Episode 1: Robert James Collier, Entrepreneurs Dinner

Show Notes/ Transcript

Episode 1: Robert James Collier, Entrepreneurs Dinner


Vipassana Meditation:  www.dhamma.org

Autobiography of a Yogi (book)

Wim Hof Breathing:  www.wimhofmethod.com

Rob’s TEDx talk: Why are Billion Dollar Brands Chasing Intimacy?



Facebook/Robert James Collier


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:  www.Eatzis.com

Hi and welcome everybody. My name is Melissa Marks.

Welcome to Your Mindful Hour’s first podcast. On your Mindful Hour, I talk to ppl who are bringing some element of mindfulness or meditation into their lives.

Today I talk with a really interesting guy, Robert James Collier, who is the founder of Entrepreneur’s Dinner, a really fresh and creative take on a networking experience.

You’ll learn why Rob says no to business cards, his plunge into meditation with a 10-day silent retreat, and how he answers one of life’s most essential questions: what is going on underneath those Drake songs in my mind.  I hope you all enjoy the show.

Alright Rob, hey, it’s such a pleasure to have you join me today. Ty so much for making the time to talk to me today on Your Mindful Hour.

All right Rob. Hey it's such a pleasure to have you join me today. Thank you so much for making the time to talk today on Your Mindful Hour.

My pleasure Melissa. Thanks for having me on.

Awesome Rob. So let's just start by letting us know about you. Tell us about you.

Sure. So my name is Robert Collier. I'm the founder of Entrepreneurs Dinner which is a curated invite only event that brings together entrepreneurs from across the country to grow their businesses together through relationships. What we do is we host dinners at beautiful private residences, we have private chefs that serve delicious four course meals, bartenders serve your favorite drinks and videographers and photographers that capture the entire experience. And you know essentially what we do is we help those entrepreneurs who have a big vision and they want to impact others in the world. We help them to gain emotional clarity to fulfill their vision. We help them to meet one to two life changing mentors a quarter and then also develop the relationships to reach your financial goals even faster. So that's my business and I'm a person who loves meditation. I love exploring and traveling the world and I just love learning and self-development and part of the way that I learn best, that I prefer to learn, is through business and just try and stuff out. So that’s a little bit about me.

I love it. I'm so curious. So here's the little context for people listening. I don't know you that well--we have talked once and really by design--from my point of view--because I wanted to get curious about you and learn all about you. So we know each other from a mutual friend who we love. Kristin shout out to Kristen. Hey Kristen.  Kristen O'Neil, a wonderful financial planner. Check her out. So. So all right. You're doing this really interesting work and it's creative. It's different. It's not just like your ordinary average networking group. How did this arise for you? Where was the inspiration? How did this come about?

Sure. So since you don't know much about me, all of this will be brand new but in late 2014 my dad had a double lung transplant surgery. He has an autoimmune disease called scleroderma, and I was living in Detroit, Michigan working for a software company while he was here in Dallas, Texas where we both are going through just the whole process. We weren't sure if he was going to live or not. He ended up having a double lung transplant surgery and when the doctors opened his chest up they said he would have been dead within 48 hours had he not had that surgery. They had no idea that it was that bad. They looked at his lungs and they were basically useless. So the reason why I moved back to Dallas was to be at home with my parents and to help out around the house. So that's what brought me back to Dallas. I was basically in Detroit--I was stressed out not knowing what's going on and I wanted to be back home and really kind of put my hands my eyes on both my parents. So I lived in my parent's home you know and was just trying to help out and also kind of gain my footing with my new environment, and you know a few months into it I decided that I wanted to jump back into some of the entrepreneurial things. I had a Web site, a blog, called Practical Idealists that I was writing on. But I noticed that I had a lot of friends here in Dallas that were just working on some really cool and interesting projects, but they didn't know each other. And from my point of view I saw the traditional networking environment--I saw you know people connecting with each other but there was just a lot missing from that. You know to give you an example like when I go to most networking events you know people are handing out business cards and I look at that environment and the business card interaction is like a microcosm of everything that's wrong. Right. Like you people are just shelling out business cards like it's money at a strip club or something like that. Like making it rain, you know or whatever--it is just super sleazy it's like let's actually get to know each other. Let's actually develop a genuine relationship with one another. So what I wanted to do was have an event that was the opposite of that. So what I did Melissa is I ended up--I just I put up on Facebook--Hey if I put together a event for entrepreneurs would you guys want to come? Over 60 people responded and said they would. So I put together an event at my parents’ home. I wanted to do it inside of a home because I felt it was more personable and intimate. I had private chefs come over and serve these different food stations. I'm not a big foodie, but it was like all this foodie stuff like kimchi something and fish something. It was really good. And I told people that they should leave their business cards at home. I said don't bring your business cards.  They are not welcome because what we want to focus on is genuine organic relationships, and then I had everybody sit in a circle and each person shared what their business is, what their biggest challenge or hurdle in business is, and most importantly how they can help others. And so as a result of those things and some other you know tidbits in there, at the end of that event, the group of people that came, even though I was only person that anyone knew, they ended up asking when's the next one. And so from there, entrepreneurs dinner was born.

