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Warwick: Welcome to the marketers club podcast. The show all about helping you work smarter earn more and accelerate your success. And now here's your host Paul McCarthy.
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Paul: So welcome to episode 40 of the marketers club podcast. I am your host Paul McCarthy and I'm here to help you market your talent so you can earn what you're worth and ultimately make more of a difference in the world. Great to have you company again for another episode. Now this is an episode that I actually recorded before we had the whole corona virus chaos. It's an episode I've been really looking forward to sharing with you but I thought it was prudent to wait until a little bit of the I guess the dust had settled toward until we started to move towards the new normal that we're heading for. So as the little light starts to shimmer on the horizon we start to move out of isolation back to I guess this new normal that we're going to start living. I thought this was a time to bring this conversation to light. My guest this week is Louise Williams who is a former psychologist turned photographer and she really uses photography to help people to capture their true selves to reflect their uniqueness and bring it to their brand to their marketing and help them to truly stand out and shine.
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Paul: And I think as we move out of their isolation phase it is time for us to start thinking about how we can truly get our brand to shine in the market how you can stand out amongst all your competitors and against all the things that compete for the attention of your prospective buyers. And I think a big part of this marketing success is stepping into the real you stepping into shining a light on who you really are it's how we create a really unique positioning in the marketplace. So there's a really fascinating conversation I really enjoyed chatting to always and I've been so excited to be able to share this with you so I want to keep you waiting any longer let's dive into my chat with Louise Williams. So Louise Williams welcome to the marketers club podcast. Great to have you on the program.
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Louise: Thank you Paul. Great to be here.
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Paul: Well lovely to have you company and I'm really interested I'm fascinated by the conversation we've got to have today that you're working on now. You started life as a psychologist and you've made this transition into the work you do today where you're a photographer but also a coach and really using that to capture these amazing shots of your clients and helping them to showcase themselves in a way that perhaps they have never done in the past. And this whole idea of playing big and sort of stepping into their uniqueness so maybe you can start to explain to me how we've made this transition how you went or why you went from. What was it through the journey of being a psychologist that led you to this realization that you needed to step over and start taking photos but not just photos it's kind of a really unique approach to the way you do your work.
00:03:18:13 - 00:05:28:23
Louise: Yeah. It's it's one of those typical beginnings to the story where I studied psychology because I studied psychology and teaching because my parents thought I was would be good at it. I think a lot of us do that when we're now you know 16 17. We kind of make a decision based on what other people are telling us. And I did enjoy it. I loved it. So I thought Okay I'm going to go and try that but to be honest one of my third choices on my Q tech kind of application for university was art. But I was told always back then or you can't make money from art. Don't do that I can't Matt can't have a living from art. So I went and did psychology was a teacher for 15 minutes just an hour until I realized I did not want to be in a room full of 30 kids. So ironically my very first paid job as a psychologist was Dan in Brisbane I'd moved from Townsville to Brisbane and my first job was as a prison psychologist. So you know teaching 30 kids prison psychologists. So I chose the prison obviously but I didn't stay there for very long and I moved on to different things and then I got into more the business psychology type of world I didn't really enjoy so much the clinical work. I found it to be a little bit constraining and because I was always an artist I just found it to be too too limited and even business I guess could be that way. But I guess you could have a little bit more freedom to experiment and try new things change management and culture work and and you know communications in businesses and then I did my own I had my own private practice opened that up in 2005 as a psychologist in Paddington Brisbane and that was essentially the epitome of what I was aiming for all along I wanted my own private practice and I reached it and I got to it and I was like oh what's next.
00:05:29:03 - 00:07:13:00
Louise: I was seeing several clients today. Five days a week. I was burning out big time. Ironically my master's thesis was in burn out so I could see the writing on the wall and knew all about it. And so I went and bought a camera bought a camera in 2007 and just started dabbling taking photos of flowers and all the things you do when you first starting out with photography. And then I started to get really obsessed. Quite frankly I loved the idea of talking with people and bringing out a version of them that they may not even realize was they. And I didn't have to fix anyone quite frankly I could just capture them in a fight. So in 2010 I made the decision a big decision because at that point the psych board was changing their process where if you left the world of psychology for a period of time you'd actually have to go back and do more study. So it was a precipice moment for me where I thought Okay if I'm going to do it I'm actually going to have to go and do it. So I I quit psychology say goodbye to all my clients and went into photography full time and I loved it. Still love it to this day. Best decision I ever made. Ironically I'm back into art which is where I always wanted to be. But I have come full circle now. So I do still do psychology even though I'm not a psychologist. I work with the psychology of the person the identity of them and then bring them into the fight.
