293 - Your Turning Point With David Jacques - John Laurito
Episode 293 Your Turning Point with David Jacques Tomorrows Leader Podcast with John Laurito

293 – Your Turning Point With David Jacques

Today, host John Laurito is joined by Author, Speaker, Tech Entrepreneur, Mental Health Advocate, Host of the Wedotalk podcast, and the Director of Wedo, David Jacques. They talk about David’s journey from being the first CFO of Paypal to where he is now. He also shares his struggle with mental health and being an advocate today.

Having worked for startup companies, venture capital firms, and banks in the US and UK, David Jacques now focuses on supporting the freelance/gig economy and helping others to develop their methods of working independently. He believes in the power of talking about mental health and removing the stigma associated with mental illness.

Connect with David:

[0:00] Intro

[2:19] What was it like being the first CFO of Paypal?

[5:04] Any regrets about leaving the company?

[9:29] Leaderships that he has encountered in his journey

[12:33] Showing appreciation for hard work

[14:40] A turning point for David

[24:52] David’s mental health and becoming an advocate

[30:41] What can leaders do to help people who are struggling in life?

[33:45] More about Wedo

[38:20] Learn more about Wedo

[40:33] Outro

Get a copy of “Tomorrow’s Leader” on Amazon.

John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome tonTomorrow’s leader. 

John Hey, they’re tomorrow’s leaders. I love guests who come on and are extremely authentic, open, vulnerable, candid, honest. And that is today’s guest, David Jacques. He’s got a great background. The first CFO of PayPal, he was treasurer for Silicon Valley Bank. And now as chairman that we do a really cool company for freelancers and independent workers that’s coming to the United States. But importantly, this conversation was about leading yourself through life, leading yourself through tough times. You’re going to hear him describe some really, really crazy stuff and what he’s gone through, how he’s handled it, how it’s made him stronger, how it’s helped him become a better leader. Lots of takeaways in this. I know you’re going to like it. I loved my conversation with them and could have gone for a long, long time, but we got a lot into 35 minutes or whatever it turned out to be. So here he is, Davey Jakes. All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John the your host. I am excited about today’s episode. I got a great guest for you today, David Jakes, who’s the chairman at We Do. He is also the first CEO of PayPal. He’s been treasurer of Silicon Valley Bank, super successful, very great guy to talk to. Great, great story of his life. I’m looking forward to delving into it. But David, welcome to the show. 

David Thank you, John. I was actually first CFO, not CEO, PayPal. 

John Sorry, CFO. So David, let’s jump in. I want to talk about a few different things and I’m really fascinated by your background. Maybe we jump in right there. You know, you’re you obviously being the first CFO of a company that everybody knows, PayPal. And this was back obviously when it was just starting. What was that like? I mean, tell us let’s give us the scoop on that. 

David Well, it was 1999 and it was right in the middle of what we now affectionately look back on as the dot com bubble. And it very much was a bubble. And I’d had a career in banking at work for Barclays Bank in London and in New York, and it was a job posting to the job that brought me to the U.S. I moved to California in the early 1990s and worked for a regional bank here. I was treasurer of Silicon Valley Bank, which was just a wonderful experience. But I’d reached that point in my life where my job had become repetitive, routine, administrative, and it was actually at the beginning it was more fun because the company actually was having some problems. So we were I was part of the new management team that came in and turned it around. So that was good. And then it got to this just kind of routine administrative cycle. And I thought, you know, I’m living here in Silicon Valley. I’m right in the middle of all of these start up companies. There’s lots of stuff is happening. And, you know, the big giants of those days were companies like Yahoo! And AOL that were really beginning to go. Netscape was one. It was probably one of the biggest IPOs of whatever year it was. Right. And I thought, you know, I want to experience some of that myself. 

