Who is John Dye?
John has an incredible gift: he can spot goodness in the world and has the skills to make it grow big. Really Big. He was behind some of the largest campaigns The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has produced: Light the World, Meet the Mormons, etc.
His ability to make things grow comes from the fact that John truly cares about others and desires to lift others up. This is his passion.
I was privileged to sit down with him for a bit and chat about his life, his success, his failures, and what kind of legacy he wanted to leave the world. Enjoy!
John has said that he loves to work with nonprofit organizations and cause-based entities, as he really enjoys helping to get the word out to others about the good things that these organizations do. He likes to play a part in helping the world to be better. One of his passions as a social media & influencer marketing strategist is that he can create social media strategies that can work with online influencers to help amplify the message that the organization wants to get across, all in an effort to help, inspire, and uplift. One massive highlight of his career as a social media and influencer strategist is that he was able to grow an international cause-based organization to over five million fans or followers in less than two years, a great feat that any organization would love to have.
John currently works as the senior director of marketing at dōTERRA, but prior to that he worked at Bonneville Communications as the lead social media strategist and influencer marketing director. Other roles of note include serving as the president of Fluid Studio, which is a marketing and advertising firm near Salt Lake City, Utah. When working at Bonneville Communications he worked hand-in-hand with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ missionary department in order to optimize the mormon.org social media presence, including the huge Meet the Mormons campaign. This featured a variety of different members of the Church talking about their life and what they do, as well as being Mormon (Latter-day Saint), and included famous members like Brandon Flowers from The Killers.
In his current role as the senior director of marketing at dōTERRA, John directs all of the digital, print, and educational marketing efforts for North America. The company itself aims to make the world a better place by sharing the highest quality essential oils with the world. The oils claim to have a number of benefits, and they are unlike any competitors as they made a commitment to develop a new standard of quality for their essential oils, over and above what others do, and that is their Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® (CPTG) oils. dōTERRA is also a network marketing company that can help others to create a business from home through sales and building teams. John’s passion for others and for improving the world as he sees it is definitely something that is evident in how he moves in his career.
Light the World
John was an integral part of the Light the World campaign for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a campaign that runs over the holidays helping others to do things for other people. It includes social media as well as vending “giving machines” that become available for the public to purchase something that gets donated to a worthy cause. The giving machines are located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah; Manila, Philippines; New York City; Gilbert, Arizona; and London, England. In just a few weeks, the machines and the campaign generated 52,279 contributions in their first year of the campaign running, resulting in $1,332,128 in donations that went to local and global charities, which shows John’s commitment to others and to doing good.
Passion for people
John loves to work with people, meet new people, and help to make a difference in their lives. He has served for over seven years as a faculty member teaching a variety of English and communications courses at different colleges and universities, including Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah Valley University, and Salt Lake Community College. John has also been involved with community organizations, too, and currently serves as a board member for BYU Alumni, as well as being on the editorial board for “BYU Magazine.”
John is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he received his master’s degree and a bachelor of arts degree in English. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading, and spending time with family.
John Dye Podcast Transcription
John: We’re live.
Charan: We’re live. We are live.
John: John Dye live with Charan.
Charan: Yeah. Do you know how to say my last name, by the way?
John: Give me some help.
Charan: Alrighty. It rhymes with “tra-BOCK-er,” and it starts with a P.
John: Prabhakar. All right.
Charan: Dude, first time. That was amazing. Incredible. Guys, I am here with John Dye. This is the Lemonade Stand podcast and I’m so excited to meet him. It’s funny because we were discussing how our paths should have crossed a while ago, but we were like ships.
John: Two ships in the night, right?
Charan: Yeah man.
John: Just going right by each other.
Charan: Going right by each other.
John: So many people in common and good stories. Good people.
Charan: Good people.
John: Good people.
