Understand how much and why you matter – Matthew Emerzian
David Laroche : Hello viewers, I am in the same house as the previous video to introduce you to an amazing guy. I love his projects. He's Matt Emerzian. I would love to let you introduce yourself. Who are you?
Matthew Emerzian : Well as you said my name is Matt Emerzian, and I live in Los Angeles, California. Who am I, I mean I wrote a book called “Every Monday Matters,” so I guess I'm an author. Which then I started an organization and a company called “Every Monday Matters” that inspires people to understand how much they matter and to make a difference in
the world. So I guess I'm an inspirational speaker. I'm a visionary, I like to entrepreneur. Family man. That's who I am.
David Laroche : Different…
Matthew Emerzian :I wear many hats, yeah.
David Laroche : Why did you start “Every Monday Matters”?
Matthew Emerzian : Well the back-story to it is that I used to work in the music industry and so I started managing bands in Los Angeles. I ended up taking one of the demo of a band to Robert Kardashian. I'm guessing everyone in France has also heard of the Kardashians: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, all the family. Robert, their father was a big successful music man. I took the CD to him to see if what he thought about the band. In that first meeting he ended up offering me a job at his company. I was hired as a senior vice president of his music marketing company. I was still working with these local bands in LA, one particular…and some other bands in LA, and so also now I am working for him. The bands he worked for were a
little bit different than the bands that I worked for because he did projects for bands like U2, Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, Tim McGraw, Usher, the Black Eyed Peas, and you name it. They did marketing promotion campaigns for all the major labels and all the major artists. So now my world shifts
a little bit from trying to get good shows at the Viper Room and the Whiskey to now being at huge shows with U2 on stage and I'm holding Bonno's son like wow 40,000 people are flipping out watching this concert to this really kind of crazy fast-paced life of the entertainment
business. It's working all day, it's going out all night, it's partying, it's maybe doing some substances you shouldn't be doing, it's objectifying women, it's this whole slippery slope of fame and fortune and my priorities kind of shifted. It was actually a Monday morning when I was getting ready for work that I woke up and I thought I was having a heart attack. Way earlier in my life I was actually an ambulance driver, so I figured I could drive myself to the doctor even though I thought I was having a heart attack, which isn't the best idea in the world to do. They did tests on me and in turn I wasn't having a heart attack but in fact I was having a severe panic attack. I had never had panic before in my life, or anxiety or anything like that. The doctor said listen just go home and try to rest and see if it goes away. For me it didn't go away. It got worse.
David Laroche : What did you feel?
Matthew Emerzian : I felt, I mean my heart was racing, I just wanted to get out of my skin, I
wanted to peel my skin off my body. I was sweating, my breathing was different. I just felt like I was losing my mind. I felt like some alien crawled inside my brain and just took control of all the levers, and
all of a sudden my body was doing all these things and I had
no control over what it was doing.
David Laroche : Were you thinking you will die?
Matthew Emerzian : In the moment I was so scared I don't know if I thought I was going to die I just didn't know what I to do with myself. I didn't know if I wanted to go out in the street and run , I didn't know if I wanted to try to sleep, if I needed to figure out to go home to my parents, I didn't know where to go to stop the feeling of fear that I had.
David Laroche : It was lasting?
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah.
David Laroche : And what did you do?
Matthew Emerzian : At first I kind of refused taking any medicine because I just didn't want to think that oh maybe I have anxiety or depression, oh wow maybe I need to do these sorts of things. I was fighting it, like I'm not going to get into this. As I fought it, it got worse. So it got to the point to where I couldn't drive a car anymore, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. When it got dark at night I couldn't look out my windows because I was getting very claustrophobic. My panic attack turned into chronic anxiety disorder where literally my life started shutting down.
David Laroche : How long it lasts?
Matthew Emerzian : This was about two months into this now. At the time this is over 10 years ago. About two months into it, my parents actually came down to LA to move in with me, just to try to help me figure out how to rebuild. During this process, I was introduced to a therapist. I went to see her begrudging me. I worked in the music industry, I had a big ego, very narcissistic, like I don't need any of this stuff I'll be fine. When I went to see her she gave me a book and she said I want you to read the first sentence of this book. The first sentence read “it's not about you.”