So I love it. It's so it's inspiring.

It's all about connection. It's conscious to me. So help me-- timeline me here for a minute. Your meditation practice. When did that part of you come to life? Because you mentioned 2014 with your dad, and I appreciate your story so much. And I know that that must have been a very difficult time for you but you you made that situation turn into something that became--it sounds like bigger than you and certainly more than you probably knew about at the time. So help us out with your timeline on meditation.

Yes. So my meditation practice began about three years earlier in June 2011. OK so essentially I had I've always been curious, and I've always wanted to learn more. There's always been this yearning for truth inside of me and that found its way to me Googling and looking up Youtube videos about meditation, and I was just trying to practice you know. I would just sit. I remember you know I had just graduated college--this was 2010 when I graduated college--and so I was you know trying to look up Youtube videos about meditation and different practices and things like that. And one of my friends--his name is Rahman. He actually told me about this meditation course that he went to you know and he said it was ten days--you know he basically just meditated for ten days. They didn't allow for speaking. They didn’t allow for phones, no communication whatsoever.  It was just up to twelve hours of meditation throughout the day. And he told me about this. And I was like that sounds amazing. I definitely want to do that. He also gave me a book called Autobiography of a Yogi, and I had only started reading a little bit about it before the meditation retreat. But between those two things that really kind of opened my eyes, and then I went to that meditation retreat and I mean that was the most intense physically and mentally exhausting and rewarding thing I've ever done. And I'm a college athlete, former basketball player, and it was just exhausting. But I walked out of that so happy and I saw everybody smiling you know and just my mind felt renewed. I felt more clear-minded. I got back to deciding that I wanted to go back into startups. I was doing some other stuff and that was my first foray into meditation. That was in June 2011, my first Vipassana meditation retreat.

Yes. OK. So Vipassana--that is no joke. It it it's truly amazing. It's incredible. I think you spelled it out really really well--it's both. It's like the highs and the lows all at once. And I'm really impressed that just from the get-go you were inclined to go for it cause when most people hear ten days silent retreat, ten to twelve hours a day meditating, they're not like gung ho sign me up. So I'm so curious. What was it about? Was it the challenge of that? Like what what drew you to that because there's so many different ways to meditate right? And that spoke to you. So what was it about that particular way and style and structure that appealed to you?

Yeah. You know what. So it's probably a couple of things. One is that I've been the type of person that I've always experimented with myself. I call them self-experiments. A couple of months prior to that I self-experimented to see how long I could stay awake. No. Yeah.

And ended up staying awake for 70 hours--which that third day was so tough. Like you talked about driving in traffic in Dallas. I mean it was like I just came like this close multiple times hitting someone in the back bumper, but I've always done these like self-experiments just to learn more about myself, to have more discipline, just so that if the situation arose where I needed to become a higher self, I needed to push myself to the max I could do so. And so this idea of just meditating just disconnecting and going within just really appealed to that self-exploration side of me. I think another part was that the opportunity to learn a meditation technique was there, right. Because when I was doing these meditation videos and these readings on meditation I just wasn't sure if I was getting it. You know I'm like Oh man I'm sitting here trying to meditate and trying to do five minutes and all these ideas keep popping up so this idea of being able to go to a retreat where they teach you their style of meditation--they teach you this practice of meditation-- that seemed really welcoming to me. And the third thing was the person introduced it to me, my friend Rahman, was very just calm, trustworthy, and one of the most loving people I know to this day. He introduced it to me and he said it was good. So based upon his recommendation I knew it something that I should check out.