Charan: So the Lemonade Stand podcast is all about helping future entrepreneurs, right? It’s about when you first became a business owner, whether it was owning a lemonade stand, you had your struggles here and there you were like, “Okay, that didn’t work” or “That worked.” It’s like trial-and-error type situations, but I was told by our good buddy Greg that John Dye is the man., that he needs to be interviewed because his wisdom is fantastic, and just even as our conversations have gone on, I’m like man, it’s true. I could just probably sit here for hours and listen. But let’s go ahead and give a little update, like a little background on who you are and what you’ve been doing.
Charan: You would say you’re a social media tactitioner, is that correct?
John: Yeah. I think a strategist. I create content, mediocre content. I’ll be the first one to say it.
John: But I think really where my skillset comes to the fore is really helping execute and get that out.
John: Because it’s kind of that old maxim: “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make any sound?” Well if you create content and nobody sees it or nobody experiences it, does it really make a dent in what we’re doing? And the answer is no, right?
Charan: That’s a good point. Yeah.
John: You need to get it out, and so I love relationships. I love working with people. I love understanding where they’re at, defining who those target audiences are, and just getting the best content out to them.
John Dye Talks About the Light the World Campaign
Charan: That’s awesome, man. It’s cool because not only has Greg mentioned your name, but other people have mentioned your name and you’ve been at the center of some really cool projects, like in the Mormon world, you were part of the Light the World campaign. Is that correct?
John: Absolutely. I love that. That was incredible. Do you mind if I just talk a little bit more about…?
Charan: Go, please. Please go.
John: So yeah, it’s interesting because we were talking earlier and I’m not your typical entrepreneur.
John: I am a corporate guy and I’ve been a corporate guy for the majority of my, what, three decades in business, but I feel I have the entrepreneurial spirit. Worked at ad agencies and did different things. As we talk specifically about the Church, the Mormon church, and what I’ve been involved in, it’s been interesting because I’ve been involved in Meet the Mormons when that came out in 2014.
John: Which was, I think, groundbreaking and seminal for what they were trying to do.
Charan: For sure.
John: To get not only the word out about the Church but re-entrench members who needed to come back and put a stake in the ground and say, “I’m proud to be a member of this church.” But yeah, it’s just very interesting that the Light the World initiative and, sorry, we’re kind of going non…
Charan: I love it. I love it already. No, that’s what I love about this is there’s no real specific “this has to be this and this has to be this.”
Charan: I just want to hear your story, man.
John: Yeah, no, that’s great. As I think through my career and the things I’m probably most proud of, it definitely revolves around stuff I’ve done with the Church.
Charan: That’s awesome.
John: It’s because of the cause, right? It’s what you truly believe in. And we tell young people, “Follow your passions,” and I truly believe that. I believe there is money to be made in anything if you follow your passion.
Charan: That’s awesome.
John: And specifically with me, where I was able, I think, to do the most good at least in my career to this point was tied into the Church, as we talk about the Light the World initiative, which comes out usually in late November every year going into the Christmas season for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But basically it’s just a challenge to do something every day or every week just on a sequential basis to be better in the world, to make the world better, to do what Christ would do if he were here and to reflect that light of Christ to others. So I think that was really important. The giving machines now are all the rage, if you’re familiar with those.
John: It’s taking an old concept of a vending machine and talking about instead of getting something, give something to the world.
Charan: That’s awesome.
John: Give to nonprofits and… gosh, the team that came up with that, what an incredible, incredible thing. But where our paths have crossed, and where I think I’ve really enjoyed, melding the entertainment world with the religious or the spiritual world.
Charan: That’s awesome.
John: I’ll go into a little bit of what we did specifically with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and some of the things we were trying to do and maybe the history a little bit, because this is marketing history, so if you’re not strong on the religious side or spiritual side, I think there are still some principles that-
John: That can be found here. Back in the 90s, direct-response market was huge. It’s like, “Hey, we’ve got this VHS tape or this DVD or cassette tape,” ask your parents, “We’ll get this out to you. We’ll send two of our representatives,” which obviously would be missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to give them a videotape or a free Bible or a free copy of the Book of Mormon or something like that. Well, that kind of met its lifecycle, meaning it kind of ended.
