Episode 58

February 02, 2024


Episode 58 - Kevin Chern - I Think I've Invented and Reinvented Myself a Few Times, My Evolution, and Like So Many of Us, We Are Forced to Redefine Ourselves After a Big Life Event

Hosted by

Drew Deraney
Episode 58 - Kevin Chern - I Think I've Invented and Reinvented Myself a Few Times, My Evolution, and Like So Many of Us, We Are Forced to Redefine Ourselves After a Big Life Event
From Caving In To Crushing It
Episode 58 - Kevin Chern - I Think I've Invented and Reinvented Myself a Few Times, My Evolution, and Like So Many of Us, We Are Forced to Redefine Ourselves After a Big Life Event

Feb 02 2024 | 00:39:44


Show Notes

This episode: I think I've invented and reinvented myself a few times, my evolution, and like so many of us, we are forced to redefine ourselves after a big life event.


Here’s what you’ll learn about:

Life's non-linear path and personal growth. (0:15)

  • Kevin Chern reflects on the smallness of the world and the power of networking, grateful for opportunities to connect with people from different walks of life.

Career development and impacting lives. (2:35)

  • Kevin reflects on defining moments in his career, including starting a business and mentoring people, and how these experiences have shaped his perspective on life and work.
  • His next critical turning point came 3.5 years later when he realized he wouldn't advance to a higher position, leading him to leverage his knowledge of business and law to start his own firm.

Entrepreneurship, marketing, and personal growth. (6:16)

  • Kevin discusses his journey from a successful law practice to founding a technology marketing company, citing a desire for personal and professional fulfillment.
  • He reflects on his divorce, acknowledging it as a difficult but potentially positive experience that allowed him to focus on his passions and improve his overall well-being

Legal challenges and ethical complaints in a business. (10:18)

  • Kevin discusses the challenges of balancing work and family life, particularly for men who are expected to suck it up and stay silent.
  • His company faced regulatory challenges in 47 states after an attorney filed ethical complaints against him, resulting in a 18-month legal battle.
  • Despite the challenges, Kevin remained determined to build a toolbar that aligns with his own beliefs and values, rather than conforming to societal expectations.

Moving forward after professional challenges. (16:14)

  • Kevin reflects on past challenges, chooses to move forward with entrepreneurial spirit.

Legal accessibility and marketing strategies. (17:43)

  • Business generated 80,000 leads per month, but 30,000 fell through the cracks due to geographical or demographic factors.
  • Kevin starts virtual law firm after being pushed out by management.

Entrepreneurship, regulation, and personal growth. (21:36)

  • Kevin reflects on past business failures, seeking a more thoughtful approach to future ventures

Finding happiness through introspection and self-awareness. (23:57)

  • Kevin reflects on his personal growth and happiness, encouraging introspection and self-awareness.
  • He shares his daily routine and habits, highlighting the importance of finding joy in life's experiences.


To learn more about Kevin, go to LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinchern/

or you can go to Kevin’s website at http://www.sanguinesa.com/.


Kevin Chern Bio:

Kevin Chern has spent over 25 years building businesses and navigating complex paths to success. He founded and operated 5 successful startups in the legal, marketing, technology and advisory verticals. His businesses have consistently helped to expand access to consumer legal services, including 3 national, multijurisdictional law firms and the company that pioneered online lead generation in the legal vertical, eventually selling over 80,000 leads per month across 5 legal marketing networks comprised of over 2000 law firms. His companies have twice been on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in America.  He was named an inaugural member of the Fastcase 50, as one of the country's smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, & leaders in the legal space. 

