Letting Go to Find Boldness with Brent Perkins

Episode 042
Duration 49 min
Brent Perkins - Creator and Leader
Brent Perkins


New episode with my friend and fellow Front Row Dad, Brent Perkins! Brent is a man of boldness, as this episode suggests. His recent journey is filled with acts of surrender to find deeper awareness and truth.

This episode offers some powerful insights around letting go, showing up and living boldly. Brent shares some background into his story, identity, choice, the mind games of writing a book, balancing masculine and feminine energy, the power of delusions, learning to surrender and more.

Brent just finished his book – Paper Cuts, The Art of Self-Delusion – which explores some of the deeper aspects of inner work. Now he’s committed to his new group, The Bold Men Fellowship, where he can guide and mentor others on a similar path.

I appreciate Brent for the courage he’s demonstrating in the world. I don’t know many other people who are living as boldly as he is. This was a beautiful conversation.


[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back folks to the Power of Space. Today I have a special friend, Mr. Brent Perkins. Brent and I know each other by way of Front Row Dads, a community that I talk about often. And I've known you for, I feel like a year-ish now, without looking at the calendar. Brent's the type of person that from the first call, even the first email, like the way that you kind of reached out to me, which was like, "Hey, I'm new to the community and I may have this potential fit for MemberDev, my other business." It was very fluid.

I remember connecting with you and I was like, this dude's cool. Of course I'd like to support him. We've had several conversations since. You're in a different place now, which I'm super excited to talk about. To give some quick reflection to Brent, before I let you introduce yourself, you've always struck me as someone who shows up with a degree of openness and confidence and more specifically, I feel like you cut right through.

Like a lot of times we still dance around this and that, whereas most of my conversations with you, whether we're talking about dad life, business, next phase transitions, I don't feel like there's much fluff and I really, really admire that. I respect that. So without saying anything else to hype you up, I appreciate the time we've had together. And how would you like to introduce yourself today?

[00:01:30] Brent: Yeah, thank you, Ali. Makes me giggle a little bit because being able to show up and cut to the chase in some ways is a very special gift, in other ways has been the bane of I wouldn't say existence, but you know, first impressions when you show up that way are difficult sometimes. So it doesn't land with everybody, but it, it is just, it's truth. Right. So, that's how we need to show up.

Yeah, we met about 11 months ago. And I was in a very different place. I was CEO of a LED lighting company in the horticulture space, and I was looking to grow it. We had investors on the line. Quite a few million dollars that were about to be pumped into a expansive growth.

And we are gonna be creating a community around education in the horticulture space, which is where MemberDev came in. Mm-hmm. And you were so gracious from the minute I met you, with your time, with your knowledge, and I really appreciate that about you. But, uh, yeah, today I'm in quite a different spot.

[00:02:27] Ali: Exactly. So, Who is Brent Perkins right now?

[00:02:31] Brent: Well, part of the lesson I've learned is that Brent Perkins is just Brent Perkins. I've shed the coat of, I'm a CEO. I've shed the coat of, you know, I'm really anything. I know I'm a father and I'm a man. I choose to be part of certain groups and show up in certain ways, but I'm just me.

[00:02:51] Ali: Mm-hmm. Yeah, dude, I love that. Do you ever feel challenged with the labeling in society?

[00:03:00] Brent: We were just talking about that in the, uh, in the book club. That's also part of our Front Row Dads group. We were talking about the book _From Strength to Strength_, which is a, a really interesting look at how to move from your career in that, call it 20 to 35 age range to your 35 to 55 age range and how it's a different skillset, it's a different place in life and it's a different approach.

I think the people that get most hung up, that struggle are the ones that really define themselves by a very specific skillset. Mm-hmm. And that's not fair just to pick on, those with the specific skillset. Whether that's an engineer, a mathematician, or a scientist, or a videographer, or a Photoshop expert. The rest of us, me included, I would've always introduced myself as a CEO.

What do I do? I'm the CEO of XYZ. Mm-hmm. Over a decade. I spent my whole life in my father's footsteps trying to get his approval, you know, start my own businesses, get to this level. And then I arrived and yes, that was my label, my own label. Nobody else probably cared, but I did.

[00:04:13] Ali: Mm-hmm. As we start to lead into a bit of your story, which definitely piques my interest. So I heard a little bit around, there was perhaps some footsteps to fulfill your father's shoes?

[00:04:26] Brent: Yeah.

[00:04:27] Ali: Tell me more about that.

[00:04:29] Brent: So my dad had a lot of different things that he did, but ultimately from the time I can remember, started his own business in the pool industry, and went from there to executive management of a few different other companies, and then got brought in to revitalize a failing company with all Australian investors.