I love that story. And I think it's a matter of being in the right moment. Your life situation at that time you were already a very curious person it sounds like, and it sounds like you were you were just ripe and ready to take that exploration a little bit deeper and you found the right person. He was right there at the right time in your life to show an example of something that you were curious about. So you sound like a curious person overall. Would that be a fair statement?

No doubt. There's no doubt that the nickname that I get the most from people is Mr. Interesting. I get that all the time. I guess it sounds--it feels weird even saying that.

But that’s the adjective that I get described the most as, Mr. Interesting.  It's because I'm so curious.

Has your meditation practice changed your ability to become more curious are more interested?

I wouldn't say it's changed my ability but it's deepened the level of understanding and experience that I have with different things I'm interested in right. Yes. So with meditation there is a whole new field that opens up right. So like that 10 day meditation retreat I went to I “went within” you know. I'm using quotes for those who are just listening. But I went within myself and I just found this whole new realm that I had a feeling maybe an intuition that existed but I hadn't experienced it. I mean just weird weird stuff like different energies, and I just heard my mind and I felt my mind go from like constantly playing these Drake songs like I'm just listening to Drake in my own head. They had to like quiet down and I’m realizing that Drake had left my head and then all these other thoughts were there.

What’s underneath the Drake?


Like there's that's a real question like What's underneath you know? For whatever it is, whatever you know, whether it's a musician or whether it's your own self talk and talk with yourself, and or whether it's these arguments that you're having with other people, like oh they cut me off, and what I would have said to him, should have said or didn't say to him. Like there's all this noise inside of our minds. And so what's underneath that noise? And I started to I begin to explore that.  That was a question that I didn't even have before until that experience.

And so what I mean is that by going within I now had a practice where I could explore my mind further, but also that I could be more connected to the world around me and also my own emotions towards the things that were happening outside. And it really gives me like a reflection point. I can feel certain things. I can feel, fear when it arises. I definitely feel it inside my chest, inside my solar plexus. And then later I find out that that's where fear arises on an MRI.  There's certain things I can feel within me that I wouldn't have access to without meditation, and then just as far as intellectually, my capacity, my processing ability, like it's just stronger when I'm meditating more and I'm more mindful. So that also gets me or allows me to begin you know like really asking questions, and you know if I'm reading the Bible I interpret it differently than I would have before. And you know from reading certain full philosophical texts I interpret it. I just, it's a weird way to explain it, but I have access to some things that I wouldn't have had without the practice of meditation.

I love it. I love it. So let's try to connect the dots here. So with Entrepreneurs Dinner, the creative spark that came. Did you ever meditate about Entrepreneurs Dinner? Like hey I'm confused about a problem I'm having or an issue or as I'm creating it or forming it or did it come? Sometimes people get ideas, like big ideas, bigger than themselves types of ideas, simply from the practice of sitting still and being quiet. Was there any of that for you in the formation or the continual creation of Entrepreneurs Dinner?

Yeah it's an awesome question. So if you remember that website that I was talking about that I was working on before Entrepreneurs Dinner called Practical Idealist? That name, that website, and a lot of the content that I wrote for that website came directly from a meditation retreat. Absolutely. I mean articles about Michelle Obama, deciding to hire a mentor, like all that came directly from a meditation retreat. With Entrepreneurs Dinner, I'm not sure that the idea came from it but I'm sure that the meditation and again having access to different parts of my brain, creative areas, and you know just empathy and things like that--I don't doubt that that facilitated it. And there's definitely, like, there's definitely times where I’m meditating, and I get creative ideas that I apply to Entrepreneurs Dinner or other areas. So if meditation directly was responsible, I don't recall that to be the case but definitely it's played a big role in different components of Entrepreneurs Dinner and sort of the mission, the spiritual mission, that I see for it as well.

