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012 I never planned to host a podcast show- one of many curiosities on the road of practicing Chinese medicine • Michael Max
Episode 122nd January 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:04:47

Shownotes

This episode started out as a short solo show to give you a sense of what to expect from Qiological in the coming year. 

Then a friend who I wanted to interview for the show said, "Actually, I'd like to interview you. I've got some questions about the background of your podcast show, and what motivates and fuels you through the various projects I've seen you undertake over the years." 

So today's show is not only gives you a glimpse of what's ahead, but also a peek behind the microphone. 

Listen in and find out how I stumbled onto the idea for Qiological Podcast, how curiosity and failure make for a potent prescription for learning and creativity, and why running into resistance is not a sign you're on the wrong path, but rather the right one.

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

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The medicine of east Asia is based on a science that does not hold itself,

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separate from the phenomena that it seeks to understand our medicine

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did not grow out of Petri dish experimentation or double-blind studies.

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It arose from observing nature and our part in it.

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Chinese medicine evolves not from the examination of debt structures, but

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rather from living systems with their complex mutually entangled interactions.

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Welcome to chia logical.

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I'm Michael.

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The host of this podcast that goes in depth on issues, pertinent to

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practitioners and students of Chinese medicine, dialogue and discussion have

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always been elemental to Chinese medicine.

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Listen into these conversations with experienced practitioners that go deep

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into how this ancient medicine is alive and unfolding in the modern clinic.

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Hello everybody.

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Welcome to Sheila.

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Today's episode started out as a solo show.

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It's the beginning of the new year.

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At least as we count it here in the west.

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And I wanted to let you know what she qiological has in store for you.

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Here in the coming new year, these past four months have been sort of a pilot

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for me to see if this series, which is specifically geared to practitioners

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of east Asian medicine, would be of interest to the practitioners of the art.

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The answer has come back with a resounding yes, so much so that I've decided

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to move the show from bimonthly to.

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You can make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to

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geological on iTunes or wherever you like to stream your podcasts.

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Like most of you, my work is centered around my clinical practice.

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You know?

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Most of us practice by ourselves and depending on where we live, how we

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structure our days, we may or may not have an opportunity to chew the fat with

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other practitioners, learn something about their clinical observations, or

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have a chance to share something we've discovered in our patient encounters.

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With qiological, I'm seeking to bring you the voices and experience of practitioners

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who have been marinated long enough in practice to have a point of view, that's

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unique to them to bring you some new ideas and different perspectives that might

Speaker:

help to Enlive in your clinical practice and to create a space for our community

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and essence, to have an opportunity to listen to itself and to create a forum

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where we can learn from one another.

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So often we spend our days going deep in one-on-one encounters with our patients.

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But how often do we get a chance to share what we've learned with our colleagues?

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One of my intentions with qiological is to give us a place to share some of

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what we've learned with our colleagues and those who are in the process of

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learning the healing arts of east Asia.

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In just a couple of minutes, my friend Paula Campanelli, who's a devoted student

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of shiatsu, Chinese herbal medicine in the Chinese language will be joining.

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Astute readers of the journal of Chinese medicine will recognize her name is one

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of the editors of that fine publication.

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Originally I planned on today's show, just being this really short solo show here

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at the beginning of the new year, as a way to give you a sense of what you can

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expect from qiological in the coming year.

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But recently, Paula and I were going through some lines of the

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Shanghai loan as explained by Dr.

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Fung Sherlyn, who lives in.

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By the way I'll have an interview about Dr.

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methods for you later in February, this particular perspective was started by Dr.

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Hershey Shaw, who was a Shanghai moon expert in the last century.

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Dr.

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Fung is one of his main students and Dr.

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Hershey shoe had a different perspective on how to view and use

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the six levels that really will probably bend your mind a little bit.

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And it's really useful in clinical practice, but.

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More about that show in February.

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Anyway, I was thinking of asking Powell that to be on the show, you know, as a

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shiatsu practitioner, I suspect she has particularly skilled hands when it comes

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to understanding channels and points.

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She however, turned the tables on me and said she had some questions for me

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and about what got me going and what got me started with this podcast series.

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So.

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Today here at the start of the Western year.

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In the beginning of qiological coming to you on a weekly basis, the ever

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thoughtful and inquisitive , we'll be your guest host and you'll get

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yours truly as the guest of the show.

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But first, a couple of quick reminders before we start.

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If you find qiological to be helpful, please take a moment and visit the

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website where you can click on the link that will take you to the iTunes page.

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And there you can rate and review the show, writing a few words in your iTunes.

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Helps other practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncture to find the

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show and find these resources that you've been finding to be helpful.

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I'd also love to hear your comments and feedback, and to also know what

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topics you'd like to hear more about, and also suggestions for practitioners

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that you'd like to have on the show.

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You can send me an email from the website.

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Finally, if you have comments that you'd like to share with our

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community or practitioners, visit geological goals, Facebook page,

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and leave your thoughts over there.

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Thanks again for listening.

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Dodgers Shinya and Kyla happy new year y'all.

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And now without further ado, here's all the Campanella

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pointing the microphone at yours.

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Truly.

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Uh, I'm a Chinese medicine and shiatsu practitioner and teacher, and I've

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met Michael in 2006 in a very small restaurant in Chengdu opposite the

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Chinese medicine, uh, university hostile.

