The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 117--Your Network = Your Net Worth: Why Your Crew Matters

December 20, 2023 Billy Lahr
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 117--Your Network = Your Net Worth: Why Your Crew Matters
Show Notes Transcript

In this week’s episode, Billy and Matt talk about how their journeys toward passion and purpose were better traveled with companions. They unravel the tapestry of community and its undeniable role in carving out a fulfilling second act in life. In this no-filters conversation, they share insights and stories about the power of connection and how engaging with others—like Matt does through his performance art and being “the host with the most”—can bring us closer to a life brimming with joy and purpose. They also share practical tips for building and maintaining authentic relationships, so you'll feel empowered to stretch the pizza dough of your comfort zone and enrich your life with the kind of connections that matter. It's never too late to find your crew and truly live life with intention.

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Billy:  Coming up on The Mindful Midlife Crisis

The reality is this people come and go, especially as someone who's traveling around. People come and go out of my life all the time, but if we want to maximize purpose in life, we must be intentional about keeping connected with the people whose personality and drive synergizes with ours.

Billy:  Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. I'm your host, Billy Lahr, an educator, personal trainer, meditation teacher and overthinker who talks to experts who specialize in social and emotional learning. Mindfulness, physical and emotional wellness, cultural awareness, finances, communication, relationships, dating, and parenting all in an effort to help us better reflect, learn, and grow so we can live a more purpose-filled life.

Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with me through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy Lahr. Thank you for tuning in wherever you are. The purpose of this show is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half, using my NoBS GPS guide to finding more purpose and passion in your life, because I am sick and tired of people telling you to follow your passions, because that is complete, not a nonsense. Purpose and passion are destinations, not starting points. So if you need some direction in getting to that place in your life, join the Mindful Midlife Community at and get my free six-step roadmap to living your life with more purpose and passion. I also share how practicing intentional, mindful living over the last 10 years has helped me navigate the trials, tribulations and successes of my own midlife crisis. Being more intentional and mindful has helped me process my ruminating thoughts, anxiety and stress in a much healthier way by reducing my emotional reactivity and impulsive behavior, which, in turn, has helped me improve my relationships and communication with others, as well as be more consistent, disciplined, patient and productive in meeting my goals. These are the same skills, strategies and resources I use in my personal life, based on years of research and experimentation, to find a bit more calm amidst the chaos. And, trust me, there are still days when I'm a hot mess, but my hope is that by sharing my experiences, as well as the experiences of my guests, you'll see that you are not alone in your experience. So if you're looking for a little more direction and clarity in your life, visit, join our Mindful Midlife Community and let me be your GPS to finding more purpose and passion in life. And now it is time for my favorite part of the show, because once again I'm joined by my best good pal, the always entertaining the one, the only a Matt Hazard. Matt, what have you got for us today?

Matt:  One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do. Two could be as bad as one. It's the loneliest number since the number one, that's that?

Billy:  No, that was you know what. That was beautiful, because that completely connects to what we are discussing today. So, and you weren't sure what you were going to sing, see, I always like getting surprised by what you're going to deliver here, and sometimes you just choose whatever you want to sing, but you even worked it into today's topic. Well done, matt Hazard. You are. Thank you, listen. You are a welcome addition to this show, thank you, thank you, yeah, yeah, you're welcome, because the alternative is me by myself, and that definitely is a lonely prospect right there. So, yeah, definitely not as the loneliest and not nearly as much fun. So if you haven't figured it out by now, I mean you probably saw the title of the episode. You're smart people. You figured out what the topic is here. So the topic today that we're going to discuss is why finding your crew is so crucial to finding your purpose in your life, and how popular self-help presenter and author, mel Robbins the Mel Robbins is wrong sometimes. So let me ask you this, matt Hazard, let's get off it. But before I completely tear Mel Robbins in a new one here, because I'm qualified to do such a thing, matt Hazard, my question to you would you say your ability to connect with others and bring joy to others provides meaning and purpose in your life, and how? So?

Matt:  I mean honestly, I would say that's like the primary thing that brings purpose to my life. Because, like, what else are we doing here? I think that there's aspects of all kinds of different tribalism, but ideally, your relationships with the people that you love is what makes us human, it's what makes us cognitive species and it is how we have evolved to have safety and security and love for one another. What else is there in life except for to bring joy and connect with others? Like that is all of it. For me, that's the world.

Billy:  Well, yeah, and so I want to connect that to why you are a performer, why you enjoy singing, because you have incredible stage presence. I think that that stage presence comes from a desire to want to connect with the crowd, and you talked about the lengths that you go to be the host with the most, and you demonstrated that over Halloween. You've talked about how you know pretty much your entire neighborhood by name. So connect all of that Like, why do you go to such great lengths? Let's start with the stage first like that stage presence that you have and how you connect with the audience. Why is that important to you?

Matt:  Well, it's all really the same, because it feeds me, like that. You know that we talked about extraversion a couple of weeks ago, but I think that it's really about giving of myself is, in its own way, a little bit selfish, because I, like it feeds my ego. First of all, probably there's some kind of a subtext in my mind of like wanting, desperately wanting, acceptance, or, like you know, when I was younger I was a heavy kid and the class clown and things like that. That is, I think, a product of desperately not wanting to be rejected and be accepted. And now, as an adult, you know, I found talents that people find attractive, not in the physical sense but in, you know, esoteric sense, and I think that for me, convincing other people that they want to be around me, that is how I deem worth in terms of social worth.

