Hangin with Jeff Adcock
When Jeff weighed the options of becoming a full-time entrepreneur or working for the man, he initially felt he was at a crossroads. Back in the 80s after finishing his degree and learning all about entrepreneurship, he quickly learned that to become one was living life on the fringe. The risks were very high and he didn’t know if it would grant him all the time freedom he sought for. On the other hand, the corporate path working for the man may keep him trapped at a certain pace as well.
Weighing his options, he thought, What if I could take the path down the middle? Bringing the spirit of entrepreneurship in the corporate space ended up being the exact right move for him. He excelled quickly and he couldn’t get bonuses and raises fast enough. He found the flexibility he desired while working in corporate America. He also started seeing the benefit of peer-to-peer coaching, which traditionally was not presented in work. He realized that creating teams that allowed for people to coach one another was great disruption within the coaching industry. Thus Zero to Ten was born.
Jeff is seriously an amazing guy and it was so great chatting with him about his life. Enjoy!
Who Is Jeff Adcock?
Jeff Adcock had always been a daredevil. He knew what he wanted, and he was more than willing to achieve this. However, there came the point where Jeff felt at a crossroads in his career. He knew there were two options: either become a full-time entrepreneur or sell his soul for stability and search for a job where he’d have someone to answer to, working for the man. Jeff knew that both options had their benefits, but there were also disadvantages that were sure to impact his success in one way or another.
He had the know-how to become an entrepreneur thanks to a degree and tireless education covering the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. But he also knew that to become an entrepreneur full-time meant he’d need to live life a little differently. There was excitement, sure, but there were also challenges. His education had taught him that entrepreneurs generally lived life on the fringe. There were high risks, and this reduced the chance of a reward. Furthermore, to really make it as an entrepreneur meant sacrificing time and freedom.
Likewise, while working in the corporate world brought all the stability someone straight out of university hopes for, at least to steady the ship, for the time being, the idea also made Jeff a little too claustrophobic for his liking. The promise of honest, steady work could mean he could not reach the lofty heights he expected of himself.
An Alternate Path
With neither option truly appealing to him, Jeff considered something no one else had thought of before. He asked himself whether a path that balanced both options would lead him down the middle.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.
Jeff dipped into his pool of entrepreneurial knowledge and brought the entrepreneurial spirit into the typically stuffy and rigid corporate arena. He managed to tap into the flexibility that so many everyday workers desired but could not achieve while also finding the stability and steady workflow that only the corporate world can provide.
Still, although he found more success than anyone, Jeff included, could have predicted, this wasn’t enough. Rising rapidly through the ranks, he found that all the bonuses, raises, plaudits, and industry recognition could not come quickly enough.
An Idea Is Born
His time in corporate America taught Jeff even more than he thought he ever needed to know. Being the entrepreneurial maestro that had made him so successful within the industry, he identified the importance of peer-to-peer coaching.
Previously, such an approach had not been well-represented in the professional environment. Instead, companies often relied on the individual to learn it. This is typified by the traditional bootstrapping idea, a culture of self-sufficiency that, although it could create a legion of ambitious professionals, also neglects to consider the issues that come with it.
Rather than work alongside one another to help them be at their very best, there is a competitive streak that could lead to substantial problems by failing to foster a collaborative and supportive approach. Furthermore, anyone who could have been considered ready for coaching was often someone higher up the corporate ladder. This coaching was designed to give them the push they needed to excel in a senior role.
This meant that those lower on the totem pole were often left behind, which could cause the very stagnation that Jeff was himself concerned about when wondering which path was the right one for him before carving his own road less traveled.
Never one to ignore the calling of innovation and try something no one had considered, let alone attempted, Jeff recognized that creating teams enabled employees and coworkers to coach one another. When assembled, these teams could provide feedback, advice, and guidance, which could disrupt the coaching industry. This would not solely relate to professionals looking to make a significant leap now, but rather everyone at any stage of their career regardless of their current position within the company.
The result was Zero to Ten.
