The Jay Kim Show #36: Sol Orwell (Transcript)
Today’s guest is Sol Orwell. He’s the founder of examine.com, which is one of the leading online encyclopedias on health, nutrition and supplementation. Sol’s a super interesting guy and probably the only guy I’ve ever met that has ever legally changed his entire name.
Another fun fact for you about Sol is that Sol and I were actually neighbors growing up. He lived in Saudi Arabia where I did as well and we lived just a few kilometers away from each other. One of the things that you listeners probably don’t know about me personally is that I grew up, for 10 years of my youth, in Saudi Arabia. My father was working for an oil company, Saudi Aramco, at the time, and Sol’s father was also working for another oil company.
Anyway, back to Sol. Sol had some early successes after college and he basically retired. He bought and sold digital currencies and traded domain names and made enough money to become a digital nomad. He didn’t just stop there. He kept going and building companies on the side. He’s just a super interesting guy. He’s based in Toronto. He writes frequently and he’s a public speaker. He loves chocolate chip cookies. Listen into the episode. It’s a really good back and forth that we have and I think you guys are going to enjoy it.
Jay Kim: Sol, thank you so much for coming on Jay Kim Show. We’re very excited to have you here. This is one of Asia’s very first podcasts, which is very hard to believe as well. You have a very interesting background. I came across you through a couple mutual friends and people that we follow and whatnot, so please give us a quick background on who you are. I know you have a vast, very interesting background. Yeah, just give us the two minute version.
Sol Orwell: All right, let’s have it. Also, thank you for having me on. The quick version is I’m ethically Kashmiri, which is what Pakistan and India keep fighting over, grew up in Pakistan, moved to Saudi Arabia. I spent two years in Japan, back to Saudi Arabia, and in eighth grade, we came to Houston. I immigrated to Canada, did high school and university here. Now, when we came to Houston and this is for eighth grade, I started dabbling online, and a few years in, when I was in high school, I started up my first company, which was based around online games. We did content, we did virtual courtesy sales. It did really well. Afterwards, I dabbled in a lot of things. I was in domain names and web development and so forth and we did really well then in local search. This is before Google maps existed, before Yelp, right around when Yelp was created. We did local search really well.
As I graduated from university, both of these two companies were doing really well and so I decided to retire. Retirement to me and the reason I even said like where I was born and where I went was business to me was always a means to an end, right? It was I want to be independent. I want to do what I want and when I want and have no one ever tell me what to do, especially nowadays, right? You look at internet marketing, everyone is really [inaudible 00:03:45]. As they were doing well, I basically spent five years in the states, in Argentina, just had a blast, just traveling, just enjoying myself. Eight years ago, I came back to Canada. I gained a lot of weight. I think we should in the show notes, we’ll link to my before picture, is very aghast for me, but as I lost weight, I realized these supplement companies are ripping us off, right?
They’re totally misrepresenting science. They’re totally misrepresenting what’s really going on. I realized that there’s an opportunity here for me to say, “Okay, we’re going to create a company, 100% independent. It’ll be like Switzerland again, and we’ll just analyze the scientific research in nutrition and in supplementation.” We actually turned six years old in literally one week. We now get over two million visitors a month. We are the juggernaut when it comes to nutrition research. Not just in men’s health or men’s fitness and those health and fitness area, but we’ve been in New York Times, in BBC. For example, we wrote Bone Broth for Mother Jones, so we’ve hit the mainstream. What I always do with my business is I always put someone else in charge. I always let them become famous, because I’ve never wanted to be well known. About 18 months ago, I realized that there’s all these people talking about entrepreneurship, but few of them have ever actually done it themselves.
Best case scenario, they’re really successful freelancers, but they’ve never dealt with HR, with legal, with managing people, right? This was me being like, “All right, I don’t do coaching. I don’t do consulting. I do find helping people and teaching very interesting, so why don’t I do that?” That’s what I’ve been up to for the last 18 months. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s something I completely do not monetize. I just do it because I’ve got nothing better to do.
