118: Fellowship Ft. True Tamplin: Entrepreneurship, Tradeoffs With Hustling, Reliance On God, And Living Inspired
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Fellowship Ft. True Tamplin: Entrepreneurship, Tradeoffs With Hustling, Reliance On God, And Living Inspired
This is a show dedicated to learning how to live a good life. We get to do that with our mantra being living with intention in the tension. Life has a lot of tensions and we get to live daily in the middle of that. We believe the best way to do that is with intentionality. We’re trying to infuse intentionality into all we do. If you want to bless us and this show, leaving us a rating and review on iTunes is such a sweet way to do that. It takes about two minutes. If you could sacrifice two minutes of your, that would be such a gift for us. The other way is sharing. Sharing is caring as they say. Sharing this episode or the one that you enjoyed, or even our website, TheUpAndComersShow.com, with people in your community is such a sweet way to help us out as well. The only way other people could find us is if you share it. If you wanted to support us financially, we do have a Patreon account is a great way to contribute to keeping the show going.
This is a fellowship episode and it was with True Tamplin. Who is True? True Tamplin is an entrepreneur and author of the number one Amazon bestseller, Raising An Executive: Igniting Your Son’s Inner Executive To Outperform His Peers and Continue Your Legacy. At the age of thirteen, True’s father, Ken Tamplin was offered to be the lead singer for Journey. Despite desperately needing the money, the five-year touring contract was too great a sacrifice. He turned down the offer. True has checked every box an executive would want for his son. Giving his graduation speech, covering local newspapers, garnering a full ride to a school of choice, maintaining summa cum laude 4.0 GPA. He is running a successful analytics, online marketing company and becoming a public speaker and Amazon number one bestselling author, all by the age of 22.
True is utterly convinced that none of his early successes would’ve come had his father accepted the Journey contract. True’s story has become his plea to fight for executives to spend more time with their sons. He actively shares his message with executives across the nation through his keynote speeches and in media interviews. You can reach out to his assistant at Info@TrueTamplin.com or visit TrueTamplin.com for more information. True has become a good friend of mine. We go to church together and he makes my energy look small. This guy is lit up. He’s on fire and he comes with more energy than you’ll be able to handle in a great way. I’ve loved True’s passion and the inspiration with which he lives his life.
In this episode, we get to talk about what living inspired looks like. We get to talk about entrepreneurship. We get to talk about his experiences and his shorter career path, but it has been expedited in many ways. We talked about the tradeoffs with hustling. We talked about what reliance on God looks like. I thought this was a helpful episode in understanding how we get to where we are. What factors lead to it and pairing confidence with humility, which is always a tough thing to do. I think you guys are going to enjoy this episode. It has a lot of energy, a lot of fun and has a lot of great perspectives that I think you’ll appreciate it.
True Tamplin, welcome to The Up and Comers Show.
Thane, thanks for having me here. I’m pumped to be here.
We had to start with names because this is what everyone’s wondering, True and Thanes. Those are two weird names. Would you ever get tired of the jokes around, True?
“Do you have a brother named False?” Every time, I show ID on a daily basis. People don’t believe it, but thankfully with one of the Kardashians naming their daughter, True. I’m in there. I had a guy in the elevator asked if I was named after a baby. I told them to do the math on that one.
Do you have one story that stands out on ridiculous names?Whenever there is money on the line, there is a whole economy and a whole world. Click To Tweet
That one was bad. Maybe some of my best ones. That one was like, “Think about that.”
Would you name your kid True?
Probably not. It’s closer to your name. We’re thinking of Thaddeus. It’s a disciple and it’s mighty.
That’s a good name. How do you describe your place in life? What is the life and times of True Tamplin as you see it?
It doesn’t feel like a big part of me. I graduated from Biola in 2017. Right out of Biola, I came out swinging. I wanted success and I wanted it. I hit the ground running. The entire time I was at Biola, I was itching. I probably read 100 to 200 self-help or business books. I was listening to gazillion podcasts, seminars, webinars, everything I could get my hands on. I had to low key bifurcate my education with school and school was not the education. That’s not a knock on Biola, that’s a knock on the college system in general. Aside from some data analytics classes, those were legit and I still use those. When I graduated, I tried to personal brandetize my name and get my name out there. I started getting clients for my SEO business. That’s where I’m at. Growing the SEO business to make some money to potentially invest in a maybe even bigger business at one stage.
For people who aren’t familiar with the acronym SEO, give us a little taste of that world and what it’s about?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It’s getting your website ranked in Google. You might not know this, but every time you do a Google search, you think, “Thanks, Google.” You click on probably the first listing, which you don’t know is that there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of SEOs on the other side of that thing trying to get their website to the top. It turns out whenever there is money on the line, there is a whole world. Imagine if you have a how to lose weight program, how valuable it would be to show up number one in Google for how to lose weight. Whenever there’s money on the line, people are willing to pay crazy money to rank at the top of Google because that equates to more traffic, which equates to more sales at the end of the day.
