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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

Welcome to the Monday Experience! In this installment, I want to break down the difference between the abundant vs poverty mindset and how we might go about teaching ourselves to seize more of the former. Being around people who are continuously plagued by negativity and defeatism can get wearing, so let's make a change in ourselves and try to spread it around!

Abundant vs Poverty Mindset

I've always been a positive person, annoyingly much. I've had the can-do attitude which has helped me to look past a list of impossibilities to overcome and declare that we will find a way to make this possible. In spite of this, I found myself surrounded by people of the poverty mindset during a time in which I was experiencing some pretty traumatic and negative circumstances. I don't blame these people for my attitude, but I can't help wishing they'd become more abundantly-minded.

That mindset rubbed off on me during a dark time. I went from the can-do attitude to the it'll-never-happen, I'm-useless attitude. I went from looking at my blessings and things I was thankful for to looking only at the negatives and things that were going wrong. This attitude, this mindset consumed me and made me a really negative person. I wasn't attracting success, or anything good, and I was not fun to be around.

In the time since, I've worked hard to recapture the positivity I once had. I've recaptured much more of that person, but I still struggle with the poverty mindset periodically.

So what are these mindsets I'm talking about? These mindsets, ideally, extend beyond our circumstances and look into the foundation of our attitude toward our circumstances. In this case, abundance and poverty aren't referring to wealth or money from the state of what is inside of our hearts. Abundance comes from inner strength, the confidence and security to seize opportunity, offer words of encouragement, and positively influence others. There are more than enough resources for everyone, but when we start acting like there are not, suddenly a game begins to form. Opportunities become scarce because we compete in brokenness and our outward lens is shrouded in negativity.

The first step to overcoming a poverty mindset, honestly, is just admitting that's where you are. It is a difficult swamp to climb out of, but once you start opening your eyes to the people around you and looking for the positives in spite of your circumstances, that insurmountable mountain in front of you becomes a molehill. Attitude affects aptitude. Summon that inner positivity and see the differences in the attitudes you attract.

Feb 24, 2017

Happy Superhero Friday! This week we're doing these things the Wookiee Way and thank goodness that Miss Light is back to help out. From the delectable drink choices of Mr. and Mrs. Light to the Star Wars Costume exhibit in Denver to having a healthy relationship with other people, this installment is packed.

In This Episode

  • Mounting and dismounting unicycles...
  • Fine tuning my 90s music playlist
  • Coffee, cheese muffins, and healthy desserts?
  • Star. Wars. Costume. Exhibit.
  • Comics and Game Shop
  • Having healthy relationships

The Wookiee Way

There are right ways, there are wrong ways.
There is the long way and the round-about way.
There are byways and highways.
And then there is the Wookiee way.

No one really knows the Way of the Wookiee, and those who think they do tend to have disagreements among themselves. On the whole, I tend to take the Philip Stanhope approach: "Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well." And wow, can that approach get exhausting.

Whether we're talking about our passion in life or a particular relationship, the result of our efforts changes significantly when significant attention is paid. In this installment of Superhero Friday, Brian and Sarah talk about about Star Wars and relationships and we discover in this conversation the connection between them.trbs-017-mr-and-mrs-light

Let's start with Star Wars, as a lead in, because even though we all have relationships in one form or another, we don't all enjoy the same stuff. Star Wars is a pretty safe example of entertainment consumers not enjoying the same things. Here is a film franchise which has garnered tremendous attention since the first film was released in 1977. Some love it, some hate it, some are indifferent. The basis on which we are drawn to something is different from person to person, and just like Brian and Sarah talk about in this episode, that's what makes us a fabulous community. However, step aside from the actual film for a moment, step aside from whether or not you enjoyed the films, and think about the tremendous effort that went into bringing these stories to life.

