BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 99 Featuring Cameron Sorsby, COO Praxis
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Hello, BIRTHFIT, Dr. Lindsey Mathews here, your BIRTHFIT founder. We’ve got a really unique and special, to me, episode today. We have my cousin, Cameron Sorsby. This is actually not about birth or postpartum at all. We are talking education. He’s involved in a higher education system. I don’t even know if that’s correct in saying that because it’s an alternative education system and alternative option to the standard go to grade school, go to high school, go to college path that society has deemed the path for us right now. And he is the COO of Discover Praxis, well, discoverpraxis.com, that’s the website.
Praxis basically is an apprentice at a start-up, and this company has partnered with some awesome start-up companies. They get people in the door for that action, that real world experience. I have admired Cameron since he started doing this and found this four-something years ago because I think he and I think very similarly in that we like action, we like doing rather than sitting at a desk and we feel like we’re doing nothing there. I could relate to him whenever he would skip class in high school, but I was also one that was like, okay, if I’m going to skip class, I better have the grades to skip class, where Cameron probably didn’t just care.
We are in a time in our lives where we are going to see a time of change as far as education and alternative paths go, probably in the next five years, ten years, and more and more college university may not be the route of choice for many people. I hear that a lot more living in Los Angeles and when I go and visit friends and family in Austin, but I think it’s going to become more and more culturally accepted to start your path or whatever path you want to go on, right out of high school, or at least try some things out in the field that you are curious about. I think that’s some pretty valuable stuff there.
One of the things I like to say to people is everybody should have a job waiting tables, and I think everybody should because this was my first introduction to being an entrepreneur. Yes, you’re under the supervision of the general manager and stuff like that but for me, my well-being basically depended on the tips I received. I didn’t have spending money or cell phone bill money or whatever if I did not make a certain amount of money waiting tables or actually I started busing tables as soon as I could get a job.
So I think those are really valuable tools that oftentimes get overlooked. Just being in action around business, around entrepreneur skills, around your personal brand and who you are and what you represent in this world, in a company and beyond. So, super cool episode, I hope you check out discoverpraxis.com and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. If you land on their website, there’s a little chat person that pops right up, so, they’ll be happy to answer your questions. I hope you all get some really good information out of this episode and if you know any high school students, definitely share this with them.
Welcome to the BIRTHFIT podcast. For those of you listening, I’m here with, I say every guest is special but this one is super special because we’re related by blood. This is my cousin, Cameron Sorsby, wot, wot. Cameron, tell everybody who you are and what you do.
Cameron: So first and foremost, I am the cousin of Lindsey Mathews, my proudest honor, but other than that, I’m into all sorts of stuff. Right now my big focus is Praxis which I’m the COO of and I’ve been with the company for, coming up on four years which [0:11:40] [Indiscernible].
Cameron: But Praxis, we run a start-up apprenticeship program where we’re connecting awesome, high-quality young people, preparing them for the real world and then placing them in apprenticeships with growing tech start-ups all over the country, so it’s kind of a one-year personal accelerator to start your career.
Lindsey: Wow, that’s a mouthful, huh, apprentices, la-la-la, tech start-ups. How did you get into this and how did this fall into your lap?
Cameron: Yeah, so I met Isaac Morehouse, he’s our CEO and founder, when I was finishing up my last year of college here in Charleston, South Carolina, and I actually, I interned with him at his previous organization, and I got to know him. It was during the year I was interning with him, he started thinking about launching Praxis. I think I was the fourth or fifth person he talked about it with and immediately when I heard the idea, I just knew that I wanted this to exist and I wanted to be a part of building it.
Lindsey: So on a personal level, why did you know you wanted to work with this company or why you wanted this to exist?
Cameron: I’ve always never really enjoyed sitting in a classroom.
Cameron: No, and I’m sure you may have remembered some good times, good stories from.
Lindsey: Yeah, time out. Cameron’s mom, my aunt, used to stress all the time about Cameron passing classes and going to school.
Cameron: It wasn’t my favorite thing to do.