It’s like a billboard in Times Square going to see way more people than a billboard in Kansas, which is why it’s worth a lot more. With SEO, if you’re that number one spot versus the number one on the fifth page, it’s going to be a big difference in what that produces. It’s a combination of money, but more importantly, the legwork that’s fueled by money. It’s the same but different. It’s an interesting world. It’s a whole different space. This has been what, a ten-year economy in the making?
It’s twenty. There were glory days back prior to 2010 where it was honestly spam. Google released a sequence of updates named after animals like a penguin, hummingbird, and panda that took a knife to any website doing bad SEO, black hat SEO practices. You’ve got to do it the good old fashioned way by getting healthy natural backlinks to your site.
You gave a very macro overview of the career path. I’d love to know a little bit more about the phases of that journey because post-college into career is more dynamic than ever before in this society. That’s part of the problem most college students face in coming out of college or even if you are in a career path, you want different careers. It’s an overwhelming amount of decision fatigue because you’re paralyzed by the reality. There are a million routes to take and every opportunity is at your fingertips and we get this pressure. I did a solo episode on the importance of direction versus destination. A lot of times we get caught up in this destination we want. We don’t know what that destination is so we don’t make a decision which is helpful for us. It’s picking a direction that we think is best for where we’re at right now and moving forward. All that aside, it is an interesting time to be in that transition phase and everyone’s story is so unique. I know that yours is especially unique and going more the individual route of self-branding and pivoting with that into much more of the business route. I’d love to know how you’ve seen those phases play out.
I like the phrase, “Decision fatigue.” Life in general, as you’re making decisions for career paths, for those of you graduating from college, I view it like you throw up the bumpers when you’re bowling. You huck it and you use the bumpers. You are trying something out, “I hated working for that lawyer or for that dentist or for that internship.” You go and there’s movement, there’s momentum and you use the bumpers to get you to arrive at the bowling pins before you knock it out of the park. In college, there was a perception, at least at Biola that the finance guys, the accounting guys, that those were all the guys and gals that had jobs at Deloitte ready to go while they are in college. They are the only group that had what seemed like a successful job locked down, guaranteed fresh out of college. I was in a data analytics class and there was this surfer named Fletcher, who got B or C in the class, an not that smart. He had a few tools in his arsenal, data analytics related. The guy was making six figures fresh out of college.People fresh out of college realize how competitive this world is and how long things take. Click To Tweet
The following year he got a pay raise to make $130,000. I’m like, “Forget the accounting noise. Data analytics, I’m sorry but this guy is not smart. I can beat this guy.” I started following the data analytics path. I got my degree in it. Part of my degree was creating the data analytics program at Biola. It is like a rogue email going out from one of the professors, saying, “We’re thinking of starting this soon.” I was like, “That’s my ticket. We’re going to do this.” I got my degree helping to create a degree. I was the guinea pig and did a lot of research. I got my degree in business analytics. While doing that, I also got connected with a guy who came and spoke to a digital marketing class. His name was Steve Wiedemann. He made a very bold claim on one of the videos we had to watch for a digital marketing class, saying he was the number two search result for SEO experts.
I thought to myself, “If you rank number two for the search term SEO expert, that means you beat out all the other SEO experts for the term SEO. This guy must know something.” I looked some SEO experts, sure enough, there he was. I looked at how far away he was from my school. I was like, “Beautiful, there is money to be made here.” I reached out to him and he was super warm, super friendly. I got an internship. He would work late into the evening, oftentimes. It so happened that when everyone else went home, 5:00 or 6:00 PM, I got a lot of one-on-one time with Steve for about a year. It was like sitting at the feet of a rabbi just taking it all in. That knowledge that I learned that year equipped me enough, at least so that when I got married I felt comfortable starting up my own SEO business. I was working so many late nights putting a lot of extra hours. He gifted me with a client that got on my feet. That propelled me into doing search engine optimization. There’s a little bit of an overlap with the data analytics background. That’s what I’m doing full-time and I’m looking to scale.
It’s fun because we never know what step will come after the next step. You never know what the second or third step down the road will be. That’s honestly a blessing that it’s an adventure and unknown and we get to discover that. If we knew that at the start, that’d be so boring. We’re like, “I need to know.” We don’t. Just be faithful in the next step. That’s a sweet story with Steve that you being willing to bust your butt and put in the extra hours, even though there’s plenty of times you didn’t want to. That led you to the ability that when you did get married, it’s like, “Let’s do this thing.” I need that reminder a lot for myself. It’s not about the ten steps, it’s about the next step. As you see it since you’ve been on this path for a few years, how many years has it been since graduating?
