He Thinks I’m CRAZY to Work with Small Businesses … Until I Reveal One Trick
“If you want to start your own business, you have to be a little bit crazy. No one smart does this.” I love the conversation Bob Pool pops on me during our Water Cooler Hangout -“So you like to work with small businesses … are you crazy?” But we bond over a similar distaste for the bureaucracy of big businesses - six meetings to choose the color scheme for a website?! - and I share my secret that makes acting as a service agency a breeze.
We also talk about Facebook ads, which Pool doesn’t like and for good reason - it’s a complicated platform that takes getting used to. But we talk about how I think Facebook will never change from tracking to API … and how Facebook retargeting doesn’t mean that Zuckerberg is watching your internet usage.
We also talk about:
- My opinion on the potential antitrust breakup of Facebook.
- My secret to getting the best from my team members, despite the fact that I sometimes forget their names.
- How eventually, every business owner becomes an obstacle to their own business’ growth, and they have to learn to get out of their own way.
- Our favorite travel destinations, and why it’s “first world problems” that we can’t travel during COVID.
- What stoicism means to me.
About the Show: Bob Poole is the host of the Water Cooler Hangout.
Bob Poole: How does one go from high school dropout to the founder of a seven-figure digital marketing agency? Dylan Ogline is now a leading expert in direct response advertising. But prior to 2016, he found himself working on ten-plus business projects and nearly a million dollars in debt. Tired from struggling, getting no progress, and working from his freezing basement, he discovered the one thing that allowed him to build Ogline Digital into a seven-figure agency generating over a million dollars in sales three years running. Join me today as we talk about that and more with Dylan Ogline.
Hi, this is Bob Poole. Welcome to the “Water Cooler Hangout.” Where over 40 years I’ve been helping people like you grow and prosper. Please join me and guests like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Loren Cordain, Beverly and Tim Walton, Phil Elmore, and more as we share real-life stories about sales, marketing, leadership, creativity and current events. Need help in moving to the next level? Find out how others have done it by listening to the “Water Cooler Hangout.”
Hi, everyone, and welcome to the “Water Cooler Hangout.” I’m here today with Dylan Ogline. He’s a high school dropout from a small country town in Pennsylvania, a town I’m familiar with in fact, because I used to have to drive through it every time I crossed Pennsylvania on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Welcome, Dylan, how you doing?
Dylan Ogline: I’m doing good, Bob, thanks for having me. How about you, how you doing?
Bob Poole: I’m doing okay. Other than the fact that we have a major nor’easter snowstorm coming today and they’re talking about dumping up to 20 inches of snow on us later on so.
Dylan Ogline: Well, it’s supposed to get down here in Florida. I think it’s supposed to down into like the 40s tonight.
Bob Poole: That’s pretty cold.
Dylan Ogline: I’m feeling it too. I’m feeling it too.
Bob Poole: I feel bad for you.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, you should.
Bob Poole: Right before we went on the here together I got a message from the township I live in. They declared a snow emergency so.
Dylan Ogline: You’re in I think you said Bucks County?
Bob Poole: Yeah, Bucks County. You familiar?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I mean, I’ve heard of it. I lived in Pennsylvania most of my life so I’ve heard of it. That’s out towards Philly, right?
Bob Poole: Yeah, it’s the county Washington’s Crossing and all that. It’s the county right above Philadelphia heading up towards New York. So it’s on the Delaware River.
Dylan Ogline: I think I played hockey out there. Hockey out there once. Back in the day.
Bob Poole: So you have a fascinating biography. You started your first business when you were 14, right?
Dylan Ogline: That is correct. Yeah. Selling cellphones on eBay. Flipping phones on eBay as somebody said recently.
Bob Poole: And had you already dropped out of high school at that point?
Dylan Ogline: No. This is pushing the memory here. I’m only 31, but this is like 17 years ago, wow. So no, I technically I finished ninth grade, dropped out of tenth grade. So what happened was is I convinced my parents to let me do homeschool so I could focus on the business. And I sold them on it, and back then, you had to pay for it so I had to pay out of pocket like a couple thousand dollars to do homeschool. And this was all virtual and everything, but this was primitive stuff back in the day.
Bob Poole: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So they let me do it, and I never opened any of the books. I might have taken like a couple tests just to mess around, but never did anything. So then I think it was shortly after I turned 16 technically I dropped out of high school.
Bob Poole: And so what did you do then?
