Alex Beadon 0:02
Do you ever feel like you’re trying to balance it all, nourishing your health while growing your business and living a life well lived. And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you slip from purpose driven into autopilot. Take a deep breath, relax, and let’s get you back to where you belong on purpose
Welcome to on purpose, the podcast that helps you align your life energy with business strategy. This is your co host, Alex Beadon. Here checking in, are you ready to live your life on purpose. Today we’re going to be speaking to one of my favorite YouTubers of all time, the one the only Shannon booty. In this podcast, you will learn how Shannon gained 100,000 YouTube subscribers in six months, we’re going to talk about how she dealt with the shame of having low numbers. When she first got started on YouTube. We’ll talk about how she discovered her life’s true passion of intimacy and so much more. Now listen, before we dive into this amazing interview, I just want to let you know friendly reminder that when you’re done listening, please don’t forget to leave a review. We have a mission to reach 100 podcast reviews within our first week of launching the on purpose podcast. And that can only happen with your support. So if you really enjoy the podcast, please return the favor search for the on purpose podcast in your podcast app, scroll down and click write a review. It would seriously mean the world to me for now. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Hi, Shannon, welcome to my show.
Shannon Boodram 2:00
Hi, Alex. Thank you for having me. It’s been a long time coming.
Alex Beadon 2:03
Oh, I know. I’m so excited to have you here. And I was trying to think today back to when it was that I first found you and I can’t for the life of me remember where it was. But I know I’ve been following you for years. I absolutely love your YouTube channel. You’re up to such epic things in the world. So I just want to say thanks so much for coming on the show.
Shannon Boodram 2:24
Thank you for having me. And thank you for all of your support. You’re one of the people whose name I saw it. I’m like, Oh my gosh, she’s stunning. Who is this? And I just always, you’ve always stood out to me. So I have never not noticed you. So whenever you came on board is probably the next day. I was like Alex is my homie.
Alex Beadon 2:40
Awesome. So let’s get this interview started. So my first question for you is, what do you find most nourishing about your career?
Shannon Boodram 2:48
how different it is how challenging it is constantly, like I’m working on the show right now for Facebook called makeup or breakup. And I only honestly love about that show is how hard it is every single week and how there’s different things are thrown at us and all these new components. And it’s a bizarre thing because I used to really hate being nervous. And I’m like, because I grew up running track and field and I was constantly nervous for every meet. And now I still have those nerves. But I almost love it. Because it’s a reminder to myself that I’m doing something outside of my comfort zone that I’m always growing and stretching and expanding my database of skill sets. So I love that my job is hard and hard is relative though I’m not in a coal mine. I am not saving lives, but just challenging mentally. Yeah,
Alex Beadon 3:31
I think that’s something that I’ve always loved about you. And something that has always drawn me to you is the fact that you always seem to want to be the best version of yourself, you’re really into challenging yourself and doing things that are going to make you a better person and that are what you do. And also you’re someone who I’ve always looked at and it feels as though your purpose has always been very aligned with your career. So I would love to hear you talk a little bit about that about your purpose and doing choosing to do things in your career that gets you closer to that.
Shannon Boodram 4:10
Yeah, and I think this is a story that my boyfriend hates to hear me tell because i You always share the story but just like it’s one of those things that I honestly believe that I knew I was meant to do intimacy and relationships and sexuality from like the age of five. I remember that my Barbies were constantly banned from being naked. I remember my first consensual sexual experience at like four or five years old and it wasn’t touching each other. It was just like, showing physical acts of like desire towards our pillows, and she went told her parents either in trouble my Barbies are banned from being naked and like a lot of my life I went to a Catholic school, like my natural curiosity for sexuality and intimacy was suppressed. So a good friend of mine, Melanie Fiona said that we often feel like we have to move forward in life that we’re moving towards our passion moving towards Finding our desire, and she’s like, I think it’s actually healthy to think about it like you’re looking back, you’re trying to find that original thing that you were drawn to that maybe you were scared away from, or maybe through a counselor, or parents, somebody told you, you know, you shouldn’t be doing that. And for me, it’s always been intimacy, I’ve always had a desire for that. So I look at my passion as not finding it, but really just going back and getting it.
Alex Beadon 5:23
Yeah. And what’s also really interesting about your story is that the passion that you’ve always had, since you’re a little girl, is something that is quite taboo and something that a lot of people frown upon, and is not to be spoken about, especially as a woman. And so I’d love to hear you talk about the struggles that you had in really stepping into this as a career for you. Because I can only imagine that must have been incredibly difficult. And even so because of the fact that it’s a taboo topic.
Shannon Boodram 5:58
Exactly, I think you’ve hit all the right nails on the head for that. And I’m very patient with people in regards to where they’re at with their comfort level with sexuality, because I feel like I’ve experienced all of them myself. So I’m never like, come on three more liberated because I looked back at, you know, 25 year old Shannon, whose book just came out, but had this still shame. You know, I had this book out in stores, I remember trying to convince them like, Please don’t call it laid, let’s call it something else. Let’s call it something softer, like, just because I was ashamed to have this book that was so obviously about sex. And it definitely took a long time, the very first time I told my parents about what I was doing. Mind you, I did it in like a sneaky way I was writing my book laid. And I really needed to collect stories, because laid was all about like, let’s all educate each one, teach one. But let’s do it in an interesting way by sharing our experiences so others can learn vicariously. And so I had to tell my story in order to collect other stories. So I put the story online, of how I lost my virginity. And it wasn’t, you know, a cautionary tale tale story. It was just, it was like exactly how I would tell a best friend, now my internet experience and end up being great. But I described the sex I describe the feelings that I have this person I described the second time that we had sex the next day. And so I sent this story and this website to my parents and said, This is what I’m doing while they were on vacation. And my mom came back like four days later, still equally as angry, I’m sure as when she first read it, and her reaction was like, boys are going to be laughing and masturbating at you, they’re going to be in groups, just reading your story and laughing and masturbating. I was like, you’ve obviously never hung out with dudes before one. But number two, like that was like the base fear that everybody would just abuse me and think down upon me and look at me as a porn star. And, you know, I carried bits of those. And obviously, that place of fear was at a place of protection. She just didn’t want to see me exact like marginalized or abused in that way. And it definitely did take me a while. And so once my at 19, I was really proud. And then around 20 to 23, when I was talking about it in college, because I went to school for journalism, I felt the shame from them when they told me that like, maybe you should change the topic that you’re writing about. Or there’s oftentimes they would say, Hey, you can’t promote your website, which was the one looking for stories. And then my book finally came out again, I was like trying to change the title to make it softer. And then after late and I finished promoting that I went to University of Toronto got my sex education counselor certification, I was working in the offices there. And about a year after that when the book died down there with all the hype died down, I was kind of like, maybe I just want to be a feminist writer, maybe I want to be a musical writer, I don’t know if I want to be a sex education writer. And so I shied away from that place for some time. And I joined this website called those girls are wild. And it was just doing general female empowerment. And it was a good time in my life. But it was, you know, kind of a last vague time. And it wasn’t until I moved to California within 2014 that I really, really embraced the role, went back to school and said, No, this is what I do for a living. No, this is what I talk about. And even in those past four years of doing that, and reclaiming this space, there’s definitely been some hiccups for me where I have felt that creep up of shame. So it’s a constant battle inside of myself. So I can only imagine people who don’t devote themselves to this topic area, how it must be a struggle for them.