Two and a half years.
It’s a testament to your work ethic and your ability to take on risk and your ability to pick up skills quickly and confidently. That’s a cool path. When you think about entrepreneurship, I know your thought process has shifted a bit. How do you think about the world of entrepreneurship versus this college starry-eyed kid, which we all are, having several years in your belt and a wide range for those several years of experience? How do you think about that reality differently?
You brought up something good, the college starry-eyed kid. That is exactly what I was. It turns out that the top, maybe half, maybe a third of your college, those are the guys and gals getting internships trying to grind and grow as soon as they get out of college. I low key felt the king of my campus. What was crazy is the king of the college is the intern. The intern is like, “It’s the intern. Make them file papers and run coffees and do this crap work.” That’s the intern, but that’s the top half of college students. I had a rude awakening. It was fresh out of college, realizing how competitive this stinking world is and how long things take.
That’s a little side note on how much harder I thought it would be because I floundered and struggled for a solid year so that when the clients came, I over-committed myself. I said yes to everything because I came off a year of thinking to myself, “I will do anything for a client.” I’m going to do anything. How do I think about entrepreneurship differently? My perception of entrepreneurship is a bunch of bootstrap entrepreneur kids that want to create some app where you are going to do Tinder but for food. We’re going to get every restaurant from here to Timbuktu on board and we’re going to try and be profitable. We’re going to make all these investments. They raise $1 million from Silicon Valley and they’re going to be the next Facebook but for buying a meal.
You meet who the actual business owners are, who the people making money are, not who is on the headlines, not who went from zero to a billion in one year. I am talking about people like your dad, he’s an entrepreneur. People like myself, I view myself as a true entrepreneur. People like my clients, EP Wealth, two guys started helping their friends with their finances. Out of that birth, twenty-some-odd years later, they have $5.5 billion in assets under management, a mid-size firm, I’d say. Another client of mine, 101 Domain, started small selling domain names and web hosting. They grew over a twelve-year period. Starting profitable from day one and then slow and steady 20% growth year over year is not exciting. It’s not a zero to $1 billion in revenue in a year, but these are the actual people that owned businesses. These are the actual entrepreneurs.
You have to make so many right decisions in real-time and finely tune your ship. It doesn’t often happen overnight. For those of you that still view entrepreneurship as this amazing next Facebook app idea that’s going to make you a gazillionaire, the likelihood of success even if you get funding, one in a hundred people get the funding. You look at the VC win ratio on how many ventures fail. You’re probably not going to succeed, even with the funding. I’m not in the business anymore of trying to play that game. Maybe I will, I don’t know. I’m looking to be profitable from day one. It’s not sexy, but then you grow it into a massive Amazonian literally Amazon business. That’s my view.
I had coffee with a girl. Crispy Chicken is her company and it’s a great name. She had the experience, she went more of the employee route, gained valuable skills similar to you in that sense. She decided and thought, “I think I can take on the risk to go on my own. I know I have the skillset to do it. Let’s give it a shot.” It’s not about like, “How do I change the world in one year?” It’s like, “How do I make this work this year and the next year.” It’ll look different every year, but it’s a very simple, humble place to operate on how do we make a profit?
I think a Tony Robbins quote is in order, it’s a good one, “People overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in twenty to 30 years.” This is a short life. I’m not playing any games. I’m not waiting around. I’m not looking to grow slow. I’m saying the reality is because of the difficulty. It takes a long time to build and to grow a business.Success doesn't often happen overnight. You have to make so many right decisions in real-time and finely tune your ship. Click To Tweet
I think Bill Gates is in one in ten. There’s a reason why there are multiple people that have said similar things because it’s true. That’s one of the most challenging principles for all of us as humans, to always remember is that the shortcut is never the right path to take. It’s never worth it. It never produces the end result that you want or the sustainable end place that you want. It’s always a longer path. It’s always delayed gratification and saying no to the moment to say yes to the future. There is a universal reality to that. At least I’ve seen in my short life. It’ll be more reaffirmed the longer that we both live that we do have to suck it up and do the work.
That means putting in the time and years. It’s in Robert Greene’s book Mastery. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people. There’s a common timeline that takes to develop a “mastery” with any field, which is typically seven to ten years. That was true in golf, too. It took these guys, once you turn pro, it takes them on average seven to ten years to get the PGA tour. A very common amount of time is seven to ten years to develop a proficient skillset and a level of mastery that produces the results that you’re capable of in any field. That’s humbling but a helpful framework for approaching any entrepreneurial endeavor.
At the same time, you do have to have that realistic vision for how long things take. I would go on record to say it is only with a mindset of trying to cram it all in a year, that seven to ten years later you’re hitting the PGA tour. This is not a coasting, “If I stick with this I’ll make it because Thane said.” You have to go balls to the wall every year, and then it only takes seven to ten years. Otherwise, you’re looking at double or triple that.