Yeah. I think like at some point, you've been practicing for a while now, there becomes the kind of transition that it's more than just the formal practice of sitting by yourself with your eyes closed--paying attention to yourself, your breathing, your thoughts, etc.--but then there's the stitching that's happening all through the day or in pockets of the day maybe. You know we're all practicing, it's not like we're enlightened in every single moment, or is one of mindfulness. But it may be because what I'm hearing is that connection of just being more present in your daily life informs how you think about things, how you conceive things, just the fact that you bring people together in a circle--you're thinking about connection, your formulating this in a way that serves to bring out other people's higher consciousness and connect them to something bigger than themselves and to one another. So does that resonate for you at all, that it's sort of just becoming, just a natural part of who you are as a person?

Oh yeah definitely, yeah absolutely. I don't see my life without meditation. There's no I mean I don't I don't know if I could go back to not meditating. To be honest like I don't. I'm not dependent on a lot of things--but peace, mindfulness and calm-- probably those are some of my good dependencies. You know when you were speaking, it reminded me of this quote. And I don't remember who the author of it is or who said it, but they said that, and I'm paraphrasing…a mind once expanded…Shoot. It was essentially a mind once expanded, will never regain its original form.

Mm hmm.

And that's what mindfulness meditation has done for me--it's expanding my mind. My mind will never go back to what it was before. There's just so many things that I've experienced, so many things that I'm aware of now, that why would you, why would I want to even go back. And yeah. So everything has changed. I mean habits. Drinking has gone way down. You know going out on the weekends and partying--that's gone down. I still like having fun, but it's just gone down you know.  Destructive eating habits have deteriorated a bunch.

The way I speak to people, you know, is more wholesome or just it's just better and just more kind and the compassion I have. Shoot I'm a I'm a vegetarian right now. And that would have never happened if it weren't for meditation I wouldn't have seen the links--it feels like it's more in line with the values that I currently hold. And I wouldn't have held those values if it weren't for meditation, so yeah. Meditation, my practice, is a part of me. They're not, it's not really separate at this point.

Man I love it. It's beautiful. So talk us through what it looks like on a practical basis. Do you meditate every day? If so what does that look like? How many minutes, does it vary? So walk us through what that's like.

So right now, I have a pretty strict but we'll just say regimented schedule. I've a pretty regimented morning routine right now. I'm actually practicing the least amount of meditation on a daily basis then I have in months, maybe years.

So my morning routine is I wake up at five forty five a.m. I practice what's called Wim Hof breathing. It's just a breathing technique to oxygenate your entire body, get into your reptilian brain and all these things. So I do that for 15 minutes and then I meditate for 15 minutes. Now my meditation practice still follows the Vipassan track, but I'm actually not practicing that. What I'm practicing, the name just escaped me right then-- I'll sit, it's breathing--so I practice breath going in and out of my nostrils and then hitting the upper part of my lip. I'm just breathing in, breathing out, and I'm just paying attention to where the breath lands right above my upper lip. I'm just paying attention to that going in and out and I'm paying attention to you know if there's thoughts that come in my mind, whether it be thoughts about the day, thoughts about waking up that early at you know thoughts about what I could have done the day before, thoughts about what I should do today. Then I just try to refocus my mind back to my breath, and the breath coming in and out my nostrils and landing on the upper part of my lip, and I do that for we'll say ten to twelve minutes. Then I do, this is a little bit separate from meditation, but it happens during that 15 minute meditation period--then I basically do Metta and Metta is you know I think it's compassionate kindness or compassion. Loving kindness. It's a practice, you know, of just wanting well for all people and all beings being happy. Then I do a quick desire or intention for positive spiritual emotional physical and mental growth.

To have opportunities and well-being to come to me. I declare that the perfect clients, organizations, and opportunities come to me. And then I pray, and I pray for those in my life. I pray for myself. I pray for you know just things that I feel are important, and I know that it's done.

And then I finish up that, and I go straight to the gym to go workout.

Well, you're incredible and inspiring and amazing. Thank you for sharing that. So OK. I have to ask, do you have struggles with this practice? Do you have moments where I don't know if something happens and you get thrown off. And if so how do you handle that?