John: A lot of people weren’t interested. They didn’t want two strangers showing up on their doorstep giving them something for free.
Charan: That’s something. Yeah.
John: Yeah. Yeah, so the Church kind of pivoted a little bit and they said, “Okay, there’s this thing called the internet.”
John: Twitter was relatively new and-
Charan: Isn’t that crazy to think that the internet came out… well, I became aware of the internet in the 90s. What an interesting concept. My dad was introducing me to email and I’m like, “What? Will people ever use this?” That’s what I remember thinking.
John: That doesn’t seem very logical. Why would you do that?
Charan: Yeah, exactly.
John: Yeah, exactly. So very interesting to think through. That’s been in our lifetime. That literally was three decades ago.
Charan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John: But as this pivot from the direct-response marketing went to hey, go where people are at, which was online at the time, we needed to do a lot more… I won’t call it advertising, but really that’s what it was. Really building awareness of a cause or a product is what you do online. So as we started to do that and got more into social media for the Church and tried to use our base to help amplify the message, that’s really where we started. Now, there were some individuals at the Church, middle management I would say if you were in a corporate world, that really didn’t understand it. We built the following from 400,000 to like 5.2 million, but they just couldn’t explain to the people above them why social media was so powerful and why we needed it and things like that. So they kind of started to shutter it.
Charan: Oh wow.
John: They shut it down.
John: That’s like putting a Lamborghini in a garage and letting it collect dust.
John: You know what I mean?
John: When you’re talking about content distribution.
John: 5.2 million eyeballs that you could get at that you’re not. So from that point, we said okay, what do we do now? Our presence online is not what we want it to be or the vision that we have for it, we can’t bring it to fruition because powers that be just-
Charan: They didn’t understand it.
John: Yeah, they don’t understand it. They don’t know how to share it with the people above them. So that’s really when we started looking at influencer marketing.
John: Finding people who their personal brand aligns with the brand that we were trying to promote, which at that point was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now the beautiful thing about a religion, you and I, I’m sure, don’t live our religion the same.
Charan: Probably not.
John: And that’s okay, right? There are certain things that we will definitely agree upon, but we approach things differently, and that’s what I like about this. The big-tent mentality of you don’t have to fall within this specific space. Well with influencers, that was key.
John: Because the way that some of our people live their religion, the audiences they attract, are different, and so that’s a way for us to amplify the message through the audiences, which, let’s be honest, their audiences where 10x, 50x, what the Church’s was.
John: And so finding these ways to align yourself with people who have large audiences already that can carry that message, that can amplify that message in their unique way based on the audience that they will attract and really getting it to the people and making them aware in whatever way, as overtly as they wanted to or as covertly or as subdued as they want. So really what I enjoyed there was taking a message that you strongly believe in, that they believe in, and then finding a way to put that, I’ll call it a corporate brand, with their personal brand and really being able to make that work well. And that’s where we just saw this start to blow up. Working with influencers with an aggregate reach of 50, 70, 100-plus million when you put them together and really being able to do good in the world. I love that.
Charan: You love that.
John: I still love that.
Charan: Well it’s so great because I talk to different entrepreneurs that have a dream of they want to build this thing or they want to build that thing, but your vision is, or your desires are, I want to take something that’s already existing that’s good and let the whole world know about it, and that’s where your heart is strongly focused.
John: Yes. That’s a great way to summarize it.
Charan: So why was it that way? Why is it instead of having your own thing, you’re thinking, “I want to promote this. This excites me more than having my own thing that I want to put out into the world”?
John: Yeah, it’s interesting because you and I were talking earlier, and I would say I’m a conservative entrepreneur or a solopreneur. I’ll spend somebody else’s money and I think I make them a lot of money, right?