From the mindset I was coming from, this narcissistical, egotistical kind of place that I lived every day, I was like how can this not be about me? Then who could it be about? I'm the one here needing your help, so to say It's not about me is weird. I actually left. About a week later she called me back again and asked if I'd come in again. I said I would
because at that point in time I honestly started having some suicidal thoughts like driving in the freeway I could just yank my wheel and it could be over. Not that I ever thought I could do that, but I had those thoughts. I went back in to see her again and she slid the book across the table again and she said I want you to read the first sentence. I'm like, I got it, It's a short one, It's not about me. She said until you understand it's not about you, you're never going to feel better. And that was just that moment, it was like someone threw that life ring, I was drowning and someone threw that ring and I said fine, what do I have to do, I'm in, I got to change this.
David Laroche : Wow. Huge wake-up call.
Matthew Emerzian : Big wake-up call. Yeah. Big wake-up call. But when you go to bed on a Sunday night and you feel like you're on top of the world, right, I mean everything was great, I had a home, I had a great job, I had a great job, everything seemed perfect. Like if you checked it off on paper, Mat's doing fine. But if you go to bed Sunday night, and then you wake up Monday morning and all of a sudden the whole world turns upside down and all I did was sleep in between it's hard to understand what happened. What went wrong? How do I fix it if I don't even know what went wrong? Like all these sorts of things.
David Laroche : And after, do you know what was wrong in this time?
Matthew Emerzian : Well I learned it slowly. The biggest, besides all the conversations I had with my therapist, and she's still a near and dear friend to me
ten years later. I call her my expensive friend. The biggest thing that
she probably did for me was, every Saturday morning, at 9:00 in the morning, I had to get up myself and go do something to serve something. So I had to either go feed homeless people or I had to go pick up litter, or paint over graffiti, or read to elderly. Every Saturday she
gave me an action I had to go do. And it was about two to three months into that process when the light bulb went off for me. And because I was out and picking up litter, and my friends called me and it was a Saturday morning. In America, Saturday morning is college football day. So everyone's watching college football games. And my buddies call and say hey Matt, why don't you come over, and we'll eat some food, we'll drink… smoke some weed, or drink some booze, watch football all day, play video games. And it was in that moment when I said you know guys, I'm out picking up litter right now in LA and I'm so happy like I'm just going to keep picking up litter. Like I don't want to come do what you're doing. And it was in that moment that I realized that like what she meant by to live a life that's not about you. To actually live a life that served something more than your own self pleasures. That was kind of when it made sense. That I had created a life that was so much about
pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. You know, more money, more substances, more women, pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. And in doing that I lost my soul, I lost who I was.
David Laroche : Wow. I love your story.
Matthew Emerzian : Thank you.
David Laroche : A great story. So now, what are you doing?
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah so. What ended up happening is this process of every Saturday ended up inspiring me to realize that I'm probably not the only person in the world that's trying to find their significance and their purpose in all the
wrong places. I know what this recipe of service did for my life, and for my heart, and for my soul. So it inspired this idea to write a book that would give people the same recipe that they could follow if they wanted to. With the hopes that it would bring that to their lives as well,
and in doing so make the world a better place. And so I ended up writing a book called “Every Monday Matters” with a good friend of mine, Kelly Bozza. I didn't do “Every Saturday Matters,” I did “Every Monday Matters.” In therapy I was doing the every Saturday plan, but I broke down on a Monday morning, and also people usually don't like Mondays, it's the day you start working, or school. And people can hate Mondays so much it actually ruins their Sundays because you're looking for the Monday to come. So we called it “Every Monday Matters” as a way to start your week. Don't dread it, but be excited about it. It's a new week,
it's a new day, it's a new time to get involved and change the world. So that was it, it was a very simple book. It was 52 Mondays with ideas of what you can do in one year. And there was things for the environment like plant a tree, pick up litter, change your light bulbs. There were things for yourself, like eat healthy, get your exercise, meditate, pray. Other people, write a letter of appreciation to somebody. It was Kind of like a dummies guide to just being a better person I guess.
David Laroche : So you started with the book, not the website at the beginning?
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah the book first.
David Laroche : And why did you decide to create the website?
Matthew Emerzian : Well, about a month after the book came out, this was six years ago now. I received an email from a single mother, she was 24 years old, and she lives in Palm Springs, California. She was driving down the road, and she saw a car pulled over on the side of the road, with a woman and a man in the front seat. She figured they were having car trouble because it was a really hot day. She decided to pull over to see if she could help them with their car trouble. When she got to the car, she learned that the husband has severe Alzheimer's, and at this point in time is pretty much not functional, kind of, just kind of there. And the woman had just hit the end of her rope. She was actually there to commit suicide. She was going to try to jump in front of an oncoming car. And so Darby, this woman who stopped to help them, sends me this email that basically explains this whole scenario. In the middle of it, it had the copy from a thank you letter that the woman wrote to Darby to thank her for saving their lives. Under that it said if it wasn't for your book
I would've never pulled my car over. And so for me, that was that moment I needed.