Worth Doing Well

The exhibit Brian and Sarah visited last weekend is the personification of Philip Stanhope's adage (whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well), which he originally wrote in a letter to his son on the art of becoming a man in the world. Star Wars is brought to life through its costumes, through its ability to take us out of a theater, out of our living rooms, out of our dreary, one-planet lives, and place us in this new realm of existence. It bears marks of our reality, which allow us to connect with the characters on a fundamental level, and at the same time construct something completely foreign that is well within our ability to conceptualize. So much attention to detail was paid in the costumes, sets, and language and, as a result, made the story and the franchise the success that it is.

Imagine how different a relationship would be if we put a similar depth of thought into it. I'm not talking about putting on masks or costumes to make those around us see a reality we want them to see. I'm talking about the investment we put into relationships the way the costume designers of Star Wars invested in the story presented to them. From the mind of one man, enough was articulated for a team of people to come together and create a cohesive world fit for the big screen.

Relationships are not one-size fits all. Lucasfilms didn't ask their costume designers to emulate Sound of Music (1965) or Spartacus (1960), he asked them to consider the world he was building and to innovate new ways to reveal personality to the world.

Differences make us need each other, and when accessed properly, help us see the true benefit of community. Our differences help complete the complex puzzle of life. The challenge shouldn't be a struggle of learning how to co-exist, it should be in the adventure of continuously discovering new aspects of the people around us.


Feb 22, 2017

What if your office was on a beach? What if... one day you chose to work alongside the amazing fragrance of freshly brewed coffee and idle chatter, and the next you chose a picnic bench in your favorite park? This week's guest, Erica Duran, shares her experiences building her own freedom-based business and then how she was able to go on and help others to do the same. In the end, Erica wants everyone to discover work-life balance in the way she did.

In This Episode

  • A little background on Erica.
  • Welcome, Erica! Where did it all begin?
  • Going from hotel management to a minimal lifestyle to helping others help themselves.
  • Outreach is key.

Work-Life Balance

The foundation for this week's discussion pairs nicely with some ongoing conversations we've been having lately on The Real Brian Show! We've addressed experiencing life, taking the time for exercise and still enjoying a cookie now and then, and essentialism; and all these topics tie into a broad, over-arcing pursuit of successful work-life balance.Erica Duran

A term often thrown about, in regard to freedom-based businesses is location independent. A business that doesn't technically have an office are becoming increasingly popular as so much interaction can be done in the virtual sphere now. Some friends of mine, in fact, are opening up a brand new location this week for a professional workspace which allows individuals or groups of people to rent space for a variety of different reasons. (Interested? Click here.)

Whether you're hesitating to make the break into a new business, in which you can start to seek out this work-life balance, or you're struggling to believe it can be done, this episode should be a great encouragement of the opportunities within your grasp and resources readily available for you. Erica makes the comment that the "build it and they will come" approach to starting a business, even an online one, is a fallacy; she and Brian have a very critical conversation around outreach and why putting your business or service in front of other people is an important factor in the overall process of really being location independent.

Are you location independent? Write us, call us, or leave a comment and tell us about your experience!


Feb 20, 2017

In this installment of the Monday Experience, we dive into the concept of essentialism. While I was deliberating on stepping down from Arrow Squad, Kate Erickson recommended a book on essentialism. The more I read, the more I realize how much of this I need to put into practice.


What exactly is essentialism? Philosophically it refers to the concept that for any specific entity there are a set of attributes necessary to its identity and function. The pursuit of essentialism, therefore, is a pursuit of what is necessary to our own identity and function.

As much as Arrow Squad was a tremendous opportunity for me, and was pivotal in my transition from radio, I recently realized it was no longer one of those essential things in my life. I was feeling extremely overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. I was working on way too many things all the time and producing very little. The community of Arrow Squad and what that podcast built over the last three years was a good thing, so how do I let it go?

A couple big tips from the book helped me evaluate and, ultimately, make the decision to let it go.