John: Or I get the message out, in the case of the Church, in a way that’s, I think, very appropriate. But I’ve just grown up and I’ve been very conservative and I think that’s rubbed off on me. I’m quite a bit older than Charan and some of the other people on this podcast. So I think I’ve just had a different mentality that way. It’s like, grab something that you believe in. Even right now, for example, I’m with a company called dōTERRA and what brought me here, really, was their philanthropic bent to do good in the world. It’s amazing to see when you align yourself with good nonprofits and people doing good… OUR, Operation Underground Railroad, Three Strands Global, dealing with issues that young people have in the world about education, about key things that we take for granted here in the United States.
John: But really the message is for goodness and for basic education need to be just disseminated throughout the world, and when you find people who have a penchant for wanting to do that and the monetary means to do that, I think that’s the nexus where I kind of fit in.
John: I’m not passionate about becoming rich myself. I just want to disseminate good messages to others and I hope that’s my legacy. And I hope at the end of the day, I’ve heard many of the people that you’ve talked to, we all want to leave a legacy, right?
John: We all want to be known for something. Hamilton, right? Just came out on Disney+ and who lives, who dies, who tells your story, right? Who’s going to talk about John Dye for what he has done? What are the good things he’s done in the world? Where has he moved the needle? And when you think about that, that’s really what I want to be known for. Because somebody is always going to be richer than you.
John: And have less than you. But at the end of the day, I want to be known for, wow, that’s a guy who took a message and shared it and impacted lives for good.
Charan: Yeah, that’s awesome, John. I love that. And it’s cool because you’ve identified your passion, which a lot of people struggle with, but you’ve identified your passion and you’ve really put your energy towards it and it seems like as a result of it, it’s led you to have a really happy life and a happy… I guess not everything goes according to plan, obviously, but I feel like you aligned yourself with causes you really enjoy and you’re helping push those causes out, which is really what you’ve wanted to do.
John Dye Talks About Overcoming Struggles
John: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. And you mentioned something. Struggles, right?
John: We all hit them.
John: Whether it’s in business, whether it’s in personal lives, whatever, and I’ve had my own set of struggles. I went through a divorce. It was not something that I would wish on my worst of enemies, much less my best of friends, and things fall apart. And I’m in a great spot now, have a wonderful wife, have a great family, but sometimes when you take your eyes off the prize of what you think is most important in life, things start to happen and unravel in ways that you wouldn’t expect.
John: And my personal philosophy is we all have to have those moments to really, I think, dig deep and see what we care about. Yeah, exactly. Test our mettle. And when we do that, though, I think you can bounce back for the better or not. And I would like to think I’m better because of it. I’ve learned some things.
John: And I hope I’m more sage and can pass on some of that wisdom to others who may be experiencing something similar.
Charan: Experiencing something similar. Yeah. It’s so interesting because I myself have never been married, so I’ve never been divorced, but my parents have been divorced and my mom has been divorced a couple of times, and I look at just the pain that she’s gone through because of that, and I realize… It’s interesting. Everyone has those crucible moments, the dark night of the soul.
John: Right. The belly of the whale.
Charan: The belly of the whale where you don’t really know what the future is going to hold for you. And it’s interesting because I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of control and trying to figure out, oh, this is where my life is going to be or this is what’s going to happen. Well, 2020 has proved us all wrong, right? It has definitely proved-
John: The decade of 2020 so far.
Charan: The decade of 2020. Right. Exactly. And I just remember thinking, wow, what a perfect example of how little control we little have when you think about it.
Charan: And yet some people, despite this uncertainty, I have seen still thrive.
Charan: They can still do some amazing things, whereas other people, this has crippled them, and I’ve heard that the suicide rate has been really high, overdosing has been high, and it really made me sad. I like to think of myself as one that has thrived a bit, but only because all throughout my teenage years, I was faced with uncertainty. My parents divorced, my dad was moving away, my summers were split spent with him and then with my mom. Nothing ever seemed like, oh, this was what was going to happen. I just had no idea. And then to top things off, I decided hey, I’m going to go into something a lot more secure in my future. I’m going to be an actor.
John: Exactly, because that’s a steady paycheck.
