August 8th, 2023
With Eli Harrell, a social entrepreneur, leader, a problem solver with a profound commitment to purpose-driven ventures, is a co-founder and Chief of Purpose at Valhalla.team, a company dedicated to fostering high-performing teams that create products with a meaningful purpose, making a difference in the lives of people around the world. With a track record of success, Eli has honed his expertise as a mapmaker for founders and executive teams, drawing from his experiences in the early 2000s when he established and sold two contracting businesses in Atlanta.
His contributions extend beyond entrepreneurship, as he also serves as part-time faculty and mentor for the prestigious MBA program at Southwestern University in Cebu, Philippines. Not content with just his entrepreneurial and educational endeavors, he also uses his platform to inspire and inform others through his captivating podcast, “Products With Purpose”, where he engages with visionary individuals who are building businesses with products that laser-target the most pressing challenges facing our planet and beyond.
In this enlightening conversation, Eli shares invaluable insights on building a purpose-driven life and business. He emphasizes the importance of a supportive environment, harnessing positive energy, and choosing the right partners and values. His wisdom serves as a compass for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking impactful, fulfilling journeys.
Takeaways & quotes you don’t want to miss:
- “The one with the strictest standards suffers the most.”
- How do you decide what your values are?
- “By listening to the mistakes other people made, you can deeply understand.”
- Why Eli chose contribution and kindness as his top values.
“Business is such a great tool that we can use for solving any problem that we want, or for any reason.”
– Eli Harrell
Check out these highlights:
- 12:36 What does “energy” mean for Eli?
- 24:16 Eli shares how he got into the world of startups, technology and entrepreneurship.
- 29:28 How Eli became more interested in personal development.
- 40:09 Eli talks more about his podcast “Products With Purpose”.
How to get in touch with Eli on Social Media:
You can also contact Eli by visiting his website here.
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below:
GGGB Intro 00:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®…
Eli Harrell 00:04
A lot of the communities that I’m in now are just full of these purpose driven entrepreneurs, impact entrepreneurs. And one of the conversations I hear a lot is how do you decide what your values are like your values hierarchy? How do you choose what your clear priority values in life are, so that you can make sure you’re aligned with the people you partner partnership with? And if you haven’t done that for yourself, good luck. I’m getting it right because you don’t even know what yours are. So how can you find somebody that match them right?
GGGB Intro 00:35
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:04
Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, serving online entrepreneurs around the US and the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I’m super excited to have my friend Eli Harrell here. Welcome, Eli.
Eli Harrell 01:28
I’m super happy to be here. Heather. Thanks.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:30
Yeah, I think we’re gonna have a great conversation today. So Eli and I met in a podcasting group. What was it like? Entrepreneurs. But he had he had titled the group like, like a podcast with purpose, right or purpose based on impact these podcasters Yeah, exactly. And so Eli and I met inside of that group. And quickly, I realized Eli and I needed to have a chat over here on the podcast and hear more about his journey, the work that he does with people in the world. I think we have some strong overlaps. And I think you’re really going to enjoy hearing from Eli today. So for folks that don’t know Eli, Eli is the co-founder and chief of purpose at Valhalla dot team. He’s also the host of products with purpose, which you’ll hear more about today. He is a social entrepreneur, leader and consummate Problem Solver who through the painful process of building business after business has become a mapmaker for founders and executive teams. In the early 2000s. He built and sold two contracting businesses in Atlanta before moving his family to Asia in 2014, where he has founded an advisor for business in a number of industries. He is also part time faculty and mentor of the MBA program at Southwestern University in Cebu, Philippines. Eli is the co founder, as I mentioned, and chief of purpose officer at Valhalla dot team, which is a company dedicated to amplifying the impact of entrepreneurs who are solving meaningful human problems via high performing teams building products with purpose. He’s the host of a podcast called products with purpose, where he teases out the most valuable stories from people who are building products and businesses that are laser focused on solving meaningful problems on this planet are beyond I love that or beyond like, my brain is going crazy over that. That bit like I want to hear more. Welcome, Eli. So happy to have you here.