So he was kind of on his own here and took that company to a really nice, mid eight figure company in the first eight years he ran it. From nothing to very viable and profitable. And I thought I was gonna work there and take over the quote family business, even though he wasn't a hundred percent owner.

You know, he was a hundred percent, you know, ruler, so to speak. Yeah, yeah. The rest of 'em were just board members in another country. So I started at the bottom, you know, I got in pools one summer and worked in 130 degree heat, which is how hot it can get in the bottom of a pool. And did the trowing of the concrete and all the hard labor because I wanted zero chance for nepotism to creep in.

I didn't wanna rest on anybody's laurels. I wanted to prove, I mean, all this is ultimately to myself as I've learned, but I wanted to prove I deserve to be here and I didn't take any shortcuts. And by about my senior year in college, my dad exited. Uh, I was left kind of wondering what the heck do I do now?

Yep. So I spent the next couple years moving around San Francisco and trying on different jobs and did end up starting my own business for the first time when I was 25 years old. Mm. So that started that path.

[00:06:07] Ali: What was that business?

[00:06:08] Brent: That was in the mortgage business.

[00:06:10] Ali: Okay.

[00:06:11] Brent: So I went from being a kind of a standard mortgage originator to getting my license to starting my own business and then actually selling it into a larger bank that had a warehouse line and we sold the loans off the Wall Street. So I was part of that packaging and secondary market stuff.

[00:06:29] Ali: I see. So early on you cultivated this hard work. I earn my keep mentality. Which is awesome. Yeah. Right. And then you started to, uh, lend into entrepreneurship, which clearly helped you cultivate some leadership skills. And then going back to what you shared. You spent what, a decade being CEO of the same company? Or did you kind of do a variety of executive?

[00:06:55] Brent: Two different ones. Yeah. When 2008 hit, I exited the banking industry for fairly obvious reasons. Right. And had learned enough to know I did not want to go back. I spent a couple years, I guess, playing the victim. Mm-hmm. You know, I didn't see it at the time, but I do today and finally was able to get myself a new opportunity.

Uh, I pulled myself out of it and there was a small 15 year old biotechnology company in Scottsdale that served really an international marketplace. 60 something percent of their business was international, but they were small enough that, uh, I could get their attention pretty quickly and came in and solved a marketing problem that they had and then moved into sales and marketing and within one year became president and two years became CEO.

And I did that for about five years as CEO, seven years with that company. And then I moved on to the LED lighting company for another five years. So yeah, 10 years stint across two companies as CEO.

[00:07:54] Ali: Okay. And so here's the question underneath the questions, or at least what I wanted to build to. Is that you spent at that point, like as you just shared, you had a breadth of experience, not only being CEO, but from what I'm hearing, like you had success growing. And then something happened.

I recall being a little bit caught off guard when you're like oh yeah, yo, dude, by the way, I exited that. And the short version that I got, which I'm curious because I wonder about the dynamic here, the self decisions, the awareness. These are all the things that really get me going, like how you could just step away from that.

Not as much for identity reasons, but perhaps the attachment, everything you built. And so what did that look like, that transition of being like, well, some things happened and then you decided this is not for me anymore.

[00:08:50] Brent: Well, a lot of things happened.

[00:08:52] Ali: Okay. Okay. So not a simple story.

[00:08:54] Brent: Not a simple story. So right before the pandemic hit we were actually staged to go public. Mm. And we'd raised some money and we had gone through and had the S one written and had our legal team, and had our public relations team. And for anybody who's gone public, it's very, very distracting and there's still a lot of unknowns.

We were, we were doing it on a shoestring budget, even though shoestring budget meant over a million dollars. Mm-hmm. So it's very expensive. Very expensive. And Covid hits, which shelves all of it. So we're scrambling. We had some investors pull out and, and walk away at that point. Um, trying to hold the company together.

Realize we have a second chance at it, we believe at the end of 2021, moving into 2022, start to wind things up again. And just realize 2022 is turning into one of the worst IPO years ever, even from the very, very get go.

So we lost all investment dollars at that point, and we're really trying to hold on because we had an awesome patent portfolio. The product itself was unique in the marketplace. It was solving people's problems. It just wasn't a big box style. Mm-hmm. Um, you know, set it and forget it. Simple. It was unique. It was pushing the boundaries of what was possible in indoor agriculture.

Right. But that doesn't mean that it was. profitable. Just because something's cutting edge, right? Sure, sure. That's why so many of these companies just lose money hand over fist in the beginning and why they need such strong investments. So, totally. Really it was over a year. So the end of 2021 through when I ended up leaving in December of 2022, that kind of knew things were over.