Alex Beadon 9:20
And even I remember and I can’t remember the details. I remember I watched one of your videos, and you were saying how an opportunity came up. And then basically, they gave you the job found out about your YouTube channel online, and then pretty much took it back and they were like, well, you know, we can have someone who’s talking about these things representing us. How do you deal with that? Like, how do you find it inside of you to be like, I know that this is what I’m here to do and that and that this work is good and also like, because there must be a lot of self doubt and like second guessing yourself like Well, are they right? You know what I mean?
Shannon Boodram 9:58
Absolutely. And at that time I’m the because it was like they were offering $10,000. And at the time, that would have been the world to me like that would have made a massive difference between struggling to put together rent struggling to survive, and like being okay for a few months. And so it wasn’t like a job that I was like, oh, whatever I just missed out on it, it really, really did crush me. And I’m so proud of myself, like looking back with all these little moments. I’m like, I wish I could just hug you and say thank you. And I wish when I was two, three days ago, we me and my partner were walking on Sunset Boulevard. And when I first moved to LA, I moved with nothing, no job, nowhere to live. And like no idea how I was going to make it in this town. And we stayed at this place called like, the Comfort Inn, or the it was called the American inn or something. It was some motel. And I was walking every day to this restaurant called Tender Greens. And I was walking down the street a few days ago. And I’m like, I wish I could pass my past self and like, Just tell her on the way like, you’ll be fine. I wish I could just like give her a quick hug or like whisper in her ear. Like, don’t feel afraid right now, I know you’re afraid. And this is a hard thing to do. But like you’re going to it’s going to work out okay for you. But I’m just I don’t know, I’m an awesome times. And I was able to push through and even now like I I’m really good. I’m a very good stage host. I’m very good at presenting, I went to school for journalism. So I understand storytelling, I really could do PR, there’s a lot of great bass tools I think I have which makes me really good at my job as a sexual speaker and amplifier for a message. And I hosted this event last week called we gather and it was like a feminist event. And it wasn’t about sexuality. And then afterwards, producer came up to me and said, No, you really could do other stuff, you really could do other hosting. And I was like, Man, I know, I don’t want to do this. I don’t mind doing these as one offs. But I don’t want to skew my career towards being a general when I have a niche that I’m really passionate about. And now I can say that because I’m doing fine in this industry. But I think that that that took a while just to really be like, No, it’s okay, I’ll lose other jobs. I’ll say no to other things. I know where my lane is. And I’m really, really happy swimming there.
Alex Beadon 12:08
So what would you say your mission is? Or your purposes? Like, what is it that you’re trying to achieve in this lifetime, with all of the things that you’re doing and creating?
Shannon Boodram 12:18
I mean, I see it all the time in my comments. It’s just people who say things like you changed my sex life or my perspective on relationships, or because of you like I’ve gotten out of bad relationships and where I was two years ago in terms of intimacy is nowhere compared to where I am now. And even people who are like this one person tweeted, didn’t follow me. But there’s one person tweeted, I think the relationship expert sex expert role is bullshit. And the girl tweeted back to her, Do you know who Shan booty is like, you should watch this stuff. It’s not bullshit. Like, you won’t be able to help but look at your life and your romantic life in a scientific way after watching her videos, and that’s what I really want. I want for people to be like, Okay, hang on, how do I actually get good at intimacy? Because I don’t think that we often are, have the thought process that we have to get good. Most people think we just fall into it. And I actually had an experience the other day where this I went out for dinner with this girl and she was telling me her love life woes and the drama she was going through. And she was like, I don’t know why. But I fell in love with my friends would benefits. And I was like, I do know why it’s there’s a biological link that happens when people have sex together. If you’re not aware of that. It’s kind of like being like, I fell in love with pizza. And I’m not sure why. Like, there’s clear reasons why we are attracted to certain things that we interact with on a consistent basis. If you fall in love with cigarettes, you wouldn’t be like, I have no idea why I’m addicted, we have an understanding of the chemical bond that’s happening. But when it comes to love and romance, we have no clue. And so I was trying to explain to her and she was like, Oh, well, you know, I don’t like like to learn about that stuff. I just prefer to experience it. I’m like, Okay, we’ll be miserable. Like, it’s just somebody who just like, No, I don’t really want to learn. And so the people who do and who are nerds about it and want it to be a really, really powerful and controlled part of their life. Like just I think the same way with diet, there’s some people who don’t want to learn and just wanting to be like, whatever, I just eat what I want, which may work for you. But I think it’s much more empowering and magical to me to come from a position of knowledge, and to come from a position of self awareness. And so that’s what I really want for people is to have that same confidence that I know what’s going on. And I know how to make the right decisions for myself.
Alex Beadon 14:26
Yeah. So for me looking at your YouTube channel, it’s just so interesting to hear you say like, you know, what, you what is your purpose because from my perspective, I look at it and I’m like, here’s this woman who is so intelligent and so well spoken, and you speak about this subject sex and relationships and love and all that jazz, in a way that like when I tell people about your channel, they kind of give me this weird look like why would I want to look at that because they think it’s gonna be this trashy, like, you know what I mean? Like this just negative space that It is trashy because I think that’s what people’s idea of anything related to sex would be. And I’m like, no, she does it in such an educational way. And in such, just such an empowering way. And I feel like it’s so interesting to me because this is a subject that I feel like, needs a voice hasn’t been able to have a voice throughout the history of time. And now with the internet, people like you are able to come out and be like, Okay, I love this. I want to talk about it. I want to shine a light on it. And I think it’s just so empowering to see someone be like, it doesn’t have to be trashy doesn’t have to be the shameful thing. Like everyone does it everyone experiences it. So I just think it’s so beautiful, what you do.