Eli Harrell 03:37
Thank you. Hello. Thank you for the intro.
Heather Pearce Campbell 03:39
Yeah, totally. So, I love you know, we live in slightly different spaces. But obviously, you know, we’ve gotten to know a little bit about each other. And I think there’s a lot of overlap. And really, I think the way that you summed it up, which was, you know, pretty simple and makes my brain happy, right, is that you’re really focused on helping people build a life and business around purpose. And we were talking specifically about how some people end up maybe focusing on that in their business, but they they are not building their lives around purpose. Right. Can you talk to us a little bit about your own journey? Because it sounds like you’ve applied this in your own life, I’m sure as like, test experiment number one. Talk to us a little bit about how you do that for yourself.
Eli Harrell 04:28
Yeah, so I think, well, all of us want to feel like we’re living a meaningful life. Right. And I spent 10 to 15 years building businesses and having reasonable amount of success doing that before I really started asking some bigger questions around. What is it that actually makes people happy and long story short, I started discovering, I think people really need progress and growth continually. We never ending progress and growth and that led me on My journey to focus more on who I wanted to become rather than what I wanted to do. And then eventually realized, I think humans are pretty much hardwired, we need to feel like we’re contributing to something greater than us. Right? So I think we all have this journey to go on where, where we need to build our frameworks and our foundations of what do we value most in the world? And we’re always seeking meaning. I think, I think one of the things I’m really excited about in what I see happening in the world right now, is that a lot more people are making decisions of what they do, whether they’re deciding on jobs, or businesses based on on purpose and meaning instead of just, what does it pay me? And what can I buy with it? So yeah, I think I think it’s all just built on me shifting my priorities from I just want freedom for myself. And I want you know, you have all these dreams that you think you want to achieve, and that drives you. And gradually shifting to, I really want to help other people realize, like, life is much more powerful and exciting when we focus on who we want to become answering that question, which is probably never ending. And, and, you know, why are we here? What do we what do we want to create for the future and thinking beyond even our, our own lifetimes, and thinking about what kind of future we creating for future generations? So yeah, I think those questions have led me down that path? I don’t know. Yeah, it’s a very, very big question to try to answer concisely. But
Heather Pearce Campbell 06:32
it’s a big conversation, lots of pieces to that. I, I love your shift like you highlighting, you know, the question became more about who you wanted to become versus what you wanted to do. Right? I think that’s a really powerful question to start from is like, Who is it? Whether this year, we’re beyond that I want to become, right, which can lead us in a very different direction than what is it that I want to do?
Eli Harrell 07:03
For sure. Yeah. And then eventually, I think that leads us all to a path. If we go down it far enough of discovering who we’ve always been kind of even deeper question, but people?
Heather Pearce Campbell 07:17
Well, it’s so interesting. I, you know, at the start of every year, I get a lot of, we’ll just call it New Year activation energy. Right. And it’s been a little bit funny, because for a couple years now, and I think a lot of people can relate. It’s like, Oh, I’ve had to kind of tame myself a little like, oh, I should really ease into this year. Not necessarily, like, take a big leap. But I’ve been reading this book, one of the things that happens and is just a new year thing for me is I really get a hankering to, like, clean out the old. Yeah, physically, like not just not just do the exercise emotionally, mentally, right. But physically, and I was reading a book, I think, and I should share the name because it’s a really fabulous book. I think it’s called the clutter revolution.
Eli Harrell 08:08
It’s definitely cathartic to let go of things.
Heather Pearce Campbell 08:12
Yeah, it is. polite. Let me see if this is it. clutter free, free revolution? I’ll tell you, yes. clutter free revolution. And it’s written by Evan zis. List. Sorry, Evan, if I just butchered your last names. Yes, Lis. Anyways, he takes a very like, really, for lack of a better summary, kind of a spiritual approach to this whole process of like cleaning out stuff. And here’s a question because I’ve done the Marie Kondo. I’ve done like some of the other stuff like many parents, we tend to always have a clutter problem around here, right? I’ve got two kids. I’ve got a husband who feels differently about the level of cleanliness than I do. And he’s not messy, but he just, you know, that when did I hear somebody say the one with the strictest standards suffers the most? Right?