An Industry Necessity
Since its inception, Zero to Ten has provided exceptional results that have flipped the model of traditional coaching and enabled professionals to learn anytime, anywhere, and cover anything they need. The approach has kept up with rapid changes within the workplace that present new challenges. This ensures that the new generation of workers can excel in that role, whatever that be, and provide more experienced professionals the chance to share their knowledge to mold the industry’s future. Zero to Ten manages to do this within a supportive and ambitious coaching community that will always stand out as the first in the industry.
Jeff Adcock’s Podcast Transcription
Charan: Hey, what’s going on guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand Story. And I’m here with Mr. Jeff Adcock, who is truly a master buying coach. He is the CEO of Zero to Ten, which is an awesome coaching program, because I guess you could say it basically takes the traditional coaching model of corporate coaching and turns it on its head. And you’ve found some really cool ways to impact people by peer-to-peer coaching, which is so cool and so innovative, and I’m so excited to learn more about it. But, Jeff, thank you so much for being on this podcast. I’m super happy to have you.
Jeff: Hey, my pleasure Charan. Good to be on.
Charan: Awesome. Awesome. So the Lemonade Stand Story is all about people’s lemonade stand stories, right? Like how they got started first into the world of business. And this could have been when you were a kid doing lemonade, or maybe you might’ve been coaching someone that was trying to start a lemonade stand. You are a kid doing that or something like that, but do you have a particular moment in your life when you’re like, “I’m going to be an entrepreneur, I want to start my own business”?
Jeff: Yeah. I definitely have those moments and what’s interesting is I’ve switched back and forth. I’ve always had a foot in entrepreneurship raised by an entrepreneur and even went to school for it before it was cool, back in the 80s at USC.
Charan: It was super fringe back then, right. It was just like, wait what?
Jeff: Oh yeah. Yeah, Charan, it was so fringe that they said, “Look, we’re going to teach you all this, but don’t put it on your resume.”
Charan: Yeah I’m sure.
Jeff: I mean, if you’re going to go get a job working, and back then late 80s, early 90s, it just took so much capital to be an entrepreneur. So most of the times you had to go work for someone first and then you couldn’t… Well, there’s no internet back then, but even get into manufacturing, anything that you want to start up costs you a couple million bucks.
Charan: Yeah that’s crazy.
Jeff: Yeah, even just creating anything you had to do all the manufacturing. It was tough, but I looked back at my childhood and I definitely had that spirit early.
Jeff: I did have a lemonade stand. We lived on a golf course, and we’d go out and collect balls in the dusk, and the one day that they were closed, we’d go collect all the balls and then we’d set up shop right out of the backyard. It was a by the tee box and we’d sell lemonade, we’d sell golf balls. And so, yeah definitely had that. And one of the things I like to do as, as I was thinking through this, I had my own little Evel Knievel thing going on too, where I would get neighborhood kids and I’d have them pay me to do really stupid things.
Charan: Oh my gosh. Yeah. You sounds like my kind of guy.
Jeff: Well, it was early, maybe “Nitro Circus” meets maybe Jack Wagon or whatever that’s called. [crosstalk 00:04:40] But, yeah we’d pile up these leaves, we’d pour gas on it, light it, and I’d ride through for a quarter, or maybe 50 cents people would watch me do just, yeah a whole bunch of really dumb things. And one time my mom, we were at the dinner table and she looks over, she keeps staring at me and I’m just like, “Why do you keep staring at me?” She’s like, “What happened to your eyebrows?”
Charan: Oh no.
Jeff: And I was like, “Oh.”
Charan: Oh man.
Jeff: “Kind of burned them off.” Yeah.
Charan: Oh man.
Jeff: So anyway, early days I always was up for making a buck and finding creative ways to do it.
Charan: What’s cool about that is I have a feeling you would have done those things anyway, but now you’re like, “Well, let me charge people money to do it.”
Jeff: Charan, a hundred percent, I laugh because so many people are motivated by YouTube these days and all that.
Charan: For sure.