After navigating the challenges of owning and managing a number of innovative, but highly regulated and operationally complex businesses, Kevin had to “reset” in 2019 and reinvent himself. That’s when he started his advisory firm, Sanguine Strategic Advisors, now a trusted partner to thousands of business owners across the country. Kevin enjoys building businesses and mentoring others and has established a reputation for diligence, optimism and trustworthiness among his professional circles. Hear about his fascinating journey and gain insight into how sheer determination and purposeful planning can often help you overcome even the steepest obstacles.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Welcome to from caving in to crushing it, the podcast for those who find themselves immersed in adversity and choose to write their story instead of having others write it for them. I'm Drew Deraney. And I'm your host, Kevin Chern. It's great to see you, my friend. [00:00:24] Speaker B: Great to see you as Jude. Thanks for having me. [00:00:27] Speaker A: Know one thing I love is when we have the talk right before the podcast, because I don't like to go into the podcast because you want to get to know your more. More than that. And I was just telling you how it was so cool how small a world this is. That Steve Ramona, I want to give him credit. He introduced you and me, and then yesterday I had a call with somebody who was going to be talking to you, and that was unrelated to that person and Steve Ramona. So it was like such a small world. And I just love that we're able to communicate with people and be connected with good human beings. So I'm very grateful that you're in my world. So thank you for coming on. [00:01:09] Speaker B: Likewise. That's one of the blessings of proactively networking with people is you get to meet with so many different types of people in different walks of life and really interesting stories and to. [00:01:22] Speaker A: Absolutely, absolutely. And today on today's show, I mentioned this to you a little bit about before, is I really focus on how when we're young, and it's not our parents'fault, we're taught that life is know, we're taught that. Drew, Kevin, if you do a plus, b plus, c, d is going to happen. And so men like you and I will go and do what we're told, and then, without being informed, something gets in the way of those letters and derails us. And life is no longer linear. And I know you have encountered a few opportunities that challenged yourself where you had to move and work through that circuitous route in life. So think about, and as far back as you can remember, wherever you want, that defining moment that was almost like a two by four hitting Kevin upside the head to say, oh, my gosh, I can live a different life. There's a better way to live. Something defining in your life that really molded you to who you are now and gave you that choice of either retreating or moving forward and becoming a stronger human being. I'd love to hear your story. [00:02:34] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I think I've invented and reinvented myself a few times through my evolution. And like so many of us, I think that a lot of it centers around what we're doing every single day in our careers. Right. Because we invest so much time in that. That very often. Very often, not always, but very often, the things that define us, where you're forced to redefine yourself is related to a career or a big life event, like a divorce or a death in your family or things. [00:03:14] Speaker A: Very true. [00:03:17] Speaker B: And I think those are more than anything, those are times to take pause and really think about, take those events for something that maybe is a little bit more purposeful. Even if you don't believe in fate, stop and say, well, maybe even if this wasn't fate for this to happen, this is certainly an event, a time in my life which supports me or should promote me, taking a pause to really reevaluate and think about life in a particular way. Right? Yeah, I think early on, I started my own first business. I'm an attorney by education. I graduated law school in 1993. [00:04:04] Speaker A: Right. [00:04:04] Speaker B: Worked for an attorney who ran a very high volume consumer bankruptcy law firm here in the Chicago area and was in that position during a time where he started to expand to a multi jurisdictional law practice representing clients in other states. Really didn't know who I was. I got out of school and just didn't. Had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, fall into a consumer bankruptcy practice. And it was high volume. So I literally had the opportunity on a weekly basis to consult with 20 or 30 individuals or families that were facing some of the most difficult and challenging financial and hardships that they had ever faced in their entire life. Talk about being given an opportunity to put your life into perspective, where, without exception, every single person you spoke with was in a currently less fortunate position than you were, and you'd have the opportunity within half an hour or