I mean right now it's more struggles with making sure I wake up every morning at five forty five a.m. which is not happening this week. I did it today, but this week, and last week and a half has been kind of wild. So I have more struggles with making sure that I wake up on time. Once I get into the Wim Hof breathing and meditation, No. I mean I don't view the practice is trying to be perfect anymore. I just view the practice as perfection. Right. So like if I'm just sitting there meditating that is perfection for me. As long as I'm doing the practice and I'm holding that, then that's perfection. I am struggling with wanting to do more of it. The best times that I had in my life, internally not externally, but internally was when I was practicing an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening-- which can sound like a lot of time. But boy do you get that time back--time back which is present. So that's a struggle and in maintaining mindfulness throughout the day, that, you know, I can do much, much better with that.

So yeah those are some current struggles and challenges and opportunities.

When you first started meditating, especially after the Vipassana retreat and maybe that first year, did you have different challenges?

Oh yeah for sure because that first year I was trying to incorporate it into a daily routine right. So you go to Vipassana, and this is not a spoiler alert for anybody who hasn’t been or who wants to go--but when you go to Vipassana, they ask you to maintain the practice.  And no, you're not going to meditate twelve hours like you've done at the ten-day course. But I think the recommendation is 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. So that was a challenge. You know in the first week it was fine. I was maybe doing it more in 30 minutes the second week. You know I was still doing pretty good. But after a few weeks, after a couple months, it was after a couple of weeks actually--it was tough. Like I still do it and still adhere to that. That was years, years of trying to incorporate that into a daily routine before it actually began sticking. I don't know at what year it became a regular part, but I would say probably three or four years into it--like three or four years of you know trying to practice meditation on a daily basis. And finally after three or four years it became a daily practice of mine. So that was a challenge. You know and something that again, like once the mind expands like you're aware of just how it can benefit you. And so you feel down on yourself. I fell down on myself for not practicing the way I should, and I would go back to a 10 day meditation retreat--another thing they recommend is you go back to a 10 day meditation retreat every year--just to be reminded of it. And you go back to it, and you're like “this is so good”. So yeah that that first year and even a couple of years after that, those were, those are challenging, even to this day. You know like trying to go back to figure out on the calendar when you’re going to do it and each time there’s obstacles.

It’s like each time on the meditation retreat, specifically, like there's this question about whether I should do it or not. And every single time after I go I'm like why did I even question this.

This is t never a bad decision. This is always a good decision for me.

So that's that's kind of the irony of meditation--it's always a good thing for me personally, but it's like man.

I think it's like, I think for a lot of people, they maybe can relate it to working out. It's like if you're on the fence about it, like I'm kind of tired, should I do it? Should I go and then you make yourself do it. And then afterwards, yeah that was great. You never regret going to take a jog or workout. I think it's very similar to that. Anytime we're doing something good for our bodies.

But yeah just that mental shift, that it's a priority. And the funny thing about the mind, you know this, the mind can be pretty creative and find all the reasons why you've got to do everything else. And there's a saying and I'll probably botch it but paraphrasing it--it's like if you think you don't have 10 minutes to meditate you probably need an hour. So it's like when you think you really don't have time for it, and you're so busy and you're so this and all of that, that's probably an indicator that you do need it right.

Yeah I agree.

But the mind's so great at coming up with reasons not to do it.

So. OK Rob. Where can people find you online?

So you can find me at a couple places. The number one place to get connected with me if you want to join the Entrepreneurs Dinner and the other stuff that we have going on--if you're an Entrepreneur who's looking to grow your business and you know you either need to connect with mentors to get to the next level or you just wanna develop relationships--maybe it's lonely for you, kind of being in the entrepreneurial space, which it is for a lot of us. Or you just need relationships in order to take you to the next level, to grow to either you know six figures or above. Then the best way to connect is at EntrepreneursDinner.com. That's Entrepreneurs with an “s” dinnerdot.com and there's a Join Us button you can just click that. Outside of the EntrepreneursDinner.com website, we can connect on Facebook. And so if you look up Robert James Collier or just go to Facebook.com backslash Robert James Collier and that's c o l l i e r that's my Facebook. And then it's also Robert James Collier at Instagram. It may change shortly but for the time being, Robert James Collier on Instagram. Those are three places that we can connect.

I just thought of something. Tell people about your TED-X talk which I loved. it was so great.

