The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave
The Ups and Downs of Building an Ayahuasca Retreat Center
From an early age, Daniel Cleland knew that the cookie-cutter life was not for him. His desire for travel, entrepreneurship and non-traditional experiences brought him to the heart of the jungle, where he overcame his fear of ayahuasca and found deep healing. Since then, he’s been dedicated to sharing the restorative powers of this medicine with others and has co-founded Soltara Healing Center to bring this mission to life. In this episode, Daniel and Paul discuss the challenges and rewards of starting an ayahuasca retreat, the importance of tradition, and how he envisions Soltara moving forward.
Daniel Cleland is an international entrepreneur, traveler, and author. Originally from Walkerton, Ontario, he has spent over a decade globe-trotting and hosting group tours all over Latin America and in the deepest parts of the Amazon to work with traditional indigenous medicine practices. He is the Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO of Soltara Healing Center, an ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica focusing on the Shipibo tradition with ceremonies run by traditional healers.
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- Daniel’s experience building the Soltara Healing Center.
- How and why Daniel became interested in ayahuasca as a life mission.
- Daniel’s initial fear of ayahuasca.
- The transition from tourist trips to retreat building.
- Why Daniel decided to sell his first retreat center in Peru.
- The concept of permanence, and why it’s so important.
- How Soltara is developing a personalized integration program.
- The financial and emotional challenges of Soltara’s first 18 months.
- How Daniel handled the pandemic shutdown, just as Soltara was gaining success.
- Plans for Soltara’s expansion due to high demand and a long wait list.
- Daniel’s vision for personal growth and development.
- Adding an intellectual and digital component to Soltara.
- Daniel’s book in progress – Twelve Laws of the Jungle: How to Become a Lethal Entrepreneur.
- Paul’s advice for running a successful podcast.
00:00:00 Hey listeners. Welcome back to third ways Daniels website and podcast today. We have Daniel. Okay. Now I got to make sure I got your last name. Cleveland Cleveland. Yes, it’s. It’s a common, common error to refer to me as Cleveland. And in fact, uh, back in high school, my nickname was Cleveland or. But actually my last name is pronounced clean land, clean land.
00:00:26 Yes. So Daniel Cleveland, who is an international entrepreneur traveler and author of the book pulse of the jungle ayahuasca adventures in social enterprise in the Amazon. Daniel is also the founding partner, chairman and CEO of Soltara healing center. What I would consider to be the gold standard of ayahuasca retreat centers and, um, Daniel not only has his own podcast, but he also just started a heavy metal band Savage existence, which we’ll get into deeper into the podcast.
00:00:59 So Daniel, thanks for joining us for third ways. Podcasts. I seen you Paul and thank you for the invitation. Really appreciate it. And it’s good to be here with you. It’s good to be here with you, you know, Almost three years ago. Now I came down to Soltara for a week of my own healing and it was the first place that I had been that weaved in a Shipibo healing, because I’ve never had sthe chance to sit in Peru.
00:01:25 You know, I’d been to Rhythmia and I’d been to one other center before yours. And what I found to be so beautiful about Soltara is weaving in the indigenous knowledge, the indigenous wisdom, the indigenous way of being, and doing it in a stunning setting with views over the, you know, the, the ocean with not luxurious, but really well done accommodations with air conditioning, great food.
00:01:56 And I found that you, you know, so much of [
00:02:00 the path, so to say is finding the middle way, right? Like that’s what the Taoists often talk about is how do we just find the middle way and what Soltara has done. Better than any other retreat center is finding the middle way. o I just, I want to first congratulate you on, on all the effort and energy that you’ve put into that, because I know it’s been a one hell of a bill.
00:02:21 Thank you. Uh, yeah, it’s definitely been, it’s definitely been, uh, a really brilliant and wonderful journey. Not without its challenges, not without significant challenges, not without significant highs as well. Um, and I just wanted to comment that, uh, when you came here, there were half of the rooms that we have now.
00:02:49 So, uh, we’ve definitely made some upgrades to the luxury aspect of the center. We’ve got, uh, we’ve got a number of, of new rooms that are, uh, we added a new tier actually for the people who do appreciate a little bit more in the way of. You know, I went around and picked out the marble and granite and the, and the, uh, all that kind of good stuff.
00:03:14 So it’s a little bit more luxurious now. Um, although still grounded in the roots of the indigenous traditions. And I, I appreciate that compliment us being able to find the middle ground, but certainly been, uh, it’s certainly been one of the primary objectives since the beginning. And, you know, we, we got really, we earned our stripes in the jungle, in the Amazon jungle, living in Peru, living in the Amazon, in fact, so deep in the Amazon that we were four hours away from the nearest city, uh, in a place called Leber fad, which is a small village, right on the, uh, DLE river on the border of the latching [
00:04:00 kind of sandwich between the national reserve and the Yarapa nationalism.
00:04:07 And, um, so that was my first kind of endeavor into this world of, of actually running a retreat center. And that’s where, you know, myself and Melissa, Stangle got our, our, our breadth of experience, actually working with the medicine in this context, working with indigenous healers, should people healers in that setting, living in the jungle in a very, very rustic and very jumbled bound set it.
00:04:40 Um, so we really took that base of experience and transplanted it along with a lot of our network and our community, uh, and even healers and, uh, and, uh, methodology that we took from there. And we moved it up to Costa Rica. Into a jungle bound setting, which is also on the beach in Costa Rica, which also as, you know, Costa Rica offers a lot more in the way of access in the way of safety insecurity and the way of development and just ease of operation, you know?
00:05:20 So, uh, so the idea was to, yes, create a more comfortable jungle experience and not lose, not lose the essence of the work that we’re doing. Um, while also not sacrificing some of the creature comforts that let’s be Frank. I mean, most of our customers are from, from, you know, affluent Western, uh, backgrounds, or, you know, especially with, with Soltara, we have a lot of people who are, you know, average age kind of four years old.
00:05:57 And, uh, busy people who [
00:06:00 have jobs that, that pay well, and they don’t have a lot of free time. So they want to come to a place that is convenient and easy to get to, but that doesn’t feel artificial. Um, and so, yes, I believe that we’ve, we’ve, we’ve done okay. In, in creating that scenario, you’ve done quite well.
00:06:22 And I want to dive deeper into Soltara because I know that is the crux of your energy and yet what I want to first explore and have our audience have a bit of insight into is how a, um, kind of bad-ass you almost look like a, you, you know, you could be like a United States, like a football linebacker, you know, from Ontario.
