Life is all about challenges, especially now that we are confronting a collective challenge as we face a crisis, the scale of which none of us could have predicted. How can you become successful in life and in business in these challenging times? Get ready to hear one of the biggest game-changers in success as Rodney Flowers picks the brain of Brian Weaver, the Founder and CEO of Torch.AI. With more than twenty years of experience leading mission-driven, high growth companies in an industry that is still basically at its infancy, Brian’s insights on navigating the challenges of an uncertain world and becoming successful are of tremendous value to any aspiring entrepreneur who is about to set out into the post-crisis challenges. Crisis or not, it is the entrepreneur’s job to brave challenges. It shouldn’t be any different now.
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Rising Up To The Challenge: Becoming Successful During Crisis Times With Brian Weaver
As always, I am excited about our show. You know that I am super-duper passionate about helping you overcome challenges, how to deal with adversity, how to bounce back, that’s my model. That’s my forte. That’s my lane. I love sharing stories about how to come back, how to overcome, how to win like a champion, how to dominate your gain. To me, that’s what life is all about. I hear many times that people are dealing with challenges especially now. No one wants to deal with a challenge. Everyone always comes to me and they say, “Rodney, how can we deal with this challenge? How do I get over this challenge? How can I avoid challenges? That’s a big one for me. How can I avoid challenges? I believe that challenges aren’t something that you should seek to avoid. Challenges are what makes us. Challenges help us. Challenges are a major part of life. The key to overcoming challenges or winning in the face of the challenge has a lot to do with your perception. The way you are seeing the challenge and how you are seeing yourself in the challenge. What is your relationship to the challenge?
With that being said, I’m excited to introduce a gentleman that’s going to be with us. He’s going to talk about challenges. He’s had some challenges in his life. He has a unique perception of the challenge, about adversity and challenging adversity. Believe it or not, it’s something that we’re all going to face. You can’t avoid it. It’s a part of life. Everyone wants to win, but no one wants to go through the challenge. They go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. What are you winning? If you want to win in life, what are you overcoming? You have to face a challenge in order to win or there is no possibility to win. Challenge makes winning possible. I can’t wait to dive into this conversation.
I have Brian Weaver with me. Brian serves as CEO of Torch.AI. We’re going to talk about that as well. He has many years of experience leading mission-driven, high-growth, technology-focused companies. Prior to Torch.AI, Brian launched and acquired several companies, all focused on technology-enabled services and data connectivity. His company served nearly 1,300 clients. His past companies have been recognized as a Small Business of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He has been featured in Forbes magazine for concepts around data encapsulation using blockchain technologies, and he’s received the Defense Innovation Award at DITAC in 2017. He has raised numerous IRONMAN competition at an elite amateur level in the US and Europe and ranked as high as number one in the world for his class. He lives in Kansas City with his wife of many years and his two teenage daughters. Please help me welcome, Mr. Brian Weaver, to the show. Welcome, Brian.
Thank you, Rodney. I hope that you’re available for hire next time I need any kind of introduction. You’ve got a serious amount of style.
Thank you. I appreciate that and I appreciate you coming on the show. There are a lot of other things that you could be doing now. I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to be with us. You have an interesting career. I’ve done some research and I’m excited to interview you. You’ve had a dynamic career as an entrepreneur. I want to start by finding out how has that experience shaped you for the work that you do?
I figured out early on when I was a teenage boy, myself, that I enjoyed working. The biggest thing about that is not the money. I enjoyed helping other people. I enjoyed the benefit, the result of that, but I mowed lawns. I did anything I could. I had fun early on. I had that work ethic. I grew up in a household that was reasonably disciplined. My parents were not wealthy. They sacrificed a lot for my brother and me. I came from a culture that appreciated having a good work ethic. I went to college and had fun there. It’s some fun stuff and ended up getting a job out of college.