That’s why it’s so helpful for people to be honest with themselves when they’re trying to evaluate. We all should be honest with ourselves when we’re evaluating whether we go self-employment or traditional employment. If you’re going to go the self-employment entrepreneurial route, you have to be willing to make that sacrifice and you have to feel that’s your best self. As much as every human being is created differently and has unique skillsets, there are probably more people that fit better in a traditional role than the entrepreneurial roles for a good reason. That’s not to say one is better or worse. They’re both needed and they’re both incredibly valuable, but I think having an honest self-assessment of, “Is something that I’m geared or wired to do?” The majority of people that are doing that and successfully doing that are wired that way because they’re willing to commit to it.
Here’s the beauty in this day and age. A lot of people, if they are entrepreneurial and can’t incur risks like getting married, that was a big deal. I can’t go to the van anymore if I fail. It’s not an option. I got to have a little Dave Ramsey cushion there. An alternative that’s becoming pretty big if you are that gnarly is you can become an entrepreneur within a company, starting up a program or starting up a business within a business, a little initiative if you will. You get a team together and you got some funding automatically because you’ve got a parent company funding you. You can scale up the corporate ladder very quickly with almost no risk by becoming an entrepreneur. I recommend that if there’s any of you out there that can’t quite incur the risk by doing it on your own.
More than ever before, that’s needed within corporations or bigger environments because of the rapid rate of change that we’re in. As a society, the environment itself, that’s such a valuable thing. I love Jocko Willink, his book Extreme Ownership. He has a whole chapter on leading up the chain of command. Whether it is a business, even a family, even any type of relationship where there’s a hierarchy, we should all view our role as leaders both up and down the chain of command, which allows us to create some action. If you think about a big corporation as much Jocko’s illustration, it was in the army. There are these generals that don’t have any connection to what’s happening on the ground. The decisions they’re making they believe are the best, but they have no idea.
The people on the ground have to be able to lead their leaders into the right decision for them, even if they can’t see it. The same is true in a major corporation. It speaks to that taking ownership of your ability and your role to make a better business, a better environment or a better world. We all can play into small parts, but we shouldn’t undervalue the small role we play in a lot of ways, which is easy to do. Even when we’re talking about sharing the amount of people reading this blog, it was not that many comparatively, but it’s still a decent amount. I shouldn’t undervalue that. We all do.
I lead the middle school kids at Legacy City. I’m not a youth pastor. I’m a guy who’s trying to live it up outside of being a youth pastor. Technically, I am one, but some I was sharing with these kids. I publicly bash the skating and skater community because I grew up in Newport Harbor High School. It was a surfing community, which very similar. The waves were always better in the morning. Things are always down, too cool. You can never get seen in a place for too long. These teenagers, if they in that mindset of being too awesome for anything forever, they never end up building an empire. They never end up growing. They could become 40-year-olds and still hitting the same bars in the same skate park and like, “What do you do with your life?”
The guys like yourself, Thane, even though you’re not super proud of your viewership, you got to get in the game. You’re at least in the game. You’re trying to build. Ten, twenty or thirty years from now, you’re like, “I have something to show for the last few decades I’ve been living.” You can’t be too cool for everything. You have to move the chips in a certain direction and then start building. The day that you do, you’re going to realize how hard it was and all those things that you’re bashing, “It’s not that great. That documentary cheated there,” go and make your own and tell me how that was poorly done.
I do some mentoring with high school students, this place called Good City Mentors. The session was on care. What do you care about? Who do you care about? One of the questions I asked is why is it important to care? Those are powerful questions. Why should we care? It’s interesting and I fell prey to this as much as anyone else. We all fall prey this. It’s like the cop-out of, “I don’t care.” That’s what too cool is like. That’s the worst place to be. We don’t want to be in that place because that’s a cop-out. We’re fearful of caring and not meeting the expectations we should have ourselves. It’s a fear of failure in a lot of ways.
You care about people knowing that you care.It takes a long time to build and to grow a business. Click To Tweet
It is the more vulnerable scrape place to be, but it’s a more empowering place and it’s an authentic human place. Understanding that is important that we do care about something because life is not about me or you. It’s bigger than that. We have to care about something beyond ourselves in order to influence or be a force for good in the world. You made me think of this quote by Publilius Syrus. He said, “Would you have a great empire rule over yourself?” That’s a beautiful way to say that you got to take ownership of yourself and if you’re ever going to lead others, you have to lead yourself well.