00:06:49 How did a guy, like you end up in the jungle in Peru, four hours from the nearest. Whatever starting your first ayahuasca retreat center. Wa tell us a little bit about that through line. Yeah, sure. So, um, my, my heavy metal illness, I guess, began back in high school, so that, that has kind of come full circle and it’s not really relevant to the story of how I get into ayahuasca , but just, just to, just to preempt the story with that, I mean, I’ve really always, since about the age of 16, kind of been a, been a bit of a, uh, Maverick, I guess you can say.
00:07:35 Um, and you know, I, I went through the, the kind of natural progression of upbringing in, in middle class, Canada going to college, uh, finishing high school, barely going to college. Um, and. Kind of not really finishing colleges college, but, but then getting into the work world. And, [
00:08:00 you know, I ended up getting into sales because that was, that was, uh, the path of least resistance for me at the time.
00:08:08 Really. Um, and you know, getting out of this really illustrious party atmosphere of, of high school and college and then getting into the professional world, uh, it started to get, I guess I started to see the straight linear future that I had in front of me that almost like 99% of my friends were on, which was okay now we’re done college.
00:08:42 Now we’re done the party scene. Now we work for 30 years, nine to five and. You know, if we’re lucky in a year or two, we get to, you know, put a down payment on a house and then spend the next 30 years paying off a house and marry our high school sweetheart and have a bunch of kids and essentially that’s life.
00:09:02 And to me that seemed just really, uh, unattractive. And so when I was, uh, 25 kind of arriving to that future reality, that seemed just like a, like a, a given and that all of my friends were, were just naturally moving into it. It really, it really kind of scared me and in a way it, it, it repelled me. And so once I started to get locked into that, I, I decided I wanted to keep the adventure going.
00:09:41 So I started traveling in south America and that opened up a new world for me. And, uh, so I kept at that. I started working in tourism when I was 25 in south America, because I wanted to, I wanted to [
00:10:00 explore the world. I wanted to live a different life than the kind of cookie cutter existence that so many people I knew were just naturally falling into.
00:10:08 Um, so I spent a couple of years traveling around south America, working in tourism, guiding groups around and the handful of different countries, actually, coincidentally, I started in Costa Rica and Panama then moved down to Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, Y and, uh, like, uh, Columbia, Ecuador, and, um, uh, God, some experience knocking around, down there and, and, and all that.
00:10:37 Um, after that, I. I D I desired a more professional existence. So I went back to Canada and got back into school and, uh, tried to increase my education. And that led me to a trip in Australia, a field trip for the university, which, uh, long story short was kind of catastrophic. And, uh, and really took me off the rails.
00:11:07 Uh, ended up getting off track in a big way with my education and then ended up having a large accident, which was, uh, almost, almost killed me. Actually. I spent 40 days in the hospital and during that time, uh, was almost 30 years old and, and kind of having a, you know, a midlife crisis or whatever. So, uh, I realized that at that time that my life was.
00:11:36 Super off track and I was not doing a very good job of stewarding my own existence at that point. So I got into ayahuasca too, as do many other people who come to see Soltara, uh, looking for a change, looking for a big change, looking for some help to really find the path and really find a what to do in [
00:12:00 life because life can be confusing.
00:12:01 Life can be, um, difficult. Life can be painful. Life can be heartbreaking, and sometimes we just don’t know what to do next or the next step to take. So that’s the position I found myself in and it was a really dark period in life. Um, and at that time I was actually really afraid of ayahuasca . I’d heard about it.
00:12:25 This was back in 2009, 2010, and I’ve heard about it, but was very afraid of doing it. But, you know what they say, the, a person won’t change until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change. So, um, you know, I was basically, I had nowhere to go, but up and so, um, so I, I, I bit the bullet and I, I went to find, uh, an ayahuasca retreat, which I did in 2010.
00:12:57 And it had immediately profound effects on me and my mentality and on the healing that I needed at the time. And on more than anything, just like dropping the baggage of the past. I was carrying so much baggage from the past. That was, that was contaminating my present. And, uh, and by extension my future.
00:13:19 So that, uh, that first experience with ayahuasca , it was so absolutely profound and powerful that it got me into the world of ayahuasca . And I wanted to continue working with ayahuasca . Uh, and fortunately, as I explained, I already had this background and working in tourism in south America. So I already had this basis of, of, of language and of familiarity with the cultures of south American and of travel and of working with groups, taking tourists around, making sure they’re well taken care of, et cetera.
00:13:55 So when I wanted to work with ayahuasca more
00:14:00 deeply, and I didn’t have any money, I was able to leverage that previous tourism experience to start taking groups down to south America. And that would essentially just subsidize my own continued practice with ayahuasca my own continued exploration into the world by a Wasco.
00:14:19 And that got me working with several different traditions down in south America. And, um, that just became my thing. You know, it just became a passion. And for a couple of years, two or three years, it became just kind of a ide project in terms of business, just, you know, while I was working full time and actually ended up going back to, uh, to upgrade my education in Canada.
00:14:47 Um, while at the same time as a side project, I have my little website and my blog and was taking groups of people down to south America to work with medicine and continue my own practice. And then in 2013, I came to, uh, a crossroads in my, I guess, professional career where I was working another sales job.
00:15:11 And I just got tired of working for other people. And I got tired of doing the nine to five and I was finishing a degree. I was finishing a master’s degree and there was some momentum and some traction going on with my side project being pulse tours, which, which is the first company. That I started. And, uh, and so, you know, I, I decided to, to quit the full-time job I had, I finished the degree and I, I dedicated all my efforts utilizing some of the student loans I got for university to kind of fond the initial stages of pollsters and, uh, started reading more groups and hired a couple of tour leaders.
00:15:56 And, and, you know, then I had a small
00:16:00 company and, uh, in 2014 that got busy enough that we were starting to have trouble with getting reservations at other centers. So I built my own center in the Amazon, in this place called Libra Todd, and, uh, I mean, out of necessity, but that, that did pretty well. It did.
00:16:21 Okay. And, um, and that was the basis or the journey that brought us to this point here. Let’s get a little bit deeper into that because the last part of this, you just sorta like casually gloss over, but you’ve built a retreat center in the Amazon out of necessity. You know, there’s, there’s one other story that I think of.
00:16:45 And, um, you know, it’s Joe to forest story, where he went down to, you know, and built Niihau Rao and, you know, apprentice there and a very different path because he was coming from a very medical background and you were coming from much more entrepreneurial background, but I’m hearing there’s, there’s similar sort of intentions and overlaps.
00:17:05 And so I’d love if you could just bring us into, like, what was that like to build a retreat center in the Amazon? What did you prioritize? What were some of the challenges and difficulties, um, kind of bring us into that, that world, that story. Sure. And it’s, it’s interesting you bring up Joe cause we’re good friends.