Cameron: So I had that background, but all the while, growing up, I was always more interested in mostly being on the soccer field, played competitive sports, and that was usually my focus. I loved to read and I loved to engage in politics which at the time was the only thing I could think of that was associated with big ideas and somewhat philosophical. I wasn’t exposed to much, obviously.
So I loved learning, but there was just something about being in school that I always rebelled against and that continued K through 12 and it also continued through college. So I just remembered just always being dissatisfied. I used to think about what would be a better path myself, and then getting to know Isaac, before he specifically talks about Praxis, we would talk a lot about education and what was wrong with it and what could be some better alternatives. So when I heard the true pitch for Praxis, it was just like a brilliant light bulb that went off, like, yes, this all makes sense. It’s so obvious. It just happened.
Lindsey: So before we dive into more about Praxis, what are some of the biggest, I guess, wrongs or maybe ineffective is a better word, ineffective things about current education or schooling?
Cameron: Yeah, there’s a few to choose from. I think the biggest one is preparation mindset, and school really embeds it into everyone, especially with young children. It can just hurt their soul a little bit. It takes away some of the joy to life. I know it did in my experience. But the big thing I’m talking about here with preparation is basically the thesis of school is you need to prepare for the real world and the best way to do that is within an isolated setting like a classroom. You need to learn theory, you need to learn certain core subjects in order to prepare for this completely different environment of both professional life and just personal life as an adult. I think that’s completely wrong. I don’t think there are many things that are out there that you can truly prepare for just through studying and memorization. I think there needs to be an element of taking action and learning by doing.
Lindsey: Learning by doing, I’m into that, yeah. All right, so, Praxis, what’s the normal course that people take from the moment they find out or land on discoverpraxis.com and then connect with you all?
Cameron: Yeah, first off, we get so many awesome young people coming to us, and they come from a lot of different backgrounds. We have a few main markets, I guess, where people tend to be coming to Praxis from. One of the big ones is homeschooling communities since they’re already open to alternative education, but it’s true, they also make much stronger quality applicants for us on average. They tend to be more mature. They tend to already be more self-driven because many of them are already taking ownership over their own education. Some of them also, because of their homeschool setting, they’re able to actually get out and work at a younger age most of the time because they have flexible hours and stuff. So we love homeschoolers, and they find us through many different ways, all the content, podcasts, other in-person appearances at campuses and everything.
Once someone’s on the website, they’re usually — Praxis is pretty radical so first thing is they’re looking to learn more information about how the program works. I think our best applicants are doing a lot of upfront research and figuring out, is this the right option for them? So they can do calls with the team, and we have our awesome blog where there’s just a lot of good, general, professional development insights, and then they’ll start the application process.
Lindsey: What do you look for in the application or do you go through the applications at all?
Cameron: Yeah, yeah, I used to manage the application process and now I’m still part of the final review team once candidates get to the final stage. But I love our application process because it’s a sample of what the program is going to be like, but what we look for in really strong potential participants of the program are really all the soft skills and intangibles that you need to succeed as a young professional.
So we look for a few different areas. One is just that high character element, and that’s everything from, do you have a strong work ethic, and you can show that in a couple of different ways but mostly for an 18, 19, 20-year-old who is applying to the program, they’ll have above-average work experience for someone their age. So that person that waited tables for two years during high school, has really strong references and can also tell some good anecdotes about what they learned and, hey, what made you a good waiter or waitress, is a good sign on the work ethic.
The other big thing within character is just the sense of optimism. Really, to succeed in the program, more than anything, you need to believe that you’re going to succeed and you need to be seeing all the different parties around you, whether it’s the Praxis team, the advisers you work with, the other people in the program and the company you end up working for. These people are on your side and they want you to succeed.
The worst thing that we can come across is a sense of entitlement or just this antagonistic attitude. That’s always concerning to us. Outside of that, we’d like to see people who have stronger written and verbal skills, again, for someone their age and nice work experience. But really, the simplest way I frame it when I’m talking to people is we want to see people that are doing something interesting and impressive outside the classroom.