Even in that first job that I had, I was still highly motivated as an entrepreneur. I tried to start two companies inside that company. Interestingly enough, got passed over for a promotion. They ended up hiring from the outside somebody that ended up not working out, but it frustrated me. I took another job. I did something creative, profound and profitable, but the company, some New York guys that spent three days a week in Miami, who I love to death. I got reprimanded for doing a deal with NASCAR at my last employer. Keep in mind, this was many years ago. It feels like yesterday, but I did this deal with NASCAR and got reprimanded for doing it because it was out of scope for my job as a manager. Even though it was profitable and minimally invasive to the business.
I got frustrated. It was an emotional setback for me that here I was trying to do a good job and somebody wasn’t recognizing, not the value of the work or the money or any of that other stuff, it’s like I put my DNA and a bit of my soul into that work. I have pride. To stomp on it like that to me was hard to take. There was a moment and I remember it distinctly, the room, the humidity in the room. It was this old loft downtown building in Kansas City. I still remember distinctly that moment of getting reprimanded for doing this thing.
I decided that was it. I was going to change my life and not be beholden to others anymore. I took the plunge and went out on my own. I didn’t have a whole bunch of money saved. I was successful at what I did certainly but I had no net. It was like, “Just jump out there and see what you can do. I was young. I thought I was risking a lot, but I wasn’t. In hindsight, I had nothing to risk, nothing to lose. At the time, you think it’s a lot of pressure. I got in trouble. I went off on my own as an entrepreneur. I got written up, got upset and quit.
Let’s talk about where you are now relative to your mindset towards quitting and going out on your own. I know there are a lot of entrepreneurs reading now. That thought comes up often. We all have goals and dreams of being a successful entrepreneur, what that feels like and everything that comes with that. In order to get there, this is what’s required and stepping out sometimes can seem scary. Now that you’re on the other side of that and you’re looking back. What’s making you feel like you didn’t have much to risk at all? You’ve changed the lens now. What are you seeing differently? What is your older self now saying to your younger self?
It’s different. You’re alone. It’s a little cheesy, but Elon Musk has this classic line, “Staring into the abyss, chewing on broken glass.” It’s true. You’re lonely. It’s a lonely place to be in a lot of ways even though I’m surrounded by incredible people and great friends. You realize that you think differently. Some of the pressure and decisions are unique to you. Now, what I’ve learned is that it’s my family that I’m okay. I can adapt, but what I’m trying to protect and what causes me anxiety maybe is when I perceive that my wife or kids are at risk. It took me a while to figure that out. I want my wife to think of me as successful in her eyes. I don’t care about anybody else. It’s weird in that regard. I don’t have an ego that way.Challenges aren't something that you should seek to avoid; they are what make us. Click To Tweet
It took me a long time to figure it out. Talking to some other people and hearing their stories, that’s when it revealed itself to me that when I was upset at maybe a partner or a supplier vendor or upset with my employees. Even if they were right, causing some consternation. If I felt like my infrastructure was threatened, I would handle that differently. Becoming aware of that has helped me mature in that area. That psychological struggle is one of the hardest. Those speed bumps, if you want to call it that, I like that phrase, come from all over the place. When you think of, “What does your wife think of you and making sure your kids are well cared for?” In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal financially. When you quantify what that means, it’s not that substantial but you make it a mountain emotionally. We’re deep into it now. We’re into the metaphysical and psychological right away.
Let’s get into it because we don’t have time to waste here and people want to know and not want to know me because I feel that grabbing a handle on that alone could help us make a quantum leap towards success. It’s a major roadblock or speed bump for a lot of entrepreneurs and not entrepreneurs. Anything that seems risky, there’s an emotional frame around it that we build for ourselves. The way we build that frame, that structure that we create for ourselves, the story that we tell ourselves around that, it either propels us or hinders us. You’ve framed this up as the feeling around it. How did you overcome that? How did you muscle your way through that part?
One of the things that I realized about myself and I would encourage the audience and this is maybe a big takeaway is to be introspective. It’s not thinking about what you want, but think about who you are as a being. You break that down. What makes you tick? That’s what I figured out. That’s why I’m in a happy place in the last couple of years especially. You’re always evolving, but I’ve figured that out. I realized what my emotional and psychological needs were. When I go back and I look at those dark moments where you’re missing payroll or you’re close to missing payroll or you’ve got customers that you fired or they fired you. I’ve started businesses and failed miserably. I’ve done all kinds of crazy stuff and probably had more failures than successes.