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And, uh, I think Michael, you were visiting China at that time.

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You weren't living there.

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And I wasn't a short, uh, three months study period.

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And that meeting was, um, key to maturing the decision I had

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playing with at the time to go back to China for a much longer time.

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So, uh, we've known each other since then.

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And, uh, Yeah.

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So today I'm happy to be here at qiological and have the

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opportunity to interview.

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Yes.

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I'm happy to have you here at qiological with the opportunity to interview it.

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You know, it was so funny.

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Cause I remember saying Paula, I'd love to have you on the show and you go,

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well, actually I'd like to interview you.

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I've got some questions.

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Yeah.

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So I do.

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I do.

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So can I just start with one.

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Well, actually I is a good choice.

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There is a few that, um, well, one is, is geological.

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This name is intriguing and I have my own interpretation of it, but I'm really

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curious to hear where that name came from.

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And, um, how you say it?

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Uh, yeah, the name that's.

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This is, this is a good story.

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At least in my opinion, it's a good story.

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You know, I do a clinic newsletter.

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I write once a month and I've got a mailing list and I send it out to

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patients and actually it goes to lots of other people at this point and that

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monthly musing on medicine that I do, it always comes from what's unfolding

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and happening in my clinic questions.

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People come to me with insights.

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My patients have insights.

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I get, I mean, there's always so much in clinic that shows.

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You know, it's just sort of stirs my imagination, stirs my heart.

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I get so much rich material and the name qiological came out, came from my clinic.

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I've got this patient who is this incredible artist with rod iron.

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She's she's a poet.

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I mean, just the way she speaks is phenomenal.

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Very, very interesting person.

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I love her dearly.

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She gets off the table one day and she, she goes and she's and she's from Britain.

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So she goes, wow.

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Michael max, what was that?

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That was absolute.

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That treatment was absolutely cheer logical, and I go chill logic.

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Huh, and I just, I love the word.

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So I wrote it down cause I didn't want to forget it.

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And I had no idea what I do with it, but I just, I loved the word.

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And so it sat on a post-it note on my desk really for months, because

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I was just stewing on the word.

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And then as I was trying to come up with a name for the podcast, I came across

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that post-it note and I went, yup.

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That's it.

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So that's where it comes from.

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Yeah.

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Wonderful.

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A, a treatment, a creative patient and, uh, a podcast project

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that was waiting for a name.

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Exactly.

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Yes, yes.

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Yeah.

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A number of influences that just sort of came to fruition all at the same time.

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Yeah, well, you know, this podcast qiological is the second, uh, podcast

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you embark on the first one being everyday occupy acupuncture the podcast.

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And since I've known you, you been creating, uh, or engaging

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in a series of projects, amazing projects, one after the other.

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And this is actually a thing.

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The key, uh, Reason why I thought I'd really like to interview you.

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So I might miss some, but you know, since we've known each other, you've

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translated the Hong Kong book on the 10 formula families, which was

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a huge and Daver and you created a website and you created a newsletter.

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Which is, I mean, the name doesn't really do it.

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Justice is something different and yeah, it's not quite a newsletter,

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but let's call it that the newsletter.

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And then the two podcasts.

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That we've mentioned.

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So I think many people, uh, have brewing ideas and creative projects, and some of

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us managed to us some out sometime, but like, you've been incredibly productive.

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And so I've got loads of questions around that, but one of them is, uh,

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what allows you to cultivate your ideas and bring them into reality?

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Like, Wow.

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You know, it's so interesting hearing you phrase, this question mentioned

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the things that I've been doing.

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I, I often don't think about it that way.

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I'm just me doing what I do, but where does that come from?

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I've had some other people mentioned that from time to time.

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Um, some of it comes from kind of an innate curiosity.

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About things.

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And I think I'm one of those people I learned more from experience.

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Then I, I mean, I, I love to read books and I love to, to get information from

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other places, but I learned more from my experience than from reading things.

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And I learned more from my own experience than I do from other people's

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experience, which actually gets me into a lot of hot water from time to

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time because, you know, it's like I have to go bang my head on that wall

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to really find out about that wall.

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So.

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I guess I've also got a bit of fortitude in that I'm willing to

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have tons of failure in service of discovering something interesting.

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Um, and in some ways it's only failure, you know, if you stop, there's,

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there's always something to learn.

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And I'm just kind of curious about things.

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And I like to make things I've always liked to make things.

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I mean, when I was a kid, I think it was in the seventh or eighth grade.

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I remember taking a shop class.

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In junior high school where we made things, right.

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I made like fireplace took, gosh, I can remember this.

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I made fireplace tools.

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I made a little bookshelf, uh, probably some other stuff, but those are the

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things that I emotionally remember.

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And.

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I loved that shop class.

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I loved it to pieces because I loved making things.

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And I remember talking to my parents about how much I loved it.

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And I wanted to continue taking shop classes and they were horrified

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and they wouldn't allow me to do it because when you're not working

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with your hands, you're a smart kid.

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You're a nice Jewish boy.

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You're going to work with your, with your mind.

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You're going to college, but I've always enjoyed making things.

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And I think some of this comes from that sense of, I want to create some.

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And partly for my own enjoyment and pure pork pleasure of discovery.