an hour of sitting in a consultation to be able to affect a meaningful, substantial impact and change in their life for the better. Right. [00:05:23] Speaker A: Of course. [00:05:23] Speaker B: What a blessing, what a. To be able to do that. And I really kind of latched onto that. I think that was a defining moment or moments over those couple of years that I was doing that, because it really said to me, I want to be someone who helps people. I enjoy how I feel when I come to work every single day, and I see the impact that that has on people's lives. And I think that's kind of carried through with me through my professional career. As the common theme is I enjoy mentoring people. I enjoy helping people. I enjoy helping them solve the problems that are pressing them in their everyday lives. [00:06:05] Speaker A: Right. At a young age, coming out of law school to be thrust into a fast paced type of law firm. How long did you stay at that law firm? Because it obviously gave you an opportunity to feel that you can really greatly impact people. Did you stay there for a long period of time and was that your defining moment or did the defining moment happen afterwards where you're like, wait a second. [00:06:32] Speaker B: Well, like I said, I think we all have a number of defining moments. Sure, maybe I've been lucky to have a number of defining moments. I think kind of my next critical turning point was three and a half years later I realized that I was never going to advance to owning the law firm or being an equity holder in the law firm just because of the particular structure. It's not a criticism of the current owner, that was just his philosophy. So in 1997 I went out and I started leveraged all I learned about how to the business and the operations of the law firm, which I actually started to find that as much as I loved helping the individuals that were clients at the law firm, I really loved the operational and entrepreneurial aspects of law firm. Expanding new markets, leveraging technology, understanding sound financial practices. [00:07:36] Speaker A: Right. [00:07:37] Speaker B: So started my own law firm in 1997. Over the next eight years, I built that law practice to be 180 employees across 70 markets in 22 states, setting up a couple of thousand consumer clients on a monthly basis. Cross marketed very heavily for other types of legal matters. Referred those matters out to other boutique law firms in those respective markets. In 2002 in particular, that's when the advent of this great new thing called Google pay per click came out, okay? And we're doing a lot of advertising and traditional media, phone, books, television, and we were bidding on keywords like chapter seven, bankruptcy, lawyer for click. [00:08:30] Speaker A: My goodness, okay. [00:08:33] Speaker B: And we were generating inquiries from consumers all over the country that were interested in our services, but we were only in a few different states. [00:08:43] Speaker A: Okay. [00:08:44] Speaker B: Started calling up lawyers in other areas of the country and saying, look, I'm generating inquiries from consumers in your area. Why don't you reimburse me for the reasonable cost of the marketing and I will go ahead and send you the inquiries from those people who are making those inquiries. [00:09:02] Speaker A: Great idea. [00:09:04] Speaker B: And really it was just a way to offset the marketing cost with generating those inquiries through PPC. And unbeknownst to me, what I was doing is I was creating the first legal marketing network. You really were, you were basically selling weeds to lawyers. That by 2005 I realized I was having a lot more fun operating again. The marketing, the advertising, the digital marketing aspect of the business. That's where we expanded into the 70 markets. And I realized I was not really liking my life. I was working 70, 80 hours a week Saturdays. My kids were young. I wasn't really enjoying it. I had a partner that was off golfing and gambling and having fun, and I was really operating the business. [00:09:58] Speaker A: Right. [00:09:58] Speaker B: Basically walked in one day and I just basically said, make me an offer I can't refuse. And what I meant by that is I'm leaving. Let's part ways in an amicable manner. He construed it as, what can I pay you to stay? And I said, no, we're way past that. This is no longer about the money. This is about the fact that there's something else I want to do in my life that I think will afford me more happiness and more enjoyment, personally and professionally. [00:10:32] Speaker A: Right. [00:10:33] Speaker B: And I just want to part ways without a fight, which we did. And I started technology and marketing company, got out of practicing law. [00:10:42] Speaker A: Wow. [00:10:42] Speaker B: 2005. And again, talk about reinventing yourself. Literally went to school for three years in law school, got a law degree, built a successful law practice. Basically just got to the point where I decided, this isn't what I want to do. And again, this is 2005. So it was basically 36, 37 years old, and started a technology company called