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Guest Eric Lee O’Brien - Never Quit



This is re posted.


Hello, and welcome to reposted. In the next few moments we'll be breaking down the posts that we have found to be inspiring, interesting, or otherwise entertaining quotes that catch our eye and we feel are worth a deeper look. Thank you for stopping by. Eric has been on the show before, and he's on the show. Again, we're continuing in our ski series, we're excited for the start of ski season. Just a reminder, Eric is the founder of knowledge. It's an app that uses GPS to get real time info from resorts, track your day on the slopes and easily find and locate your friends and family on the go. You can go to Synology. co right now and download their app for free. You can also follow me on Instagram, it's knowledge Co. Thanks for being on the show today, Eric, I'm going to kick us off with a quote from Abby Wambach. She says, You must not only have competitiveness, but agility, regardless of the circumstances you face to never quit. I like this for you. Because you've been an athlete your whole life, you were a former Junior Olympic skier, you ran track in college, and now you compete. You compete on the North American Free Ride series, and you also founded a company. So this is two pronged for athletics and business. What is this Abby quote mean to you?


Eric Lee O'Brien

I mean, it really means a lot, you know, it just gets to the the heart of of what it means to be an athlete or to be an entrepreneur, you know, you've you've got to constantly be overcoming adversity, you know, you've got to have the ability, and the skill to to bring something forward. But you were just constantly going to be faced with hurdles and obstacles. And you know, it's not whether you, you face those, but how you respond to those and how you get back up and how you keep driving forward. Erica,


Larry

I'd like to focus on the never quit part of this quote, maybe you know, but you were a lawyer at some particular point in your life, and you quit that. So then at some point, you figured out You should quit. What is the You should quit part of this? Man?


Eric Lee O'Brien

That's Yeah, that's a good question. Yeah. So I was I was an attorney for several years. And it was something that I enjoyed, but it didn't inspire me. And that was really the key is just like, you know, I like what I did, it was fine. I had a good situation. But I didn't wake up every morning inspired to to, you know, become better to really master that area of, you know, of business. So for me, it was an easy decision, you know, as I started getting in, you know, back into skiing competitively, and saw the potential for knowledge as an app, and just kind of that need within the ski community. That was something I was inspired about. And that was something that I really wanted to chase. So it was an easy move. For me at that point to decide to stop practicing one and kind of chase my passion,


Andrew

I might get accused of playing favorites. But to stand up for Eric a little bit. Part of this quote is he had the ability to be agile, right? So like, you take your, the sum of your experiences, I want to focus on this for like, your competitive skiing, like for the American free ride, you get, I'll explain a little bit, but you can tell it like you look at the mountain, and you have to decide what your line is before ever doing it. And so like, you have a plan, I'm guessing going in, but you have to be able to react in the moment, like what is that, like from seeing what you think your line is to being in a competition and things that's come up?


Eric Lee O'Brien

Yeah, it's completely different. It's kind of this whole other interesting layer on top of skiing, you know, normally for most people the experience skiing is, you know, you brought up the lift, you get on a run, you can kind of see what's coming up, you know, you've got time to adjust. But in freeride skiing, you know, the only opportunity you get to, to check out the venue that you're going to ski is just by looking at it. So you really have to figure out like not only what you're going to do and the line that you're going to ski that suits your ability, and it's something that you're fairly confident that you can execute. But you also have to think about what it's going to look like, from the top as you're skiing down into it. Because all you get is that perspective from the bottom, which is you know, of course, it's very different to be skiing down on top of something kind of getting that first person perspective versus seeing it from bottom. So, you know, you really have to do you got to be ready to to, you know, change your plan and just make quick decisions based on what you're seeing during your run, if it doesn't match up with kind of what you had in mind from looking at, at the bottom. So there's Yeah, there's a whole lot of flexibility than just the kind of the requirement to be able to make quick decisions and change your plan.


Larry

Karen, forgive me for being the guy that's focused on quitting, but I'm going to do it again. Anybody that's ever started a small business or as an entrepreneur has wanted to quit about 1000 times. How have you done the perseverance part of this with knowledge? I'm sure there was a point where you were like, maybe it's not worth it. How did you persevere and keep it going?