00:07:13:08 - 00:09:03:03
Paul: That's funny isn't it how we so often will come full circle with our laws and that we many of us and as many people on that offer that we made in our in our lives that I've put on hold that creative elemental part of themselves for whatever reason many because we were told it wasn't gonna make money I probably should have listened to my mom when she said you know make money as a musician because I spent ten years figuring that out. So but but I enjoyed the journey and it certainly serves me well these days having had that experience and bringing that to the table and I think I suspect you can tell me. But I think you know a lot of people that probably you saw through your days as a psychologist maybe part of the issue is that they were suppressing who they truly were and that doesn't lead to great happiness. And that when we step into being our true selves that we can find a level of joy that perhaps escapes us when we feel like we're living by somebody else's plan. So. So I think you know it's really clear to me why the work you're doing would one energize you but also be quite releasing and freeing for those that come into your world and have their more than an image taken to really to uncover who they are and that's a big part of what you're doing now. But so talk to me a little bit about this idea. I mean you are helping people to not just presents an image of themselves but an image of themselves that showing I guess the inner part. So you know we're all familiar with the standard corporate headshot and yes none of the photos you take look like that but they're being used by people professionally to showcase themselves so took me about I guess the challenge first of all for people stepping in to their uniqueness.
00:09:03:13 - 00:10:50:15
Louise: And you're right I did notice that a lot in my private practice especially I found that people I used to work with the worried well I would call them because they didn't really have much going wrong with them but they just felt suppressed or censored. And I just saw so much pain in those people. And I I guess I I noticed that when I'm photographing someone you know photographing someone from my side of things is really exhilarating but from the person's perspective it's kind of like you know they go into the dentist. That's fine for a lot of people but I often have my clients now say to me Look I'm terrified but I'm willing and able to go for it. And I think it's there's so much pain in holding yourself back and fitting into a mold that you've been told is the way to be. And I surely experience that even as a psychologist. You know you'd be a certain way you project a certain way into the world so that you are in alignment with everybody else who's out there and 10 15 20 years ago that would have worked that would have been the right way to do things especially with photos of yourself. Even the copy you write on your Web site any of the branding imagery that you use on your website stock images. A lot of people come into alignment with everyone else they look at everybody else and choose what everyone else is doing and they do the same. Because we're creatures of habit we want to fit in and 20 years ago that would've worked for us because customers went as savvy and they would pick people based on proximity or or just how good they thought you were at your job.
00:10:50:17 - 00:11:14:12
Louise: But the problem I'm seeing nowadays is that people are still defaulting to the idea of well I should be noticed for what I do because I'm good at it and that should be enough. And the headshot will hit shot. It's just a tick and flick kind of thing. Let's just get something up there and my service will be enough. And you and I both know Paul that That's not going to sway me.
00:11:14:22 - 00:11:55:08
Paul: No it doesn't. It doesn't at all. I'm shooting a lot on the side of clients a lot that one of the lessons I learned through my music journey was that having talent is simply not enough. And there's a world full of talented people many of them that are going broke and sitting in the corner and wallowing in despair that they're not really being recognized for what they're simply good at because we need to be able to communicate at a level now that's really going to get attention is going to bring people into our world and showcase the uniqueness of who we are rather than I'm just another made to supplier of of a particular service. So we've got to step up into that.