Jeff: Oh man, the stuff we did, there were no video cameras around. I mean, sometimes you’re lucky if one other friend saw it, but yeah, it was very self-motivated for sure.
Charan: That’s awesome man. Well, it’s cool because you already started learning, “Hey, you know what? I have a passion for these things and I am learning a way to monetize my passion,” which is a huge lesson to learn as a kid, because that’s a huge part of being an entrepreneur I think.
Jeff: That’s great.
Jeff Adcock’s Approach to Becoming an Entrepreneur
Charan: That’s awesome. Yeah. So, you went to USC and you were studying to be an entrepreneur, and now you have a very creative outlook on becoming an entrepreneur and I was very fascinated by it. And so I’d love for you to share that with the audience, some of your approach to doing that.
Jeff: Yeah. It’s interesting. So the traditional view back in the late 80s, when I was in school, I graduated in 1990 from USC, it’s one or the other and I think it’s still a lot of people view it that way. And so-
Charan: What do you mean by one or the other, what do you mean by that?
Jeff: Well, you got to pick, right? Are you in this camp or are you in that camp? And so I was torn in that I really loved a lot of things about being an entrepreneur, but I was also an athlete that loved being on teams, and yeah, you can have teams, but the early days of entrepreneurship, the leaner the better. And so anyway, it was interesting because I went to school, and there they teach you everything that you need to do to go out and be your own boss, and take on all this risk and all that.
Jeff: Yeah, I was having a hard time, just what do I do? So I’ll take a long story, make it short. I did really well in the entrepreneurial program. I graduated with the best business plan, and got an award for that. But then I went and worked for the man, and the reason why was I just looked at all the risks. I was still single, and the business that I put together was going to put me in a place I love being outdoors, but it also sounded like I just wasn’t ready for it. And so I graduated and I actually packed up all my stuff, left the cement jungle of Los Angeles, and moved to Utah to work for this company called Novell and-
Charan: Yeah my dad actually worked at Novell for years and years.
Charan: Oh yeah, for sure.
Jeff: I looked at it, I’m like networking. So I worked in the business center’s tech center, and this whole concept of you could network machines together, the power of that resonated. It’s like, this is going to go somewhere. And so I just packed it up and I went and took a support job, and just started climbing the ladder, and taking a very entrepreneurial approach to it. I didn’t come in and go, “Oh, this is how we do it.” I came in and I was like, “How do we improve this? Why do we do this? This doesn’t make sense that we’d take this approach.”
Jeff: And so I found by taking that entrepreneurial approach, where, how could I improve this part of the business, they couldn’t give me raises and promotions fast enough.
Charan: It was just easy.
Jeff: It was just one thing after another, just like, “Hey, do this, do this.” And so I was like, “Hmm. Do I really need to go out and take all the risk, or could I accomplish that in a company?” And now that said, and more of this will come out. I don’t want to make this too long of an answer, but I feel like I’ve had my feet in both camps, and, sometimes I lean and just spend more time at a company. And other times I get on the other side and lean more of just being out there doing my own thing. I have never picked a path. Well, I have never set-
Charan: I love that because even in politics, sometimes people think, “Oh, you have to be one or the other.”
Jeff: Yeah, totally agree.
Charan: And the same way, like what you’re saying, it’s like, if you’re a pure entrepreneur, you’re like, “Oh, forget the man. I want to go and do my own thing. And I’m going to create my own company and yada, yada, yada.” And that really works for some people, but man, the hours and the risks. They talk about time freedom. You definitely don’t really have that the first several years or decades even of that company. You may enjoy the fruits of it way, way, way down the road, but not initially. You’re facing a lot of risks, versus working for the man, but you’re like, oh, then you’re clocking in, clocking out every day and you might get so much money, but you don’t actually expand or advance more than the limit that was set for you. But I love how you took the spirit of entrepreneurship into a corporate setting. I think that’s a really, really cool thing because you found ways to be innovative, and found ways to expand your mind in a place where parameters were already set for you.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. And you find you get it in the right companies, you get the right people that I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had a boss really. In fact, one of my early people that I guess you would have called the boss, it was my first or second job and his approach, he said, this, he’s like, “Look, here’s how I view it. You’re a thoroughbred and I’m the stable boy. I’m here to feed you and shovel whatever, and just let you run.” And you know, he wasn’t just saying this to me, he’s saying this to a few people on his team and it was awesome.