I would take you one further, Thane, going back to the whole getting in the game. In order to get into the game, it’s about taking care of yourself but it’s not until you get outwardly focused. You’re focusing on making a systematic good change in this world that you’re not even in the game. I have all these people I’ve been meeting through a guy that works for me, he’s in the social media scene. There’s this one pretty boy, his name’s Sean. I was like, “He’s a pretty boy with a gazillion followers. He got this brand deal with Acura.” The guy looks like he’s got it going on. What’s interesting is I don’t respect this guy. I don’t like him because he is using all of his good looks and all of his charisma and all of his everything to take care of himself.
I don’t even think he’s in the game yet because he’s not outwardly focused. He’s not like, “I got myself situated here. How can I make an effective change in this world for God’s kingdom?” He claims to be a believer. How can I do that? Until he does that, he doesn’t have my respect. What’s funny is this guy that works for me went to get a room with him, and that the very last minute when they were already looking at an apartment, the guy had to pull out because he didn’t have the money. It’s a total facade habit going on and he doesn’t have it. I’m like, “I knew it. He’s not legit.“ It’s real. Until you are outwardly focused and you got yourself situated with, “How can I put on other people’s oxygen mask?” You have no respect in my book.
We all have the ability to meet other people’s needs. It’s the three core needs that Judah Smith talked about one of the sermons. I wrote a blog about it because it was so powerful to me, “The non-obvious needs every human being has is to be seen, to be heard and to be connected to something larger than themselves.” Every single human has the ability to give someone any of those three. It takes a little bit of time and effort and energy and being able to see someone in need. It’s getting your eyes off yourself. Lanny, who I had on the show, the 83-year-old, he’s an amazing man. He read my book. I gifted him a copy and in three days he read it and gave me some feedback.
I love the quote Bill Simon said, “ I was born on third base and thought I hit a triple.” It’s like, “That’s us.” That’s you and me. We were born on third base and we thought we hit a triple. We had nothing to do with that. We had nothing to do with the family we were raised in, the place we grew up in, the people that influence us, the opportunities we were given. We have a role, but it’s a very small part of that. Most of that is given. That has to infuse a level of humility to be like, “I am what I am. Some by my own efforts more by God’s gifting of that. Ultimately, by the place I was born into.” I think the majority of people are doing what they believe is best. We all think we’re right. We all think we’re doing the best. How do we meet each other wherever they’re at and try to empower one another?
To not just try to get yours but care about something more than yourself and know that the world doesn’t revolve around you and you’re a part of something bigger. Society doesn’t help in that for sure. I want to know a little bit about what we were talking about. As Christians, there’s this tension of free will and God’s sovereignty. Are you in control of it or is God in control of it? The answer’s yes, both hands, which is often God’s answer because it’s a place of faith intention. I know you’ve been thinking more about what dependence on God looks like in a daily level of reliance on him and how that plays out in life. What is your mindset on living that out in life right now?
I go a few different ways with this. I share a few different stories. In critically assessing my own life, I love that quote about being born on third. I feel like I was born as not arrogant. I truly do acknowledge that it’s strictly a gift from God. I feel I was born three and a half. I feel that the aptitude that the Lord has blessed me, the opportunity and the parents, everything has gone right for me so far. I read about Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s the guy that never lost. I identify with that in many ways. It’s a blessing upon blessings and I had nothing to do with it.
The whole last year out of college, I tried everything to create a successful business. I am Mr. Motivated. I scraped the internet for 200 or 300 CEOs and other executives of companies around the area. As you know, you can price your book pretty low on Amazon. I have a shorter book and it’s $3.58 a book. I was like, “I’m going to risk $500 to $600. I’m going to buy my book for X number of CEOs. I’m going to hire a guy to literally buy my book and then make the addresses that I scraped from the internet.” The result of that thing, I got two or three thank you emails, but no speaking gigs, no clients, maybe some people know my name. Maybe I’ll harvest that later. Honestly, that didn’t work out.
The same thing was with the cryptocurrency being all craze. I was like, “There’s this influx of money flowing in a certain direction.” I noticed that a lot of cryptocurrency exchanges had an affiliate signup links where you could have your affiliate link and then get paid a small percentage as a commission for every purchase within the platform that they made from then on out. I’m like, “I know Google Ads well. I could bid on the keyword of the name of the exchange.” Let’s say it’s Binance or Pontiacs, I can bid on that word and it was a crazy high conversion rate, like a 20% to 30% conversion rate. People are signing up with my affiliate link because I was running ads on that. I set all this up and in one hour I blew through $200, which got me great quality scores. My cost per click was down to $0.20. I was doing the math on a 20% cost per click. 20% of them becoming actual signup, so it’s $1 per signup. I’m doing back of the napkin estimates on like, “I blew through $200, I’d imagine at least double this.”