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And increasingly as I get older, because I want to be able to contribute

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something and you know, I've been in Chinese medicine, I've been a student

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of Chinese medicine for 20 years and, you know, creating something for my

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community, creating something that.

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It makes the difference is important to me.

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And the other thing that I have found, you know, like, especially with the long,

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long book and now with, with the podcast series, um, I love my clinical work and

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I, and I do my clinical work every day.

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Well, not every day, but five days a week.

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And I can basically help one person at a time, which is wonderful.

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And I love the work, but.

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I can only help one person at a time.

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And when I do things like translate books, or hopefully with qiological

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here, I'm hopefully able to help other practitioners help their patients.

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So I can be in service of just more than one person at a time.

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So I think those are some of the influences.

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That drive me in this, um, that along with I don't watch much

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television, I prefer to read books.

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I, life is short and I, and I guess the bottom line too, is that doing these

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kinds of things really invigorates me.

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I mean, it gives me energy.

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It gives me juice.

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I can get up at five 30 in the morning, meditate for a bit, and

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then jump into working on the, on the qiological website to make it better.

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You know, for a half hour before I sit down to breakfast and then go to

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work and these kinds of activities do not take away from my energy

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or take away from my attention.

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They, they add to what I do in the day.

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So it gives me energy to do these things.

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And I think that's why.

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Um, yeah, I mean, uh, I am, I can, I can relate that to my experience of your work.

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And I think there is a science, uh, I've never had a sense that you

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were, um, creating a project, right.

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Um, there is always a sense that you are working on your

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path and you're undertaking projects that, um, interests you.

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You want to learn something from them and, and the that's my perspective on

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it and that, um, the deadline that you might have, or the goal you might have

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of presenting that to a larger public might be, you know, maybe the fire or

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parts of the fire that accelerates the process or that coagulates the process.

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Right?

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Yeah.

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I find deadlines are really wonderful for focusing on.

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Yeah.

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And as you were talking, I remember two projects that I

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hadn't mentioned and one was a, uh, course to help, uh, acupuncturists

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to have a good presence online.

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Um, yeah.

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Tell me about that lab.

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Oh God, that was, that was like an epic fail.

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Oh, yeah.

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Was, oh my God.

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I put in tons of time on that thing, time, sweat, blood, tears, money.

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I had a professional editor go over all my, all my written material and dialogue.

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Yeah.

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And I, oh my God, I I'm going to put a summer in on that thing.

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And I, it just didn't do well.

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Commercial.

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I mean, people just were not that interested in it.

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And I, I mean, I really thought I had a great thing with that.

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I thought, you know, I was going to teach acupuncturist to do their own search

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engine optimization on their website.

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Right.

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I mean, this is a service, lots of people go out and pay hundreds of dollars

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for, and then are, you know, not that crazy about the results that they got.

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And there's actually some very easy things that I thought that people

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could do, but it's a DIY sort of thing.

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You got to do it yourself and you got to put in the time and it takes

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some time to get your website.

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You've got, you know, fixed up in a certain way and with the right kind

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of content written in the right way.

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And.

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Google will naturally find you in local searches for particular keywords.

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And I had a few friends tests.

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But I really should have had more people test it, and I really should have tested

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my testers and paid attention to how many people completed the testing,

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because actually not a lot of people did.

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I should have learned earlier on that.

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There really wasn't an audience for this kind of thing.

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I mean, I thought it was a good idea.

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And I was like, Hey, it's a great idea.

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Full steam I had.

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And then not much happened after that.

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Whether you have a, not an audience for something, is that something

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you would find out through tests?

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I think there are ways to test it and see if people are actually interested.

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I mean, just cause I've got an idea floating in my head

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doesn't mean it's a good idea.

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I have ideas all the time.

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Uh, I think yes, from a business point of view from a.

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A sustainability point of view.

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It's probably better to test things early and see if there's really an

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interest that people have in something.

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So for, let me give you an example of something that's working better.

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Um, geological for instance, is doing much better and I didn't even think

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about, I mean, the idea to do qiological.

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I mean, I didn't, I didn't need to do a second podcast.

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I mean, You know, it's not if I got a ton of spare time, but the reason I

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started to do qiological was because I noticed that with everyday acupuncture,

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Even though I made it for the general public, the idea was to create this, to

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help educate people in case they were thinking about acupuncture and, and

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ideally give them some things that they could do on their own to help themselves.

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What I found out was lots of practitioners and lots of students were listening to

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everyday acupuncture, lots of people.

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And.

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Uh, so there's this part of me that had this itch for, well, what about a

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show where we could go like really deep and geeking into the medicine and make

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something specifically for practitioners?

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I mean, they're already listening into this thing that I didn't, I

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thought would be too simple for them.

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So I decided to do this pilot with qiological.

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Know, which I, I launched it at the end of August of 2017.

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And, uh, we're having this conversation here in December of

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2017 and yeah, next year it goes from, by monthly to weekly because

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there's just that amount of interest.

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I know it's been very surprising.

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Yeah.

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Can you give us an idea of how many people did you know how many

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people are listening to qiological?

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Well, at this point, There have been.

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I w I was looking at the stats the other day.

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I think there's been about 7,000 downloads of shows over, you

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know, between August and now.

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Yeah.

