Without hyperbole, Pierson and I can say that Jamison Colston is one of the most well-rounded people we have ever met.
Jamison owns and runs Scenic City Mobile Detailing. He's a real estate investor, fitness model, men's counselor, a taekwondo black belt, and a student of philosophy.
He's a Renaissance man in the true meaning of the phrase. Oh, and he's 26.
Buckle up. This is a hell of a ride.
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Pierson: What's up, everybody? This is Pierson here with Pangea Marketing Agency. I'm here with Brandon Rollins.
Brandon: Hey, everyone.
Pierson: And today, we've got a special guest, Jamison Colston.
Jamison: Hello, I'm Jamison. [chuckle]
Pierson: And Jamison is quite the interesting individual, guys. He is... I think I'd best describe it as, like what you said, Jamison, a serial entrepreneur and you've got your hands in a lot of different things and I think rather than having me just read them all off to you guys, why don't we let you, Jamison? Why don't you talk a little bit about who you are and just give everybody a brief run-down of some of the stuff that you've got your hands in?
Jamison: I guess to compose a simple list, as you know, my name is Jamison, I am 26 and I am a model for an agency, for Gage Talent Agency. I do a lot of fitness modeling and fashion brand modeling so I've modeled for companies like Banana Republic, boohooMAN and ASOS, to name a few. I am also a small business owner around Chattanooga, which right now I'm currently developing plans to expand that, it's a business called Scenic City Mobile Detailing. I also invest in real estate so I've been investing in real estate for the past, I don't know, like nine years probably, it's been a while so I've been in that branch of things for a while.
Jamison: I'm also a counselor at a community center called TCCS, which is... For those who are familiar with Chattanooga, it's near Eastgate Mall so it's around that area there. I counsel men who are in anger management and battery issues so domestic violence cases and things like that so yeah, that's kind of a small summary of that and I'm dabbling in things on the side but those are the main things that I'm into right now.
Pierson: Yeah. It's crazy 'cause when I... And to give everybody else who's listening a little bit of background, Jamison and I have never met but he's good friends with several of my close friends so I've heard about you for quite a while now and been hearing through the grapevine so to speak, of all of the stuff that you've got your hands in and just what you're doing to be at such a young age and it's fascinating to me because you seem to be having quite a bit of success within each field that you're in, too.
Jamison: Yeah, yeah, it definitely took a while and for example, my small... My detailing business, to give an example, it grew, it took a while for it to grow but the clients that I had when I started out are what kept the business sustained. It didn't have thousands and thousands of customers at the time and even today, there's like these... I kinda started similar to how someone would start a lawn mowing business, where you would build up these residual clients and put them in these non-committal contracts so it keeps them accountable for keeping up with the lawn service and that's kinda how I built the detailing business to where basically I just put customers on a residual contract where every month, we would go out and do their cars and do their trucks and all this stuff for them and it grew from there.
Jamison: Yeah. I guess they start small but you just gotta keep up with it. Consistency is key as we say so.
Brandon: And how long have you been doing this business?
Jamison: Well, the detailing business started six years ago, officially six years ago but even before that, it was out the back of my car, literally. It was like, I had like a little, which I still have this car, it was a little Lexus IS 300 and then, I was cleaning my own cars and all this stuff and then I had neighbors who were like "Hey man, can you clean my car?" And so I started doing it for free, just washing their cars for them and then I ended up...
Jamison: One of them convinced me to "Hey, man, you should start a small little business. You should maybe turn a profit for it." and so I ended up making... Me and a friend made some business cards and all this stuff and went around the neighborhood, passing them out and it grew from there. I ended up meeting one of my first mentors and that's how the business really became an official thing.
Pierson: Wow and so that was six years ago, that must have been in 2014. What were you doing before your friend said that you should create a business out of car detailing?
Jamison: During that time, I was also... And keep in mind that I was still washing cars and stuff like that but six years is when it became official but before that, that's when I was doing it for like $20 here or $20 there. So it was... Six years ago is when it was like "Okay now, I actually have a van and I have industrial equipment and I can go around and do businesses and stuff like that." But before that, I was honestly... When I got a...
Jamison: Right when I graduated out of high school, I didn't go straight to college and so... And by the way, I did go to college as well and so right when I got out of high school, I didn't know what the hell I wanted to do. I was in this very weird existential space where I was like "I wanted to have my own autonomy but I didn't wanna go to college and then get into something where I'd just be working for 40 years and then retire." I felt like that wasn't... That just wasn't me, I didn't wanna do that and so all of my friends were going off to school and I was like "What the hell am I gonna do?"
Jamison: So I ended up just taking a bunch of crappy jobs. I worked at Best Buy, I worked at Kmart, I was working at Amazon. You name it, I probably worked there and I ended up saving a bunch of money through this whole process and I ended up... Long story short, I ended up getting into real estate investing. So I started out with wholesaling and everything like that and that... It had its ups and downs, it ebbed and flowed.
Jamison: Eventually, I ended up getting into buying my first rental property, which was a duplex actually in a very old neighborhood of mine and ended up living in in one side, I did the whole house hacking thing. Lived in one side of it and then I just did that each year so I had a five-year plan and all this stuff and so I ended up growing that out, one after another, one after another and so by the time I got to that point where the detailing business was starting, I had that residual income in the background to keep me afloat a little bit.
Jamison: It definitely wasn't consistent obviously but it was enough to let me know that I knew that I could do... It put it in my mind that I know that I can do whatever I wanted I wanted to put my mind to basically. Like "If I could do this, then... " And I had my dad behind me. I had people behind me to root me on. I knew that anything I wanted to start was definitely in my power to do so.
Brandon: That is awesome.
Pierson: From that though, you've grown the detail... Let's circle back for a second. You've grown this detailing business that you run locally into an actual business where you have industrial equipment that you go to places and you're actually making supplemental income from this on the side.
Jamison: Oh yeah, man. So basically... Honestly, it was surprising because I was never really... I was always into cars. I'm a car guy but I never was into that side of things. I just knew that it was... I knew when it came to detailing, all I knew was that people... There was a specific way to wash them and then there was also the buffing and swirl marks, all that stuff that detailers knew and so when I started washing cars, I kind of really started to appreciate, it's going to sound kind of cheesy but the art form of it.
Jamison: It's like I really started to feel like when I'm going across the car with the mitt, for example, I could just really... The curve of the car and I could... I realized that basically, I realized that I had a really good attention to detail and so yeah, once it got to the point where, I guess to kind of fast forward to where I got the industrial equipment because I know it's kinda what you're talking about is I met my mentor after I was passing, literally in my same neighborhood honestly, I was passing out business cards and there was a guy who's like "Well, I don't need my car cleaned. My son washes my cars and I don't want to take that away from him. That's his allowance but I have my boss has a classic car he's needing cleaned. He wants to sell it on a showroom or something like that."
Jamison: And so he's... The owner, the boss he is talking about is the owner of Kenworthy Hardwood, which is a hardwood flooring company in Chattanooga and the actual foundation of it is literally five minutes away from my neighborhood and so he ended up giving me... He was like "I'll get him contact with you about this guy."
