Robbie Abed dreaded some Mondays in 2019 so much that he slept in his closet on Sunday night. Literally.
The main reason? Overworking. A practice so many of us can relate to.
But why? Why do we overwork so much? And how do we stop?
Robbie is an executive ghostwriter and author of the book Fire Me I Beg You. We met many years ago when he was having 250 coffee meetings in 400 days in Chicago.
In this episode, we chat about:
- The reasons Robbie overworked in 2019 and how they could have been prevented
- The importance of finding a happy place to disconnect
- How to overcome the feeling that you have to dedicate every waking hour to achieving your goals
- The email that inspired him to write his book Fire Me I Beg You
- What he learned from 250 coffee meetings in 400 days
- How he got people to open up to him after he realized people were starting to tell him things they probably shouldn’t be telling him
- Why he scheduled this podcast interview 4 months in the future from when I initially emailed him
- How our overworking affects our children
- The new book Robbie is writing about small talk
- Robbie’s new idea for a podcast recorded at 4am
Transcript with Robbie Abed
Hi, I’m Tim. Welcome to We’re Only Human. This is a podcast celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit. By exploring journeys of people from all walks of life. They’re often little nuggets of wisdom, we can find an another person story that we can then apply to our own lives. We’re not perfect, we’re not alone, we’re only human.
Today I’m joined by Robbie Abed. He’s a husband, son, Father, author of the book called fire me. I beg you also an executive ghostwriter. The name fire me, I beg you, I want to talk about that because I love that.
But one of the the main things that I saw, I’m on your your email mail list, and I think it was the beginning of 2020. You had sent out an email about the good, the bad, the ugly of kind of your 2019. And there was this quote that just stopped me in my tracks. You said the overworking caused a lot more problems, including not being able to spend time with my wife and children. I literally slept in the closet. It’s a big closet on Sunday nights because I could have faced Mondays when I read that. I was like, why I got to understand more about that. So first of all, thank you for joining me here. I appreciate it.
Robbie Abed 1:59
I like that. Let’s start with the psychological issues Robbie…
Let’s get right to it!
Robbie Abed 2:04
Right. It’s gonna be a great therapy session. Perfect. Yeah.
You don’t read that every day. I mean, first of all you being you know, so open about that and yeah, so so kind, but you don’t you don’t read. You know something? Yeah, yeah, I don’t I mean, it’s the first time I’ve ever come across someone saying, hey, things were so bad. I slept in the closet. Yeah. What what was, so let’s go back. So the overworking like what what happened in 2019. That leads you to sleep in the closet.
Robbie Abed 2:36
Yes. It’s a good lead in. So what, yeah, good question. I you know, what’s interesting is one is I talk a lot about overworking. You know, before I even wrote that, so it’s kind of like, if anyone knows what overworking it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s me. And so I think what what happened, you know, with that, and there’s a great quote of overworking and I’ll get into that.
Don’t set yourself on fire to make someone else warm. And that’s that’s that that’s that’s stuck with me for a long time. When I recognize that I’m overworking and so last year you know business was going really well.
Like many other people have I have a hard time with saying no, no, no I can do that or no that deadline should be next week and not tomorrow morning. I just I’m I’m just so used to delivering you know, yes the habit of since I started working it’s like I I’m not I don’t really miss deadlines much. And and so I just I just got this have last year of just of not saying no, and you know, still doing work.
So getting paid for it. But if I didn’t get work done on Sunday, okay. Then like my Sunday night, I was just like freaking out about Monday. And, and that’s really what happens. I was so afraid that I wasn’t wasn’t getting ready for Monday. Yeah, like my whatever things I need to get done. Yeah, that’s my whole week was was, was screwed.
And so that was the crux of is I just got so used to working on Sunday that like say if I didn’t like, you know, I we had people coming over on Sunday, you know for like 6pm to 10%. Like, I would flip out, like internally going, oh man, like I can’t get it done so so that’s what led to the like anxiety on Sunday nights and and I just couldn’t handle us I was like I needed in the in the recent sleeping in the closet was the only places that I would have any light. And so it’s like I ended up dropping it because there was just no, there’s no light in there. It’s just easier for me to sleep. It was just like something different.
Yeah, so you were even I mean, it was hard to fall asleep. So you need to kind of a change of environment.
Robbie Abed 4:55
It changed environment and like I said it’s a big closet. You know, it’s like it It’s uh, it doesn’t excuse me from sleeping in the closet. Yeah. When my wife, my wife wakes up, she’s like, Where? Where are you? And I’m like, she’ll be like, What? Oh, you’re in the closet like what’s wrong with like, Oh, it’s it’s, it’s Monday, I forgot. It’s like it became like a ritual.
That you described when people come over Sunday nights and then like, you would start to think, Oh, I have all this work to do it would it like, take you because I’ve experienced this before. I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this. But when you’re thinking about something, either a passion project or work related or something, and you’re thinking, oh, I’ve got to get this done by this time, and I thought I was gonna do it this night.
And now that you’re entertaining, let’s say, was it the case where like your mind was almost not able to be present in the moment with those that came over? Because you’re thinking about, well, how am I going to get this done now and how am I going to rearrange my schedule or stay up later?
Robbie Abed 5:59
Yeah, that’s That’s exactly what happened. I think what happened was every hour that passed by, I started thinking, Man, this is an hour. I couldn’t be getting work done.
Yeah. Oh, I’ve been there. How do you get away from that?
Robbie Abed 6:13
Well, for me how I get away is I go to Thailand. Thailand, so like in my one of my reviews, if you read this three, four years ago, but we go to Thailand every year, and so I go for like, at least a month. And for me, and if you’ve ever been in Thailand, like the most expensive part about Thailand, is getting to Thailand, like and once you’re there everything is it’s fine. So I’ll take my family in three years ago, we went for six months. We go for at least a month Thailand’s like the only place for me again, again, it’s an environment thing, where I, I could be in a place and not worry about work. type of you know, I’m like, I’m not cocky, like overachieved like, I’m on. I’m on the beach.
I’m doing things and it’s like It’s the only place I’ve figured out where I can just go and I know that I won’t have like these demons going, maybe should keep working. Maybe we’re not doing enough, you know, instead of going maybe it’s just go to the beach. Maybe this isn’t worth it, you know? Yeah. And so one is it’s find your happy place. That’s my recommendation for anyone. And into it’s, you know, I I started actually seeing like a like a therapist like it was more like a business coach slash therapist and that helped me a lot like I didn’t think wasn’t helped me at all.