Jeff: It was like, “Okay, great. He’s going to handle a lot of the stuff that I wouldn’t want to do anyway, and if there’re roadblocks.” And this was a big company, and so yeah, it was great. I got to really run free, do a lot of things that were very out-of-the-box. And yet I could go home on Saturday and Sunday, and not have the phone ring, not have, on a rare occasion, but man, when it’s you, and it’s your business, it’s never off.
Charan: It’s, nonstop, man.
Jeff: It’s always on.
Charan: All right. Well, I love that because you found a way down the middle to make good money for yourself, freedom for yourself. Like the time freedom, that’s what entrepreneurs crave. You’ve found the money, the time freedom and the 401ks, you know what I mean?
Jeff: [crosstalk 00:13:09] the other benefits.
Jeff: I’ll tell you the one thing, it’s interesting, as I’ve traded weight between these two things, I can keep everything together. It doesn’t matter where I’m at. If I’m working for someone or I’m working for myself, the one thing that you can’t and it’s changed over time, you could for a while, but it’s actually health benefits. Those are a little harder to do out on your own than they used to be. Yeah.
Jeff Adcock Talks About Peer-to-Peer Coaching
Charan: No, that’s awesome, man. So how did the coaching thing all come about? Like the ideas that you’ve had with coaching, peer-to-peer coaching, is really fantastic. So can we talk about coaching a little bit, and then let’s dive into a little bit more about the peer-to-peer coaching.
Jeff: Sure. Yeah. So, coaching is something that all of us have, we’ve had it in our lives. Let’s have you go back on your childhood, did you have coaches?
Charan: I had great teachers that were coaches to me. [crosstalk 00:14:16] But yeah, absolutely. I’ve had acting coaches, I’ve had, I wouldn’t even officially call them coaches, but really good friends that would listen and give me advice. So in that sense, yes, I have had coaches for sure.
Jeff: Sure. Yeah. And that’s all coaching, anytime that you’re learning from someone else’s experience you’re receiving some coaching and yeah. And so there’s been so many studies. It is hands-down the best way to improve and accelerate human performance is through coaching. It encodes your brain differently. You learn differently. So we’ve had it. A lot of us in our youth, we did it. If we played sports, if we played some musical instrument for school, there’s just a big, long list. And then something happened is sometime in the college timeframe where we just get away from it. And some of that is because college hammers that into you. You got to do this by yourself. It’s cheating if you’re learning from others. No, I know they’re getting better at some group projects and all that, but that just usually means one person does all the work and everybody else is like, “Hey, thanks.”
Charan: Yeah. Hey [crosstalk 00:15:39] buddy. Yeah.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. Because I have four boys by the way, there are three in college, so I know how that goes, but we get away from it for some reason. And especially when it comes to our careers, it’s so important. You can learn so much. If I’m going out to do something, if I just took 15 minutes to pick someone’s brain first, I could save myself days. And then the other thing I’ve found, I’m getting old enough that if I haven’t done it in recently, I still go out and get a coach because things change.
Charan: Yeah, absolutely, and it’s awesome that you view life like that because sometimes your coach could be someone way younger than you. For example, I was making this point yesterday. I didn’t really grow up with social media. I didn’t have social media in high school or anything like that.
Jeff: Neither did I.
Charan: Yeah. I think you and I can relate. So there are times when I’m like, I’m on, I don’t know, different social media platforms and I’m like, “What am I doing? Like, what is this? I didn’t even know that this thing existed.” and so I have to, a lot of friends, people that are much younger than me coach me and say, “Hey, what, what is the benefit of this? Why should I have this platform? Should I even have this platform?” So yeah, it’s been really great to have coaches from all aspects of life.
