The Causey Consulting Podcast

Guest: Scott Grayson + "Cubicle Zombie" life + financial & personal independence

June 10, 2020 Sara Causey Episode 5
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Guest: Scott Grayson + "Cubicle Zombie" life + financial & personal independence
Show Notes Transcript

My guest on today's episode is Scott Grayson, an entrepreneur and the owner/blogger at Strength & Reason. If you've been stuck in the 9 to 5 grind and want out or you've been displaced due to the pandemic and want to achieve personal and financial independence, this is a must-listen episode.

Key topics we cover:

✔️ Freedom and controlling your own income.
✔️ Is the Mon-Fri, 9 to 5 job still stable? (Nope.)
✔️ Taking personal responsibility and not playing the blame game.
✔️ Are you working hard so your boss and boss' boss can get promoted?
✔️ The entitlement mentality - does anyone really owe you a living?
✔️ Scott's personal formula for success.

You can find Scott's blog at:
His Twitter here:
And on LinkedIn at:

Unknown Speaker :

Hello, hello and welcome to today's episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I'm your host Sara Causey and I'm also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Now my guest today is Scott Grayson. Scott is a blogger at Strength & Reason, a blog devoted to helping you gain control over your life. Scott started his career in information technology, and he then attended law school before spending 10 years investigating civil rights and health information privacy complaints for the US government. He left the government in June of 2019 to start strength and reason, which of course you can find at Before we get into all the promotional components, first and foremost, I want to say hello to you, Scott, and thank you for being here today. It's my pleasure. I'm excited to be here. Awesome. So I'll ask the million dollar question: How and why did you start strength & reason? You know, I started it several years I actually came up with the idea several years ago. One of the things that always appealed to me was this idea of strong and strong body. I thought that that would really help people help myself and other people just live a better life. So I'm into fitness, I'm into weightlifting, so I've always kind of been drawn to that sort of that idea of strength. And I had some, like mental health, mental strength has always been a weakness of mine. So a few years I really started trying to get into that and understand what I do to reduce like some depression and anxiety in my own life. And as I as I studied that, one thing that I started to realize that was leading to a lot of anxiety is this idea that kinda let politicians in the media and advertisers can drag us around by the nose or leaders around like, no. So, yeah, so I started to really get into the idea of learning to think for yourself. So that was kind of the idea of where the strength and the reason came from. And then I started the blog in February of last year. I didn't actually put my first my first post up until October. But I had spent all that time reading and writing and trying to develop my thoughts. And in that time, I discovered a podcast. It's called wealth, power and influence by Jason Stapleton. Cool. And yeah, it's a really good podcast, and he did. He started off doing like a libertarian political podcast, but he got tired of all the negative negativity around it. So he changed the direction of his podcast to this idea that if you can take control of your income You can take control of your life. So that if you're controlling the sources of your income, you can be less concerned with what the politicians are doing. Because you're controlling your own life more than that. And so when I when I heard him when I heard his podcast and heard him talking, it was like, an aha moment for me like all these thoughts that have been swirling in my head and things that I had difficulty articulating or coalescing, before they suddenly started to take more. So then, when I was looking at strings and read them, I thought, This is perfect. This is kind of the perfect fit. So over the course of the last year or so my idea has kind of developed into this sort of idea of we can take control of our lives by first, learning how learning critical thinking, learning how to think for yourself, identifying where biases are coming into play, identify where logical fallacies are getting used on earth to try to convince us to believe a third thing or to act a certain way. And then the second thing is just taking control of the source of your income. And I will totally give Jason Stapleton 100% credit for kind of that side of the of the equation. But when you take control the source of your income, you're less dependent on bosses. You're less dependent on the whims of government. And I think, yeah, and the COVID-19 issue right now, I mean, there's a perfect example, where one day you had a job, but the next day you didn't, and it was by no fault of your own. So when you control the source of your income, if something like that happens, you're insulated from it. So that's, that's really the focus of the blog is just kind of trying to help people to really understand how, how, like I said, the media, the politicians, advertisers are just kind of everyday trying to influence us to think a certain way, a certain way. And kind of once, once you can kind of see how that's happening, then you've taken the first step to really taking control of your life. And then once you're at that point, then you can start building your own sources of income that you control. And then, and then once you do all that, then it doesn't really matter as much what the politicians and the media are saying, right? It's like you've got your life. You're in control of it, and you're happy. Gosh, well, I have a big smile on my face right