00:11:55:10 - 00:13:35:18
Louise: So I noticed that and I think trust is a big factor with that. I think if you're not I think one thing I'm noticing with a lot of people's headshots what they're putting on their LinkedIn profiles what they're putting on their Web sites. It's all about fitting in. It's all about being here. A lot of people say I want to be relatable. And while you that's important because you need to relate to your audience or your community. They can suss out they can. They can smell not dishonesty but you're just you're just not being fully self express you're holding back in some way they can see that they can tell it you can actually tell it from a height I can see your photo. And I can actually see what's going on for that person without them having to say a word. Now I'm skilled at saying that stuff but everybody else around me can still see that stuff. They just can't articulate what's wrong with that picture. They just know something's wrong with it. So the problem that people are having is that they they're not trusting in themselves to be able to express and be accepted for who they are. So they're telling the line. And my suggestion is you've actually got to get brave with this and you've got to you've actually got to risk being vulnerable in front of the camera in front of a video camera in front of you even on a podcast. You've got to be vulnerable you've got to share the highs and the lows people people relate to that stuff these days more than just a well put together. Well. Well lit to fight I kind of thing.
00:13:36:01 - 00:14:07:05
Paul: Absolutely. One of the parts. And people will explain where they can connect with you and see some of the images because obviously when we're talking about photography it's important that people see the visual. But one of the things that you do is you align people's imagery with the archetype. So they have these various archetypes. So I guess first of all for those of us who are not as familiar with archetypes what what are OK archetypes and how do we discover what our own personal one is.
00:14:07:11 - 00:15:50:03
Louise: You know there's heaps of those types of tests online archetypes come originally from Carl Jung so union psychology I've been trained in that myself when I was a psychologist. And it's all based on our collective unconscious and the collective unconscious. It relates to even with what you've talked about pull with music. How do we know how do we relate to classical music as opposed to rock music. How do we know that on a on a deeper kind of level we can. We know it because we've heard stuff. But there's also a knowingness that that connects us. It's hard to describe but it's it's almost like there's this other part of ourselves that is actually part of a much bigger perspective around the world. And I describe it in this way of Carl Jung uses a lot in terms of symbolism. And it's actually grounded in a lot of Buddhism work and Buddha Buddhism is all around symbolism and the greater collective. And so when you're talking about symbols. If I talk to you and I say oh you know my brain is like a huge fire that is winning and now I when I describe that as an image you get that straight away you get immediate. You get your own perception of what that might mean. And everybody has a similar kind of framework around the idea of a flame of a fire. Just like if you know some people will choose as part of a day brained to to represent their brand in a symbol in the studio they'll choose things like an elephant.
00:15:50:05 - 00:17:54:10
Louise: Or they'll choose you know a superwoman or they'll choose a unicorn. So they'll use certain those choose certain symbols that relate to something that is within them that is staring that they can't quite describe yet but they know that it's actually that kind of feeling and it helps them to articulate way they're trying to hit towards with their brand. And so it's so archetypes actually tap into a lot of that symbolism. So we have twelve archetypes all up and we all each of us have all 12 archetypes within us at any one time. But we do have dominant ones. So my archetype is an alchemist. Surprise surprise alchemists are all about transformation about the journey about bringing out the magic in people which I've done all my life and alchemists. If you think about it in terms of symbolism it's like Gandalf from Lord Of The Rings. You know it's the it's the wizard with the crystal ball it's the person who can bring magic to a scenario. My secondary archetype is creator. Surprise surprise because you know I want to create the worlds of magic for somebody and creatives I usually paint thinking about things that I guess I relate to unicorns a lot even though it may not be the type of unicorn you're thinking about is more of a bad ass kind of unicorn. So I guess it's almost like a type of language that you can speak. And I find it really exciting because a lot of people come to the studio and they have absolutely no idea what they want to do with their brains. They've got no idea. They're looking around to each and every other person around them and they're saying who am I. What am I about. What makes me any different to anyone else. And archetypes just helps ground you in a different narrative for how you can explain what makes you different. Yeah I don't know whether that makes any sense to you.
00:17:54:20 - 00:19:19:23
Paul: And thank you for explaining. I mean obviously people and go off and do some investigating about all of the archetypes and what they are they're interested in learning but obviously you have a process that helps your client to recognize what theirs is and draw that out of them and therefore that helps you to color the picture and I think this is what we're talking about is the work that you're doing from a market is point of view the way I look at it is that it's an opportunity to bring out and really spotlight the uniqueness of an individual so that they have the chance to stand out for what they are authentically about and stand out from the crowd so that they they get a point of difference that's meaningful. But it's also really unique to them it's who they are. So we've got all of these archetypes in US but some are more dominant in the way we express them and what drives us whether we're as you are you know an alchemist or whether I'm a warrior or whatever it is that we bring out these different energies and do that and we I always laugh when I show people a photo of my first book that I step to a remarkable business that I'm in a business suit I've got a tie and things on and I look incredibly uncomfortable and that's because I was because really I'm a kid from West Altenburg who weighs black T-shirts and jeans that's you know I was the musician not the business man but I was performing what I thought people needed to see to do that.