David So the way to do this is to find the start out. So I started looking around and looking at different start up opportunities, got introduced to a few companies and I got this introduction to this company that nobody had ever heard of called PayPal. That literally was 12 guys in a one room office above a Hallmark greeting card store in Palo Alto, California, in a room not much bigger than the one I’m in right now. And that was the beginning of it. And the person that created the technology, Max Levchin, who is now the CEO and founder of Affirm, who came out of the cryptography business and he was very much a security guy. And they had this idea for a online financial services company that would really break all the rules of everything that the banks were typically doing. So it just fascinated me. It really gripped my interest. And so I as you yourself, John, gave up while paid job with a highly respected company and my friends and family. Some of them said, wait a minute, you’re giving up a good job with a good company to go and do want to go somewhere. And a lot of people thought I was crazy. Maybe I was, but it paid off. So it was the journey at PayPal at the very beginning was either the best job in the world, the worst job in the world, the most exciting or the most scariest thing? I am the planet, depending upon which day you talk to. 

John Wow. That’s that’s amazing. Just to think back to that point in time and now reflect on on what the company is, but what a cool experience. Any regrets on not staying there or as you look back now? 

David Yeah, not really, because the time that I left was the right time for me to to move on. So, yeah, I was there through the true startup phase of the not two guys in the garage, but a little bit more mature than that. And by the time I left with grown from a thousand people to 500 people with set up a customer service center in Omaha, Nebraska, of all places, and I’d raise something like 150 million in equity capital in the time that I was there. So it had been an incredible experience and rapid growth like I had never seen before. But one of the reasons why it was was right for me to leave was that in the first few months that I was there, my wife and I had our first baby, and we actually waited a long time to be parents. And we actually got the news that my wife was pregnant right around the time I started my the job at PayPal. So I was working incredibly long hours for a very demanding company that was moving very fast at the time that I really wanted to be home with my baby daughter and my wife. So I took the decision for me. I took the decision to to do what I needed to do. I was well vested in the company. I got a lot of benefit by being there. I knew that that experience, plus my experience in banking would probably put me in a good position for the future. So I just decided, you know, I’m going to take three months off, I’m going to recalibrate my life and then figure out what I want to do next. It was the right thing for me to do. 

John That’s great. Well, you know, I think so many people don’t follow that path. You never get that time back. And they look back and they have regrets that they didn’t do that. So congrats for what turned out to be, you know, obviously a great decision. I’m sure your daughter agrees with that as well. So in a way. And what was that three months like? So did you did you instantly come to a point where something came to you and you said, okay, now here, I know what’s next? Or how is that process? 

David Well, it was at the time where that dotcom bubble, which is a cliche I don’t really like, but it was beginning to look a little fragile. And this valley here, you know, I right here in Silicon Valley, lives and breathes with the tech market, technology, the stock market. Things were starting to look a little bit fragile, but I wasn’t really that worried. I knew that I could just take a little bit of time off. I knew that I come back stronger a few years earlier. I’d actually taken a fairly significant amount of time off. I took off for more than a year and actually moved back to Europe for a little bit of time in between jobs before settling in Silicon Valley. And I came back again mentally so strong and with so much more energy to be able to then look for a new job, start a job, love what I did, really enjoy it, put the energy into it and really want to do well. And another few times now and I highly recommend anyone that is able to do that. I think it’s a very powerful thing to do and and it worked very well for me. Now, what happened in reality was as soon as I let it be known that I was leaving PayPal, a couple of other things came my way and a couple of people came to me and said, Well, if you’re interested in working for us, we’re interested in you, but we’d like you to start next week. And I said, No, I have to be true to myself. I have to give myself this break and I have to do it the way that I need to do it. So I did. I was true to myself. 

John It’s great then compromise. I love that. So in your journey, you’ve you’ve obviously come across many, many examples of leaders. Are there some that stick out to you, whether they’re extreme examples of great leadership or the opposite, you know, extreme examples of bad leadership that you learn from? 

David Oh, absolutely. I won’t name names of people that do a job badly, but a couple of things that I’ve experienced myself back in my days working for Barclays Bank, working for a boss who was incredibly inconsistent with his moods, and on a good day, I could go to him with an idea. He’d be supportive, we’d talk about it and it would get traction and things would really start to move ahead in the positive way. And on a bad day, I could go to him with a similar good idea and he wouldn’t even really give me any time of day. So you never quite knew where you stood with somebody like that. And for myself, what I’ve taken away from that is. People like consistency. 