And we were holding on because we had a great staff. Everybody had stuck with us, a lot of us had equity, and it was, it was hard to let that go. It was less hard to let the business finally go when I walked away, because it still exists, it's still out there. They were able to find a new round of investors.

But it emerged as something that I didn't wanna be part of anymore. I see. As it was coming back through, you know, going back through a reorganization. Mm-hmm. So yeah, my exit happened in December. But there is one other piece that's part of this. I was married for 18 years and I've got two daughters, 19 and 15, and I got separated from my wife in mid to late 2021. And now we are divorced.

So, going through that at the same time? Oh yeah. There's a lot of heaviness, a lot of pressure. Mm-hmm. And you either end up where most people end up either getting really depressed when your job is, is got that much pressure and your home life has that much pressure, really depressed, which means turning to the numbing tools, you know, alcohol, other unhealthy habits. Or you doubled down? Mmm, yep. I think I numbed for about 45 days and shook that off and doubled down, and then I tripled down and come December I think I've maybe gone off the deep end, but uh, I'm all in. I see. I'm all in and I'm a hundred percent happy to be out of where I was.

[00:12:23] Ali: Wow. Yeah, I feel that like just a little bit cuz I know you, but as you share that and I just like try to really empathize with those life events. I'm like, there's no way that that couldn't be heavy. So I admire your ability to navigate that however you did. Cuz some people don't navigate that. They get crushed.

It's impressive. It's crazy. So as we get present to today after this amazing journey and this crazy climax with your latest, uh, role at Scynce. Where are you creating space now? I know there's some cool stuff in your life, in your world.

[00:13:06] Brent: Yeah. I guess it's time to get into what I've been doing for the last four months, huh?

[00:13:10] Ali: Yeah, right.

[00:13:11] Brent: So as I exited in December, I really sat back and said, again, starting to feel like a victim for my victim mindset. Um, because being a CEO is, is not something you go find a job on LinkedIn on. It's very much relationship driven, even below a CEO, anything in the, in the C-suite or, you know, top, top executive management.

And yet it just didn't, like, everything just felt kind of gross as I was looking around and it didn't feel right. So I sat with it through December. And I enjoyed my kids and had had a nice couple week break and I woke up December 30th and I kind of got this ethereal tap on the shoulder and it was like, you're gonna write a book?

And I was like, I just laughing. Mm-hmm. I didn't even have words, I was just laughing. So I ignored it. And the next day, December 31st, this is 2022, so not too long ago. Same tap on the shoulder. And it's like, maybe you didn't hear me. You are going to write a book. Yes. So I didn't laugh it off, but I, I just, I didn't lean in by any means.

And it was just before I met you, I actually started a twice a day meditation practice. So come December I was, you know, a good seven, eight months into, into this practice and I, I sat in that morning and I really was able to go deep and I came out of it with, here's your title. Mm-hmm. And immediately I felt like, this is real, but who the hell am I to write this?

Yeah. Like, I'm not a writer. In the moment, I was like, I don't know anything about this topic. And, where am I gonna find the time or money or space to do this? The title was _Paper Cuts, The Art of Self Delusion_. Mm. So through the New Years, maybe four or five days, I really sat on this, started to do some research, realizing, okay, I, hmm, maybe I can do this.

I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast, realizing that him and I kind of think alike. So I did some research and found the software he uses called Scrivener. It really sat with me the way it's organized. Like my brain works in the same way. So I bought it and played around, and by, I think it was January 7th, I was building in morning writing sessions for myself.

It was probably the next three weeks of a lot of research and sitting down and trying to. Put an outline to this and just really try to jam intellectual structure around it that I pretty much gave up and said, you know, screw this and really walked away February 1st, and immediately it was like, turn around, stop playing the victim.

Mm-hmm. Take your imposter syndrome and get over yourself. Um, you are worthy. I've spent the last year really working on self-trust and love, and I was really challenged to sit with that and bring that back forward. And as I did, I sat back down at the keyboard the next day differently.

I didn't show up trying to write it from the perspective of Brent's a CEO, Brent's built businesses, Brent's done this. It was leaving all that behind. It was letting that fall to the floor and showing up from my heart. Mm mm-hmm. And letting this book really come through me instead of from me.

And in the next 60 days, I wrote the whole book. Wow. And I'd never organized it until I would get, you know, a week or 10 days into it, and then it would all start to come together and I'd kind of shuffle the pieces around like a puzzle and write some more. And it all, it all flowed. So it's been a journey to say the least.

[00:16:56] Ali: And it's done now, right? You've typed it up?

[00:16:59] Brent: I've typed it, I've self edited it. It is being edited by some close friends. And I'm shopping for an editor, a professional editor right now. It'll probably go in their hands in the next week or two.