00:17:25 And actually, uh, when I was. When I was leading my first groups down there, I was taking them to Joe’s placed and he waited route. Right. And actually I poached my first, uh, full-time chairman from the way route. Well, that’s kind of a lie. They, they let him go. And I was like, yo, you need a job. Um, but actually my first objective, um, was to build some space at ni way route in the second.
00:17:55 Maloca like we, I had negotiated kind of a deal with Joe and with,
00:18:00 with Sveta, uh, who was, uh, his business partner at the time, along with the cargo. And, uh, you know, we were going to do that until one night. Uh, Joe had a ceremony and he basically said, you know what? I think it’s best if you go build your own place.
00:18:18 So, um, but I was in the ceremony with him. So I already had, like, I was already, like, I already had the kind of. Potential vocation. I, I, um, when I was taking people to Joe’s place for ayahuasca , uh, because of my tourism background, I wasn’t just doing ayahuasca retreats. I was doing like a, like a trip, right? So, so I would take people, uh, there was one trip.
00:18:49 I had a few different trips, but for example, there was one that was, we started in Bogota, Colombia, fly down to Leticia Columbia, which is like right on the border with Brazil and Peru in the Amazon, and do a little trip there and, and then, uh, visit Brazil and visit, uh, going to Peru and go up the Amazon river, get to a ketose and then go to Joe’s place.
00:19:15 And then there were other trips that, uh, you know, we, we go right into, we keep those and then spend a few days in the jungle, you know, In this, in this area, this LIBOR tab, right? So like the common place to take people on jungle expeditions from ketose was a Gaia. Samiria the nature reserve because Maria.
00:19:40 And so when I did trips and he keep those, like, let’s say there was an eight day trip, we would spend two or three days out in Pokai some area in this like jungle paradise, like far, you know, you have to drive two hours from Iquitos to [
00:20:00 the only small, the only town connected by road called NAFTA. You have to jump on a boat, you’d have to go down the modern Yon river to the intersection that Luca YALI and then go through alley.
00:20:11 So it’s like a remote place, like surrounded by thousands of kilometers of just prestigious. So, so, you know, we were, I was already like taking people out there for group tours to get them primed up for their ayahuasca retreats. So what we do is we go out into the jungle as a group and hang out for a few days and go see all the animals and go experience the real raw jungle with jungle guide, uh, kind of spend a few days together as a tribe, kind of getting everything, you know, getting everybody on the same page and then we go to Joe’s place and, uh, and then do a few ceremonies at Joe’s place, right?
00:20:52 Like anywhere out with regard to as the, as the, as the Shama. Um, and so throughout that process of doing that multiple times, I, uh, I met the people from this village. Right. So there was just a small jungle lodge in that village, but it was like the jumping off point for jungle expeditions. Um, so I had already talked to them.
00:21:22 Uh, my, my jungle guide Victor at the time made, uh, made an intro to the village, the village president or mayor. And, you know, we checked out some property right. Adjacent to the village and he’s like, yeah, you know, you can, you can, uh, use this if you want, if you want to build a center here, uh, just, you know, employ the people from our village and we’ll give it to you for free.
00:21:49 Um, so that was already on the table, except I had a lot of resistance because I knew it was going to be a hell of a lot of work and a lot of risk. And like, I didn’t have the money [
00:22:00 for it. So it was like, okay, you know, it’s just, it’s scary. So I thought it easier entry point into that was. Cut a deal with Joe and speak to and Ricardo and just build a little like a second maloka and some space on their property and bring my people there when necessary, like when needed, you know, when we would come there, we would have our own space because the difficulty I was running into at the time was that I would try to like, I would need to run a group of 10 people to make it viable.
00:22:35 Um, but then I would try to book 10 people at their place or at any other place, which at first, you know, and in like 20 11, 20 12 was like, not nearly as busy, but come 20 13, 20 14, much busier. And if I would try to book 10 people, they’d be like, okay, if we need you to pay us up front for it, because we have other people who want those spots.
00:22:58 Right. So I didn’t have the money to pay up front. And if I did, it would be a bad business decision to pay for 10 people and then only be able to sell six spots. And then I would have to basically pay for four blind spots on the, so anyways, that was the issue I was, I was, I was butting up against, um, but yeah, when Joe said it was best for me to go and build my own place, then that’s what I did.
00:23:22 I already kind of had the, the location sauced out. I, I just had resistance to doing it because of the difficulty of doing it and the, and the investment, which I didn’t have. So, um, when, uh, when, when we decided to pull the trigger, it was pretty much like I was finishing my master’s degree. So I had a little bit of ammunition there in terms of raising.
00:23:49 Um, the, the business was a couple of years old and it was growing, you know, we had a strong positioning on I advisors, which is the kind of [
00:24:00 TripAdvisor’s of times past for ayahuasca retreat. Um, and, uh, yeah, I basically, I had customers already booked, but I didn’t have a place to take them. So I, uh, I pitched my dad on, on loaning me some money and, uh, he wouldn’t have done it in the past, but because I had just completed my master’s degree, which was a two year slog while I was also working full time and also building my company.
00:24:36 Right. Plus the company was. Already showing traction. Plus I had spent the previous two years investing the money that I was earning by working full-time in the company. Um, you know, I had some skin in the game, so he’s like, okay, uh, you’re showing positive signs here. Plus you just got your master’s. So even if you fail, I’m pretty confident you can come back to Canada and get like a six-figure job with your degree and, um, and pay me back.
00:25:06 So he gave me a small loan of a, of two, sorry, $20,000, which I combined with the revenue that I was getting from bookings. And I’ve put that into building a Maloca in a, in a, in a lodge at this site that I had found at this village of LIBOR Todd out in that jungle hotspot, where I was already taking people to.
00:25:36 Uh, to do jumbo trips. So it was like, um, it was a very unique place because it wasn’t just about medicine. It was like medicine and you’re exploring the deep jungle in a touristic context. So I called it the ayahuasca adventure center, not because you’re getting an ayahuasca adventure, but because you’re like doing ayahuasca and having a [
00:26:00 jungle adventure.
00:26:01 Um, but it was super legit. I, I hired, um, a head Sharman from Joe’s place from the Wade route and we did well, man, it was, it was, uh, it was a pretty big hit. We had a great time. We had great people working with us. I think, you know, Tatiana, my, my ex, who, who, uh, uh, uh, helped me a lot in that endeavor. Um, you know, we, we pretty much stayed at the top of, I advisers for the whole time.
00:26:33 And it was all pretty good except, um, there’s a unique set of challenges to living any key dose. I don’t know. Have you ever been to a ketose? I have not. No. I’ve only been to, um, real Bronco for the ayahuasca conference in 2006. I have not been in process. I’m going to have to this. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So you keep, those is not my favorite place on earth.