Thanks. Thanks for taking the time to watch that, which was really cool of you to take the time before we even met to watch it and give me feedback on that. [00:31:55][8.6]

It let me know like already that you and I were going to connect on a deeper level, and our first conversation didn't disappoint at all and neither has this conversation. So thank you. And so my TED talk. My TED talk is called Why are Billion Dollar Brands Chasing Intimacy?, and it's the idea that in an age where we're more connected than ever people actually are more disconnected than ever before. In fact 72 percent of people report feeling lonely or isolated even when surrounded by family and friends. And it's my opinion that there's no more truth in that than in business. I mean in business we go to work with these work faces on. We can't be ourselves. And in business as a whole there's just a really missing or a gaping hole of intimacy and getting to know each other. And so I have a TED X talk called Why are Billion Dollar Brands Chasing Intimacy that explores that concept and then shares how some of the biggest brands in the world are using intimacy to build their businesses, their brands and their employees. And so it's for anybody who falls in any of those categories, whether they're entrepreneurs or artists or employees who just want to become better at what they do. Maybe you know checking out the TED talk might be a good idea.

It's awesome and I will also include links to all of your fun stuff in the show notes so people can check that out. OK Rob thank you so much. Our official talking about meditation and mindfulness has concluded. But now we're about to enter a new phase of our talk which is my extra silly not related topic about hummus, in this section called Hummus Among Us. And I've got hummus here. So you and I are talking remotely, so we’re in different locations, but we both have the same hummus. This hummus is from Eatzi’s. So for people that live in the DFW area you can find this particular hummus—it’s Roasted Red Pepper, and we are both opening it up. They have really good packaging right?

Yeah…and I've already actually opened mine so.

All right so let's talk about when I posed this to you about hummus. Yeah, I think you told me you don't really eat the hummus. Is that correct?


I'm not opposed to hummus, but I never buy it or you know it's not--it's not anywhere in the top 100 of things I think about buying. So I like it, but I just it's not a common thing that I eat.

OK so now I'm super curious what are say the top five things or several of the things you typically like eating?

Yes, I'm vegetarian right now--have been for almost a year and a half. And I'm similar on my morning routine.

I basically eat this stuff every day like it's…so the top things that I eat are blueberries, pineapple, mango, and then I also have a lot of eggs. I have black beans, brown rice and avocado, and in fact in the morning I'll have blueberries, mango, and pineapple in a cup. That’s first thing that I eat, and I'll have like three or four scrambled eggs. And then afternoon for lunch, what I'll probably have in just a little bit, is going to be a burrito with eggs, black beans, brown rice, avocado, and maybe like a little bit of hot sauce.

Yum. OK well I'm curious what you think of this hummus. Because obviously I think it's pretty awesome because I selected it out of all the hummus in all the land to share with you today. So let's both of us have some. So I've got broccoli for what I'm dipping my hummus in. And what do you have on your end?

I have a nice celery stalk…putting more hummus on this, but I got a big old stock of celery that I'm about to break into now.

Okay sweet. So we have it where the mike is here to hear us chew it.

I know. Okay. So if this offends people, because I know there are people out there who cannot stand to hear people choose. They think it's pretty uncouth, and it sounds horrible. But so if that's you, I'm gonna give you guys a fair warning.

So don’t listen right now. But this is in real time, us eating hummus live.

So let's let's each do that.

[Chewing) That's good isn't it good. That's good. Are there eggs in there?

No there isn't. Look at the ingredients--it's super pure. It's like basic stuff, it's like hold on.

Oh yeah it's at the bottom right.

Garbanzo beans, tahini paste, oil--but it's interesting that you feel…do you feel an egg fluffiness about it?

Yeah I think that's what it is. Yeah I told you I'm not a big foodie person but yeah…Or like like it reminds me of like a tuna salad. Like the consistency of it.

It's sort of like a whipped, a whipped nature.

It's good.

OK. Curious. So it comes with this layer of red pepper sauce. I mean you know, pureed I guess.

Are you the kind of guy that mixes it all together or are you kind of keeping it separate?