[00:17:11] Ali: Wow. Yeah, I mean, I'm privy to you sharing this with me last week at which point I was very excited. But I'm gonna say it again here, congratulations because not only do I think that's an extraordinary personal accomplishment, but the way that you did it and the story that you just told is amazing. Cuz there's a lot of other stories how people started and stopped and never resumed again, or it took him two years.

And not that it's a race, but this relates to one of the questions I have. How do you label those voices that we're talking the first, that's like, who the fuck are you to write a book? And the other one that's like, yo, turn around, Brent. It's time to write.

[00:17:49] Brent: I can only speak for myself and being a man. I think I lead with my masculinity and I have to work harder to step into my femininity, even though they both exist inside of me. Mm-hmm. So for me, my ego is that hard charging masculine side. Mm-hmm. I reference the ego versus the higher self.

In my book , ego, I call he, cuz for me that's what it is. It's this masculine, it jumps to it, it's a protector, it's a proving myself, you know? There's so many awesome sides to masculinity, but for me, my ego gloms onto some of the unhealthy traits that come through, right. And my higher self speaks from the depth of the inner feminine.

And I know, I know when that voice comes through today, because it's never rash, it's never pressing, it never is hyperactive. Mm. It's calm, it slows down. It just feels like a nice, gentle hand on the shoulder. It doesn't tell me what to do ever. It just throws ideas out there. Where the ego tells me what to do.

[00:18:57] Ali: Oh, that's so good because as I'm hearing you say that, I'm like, are you in my head as well? It's almost a verbatim answer I'd give if I were asked that question and now I get the, the liberty to project a little, I would very much say, that the ego has a strong internal narrative, and then my soul has a different internal narrative.

Mm-hmm. Much of the same reasons and the same contrast. And I've learned to be with both of them. To not say one's right or wrong, one's good or bad, but to be with them both and experience them both. And I will say at this phase of life it's been much easier actually for me to be with that feminine side, the soul, the place of love where things just flow, like you said.

And I think perhaps because I spent a lot of time with the ego. Like too much time and now I'm just kind of like, "hey, why don't you sit down in the corner over there. I'll come get you when I need you." The counter side of that, Brent, I'm now coming around and being like, okay, cool. I've had a break from you and I do realize that there are things that you do beyond just protecting me and survival that could be useful, and especially as it relates to what you shared with that masculine drive.

[00:20:10] Brent: If I may, I've got really interesting story here.

[00:20:13] Ali: Yes, please.

[00:20:14] Brent: I think too often we try to eliminate the ego, which is not even physically possible. Because if our soul is our higher self, it doesn't even really live in our body. You know?

It does, but it's not sitting at like, I always picture the body or I do today. Like the movie Avatar when the guys jump in those walkers, right? And they're sitting up higher. Right. I picture the ego as the, the commander there, you know, with the older dude, with the shaved head. He's the one driving the humanoid bot.

And our soul is more about what's kind of back at command central in his ear, talking through the intercom, right? Yes. That's the closest I can come to what the difference between the higher and lower self is the ego and the, and the soul, and. We're not gonna go anywhere if someone's not driving it. Like the ego is what needs to sit at the controls and drive things.

[00:21:07] Ali: Right.

[00:21:08] Brent: So as I was wrestling with this really soon after my divorce, I got to a point where, somebody gave me some advice to like, just come up with a name for your ego. Something that's not very nice. And every time that they're in your head, shame them. And let's just say I named mine something that rhymes with _Muck Mace_. So really wasn't a nice name. Every time that I just couldn't get outta my head, I would berate shame. Call him names and just go to town and I'll tell you it worked. So at first I was like, hell yeah, this works and then it wore off quicker and quicker and quicker until eventually it just barely worked at all.

And it was almost like my ego was getting numbed to this, berating this anger, this just nastiness that was coming out of my own thoughts back to it. And I finally had to have a, the day of reckoning with it, which was I realized I'm stepping into exactly who I don't want to be to deal with the person that or the part of me that is, you know, it's becoming the bad guy to defeat the bad guy, you know?

So I sat down and just had a long talk with my ego and I said, look, I love you. You are here, here's your role. But there's times I don't need your protecting here. Mm-hmm. And I'm gonna honor you and tell you thank you, but no thank you.

And every time I'm able to do that and I feel him just kind of like revving up and trying to take over, you know, I acknowledge him and say, "hey, I see you there. Thank you for all you do, but I got this, so we're good." And I just kind of turn around mentally and walk the other direction.

[00:22:45] Ali: That's cool. Holy cow that's cool. Because I think you're spot on that many people, including myself, can create a relationship with the ego where we either try to control it or neglect it, or like you said, even shame it. Yeah. Whereas that's just beautiful that you can hold space for it now. And understand just like you said, like, hey, I get it. You're trying to protect me and I appreciate it, but I got this. Like I said in the beginning, simple, direct, concise words, dude. Oh, that's so good. Yeah.