David Laroche : A new wake-up call.
Matthew Emerzian : Another wake-up call. Let's just keep tacking' them on. And I said this is it, and so I actually quit, I left the business. I said I want to live a life
that matters. I really know that people out there want to do the same thing. And so, I walked away from the music business. And to start this thing, and try to take a book and make it into more of a movement.
David Laroche : Wow. I hear that. How did you create a movement?
Matthew Emerzian : That's a great question. I think if there was a recipe for creating a movement, everyone would…
David Laroche : I would bite.
Matthew Emerzian : How do you shoot the perfect viral video? Like, every video would be viral. I started with a website, and I will say we a lot as I explain this,
but the we was me. It started as a website, and now I'm working from home, and it's just a very simple website. I ended up shooting a video, and I went around and just asked people in LA, strangers, if they would be in my video, which is kind of a strange conversation in LA, a little bit. Like will you be in my video? We shot a video, we launched a video and at this time, San Diego, California had some major fires. They had 46 fires or 26 fires all at the same time. Like San Diego was just in flames. And so I had this idea that what if I got people who bought the book who were sending me emails saying “We love this,” and we sold like 140,000 copies, so there was an audience kind of building for this. What if I got them to write letters to thank the firefighters for fighting the fires? So all of a sudden I started getting all of these letters. And then I said who wants to help deliver these letters. And so we went to San Diego and we delivered all these letters to the fire stations in San Diego. And there's 26 stations down there I think, and it became just this really beautiful exchange of like wow, just in an instant, putting an idea out there to the world, people jumped on it, we went and did it, and it was done. We impacted lives.
David Laroche : I love that.
Matthew Emerzian : And so that was the first thing we ever did was the letter writing campaign. And then I got asked to some speaking stuff, just kind of smaller speaking stuff. I got asked to write a newspaper column that was
in one paper, and it was the newspaper in my hometown Modesto, California. And then the cache group picked that up and syndicated that to their other 300 papers. So that kind of started to build this kind
of thing. And then we were introduced to Oprah's team.
David Laroche : Wow. Good moment for you.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah, good moment for us. And so we ended up doing, we're on oprah.com and in her spirit newsletter every Monday for a year,
talking about what the Monday activity was. The biggest turning point where it kind of went from me to starting to build a team, was we had a lot of teachers who emailed us, asking if we had lesson plans for the youth to teach the kids these lessons like self and social responsibility.
David Laroche : If you need help to do that I would love to help you to impact you, I don't know how, but I will love that.
Matthew Emerzian : Absolutely. You can take this global. And so we end up writing this school curriculum that teaches the youth they matter, and its kindergarten through twelfth grade. In four years we ended up in almost 3,000 schools across the country, which was crazy, because I never wrote school curriculum, none of our team had ever done it, but we worked with amazing educators. It was awesome, and it just kind of took off in the schools. Then the next thing that happened was companies in America started reaching out to us, and wanting to know if we had any sort of team building exercise experience we could do with them. A lot of team building events have to do with scavenger hunts or rope courses, or cooking competitions, or whatever these things are. And companies are looking for something that had maybe a little more substance to it. And so, they called me, “You have a team building event?” Well of course I don't. Just like we didn't have a school curriculum. But we can make one, right. It's kind of like you, you're fearless. And so we made an event that was really powerful in experience for employees to engage in throughout the community and make a difference and understand what it's like to serve, and how much they matter, and all this kind of stuff. And that turned into more key noting to me, and it also turned into then these companies saying, “Hey, when you guys are here, there's a spike in inspiration, but then when you leave, it Kind of starts to go back down to how it used to be.” And so we created a curriculum, if you will, for companies, where just like the students are doing in school every Monday, employees are doing every Monday in the workplace as well.
David Laroche : What do they do in the company?
Matthew Emerzian : It's kind of the same program now as “Every Monday Matters,” so again, the book is six years old, so I kind of call it our fancy brochure at this point because it's outdated and it's hard to find. So now “Every Monday Matters” is delivered more digitally, through the web, through social media, through these sorts of things. Basically what we do is we look at the year, 12 months, and we talk about what are things in the world that we think are lacking. Or what are things that we think
we can help bring more of.
David Laroche : How many people are following your projects or your vision?