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And every time a new one goes out, a few more people listen.

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So it, th the, the listenership is building.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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What about everyday occupy?

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Well, I keep doing it.

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I used to do it more often, but now, uh, I've dialed it back to one show.

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Yeah, that that's something I love to do.

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Again, I'm delighted that practitioners and students listen, I'm delighted

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that they find value there.

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My audience and my goal with that is as it was in the beginning,

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which is to give everyday people.

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Uh, a glimpse into something that might be helpful for them.

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You know, a lot of times people will go onto Google and

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they'll, they'll do a search.

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It's like, uh, you know, acupuncture for menstrual pain or whatever,

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acupuncture for acid reflux.

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And then, you know, they'll come up with something and sometimes

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what they'll come up with.

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No.

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Because the SEO is pretty good on, on everyday acupuncture.

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They'll come up with a podcast show that is about the condition that they've got,

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that they would like to get treated, or they would like to get better.

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And hopefully I'm providing them with some resources that

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will help them in the moment.

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Right.

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Because usually the practitioners, I interview have some things that people

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can try, but also to give them the idea.

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You know, there's something beyond drugs, there's something beyond supplements.

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There's, there's something else out there that might help them and maybe

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encourage them to go find a practitioner.

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Yeah.

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I like that in I've listened to quite a few of the Aboriginal acupuncture podcast

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and I really appreciated or noticed yeah.

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And appreciated when you brought the question to.

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A practical thing that people could do, you know, simply at home, it was like a

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recurrent theme podcast after podcast.

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And, uh, yeah, it was great to have that.

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Yeah.

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This, this together, this is a recurrent theme and you know, and back to that

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SEO thing for a moment, the epic fail.

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I just want to mention this for our practitioners that are listening.

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Yes.

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Do this with your website, right?

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If you create content on your website, specifically dealing with an issue,

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and then in that content, be sure to give the readers something that they

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might be able to do on their own.

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Right?

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Give them something that might actually help them stay out of the doctor's office.

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And, and that even includes yours.

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Be generous, give them something like that.

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And I found it really helpful because number one, if we can

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help people without ever meeting them, we're really doing our job.

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And number two, it's just helpful to be generous that way.

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Um, and it shows your expertise.

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So it's one of the great ways to make your website, make your phone ring a little

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more often, if you do that kind of writing and it, Google picks that stuff up.

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And then if people are searching for a certain problem and they find you,

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they're going to be really happy that they found you because they found

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someone who's intelligent, who's generous with their information.

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And clearly knows their stuff.

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So if they're looking for a practitioner, they're probably good.

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You're going to go to the top of their mind, generally speaking.

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Mm.

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Yeah.

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And it, and it shows the practical side of Chinese medicine.

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You know, when, when you give simple, practical advice, it

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became, it becomes something that can be part of people's life.

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It's understandable to a mysterious practice.

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You know, that practitioners are in charge of.

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Yeah, it takes, it takes the mysteriousness out of Chinese medicine,

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which, you know, it's so easy to have that because folks in the west just

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don't know that much about Chinese medicine, especially here in America.

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So you've mentioned.

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Yeah.

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You mentioned, you know, failures.

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I I'd like to put that into inverted comments and, and obviously, you

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know, there's been a lot of successes, uh, and you know, there is, there's

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a famous quote, you know, we learn from failure, not from success.

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We actually think we learn from both are like the yin and yang of learning.

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If you want.

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Um, yeah.

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So I wonder, you know, in this path of yours, especially, I'm thinking

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about the, um, uh, podcast experience.

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Um, can you talk about some of the learning experiences, you know, whether

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they can be labeled as failures or successes that, um, that you've you've

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had, that's been important for you?

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Um, Hm.

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Let me chew on that for a moment.

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Here are some failures with this, it, oddly enough, with the podcast series,

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these things have just sort of rolled along with their own head of steam.

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And I wouldn't say I've had any big fires like I had with the, with the SEO project.

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Um, but I do have constant and continuous loop.

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With this.

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Tell us about that.

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So, okay.

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So for example, and some of this is like self-development stuff.

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This is some of this is just stuff I've learned about myself.

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So, um, a lot of people think I'm an extrovert, but the

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truth is I'm an introvert and.

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You know, introverts.

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It's not that we're not friendly and it's not that we're not

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interested in being out in public.

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It's it's just that we get our energy more from being quiet.

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Then, um, a lot of socialization and an activity.

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And when I first started doing the podcast everyday acupuncture in particular,

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there's this part of me that kept thinking, oh yeah, I'm kind of a shy guy.

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And I kept remembering the voice that I had when I was 13.

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I first heard it on a tape recorder and I thought that was my voice still.

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And, and as I did the podcast and started to listen to it and do the editing, I was.

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Wow.

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This does not sound like that 13 year old me, I assume.

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Surprisingly.

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I mean, you think I would've noticed it a little earlier, right?

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So some of it is, is it's just recognizing, just in set, I've traveled.

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Some of it is just, you know, we're talking about creativity

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and like making things.

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Uh, how much I enjoy that.

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And so doing interviews and learning how to do interviews over time has been

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a lot of fun and a lot of learning.

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Uh there's actually, there have been a couple of interviews.

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I remember recording them and thinking, you know, that was a fun talk,

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but this is not podcast material.