So you wrote the book and then I feel like there's something else in focus.

[00:23:25] Brent: This is what I love about Front Row Dads. It's been such a game changer for me. As I've brought this journey and within Front Row Dads, we have, and I know you know this, but we have something called bands, which are these smaller groups of men that we are paired with and we meet usually at least once a month.

So it's just this more intimate touch. And as I've brought the different stages here of going through, stepping outta my career, you know, now I'm at a point where I went all in writing the book and didn't look for a job. So it's been a few months without a salary, now without cashflow.

Mm-hmm. And what do I do next? And everything in me says, keep sharing your truth. Mmm. Other men and women need to hear this truth in this way . And I didn't explain it, but what the book is about, _Paper Cuts - The Art of Self Delusion_ is really the power of choice that we don't exercise, it's free will at the granular level.

It's knowing that our interpretation of our experiences rests solely in our hands. And what I mean is that Einstein said it first, he said, life is an illusion albeit a persistent one. And what he meant was, is not that the computer in front of you is real, the pen in my hand is real, this zoom call, we're on, they're tangible this is real. But the illusion part is, is that we can both be here in front of these real objects, looking at each other, talking to each other, and still walk away with a very different experience. So how we experience this as an illusion. But then there's another piece to this, and this is what the book really dives into, which is how do we interpret the experience, right?

You might walk away from here because you know me and you feel good about it. Somebody else listening to this might hear this and stop right here. Mm-hmm. And they might think, God, that Brent guy's an asshole. Mm-hmm. Because it's something I said, or the way I approach things. And maybe what I say in the next five minutes would've totally changed their mind, but they didn't get a chance to listen to that.

So they locked into their mind, hey, Ali was great, but Brent's an asshole. That's their story. That's their experience. Five minutes later, they would've had a different experience. In fact, somebody may have told 'em, go back and listen. They go listen to it. Like, oh, I get it. And now they change their story.

Mm-hmm. How is it that we can have and hold in our hands, two truths, completely opposite. And they're both valid. It's because they're delusions. Mm. Because we can choose at any point in time, the positive, the negative, anything on the spectrum in between. And we can change our mind down the road. And they're still truths.

And truths aren't facts, right? A fact is kind of black and white. A truth is a fact with belief layered on top. Mm-hmm. And truths are only individual. My truth is not your truth. Right. That's why we can all, you know the phrase, we can hold our own truths, but I believe this is why we are artists and we need to learn how to step into that artistry because we can choose and craft our experiences, the interpretation of our experiences every second of every day.

And, too often we get stuck or we hit a point where it's like, I've got anxiety, I've got depression. What's going on? Do I go to therapy? Do I read books? Do I do plant medicine? Help me find it. And I argue that there is no it. That has been death by a thousand paper cuts. It's these choices we don't step into that we don't own every day of our life.

So thank you for giving me the space to set up what the book is about. Because what has come off the backend of that that I started to talk about is for me to stay in integrity and continue to walk my own truth, I'm gonna be creating a group for men called The Bold Men Fellowship.

And why for Men Only? The book is not for men, the book is genderless. But my experience as a man, as a husband, with kids in Front Row Dads, I can highest and best serve other men. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And I think men are underserved in this emotional intelligence space, in the self-love space. So there's a void to be filled there.

And Bold Men Fellowship is like a 90 day masterclass. Not everybody needs it. Some of us need our handheld, we need a kick in the butt. We need a little support in upleveling, maybe a little quicker than we could on our own. And if I may, Bold Men Fellowship is gonna be built around the tagline _Born to Shag_.

And it's playful. There's some double entendre there in that, of course, shagging has the sexual overtones, and as men, it's something that is always there, so why not address it and hit it right off the bat, right? That's part of what is deep in the masculine.

But when I say we were _Born to Shag,_ what I mean is it's an acronym. S is _surrender and show up_. So being able to teach men about presence. When you show up, you are doing so in a place of, I'm here in the now, but also doing it in surrender. Mm-hmm. Not having to know what the outcome is. Not having to control things. When you can be present without control or show up and surrender, that is the first step.

The second one is H, which is _holding space and boundaries_. And I know you know about holding space, um, but when you show up, it automatically leads you to holding space for somebody else because it's no longer about you. Mm. Yep. You are allowing life to unfold for other people around you too. But holding boundaries is just as important because that is about self-trust and love. Mm-hmm. And also honoring other people's boundaries as well too.