But once I hired this lady and I wrote about it, I think I wrote about in that post itself, things are changing from your own going well, actually, maybe I don’t need to do this. And I think that’s and the first thing when you overworking is figure out like Why? Why I’m over because it gets it becomes a habit. And you have to say like why why am overworking like what What happens if I missed a deadline? What happens if I, if I say No, you know what I mean? Yeah. And I’ve just gotten better at that. But it’s hard to break that habit.
Yeah,it is. I’m glad you brought up because I also like, I only the idea of therapy I’ve never experienced in my life, and only in the past, like two years that I start doing therapy. And it’s not that I didn’t believe in it, or was it just I never had a reason. And also I had a reason and then I like fell in love with it. It’s just this idea that like, talking to someone, it sounds so silly, but like, they’re really and I know there’s psychological like studies backing this up.
But there really is something to just saying things out loud to somebody. Yeah. And then finding pieces that you never realize existed and you know, you’re rearranging the puzzle and all of a sudden it’s just, I’m smiling. Yeah, it’s amazing because it’s such a simple concept, right? Like, grab another human, preferably someone who’s skilled and listening and talk to them. And all of a sudden that you will get out of this rut probably and you will be able to progress and you’re like, Well, yeah, that makes sense. Why did I try that before?
Robbie Abed 9:14
And with my, with my therapist, I mean, she, she was, she was phenomenal. Me. We spoke every once every two weeks. And like, the, like, the fourth session, I’m kind of like, okay, like, I’m good. Like, I’m, I feel like I’m fixed. You know, I went in with like, not a huge problem, you know, and I was like, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna just gonna try this, you know? And then but I remember going the fourth like, I’m, you know, I’m things are good.
I’ve made it’s like huge adjustments. And then like, I’m like, I’m wondering like, what, what possibly else? Yes. Is this lady gonna, you’re gonna, you know, gonna help cover. You know, by the end of the session. I’m like, crying Oh, my God, I can’t even believe I didn’t think of that. I was like it. So which reminds me probably we should probably should re sign up for those sessions. But yeah, it is amazing. When you When you tie things back for so long of how did this habit start? And how do I stop it? Which is basically how I approached it?
Yeah. your happy place Thailand. How did you? I’m curious. Like how did that become this place where you were almost saved from your own overworking anxiety and all that, like it became this this comfortable home? Was there like the first time you went some association with it? or?
Robbie Abed 10:28
Yeah, that’s a good question. I, you know, I don’t I when I started my career, I traveled all the time for work. I was a consultant for, you know, for Accenture, and I traveled every week. And I just always told myself every time I went to one of these places, like, you know, could I live here forever, you know, so like, every time was like vacation sunrise. Yeah, like I go to like Hawaii, like, what can I actually like, live here, you know, and so when we went to Thailand, for the first time, just me, my wife for my kids. It was the first place I go, I could live here.
You know, I mean it’s and, and the several things just because the weather, the food, the cost of living, you know, I could still pay my mortgage here. And whatever expenses, I have fixed fees and still live in Thailand and still live like a king and still saving money, you know, all said and done you know, I mean even even the mortgage back home so it was like, and then when that happened I was like, Oh, this is this is phenomenal.
And when I found you know there’s a school like an international school for my children there. I was like, wait so I can bring my kids there. It’s a it’s a safe environment. We were we were we were in Thailand. In Paquette it was it was safe, you know, much safer than like a Bangkok.
And so people think well, that’s crazy. I’m like, well, like once you’re there. It’s like, this isn’t crazy at all. I started thinking maybe, just maybe this is the way it should be. You know what I mean? Like yeah Yeah, so, but we’re, you know, we’re habits of nature.
So we in the back, yeah, you know, back in the same suburb where you family, this type of thing. But that Thailand was that place for me. I was like, I can do this, you know. And so and once I was there I was like, you know, I my LSA my ambition went away. But and in sort of a sense it did. But it just it just relaxes me right. I was just, I was just happy all day.
You’re almost able to pause it sounds like and every day,
Robbie Abed 12:31
Right. Yeah, I can work out. There’s just a credit. My wife loves it. My kids love it. You know. And so all that combined, which is like, like, bring a family here for months at a time and not miss a thing back home.
What a great experience and tradition for your kids to know. Even just gonna be once a year for a little bit. I’m sure they look forward to that.
Robbie Abed 12:54
Yeah, my oldest daughter, my youngest son has no idea where we were. I always thought I was so ambitious. Only five now but she’s still she still remembers you know like the beach and the things she said she’s in the either in the beach or swimming every day. Which is like her dream. Yeah, it’s the middle of December January and she’s swimming in the beach 90 degree weather. Of course she’s like why would I do anything else?
I love that what more would a kid want? Yeah.
Robbie Abed 13:24
Why are we here and the only reason I’m here is because the quarantine but otherwise we would have we would have been there for you know, we had a five week trip planned.
Oh, gosh. Well, hopefully once the pandemics all said and done, you’ll be able to head back soon.
Robbie Abed 13:36
Yeah, that’s the first place we’re going.
So, this Fire Me I Beg You. I love this title of the book. And I know I obviously Well, I would imagine part of the title comes from it’s a great marketing it gets people’s attention. But the I beg you part is the part that to me says this is more than just a you know quit your job and Live Your Passion type question. First of all, don’t get me wrong, it’s important. But I beg you part suggests this is bad. Like, not bad. Not a bad book. But this is like a bad situation I’m in. What? Where did this book come from? Like, what inspired you to write a book called Fire Me I Beg, You.
Robbie Abed 14:15
You know, it’s funny. It’s actually around the time that you and I met is, is when I when I came up with this concept, so they’re on like the tech Nori days. Remember that? I think when you were doing entrepreneurism blog, I think we met that time, I took 12. So I just at that time, I just quit my job, became an entrepreneur. And, you know, starting myself involved in Chicago network. I told myself as I left, I was I was gonna write a blog post every single day. And so I had no concept No, no content, strategy or plan.
I’m just gonna put my own website, my own domain name. I just, I just published a blog post every day, you know, five days a week basically. But I forced myself to write it So there was one day where I’m writing, I’m forcing myself to write no idea what to write. I’m like, I just have to write anything, you know. And I wrote this post called in last I called it fire me, I beg you, and the post, it was like 600 words, which was, I wanted my boss to fire me, you know, but she didn’t, you know, and I thought she was gonna fire me.