total attorneys in Chicago, and it was the first lead gen business. We kind of pioneered lead gen in the legal space, developed some of the first SaaS applications for case management and lead nurturing in the legal space. Started a 50 person call center to help lawyers do an effective job of following up on leads. [00:11:30] Speaker A: That's great. [00:11:32] Speaker B: And bootstrapped. It took the money that I got from selling my interest in a law firm to really capitalize the new business. It definitely took a thick stomach lining, but I've been blessed with the ability to kind of push forward and have a kind of perpetually positive attitude and have a level of confidence in my ability to push forward in the face of adversity, no matter what. [00:12:00] Speaker A: Right. That experience. Enhance your personal life with the kids and your wife and everything they fulfill. Some of the emptiness you were feeling with the previous owning the law firm? [00:12:14] Speaker B: Probably not. Fortunately, five years later, ended up getting divorced. Okay, but those are interpersonal issues. My personality wouldn't change, and my interest in doing the things that I loved doing weren't going to change. Expectations that were set for me on a personal level were not ones that I was going to be able to meet. I think some people often look at divorce in people's lives as a really negative thing. Sometimes there's just an incongruency between people that maybe sometimes they're better off not being together and better parents. You can be happier in your personal and professional life, sometimes not together. [00:13:14] Speaker A: Right. [00:13:15] Speaker B: It's probably not a popular opinion among many people. They feel like you should stick it out no matter what. But for me, it ended up being a positive thing for where I wanted my life to be. [00:13:32] Speaker A: Kevin, that makes sense because there are times where it's even better for the children because they'll sense the tension and stuff like that. So I agree with you. There are situations that it's best to part and situations where it's worth sticking out. I think it's a balance. [00:13:50] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I think the challenging part is that you never really get a full picture of how it's going to affect your kids until after it's over. [00:13:57] Speaker A: After it's over, absolutely. [00:14:01] Speaker B: And so it's a tough decision, and what you have to think about is whether you're willing to live with all of the eventual outcomes that could be a result of it. Not all of the outcomes for my children were positive outcomes. I think some of them definitely were right. It allowed me to have an independent relationship with my children on the terms that I wanted to have a relationship with my children rather than my interaction in the way they related to my children, to be dictated by someone else. Right. [00:14:40] Speaker A: Yeah, I totally understand. [00:14:42] Speaker B: Absolutely. Instead of being told to be the type of father that someone else wanted me to be, I got to be the type of father that I wanted to be and have the type of relationship that I wanted to have with my children. [00:14:54] Speaker A: Well, I mean, that's critical, what you just said, because majority of us stick with that belief system and that life that we believe other people want us to live. And it's a wonderful feeling when you can break away from that and realize that your belief system and what you want is different from what you've been growing up with. And I give you credit for doing that, because you could have easily, as society wants us men, to suck it up and just fix it. You did what's best for you and for your kids and for your life right now. I mean, you're thriving right now. So when you built this, what was it called? Total law, that was the lead gen. Total attorneys. Yeah, total attorneys. Now, I know you're not doing that right now anymore. So how'd you peak and what happened with that? [00:15:38] Speaker B: Well, we built it for eight years. We were doubling revenue every year. In fact, we had offers from some major strategic partners to acquire us, and we turned on surprise, because we were growing so rapidly. [00:15:54] Speaker A: Right. [00:15:55] Speaker B: 2009, there was an attorney out in Connecticut who basically wanted to use the platform of this company that is basically selling leads to lawyer as a way to basically promote himself. He filed ethical complaints with the state bar in each of 47 states that we were selling leads to lawyers alleging that we were violating professional responsibility rules which restricted lawyers from paying for recommendations of their services. There's a professional rule, responsibility 7.2 that says that a lawyer may not pay for lawyer may not pay a non attorney for the recommendation of their services. It's what you would call the ambulance chasing rule. [00:16:50] Speaker A: Right. [00:16:51] Speaker B: You were an attorney though, right? So the marketing company was a non law firm, technology and marketing company that was building