Dylan Ogline: So the cellphone business got shut down because my merchant provider found out that I was under the age of 18 so I couldn’t accept credit cards. So but I made a good chunk of money off of that. I stashed most of it and started doing like web design, graphics design, basically anything I could get my hands on to try to get things going. Invested in some real estate. Bounced around way too much for like 12 years getting absolutely nowhere until I finally started focusing on digital marketing. But it was a painful road between that initial setup and finally getting things to click.
Bob Poole: Yeah, you had a word in your biography that you said was key to where you are today and that word was focus?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Hindsight’s 20/20. I like to say that the solution was sitting right in front of my face. Like it was there, but I was just too blind to see it, because I was too caught up in the day to day, too desperate to try to make things work. And I see that now that I’ve gotten into kind of education and mentoring and teaching other entrepreneurs and business owners, I see that as so common. Where if you’re caught up in the day to day, you’re desperate to try to make it work. You’re trying to bring in revenue, so you go in so many different directions thinking, “If I can just get a couple hundred bucks a month here. Or make $1,000 a month there off of this then I can focus on the main thing.” But in most cases, you never actually get those things going. So it’s better to just focus on the main thing and that should lead to your success. Sure as hell did for me.
Bob Poole: Yeah. No. I mean I agree, I think focus is the key. Some of us learn it later than others. Myself being one because I’ve always had kind of an inquisitive mind, and I like to go in different directions, and look at different things. And it’s easy to get caught up in it, right?
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah. Shiny object syndrome. Always chasing the newest thing.
Bob Poole: Squirrel!
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, chasing squirrels. But there’s a quote. The man who chases many rabbits catches none. And I spent 12, 13 years give or take suffering getting nowhere, and that was the problem, it was that simple.
Bob Poole: So now you call yourself a digital entrepreneur, and you help other people, and primarily in what? In advertising and marketing is that…”
Dylan Ogline: So my main business is my digital agency, Ogline Digital. With that, we specifically help medium sized businesses, sometimes small, but typically doing $100,000 to $200,000 a year in revenue. We help them with their marketing. So we like to say that we’re focused on direct response digital marketing management, which in English we manage people’s Facebook and Google ads. That’s pretty much what we do. I also have an education company where I have a training program called Agency 2.0. And with that I teach students how to start and grow their own digital agency.
Bob Poole: Okay. Well it’s interesting you brought up the Facebook advertising. I spent some time yesterday afternoon, about an hour with a whole group of people, as kind of a mastermind group. None of them had done any real Facebook advertising. I actually started doing it about 12 years ago. Because I do some of what you do, we have clients that we handle everything. At one time I used to say-- and here’s the shiny object thing-- I say, “We do everything except finance and legal.”
Dylan Ogline: You were full service.
Bob Poole: Oh yeah. Full service marketing, everything. I mean, at one time, I had placement. I’m talking like 30, 40 years ago. It was like we don’t do placement either because we didn’t want to get into that. But when Facebook opened up the Facebook advertising, so we jumped into it. We looked at it as a good opportunity for our clients. But I started it, and I looked at it, and I started doing them myself, and I absolutely hated it. I mean I hated it. I hated Facebook. I hated the fact that they kept changing the rules. I couldn’t find ad manager sometimes. It would be somewhere else.
Dylan Ogline: Their platform is a pain. Like they’re constantly changing, it is an extremely complicated platform. That is 100%.
Bob Poole: So, I mean I hired someone like you, I had to. I mean, talk about focus, my job as far as I’m concerned was not to do Facebook advertising. I never want to do it again.
Dylan Ogline: Because you hate it, yeah. You don’t want to focus on it. Get somebody else.
Bob Poole: Yeah. I mean, there’s good people out there that can teach you about it, but I don’t want to spend that amount of time. So I mean I think what the service you offer, I’m not putting in a plug here but a little bit for you, is a great service. I mean, people need it. Especially what’s going to happen now if they get rid of the pixel and go the API route? How’s that going to work?
Dylan Ogline: There still has to be some level of tracking. I think Facebook would cease to exist if they don’t. I do think Facebook has gotten too big. I think there was something the other day I saw that they’re talking about breaking it up. Having Instagram be separate. To a certain extent, like I agree with that, I think that’s okay. But these privacy concerns, I believe that there’s a lot of misconception. Most people, they see an ad. It’s like, “I was on this website 20 minutes ago and now there’s an ad for it on Facebook.” That’s just re-targeting. But people will sit there and they’re like, “That means Mark Zuckerberg is tracking my internet history!” That’s not what it is. So I think there’s a lot of talk about them changing privacy, changing tracking, and whatnot. I can’t see that happening because it would destroy Facebook.