When I got the email invite, like, you know, 12am that four sets and the invites had to catch up. And when I got that invite going, man, she, she’s gonna fire me for sure. Like, you know, my boss doesn’t send these type of emails, there’s no description.
So I get in the office going, you know, I hope she doesn’t fire me. But, you know, I got this little demon behind me going, please just end my misery. I hate this place. I want to become an entrepreneur. I want to do something else, you know, fire me, I beg you, you know, please just end it. And then she just wanted to catch up. So I wrote this post called fire me, I beg you, I publish it on Hacker News, like I did with all of them expecting literally no one to you know, click the up vote button, I left the office.
And then like 30 minutes, 45 minutes later, my phone is like going crazy. And I look it was like the top posts in Hacker News. Then I was like, wow, people actually, like relate to this. And so I actually bought the domain name. And then maybe like, three, four years later, I published the book called fire me, I beg you, and the foundation was that story.
But then it just led into you know, my journey, and you know, how to figure out you know, what you want to do with your life. Then yeah, so that was that was the concept I published it. You know, built a fan base from there. And and what’s interesting about it, there’s a lot of tension in that name. You didn’t mean it’s one of those things right related to this, this book is that when you see the title You either get it or you don’t.
And the people that don’t get it, really don’t get it, you know, like they’ve never even encountered anything like that. But the people that get it like, it’s just like they’re just transpired by this, this, you know, this this post this the name in the book, and this sort of takes off from there. I just get emails, I still get emails people tell me all caps Robbie, I just got fired.
Like it was like, thank you. I was like, okay, you know, that’s an odd thing. But sure, yeah, congratulations on being fired, you know, but that’s what people what I what I realized after writing through writing is that people want to get fired. They truly truly, some people just want to get fired, but they don’t. You know, they don’t quit. They just need some they need to get permission to leave. And so I just basically inspire people that are on the edge of quitting and if you’re not on the edge, Then this book is meaningless to you.
It’s interesting that the we just said about people want permission, because that’s what I was thinking, like, I can understand the scenario where you desire to move on and do something else. But you feel like, well, if someone else pushes me, and I’m forced to write, I’m fired from my job, well, then I have to, but otherwise, well, I don’t have to go do that. And so I imagine people look for that permission that you said.
Robbie Abed 18:30
Right, or, you know, I don’t have to I don’t want to disappoint them. I got projects. Do ya see, there’s a lot of like, I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to disappoint this person. You know, so you just get in this rattle. I have a lease, I can’t leave the lease, you know, but as soon as someone takes that lease away or your job away, you start thinking, wow, maybe I could do something else. This quarantine, I think we’re gonna see a lot of people saying who have a lot more time with their hands going in and they get laid off saying maybe I should do something else.
So I think we’re gonna see a big shift in and careers and how people are approaching things. Even my tenant, my tenant, unfortunately can’t renew because she lost her job. But she’s moving to San Francisco. Because now she has the opportunity to you know, do something different. I wouldn’t be moving San Francisco cuz that’s probably the most expensive place to move after losing a job but hey, you know that but again, you know, yeah, that’s that’s the voice that she wanted to move to. So that’s fine.
I yeah, I can I I love San Francisco. I was there last summer. My friend lived there and he since moved to Australia, but I remember him telling me about the cost of living and just it’s such a beautiful city, especially in the summer. But when I was hearing some of these numbers of the cost of living and rent and mortgage and I thought oh, I just know
Robbie Abed 19:50
It’s insanity when I got when I did a lot of work in Chicago and I got an offer to work in California. You know, when I was like negotiating pay, you know, And the pay was like, Oh yeah, I’ll give an extra 15% I was like, Okay, thank you. I did one Google search and I going with a 15% raise. If I move with everything’s said and done. I’m going to lose money. It’s like It’s like you’ve you’ve punished me. Yeah. And so I just had did a call I just did cost of living adjustment. And but yeah, it’s living normally it’s it’s insanity.
You mentioned around 2012 might have been when we met when you were helping out with tech Nori, which was an amazing event series here in Chicago and then I ran my own event series called entrepreneurs unplugged. Was that when you did you did like 250 Coffee meetings in like, just over a year.
Was it was it then in what was the was this to kind of I love this because I’m a big fan of networking, and just getting to know others just connecting and over time. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. Writing other people on this planet. You took that to kind of an extreme, but I guess I kind of like that. What was the impetus behind doing that? 250 club meetings and 400 days, I think.
Robbie Abed 21:09
Yeah. And I think the impetus was I quit my job. So this is after the fire man beg you incident. But it is great. It’s right. Yeah. But before the book was created, I left you know, the, the, I guess the enterprise technology community, like the consulting community, you know, and became an entrepreneur with no real plan of how I was gonna make money or whatever, I just just want to sort of be free.
And then when I when I quit, I realized like, I don’t know anybody, like all the people that I knew, they they have jobs and they’re just in their own little world. They’re not, you know, they’re doing things Monday through Friday. You know, they’re not working anything new. They’re not creating if he knew Yeah, same thing in that, and I that’s why I’m like, I don’t know anyone.
So I was like, I need to start meeting people, like quickly without really any expectations or knowledge of what I was expecting from, you know, like, I didn’t have a coffee meeting trying to sell them anything. I was just like, hey, let’s just connect and see how we can help each other. And so through through tech Nori, I was able through this event series, I was able to meet, you know, people like yourself, people that were pitching, you know, companies that are pitching and keynotes.
And after every after I sort of trained them how to get this, give these talks. I said, Hey, do you want to have coffee? Yeah. And then we’re, like, 90% of them. Okay, let’s catch up. And so I just started doing that. Just, I mean, I had like four or five coffee meetings a day sometimes.
And I just kept doing him doing them and doing them. And then when I was all sort of, like, I guess, quote, unquote, done, I go, Wow, I was a lot of coffee meetings, you know, and so, I just sort of continue that tradition. I don’t, I don’t take 250 anymore. I might, you know, I might do the post quarantine.
But a fantastic experience. And it’s it’s paid off in, in dividend just through relationships and business and things like that. But I highly recommend it. For anyone that’s like looking just immerse themselves in a new city with with knowing nobody. So, but yeah, that was the impetus of it. I just didn’t know anybody. And I needed to figure out how.