Matthew Emerzian : Such a great question. I don't know. I think that we probably have touched millions of people, it's hard to know that number. In terms of how many are actively through our email list, through our social media, through these sorts of things, I think we probably have closer contact to probably 100,000 people. It's just hard to know. I think that we're constantly hearing stories, but it's hard to tell you the fact.
David Laroche : So you are spreading inspiration and the nature, the life, use that.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah, so to give an example. I think people could be more happy in the world. This last month, March, is “Monday gets happy.” So we looked at March, and every Monday of March was something you could do to generate more happiness. Either in your life or in the world. So it's like
surprise someone, and that's your activity for the week. Figure out how you can surprise one person, and do it. Then share
it, and talk about it, inspire other people to do it.
David Laroche : And so, it's very inspiring for me. I love your project. So I find one point of you how to create a movement, so I feel that you care a lot about people now.
Matthew Emerzian : I do, and I think that's a great observation because one of the things with “Every Monday Matters,” where again, is another one of those learning moments for me. I think in the beginning, my ego in a way was still so involved in it, because I wanted to say,” because of our book, I'm
going to prove that there's less litter on the streets.” Like somehow I can calculate that number. Like right now there's x number of pieces of litter, and in three years because of our book, there's going to be y, and it's going to be a lot less than x. What I learned along the journey is that that's completely the wrong approach.
David Laroche : Because it was about you.
Matthew Emerzian : That's right. That's right. Instead, what I learned is the power of the two
words “you matter.” I met so many people along this journey whether they're students in schools, or CEOs of companies, or convicted felons in programs where I've spoken. So many people in the world don't understand how much they matter. That is devastating to me, and that's where my love for this comes in because I see what happens when I look at someone and say, “Hey man, you matter, you have special gifts. Whether it's your ability to make people smile, or whether it's your ability
to design the next rocket that's going to Mars, or whatever it is about you, you matter. Own that and take that to the world in whatever format that looks like for you. That to me is what changes the world.
David Laroche : So you think that everyone in this planet has something to give, has a gift to give to the world, or to the people, right?
Matthew Emerzian : That's right. And I think people are at their best when they're giving, and when they're serving.
David Laroche : Yes, this is my next question. How can I find what is my gift?
Matthew Emerzian : Well, I mean that is going to take asking a couple questions. I think…
David Laroche : Let's do that. Let's pretend that I am someone I don't know what is my gift, and I'm a little bit lost. What can I do?
Matthew Emerzian : It's funny because this reminds me of a conversation I was having over email recently with somebody else I think you should definitely interview. Her name was Gabi Ury. She's a 15-year-old girl who's about to break the world record for planking, which alone is amazing. But the fact that she's even still alive because a lot of physical issues that she's had with
her health her whole life makes it a whole another miracle. I asked Gabi a series of questions about herself: What are you passionate about and why? How do you like to spend your time? What keeps you up at night? What brings you joy and makes your heart sink? Where do you see your life in one year, three years, five years? Who inspires you, who are your role models? I think a lot of these kind of really gut questions we have to ask. I think people are really good at asking a question like when you get up in the morning and you look in front of the mirror. It's really easy to go kind of in a confused, negative place. Like, what is this life even about, like why am I even here? It's just kind Groundhog day. Another day I get up, I brush my teeth, I go to work, I come home, I eat dinner, I go to bed, I watch bad TV. It's like, we're not asking the right questions of ourselves, and I think when we start to do that more, we're going to understand more about what is that thing that I could take to the world, and don't be afraid to go do it.
David Laroche : Okay, you're right. And do you have daily questions, some questions that you ask a lot of times in your life? You wonder a lot of time in your life.
Matthew Emerzian : Daily questions that I ask myself?
David Laroche : Yes. To choose, to act, to wake up, I don't know.
Matthew Emerzian : I mean, I always wake up and I'm excited to get up in the morning. I'm one of those people that when I wake up, even if it's at 5:00 in the morning, my brain is on.
David Laroche : Wow. Do you have sometimes bad wake up?
Matthew Emerzian : I don't have a lot of nightmares sort of things, if that's what you're asking.
David Laroche : No, do you have some times the feeling, oh, it's too early.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah, of course.
David Laroche : How do you shift that?
Matthew Emerzian : How do I…I hate to admit this but, I'm not a huge reader, so I don't spend a lot of time in books. I might go online and maybe watch some inspirational videos.
David Laroche : Like Ted?
Matthew Emerzian : Excuse me?
David Laroche : Ted?