Bob Poole: Well, I mean if they go the route of removing pixels and adding the API for tracking, I think that’s a business opportunity for someone like your company so. But to change the subject jus slightly here.
Dylan Ogline: Sure.
Bob Poole: So let’s talk about small business. You say you work for a lot of small businesses. So are you crazy?
Dylan Ogline: Why so?
Bob Poole: I have also worked for a lot. I’ve worked for Fortune 100 companies years ago, but I have to say that I’ve worked for a lot of small companies, and I like small businesses. I like the fact that they can move quickly.
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah. That’s nice.
Bob Poole: Yeah. You can see what happens. You don’t have to sit in meetings with 12 guys in suits or 12 people in suits with five of them are attorneys. I hated all that kind of stuff where you would work on a project for maybe a year and I saw that. So a year and several millions of dollars were spent just putting a project together. Never launched. And top management change, CEO changed, and came in, wiped it all out. Who cares? Let’s go on to a new project. So I like small business, but a lot of my friends who are consultants absolutely are fearful of small business. They hate it, they think it’s the worst thing in the world. So what attracts you to small business?
Dylan Ogline: So keeps me away from focusing on the big businesses is I hate the bureaucracy. I’ve done web design projects where you have to sit through meeting after meeting after meeting deciding on the color scheme. Like just make a decision, guys. So when I’m saying small businesses, I believe a lot of people get caught up on if you’re dealing with somebody who can’t afford your solution, whatever it is, whether it’s web design, consulting, marketing management like me. If they can’t afford it or it’s a stretch, that’s going to be a difficult and stressful situation. So in my particular case, I’m working with businesses that already have a marketing budget, that are already spending.
Maybe they’re spending $100,000 a month on billboards, or $200,000, $300,000 a month on TV ads or something like that. And when they come on, we’re like, “Okay, well let’s spend $30,000 a month on Facebook ads.” That’s a lot of money, but in the overall scheme of things, it’s not make or break. If we break even or we lose 10% the first month it’s not the end of their world. So which the thing is with marketing, you’re not going to hit a homerun your first at bat. Your first ad is probably not going to be profitable. Like there has to be some tweaking to get things to work.
So for me, I’m targeting small businesses, but small businesses that are looking to grow that can afford a premium solution. The folks that are doing $200,000 in revenue, they can’t spend $5,000 a month on Facebook ads. They’re better off trying to take a course or watching YouTube videos to try to. If they want to do Facebook, or Google, or YouTube, whatever, they should focus on doing it themselves to get things going.
Bob Poole: Right. No, I agree with you there. I mean, you do still have to have a budget. So entrepreneurship, what’s the perils of entrepreneurship? I think you talked about it.
Dylan Ogline: What isn’t? I was talking to my neighbor about this the other day, and I was like, “I think like if you start your own business, you have to be a little bit crazy.” Nobody smart does this. You have to be a little off your rocker to be willing to. And I believe the people that actually make it, a lot of the times like you risk it all, over and over and over again. And that’s just stupid. I mean, it’s not a fun journey to be a business owner. It’s exciting, and if you like it, and you can tolerate the risk, it’s worth the pain, but it’s a painful situation. No matter what, risking it all, a lot of times you got to figure out things on your own. You have to work a stupid number of hours to get things going in the beginning. That’s not fun.
Bob Poole: No, but I think it’s part of our DNA. People that are entrepreneurs, and I call myself a serial entrepreneur. I mean, it’s just what it is. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I’ve been doing this. I started my first company…
Dylan Ogline: No doubt, man.
Bob Poole: Same as you, I actually started a company when I was about 14. I hired my first attorney, I think, when I was 14.
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah?
Bob Poole: I needed to collect money from a guy. I learned a lesson though. This is true. I was 14, maybe 15. I knew I couldn’t drive whatever age it was, and I was doing photography back then, and a guy came to me. So I did a bunch of photography and he was supposed to pay me X dollars. I did the prints and all that. So anyways, I wasn’t getting paid, wasn’t getting paid. So this attorney happened to hire me. He was the head of the local little league baseball group. He wanted me to photograph all the little leagues. In the course of conversation with him I said, “Listen, I’ve got this guy that owes me money and I can’t get paid. What would you do?” He says, “Well, I’ll write him a letter.” And I said, “Okay, that’d be great.” So he wrote him a letter, and sure enough, the money came. It came to the attorney and this was lesson was the attorney took a third. I’m 14, 15 years old and he wanted me…
Dylan Ogline: He still took a third of your money.
Bob Poole: Well, he wanted me to know. If you’re going to hire a professional to do something, you have to pay, and that was a good lesson.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Yeah. But hey, you learned it early, that’s a good thing.