00:27:01 Um, it’s just not even close to my favorite place on earth. I love being in the jungle. Um, I love that place and you know, it was, it was, it was heartbreaking to let it go. And, um, you know, I still, I feel like that’s kind of like a repressed memory because it was so special to me and the whole, like that being my first big, it was just such a bright experience.
00:27:27 Um, but after a few years of, of living in the jungle, And more than anything, not having a really feasible logistical hub nearby light. So you keep those wizards logistical hub, but men Iquitos is terrible. It’s just a, it’s a terrible place. It’s filthy. It’s, it’s polluted, it’s noisy. It nothing [
00:28:00 works. Um, and the people there, what I found was that being, being a business owner in the local area, I couldn’t trust anybody.
00:28:10 Like it was just, it was just impossible. I was constantly being manipulated. I was constantly being cheated. I was constantly, you know, people trying to sell me drugs or, or whatever, just like people asking me for money. Just kind of like I walk around. It was just a big flashing red kind of target on my back for just all kinds of nefarious.
00:28:31 Things. So I, I mean, by the end, I didn’t even want to leave my house because if I did, it was like, you, it would take me five minutes before someone’s going, Hey man, you want to buy some cocaine man? Or like, whatever, you know, just, uh, give me some money. Not yet, like just constantly stuff like this. Uh, so, so yeah, I did not like to keep those, but it was in escapable.
00:28:59 Um, and, and so, you know, well, I absolutely love the center and love the work we did there and love the jungle and love the village of LIBOR, Todd. It was not a longterm viable option for me to personally stay there. So I tried to like, kind of put other people in charge of it and then. Expand my horizons elsewhere.
00:29:30 I went to the states. I tried to start a, another, uh, plant medicine business there, uh, in create them. But I kept getting these calls like, yo, you need to come down here and solve this thing. So I’d be in the states. And then I get a call. It’s like, you got to come down here, there’s an emergency. So then I’d have to fly from like Austin to Houston, to Lima, spend a night in Lima, fly from Lima to Wiki dos, spend a night in Iquitos, [
00:30:00 jump on a boat or jump on a, in a shitty taxi drive two hours to now to jump on a boat, go two hours to the center.
00:30:08 It was just like, it became impossible for me to do anything else while still having that center. Um, and I didn’t want to be there full time. And there were some cracks starting to form amongst the team just because, you know, Well, you know, I wasn’t there and people were getting other ideas and, um, it was just like I saw, I saw isn’t the strong leadership there that kept everything together.
00:30:36 So you, you started to see frack like a fractal. Exactly, exactly. Yes. Cracks. Beginning to show. So I ended up basically having to sell it. I, and actually I sold it to some of the people who were like trying to snipe the Shawmut, you know, like, like one of the things where like customers were coming in and their Sharman was like negotiating with them, trying to like, yo, I want to go start my own place.
00:31:00 You want to invest? You know what I mean? So it was like, um, so it was either I have to replace the Shannon or I have to, you know, and what I decided on was okay, well, I’ll just, instead of doing that, I just said, okay, You guys buy the place. You want to start your own place by for me and take it, you know?
00:31:22 So another guy bought it and gave the shaman a, a piece of it. And, um, you know, they’re still running it to this day under different brand name. And then, so I left, I laughed and I, I, you know, I, I was definitely done with Peru and came up to Costa Rica and started a new place in a place that’s like more feasible for long-term lifestyle enjoyment.
00:31:48 And so then thank you for sharing that. And I love how detailed you go into it, because it really gives a sense of. Um, the excitement that you went into that [
00:32:00 project with, and sort of the hard work that you’ve put into, not only that project, but all of your projects and, um, how it’s largely been. I know you’ve taken on some investment, but it’s largely been a bootstrapped operation where you have taken your energy and just applied it because you thought this was important.
00:32:20 And you’re obviously you’re not a overly sort of sensitive guy. And yet I can tell from the, all the effort and energy that you’ve put in that this means so much to you because not only of how impactful it was for you, but how impactful you’ve noticed ayahuasca is for so many people. So I just, I want to applaud you in that.
00:32:39 And then what I, what I also want to open up is just, you know, what were three sort of reflections insights where, you know, when you were starting, Soltara is this new project. Three core things that you took away from your first project that you wanted to shift or adapt as you were, as you were stepping into Soltara, which I feel like is sort of your Magnus Opus in a way and what you’re continuing to grow and cultivate adds that, that Magnus Opus.
00:33:13 Yeah, definitely. Great question. Um, well, one thing, one thing is permanence, I think is, is the one predicate that we went into this project with, uh, what really surprised me about selling the center in Peru was how deeply it impacted me emotionally, because it felt like I was selling people out that I cared about.
00:33:43 I mean, which is actually just the truth. And, um, and like, you know, we put so much effort into building something so beautiful that it was helping so many people, including, you know, not the least of which the community, the local community there, and LIBOR tide of just fantastic [
00:34:00 people that work so hard for us.
00:34:02 And, um, you know, so we didn’t disintegrate it, which was good. We just sold it to someone else who kept it going. But, um, part of that, a part of letting it go was just, uh, related to emotion and identity, especially, I didn’t expect the identity aspect to hit me so hard, but it did. Um, and the emotional, the emotional impact of, of, uh, of letting that place go, Hey, just wanna hit the lights here, bud.
00:34:40 Light on, um, the, uh, The emotional impact of letting that go is, was super intense. So, uh, so entering into Soltara, we came into it as like, this is going, like, we’re going to be here when we’re a hundred, like, this is where we’re starting. This we’re not selling out. I don’t care what happens. We are running this place permanently.
00:35:07 So the, the objective was sustainability and longevity to make sure that regardless of what happens, we’re not going to do anything reckless. We’re not going to do anything temporary. We’re not going to do anything. Um, you know, just simply market based as a reaction to like a surge in demand or whatever, like we’re going permanently in this.
00:35:32 So that was one thing that, that gave us kind of a different mindset in a way. Um, when we started this. Second. Uh, so you asked for three things, um, second was really trying to create a sense of accessibility and bridging between cultures, uh, between, between physical locations as well. Like the fact that being in [
00:36:00 Costa Rica is not only a metaphorical bridge, but a physical bridge between south America and north America.
00:36:07 Right. So we wanted to, just to be able to open up the access to an authentic experience, um, to more people who might not be in the, in the, in the category of people who want to actually venture deep into the Amazon jungle. Right. Cause that’s, that’s, that’s a mission and it’s it also, um, you know, requires.
00:36:35 A certain amount of commitment. And then the third thing was really engaging the, um, the scientific community as well, developing programs that were more based on where the field of healing itself is going from kind of a therapeutic and a scientific perspective. Um, not so much in the way of like scientific research, but we have participated in scientific research with, uh, with Imperial college and with university of Lennon, Georgia, and various other organizations.