Eli Harrell 09:04
I can relate to that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 09:06
And I think a lot of people can, in part because I work from home. So if there’s a mess, like I’m in it, well, you know, working from home and taking care of our puppy and whatever, and he just gets to go to work all day. I say that like of course there are downsides to that too. But this book, clutter free revolution, it doesn’t ask some of the typical questions that you would see. And the only reason this is relevant is because it’s really similar to your thought of does this item in my life support who I want to become? Right? Does it support how I’m spending my time right now? In service to who I want to become right. So who you want to become is somebody who spends more time with family or more meaningful time with your children or maybe you want to do more art and creativity in your Like, you know, whatever it is. And he’s like, if it doesn’t, what’s it doing? Right unless it unless it’s serving a really essential function. And, you know, his backstory was that he went through a number of moves repeatedly as a child growing up, I think, probably with a military parent. And so he got really good at getting rid of stuff and starting over, you know, and realize the lesson early on, like, if you needed it, we’ll find you. We don’t actually need all this stuff in our lives. And I think that parallels over really nicely into the conversation that I’m hoping that we’re having, which is around, in many ways, being more decisive and obtaining even greater clarity around what creates a purpose based life and a purpose based business. Right? I think in many ways, often the answer is less.
Eli Harrell 10:54
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I’ve directly experienced well, when when we moved from the US to Asia, to the Philippines, actually 2014. I didn’t, I didn’t think I was one of those Americans who owed too many things. And I’m like, Oh, my God, how do we get this much stuff? And even before that, I had really been kind of thinking about letting you know, like, Why do I have an emotional attachment to these things? And, yeah, it’s fascinating thing there are, I think there’s a lot you can learn, when you explore, why do we feel certain ways about physical items and not wanting to let them go? There’s a lot to learn there. And I also think environment is a huge part of creating a purposeful, meaningful life where you’re really happy with who you’re able to show up as every day. Well, you know, probably you’re never none of us are ever totally happy with who we show up as every day. But you know, that you’re as close as possible as much as possible, right? Environment really matters. And whether you, so if you’re looking around the place you that you inhabit, and it’s not giving you the kind of energy it, I think it’s important to improve our environment as much as we can over time. So we get to a place where like, yeah, that this place really supports the kind of person I want to show up as every day and the kind of energy and thinking that I want to have it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:18
Let’s talk about this concept of energy, because I heard you mention it before, like one of the things that you really try to help founders do, right is like, have the energy to do what they want to do. Yeah. Talk to us about your relationship to energy, like what does that mean to you?