Jeff: For sure. Yeah. And I learn a ton from my boys. They’re 20 to 26 and I learn a ton. Absolutely.
Charan: That’s amazing. So did you create a coaching program that you took to different corporate businesses, or how did that work out?
Jeff: Well, I actually partnered up with someone. I had started out on my own, and it was one of those times I’d been working for some companies for a while, sea-level. And it was like, okay, now it’s funny, I like switching back and forth. So I’ve lived by the beach most of my life, and my regiment would be surf one day, mountain bike another day. And then through that, I get great balance. I get upper body, lower body, upper body, lower body. When I was younger, I just did them both on every day, and then as I’ve got older, it’s like, okay, take your pick. You got to do one or the other. So I’m switching back and forth. I was moving into doing my own thing, which was Career Boss.
Jeff: And that’s about some of the things that we were talking about of how do you get the best of both worlds, and own your career, be your own boss and yet still work for someone? So in the middle of that, I went to go get a coach and this coach was a neighbor. He lived just a block away. He’s a four-time New York Time bestseller. And I was writing a book, and interestingly enough, a lot of the things that I had in Career Boss lined up with what he was trying to do. And so we came together, and started what’s the company that we’re in is Zero to Ten. And so that’s how those two things came together and what it is, it’s actually, you’re taking a company where you have all of this coaching experience, all this work experience, and you’re creating a coaching community so everyone can get a coach and everyone can be a coach.
Charan: I love that yeah.
Jeff: Because there are so many things that if I just knew who to talk to, I’d get coaching. And so we train people, how do you go out? We have a phrase that we use, we love, and that is “the learner wears the whistle, not the coach.” And so we empower you to actually go out and get coaching for things that are most important for your success. And so we teach you how to frame it up, how to go out and actually coach a coach on helping them give you the information, the skills, the feedback that you need to get better.
Charan: I love that man. It’s such a collaborative, hybrid approach, where-
Jeff: Yeah bottoms up.
Charan: Bottoms up. It’s like, no one is better than the other person. Right?
Jeff: Yeah nope.
Charan: And yeah. So you could be a coach a lot of times, and then you could also get coached a lot of times, maybe even by the same person, that you’re coaching someone-
Jeff: Oh for sure.
Charan: Coaching you something.
Charan: I love that. That’s awesome, man. How is it just received in the community, are people really grabbing onto this new concept of coaching?
Jeff: Yeah. It’s interesting. People have to get… they have to change a few things in their head. You have a mindset shift, which is it’s okay to go ask for a coach, and in fact, we have these triggers that we actually help you understand when you need a coach. You should never go do something for the first time and just jump in the deep end.
Charan: [crosstalk 00:21:10] no yeah.
Jeff: Why not at least go get one or two coaches, 15 minutes apiece, and learn something before you just send it. And I’m a “send it” kind of guy.
Charan: Oh I know.
Jeff: From earlier, that’s definitely, I don’t mind sending it. It’s not a fear thing. It’s just about being an intelligent about what’s the best way to approach this.
Charan: Listen, I remember… So when I was a kid, I learned how to ski and I was okay. I was decent at it. And then on TV, one day I saw snowboarding, these guys going down the mountain and I just thought it looked so cool. So cool. And I’m like, “I’m going to be a snowboarder. I’m going to do it. I’m going to get into snowboarding.” So I was so amped up about it that I bought all these snowboarding books, there wasn’t internet or anything, so I bought these snowboarding books and I read it cover to cover so much so that I’m like, “I got it. I know how to board, it’s going to be fine.” And I get on the mountain and it was like the worst. It was just the worst. I was like, “What am I doing?”
Charan: So I read more books. I went out again, again just awful. And the third time I’m like, “All right, I’m renting a board and I’m going to get like really good coaching.” And that third time I totally got it, and then I was hooked, but it was just interesting how no matter how much you’ve read there’s something about that peer-to-peer like “Hang on, let me help you with this” type of thing that really helps you to get better.