Shannon Boodram 15:42
Thank you so much. It’s so loving. And it’s one of those things that I love. Because at this point, I have over 200 videos. So whenever someone says to me, I watched one of your videos, I just hold my breath to see like which one because there’s there are trashing ones that I’m really proud of, actually, and there are silly ones and there are hair ones like and so now this one, like whatever video you are drawn to, I mean to me says more about you and your interest and does about me. So my mom, for example, said that a doctor, she told one of her doctor friends that like oh, my daughter does this thing talks about sex and it’s obviously her channel. And the next day he approached you like, Oh, I saw one of her videos. Gemma, which one do you watch? It’s something about sexual private dancing. And, you know, he’s a good passing judgment. But as a mom, I don’t feel a way like there was 200 videos. This video he clicked on. Like of all the titles that he saw, that is the one that man was like, I’m gonna watch this one. So that says more about you than me. If that’s what you were drawn to then like so be it. That’s what I put it out there for my sexuality and I think it’s like a proud part of it. And if you watch the makeup video, great if you watch the pre come one on one video, or what does birth control do in the body? Or if you watch like, what is your love language, it doesn’t matter to me at this point, all the information is there, whatever your entry point is, I’m just glad people showed up.
Alex Beadon 16:56
It’s interesting to hear you say I have trashy videos, and I’m proud of them. Because to me, I look at all of those videos. And I’m like, I still think they’re all incredibly tastefully done. You know, like, I don’t look at any of them and think like, oh, like that’s, I don’t know. So it’s just, it’s interesting to hear you say that. And you’re right, like people are gonna watch it and take whatever it is that they take from it. But I just love that, like you own it. And it’s out there and you love it. And it’s just, it’s awesome. So I love it. Thank you. My next question for you is so I look at you as someone who’s really just gone all in, in building your personal brand, and then really figuring out how to create revenue streams from there, like how are you going to make money? But you’re always building your personal brand. I think that’s really like the core of what it is that you do. So I’m curious, would you describe yourself as an entrepreneur? Or would you say that you have your own business? Or how would you describe what it is that you do?
Shannon Boodram 17:55
I don’t know. I mean, like to describe myself as like Martha Stewart for intimacy, because I think there’s a lot of media personalities like who do what I do, like there’s Joe Rogan. And there’s Rachel Roy, who attach themselves to a lifestyle to a brand to an idea. And then they spread out on many different mediums and platforms to create a living for themselves. So Martha Stewart, for example, when you think of DIY and home decor, or maybe cooking, you think of her name and the top five. And when you do think of Martha Stewart, there’s many ways to interact with her, whether that’s buying her sheets at Kmart or it’s going through a website or purchasing her book or watching her showing VH one you’re seeing her on Comedy Central like but all that she does kind of relates back she never even when she was on Comedy Central the roast, she plugged her sheets. So I think that that type of monoculture that’s diversified in many different mediums is how I envision my career going. Is that person entrepreneur? Yeah, of course. I mean this. I answered that question as I was saying it. So yes, I do. I guess because I’m not really selling an item right now. And that’s one of the things I think I have to definitely work on. Because there’s some people who do it like Matthew Hussey, who’s a dating expert, there’s a formula that you should take if you’re going to be a digital personality, which is like, you sell seminars or you sell ebooks, and then you do this thing where you collect emails, and you give out a free gift. And then you mail them every two days. Like there’s a system in place to do it that like I don’t feel that I do particularly amazing. So I guess I shy away from the term entrepreneur because I’m not a well oiled business. But I work so yeah, I work a lot.
Alex Beadon 19:34
So it’s interesting to me to hear you say all of that, because I’ve always kind of wondered because I’m in that space like why you never ventured into that space. And then But then I see what you’re doing and you seem to be doing just fine like in your own way because I see you’re doing like sponsorships brand collaborations like you have your YouTube channel. I know you’re selling your necklace you’ve got sometimes I see you’re offering one on one coaching. You did the full screen series. Now you’ve got the Facebook show make up or break up. So like I see you doing lots of different things. And I’m curious about like, is there a strategy behind what you do? Do you ever Are you like sitting down and being like, okay, like, I need to find this project this project, like, how do you go about finding these opportunities for yourself? And what is the process for you behind being like, Okay, I need to make some money right now, what am I going to do to make it happen? Because really, and correct me if I’m wrong, it is in your hands. Right?
Shannon Boodram 20:27
Yeah, I mean, a wish. And that’s, you know, these are honestly great questions that I wish that there was like a long term strategy, I honestly feel vary day to day. And that can be problematic, because when things have momentum, I did a video once about kicking the ball and like momentum. And so if I’m in videos, yeah, and I’ve come into learning, there’s a lot in life that points back to us in there’s a lot in life that points back to us. And so it’s a catch 22. Because I do do things like YouTube, which is constantly putting out work and putting out energy into the world. Even social media is putting out energy into the world. I do my consistent one on one counseling services every single week. So I do have some consistent stuff that I work on. But no, I mean, am I creating an email database on YouTube going about from that perspective, and ensuring that even if I get no more jobs, no more opportunities, I’ve still collected, you know, 5000, like mines, that that, for me is always my base. I think that that’s a lesson I’d probably give to somebody when someone ever talks to me about wanting to build a brand or something similar to mine. I’m like, start with the business first, and then add the creative on top. Because I’m somebody who started with creative first and then was like, oh, yeah, I kind of have to make money off this. What’s that business thing. And it’s easy now. Because brand deals come to me and I’m an one of the known names in the space. And so if you’re a company who’s selling organic tampons, you’re gonna be like, Okay, let’s sell to these five, help these five influencers out or ask them to help us. But when I’m no longer in that space, or there’s new names that come up, and I’m going to have to find a way to reinvent. So that I think is the advice I would give to any person who’s in that sort of left right brain. That’s where we exist. We’re creatives, but we’re also business people start with the business first and add the creative on top. And even if you’re only having a business that’s structured around 10 People who are your audience, I mean, if that grows, you’re always going to have that base versus for me, it’s this massive catch up game. But it’s going well now, but this is a story of everybody, right? They’re doing really, really well. When they’re hot, they’re hot, and then when it’s over, they have nothing to fall back on. So I’m trying to work backwards, but that doesn’t happen to me. Right?