Bob Poole: Yeah. Yeah. So but then from then on it’s been one helping other people start a company, starting a number of my own. I wouldn’t do it any differently. You said something about I read where you said you have to get out of your own way to allow your business to grow. What do you mean by that?
Dylan Ogline: So this is very much particular to the really small businesses. Especially if you don’t have any team members yet you will reach a bottleneck, you will reach a level where you are stopping the growth. Especially if you’ve figured out any kind of marketing where you can bring on more customers and you’re not questioning like when’s my next meal coming. When you have that going finally, you’re going to reach a point depending on your product, your service, whatever it is you’re offering where you are the problem. You are the bottleneck.
And if you have figured out the bringing in more business part, the problem that so many people have is that it’s their baby. And they’re like there’s no way that I can bring on a team member or make a hire or outsource this particular service and somebody do it as good as me. Because it’s your baby, like nobody can do this as good as me. And what I find is like, actually, like there is a chance that maybe you’re not the best at everything in the world.
Bob Poole: Oh yeah.
Dylan Ogline: And maybe, just maybe, there are people who can do things better than you can. So figuring out what it is in the business that is easy to outsource, easy to eliminate, or easy to delegate and pass those things off. Get out of your own way so that the business doesn’t stop growing because of you. And this is a tough pill to swallow.
Bob Poole: Tough love, man, giving that message.
Dylan Ogline: It’s tough love, yeah. And that’s why I like to say, like believe it or not, you might not be the best at everything in the world and somebody might be able to do it better than you, believe it or not. And even if they can only do it 80% as good as you, it’s probably still a good hire. You still want to improve if you can, but if somebody can just deliver 80%, 90% of the quality or the efficiency that you can, that’s probably a worthwhile investment.
Bob Poole: Yeah. And then you go on and do something else, or contribute the best way that you can contribute. You don’t need to be the person that’s picking out the color of the wallpaper or telling them what to stock in the toilets. I mean and I’ve seen entrepreneurs do that in good sized companies.
Dylan Ogline: Yes.
Bob Poole: I mean, multimillion dollar companies.
Dylan Ogline: I have seen that as well. And it astonishes me like how do you get anything done? I probably go a little bit too extreme. Like I tell my team I’m like, “I want to forget your name,” which God’s honest truth, there’s people on my team. I only have like seven people on my team, give or take. I don’t know all their names because I will go six months without talking to them, which is pretty extreme. But I do that and I set things up like I want to teach you in the beginning how to do this, I want you to figure out how to do it better if you can. And you can call me if you need me. You can text me if it’s an emergency. But otherwise, the goal is that we never talk unless you need something, or there’s a request, or something like that. That’s my management style, which is a little extreme, I will admit. But it sets things up so that things just run themselves and that’s a much better way to do things, I believe.
Bob Poole: It’s a good idea, but how do you manage, or how do you measure I guess what it is they’re doing and how they’re doing it? Is it just all the bottom line or what is it?
Dylan Ogline: Not necessarily the bottom line. You have to have some kind of base key performance indicator, KPI. Which depends on whatever your product, whatever your service is, whatever it is that you’re offering you kind of need to know what is. So for us it’s like everybody has to submit me generally speaking like a weekly report or something, or just an email, letting me know like what was your KPI. So each position, I know what that KPI is, I know what key things to look at. And I just look at that, and hey, as long as you’re doing that, as long as you’re getting the job done, that’s what matters to me.
And I find that I’m sure maybe I just got lucky with making some good hires and bringing on some good people, but I find that when you empower people, and you give clear expectations. Like I want you to figure out how to do this better. A lot of people like that. A lot of people like being in charge of what they’re doing and being able to take the reins. I’ve never met anybody who likes to be micromanaged.
Bob Poole: No.
Dylan Ogline: So because I go so extreme it tends to attract the people who embrace that and like the challenge and they take it and they run with it.
Bob Poole: I mean that’s the kind of worker, the kind of team member, someone I want to work with is like that. I want them to be better than me. I want them to know more than me. Definitely know more than me.
Dylan Ogline: 100%.
Bob Poole: Yeah. So this whole COVID thing has changed how we work, definitely. So how do you see things shaking up down the road? Excuse me.
Dylan Ogline: So I don’t like to predict the future. Let me add that. Because 100% of the time I’ve always been wrong. The way we changed is work. I think if you look back, I mean you’re a little bit older than me, maybe a year or two older.
Bob Poole: Yeah, right.