Jay Kim: That’s awesome, man. Okay, so let’s take a step back. For the audience, a little fun fact is Sol and I actually, we lived very close to each other in Saudi Arabia, so a lot of people listening might know this, but I spent about 10 years in Saudi Arabia, because my father was working for a Saudi Aramco, the oil company. I grew up basically in Dhahran, was there for the Gulf War and I left for high school, came back to the states. Sol lived probably 20 minutes down the road from me, probably overlapped at some point. That’s a little fun fact for you. I want to talk about the point in your life where you said, “I retired.” You retired at a very, very young age, quote-unquote “retired”. You were running these side businesses, virtual currencies and whatnot and this was during college, is that right?
Sol Orwell: Yeah, so I started this up in high school. I was in 10th grade. This was ’99. Yeah, in 10th grade, when I started doing this seriously and making enough money to make it appreciable.
Jay Kim: Right, so at the point where you retired, quote-unquote “retired”, was this because of a huge buildup in cash you were just like, “You know what? I’m just going to do something not conventional.” Was it, “I read Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek. That’s the life I want to live.” Or was it just, “You know what? I don’t know what I want to do yet with the rest of my life, but I have enough money, so I’m just going to go travel and screw around for a few years.”
Sol Orwell: Right, so [both of these 00:06:49] comes at this time where legitimate [inaudible 00:06:50] businesses. I had not read Tim Ferriss at this time, but Tim was actually … His 4-Hour Body was actually what I read, which helped me create examine.com in the nutrition space, but I’ve always been very, very independent. To me, it’s always like I don’t want anyone else telling me what to do. I was not born Sol Orwell. I legally changed my entire name because the idea that someone else got to name me and I didn’t get to choose my own name was ridiculous. That’s the kind of mindset I walk around with. To me, money has always been means to an end. You want to do something fun. You want to do something cool, awesome. I was making enough money that I said, “Okay, I can put someone else in charge. I can pay them more than I pay myself. I can still make a decent, real decent chunk of change. If I’m living in Argentina, my cost of living is 1/3 of what it is here in Toronto or New York or wherever and I can enjoy whatever I want.”
It was never that I had a master plan. I wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m going to get into this one day or oh, I need to figure out what I’m doing.” I was very … It’s very guru to say, but I was very in the moment. My thought was, “All right, I’m traveling. I’m meeting interesting people. I’m eating a lot of food, obviously a little bit too much food. Why don’t we just go with that?” There was no … Honestly, my ambitious side, if you want to call it that, it’s come a lot more in the last five years. It was nothing something that I was trying to develop. It just eventually came to me.
Jay Kim: Okay, so here’s another interesting thing. You legally changed your full name. First of all, I think you might be one of the few guys … I mean I know a lot of … My wife changed her last name when we got married and whatnot, but you’re probably one of the first guys that I’ve met that have changed their name. How was that process? Then B, what did your family think about that?
Sol Orwell: I’ll answer the second one first. My family is used to my shenanigans. None of this is news anymore. They’re very traditional immigrant parents. My mom always calls me an idiot, but she says that out of affection. To give you an example, I got a tattoo on my forearm and I knew it was going to drive my mom crazy. I called her up and I’m like, “Hey Mom, I got a tattoo and I got a nose ring.” When I showed up like a week later and I showed her my arm, I’m like, “Mom, check out my tattoo,” she slaps my hand away and says, “No, let me see your nose.” I’m like, “Psych, I never got a nose ring. Now the tattoo doesn’t seem so bad.” At which point, she called me an idiot and she walked away.
Jay Kim: Managing expectations.
Sol Orwell: Yeah, right, exactly right. They’re used to this kind of stuff, so it didn’t really faze them. They don’t call me Sol and that’s fine. My girlfriend’s always in the weird position where she thinks, “Okay, should I call him Sol? What do I call him?” What was the first part again?
Jay Kim: It was just how difficult was it change your-
Sol Orwell: Oh yeah. You know what? It was really, really easy. One of the thing is in … You ought to know this. In Saudi Arabia, you’ll hear a name will be like Muhammad Ibn [inaudible 00:09:40], and so ibn means son of. In our culture, my last name was my dad’s first name. His last name was his dad’s first name. In fact, when we immigrated to Canada, my dad had legally changed his name and switched the names around, because they would get so confused saying, “Why is your kid’s and your wife’s last name your first name?” There was no family heritage for me to keep anyway. The actual process was super simple, man. You just fill out some paperwork. You send it in. They send you a certificate which says, “This man has legally changed his name. This was his previous name. This is his new name.” You literally just take that and one of your older IDs to the bank, to the equivalent of DMV here in Ontario, wherever, and they immediately. There was literally … The only one that was a little bit of a headache was my citizenship card, because I was an immigrant, so I had to prove my immigrant status and all that jazz. That was the only one that was slightly headachey. The other ones were super easy.