I’m reasonably successful now. There are different atmospheres and I don’t have an ego about it but I think that’s only come because I’m stubborn as hell. In a lot of ways, the thing that is a little scary for me in retrospect is that I put my family in harm’s way. It’s me that did it. That’s why I’m having that reaction to it. When I think of maybe the toughest moment in building some of the companies I’ve built, I’ve dipped into my kids’ savings accounts to make payroll. You’re talking about the money their grandparents give them. You’re like, “I’m going to bet on myself. I’m going to bet on my people.” People don’t realize that. It’s funny to talk to about it because it’s so abstract. You don’t walk around your office saying, “Look at the blood that I’ve given for this cause because that’s your obligation. I don’t take it personally and I have no ego about it. I’m talking specifically about the emotional journey that you go on as a human being.
When you have assets, both family assets including relationships and you have cash and other assets. As an entrepreneur, you’re gambling those on trying to build something for the future. In some ways, the best entrepreneurs in my experience don’t go into it clinically with a business plan. I’d certainly identify a market and they know about the potential. They’re gracious about achieving the objective and nothing will get in their way. I call it discipline or that gumption is a critical component of it. If you don’t have that, you should not try this. That means being willing to bet the farm on yourself. Most people are not willing to do that. That’s why they work for others.
By the way, we need them to work for others. Ninety-eight percent of people cannot survive some of the stuff that I’ve been through and nor should they. I’ve had health issues because of the stress, all that other stuff. It’s hard. The world needs creative people. The world needs dreamers as I’ve been called at times in the past, which I don’t like. At the same time, the world needs people that are aware that they may be a little risk-averse. They may not be wired for this because what I realized in my career, the punchline here is that I desperately need people to protect me from me. I find a lot of value in other people in a lot of their traits.
That situation that you were explaining, I love that situation. It’s what I call it grit. It’s having the grit to get through. The reason why I love it is not so much because of the challenge and the risk itself, it’s what it does to you when you stand up to it. Let’s say you wanted to get to the moon, but you landed among the stars. You’re probably a different person than you were when you were standing on solid ground.
I’ve had dinner with an astronaut before. It was a surreal dinner. She said plainly that it was profound when she was able to observe the earth while she was in orbit. It changed her whole world. Being self-aware and realizing that there’s that whole ecosystem down there that’s disconnected from you. For what that’s worth, it was a message that I appreciated hearing from her directly. It was neat.
What are some of the toughest moments that you’ve experienced?
I still characterize most of this stuff as failures of self-awareness. I’m a highly creative being. I’m also not afraid to start something, see how it goes and then turn it off quickly. I certainly have the grit to see something through. I also am smart enough to know that if there’s not any traction there or there’s not any real differentiator, then you’ve got to drop it and keep moving. Early on, I had to learn some of those lessons the hard way. I was brute force or through force of will, I could stand things up on my own and get them to a state where they were reasonably successful. In general terms, I’ve said this before, almost any strong entrepreneur could build on their own without a lot of support, $10 million to $20 million revenue business, depending on other metrics.
For a lot of people, that could be an incredible lifestyle thing. The problem is, you need others to sustain that. I’ve done this before. It’s a short-lived phenomenon because you haven’t done the work to bring others along and build the actual system that delivers. In the last decade, I’ve become wiser and have spent a lot of time thinking about how to build teams, how do I engage with others, motivate others and think of that puzzle. To answer the question plainly, I hinted at this before, my greatest gift is my creativity, but it’s also one of the greatest challenges I have because it doesn’t stop.The world needs creative people. The world also needs people who are aware that they may be risk-averse. There is value in all people. Click To Tweet
The ideas come all the time. It took me a while to figure out a methodology to refine that and decide then what to invest in and decide how to govern that. That has been an interesting journey. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been full of all kinds of interesting twists, turns and failures. I’ve enjoyed the failures as much as the success because it’s like working out. The IRONMAN thing was intriguing to me because it was this great metaphor for business clearly, but it’s a feedback loop. You stress, rest, recover, get stronger through the recovery, not through the doing. Once you figure that out, you’re like, “I can apply this to business. I could apply this to my family.” We go through a stressful time and embrace the recovery period because that’s where you get your wits about you. You build the result brilliance, build the strength and then you go back at it. You’re twice the man. It’s a fuzzy way of answering the question. At the end of the day, I’m my own worst enemy sometimes.