00:19:19:25 - 00:20:01:03
Paul: And people always comment on how uncomfortable I look on the photo on the back of the book when I say it. And I think that was a great lesson for me because I learnt that the more I stepped into my authenticity the more impact I had the more revenue generated all of these things that had to flow from being who you are. So I love the idea of the work you're doing and helping people to draw that out. I guess in terms of stepping into one's personality what what are some of the challenges I guess you see that you run into with people who are nervous about doing that and what are some of the I guess the pros and cons of what what are we suffering from if we're not doing it and what are the benefits if we do do it.
00:20:01:05 - 00:21:36:29
Louise: One thing I've noticed a lot lately is when I'm getting people to articulate not just the positives of the brand but also the struggles the challenges people get into a lot of self-doubt around how that's going to be perceived. So we have this idea in marketing that we need to be seen and heard as though we have got it all together. If we if we're meant to be the expert then we must have it all together and then we get back into that whole world of you know limiting what we're doing. But I say to my clients all the time you the moment you market yourself as though you are the hero of this journey and that you're taking your clients through you've lost you've lost the battle you've lost the journey you've lost the connection because they can only be one hero in this process and the hero's journey features a lot in Carl Jung and my work the clients the customer the audience they have to be the hero you are the guide. It's like Gandalf is the guide for Frodo to walk them through Middle Earth in Lord Of The Rings and he's the guy that takes them through the struggles. So he has to be seen as not just relevant and capable but also he's human he's doesn't have ego. He can help you on the journey and a lot of people in business they miss that side of things.
00:21:37:01 - 00:22:53:12
Louise: And the reality is is that your your human being you're multilayered. So you have to show that in both your photos what you say on your website what you write about what you talk about in podcasts everything so that you can shave vulnerability like you've just shared today. Pull about you know the first step of your journey in that first book you know that's while that might seem. Oh wow. Okay. He doesn't have it all together but surprise surprise none of us do. And that's actually what's going to draw your audience too. So this there's a challenging being vulnerable in that space for a lot of people who are unsure of the value they bring because they are always defaulting to their service. And my suggestion to you is you have to. This is a bit of self work that you've got to do just as much as you you flex the muscles on you know working on your finances working on your marketing working on your sales message. You've also got to work on your own perception of yourself as a leader if you want to make this work. And you have to be confident. You have to be sure about who you are even when you're showing the not so great parts of yourself.
00:22:53:14 - 00:24:59:17
Paul: Well I think it's great advice for us to pay attention to as marketers. This idea of being the God rather than the hero that the client is the hero. And you know James Campbell The Hero's Journey talks about that. Donald Miller with story Brand talks about that. It is this process of recognizing that our role is to to guide people through their journey and help them. But the best way is to start with is for us to be just authentically who we are as well what we are flawed and make mistakes I make mistakes all of the time I continue to I mean I live by a philosophy that's driven that why I called Ready Fire I'm so I'm always firing at things and so that means I'm not always hitting the target but I'm. And then I made some rather than perfection and that's where I encourage clients to step towards that. The courage to stop moving and acting rather than always getting ready to be ready. And this is another life out of that book if you like that we need to be stepping towards our true selves because as the marketplace gets noisier more crowded more people communicating and clamoring for attention and as the audience gets smarter and more discerning and has less time to consider the options. The only way you penetrate the noise is by being authentically you and showing something that's different and vulnerability is a big part of that. As we go through that journey. So in terms of one of the pillars that you talk about is this idea of getting opinionated and obviously a lot of people worry about being opinions Is if you have an opinion. So you're going to get people not liking you as well as liking you and I think that's again a fear that a lot of businesses have. And I think it's a mistake to spend your energy and time trying to please everybody I think any really good brand has 50 percent of people that like them and 50 percent of people who died. They're not trying to please everybody. So talk to me from your perspective about what it means to help a client learn how to be opinionated.