Jay Kim: For listeners who want to go Jason Borne on your family, then that’s how you do it.
Sol Orwell: Sure, absolutely.
Jay Kim: You had a personal transformation. This is pretty cool, because I’m in the fitness space as well. I blog and I have a small little website I run on the side. Was it your personal transformation that led you to examine that [inaudible 00:11:03] and come up with that concept?
Sol Orwell: Yeah, so I’ve always been very opportunistic. For example, the reason I got into virtual currency sales was when we moved to Houston, I was so bewildered and so out of my element that online games were my refuge. That’s where I felt comfortable. That’s where I [started 00:11:20] virtual currency. I got into local search but I moved into a neighborhood of Toronto and again, this is before local search or anything like that, and I had no idea what was around in my neighborhood, so I did it on foot. This is before iPhone existed, right? This is like four or five years before iPhone existed, with a digital camera and I put it online. Same thing with this, as I lost weight and I realized these supplement companies were ripping us off, that’s when I saw the opportunity say, “Hey, listen, we can do better.” Everything I’ve done has been opportunistic. Mind you, I’ve had some massive opportunistic failures. That’s okay, but yeah, it was the weight loss and noticing that there was no one I could turn to to trust.
Jay Kim: Yeah, and another fun fact is that we were talking about intermittent fasting before and you actually set up the Reddit, sub Reddit for that way back when, right?
Sol Orwell: Yeah, so I’ve been following Berkhan’s LeanGains now for, I don’t know, like six years now. I joined Reddit’s fitness when I think it had maybe 50,000 members and last I checked, it’s at maybe six, seven million members now, so I’ve been around for a very, very, very long time.
Jay Kim: That’s awesome. Yeah, his system’s pretty good. It’s similar to the one that I talk about. It’s very popular now, [inaudible 00:12:37], not very, but a lot more, the people are very in touch with intermittent fasting and they’re open to the idea of compound lifts and whatnot, so I think it’s pretty cool, very efficient, definitely. Now, examine.com, obviously it’s doing extremely well. I know that you paid quite a large amount of money for that domain name. Then someone with a background in domain name trading and tell us about why you paid as much as you did. Noah Kagan just paid 1.5 million bucks for sumo.com. This is kind of like a very relevant topic right now. People are always wondering what’s the best domain name. What was your thought process behind that?
Sol Orwell: Right, so I actually tried to help Noah to get sumo, but it was more that the owner was just adamant that it must be over a million. I used to be in domain names and my viewpoint on domain names is they’re basically assets and so I paid $42,000 for examine.com. I paid $27,000 for SJO.com. You may hear those numbers and you go, “That’s a lot of money to sink into a business you don’t know if it’s going to work.” The reality was that I could’ve turned it around and sold examine.com for $30,000 within 24 hours. The opportunity cost was really … The sunk cost, if you wish, was really more like $10,000 and I knew I could’ve got the money back, same thing was SJO. I could resell that domain for $20,000, $22,000 within 24 hours, so it’s more that your capital is being tied up than you’re throwing money and you don’t know if you’re going to get it back. At the end of the day, to me, a domain name is essentially a huge part of your brand.
A friend of my actually owned supplement.com, so I could’ve had supplement.com for less. I think he wanted $25,000 for it, but what is the opportunity there? If I get supplement.com, we are forever stuck in only supplements. Examine.com is much more generic and I’ve noticed many, many, many times where someone will say, “Hey, what’s the name of your website?” I say, “Examine.com,” and for a split second, they think, “Okay, how is he spelling examine.com?”
Jay Kim: Yeah, exactly.