Billy:  And just to be clear, would you say that you love yourself?

Matt:  Today. Yes, there have been times in my life where I definitely didn't, but I do love myself. Now there's different areas to explore for that as well. Like I find that the skills that I have for like singing, for example, or presence and like talking, you know, and being the life of a party, my kids don't care about that at all. So I have a different like. It's a different avenue to try and connect with my kids and it's a different skill set that I've had to exercise. But that is another thing where I'm constantly trying to win. You know, like I want to have my kids affection. I want to have my wife's affection. Now, the singing did work on her a little, at least initially. Listen, it works on me, fella, at least initially. I remember very specifically like when we started dating she told me a little bit about her memory of me from high school and it was like I remember you being like this obnoxious goofball and I didn't really care, like care for you that much at all. It was like fair, okay thanks for that Like you know.

Billy:  Yeah, well, I think that demonstrates growth. But here's a question then for you. So you know, you say now you love yourself, maybe 10. And you talked about this, I think way back in like the first season. Recap, right, I think you talked about this like 10 years ago that you didn't love yourself that longer.

Matt:  About 15 years ago.

Billy:  Yeah, okay, though you were still performing. I'm guessing that that that was just when you would get that attention. It was just fleeting, like it would fill you up just enough. But then you felt depleted because you didn't necessarily love yourself. But what I'm wondering now is, because you do love yourself, we need to get that attention, to get that affirmation. Does it fill you up more so, and are you able to hold on to it a little bit longer?

Matt:  I think the latter is definitely the case. I'm able to like I haven't really performed, you know, much at all since moving here to Arkansas and the few opportunities that I have to, I like that does fill my cup up. But I can, like I can access that mentally. I feel like a lot and for a long time, like I think back on performances and even just reliving putting myself back on stage. Mentally I get that feeling a little bit like. Or I'll see a picture in my social media, like my memories of like hey, it was a picture of us at Bayside and it was like, oh man, there was this tiny room right and there's 150 people in there that just packed. And I love, like I'll see that picture and I'm like, oh man, those were some days.

Billy:  The best birthday of my entire life was my 36th birthday at Bayside with the Brute Squad. That was such a fun night. You guys gave me a platform that night to be on stage a couple different times in a couple different ways, right? Oh, my goodness, that was so much fun. And so you providing that experience and getting to share that with a bunch of my friends and a bunch of strangers, people I didn't know, but like being in front of a crowd who are excited and dancing and having good time, and just the energy that really fills you up. Oh yeah, and I remember that kind of being an. Interestingly enough, I remember that coming at the end of the summer of when I started therapy, so it was right around that time when I was like I feel good, I think I'm ready to move on, and it's just kind of being able to. And I think, again, there's a big piece of you have to love yourself, but then also to that love that you feel from others because of the connections that you have made and the energy that you're getting from being around others, that really fills your cup. And I'm sure there are introverts out there like, oh my god, would you two shut up and we will, but we also won't, because, even though you're an introvert, I'm gonna guess, matt, if you can entertain a thousand people, that would be awesome, yeah, so just kind of getting that energy. But when you're an introvert, I imagine it's the one or two people, but still it's one or two people, that it's the connections that you make, and so the reason why we're driving this home is because it really relates to this study that was conducted by researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and they publish this research in the prestigious Journal of Positive Psychology. I don't know what makes it prestigious, we'll just go with the fact that someone said it as prestigious sounds good to me. Oh, they're good here's yeah, oh yeah, I mean yeah, big fan Long time, long time listener first time. So we're talking about the quality of Relationships, because this is step three we talked about, you know, first of all, understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. That's step one of the no BS GPS guide. Step two is exploring your curiosities. We talked about that last week. It's now we're talking about the quality of our relationships, because this study shows that those relationships directly affect our overall life Satisfaction. Let me say that again, the quality of our relationships directly affects our overall life satisfaction, and the more meaningful connections we build with others, the more likely we are to discover our purpose. And what's incredible is that this is one of the longest running studies on happiness that's ever been conducted. So let me give you some more background on the study, in case you're like I need some more proof of purchase. Listen, I'm all about giving you More information so that you buy into some of the things that they were sharing here. So here you go. An extensive investigation spanning decades was carried out with the aim of gaining Insights into the influence of relationships and community on an individual's overall well-being and sense of purpose. So, according to Matthew Solan, the executive editor of the Harvard's men at Health Watch. This research Tracked 724 men from their teenage years, dating all the way back to 1938. You might be thinking, oh well, it's Harvard, they probably just took a look at straight white men data data. Well, here's the thing they did a good job here of Taking a look at subjects from a diverse economic and social backgrounds and age groups. So it wasn't just young, affluent, white male Harvard types. They made sure to get a diverse cross-section of men for the study and throughout the years, the research team Accumulated a wide range of health related data, periodically questioning participants about their lives and their mental and emotional health every two years, as well as conducting Interviews with family members and a participants. This is a pretty in-depth study, right here. So here are some of the revelations that come from this Harvard study. We've already mentioned a few here. The study revealed that the quality of our relationships Directly affects our overall life Satisfaction. The more meaningful connections we build, the more likely we are to discover our purpose. And it's not the number of friends you have, but it's the quality of friendships and connections and relationships we make over time. So there you go. Introverts, it is the quality, not the quantity. Now. Obviously, matt and I want more fans right, we like that kind of thing. But if you want more quality Relationships, there you go. If you are an introvert and you've been checking out to what we've been saying here, hopefully you've tuned back in. These close-knit, meaningful connections provide a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction. Now, Matt Hazard, my question to you is this why do you think that is?