The A is _ask and receive._ As men, specifically, we love fixing things. We love solving problems, and asking is really hard and receiving is double hard. Mm, yep. Right? But somebody told me a great story once. They said, what does it feel like to give?

And I was like, wow, I feel warm and fuzzy. I kind of get excited. I stand more, you know, more erect. I get a glow in my eyes, like it feels good, right? They're like, yeah, you're stealing that from every single person you don't receive from. Yeah. Hmm.

And last but not least is to _give gratuitously_. So all these pieces together, really set men up for success in how to move into wherever is the next foothold in their journey. I don't know what that looks like. It might be something in their marriage or in their business or in their soul contract or in spirituality or their religion. There are so many ways, but I don't believe we can lean into any of these places until we step into choice and we start showing up.

[00:30:24] Ali: Wow, that is amazing. Oh, the man, the father, the creator in me is deeply curious about this since I didn't know until now. Thank you for sharing. And some of the things I wanna reflect back to you, the name is perfect for me at least.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that there's this gap to fill of men and even women, I would argue, of showing up as their selves. I love that that's the beginning of _SHAG_. I love that it's a part of your mission. Because as we talked about there's this whole way that we are in the world and these labels, these identities, and a lot of it is externally validated and it just makes us feel good and we just stay in it and we're like, cool, this is who I am, CEO, founder, blah, blah, blah.

Whereas I told you last week, I noticed shifts in you since I first met you, and I noticed that you're more open. And I now notice that there is a boldness to it. That's what it is. So you're living it. Thank you. So props to you for living that.

[00:31:31] Brent: Thank you.

[00:31:32] Ali: And for having the courage to do this, because that's the other thing that I sensed as you were sharing all that, is that it's easy to think about these things. It's easy to sit with them. I'm very guilty of really sitting with things almost to a detriment where I try to feel everything and wait.

But you're listening to these voices, these callings, and now you're moving into it. And I'm very, very excited for that because it sounds like something else that I need in my life is to be surrounded by men who can boldly step into their creator role, and then honor those acronyms that you presented, dude. So, wow.

Yeah. So it's in the works. Sounds like you're in your creation phase of what the masterclass looks like, and then what can you tease? Like is this weeks away? Is this months away?

[00:32:24] Brent: You know, nothing happens as fast as we want. Right, right, right, right, right. So realistically the book will come out, gosh, I really wanted it to come out in June. I think it's probably more like July or August, and _Bold Men Fellowship_ is probably gonna launch in two phases. I'm probably gonna launch it pretty quickly.

And I wanna say this ahead of time. I've had to fight through this because I believe this content, these ideas we're talking about, they should be free. I believe that everybody should have access to them. I feel called to support everybody who, who wants to go down this path. And yet at the same time, the world is as it is, and I need to make a living.

And, if I'm gonna commit all of my time to this, there needs to be some remuneration that allows me to continue to create. Yep. To continue to step into my own role for me and my family and my loved ones, but also so I can keep holding space for people.

Mm. Indeed.

And being bold. So, I say that as a setup for, there'll be two phases. The first phase will be about, really working one-on-one with a very limited number of men, the ones that need one-on-one time with me, that need that coaching their handheld to a deeper level. And as I create the masterclass and this journey will be insightful and help create it further, there will be a online class that will open up and be much more affordable. And then there's gonna also be free portions. I'm probably going to put my book out on a blog and have 52 weeks that literally puts it out verbatim. So the book will even be ultimately free.

I want this knowledge out there. I want this conversation out there. I want this space held for people out there. Mm-hmm. And I'm gonna do everything I can to be able to step into it a hundred percent full-time for me to give that back.

[00:34:24] Ali: That is cool. That's cool. It's noble, but it is at the essence of what I believe a creator does in the world is that, perhaps I'm biased in this way because I've had similar shifts and I'm saying that to compliment some of the things I admire about what you just shared. Where it's my role to create without the intention, the early agenda, well, it's gotta do this, it's gotta do that. Cuz that's what got me into trouble where I started to stray. Right. And then if I create to your point and there's that, that deeper calling, then there is a responsibility to provide for my family and earn a living.

So dude that lands big time. Cuz I've also wrestled with that. Whether it's me working on SPACE or you with your book and your new men's group, like we're in these fairly esoteric niches where to some people it's woo to other people will change the trajectory of their life and to place a monetary value on that is tricky, you know?

So I love that you're willing to let it come through you to create and to say, hey, so much of this is gonna be free, which is amazing. It honors that _Give_ pillar. So props to you, dude. Wow.

[00:35:37] Brent: It has definitely been challenging me to show up and surrender these days.

[00:35:40] Ali: Mmm. So this is the last point I wanted to, uh, jam on with you as it relates to transformation. Where have you seen transformation? I imagine you've experienced a fair amount of it recently, and I'm gonna tie in the word you just used, surrender, because this word was almost non-existent to me, prior to a few years ago.