I turned to Rainy. I’m like, “We did it. We are financially free.” I figured out this system. I can’t believe it. I was struggling for eight months up until then. I was like, “It’s done. We’re good. Praise God.” My account got frozen from Google because I spent too quickly and they hadn’t verified my counselor. They did a manual audit in my account. It took three days and over the next three days one by one, I had my commission taken from me from each exchange because apparently, it’s illegal to bid on the name of the exchange and Google Ads. They saw that the traffic came from PPC. I was like, “Thank God, I only blew through a couple of hundred bucks. I’m back in this, I got to make money.”You can't be too cool for everything. You have to move the chips in a certain direction and then start building. Click To Tweet
I literally thought I had it resolved. Thing after thing, on my own True Tamplin volition, I tried to make myself successful. If I am running Facebook ads and I’m getting my cost per lead down to this and that’s turning out the conversion rate of that to get SEO leads. I am growing a business on my own volition. It’s like, “God’s in there, praise God to him be the glory,” but I was smart about this and I got my own leads. That was my mindset and I still will probably forever struggle with this. If I look at the clients that I have, one of my clients is my dad, Ken Tamplin, Vocal Academy. He’s crushing it on YouTube. He’s killer vocalist. I didn’t choose my dad. You don’t choose your dad. You’re born in the dad who is successful enough to have an online business that matches your skillset of doing online sales. My dad and this company EP Wealth that Steve Wiedemann gave to me as a client. You’ve got 101 Domain, I met him at a couples group. He approached me for SEO work. This other guy, PetPoint. I played this adventure game. It was called Clue Who. I met the owner. It’s a failed venture. He ended up opening up a veterinary clinic and starting a healthy dog food line.
He was pounding me, asking me to work with him just client after client. These guys all came to me and I’m sitting here like, “This is from Mr. Motivated Speaking. This is from Mr. Initiate Movement and Generate Leads.” I tried everything to try and make my own business successful. One by one, the Lord walked people into my life to become clients of mine. That’s the only way my business has scaled, has been from leads coming into my life through God directly. I’m not saying God wouldn’t have gotten the glory at the end of the day for using my smarts, putting the ambition within me to generate my own leads. It’s a secondary effect of God being secondarily responsible for generating leads. It was like, “At the end of the day, I did this.” All of the successes that I’ve had have all been from the Lord unilaterally saying, “Here you go. I frustrate your plans when you try and do it on your own, but here’s another client that I, myself will give to you.”
It’s so amazing. We share that in a lot of ways. The first thing I thought of was it’s similar in this realm of golf performance. When I was competing, any performing art or sport, there’s a difference between practice and performance mindset. As a practice, you got to be hard on yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard. In performance, you got to let it go and perform. I would try everything I could literally the same as you to optimize everything and make sure I controlled everything and did all I could to be the best I could be and produced horrible results. There were guys all the time beating me that had way less skill or talent. I should be beating these guys all the time and I’m losing consistently. It’s infuriating.
We’re trying to manufacture and control something instead of letting it happen. That’s a human level, but then you get to the spiritual level of it, then that’s even compounding even more. That’s the way God’s designed it. I was celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday. He was talking about how he’s a nine on the Enneagram. For him, he wants to take the easier path, naturally. He wants to take the path and not do work, but God’s been putting in place where literally, he has so much potential to do so much work and God’s been blessing it. It’s so unnatural for him.
Whereas for me and my sister, when we’re talking to him and we’re the complete opposite. We’re the ones similar to you in the sense that we’re going to go get it, we’re going to achieve, accomplish and acquire. God’s like, “That’s not what I need from you. I need you to depend and trust me.” He gives us what we need, but it’s not what we want 100%. It is so humbling too, but it’s also freeing. For you, as you’ve realized that, what is helpful for you in maintaining that? That’s the thing I struggle with. How do I daily live in light of that when I don’t want to? Because a lot of times we don’t want to.
I honestly think, the Lord first needed to drill this into my thick skull. I think it clicked maybe a couple of years when I almost generate my own SEO leads and then I start to slip into that. He’ll probably have to dunk me underwater again because I’m pretty dumb when it comes to this stuff of resting on my own strength. I will say though, in my marriage, there have been a handful of things where the Lord has created that dependency. The marriage didn’t know this on the front side, but it has generated a lot of dependency for me. To answer the question of like, “How do you stay in that state?” I feel God can use non-business ways to keep me dependent on him, one of which is his marriage.
I’ve been a believer all my life and I have never felt I needed God. It’s so bad to say, but I never did. It was more like, I am going to will my way up to excellence and success and then when I’m on the microphone I am going to point, “It’s all thanks to God.” At the end of the day in my heart of hearts, I believe it was on me. I feel he has been teaching me this whole dependence thing. I had to be faithful to all my clients and to often work late nights and work hard to keep them. In order to grow, I had to keep my clients so that when I added a new one, it was a plus-one not like, “I lost one.” In my marriage, I would say there have been a number of instances. One that sticks out to me in particular, got into it with Rainy. She 100% thought the issue was with me and I was 100% convinced that the issue was on her.