  • Is it a HECK YES?
  • Can I, specifically, be replaced?
  • Is my health (sleep, exercise, rest, stress level, diet, etc) a priority?
  • I am experiencing breakthroughs or breakdowns?

Stepping down from Arrow Squad freed up a lot of time and mental space. As an entrepreneur, I get suggestions of where to invest my time constantly, so filling that time and mental space back up won't be a problem. But when it comes right down to it, I realized that I desperately need to focus my energy right now on work that pays the bills, has an impact on others, or is something I love and enjoy doing. Ideally, it's a combination of all three. When it feels like you're swimming upstream, don't be fearful of performing an evaluation of where you are and what you're committing your time to - because just like I talked about last week, life is about more than going through the motions. It's about the experience.

Feb 17, 2017

As the first week of the new format comes to an end, what a better way to cap it off than with a Superhero Friday installment featuring Mrs The Real Brian! Miss Light, Sarah, herself joins the discussion to talk about the versus (yes, not verses, versus). Introverts vs Extroverts. Vegetarians vs Carnivores.

In This Episode

  • Some anti-Valentine's Day music.
  • New music we're digging
  • We love tea!
  • Introverts vs Extroverts
  • Vegetarians vs Carnivores
  • Character Interview: Khan vs Khan

Why Does She Keep Staring At Me?

Happy Belated Valentine's Day! Though none of us here at the Real Brian Show care much to observe the fake holiday, we enjoy aspects of it... such as the doughnuts someone brought into work Tuesday morning or all of the ironic songs we can play for people we love. Brian gives us a taste of these non-Valentine's Day songs which include, but are not limited to: "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Love Stinks" and "Everybody Hurts".

What's your go-to anti-Valentine's Day song?

Along that same musical vein, we get some great music recommendations this week:

  • Ruelle: Live Like Legends
  • Venemy/Alexandra/Kedo: Paradise Mystery
  • Ellogram: So Cold
  • Hidden Citizens: Another One Bites the Dust, Land of Confusion

Personally, I ran across a song this week that I had to share. I was introduced to it on The Irish and Celtic Music Podcast #296 (2-Hour Best Celtic Music Retrospective). The song is called "The Fisherman's Song" by Count 4dB. I couldn't find a great direct link, but you can check out thisReverb Nation playlist and play it from there.

Support a Great Artist

If you are not familiar with Brian C. Roll, that is a name you are going to want to Google. Brian will be sharing an interview with Brian in the next couple weeks, but in the meantime go check out Torchlight Society and a chance to get your hands on some original, fantastic artwork of your favorite, nerdiest things.


Feb 15, 2017

Welcome to The Real Brian Show! We are excited to welcome Mayor Wade Troxell of Fort Collins, CO this week to talk about his vision of making Fort Collins a city for all. He takes a collective, rather than factioned, approach to acceptance and encourages the recognition of all people groups.

In This Episode

  • Mayor for a Day to Mayor
  • Mr Troxell’s background and pursuit of robotics
  • It’s the people who make this city great
  • A City for All
  • Having respect and listening to each other to accomplish more

A City for All

Do you know the name of your mayor? I don’t. Well, I did after I Googled it. It’s interesting, though, in thinking about my perception of community based on the degree of involvement I have. After visiting Fort Collins myself, last summer, and seeing how it truly is one of the best places to live, it’s a little underwhelming to return to my suburban Minnesota home, look around, and wonder who in the world is running this place.

Our reluctance, lack of interest, or lack of time that prevents us from getting involved in local politics may be an underlying problem in why communities suffer. When different people groups seek public recognition from their elected officials, a focus is taken off of community and instead isolated to a faction of that community. Rather than dismissing a people group, or undervaluing the diversity in a community, Mr Troxell’s approach is remarkably inclusive.