David They like to know where they stand, if you can show a consistent personality. Sure, we all get upset about things. We all have our bad days. But if you have the ability to be at least relatively predictable, people will like that from you. Another another example that I saw, not that it impacted me directly, but I do remember one of the highly competent, very profitable traders in the trading room that I worked at at the bank who did such a good job that he was promoted and he was promoted to a management role and he had no management experience. So the company basically set him up for failure and they said, Here’s your reward. You’ve done such a great job. We now you’re now in charge of this group. And what they should have done was just pay them a high bonus to just do an incredibly good job and make more money. So so those are kind of some of the, the bad examples that I’ve seen, the good example. And as it is a compliment, it’s somebody I think right now I will name him John Dean, who was the former CEO at Silicon Valley Bank when I was there. And John was somebody who could come into my office, give me more work, need more of my time and more of my energy, and make me feel good about it. Because I came away from that thinking, if John trusts me to do this and John wants me to do this, I want him to do well. And I would I would stop at nothing and I would make sure that I did a good job because I wanted him to succeed and he would appreciate what I did would always tell me that he appreciated what I did. So guess what? Next time he came and asked me to do something and make me work harder, I was totally up for it. 

John Yeah. It’s funny, it seems like a lot of leaders don’t understand that and it seems almost obvious, but the concept is showing appreciation. Do you find that a lot of leaders sometimes miss that? 

David Unfortunately they do. And I think that there is probably a fine line between expecting that somebody does their job and they do it well, because any leader should expect that the people that work for them does a good job. And if you have goals, you have objectives, you have a workload. And achieving 100% of your goals and 100% of your workload is just getting the job done. If people exceeded by a little bit and I’m not talking about 200% because that’s not realistic. But if anybody exceeds their goals and come produce, say, 110 to 120% of what they were tasked to do, that person should be appreciated and they should be told and they should be either rewarded with compensation, stock options, bonus, whatever it is that the company does. But I sometimes think the small things go along the way and part of that is the verbal somebody coming into your office and saying, I know you worked really hard on this. I know it took extra time. I really appreciate that you did that. Thank you. That’s very painful and very powerful. 

John Yeah, it’s funny. I was talking to somebody who used to work for me, and she had made a comment that there was one an email, just a simple email that I wrote that and I don’t remember. And she didn’t remember what it was in regard to. But my response was, Awesome job, you’re a rock star. And she said that impacted her so much and it just infused her so much confidence and positive feelings. Sometimes as leaders, you don’t realize the power of the small things, those little comments. And you’re right, sometimes it’s more powerful than than money or promotion or whatnot. Those are great things that people strive for. But those small things are easier to give as a leader and sometimes much more powerful and don’t cost anything yet. We sometimes missed the opportunity on that. Yeah. So what is I know you’ve, you’ve gone through so many different experiences. It’s one of the reasons I love talking to you because you’ve, you’ve done so much, you’ve seen so much, you’ve impacted. I want to get into what you do now, but I know there was a turning point for you. And I remember you talking a little bit about a month in particular, I think it was December 2018, which was really fascinating because it was a very unusual month. Certainly, I’d love you to share a little bit about that and what actually happened and what it led you to do. 

David Sure. It was it was a very dark time. It was a very painful months. And I didn’t realize at the time that one bad thing was happening after another. The most significant thing that happened that was the most impactful upon me in that particular time was. Was a very evil, very malicious cyber attack in which I was working for a financial consulting firm. At the time, a significant amount of a client’s money was stolen, and that that just put a huge amount of questions on all the things. That was actually the third thing that months beginning of the month, I was in a car accident. Not a bad one. The car was pretty beaten up. I was fine. My passenger was fine. But an unpleasant thing to have happened. About a week later, a family member passed away. And that was a that was a loss because that was the last member of a particular generation. So I felt the impact of that. And then the cyber attack happened on December 21st. And what I distinctly remember about that incident was that I’m not a particularly religious person, but I do enjoy Christmas, I enjoy the atmosphere, I enjoy the decorations, I enjoy the music and the festivity. And it’s just a time of year that we tend to think of just enjoying life a little bit more. 