Charan: Because that is a steady paycheck. But yeah, just full of uncertainty all the time and going to LA and just getting rejection after rejection. I remember thinking, all right, I think I’m okay. I think I’m going to be okay just knowing that the worst that they can say is no. But it taught me to be comfortable with uncertainty and I was like, okay, even though I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m just going to keep moving forward. But I didn’t realize how much that would help me when a crisis like this happens where everything goes down the drain, I guess, or everything shuts down. I had a bunch of different projects I was going to do, I still might do, but everything shut down.
John: Yeah, just on pause, at least for the moment.
Charan: On pause for a little bit, right?
Charan: But how about you? You have a career, you’re doing what you’re doing, but then things like a divorce would happen or other hard times, other struggles. How do you face those uncertain moments and how have you been able to bounce back and be on top?
John: Yeah, wonderful question. As we have mentioned before, I think we talk about fire, right?
John: People are forged in fire, right? In trials. That’s how the strongest metal is created. Pressure is what creates a diamond. I could think of multiple analogies here, but the pressure, the fire, the refinement that occurs, I think it causes you, though, to really step back and really strip yourself of all the façade, of all the things that you’re saying, “Why am I doing this?” You get very introspective. You say, “Gosh, if we’re only allotted 80 to 100 years on this earth, what do you want to be known for?” Again, I guess it goes back to legacy for me. It’s like, do you want to be known for failure? Because I saw that as a failure and that’s something that I still struggle with because that is such… we hear, specifically in our religion, everything revolves around Christ but family as well.
John: And to feel like wow, I’ve got two feet firmly planted in this religious space, but I failed in one of the key things that we talk about, and it caused me to really say okay, and it caused me actually to be more introspective about what I believe, why I believe it, and maybe even some things that I believe that I won’t say are counter to the religion, but my own personal experience has taken me through some things that caused me to look at it, I would say, differently than the majority of the people might say. Again, being even single, right?
John: That’s a tough thing in the religion or same-gender attraction, right? Being gay, ethnicity, race. I mean, we struggle with a lot of things, I’d say, societally, but even specifically in religious terms, that it’s hard to sometimes make those jibe.
John: And so it’s caused me to know what I believe, but believe things because I know I believe them, because I know it’s not just because what I’ve heard over the pulpit or what people say.
Charan: What other people have told you.
John: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s not to say that… I would say I’m 100 percent still in the camp.
John: But my experience, again, when I talk about big-tent Mormonism or big -ent religion, it’s like there’s room for everybody, right? I believe Christ was an includer. He would go off the 99, he’d leave them to get the one. He would sup with those people. Sorry if this is turning too religious.
Charan: Dude, it’s-
John: It’s my journey, I guess, right?
Charan: It’s all about people’s journeys, man. Yeah. Keep going.
John: As we think about that, it’s made me more inclusive.
Charan: I love that.
John: It’s really helped me to understand that, gosh, we all can do better. We all need to do better.
Charan: Yeah. It’s interesting that you say… what you said about there’s room for everybody and everyone’s path is their own original path whether you’re in any sort of religious affiliation or not. It’s been interesting. One of the things that has really struck with me or stuck with me is the need to be more authentic to myself. During the time of COVID, I realized there were a lot of things that I was doing, not that they were bad, it just wasn’t authentic to me. I felt like I was living a little bit of a lie, mostly because people said, “Hey, this is awesome, Charan, you should be doing this,” and I’m like, “Oh yeah, I should be doing this because it’s awesome.” And then I realize yeah, it might be awesome for you, but it might not have been the thing that I really, really wanted to do.
Charan: I found that with media a lot. You talked about legacy. I was in LA and I was succeeding by all purposes. I was booking roles. I was doing a lot of cool TV shows. Every year I was doing three or four TV shows and people were like, “Why are you feeling a little unhappy?” Because I was. I was starting to dread auditions for some reason. And the more I thought about it, I just kept thinking yes, I love acting, I love doing these things, but the shows that I’m not, that’s not the messaging I want to share. I have my own messaging about love and about joy and those are the things that really speak to my soul. So when I moved back to Utah, that was one of the reasons.