We have a mix of people. We have really high achievers, academically, and we have people who took more of a path like I did early on, bored and disengaged, but you need to show that you are engaged in something, whether it’s through entrepreneurial small projects you’re doing. A lot of our participants run some type of small business in their town or online, just taking that initiative, and that’s always a great sign.
Lindsey: Got it. So would Praxis be ideal for someone coming right out of high school or right out of college or does it matter what age they are or…
Cameron: Yeah, it’s really loose with stages. Most of our participants, our average is 21, so most of our participants are either doing Praxis right out of high school or maybe they found out about us while they were in college and then they decide to drop out and do Praxis instead.
Lindsey: Got it, got it.
Cameron: We also work with quite a few recent college grads who maybe are considering doing some type of MBA program or law school and they see Praxis as, hey, this can be the entrepreneurial postgraduate program that I’m actually looking for. There are so many people today that, this is already a problem with the decision from high school to college, but it’s becoming more and more of a problem with college to postgrad programs of just, oh, I don’t see another clear option for myself so I’m just going to stay in school longer and rack up some debt which [0:23:34] [Indiscernible]. If you want to pursue higher education, great, but I hope you’re doing it with intention, I guess.
Lindsey: Yeah, that’s a good word, good word. So what would be some of the reasons that you would give, let’s say, high school grads considering going to Praxis versus college? Maybe they’re into it, but they’ve got to persuade their parents.
Cameron: Oh, my goodness.
Lindsey: Is that common?
Cameron: Oh, it happens all the time. It’s funny, we’ve been doing this for over four years now and every year, it seems like it’s less and less common that, whether parents or just social pressure people get, is decreasing to considering alternatives, but it is still incredibly high. It’s unfortunate because everything is stacked up against these awesome young people, and these are the people that are really making an effort to actually think deeply about what they want for themselves and their future.
Quite often we will get people that they find us, they go through the application, we accept them, and it’s not until they get accepted and then they go and tell mom and dad, like, “Hey, I found this awesome program. It’s super radical doing something completely different from college. I think I’m just going to do this instead.” Then there’s that moment of freak-out by the [0:25:18] [Indiscernible].
It’s funny, we have conversations with quite a few parents at that stage because, of course, especially the ones that are financially involved in the decision, we’re happy to talk with them anytime about — just introduce ourselves and what we’re about. Most of the time, once they learn more details about the program, they get it. It just makes sense.
But the arguments, I think, are, one, it’s super low-risk. If you’re deciding between doing college and doing Praxis, we’re not anti-college, we’re for whatever is best for you as an individual, so a lot of the times, we frame it as, hey, if you’re interested in this, and you clearly are, check it out. It’s one year and worst case scenario, you go through the experience, you have more professional experience than ever, you’ve learned some, you’ve developed personally and then if you decide that college is right for you afterwards then you can pursue that.
Most of the time it’s relatively easy to do a gap year for high school, incoming and everything. So usually a little bit of that, but I think it’s really just the comparison of work experience compared to being in the classroom, and doing college, you’re just delaying the inevitable. You’d have to start somewhere. You’d have to launch your career at some point. I think most people are ready to do it sooner than they think.
There are companies all over, looking for awesome talent. It’s usually the types of jobs that these young people want after doing college. We can help them, get them right away so you must have some pretty good reasons if you want to invest six figures and more importantly, four, five years of your time to go get it another way. It’s just more efficient.
Lindsey: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Praxis partners with a lot of techy start-up companies, correct?
Cameron: Yeah, we do.
Lindsey: Yeah, can you share any of those or can you share anything about what some of the positions are that maybe these companies look for or look to fill?
Cameron: Yeah, of course. I get most excited talking about our business partners. That’s what I spend most of my time doing right now is recruiting new companies and working with our existing ones so, yeah, talk about a couple. I was actually just out in San Francisco last week visiting a lot of our active business partners out there.
So in general, we work mostly with tech start-ups that are anywhere from ten to 15 employees, all the way to 100-plus and up, but mostly in that early to mid-stage where 20, 30 employees and they’re trying to really ramp up so now would be an awesome time to join the company and be part of that high growth trajectory. Compared to your stereotypical corporate job, the environment you’re going to go into with a Praxis company is going to be really dynamic environment. You’ll be in a set position but at the same time you’ll have to wear a lot of different hats and just be able to learn new skills on the fly.