David And Friday, December 21st, was the last real business day of the year because there’s was the weekend and then Christmas Eve was going to be on the Monday. And so I remember that day distinctly. I’d been in San Francisco. I met a friend for lunch and was walking back down to the train and I got a phone call. And once evolved, over the next few minutes was a realization that a routine financial transaction that I had been a part of had gone badly wrong. And we had been hoodwinked. We had been. Five two. We have been treated very badly because this was one of the most cleverly done things that I could possibly see. Unbeknownst to me, various people’s emails have been hacked, emails have been intercepted, payment instructions have been altered. And I wired money to criminals and not my own money, my client’s money, which then immediately put me into a major survival mode. The last thing I expected to do when I got up that morning was be reporting a crime to the FBI and to an overseas financial institution because the money have been wired overseas. And I just remember at one point in that afternoon thinking to myself, am I ruined personally, financially, or maybe both? And one of the things that happened in the time that soon thereafter was that somebody asked the question, I wonder if this is an inside job and David’s in on it. 

David If I was on the other side, I might have asked that question myself. So I don’t feel badly that the person asked the question because I may have done so. So everything kind of came to a halt because it’s the holidays. It’s difficult to get resolution. And then right after Christmas, I then learned that my then 18 year old nephew had attempted to take his own life. And fortunately, he’s doing well today. Everything is going fine with him. But I discovered that right couple of days after Christmas and it’s like, what is happening? My my world is tumbling down around me. And instead of being in this this point of life where I thought I was doing well and I still had a family that loved me and I loved them very much and a lot of support and support from people that knew me. So none of that had really changed, but it was like everything around me had changed and the outcome of the cyber attack did get resolved reasonably well. Much of the money was recovered, not all of it. And there was a settlement as to who was responsible for paying for it. But that took nine months to get settled. And in that period of time. John, as you know, when you work in financial services, you have deadlines. And so the first quarter of 2019, I know I was missing deadlines. I know I was not working efficiently. And it’s because my brain was still in somewhat of a fog and I just couldn’t really function until I got some kind of a clarity on on everything. And, and that particular day that I learned of it led of the cyber attacks and I can tell you exactly where I was. I was on 18th Street in San Francisco, and I was walking east. And after those first few phone calls, I passed Dolores Park. Anybody that knows San Francisco, beautiful little city park. And I sat down on the bench and I had a full blown panic attack sweating. It was December. 

David I’m sweating, palpitations, elevated heart rate, difficulty breathing. And all I could think afterwards was anybody that saw me on that park bench probably thought I was high on something or whatever because I just was not functioning well. And the thing that I actually remember about that day is that there was nobody there. I was totally alone and in reality. People were there, traffic was there, busses were there, cars were there. But I had just completely zoned out and I was totally alone. I don’t know how long I was there, but it was a very, very unpleasant, catastrophic thing to have to go through. And then then I had to kind of get myself back together, take the train, get home, and then start the ball rolling with trying to alert the authorities with with what just happened. But, you know, that that period of time was a turning point for me. And I remember the day after this happened. My wife said to me, You’ll learn from this and you’ll emerge stronger. And I said, No, no good will ever come out of this. Nothing positive can possibly come out of this. But, you know, it did. And she was absolutely right. I have emerged stronger from from that. I have learned how to not have anything like that happen again. I’ve coached people in how not to let something like that happen. And I’ve also emerged stronger as a person and more emotionally strong. And I’ve used those experiences to my benefit to really learn the recovery from them. So I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish I hadn’t had to go through that day. But of all those things that happened in that month, learning that an 18 year old had attempted to take his own life really put it into perspective, because with a cyber attack, at the end of the day, some of this money had been stolen. Nobody had died, but a young person could have died. That is perspective for me and made me realize there’s more important things in life. 