Sol Orwell: [crosstalk 00:14:43] just examine. No, just the word dot com. They always comment, “Oh, that’s must’ve cost a lot,” or whatever. There’s the level of professionalism that comes across when you have a strong domain name, because it implies … Like mint.com, stripe.com, it implies that you are very, very serious about your business and so I’m a big believer in … A solid domain costs … It doesn’t have to cost that much, right? I bought pet.org I think for 25 … That’s my next project, pets. I think $25,000, but I had originally bought petscience.com for maybe six or eight, and I mean the petscience itself, the name is simple. It’s easy to remember. There’s no weird letters in there. I’m a big believer in getting a domain that’s easy to spread via word of mouth.
Jay Kim: Here’s another interesting topic that surfaces a lot these days. This whole personal branding issue versus building a company, like you said, something that can be grown perhaps under a larger umbrella, a larger brand name. What are your views on … There’s both sides of this debate. People are like, “Oh, you should build your personal brand. It should just be your name dot com, and that’s what you should be growing,” versus someone like you, who I know … You basically bootstrapped … You’ve never [inaudible 00:15:58], right? You basically bootstrapped your company into a eight figure business, if you will, right now.
Sol Orwell: My viewpoint is if I’m creating a business, to me, a business is something you can remove yourself from and something you can sell. If I build solorwell.com or solorwellfitness or whatever the hell you want to call it, I can never really remove myself from that business. Obviously, there’s always exceptions, Mark’s Men’s Warehouse, blah, blah, blah, but in general, if your name is you, if the brand of the company is you, you can never really get rid of it. I was very, very conscientious from the start to make examine.com the brand, not me, not Curtis, not Kamal, not anyone else, because the brilliance of that eventually becomes that examine.com is trusted. It’s not any one of us, and so if one of us leaves or whatever happens, the brand and the company continues to exist.
It’s a lot harder, because it’s harder for people to make a direct personal connection with a generic brand as examine.com verus Jay Kim or Sol Orwell, but in the long term, it reaps way more benefits. It’s partially why when I started talking about entrepreneurship, I did it on SJO.com and not solorwell.com, because again, the association of the brand, to me, is well worth the headache of building that personal relationship between a brand and your users.
Jay Kim: Yeah, I think a lot of people are … It takes some time to really get focused on how you want that brand to be viewed. I think it’s important from the get-go to have a strong idea of where you want it to go. Here’s another … This conversation is actually quite interesting, so here’s another fun tangent that I want to go on. As someone who runs examine.com, which is a trusted authority in the fitness, nutrition supplement space, someone who’s personally had a large physical transformation, tell us about cookie life and how that crazy thing all happened and I think it’s really funny.
Sol Orwell: Yeah, for sure. I think to me, entrepreneurs are way too serious. Too many are so caught up in, “How does this make me famous or how does this make me money or does this move my bottom line or what’s my value out of it?” That you forget that the reason you became an entrepreneur is X, Y, Z. For me, the reason I became an entrepreneur is to be able to do ridiculous things and be okay with it financially. The quick version is I love chocolate cookies and this is in December and there’s this one place I found in Toronto that’s got the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had. I’ve done my testing in New York, Levane, [inaudible 00:18:32] I’ve done in San Francisco, all these places. About 14 months ago, I met up with a friend there. She tried it. She agreed it was the best cookies and then a week later, she was like, “Nope, I found better cookies.”
Her and I started trash talking and someone else came into the equation, but eventually, I said, “Listen, we need to do a blind taste test.” They agreed and I said, “Listen, we’re going to do it at your place.” They’re like, “All right, crazy person, let’s do it.” A month later, we had our inaugural chocolate chip cookie off. We had 18 people bring cookies it was absolute madness. Then what happened was I posted this on my Facebook wall and other people started saying, “I can make better cookies.” Normally, this is where the story ends. Like, “Oh, we did something crazy. We got 200 likes or whatever on Facebook. We’re also socially media famous,” and all that garbage. But being the human I am, I was like, “All right, prove it to me. Mail me your cookies. One person then sent me cookies, then two, then 10.” In the last 13 months, I’ve had almost 130 – I think I’m at 128 now – people mail me … Well originally, only cookies, but now I’ve had pies and cakes and chocolates and all this other madness.