Jamison: So he took my business card and I'm thinking okay, he's probably just not going to ever call me. Probably going to show the guy who's probably going to be like "Oh I don't need this right now." Whatever, you know what I mean? And he's like, he's just like some little punk kid trying to make some allowance money or something like that but yeah, eventually, literally the next day, the guy, Damien, called me. Damien McCormick, that's his name. He called me. He was like "Hey man, I heard you detail cars and stuff like that." He's like "I need you to come look at my car because I'm getting ready to sell it and I need you to come clean it up."
Jamison: So literally, I remember it like it was yesterday. I drove to... He gave me the address and everything. I drove over there the next day, in my little Lexus IS 300. It's all loud because it's a tuner car and everything and so I pull up with this bucket. It's a bucket of cleaning materials and he's like "Dude, what the hell? Is this a business or what do you have?" He was like "What, are you are doing this out of the back of your car?" And I was like "Yeah, man but I've been doing this for a little while now." and everything like that. So after he was like "Well, if you do this job well for me, if you do this well for me." he said "I'll help you. I'll give you some stuff and give you some pointers on how to actually start an actual business." and stuff like that.
Jamison: And so literally, after I did his car for him and I was out there, it was, by the way, it was like towards the tail end of winter but it was still cold outside. Man, it was cold and I was in his garage cleaning. It was just being by myself with... My hands are freezing. I'm washing his car. Backing it out. I had cleaned the engine bay. It was a good eight-hour job. It was a long detail. An actual detail and then the next day, because he left. So the next day he comes back, he called and was like "Hey man, you did an awesome job." and so he ends up giving me kind of like... He ends up giving my first pressure washer. It was a used pressure washer. A Honda pressure washer. He gives me my first pressure washer, gives me a rotary buffer and gives me some path.
Jamison: He's like "Look dude, this is really what you're going to need to start." and he's like "You're going have to go from here but these are the tools. You're going to need some industrial tools." He's like "How much money do you have saved up?" Well, I was like "Hey, I got like a couple... I got a few grand saved up." Because I'd been making money with the real estate stuff and I'd been doing some other stuff on the side but I didn't really know how to...
Jamison: I guess my main thing was, I just didn't know how to actually start it. Because the real estate stuff wasn't really a business in that kind of sense. You know what I mean? It was more like maintenance and kind of... There was a different... It was a difference stick and move with that and so he was like "Hey man, I got these vans out here."... And this is where the idea of actually making it... Kind of shelling it out to other businesses came in is where, because he has these business vans and so he was like "Hey man, I got these utility vans that all of my employees use to go out to do these contract jobs, right?" And so he has like eight or nine of them.
Jamison: He's like "Hey man, if you keep these things cleaned every month, I'll pay you for each van you clean and that'll become a good start for you." and he was like, literally paying me like $300 a van, just to clean them every month and so you're talking about nine vans for $300 each every month. I mean, that was an eye opening an experience for me.
Jamison: It was honestly in that moment, just doing that for a couple of months. I knew then, okay so this is how you do it. You know what I mean? This is how you learn how to build clients and so I started going to other local businesses. I went to Miller Electrical, I don't know if you guys have heard of them but they're like an electrical business around Chattanooga. They have utility vans and so I started going to car lots and other small businesses and things like that and then saying "Hey man, I can clean your vans and stuff for you every month. Just under these kind of stipulations." and things like that and so that's really how that got started and so basically using that formula, it kind of grew from there in that sense. If all that makes sense.
Pierson: Yeah, I'm sitting here kind of just baffled because you've really done this from the ground up and you've done it in your own... And you've done this in your own way too and I think that's what I love more than anything, is that from the get-go, you were like this... College? This isn't the path for me, off the bat and I know that you said you went back and you've gone to college but you said there are different ways that you can get to the point that you're at and honestly, that trial and error of seeing, just putting your name out there. Going to different car lots. Networking yourself and trying to get your name out. I think it's awesome that you really were able to start that and grow it from nothing to a business.
Jamison: Yeah and it was scary because I mean, there was also like the... I mean so yeah, obviously I had the real estate stuff and then again, I know I mentioned that but I know when I tell people I was in the real estate they think... Especially if they're kind of in that Grant Cardone era kind of a thing, they think that "Oh, you're real estate, you're just making a ton of money."
Jamison: No, dude. You don't get into it and you're making just a shit ton of money off the bat. People don't pay you. People are late on payments and then you have all these taxes and all this stuff, man. You don't really see a lot of money until years and years later and so it was like I was scared because it was like... I mean, my parents didn't have a lot of money and so it was like there were just times where I did have to take a little shitty job on the side to kind of do things and I had friends that were already in school by the time they were... And some of them were already graduating by the age of 20, 21, you know what I mean? And it was like "How do I... " I'm like I feel like I was falling behind. I had this whole thing where I was like "Man, I'm like way in... " and then you'll have older people tell you "Oh man, you're fine, you're young."
Jamison: But at that moment, you don't believe it. You're just like "No, dude. I'm way behind the curve." But it was just like a matter of keeping myself motivated, man. It was like, I just had to... I had to change my friend groups 'cause some of them were very pessimistic and I had to cut some family off 'cause they were kind of like "Oh man! You should've went to school... " It was just bad, man but I had to really...
Jamison: I had to put myself in a mental space where I could believe that it was possible and I knew it was because I had already done this real estate stuff so I was like "I know that this is possible. I just have to stick it out and figure out what moves to make, what moves not to make." and so yeah, that was the scary part about it all at the time, trying to start this stuff.
Brandon: Yeah, everybody loves the idea of starting a business but when you're actually in the early stages and you're spending money and you're not making a lot, it's pretty freaking scary, especially if you don't have anybody in your immediate family or in your immediate friend group who has been through the same thing to tell you like "Oh! This is normal." You can read online all day long, you can listen to people talk on podcasts and whatnot and tell you that it's gonna be okay but until it actually turns out being okay, there's always gonna be that level of anxiety, just kind of waiting to see how things shake out.
Jamison: Yeah, yeah. It's funny that you mentioned that, 'cause I mean, when I was starting this stuff, I would look at all these videos. This was the time when Tai Lopez was kinda getting big and so I was seeing his stuff online and "Oh, you can start... " It was just all this stuff about entrepreneurship that just wasn't... I'm not saying it wasn't real but I knew that it wasn't that simple, you know what I mean? 'Cause I had already kinda got started in some stuff and so if I fast forward a little bit, when I was in college, towards my last few years of college, I remember I ended up...
Jamison: I needed some extra credit, just like 'cause my hours were low and so I ended up taking an entrepreneurship course in the UTC business department and in fact, it was entrepreneurship class or something like that and I just remember sitting there man and listening to all these students who didn't like... And not to be bragging and all but they didn't really know what the hell they were talking about man. I was like, at this point, I have already started, the business was kind of successful, basically. It was paying for college and I was able to pay for college with this business so it was like, at this point, I kinda knew that I had some kind of tenure and I was just like listening to all this stuff and I'm like "No, dude it's... "
Jamison: I mean, yeah, there are some logistics to what you need to know but it's really just a matter of you getting out there and doing it. You're not... Nobody... There's no teacher, there's no text book that's gonna teach how to do this. You need to start a business and accept that you may fail at some stuff but that's really the only way you're gonna learn that stuff, it's through trial and error.