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah, Ted. Ted's amazing. Anything in Ted you can watch. And also, there's a spiritual part of it for me. Like I try to get a little bit quiet, and I always can be better at this, but, in prayer, in meditation…
David Laroche : What is your daily ritual? What is your daily morning?
Matthew Emerzian : My daily morning is not that deep. The beginning of it, I get up. I put some clothes on. I don't shower. I go straight to Starbuck's. I get myself a large green tea, and I get my wife a chai tea. I come home, and then I usually get online. I get a sense of what the day might look like, any emergency or any fires I wasn't planning on in email, or in any text, or
anything like that. And then I kind of really sit for a second and I think about, okay, what are my priorities? And a little bit becomes in business mode. What do I need to get done. Where can I fit certain things in that I wasn't planning on. And usually it's around 3:00 or 4:00 for me, where my body starts to say, okay, let's step out of that work mode, and spend a bit of quiet time. For whatever reason, 4 p.m.is like that time I really feel my body. And it might be a 15 minute nap, it might be just 20 minutes of sitting in quiet, or laying on the bed. And then, I'll finish that, go back to work, and then I'll exercise six days a week in the evenings. So 6:00 I go exercise, I come home and have dinner, and then I kind of really go kind of more into relax mode.
David Laroche : Wow. Cool.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah.
David Laroche : I would like to know, because you told things about ego, and how can I know if I am doing things for my ego?
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah, you know. That's an interesting. The ego thing is an interesting thing for me.
David Laroche : Not at the beginning of this stream you say that at the beginning of your project you are doing things for others. Focus on you, on your ego. How can I know for example for myself that these interviews are for myself, for my ego, or to help the world to grow?
Matthew Emerzian : Well I think it's okay with what you're endeavoring to do right. I think it's okay if you come in here with an ego and you're confident and you believe in it, and all those sorts of things. And it's okay you're somehow personally benefiting, like this is fulfilling something for you, right. Whether it's because you want to learn English, or whatever these things
are that you want to get from this as well. I think where it shifts though is
that the nature of what you're doing is that you want to capture people on video and share that with the world to make the world a better place. And so, I think where ego is dangerous is when it's only self-fulfilling. You know, it's only about me. It's all about I'm in it for me. Where I struggle with ego today is this idea, and it's a saying that I've always
wrestled with, is this idea of “let go and let got”. And that to me has always been an interesting thing because I have to show up every day, in “Every Monday Matters.” Like I am the face of it, I created it, it was my idea, I have to be there to show and to drive it, in a way. As an entrepreneur, if you have a business, you're the main energy source of it in a certain way. At the same time though, I'm not it, like it's got to be bigger than me. And I have to trust that it's bigger than me. And so where is that fine line between, “Okay, I've got to push this, I've got to drive the team, I've got to make it happen?”
David Laroche : Okay. I have a huge question for you.
Matthew Emerzian : Go for it.
David Laroche : I think it would help a lot of people if you take action you can provoke opportunities and a lot of things. If you are mandating, focusing on what you want, what is the why of what you are doing, it will happen also.
For example, at my first trip I was a little bit crazy. I was walking
every day, every night. At end of my trip I was doing 52 interviews,
and I was feeling it's not enough. And it's because I was taking action, lot of thing of action. How do I know when I have to, okay, let him go now.
Matthew Emerzian : Well what part of it was working? Was it working you were getting a lot of interviews?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : How was it working for you? How were you feeling?
David Laroche : Both feeling.
Matthew Emerzian : So for me. It a year and four months ago now, I was getting on an airplane to fly to actually the speaking event in San Francisco, in the morning. I flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and I had a six hour layover which was in my hometown. So I went home, went back to the airport, and I had to fly to Mississippi for another speaking event the next morning. And I got on the plane…drove to LAX, got on the plane, I saw on my seat, I checked my bags, and I'm sitting on my seat. All of a
sudden I started getting the exact same feeling of panic that I did on that very first Monday ten years ago.
David Laroche : The plane?
Matthew Emerzian : On the plane. And I actually got out of my seat and I walked off the plane. And they said, “You're not allowed off the plane. Your bags are checked, you have to stay.” I said, “Well, you're not going to keep me on this plane, I'm off.” And so I walked off the plane. Strangely enough the plane never made it to Mississippi because it got stopped in Atlanta because of the weather so I wouldn't have made it anyways. In that moment I realized that if you're not careful, whether it's the music industry, or whether it's trying to make the world a better place. In both instances, you can steer yourself the wrong way, right. I think at that moment I was going too hard. I was that person probably angry at this person, angry at that person. Why isn't this, why isn't that? I need to be here, here, here. I want to be in the big tent stage, I don't want just TedX. All these kind of thoughts you can start having through your head. They can be incredibly unhealthy. Just like it was when I was back in the music industry. And my hunch is that in this
trip you're probably having more fun, I'm guessing your interviews might be just as good if not better, and the meaning of this trip is far greater and more important for you.