Jeff: That story reminds me of one of my favorite book titles, I think it’s Sandler, who does sales training, and his book title was “You Can’t Learn to Ride a Bike at a Seminar.”
Jeff: You need a coach. You have to have somebody to actually be there, give you feedback. It’s not just information. If it were that, you should just be able to Google anything and do anything. So you have to have that feedback loop of here’s how it feels, here’s you’re doing it, did you notice that you’re saying this or whatever it is? So, yeah.
Charan: That’s awesome, man. Well, I’m happy for you, and I’m excited, like you said, for people, they have to change their mindset a little bit, but I’m excited for the concept to really catch on, because it empowers people in a sense. When you’re getting coached, that’s one thing, but then when you’re also doing the coaching yourself, it empowers you to be like, “Wow, maybe I do have some skills that I can offer the world.”
Charan: And I really think that company cultures can thrive as a result of that.
Jeff: Yeah. And another side benefit of that is you learn twice. So there’s a whole study it’s called the protégé effect, and if you know, you’re going to coach on something, even when you’re learning it, you’ll learn differently. And then when you go out and coach or teach, you actually learn it better.
Charan: Yeah. That’s awesome man.
Jeff: It sticks.
Jeff Adcock’s Lemons-to-Lemonade Story
Charan: Yeah. That’s so great. That’s awesome. So I wanted to shift topics a little bit. Now, every entrepreneur, every person that’s worked at any corporate job or anything like that, face struggles, face certain struggles in life. Do you have a particular moment in your life where you’re like, I’m going to turn this from a lemon story to a lemonade story?
Jeff: Okay. Yeah. I would say, I don’t know if I had that crescendo moment, but I had this realization, and that is if you live as an entrepreneur, I think you live in a lemonade orchard, I just think lemons are everywhere. And if you view them that way, then yeah, you’re going to have a very puckered face all the time, because it’s just nonstop. Every day, there are things that could absolutely just melt you if you let them. And so for me, it was this mind shift that anything that I go through is that I gain knowledge and I gain experience, and I get better. Even the things that totally stink, if I come in and say, “All right, well, I learned this.” And I don’t mean trying to really after complete carnage go through, “Okay. Let’s just pick up. Where’s the silver lining?” [crosstalk 00:25:46] Yeah.
Jeff: It’s, my approach. It’s like, “Yeah, I’m going to go work and try and start this thing up,” or “I’m going to go work for early stage company, and if it all blows up, I’m going to learn this and this and this.” I could go into it knowing that what I may pull out of this is just the learning and the experience and it’s worth it. And when you can come in and change it to that, like you don’t sweat anything, and if you do, then you’re like, “Okay, no, I’m not doing that.”
Jeff: And there’s been certain times where it’s like, yeah that lesson would cost too much if I’m funding it especially. That may be too expensive of a lesson. But if you can come in, and view it as… I think the hardest thing really is how much time are you going to put into it, how many years? And so I go in and I’ll usually put some limits like two years, right, two years, but I’m going to learn, I’m going to learn this industry, I’m going to learn all sorts of crazy things. And the upside is if it blows up and it’s amazing, the downside is I just paid for some tuition to really understand some things that I didn’t understand before.
Charan: Exactly. Yeah. And it’s like another college education, but it’s education of life, right. The experience of life.
Jeff: Yeah, and I took that approach and I had a son, it reminds me of, if we got time, I can talk… I have a lot of stories; I’m old.
Charan: Yeah I know, this is all great.
Jeff: Are you good?
Charan: Yeah, yeah we’re good, give me one more story. That’s great.
Jeff: Okay. So, there’s a story that this brings to mind. And it was my son, Zach, my he’s my second son. And he was starting out as a football player, and that’s what I did and made it into college a little bit. And he was like, “Yeah.” And he’s built like me. He’s a good-sized kid, he’s quick, and strong. And his eighth grade year something wasn’t working. He was so fast, he could get in, but he just wouldn’t hit.