websites and using pay per click to go ahead and market to consumers and doing lead generation. [00:17:11] Speaker A: Oh, I see. [00:17:13] Speaker B: Selling the leads that were being generated. [00:17:16] Speaker A: I see. [00:17:17] Speaker B: To attorneys. And so this complaint, and there's not a unified regulatory system for lawyers. Each state has their own regulatory body, like Illinois has the attorney registration and commission. Connecticut has a different one, California has a different one. So basically, overnight we went from a business that was growing 100% annually and had offers from strategic partners to purchase us to basically a company that had a 47 state specific regulatory challenges. We go out and hire counsel in every single state, et cetera, et cetera. It really wreaked havoc in the business. Now, when you're going to sell leads to lawyers, you have to say, oh, by the way, before you start doing business with us, by virtue of doing business with us, you maybe have an ethical complaint against you, because there's this attorney that's alleging that doing work with us or buying leads from us constitutes a violation of the professional responsibility rules and can result in a bar complaint against you. Right? [00:18:32] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:32] Speaker B: We spent the next 18 months fighting again, 46, 47 state bars went to trial in a couple of states. We batted 1000 every single state. Either we won at trial or the state bar closed the file without further investigation. After we won in a number of different states, they basically said, you know what? We're not going to render an opinion one way or another. You keep doing it. It kind of really opened up. It did you help the lead generation? Yeah. [00:19:11] Speaker A: You helped the market? Yeah. [00:19:12] Speaker B: And it was really ubiquitous in every other industry. In the mortgage, insurance, everybody was paying for their lead performance. And absolutely early basis legal was the only industry that it was really prohibited from a regulatory standpoint. And so we really genuinely opened up the door and pioneered lead gen in legal space. Unfortunately, as we fought these battles and as each state permitted it, it invited a lot of competition into the marketplace. [00:19:39] Speaker A: Oh, I see. Yes, that'll happen right. [00:19:41] Speaker B: From all the enterprise lead gen companies that were already well developed in these other areas and legal was Greenfield for them. And so we went along and we fought the battles. All of our competitors came into the marketplace. [00:19:56] Speaker A: Yeah, they reaped the rewards. [00:19:59] Speaker B: In 2013 we had hired a professional CEO. We had taken private equity money as part of the way to navigate through these challenges. We took a little bit of money off the table. But at the end of the day the exit wasn't nearly what our hope and expectation was. And it led to a lot of other challenges in my life associated with that, including follow up litigation and everything related. But it was a very challenging time because you have all of these feelings of being taken advantage of and you certainly can very easily have an attitude of victimization. Why me? Why are they doing this to me? Why is the state bar attacking me? Don't they have better things to do with. Certainly you can have attitudes of wanting to have revenge. This one attorney who initiated this, what can I do to get back at him? And I think that's one of the, that was definitely a very defining moment is that I could just retract and curl up into a ball and feel sorry or I could figure out a way to be entrepreneurial and figure out my next adventure. [00:21:22] Speaker A: Right. And I know you took that approach and I'm proud of you because most of us would want revenge. And you used the. I don't know if you forgave this person but you did move forward and now you're doing some awesome things. So tell me how when you'd made that decision to move forward what was your first step after all of this turmoil? [00:21:47] Speaker B: We looked for opportunity that came out of the challenge. So when you're facing challenges I think people tend to get so wound up in the challenges they face that they don't look for opportunities that can be gleamed from that challenge. So what we found is that the business total attorneys, we were generating probably 80,000 leads a month. About 20 to 30,000 of those leads were falling on the floor. We couldn't find a lawyer to borrow the leads for one reason or another. [00:22:26] Speaker A: Right. [00:22:27] Speaker B: Either because some of it was, we figured maybe it's reputational. But I started to study it and we found that those 30,000 people that were filling out a form saying I need to talk to a lawyer who couldn't talk to a lawyer were kind of two distinct groups. The first group was kind of the aggregate of all the leads that were coming in from sparsely populated areas around the country. Wasn't a bankruptcy lawyer, criminal lawyer, family lawyer, personal injury lawyer for 50 or 100 miles from them. And most