So, a couple of companies, one of them — so what I look for is, all right, do they fit that kind of growth profile and then are they the type of people we want to be working with and sending our participants to, so just a general culture vibe. We’ve got a really cool company on San Francisco called ClickUp, and they’re a project management software, so their competitors are like Trello and Basecamp. These guys are awesome and they’re also perfect profile of Praxis company because the founding team, they were college dropouts themselves, so they decided not to stay in school. They’re also from North Carolina and Virginia.
So they started these companies and they did well with those. Once they were ready for the next thing, that’s when they moved out to San Francisco and started ClickUp, and they’ve been doing that for about two years now. They have 30 employees, they’re doing really well, and we’ve sent them a couple of participants. They’ll take a few more this year too. Our participants love it there. Again, the founding team are just really, more important than anything, just really good people, very down to earth, and you get some awesome experience.
The positions we’re placing people in, one of them was doing video production, so he was creating a lot of their marketing videos. That participant, he actually left to start his own thing because he has the largest cryptocurrency YouTube channel.
Cameron: This past fall, he had been building this for the last couple of years and then this past fall when everything with cryptocurrency has become more and more popular, he’s like, I have something here that I want to build out, so he left. The team was super excited for him. They’re all entrepreneurs themselves.
Lindsey: That’s cool.
Cameron: Still works for them on a contract basis doing videos. Then the other position that we’ve been placing with so far is client success role, so that’s somebody that’s interacting with their existing users and helping them figure out how to use the software and troubleshoot problems. This is a position for early on in your career because you get a little bit of sales training, you get a little bit of more like internal operations and more like problem solving, project management type stuff, and you get really get insights at the marketing side because you’re learning, okay, this is how our customers are using the product, these are their pain points, this is why they’re using it.
Then after you get experience, one to two years, you can start to craft what your next steps are. That’s a really big thing we emphasize, is right now at this time in your career, it’s impossible to know what you want to do. You can just start doing things and then from there, you can start crossing things off, of what you do like and what you don’t like. So we get them in a position with this is a really nice starting point when you’re doing your apprenticeship.
Lindsey: Yeah, that makes complete sense. This advice, I think, could go towards anybody but especially for those newbies that are just starting with a company, do you have any advice for on the job, what they should look for, what they should try to learn, what they should get out of it?
Cameron: Yeah, I think there’s so much to be gained that people don’t realize in any work experience, and the biggest skill that you need to learn as early as possible is just how to create value for other people. You need to learn to create value for your employer, and you need to learn how to create value for your customer base. There’s nothing specific that can’t really fall into that category. It’s more of just having that mindset.
You’re here, you’re receiving pay from an employer; you guys, as a company, you guys are taking revenue from paying customers; you need to give that customer, you need to give that employee a return on their investment. Just understanding that’s the essence of the employee-employer relationship, that the essence of the business-to-customer relationship, consumer relationship, and they’re most important.
To do that, there are a lot of things you can do but there are a lot of little things that we tell our participants to focus on, especially your first few months on the job are not going to be at a high-skill level with whatever your role is yet and so you need to [0:35:14] [Indiscernible] for that and doing all the little things and mastering the fundamentals of being a young professional, little things like staying, showing up first, leaving last, being the person that cleans the dishes, takes out the garbage, all that little grunt work, that’s what you need to do.
A good question to ask is what can I do to make my colleagues and managers around me, how can I make their jobs easier, and start identifying their pain points and try to figure out how you can solve them. If you do that, I think that’s the best way to get started.
The second thing I think that’s most important is just that social and emotional intelligence, figuring out how to build relationships with colleagues, navigate some of the office politics that can come up, if you get an angry customer on the phone, know how to deal with them appropriately. Those are little things that just translate into any environment.