Alex Beadon 22:32
That’s super interesting. So do you have a team that you work with?
Shannon Boodram 22:36
It’s like I get asked, asked about bah, bah, bah. I actually like asked this question like two days ago, and I was kind of like reluctant. I do and I don’t, I have a very big management umbrella. Like there’s a lot of people in the sham booty. Percentage cut. I mean, I have a manager. I have an agency. I have a lawyer. I have a PR person. But Is anyone doing the day to day work? No.
Alex Beadon 23:03
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Shannon Boodram 23:50
Is anybody helping out with Creatives or writing stuff for me? Or working on treatments with me? Or really even for PR? Are they doing like my daily pitches or coming up with different stuff? No. They’re there for like to secure opportunities or to find things that are to catch things, I guess that it would be out of my scope. But the daily work? No, I It’s all me. That’s really
Alex Beadon 24:11
cool. Okay, so we’re gonna move into talking about YouTube now because I’m really curious to just pick your brain on what it’s like being a YouTuber. As of right now, I just checked you have 294,000 YouTube subscribers. So you’re like creeping up to that 300,000 mark, which is definitely a huge accomplishment, some accomplishment and something to be very, very proud of. But you started making YouTube videos four years ago, I think or at least that’s when your first video that I could possibly find was but I know that you had you were kind of playing around with it before your current channel. So tell us a little bit about your YouTube journey.
Shannon Boodram 24:47
Yes. And so in 2009, my book lead came out and I had no way to promote that I had no audience. I just I didn’t know how you’re supposed to launch at a publishing company. And I was under the impression that they would do it all but I think the more that you grow into these spaces, you realize, like nobody can do a lot of these jobs in terms of promoting yourself better than you. And so I started a website with a friend of mine who was on Degrassi who had a big following, which was a massive help for me, because she already had a name. And so it allowed me to create a space that was familiar to people. And I pushed my book through that we parted ways in 2011. And in 2012, I started my new my new YouTube channel, but I didn’t post on it at all. And it was kind of like a place of like feeling, because I suppose in the early wave of YouTube, where people weren’t really making a career out of it, and I’m like, What’s the point of me doing this, I might as well put all my attention on traditional media. And that’s what I did from 2012 to 2015. I only use YouTube, if you look back at like the videos I posted, they were mostly like, if I was on a TV segment, I would dump it over there. You know, if I had and the videos came up, like once every six months, or once every three months, maybe I’d post out for one month, and then I’d stopped for seven or eight. And I was really focused on trying to find a TV job that wouldn’t really allow me again, to get myself in that Martha Stewart space. And I did four pilots in LA, back to back for pilots neck, I don’t mean back to back, because how pilots work is that you shoot something you get locked up in this deal when they decide to decide if they want to pick it up or not. That means like you get one paycheck for six months. And then they say no, and then you’re back scrambling for another thing. And so I was like, basically caught up in these contracts for six months at a time. And the fourth one that happened was his MTV show, it was called unprotected text. It just felt really great to me, I knew it would be the one I’m like, this is the reason why this is why all my struggles happen. This all makes sense. Like this job was meant to save me and this will be my story. And short, and I had the worst year that year two was the most horrific year probably experienced in my life in 2015. And when that show also didn’t get picked up, I was like, what now? Like, what is my story, you know, when, and that’s one of my favorite quotes is you cannot connect the dots looking forward. And I had a really big habit of doing that. I’d be like, Oh, this goes here that goes there. And then it turns into a star and then I’m successful and life is great. And then when that doesn’t happen or come to fruition, you’re like, left devastated. And that’s where I was, and just had this thought immediately after like, how about YouTube? How about a space where the content that I put out actually get seen by people? How about a space where I’m in control how but I actually try there. And it was very difficult to try again in 2015. Because at that time, one of my friends Shameless Maya, for example, was killing it. I had a bunch of other YouTube people that I knew from over the years, or industry, people who had millions of followers or hundreds of 1000s. And so for me to start back up and make videos that were getting 1200 views, 400 views, like it was kind of embarrassing. It was a really difficult start. And I talked about this one of my videos how I bought views at that time, because I just I wouldn’t, I was so embarrassed to share, Oh, watch this video and one of my friends who like had a following to go click on it and be like, Oh, my God, she’s only getting 300 views right now. And that helped me a lot though, too, because in the first six months that I was starting YouTube, again, I was so hungry to get out of that space. I was such a hustler. And I gained 100,000 subscribers in six months, because I leveraged all of the people that I knew who had a following. And I was like, let’s collab. And I just moved and hustled, and like there’s a few times in my life, I look back, and I’m like, I’m really proud of you like writing my book was definitely one of them. And restarting YouTube, again, is another time that I’m like, I really, really, you know, did something wonderful. And I almost wish I could get back to that space. But mind you, I’ve kind of like, tapped out all my contacts, I gotta find new ones. But YouTube definitely is a wonderful vehicle. It’s a great way to teach yourself, it’s still a great way to challenge yourself. And you have to be in all positions, you got a program director, you are the marketer, you are the HR, you are the publicist, you are the camera person, the lighter the sound engineer, there’s so much learning that you can do if you want to get great at it, there’s a really great opportunity to experience a massive amount of self growth in this industry in a short span of time. I don’t know if it’s the hard thing about YouTube going forward for me is that it’s the one space that doesn’t grow with everything else. And so if you are not dedicating yourself to YouTube, YouTube does not love you. And it doesn’t matter if like no, I’m actually working on this really great show now or I got this podcasting deal or I’m writing a book right now like guys stick around, they’re like, Well, no, you’re not posting you know, every Tuesday that challenge video so we hate you. So that’s the hard thing about it is that you can’t It’s its own separate business model, which I’m trying to navigate how to balance that now as my life gets busier, but I never really want to like turn my back on YouTube again. So I’m trying to find a way to make that balance happen because again, I do really value that space.
Alex Beadon 29:52
Yeah, for sure. And how would you say that it has definitely been a vital part of it. You’re getting
Shannon Boodram 30:00
Alex Beadon 30:02
in your career from YouTube.