Eli Harrell 12:36
There are a number of types of energies that we have, obviously, there’s a really good book, I read a while back called The Power of Full Engagement that talked about these four types of energy and how to how to make sure you’re, you’re sustaining them and generating them. I think Brendon Burchard, talks really well about generating energy as well. But also there’s a specific kind of conversation I’ve been having a lot lately that I’m that I think we need to have a lot more, which is that for people anywhere in this world right now who are either thinking about, or have already decided to dedicate a large part of their time on this planet toward solving meaningful problems. So people who are and then like I was telling you earlier, I’m really excited about the trend I see that a lot of people are making more and more people are making decisions around what they do for work, whether it’s a job or business, rather than just thinking about the paycheck. They’re thinking about the meaning the meaning and the purpose and like, does this impact the planet? Core people in the direction I want to see things go? And does the culture make me feel good. So people are making decisions in different ways. However, I think it’s extremely challenging to sustain the energy that we need toward the solutions we want to create in the world, or the improvements we want to see in the world. When we think the world is can I see customers here? If we think if we think the world is fucked, right, then what, then it gets really depressing. So I think we really need I think we we need to be conscious, that it matters, what we think about where the world is headed. And if we if we believe that we are contributing to a tidal wave in the right direction, we’ll be excited and optimistic like we’ll be able to sustain the energy right, we’ll be able to recruit more people to come to this cause. But if we think the tidal wave is coming in the wrong direction, and we just drop in the bucket that we’re trying to, it’s like the weekly think we can’t make a difference. We think that is just depressing, and you can’t sustain it. So Einstein said that the most important decision anyone can ever make is, I’m paraphrasing a little bit, but he really said this, whether to believe the universe is a hostile or friendly place. And I think it’s clearly both. It’s clearly tons of both and we’ll never be able to convince someone that it’s more of this or that what it’s like it’s both right. It’s positive, negative. It’s yin and yang, and we We need to consciously tune in to the things that are happening in the world that make us excited. So that we realize like, no, there’s actually a ton of great things happening right now unbelievably exciting things. I think we live in the most exciting period of time that’s ever on this planet. As far as we go, like aI coming on line right now, there are so many things we can do now that we couldn’t do before that are just, I mean, just exponentially amplifying our power and leveraging we just have leveraged ability as humans as individuals to make so much difference in the right direction. Yeah. Oh, yeah. So I think, to sum that all up, supporting optimism, by tuning into conversations with people who are doing things that make us excited, like, Oh, my God, I can’t believe that technology is happening. I can’t believe how many people are, but who’s talking about this stuff. You know, we just figured out fusion. And where’s that conversation? The news doesn’t feed us these things. So they the good, the good stuff doesn’t come to us in but it doesn’t, it doesn’t come to us automatically. We have to intentionally I think we have to intentionally tune in. So anybody out there that wants to change the world for the better. And I think I think it’s really important. We got to work out we got to meditate. Like there’s a lot of things we need to do for ourselves to generate energy. But I think we also have to recognize we need to surround ourselves with people who are seeing, you know, we got to see the stuff that is exciting.
Heather Pearce Campbell 16:22
I love what you’ve said, your point is a really important one. And as a mom, I feel that like heavily in a good way and in a bad way some days because, like, let’s take the news, for example, right? There’s been something I’ve gotten off the news entirely for I don’t know, a while years now, it’s a little bit hard at the start of the pandemic not to pay attention to stuff because there was so much going on. And even politically before that, right, it can be hard, especially as a person who cares a lot to tune that stuff out. But for my mental health, or my literal, physical health, and I think there’s a lot of people that relate to this phase of where we’re at, that we have to tune out what is getting blasted every day, and really consciously seek out the golden nuggets of goodness that are out there and all around, but don’t get amplified in the same way that all of the negative news does. You know, and I really think people are worn out on this, like, I think people are getting to the, like, the the point of being like, that old model doesn’t work anymore. And I’m even seeing it. Like the other day, it was interesting, because my husband had the TV on, and I did see a little news clip that came on. And it was a local channel. But it was a very different kind of conversation that the newscaster was having he he was intentionally slowing down the conversation, clearly making space to have a conversation and a dialogue. And it wasn’t just this, like, we’re gonna blast you with headlines and negativity. And I thought isn’t this interesting? It was a very noticeable change. Yeah, and I’ve also read other places that people are observing this, that the kind of the flashbang tactics of like, whatever will catch people’s attention in a negative way, or are just no longer so enticing to people. And I thought, wouldn’t it be great if if we are able to, like not only tune that stuff out but influence in a way that the marketplace actually changes?
Eli Harrell 18:27
Right? Isn’t it interesting how our lens is so malleable? Like we have we have so much? We don’t really know, I think most people just don’t realize how much power as individuals, we have to adjust the lens we’re looking through, you know, you’re wearing these blue light blockers right now. It’s like we can like…
Heather Pearce Campbell 18:44
RIght. If you’re listening, you’re really missing out. You gotta hop over to YouTube and check him out. They’re atrocious. They’re sending all this terrible light back to Eli. Yeah, it’s, again, in service to my lowering cortisol levels. We’re just doing everything.