People have said, “Oh, this is some kind of brilliant branding exercise or something like that.” But the reality is the way I’ve always done this is, “Listen, if I can do it, and I’m just doing this on a lark, I’m just trying to have fun, you can do it too.” In the middle of January, we had round two of the choc chip cookie off. This time, we had 34 people bring cookies. We rented a hall. We had 140 people show up. We donated 2,500 bucks to charity. We had 27 professional bakers show up. Of those 27, I only knew five of them before. The entire thing was … I honestly just cold emailed these people and I said, “This is what we’re doing. We’d love if you joined. It’s going to become charity. This is not like something that’s going to get a lot of press. It’s not going to be something that’s going to famous. We’re just having fun.”
People really, really respond to it. People say, “Oh, what’s your …” Subsequently now, the Cookie Life has been in Inc and Entrepreneur and Mashable and Fast Company and all these ones about stories on networking or how to build a social media audience and stuff like that, which may all be true, but it’s always been about, “Hey man, how can we have fun?” To me, a big part of who I am is I’m an immigrant, right? All my relatives are still back in Pakistan and India. When my sister got married three years ago, half of our relatives got denied a visa to Canada because the government said, “We don’t know if you’re going to go back to your home country.” That’s the reality that I come from. For me, it’s like, “All right, if I’m in the west, how can I have the most fun and do the most ridiculous things?”
People come up to me. They say, “Hey man, you should this off. You should do that.” I’ll always say, “Do it yourself. This not meant to be in an offensive manner, but you can do it yourself.” You know what? People have. I have a friend’s who did a pie off. I have another friend who did a cake off. I have other people doing ridiculous things. They’re all finding more time to enjoy themselves. That’s what’s always been the big story out of this.
Jay Kim: That’s so cool. I agree with you that people … I think entrepreneurs … Especially in the online space now, people are getting very … It’s all about perception and they want to always seem like they’re busying, doing the hustle, blah, blah, blah. Tell us a little bit about what’s your work flow like? What’s your daily … You are basically more or less retired for all intents and purposes. You have a business that you’re running, but you have full control of your time. What does your day look like?
Sol Orwell: My day is actually not … I think what the reality is a lot of people waste a lot of time. In terms of my day, I have my morning routine. I shower. I always go for a walk. I figure out what are my tasks for the day. I go for my walk. I come back and I hammer at them. I’ll maybe spend like four hours of real work a day, but honestly, I think that’s four hours more than most people accomplish in a day. When I’m talking about four hours, I mean for example, I only have Facebook open in Chrome and I only use Chrome for Facebook. When I close Chrome, boom, social media’s gone, right? I put on my meditative music, which is just some instrumental stuff and I know that for the next 30 minutes, this is all I’m doing. I think a lot of the biggest thing is people don’t have good work flow. For example, I work from home, but I have an office. I only come into the office during quote-unquote “work hours”. I change my clothes into … As if I’m working. At the end of the day, I’ll also have my shutdown routine. I’ll play REM’s Losing My Religion.
Jay Kim: Great song.
Sol Orwell: I use productivity … Great song. I honestly think, on a totally weird tangent, I think Losing My religion was the song of the 90’s. People usually say Smells Like Teen Spirit, and I love Nirvana, but looking back, I think Losing My Religion captured the essence of the 90’s more than anything else. Anyway, that’s a whole different aside.
Jay Kim: We’ll do that on the next call. We’ll go there.
Sol Orwell: For sure, for sure. Then I change out of my clothes. If I’m really … Like my mind is worrying too much, I’ll go for a walk again, just to slow down my mind. I use something called a productivity planner, and so on Fridays, I basically set what my goal or my tasks are for the next week and then during the course of the week, I do it. That’s really all there is to it. I’m very, very big on, “Listen, I’m done for the day and that’s it.” For example, I gave a talk at city hall yesterday and this guy was like, “Hey, man, I’d love to grab a cookie with you over the weekend.” I said, “Listen, I don’t do any meeting on the weekend. I don’t do anything business related on the weekends, unless obviously I’m at an event or something.” I think it’s these hard boundaries of this is not work time. That’s the key to my success and I think a lot of people can get that too, if they just set these boundaries.
Jay Kim: Yeah, I think that’s right. That’s one of the things that I’ve encountered myself and just talking to people. It’s kind of like batch processing, but at a micro level. When you’re switched on to do a certain task, you have to get it done. Then when you’re switched off, you move onto the next task.