Shannon Boodram 30:04
Oh, girl 100,000% I 100,000% YouTube. And I think again, especially if you’re telling a unique story, I mean, if you’re telling a story of beauty or inspiration or a typical human interest story, I think there may be other ways, but because I’m telling the story of intimacy and sexuality, and there is so much curiosity of how I’m gonna tell that story, or what I’m going to say, I think YouTube really allowed me to shape and shape people’s understanding and get them comfortable with the brand. And I’ve gotten a lot of brand deals from companies who normally wouldn’t work in the sex, sex space, or the sex education space, I think because of my YouTube channel and getting comfortable with the way I deliver. So I don’t think without that, I could have gotten probably, you know, it is a launching pad for everything. And where I’m at right now, in my career, it is, it’s a launching pad. So I have I owe so much. So, so, so much to YouTube.
Alex Beadon 31:00
Yeah, it’s amazing to me. So I’ve been doing YouTube for like, I don’t know, five years. And to be honest with you, I’ve always just used it as a place to host my videos, like, I’ve never really used it as like, Oh, I’m gonna focus on like growing my audience here. It’s really just been a place where I put my videos so that I can then embed them into my blog. And what ended up happening is that so many people were finding me through YouTube, keep in mind, my audience is super small. So I just hit 30,000 subscribers, yay, congratulations, thank you. But I feel like for me,
Shannon Boodram 31:34
bigger, crazy world we live in that we say just 30,000 I know, it’s a lot of
Alex Beadon 31:39
people. But what I always tell people just 30,000 Because I’m like, there are people who have millions and millions and millions. But I think for what what I do, because it’s so niche, like, I will never be someone who has, you know, millions of subscribers, because what I do doesn’t appeal to everyone. But yet, I still find so much value from creating content, number one, because I feel like it allows me to, or at least when I first started, it really allowed me to find my voice, you know, and really learn who I am. What it is that makes me special and different and how I relate to my audience. And I think it really helped me find my people. And so I can’t remember where I heard this somewhere. In one of your videos, you were basically talking about the difference between the people who follow you, maybe on YouTube, especially in the early days, like your core audience, and then the people who you might who might find you through doing something like I know you did that show on the view, who you know, they’re not your people, they’re not your audience. So I’d love for you to talk to us a little bit about the difference between the audience that you find on YouTube and the audience that you find elsewhere. Yeah,
Shannon Boodram 32:49
I mean, it’s getting harder and harder to kind of decipher. I do know in particular times, like, my core audience is you my core audience are people who have an active interest in learning about intimacy relationships are just in building connections with people and who are like, I want this content. And they come from many different places. I think the outside audience with people who don’t want that, but somehow stumble upon me. So for example, I did a collab via with the Hodgetwins, which has done really well for me, it’s like, like 400,000 plus views, but their audience I honestly, I love the Hodgetwins they’re really really cool guys, but have you ever watched Handmaid’s Tale? Their audience are like I don’t, they’re just, they are those people who would if they had the chance, put women back in the 1800s. They are sexist, they are nasty. They are just like, I don’t just racist, bigoted, just awful people. And I always know whenever that video for whatever reason hits a spike in views, because I’ll just get a wave of abusive comments all across my channels. And it always sources back to like, oh, there’s a lot of comments happening on this videos, they’re hopping over to other stuff, and they’re just spreading. And it’s difficult, like the view was a really good a great example, again, because I can get very accustomed to talking to you talking to people who understand and who are open minded and who want to learn and who have a certain level of respect. And it’s great, but there are people who have spent a very long time repressing and building up a wall, there are people who have done a lot of work to create a negative narrative in their mind. And when someone comes challenge that they just approach that like attack. And I have to come to expect that because it’s a very sensitive area that I’m talking about that people have beliefs they have had for generations sometimes. And it’s not up to me in one video to change their mind. But that video is there for them as well to it is there for them to see a new perspective, even if they reject it right away or call me all the names in the book or meet me with so much aggression. I have to hope that a maybe a bit of that seeps into their psyche and starts a small you know, spur of change but it that’s the part of putting yourself out there Yes, you, you can’t just want your audience, you can, you know, I think your audience should be 70% Your people because otherwise, I see some people who their platform is mostly negative and mostly attacking and like, Oh, it’s too much for your soul. But it is you do have to get the other people who don’t want you who don’t want your message and who don’t like what you have to say, because that’s who needs to hear what you have to say. And that’s, that’s been something that I struggle with, because I’m definitely a I’m not like one of those, like, take it on the chin kind of people. I’m very aggressive myself. And so you’ll see me like fighting in the comments. And my partner is somebody who is constantly being like, can you stop commenting back and do not do that? Or just block them? Why are you putting this energy out there? But I’m like, No, in real life, you could never talk to me without getting a debate out of me, you could never do that. And I think one thing I learned from the view, it’s a version again, it’s like one of those versions of myself that I’m like, I’m so proud of you because like that’s not the everyday me. That’s the thing too, is that there’s a lot of parts that I’m like, There’s sometimes I do shitty things like, Oh, that’s not a true reflection of me. And there’s sometimes I do great things. I’m like, That is not who I am most of the time. So I think it’s it comes with both, like knowing that, like, I’m not my best self, I’m not my worst self. I’m somewhere in between. But I watched myself on the view and the way that I handled their negativity. I’m like, I wish I could do that all the time. Because it was with grace. And it was with understanding and it was understanding that they’re attacking from a personal place. And if I was more accepting that they were willing to mirror that slightly towards the end. And so that’s going forward how I like to address people, but for sure, I’m just as likely to call them a basement dwelling loser.
Alex Beadon 36:41
I love it. So how do you feel about being an influencer? I think, you know, you’ve been in this space for a long time, I’ve been using social media for a long time as well, way before, like being a YouTuber was ever a thing. And so for me, I’ve looked at how social media has come and I feel like it was a really sweet place. And now it has kind of turned into this hit or miss place where I’m I’m just seeing so many people use it for great things like you, I look at you. And I’m like, Yes, like you’re, you’re moving forward, you’re moving towards a purpose. And then I see other people and sometimes I’m just like, okay, but like, is this ego driven? Like, what’s the part? Like, there’s a depth, you know, so I’m curious about your thoughts on the landscape of being an influenza?