Matt:  I imagine that, first of all, really incredible the study like over the course of many years, many men Interesting, that they chose men specifically.

Billy:  I want to talk about that for a second too, because we think of women as social beings, right right, and men are. We think of them as I am, man singular. So I really think this speaks to the need for men, particularly, to be involved in communities, to be involved in groups, because I think women do a really good job of that, yeah, and I think men don't?

Matt:  That's fair. I also think there's probably an aspect of it started in 1938 and they were probably measuring all kinds of things like Economic success and things of that nature, and there weren't a lot of women in the workforce at that time, so it's possible that they just were like here's the cross-section that is very measurable for this kind of. But anyway, to answer your question, I would imagine that success in your tribe, you know, you get that sense of care for one another or Belonging. It's advantageous to you to surround yourself with people who are also likely to succeed, probably even just as an animal, like evolutionarily. If I'm around a bunch of other people who are going to succeed, there's a better chance that I'm going to succeed too. I'm gonna follow them, we're gonna go the same way. What do you think about it, billy?

Billy:  Well, it reminds me of when we had that conversation way back in the day with Christine Chang, and Brian on the base said something along the lines of if you hang around five millionaires, you'll be the six millionare. You just kind of that network right, that you see their drive, their commitment. But then you're in that mindset too. Now, do I necessarily want to Sacrifice free time? Like to me, being wealthy isn't necessarily how much money I have, it's my ability to live. I hate saying this, but live authentically. To me, time freedom is really really important. Being able to sustain my lifestyle is important. Being able to fund my retirement account, like that stuff, is important. But how much more do I need beyond that? I think there's another study that says it's something like $75,000. If you make more than $75,000, no, granted, it depends on what you, where you are in terms of cost of living, because $75,000 in Wyoming, compared to New York City, vastly different, right, but so whatever that is, but when you reach a certain threshold of salary, if you're above that, you're not any happier. I think that that's really important and it comes back to this idea of your relationships and it turns out in this study that it comes down to support support from others, shared Experiences, but also a sense of belonging. So being part of a community or a network, it provides opportunities to engage in activities related to your interests and passions. As much fun as I imagine it is to sing acapella, it's probably a whole lot more fun to sing in a band with really talented musicians that you jive with, am I right?

Matt:  Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely like. I mean, it's bands are magic. But like now that I've like experienced being a more of quote-unquote musician on my own look, I'm actually getting good enough to play guitar and playing guitar and singing at the same time, it's changed my perspective a good deal about like the instrumentalists in a band, where it's like, man, they're just doing like one thing. A lot of the lead guitar parts you know it's just one note parts and I'm like, oh man, they're not even like, sometimes they're not even playing chords, but it's such a big, full sound behind you and you're like, oh, that's right, that's cuz Brian's doing this and Pete's doing that, and it's like, oh gosh, like it is this magic little cocktail that creates these songs. And yeah, it is. There's no feeling like that.

Billy:  Yeah, you're right, it's like it's there's this special sauce, it's magic. And you think about bands that have Lasted for a long time, like, obviously for me, pearl Jim right, that core has been in place and people could say, well, they've changed their drummer a bunch of times. Well, matt Cameron's been in the band for over 20 years, right, and so that band still continues making music. The Rolling Stones they still continue making music. That's been like I don't know how long, like, are we going on? Like 60 years, something like that. Pretty close, yeah, that these bands are together. So there is something to that. There is this gelling in your community where you're able to really create something Amazing. In my case, it's my involvement with the soul share community. That's why I keep coming back to Korea. I don't even know if people know that I'm actually back in Seoul. I am, in case anybody cares, but yeah, I'm back in Seoul and I'm leading events again with Soul Share and just really enjoying my time with this community. And because I'm back here, more and more personal and professional growth opportunities have presented themselves. That's really, really exciting. It's just because just my ability to network and connect with people and, I guess, putting myself in the right place at the right time with the right people. This whole thing about community, it's not just about discovering your purpose, it's also about sustaining it. Having a supportive network can keep you motivated and help you stay on course even when the going gets tough. Here's a great example, and this comes from a recent Meditatin Mingle session. There was a woman from Germany in my group. She lives in Seoul now and she came to this week's guided practice on finding your safe space. During that practice she had this moment while visualizing her safe space, where she said it felt like she was receiving a big, warm hug. She could feel what that was like. That really resonated with me because, well, I'll do respect to my friends here in Korea, you guys give the shittiest, weakest hugs of all time. It's kind of like the middle school dance where there's a balloon between the two of you and you just kind of tap with the fingers…

Matt:  Can’t do that.