Dylan Ogline: If you look back over like the last ten to 15 years, 20 years, this shift towards more digital work, working at home, people starting their own businesses and working for multiple different businesses. Like all of these things, that shift has been occurring. There’s still been this like stigma in our society that people that work from home, they’re not really working. They’re lazy. They’re working in their boxers. They’re not actually getting anything done. Employers were obsessed with tracking keystrokes. I know a company that does I think software programming and they track the number of keystrokes each employee makes per hour. Like that’s obscene. Why are you doing that? That employee has no freedom. And that’s all the old mindset of everybody’s working in an office, and you have to make sure that everybody’s doing their work.
Bob Poole: Right.
Dylan Ogline: But there has bene this shift towards people working from home, people doing their own thing, Zoom meetings. Like there has bene this shift but there was still this stigma that these people aren’t working from home, this isn’t for real. And then COVID just forced everybody to do it. And then people realize like, “Oh, damn, like actually believe it or not, maybe you’re more efficient at home.” Like minds were blown by this idea.
So I believe that we’re going to see fewer and fewer people working in office spaces. I’m really short commercial real estate, like office buildings and stuff, that’s a really bad industry I think to be in the next 30 years.
Bob Poole: By the way, one of my best friends is in commercial real estate. So we have this talk every couple days.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, the strip malls, the office spaces. I don’t think that’s probably not a good business to be in. And on top of that, I mentioned like people starting their own businesses. So go back to the Baby Boomer generation, you went to school, maybe went to college, you got a job, you worked for one company for 30, 40 years. That’s just how it was. Now it’s not that people are going to be changing jobs, I believe that work can be digital, and it lowers the expenses, businesses don’t need to spend $50,000, $60,000 a year to bring on a team member. Now they can maybe spend $10,000 a year and bring on a team member part-time. And that team member can easily work from home and work for eight different companies.
Bob Poole: Sure.
Dylan Ogline: And still make $80,000, $100,000 a year in this really brief example. Whether it’s graphic designers, whether it’s writers, web designers, coders. All these different positions I believe that more and more people are going to be starting their own businesses and working for multiple different customers, multiple different clients. That’s a complete shift in the way people do work. And I think it’s been coming and COVID just ramped it up to a hundred.
Bob Poole: Yeah. No, I agree with you, I’ve seen the same thing for a long time. I also still see that stigma from some companies they’re at home fooling around. They’re not really working. One of the companies that I did work for, they were all virtual, but we took them all virtual several years ago, and worked great. It was really, really worked great, they saved a lot of money on real estate, it was just clicking.
Well, they sold the company, and they sold it to a company that liked businesses like that, and they do everything in office, and they feel that’s the way to do things, and it’s how it was done the generation before, maybe the generation before that. So they went out and rented real estate, and then sent people to the office everyday, and of course COVID hit. I don’t know how they’re handing those kinds of things. But in most cases, a lot of this stuff can be done from home, without a doubt, and can be done more efficiently, and you’ll have happier employees. I just I believe that.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. And especially I believe really when it comes to management, to me it’s just about empowering people. Like I mentioned the tracking keystrokes of work at home employees is just obscene. You should have some kind of KPI, some kind of indicator to track.
Bob Poole: Right.
Dylan Ogline: Customer satisfaction. They’re getting projects done. But what matters is if they’re doing their work. If they’re paid a salary and they’re only working two hours a day, but they’re getting the job done, like what does it matter? It doesn’t matter. It’s just it’s a stigma from the Boomers and just previous generations. Understandably because that’s just the way it was done before.
Bob Poole: Sure. Sure. And that’s a whole group that I work with, and in fact, the book coming out next year is for that group. The kind of well over 50 group, if you will. You got a lot of people out there, Boomers, and even Gen Xers, who they’re at a point in their life where they have worked maybe the same job for years and years. And sometimes it’s someone walks in the door and says, “I’m sorry, but we’re going to let you go, or we’re downsizing, we’re doing whatever.” Or they just get to the point themselves where they want to do something different. So what they’re finding and what I’m finding is that a lot of them are taking a look at the digital world, and they’re getting a gig here, a gig there, little side hustle, and they’re putting together a career doing something that they might like.
I use the example a guy that I know was a sheet metal worker all his life, but he always liked playing with stocks and bonds and investing. So he ended up making the switch at some point into becoming an investment advisor, got licensed and all that stuff, but didn’t do it till later on in his life. And there’s lots of great stories like that of people who are Boomers. The good news about that, and because I know you’re a Millennial, is that Boomers actually had the greatest rate in starting new companies. Did you know that?
Dylan Ogline: I did not, but it’s probably because more experience.