David Laroche : Okay. So what I have to learn is to focus more about what I am feeling now, and is it good for me. Not for my project, is it good for me now.
Matthew Emerzian : Well in “Every Monday Matters” terms, this is how we say it, and this is how the team says it to me. They say, “Matt, you can't go out into the world and teach people that they matter if you don't teach yourself as
though you matter.” So that's what I…
David Laroche : Be the change you want to see in the world.
Matthew Emerzian : Right, but unless I'm able to understand that I matter, and take care of myself, I can't go take that message out to the world because I'll be burned out, I'll be sick. So that's what's allowed me to hit, and also with the help of amazing friends. I mean, I know I've said Sophie probably four times in this, but Sophie, I mean, the way she calms me she gets me to understand to slow down. And when I go to shape house and to sweat for an hour, like those are things I never did before.
David Laroche : I will do that.
Matthew Emerzian : You have to do it. You got to do it.
David Laroche : I will do that.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah. You're going to love it.
David Laroche : I will like to show you if you are okay, another things, maybe the people who are following me could think about. I am inspired by Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela, and they achieved and they did so great things for the world. But when you are reading their biography, they focus only on these things. They did only that. Sometimes I'm struggling because I know that I will have a new back for this world. And it is the same kind of
question. How can I know that it is the time to meet my family, my friends. I know that you can't achieve great things without losing some things. Am I ready to lose that? Friends, family, I don't know what. To be in that for the world.
Matthew Emerzian : The thing that I felt inside when you were saying that to me, was like, if I had to lose my family and my friends to go do something, I don't know that I could do it. I don't know that I could want to do it. At the same time, I don't want to only have family and friends in my life, right?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : I also want to accomplish other things that are my passions and my dreams. So I have to think that somewhere in there there's a balance. At the end of the day, I think that's probably the struggle. I think that whether you want to or not, and this is not to say anything negative towards people who work for somebody, or work for a larger company, to get up everyday, and you know, there's security. You have your job, it's from whatever, nine to six. You go, you do your work when you're at work, you come home, you're not working anymore. You're not at the office anymore, right. Then you're in family time where you're in another time. There's clear separations that are part of the structure of that. When you're someone like yourself, and you probably work from home, and you might be working at 01:00 in the morning, or 04:00 in the morning, or at noon. You're an entrepreneur.
David Laroche : Yeah.
Matthew Emerzian : I think maybe creating some boundaries can help to establish that balance. And I don't know, maybe some of these great leaders didn't have boundaries. I would guess that they did because all of the
people you mentioned to me seemed to be so spiritually grounded, and I think it's really hard to be spiritually grounded if you're just going 100 miles an hour, all the time.
David Laroche : Good answer. I love your answers.
Matthew Emerzian : The truth is, I'm not a pro at it myself. I can probably learn as much from your fans as much as they can learn from me.
David Laroche : Yeah. We can learn from everyone. Okay, right. What is your next step for your project?
Matthew Emerzian : So the next step of the project is that we have built a really great community in “Every Monday Matters,” that's built of mostly of schools and companies, employees and companies, right. So there are kind of these pockets of people. Now the next endeavor is to take it beyond that. So if you don't go to school that we're in, or if you don't work for a company that we're working with, you can still engage in “Every Monday Matters.” You can still be a part of this. I mean ultimately, we want
“Every Monday Matters” to be something that's more like, “for the people, by the people.” Does that make sense?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : It's a platform for you to start making it “Mondays Matter.” And to jump in, get involved in it, and make it your own. To us what's important is share it back. Like share your stories with people near you. People are so weird because they go out and do something amazing in the world, they don't want to talk about it. It's almost like you're bragging, right? And so the happy stories, the good stories, don't get shared. Just it's the negative, dark crappy stories that we get to see, you know. And that's why half, the majority of the internet and also television, it's just crap content. It's that so much of the good content we keep inside. So go do
it, share your stories, inspire other people, So through our website,
through our Facebook, Every Monday Matters, through our twitter @mondaysmatter there's a lot of ways to plug in.
David Laroche : Do you know when you meet entrepreneurs, especially in the IT world, not IT, there is a growth hacker. Do you know this term? Growth hacker.
Matthew Emerzian : A growth hacker?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : Okay.