now. I want to ask you about freedom because you're touching on some really important points, especially as it comes to controlling your own income. You know, there's people out there who think still and yet now I think it may change some after the pandemic. And as you mentioned, you know, you had a job one day and then the next day you didn't through no fault of your own, but still and yet there are people out there who think that Monday to Friday nine to five corporate job is stable, but really, it's not. So I'd love to hear more about how you define freedom and what freedom looks like to you. For me, you know, I define freedom is maybe more like autonomy, just the ability to kind of feel like I'm in control of my own destiny. When I wake up in the morning, and I go to work, I know that I'm working for me, when I'm writing a blog post, I know that it's for me. Whereas, you know, when I went to work back at the government, when I went in, and I investigated cases, I was working for someone else. Right. I was working so much. Yeah, I was working so my boss could get a promotion. I was working, so my boss's boss could get a promotion. Right. And, yeah, and I and I just I didn't like that. And we've had a, we had a policy or my manager had a policy in the office. You know, regarding performance evaluations where she, it had less to do with how well you performed and more to do with Well, you were you fell on this little bell curve that she had? No, I just like, yeah, that's kind of it's kind of ridiculous if I'm outperforming most of the country, but I'm still sort of in the middle in our office. I'm just getting an average review. That's just, that was just nonsense to me. So now I have total control, right? I mean, I shouldn't say total control because I still need to depend on other people to go to my blog and read it and give me comments. But the quality of what I put out is my total is in my control how frequently I do it is completely in my control. Gosh, that's awesome. And speaking of which, I I was reading one of your posts about your personal formula for success. And I was really fascinated by what you call meaningful action, because there are certain circles where people start They just take action. And I see it a lot, especially with Acolytes of Tony Robbins that will say, well just take massive action, do something, do anything, it doesn't matter. And it sort of leads, in my opinion to people running around like chickens with their heads cut off saying, well, but I'm taking action, you know, or they're they're hung up on vanity metrics to impress a sales manager, but it's action that doesn't really accomplish anything. So I would love for you to talk more about what is meaningful action as you see it. Okay, and yeah, I definitely know about vanity metrics. Having worked for the government, we were more concerned with impressing Congress than we weren't actually helping people. So I just want to throw a little bit of political commentary out there. Government does not care about you. They care about impressing Congress. Okay. You can take that part out if you want to. No, there's no editing. You heard it here, folks. This is not not censored in any way. Okay, so what I mean by meaningful action is, there's a book called essentialism, and I'm the author is escaping me right now. But the idea is, is that whenever you do something, it, it should some way lead to you accomplishing your goals. Right? So, so you know, if you're in the workplace, if you've got that nine to five, and someone asks you to do a project, but that project will not lead to you accomplishing your goal, say no, because it's not essential to accomplish your goal. So meaningful action, that's kind of my take on that idea of essential ism. And the reason why I changed it to meaningful action is because I think it's kind of a sliding scale, right? So someone like me who is new to blogging, I may not know 100% what the meaningful action is. So like you were saying, for me, sometimes if you're taking some action, it can be meaningful. It may not lead to me actually accomplishing anything on the blog, but it helps me learn Right, is where someone who's got 10 years, 15 years of experience blogging, meaningful action for them is going to be more narrowly defined. So it kind of exists on two levels, I guess it's maybe the best way to think about it, you know, there's the action doesn't have to directly lead to one of your goals. But if it helps you get smarter about achieving your goal in the future, then that's meaningful. And then of course, there's the, you know, the specific meaningful action that leads directly to you accomplishing a goal. That's really well said and I like the way that you have positioned that out. One of the things that I have noticed in defining who is my ideal client from a coaching perspective is that grit, that persistence, the the willingness to say I got knocked down, I'm on the mat, but I'm not out. I'm willing to stand up and try again. So like you're saying the maybe the action doesn't accomplish anything immediately. But it gave you the opportunity to learn something valuable from it. And it's, it's interesting because you have made some fantastic posts on LinkedIn and on your blog about the entitlement culture. And I see people that don't have as much of that grit anymore. They're not willing to get up off the mat, or they feel like somebody owes them a living. And I would love to know more about what is the entitlement culture as you define it, and how do you see it playing out in the business world? Okay, yeah, that's it. Yeah, I'm a huge fan of persistence. And that's actually one of the other factors in the success equation that I had talked about on my blog. And I'm pretty fun to tell people that persistence is probably the most important part of success. Yeah. When I was talking