21 Oct Episode 100! Special returning guest: Scott Grayson
The most downloaded guest episode to date featured Scott Grayson talking about cubicle zombie life. This topic is now even more germane than when we discussed it in June of 2020. 🤔
✔️ Updates on what Scott’s up to these days. Spoiler alert: a lot.
✔️ If you weren’t ready last year but you are ready now to escape the cubicle zombie life… how do you do it?
✔️ If you are Mike the Micromanager and you feel that you need a digital panopticon of surveillance to suss out who is working hard versus who is goofing off all day: you got bigger problems, man.
✔️ Plan ahead. Think about your own future and what’s best for you and your family. Corporate America will always take care of itself. Who’s looking out for you? (Hint: it had better be YOU yourself.)
✔️ Do you have valuable, marketable skills? If not, do you know how you could acquire them?
Links to find Scott online:
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now here’s your host Sara Causey. Hello Hello, and thanks for tuning in very special episode today I have a guest back with me. It’s been a little while I’ve been flying solo and I wanted to have this particular person back for a couple of reasons, not the least of which selfishly speaking is that he’s the most downloaded most listened to guest episode that I have recorded. It doesn’t surprise me because the topics that we talked about, I think are even more relevant now than they were when we initially recorded. So if you’re a frequent tuner, you may remember Scott Grayson and the episode we did about the cubicle, zombie life plus financial and personal independence. If you can’t believe it, it was June 10 of 2020. And it was episode number five. And I wanted to have Scott come back for the 100th episode so that we can talk about what’s new in his life. And God knows a lot that’s new and crazy in the insane world. So first and foremost, I want to say to Scott, thank you for coming back and for being willing to be on Drumroll, please, the 100th episode. Yeah, I appreciate you asking me It’s an honor. Awesome. Well, I want to know what’s new in your world. I know you’ve got some new things cooking in the skillet and tell us what’s what’s new in the world of non cubicle zombie, Scott Grayson. Well, in the old news category, I guess, my blog strengthen reason is still around, and it’s going strong, doing a pretty good job getting new people to come over there. I’ve shifted the focus, I don’t know if you remember when I first started, I didn’t really know what I was doing. So it’s kind of all over the place on topics. But I’ve gotten pretty focused in on this idea of building health, wealth and knowledge, sort of the three pillars of my philosophy to to gaining independence. So most of what I’ve got up over there, focuses on the knowledge aspect. And it’s really just information to help people start thinking better. So I talk about critical thinking ideas, mental models, logical fallacies, that sort of stuff. And I do occasionally get a little political over there. But I try to keep it pretty, pretty general. But I will occasionally use politics as examples. Just because there are just so many examples of logical fallacies or thinking yeah, in politics, it’s it’s a ripe area for examples. And to just put in a quick little plug here, I did put together a little seven day email mini course that’s an introduction to a lot of the areas of critical thinking. So folks, sign up for my email list, you’ll get that for free. And that’s strengthened reason calm. And then I got together with a friend of mine that I met on Twitter Paul, and we started up a podcast called mental against scripted. And it’s from what we want to do from a high level is try to help people improve their thinking, and improve the way they look at the world. We think one of the problems we’re seeing now is like the discourse is just showing it’s so shallow, people are talking past each other, they’re not talking to each other, they’re not listening to each other. So our idea was to let’s take some things that are going on in the news so obviously we talked about COVID a lot. We’ve talked about Afghanistan in a few other things and we tried to use mental models and critical thinking to break those down. So we’ll give you our opinions on the things but we try to stress that it’s not the opinion isn’t what’s not what matters as much as the thought process that you use to arrive at that opinion. You know, I like to say that if you arrive at a conclusion honestly, then I don’t think there’s really any business or people have really any business criticizing you for that. Now if you arrive at your conclusion this honestly it’s because that you know your team red or Team Blue and you’re just sticking with the narrative and you’re not actually thinking it through then I would say it’s a bit of a dishonest conclusion. So So are so the podcast is actually pretty similar to strengthen reason. But are in that we use the mental models and we try to point out logical fallacies, but we do it in a conversational style with each other and then we’ll also have some guests on so that’s been fun getting to know some other people Yeah, and we’re working on for that