David Laroche : What could be, in your business, what was your growth hacking moment? When you changes little things that make a huge impact on your growth.
Matthew Emerzian : The hockey stick right?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : How did we take off?
David Laroche : The wake-up call of your company.
Matthew Emerzian : Well I think that that's a funny question because have you ever heard of a saying, “tail wagging the dog?”
David Laroche : Yes I think so. I'm not sure.
Matthew Emerzian : To where usually there's a dog and its tail wags but the dog is in charge and the tail just kind of follows.
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : In some cases the tail is in charge. I would say that has been more of the experience of Every Monday Matters. Because again, it was just going to be a book. And maybe it can be like a chicken soup for the soul, or it can have Every Monday Matters for mom, or Every Monday Matters for kids, these sorts of things. But as we started developing these other programs like the school curriculum, the corporal program, it started to shift our company in a whole different direction. And so, lot of it has just been very organic and I can't even take a ton of credit for, like, that's exactly what we want to happen how it happened. So I think it was being open to hear what people were wanting from it. I think it was for sure
being fearless, and just trusting. So many times, how could I make payroll? Pay day is tomorrow. How am I going to do it? How am I going to do it? And every time we'd get it. And every time it just came through.
So there's that. I think the change we're doing right now, my gut tells me it's going to be that hockey stick that you're talking about.
David Laroche : Okay.
Matthew Emerzian : Like taking it from just something that can only be consumed within these small organizations. And taking something that the whole world can consume. I think that's where the whole things going to really really take off and change.
David Laroche : I love that.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah.
David Laroche : I would like to know, so. What do you feel if someone could be your ID.
Matthew Emerzian : Well, it's funny because we trademark the saying “you matter,” okay. Right now if you fly to Houston, Texas, and you land at the airport, you're going to see huge banners everywhere that say “you matter.” But it's not about us, it's about them telling their travelers that they matter. We're like okay, what do we do about that. That's a trademark infringement. But at
the same time they're putting this message out there to the world. So that's kind of good too, right. So we struggle with those things. I think that at the end of the day, I try to stay in the place that hey, we're all
playing for the same team, right.
David Laroche : Yes. Is it hard for you to manage that?
Matthew Emerzian : Is it a little. I mean like you told me your idea, that every day you want to put out a piece of inspiration to the world. I love it. It's great. I don't feel any sort of “oh, wait a second, you know I do that on Mondays,” you know. Well ultimately the idea is that we want people every day to
be inspired. We chose Monday as a day to start the week and as a day to have the routine. A day to change a day that everyone hates, if you will. But ultimately, we don't only want people to only be awesome on Mondays, we want them to be awesome all the time, you know?
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : I have to think that there's plenty of room for all of us to exist and compliment each other.
David Laroche : Yes. And I would like to ask you the question in the opposite side. How can I know if it's okay to use an idea because it's great for the world, but use it to also…
Matthew Emerzian : Well, I mean if we look at some for example, nonprofit organizations that build water wells in developing countries, right.
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : There are so many nonprofits that specialize in bringing clean water to
people who don't have it, okay. And they are all look similar in ways. Their pictures are the same, it's a child with their hands under the water faucet splashing their face. But the truth is, there's a billion people in the world who don't have clean water, or whatever the number is.
David Laroche : Yes, but it's nonprofit.
Matthew Emerzian : We're not even scratching the surface. All these companies look very similar, and one could say, “oh, they're all doing the same thing, they're all copying each other.” But are they? I don't know. Is it bad? If Every Monday Matters is a word, then we're just trying to be a catalyst, right. You can follow our program, and every Monday you can do what we say we want you to do. But ultimately, that person that's on the other side of that, they're the author or their own story. And so, for us it's a little different because if I can get you to understand how much you matter, then maybe you did that by joining in on Every Monday Matters, or
following what we do. Maybe one of our Monday is “adopt a pet Monday,” so you go out and you adopt an animal from the shelter so it's not euthanized, and in that moment you learn that serving animals is my passion. Like I love that so much…I feel those things.
David Laroche : That's all you want to do.
Matthew Emerzian : And you take that on and you go with it. You know what I'm saying. So
in some ways, every Monday we're just trying to inspire that, to be that thing like hey, you matter, figure it out, go do it, make it happen. I hope that everyone copies it. If everyone spent their time trying to inspire everyday trying to inspire other people to be their best, it's a pretty cool world.
David Laroche : Yeah. Another wisdom in what you're saying. How do you make money in your company? Speeches?