Yeah, that makes complete sense. Were there any like? Were there any big themes that kind of came out of that or big learnings? Because that’s a lot of data points in a short amount of time. So I imagine there had to have been some trends you saw or themes that kind of came out of that.
Robbie Abed 23:43
Yeah, I think you know, what’s interesting is well, one is I’m actually writing a book on on small talk. And it’s doing the 250 Coffee meetings was a big inspiration of that just through the learnings of it. Is, is that so a few things I learned is how do we get people to like, open up to me? Sure. I mean, it because I started realizing randomly that people would just start telling me things they probably shouldn’t be telling me.
Like, really personal things and people who just met and I started questioning like, why how does this happen? And a lot of it was just to the coffee meetings of being able to put someone’s guard down. You like when you meet somebody? Like how do you establish that they you could tell me anything? Like I’m you’re like, um, you’re your best friend type of thing,
And you have that kind of feel that vibe to you like you’re a very personable, very, it’s in the cadence of your you know, your voice and your speech. Like it’s a very comforting feeling like you’re not you’re a very warm like diving in person. Well, yeah, with your speech.
I mean, the moment we started talking I don’t know the last time we’ve talked, you know, voice voice to voice as we call it. Right, right. But immediately you don’t I mean, like, I couldn’t feel like I could just start talking to you. So I would, I could see where people would just start, you know, maybe unloading things that you didn’t expect them to.
Robbie Abed 25:13
Yeah, and I think a big part is, is that, you know, the themes I saw for this call for meetings is, one is that the people that have coffee meetings, or that were really open, sort of had several coffee meetings, you know, they’re all entrepreneurs and, and they, for the most part, stayed entrepreneurs, like you still, you know, still aren’t entrepreneurial and things that you do, and everyone that I’ve had coffee with are still pretty much entrepreneurial.
People don’t change much, you know. And so that that was a big thing was that people are the people have a coffee with are still, you know, pursuing, like, you know, bigger things. Some people have stayed with the same subject or topic that they’ve that they’ve always had.
But that that was a big theme and when it comes to just like talking to people and getting people to open up, you know, a big thing that I’ve always tried to do is, you know, when I, when I lower people’s guards, like how do I actually do that? Like, what is the secret to that? One is actual coffee itself, it’s like a, you know, it gets you going, you know, so it’s a good thing, it’s a good thing to have like coffee just makes you want to open up, it’s like a little cozy place.
But he was like, is through just, uh, you know, just the authenticity of me just opening up. So either like through my writing or whatever is that people like, Oh, I can tell this guy anything, you know, type of thing. But I establish a lot but you know, when I want to lower somebody’s guard is by telling them something about myself that maybe I shouldn’t tell them, you know?
And, and once I sort of establish like, I’m telling you things about me, you know, then they start opening up to me like, Okay, well, here’s actually like, what’s, what’s happening because I recognize you’ve also been through that.
And so I’m not saying like, it’s like a trick I use, you know, but it’s like I get I get them comfortable with opening up and that’s how we have Have a better conversation. I’m not trying to hypnotize them or anything, but we have like, he would have a much better conversation. He likes a very human conversation because I’m allowing them to just just open up.
Yeah, it’s not a trick. It’s just simply you’re putting something out there. That’s probably vulnerable. And you know, you’re opening the door so to speak, you’re saying, Hey, I’m comfortable sharing with you if you’re comfortable sharing back, I’m open to it.
Robbie Abed 27:27
Yeah, cuz if I have coffee with you, like, please tell me something interesting. You know me.
Yeah, exactly. You’re gonna take the time to connect and, you know, quote, unquote, break bread together and right, so it’s almost a form of sharing a meal, right? Like the old you know, humans over time just sitting around the campfire type thing.
Robbie Abed 27:45
Yeah. And I think the biggest thing too, is that there’s no expectations. You know, we might never see each other we might catch up and and, you know, it could be a good like business development, you know, thing like I’ve gotten business from it, but it’s never My first intention is just always I just enjoyed coffee. And just talking to people for 30 minutes at a time, you know, after 30 minutes I’m good. But yeah, that’s basically it.
No, yeah, I could see that. It’s such a I’m a big fan of just grabbing coffee with people again when pandemic’s all over coffee for now, yeah, a thought just occurred to me. So we were talking about over working, and you, you know, explained how it’s kind of been a struggle in the past for you, and that’s how we started the conversation about being in the closet. And so then I was just thinking, sleeping in the closet.
Robbie Abed 28:42
Things I regret writing on paper! Like sleeping in the closet. Yeah, I didn’t think this make it to a podcast like I know. Here we are. Robbie Abed, sleeps in closet. Please listen to an hour for this. Yeah, this is this is the guy. This is a guy I want to listen to. Yeah. Sorry.
No, no, no. Yeah, exactly. So then I’m thinking, so I’m thinking we were gonna do this interview, you know, a day before and then you email me and said, Hey, I’m a play. I’m working on a, you know something for a client and yeah, I’m not going to be in the shape to do this tomorrow morning. I said no problem. We could do it the day after, but now I’m just thinking like, were you overworking again? Or was it just you had you know for that specific project, you had shifted your schedule, so hopefully you weren’t working like a 23 hour day or something?
Robbie Abed 29:29
This quarantine is mess me all up. I’m not gonna lie. Yeah. So is this all up with schedules it’s mess me all up. So this for this specific client, like I haven’t stayed up to three I’m working on some on someone else’s stuff. For a long time, maybe like five six years, but sometimes like when I’m, I write what I need to write something like deep. I I’m much better at night.
And so you know, I think during the day I was just, I probably wasn’t even doing much. But like, especially because now that I was fasting, and I lose all my creative energy. And so like after I’m done eating, and I’ll have like a coffee like 1011 o’clock and I got some energies that I could probably start writing.
And so, but then when I would just I just got myself in a little thing. I was like, it was like, three in the morning, go, Oh, I got cancer, I go, I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna tell him but, you know, it’s still it looks, it’s never doesn’t seem to be gone. You know, because, like, in my business is that I still work for clients, you know? And so, occasionally it happens. But I but now the difference is that I know. This isn’t gonna work.
I was just gonna say, even if even if you were overworking the other night, the fact that you are aware of it, I think is a huge step.