we’re working on putting together a guide to help you approach discussions from with a more critical thinking lens, and how to manage discussions so that they don’t just devolve into arguments that no one gets anything out of. So it’s a method of trying to control the discussion. And once we get that done, which should be in the next week or two, we’ll be given that away for free it also. Let me see and what else Oh, with the last thing. Last thing is, I don’t know if I mentioned it on the last episode I was on but I am an attorney here in Colorado. So I decided to start up a solo legal practice. So I’ve got that up and running. And it’s been a lot of work, but starting to get some clients coming in. So that’s, that’s been a lot of fun. So are you sleeping? At any point? Are you are you consuming a giant vat of espresso all day long? And this is this is a lot, Scott. It is. No, honestly, I gave up caffeine at the beginning of the year. Well, I shouldn’t say I gave it up. I gave up coffee at the beginning of the year, I am drinking a lot of green tea. Yeah, I’ve been sleeping great. And I think that’s one of the advantages, at least for me, and I imagine you as well of escaping cubicle zombie nation is that life is just even though you have a lot of work to do. You’re working for yourself, you’re building your own thing. And there’s just much less anxiety around it, at least for me. So that’s a great segue into a question that I wanted to ask. There’s all kinds of news articles and stories about the great resignation. Certainly I see it being in the HR and staffing side of things, people who have proven to their manager that they’re capable of working from home and legitimately producing something to show for their efforts, not just turning in a timecard but really working from home and truly doing the work. But yet now there’s like the boot to the back of the neck saying no, you’re gonna have to come in, you need to come back to the cowpoke corral so that we can all watch you and surveil you all day. And I have to say I’m in support of a mutiny. So one of the reasons why I left quite frankly, is because I got tired of being surveilled and treated like an inmate. So I wanted to ask, from your perspective, how do you think the pandemic has impacted work and and more specifically, you know, what do you see going on right now with that desire to escape the cubicle zombie lifestyle? Yeah, I love talking about this new book, cubicle zombie lifestyle, just because I’m so happy I escaped it. But, you know, on the, on the surface, you know, I hope it’s shown people and businesses that you can be productive at home. I know my girlfriend’s, she worked, my girlfriend works for a nonprofit here in Denver, and they’ve actually closed down their office. And everyone’s just working from home now full time, and they’ve got a little co working space that they can use for meetings and whatnot. So I imagine there’s a lot of companies that are going that way. But like you said, I’ve heard stories, too, about companies, you know, yanking on the leash and trying to pull everyone back in. And I, I imagine it’s just going to decrease morale even more than what it’s already been been decreased, especially in a situation where the companies have just shown a willingness to mistreat their employees in order to keep the government happy, or to keep clients happy, or, you know, whoever else that they certainly don’t seem to be focused on the employees as much as they should be. And I’ve read a few things, too. You may or may have seen this where even the companies that are going to let employees continue working at home, they’re setting up all of this electronic infrastructure to still make sure that the employees are working. Yeah. Which I don’t know. I think if, yeah, I mean, over 18 months, or however long it’s been I mean, if you haven’t figured out who’s a good worker from home yet, I don’t know. Yeah, exactly. Extreme, big brother. surveillance is not going to prove it if you haven’t been able to suss out in this length of time that Bob is working, and Susie’s on Facebook all the time, like putting in surveillance software and turning your workforce into a digital panopticon is not going to really suss that out for you. Yeah, right. That’s a great visual digital panopticon. To me, that’s how it feels because you know, I remember I talked in an episode recently I had someone who wrote in and talked about how she’s a freelancer. So she has Technically escaped cubicle zombie hood. But yet she had this client who told her, I want to hire you to do this work for me. But I want you to either install a screenshotting software that will take images like every 10 seconds to sort of prove quote unquote, prove that you’re working, or you can just film yourself working, and then send me the the film of yourself working. And I thought, what, like what’s going on inside the mind of the asker? I know what I would be thinking. And it would be, you know, two birds up in the air for him. But like, what, you just wonder, like how how that thought process works of asking somebody to either film themselves and how intrusive that is, or take 10 every 10 seconds screenshots. Right. And I think this is where we’re