John Yeah, you know what? And that’s. That’s as you’re telling me the story, I’m thinking the same thing. I mean, honestly, that’s. That’s there. There’s so much disaster in life that can be repaired and overcome. And then there’s something like that that you realize the magnitude of problems and put it in priority order and really what is important and what’s not. But thanks for sharing that. First of all, fascinating story. And I can can’t imagine that. I mean, I’ve been through some really tough stuff. But first of all, I think many people go through very tough things. But to have it all at you back to back to back like that in such a short time, I think a lot of times people feel just you feel the sense of hopelessness and, you know, what’s the point? What’s next? What’s what other bad thing is coming? And, you know, you come out of something like that, a stronger version of yourself. Did it did it take a while for you to feel that way? I mean, or did you kind of you get out of that and feel like, okay, I’m done with that and now it’s, you know, smoother sailing moving forward? Or did it just take a long time for you to kind of look back and say, all right, I get it, I came out of that stronger than I came in. 

David It took about I’d say it took about nine months to get to the point that I felt it was completely resolved. I was in a better space of life. I was back in control. And I could really then turn my focus to the positive things in life and move on. 6 to 9 months was about the amount of time of, like I said, a lot of a lot of my memory of that period of time as a fault. I don’t really remember much about it. 

John Yeah, amazing. Well, and I know you’re doing so much great now and that’s you know, I know you carry with you a lot of these lessons. You mean in you personally as well as people in general. And it helps make you a better, stronger leader moving forward. And, you know, one of the things you’ve dealt with and I know your nephew did, obviously, is and you’ve been open with sharing with with many people, as I was sharing with you on your podcast a little bit ago about my issues with panic attacks for 25 years, there’s so much that somebody struggles with that you don’t see. You never know. And sometimes until it’s too late. And you were very open in sharing that you had struggled with depression yourself for for many years. I think it was. Share a little bit about that. And maybe from a leader standpoint who’s listening, what can they gain from that, especially when we talk about mental health in the workplace? 

David Absolutely. And I’m happy to do that. And the more we talk about it, the better. And the more that we talk about it openly and rationally, the better. And yes, I am open about it and I’m happy to talk about it and share my stories and any length of detail that anybody wants to go into. But I’ve only been doing that for about the last three years, and it’s really from that turning point in my life that I decided that this is something I really wanted to do and before that. I kept that side of me hidden. So the way I’ve described it often is that like five years ago, nobody would have known this. Barely two people on the planet. I say three people on the planet knew that I had battled depression, one of which was my doctor. And I kept everything very quiet because it’s not the sort of thing that you talk about. Society tells us we don’t talk about it. There’s a stigma attached to it, and I was probably doing that a little bit too much and feeling somewhat ashamed. Basically, my story goes back to pretty young years. I had my my first episode of mental illness at the age of 11, was hospitalized, did have suicidal thoughts, missed a whole year of school. So by the time I did get back into school again, I was pretty much a year behind everybody else. So it’s almost like a kid has to repeat a grade, which some kids do. And I did not because I wasn’t capable of doing the schoolwork, but because I’ve been sick and the sick with something that nobody understood and nobody would want to talk about and would have put the labels on it of being crazy or being insane or whatever it would have been. And and I was afraid of that. 

David I was was very scared of that. And then I did get well, I did get caught up and got my life back on track again. And and for most of my adult years, I kept that part of me very, very private. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to go there. I didn’t want to admit to it. I got very good at deflecting questions. And so people would ask me questions about my high school life. I would get very good at deflecting them because my high school life was a little bit different because I was in the school for special education, school for kids with special needs, because that’s where I felt at the time. And I was just very, very paranoid about people finding out I was putting that pressure on myself. It wasn’t so much somebody was telling me, You have to be quiet about this. It was me telling myself that much through my adult years, I was was pretty stable. I had a major relapse in 2003 when I went back to seeking medical advice, psychiatric help, medication therapy and have been stable ever since with one or two little relapses here and there, but nothing really that major. So once again, I had never talked about it when I did have that session in 2003, I was working for a venture capital firm. I didn’t tell the people I work with what was going on. I had to take a couple of days sick leave because I was sick, but I don’t remember what I told them. I probably lied about it. So they had food poisoning or something when that wasn’t the case. 