I’ve interviewed hundreds of people that are more successful than others. One of the common themes that I’ve learned from interviewing these people is that they have a strong sense of identity. Through this conversation, I’m sensing that. Has that played a role in your success at all?
It’s funny because I’m a total introvert. I don’t have a big ego. My drive comes from the desire to create and to solve problems for others. I have a big passion for finding purpose and that’s one of the reasons I’ve got a great life now with Torch.AI, especially. We are deeply involved in national security and trying to help the US government solve some interesting problems. That’s given my life some interesting purpose and certainly the company. I’ve got plenty of confidence. I would say that in my experience, the most successful entrepreneurs, they have strong personalities and have some of that confidence. It’s not all about them.
What I found and maybe to characterize, the most successful people are people that are focused on how can they build a stronger network around themselves. As a business person, you know investing is what you do. That’s what you do every day. You invest in your time and a lot with your money. You’re making decisions on where to put dollars constantly. You’re predisposed to invest in others. Because of that, I would almost argue with you a little bit, not just the notion of that. A weak business has a celebrity in the middle of the network. A strong business, wealthy in multiple ways, not just a money person who’s got a strong network where there are lots of interdependencies. It’s not just your hero persona or how much money you might have, people, getting to ride in your cars and going on vacation with you. It’s beyond that.
It’s almost like this selfless thing. I’m much more of that type of person. I’m not saying I’m good at it, but I appreciate that much more. I find myself gravitating to people that are more like that. I studied network theory for fun. A friend of mine encouraged me to do that a long time ago. It’s been fun. There’s the notion of a weak network and a strong network. A weak network has got central characters and few interdependencies. It’s like a hub and spoke model. A strong network is one where all your friends are talking to each other, not just you. That network itself behaves radically differently than that weak network around a central figure. You could almost apply that mathematically to your life, not to get too nerdy, but it works for sure.
How have you learned how to navigate networking and building relationships? We started the conversation where you were the lone entrepreneur, successful, and you’ve progressed into this person who appreciates networking, collaboration, and building relationships. What would you say to the audience on how to succeed in building relationships? How do we get that connection and engagement with others?
For me, I hate to network. I’m an introvert. I’ve never joined a networking event. Our company invests in all kinds of organizations and nonprofits. They have networking things weekly or monthly. It’s usually face-to-face, but now a lot of virtual. I don’t go to any of them. I cannot stand it. It’s how I’m wired. There are a lot of people that appreciate a lot of that. I certainly appreciate the idea of creating relationships that are symbiotic in creating these ideas of virtuous circles of value. What I like to do and the way I do it from the beginning is to identify somebody with a problem that is intriguing to me.
I’m working on something for the White House, believe it or not. It’s surreal for me to even say that out loud. I’m not motivated by that because of the potential financial reward or anything. It’s because it’s a difficult puzzle. For me, I find myself seeking out puzzles that are intellectually stimulating and intriguing. Where some of the assets that I have, whether it’s in a company technology or even a person that’s part of my network could have some impact on that problem. That’s where I start. I go around and I try and maybe survey for problems more than anything. When I engage with people where people come to me, I’m trying to figure out like, “What are they trying to do?”
They’re trying to get ahead of themselves. They’re probably employed by somebody else to solve some other problem. Can I figure that out? I start thinking about it. I’ve got a bit of a hyperactive brain. I’m always on. It drives my wife nuts. I can’t sit still long. I take a lot of notes. My phone is full of all kinds of notes on potential problems and potential solutions. It’s a little Zen, but the path on a particular solution will reveal itself. Somebody will say something to you. There will be a new relationship you have or one of your engineers discovered or have a new invention.