Bob Poole: Think about it. Yeah. That’s why. They’ve already seen all the mistakes, they’ve made all the mistakes just like you, your mistakes, okay. We’ve done it all, we bought all the t-shirts. And so yeah, so they actually have better success starting businesses when they’re over 50, 60. Some of the largest companies out there were started by people in their 60s, 70s. So kind of fun.
Dylan Ogline: I would add this. The world’s changing, it’s scary for folks, but generally speaking society gets better, the economy gets better. It’s not a straight line. Progress isn’t perfect. But generally speaking, most of these changes are probably good. And you personally just have to make a choice if you’re out there and you lost your job, your job is changing, hours got cut back, your salary got reduced because you have a different position. That’s scary. But you have a choice. You either can embrace the change or you can spend the rest of your life being terrified about it. And I’d hate to tell you, but it’s not going to stop. Things are going to continue to change going forward and the speed of which things change is going to increase.
Bob Poole: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: You can either embrace that and become comfortable with it, which is going to put you in a much better position, or you could spend the rest of your life in fear. It’s all personal choice. But, again, it’s scary, but I believe just focusing on the fact that generally speaking, it’s for the best. It’s probably helps the mindset a lot for sure.
Bob Poole: So I know you like to travel. I’ve seen some of your Instagram photos and you’ve done some traveling. So now with COVID, what’s the plan?
Dylan Ogline: I have not been outside the country since last year.
Bob Poole: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: It’s been over a year. It’s first world problems. It’s a luxury to have this particular problem that, “Oh, I can’t travel.” I always remind myself that things could be much worse, so I’m lucky that that is the worst problem I have. My goal this year was to spend 90 days nonstop outside the United States. I wanted to spend 30 to 60 days in Japan. That all obviously got completely scrapped. So I believe vaccine’s coming. It’s already here. Give it a couple months and things should be back to normal. Sure, it sucks, but I don’t get too caught up on it because things could be much worse. What about you? You a traveling guy?
Bob Poole: I have been to, let’s see in my whole life, over 50 countries, and every continent except Antarctica. So, no, I have travel.
Dylan Ogline: Where have you been? Did you do anything this year? Were you able to…
Bob Poole: In last year, my wife and I did a cross country train trip across the northern United States. The year before that was my terrible year of spending 2018 was hospitals and nursing homes and trying to recover from a really serious infection in a hip implant. So I told myself when I was sitting in a nursing home, if I recover from this thing, by golly we’re going to go up to Alaska. So I wanted to do it differently though. And so we took a train, we did a train across the United States, we went through some places I had never been to, and then we dropped down into Seattle, and caught a ship there, and went up through Alaska and did the whole Alaska thing, and spent a week up there, and then came back and spent some time in Seattle. It was a great trip. So but that was my last trip.
I haven’t been out of the country. I have been out of the country because I did have to go through customs in Canada. But other than that, I don’t think I’ve been out. No, that’s not true, I was out the year before too. We did do some stuff in the Caribbean, and Mexico, and some stuff so but…
Dylan Ogline: It’s weird times, man. And I know like some things like Mexico I think is 100% open. But it’s getting there. Because I’m not particularly scared about it. I’m worried about other people. Especially because I’m younger so I’m probably not going to show symptoms I guess. So I wouldn’t even know if I had it. So I would feel terrible if I got on a plane and I gave it to somebody. So and I hate the idea of driving the whole way to Alaska, that doesn’t seem like that would be fun. So I figure it’s a year to focus on things at home. But I actually find that I was more efficient work-wise when I was traveling. But what are you going to do about it?
Bob Poole: Yeah, so what’s your favorite place you’ve been to, tell me that.
Dylan Ogline: Southeast Asia.
Bob Poole: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: 100%. People are just ridiculously nice.
Bob Poole: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: That was probably the best part to me. I certainly love Western Europe. I get excited about the silly things. Like the public transport. Public transportation system, like the fact that I can get on a tram and go from one end of the city to the other for like 30 cents in like 20 minutes, that’s incredible to me. I’d probably have to say Southeast Asia. The food hits me right. The people are just ridiculously nice. Tends to be very cheap.
When I travel I like to experience the culture, so I’m not a fan of like staying in a hotel or something. I love AirBnB because it puts you in the neighborhoods, it puts you in where the locals live, and that’s the type of travel that I like to do. So like I said, my goal this year was 30 days nonstop, want to spend at least 90 days nonstop outside the United States. Want to spend 30 days at least in Japan, and well, that didn’t happen. What about you? What’s your favorite?
