?

Mick White 50:54
They're looking like, well, I can shave some costs off if I do it myself. Like, yeah, I don't want to put my name on whatever you're producing, right?

Tim Bornholdt 51:03
And it's again, like, are you going to go to your orthopedic surgeon and say, you know, I'd really like to be awake, and, you know, watching you repair my knee. No one does that. Well, maybe they do, but you certainly shouldn't.

Mick White 51:16
Well, I wouldn't want to go to that orthopedic surgeon, if I was anybody else, right? That surgeon who allows that guy, right or gal to do that.

Tim Bornholdt 51:26
I mean, that's why I like having this podcast is it's not even so much like, my goal isn't necessarily to say, Hey, you should be an app developer, hey, you should know all of this stuff about app development. But I think it's a lot like, you know, people, especially when it comes to apps, it's like, that's one of the biggest purchases you're gonna make as a small business. And it's not an inconsequential purchase. However you do it is exactly to me like owning a car. If you're going to own a car, you don't need to know how to change a differential or you don't need to know, like how oil fires through pistons to lubricate it. Like, you don't need to know that. But you do need to know that the oil needs to be changed occasionally. And that, you know, you might be curious as to how to make your car more performant and stay around for as long as possible. And so it's that kind of the stuff I like getting out of this podcast is when you can walk away with something when you're like, Oh, okay. API's? I've heard of those before. I don't really understand what they do. But I've heard that term. And then we might be a little more curious and learn a little bit more. And now your life is a little bit easier, because you understand how all this stuff works. It's not magic. It's just math.

Mick White 52:34
Yeah, right. And I think that's been able to partner with people who have. If I said, Tim, here's where I'm at. Here's where I'm trying to go and what I'm trying to build. For you to be able to say, like, Well, Mick, you don't need all this stuff right now. Like right now is the minimum viable app that you need. It looks like this. When you hit more revenue goals, when you have more stuff, we will build out the rest. But right now, you don't need all that. And we don't want to charge you 50 grand for something that you really only need 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 of the product, right? Like when it's time to do the rest, we're going to walk alongside you.

I always thought like with banks, like I would always bank with, the bankers are always saying, they say stuff like, we're really into relationships. I'm just like, prove it. Yeah, like prove that you want more than me just being a customer. Because if I was a banker, I'm like, let me help you grow your business, right? Because if I can help you grow from 500,000 to 2 million, you're gonna have more transactions, you're gonna have more, you know, payroll issues. Like, that's really good for me as the bank, right? Like, I think that's being able to partner and walk alongside people to say, like, you don't need all this stuff today. Let us help you grow your company, build the app the way it's supposed to be built. But you don't need all the features. Like let's put together this timeline that over the next three years, this is what it's gonna look like. Not, well, come back to us when you have 50 grand.

Tim Bornholdt 54:12
Yeah, and even then, it's like, when people come to you with a fully fleshed out idea, it's like, okay, well come back to me when you've got a quarter million or, like something way more astronomical than they're expecting. They're like, Well, I got my website built on Squarespace for $20 a month. What do you mean the apps are like that?

Mick White 54:30
I went to one of my biggest clients. It was a professional sports team, and we were doing some life insurance work. They had some major contracts that they had just signed with some players. And they said, Our budget is $40,000. Which I, you know, I think part of it was I was so transparent in how I had been with them that they just offered up this is how much we can spend. I come back to them and I'm like, well, it's gonna cost 24,000. And they just sat there and looked at me like I was on a different planet that they're like, Okay, like we said 40. You can do it for 24. Like I wish it cost 40 because it's how I got paid at the time was commissions on like the bigger the premium, the more I got paid on. Like, if it were me, this is what I would do. And it was probably one of the best relationships that I had in the insurance world because of such a trust and transparency on both parties. Yeah, this is what we're trying to do. Let's figure it out. And then, Mick, go do the work. Let us know what we want to do or what we need to do. And we want to get back to being a professional sports team, not in your business about the insurance process.

Tim Bornholdt 55:57
It goes full circle again. I mean if you are clear on what your values are and what your endgame is, you may have forgone 16k in profit but you just gain how many, you know, like you can't even value and really put a number to what that kind of level of trust and commitment long term is going to give you. And I think that's just a really beautiful place to end it, Mick. I mean we got, we just got back to where we started so we didn't freeze. Hopefully the mics were recording the whole time. That would be a bonus.

Mick White 56:30
I did put some gloves on.

Tim Bornholdt 56:32
Yes, we did add gloves.

Mick White 56:34
It got to the point where I couldn't feel my fingers on one of my hands. I'm like this is probably a good part to put some gloves on.

Tim Bornholdt 56:41
I don't have, I didn't make you sign a waiver or anything. So if you get frostbite on this thing, please don't sue. How can people find the 100 year manifesto and learn more about what you're doing?

Mick White 56:51
You know, it's 100yearmanifesto.com. You can find me on LinkedIn. As far as I'm know, I'm the only Mick White without any hair. I hang out on Twitter quite a bit too. So MickWhite7 on Twitter. Or I just comment about on at least half of your LinkedIn posts. Probably where they can find it easiest.

Tim Bornholdt 57:13
I need to start, maybe by the time this airs I'll have posted some more because I've been kind of lacks on my LinkedIn posting lately. But you know, it's sometimes work gets in the way so.

Mick White 57:21
And I think that's also having healthy boundaries with yourself to say like, if I don't post on LinkedIn, that's okay.

Tim Bornholdt 57:27
Yeah, the world will keep moving.

Mick White 57:28
I have some other priorities than to make sure that I post every day on LinkedIn.

Tim Bornholdt 57:34
Mick, thanks so much for joining me today. This was awesome.

Mick White 57:37
This was awesome. So walk and talk in December in the snow, 11 below wind chill I think it was today. We survived.

Tim Bornholdt 57:47
We survived. We won't, we're kind of overlooking the river right now. I don't think we're gonna take a dip though.

Mick White 57:52
It looks cold.

Jenny Karkowski 57:56
Thanks to Mick White for joining Tim on the podcast and on a walk today. You can learn more about the 100 Year Manifesto by visiting 100YearManifesto.com. I'll put a link in the show notes which can be found at constantvariables.co.

You can get in touch with the show by emailing Hello@constantvariables.co. Or you can find us on Twitter at CV_podcasts. Today's episode was produced by Jenny Karkowski and edited by the superb Jordan Daoust.

As I mentioned at the start of the episode, if you can take two minutes to leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, we'll give you a mention in a future episode as a thank you. Visit constantvariables.co/review and we'll link you right there.

This episode was brought to you by The Jed Mahonis Group. If your team is struggling with software that was built for the masses and doesn't work the way you do, we'd love to connect with you. Give us a shout at jmg.mn or find us on LinkedIn.