gonna see a little bit of, I don’t know, bifurcation, maybe there may be a breaking away of the old model of doing things where we’re going to be judged on our output, what we actually produce, and not the process we follow to produce it. And I think the companies that can accept that, and can understand that, yeah, maybe you’re not going to be sitting at your computer from nine to five every day, maybe you’ll be sitting at your computer from nine to 11. And then you go run errands, and then you come back and finish in the afternoon. If you’re still producing, right, that’s all that matters, you’re getting your job done. And, and the companies that they want to micromanage everything and enforce you to follow a particular process, even that that may not be the process that’s best for you. I think those companies will, they’ll fall behind because they’re not going to get the best. The best workers, they’re not going to be getting the people who create the most value. You know, that’s really well said, I’m glad that you brought that point up. Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. I’m we’re doing this through another platform other than the phone, so there is a little bit lag, continue making your point, I’ll shut up. Oh, yeah, I was just gonna tack on something else, too, is when we talk about what you can do to protect, protect yourself. I hope employees see that they can be very productive at home. So that they don’t really necessarily need that boss. And that corporate structure, and that office to go to, they can do their own thing at home and be incredibly productive and experience the freedom of being able to set your own hours. So I’m, I would really hope to see that people are going to start to become willing to take the chance to set up their own things, start doing their own thing, become a freelancer and start managing their own time, because that’s when you really start to build that independence. Mm hmm. Amen. That that’s another good segue into the next question that I want to ask. And I’m glad that you brought up this point of the micromanagers. The people that have to have that surveillance, they feel that they cannot survive without it, what I was going to what I wanted to tack on to that especially like from an HR and staffing perspective is you’re you are you’re going to wind up with people who are desperate and they feel that they don’t have any other option, which is typically not somebody that wants to stick around and really invest in the company, or you’re going to attract in people who feel incapable of working without the boot to the back of the neck which also from from my perspective is not probably not really the type of person that you want to draw in. So for those of us who are in that self reliant, I want to provide for myself I want to always know that I could survive. What advice would you give on how people can be more self reliant, especially in this climate of panic and people panic buying in the media all the time with the gloom and doom? What do you suggest? Yeah, the panic is amazing, isn’t it? I never knew I never knew news networks could turn a virus into just 24 hour coverage. Yes. Just remember I’d like to keep the health wealth and knowledge thing in mind and this is what works for me but well obviously understand that the rug can get pulled out from you out from under you it in a heartbeat. I know we’ve already read some a granted these are a little conspiracy theory ish, but I’ve read some people who are predicting that we’re going to start to have climate like lockdowns. Yes. And who knows what other lockdowns right you know, cyber attack on the grid is gonna cause a lockdown or something. So, yeah, keep it in mind that the government they can just they can just yank your livelihood away from you at any minute. So start living within your means. And I understand that saving money is difficult these days. Because of the disconnect between interest rates and inflation, right. So just putting it in the bank is probably not the best idea, but still try to figure out a way, you know, get get some investments going or you know, whatever you need to do, and I’m not a financial planner. So this is not go go talk to your financial planner. But my point is, be ready have some money that you can get to, to pay your rent and to buy food. Health, again, if we look at the data around COVID, there’s an argument to be made, that being healthy is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself against it. Yes, I don’t remember the exact numbers. But I think what, like 80% of the hospitalized patients were obese, there was also a lot of evidence around deficiencies in vitamin D. Yeah, for people who end up in the hospital. So just getting your health together. Because that, that makes you less reliant on a corporation, to give you health care insurance, give you a few more options, you can maybe manage your own health care if you’re healthy. Also, it just makes you less sick. So you can be a little less concerned about getting this, this big new virus that’s come along, you can go out and do your thing and be confident that you’re strong, and that if you do get sick, you’ll be able to fight it off, hopefully, now, right. But