Bob Poole: Oh, I don’t know. Probably Australia. I really I’ve spent a good bit of time down there, but I also enjoy there’s lots of parts of Europe that I enjoy, the South Africa I could just go on. I spent several Christmases in Greece. Spain I like the food a lot. Yeah, I like it all. China, I spent a good bit of time in China.
Dylan Ogline: I have not been to China.
Bob Poole: It’s a crazy place. Crazy place. I mean Hong Kong, I was in Hong Kong before it reverted back to China, and had some unbelievable experiences there with some people. The amount of money that is just thrown around in that country just blows my mind. But my wife has been researching, she thinks we should move to Taiwan.
Dylan Ogline: Why is that?
Bob Poole: We’ve never been to Taiwan, but neither has she.
Dylan Ogline: Oh she’s like, “Pack it up and move.”
Bob Poole: Yeah. Well, she has relatives who are actually from Australia via Ireland. They emigrated years ago to Australia. Some of the family then moved to Taiwan and they live up northern part of Taiwan in the mountains. And they sent her pictures, and I mean the cost of living is so low. The medical care, people come from all over the world, I didn’t know that, they go to Taiwan for medical care.
Dylan Ogline: Really?
Bob Poole: Yeah. Yeah. Did not know that. It’s a fact. It’s just you could go there and on $2,000 a month you could have a three, four-bedroom house with probably someone waiting on you.
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah.
Bob Poole: Yeah, it’s crazy.
Dylan Ogline: Some of those countries, Taiwan, Vietnam. It’s one of those countries I can’t pronounce. Vietnam, Thailand, those countries are just so, so cheap. I met people who were expats, from the United States, 100% had moved there. They were living off of like $500, $600 a month and living like kings. Really nice apartment, eating out for every meal, somebody did their laundry. If you spend $2,000, $3,000 a month there, you have a really nice place, you could have a driver, you could have a full-time house maid, somebody who’s cooking all your meals for $2,000, $3,000 a month. It’s absolutely insane. And again, the people there are so nice, that’s the best part.
Bob Poole: Yeah, this is what her cousins say. They’re cousins and they’re like, “Oh hey, you got to come over,” so who knows. I don’t know if we will or not.
Dylan Ogline: Oh, you got to go.
Bob Poole: Not until COVID’s over anyways so.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, that’s probably a little bit risky, so.
Bob Poole: So, last question here. So tell us something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Dylan Ogline: Oh man. You really put me on the spot here. Most people don’t know. I would say most people don’t know who listen to me on podcasts and whatnot, I’m trying to think. I’m struggling here.
Bob Poole: Well, all right, I’ll bring up one here. Because I saw it on something that I read about you.
Dylan Ogline: Go ahead.
Bob Poole: Stoicism.
Dylan Ogline: Oh, see, people know that.
Bob Poole: Oh, they do know that, okay.
Dylan Ogline: Okay. So stoicism is just by all means, I’m not an expert, couldn’t tell you. The only one I know is Seneca the Younger is I think. I have stoicism is right there, right out of camera. So, yeah, stoicism it just gives me guidance on kind of trying to keep emotions at bay. So for those of you who don’t know, what would it be considered? Just philosophy, is that what it’s considered?
Bob Poole: I think philosophy, a way of handling pain, enduring pain in a stoic manner. In a kind of self-development, self-control way of…
Dylan Ogline: I’ve had somebody ask me like is it like a religion or something? It’s not a religion. I think it is technically just considered a philosophy. For me, what it comes down to, is not hiding emotions or trying to fight them, or get rid of fear, or jealousy, or ego, or any of these things. Right, it’s more about like recognizing that all of these things are real. Like we all have some element of ego, we all have fears. We all have vices. These are all things that we have to deal with and just recognizing them and just applying logic. So am I making this decision in a logical manner or am I allowing one of these emotions to get to me? Whether it’s fear of death, whether it’s investing money, whether it’s some relationship issues. Always just trying to recognize your emotions, be like, “Oh, that’s that emotion right now,” and be like, “Well, what’s the best course of action based on a logical step here?” That’s broadly speaking how I kind of apply it.
The interesting fact about me I was going to go with is that I like home improvement. Most people would be very surprised by that. Like I don’t look like the kind of guy that likes to get his hands dirty and stuff, but I love digging around outside of my house, and like doing stuff. I just built a coffee table out of my old hockey sticks. I like to do that kind of stuff. Most people would not know that.
Bob Poole: So you must be good at it if you can do that.