Robbie Abed 30:56
Yeah, old Robbie would have been let’s I would have woke up. Yeah, it did the podcast, new Robbie going, you know, is he gonna be mad at me? You know, little, you know, and I know this is like my this is my last chance of of rescheduling. And but I said you know what, it’s just it’s I have to, you know I don’t want to create something crappy and I just wanted to be fresh and Saturdays are perfect for that.
No, it’s something I’ve learned about myself recently is or a skill that I’ve picked up more is this self awareness like, and I recognize that and others and I’m so happy because I there’s such power in being self aware, again, even if you’re, quote unquote, making the same mistake or you know, falling into the same behavior, whatever. But as long as you’re aware of at this time, right, I think you know, you’re so much more capable. overcoming it and moving forward, you know, the next time?
Robbie Abed 32:03
And how do you know you’re overworking? Or do you not? You just have a like a natural stop.
You know, I’ve, I’ve overworked in and out, it ebbs and flows throughout my life. Yeah, I found with this podcast that I, that’s where I could really relate to your example of the Sunday night entertaining, and then, you know, Oh, I should be doing this work I find with this podcast, you know, it’s something that I kind of started on a whim. And then as time went on, took more and more seriously, and I continue, you know, to want to build that into something great in my eyes.
But I do find myself, you know, fitting it in around the other things in my life and almost taking up all the other time in my life. And that becomes overworking in a sense, because then you’re like, Well, you know, don’t want to hang out tonight and grab a drink with somebody or do I want to make sure I edit that podcast episode because my own deadline for myself as you know, three days from now, right?
So one way I’ve tried to overcome that is to get further ahead. Part of it was when I just kind of started it. I’d be working on next week’s episode. And if I didn’t scramble and overwork this week, there’d be nothing next week.
But now, which is interesting talking about the quarantine the pandemic, this has allowed me to get ahead. I’m able now you know, I think I got episodes now for the next like seven or eight weeks. Yeah, yeah. And so now I don’t have to overwork necessarily to get next Wednesday’s episode out. I can, you know, mazing plan ahead. Yeah, it’s a world of a difference and I’ve been thinking about how do I make sure that carries on now once we’re, you know, a little bit back to quote unquote normal like, how do I make sure that I stay ahead and don’t overwork So yeah,
Robbie Abed 33:44
I think and I think the thing for me what I realized is that especially you know, lashes uncover is that it you know, I’m my own worst enemy. Yeah, and, and yeah, I realize that sometimes, like I went, for example, and it’s not as much as it isn’t, it is as it was before, but like when when there’s like a when people are often Monday, there’s like holidays on Monday. Like that was like, great for me not because I get off on Monday is because I knew other people weren’t working on Monday. And so it’s like, it was it wasn’t a race for me is like, Oh, I have time.
Once my clients start working other people start working, that’s when work gets created. You know what I mean? Like the purpose of work? Yeah, great, more work. And I recognize like, Well, you know, that’s why I started setting like new relationships with my clients, which is, you know, I basically work on my own schedule.
You know, my calendar, for the most part is like, like, wide open, you’d like I have no recurring meetings. I have nothing I just get an activity or task. And I do it on my own time. You know, I mean, so like, I’ve just been really diligent about just rejecting you know, almost everything you know, even like podcast for this first podcast I’ve done in a while, because I’ve just been rejecting everything, you know.
And it’s also what I’ve done from from overworking perspective is that even sometimes even with coffee meetings and things like that, is that what I’ll do is in a setting it’s I think I might even done this with you is that whenever I get a request for something like my time, I’ll delay by a month like a minimum just to see if the people the personal follow up or not.
I noticed that because I so we’re at the almost the end of May now and I reached out Oh, my goodness back in
Robbie Abed 35:33
January, something, it was like really early
Yes, yes. It was before the whole COVID-19 situation. I remember. I remember this, you had said may 4, or we had picked may 4. And I remember my head thinking that is so far away. And again at the time, I was scrambling week by week, and I thought Alright, well this is great. I would love to interview Robbie in four months, but what the hell am I going to do next week.
Robbie Abed 35:57
Is Robbie that busy?
I love that technique now that I’m hearing that the the reasoning behind the technique. I love that.
Robbie Abed 36:07
Yeah. So it’s it’s worked out well for him because a lot of people I mean, you follow up some people, some people fall out but some people just don’t at all. And I just I didn’t I never miss it. You don’t I mean, it’s like, well, yes, you didn’t want it, you know, but it’s like, if someone were like, I know they need help, or, like it’s close, you know, a friend or cousin or something, it’s like that awful, but them going, you know, like, hey, like, make sure to follow like, I give them permission to annoy me.
It’s like, Hey, you know, I mean, bugged me. I might be really busy. But like, you know, here’s my phone number. Just reach out whenever you know, and we’ll make it happen. But yeah, that’s best parts. The reason which is I probably was, I think I was writing the book too. I was like, let me just my first sentence because that sounds great. You know, and it’s funny. In my head, I’m thinking, I probably won’t be as busy in four months. It’s like, oh, I’ve got everything figured out. Like it just sort of worked. autopilot. And it never, it never happens.
It’s a way to kind of put it off till tomorrow. So yes,
Robbie Abed 37:06
I like that, though, in terms of being kind of a filter.
Robbie Abed 37:11
It works great. It really works great.
Yeah, especially because I mean, you know, I think all of our individual time is important. Like it is important to, you know, it’s part of self care, I think and not overworking is kind of guarding your time. Yes, it’s what’s truly important to you. So I think that’s a great way to kind of, you know, help prioritize is like, Alright, I’m gonna do the podcast, but right, let’s see how important it really is to them.
Robbie Abed 37:35
And I mean, for me, it’s like, I’ve been avoiding, like, meetings or appointments. Like having to be having to be somewhere. Like, it’s like, it’s, it’s almost like not a freeing thing. You know, it’s kind of like, Oh, I have to be here like a commandment. And so I’d really try. I’d much rather prefer like ad hoc things versus like oh I can’t go there because it’s like you know 3pm I have to be there and and to tie back to Thailand big was like.
I like Thailand is because I can say no don’t miss anything because I’m not there I can say no to family engagements I can say no to weddings I could say no funerals I could say no to anything because I’m not there you know I have like an excuse and it’s just so much better that way.
I never thought about it that way, that the physical distance. Yeah no one questions that like always in Thailand, there’s no way you can make this.