Brandon: And I'll tell you, I'm sitting on an MBA myself but education is really, really good at teaching you how to solve complex abstract problems but it's not gonna give you exactly what you need to service clients to start a business. A lot of that you really do have to learn by trial and error. You're never gonna know what opportunities the market's gonna provide until you just get out there and fail for two years and then you'll eventually be like "Okay, now I know how this thing actually works. Now, I know how I can proceed from there."
Brandon: I didn't wanna let it slip by but something you said was interesting and got some wheels turning for me. It was basically one guy, one client, it sounds like made it to where you realize you didn't just have to do this as a side gig, you could actually do it as a viable business and something similar happened to me with Pangea Marketing, which long time listeners will know about already and I won't get into it but I've also found that this has happened to a lot of my friends too. They'll be playing around with something, they'll make a couple hundred a week or something, nothing super big and then they land one big client and they say "Oh my God! I can actually run a business based off of this."
Brandon: I think that happened... I think that's a repeating pattern that I'm starting to notice the more people I talk to.
Jamison: Yeah, you're right. A lot of time, it is just a... What it really does is just shows the power of not being afraid to try things. Even if it's just like a side hustle or not letting the fear of... I guess, it's like for me, it's kind of like two things. Not letting the fear of you failing stop you but also, not letting this really weird expectations... You have to kind of learn how to manage your expectations too 'cause if you're like "Okay, this is always gonna be a small thing, if you tell yourself that, then you may limit the opportunities that could come from that."
Jamison: But if you kinda just go "Okay well hey, if this does become something big, then I'll see where it goes." But if you're kinda just like "Oh! This is nothing but a small thing. It will always be a small thing." Because you're kind of afraid to let it grow then you can... And I've had friends who are artists do that where I'm like "Hey dude, you have the skill. You clearly are good at what you do." and they're like "Oh well, yeah but it's just my hobby, it's just my side thing and nobody's ever gonna pay for this art." and I'm just like "Dude, you just never know man, put it out there."
Brandon: It's the funny thing when destiny comes knocking and you can start to really grow a business or do something with a hobby, it's a little scary to think that the way you're gonna have to see yourself would change.
Brandon: It's frightening when you start thinking about the responsibility and all the changes that success could bring and I think a lot of people get hung up on that and they don't expect to.
Jamison: Yeah. It can really change your life, man and sometimes... I would say majority of time in a good way but if you don't have the proper structure, the foundation, the mindset, it can change it in a lot of negative ways too. You have to be prepared to take on these kind of roles of authority that you may not have ever had before like... I never would have thought there would be a day where I would have contractors that work under me. You know what I mean? I'd never thought that I'd have something like that and it's scary because you're responsible for some of these people's income, you're responsible.
Jamison: As far as tenants go, I'm responsible for where people live. I'm responsible for... The COVID situation was really hard for me because I mean, there's people who lost their jobs and how am I supposed to... I can't tell those people to go kick rocks if you can't pay me this month. I can't do that and thank goodness there's laws and stuff around obviously and there were grants and everything but the point is that there's times in life where your judgment is gonna be tested and if you don't have the grit to really approach those kinds of situations that can be make or break for you.
Pierson: Absolutely and you said something a couple of minutes back, Jamison, that I wanna touch on as well and it's just the mindset and talking about specifically the mindset you need to have to succeed in whatever venture you're going down and that's... Sometimes having to change the circles that you're running in. Sometimes having to have conversations with family and saying "You know what, I'm on a path and our visions aren't really lining up." and that's a hard thing to do, especially with people that you're close to in any route, whether they be family or friends but the mental strength that that takes to say "You know what, I see the bigger plan for myself and I see where I'm going." and if you guys can't see that, then that's not on me. You've gotta surround yourself with the people that are gonna let you transcend to something bigger.
Jamison: Well, yeah and I will say this before I directly answer that. A lot of what you're saying and see the thing, I'm actually really well-versed in psychology. It wasn't my major but I did a lot of cognitive neuroscience study and psychology study while I was an undergrad and I mean, there's a lot of things that suggest it. I mean that's factual, that you are who you who you surround yourself with, you are what you listen to and you are how you talk to yourself. What you input is what you'll output at some point and so if you are around people that are very negative-minded and very pessimistic and don't... And aren't necessarily even ambitious, that will inevitably affect you. There's no way to be around that and not be affected by it and so you have to make the choice and again, that's coming back to the responsibility thing, you also have a responsibility to manage who's around you.
Jamison: Now, I'll give you an example. Me being a philosophy... I was also a philosophy major as well as a civil engineer major and so obviously I'm around a variety of people and some of these great thinkers that I was around are also... There's different philosophies, different ways people think about a lot of them, especially these days, are really obsessed with the climate change issue, really obsessed with who... The Presidential crisis and who's gonna be the one to take us through our existential-doom, are we doomed forever? All these very deep stuff and I realize that these things are very valid questions, obviously. These are very valid concerns, especially depending on your stance and everything.
Jamison: I get all that but I have a responsibility to not take that kind of information in on a consistent basis. I can have a conversation about it, definitely but if I wanna remain on course for what I want, I have to manage my exposure, I guess you could say to that kind of environment, to that kind of conversation because that takes my eye... That takes my focus off of what needs to be done, if that makes sense.
Brandon: Yeah, that's a particularly tricky because you have to be pragmatic enough to watch the news but you also can't get totally sucked to it too. You gotta know which politician is gonna be in charge, 'cause you gotta know which policies are gonna be passed. You gotta know that climate change is happening. Yeah but we gotta be able to get just enough information to take practical action on it and try to get away from the rest, I think I need an entire week refreshing for election results but hey.
Jamison: Yeah, you kind of have a responsibility to be well-versed and be, I guess you can say knowledgeable of what's going on but not so much to where you become obsessed with it and you know obviously, if you're into political science and if that's like you're life, that's a different thing but for someone who's just a citizen who needs to be up to date but still have their own separate ambition and goals, you have to go "Okay well, how do I control my news intake? How do I control my sources?" And my thing was, I would always be like "Well hey, we obviously know that social media is a geared to become... " It's basically a... I guess you could say eco-chamber so the more things you look up, the more things you take in, the more it's gonna feed you those things.
Jamison: So if you are into climate doom science, then it's gonna just feed you a bunch of climate doom science and you're just gonna be in this kind of eco-chamber, just soaking up this material and it becomes your paradigm and you don't... Especially if you don't have the wisdom to look up counter examples to your current position and that's a thing, that's a big thing that people lose the ball on. They don't know how to look up okay, what are the counter-examples of my position.
Jamison: Who's refuting my position and how valid are those thing's and so yeah, I mean you have to go okay, "well, let me limit my exposure to this. How much time am I spending on social media a day? How long are my... What are my hours on my phone? How long am I engaged with this stuff on a daily basis? You have a responsibility to control those things. Yeah.
Pierson: Right, mindfulness is such a huge part of life that I think people honestly overlook a lot and it sounds like you're very in touch with yourself, which is a powerful thing but what do you do... What do you do on a regular basis to keep yourself in check and stay balanced and to make sure you're not overloading yourself?