Billy:  It's just like I can't have it either. It makes me miss the big bear hugs that I get from people like you and Pete Bourvin and Brian on the base Just anybody that I see. I just get these big bear hugs from you guys and those hugs really do energize me To get that hug really. You just feel that energy transference Again. I know that maybe sounds a little woo-woo but listen, for me I can tell you that I'm a quality time guy and my physical touch kind of guy. When you're a solo traveler you do a lot of that. There's not a lot of. You really cherish the quality time stuff, the physical touch stuff when you're a solo traveler. We don't need to get into it To get a good warm hug from somebody that reenergizes me. People may think well, why are you seeking affirmation from external sources? Well, I think the Harvard study explains why that is valuable. Now I'm going to go off on a rant here and talk about why I think celebrity self-help guru Mel Robbins is wrong sometimes. I wish everyone could see Matt Hazard's face right now, because his eyes got real big like ooh, what's he going to say?

Matt:  Is she going to get real? I remember the last rant episode that you did and I was so happy when I listened to it. I was like this is the best.

Billy:  This is not going to be as emotionally charged. I would definitely work up into a lather. That is an episode, I believe, 66, and people want to take a look at my open letter to Chelsea Fagan of the financial diet. Interestingly enough, they posted something else that ruffled my feathers. I do think it's an amazing account and they provide a lot of great content. But here's the thing if you're not following content that doesn't ruffle your feathers every now and then, then you're just in that silo that we talked about last week. Okay, so here's my issue with Mel Robbins. She was on the Jay Shetty podcast. I don't know when this was. This might have been like a couple of years ago. If you don't know who Jay Shetty is, the book how to Think Like a Monk or Think Like a Monk, something like that it's amazing book and he's got a great podcast. I really like Jay Shetty. But he asked her what's the worst advice that you've ever been given? And she said the worst advice that she's ever been given is that someone can make you happy. And then she followed up with they can make you a sandwich, but they can't make you happy. Now, mel Robbins, does your husband know that he does not make you happy, because that just is mind blowing to me that someone would think that another person can't make you happy. Matt Hazard, if you made me a sandwich, the sandwich would make me happy, but the fact that you made it would also make me happy. Yes, it's a buttered white bread with ham sandwich. Don't put butter on my white bread unless you're going to toast it. Then we're fine. So, yes, yes, one of those things would make me happy, the other would not. But my point is this I get so tired of people saying that other people can't make you happy. Yeah, they can, they can. Other people can make you happy. That's the whole idea of love languages that when you're with a partner, that the partner is able to speak your love languages and that in turn, fills your love bucket.

Matt:  So what's the implication? Is she saying that you can't only you can make yourself happy and no one else can impact that?

Billy:  So the greater message, I believe, which we alluded to at the beginning, is you need to first love yourself.

Matt:  Okay.

Billy:  Okay, which I 100% agree with, and we'll come back to it, but I don't like this idea that someone can make you happy as bad advice. I think it's actually really good advice. Yeah, isn't that how business partnerships are made? Because they can provide value to you in some way.

Matt:  I actually think that you don't need to love yourself first. You do need to love yourself eventually, but making yourself, putting people around you that make you happy, is a good step toward finding yourself, finding love for yourself. It doesn't have to be first.

Billy:  I think that relates to episode 72 that we did with Dr. Lina Haji about how acts of service are also acts of self-care. Now, can that get out of balance? Where you become too selfless? Absolutely, if you're too selfless, that's a problem, but if you love yourself too much and you're too selfish, that's also a problem. Okay, so I don't think those are things that Mel Robbins would disagree with, but I just think to say someone can make you happy is the worst advice that you've ever received. Really, that's the worst advice you've ever received.

Matt:  I got way worse advice on that.

Billy:  Oh my God, buy that shirt.

Matt:  Like that shirt. Looks good on you.

Billy:  That Kango hat Hot. No, what terrible advice. Terrible terrible advice. And I think the other reason I was on a podcast yesterday and I was talking about this people who say I got here all by myself. Those people drive me crazy. You didn't get here all by yourself. I have two theories on people who say I got here all by myself. One you're completely unaware. Your self-awareness is so little and you have no foundation of gratitude. If you're someone who is saying I got here all by myself, I want to ask you this question Did you get there without the help of family in like a traditional sense that I understand? Maybe your family was a train wreck, maybe they didn't have the resources, but I bet there was someone along the way that helped elevate you to get to where you are today.

Matt:  If I go through the line at the gas station and the guy there is like man, I got here all by myself, okay, maybe.