of the lawyers that were offering services at that point back in 2013, had brick and mortar service delivery models. All they were willing to do is meet with clients face to face. [00:23:13] Speaker A: Face to face. Right. [00:23:14] Speaker B: But the people who are looking for a family lawyer or bankruptcy lawyer are in distressed situations very often. They are the people that are the least equipped to take time off of work. [00:23:26] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:23:26] Speaker B: Childcare. Deal with the discomfort of going and meeting face to face with a lawyer because it's the first time they've ever hired a lawyer for so, you know, sparsely populated areas, kind of. The United States is actually a rural country. Lots of people live in rural areas, but they can't get access to legal services too far away. Or they have a lawyer in town, but he's a general practitioner, he's not a specialist. The other thing we saw is it was the demographic of those individuals in more densely populated areas where lawyers weren't necessarily interested in spending marketing dollars to attract demographics, certain cultural prejudices, if you will, where attorneys didn't want to spend the marketing buying leads in these pockets, in urban areas where they didn't want to serve those communities. So we said, well, what if we were to start a law firm that was demographically and geographically agnostic, willing to represent clients no matter where they were located? Of course, socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds were. So we came up with an idea for a virtual law firm, went to total attorneys management, and we negotiated free office space and free leads for a certain period of time because these leads were falling on the floor anyway, right? So we took this really negative situation where we were being pushed out by the private equity firm and the new management as owners of our own business, basically having our business taken away from us so that it could just be sold off, and we leveraged it to create our next adventure, our next opportunity. Right. And so we started another law firm in 2013. Over the next five years, we grew that law firm to over 450 lawyers across all 50 states. [00:25:36] Speaker A: Wow. [00:25:36] Speaker B: Completely virtual law firm. We had over 3000 clients per month hiring us. Unfortunately, we were delivering services virtually. Yes. We're going into what I would call very provincial areas of the country and taking market share from local lawyers. [00:25:57] Speaker A: All right. Yeah. [00:25:58] Speaker B: Once again, we a lot of regulatory attention. [00:26:05] Speaker A: You're like a magnet, man. [00:26:06] Speaker B: Jeez. And I won't go through all the nitty gritty but five years, the last couple of years, spent $10 million in legal fees on fighting regulatory challenges. Only I exited in February 2019. Guess what happened in March of 2020. [00:26:26] Speaker A: Oh, yes, something happened in March of 2020. That's right. [00:26:30] Speaker B: Yeah. It's called Covid. [00:26:31] Speaker A: That's right. [00:26:33] Speaker B: After all the regulators attack. [00:26:35] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness. [00:26:36] Speaker B: Being virtual and having non attorney staff out of Chicago helping clients and everything, all of a sudden now all the court systems were closed and everything went to. Everything is so, you know, we were a little, obviously, I think, ahead of the curve. [00:26:52] Speaker A: Yes, you were. [00:26:55] Speaker B: One of our disadvantages that we know we're a little bit too progressive relative what the industry was ready for. But I exited that business basically having exhausted a lot of my personal wealth, having my reputation significantly damaged due to all of the regulatory scrutiny. [00:27:18] Speaker A: Right. [00:27:19] Speaker B: And once again, I was in a position where I really had to think about what I wanted my next iteration, my life to be. But this time, I was a little bit more thoughtful than I was before, and I tried to establish some goalposts. Okay, good. Created my next business. So instead of coming up with an idea, right. And then a year into running that business, saying, what the heck did I do to myself? And not being able to extricate myself because the business at scale time, I tried to think about really what I wanted my life to be. [00:27:51] Speaker A: I love that. And we talked about this, and I'd love to hear a little more about it, because what you did is you kind of reengineered, reverse engineered, like you finally decided, what do I want the end to look like? And let me then go backwards and build it from there. And actually, in a way, and I do want you to get into that, in a way, you kind of protected yourself from all that other stuff that would happen if you did it the reverse again, because you covered all your bases, because for each thing you wanted in life, you found a way to do it without it ruffling feathers or whatever. [00:28:24] Speaker B: Yeah. I tried to think about all the things that I liked and didn't like