Robbie Abed 38:35
Right and then and then it’s, it works so but but I end up doing things in my terms where I just have no commitments. I want to go to the beach. I’m at the waterway I have nothing. You know, I have nothing besides pick up my kids from school. Yeah, you know, and so and just be able to write whenever I want.
Speaking of your kids, how has so five and two. I have a nine and final out my head I’m trying to they’re gonna be 10 and six and a couple months.
Robbie Abed 39:06
What’s nine years old like?
So my son is nine, my daughter is five. He and I don’t mention that for the gender but they are very different personalities as humans. He I’ve heard this from other people who have 10 1112 whatever. definitely getting to that preteen stage like he’s he’s a little man I mean he really is I never one of my biggest learnings from having children I never had much experience with children growing up I didn’t have any cousins I never babysat was that I learned how we become these full fledged people so early on, you know by like, to me I’m sure you see this in your youngest, like they’re already these little people with personalities and communication and stuff.
So by the time my son is coming in 10 now, I feel like he’s like a 35 year old. Like, he’s just I mean, he’s like, you know what I mean? Like, of course physically you start to become more human or more of a man but but just his, his mental state his communication style. It’s just Yes, I almost you know and I can see where the kind of like bitter sweetness comes in. I’m like, I love you to death, man. You are awesome. But oh my gosh, like I used to like feed you and hold you and pick you up and you know what happened?
Robbie Abed 40:32
Yeah, so what happened? They start saying, I haven’t experienced now I have a five year old, but something you say things like, how did that even? Yes. Even with this yeah I don’t even have that sort of compassion or thought process even think like that you know I mean sometimes they just comes out of nowhere and you’re like wow I’m kind of impressed you know.
But it’s also kind of scary going while you’re learning everything for me yes you know and so like what like for example sometimes like I said we I have this house I bought a house last year and and have a basement big basement and I when I go to work now sources are in quarantine, I go in the basement.
So sometimes I don’t come out of the basement for like a long time because I’m just working writing whatever Sure. And okay, and since my my daughter’s not at school, you know, sometimes when I’m about to, you know, go down to the basement, she’ll like block the basement indoor going, no working today. Yeah, like, how do you? Even my two year olds, like no work? I was like, wow, okay, this is gonna be a problem because like when they go up, they might think, well, all my dad did was work, you’d have to go.
But in reality, it’s just like, he’s just going to the office and his office happens to be somewhere where you’re not, you know, because that’s the only way your dad can get work done. And so I become really cognizant of that. And some days, I’m just like, you know what, like, I’m not working today. You know, like, let’s like, let’s do something in the backyard or play. So you don’t think that I’m always working like you get it. You get it, like why I’m working. But you don’t really care.
You do start to realize what effect we have on our children. I mean, whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not. They learn so much because like you said, you hear things they say and you’re like, Whoa, where in the world did that thought even enter or how did you become able to process like they like? Well, it was something around.
Robbie Abed 42:39
Yeah, you hang out the neighbor’s kids too much like what is like, how did you learn that dance? Who’s on tik tok? You know, take back, you know, I know hanging out a friend, you know, two years older than you is a bad bad idea. Yeah, it is amazing.
I was thinking, you know what you just said about your daughter saying, you know, oh, you know, no work today. Are you maybe being fearful that she might feel like you’re working too much?
Like when you were kind of really in the midst of Oh, Robbie, you’re overworking too much. Did you start to think about well, how will that affect, you know, my children’s perception or how will that affect you know, what they’re kind of absorbing from from me?
Robbie Abed 43:22
Yeah, I’m more cognizant of it then. than ever knowing that like subconsciously, they’re, they might pick up the same bad habits.
You know, or something might, you know, they, they’ll probably remember this for weird times when that when they get older, and it just, they just break into a bad habit. So I’m extremely worried about that. Especially during this quarantine, like, outside of the quarantine, it’s just normal because they have school, you know, but now it’s like they looking there and they they don’t understand why I should be working.
And so I’m constantly thinking about that’s why I’m always I make it a habit of just coming up in the middle of day or the morning of the day or like playing, you know, I’ll play board games with my daughter, you know, during the middle of day or you know, after work is done and just and just doing it sometimes. I will actually just try to like, Look, my daughter’s in the eyes and I talked to them.
You know, I mean, sometimes like, they want to tell you stories or this madness is very easy. It’s like, look at my phone or something. But it’s something that’s on my mind. It’s a fantastic question because it’s something that’s always on my mind is how can I mess up my children?
You know, like, what’s what is the Yeah, what are these little things that they pick up going? How did you even know just quarantine, I’m working? Not even more than normal, you know, but you know, they might pick it up and start working or start doing things that, you know, just because that’s the only thing they know. And that’s, that’s what you realize from therapy is like, how did I Why do I do this? Why am I overworking? You know, what do I do?
And then so you start picking up all these little things that you picked up as little kid that, you know, even if your parents were good, you didn’t you didn’t realize this is that’s your your perspective on life. And so you just start picking it up.
Yeah, like you just said, like, I’m thinking about how to how do I mess up my kids? I’m thinking about that all the time, too. And like, just in a, like you said, we pick up so much from our parents, right? That’s sometimes we don’t even realize ever or if we do realize that it’s so much later in life.
And so I’m always thinking now like, am I, you know, okay, well, if I didn’t really agree with the way they did this, or I don’t like the effect this had on me, how am I now doing this with my children in mind changing it? Am I evolving it so that it’s more in line with what I wish would have happened or what I prefer?
Like, I want my kids to be, you know, entrepreneurial and, and, you know, be active on, on whatever they have to do. I just had to be very conscious of how I sort of bring them into that environment. And, you know, even like, not spoiling them. Sometimes, like, you know, I remember like, when I was a kid, I used to collect like, like baseball cards or something like that. And I just remember some, some kid had like, we were collecting stickers, they only had like, small stickers, right? It’s amazing the things that you remember as a kid, and some became like this big sticker that took up the whole like page, you know?
And all I remember thinking, Wow, that’s a big sticker, you know, it’s like, it’s like, Am I giving my kid this big sticker every day? Or she’s like, Oh, this is just a big stick, you know. So it’s like, I’m, I’ve done things like, I didn’t want to spoil you, you know, it’s very easy to give you the things but when I want you grew up, I want you to be able to say, like, you know, I drove up, you know, a Buick for the first five years not versus like, I had a Mercedes, you know, even if I could afford it or not, it’s just kind of like, I don’t want you to think that’s normal.