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So, so there's, there's been some of those, not many.

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Um, but I think that's part of the process.

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Sometimes you have a good idea and you think, wow, this is a great topic

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and, and we're going to do this.

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And then I go back and I, and I listened to it and I go, yeah, nah, good idea.

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But that doesn't pass muster.

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Again, I think it's been more about noticing little things along the

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way and continuous improvement.

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So little tweaks to the website, uh, change as well.

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Uh, for example, one of the things that I started doing with people, I w I'm really

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becoming a stickler about sound quality.

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And so in the past, if a person didn't have a microphone or earbuds or something,

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and they were just using the microphone on their computer, I thought, well, you know,

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it's not great, but it's just a podcast.

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A lot of people have podcasts that sound that way.

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But over time I've decided no, that's, that's not the way to do it.

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It, I think out of respect to the listener, Sound quality is important.

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It's not like audio it's, I'm sorry.

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It's not like a video or not like being in person where you can

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pick up all kinds of other context clues and cues about communication.

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When it's just audio.

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It's just the voice.

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I think any obstructions in that channel become obstructions to the

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content and obstructions to people, really being able to sit in, you

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know, and dig into the conversations.

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So.

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Over time.

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I've I've slowly been working on improving the sound quality.

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I think that's important.

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It does.

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It does make a difference, uh, listening to good sound quality.

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It, there is a level of relaxation, you know, in the list in the

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focus of the listening that can happen, which is, I think is very

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difficult to achieve as a listener.

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You know, when the quality.

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It's not as, as good.

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Yeah.

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Well, I, I listened to a fair number of podcasts, partly because I'm interested

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in partly because, you know, I like to learn from other people if I can, and,

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and some I've listened to some podcasts and the content is amazing and I love

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it, but the sound quality is so bad.

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I can't listen for long because I just get irritated or frustrated.

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So I'm striving to.

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Allow people to have that frustration experience with this one.

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Yeah.

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So apart from good sound quality, what, what are the things that, the

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qualities that you appreciated or you're appreciating other podcasts?

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The ones you listen?

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Ah, that's a good question.

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I liked the ones that really feel like a conversation.

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That really feel like people having a dialogue, which I feel we're

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doing right now, this podcast I've listened to where they're clearly,

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I've got a set of questions.

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I'm asking the question and I'm now listening to the response.

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Okay.

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Very good.

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Next question.

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I find those again.

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There may be good content that comes out of it, but there's.

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So, what I'm looking for with these podcasts really is to sit down with

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another practitioner, you know, like we do, like we hang out over tea or we

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hang out over a meal or we hang out over a microphone as we're doing right now.

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Um, but to capture conversations that actually matter to capture

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conversations that allow something to be learned, something to be

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expressed in something to be.

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Yeah.

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It's like being invited to listen in, in someone else's conversation.

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Yes.

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Yeah.

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That's, that's what I'm trying to create with us.

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Yeah.

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I had no idea.

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It was kind of an audio geek as well, but it's, uh, that part

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is, is starting to show itself.

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Um, and what about the development of the topics?

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Is this random, so people will come random, you know, people come your

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way, practitioners get recommended to you and you interview them.

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Or are you following, um, a thread or a, how, how is that going?

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Yeah.

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Okay.

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That's that's also a great question.

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So it's starts with just interests that I have.

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Right.

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Maybe a book that I've read.

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So for example, um, I interviewed the fellow who wrote sparking the

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machine while back on everyday.

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I kept puncture podcasts because I read the book and I went,

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wow, this is really cool stuff.

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He's looking at embryology to talk about.

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Uh, Chinese physiology and to help show us how Chinese physiology actually

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has an embryo logical underpinning.

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I thought that is brilliant.

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And so I got him on the show.

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So sometimes it's my own, just things that have caught my interest.

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I will just call people up and say, or email them and say, Hey, I'm, you

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know, we'd love to have a conversation with you about this for the podcast.

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Other people come because of recommendations from other other folks.

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Sometimes I'll be having a conversation with somebody in a podcast and they will

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mention someone else that they have found helpful or interesting or inspiring,

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or their work has been useful for them.

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And I, I write those down.

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I go check those folks out.

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And if, uh, if that spark is there for me as well, then I contact them.

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So the thing is really, I mean, as far as finding people to talk to.

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It's a very organic process and it's not unlike being in clinic

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where you kind of follow the thread of what's going on with a patient.

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And then other things just naturally arise.

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Yeah.

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So what happens after that?

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Let's say, you know, um, a, a person you're interviewing

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mentions and practitioner with a lot of experience in a field.

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And do you think, oh, that might be interesting.

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And so what happens after that?

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Well, often what I will do, especially if that practitioner knows that person

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has a personal relation with them, I will ask them to make an email introduction.

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And if, you know, from that email introduction, if the

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person is willing, then we.

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Set up a show and, and do the show.

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I don't like to talk to people very much before I sit down to do the interview.

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I mean, just, just a quick, hello, get to know you.

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Are you interested?

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If the answer is yes, then I want to really save the conversation that

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we have for doing it live on the air while doing it live on tape.

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So to speak because what I have found if.

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In-depth conversation with somebody about who they are and what they

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do when we do it for the podcast.

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It's a little bit flatter.