David Because I couldn’t face going to work. And it wasn’t that I was holding back because these were bad people, because I know that the people that I was working with at the time would not have given me a hard time for this, but it was that I didn’t know how to talk about it and I had to learn to do what I’m doing today and saying that I was born with the tendency to have this mental disease. And it is a disease. And it’s to me, it’s no different to say a diabetic, you know, a diabetic, their body doesn’t produce insulin at the right level. So they have to take supplements medication to be able to control that. Somebody with high or low blood pressure, you can regulate it. Mental illness is an imbalance of brain chemistry. And it can be regulated, it can be treated. It can be treated medically. It can also be treated with therapy and it can be treated holistically as well as many things that can be done. But one thing that won’t treat it is ignoring it and hiding it and not being open about it. And one of the things which I wanted to do, and then when I came through that rough period of life a few years ago, I decided I wanted to be an advocate for mental health, wasn’t quite sure how to do it, but I knew that I wanted that to be part of my mission for the future. And that’s really what I’ve been doing. Not full time and not the whole time, but it’s what I’ve been doing for the last like 2 to 3 years. 

John Outstanding. What? So here’s the challenge. I guess it’s, you know, so much and you become a part of a great point. It’s you have to talk about it. You’ve got it, you’ve got to address it. You can’t ignore it. So for for leaders that are out there, leading organizations that that truly do care about the well-being of their people but don’t know that somebody might be struggling. I mean, it’s a silent struggle. What can a leader do? I mean, what’s what’s something that they should be thinking or doing or. They are creating in their culture to help people that might be in their organization that they don’t realize are struggling with this. 

David I think the important thing is to show that it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to show our vulnerable side. And if anybody who is a leader has been through some major obstacle in their life, mental illness is just one thing, has been through dealt with addiction, for example, or alcoholism or something like that by being open about it themselves. I think they get nothing but admiration because there’s nothing better for motivating people, helping them to motivate themselves, and seeing somebody who is a leader who has been through something challenging in their life. It could be a cancer survival. It could be living with a disability, that these things, as long as they are open and honest about who they are, encouraging other people to do the same. And for those that have not been personally afflicted with with any such situation, I think by just being very open and say that we’re an inclusive organization, not everybody is perfect. We don’t strive. We may strive for perfection in our customer service and our product, but individuals are not perfect. Everybody has some kind of a quirk. Everybody has something in their their makeup that that may make them less perfect than somebody else and one aspect or another. And to show that whatever your imperfections might be, you can work on them. You can get encouragement for working on them. You can address them. But if it makes you feel vulnerable, it’s okay to say so and that you will not be intimidated and you will not be ostracized if you show yourself as being vulnerable and being honest as to who you are. 

John I couldn’t agree more. And the more that I’ve gotten to know leaders and get really close to leaders in organizations, the more that you become aware that there’s many, many more people that are struggling with something and you don’t realize it, and many people’s tendency is to just keep it in. And so part of it is the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone. There’s a lot of other people that are probably very close to you that you would never guess that are dealing with whether it is addiction or mental health issues or panic attacks or whatever the case may be. And that should give you a little bit of a heightened awareness about about it. So I appreciate you being so open about it. You’ve let’s talk a little bit about we do. I know we’re running a little short on time. And I want to I want to have you share with the audience because I think it’s a great organization you’re chairman of. We do. Tell us a little bit about what you do. What’s the story of the company is and where it’s headed, what the vision is? 