Sol Orwell: Yeah, right, when you’re switched off, you’re off. It’ll percolate in your brain. It’ll be simmering in there, but do other things so you … I’m big on my Fridays. I don’t do … Fridays is my networking and my reading day, so I go to this coffee shop and it’s got the best chocolate chip cookies, I’ll meet with anywhere from two to six different people. I’ll oftentimes overlap people so they get to meet each other, so it becomes a networking event or occasion for them. I just read. Oftentimes, by the time I come back on Monday, there’s this creative spark from all the reading and all the conversations. By taking Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, I’m just rearing go. I’m super excited for my Mondays. I think that mindset is a big difference too, where I’m like, “All right, I’m ready to kick ass and take names. Let’s do this.” It just guides me through the rest of the day, the rest of the week even.
Jay Kim: I love how people come up to you now and say, “Hey, can I grab a cookie with you?” What’s the name of the best cookie now, the place that makes the best chocolate chip cookie?
Sol Orwell: It’s called [inaudible 00:25:32].
Jay Kim: [inaudible 00:25:33], okay. I’ll have to link that up for-
Sol Orwell: Phenomenal.
Jay Kim: Awesome. Okay, so you love traveling. I know you love traveling. Where in your travels in the world, where do you see … You’ve been to Asia obviously I’m guessing a handful of times. What do you think about Asia, the growth here? Where do you see the opportunities in the next couple years?
Sol Orwell: It’s really interesting, because it has parallels to Toronto. I’ve in the tech scene in Toronto for 15 years and I had an interesting conversation with the man who founded events.com. They bought it from CBS. I think they have 3, 4, 5 million dollars into the entire organization. What’s happening now is before you had to move to the valley or maybe to New York to make your business work. I think what’s starting to happen now, and Shopify is a good example of it here in Canada, is you can have an office and the valley or in the states, but your head office can be wherever you got founded. I think the connectivity, I think the mindset has become a lot less that you have to be in the valley.
Connecting it back to East Asia, I think the same thing is starting to seep in there. Even the organizations bringing online entrepreneurs together, especially they’re hot in Thailand and Bali and all that kind of stuff … I think there’s a shift towards that we no longer have to be physically present in the valley or New York. We can still be successful and I think that mindset is finally starting to seep into the upper [inaudible 00:27:03] of banking and older industries. I think over the next 10, 15 years, we’re going to see an explosion of businesses that are doing tech business, that are doing online really well, but in these other countries.
A great parallel, actually if you look at it, is Israel. They destroy in the tech industry, but [oftentimes 00:27:23] HQs in Israel and then they let huge offices in again, the valley or wherever, but you know where the HQ is. Israel has done a really great job where they keep the HQs in the respective countries and I think we’re starting to … Like I said, for Canada, we got events.com, Shopify, these organizations that are staying in Canada, but are going global, and I think we’re starting to get that mind shift in all these other countries too, including East Asia, about like, “Hey, we don’t need to move to the states. We can do just fine here. We just need an office there.”
Jay Kim: That’s cool. That’s an interesting perspective. I think you’re right. I think that’s definitely the trend. Tell us a little bit about … You mentioned pets earlier, that’s your next project. Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on there.
Sol Orwell: I honestly have no clue. I’m big on the moment I’m ready for it, I’m going to dive into it. All I know is that I’ve got a very ferocious dog of my own. You look up research and information on pets and it’s just completely haphazard. It’s completely garbage. Essentially, I want to do something that’s a cross of let’s say [inaudible 00:28:20] science with examine.com where it’s nerdy, but it’s accessible more to the layperson. I have no plans on how I would monetize it, but pets … People talk about meditation space being hot right now, right? Mindfulness being hot and yoga space even, if you wish, being hot. I think pets is incredibly underrated and the amount of money that pet owners, including myself, are spending … I just went and bought my dog food. He eats fancier foods than I do, man. His stuff is like this high end lamb and duck in it. I’m like, “I don’t remember the last time I had duck, like what the hell?” I think there’s huge opportunity in the pet space. I like the domain. I like the area. I just haven’t thought more than that, because I know the moment I do, I won’t be able to focus on anything else.
