Happy New Week Pals🙋🏿♂️🐴 and Ramadan Mubarak to all those who observe 🤲🏿.
I don’t know about yall, but today started off like one of them “another day, another dollar” type vibes.
Who Is: Andy Stout
Explore Adventure Lab
On Episode 22, I have a #CreativeConversation with my Pal, Andy Stout, Founder of Explore Adventure Lab.
Tune in for a #CreativeConversation to learn how Andy overcame the passing of his father, his inspiration for biking across the United States, and why he created Explore Adventure Lab!
WHO IS: Andy Stout?
Andy Stout is a nature-loving, outdoor-adventuring, and 60+ country-traveling resident of San Diego. He’s currently in Hawaii as of this writing though, and as I stare outside of my Houston apartment window and see the beautiful sight that is my neighbor on her balcony smoking a cig, surrounded by her 15 plants and little dog that never stops barking… I’m definitely not jealous of poor Andy in Maui🥲.
Since he was a youth, Andy was always encouraged by his parents (and step-mom) to always “follow his passion”. With his dad being a lover of all things “outdoors” and his mom being quite the avid traveler herself, the apple definitely didn’t fall too far from the tree when it came to Andy figuring out his own passions:
He went to Europe with his mom on a foreign exchange trip at the age of 14, studied abroad in Australia and Germany (became fluent in German), and worked as a guide for tour companies IN EUROPE!
All of these experiences have definitely helped shaped Andy to be who he is today, but to Andy, there’s one experience that he considers the most important and most influential.
In 2016, Andy lost his father to brain cancer. To honor him, Andy decided to bike across the United States because it’s something his father always wanted to do, and it was also a way to raise awareness and funding ($10k+) for the specific cancer that afflicted his father, gliobastoma.
Starting his trek from Lubec, Maine (the most easternpoint in the contiguous United States), Andy cycled for TWO MONTHS straight and 4750 MILES until he made it back to his hometown of San Diego. Honestly, it’s one of those experiences that’s better to watch than read about, so I highly recommend watching Andy’s vlog where he documents the entire trip!
Explore Adventure Lab
After successfully completing his cross-country trek, Andy dealt with that feeling we tend to get when we prep heavily for something, execute it, and then wonder… what now?
As luck would have it —> COVID-19 happened🥲.
While recovering from a broken foot (pretty anticlimactic story btw) and dealing with the fact that he had been furloughed from his job at the airline, Andy finally decided to start on something he’s had on his mind for a minute: Explore Adventure Lab.
Being quite the travel connoisseur, a lot of people that knew Andy would always hit him up to ask for travel tips on places he’s been. Despite being also quite the friendly guy, Andy realized he was putting in a lot of time to help others plan their trips, specifically outdoor adventure trips which are what he specializes in.
Since Time = Money, Andy decided to start charging for his services to help people EXPLORE MORE, FOR LE$$.
Because my interviews are focused on my guests telling their story, I try to give them as much Talking Time as possible. “My Takeaways” is a space for me to share my thoughts on the interview:
The Power of Messaging
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
This quote is quite B.S. when you think about it.
Although words may not inflict actual, physical pain, they can greatly affect what I consider the most important aspect of us: our mindset.
From the moment my interview with Andy started, what immediately stood out to me was the fact that from a young age, his parents used to always tell him to “follow his passion.” It reminded me of my last episode with Alexis Wilson where she mentioned that growing up, her parents always told her she could do whatever she puts her mind to.
It goes without saying that our parents/guardians play a big role in our lives. The influence they have on us is more than some of us like to admit, and some of us will admit that it wasn’t always the most positive as well, but that’s another conversation.
Based on my analytics though, I’ll assume that most of you reading this are at that point where the impact of the influence from whoever raised you has pretty much set in, and now you’re making your own go at things with a little more control on who/what influences you. So that being said, I ask you to reflect on this: what kind of messaging are you surrounding yourself with?
Do your friends constantly encourage you to actually follow through on that idea you’ve been talking about?
Do you follow accounts on social media that help you improve a skill or increase your knowledge of something you’re interested in?
Do you listen to podcasts that feature people you aspire to be like?
Ok, yes, that last one was a plug, but maaaan, self-promotion is a MUST in this day and age!
Congrats to Juan M.* for winning the Raffle Prize! I’ll text you for more info bro.
Congrats to ANYBODY reading this on a date between April 15th and May 15th because as an additional** prize, Andy is providing a 20% discount on the Weekend Warrior Package to anybody that uses the code “POLANDPALS” within that time frame!
*no, this wasn’t rigged
**no Juan, you can’t combine the discounts
NEXT EPISODE… On the next episode of Pol and Pals (Apr. 29th @ 8 PM EST), my pal and I will be discussing how to market a podcast, how to produce a podcast, and what it means to be a “Strong Black Lead”.
And no… the next Pal isn’t Pol😂😎😏.