about my last few life experiences. And you take a piece of paper and you say, pros and cons, just like, do cost benefit analysis. [00:28:40] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:28:40] Speaker B: Things I liked. Well, I like being mobile. I like being able to make my own schedule. I want to be able to create recurring residual revenue streams. I want to be able to mentor businesses. I want to be able to interact with people that I enjoy. I want to meet a lot of new people. What do I like? I don't like having a lot of partners that I have to share decision making with, and I have to live with the product of their bad judgment. I don't want to have 450 employees reporting up to me. I don't want a highly regulated industry. I don't want to have concentration my revenue with just a few clients where I end up feeling beholden to them, that I have to work with them, even if I don't like them, because I'm generating so much revenue for them from them. I really created these goalposts, and then what I tried to do is build a business model that accommodated what I wanted my life to be, rather than what I had done before, which is I built my life, I built the businesses, and then I tried to accommodate my life. Business demanded. And I think that's the mistake that a lot of us make, is navigating through our careers, is we don't stop to think about truly what's going to make us know. That's. [00:29:52] Speaker A: That's a very good point, Kevin, because especially with men, when we're basing our self worth or self identity on whether it's our significant other or our job, those are external circumstances that we can't control those. And so when it happens to us, we end up being disappointed. What you did this third time around is you established what you needed in your life, and you started to look within and created your belief system from within. So your happiness now comes from inside Kevin, as opposed to outside of Kevin. And I think that's something that every one of us who's listening really needs to take stock in that, because the best way to start getting healthy and the best way to heal is from within. And so thank you for bringing that up. [00:30:50] Speaker B: I think introspection is a very powerful tool. [00:30:56] Speaker A: It is. [00:30:57] Speaker B: It's, what do you like about yourself and what do you not like about yourself and what is driving those behaviors? Right. Absolutely. And then also, what do you like about what you're doing every day? How you're spending your time? Not just what you're doing, but I should say how you're spending your time. What don't you like about how you're spending your time? And I think the key to finding happiness in life is really going through that introspection, understanding the behaviors that you're engaging in, that you like or don't like, how you're spending your time, how you like, what you don't like. And then that kind of is the root cause analysis. Right. That's identify. Okay, where do I get started changing these things? [00:31:41] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:31:42] Speaker B: The things that I don't like. And how do I start doing the things that I like? [00:31:45] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, we can each reinvent our lives every 15 minutes if we want to. We can make those decisions based on that introspection. So thanks for sharing that. Kevin, I do have a couple of questions I want to ask you, but I do want you to just tell the audience what you're doing now, because it's fascinating how you are really helping people. So just very quickly, tell us about your current practice. [00:32:10] Speaker B: Yeah, so I run an alternative model advisory group called Sanguine Strategic Advisors. Sanguine means optimistic, right? Yep. I love it. And what I do is I talk to business owners every day. I charge them nothing for my time. It's absolutely free to my clients, and it's really my way of doing what I enjoy doing, which is mentoring business owners and sharing the benefit of my experiences, negative and positive, through my career. And I simply ask them, what are the challenges that you're facing in your life? What are the most pressing issues that you're facing in your business? And I leverage my background to identify changes that they can make to their operations, to the way they're operating their business, solutions to their problem, to help them. And I don't charge them anything. Sometimes I offer free operational advice, but very often I introduce them to someone else in my network that I have kind of curated or vetted out. Over the years, as I've iterated through solving challenges, my own businesses. One of the biggest challenges that you have is figuring out who the right partners are, vendors are to help address the most pressing challenges that you have. And what is very costly and distracting is having to iterate through two or three or four of them before you find your prints, so to speak. And so what I tell people is, with me, you kiss one frog to find your prints. I love it. You don't have to iterate through five or six different