And then it came into my life by way of conversation. And then I read _The Surrender Experiment_, which for me, it was a really good manual to form my own relationship with surrender. And to use your words, to allow things to flow _through_ me as more of a conduit instead of _by_ me, which where I'm always trying to control 'em or to me in victim, and even now I'm trying to dance with this _as_ me, which is this deeper cosmic, like everything just is.

But the surrender piece has been profound in the way that I've learned to let go and be with things. So tell me a little bit about that. Take it wherever you want as it relates to transformation and how this word surrender may or may not play with that.

[00:36:44] Brent: Yeah. I think the simplest and best book on this is _The Four Agreements_. Mm-hmm. At least that's what set me down this path. Two of the agreements being never make assumptions and don't take anything personally. Those two mashed together, they are surrendering, they are knowing, they're trusting that it's not about you, and that you don't have to understand where it's going.

Like that's what those two pieces really talk about and that's a couple thousand year old Toltec wisdom coming together. But, as I dove deeper into this, and, you know, going through a divorce, which I don't wish on anybody, is all about learning surrender. And I think a more philosophical and really a, he is a pedigree doctor, Dr. David Hawkins, a guy who finished out his career living in Sedona, but wrote a bunch of books, most famous four, one called _Power Versus Force_, but first book in that series was called, _Surrender_, and it was about letting go. Mm-hmm.

I think almost everybody else who's written about that topic is really stemming from these two areas. Letting go is the hardest lesson I've ever learned. Mm. It's weirdly tied into what the book is about too, which is about the power of choice because letting go and surrendering is choosing not to have to have control over something. So it's still that choice that we make. And I didn't realize that until I was almost done with the book that I was actually writing about the thing that I struggled the most with in my life. But it's the core. It's the precursor to allowing anything else to show up in life.

[00:38:27] Ali: That is cool. I feel so complete. Not because we're running out of time, but because there's a sense of the story that you told and the things you're working on, the space you're creating. And the only reason I'm saying is there anything left to say is would there be anything to wrap this up in terms of the transformation, the transition, the shifts that you've experienced, or is that it?

[00:38:53] Brent: Yeah, so I'm gonna jump ahead and give everybody a taste of where all this lands? Yes. Or where all this gets us in the future. Like what's the point to all this work? Right? Because the work never ends. And as we step into choice, as we step into surrender, letting it go, we realize that there is no, you can't chase or pursue as you and I were talking about earlier. Can't pursue happiness, you know, it's part of this journey.

Nothing creates it as quickly or as often as really being on this journey in the way we've been talking about it. And I'd love to share with you one of the quotes that came through and landed for me at the end of my journey of writing this book, it's by Henry David Thoreau, and it's, "Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will evade you. But if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder." And that's what this journey's about for me.

[00:39:58] Ali: I wanna honor what you just said and how much wisdom or even self-knowledge can be extracted from that. So it's a beautiful quote. And the way that you said it was really, really nice and I was laughing because we could start a whole different podcast about that.

[00:40:17] Brent: I know that was a little unfair of me to leave you with that. You know, _Paper Cuts,_ this book is, it's an awareness piece. Why are you waking up? Why are you becoming aware? Why are you jumping on this path? This journey to to step into choice and letting go is effing tough, man. And it hurts and there's pain along the way. But why? Because there's happiness in it. Yes. And along the way.

[00:40:40] Ali: Beautiful brother. Well said. We are gonna inevitably have to do another one because this was sort of the teaser, all these amazing things that are in motion. And then like you said, later in the summer, the book will drop and I'd love to create space with you at that point.

How about we wrap with a few fun fire questions for today? Sound good?

[00:41:01] Brent: Sure.

[00:41:02] Ali: Cool. So the first one, as it relates to some of the stuff you shared, what is your favorite book if you had to choose one?

[00:41:09] Brent: Oh boy, that is a really tough one. There's so many topics and they all mean different things. I'll tell you what I just read. So this is for men, so I apologize for all the, the women listening out there, but actually you should want your man to read this. It's a book by a guy named Traver Boehm. And it's called Man Uncivilized. It is a wake up call, like no wake up call for men to step into their masculinity in the most healthy of ways. In a way that not only is pays homage and honor to themselves, but actually supports and furthers the feminine, not only in themselves, but in in other women.

It is such a powerful, it's codified in a way that is unlike anything I've ever read. If you've ever read stuff like _From the Core_ or David Deida's work around men, and then you mash it with some of these other tools and best practices around how to live your life in a way that we've been talking about this whole podcast. This take on it is awesome. I really recommend it.