00:37:08 Um, most recently, uh, uh, most recently a veterans organization that came in and was doing some scientific research here, but, but really kind of seeing where the therapeutic aspect of plant medicine could go. And who’s, who’s the major player who are the major players in that, in that. Field and what can we learn from them and how can they advise us into developing our own programs to serve that, that, that need.
00:37:43 Um, so, you know, we developed our, uh, integration program with guidance and advice of, of several psychologists and the integrated actual clinical psychologists into our team. So we now have people working with psychologists. We, [
00:38:00 uh, we developed an integration program, which, you know, was kind of a phase one.
00:38:04 And then we did a phase two revision, and now we’re working on a full, you know, Melissa is actually really, really, uh, investing a lot of time and energy in this right now. Uh, into developing a fully kind of comprehensive integration platform. That’s going to allow different tracks for people to pursue, uh, related to their own personal talents, not just integrating ayahuasca or plant medicine in as in a general way, but in a more specific way related to what they want to do.
00:38:35 So, so we really wanted to explore and help to further the field in that way. Um, so I think like ultimately it really com came down to a massive commitment that was permanent and more committed to the, the field of work in general. And then also just really trying to open it up, open up an authentic experience to people who only wanted to come to Costa Rica and not Peru where before us, there was somewhat of a lack in, in like a.
00:39:13 Um, an intimate experience with indigenous healers, similar to what one might find in the Amazon. And then the third thing was the Scientifics. We have the permanence, the accessibility, and then more of a weaving in of the scientific research. And that was, you know, those three things or at least the accessibility and the weaving in of scientific research.
00:39:37 And also at the beautiful setting, you know, on the beach, um, was what drew me in initially when I went and, and I think a lot, what, what draws in a lot of folks, because you, you, you were saying this at the beginning of the podcast, you do now have more luxurious accommodations. And even when I was there, they were still luxurious as [
00:40:00 relative, but they were really nice accommodations.
00:40:02 And I think you’ve just continued to build on that. And from what I understood, you were also continuing to build out, uh, you know, things to make. Accessible and affordable. So it’s not just like a, you know, sort of, well, I won’t name names, but a kind of bougie retreat center for the ultra wealthy. There, there, there’s sort of a bridging of a gap there as well, in terms of, um, accessibility and you broke bring us into the chronic logical chronological timeline quickly.
00:40:32 When did you break ground? When did you start accepting, uh, folks for the retreat and just, how has that grown in the last little. Sure. So, um, I, I, I somewhat tried to utilize the same bootstrapping formula that I used for the first center except where I needed to borrow 20,000 for the center. Peru. I needed to raise 2 million for this center here.
00:41:00 Right. So a big difference. Um, however, fortunately, you know, I had kind of built up a track record with, uh, with the center in Peru and the success of that. And, and, uh, that was kind of the proving ground, I guess you can ay. So coming up to, to raise the money for this, I raised about half the money from Pete, from customers that went through the center in Peru, who had already experienced our service.
00:41:30 And, and they, you know, were like a hundred percent confident. They stepped up, they put money in believing in the cause and also. They got special access to the center, you know, they can, they get certain amount of free, like, you know, free days a year along with having ownership of, uh, the company and stuff like that.
00:41:51 The other half basically came from, uh, people in my family or friends of the family who, uh, [
00:42:00 including my dad who were impressed by the transformation they saw in me over the years, knowing me, but knowing me when I was a huge loser before I took ayahuasca and, uh, then seeing the, the steady and kind of accelerated improvements in my life after I started getting into ayahuasca.
00:42:24 Right. So while they were beforehand super anti drugs and like super like Nixon EITs, um, not Nick, sorry. Reaganites uh, and like, you know, very much. Born in the board of the fifties and, and kind of grew up in conservative Canada in the seventies. And, you know, we’re kind of like auntie auntie druggie kind of vibe.
00:42:51 Um, and they didn’t understand what I was getting into in the beginning, but then they saw the actual results. And not only that, not just in my life, but started to see mainstream media, take this stuff up, you know, GABA, Montay, David Suzuki, uh, Toronto star, like, you know, a lot of these, these guys who are family and friends are Canadians, right?
00:43:13 Cause they, they watched me grow up in Canada and then get into this stuff and they’ve been following me for years. So, um, So that was kind of the first thing was raising the money, but at the same time, I still tried to bootstrap it and we, I did raise enough money from the beginning. I had to go back to the well, a few times kind of in an emergency way, uh, as, uh, as, as it sometimes happens.
00:43:36 But we, uh, uh, we, the, the time of me selling the Peruvian location and the time of me starting to negotiate this location overlapped by a few months, um, I came up to Costa Rican, I think June of 2017, because I was lamenting the [
00:44:00 sale of the Peruvian location. Not because I wanted to continue running it, but because the sale of it was impacting people.
00:44:08 I cared about, uh, being like, you know, the, the staff who worked, uh, worked with me down there, including Melissa, uh, and Tatiana. Were, they were both not happy about really the new owner and now he was managing things, uh, changing the vibe, basically. Uh, so I felt kind of shitty because I, I basically sold them out.
00:44:34 You know, I didn’t want to be down there and I didn’t want to manage it. So I sold the place yet. They all, you know, the idea was they would continue to work there. They didn’t like the new guy. So, um, so I, I was lamenting that and I, and I didn’t feel good about it. And, uh, I was trying to brainstorm any way to somehow blow up that deal or somehow, uh, somehow like take back what I did.
00:45:04 Um, but really the fact remained, I didn’t want to go back down to a geat dose. Like not at all, like never like not even one more time in my life. So, um, so I was like, okay. Um, you know, I was with my dad and, uh, I was moving ome stuff out of taxes and he was, he was taking some of the stuff that I had in taxes.
00:45:25 He was just going to take up to his place in Canada utilize. Um, so we were hanging out in Texas together and he’s like, why don’t you just like, take your people and go up to Costa Rica, do something they’re like, ah, and I don’t know. So higher, you know, it’s so many moving parts and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
00:45:45 And then he looks up, uh, He spends like two minutes on the internet finds this property and he’s like, check this place out, shows me his laptop, which is actually the property sold tires built on right now. And [
00:46:00 I’m like, oh, wait a minute. That could be pretty good. You know, it kind of has this, I mean, you’ve been to the restaurant, it’s kind of like a, Maloca the restaurant it’s like this cone shape roofs.
00:46:09 I’m like, you could almost do ceremonies in there, you know? Um, so I got interested in that and like maybe a month later, me and him went to check it out and um, and then it just, as soon as I got there, I’m like, oh, this is definitely the place like this is going to blow people’s minds. Um, so I had the vision as soon as I got there.