Lindsey: That’s pretty interesting. I’m like, I’m going to share this with our regional directors. So when you’re looking at a start-up business or a business you partner with, you mentioned culture is pretty important. Are there any other check boxes, like, they really need to be using Slack or more technical things rather than out there things?
Cameron: Right. Honestly there’s never too many specifics that we look for. The reason why we work mostly with tech start-ups, because we know what their talent needs are, the participants, and we basically fill mostly any entry-level, non-technical role like, sales, marketing and operations.
Lindsey: Got it.
Cameron: And a lot of those companies are using the same or similar software tools so we can prepare our participants and get them exposed to some of that stuff during our boot camp before they start, or as they’re in the apprenticeship, they’re still working with us and our advisers, get them trained up on any specifics.
Yeah, with companies, it really comes down to two things, the growth opportunity at the company. Because they’re a little young and they’re growing themselves so if you go and impress them, you’re going to have every opportunity to grow with that company or at some point, you want to leave and pursue another opportunity and that’s going to be great preparation for that. It’s really the culture and when I say culture, probably it’s hard to find bad people in business, in my experience. There are a lot of awesome people running really cool companies.
Lindsey: I bet some people in America might disagree with you.
Cameron: I bet they would, but it’s their problem not mine.
Lindsey: You’ve been fortunate.
Cameron: The biggest indicator, to me, that it could be a good fit is when I start talking with a company, it’s usually the CEO or the founder or maybe a department head, and they’re like, oh, man, I wish this was around when I was younger.
Lindsey: Oh, that’s cool.
Cameron: They usually get it at a deeper level, and what we’re doing really resonates with them, so that’s always a good sign that they’re going to be an awesome place to send their participants to.
Lindsey: That’s pretty cool. Have you read the book Principles by Ray Dalio?
Cameron: I’ve dabbled in the book Principles, got through about half of it. It was really good.
Lindsey: Yeah, it’s really good. The principles are in the middle part.
Cameron: I, honestly, I’d rather — I really liked reading Ray Dalio’s story. That was the most fascinating part. I just love the biographical stuff, but it was funny, I might get into trouble for saying this, I don’t know, but he’s in a position of his career, like, he’s done, he has done all the hard stuff.
Lindsey: For sure.
Cameron: He has accomplished so much, and he’s in that giving back mode, great, which is great, but I think he has lost a little bit of that killer instinct and his message to me is just a little bit boring now. I see all of his Twitter ads and everything. I was like, all right, I get. You’re not wrong, but it’s just —
Lindsey: The savage is gone now.
Cameron: Yeah, yeah, and that’s what I loved.
Lindsey: Yeah, he was pretty savage —
Cameron: He was.
Lindsey: — coming up. Oh, go ahead.
Cameron: I was going to say Kobe Bryant, that’s who I want to learn from. I don’t think he has lost any of his killer instinct.
Lindsey: Considering he just won an Oscar.
Lindsey: No, I was going to tell you that the BIRTHFIT handbook, we made our principles according to or very similar, adapted from the Principles book.
Cameron: What is one of your principles?
Lindsey: Well, here, it’s not private. I’m going to pull it up right now. The thing that resonated with me a lot with what Ray Dalio was saying was the culture, and you touched on culture which was cool. BIRTHFIT is basically culture plus the organization. That’s what makes the BIRTHFIT organism which is we had to figure out how to tame the beast, I guess.
Cameron: What do you mean?
Lindsey: Because we have so many amazing people within our tribe and I really like how Ray Dalio uses everybody’s strengths and then it’s okay to embrace negative feedback and to have conversations that involve disagreements and stuff like that.
Cameron: Yeah, that open —
Lindsey: Yeah, it’s huge.
Cameron: It’s like a humble curiosity.
Lindsey: For sure, and I think we got to a place, and this is all BIRTHFIT business talk right now, where we were tooting our own horn, like, oh, we’re doing such a great job, when we were 30-something deep, a team of 30-something regional directors, and of course we were singing praises to everybody because everybody is doing a freaking fantastic job. But then it’s like, okay, actually let’s have meaningful conversations because if we continue to agree and there’s no disagreement then how are we going to grow or how are we going to progress? So that’s what really resonated with me.