David Yeah, it’s surprising how many times you use those words. We do what? What do we do? What do we do? It we do. One of the things I really loved about the name so so we do is a company that is launching its app very soon in September of this year, 2022. And it’s going to be a tool to save time, energy and money for anybody who’s a freelancer or an independent worker. And what it will do is the business side of it is it’s going to be a great new app that combines an integrated calendar to contact customers, make appointments with customers, hold an online session and get paid all in one place. So it will take away that fragmentation of. As an example, I work out with a personal trainer. We do it online since the pandemic, and we text or we email for communication. If we don’t put it in our calendars, if we have a change in schedule, it gets missed off. And then we do an online session on Zoom and then he’ll send me to PayPal, to Venmo to get paid. So this will bring all of that and put it into one place. So it will save a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of money for the people who are looking to build their business as a freelancer. And that is really the gig economy is something which is is very much here to stay. And we’re seeing a huge increase in that. And so that will be the main impact to really help people and really use that as a tool. But in addition to that is to create that sense of community. And John, you just mentioned those four words that I use a lot. You are not alone because it’s very easy to feel isolated, whether it’s it’s business or whether you are going through your own personal issues or whatever you might have happened. It’s very easy to. 

David Think I am the only person on the planet that is worried about this particular thing. Well, guess not. Thousands of other people are thinking the same thing. And so by also creating the sense of community and, you know, we could have a community of music instructors, a community of yoga instructors, a community of personal trainers, a community of creative people, performers, producers, musicians, where they can talk to each other, have an online forum, learn from each other, teach each other, and not be in competition with each other. So that sense of community, especially as we do move to more of a diversified, dispersed workforce, people are doing things routinely online these days and in-person business is still very much happening. But there’s so much more of a move to doing these things online. So so we do is like the future of freelancing with a social media aspect. 

John I love that. Well, I think there’s a lot of independent business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers that are probably using five or six different vendors for all those things, maybe ten. I know, I know. I think about myself and I’ve got, you know, one platform to charge fees, one platform for Zoom, one platform for calendar, one for texting, more for email. You know, you’ve got one for calendaring, setting appointments, one for CRM, you’ve got all this stuff. So it sounds like you simplify life. And I love that. I love anything that simplifies my life and my clients life. So that’s music to my ears. 

David Yeah, we’re really excited about it. And the founder of the company is a wonderful lady. Her name is Indiana Briggs. She’s an American married to a Scotsman living in Spain. So a lot of international background that she has. She’s an engineer. She’s a programmer, she’s a businessperson, she’s a singer songwriter. So has been through so many different things in her life. And when I was actually talking to her earlier today and she was saying, said, you know, I’ve never actually had a job, she’s never had a conventional corporate, salaried job. She’s always done the freelance thing herself. 

John That’s great. That’s amazing. True entrepreneur. I love it. And if people want to learn more about you or learn more about what we do, where do they go? How do they do that? 

David So we do can be found. The website we do II, which is is very easy. There is going to be an AI component to it. So that’s why we adopted that. For the for the website, you can go to the website, reserve your username. We’ve got about 37,000 registered people right now to use the app when it first kicks off, that’s increasing pretty rapidly. Best way to find me is really LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, that pretty much the social media parts that I use. But you can find me on LinkedIn. 

John Excellent. Well, I’ve downloaded my we do app and taken the name John Laurito. So for those of you out there that are trying to become a John Laurito and we do, you can’t now it’s taken. So get on there and get your name. Well, this has been great. David, I greatly appreciate your insights. Really impressive story and life and background and lots of leadership takeaways. So I appreciate you dedicating your time and also being so open, transparent and authentic because that always is. It’s rare nowadays, honestly, and I greatly appreciate that. 

David You’re very welcome. I think there’s also a little bit of a gender thing. Women are much better at talking about their feelings as guys still have a way to go. Oh yeah. And I think that, you know, for men listening out, there is nothing wrong with it. Be vulnerable. It’s okay. 

John Absolutely. Excellent. Well, thanks for joining my friend and thank you all for joining. We’ve been here with David Jakes, who’s the chairman of We Do. And great, great insights on leadership, as you heard him share a little bit about we do, if you want to check it out, which I highly encourage you to do, all the info will be in the show notes, the links, everything there. Be sure to check David out and the group. And also we do and as always like share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. I appreciate your ideas for future guests and future content and before you go, but go down below, give a five star review. Of course, that is appreciated as well. And thanks for joining us today. Take care. 

John Thanks for joining us. And today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks. Lead on. 

 

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