definitely keep talking to your doctor and everything. But and for me, having come from Health and Human Services, where I worked with HIPAA law, and I dealt with insurance companies, they’re, they’re out to make money, they’re out to make money worse, yeah. And the pharmaceutical companies, they’re out to make money. So they’re going to try to keep you in their ecosystem for as long as they can. That means they’re not going to be treating the root cause of your conditions, what’s making you feel bad, they’re going to treat the symptoms. So if you can just make yourself healthy and feel good, then you have less reason to get caught up into that sort of never ending cycle of pharmaceuticals and side effects and more pharmaceuticals and more, more side effects. And then knowledge is the big one, I think, because your human capital, right, that’s, that’s probably the one of the most valuable things that you have. It’s one of your most valuable assets. So if you’re keeping your skills up to date, and you’re learning new skills that are going to be in demand in the future, then if the government comes along and tells you you can’t work anymore, because you’re non essential, right, you’ve got something to fall back on. You’ve got another skill that you can, you can use to try and bring in some money. And I would say, one reason why I’ve got three different things going right now is I want to have a diversified income stream coming in. So it’s mine goes away. Yeah, so if one goes away, I’ve got two more to help me out. And so going back to the idea of being comfortable working from home and setting your own hours, this is where you can start up that side hustle, side gig, however you want to call it from home. So then, when the next you know, COVID 20 or COVID 21 comes along or whatever, COVID 1000. We can’t go outside again. Yeah, then you’ve got that, that safety net there. And plus, it’s just better. I mean, I just I don’t I’m one of those people who’s always learning I’m always taking Skillshare classes and stuff. And so for me, it’s just leads to a more rewarding life. But you know, definitely look to those skills that you can use in an online environment that are going to help you bring in some money. Mm hmm. Well said I, I feel like that is a great summary. And especially in thinking about it again, from an HR and staffing perspective. What you said about usable, marketable skills is key. You know, the other day we’re recording this episode just a little bit in advance of its publication. Hopefully the the world will still be around in a couple of ways when the episode drops to be determined. Earlier this week, there was that outage with Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp and of course people were hot you can’t live without my dopamine fix of scrolling, but I’m sitting here going Can you imagine? You know if you’re an I’m just gonna call them what I believe they are, which is grifters and con artists. Can you imagine? If you were one of the grifters, that’s all the time sliding into people’s dams and bothering them trying to sell them some crap they don’t need and that they haven’t asked for. Like if that was how you were planning to feed your family to survive, you know, the COVID 58,000 lockdown or a climate lockdown if that if that was your plan? Can you imagine the amount of pooping of pants going on like, and that was just a six hour outage. But my point in bringing this up is I feel that it’s so important and I have preached about it on the podcast numerous times, you have to be able to own and have some control over your own livelihood. Because if you’re leveraging your ability to feed your kids, your ability to feed yourself on a platform that you neither own nor control. What are you going to do if you get banned or shadow banned, or that entire platform just goes to put tomorrow? Exactly, definitely need to have alternatives. And one of the things being a lawyer and being a Liberty focused person, one of the things that’s gotten me one of the things that’s made me a bit pessimistic about the future is seeing that the the government is not afraid to use private businesses to enforce mandates that the government can’t do directly itself. You know, with the vaccine mandates being one that’s questionable. Also, the government working with social media companies to censor information that finds distasteful. So that means if you’re working for a company, if your livelihood is dependent on that company, that you don’t know when you’re going to show up to work one day, and all of a sudden, you’re being forced to make a decision you don’t want to make, right. Yeah, there was a basketball player recently, I think he plays for the, the Golden State Warriors, I can’t remember his name, but he had requested a religious exemption for the vaccine, and the NBA turned it down. And so he had a choice, he either had to get the vaccine, which went against his religious beliefs, or he had to get the, or he just couldn’t play basketball anymore. And that’s a terrible position to be put in. And, and this guy, I mean, he’s a, you know, a professional basketball player. I mean, he’s got a high level of skill. Imagine if you’re a, you know, I know everyone