Shannon Boodram 37:25
I like it, I think that yeah, to your point, like the word kind of gets like wrapped up in flat tummy tea and hair vitamins, which I just did, actually recently. So I don’t know, I think I like it. It’s a beautiful word. It’s a really, really, if you just break it down into very honoring word. I used to do background in movies. And that’s what we were called background like, you know, like background onset. And that’s not a nice title. And when you break it down for what that means, it means like, you’re just you’re just in the background, like, we don’t want to see you, you we don’t want to experience you like, we don’t want to hear you for sure. Like we just want you to be somewhere behind. And the term influencer is really, really nice. So I mean, I feel all the things that you feel about it, but I’ve kind of come to sort of enjoy it in a way for what it is, even though it can feel a bit fruity. I don’t think it is for me, but it can feel that way. Yeah. Um,
Alex Beadon 38:18
so my next question for you is your video. My career is not a fairy tale for anyone listening. That video, I think is my favorite video that you’ve ever done, Michael, wow, not a fairy tale, I just absolutely loved how you showed up. And you were so honest. And basically, the premise of the video was that, you know, you’re not always experiencing all of the highs in your career that you wish you were experiencing. And you kind of spoke about, you know, what it really means to be successful. And you had this great analogy of like the waves and how there’s big waves and small waves. And so I would love for you to talk a little on that. Because I know there’s so many people who are dealing with rejection and who feel very discouraged that their business isn’t going the way that they wanted it to go. Their career is not going the way they wanted it to go. And I think a lot of people just give up. And what I love about you is that you always find the beauty in Okay, yeah, things aren’t going the way I want them to go. But like, I’m going to figure it out. And I’m just going to keep moving forward and kicking the ball. So talk to us a little bit about that.
Shannon Boodram 39:24
Yeah, I also think that that’s a part of our job is you have to constantly create a storyline, a narrative, and if there’s nothing happening for you, that’s something to talk about. And that’s a beautiful space about YouTube where it encourages that kind of honesty. And so there should always be something you can create whenever you’re stumped for like I have nothing to say nothing to contribute, that’s what you have to contribute. And so I think when I go to those videos, like you know, Does God hate me and I have a bunch of them that are kind of like that, that are you know how to get naked and when they’re all coming from a space of like, nothing is going good. So like let’s talk about that. Nothing is And that’s a big part of the career that we’re in. Like right now. I am on the show I’m on Facebook’s makeup or breakup. It’s my first series I’ve done so many pilots are so many one off projects, or short term, I worked for MTV as guide to series last year, which again was it was great or full screen, of course. But there’s short term series of like a month, and you shoot and it’s over. Whereas in this show is my first like, six month job like I’ve never had that before. I’m I’m on it from September to February. So for this next six months, I don’t have to feel that sense of like, what’s next, or what am I doing. But in February, I’m very likely to be like, now what because what happens is when we’re working in, we’re on projects, and we’re being productive, we feel really great and energized. But it’s not as if we are, I don’t even know Julia Roberts, where we come off one set and go to the next, if you try to book Will Smith, he’s booked for the next three years. And that’s not the truth. For most creatives, most creatives, you have these really quick spurts. And it’s like I used the analogy of kicking a ball that you’re trying to get to the other side of the field, that you just want that ball to keep rolling, because you’re carrying so much, and it’s very, very exhausting for you. And so you kick the ball and you watch it roll you like, yes, it’s gonna make the other side. And then it stops. And you’d have to pick up all of your stuff, including your pride, your baggage is your home, whatever your relationship, walk towards that ball again, and kick it again. And then you hoping it’s gonna roll this time, but it only goes one more foot, and you got to do the whole thing all over again. And that’s exhausting. But that’s a part of the work that we do. And I was saying to my friend, Ari, one of the things that I kind of realized about life in general is that we’re expecting to have these great years, and we’re expecting to have these great careers and like is really, you know, our 20s to be amazing. I’m like, it doesn’t work that way. You start off having good days, or good day. I’ve had an act 2012 I had one incredible day that year where I was booked on set, I shot this pilot for one day, it was magical. And the rest of the year sucked. No, not subdue. Of course I wasn’t, it was great. I was healthy, everything’s great. But I just mean, in terms of my career, nothing else happened. And the following year, maybe I had one good week, one good week that like of the 52 of the year that I actually felt like I was in my purpose. And then the following year after that, maybe I had three weeks, and then it was a month. And then maybe I had one good quarter. Last year, I had a good six months. And then six months, I was like, What am I doing? How am I making money? What’s my purpose. And this year, I’ve kind of had a good nine months, you know, it’s been a really full situation. Now next year, I can go back to one day, who knows how it goes. But hopefully I’m building up to having a good year and then having good years, but it took time. And part of momentum isn’t like I do one thing. And now everything is great, which for some people it is. But for a lot of people momentum is like you have to really get close to see it. It’s happening on a microscopic level. It’s not even happening in the form of a ball rolling, it’s even like it’s electrons are slowly moving forward. It’s particles that are like inch by inch. It’s cells that are building, it’s slow, but it is happening. And after some time the momentum starts to get faster. I think that if we all have in the back of our mind that we’re not owed a good year, and it could take some time and if we love the process, and it’s a lot easier to stick it through.
Alex Beadon 43:18
And was that? Did it take you a long time to learn that like was it? Did you always have like this inner knowing that it’s just something you have to accept and just keep rolling with? Or is that something you’ve really had to work on as time has gone?
Shannon Boodram 43:30
Oh, hell no. You You saw me complain. So many tears, so many complaints. And it’s like, even right now watch my partner. He is a rapper. And so his career like he’s just getting started like with labels, he writes hooks for different rappers and like has is producing and just getting his you know, those those days at this point, there’s good days happening and great meetings that happened that would nothing following up. And there’s so much sensitivity and just rawness around his career. And I almost try to be that person that I want to be for myself four years ago who whispered in my ear is going to be okay, I try and be that for him. But it goes to that point, like you really cannot connect the dots looking forward. And it’s so easy for me now to say that I make. I’m in the top five percentile of income in America. And it’s easy for me to be like oh, you know, it all will work out and just keep working. And it’s all great because I’m here so it’s easy to say that when you’re in it, it’s you cannot tell that person that you can because it’s like nice to in the back of your mind. But even when you are that person you’re like that’s going to work for you but not me because you still have that doubt and you have no idea if it will ever come together so you can tell yourself those things. It’s nice to hear and I definitely tried to create as many of those quotables for myself or little life lessons. It’s not until you’re out of it that you actually get to sit in those sayings and those mantras and know that they are our true to them. But it’s no no no no no at the time I’m all tears and everything is the worst and I’m constantly like looking for jobs in the newspaper because I think I’m never Ready to work again. That’s where I’m that usually.