Billy:  Maybe Right. Right, I believe that In the grand scheme of things, in the grand scheme of things, here's the other thing If you're someone who says I got here all by myself, then I don't think you're happy with where you are. I don't think you're satisfied with where you are in life. The third thing is maybe you just you surrounded yourself with the wrong people and that then, in turn, is why you think that you got here all by yourself, because you looked around and your social circle is just fill what toxic people that's on you. So that's why you're probably not satisfied with where you are. So let's go back to explore your curiosity. What is it that you'd like? Let's go back to taking a look at your strengths and then we can reevaluate and reintegrate into a new community that will help elevate you to get to where you feel more satisfied. I think about the amazing moments that I've had in the past two and a half years on this solo odyssey that I've been on, and there's really been some great moments that I've had by myself, like watching the sunset in Busan while I was standing on top of a cliff, and I just had that moment all to myself. That was a really, really magical moment Seeing the sunset in Troy, off the coast of Portugal. That was a really magical moment and I felt connected to the nature around me. But the moments that really stand out, the moments that I consider top 10 days, thank you. Our moments were. I got to share in that experience. I think I talked about that in episode 75, about how to find more joy, how to live with more joy, and I talked about this amazing day I had with my friends, vance and Zen, I think, about these top 10 days that I've had in my life and they almost always involve other people. I talked about my 36th birthday. I mean, without you guys, like that birthday it would have been fun, but the energy that you created in that room, I mean I'll never forget that night. It was just a magical, magical night. This podcast is way more fun, way more fun to do when you are here, or when Brian on the base was here, or when I had a guest. It's just way more fun to do it and that's why I texted you. I'm like my solo episodes are so boring. I need to talk to somebody, and who better to talk to than you? I love talking about this stuff and we gel. Again. That's part of this whole idea of synergy. Who do you synergize with? And again, like when you ask the question, like what is it that she's saying? I get what she's saying. She's saying you need to love yourself first, but, as the longest running study on happiness ever conducted shows, when you have a network of supportive relationships, you're better equipped to navigate life's challenges and, in doing so, these relationships allow you to explore your interests and passions more freely, ultimately helping you discover your purpose. We simply cannot understate or underestimate the power of community and shared experiences. Communities offer us a platform for growth and a stage to learn more about ourselves. They encourage us to explore our interests and, in many cases, find our life's purpose. I want to give a quick shout out to JC Lippel, and he is someone that you can find on LinkedIn and on Instagram. It's the letters J-C-L-I-P-P-O-L-D. This dude is just committed to building community wherever he is. He's based in the Twin Cities man. He is like my community building idol, like I want to emulate who he is. He's such an amazing dude, so I really quickly wanted to give him a shout out because he is really bringing community together. And, again, this idea of community helps us find our purpose, and finding purpose isn't a one-time event. It's an ongoing journey, and communities and networks act as a safety net, supporting you during the challenging times and helping you maintain your sense of purpose. So, if you've been listening to this and you're like, okay, you've sold me on the importance of community, but I don't really have a strong network, I don't really have a strong community, or my network is basically my kids' friends' parents, right, like, if that's who you are, don't worry. This is why Matt and I are here. We're your community and you're part of our community, so we've got your back. Communities support one another and it's never too late to start building communities, networks and relationships with others. I'm reminded of that episode of Louie where he goes on stage and he's like so I made a new friend the other day. I'm a middle-aged man and I made a new friend the other day. I think I love him, but it was so funny because the awkwardness of making a new friend when you're in your 40s or 50s yeah, yeah, because when you think about making friends.

Matt:  Oh, you make your friends when you're in school, right?

Billy:  And no, you can make friends when you are even in your 40s, when you are middle-aged. So, when you are even in your 40s, when you are middle-aged, so you can make friends, or you can just expand your network. So here are some tips on how you can do that. First of all, you want to define your goals. So, before seeking connections, just know what you want out of those connections, because having this clarity will help you identify who can best support your objectives. Are you just looking for a social circle that's cool? Are you looking for someone who shares a mutual interest? Just figure out. What is it that you want out of a community, out of these new connections? These all relate to steps one and two of the no BS GPS guide defining purpose and passion. Still working on a new name. I still don't really like that name. Semia year suggestions. I'm all ears, but if you go back to the episodes, I think it's like episode what, like 106 and then 108. And then last week's episode which is, I don't know, 116. Something along those lines. If you take a listen to those episodes, it gives you an opportunity to understand your strengths and your needs, and if you want something tangible, you can just download the four temperaments test that I gave to Matt and if you can do that, but go into, sign up for the newsletter, boom, you get that. But then you also want to explore your curiosities, like we talked about last week. All of that. That's where your goals start. They start as a curiosity that we research and we examine and then, as it takes shape, we say, hmm, how can I turn this curiosity into a reality? So here's that part. How do you, how do you turn that curiosity into a reality? So you make these connections. You can attend networking events. Now, I get, maybe this isn't your thing you can attend industry specific conferences, seminars and meetups. Our friend, brooke Malek episode 74, she's like on the path to I don't want to talk about it here because it's kind of her thing, but she is moving up professionally and she's like I did that because I committed to going to these networking events and I mean Brooke's a pretty social person, so she's rubbing elbows with the right people. But if she wasn't going to those events, she might not have these opportunities that are coming to her. And I get it. Maybe these are not things that you enjoy doing, but if you're stuck, if you're stuck, there might be some things that you have to do in order to stretch the pizza dough of your comfort zone. I'm not saying you got to get outside your comfort zone, because I hate when people say get outside your comfort zone, stretch the pizza dough of your comfort zone. These events will provide ground for meeting people who share your interests and, again, meetup. The app meetup M-E-E-T-U-P all one words. Take a look at that app. That might very well change your life, because it did for me. And even if you just want to get out and exercise, I noticed that Minneapolis has all these hiking groups that I never knew about. If I was back in Minnesota, I'd definitely be joining these hiking groups. Like, how do you network with people? How do you? I mean, I know a lot of it is in your community, but I think you probably are more than every man and I'm very much a unicorn. So how do you network? How do you stay connected with people?