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That sense of discovery is missing.

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And I prefer to have that.

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So in some ways, kind of like seeing a patient for the first time, I don't want

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to know too much about them when they first come in, I want to be able to.

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Do some palpation do my Chinese diagnostics, you know, kind of

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get a sense who is this person?

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You know, what are they presenting with?

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And in terms of the Chinese medicine methods that I use to

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understand what might be happening.

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You know, and then we have the conversation, what brought them in.

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And when I do these podcast shows, I like to have a little sense.

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Oh yeah.

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This person, maybe they study a particular kind of herbal tradition

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or they've got a particular kind of acupuncture that they practice.

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That's all I need to know to get the conversation started

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because I want the conversation.

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I mean, I want to have my own sense of curiosity and

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discovery in the conversation.

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So that is right.

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So it's fresh.

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As opposed to rehearsed.

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Yeah.

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I'm not a fan of rehearsed.

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do you do any research on.

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You know, because especially for everyday acupuncture, you've, you've, um, uh,

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also interviewed people who are not Chinese medicine, um, practitioners.

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Yeah.

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Right.

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But even in Chinese medicine, there might be styles of work

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you're not so familiar with.

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So do you do any preparation in that, into that particular type

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of, um, into that background?

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Or do you throw yourself.

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I definitely do some preparation.

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If a person has a book, I want to sometimes I'll read the entire book.

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Sometimes I'll just read part of it.

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I like to look at their website.

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I like to get a bit of a sense of who they are and what they do, just so I can

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have some intelligent questions to ask.

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And then, and then I sit down and I do what I call my guiding questions.

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This is not a script, but it's a, it's a set of questions, usually five to

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seven questions that I have generated because you know, of reading their

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website or reading their work or just, you know, maybe I've heard a

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bit about the kind of medicine they practice, but I don't know a lot.

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And I have questions about it's.

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All right.

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Those questions down.

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Mostly to clarify my own thinking.

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And then I also send those along to the person, just so they've

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got an idea of a direction that I see the conversation going in.

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It's not set in stone by any means, but it's just a way of being able to start to

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connect and say, you know, here, here's kind of a thread that we can work with.

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And then I do the conversation and we see where it actually goes.

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Yeah.

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Um, I have, um, is different type of question now, uh, which is bubbling up

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and that's, um, I know you said you're an introvert in the sense that you

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can be very productive by yourself.

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And you need that space and time.

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And I also think, you know, there's, this is the saying, you know, it

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takes a village to raise a child.

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Yeah.

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Here you've had in terms of projects as a series of, uh, children.

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Um, so who's your village.

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Who's my village.

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Yeah.

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Oh, wow.

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Yeah.

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It's uh, oh God, it's so tried, but it is a global village.

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Well, you're a part of that village, you know, we've been having fun and

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interesting conversations since we met in that little restaurant in Chengdu.

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Um, I would say that my village.

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Absolutely includes my clinical practice and the patients that I see, you know,

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that that's just so much roots my day and my way of thinking about things

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and in the work that matters most.

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That's that that's where it comes from.

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Uh, the other villages is the groups of practitioners that I know, you know, I

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used to live in Seattle for a long time, and I've got lots of friends out there

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that are practitioners, and we used to hang out a lot, you know, and we we'd

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read books on medicine and drink tea and eat cookies and, you know, hang out.

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And, and if I had quite, you know, I've had questions, I could lean on them and.

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And so those relationships are really important.

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And I, and I miss those living here in the Midwest.

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In fact, in some ways, starting up these, this podcast series while starting

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up everyday acupuncture in particular was a way of being able to reach back

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out to my community of practitioners and feel like I was in touch.

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I feel a little isolated here in the American Midwest.

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And so the podcast in some ways filled.

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Sense of community that I used to have, and I didn't have there's that, uh, there

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are friends and community that I have in Taiwan that are really important to me.

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I spent a few years living in Taiwan and.

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It's still kind of a second home, even though I don't live there these days.

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Um, my heart's kind of there and there's a group of people there that I know and

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I'm close to and we talk medicine and we talk lots of other things in there.

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Part of my village in that there's a mutual sense where we inspire each other

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along and the things that we're doing and that that's a deep taproot for.

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The other village.

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Let's see, what other village would I have?

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Well, the listeners in some way, I feel like I'm doing this work to

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connect, to be connective and that, you know, that, that informs my day.

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Do you hear back from them?

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I do.

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Yeah, I'd love to hear back more.

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In fact, if you're listening and you've got comments and when you'd

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like to start a conversation, there's a Facebook page for qiological.

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You're welcome to go leave comments.

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Um, and you're welcome to send me emails.

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I do get emails from folks.

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With comments, suggestions, often a suggestion or recommendation

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for somebody that they would like to hear interviewed on the show.

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I get recommendation, well questions, actually, an inquiries for topics

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that people would like to hear about.

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And I absolutely welcome those.

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So please feel free to pop over to the.

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Website, there's a contact form there.

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You can send me an email.

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There's the Facebook page.

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You're welcome to use that.

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I'm not a huge Facebook user myself, but I, I know a lot of people are.

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And so there is a qiological Facebook page, um, and that's where I would have,

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you know, a more public comment forum.

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So there's that, but mostly it's.

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Is the method that people use to connect with me.