Jamison: Yeah well firstly, what I even tell my clients is that I personally think you need to have a schedule. So you need to, for one, actually have a schedule for... You need to plan every day that you have out. Now obviously, on my Saturdays or Sundays, I may be a little bit more relaxed on the time but scheduling your day hour by hour allows you to actually see what you're spending time on and so it kind of limits the chance for, I guess you could say spontaneous web surfing, if that makes sense.
Jamison: Like this morning, for example, I had from 7 o'clock to 8 o'clock. 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, I'm just gonna do nothing but coding, nothing but web development. That means that my phone is not near me, that means that it's... All of my focus is there so that means there's no chance for me to do these kinds of things and so the first thing I say is having a schedule, knowing your direction and again, having that direction is a secondary thing to actually knowing what your goal is.
Jamison: So once you actually know what your main focus is, what your actual goal is, whatever that may actually be career-wise or whatever, then your day-to-day is gonna be kind of structured to get you close to that. So every week it's kind of like a new... A different segment, getting you closer to this bigger goal and so through that, as you kinda mentioned earlier, mindfulness is key so obviously you know that you're a human being, you know that you're gonna have moments of weakness so you know this.
Jamison: My second thing is being able to approach yourself with more compassion than critique. I think I kinda go off like a 70-30 principle, where basically 30% is critique. Obviously, you need to have the logic, being able to assess your positives and negatives, your pros and cons, knowing where you failed at, knowing where you succeeded at but the compassion is knowing that this is a very powerful course thing and that you're not always gonna get everything right the first time and so when you're setting up your schedule, when you're setting up your goals and you have this compassion and critique dichotomy, you kind of... You're not beating yourself up too hard when things don't actually go that way.
Jamison: You can actually go "Okay. Well hey, I messed up today but tomorrow is a new day. Let me try to get back on course." Because if you don't have that, then if you fall back into kinda that stupor, then you may get stuck there a lot longer than you need to be 'cause you don't have that willpower to get back on course. You know what I mean? And so having that kind of structure but then obviously being mindful of what triggers you. Like, if you have your phone...
Jamison: So I tell people "Don't put your notifications on." for example. I'll be like "Hey, keep your notifications off." that kind of thing, because that disrupts your workflow, for example. So if you're trying to have a productive day and you have notifications going off on your phone all the time, that disrupts you. That keeps disrupting your consistency for getting things done, it ruins your productivity and so it's just little things like that. It's like these small things that people, they may even know about but they don't necessarily have the will to do them 'cause they feel like... People give themselves a little bit too much credit. They give their willpower too much credit, they feel like they can do anything just because they can think it and I'm like "No, you have to understand that there's actually people out there who are taking advantage of these weak spots that you have and so you have to... Your way of fighting back is discipline. Discipline Equals Freedom. Your discipline is your way of fighting back against these forces."
Jamison: Because social media in itself isn't bad and distractions themselves aren't bad. It's just that your susceptibility to them is what keeps you from getting things done, which keeps you into kinda like these weird funks where you can't really progress and so my thing is just trying to tell people "Hey, manage your discipline and managing your discipline it comes through things like making sure you have a schedule, making sure you have your goals defined and making sure that you are getting rid of the things that are keeping you from staying on track, basically."
Pierson: You completely nailed a huge thing that I am very passionate about, which is the whole notification thing. My phone lives on "Do Not Disturb" if I am awake, my phone is on "Do Not Disturb" for the exact reason that you highlighted Jamison and it's that... I think it was maybe two years ago, I discovered the screen time thing that your phone's got, where it'll tell you how long you've been on your phone a day and man, I turned that on and it shocked me after a week 'cause it's just like "This is how much time I'm spending on this stuff?" It's unreal and that was kind of the... That was the shift of me going "You know what, if I'm investing that much of my time in let's say Instagram or Facebook, I could be investing that time in working." And imagine how far I would have gotten if I had spent seven hours a day studying German rather than being on Instagram. I would have been fluent a long time ago.
Brandon: I have a big brown couch down here in the basement and when I'm working... And when I'm working and if that phone goes off, I'll just throw the phone onto the couch. It's several feet away. [chuckle] If it just buzzes and I don't wanna hear it, I'll just throw it. I'll physically throw it.
Jamison: Like a good thing for... One thing that I really do is, for example, you probably... Guys have probably already heard it before but not keeping my phone around me when I'm going to bed and things like that because you may get into this weird...
Jamison: Now, if it's like a Saturday night where I've been out. Maybe I went to a party, something like that is different. That's a night where I don't mind letting loose but this is like an actual night, like a weekday night or something. I may have my phone in my room but it's on silent and it's on the other side of the room and that way when I wake up, I don't... I'm not just gonna roll over and grab my phone because a lot of people the first thing they grab in the morning is their phone and they start looking through it and for me, that's just a horrible, horrible way to start the day and I know it is because when I've done that versus how I start my days now, it's just drastically different, the energy, the momentum that I take through the morning...
Jamison: Like I'll get out of bed at 4:00 AM in the morning, right to work out. So I get out of bed at 4:00 AM and the first thing I do is I read like achievement statements, which are statements I've written for myself to keep track of my goals and stuff like that. Then I work out. I haven't even touched my phone and then the only time I really touch my phone after that is when I'm doing some Instagram motivation stuff or something like that and so it's like you kinda have to...
Jamison: Again, that kind of going back to what I was saying earlier, is that you kinda also really need to schedule when you're actually gonna use social media. I know that people don't think about this 'cause they see it more of as a leisure thing but that leisure is actually... Like it's sucking so much of your time away and it's chipping so much at your... For a lot of people, their self-worth and their own ambition because you're so enamored with everybody else's that you can't focus on your own and so it's like... I think it's really important to schedule times in a day that you can use... 'cause you can use social media. I do. I use it obviously but there's certain times of the day that I use it.
Jamison: I may schedule 11:30 to 12:00, I may get on there and engage with people. I may try to figure out new ways to try to grow my Instagram or something like that. I make time 'cause I'm always, right now I'm trying to figure out how to grow that out so it's like there is a certain business aspect of it where you do have to be engaged with it but that's the scary part about it is that because it's so geared to suck you in and keep you addicted to it, that you have to kinda again, have that discipline; okay I'm only gonna use Instagram today for an hour. I'm gonna make a post and during that whole post, I'm gonna engage for an hour to kinda boost my engagement up and try to build up my algorithm and stuff or however Instagram does it right now, where they push your stuff out. I'm gonna do that for an hour and then I'm gonna get up, I'm gonna put the phone away and then I'm gonna go do something else to get my brain off of that. So you kinda have to have that kinda discipline to do that.
Brandon: Going into social media without an objective, I feel like it's one of the more dangerous things you can do, simply 'cause everything that's gonna show you is gonna emotionally exhaust you. These social media sites function to find the most emotional possible stories for you and then show them to you and if you check that three minutes at a time, it's gonna be like you're getting some terrible news or some wonderful news and either way it's gonna stress you out and then all of a sudden you're like." Why am I tired and unmotivated for the rest of the day? Well, that's why. That's part of it. I like using tools like Agorapulse or Buffer to use social media 'cause that way it gets you away from the feed but it still lets you schedule posts and respond to replies.
Jamison: Yeah. I haven't actually used it but I've heard of those though. Yeah that's a good thing, you know what I mean? To use something like that. Yeah, for sure.