Eli Harrell 19:01
So I talked about what’s going on in the world that that we see as evidence of things moving in the direction we like. And then I also mentioned the news. And then you said now there’s actually I see evidence that there’s something maybe some little trends starting where the news is changing? Really, I wouldn’t have expected you to say that, but that’s pretty cool. I’m happy to hear that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 19:24
Yeah. Well, and I think I definitely feel that younger generations are ahead of us in this regard. So you know, a lot of people have a lot of feelings about you know, you hear it millennials and Gen X and Gen Z and blah, blah, blah. But I think our tolerance levels for BS is just shifting. I just really think that tolerance is changing for certain things and a little bit like younger people, I think so often, are more clear on their boundaries than Maybe even I mean, you are probably younger than me. But even then my generation of kids were aware, you know, I think there was a certain amount of like, well, this is how it is. And this is what our parents say it is. And we just have to go along, it’s, it was far less democratic than I feel like it is these days, it’s a little bit like, I even look in my children, right? My little people, they come into this world with a really strong sense of democracy built into them. They’re not tolerating that same old stuff from a tiny, tiny age.
Eli Harrell 20:33
It’s because they see more, they grew up with just YouTube, right? I mean, there’s so much more visibility on what’s really, and the raw quantity of data that’s coming at you, ever since you’re young, growing up in third generations, I think they have to build better filters, or they’ll go crazy. So it’s like you got all this information, like what information that’s coming at me is actually valuable? Which what’s bullshit, like they know. And they can’t be I think they’re way less gullible than any generation that’s ever existed. And then it’s like they’ve been traveling the world their whole lives. Do they’ve been all over the place? You know. Travellers, yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:09
Yeah, I know, I traveled the world by reading, you know, the different volumes of the encyclopedia like that’s as far as I got out of my lino little home in Idaho, while we lived there, but it really is very different. And to me, it’s so refreshing, like, do our little people have their challenges? Certainly, you know, there are some things that I think as humans were just unprepared for, like, you want to talk about AI and technology and some of the shifts that are happening. You know, for a long time, technology has evolved faster than humans ability to really keep up with the changes in a way that, you know, causes some harm if we don’t have clear boundaries around our lives, or use our relationship to things agree.
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:59
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Heather Pearce Campbell 23:48
So I’m curious because I’d love to know more, a little bit more about your personal journey, right? Share with us a little bit about your roots, how you got, you know, how you how you came to be in this world of startups and technology and entrepreneurship. And now products with purpose. I’d love to hear more about your journey into all of that.
Eli Harrell 24:12
Sure. I’ll condense it as much as I can. So I grew up in the US. I was born in California, but I grew up in metro Atlanta area, and pretty untraditional, I would say the way I grew up, I was the eldest of eight kids. And we were all homeschooled. And my parents were entrepreneurs. So I did not grow up on the education to employment kind of programming path. And I think that led me to become all of those. That scenario probably helped me become a self teacher like I’ve just been somebody who’s been and maybe I was always just this way where I questioned things and I don’t accept things until I understand why they are or the deeper underlying underlying realities or principles below them. But yes, I think I’ve always been inquisitive and innovator in the way I think, but also a self teacher. So I deeply believe in constantly trying to learn new things and never believing that we know anything. It’s like whatever you think, you know, just keep it, hold it loosely and let new data and so I spent, like I said earlier, I spent a long time focusing on growing businesses, with, with the motivation being, I want freedom for my family, I want to be able to travel and do all these things. I called all the things we all want the freedom lifestyle. Yep, yeah. And then, once I kind of got a little bit more on a personal growth journey, and started reading a lot more books, and deep, more deeply understanding myself and other people, I realized how many layers there are to understand in us and became really fascinated, which sort of studying the human experience itself.
Heather Pearce Campbell 25:48
And I’m curious, was there anything in particular that that launched you down the path of like more learning on the personal development side? Right, you said, once I became more interested.