Jeff: And one day I pulled him aside and I’m like, “Zach, what’s going on, dude?” And he just looks up and he’s like, “Honestly?” I’m like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “I don’t like to hit.” I’m like, “Well you’re in the wrong sport. Let’s go find another sport.” So he got into wrestling, and you don’t start wrestling freshman year in high school, that is a really bad time. Because it’s a lot, like life, it’s a lot like business. It’s just, you need the experience, you just need to put in the hours, you need what they call mat time. And so we started out and he lost a lot and he had some great coaches. He went to a really good school, San Clemente High School, they’re really good at wrestling for West Coast wrestling. And, then he got into about his junior year, and the conversations will go like this.
Jeff: He’d win some, lose some, but the ones he lost, I’d say, “Do you understand how you lost?” And a lot of times the answer his junior year was, “No, I don’t even know what they did. Everything was great, and then boom.”
Charan: “Boom, I’m down.”
Jeff: “I’m getting pinned, or they’re getting points on me. I have no idea what just happened.” And it’s like, “Okay, go talk to your coach.” And so he’d go talk to his coach. “Okay, I understand how that happened,’ and then of course the next step is how do you prevent it, and then switch it to make it something where it works? And what was fun is by the time he got to his senior year, he’d come off and he didn’t lose much after that. But it’s like, “Do you understand how you have you lost, or at least how they scored those points on you?” And he’d look and he’d go, “Yep. I get it.” I go, “Do you know how to counter it?” And then it was the matter of “No, not yet, but I’d know what to ask,” or “Yeah. I know how to counter it now.”
Jeff: So watching that to me, that’s life, that’s business, but you just got to get in there and learn. And if every time you get in and you learn, then it’s all good. It’s all upside-
Charan: It’s a win, right. It’s a total win.
Jeff: Yeah, totally, and it’s not a way to feel better about losing. You’re going in to actually gain the experience because if you keep at it, you win. Period.
Charan: To me, that story reminds me a lot of just my auditioning in LA. I have been to thousands of auditions and I’ve got rejected so many times, so much so that I’m like, it just doesn’t faze me. It doesn’t faze me really. And so now when I go into auditions, I have a much more relaxed attitude about it because I’m not like desperate. I’m like, “I’ve got to get this job. I’ve got to get this job.” I’m like, “I don’t care. I really don’t care at all. I’m just excited to have fun, and to play and to pretend to be a different character and just have some fun and that’s it.”
Charan: And if I can go in there and just have that mindset, then I don’t really care about the outcome. And funny enough, when I had that mindset, I was always booking more. I started booking three or four TV shows a year, which was a higher percentage, and I remember thinking, huh, just the fact that I changed that little bit about myself, where I got to that point where you’re not so worried about this happening or that happening. It’s just like, I’m just excited to learn and to grow.
Jeff: Honestly, that’s the whole game because then the real you can come out. Then you’re not playing with fear. You’re giving it your best. It’s not a way of conceding and saying, “I don’t want to win. I don’t want this,” but it’s understanding that there’s more to the game than just that one day.
Charan: Yeah. Yeah. You’re going to have fun, and like you said, the real you comes out and I think that’s the real win, when the real you can come out in any situation.
Charan: I feel like that was one of those NBC “The More You Know” moments that we just barely had.
Jeff: [inaudible 00:32:16].
Jeff Adcock Talks About Joy
Charan: That was awesome. Okay. So last couple of questions for ya is what brings you joy right now, Jeff?
Jeff: For me, I’d say I got two things. So one is what’s always been there and that’s family, that to me is… that’s the core of life is family. And, I read something, early, man, I was still in college I think, or maybe like first year of work. And that was a quote that’s “No success will compensate for failure in the home.” and I used to carry that around with me. And as I got on planes, as I was out there just trying to make it for my family, I always had that in my pocket. I’d physically would carry it around until finally I don’t need to carry it around, it’s burned in.
Jeff: But yeah, family to me, I grew up with a dad who had a really strong family. Mom had a really strong family. I just watched what they would do for each other, and then you just want to replicate that. And so I’ve had four boys, I’ve got a great wife and I make all my decisions with keeping in mind, how is it going to affect our family.