Pierson: Jamison, one of the things that I'm noticing about you in the short time we've talked is just the mental strength that you have to stay disciplined within yourself and your own goals that you've got and I know that fitness is a huge part of your life too. Does that play a role in that? Just that consistency within fitness and I think you're into karate, right? Is that right?
Jamison: Yes, man. Oh, I got... No, I'm super passionate about martial arts so if I get super excited, just tell me to calm down but...
Pierson: This is the worst place for you to go to talk about it because I am one of the biggest mixed martial arts and UFC fans that you could possibly find.
Jamison: So I've been in martial arts since I was a kid. Actually my... Well I say master but I know people who don't... They get the context mixed up. My actual instructor, the one who gave me my Black Belt, he actually rejected me the first time my mom took me to him 'cause I was too young. So I ended up getting into the bunch of different martial arts before I went back to him. I end up getting in boxing and kickboxing and a bunch of other different things and I ended up going back to him and doing this weird mix of karate and taekwondo and so anyway, I've been in martial arts since I was a little kid, it's a part of me. Literally not doing it, I feel like I'm not fulfilled and so I know people may find this weird because yeah, you can be in martial arts but still not appreciate fitness.
Jamison: When I was in martial arts as a kid, I didn't appreciate fitness. I didn't get into fitness until my middle years of high school and I got into fitness because of a girl and but before that, I was into martial arts, I was very lean, I was very fast, I could run. I ran a bunch of miles but I wasn't... Never really taking care of my body. I wasn't really eating the right way kinda. It was just my youthful metabolism kinda taking care of me. It wasn't really... I didn't really have a disciplined lifestyle of eating right and things like that. It was just youth on my side, basically but...
Jamison: When I was in high school, there was this girl I really wanted to ask out. I had this super huge crush on her, it was ridiculous and I ended up asking her out and she rejected me because she said she only dated fit guys and so I remember... And all my friends making fun of me about it, it was probably one of the lowest moments of my high school career and I ended up... I remember like it was yesterday man. I ended up going home, I was watching Dragon Ball Z or something like that, man. I was just in my room getting jacked by these dumbbells and by the end of my high school career, I was ripped. Like super ripped and so... 'cause I was just, every day I was doing push-ups and lifting dumbbells and doing pull-ups [chuckle] that's literally it.
Jamison: And then, of course, you had the martial arts so that accelerated that process because I was already very lean and doing a bunch of cardio and so it just boosted that and so as I grew into adulthood and matured, I started to look into the more dietary aspects of things and realize how much sleep affected this stuff and as I got older, obviously these things became a lot more important because your metabolism starts to slow just a little bit after 21 and stuff like that so you kinda have to treat your body a lot better.
Pierson: It's a machine, you've gotta fuel it properly.
Jamison: You gotta fuel it properly, right and so that, plus me getting a lot into... Like I told you, I got into a lot of cognitive neuroscience, psychology and sociology and all that stuff. So I kinda started to realize how important this affected not just your body but your mental health and how it affected your performance. Especially as an entrepreneur, you really have to be sharp, man. You really need to know what's going on at all times and so honestly, it all kinda worked out where it all kinda just started to make this blend. It started to all blend together where it was like man, me staying in shape is my mind staying in shape and they feed each other. If my body's in shape, my mind's in shape. If my mind's in shape, my body stays in shape.
Jamison: So it was like, I have to keep my... And kinda like we were talking about earlier, that made it 10 times more important just to be around the right people because again, I had friends that... I still have friends. I have friends that aren't in shape, they're overweight, they don't treat themselves right and don't get me wrong, I mean I'll still hang with them but you know there is... I have to be like. "Look dude, I can't spend every... I can't be around you all the time." Obviously I don't tell them this but [chuckle] you know what I mean? Like I can't party with you all weekend and then on Monday I feel like shit because I've drank and eaten pizza all weekend or something like that, you know what I mean? I have to go out for drinks every now and then or something like that, yeah but I need to make sure I'm staying focused 'cause my physical health is more important now than it ever was and so long story short...
Jamison: I take pride in it. It's something that I really feel is... It's like fundamental, it's like my foundation and so when I'm trying to motivate people to stay in shape, it's not just because I want them to look great, obviously looking great is a part of confidence and when you feel like... When you're proud of who you look at in the mirror, that's the confidence boost, which is important to your psyche but also because it's a sign of... Well not fully but it is partially a sign of good health. It's a sign of someone who's disciplined, it's a sign of someone who's commits... Who's able to stick to commitments because it is a commitment to do these kind of things.
Pierson: And you know I, as someone who's very engaged with... Not actually practicing martial arts but within the mixed martial arts world, I'm assuming that since you've got your black belt, you obviously competed at some point.
Jamison: Oh yeah, definitely. I competed in the Battle of Atlanta, I've competed in the Diamond Nationals, I've competed in the Gator Cup down in Florida. I've fought people like Raymond Daniels and Chuck Liddell... Not Chuck Liddell, Chuck Frankfort. I was like Chuck Liddell, no not Chuck Liddell, that's not right. Yeah. I've competed at various levels and I mean, not to toot my own horn but I'm pretty good at what I do. I mean I know people think that may sound cocky but I believe if you're good at what you do, you should be able to say it with confidence.
Pierson: Having a black belt and competing at the level that you're competing on, it's no joke and people that... Yeah, this is where... I want you to toot your own horn because I recognize how impressive it is to do what you're doing. Let alone compete at a level with other people who are just as talented, if not more talented in other facets of martial arts. It's the mental strength and the fortitude that you need to be able to step in a ring or to step on a mat with somebody that's literally trying to kick you in the face. That's a lot of mental stress and you've gotta be sharp for that and that translates into business and I think a lot of people don't see that but it goes hand in hand, like what you're saying. You get a blend of skills that really work together to make you a complete individual.
Jamison: Yeah no, exactly man. You hit the nail on the head with that one. It all works together, it's like, this... It's this package that you put together over time and I mean if you're like... Not to sidetrack but yeah, just if later on, if you guys want. If you go look at my Instagram page there's a post, I think it was maybe like in May of last year, where it shows me in one of my... A guy that I'd actually met for the first time but I had always heard about him, his name was a Awad. He's actually really famous on Instagram, he has a law firm in Atlanta and I would always see, when I was like... When he was a black belt many years before me so as an under belt, I would always see him compete at tournaments and he was crazy man.
Jamison: He was fast, he was aggressive, he was strong, he was like... Not trying to hurt them on purpose but he would like put people out, he was a scary person and so I became a black belt and for a couple of years, I had never fought this guy before but I'd always heard about him and so I ended up fighting him at this tournament and I was so nervous man, because even though I had fought other people that were great, I guess because I had already had in my mind who he was and so I was like... But I went out there and fought him, I beat him but it was like a sudden death kind of match, man and if you look at the picture, you can see where he broke his hand hitting me in the eye.
Jamison: And so in the picture, his hand's like wrapped in gauze in a ice pack and I'm holding my eye with a ice pack, because we basically collided and he punched me in my eye, my eye was black for two weeks and yeah, it was... Now we're like good friends. He helps me out with business stuff and all this stuff like this man, he's a great... I ended up making a great friend with somebody who at one point was a idol and he still is in a way but he became a rival and now we're like great friends, it's like these... So, you'll kinda go through these processes with people, especially in something like martial arts where they'll become like your rivals but then they become like your friend.