Fort Collins recognizes that a community is made of of co-creators, of individuals who must work together in order to produce an atmosphere of inclusion. Opening the door for someone else or opening a small business to serve the community doesn’t require the acknowledgement of a people group. There is an opportunity to encourage members of a community, united under this banner of a city for all, to work toward building something that isn’t founded on inclusion at the exclusion of others.

Ready to get involved in local politics yet? Fort Collins has been working toward something big and cool for a long time, it may take some elbow grease to see the same results in your own community. In this era of the U.S., when so much hate is being thrown back and forth, we could do with a lot more folks like Mayor Wade Troxell who sees the potential in the co-creators living and working around him.


Feb 13, 2017

It's Monday and we're glad you're joining us on the new format journey of The Real Brian Show! Starting this week, you will find three installments of the podcast ready for your consumption on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Monday is Encouragement Day! Using stories and experiences from his own life, Brian will guide conversations toward making the most out of our day, out of our week, and hopefully set us all off to a great start.

Experience Life

My life has been a little crazy lately. I've been an entrepreneur most of my life, behind the mic and piano most of my life, and the blessing and curse of engaging in those activities is that there are always opportunities with potential. Some work out, some really work out, but many don't. You spend a lot of time working for little to no return. On the other side of that, when you do the right thing... things rock! I've spent a lot of time with people lately, wanting to make a difference, but have had to stop and ask myself recently whether I'm actually enjoying life. Am I really living, and not just exisiting?

Of course, work is essential; providing for a family, putting food on the table and upholding responsibilities. But is it really all essential? We hear and read about the litany of To-Dos: make money, be healthy, never eat sugar, exercise, have 8-pack abs like Oliver Queen, sleep 20 hours a day and work 8 day-26 hour weeks, stop watching TV and movies. Just work, work, work until you get there.

Today I want to talk about how we seem to be stuck in this endless loop of existence and insanity, within which we rarely lookup and ask what we're doing. We rarely stop to experience life or really live. We live on autopilot. After a conversation with my wife, Sarah, on Thursday, I came up with this idea for experiencing life. It isn't just about experiencing life, but experiencing balance in life. And in order to do this, I've come up with a few things that I can take action on:

  • Only take on what is essential. Do less, and do it better. (More on this next week!)
  • Having balance in life.
  • Mindset. Attitude.

What would happen if I just focused on experiencing life and living a life of balance? Be healthy, but enjoy my favorite junk food every now and then. Work hard, but more importantly, work smart. Simplify my life so that I can really focuson, and do great with, a few things rather than trying to maintain interest and expertise in a wide variety of things (how stressful!). Fill my days, but get some sleep! Watch TV shows and movies, but only watch the ones that captivate me and are healthy for me.

In the slightly paraphrased words of William Wallace: "Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives."

Feb 8, 2017

Welcome to the Real Brian Show! This week we're in a scratch your own niche sort of mood, so this shorter-than-usual episode is chock full of recommendations and reviews about the things Brian has discovered.

In This Episode

  • Coffee cupping
  • Expounding on the new show format.
  • Music: BrunuhVille, Future of Forestry
  • TV: Stranger Things, Speechless, Powerless
  • Movies: Hidden Figures, Split

Scratch Your Own Niche

We always want people to scratch our niche, don't we? We want them to give us what we want. Sometimes, here at the Real Brian Show, we just want to let our freak flags fly and tell you whatever we want. And so that's a lot of what this episode is! If you've been listening to Brian, or if you're here for the first time, this episode is literally outlined with some of his most favorite things.

Give use your music, tv show, and movie recommendations in the blog post comments!


I knew I recognized the name BrunuhVille when Brian brought it up. As a programmer, by trade, sometimes it's difficult to write code while I'm listening to music that has words in it. So I spend a little time making playlists that have videos with an hour or two of "epic music". BrunuhVille has a couple such videos (which are really just music and a background image). Do a search for them or listen to this!