Jay Kim: I completely agree with you. The pet space is something that I’ve been tracking for a while. One of my friends runs a social network for pets called Pack, but-
Sol Orwell: Wow, that’s awesome.
Jay Kim: Yeah, but I used to have a dog. We recently had to get rid of him, because unfortunately, we had to get rid of him because we have little kids now. I have two young girls and he was a big … He was a Hungarian Vizsla, so he was a super high energy and we just couldn’t handle [crosstalk 00:29:35]
Sol Orwell: No kidding.
Jay Kim: Pets are this very interesting thing, because when you think about pets, logically, they make zero sense. They’re this money pit. Literally, you have to take them for a walk, you have to clean up their poo. Nothing about owning a dog makes any sense whatsoever, and yet, people do … It’s a huge space and everyone loves their animals and pets and because it has that emotional evolvement there, so I think you’re onto something here, so it’s going to be … I can’t wait to hear when you unveil it.
Sol Orwell: That makes two of us, I will say. I will add one thing. I couldn’t personally … We had a German Shepherd and Border Collie mix. I can’t deal with big dogs anymore, because … Especially in wintertime in Canada, when you walk your dog and you see that they’re excrement is steaming and then you pick it up and you can literally feel your hand getting warmed and you’re like, “My hand is sweating, because I’ve picked up so much poop that it’s actually like the heat is enough to make it be like, ‘I need to cool off’.” I personally can’t deal with big dogs, because of that reason, but otherwise, I’m 100% on with what you’re saying, yes.
Jay Kim: That’s so awesome, because I know exactly what you’re talking about. Sol, thanks so much for being on. I had a great conversation with you.
Sol Orwell: My pleasure.
Jay Kim: I just have one final question and then we’ll ask you where to link up. If there’s one thing that you could be remembered as achieving or accomplishing, what would that be? You have a lot of things that you’ve already been … That you could be pinned to but would that one thing be?
Sol Orwell: Okay, so this is something that’s been percolating in my brain. Sorry, it’s going to be a little mini, mini, quick, mini rant, but a lot of entrepreneurs, to them the idea of philanthropy is, “I’m going to sell my business for $50 million and I’m going to cut a check for a million or 100,000, boom, I’m a philanthropist.” A lot of entrepreneurs … It’s true, right? A lot of entrepreneurs, they’re making enough money that they can donate $1,000 a month or $5,000 a year and be completely okay, basically not even notice it. The problem is in terms of their mind space, in their head, giving money is the last thing. It not that they don’t want to give. It’s that they’ve got so many other, larger concerns.
Right now, I’ve been trying to … I’ve been exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship with social causes with charitable goods, charities, and also food. How do we bring in delicious food into all of this equation? If there’s something randomly bizarre, I would like to … You know I did my cookie off, where we raised $2,500. We’re going to do a sausage one in June. I’ve talked maybe a dozen chefs and I think every one except one has said they’re totally in. We’d like to raise $5,000 to $10,000 for that, so I would love to start doing this kind of stuff where it’s an intersection of entrepreneurship, social goods, and food somehow. That’s what I would like to be remembered for, doing these ridiculous things.
Jay Kim: Awesome, that ties in very well with all the pieces together.
Sol Orwell: 100%
Jay Kim: Finally, where can you … You mentioned some of your places, your websites before. Where can our audience find you, connect with you and learn a little bit more about what you’re doing?
Sol Orwell: For sure, if you want to website that’s great on nutrition supplements, that’s site will be examine.com, Pretty easy to remember. In terms of my own stuff where I write about entrepreneurship, it’s at SJO.com and from that you can find me on Twitter and Facebook. Those are the only two social media accounts I have. I’m not cool enough for Insta and whatnot, but I love saying hi to people, so definitely feel free to introduce yourself.
Jay Kim: That’s awesome and SJO, just for the audience, so you know, you’re not going to get any sort of sales, nothing like that. It’s very pure. It’s just advice.
Sol Orwell: 100%. I don’t do coaching, I don’t do consulting. I have zero desires ever to do a course, it’s literally just me verbally vomiting your way. You’re welcome.
Jay Kim: Amazing. Thanks so much, Sol, really enjoyed having you on the show.
Sol Orwell: Dude, it was my pleasure. Thank you.
Jay Kim: All right, take care now.
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