Alex Beadon 45:02
I love it. And I love that in those videos, you just show up and you’re like this format is so open and honest. And I think that’s just so I just love that about you so much. How do you balance growth in business with growth in like his, from all of the videos I’ve watched, like you seem super career driven, and purpose driven. But at the same time, you have the self awareness about like, what life is all about and enjoying your relationships and being in your body and yourself. So I’m curious for what that’s like for you. How do you balance growth and business being a hustler with the flow of life?
Shannon Boodram 45:39
What’s really dope about my job is that they’re both the same. And they’re like, every time that for example, yesterday, my makeup or breakup show, and I’m, it’s my job and to what I’m doing, but it’s like, there’s some things there. A lot of that is intimacy, building and intimacy, education, I’m learning things, we had this model that I’ve never heard of before, which is child, the child child to parent and adult to adult, which is the three ways that we should interact with each other within a relationship. And there has to be a balance. I’m like, Oh, I don’t know that. I’ve never heard of that before. So I’m always learning. I’m listening to audiobooks, I’m reading content, I’m meeting amazing people and having conversations with psychologists or therapists who I’m like, You have such beautiful insight. So I know I’m, like really fortunate to be in the space of, I think, I don’t know, whenever people tell me, they wanted to follow my footsteps and do what I do. I’m like, You should. It’s incredible. It’s awesome. It’s so fulfilling. And it doesn’t just help me in my romantic relationships, it helps me when I go and buy a piece of pizza, it helps me in my interactions with my bosses. Knowing how to connect with people is an invaluable tool that has furthered my life and every single aspect. There are some things like I’m not great, I’m awful at finance. You know, I’m awful at a lot of adulting things. I don’t think about cars. So I mean, for sure, my life has not allowed me to develop in areas I think would be useful for somebody my age. But in terms of just having a pleasant life and connecting with people and working well and cooperation based society, like I owe that all to the research that I’ve done. And that happens to be what I get paid to
Alex Beadon 47:12
do. That’s so cool. So you and your partner, Jared are both go getters. And I love his music. By the way, I had him on my Spotify, I was so high on Spotify to begin with. I was like, This is so cool. But so yeah, you’re both go getters. You’re chasing your dreams, you’re trying to make things happen. How do you balance that hustler energy between the two of you with actually making quality time for each other? I’m really curious about that dynamic that you guys have.
Shannon Boodram 47:39
It’s so crazy. Because in my previous relationship, I used to hate talking about work, I hated it. I’m like, can we please talk about anything else, because we just didn’t really see eye to eye on a lot. And I had a partner at the time who was very critical. And so I just it brought a lot of arguments. And I was like, I want to work with you like it’s just like, and so I developed this notion that like an ever more romantic relationship, I really want to separate work from it, because it just doesn’t feel comfortable. And I would hear couples who work together and be like, oh, like, how do you do that that just sounds like a recipe for disaster. But when I look back might know that that that relationship was disaster, like it didn’t need any extra help or additives. It wasn’t work. It wasn’t sex, it wasn’t any one thing, it was all of it. Whereas now it’s like, it’s a natural part of me. And so I need to find a partner who like that naturally makes sense that I can share that with I think that works for both of us. Like we had, we had a guest at our house for the past week was his producer from out of town. And so we just barely got a lot of time together. And so after my show, we came home and went for dinner and like the things that we’re talking about our dreams and our goals and like what we want next for the future. And like tomorrow, let’s plan this out. And let’s do this. And so it’s kind of like it’s our both it’s both of who we are. And so I think it’s a natural extension of what we want to share with each other. And it wouldn’t work for me with a partner who didn’t, you know, come from that same space, who didn’t just want to come home and play video games, who didn’t just want to come home and turn off and not think about work, I eat, sleep and breathe. And I remember, you know, in my past relationship, I was out for dinner and I got an email and it was on my phone. And he was like, you don’t have to do that right now. Like, you don’t have to do that. You can just be in the moment. And I’m like, no, no, no, this is me being in the moment. Because like, this excites me. And I would want my partner to be excited about what excites me. It’s like not take that personal look at that as as a choice of you or that it’s like, I can take this news and share it with you and we can have another discussion and elevate the energy level between us because we’re excited about our future that we’re building and it just, it didn’t work, you know, so I think it’s a lot of I credit that to just picking somebody whom I think is a better fit for me. But for sure, I mean, there’s times it’s just knowing when the time is right. There’s times we’re just having sexy time. There’s times when you’re just turning off watching a movie. There’s times when you’re joking around with each other but a large percentage of our relationship is we are each other’s like school counselors. We are each other’s there. peers, we are each other’s managers. And I think that that’s a joyful place to our relationship, not something that we feel like we have to manage at all.
Alex Beadon 50:10
I love that. And I love you. I know you guys had a YouTube channel, and it’s kind of put on pause right now, but I just used to love looking at the videos of you guys together, it’s just so great to see two people who seem to be on the same page and who have such a deep respect for each other.
Shannon Boodram 50:27
So awesome, thank you. Well, I know you get it too. It’s it’s like, I think that’s part of it, too, is like you, there has to be a balance, you know, when you’re doing this, like what’s making a return. And for both of us were like, this is cool. But the amount of work we’re gonna have to put into this to make it something is not something that either one of us want to take away from our main things like, I want to channel that reaches 300,000. You know, I want to grow and get new projects, I want to write a book next year. And this YouTube channel, if you could help it great, but it actually needs a lot of help. And that will be time and taking away from those dreams that I have that to be honest, are bigger dreams. And so it was like an experiment to see if it would grow really quickly. And we always want to do those like, because sometimes you just you hit gold, right? And if you started doing beauty videos, they started hitting goals, like okay, let me do this. But if you start doing beauty videos, I always say to creatives to so many creatives were like I’m you know, I’m really struggling in music. I think I might try YouTubing I’m like that’s not easier. It’s not as if that there’s not an easier choice. Like if you’re struggling there, it’s going to be the same work somewhere else. So we can try it out. Like if you want to see like, Oh, what if I started rapping would I become popular in a month. And if after a month, I wasn’t popular, I’d like you know, I’ll go back to doing sex education, because that’s hard. But this is hard, too. So I think we were just trying to see if it would be something that was like a overnight success. And when we knew it wasn’t going to be we’re both like not, we’re not ready to do the work for that. And I think that that’s an important thing for creative to be able to do. You can take risks, but you have to know when to pull out and when to do that quickly. And I think that quitting and learning how to quit is something that has taken me some time to pick up and I’m actually really proud of that skill set. Oh,
Alex Beadon 52:09
I love that. You said that so much. Because so often we feel like we’re almost married to the projects that we’ve committed ourselves to. And I just love that you’re just like, Yeah, it’s cool to quit, if it’s not working, if it’s not generating whatever it was that you wanted it to like cut your losses and move on.