Half of it is mixed with that red pepper, so I just went straight for the mix. I am. Yeah.  I'll usually do it so that like a portion of it is mixed, maybe not all of it, but like a good portion of its mixed so that way if I want to go outside of the mix and just try that, I can.  Then I can go right back into the mixed portion of it.


So I'm not trying to, and I'm not getting kickbacks from Eatzi’s or anything like that, but I'm just curious do you think you would ever come back and buy this hummus and it's OK if you don't--if you're like one and done it's OK.  I'm curious do you like it enough where you're like it's interesting, maybe I'll add it in?

Yeah. So I don't know where Eatzi’s is, but this is--I would say-- one of the better hummus that I've had. So if it was close by, after finishing this, I would probably get some. Well which says something because I don't buy hummus. If there was like further away, then I would wait for someone to either gift it or somebody was talking about hummus I'd be like “Have you tried Eatzi’s?”

Okay. So just typical, like two locations I can think of that are pretty convenient, and there might be more and I should put the Eatzi’s website on the show notes so we'll do that too. But the one that I like is right there on Oak Lawn and Lemmon.

Oh it's like within 10 minutes of me.

No excuses now.  And then Lovers and Northwest Highway, sorry Tollway. Lovers and Tollway, a little further.

I think I know. I said I'm not good with directions. I just got to look it up on a map. But now that it's close by.

All right. So I kind of turned someone on to hummus. I feel like my work here is done.

Yeah I mean shoot. Good conversation. Help me out with some hummus. That's gonna be eaten pretty quickly so yeah. Thank you. I would definitely pat you on the back if you were here. I. I'll do a virtual here.

Well I want to pat you on the back and thank you. I really enjoyed talking with you and learning more about you and honestly I know I could talk to you for another hour. So you're super interesting. I personally want to do the Entrepreneurs Dinner so I'm gonna go continue. I think that once you go to the Web site, then you send out a form to prospective people and they fill it out?

Oh yeah. And I know I know we had an issue with that. Up until a couple days ago, Convert Kit, my email provider didn't send stuff out but it's working now. Yeah. Once you go to EntrepreneursDinner.com and click Join Us button, I immediately send out an email. And included in the email is a link to an application. Something that people really like about us is the application that we have and just really the process to attend to dinner. So it's invite only, meaning people have to apply in order to get there. If they don't apply they can’t come.

No ifs ands or buts and yeah just an application we get to know a little bit more about you. From there we schedule a phone call and we actually have a one on one phone call with people. People love the phone call. I mean I've had people literally like cry on the phone with me. I've had people say it was you know one of the best phone calls. So Kristen's OK with me sharing this because I've asked before, but Kristen and I had a conversation and she definitely teared up and I think it was beneficial to her, and she ended up after that dinner--we still don't know why-- but having the best month ever in her business after the first dinner that she attended. And she's obviously, she's doing really well for herself. So that says a lot. And that was really cool. But yeah just going online, get the application and we go from there.

I love it. So just to kind of put a bow on this I think when I think about you Rob I think about connection and think about your personal practice which is all about connecting inside right. Getting to that space, making time for that space, honoring that space within yourself. You're then able to create opportunities for people to connect both within themselves and then to one another. And I can tell you from my personal experience too that my business began to thrive when my focus became connection, when it became about not me but the person I was serving. And I feel like you are doing a great job of weaving all of those pieces together. You're connected. You're helping others connect and helping people connect to people they didn't know before, and it's all about relationships. So thank you for doing this beautiful thing in the world. One last question for people who may be listening outside of the DFW metroplex, can they become involved in Entrepreneurs Dinner?

Yeah absolutely so. We have people that come from around the country so it's not just Dallas Fort Worth.

We have people that come from Texas that are in Houston and Austin, Texas and other places--but really we have people from all over the country that come from California, from Minnesota, New York and everywhere in between. And in fact on average we have people flying in from three or four different states for each dinner. So you're coming from out of the country you're more than welcome. But real quickly Melissa I just want to say thank you. Truly. So first of all that summary was awesome. You're spot on and I appreciate the acknowledgement and the encouragement, and yeah these  conversations have been awesome so I'm looking forward to you know further developing our friendship, and this sure this is a hell of a second conversation right here.

Thank you so much Rob. So till next time when we talk. Please take good care and I will talk to you soon.

Melissa Marks