It has been years since I've listened to Future of Forestry. I got into them after college and then, as things go, they just faded from my playlist. I first heard the EP Travel III and fell in love with Bold and Underlined and Did You Lose Yourself?. This group is a melodic, ambient rock group from SoCal. They feature compelling, thoughtful lyrics and clever artistry. Check out Hold My Hand


I would be remiss not to comment on Stranger Things. I watched this series this summer and was drawn in by its similar feel to my favorite show, Fringe. I was born in the late 80s, so I don't remember these styles or bed sheets the way Brian might, but I've heard from a lot of people that it takes great pains to be accurate.

stranger-thingsBriefly, the premise of this show centers around the disappearance of 12-year Will Byers in Hawkins, Indiana. Throughout the series, three independent investigations are going on: Will's three friends, Will's mother, and the town sheriff. A mysterious young girl with bizarre abilities meets Will's friends and joins them in their search for him, all the while lending some clues as to why not just Will, but another woman, has disappeared. As the story unfolds, all three parties find their investigations leading to a common center.

This show has everything you want out of a suspenseful, sci-fi thriller. It's got a monster, it's got scary little children, it's got the crazy mother (Winona Ryder), and it even has some light-hearted moments from the well-cast child actors. Brian says he's three episodes in and it hasn't totally drawn him in yet, and I'd probably say that is fine. If the concept interests you and you're intrigued by the general premise, I'd encourage you to keep going because every week another layer of the mystery is peeled back and the science fiction goes deeper. Just like Fringe did, really, which is why I loved that show.


Feb 1, 2017

Hello and welcome to The Real Brian Show! Whether you're coming across this podcast for the first time or you've been with us from the beginning, we're so glad that you found us! We hope that it won't be a one-way street, either. Let us know who you are, either by joining our Facebook group or leaving a comment in this blog post.

In This Episode

  • The hobbit hole has undergone a remodel.
  • Jason Van Orden of Internet Business Mastery joins us!
  • Ready to become the best you? The ingredients vary.
  • Ideas for changing up the format of the podcast.
  • The Shadow pops in!

Become the Best You

If anyone has ever told you, play to your strengths, you'll perhaps understand why it is such a commonly used phrase. The things that come naturally to us, whatever that might be, are inherent skills that are essential to leverage. These skills come so easy that it feels like we're cheating when we use them.

Hint: you're not cheating!

The discussion on the podcast this week, between Brian and special guest Jason Van Orden, has a lot to do with taking an inventory of life and breaking it down into bite sized pieces. In order to become the best you, it certainly is necessary (or helpful, at the very least) to know thyself. But it's hard to be successful in our diverse world when all we know is ourself. There is a discovery task, inherent in know thyself that requires us to participate in the world and understand the people with whom we live and work so that we might deliver what is needed or wanted rather than something we think is needed or wanted.

I've heard Jason interviewed a couple times and have always been impressed with his origin story. Borne of the entrepreneur vein, his highly marketable skill of software engineering fit the mold of what I just wrote above. He recognized his own skill and found an avenue through which that skill was profitable to the wider world. But in the course of breaking down what exactly that skill was, he discovered a more granular ability that allowed him to break away from a cubicle and embrace a wider audience.

New TRBS Format

Brian has an idea for how to change things up on the show and would love your feedback! Right now, every week you get one episode a week that's anywhere between an hour and just under two hours long. We feature special guests, interesting interviews, character interviews, discussions about current events and hot button social issues, and, as always, recommendations from Brian about the music, movies, and tea he's into.

Here's how he wants to switch things up:
Monday: 5 - 10 minutes of encouragement, wisdom, or a shared experiment to get your week started off right.
Tuesday: 30 minute interview with a special guest, as you've come to expect on The Real Brian Show!
Wednesday: Interview with a character (i.e. Han Solo, The Shadow, Dobby)
Friday: 60 minute discussion with a friend, new or old, about something fun, interesting, relevant, or whatever! Sky's the limit.