Matt:  So I actually giggled a little bit to myself when you said you know, oh, I'm just hanging out with my kids friends, parents, because, like we've talked about how I know almost everybody in my neighborhood by name, like many of the people like a crazy amount, but my children, we mostly hang out with five other families that are my kids' friends-ish Five, six, sometimes seven families. And like there are other families in this neighborhood that I'm like that dude's cool, I would love to hang out with that dude, but his kids are 14 and 13. And my kids are eight and six and they will not play together and they won't care about that. So, which is not to say I love my kids' friends, parents, like we have a great little friend group and I don't want to not hang out with them, but I do want to hang out with these other people that I'm like oh gosh, I feel like I would really vibe with that person. So to answer your question, I think more directly, at least in the neighborhood, I'm on the POA board, so a lot of the times stuff will come to me where somebody has a complaint about somebody else and I'm like a lot of my volunteer job is smoothin' that stuff out a little bit and like, hey, why don't you talk to your neighbor instead of calling the POA board or that kind of thing. And then we have a community pool here in my neighborhood. Oh, must be nice that I actually manage all the software and the keys, for there's a gate and so when people need a new key or anything that they have to talk to me. I see people at the pool all the time in the summer and that's a very social area and it's just. I feel like I say hi to people on the street every day and like we'll stop and talk to people on a walk and I'm that type of person and a lot of people are not, and I can tell when I'll say hi and I'll start to slow down and somebody just keeps on truckin' I'm like hi, not today. Like, like, like, like, like. But a lot of my conversations are I'll be walking my dogs, I'll see somebody sitting in their garage outside and I'm like well, they're sitting there. They probably want to talk Like. So my social interaction is almost all in person, which is a wild thought in today's society.

Billy:  I'm going to switch to coach mode here just for a second, and it just I'm curious what your thoughts are in this. One thing that I see here in Korea is every weekend people are hiking, especially older people, and they're always hiking in groups, groups of like five, six, seven, like it's always a larger group, but they're older, like people stay really active here 60, 70, 80s. You see people in the mountains, older people in the mountains all the time, and it's just a fun way for them to stay connected. So I'm wondering you talked about this guy who's got a little bit older kids. He seems cool to hang out with. Is there a way to create like a dad group or something like that, where you're like, hey, we're going to go to this brewery or we're going to go to this thing or come over here, the host with the most. So creating something like that or I'm just wondering if that's ever crossed your mind is that something that you would be willing?

Matt:  to do. That's actually something I have done. I probably should have mentioned that I organized a couple or helped to organize a couple of bike rides. We called it the oh gosh. What did we call it? It was like illiterative, like dad dudes, I don't remember what it was, but it was like we all rode whatever kind of bike you wanted to. We would ride to there's like three breweries within like six or seven miles of my house in our neighborhood and we would ride to like a restaurant and get an appetizer and a drink, and then we'd ride to the brewery get a meal maybe or a couple of drinks, and then, you know, kind of ride safely home as much as possible. But yeah, I did that a few times. I feel like it's a lot of work to try and like organize that, and I've primarily done it on Facebook because, like doing a group text or anything like that, you get people who are like either annoyed by it or never respond or you know what. And then I don't know how much you know about Facebook invites, but it's like if I invite a hundred people, you're really lucky if you get 20. That's just how it works. So there were times where I did it every month for the whole summer and like summers are long and exceptional here, and like so spring into fall. I was doing it for like six months straight and the last one that I did, I had like 15 people say they were going to come and then the day of I sent out the text, I'm like hey, we're meeting at six. And literally there were three, three of us and I was like this is still been a super cool hang, but that is not like that's a lot of effort arranging. And it's like here's the route, this is what we're going to do. I did this research, you know whatever, and it winds up being three people and it's like, well, I'll let somebody else organize this, for now on, nobody else. I like. I was like I'm going to pass the torch, why don't you do it?

Billy:  Yeah, and I think too, like, if people are listening, like, well, wait a minute, do I got to organize events? No, I'm not saying that. I know that Matt Hazard's strength is being the host of the most, so he enjoys doing those kind of things. But yeah, it becomes a lot of work. Maybe what I'm saying to you as a listener is, if you get invited to those kind of things, that might be stretching the comfort zone a bit by actually going to one and engaging with people. So when you do get invited to those things because the reality is this, when you get invited to stuff and you don't go, you stop getting invited, and then when you really want to get invited you need something like that they don't extend that to you. So I'm not saying you need to go to every single event that you're invited to, but it is good to show up every now and then and put in a little bit of time, because you never know who's going to be there. You never know what kind of connections you're going to make. I like planning events, organizing events here for SoulShare members. Matt likes organizing events, like those are just things, but those are our strengths. If we need that kind of connection, then we'll build it. But if you're someone who is like, well, I'm not going to plan it, then it's important to seek out these networking events or meetups that you can join every now and then, especially if you're feeling like your cup is empty Before it gets empty. That's where the awareness comes in, like, oh hey, I'm feeling a little low energy. Before I'm completely out of energy, before I'm completely out of this need, I'm going to make sure that I take care of this, and you can do it through online communities too. I'm not a huge fan of online communities. I'm not good about staying connected with online communities because I imagine, like you, matt, I'm much better in person. Getting the Billy Lahr experience in person is so much better than getting it via podcast or Zoom.