Charan: I wanted to create my own stuff because I was like, this speaks more to me, it excites me more, it makes me feel more authentic. Now to your point about church, I remember there was this… I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I go to what’s called a “mid-singles” ward. It’s for those that are single but they are a little older than 31 and I think below 45 or whatnot. And it was funny. The leader of my ward, our bishop, asked me to give a talk once and he said, “Talk about whatever you want. I trust you.” And I’m like, “All right. Sounds good.” So that was the last time he ever asked me to speak. No.
John: He hasn’t spoken since.
Charan: I haven’t spoken since. No. It was about happiness, really. That’s what I wanted to speak on. And I was telling everyone in the congregation, I said, “You know what? I am so grateful we are in this mid-singles ward because being here lets us all know things did not go according to plan.” And everyone was just dying laughing. It’s like no one thought this, no one expected when you’re a kid, you’re like, “I can’t wait to be in the mid-singles ward.”
Charan: This is a place that we got to because we’re like, well, life didn’t work out, our marriage didn’t work out, or I’m still single, or I’ve got anxiety, I don’t know if I can get married. All kinds of different situations.
John: Let’s get Halestorm Entertainment.
Charan: Let’s get Halestorm Entertainment.
John: To do this mid-singles ward.
Charan: Yes, exactly. I’m friends with those guys. I’ll have to call them to make it happen. But what I’ve learned from that process was happiness was never about a checklist. It was about a relationship.
John: Oh, that’s great.
Charan: Right, and it was such a cool, eye-opening thing for me to learn. At that moment, I had learned all along the way, even when I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I learned that it was about a relationship that brought the joy, that brought the peace, that brought the happiness, and if I tied my own personal sense of happiness to outcomes, to a certain set of circumstances, then I would be severely disappointed.
Charan: And I found that all the time in the movie world where I was producing movies, and it just didn’t succeed the way I thought it was going to succeed. I didn’t have someone like you marketing it, so no one saw it. It made a dent in my parent’s basement, but that was it. I realized that the outcomes, if I continued to base my personal happiness on what I thought was going to give me a happy life, like a certain relationship or a certain thing, it was always leading to disappointment. And I, obviously I’m not you, but during your first marriage, did you think, oh, it has to be a certain way or it has to have a certain type of picture for me to experience the greatest level of happiness?
John: Absolutely. And by the way, I think what you just said, that is probably the… if you do something to tease this podcast episode, it should be you.
Charan: No. Not me.
John: Nothing that I say. That, I think, was very sage counsel. Say that again, too, it was happiness is not about a checklist, it’s about relationships. Is that what you said?
Charan: Yeah, it’s about a relationship.
Charan: I specifically say a relationship-
John: A relationship.
Charan: Because I specifically mean my relationship with Christ.
John: Got it.
Charan: You know what I mean?
Charan: Like my relationship with God.
Charan: But yeah.
John: Yeah. I can’t agree with you more. I do believe we often think in a very prescriptive way about things that we should be doing and that can apply to anything, right? Whether it’s work, whether it’s something that you should do with your family or within a church or whatever, but I agree with you. It’s more important that you create those relationships that matter to you because at the end of the day, again, those checklist things, I think about stuff here at work, and I’m a workaholic and I derive probably too much value from having people say, “hey, good job with that.” But I realize, even now, I wish I was better at this and I need to get better at this. I need to put first things first.
John: I need to make sure that I have got the relationships in place with my close family members and the people that matter because I think to myself, and I use this as a yardstick, and I’m not the one that thought of this but I think it’s very sage counsel, if you only had 10 people that could attend your funeral, which nowadays in COVID land, this is more real than not, right?
John: But if you could only have 10, 12, 15, 20 people attend, number one, who would come? Number two, who would you want to have come? And I think to myself, if it’s not friends, close friends and family, family first, of course, hopefully, but if it’s not the people that you really wanted, if they’re not going to be the front-row-seat people, think about gosh, I’ve met so many people over the course of my life, but have I really made a difference? Have I really impacted them for good? If it’s not my close family and friends that are going to fill the first two pews, what have I done? My legacy really won’t be much more than that and they can etch something on a headstone but at the end of the day, I don’t think I’ll consider my life a success.