I’ll give you his idea that involved radical truth and transparency. We very much embrace that. We embrace the idea meritocracy, so the best idea wins out, not whoever has been around the longest because I don’t ever want it to feel like, I call it the old boys’ club, but an old girls’ club. So our first principle is we trust in radical truth and radical transparency. Nobody should have anything to fear from knowing the truth and if you don’t know something or it’s not clear then definitely ask about it.
Cameron: I love it. I have close relationships with a lot of the companies we partner with, and I get to see them as they grow from being a 20-person team to a 50-person team to a 150-person team. It’s just amazing. You’re adding so many people to your team so quickly, and I know you’ve experienced this, regional directors, the dynamics change so quickly. It’s important to establish some principles, like that foundation, what’s most [0:44:48] [Indiscernible]. It is hard to tame the beast in that way.
Lindsey: I say tame the beast in such a positive manner because I want us all to be able to use our unique strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses or blind spots so that we can all grow and progress because we’re all after the same goal. That’s why we all came to BIRTHFIT but, yeah, I think culture is huge. Logan had his leadership conference or his leadership summit. You’ve got to come to this. You would love it.
Cameron: [0:45:28] [Indiscernible].
Lindsey: What about the book Reinventing Organizations, have you read that one?
Cameron: I haven’t read it.
Lindsey: You’ll love this. It’s about the Teal organizations and, God, I forget the author’s name. It’s pretty famous but I’m not good with names, but how personal growth also contributes to organizational growth. That book was also super influential for BIRTHFIT’s growth which was, you’ve got to have the processes before you can give everybody the responsibility and the freedom.
Cameron: It seems both those things just help provide that framework and structure, you guys do what you do best.
Lindsey: Yeah. The whole start-up, like the start-up world is so interesting to me, or the tech start-up world because we’re tiptoeing around that as BIRTHFIT but we’re also in-person, small business company. So I love to hear about it and what they’re using because we all have to communicate via Slack or video chat or whatever.
Cameron: Our team, we’re remote. We’re starting to build an office out here in Charleston and bringing a good portion of the team here but, yeah, working remotely is just super interesting. Our program is remote, at least the first half of it through the boot camp and then the participants go and live where their businesses are located.
Lindsey: Oh, so the first three months.
Cameron: Yeah, first six months in boot camp, they’re online, so they have a curriculum portal online where they’re going through the monthly modules and projects. They’re meeting with their advisers just on Skype or Zoom or something. A really cool tool we have is we host our community of alumni and participants on Facebook Workplace. I guess they’re competing with Slack. Essentially it’s internal team communication, but it’s pretty much a dedicated Facebook for a single organization which is really cool.
Remote work is great. It allows people flexibility, and it has allowed us to add people to the team that maybe otherwise would not have been able to at least start with us if they had to be in a different location. I think you just have to be more purposeful with your communication. You have to think about, all right, you can’t take for granted that the team is together in person and in the office on a daily basis so —
Lindsey: That is so true.
Cameron: — chemistry and camaraderie have been a big thing for us in going from 3, 4 people to ten, plus our contracted advisers. We’ve got to come up with some pretty good ways to just work together.
Lindsey: Do you think working remotely, for start-ups at least, do you think that’s where everything is headed?
Cameron: More yes than no. I think it has a cool, interesting trend of just not having set salary jobs where people are choosing their work with more flexibility and maybe, all right — for instance, I’ve got to give Isaac credit for this one because he provides this analogy, but like making a movie, there are hundreds of people that are involved in making a film, so they come together for a year to make it and then market it, promote it and then release it and then all those people disperse. You won’t have that same combination of people on another film exactly, [0:50:03] [Indiscernible] of them work together again, so why is that? More and more, maybe that translates to other areas, but I’ve learned there’s something about in-person that is just really hard to replace.
Lindsey: Yeah, it’s so valuable.