about entitlement culture, I was kind of thinking, you know, we've kind of moved to as humans we have to deal with adversity, right. It's hard Life. And, you know, it's reasonable to want to try to avoid adversity as much as possible. But we've kind of moved beyond that we moved to this point where we think we should never have. Yes. Right. And it's like, always, the government's going to be there to take care of me. And we've got, you know, politicians, promising people everything in the world, you know, you know, well, I guess first, the politicians are scaring everybody and right, thinking that they're going to come and save us, right? And just creating this, this sense that we should never have to deal with anything hard. And I just, it just makes, you know, it just creates a society of people who don't want to try, like you said, they just want to be handed everything. So entitlement for me is, is that sense that like you have a right to a job. You don't have to. You don't have to go to work and work hard. You just have No, maybe show up and meet the minimum requirements. Or, or even worse yet, you'd have the right to the job that you want under the conditions that you demand in it. That's just not the way the world works, right? You go to employer, you have to negotiate with the employer, the conditions that you're going to work on to the pay, whatnot. And if you don't like it, you go find another job. So as far as you know, entrepreneurship, because I think there's, from what I'm seeing, there's a lot of people out there, who they don't want to put in effort to take advantage of the opportunities that they have. They would rather sit around and complain that so and so has more opportunities than they do, rather than focusing on the opportunities that they have. And they forget that opportunities compound, right, so someone starting off they may not have a ton of opportunity to be able to get an internet connection right? Probably a public library that can go on and start reading go online and start reading about affiliate marketing and email marketing. And I mean, you can start a blog on medium mediums free, I think, right? Yeah. So you can start posting stuff, right, you can start, you can get that ball rolling. And there's tons of people courses out there that you can get for free youtube videos. All sorts of so instead of worrying that, you know, rich Johnny down the street, you take advantage of the opportunities you have. And remember, opportunities compound, right. So you take advantage of that first opportunity, you create three more opportunities, you take care of you take advantage of those opportunities, you create 12 more opportunities, and it just keeps, just keeps growing and growing. So stop worrying about what other people are doing. Stop worrying about the opportunities other people have. Focus on the opportunities that are in front of you. Because all the opportunities in the world are absolutely worthless if you don't get off your butt to take advantage of them. Here, here, I'm giving you a virtual round of applause. You know, and what you're saying resonates with me too in in a completely different way. Because I've noticed that that there are people out there that if they see someone charging fair market value or more for their services, there's people who are jealous of that. And instead of going, you know what i, this guy is charging 20 grand for a service that I only charge five for, I want to find out how he's doing it. I want to learn what his strategies were to get from point A to point B. It's almost like they just want to sit and pour out some haterade and say, Well, how dare he! If I can't charge that much then he shouldn't be allowed to either. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. Instead of trying to up your game, you're trying to get other people to downgrade their grades. Your level? Yeah. Right now, yeah, I totally agree with you on that one. And it's, it's Sad but true. If there's something else that you that you use that I really like it, and it's the term cubicle zombies, so if someone is listening to this podcast and they've been thinking about escaping the cubicle zombie life or maybe they were laid off due to COVID and they're thinking, I don't ever want to go through this again, I'm what Scott is saying is hitting my ear perfectly. I'm ready to take control of my life. What's the number one tip that you would give to someone who's ready to leave cubicle zombie land? You know, for me, I don't know if you read the very first post I made but it was always overcoming fear. Yeah, I was. I was raised. You know, I was raised by great parents, but my mom was always that don't quit your job until you have another job to sort of mindset. So there was always that fear of not having a job and health insurance, that sort of thing. So then when the out came up last year. My girlfriend is incredibly supportive of me. She was like just just quit and do the blog. Yeah, we'll make will, it'll work. So so that's what I did. So that's that's my number one piece of advice is just overcome that fear. Awesome, awesome. All of you can find Scott online at You should also follow him on twitter at strengthreason. And you can find him on LinkedIn as Scott Grayson, JD MBA. Scott an absolute pleasure to have you on today. I really appreciate it. Great, thank you. I'm happy to do it. Yay. Be sure to tune in for our next episode. And again, thank you, Scott, for being here. Thank you. Once again, today's guest was Scott Grayson. He is the owner and blogger at strength and reason which you can find online at strengthen you can follow him on twitter at strengthreason and he's on LinkedIn as Scott Grayson, JD MBA. Thanks for listening. Be sure if you haven't already to subscribe and to leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now. Transcribed by