Matthew Emerzian : Yes, speeches, our education program, our corporate programs. But here's the funny part, is that last year we turned the company from a for
profit to a nonprofit.
David Laroche : Wow.
Matthew Emerzian : Okay. So, and here's the reason why. When I got the idea to write the book, my thought was “what if one day I was picking up the litter, and I have this up what if I can get 300 million people in America and the rest of the world population to pick up one piece of litter in the same day.” Just one. It would take each of us a second, a collective second. And how many millions of pieces of trash would be off the streets like that, right. What if I get all of those same people to plant a tree on the same day, or these sorts of things. What happened, is when we started making
money from schools buying our curriculum, or from companies paying us to come in and do what we do there. All of a sudden the mindset changed to wow, okay we just hit a million dollars in sales in our third year. How do we get to three million? How do we get to Five million? Okay, well let's look at our Sales funnels. How many companies are we talking to? Who's selling who? What territory is here? And so when we walked into our office, it was like we might as well be selling these rocks. Here's your pet rock. How many pet rocks can we sell? And we became all about, sell, sell, sell. And it's why aren't you in phones? Who's, why aren't you in email? Why aren't you in this marketing campaign? Why aren't we going to this education convention? Like all that kind of stuff. And I realized I created a company I didn't want to create. And I didn't want to go to work anymore. I said forget it, just flip it on its head.
David Laroche : It's not about you?
Matthew Emerzian : Let's flip it on its head. Let's give it away.
David Laroche : Wow.
Matthew Emerzian : Let's make the mission what leads it, not the dollars that leads it. And every day we'd come to work, let's be true to the mission. And let's see what happens.
David Laroche : I lot of wisdom. I love what you're saying. I think it
will have a huge impact on myself. Thank you very much.
Matthew Emerzian : Absolutely. That's five bucks.
David Laroche : Ah, sorry. My last question for you. So what could be your message
to use to succeed. And just to believe that it matters?
Matthew Emerzian : So recently, I did a Ted Talk. Actually it was a TedEx youth talk.
David Laroche : Wow.
Matthew Emerzian : And I didn't know what the message was going to be to these youth. The audience there were 400 high school students. And then online there was 30,000 whatever they said that we're watching. I'm like, what
is the message I want to bring? I want to bring something different. And so I ended up doing this really kind of quick and rough research project sort of thing, where I sent out these two questions to a group of high school leaders. Here in the states, in California actually. And I give them 15 things, the first question, I gave them 15 things that they had to rank,
which they thought were the most important things at their school.
David Laroche : Okay.
Matthew Emerzian : So, it's not what they thought, but what they thought other students would say. So it was things like being the most popular, getting the best grades, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, these sorts of questions. Of the 15, how do you think all the kids at your school would rank these? And what the results came back were amazing. Because it was number one
was being the best looking, number two was being the most popular. Number three was having the largest social media following. Number four was being an athlete or a cheerleader. And number five was like having a nice thing, I can't remember exactly. But those were the top five that were ranked. The second question I asked them was, “If you had one message, if you were nominated, and this is way outside of the world, if you were nominated to be the spokesperson for all teenager high school students around the world, and you got to do a presidential address on CNN, what would be the message that you would want the world to know about teenagers today? And the answers that they wrote were like, “We may be different but that doesn't mean we're weird. Believe in us we can change the world. We want the world to be a better place. All these sorts of things, right. And so here's the catch, of the 15 things I asked them to rank, the thing that was ranked number 15 the most was to make a difference in my school or my community. And so how can our CNN address be, hey world this is who we are, we're change makers. We're leaders, believe in us, for us. But the thing that matters most to us really, 1 to 15 is making a difference. What's that work? Okay. The weird part is that I totally understand the answer because for the majority of my life up until I was 31, I was just like
every one of those high school kids.
David Laroche : Me too.
Matthew Emerzian : I wanted to be the most popular. I wanted to have the nicest things. I wanted to make money. I wanted to have girlfriends. I wanted to be an athlete. And if you look at my path, I've checked every one of them off, except for 15. And now, I'm only doing 15, right. And so it's okay to be popular, it's okay to be good-looking, and that's what I tell the kids. It's okay to be all those things. Go to college, and get good grades, and all that kind of stuff. But I firmly believe that that's not why
you matter. I believe you matter because you make the world a better place.
David Laroche : Yes.
Matthew Emerzian : So that will be my message.
David Laroche : I love this message.
Matthew Emerzian : Yeah.
David Laroche : Thank you very much.
Matthew Emerzian : Thank you.
David Laroche : You're awesome.