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And, um, and I, and I love to have conversations with the people that

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are listening, so I'm available.

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Mm I'm sure.

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That could be very rich conversations.

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I hope so.

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I mean, I get lots of great ideas for shows from people that write.

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Um, no, I mean, it's, it's, it's kinda funny actually.

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Especially when I first started up qiological here.

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I thought, oh my God, what if I can't find enough interesting people to talk to?

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Which of course it's a ridiculous and stupid idea, but it was

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running through my mind actually for months before I launched it.

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It's like, what if I can't get enough people to be on the show and.

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Well, yeah.

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Now, now I've actually got shows booked out till the end of June.

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So, you know, what, what was that, what was that that fear about?

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There wouldn't be enough people to be on the show.

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That's just a little thing called resistance.

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You know, whenever you get into some kind of creative endeavor where you actually

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want to make something or do something or make a difference in the world, resistance

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always shows up in some way, shape or form, and it just needs to be dealt with.

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Um, how did you do with that one in particular?

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Oh, I have, I have, uh, yeah, this is part of my village too, I guess.

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So there's a guy named Steven Pressfield, who is a, he's a writer.

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He's an author.

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He's done some screenplays.

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Uh, if anybody's ever watched the movie legend of bagger Vance, he wrote the

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book and evidently according to Mr.

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Pressfield, um, he hated the movie, but of course he likes his book.

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I need to go read the book.

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I, I enjoyed the movie.

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He wrote a little book called the war of art.

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Not the art of war, not the, not the Chinese classic on the strategy.

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This is the war of art.

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It's a thin little book and it's probably the book that I've given away

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to more people than any other book.

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I mean, I've gifted it to lots and lots of people.

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Sometimes I send patients home with it and he writes about the process of

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creativity, the process of creating art.

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And how we run into resistance on the way and resistance doesn't

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mean we're doing it wrong.

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Resistance is the headwind of our progress.

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In any time you set out to make a difference in this world, you're

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going to run into resistance.

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It has to show up.

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It's just the way nature works.

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And so you can't take it personally and you can't stop it and you have to be.

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Yeah, how do I phrase this?

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You have to deal, you have to deal with it in a relentless way.

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He describes the resistance as a malevolent force of nature.

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It's just part of the way nature works and it's malevolent, and it wants to

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stop us from doing our capital w work and you just have to keep plugging along

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and it's most helpful if you recognize.

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Like if I decide to start procrastinating or I fall into that

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thought pattern about, oh my God, does anybody want to be on the show?

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If I recognize it as the voice of resistance, then I can go, oh, right.

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That's resistance.

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How do I deal with resistance?

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I just take the next step forward and where I need to go.

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I just take the next step forward.

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That next step may not work out.

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It may not be the thing I actually needed to do, but it's the next step, which

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will take me to the next step, which will then take you to the next step.

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Hmm.

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This is brilliant.

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And so I hope you're going to put the, this guy's name and

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the title of his book on the.

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Qiological notes on the page dedicated to this.

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Yeah.

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And, um, I'm very, I feel very strongly about what you said.

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I'm kind of impacted by it.

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I think, I think whenever we move into the unknown, which any creative

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project requires to date, but in a lot of other things in life requires

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that it really helps to have some of.

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Yeah.

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And a guide could simply be to have an idea of what you might encounter and

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how you might want to deal with that.

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Yes, it, yeah, it just facilitates process and, and, uh, let us see

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difficulties in a very different way.

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And, and, and this strongly reminds me of my very first meditation experiences.

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You know, first I.

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Started sitting down by myself and within like 20 minutes,

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I would get really restless.

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And I thought that meant it was time to stop.

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No.

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Oh, that's when it's just beginning.

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Yeah, exactly.

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Exactly.

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And then, and then I went in, I jumped from that, you know, to, to a 10 days,

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um, the personal meditation course, and I understood really quickly because

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there was nothing else to do on this.

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You couldn't do anything else.

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That, that moment of restlessness that's when the work started, this was

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something to look at with interest.

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You know, that's, that's when you roll up your sleeves, that's not

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when, when you stand up, right, yeah.

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And completely change what, you know, what I thought and what all's doing and

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any open the universe, you know, and what you're saying is, is similar, you know?

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Okay.

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I, I come up against the block.

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Okay.

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So block, what does it mean?

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Oh, is it resistance?

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If it is resistance, then a whole set of skills and ideas might come to me as how

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I might deal with that, which is where it from, from just experiencing discomfort.

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Yeah.

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And which might mean, okay, I need to take a break or I need to give up, right?

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Yeah.

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I might need to do her.

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Oh, it's oh, this must not be the path.

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It's not, it's not coming to me.

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Yeah.

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It's not, it's not flowing well, Yeah.

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So when there's a big obstruction, you got to flow around it.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Oh, it's, you know, it's, it's so true.

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And, and I mean, I'm, I'm basically a lazy person.

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In a lot of ways.

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And, and I've often had this erroneous thought that, well, you know, if it's

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really the right path that should come with a certain amount of ease

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and sometimes it does, you know, and it's, and when it does, it's great.

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It's like, wow.

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In the flow it's happening, this is fabulous.

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But sometimes it really is hard work, you know?

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And like you say, you're, you're on your meditation cushion

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and you're getting restless.