Because it will, it will hurt you in the end. Such a tough line to balance I find myself thinking that too is you want them to have the sense of ownership and working for things and you know, truly experiencing life. But then you also feel like, well, if I’m able, I want them to have the best life possible. Like I want them to just, you know, it’s like, well, there’s some middle ground there that I’m sure it’s different for everybody and we’ll figure out but it’s it’s tough. Yeah, yeah, and we’ll see because every day that personality evolves and yeah, it might not be to my control.
I was just the other day I was, oh my gosh, I don’t know how we are on the subject but my son and I were talking about cutting grass. I think I said something about like all the arts so big one day, you’ll cut it. And he’ll be like, I said, I used to cut you know, maybe Papa’s grass. And somehow we got somebody how much it paid. He said, Oh, 20 bucks. I’m like, yeah, that’s how much maybe pocket maybe only 20 bucks that huge yard it took me like an hour and a half.
And his face lit up and he thought 20 bucks, right? It’s him and his friends are like working on some movie they’ve been working on for years. Like Yeah, writing stuff and and he’s like, 20 bucks. Oh, my God, I mean, so and so he get this and that and this. And his face, like lit up and I thought, oh, maybe this is a great way like introducing the concept of like earning right why you earn and how you can now then take that and build whatever you want with it and and I thought, oh, okay, well, this is a good
It was a good signal for me. I thought, maybe because grass cutting is definitely how I first got into like making money from my parents. But I said I was like, Oh, you know, many kids, you know, start going around the neighborhood and start cutting neighbor’s yard and making a couple of bucks here and there and yeah, his face lit up. You need a lemonade stand for sure. Yes, I make that money, like immediately. Speaking of load boards, this is unrelated.
But I was biking yesterday and I saw someone cutting the grass and they had a push lawnmower that had headlights. It was the first time my life I’d ever seen a lawn mower that had headlights. It was the middle of the day.
But like not, not a lot more of like a push regular lawn mower, right? Yeah. And that’s the thing is like if I get a riding lawnmower, which I’ll never I’ll never have, but it’s kind of like that. I don’t want you to think that’s this is like the Seattle thing. Let’s have a farm. If I’m a farm Yeah, you need a riding lawnmower. Exactly. If you don’t have a farm, you don’t. You know, you could probably pay someone to do your lawn cheaper.
You know, buying a lawnmower, everything in the end, but yeah.
So you mentioned back in January when we first I reached out about the podcast, you were probably working on that next book about small talk. So is this something that’s happening in the near future then can we look forward to to this? Yeah, so I have, I’ll be finishing the first draft this week, next two weeks.
And so the title of draft title, which I think is gonna stick is called Please Don’t Talk To Me.
I like it. It’s got that same I beg you.
It’s very, very negative. Yeah, if you’re miserable. It’s a book that’s made for people that don’t like talking to people.
Which I would imagine and I’m sure you have the data, but I imagined as a majority of people, you know, there’s that old Jerry Seinfeld joke that you know, if given the choice between giving the eulogy at a funeral or being in the casket, most people prefer to be in the casket because nobody likes to publicly speak.
Right, right, exactly. And so there’s a lot of people don’t they just don’t understand small talk. They know, well, what am I? What am I going to say next? Or how to make it interesting or judge me, you know, and so I sort of cover the subject so that the title is please don’t talk to me. And the draft subtitle at the moment, and and it’s not confirmed yet, but I’ll put it out there.
It’s how to communicate with assholes, introverts, extroverts, senior executives and other people you really don’t want to talk to so it’s so it’s broken up into I have the first section, the first part of the book, half of the book is about the techniques get people to to, to open up to you like the techniques and the questions to ask, and things like that. And then the half the book is how to how to, to communicate with certain individuals. And so I already have a draft the draft of how to communicate with assholes at work.
Work is already out on LinkedIn. And so I got a lot of good feedback in that. And so, but now I’m gonna start releasing the chapters. I’m sort of like crowdsourcing it a little bit. And then when it’s ready to be published, I’ll publish or probably the next like, month or so. But the book, the entire book will be out online, like through multiple little sections.
And so I’ve gotten over the fear of like, people stealing my stuff, or whatever. But now I’m just put out there, get the feedback on it, compile it, and then publish it. I love that title and subtitle and people. Yeah, yeah. What’s funny is, do you know David Kadavy?
He used to be like a web designer in Chicago, right. I think, Austin now?
He’s in Columbia. Columbia. But yeah, that’s funny. He but he wrote a book called Design For Hackers. And so laughing probably thinking when you when you think As a web designer in Chicago, that was like his first. And so so a part of the book is, is how do I get people out this like, I guess a secret insight into into the book is is how do I get people to to open up to and a part of it is asking people how they became so good at something.
Like it’s like you compliment them and and say for and and you compliment them saying how did how did you get so good at that you know and it’s kind of like what a podcasts are like what you do as a podcaster naturally, but that’s how you get people sort of like tell them about your childhood etc. but but to the title so I told him this we run it like a zoom call whatever.
And then he asked me goes right, he goes, I love the title. How did you get so good at writing titles and I started like, telling about I go, Oh, he’s laughing because he doesn’t he doesn’t give a shit about, you know. And then funny is I didn’t even come up with a title, and someone else did.
But yeah, people people love the title. But that’s, I guess, insight into getting people to open up is to say, Oh, that’s great. How did you get so good at that? You know, so it’s like, being a therapist, a therapist job is to figure out what’s wrong with you. Your job is figure out what’s right with you. With the other person, you know, I mean, so it’s got a game for a podcast, it’s kind of like, you start pointing a little things like curiosity.
And because there’s been several studies that have shown that people get like, a high bigger than cocaine when talking about themselves.
I was just gonna say, from all my years of interviewing, you just stumbled on the one thing I always tell people is when people think, Oh, well, interviewing someone is really hard. It is, but there’s a lot of a lot to it. But one of the biggest things is you don’t realize we love to talk about ourselves all the time, and it’s Yeah, and I’m sure there’s dopamine and all sorts of, you know, chemical reactions in our brain but it?