The only thing I was required, not asking, was an apology for what she did. Because she felt it was 100% on me, she’s thinking the same thing. One thing I do suck at is moving on. I am such a bad actor. We try to hug afterward and it’s so fake and she knows it. It’s painful and it’s cringy. She knows I’m not moved on and we’re not resolved. She’s not going to be able to sleep. I’ll pass it out. I already know, I’ve not moved on at all. The one thing that I need to move on is a simple acknowledgment and apology for what she did wrong. For the first time ever, I learned what it means to be dependent on God. I don’t know how I would’ve done it without God for the first time ever.
I went into my room. You can play this Christian game and do the middle school and do Bible studies and all this stuff and not have a relationship with him. I’m not saying that was me. I do. There are critical moments where it’s resting on your own strength, to turn to God in low times and proving where you reside on the whole God thing. At this moment, I need to be on my hands and knees right now and pray this out. The only thing within my will is to put on the best front that I know how to put on of, “I’m fine.” She’s very perceptive, she’s going to see right through it. My will could not allow me to move on. It only could control my tongue, not say anything dumb and fake smiles like I have moved on. She totally could see right through.
This was something in my heart too deep for me to will my way out of. I prayed and asked the Lord. It’s like you’re gardening and you pull out a plant and you don’t cut it, you pull out the roots of it. By pleading with God, I had the sensation of him ripping the pain or anger. It was eliminated. It was cleansed, uprooted and all of the little dingley roots out of my heart. I walked out of that ten to fifteen minutes later, I turned to Rainy and I said, “I love you. I’m completely fine. I don’t want an apology. I’m good.” Which was the only thing I wanted. I think she saw that I was good. My will, I’m very strong-willed is capable of, “Yes, don’t do stupid. Don’t say something you’re going to regret in the heat of the moment in the fight.” That’s in my will, I can control that.
I did control that. When she deeply hurts me, I can also control too to an extent how I present myself, the smiles. She’s very perceptive. I could not control where my heart truly lay and I was still frustrated and unable to get over it. When I sought the Lord, he uprooted the thing at the roots. I was able to walk out of the room and be free from it. I’m sitting here thinking, “Without God, how does someone do this?” That’s when I realized, I think they don’t. I think people sweep it under the rug and let that thing build up. Not one of those but twenty years’ worth of those build up and then as soon as the kids are out of the house, they part ways. I think that is the sequence.
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I got a great memory, especially for things that offend me. I don’t think I ever would’ve forgotten them. I think it could have been twenty years later that I would have still been holding onto that thing if the Lord himself did not come into my heart and uproot the thing. To answer your question, there are some things that I’m realizing. I depend on God for some things because there are limits to what my will allow me to affect within my own heart.
It’s a sweet story, I love it. It’s so true, too, because we cannot love until we first receive love. We cannot truly forgive at that level until we’ve received forgiveness. That’s the power of redemption and that’s a power that we get to give to others because God gave it to us first. What do we need to focus on? It is receiving because we suck at receiving. I suck at receiving, I can speak for myself in that. It’s so hard for me to accept grace. It’s so hard for me to say, “I don’t need to earn, achieve or acquire this. I need to receive it.” That’s what empowers us and be like, “I can give this to anyone because it was given to me.” We all get it backward so often.
I think the path of dependence is everyone’s on a unique journey. Everyone’s struggle is going to be a little different in that. We have to know where we suck at it and where we need to lean. God will show us. He’s faithful to do that. Look at that good Bible characters. I’m reading through Daniel. I forgot about this story. Nebuchadnezzar, when he first has this dream, he calls all of the enchanters, magicians and calls them to him. He says, “I need you not only to tell me the interpretation of the dream, but I also need you to tell me what my dream was. If you don’t, you’re all dead. Every single one of you.” He puts a degree out and then the guy goes around and is going for Daniel and his friends because they were part of the company, which is interesting. Daniel and his friends were some of the best chief magicians and sorcerers of the time. Daniel’s like, “What’s the deal here?” He’s like, “Go tell the King that I want to see him and talk to him about his dream.”
He goes to his home. He’s like, “We’re going to pray and seek God because I don’t know.” What an amazing act of faith? He’s so dependent on God that he’s willing to take a step of faith and know God will show up and then seek and depending on him. I was like, “I don’t know if I could do that” It is cool to see that it is something that he works in each one of us individually. It’s going to be the path to deeper communion with God. This is the path of deeper communion even your spouse. Even for me, I’m in a relationship, it’s like, “I suck at depending on another human, but it’s so good.” It’s so healing, refreshing and encouraging, but it’s hard. It’s been a wild ride. I love ending with some one-offs here that are always fun. What do you want to do less often, more often or not at all?