John: So relationships, I believe that very wise counsel.
Charan: Yeah. I just… yeah. The longer I’ve lived, the more I realize the things I really want in my life are just good memories with friends.
Charan: And family.
Charan: And I think sharing those memories with your friends and family are just the way to have the most enriching life possible.
Charan: Sometimes I think we try accumulating a lot of things because we’re like, well, this is going to bring me happiness and this is going to bring me happiness, but then we can’t actually enjoy the very moment with the thing that we have because we’re now worried about all these other things surrounding it, right?
John: Exactly. And I’ve thought about that a lot. As I’ve, and maybe this is where it ties into entrepreneurship a little bit, but leverage. You need to have cash. You need to leverage that cash to make more cash.
John: Et cetera, et cetera. And as I think about that, it’s wise counsel, I believe, to just make sure… I’m a Dave Ramsey fan.
John: Shout out. Sponsored not sponsored-
John: -by Dave Ramsey.
John: But get your own house in order. Do the basic things. Make sure that you’ve got that emergency fund and pay off your mortgage as soon as you can. Make sure you get things in order for your close family members and do things like that. I will also say, I read something a few years ago that talked about accumulate memories, not things. At the end of the day, the best analogy probably is your new car. You drive it off the lot and all of a sudden 20 percent of its value or something in that nature is gone.
John: It just evaporates. Well, the Danube cruise I did with my wife and the European vacations, going to Rome, I’ve got that on Facebook. I can go see that again.
John: But it’s really, like you said, the relationship. It’s those things that they can’t take from you that will be with you forever. So it’s not the nice large television or the nice cars, it’s like create things that really make a difference.
Charan: I remember… you’re talking about cars. I have a Prius. I drive a Toyota Prius and it so happened, the week that I purchased that Prius, I was working on a film that was shot in Utah where I played an Uber driver and they were like, wait, you have a Prius?
John: That’s perfect.
Charan: And it’s black? Sold. You’re cast. And so they used my car instead of even one of their cars and the main actor, his name is John Hawkes, and he is a fantastic actor. He has been in tons and tons of independent films and he’s also just a wonderful human being. So in this scene, I’m supposed to pick John Hawkes up and right before the scene, he had a very, very intense encounter, and so he’s not in the best of mind spaces, but then he gets in the car and I’m just this happy-go-lucky, like, “Hey, how’s it going? Where do you want to go?” And it’s kind of a funny scene.
Charan: So the scene was he gets in my car, I have a couple lines, and then we drive off. What happened was a little bit different, though, because I was told, “Hey, Charan, John is going to get in the car and then you’re going to turn around and just drive around the block and come back.” Great. And so I was kind of focused on doing that. He gets in my car and I drive off and I turn around and I realize that it doesn’t go around in a block. It goes into some random road and I don’t have a GPS on or anything. I was just kind of focused on this. And I realized very quickly I got lost with the main actor in my car. And the thing was-
John: Held him hostage, right?
Charan: Yeah. John was just dying laughing at this whole situation. I’m like, “dude, I am so sorry. I apologize.” He was like, “I can’t believe you just kidnapped the main actor.” I’m like, “I know, I’m so sorry.” And then my friend was calling me on the walkie-talkie, he was like, “Dude, where are you?” And I’m like, “Dude, this doesn’t go around the block. They told me go around the block.”
John: There’s no such thing as a block here.
John: Yeah. That’s great.
Charan: But I remember thinking yes, the car is great and it runs fine, but that memory that happened back in 2015, I still think about that memory. I still think it’s great, right?
John Dye’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: And it still brings me a lot of joy, and so you’re right. Accumulating memories, I really do believe, is the source of a lot of joy and those sort of relationships. So I guess one final question. What would you tell your younger self or the future generation? What would you say to the young John Dye that’s got bright eyes and he’s wanting to go tackle the world and help bring good messaging out? What would you tell that John?