00:46:30 And then the next few months, we’re just negotiating the deal with the seller and talking to municipality, making sure we could do what we want, wanted to do and all that kind of stuff. And then in November that year signed, the deal started building in December. Um, and we finished basically building about five to 10 minutes before we welcomed our first guests.
00:46:56 We were like, I was like on day one of our first retreat in June of 20, 20, 80 on my, I went down to the ferry terminal to, to like, you know, chat people up, AKA stall them. Well, the team was like sweeping up dust off the floors and like screwing in light bulbs and like unwrapping lamps and, you know, basically getting our phase one off the ground.
00:47:22 So that, uh, that was how we got going. And then, yeah, man, from there on, it’s just been pretty much, you know, the first I don’t, I don’t care what business you’re in. You’re likely to have the first year is going to be maybe 18 months is going to be a bit of a. Bit of a grind. So, you know, that’s how, that’s how the first 18 months or so were with us was painful financially because, uh, we kind of based our prices on, on our expenses in Peru, but [
00:48:00 coming to Costa Rica, everything’s like four times more expensive.
00:48:03 So it took us a lot of time to get over the resistance of raising our prices to a certain level. That would be enough to cover the, the, the, you know, the, the sizable costs that we started to experience in Costa Rica. So for the first, like, you know, out of the first 18 months, we were in the negative, probably 16 of those 18 months, uh, in, in some months, you know, we’d lose 50 grand in a month, so I’d have to like, go.
00:48:36 And raise money again, sell like, you know, sell more equity or like, you know, or more money or whatever to like, just to get through payroll. So that was really, really challenging. And I think, you know, anybody who starts a business and has succeeded will know that, and anybody who started a business and it’s failed will know that even better.
00:48:57 But the, uh, yeah, the first man, the first couple of years of a business are, can be pretty tense. And, um, so we were actually just like once, January 20, 20 rolled around, we were just crossing the line into the black, right. We had a good January. We had a great February, like February, you know, I went up to the states on a business trip to like Brian Rose and Brian Rose and London RealLondon real launched stheir documentary with Dennis McKenna filmed this.
00:49:26 Soltara reconnect big premier in New York city red carpet event. Um, you know, And then I, I had a couple other events that, that week in the states come back to Costa Rica feeling like on top of the world. Like we finally made it, you know, we’ve had a couple good months. We’re finally in the black, you know, Brian Rose has made a movie about us and two weeks later when borders closed and then all of a sudden seven months of zero revenue and [
00:50:00 not knowing when we’re going to open again, you know, the pandemic hit, right.
00:50:03 So it was just like, it’s like I got back to Costa Rica at the end of February. And then two weeks later it was like, there was no cases in Costa Rica. And then as soon as there was one case in Costa Rica, there’s immediately closed the border. They trapped four of our healers here in Costa Rica for the next six months.
00:50:22 And for, uh, uh, international staff, like facilitators trapped here. And so we basically had to figure out how we’re going to survive for the next, however long with zero revenue and like, you know, couple hundred people looking to get their deposits back. Right. Cause everybody was afraid. Right. We had like 200 feet, 250 people who’d paid their deposits and were booked in for that year.
00:50:54 Like we had like almost full bookings for like the rest of the year and then we’re like, we’re closed. And then so all these people were like, oh, we get our money back. And I’m like, well, I’m sorry, man. Like, we don’t have it. You know? Um, because we were kind of still in that spot where, where we were trying to get our heads above water.
00:51:19 Right. Um, So, yeah, that was, that was basically 2020 in a nutshell. And it just became a survival mission to get through, uh, March, March 14th until we opened again November 1st. But, uh, fortunately most of those people were pretty understanding. I think we had like, out of those 250 something, people that had deposits in the system, I think almost 200 of them left their deposits in the system.
00:51:51 And they were like, okay, it’s cool. You can service us when, when you, you know, when, when things like, kind of get out of the mud here. And so [
00:52:00 that was good. And it took us a while, but we paid out all the other people who didn’t want to leave their money in the system. Uh, we had like a set amount per month, but then yeah, man, um, we, we, we got through that and open November 1st, 2020.
00:52:17 And things have been just pretty much hot ever since like, you know, the fact that the, there have been other places that have either, uh, not survived the lockdowns or have, have not come back yet, uh, has meant that our demand has just been astronomical. And in fact, we’re like basically sold out for the rest of the year.
00:52:43 And, uh, you know, we have like lot of people on the wait list. So we’re actually a trunk like we’re, we’re in the, in the final stages of closing a new property to actually open a second location here. It goes to. Hopefully. Yeah, hopefully the next month or two, I haven’t, I haven’t actually said anything publicly, but, um, we’re like, I literally just today had a meeting with a local architect and like, he’s going to apply for building permits.
00:53:13 Yeah. I should, I should have some news on that within a month or so like hopefully close the deal. I’ve already raised the money. It’s just a matter of meeting the due diligence. Um, and this place is like, it’s really spectacular. It’s on the open Pacific on a mile long beach, like surfable beach. So it’s just a totally different vibe.
00:53:31 Like it’s, uh, it’s like Santa Teresa on developed and, um, you know, like it’s, is it on the other side then of Costa Rica? It’s on, uh, the opposite end because Soltara now is facing inwards. It’s on the golf it’s on the golf. Yeah. So then this is basically just kind of it’s about 90 minutes away by car. Um, uh, 50 kilometers or less, maybe 30 kilometers.
00:53:58 I don’t know, but [
00:54:00 it’s on the, if you were to drive, like in the summer, you can actually drive in a four by four from Santa Teresa. It’s about 30 minutes in a four by four north of Santa Teresa. So like basically the same, not far from Santa Teresa, but you know, as the Crow flies, but if you’re taking roads and you have to cross the peninsula and then go up and then cross the peninsula again, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s probably three hours drive.
00:54:29 Uh, but if that’s going all the way around and all the way back. When the rivers aren’t high, apparently you can drive like straight up through kind of, you know, gravel roads and crossing rivers and your four by four and stuff like that. Uh, straight north from, from Santa Teresa, but it’s a, it’s a beach called Playa
00:54:52 Um, and it’s, it’s a very popular surf destination for surfers who don’t want to hang out in a party place. Right? Like it’s, there are places there. Um, there are like touristic establishments there, but it’s really chill, but the beach is wide. It’s pristine. It’s long. Uh, the waves are great. This place is already a yoga retreat that we’re buying.
00:55:17 So it’s like it’s already built. We just have to basically put a Maloca there. And, um, a couple of staff, uh, staff, uh, lodge. But it’s like perfect. Soltara It’s just, the vibe is great. Um, it’s, you know, it’s already built up as like a St capacity, your retreat center and, uh, it’s just absolutely stunning and beautiful.