00:24:59:19 - 00:26:20:25
Louise: I'm wondering whether it be helpful to share a case and an example of one and I'd be happy for me to share it because I've got it on the website as well. So I'm thinking of one person who she comes from a very conservative industry they Government. So they got lots of red tape but her field of expertise is innovation and her previous photos and her branding was positioned around her service and her strengths of her skills. And that was great. You've got to have that. And this is probably one thing I want to say is you can't just go and be all out there and demonstrating all of this stuff if you don't have the substance behind you because otherwise that's not going to fly either. But she she was wanting to step into a different way of presenting her work but was a bit nervous because of this highly conservative industry and so she came into the studio we were doing the whole shoot. We'd done all these different photos and she pulled out these glasses at the end these big glasses that her husband dropped in the bag just as she was leaving to come to me and she said all the ways I don't know whether we should use this.
00:26:20:27 - 00:27:42:17
Louise: And I said Oh give me a look. Let me let me see what they're on what they like on you. And so she put them all and I said Oh my God we have to have those in the photo shoot. She says ordinary while they're my types of glasses. I don't know whether my audience is going to get this. It feels too much it feels way too much I hear too much said a lot with clients when they try to push through this doubt. And so I said to let's just try it. And if it doesn't work we don't use it. And so I got her to put them on we put some pearls around her neck. So it was this kind of you know the difference between the innovation and the conservatism and we played on it. And and so she's looking at the camera and she's really very forced in front of the camera and she's I can tell she's uncomfortable so getting to talk about I guess what is it you want. And she's like oh I just want I just want the organization to get invited. I said I don't believe you. I said you are this highly intelligent your doctor at this. What do you want them to do. And you know this happened for a couple of minutes and I'm egging her all I'm doing this on purpose because I know I can push her and she says she finally looks into the camera and she says I just want them to disrupt the status quo.
00:27:42:19 - 00:29:17:21
Louise: And she's shaking a fist to the camera and she's squishing up a mouth and I'm clicking away and I'm like yes that's it. And and so she comes the next day to see the photos and she's looking at those goes and she's going Louise out and I think I think I would really turn off way too many potential businesses and organizations to to take me on. I said if you are saying that you're innovative then you've got to show it. And she's like okay. And so she she was going to buy it and I said to her if you don't buy that fighter I'm going to kick your butt because that is the photo for you going forward. So she trusted me which I'm very grateful for because then we created a postcard for a speaking event she was going to next month that next month overseas. And that was a highly conservative area as well that she was going to she messaged me in the middle of the night and said to me Louise you would not believe what's happened. And I said What's happened. She said everybody's come up to me with these postcards saying can we get a photo with you and us both doing the pose. And I said that is brilliant. I'm not surprised at all. And I said now you need to go and buy a whole stack of glasses and I want you to take photos of yourself. Workshops that you're delivering wearing these glasses. I want you to bring your IP around the glasses. So she did. She did that for a whole year. She rang me start of last year and said Louise can you come and photograph a summit I'm creating.
00:29:17:23 - 00:31:05:04
Louise: I said Yes I can do that. She says you wouldn't believe what I'm doing. I said What are you doing. And she said I'm I've bought a hundred and eighty glasses and I'm going to get everybody to wear them and I'm going to put my glasses on and we're all going to pose in front of the camera. And I saw at that moment on that day and it's called the Australian interplanetary summit. And there's another one coming up that's a bit of a plug for her unintentional. But I saw in that moment the power of storytelling around something that where she was vulnerable in front of the camera. It created a an anchor point and it wasn't a stock image like if that had been a stock image nobody would have bought into it as much. But because she was going way everybody else around her went with it as well. And I saw a community be born in that moment because people were coming out to me saying can we get photos with us. You know with the glasses and it was was magical to see. So that's I guess that's an experience that I have seen with my clients time and time again where they have gotten vulnerable. They've taken a chance on something and you've got to take chances because some of these things won't work but some of them will and some of them will land and they land because we're tapping into the collective unconscious of your audience who all relate to the idea of glasses on looking at things differently clenched fist. You know it's all storytelling and it doesn't have to be big business that does this. It can be small business entrepreneurs solo trainers that do this. Sorry I'm very I'm very excited and I'm very that's a great story.