Eli Harrell 26:02
There actually was an inflection point. I remember. I mean, I think it’s always a process. But there’s one big inflection point I will always point back to, which was, after having built two businesses congruently in a partnership with people I grew up with, and my brother, and we didn’t know what we were doing and got so stressful that while we had reasonable amount of success, I was just totally, totally burnt out, headaches, overweight, angry all the time. It was it was not good. And fortunately, I was able to exit those companies in a way that gave me some time to decompress a bit. But it was it was kind of right at the end of those companies where I realized that I was just getting angry at my brother all the time. It was ridiculous. Like, why he’s not doing anything, what am I doing? And it was it was something as simple as I don’t really understand my own behavior. And I don’t like it, what’s going on? What am I what am I not understanding about why I’m acting this way. And it really came down to, I had narratives looping in my subconscious that I wasn’t paying attention to that were just feeding emotions, that, you know, I had these stories, I had to build the skill of paying attention using emotions as the alarm to make to make people pay attention to the beliefs you built, by saying things over and over again, like my brothers in the hospital, you know, it’s like, Whatever, whatever that thing is. Totally, I’m looking, I’m looking for evidence, like I understand these things now. And I understand confirmation bias and how, when we believe something, we just only look for the data that supports it, we don’t actually notice any opposing data unless we specifically look for it. So I think that was kind of a kind of an inflection point.
Heather Pearce Campbell 27:39
Well, it’s a powerful one. I mean, even that point, I’d love you saying paying attention to emotions as like the alarm bell, right? I remember early in my journey, learning about like, emotions don’t just happen, they happen as a result of thinking a certain thing, causes it’s your interpretation of an event that actually causes the emotion, right. So it’s about like stepping backwards and saying, Well, what was my interpretation of that event? And that learning I did, right out of law school, I went actually to the advanced the seminar at put on by the program on negotiations. At Harvard, it was an advanced negotiations course. And they were talking just about our, our perception, right, the lens that we all have around, you know, our own behavior versus how we perceive other people’s behavior and how in every instance we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Right? And not we tend not to as humans automatically give other people the benefit of the doubt because we’re experiencing the impact, not the originating emotions are originating thought their attentions behind, right. So yeah, yeah, super powerful stuff. But I love that because I think even no matter how far along you are on the scale of personal development, that paying attention to emotions as the alarm bell, still relevant, still relevant.
Eli Harrell 29:06
It’s always well, I mean, maybe there’s a state of enlightenment we can get to where we don’t need it anymore. But I have no idea about that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 29:14
Yeah, no, I love it. That’s a good share. So you became more interested in this personal development journey, you exited those, you know, your other companies? What then?
Eli Harrell 29:28
So I was doing some work for a company that was opening markets in Asia came over here to the Philippines for a month. I really liked it. I’d like a lot of reasons but I decided to bring my kids and my family over here. I wanted, also wanted my kids to not just grow up in the US one of them to have a more international lens because I had lived in Japan when I was 19 for a couple of months. And I think that really changed me compared to so many people I grew up with. So anyway, fast forward. I I’ve spent a number of years helping entrepreneurs here. I’m starting businesses. And I’ve touched many different industries from outsourcing to like, just recruitment, a lot of different things. And outdoor advertising. cybersecurity, I’ve been really in a lot of different industries. And I realized they had this kind of another, I would say inflection point realization, two big realizations. One is that the fundamental nature of business is that it’s just a tool or a model that humans created for solving problems. That’s all it is. It is not fundamentally designed to make people wealthy. So capitalism doesn’t have to be about making people wealthy, it just has to be about free markets. And you know, where we’re headed right now, in stakeholder capitalism, I think is a way better version of it, which is another story. But basically just realizing, business is such a great tool that we can use for solving any problem we want, for any reason. And realizing that I wanted to be using business for making the world better for people. And those businesses also need to be built around people always. And that I need to be partnered with people, both partners in the business, so partner people that you partner with to start the business, but also clients, I want to only want to be working with people where I have alignment, and it took me a long time to kind of figure that out. Once I did, and then started deciding what to do about it. I built Valhalla with people who I knew I had that alignment with, they saw business the same way they saw changes they wanted to make on the planet the same way and that business can be a way of doing it and that humans have to be put first for it to happen. And so we built Valhalla, not because I’m in tech, my, my co founder really is he loves technology way more than I do. i i I love using it. And I love what it can do. But I don’t I’m not in love with it. So we built Valhalla, because we see a lot of people on this planet, who know how to solve problems, they’re experts in something. And then they realize, okay, well, I could really change the world, if I build a tech product that would scale what I know how to do or scale, the solution I’ve come up with. And the way that people usually go about building software, especially if they haven’t done it before, it ends up being kind of a nightmare most of the time. So we have built out a better process to help purpose driven founders to make sure they’re building the right product for the impact they want to have. And that was just really driven. All of that comes from that desire to see business be more impactful. And the interest wanting to help other people improve the way that they you know, just just amplifying the way they do that because we’re not experts, you go to you go to solve a problem and climate or in education, or in agritech, click whatever it is. You don’t want to spend the vast majority of your time learning how to be an extra software product development leader. That’s really hard.