Shannon Boodram 52:25
I like quit all the time. I am like I’m queen quitter. I started doing podcasting, like daily podcasting in you know, a few months ago. And then like a few, two, three months later, I’m like, this is not working. And I quit. But why did you stop doing that? Because it wasn’t what I wasn’t getting the results I expected and it was like becoming a mental drain for me. And don’t get me wrong, I get that persistence and consistency and you know, investment. But I’m like I do that already on other areas. Like I don’t have any more grind in me if it was going to be easy. Great. It’s not cool. I’m done with that.
Alex Beadon 52:56
Yeah, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Okay, cool. Um, lastly, I really want to talk to you about how you really take care of yourself. So self care, I want to talk about any daily practices that you have that really support you and your growth. So yeah, can you talk to us a little bit about that?
Shannon Boodram 53:18
Yeah, I mean, I’m again, I’m like, really? Yesterday, we were going for dinner and walking, and Joe made some kind of comment about how hard it is and how hard this time is. And I’m like, Yeah, but we still get to because we were watching we’re walking with this restaurant called Catch and catch is like all SUVs and like fancy cars. We should go inside I’m like nah, like I’m not in the mood I wasn’t in the mood for like, do you have reservations? Or like are you drink and get turned away? It was wasn’t in that mode. And it’s like, oh man is this like this thing is like so hard so much rotate. There’s so much this and I was like, Yeah, but like we’re still going out for dinner. Like, at this time, we’re still gonna wake up tomorrow whenever we want. Like, I’m still going to be able to like work out first or do something cool or talk to Alex like, I think that self care for me is just being able to choose what I want to do shit. Whatever that is like choose when I want to shower choose when I want to chill, choose when I want to take an afternoon nap what I want to wake up. I mean, obviously, some days I don’t have that choice because I have you know, a gig to go to. But by and large like I don’t have a nine to five or, and there’s benefits nine to five, you get to go on vacation. You know, you get to come home from work and not worry about it. You got to have structure. There’s there’s two sides that I never looked down at either one because I know. I know keenly. There’s some personalities that are fit for one and not fit for the other. I’m not fit for a nine to five. Mostly because I’m not like good at being. I’m like I’m good at working with people. I’m not going to work in under people. Right? And I’m like somebody who like if you put certain hours on me I’ll just find myself feeling very tired. So I just think I don’t always think self care is self care isn’t the life that I’ve created for myself. It’s like not even necessarily because I’m I have to go out of my way to do because I’ve spent so much time creating a career that is enjoyable for me that gives me the flexibility that I want. I’ve spent time investing in learning relationships and intimacy and and being able to select a partner, who at this time brings out the best in me and has created exponential growth for me, both emotionally and like monetarily like I’ve, since we’ve been together, I’ve gone from struggling to pay for rent to like, being able to pay other people’s rent and being able to be a contributor, my family in a way that I didn’t envision before. So I think that self care is just like, I don’t know, it’s an everything that I do. I don’t do anything. I do things that I hate, like taxes and shit. But by and large, it’s like a majority of my life is doing things that I enjoy. So I don’t really have to go out of my way to say, Okay, now it’s time for Shannon, because most of my life is like things that, you know, Shannon loves. Oh, I love that
Alex Beadon 55:48
so much. You have no idea. Awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Okay, so I have a few questions that I asked everyone at the end of an interview. So let’s dive in. What is one thing you do that has been a non negotiable in keeping your career successful and on track?
Shannon Boodram 56:05
Alex Beadon 56:07
share one mindset that every creative needs to succeed?
Shannon Boodram 56:12
Do not connect the dots looking forward, you can only do it looking backwards. Looking forward, you just have to believe in this quote, let me see if I’m right. No, it’s not. It’s a Steve Jobs quote. I will pull it out. Anyways, it’s a Steve Jobs quote that basically says that, like, at some point, you got to just believe in something, you have to have a vision and just go for it. Don’t expect for everything to fall into place first, before you have that thing. And so you cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only do it looking backwards. So don’t try to assume that if you do this, that that will happen. Because it probably won’t. And you’re going to be devastated if you tell yourself that it will. I love
Alex Beadon 56:49
that so much because it also required it sparks a trust in you that this is taking you in the right direction even if you can’t see it. That’s beautiful. Um, so these are fill in the blank questions. So the world would be a better place if more people knew themselves. That’s good. The book that changed my life was
Shannon Boodram 57:10
the social animal by David Brooks.
Alex Beadon 57:13
That’s a check that one out I’ve never read it. And last question off the top of your head. Who would you like to see me interview next? Oprah thank you so much, Shannon. I love you so much. And I’m just so happy that we got to talk today. I feel like people are gonna listen to this and take so much out of it. So thank you so much.
Shannon Boodram 57:37
Congratulations on starting your podcast and all your ventures congratulations on interviewing Oprah who knows when I’m not saying the next one. But I definitely think that that’s where you’re heading. Thank you. You’re just been awesome. Such a great uplifting lights. I appreciate this interview.
Alex Beadon 57:52
Thank you so much. Have a wonderful weekend.
Shannon Boodram 57:54
Bye You too. Bye girl.
Alex Beadon 57:55
Bye bye. Thank you so much for tuning into the on purpose podcast and I really hope that you had as much of a blast as we did. If you liked what you heard and want even more, make sure you leave a review because it really helps support what I do here on the podcast. All you have to do is search the podcast app for the on purpose podcast, select it then scroll down until you see write a review and then type away at the beginning of the next episode. I will be picking one review one special review My favorite review of the week and I will be reading it out for all of you guys so you definitely don’t want to miss out on that. I hope you really enjoy your week and I will see you guys again next time stay on purpose.