00:55:43 So, you know, we’ve kind of like actually tried to locate a couple of other places since about January, because I knew we were going to need more space because we were just filling up in like, the demand is, is really high, especially as we continue kind of [
00:56:00 establishing ourselves in the field, you know? Um, but yeah, ideally, you know, in a month or so we’re going to have like some like concrete news about this and hopefully by hopefully around January, we’re opening a second location.
00:56:16 Wow. Congratulations.
00:56:21 That’s so big. I mean, I don’t really know of any ayahuasca places that. That have gone on to open a second. Um, and I, you know, I, this kind of brings me to a question about vision, you know, like it sounds like you’ve always had a pretty clear vision, right? I think that’s, that’s, that’s one of your core strengths, which is good as a CEO.
00:56:48 You want to have vision. And when you started the place, the ayahuasca adventure center in Peru, there was a clear vision for that. And you held to it and you executed and you built, you know, when you had to leave that you went into, Soltara, you found the place you executed, you built, um, and I’m curious, you know, with where you find yourself now, what do you see soltera becoming and sort of your role?
00:57:16 Cause, cause one thing we haven’t talked much about on this interview is you also have. You have your own personal brand. You have, you have a podcast that you’ve started to host. You’ve written a book, uh, you know, you’re you out now, this new project starting to happen. Oh, you have another book coming out.
00:57:34 So you’ve also, you started to have a metal band Savage existence. So I’m just curious to hear your thoughts on, Soltara’s growth and vision, but also you as an individual, what do you see yourself sort of growing and developing into? Yeah, of course. Um, so Soltara is a
00:58:00 no, my, my interest in growing Soltara is not aggressive.
00:58:05 It’s not, I have no interest in forcing growth or causing stress or havoc for anybody who’s in the organization. We. I mean, I pushed growth in the way of revenue when we were losing money every month, because it was, you know, all, all, everything was falling back on me to pay the bills. And I didn’t have, you know, if the revenue’s not there, then, then I have to like go and like, beg somebody for money to lend, you know, lend me money or like buy equity or omething.
00:58:38 So I pushed hard on growth when we were losing money, but now I have no interest in pushing hard on growth. Like I’m not trying to be, I, I’m not trying to have 10 locations around the world. Like, I’m not trying to be chain of ayahuasca centers, you know, a franchise. Like, I don’t want that. I don’t even think that’s right.
00:58:59 But, um, the reason we’re growing now is simply because we cannot serve all the people that want to come here and not by a long shot. Like I’m talking to. Hundreds of people who can’t come here who want to come here. Um, and we literally cannot even sell space because we don’t have any like for the next, like, you know, four to six months.
00:59:27 So we’re growing by absolute necessity at this point. Um, another thing is finding high quality staff is very difficult. It’s very, very, very difficult. So, um, you know, the last thing we want to do is wind up in a growth position where we don’t have really good staff to fill it. So, you know, this particular growth move is, is a response to conditions [
01:00:00 on the ground.
01:00:00 Basically, we have a bunch of staff, we ha we’re not giving our healers enough work. That’s one major factor, right? We have. Sets of healers who work at Soltara and they’re not getting enough work. We don’t have enough work to give them, so they want more work. We need to build another center to give them more work.
01:00:20 Um, and fortunately, you know, over the past year or two, we’ve been we’ve, we’ve formed relationships with enough, like facilitators and, and potential great candidates for like retreat director and all that kind of stuff. So that we now have enough staff to move into an incrementally, a bigger location, you know, so it’s close to Soltara in Playa Blanca.
01:00:47 So we can kind of overlap some of the management. It’s not like a totally different location where we have to have a completely. Different team. Like we can, we can do some, we can overlap. We can travel around trip between locations in one day by car. So not that big a deal. So, so we’re growing based on, on those conditions.
01:01:08 Um, but I think my vision for Soltarais not nearly as important as Melissa’s vision for Soltara, because what she’s, you know, I’m more of a kind of boots on the ground guy where it’s like, um, um, I’m very much in the physical realm and, and, and, uh, when I, when it comes to my vision, I’m like the guy who goes to a place and sees how this place is going to look and envisions how it’s going to operate, envisions, how it’s going to feel and stuff like that.
01:01:40 I’m very experiential visual. That’s what I’ve always been. You know, when I got to that site in Peru, that’s what I saw. I saw how it was going to look, you know, I saw it was going to feel, and I built it based on that vision. When I got to Soltara and Playa Blanca, I saw it. And I, and I built it based on that vision [
01:02:00 when I got to Soltara , um, which is a place where we are to acquire, you know, I can see, I can feel how that’s going to go.
01:02:09 Um, but when it comes down to like the nitty gritty aspects of the work, we do, you know, I think Melissa’s vision is really beginning to take precedent here because she’s the one who’s going hard on the integration platform. You know, her and Sylvia are brainstorming hard on that. Putting a lot of elbow grease behind that, but that’s very much more in the way of detail orientation and in servicing where the market needs us to be.
01:02:41 Um, And, you know, so I think that, I think we’re kind of shifting gears a little bit, um, to be more of the taking Soltara in a digital direction, not so much in just replicating physical spaces and serving, you know, ayahuasca medicine, but, but trying to help and serve the industry in a way that’s a little more, uh, intellectual, therapeutic and digital.
01:03:09 Right. And I think Melissa is going to be leading the charge there. So, um, which, which basically brings us to your next point of like, what am I doing? Because I’m almost in a way I’m essentially becoming irrelevant in this organization. If we’re not growing physically, then, you know, and if we’re not like battling COVID, if we’re not, if we’re not fighting, you know, startup war, then if like we’re in an era of peace time and that I’m kind of irrelevant in that pace.
01:03:40 ’cause, you know, my approach is almost heartful in an era of peace time. You know, the brute force, the lizard brain, the, the, um, you know, the, the, the, I guess, battle oriented mentality that I have that serves a great purpose. And that’s very valuable when it’s needed, [
01:04:00 like getting us through seven months lockdown, for example, or getting us through an 18 month, you know, startup grind.
01:04:08 Right. But we’ll, we’re getting into a place where we have more customers than we know what to do with, uh, we have more staff than we can employ. Um, and it’s like, now it’s just about optimization and, and tweaking and serving the community and, and, and perfecting our operations. That’s where Melissa’s much more talented and skilled than what I am.
01:04:32 Um, so then what do I do? Well, I need somewhere to put my energy, so. Um, you know, we, we, we’re getting into music, right? Where, uh, me and Jesse, the chef Soltara were friends from, from, from kindergarten high school, public chool, college, we played together and we’ve, uh, you know, we’ve produced an album and we’re we’re, uh, we actually, the producer of our album was one of our old school guitar heroes from the nineties, Logan Mader, if machine had in olfa sat once, even, and it’s produced like gold albums for like five finger, death punch and Gojira, like cavalier, conspiracy, and whole handful of other bands.