Matt:  Accurate, accurate.

Billy:  You can also volunteer if you want to. You could join a club. I remember playing like intramurals in college but then, like every Friday after work, after school, we had a group of people would get together and we'd play basketball at the school gym and range from people who were young, like me, like 23, 24, 25, to people who were 45, 50 years old, and it was fun and we might go out to have a happy hour after basketball. But I think about that and that then led to me connecting with new people and new friends. When I was new to Rochester, like it was, it was really difficult for me to meet people and I remember my friend Wes. We met out one time and he's like hey, you work at the school, right? I'm like, yeah, he said I do too. I teach fire there. Oh cool, so then we just kind of exchange numbers and then the next week this was just kind of the guy he was he calls me up and he says, hey, what's up? I'm in your neighborhood. Do you want to go on a road trip to Winona? And I'm like what? And I'm like, I don't know, I don't really feel like going on a road trip. And he's like all right, fine, never calling you again Hangs up on me and I'm like, oh well, this is the only thing I have going on this weekend. And like this could be like a friendship. I think he knew what he was doing, because he's a master manipulator. And so I call him back. I'm like I go hey, it's Billy, yeah, yeah, I'll go on a road trip with you. And he's like, all right, I knew you would, I was on the way. Anyway. He goes, he picks me up and then like from there I met so many people just from that one connection, like it changed my whole experience when I was in Rochester. Just from him, because he knew everybody, he was the Westman, the Westman knows everybody and wherever we went, like, but just making those kind of connections so again is like finding you know. Sometimes it comes from some pickup game that you're playing. Or or just somebody says, hey, I know you from work, let's hang out outside of work. All right, we do that. And you have your work friends, you have your real friends. What have you? But again you are making this connection.

Matt:  So the one thing I wanted to clarify is you said that when you're recognizing when your cup is starting to get toward empty, I think that people will probably think. Some of our listeners might probably think, like okay, yes, but every time I get invited to something, it's like on a Thursday night and I'm working a 50 hour week and I've got this meeting and I'm doing this and I'm fucking exhausted. It's so easy to say no to those things because you're exhausted, right. But the thing is, I think it's important, like you were saying, to just it doesn't have to be intramural basketball or baseball or running, you know, it doesn't have to be anything like that. It can be a light physical activity, it can be. There's a ladies. I don't know if you've ever heard of this game. I don't even know what it is. It's called Bunko in my neighborhood. It's like a dice game, like a light gambling, you know whatever kind of situation, and the ladies in my neighborhood play every month, pretty much year round, and they'll post about it on the neighborhood Facebook page and my wife likes to go to that sometimes and but like I'll feel her mental process, like I'm just exhausted this week and she'll make an excuse for herself to get out of it and I'm like that's a great opportunity for you to socialize with some of the other people in this neighborhood, and she does love doing it. Every time she comes home from that that she's gone, she's like oh, it's great, I was talking with this person, I met this, and then a lot of times she'll be like I was talking to this lady all night. I have no idea who she is, but they live here and and I'll be like oh, that's so and so.

Billy:  And she'd be like you know, you've got the, you've got the. Back is the back story of every person in the neighborhood.

Matt:  I honestly, I just know their names. I just do a pretty good job trying to know names and there'll be moments where I'm like, yeah well, you went to Florida, we talked about it, the other thing that wasn't me oh, all right, but I know your name, All right. But yes, I just wanted a point of clarity. Sometimes you're exhausted and you still need to do it because those things it's not about feeling your physical cup. You need to fill that cup socially. And then you know, obviously, like you were telling your story, that you know that often presents opportunities in itself in the future.