Pierson: There's a level of camaraderie and a tremendous amount of respect between... And for people that aren't into MMA or martial arts in any way, one of the biggest lessons that I've learned just from avidly watching it over the last few years, is the level of respect that's present before, during and after a competition for someone that you are fighting. Even, you see a lot of guys that come in and they'll shit talk and it's part of the business of it but one of the... Yeah and one of the coolest parts about all of it is when you see, like in the UFC, you see a guy that talks a lot of shit the whole time, the first thing that he does after a match is over and he's knocked somebody out is he comes over and he's like "Hey man, it's just business. You did great" and you see them supporting each other and it's like you kinda get to take the curtain down so to speak and see what's going on behind the scenes and just... I'm a complete dork for martial arts. I could sit and do a whole podcast with you on that alone.
Jamison: We could man, we could. Yeah, believe me, I love it. I love to death, man. I love it to death.
Pierson: So you're a black belt in karate, do you think you're gonna pursue any other martial arts after karate or are you gonna stick with Taekwondo in that striking element?
Jamison: So I'm actually... I'm a second-degree black belt. I've been a black belt for a while now and I'm actually going for my third-degree pretty soon, hopefully.
Pierson: So what does that process look like? If you don't mind me interjecting, 'cause this is very intricate.
Jamison: Again, this is where the discipline part comes in so I'll give you an example. To actually get your black belt for the school that I go to, right, you... Obviously, your whole time is about training for your black belt obviously but the actual training for the black belt is like 10 weeks and so you go through 10 weeks of literal hell. It's almost like, I don't know, like navy seal bootcamp hell where you like... Where you're just getting yelled at for every day of the week. You're doing like these crazy amounts of back work drills and kicking drills across the floor. You're like laying on the floor holding your stomach 'cause you're just so exhausted and you're just... They're picking you up and they're making you run and it's just like...
Jamison: And when you first start this training it... And again, this is where whole... This is where I kinda knew that I was like, man, there's a whole element of my training that I haven't been paying attention to because I'm at this point now to where I'm exhausted and so after your first week of that, you're like, I have nine more weeks of this, you know what I mean? It's like it's designed to push you past a mental barrier that you have never been pushed to before and so it's like you... And again, this translates into your actual life and so this also kind of feeds that mentality of I can kinda do whatever the hell I wanna do because if I can get through this, I can get through anything and that's kind of what the mentality was. I was going through these nine weeks, these 10 weeks of training of just pure hell, you know?
Jamison: 14, three-minute bad rounds and just all kind of craziness that a normal person wouldn't do.
Pierson: And let me pause Jamison for a second. Because what you just said, 14 minutes or three-minute rounds for 14 rounds on bag. The cardio that that takes to do that, like you will be on the floor sucking air in. It is sparing. The cardio is what... It's so underestimating.
Brandon: Are we talking about punching the bag three minutes at a time, 14 times?
Brandon: Holy crap.
Jamison: So you're punching this bag, right? And you have like these other black belts who are like, they're just yelling at you like they're cursing at to you, they're just yelling at you. You know like "One, two, three. One, two, three." You know like "Your punches are weak." And they're like slapping you with the belt man.
Brandon: Oh God! Yeah. That's no joke, man.
Jamison: Yeah. It's rough but it's again, it's basically... It's our master's way of seeing if this is something you really wanna do. Are you willing to really pour your blood, sweat and tears into this. It's his way of really... Yes, how bad did you want it, man? And so really, by the time you're in the fourth or fifth week man, you're like a stoic gorilla monk man. Like you're just going through the motions.
Pierson: Like I'm there on a mission, you know.
Jamison: Yeah, you're on a mission. By the time you get through past those first couple few weeks man, like you... You're still getting exhausted but you know now. At that point, if you've made it like five weeks, you know this is something you wanna do because you would have given up. Because there's people who quit. I've seen it. As a black belt, I've had to train other people. I've had to do that to other people. There's been people who have quit. Like they can't do it and these are people who have trained for years as an under belt and they're like "I can't. I've made this far but I can't get past this." Some of them stay but some of them can't do it and I understand it. It's rough but you get...
Jamison: So basically, you go through this process of 10 weeks, right? And then, you go to the actual test and the test is like 10 hours, dude. So the test is 10 hours long and the whole test is just you getting grilled, man. Like I'm talking about grilled. It's like you're fighting blind-folded. You're fighting three people at one time and you're doing all this craziness, man and by the end of the test, basically, you can barely stand up and then you have to like repeat this freaking Bible verse and all this stuff, man. It's craziness, man but you get through that, dude and I'm telling you, after three days of rest, you feel like a freaking... You feel like Captain America, man. You really feel like you can just like punch a hole through a brick wall, dude and like...
Pierson: So, what was that feeling though, of having them tie that black belt around your waist? And after that 10 hours, what was that like?
Jamison: Firstly, if you go to my Instagram page, there's a post like near the very beginning where my posts start, where it shows me hugging my instructor. It's like on the June 20 of 2018 where it shows me hugging my instructor and all that stuff. That's the day I got my black belt. Well actually, that was the second but getting that black belt like tied around you, it's... You're like really bursting in tears, man. Like I literally burst into tears. Because it just feels so unreal. This is something you dream about as a kid. One day I wanna be a black belt but you obviously have to be careful because you know, you don't wanna be a black belt at some McDojo shitty school or something but you know when you've really earned it from a real school. You know what I mean? Like from a real...
Jamison: Like an instructor that's travelled the road and been in the military and trained in dojos in Japan. He has this experience that you can dream of and to to get his approval, to get him in front of you where he's crying and he's like... You know, he's like he's raised you. He's seen you as a kid and he's like... He's raised you into the black belt that you are and it's just... It's something that you can't explain to people, man. It's just like "Yes dude! You get the chills dude.
Jamison: Being there and just like, uh. It's making me get all weird now man, because it's just like thinking about it. Because it's like you can't... 'cause when you're going through to that training dude, I'm telling you, it's unreal. The mental, the dark places that you go. The dark places that you go in your mind where you have to get out of that, where you're just like "Man, I thought of make it to this, I'm not shit, man. If I can't make it to this, I failed." And it's just like, I have to get through this. I have to get through this. So yeah, it's rough, man.
Pierson: Karate and martial arts like what you're talking about is a great way to have something to really push your inner self, as I like to say, just to strive for greatness and we're all faced with things in our life. You know, for me, putting it on my terms, I got my knees tattooed five days apart this summer and that was kind of like that for me where I'm like "This is gonna suck." but I tell myself now, I'm like, I sit and I'm looking at them as I'm talking to you guys and I'm like if I can sit through these guys, I can sit through whatever. You know and it's like just facing... Being in the face of adversity and saying "You know what? This sucks but I'm gonna grip this out", you gain a level of mental strength from that and what I think people fail to see a lot of times is when you go through these grueling processes of being beaten down and constantly just weathering the storm of going through whatever it is that you're going through.
Pierson: It translates into your life in so many areas that you might not see at that time but just the strength that you gain and the persistence, it's a whole package and it comes in together and makes you into who you are and you know, I kinda knew ahead of time that you were into martial arts and as someone that follows it, it's something that I feel like you can almost hear the discipline in someone when they've gone through that much.