All of a sudden the path reveals itself and you decide, “I’m going to put a little effort into this.” When I network, I’m looking for problems, one. Number two, in software engineering, there’s a concept called minimally viable product where you write the smallest amount of code and you deploy it with your customer to see how much value they can get. You begin this iterative process which is much more economical. Pretty much everybody does that unless you’re a dinosaur in the software business, which there are some. Most of us are innovating that way. The notion is to identify that problem and then immediately say, “How can I provide this person with some value? It’s a new person who you may have just met.
There’s a guy named David, for example, I met in the last several days. He was referred to me by a good friend of mine. We had a great first conversation. As soon as we hung up the phone, I started researching what he was trying to accomplish. I said, “I’ve got some energy that I can contribute to his world.” That was my next move. I did it selflessly. I protect my time very carefully. At the same time, that’s always to me, you know what it is. It’s to find that problem, understand their world, and then maybe throw a test balloon, “Here’s something I could contribute to you for no money.” If we get aligned on maybe vision around something like that, then all of a sudden, now you have some common ground. You can start establishing a cadence of exchanging value. That’s how I do it. I don’t do it as clinically or scientifically as I’ve described. It’s more natural, but I hate networking. I’m an introvert. What am I supposed to do?Successful people are focused on how they can build a stronger network around themselves. Click To Tweet
It’s polarizing. You hate networking, but yet you’re successful. The key to glue here is the fact that you approach the people that you build relationships with potential solutions. You’ve probably heard in the past when it comes to networking, people want to get to know people for what they can get. You completely described the philosophy towards networking where you’re connecting with people based on what you can give. It’s a service type of mentality, “Here’s what I can offer you. That’s why I want to meet you because I want to help you.” I’ve been to those networking conventions and things like that. There are some out there that are like CEO Space. It’s one where entrepreneurs get together.
It’s a big conference in teaching, lectures and training. They have a process of when you are introducing yourself to someone, you always introduce yourself with, “How can I serve you? How can I give? What are you working on? How can I be of service to you?” I was 20-plus maybe even over 30 before that philosophy was introduced to me. It changed a lot for me. I believe in the corporate space as well as in entrepreneurial space, the thought process is always what we can get. I want to know this person because they could help me do this or they can help me do that.
When I was thinking about dating if you think about the type of wife that you want, everyone has a list. When it comes to the significant other, they say, “I want a spouse or a significant other that’s this and this.” It’s always about them. You have to think about if this person is such a wonderful person that you will want to spend the rest of your life with them, you have to think about, “What type of person would they want? If they’re this amazing person, what type of person would they want? Are you that?” If we can flip that around and have a significant and specific value that we can bring to a person upon initiation of a relationship, that’s a game-changer. It sounds like that’s what you do.
I love your dating approach. I’d love to hear how that works in practice. That is probably a good way to establish at least that part of your life is one of those things that you could do to change the game.
What do you see yourself in the future? The reason why I ask this is because you’re running an AI company. AI is changing the game in society. A lot of companies are adopting AI as a means of daily operation. What are your thoughts about that?
I’m having a ton of fun doing what I’m doing. I own several companies that I’m the CEO. I operate one of the bigger ones day-to-day. The world is moving fast and slow at the same time. It’s fascinating. For me, in my journey, in the few years, I have enjoyed finding a rhythm doing what we’re doing at Torch because we’re solving a discreet set of problems with advanced technology. AI doesn’t mean a lot to a lot of people especially those of us that are in the market. We’re at the pointy end of that technology. It’s been fascinating because it continues to move. It satisfies my desire to be creative because technology moves quickly. There are always things that you can evolve, adapt to, introduce to your customers and solve problems.
There’s this endless bucket of problems that I get to play with. I also have a big passion for the customers that I serve. I have to say growing up as an Army brat, watching my father come home in fatigues and a beret every day. Give a lot of his life to his career before he retired. As a business guy then, this moment to give back to their country and to give back to some of these patriots and war heroes that I get to work with every day, it’s a special thing. I mean this sincerely and that’s probably rare sometimes, but it’s given my life a special purpose lately. I get to interface with some of these guys on a daily basis. They’re special humans. It’s an honor that is super rare.