Billy:  Yeah, I think that's why cultivating a mindfulness practice is important, because you can listen to your body and your body saying no, we're physically exhausted, we should not go to this thing. Or you can say I'm mentally exhausted, I don't know if I have the energy for it, but might this replenish my energy? Close by on that, sorry, by doing this, but my mental stamina if I were to go, do I need socialization? Am I tired because I'm void of socialization? So I think that that's important to recognize. It's also important that it's not just a one-way street. There should be a mutual value exchange. That's how successful networking thrives. And we offer our skills, we offer our knowledge, we are assistance to others. If we do that, they'll likely reciprocate and listen. As a solo entrepreneur, I've had to learn that if I do not provide value to others, then I cannot expect them to provide value to me. It's really valuable insight from our conversation from Marques Ogden. I'm trying to remember what episode that is. It's like in the 80s. Go take a listen to that. But he said that you want to provide more value to other people than they provide to you, and this is the hard lesson for me to learn. But I realize now that if I want to build authentic and genuine relationships with people, this value exchange is going to take time and it requires patience. There are a lot of things that I do for free. The meditate mingle it's donation based and donations are always appreciated, but they're not expected and a lot of people just show up for it, which is fine. I actually really just enjoy making that connection, and I talked about authenticity. That's the key to building meaningful connections. You want to be yourself and don't be someone that you're not, and you want to attract like-minded individuals who resonate with your genuine self. But you also need to learn how to read the room. I think we talked about that when we talked about mindlessness. Your authentic self has many layers to it. That's why I hate this idea of the authentic self. It has many layers to it. You're not just one authentic self, so you need to understand which persona the room needs at the time. That's not being disingenuous. That's you setting the temperature in the room. You want to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. And then finally, once you make these connections, it's important for you to continue staying in touch. There is a song by this band called Peach. It's called Spasm and it has one of my favorite lyrics of all the time and it says as you stare into the sun, are you scared you'll be forgotten. Yes, if I'm not making and continuing connections with people, I'm worried that I'm going to be left behind, and especially by people that I value. Jennifer Walton talks about her fives people that she wants to stay connected to at least five times a year. I feel honored to be in her five. So staying connected five times, it's enough to just be able to say hey, I was thinking about you, just wanted to send you a message, see what's up. You do that five times throughout the year. That's not a lot, but it's enough to stay connected, because the reality is this people come and go, especially as someone who's traveling around. People come and go out of my life all the time. But if we want to maximize purpose in life, we must be intentional about keeping connected with the people whose personality and drive synergizes with ours. So how do we do that? Just keep it simple, send a congratulatory message, offer help when needed or just simply check in when you build relationships. That takes time and effort. And if you're like, what should I say? Like, I haven't talked to somebody in a long time. I don't know how to stay connected with them. Go check out If you remember him from episode 80, he's got this awesome six minute networking course. It's 100% free. You don't need to put your credit card down or anything like that. It has a lot of valuable information in there about how to keep connected with people, especially if it's someone you've lost contact with. And hey, if this all sounds like a lot of work, it is. We understand that it's a lot of work to stay connected with people again, especially if you're an introvert. I see you mean mugging us introverts. I can feel that hate, just that resentment of Matt and me because of Matt and I, matt and me. I can feel that resentment of me. Yes, the English teacher and me had to come out and make sure that I used the right pronoun right there. But where I think introverts have the advantage over extroverts is in the mutual value exchange and being authentic, because if you're an introvert you're less inclined to make small talk and you're more inclined to make a deeper, more meaningful quality over quantity connections and you do that faster and easier than extroverts. Because what does talk to anyone?

Matt:  About anything.

Billy:  Exactly exactly Like sometimes we have to sift through which people truly add a value to our purpose. Like I remember meeting that person and you're like, oh, did I actually enjoy talking to that person, whatever? And there's just a lot of people that you have to sift through. So, introverts, you've got to leg up on us extroverts because you're more intentional around making these quality connections, whereas, like Matt and I, we'll talk to anybody about anything. I mean, this episode is over an hour long. There's no reason for it to be this long.

Matt:  No, no, and have we really said anything at all?

Billy:  Do we ever Nothing we say is new or revolutionary? It's all things People are like yeah, we already knew that. Dummies, Like I said, we're just here to water seeds. We're not planting seeds, we're just here to water seeds and sometimes we flood them.

Matt:  We're here to water the seeds. You are the seeds and the people around you are your soil.

Billy:  Oh, let's see that's. I couldn't have done that without you that this is what you're here for. Listen, at the end of the day, if we all put in this work, you find that building relationships and communities is a worthwhile investment and we all grow together. If you are looking for a group of wild and crazy guys like me and Matt, or maybe you're looking to get the hell away from people like us- that's 70s references.

Matt:  We're really going to land so good.

Billy:  Well, you know it is the Midlife Crisis podcast, so you know we'll see who catches that. I mean, you never know, you never know. But hey, if you do appreciate wonderful 70s references and long-winded conversations about making connections, go to and join our Mindful Midlife Community. Not only will you receive the four temperaments personality test that we discussed earlier in this episode and we've discussed in the last few episodes, but you'll also get free access to my intro to mindfulness starter course. That way you can learn to develop some of these mindful skills that we talked about. Also, if you take that four temperaments test and you want to chat about your results, like we did with Matt Hazard a while back, that's a free service I'm offering. So all you got to do is go to the show notes, schedule an exploration call with me, or you can shoot me an email at Don't be afraid to connect with me or Matt. You want to say hi to Matt and you want to send me an email and say hey, I'd actually like to talk to Matt Hazard because you're kind of a dipshit. Fair enough, fair enough. I'll ask Matt if it's OK to connect the two of you and then you two can chat. If you think that he sounds more fun than I, am you f***. If this episode inspired you to invest in yourself in some new way, please do me a favor and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcast. If you're looking for which episode to listen to next, go to the website and click fanfaves under the podcast tab. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would share this episode, or any other favorite episode, with the people in your life who may find value in it. That, to me, is the biggest compliment you can give. And if you do it on social media, don't forget to follow and tag us. Finally, remember this progress is not linear. Our growth looks more like the stock market Some days we're up, some days we're down, and we may not reap the benefits for a while. But if we play the long game on our consistent, disciplined, patient and self-compassionate, you'll see that your investment in yourself will pay huge dividends over time. As always, the purpose of this show is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. I hope this free and useful information provides some insight that will guide you towards living with more purpose and passion in your life. So for Matt Hazard… 

Matt:  That's me. 

Billy:  This is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy and loved. 

Take care, friends!

Matt:  Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh, bye.