Jamison: Oh, yeah.
Pierson: You know what I mean? Like it's...
Jamison: It's a part of them, man. It's a part of like their being, their character. Yeah.
Pierson: Yeah. I mean, that's awesome and that doesn't even get into the fact that you're a fitness model and you model for an agency.
Jamison: Yeah so I got into that, honestly, by a whim. I don't really... It's weird to really think about. There was always a part of me that always wanted to... And this is gonna sound vain but I wanted to be in the spotlight, I guess and I guess that's probably the part of my mom that's in me 'cause my dad, he's way more reclusive and stuff but my mom's very flamboyant and very out there. She can talk to people off the drop of a dime. She has very good social skills and she just loves to be in the spotlight and so I think for me, there was that aspect of it, where I kind of... And then obviously, as I grew older, I grew into my manhood, I got scouted by a agency called DTM Modeling and that didn't really work out at the beginning but that kind of span to me like doing these photo shoots and building up a portfolio.
Jamison: Then, I ended up getting signed with the agency I'm with right now but yeah, I never really planned to do anything like that, honestly. Really, even before I got scouted, me and some friends were just out and they were like, we're taking pictures and stuff and I would always get these comments from girls and stuff, they'd be like "Oh! You're handsome." and as I got older, there was always that aspect of things and so yeah, it just went from there and I end up seeing that this could be another source of income and once I had that in my brain, then I knew I had to pursue it 'cause if I could see there's money to be made from it, then my brain, like a light bulb goes off. I'm just like okay, how can we spend this? And so...
Brandon: If you're gonna work hard enough to be a black belt, you may as well, right?
Brandon: It's a lot of money right? Nothing wrong with that. That'll pad your income. It's a good idea.
Pierson: You're quite the opportunist, man. You see an opportunity and you're like "I'm gonna roll with this." and you really take it to the fullest potential that you can take it to.
Jamison: I try to. I think for me, with the modeling thing, it's still growing but so far, dude, I've had so many good opportunities so I know it's really like only up from there. I've been able to travel to... I've had fully paid, four trips to California and I've been... I've just been able travel all over the United States with just this thing where I've been doing photo shoots and getting paid for them and doing small little roles on commercials and things like that as well. It's been awesome and it makes you really think, for all... For the actual big time, model people... It makes you think that this is what their life is but on a larger scale. You know what I mean?
Jamison: It's like, that's crazy that people actually live like this. This is stuff that... For some people, this is all they do and they make really crazy incomes with this. So it's like... It makes you just... It really kinda again, pushes your mind in another frame where you're like "This is something that some people maybe never experience but also that there's this other avenue of life that I didn't know about." and so I don't know. I guess for me... Like I said, I didn't really have a plan with it and I'm starting... I'm still kind of rolling with it but right now, it's working out and so I'm just kinda seeing where it goes, basically.
Pierson: That's awesome, man. So of all of what you do, all of these different hats that you wear, all of the different interests that you've got, can you pinpoint one or two of the things that make you feel the happiest or leave you feeling the most fulfilled?
Jamison: Well, if we're talking strictly about things that are income-based, then I think for me... I honestly say it's probably the counseling because the real estate stuff was really just a means to an end. It wasn't really something I was passionate about and don't get me wrong, I love it and I'm not saying that I hate doing it, it's just that it's more of a pragmatism kind of thing, where it's just something I've learned how to do and I get... The joy that I get from it is me knowing that I'm helping other people out but obviously, it was more about, it was more of a decision on how to generate long-term wealth and then obviously, the detail of my business was more of a...
Jamison: It was a hobby that grew into something big or grew into something that made me income but it wasn't something that I planned to do forever. I never planned to... I don't wanna be a car detailer forever. Actually even right now, I don't actually really detail cars myself now. I have contractors that do it for me but the point is that, it's not something that I plan to immerse myself in forever so I think the thing that I'm actually fulfilled by, something that I get excited to do, when I do it, something I'm... As far as when it comes to regenerating income, it's definitely the counseling and the modeling is fun too, don't get me wrong but there are some days when you just don't wanna do it man. It's just like... Sometimes the directors are a pains in the ass and there's days where it ain't all it's cracked up to be. You know what I mean? But like...
Brandon: It's still a job, yeah.
Jamison: It's still a job and the counseling is definitely still a job. There are days too but it's different. You know what I mean? When you're sitting there talking to somebody about an issue regarding... I don't know. They're trying to have a mental breakthrough or they're trying to figure out how to be a better husband or something like that and you're talking to them about ways they can build up goals and all the stuff like this and you can see it working for them and you can see them coming back weeks and weeks later and they've made these changes and they've lost weight or they've done this, it's like you really get this kind of gratification that you can't get from anything else. It's like you're actually helping someone in real time. You know what I mean?
Jamison: Yeah and you're actually gonna be remembered in their life. You're a person that they're gonna remember forever. You know what I mean? You're gonna be somebody years down the line, they're gonna talk to their family about like "Hey, I went and saw this guy and he changed my life forever." That kind of deal and so for me, that's where I get the most of it. That's where I'd probably say I get the most fulfillment of right now.
Jamison: Now, as far as how far that will go, I don't know yet 'cause I didn't... I fell into that by mere... When I say mere chance, I don't mean like... Obviously, there were things that led up to it. I put myself in certain positions but I'm meaning that it wasn't something that I planned to do when it happened. It just came up and I took the opportunity when it presented itself.
Pierson: And I'm sure that when working with people in any capacity with counseling, therapy, making a difference in people's mindset and really in how they live their life, that's one of the most powerful things that you can do. As someone that's in therapy myself and it's changed my life, being on the path where you're trying to constantly improve yourself, being that for someone else and setting that example, I can't imagine how fulfilling that must be. Especially working with people you said it was for, what type of counseling was it?
Jamison: So I mainly do anger management counseling and batterers counseling, meaning there's like men who've been involved in domestic violence situations and trying to re-shift their mindset but also I do one-on-one management counseling sessions for just people who are just looking for clarity or people who are just looking for... Just a different way to think and so behavioral management and all these different kinds of things so kind of like a therapist but not necessarily a therapist. If that makes sense...
Pierson: I mean that's powerful, dude. Being able to work with people that are in that position and really try to guide them to a better path, that's... I mean...
Brandon: It's very meaningful work.
Jamison: I definitely give a lot of my attribution to philosophy, honestly. I think that... I know philosophy gets a bad rap among some people because they think that it's... Inevitably leads you to nihilism and all this kind of other stuff and maybe it's in some ways it kind of does but it really helped me gain a different understanding of the human condition and really kind of put my own spin on things. I would kinda consider myself... I don't know if you guys are familiar with philosophical narratives but I actually consider myself an absurdist.
Jamison: I don't necessarily see any intrinsic meaning in things per se. I have a very powerful connection with creating meaning through our experiences and so I'm really big on trying to influence my clients to really pay attention and build... Again, like we talked about earlier, building mindfulness, building awareness. Awareness is key and things like that and so I'm always trying to push people to read more books. Read more books on cognitive neuroscience and phenomenology and philosophy and psychology and all the sociology, anthropology, all that stuff and take that kind of material in because the more aware you are of the human condition, the easier it is to diagnose it.