vendors to find the right one. People come to me and they say, Kevin, do you have anybody who can help me with this? And I say, in the most chicago way I can, I got a guy. [00:33:58] Speaker A: You got a guy? I love that. Well, I mean, Kevin, what you're doing, you're helping entrepreneurs save time, save money, reduce stress, and you're helping them find a solution to their problem, their pain point, by introducing to somebody where you could help them with that trust factor because you've used them. I think it's an awesome service. [00:34:23] Speaker B: You know what? I love doing what I'm doing, because, again, all the way back to starting my career, I really enjoy helping people, but there is an enormous part of it that is completely selfish, because I get to do what I like doing every day, which is helping people. [00:34:40] Speaker A: It feels good. And you know what? There's science behind it, man. Because when we live in kindness and service and we do something good for somebody, it makes us feel good because we get those positive hormones of dopamine and stuff like that. So in a way, it's good because you're doing some self care, right? You're helping yourself out by doing something good for somebody else. You're helping them out. It's the way to live, man. I'm proud of you, man. You've gone through a lot, but you stuck to your guns, and you're loving your life, and you're helping other people. I've got two final questions for you before we let the audience find out how they can get in touch with you, I'm going to give you an opportunity. You're sitting down with young seven to ten year old Kevin, and you want to give young Kevin some advice about life. What are you going to tell him? [00:35:35] Speaker B: I would say probably the biggest SAP on your eventual happiness is the emotion of hate. Negative emotions, they do nothing but drain your energy and x more than positive, positive emotions. They feed into it. They build right. Resist the urge to have resentment or dislike for other people, even if they've done something to you that gives you cause. I would say try and look past it. Understand the circumstances that may have led to them acting that way. And don't spend your energy affecting revenge or dislike. Instead, redirect that energy to things that will create positivity in your life and others. [00:36:30] Speaker A: I love that, Kevin. That's great advice. And let's hope young Kevin heeds your advice. All right, so you're putting a different hat on now. And now you're sitting down with young Kevin, the young entrepreneur businessman, and you want to give him some business advice. What are you going to tell? [00:36:48] Speaker B: I mean, I would say just generally, just always look for a way to enrich others and add value because that will come back to you again tenfold. Is that go the extra mile and tell that to all the people that work with me, have worked for me. Is that meeting the bare minimum of what you can do for other people or do in your job or in your profession or for your family? That's fine, but go the extra mile. Always be asking yourself, what little extra can I do to make myself stand out and have people perceive me as being someone that really values relationships I love that. [00:37:36] Speaker A: Absolutely love that. Well, the audience has certainly learned the essence of Kevin Chern, and I'm so grateful that you are in my life. And I thank Steve Ramona for introducing us. The audience is going to want to get more of you, Kevin. So, audience, this is what Kevin told me I could say. He said for the first five people to reach out to him and say that you heard this episode, he will give $25 to your favorite charity or your charity of choice. Did I get that right, Kevin? All right, so what's the best way to get in touch with you? The website. [00:38:19] Speaker B: Yeah, anybody can email me at Kevin at sanguine. That's sanguinesa.com. So [email protected]. And you can visit the [email protected] that's sanguine strategic advisors. And you can get a hold of me through the website. [00:38:43] Speaker A: All right, so the first five people to reach out to Kevin via the email or the website will be able to receive $25 going to your charity of choice, which I think is a very generous offer. Kevin, again, thank you for coming into my life. I am grateful. And you are doing some amazing things. Keep doing what you're doing because you're a wonderful human being. We need more of you in this world. So thanks again, my friend. [00:39:08] Speaker B: I could say the same thing about you. Drew, thanks so much for having me. [00:39:11] Speaker A: Absolutely. So take care, everybody. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, please subscribe and give us a review to help others find it. If you find yourself immersed in adversity and would like to find support from other men in times of struggle, please become a member of my men's supporting men collaboration tribe by emailing me at [email protected] expressing your interest, and I'll get in touch with you. Speak to you soon. Bye.

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