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Oh, now's the time to get curious about the restlessness.

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Oh, right.

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It doesn't mean get up.

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Okay.

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Yeah, exactly.

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So I mean, a question that stems from that, you know, if ease is not

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a, and flu are not the factors that allow us to recognize that what that

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something that a path is, right.

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You know, what are these clues?

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Well, The first thing that comes to mind is we, and we so often come

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back to this in Chinese medicine.

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There's an in young relationship here.

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So flow indeed is a part of it.

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And if there's not periods where, where you've got this flow, you

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might want to look about changing things up because that absolutely

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needs to be there at the same time.

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There's going to be times where we do come across these seemingly in the surmount.

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Obstructions.

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And so those are the times where we recognize it's time to roll

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up our sleeves and get to work.

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The question I think becomes how do you know when to keep moving it forward?

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And how do you know when to quit?

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Because sometimes quitting is the exact right thing to do.

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Right.

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And how do you know the difference?

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How do you need to do?

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That's good.

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That's a good question.

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And I don't have a great answer for it.

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It's one of those questions that I sit with on a regular basis to some degree, I

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think it depends on where you are in the project and where you are with sort of

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your skills and goals and all this stuff.

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So let me see, how do I phrase this?

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I'm I'm pulling now on, uh, Uh, some ideas and materials from a guy named Seth Goden.

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Yeah.

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I call him uncle Seth, Seth Goden.

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I'll put some links to him on the show notes page as well.

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He's a, he's an author.

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He's a writer.

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He's a publisher.

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He's a marketer.

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He's an instigator.

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He's a rabble rouser.

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He's got a great haircut too.

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And he wears cool glasses and he's really brilliant.

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And.

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Uh, he writes, he's got a blog that he writes on every single day.

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It's usually just a couple of paragraphs, um, sometimes longer,

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but it's, it's usually worth a read.

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And he talks about this a lot about knowing when to press

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forward and when to quit.

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And I'm just, I mean, we're having this conversation at the moment.

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It's actually slipping away from me.

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Something really concise that I could say about this.

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Let me just, uh, And I just also want to comment here.

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I need to go see a patient in about 12 minutes.

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So we're going to have to wind this down pretty soon.

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Yeah, yeah.

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Um, when to quit and when to press forward that, you know, at the moment, all I'm

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coming up with is this is something that we continually have to pay attention to.

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He talks a lot about doing our art capital a.

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Right.

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As in the war of art, art, he talks about doing our art, whether our art

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is an acupuncture practice, whether it's building websites, whether it's

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building rocket ships, he talks about doing our art and working in service

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of that, creating something wonderful, handmade that comes from our heart.

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And it's something that we want to share with the.

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And to keep our focus on that and to not join in the race to the bottom.

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In other words, don't commoditize it, right?

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Don't decide I'm going to make the cheapest XYZ because you know what?

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You have to compete against Amazon.

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You will lose any time.

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He says, anytime you engage in the race to the bottom, anytime you

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engage in, I want to try to reach the biggest market at the lowest price.

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He says that that's not making.

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And so that that's one of the measures that I use.

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Can, am I working on something that has value?

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Does it have value to me?

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It does have value.

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More importantly does a value to my community.

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And am I holding myself to a higher standard?

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And the answer, if the answer is yes, then I just need to

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work through whatever resistance shows up and at a certain point.

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Like with the, uh, you know, the failed search engine optimization,

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um, website, you know, and teaching thing that I had, uh, you know, at a

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certain point, I go, you know what?

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I put a lot of energy into this and it's just not giving me enough.

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Love.

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All right, God, I'm going to put my energy into something that has juice in it.

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So I would say maybe one of the things to look at is a time to quit.

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Am I holding onto an idea or something?

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You know, I thought it was a good idea, but oh my God, it's like, you know, it's

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dead or is there something lively in it?

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If there's something lively, I'd say continue.

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And if there's not something and if there's not something lively, look into.

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Can I lively it up a bit and if the answer's no, and then just drop it.

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Mm Hmm.

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Yeah.

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Oh, it's definitely lays of life in the, in your most recent

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projects and she qiological.

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Yeah, no question about that.

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It's going to be a fun year with.

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Yeah, I, is there anything else you'd like to share with

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listeners before we say goodbye?

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Gosh, well, you know, I can ramble, but I've got a time commitment

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here because I have to go see a patient in just a few minutes.

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So, you know, just to say, uh, first of all, thank you for turning

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the tables on me and saying, Hey, Michael, max, let me interview you.

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It's um, it's, it's kind of fun to be on the other side of the microphone.

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I've had people do this from time to time.

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Over in, on everyday acupuncture.

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A while back, I had a patient say, can I interview you about herbs?

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And I thought, wow, great patients have questions about herbs all the time.

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Let's, let's do a show on that.

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So that, that was a fun one.

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So just, you know, thanks for letting me have an opportunity to, you know,

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share a little bit of, of what I think.

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You know, w what's behind this podcast that you guys are

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listening to, and I always enjoy having conversations with you.

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So it's fun to let people in on, uh, on our little tea parties here.

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Yes.

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Yeah.

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And thank you for sitting on that side of the table for once and

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for letting us see a little bit of what happens behind the scenes.

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So she qiological, especially, it's been a pleasure.

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