Heather Pearce Campbell 32:42
Yeah, no, that’s a true story. I’m curious, you know, I think everyone has their own path to like figuring out who their ideal clients are, who their ideal people are for partnering or working with or whatever. Did you did you get there? Because you worked with some of the wrong clients and wrong people along the way? Was that it? Yeah, I think that’s an unnecessary part, for many people unnecessary part of the journey.
Eli Harrell 33:09
I think there’s a lot of mistakes I haven’t made by listening to the mistakes other people made. So you know, reading books and listening to podcasts watching YouTube, you can deeply understand. You can’t just I don’t think, you know, hearing people say we’ll do this, don’t do that, that probably doesn’t help us avoid making the same mistakes they did. But if you deeply understand the nuances of why they went down a certain path, and you really you relate with, oh, shit, I’m on that path, you know? And so no, I don’t think you have to do it wrong. I don’t. I think there’s a lot of people kind of going back to what we were saying about our kids, I think there’s just a lot more information available now than there ever has been before we can definitely tap into people that are doing it right. So for example, a lot of the communities that I’m in now are just full of these purpose driven entrepreneurs, impact entrepreneurs. And one of the conversations I hear a lot is how do you decide what your values are like your values hierarchy? This is something I have done a lot. How do you choose clear what your clear priority of values and life are, so that you can make sure you’re aligned with the people you partner partnership with? And if you haven’t done that for yourself? Good luck. I’m getting it right, because you don’t even know what yours are. So how can you find somebody that matched them? Right? So there are definitely methodologies of how to go about finding the right partners. And there’s definitely people out there talking about it. So yeah, just recognizing it’s a thing you need to do is good stuff.
Heather Pearce Campbell 34:39
Yeah, well, and I love even the mention of like, and I don’t know if you’ve got your own values exercise that you walk people through, right, because I know of some out in the marketplace. I do think it’s really important to go through those. And I think oftentimes we can skip a lot of the process. Sometimes I feel like it’s actually easy easier to just look at your life right now and see what values are you expressing?
Eli Harrell 35:06
Heather Pearce Campbell 35:07
Those are probably the ones that you hold dearest. And so for me like it’s really clear what my values are and how they’re being expressed. And then from there, I can say, Okay, does that work for me? Is it working to express this particular value in this way? And there I think, is a significant opportunity for coaching, whether it’s from somebody like yourself or somebody else around, because there’s also ways to like, tie certain values together so that you’re able to, like, bring in another way of expressing let’s pretend somebody overworked, right, because they’re so dedicated to their business and their mission and supporting the right people. And they’re not exercising enough, right? There are ways that you can manipulate manipulate your own mind, if you will, to actually begin expressing this value in a new way. That looks like exercise, even if you haven’t expressed it that way in the past, right. Yeah. But it is about recognizing, like everything we do is actually tied to our values.