00:31:05:27 - 00:32:43:10
Paul: It's a great story and a great reminder for all of us of the power and the benefit of stepping in to who we really are and that sometimes this is an audience of people that they're aching for someone to step forward and make it comfortable for them. And as business owners if we've made the decision we've already been brave enough to start a business then maybe it's time to be brave enough to truly be who we are so that we can become that voice that we want to be for the audience that we're there to serve. There's a book by Todd Herman he talks about the idea of the alter ego and he does you know the difficult different physical things and glasses are one. I think that's his personal one that he uses a pair of glasses to become a different character and that character is is courageous and bold and goes out and and so he he talks about and he works with a lot of high level athletes and musicians and what have you and just the that that sort of driving out the ego. So it sounds a lot like that similar sort of work that you're helping to find that that other part of ourselves and learn to express it. It's been an absolutely fascinating conversation always but. And I'm sure that there's gonna be a whole bunch of listeners that one came to see some of the images and then to reach out to you and talk to you about having you take their photos and help them to really show their inner self in a way that they've perhaps never had the courage to do before so what's the best way or place for people to go and find you and learn more about connecting with you.
00:32:43:13 - 00:33:08:05
Louise: Always happy to help people even just have a quick chat and might be out to give people a guidance of even just the next step to take. Because some people are ready for it and some people are not so ready for it. So LinkedIn is a really good place if you search for Louise Williams you'll find me. You won't be able to mistake me with the tinsel jacket on and on my website is Louise-Williams.com
00:33:08:15 - 00:33:29:00
Paul: Fantastic. Well thank you so much for making some time. I love the work you do and I love the fact that you're helping to bring out the best parts of people and giving them the confidence to showcase who they truly are. So really appreciate your time and congratulations on all the great work you're doing.
00:33:29:02 - 00:33:44:22
Louise: Thank you Paul. Such a fabulous podcast this like we need more of these kind of storytelling moments to be had to give people support because it's such a lonely time out there in business really so well done now.
00:33:44:24 - 00:34:15:07
Paul: Thank you. So it sure is lonely out there and that's why we're here to provide some support some encouragement some tips and ideas so that can drive people to achieve more success. So it's my pleasure to deliver the show and as always like I said people it's like I get this free education from people like you who teach me and keep challenging me on and I'm keen to go back now and look at my own you know the images that are getting projected out and how we can really shop and those apps I'm excited to go and do the same.
00:34:15:09 - 00:35:29:04
Paul: So, thanks again for joining me. So, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Louise Williams. I think it really is so important for us to recognize the tendency that so many of us have to squash our creative abilities to conform and try and look like everybody else. But when it comes to your marketing it's so important that you step up and they step out and you really do start to own your space and shine a light on who you truly are your unique way of thinking and going about doing what it is that you do and I think that that's such a great recipe for success is when people are brave enough to do that. But it does take a little courage you know and and it's much easier said than done. You know the late great Jim Ryan said you know listen to me carefully but don't watch me too close because you know we all have these little demons inside us these voices that whisper to us that challenge us and question us. So we are all flawed but sometimes it's the flaws that are the things that really help you connect with other people and that they really resonate with.
00:35:29:11 - 00:36:39:21
Paul: Don't be afraid to let your true self shine through. Look I really appreciate you joining me for another episode. I do want to remind you that we created a really comprehensive guide lots of people grabbed it when it became available last week. But if you missed that episode if you're joining me for the first time that we created a comprehensive tool to help you with one of the most important elements of your business and that is your list building. So, Episode 39 talks all about this building but we also created a comprehensive guide to step you through the process to help you to really implement a list building strategy into your business. If you want to grab that uh that maybe God and really add that to your business structure then go to the marketersclubacademy.com/listbuilding you'll be able to get the access to that special God that we've put together for you. And it will step you all the way through the process. So thanks again for joining me for episode 40 of the markets club podcast. Thanks to everyone for the reviews and if you do have the time to stop and give a review.
It really helps the show. It takes a couple of minutes to do. But if you can navigate your way through the Appalachians and leave us a review it's much appreciated and I look forward to joining you next week with another great episode where we can be talking to a former basketball superstar next week. Look forward to chatting to you again then. Until next time I wish you all the very best of luck with your businesses. But much much more importantly with your lives. Take care. Bye for now.