listening to your podcast is probably above average in their area. But imagine if you’re just an average worker, and you know, you’re just worried about getting your paycheck and going home at the end of the week. They may have no, they wouldn’t, the company may not even think twice about letting you go. So having that having those income streams and those skills to fall back on is definitely going to be a plus in, in our world, in our future world. Yes, I agree. And you’re, you’re hitting on the last question that I wanted to ask in terms of general sense of optimism, general sense of pessimism and you know, any predictions that you want to make it about the future? And let’s say, Gosh, what month is it? Okay, it’s, it’s October, if we think about sort of the q4 of this year going into q1 of next year, again, assuming the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen. And someone’s not listening to this on like a transistor radio and rubble, what do you see happening, let’s do a little bit of the old school Carnac the Great here and make some prediction So like I just mentioned, I’m, I’m a little pessimistic on some of the aggressions against our liberty that the government is taking. But overall, I’m actually really optimistic. And you know, this is this is a point where I think we got very complacent as a culture as a society. And we let some things sneak up on us, but just seen in the legal community, to the number of lawyers who are willing to step up and fight the vaccine mandates and some of the other new COVID related requirements that are coming in, makes me feel good that there is a large group of people out there who are ready to stand up and try to say, No, we don’t want to do this. Also, I mean, wow, it’s just such from a technology standpoint, we can pretty much do anything. I mean, we’re we’re having a conversation through the internet right now. And recording it and you know, it’s gonna get released on a on a platform for anybody to come out and download if they want to listen to it. I mean, it’s just very exciting. And there’s so much information out there and I get that it’s hard to filter through all the information but I mean, if you want it to become an expert on a topic, I think you could do it in in a week, probably, depending on the topic. Obviously I don’t want to be you know, doing brain surgery after a week. So you know, yeah, I mean, so that the sky’s the limit. And with not having be co located with clients, like with my law firm, I’m setting it up. It’s going to be 98%. Online, it’s going to be zoom calls and electronic signatures and payments, electronic payments. So it’s just, it’s wonderful. There’s so much opportunity there. And I think smart people will be able to work the system, whatever system we end up with, you just have to be diligent, you have to pay attention to what’s going on. And when you see if you can look into the future and see a change coming, then react to it as fast as you can. Yes. But I think we have the technology and just the knowledge out there for most people to be able to do that without without much problem. So I’m, I’m optimistic overall, I think we’re going to be hopefully coming out of some of this, this slight dark period, I guess, and coming into a new world where people are going to end up being more tolerant of each other and more willing to work with each other. And so I think that the the future has a lot of great things in store for us, I hope. Good. Well, that’s fantastic. I feel like that is a great way to bring this episode home, we got little hearts and flowers and some sunshine and Lord knows that we need it because it has been a rough go. And sometimes I still just sort of pinch myself or knock on wood and say I’ve managed to have a recession, maybe I managed to get a company going and and acquire my freedom. And even in the midst of a pandemic and inflation or stagflation, whatever is getting ready to happen in the economy. And I really just want to encourage anyone listening that if you’re tired of cubicle, zombie life, if you’re ready to escape, or you just you want to make sure that you have that safety net for yourself and your family. Don’t wait. Don’t sit around and twiddle your thumbs and say, Well, maybe tomorrow I’ll learn something new. Or maybe I’ll just wait to get fired and draw unemployment. Like you need to be proactive and take charge of your own future. I can’t recommend Scott’s resources highly enough. So Scott, tell us again and of course I’ll I’ll drop links in the write up. But tell us again where people can find you online. Yeah, my blog is strengthened reason and that strengthandreason.com, and the podcast is mentally unscripted. And that’s available on all your major podcast apps, apple, Spotify, an also at mentallyunscripted.com. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to have my little Bonanza here for the 100th episode, and to update us on what’s going on. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you. Yeah, I’m very happy to have been invited back. Yeah, awesome. Well take care of yourself and you never know you may be back on episode 200. Oh, I’m looking forward to it. Awesome. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.