Yeah, it’s the only reason people say yes to your podcast. One is maybe that’s a goal, you know, blow up or Yeah, to, you know him as this audience, etc. But the main reason is, yeah. Oh, anyone that’s interested in me? Sure, I’ll tell them. Yeah, it’s it is it’s a dopamine hit. And you’re gonna run into people and I’ve run into people that are more introverts more shy and a little bit less likely to want to talk about themselves.
Yeah, if you, you know, if you have a hook or a reason, you know, to kind of almost convince them, it’s very unlikely that the biggest thing that’s gonna get in the way, my experience of someone, for example, this podcast is scheduling, or just simply like, generally scheduling like they, they, their life has too much going on to fit me in. But, you know, if we were in different circumstances, I’m sure they’d be happy to just sit down and tell me about themselves.
You know, I think at the end of the day, the very unlikely, no one’s ever gonna say no, I don’t want to tell you about myself.
Right, right. Yeah, no, no, but and if you if you phrase in the right way, you know, you can’t say, Well, tell me about your childhood as well. Okay. Yeah, who are you? But if you ask them the right question, they’ll they’ll go back to their childhood and that’s part of the, of the processes. Every question you ask should bring them closer to their childhood. You know, and and the better the question is, the farther they go back, and you just keep following up on that, like, how did you get involved in that? Were your parents always good at that?
You know, what did you start to, you know, so it’s like, they start talking about, like, your your kids and things like that. And then that, and then any introvert can open up to that, because they’re just talking about what they know the best, which is themselves. Yeah, the best subject matter out there on yourself is probably yourself. Until you don’t see a therapist realize you don’t actually understand yourself and then you become even better.
Oh my gosh, Robbie, thank you so much for spending your Saturday morning with me. I think this might be the first time I’ve done a podcast interview taping on a Saturday morning, I feel like we have a kinship here.
Yes, absolutely. Just as long as no video, you know, people don’t want to see my quarantine beard. Yeah, well, you can make this unless you make this like the thumbnail image of the post just to spite me. But yeah.
Or if I ever get into the or is that site like Patreon where people could subscribe and support the podcast if you like exclusive content? Never get into that this would be the kind of content that people would be able to pay for us. See, see what people really look like during the Saturday morning video interview.
Right? I’ve contemplated starting. I’ve had a lot of dumb ideas. But one of my dumbest ideas is have a podcast at four in the morning. And call it 4am.
Live or just are we just to tape it at 4am?
Just tape it at 4am, live, tape it at 4am I don’t know why I just felt like it would be like this. You know, it was like it was dumb. And like, I’m not waiting for you, but anyone wants steal that idea call at 4am. And you get some raw early morning thoughts. I was gonna say at the at the very least it would be an interesting like psychological or sociological experiment like just seeing how the humans perform for and what kind of comes out you know what state they’re in.
Maybe they just got home from a late night maybe they’re up early about to go running, right? And that’s where like, for me, it’s like it’s right in the middle of Should I stay up for this? Like go to sleep for this? Yeah, that would be the opening of the podcast, which is which route did you take?
I don’t think this is a dumb idea.
If you want to do it, go for it. And I have stats of like how many people. And I think part of the podcast rules was, if you miss the meaning of your band, like publicly, like, like the podcast at 4am. Now I think about it, I’m sorry. Like, if you don’t I still record the podcast, but I just yourself, just myself and I get to say whatever I want about you. Cheese.
So a little bit of like, show up. The podcast is gonna go on, you just have any say, there’s a little bit of like reality show or competitiveness in here now and then right here, yeah, if you don’t show up, don’t worry about it. Like don’t apologize, the podcasts with your name on it.
And I’m just gonna say whatever I want about you. You just can’t be able to defend yourself. That I will probably send on LinkedIn to see if I can get feedback on it. If you ever launched this, I will get up or stay up whichever, until 4am for an episode if you’re wanting to have me, I guess it’s a pretty unique idea. I’m not gonna lie now that I thought about it that way, if you add in the I’m going to record the podcast anyway. You know, and if I don’t show up and, and like I oversleep, whatever and you on it, then I publish your podcast and you could say whatever you want about me, like you get to go on record it.
I’ll give like an open line. And you just say whatever you want, but it starts at 4am. That’s the rule. I mean, if I think about like the pitch behind this, right, like, so I’m surfing Apple podcasts, or I’m seeing a friend post like, Hey, I just did this podcast for him. And this one it’s about, I would definitely tune in, like there’s enough of a hook there where I tuned in, because there’s, like I said, there’s enough uniqueness in that. I don’t know, I’m serious. I don’t think it’s a dumb idea at all.
And I think it could be just, it could be 10 to 15 minutes, like rapid question. You know, I’ve got 100 questions for you. It’s 4am. Let’s go you know, I mean, up, and if you’re not ready for him, I’m gonna go I’m talking for a nap. You gotta like, get things ready or whatever. It’s it’s a maximum. Yeah, okay, I’m gonna probably I’m gonna put this on LinkedIn, see what people say. But the problem is I have to do I have to be up before him.
And here’s the other little snag. I just thought about Yeah, assuming you are going to be timezones, assuming you’re going to be inviting guests from all over the world, it’s only gonna be 4am for one of you. So which one is right? That’s, that’s a really I think it should be.
I think it should be 4am for the guest.
I think so too. But then you lose a little bit of the magic from the host being in the same scenario, because part of the thrill is both of us being in this together. It’s like it’s almost like we’re both underwater together, seeing who could hold their breath the longest. But in this scenario, you’re gonna put the guests underwater and you’re gonna be sitting on the shore, perfectly fine.
Maybe I launch 4am to launch my book, which is please don’t talk to me. And if there’s a time when people don’t talk, it’s four o’clock in the morning. It’s all fucking coming together. Holy shit.
I think you’re on to something.
Yeah, I think I’m honest. If there’s a time and nobody wants, it’s four o’clock in the morning.
I like this. I like it. If this ever comes out, I will be listening.
I will drive my wife crazy with this. Because I I have to make the decision. Am I gonna stay up like, like I, for example, yesterday I was up at three o’clock 330 at four o’clock at a we just it’s been. It’s Yeah, it’s kind of like first we feast with like the hot chicken wings. But it’s 4am. Anyway, so.
Well, again, thank you so much for for being here at a normal decent hour this morning. That’s exactly I really appreciate it. I love, like I said earlier, you’re such a great person to talk to I can see why 250 people in less than a year will talk to you. So thank you.
All right. Well, thank you very much. Hopefully it’s still recording.