Eric Lee O'Brien

Sure. Yeah. You know, you you are inevitably inevitably going to run into those those circumstances in those scenarios where you just yeah, you just wondering whether it's the you know, you're on the right path. Again, I think it really just comes down to two Passion, you know, for me sinologists something that I'm so passionate about, even when it when kind of the times get tough, and we're kind of questioning how we can move forward, there's just that very, very strong belief that we are, you know, providing something, so the community's gonna get really excited about. And for me, that's the thing that allows, you know, allows me to kind of push through those, you know, those challenging times.


Andrew

So you mentioned passion. And last week, we talked to the founder of true gear, Chris, and he was saying one of the most important things for him is to hire someone that's passionate, as a leader of knowledge and the founder, what do you look for in a team? When you're building something from the ground up? Like, is it more important to have technical knowledge that people have to love to ski? Or like, what is it that you look for when you're growing your company?


Eric Lee O'Brien

That's it's kind of a blend, you know, I mean, we certainly, you know, have a need for people who are smart and savvy, technically, obviously, you know, we want you to build an app that that works well, and kind of delivers the user experience that people want. But yeah, there's also, you know, a big part of what we're looking for, is we're bringing new people on is just that, you know, I mean, it's, it could be a passion for skiing, but it could also just be a passion for entrepreneurship and bringing something new to the table. You know, we kind of have a wide range of those kind of folks on our team, some, you know, some who are really avid skiers and are passionate about it, because of the tie into the ski community. But others who just you know, are excited about the vision, they're not necessarily, you know, avid active skiers, but they see the potential, and they're excited about the journey. And the process that is, you know, taking a company from those early stages, and just growing up and leveling up along the way,


Larry

this will be one of the more interesting ski seasons, because we're in a worldwide pandemic, we got the, you know, social distancing, and resorts with their different rules. Are you guys working that, in this knowledge and your advice to people, if they're gonna do skiing this winter?


Eric Lee O'Brien

Yeah, that's certainly something that come up in a lot of our conversations with partners, or our main customers, our resorts right now. So they are all trying to figure out how to operate within out of this new circumstance. So one of the things that knowledge can do, that really helps the resorts on this front, is give them the ability to message their guests in real time, both on the mountain and off the mountain. So just for us, that's been a feature, you know, that's really been that's been a popular feature from the resort side, and something that we've really pushed going into the season is the opportunity for the resorts to have that kind of consistent communication to let guests know what's going on. And also just give them an up, you know, keep them updated in real time as things change. So that's kind of how we're, you know, how the conversations we're having on the, you know, on the knowledge side with our partners, just as a skier, you know, things look, you know, about the same up there as they normally do the, you know, the lift lines are a little bit longer. And, you know, people are spending more time in the parking lot, obviously, everybody's masked up. So it's hard to, you know, figure out where your friends are on the hill, and, you know, kind of who's where, but for the most part, you know, it's kind of, I think, one place where people can get out and kind of have a similar experience that they've had in the past, albeit with a, you know, a few changes.


Andrew

So I guess, admittedly, I should know this as one of your friends. But how do you balance doing the American North American Free Ride series? And your business? Like, I know you do both. But like, what, how do you decide what takes priority? It's a good thing. I think I know, the answer is probably knowledge. But it might not be all the time.


Eric Lee O'Brien

It is it is I mean, knowledge is always the priority. But I guess that's the, you know, kind of a good thing for me is that these things are so related. So all of the relationships and the traveling and the networking, that I've been able to do, while competing is just been such a massive compliment to Synology into pushing the app forward and to making, you know, just kind of making the business relationships, you know, that we need to grow the app. So Apple always comes first. But But yeah, I really, I work hard to really just set up my time where, you know, I'm focused on solids, and that's getting the majority of my day, but I also have, you know, fortunate enough to be able to get out and ski close enough to be able to get out ski for an hour or two and just, you know, get kind of get that time to keep moving the scheme forward. It's mainly I just don't have a life outside of solids and skiing. It's those are really the only two things I do. Yeah,


Andrew

that's it kind of sounds like that brings us full circle on regardless of the circumstances with knowledge. You find a way to get out there and ski. Eric Lee O'Brien, thank you so much for joining us today. Check out knowledge.co follow him on Instagram. I'm Andrew Keller for Larry and Eric O'Brian and thanks for stopping by



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