I want to do less computer work. I’m behind the computer a lot. I see my eyesight going a little bit. I had ten/twenty vision, which is eagle-eye which is a lot better than twenty/twenty. Now, it’s getting bad. I want to be on the computer less because it doesn’t give me a lot of life, which the opposite of that is more people work. I want to do more public speaking. I want to do more mentoring. I want to start. We live in LA. There’s a lot of successful people here. Systematically doing favors for people in high places and getting in there might be a direction that I’m moving into, and the last one is not at all. The public enemy number one for me is pride.
As the Lord, single-handedly grows my own SEO business, the thing I keep in check most constantly is my pride. If I could choose one vice to get rid of, you were asking what’s the number one thing you want to stop doing? It’s one thing I want out is pride because that will be the thing that God says, “We’re going to take you out of your little successful state there and you’re going to sit on the sideline until you’re ready to be humble again.” I am going to, hopefully, allow the Lord to work on that one.
What brings you joy?
The thing that brings me the most joy is seeing souls saved and reconciled with their savior. Secondarily peoples being saved holistically. I’m in hot pursuit of wealth creation so that I can put those dollar worth. I believe that if I’m financially backed by my own bank account, with a lot of money funding my nonprofit or whatever it is that I start after this, I’m going to affect a lot more change in this world starting right now. If I believed truly that I was supposed to forsake work or maybe just work with one client that can afford to cover my expenses and spend the rest of the time not building wealth, but rather making every day count, holding doors open, running coffees, passing out gift cards, ministering to people, not aggravated on the street corner, but loving on people. That is a strategy and whatever strategy I implement, you can tell I’m going balls to the wall. I would be game to live an entire life of doing that. Figure it out in the least time possible. Pretty smart guy. In one day how can I cover my income? The other six I’m out there doing direct ministry. That is a viable option. I do not believe that that’s my best strategy. I’m in the process of creating a lot of wealth because the thing that gives me the most joy is seeing lives changed. Nothing gives me even close to that amount of joy.
What book or books have had the biggest impact on you so far?
A great one that you’ve probably all read, the Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. You go into it thinking, “I’m going to learn how to manipulate people.” When you read the book, you are taught that the only way to influence people is to be a great listener and to uplift and to forsake ego. All it does is hooks you because you think, “I’m going to learn how to influence people.” The only way to influence people is to be all the things I think Christ wants us to be. Great listeners, radically loving people, radically forsaking ego. In terms of percentage of my worldview, if you could even do that because that’s your paradigm or your mindset, your view. I don’t feel you can slice it up, but a lot of how I operate out of is the principles found in that book.
If you could send a morning text reminder to every up and comer out there that get this short message from you, what would you say and why? What’s a daily reminder from True Tamplin?
You’re going to get some Christian from me guys because I am a Jesus guy. It would be a text update of influencing you that because of your faith if you’re a believer that it is much greater and more intense motivator. Not a handicap. Not like you already got the A so you can casually write whatever essay you please. You’ve received the A because you received grace. You have Jesus Christ himself filling your love tank. That is the thing that can motivate you more than anything else that will get you up in the morning. That is the thing that will motivate you more than anything else. That is the thing and the reason why you ought to strive for excellence.
Being outside of college, it’s weird because I’ve been grinding, working crazy hours. It has flown by and I am so scared to arrive 30 years later from now and end up being mediocre. I wanted total world domination here. The thing filling me each and every morning is the knowledge that Jesus Christ loves me. I’m so sick of Christians specifically Biola, maybe master’s was the same of people viewing that as the handicap for why they can coast, “I’m good. I already know where I’m going when I die.” They think it’s the reason why Christianity is shrinking. Churches are closing up shop and it’s not consolidating into megachurches gathering around great talent. It’s because people aren’t driven and motivated by the radical love of Jesus Christ and emulating him on a daily basis. If you’re getting a text from me in the morning, it’s going to be a reminder that because Jesus loves you, because of his radical love and his radical grace shown towards you should take advantage of it.
He gave his life so you get to give yours. Where do people get to connect with you? Find out more about your book or your work or even your business, what’s the best place to send people?
You can google my name. You’ll find my site TrueTamplin.com. I got my book published a few places, a short read. I consolidated that down from 200 pages down to 70 pages so you can read it in one sitting. It was going after executives, the name of the book is Raising An Executive: Igniting Your Son’s Inner Executive To Outperform His Peers and Continue Your Legacy. You don’t have to be a parent to read it, but you’ll enjoy it.
Thanks again. It has been a blast, until next time.
- True Tamplin
- Raising An Executive: Igniting Your Son’s Inner Executive To Outperform His Peers and Continue Your Legacy
- iTunes – The Up and Comers Show
- Patreon – The Up and Comers Show
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- Extreme Ownership
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Good City Mentors
- Vocal Academy – Ken Tamplin
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