Not only are you doing something that radically benefits your neighbors and the United States but you also get to work with special people that give their lives to a cause. You conversely have this moment or this opportunity to take your assets and throw them in a bucket and say, “I’m all-in on you and I’m all-in on this mission.” The thing that’s been rewarding is to be able to live life with purpose and run a company with a purpose. Having the folks that I have around me, it’s humbling and an honor. That’s the thing. I’m 46 years old. I feel like I’m 25 still. I’m still in good shape mentally and physically and all that other stuff. Even though I’ve had some injuries and setbacks and all the other stuff, I’ve come through it okay. I’m in this phase where I’m super appreciative of the luxury of being able to live life purposefully and have a business that can serve an important set of customers the way we do. It’s super unique. I’m happy. I can’t see beyond is the point. I’ve never been one to yearn for more, but to answer the question, I see more of hanging in with these and helping them.
How has challenge helped you navigate your life, to get this level of not only being on purpose but appreciating your life as it is now with what you do?
The one thing that is fascinating is I got to one of the greatest little highlights personally for me in the last couple of years. I was invited to give a commencement speech for university graduation. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because you’re telling your life story and you’re looking at an audience like you know they’re not going to think about you after they walk out of there. It’s this crazy amount of effort. You’re trying to maybe help them a little bit, but you’ve got the parents on one side. You’ve got your family and you’ve got all the students on the other. It ends up being a difficult thing, but the takeaway was that all of the little twists and turns in my life, I’m in a good place now despite and because of all of these setbacks. It’s hard. Barack Obama said it. Oprah Winfrey stole it later. Looking ahead, you don’t see the path. When you look backward, you see all of the little twists and turns and they all connect. I stole that and I did my version of that. It was profound to contemplate and think about my life that way.
I have a new appreciation for all of these setbacks that I’ve been through. It’s provided me with strength and some resilience. What I’ve come to realize and this is the part I’m proud about. All of the setbacks I’ve had is why my customers benefit. All of the challenges that I’ve had personally, professionally with companies I’ve had and all the lessons I’ve learned, my customers are benefiting from all of that wisdom and hardship that I’ve been through. It makes me proud to serve them in that way. I’m a little more forthcoming sharing some of these failures because we’re all trying to solve problems and I’ve got a little wisdom. Not only am I shaping products in a way that helps solve problems but the way you deploy some of those things, whether it’s people or technology, you’ve got some wisdom.You got to have fire in your belly and gumption and leverage that. Find that passion and take advantage of that. Click To Tweet
The final thought on this topic is that somebody told me the other day and if you sit back and think about it and you think about the moment now, there’s this notion that it’s the most perfect moment. You don’t want anything in this moment. You absorb where you’re at and you take stock and smile because you’re in a good place. You don’t need anything more at this particular moment. It was perfect. It was profound. Somebody said that to me several months ago. I take it with me now every day. I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “This is a perfect moment.” Even when I’m stressed out, I still get stressed on a daily basis. I think the world is melting down even though it’s not. I’ve found that’s been profound for me. It was a neat little tool.
It puts things into perspective. Even though challenges are present in everyone’s life, you can’t avoid them. Even as I said at the beginning of the show, it’s the perception that you have around the challenge. Realizing that you can take a breath in any given moment regardless of what’s going around you, it makes it perfect, at least for me. If you can breathe, that means you’re alive. If you’re alive, that means you have possibilities. We can make changes. We can change directions. We can fix problems. We can find solutions and be alive makes that possible. When you’re not breathing, that’s when it’s lights out and game over. How can people connect with you, Brian, if they wanted to learn more about you?
I’m on LinkedIn. I enjoy interfacing there. I’m not huge on social media, but I’m definitely on LinkedIn. If any of this resonates with anybody, I’m in a space where I’ve enjoyed giving back to others that are on a similar journey. If I can do anything or help anybody in any way, I’m happy to.