Cameron: Yeah, even the ability to travel and get to the same location together, in some ways it’s becoming easier and other ways mostly connected to difficulty of visas and immigration. It becomes more difficult. So we’re right in that position now where we’ve been remote since the beginning but we’re deciding that, hey, we want to build a team in Charleston, in this location because we think it will be highly beneficial for us to be in the same spot together as we try to take Praxis to the next level.
Lindsey: Yes, good transition, what is the next level for Praxis, or what are you all’s goals?
Cameron: Yeah, so we did 120-plus participants out of the program last year which was more than double the year before, and things are going really well right now. We want to continue to grow at that pace and then at some point in the next few years, it’s a big timing issue because what we’re doing, it’s still very early on. People are starting to question more and more, like, hey, what is the best way to transition to my professional life, more and more, not just assuming that college is the best path, but we’re still very early in that process.
So, for us, it’s a little bit like — we, right now, we’re creating our own market for what we’re doing which comes with its own challenges but I think at some point in the next years, there’s going to be this point where it becomes crazy and blows up. That’s where we want to be ready for that and create it ourselves essentially but, yeah, I think long-term, we see Praxis as being this gigantic awesome place that you can go to start your career instead of having 15 participants start a month. There are hundreds and thousands of people joining Praxis all the time.
Lindsey: That’s pretty awesome.
Cameron: Yeah, and there’s just a lot of other cool things we can do in the space too. We’re piloting an internship program this summer. It’s just a gig, condensing all the program into six months instead of 12 and you do a three-month boot camp and then a three-month internship. The internship is 20 hours a week, so it’s part-time. The goal there is to be accessible to people that are really interested in Praxis but aren’t quite ready to take that really big leap to doing a full program [0:53:35] [Indiscernible] maybe even work with a slightly younger audience too and do things in those areas. At the end of the day, what we exist for is to help people discover and do what’s going to make them come alive as a person. So as long as we’re following that why, that underlying mission, we’ll be in a good spot.
Lindsey: That’s cool. I’m glad you touched on the younger population because that my next question. Are there ever going to be any summer camps?
Cameron: We don’t have anything yet for newborns but maybe… Sorry, what was your next question?
Lindsey: For middle schoolers, high schoolers, maybe high school is too old because they can go into Praxis now but 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade, it would have been cool, looking back, okay, let me explore some options here.
Cameron: Yeah, oh, my gosh, [0:54:49] [Indiscernible] I personally decided about what I’m passionate about. That’s probably the most harmful thing about being in school your whole life. You just don’t get exposed to the real world. I think the more you can expose kids as they’re growing up, to people running businesses or, I don’t know, anything else really, anything —
Lindsey: A trade.
Cameron: — the better, yeah. When I meet new participants, some of them, their parents were entrepreneurs or business owners, and there’s something, before you have that information of course, you can tell. Oh, they’re been around this type of environment. They grew up in it. I think that’s huge. So, yeah, there may be something. It would be really cool to see someone else come up with something really cool. There are some interesting things going on in that space like the Sudbury Valley Schools which are [0:55:56] [Indiscernible] schooling philosophy.
Lindsey: Where is this?
Cameron: It started in Massachusetts, somewhere in New England, and now there are different schools all over the country. The whole premise is to have an actual location where these young kids can go and have a learning experience, but the whole philosophy of it is there’s not a set curriculum. You offer guidance and options to explore, and they may dictate what they want to do. So it’s following that at that stage, that age group, it should be mostly play to them, [0:56:47] [Indiscernible] and then they’re going to naturally discover what they’re most interested in and pursuit it and then maybe go onto something else, but they’re learning how to learn.
I saw something that — are you familiar with WeWork Office Space?
Cameron: I they’re running some type of pilot or something but kind of a WeWork school for kids. It was younger than high school. They were testing [0:57:23] [Indiscernible] where they would go to one of the WeWork Spaces in New York and then they would take some classes but they would also just be around the companies that work out of WeWork and just get to know the people that work there and everything, get exposed to it, and they’d run more professional simulations or workshops and things like that.
Lindsey: That’s pretty cool.
Cameron: Maybe in the next five to ten years there’s going to be drastic changes to education.
Lindsey: I was just thinking that, and I was going to ask you that. We should see change, a lot, in the next five-something years.