[00:42:21] Ali: Very cool, dude. I will check that out. I have not read that. Sweet. Next question. I know that you have a relationship with nature, so what has been your favorite outdoor adventure?

[00:42:32] Brent: It's definitely backpacking related. You know, I get into nature living in Phoenix. We're 15 minutes from a lot of different mountains, so it's real easy to get trail running or hiking, in which I do three or four times a week, or mountain biking. But there's something special about backpacking and whether it's in Colorado, in the Chicago Basin or around Purgatory, or, my favorite was circumnavigating Mount Rainier, which was 90 something miles in a week, 27,000 elevation.

It's this combination of being completely unplugged technologically, straining yourself, sweating and exercising your body to the limit. Yep. And also seeing the beauty that we never take the time to actually stop and see everywhere. I can remember walking a trail and yeah, you see trees and clouds and it's like, oh, this is great.

And all of a sudden you walk upon wild blueberries and you eat some of them and then you know, you hear a waterfall and it's just like these things just keep coming in and coming in and I laugh because part of the reason you go into nature is to keep it quiet and it's anything but quiet when you actually show up and listen. It's super loud and distracting in the most perfect ways.

[00:43:53] Ali: Right? Ah, dude, that is it. So, side note, as you already know, I very much look forward to co-creating, sharing an experience of that nature with you. And I have to like, weigh in and agree in just such an absolute way that if you really pay attention, when I really pay attention to what nature creates, it's this amazing representation of systems and noise and growth that you can't, I keep saying you, that I can't see unless I'm immersed in it.

And then to your point, there's an argument you could say it's really quiet out here, but then there's this other beautiful argument that there are things happening and it's all designed, a quote, I love, _"Nature doesn't make mistakes_" by uh, Kapil Gupta's book that I read, and it's just like, it's my truth. Going back to what you shared earlier, being with the land.

And it's funny, Brent, like, with rare exception to people like yourself, a lot of times I'm becoming more biased where I don't want people on my nature experiences because they bring in that other stuff and they're deaf to it, or they don't allow themselves to stay immersed.

I think there's a whole art to that we're relearning as humans. Very few people have done what you've done, which I admire, which is taken time to backpack and be with the land without anything else. Like they're out there with their phones with AllTrails pulled up, or they're talking about some shit that just happened last week and it's like, that's not the point for me at least, you know?

[00:45:31] Brent: Yeah. I have an agreement with the couple of guys I go with often, and that is, we'll stay within visual distance or a couple of hundred yards, but otherwise we'll see you in an hour or two hours at the stop. Yes. So it's almost like mini, therapy sessions. Yep. Where you are in your own head for, call it 60 to 90 minutes of walking in your own space, experiencing it on your own, and then you stop and you've got somebody there that was doing the same thing. And it's like an integration group. Yes. You talk about what you found out? Right.

[00:46:04] Ali: Dude, that's it. That's the way for me at least. Beautiful brother. Okay, last question. What's one of your favorite childhood memories? Any age?

[00:46:15] Brent: We had a consistent one where my dad traveled a lot as he was growing his businesses. But when he was home, because he was in the pool business, we had this just crazy, uh, uh, spa that had like 40,000 tons of boulders around it that then flowed into our pool and it, he didn't live in some big house or anything.

We just, he could, so he did and yeah. Yeah. It was like this nature caves space out in our backyard. And we turned it on and it was like dad time with his boys. And when we were out there, like he was fluent in Spanish, so we'd be speaking Spanish. We were allowed to use swear words, but only while we were in the spa. Right. And it was just this bonding time. And half the time it was just my brother and I and, nothing sits with me, than the memories made, you know, doing that.

[00:47:07] Ali: Mm. That's beautiful, dude. Yes. Time with family in a unique environment that only you guys could create. Yeah. Mm.

Brent, this has been a pleasure and honor. I knew it would be this and more so I'm glad that we finally got to document this together, share something with others. Perhaps it'll inspire them on their journey.

I really appreciate the way you show up. I really appreciate the things you're starting to create. As I said before, I think the world needs more creators with bold vision. So thank you brother for being here.

[00:47:43] Brent: Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Thanks for the space you hold.

[00:47:45] Ali: For sure. Until the next adventure, whether that be Front Row Dads or somewhere where we can perhaps get into some nature together.

[00:47:53] Brent: Oh, can't wait.

Ali Jafarian

Ali is a creator and coach who's passionate about guiding people to their truth. That's a fancy way of saying he wants to help people realize their most authentic life. He's a family man, entrepreneur, conscious technologist, explorer, podcast host and many other things that inspire him to stay curious and learn. He's also a huge advocate for nature, hiking, adventure, testing physical limits and experiencing the natural world.