John: That’s a very good question. As I think through that, yeah, if you could go back in time, build a time machine and-
John: 30 years back, you could talk to 20-year-old John. What would you say focus on? The things that matter most. I don’t want to be too trite or too simplistic in this, but the things that matter most, I believe, are relationships. I think you hit on that. I love LinkedIn. That’s a social platform that I absolutely love because it’s all about relationships.
John: So is Facebook, so is Instagram. LinkedIn, it’s more business, but it’s like build your network. Build your network. Define your network, first of all. Who do you want to spend your time with because you become a product of those people that you spend time with.
John: So as you said earlier in your life when you were in LA, you were successful, quote unquote. I’m doing air quotes here for people on the podcast. Many people saw you as successful, but you felt something was missing, right?
John: And so define who that network is that you want to spend your time with and spend your time there and build that network. I would say success is not dependent on the type of car you drive. And that’s one thing I think I’ve been true to. I drive a 10-year-old car with a dent in the driver’s side.
John: And it’s paid off and I feel good about that, right?
John: But what I like about that, though, is define success for yourself, but at the end of the day, know that legacy is what matters most. I feel like I’ve been true to myself that way in many ways because again, I feel like I’m living that out. But again, follow your passions. I truly believe, at the end of the day, when you’re on your deathbed and you’re looking back and you’re saying, “What did I accomplish? What did I do? Did I make a difference?” And everybody will define that differently, so there’s no right or wrong answer there, but know what it is that you want to do and don’t be afraid to fail. We were talking earlier about what you’re doing now and is that what you want to do when you grow up, right?
John: But I love the fact that this world is wide enough for us to test different things out and to see where our passions are, and once we find those passions, really to be able to follow those and define the difference that we want to make.
Charan: One of my favorite stories in the world of film making is when Steven Spielberg was making “Jaws,” the shark didn’t work. The mechanical shark failed and so they didn’t know what to do, and they started to create different ways of showing the movie from the shark’s perspective with the film camera moving a certain way to create suspense. So during this time of limitation, they actually took advantage and it actually ended up being one of the things that really made that movie successful.
John: Interesting. Yeah. Yeah.
Charan: So I think about even our lives right now and we might think, oh man, we are severely limited because of COVID and we are severely limited because we have to isolate, but I think now is the time to really explore ideas.
Charan: And say, hey, you know what? Let these limitations be the parameters I have to work in and come up with something cool, like having that indie filmmaker mindset, right?
John: Love it. Love it. And I believe the best creativity, I think you hit it right on the head, the nail right on the head, because creativity, I think, thrives within constraints.
John: And the best design that I’ve ever seen is when we’ve been limited by budget or by time or by the color palette. There’s something there, you have to build that sandbox people can play in. I totally agree with you and COVID has really created some constraints for us, and so those people that are thriving are those that are understanding what those constraints are, but being creative within those.
Charan: Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, John, you’re amazing. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to talk with you today. Do you have any final words that you want to share with our audience?
John: You know what, I say this honestly, the people that you have talked to already, just incredible. I’ve looked up to them all of my professional life, and so I’m honored even just to have a footnote in this podcast.
John: So thank you very much. But keep doing good in the world. Thank you for spreading these messages. There is so much good counsel, good advice, that as I’ve listened through the people that you’ve met with, so go do good in the world and really define it for yourself. Define what you want to do, what you want to be known for, and then just hang on to that. And you’ll go through ups and downs, but keep that as your north star, as your guiding star. Everything will work out. It always does.
Charan: That’s awesome.
John: It’ll work out.
Charan: Well, sound, sage advice, John. Thank you so much for being on the Lemonade Stand podcast. Thanks, guys, for listening, and have a fantastic day.
John: Thanks, Charan.
Charan: Yeah, take care.
John: Good to see you.
Charan: Yeah, you too.
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 in 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.