Cameron: Yeah, I think technology just makes it that much easier.
Lindsey: Yeah, more accessible.
Cameron: More accessible and, I don’t know, there’s something going on where people are starting to catch on where it’s like, we’re not satisfied with things.
Lindsey: Yeah, or they know there’s just a different way.
Cameron: Yes, yes.
Lindsey: Well, cool. All right, where can people find Praxis on the Interwebs?
Cameron: Yeah, a few different places, obviously our website which is discoverpraxis.com and then I would definitely recommend following us on all of the various social media. Our Instagram is now just ridiculously awesome and it gives you a good insight into the day-to-day of some of our participants in the companies, and it’s probably the most personal look at Praxis. Oh, man, I guess I should know. I’m pretty sure it’s also Discover Praxis on Instagram.
Lindsey: Yeah, that sounds right.
Cameron: Yeah, and then Twitter and Facebook of course. Yeah, we’ve got some really cool resources on the blog especially because I’m sure your audience may be not quite ready maybe themselves or they have much younger children, but there’s some really cool stuff on the blog just to get familiar with our approach and some of the underlying principles that apply to education at all levels.
Lindsey: Awesome. Well, thanks for chatting with me today.
Cameron: Thanks for having me on. We’ve been trying to do this for a few months now.
Lindsey: I know. Where is Praxis taking you next?
Cameron: I just did Austin and we got to see each other in Austin.
Cameron: Then San Francisco. No immediate plans right now for another trip. I usually do a trip to go visit some business partners every other month, so I’ll probably head out to Chicago or Washington, DC at some point.
Cameron: Yeah, [1:00:48] [Indiscernible].
Lindsey: I’m into Praxis.
Cameron: Me too.
Lindsey: I hope so.
Cameron: I’m into BIRTHFIT. What you’re doing, I’m slightly jealous. I feel like right now you have the title of most bad ass family member.
Lindsey: I don’t know if anybody in our family truly understands what we do.
Cameron: Maybe it’s just my rating then.
Lindsey: Yeah. I’ve got to get to that middle level of start-up so I can get somebody from Praxis.
Cameron: Oh, well you’ll have the pick of the litter when you’re here.
Lindsey: Awesome. Well, thanks for chatting with us. I know the BIRTHFIT audience will, I mean, they value any information but especially relative education, I think there are parents already looking for that especially in Los Angeles and every other city in the United States, so thanks for sharing.
Cameron: Yeah, you got it, thanks, Lindsey.
Lindsey: All right, BIRTHFIT. I hope you enjoyed that episode, me chatting with my cousin. I don’t know if you all could tell but I am the older one, yes, older, maybe not much wiser but we can relate on a ton of things and I love Cameron dearly. I think one of the best things he said and got at was that we need experience. We need experience in the fields and especially at that entry-level position, I think he mentioned it was like a sales position that their Praxis members usually start at. That way, you can explore the company, the growth that’s possible and learn the ins and outs of everything.
So experience, real world experience is huge. I think that can be taken into any facet in life, like, okay, experience in the childbirth world. Maybe you’re pregnant for the first time. Definitely, definitely, definitely seek out information, education, take birth classes, go tour the birth center or the hospital, get familiar with the surroundings that are going to be there or the people that are going to be there for your big day. So, experience, that’s a big one.
I hope you really enjoyed this episode. If you want any book recommendations, I know Cameron has them. The books that we mentioned were Principles by Ray Dalio, and Reinventing Organizations and I’m blanking on the author, Frederic Laloux. God, I should have known that.
Also, if you have any interest in leadership, personal development or organizational development, Reinventing Organizations, the book is one of Logan, my fiancé, one of his favorite books and his entire Hold the Standard Summit is all about this. So check it out. I know it’s offered at limited times in limited locations throughout the year. The last one he did was sold out. So check it out, Hold the Standard Summit, and you can find Logan at Functional Coach on Instagram. You can find Praxis at Discover Praxis on Instagram and also their website, discoverpraxis.com, tons of good information. Bye.
[1:05:31] End of Audio