Charan: That’s awesome.
Jeff: And it’s why I still work at 54, I could have been done before now, but I chose to do things, that would give me more time with my family. And I don’t know what retirement would be anyway. My dad, he sold off all his businesses and he still worked like crazy helping people. And then that’s the second thing is helping people out, to me it’s the best drug in the world. If you were feeling down, if you were feeling like, “Oh gosh, it was a hard day, it’s a hard week,” I just look around and like, “Who can I help?” And it doesn’t have to be huge. It can be, but if you do that, I just get this stoke of “I feel good about myself” and then you’re watching somebody else that you just help lift them up a little bit. And it fixes just about any woe, the world can give you, if you just take a little bit of time and do that. So those are the two things.
Charan: I love it, family and service. It’s a fantastic formula for joy.
Jeff: It is.
Jeff Adcock’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: Last question. Last question. If you could give any advice to your younger self, the self that’s like, “I think I’m going to go and be an entrepreneur. I’m going to college. I’m going to learn about it,” what advice would you give that self?
Jeff: So this is an interesting question, because this was one of those questions that hurts your brain, and the reason why is your experiences made you who you are. So I’d almost be afraid to go back, and say, “Hey do this, or don’t do this,” because then what’s the long-term effect? I don’t know, maybe I watched too much “Back to the Future” growing up. But if I had to say anything, I’d probably give myself a few points of advice. One is endure the challenges well. Sometimes it’s easy when we’re in challenges to not learn as quickly as we could, if we just endured them well. And that’s what we were talking about. This is some old-guy wisdom, I see a little bit of gray.
Charan: [crosstalk 00:36:29] I’ve got plenty. I had to dye my hair for this movie and it’s fairly light, but the silver’s all coming through right now, man. Yeah.
Jeff: That’s awesome. So it’s about really be you, but endure the challenge as well, because they’re making you, you. You will look back on those challenges with fondness and be like, “Yeah, I made it through that.” So anyway, that’d probably be one. Two is something that I did learn early, but I still would double-down on that, and that is listen to people that are five years in front of you, maybe 10 years in front of you. Listen to them, interview them, talk to them, get coaching from them.
Jeff: I was lucky enough to somehow tap into that pretty early. And that has really helped me chart a lot of paths and make a lot of decisions, big decisions, decisions of slowing down a career, and not taking a path that would have led to some regrets. And then the last one just because I think it’s funny. I think it’s actually a lot… If I could go to time machine, what would I tell myself? It would be something, not as deep, but I still think it’d be good advice. It’d be like “Buy Apple and Google stock.”
Charan: You going to say you’re like, “Invest in Google.” I knew where your mind was going with that one, that is awesome.
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, because, come on.
Charan: Yeah, man. Of course.
Jeff: Just buy early and hold.
Charan: Yeah. You will be happy. You will [crosstalk 00:38:21].
Jeff: You will be happy.
Charan: Very happy I would say.
Jeff: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:38:25].
Charan: That’s awesome. Well, Jeff, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me, man. I think this advice that you’ve been giving and just about peer-to-peer coaching, but also just really about taking the path down the middle and there’s nothing wrong with that. If that’s your path, you should go for it, and you can find the best of both worlds I think that’s great advice, because it makes things seem a lot less extreme and I’m all about that.
Jeff: And you truly can get the best of both worlds. You can, if you play it right, you can get all the stability you want, all the upside you want. Just, it’s all sitting there. You just have to put a little bit of work into it, and author that path, but it’s there.
Charan: That’s awesome, that’s so great. Well, Jeff, I appreciate you, man. Thank you so much for joining me on the Lemonade Stand podcast and yeah have a fantastic day.
Jeff: Great. Thanks, Charan. Great to be with you.
Charan: Take care.
Jeff: See ya.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to the Lemonade Stand podcast and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback to the reviews, and if you or someone you know has an awesome lemonade stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much and have a great day.