Jamison: I think a lot of the problem times, especially when it comes to relationships, especially when it comes to the male and female dynamic, our ignorance of how we work as creatures creates a lot of issues when it comes to handling issues in our relationships and trying to build a connection with a partner, because we're not aware of how the life span of a relationship goes and how men and women react differently to certain things and all the stuff like this and so for me, just trying to instill that in people, trying to get them to be aware that you aren't just a bunch of ideals, you are an actual creature that has biological and physiological needs and if those things are not met, your mentality will be affected by them. The way that you think will be affected by them.
Brandon: I think it's really easy for people to forget that too. That we're animals that have basic needs and I guess maybe it's also going back to absurdism, it's kind of an uncomfortable thing to think about as yourself being a kind of biological machine or an animal in some ways. It's just equally strange.
Pierson: It's scary to approach but honestly, man and I'm actually creepily, creepily excited about it, honestly. I just find that whole acceptance of that is just so scary. Like Nietzsche says, right? Staring into the abyss, it stares back at you. Yeah, it is that but that's exciting for me that is like, man, you're... I don't know man. Sometimes I just lay in bed at night and that's the stuff that I think about. What is all this and where are we going with this and am I on my own path with my own... What is my actual narrative? Do I have a narrative? Does my narrative matter? That kind of thing and just kind of keeping myself in check.
Brandon: It's not a fun threshold to cross...
Jamison: Do what?
Brandon: It's not a fun threshold to cross at first...
Jamison: Yeah, it's not fun at first but I think that once you... I think what really was the crux for me, honestly, is that I realize... Yeah so we can obviously radically deconstruct things. We can do it past absurd [1:02:04] ____ absurd on, we can just keep going and going but there is a point where you go, obviously, us being able to reduce things to absurdity is just a symptom of being a conscious creature. It's our ability to use our language, which is constructed by the way, to take things past their practical manifestation.
Jamison: So it's like well, yeah so I can definitely deconstruct things to absurdism. Yeah, maybe the table in front of me isn't real. Maybe the steak in front of me isn't real but I do know that I still have to eat the steak. I still know that I still have to drink water or I'll die. I still know that there are certain things that need to be done or my existence will be nothing but suffering and so regardless of whether these things are "real" or not, regardless of whether these things do have any inherent meaning or not, it doesn't change the fact that there are actual practical things that need to be taken care of or I will cease to exist and I do know, for sure, that that is at least something that is there so I think, again, approaching that philosophical narrative allows me to still do things like motivate people. It's still allowed me to have a business.
Jamison: Because I have friends that will be like man, what does all this stuff even matter, man? Like you know everything. I'm like dude, no, it still matters if it you brings you some sort of fulfillment. Fulfillment still matters to you. Just because you may die one day and you would cease to exist, doesn't mean that you're... The life that you live now can't be full of fulfillment and full of joy.
Brandon: Yeah and these things are relevant, even if you are not inclined to read Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche or Kierkegaard or any of that. Your stuff still matters. You don't have to read Wittgenstein to realize that the language you use matters. Yeah, it's like even if things are ridiculous, it's like you said, there are practical things you can do in your day-to-day life that will make a positive difference. I feel like... What is the book that basically concludes with that? I am trying to remember what it is.
Jamison: With what exactly? The embracing the absurd or something like that?
Brandon: Yeah, something like that. I think Candide, that's the one I'm thinking of.
Jamison: It's probably some sort of Camus book, I can't remember which one.
Brandon: I was thinking Candide because basically the only thing that a person listening needs to know is that an optimist gets his ass kicked by life for 120 pages and then ultimately he ends up with the conclusion of "I should do small things to make the world a better place." Tend to your own garden, I think was the way that they worded it and I guess that's my philosophy personally.
Jamison: Yeah, no, I think that's a great one to have and again, who's to say it's the right or wrong way to live? I just know that it works. I have friends, one of my best friends, he's a, I guess you could say an agnostic theist. He's very well in-tune with these kinds of things, philosophy and very well-versed in them but he still believes in a higher being and these kinds of things and he actually defends the position really well. Not that I agree with it but I can't refute it. You know what I mean? It's just one of those things where you go; who's to say who's right or wrong at this point? It's just that we know that at the end of the day, we are these creatures who are using these rational tools to try to make sense of a world around them.
Brandon: When you cross that threshold where you know that you have to make meaning, it's interesting because like you said, people are gonna come out with different conclusions, it's just a matter of what works for them.
Jamison: Right, exactly.
Pierson: Well, Jamison, I have one more question for you.
Jamison: Go for it.
Pierson: And this can either be monetary, non-monetary, whatever you wanna look at it but of all of what you do in your life, what makes you feel the most alive?
Jamison: Oh man! Honestly, it's really hard to say because obviously martial arts, being really immersed into that world but philosophy and not just philosophy as a thing itself but the process of gaining or not even gaining but questioning, deconstructing the things that we know or that we think that we know and coming to these weird points where I'm questioning my very existence and all these different things. It does have a weird way of making you feel alive. It's almost like reducing yourself to the point to where you have no choice but to feel alive.
Jamison: It's almost like you have no choice but to at some point and so it's really hard to say. I guess maybe martial arts slightly. I guess I kinda give it the edge there because there's more of an exhilarating thrill. Obviously, I'm out there practicing and training and there's a community in there and I can build these connections with people and it's physically exhausting and so maybe I give it the edge just because of those but I think that for me, philosophy is a way life, man. Being able to articulate big thoughts and having these conversations that we had real quick. These kinds of things are what make me excited and these are the things that I love to do and obviously, when I'm talking to clients and stuff, I try not to overwhelm them with this stuff.
Jamison: Obviously, I can't just tell a client "Embrace the absurd." I can't tell them that but you know but I do try to like "Hey, your marriage is going down the toilet. It's okay. It's absurd." It's just absurd. I can't tell them that. I have to actually get them to see the bigger picture but really it has helped me in ways that people just can't understand. For example, somebody will be like "Man, why would you get a philosophy degree? You're not gonna get paid on that, you're not gonna get any money on that." Which is not true, by the way.
Jamison: But the point is, is that whether you've got paid doing philosophy or not, it's not even the point. I think it does something for your mind that no other academic discipline can do, if you take it seriously and I think it's just translated into so many areas of my life man, where it's just crazy. It's ridiculous in a great way. Maybe martial arts but philosophy is a very, very, very, very, very close second.
Pierson: That's awesome, dude. You are one of the most well-rounded people I think I might have ever met in my entire life. [chuckle] You've got your hands in so much stuff and honestly, thank you so much for taking the time to come on and talk to us about all you do today.
Jamison: Yeah, no worries, man. Yeah, I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. I love doing this kind of stuff so it worked out for me.
Brandon: Thank you very much for making the time, we really appreciate it.
Pierson: Brandon, you have any other questions?
Brandon: No, I'm good.
Pierson: Awesome, dude. Well, we'll go ahead and close this out then and we'll get you on your way, Jamison but for all you guys listening, thank you so much. Leave us a five-star review, give us a like, check us out. Spotify, iTunes and wherever else you possibly could listen to podcasts because we are there. Once again, I'm Pierson, here with Brandon. Jamison's here as well. Thank you guys and we'll talk to you soon.