Dylan Ogline: I have an interesting skillset. Me and my brother joke about this. He can’t hang a picture, I could probably build a house. But he could take a car apart, and take the engine apart, and put it back together. I don’t know how to change the oil on my car. They’re a very specific, narrowed down niched skillset. I’m not good with everything with my hands, but when it comes t like home stuff, I’m probably pretty good at it I would say. There’s that ego talking. Got to apply some stoicism to that.
Bob Poole: So are you going to be in Orlando for the holidays now or what’s the…
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, yeah, we’re staying here. Some of my family lives close by, so they’re probably going to come over, but we’re trying to keep things. It’s spreading a lot down here.
Bob Poole: We’re on lockdown here in Pennsylvania, so.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I got a ton of family up there. Are businesses still open or…?
Bob Poole: Businesses are hurting. All restaurants are closed as far as indoor dining totally. Restaurants, bars, and all that kind of stuff. I mean they can still do some take-out, but it’s tough, it’s very difficult for them. Now the interesting thing about all this is there’s no law that says any of this is a law. This is just the governor he’ll sometimes talk like it’s a law, but only the legislature can pass a law. So he’s just going on his own commandments or whatever he wants to call them. And trying to enforce them by he can go after things like liquor licenses and other health department kind of things to hurt the restaurants. So they kind of run a tight place, but a lot of businesses, they’re still open but they’re being very careful right now.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Bob Poole: And we get conflicting reports here too on how many people. The numbers are such and such, but some people will tell us the hospitals are overrun, and then on the other hand I’ll talk to people like my own doctor who’s at a big hospital here and it’s fine. So I don’t know.
Dylan Ogline: I don’t envy our political leaders right now. Because if you look at Tom Wolf, extremely difficult situation. Shutting businesses down would not hold up in the Supreme Court.
Bob Poole: Right.
Dylan Ogline: No doubt about it. But at the same time, you can get blood on your hands. And I look at I have people in my neighborhood, people that I’m close with down here, who are in the medical professional work at hospitals and whatnot. And from what they tell me, unless they’re members of the deep state, they’re lying to me, they’re telling me like they don’t put out reports saying this, but they’re full.
Bob Poole: Oh wow.
Dylan Ogline: So they are flying people out.
Bob Poole: To other hospitals, yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Out of the hospitals. And it’s not the death rate. I mean the death rate’s bad, but it’s that’s not the problem, the problem is the hospitalization rate.
Bob Poole: Out of beds.
Dylan Ogline: And if we run out of beds, it’s not just the COVID people that are impacted. People still get in car accidents. People still have heart attacks. People still cut their fingers off. People still have accidents and they need to go to the hospital. Well, if people have heart attacks, and they go to the hospital, and they’re like, “Sorry, we can’t take you, you’re going to just have to wait out here and die,” there’s going to be riots in the streets over that.
So do I think that it is right by any measure to be shutting restaurants down? No, I don’t. But at the same time, it’s like what do you do to stop the spread? Well, because if people are having heart attacks and they’re dying in the street because they can’t get to a doctor, like there will be riots in the street. So that’s not good. If you shut down restaurants that’s not good. How do you find that happy medium? Not happy, what is the least bad thing to do? So again, I don’t envy whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, the President, I don’t envy having to make those decisions right now.
Bob Poole: Yeah. No. I understand.
Dylan Ogline: And I believe the best in people. Like down here we have what’s his name? DeSantis? Ron DeSantis? He’s a Republican. I believe he’s doing the best that he can do. He’s choosing to go more the route of leaving things open. And it’s not that more people are going to get COVID and die, it’s the hospitals are getting full. But do I think he’s 100% wrong for making that decision? No because poverty kills. Look at Tom Wolf, he’s choosing to be more safe about it. Is that 100% the right decision? Absolutely not. But given the information that they are dealt with, given the situation, they’re trying to do the best. I believe that everybody’s just trying to do the best that they can do.
Bob Poole: Yeah. It’s a tough situation.
Dylan Ogline: That got political.
Bob Poole: Yeah. How did we get there? Well, listen, it’s been good talking with you today.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man.
Bob Poole: I’ve enjoyed the conversation.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, it was a good chat. Thanks for having me, man.
Bob Poole: Yeah, maybe we’ll have to get together again down the road after some of this is over, and you’re traveling some more, and hear some more of your stories.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Once things open back up and we get the vaccine, and wherever I’m at in the world I’d love to do another chat, man. Absolutely.
Bob Poole: All right. Well, you have a great holiday. And we’ll say merry Christmas and have a great new year’s, and look forward to 2021.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Merry Christmas to you as well.
Bob Poole: Thank you very much.
Dylan Ogline: Thank you.
Bob Poole: Take care.