01:05:14 So, you know, that’s, I’m going to shift some of my focus there. I’m not going to abandon c, but that’s one thing. Um, I’m also about to publish a book. So actually started this new book called 12 laws of the jungle, how to become a lethal entrepreneur. And I started that just at the beginning of 2020.
01:05:35 So like that book was going to tell the tale of how. You know, household Tyra came up and got through the startup war and my methodology for doing that. And then we got hit with COVID. So it became a, it became a play by play journal of how, you know, how Soltara got through the COVID pandemic and lockdowns and came out stronger than ever before.
01:05:59 And it really [
01:06:00 kind of boiled it down into 12 laws of the jungle of entrepreneurship, um, with a kind of unique take on it. And so that manuscript is done and I’m currently in the publishing process right now, just completing the last few tweaks from their editorial recommendations, the edits, getting the cover logged in, et cetera.
01:06:23 And then, yeah. Um, work, you know, I I’ve got a podcast it’s not. It’s not really my passion. Um, but, uh, every now and then I run into cool people. I want to talk to and ask them questions. So it’s kind of like something I’m, you know, like doing, I guess it’s good to have a podcast. It’s a great platform to have, like this one, you know, this is what you get.
01:06:48 You get to have interesting people on and you can act, you have a cool conversation. Other people listen to it. And, uh, just for that, that in itself, it’s a fun thing. And you, I mean, you’ve interviewed some incredible people for the podcast and it’s, it’s both in the plant medicine space. I know you recently published an interview with Matthew Johnson.
01:07:06 Who’s a researcher at Johns Hopkins, but you’ve also published interviews with people who are not in plant medicine at all were entrepreneurs or just people that you find to be interesting. And it feels like you’re finding your way. With it, you know, and it, it doesn’t have to be your core focus, but it can be just every now and then some new pop into, what’s your advice, Paul, for, uh, I’m at a loss right now.
01:07:30 What do I do with this podcast? Do I, cause it’s like, I mean, there’s, there’s two ways there’s in order to grow a big podcast, you have to do a ton of episodes, right? Like you have to really put the hours in, but then you have to find guests and you have to do research and you have to like, you know, process the episodes.
01:07:50 And, um, you know, I like to have good chats with people, but put, you know, what should I do as much as [
01:08:00 possible to delegate everything except just the conversations. Right? If, if you can find yourself in a space where you’re only having to show up and do conversations and chat with people who are interested.
01:08:10 Like the audio production, the logisticals, the logistics of getting things set up. Right. I have an assistant and a, and an AAV producer who handles all of that. So when I show up, like we’re recording in Zencaster right now, and this is a little off script, but fuck it. We’re, we’re recording in San Castro right now.
01:08:28 The, the recording will stop. My AP guy will come in, he’ll do the CA he’ll get it up. And then, um, my assistant will help with following up, if you can set up a system like that, right. It’s just systems then. And you just, and I’m, I’m kind of jealous of you because you sense you’re, you’re doing this podcast under Daniel Cleveland.
01:08:49 You can be very expansive about who you interview. Whereas for third way, for this podcast, I’ve been very specific about this. Isn’t the psychedelic space, and I’m very interested in expanding outside of this as well. So, uh, as long as you’re enjoying the conversations and, and the. Interesting to people.
01:09:11 You know, we, sometimes we record once a week. Sometimes they get it out once every two weeks, sometimes they take a month or two off. Um, but I’m, I’m consistently showing up because this is still a topic of curiosity at, at, at some point it will seize psychedelics, or even seizing to be my core topic of curiosity.
01:09:30 And I’m starting to expand outside of that into movement, into, um, you know, meditation, into breath, work into, uh, systems, change other stuff. And so I’m also curious, like how do I expand outside of that? So, um, that that’s those, those are my guests, words of advice. And as you’ve proven today, you don’t need to be in the same place with this beautiful painting in the background.
01:09:56 And like, you know, you can some that’s that’s my main issue is [
01:10:00 like, man, I have to be here. In the middle of like, you know, the jungle and Costa Rica in order to record an episode and have three cameras and have my producer and everything. Whereas like, it’d be much more convenient if I could just actually do it from my laptop, like what you’re doing right now, or have like a camera that I travel with and a Mike camera, Mike zoom.
01:10:22 Yeah. I think maybe that, there you go. And, and, and, and for some interviews that like, you, you know, you get a really high level, top amazing, like whoever you’ll want to have that set up and you can set it up that way, but for other ones, if you’re an Austin, if you’re a Miami, if you’re going to LA like bring a little set with you, set up a few interviews while you’re there, sit down with someone in person and just record.
01:10:44 Right. And, um, I think that that’s a way to make it just a little, a little easier. Great, great advice, man. I think that helps me out a lot because I’m kind of at a decision point right now. So I like, it’s like on the one hand, I don’t want to. Being like, you know, investing in this big production for something that I’m, I’m not really super, I don’t know, committed to, but then on the other hand, I don’t want to quit because it’s like that we had these great conversations when it happens to be convenient.
01:11:21 And it’s like, but dude, these are good. This is valuable. This is fun. And I like, you know, releasing these episodes. So like, like you’re saying, you know, every once, twice a month or three, four times a month for maybe some months you don’t do anything. And as long as you’re not stressing out about it, then why not?
01:11:36 Why not keep doing it as long as it’s, you know, economical for you, you know, you pay your assistant, you pay your a V guy is probably not that crazy. And if you’re able to do it when you’re on the road and you’re not stressing about like trying to be in this place at this time and like coordinate all this stuff, and maybe it’s not a bad idea to keep going and maybe amplify a little bit in a more convenient.
01:11:59 Yeah, it’s
01:12:00 gotta be fun. You know, you gotta keep a fun, conversational, open, which would you do a good job of, so with that being said, it’s time for us to wrap this one. It’s about, it’s almost, I know it’s what is it? Five, almost five o’clock there, are we in the same? We’re in the same time zone. Yeah. End of day.
01:12:22 It’s a Tuesday. Daniel. Thank you for coming on. If it’s for people who want to find out more info, soltara.com, is that the, is that Soltara is website. Yeah. soltara.com. My website is danielcleveland.com or, you know, social media is where all searchable and easy to find on social and everything.
01:12:45 Absolutely. Well, Daniel, thank you for joining us. Thank you for the work you’re doing at soltera for what you’ve built, um, you know, before. Soltara, thank you for coming on and I’m excited to be on your podcast in a couple of weeks. Uh, 21st.