Thanks for coming on the show. It’s been an amazing conversation. Thank you for navigating your journey and getting to the point in life where you have this level of appreciation and you can share with us. There’s power in sharing. A lot of people say there’s power in knowledge or power in information. There’s power in sharing. One of the things that I was looking for when I got hurt with someone who had been in a similar situation as me and overcome it. I wanted to hear their story. I want to understand what they’ve done and experienced their experience. I felt like there would be something that could help me. Sharing a story, sharing an experience, it does two things. It gives you some ideas on how you can navigate it and then it also proves that it can be done. I’m grateful for your story and what you’ve learned in the fact that you’ve shared that with us. I appreciate that.
Thank you, Rodney. I want you to make me like a headspace, a little meditation thing. You’ve got the best voice and your cadence is amazing. I’m going to email you. I need a little meditation from you.
I’m going to do that for everyone. You send me the email, give me an idea of what you look for. You’re the second person. I’ve done this for someone and they have it out there on their website. Georgia Ellis, if you want to look her up. She is the CEO and Founder of Blue Chip Minds. There’s a meditation out there and she used my voice to create it. I’m going to be creating more so thank you. That’s more confirmation on me to create this product for people. As we come to an end, what is the Game Changer Mentality message that you would like to leave?
The bottom line is to have fire in your belly, find out what drives you and embrace that. You’ve got to have fire in your belly and gumption and leverage that, find that passion and take advantage of that. It’s a gift. Don’t look at it lightly. That’s the big game-changer. Have some grit and I love the word gumption. I’ve got a t-shirt with it on it.
Gumption, grit, determination, fire, and all of those things. I get excited about those. Thank you, Brian, for coming on the show. I appreciate you and what you do.
Thank you, Rodney. I enjoyed it.
It’s another successful episode. Find the fire in your belly. I know a lot of our audience already has that fire, but maybe you need another log on it. Maybe you need to revisit your purpose. Are you living on fire? Are you putting it all on the line? I don’t mean taking risks. I mean going after it with everything that you have, considering all of the risks and challenges. One thing I love about having the opportunity to take a gut check, you realize that it’s not you against the world. It’s not you against your challenge. It’s not you against someone else. It’s you versus you.
I was in a gym and it was funny because I was doing a simple exercise. I was doing planks. If you haven’t done planks before, planks are not easy. My trainer was having me hold them for one-minute planks. If you haven’t been to a gym and you realize those planks, it’s challenging to go one minute. It was a good check for me. I had to do multiple sets of these things and hold them for one minute. As we got up in the number, the challenge got harder and harder and it was a gut check, but it was me against me. Take that gut check, it’s you against you. Keep the fire in your belly. Until next time. Peace and love.
- CEO Space
- Georgia Ellis – previous episode
About Brian Weaver
Brian serves as CEO of Torch.AI. He has more than 20 years of experience leading mission driven, high growth, technology focused companies.
Torch.AI helps leading organizations leverage artificial intelligence in a unique way via a proprietary enterprise data management software solution. Today, Torch.AI supports clients like H&R Block with fraud detection and mitigation and the U.S. Department of Defense with machine learning enabled background investigations for all federal employees, supporting the determination of an individual’s trustworthiness and security credentialing.
Prior to Torch.AI, Brian launched or acquired several companies all focused on technology enabled services and data connectivity. His companies serve nearly 1,300 clients. In 2001, he launched his first company which focused on using data to influence consumer behavior for NASCAR events. In 2005, he acquired his former employer. In 2009, Brian acquired MEDQOR from Wells Fargo and as Chairman guided growth of the assets into the premier information business exclusively focused on the FDA regulated medical device market. The MEDQOR acquisition rapidly evolved his concepts around leveraging data at scale to solve problems. In 2012, he began investing in what would eventually become the Torch software platform. Brian’s past companies have been recognized as a Small Business of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He has been featured in Forbes magazine for concepts around data encapsulation using blockchain technologies. He received the Defense Innovation Award at DITAC in 2017.
In May, Brian will give the commencement speech for the 2019 class at his alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University, where he earned a degree in communications (minoring in Philosophy). He has raced numerous Ironman competitions at an elite amateur level in the US and Europe, ranking as high as No. 1 in the world for the class. He lives in Kansas City with his wife of 20 years and two teenage daughters. He maintains a secondary residence in Arlington, VA.
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