Eli Harrell 36:07
Totally. Yeah, I think now, I believe what you just said is really important. When I first started getting clear about what my top values would be, the ones I first chose were, I want to always be dedicated to leveraging my own potential, so growth and learning so that I can help as many other people as possible. And then the second one is I always want to remain open to new data. And never think I’m rigidly no something, those became really foundational, and was I living, according to those to the level that I wanted to when I chose them no bite. So they became really a kind of a Northstar, or a metric to measure, you know, like some kind of a measuring device to say, am I living into these values, Brene, brown talks about this, I think her values, exercise is good. But then, fast forward five or six years, I think five years, something like that, I decided to shift them a little bit, because I had, I’m not gonna say, completely mastered those two, but they’re so foundationally built into everything I do that I don’t think they’re really serving me to become a better version of myself to keep them as my top ones. So I chose contribution and kindness, because I want to be creating a lot more, I want to feel like I’m creating a lot more impact than increasing impact exponentially. And I think kindness is something I want to be known for, that I’m totally not known for. So, you know, I think that’s like a big challenge. For me, or challenge value. It’s like a living into this value.
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:33
I love that. Well, and it is true, I think, you know, all of us. First of all, we have limited time we do whether we’d like it or not have limited energy. Right? There are some limits around how many ways and how strongly we can express any of these values. And so I do like your perspective around like, Look, you might really be leaning into a couple and are those the ones that should be showing up? Or does it look a little bit differently in your ideal scenario, right? And then how do you create your ally for your work around that so that you can express those right like in and when I was building out? Even my mission statement for my business and the ways that we are distinguished from competitors, right. It was like, we build generosity into the business model, right? I want people to feel like they’re having, you know, receiving a lot of generosity and you know, kindness, however you want to describe it in the experience of working with us. Opposite the traditional legal model of it. Yeah. And so yeah, I think it’s, but I love I mean, and you mentioned the Brene. Brown has a value exercise. There’s one by Dr. John Demartini, like whatever the flavor of the exercise, like just go do it get clear on what really are your values? And how are they being expressed? And does that work for you? Right, I love it. And it’s not something that is like a set it and forget it, either?
Eli Harrell 38:59
No, it has to be something that you check yourself against. And necessarily, I think we also need a support group around us, whether it’s a life partner or business partners, or just your circle of closest supporters that know what those values are, and will kind of have the guts to say, I’m not sure if that behavior or speech or choices are, is that living into the values you chose? I think we really need that because sometimes we don’t notice when we’re heading off track.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:28
Totally, super important. So Eli, I would love to know, because I know it sounds like you work at least through Valhalla primarily with people in the tech space right specifically sounds like lots of software. But you’ve got a podcast called Products with Purpose and I think you probably bring on a wide variety of guests and, and also do coaching with founders, right you have a variety of ways that you deliver for your services, do you want to share a little bit more about what you’re up to currently? And so that people that are listening can either go?
Eli Harrell 40:05
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So the types of things we’re talking about now in this conversation are things that I think are valuable. I see founders and changemakers, needing to talk about these things. And the podcast is all products with purpose. But usually, I’m interviewing founders of purpose-driven tech companies. And the conversations just often go to things like supporting optimism, I think I might spin off another another podcast about that in and of itself, because I think it’s so important. So if those kinds of conversations are interesting, and you might be interested to hear some of the really cool things that are happening out there, love to invite you to tune in. And also, we help people that are not necessarily tech companies, but have built a successful company that needs to build a tech product to scale. And we kind of kind of help them think through a year before they start that when they’re starting it out how to get that going. So we also sometimes hope, but we love working with people that are focused on impact. And if there’s anyone out there that I could support, happy to have a conversation, LinkedIn, any way you want to connect is fine with me.
Heather Pearce Campbell 41:19
I love it. Well, and we will share. If you’re listening, hop over and check out Eli and his links on the show notes page. Those can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast, go find Eli’s episode. Eli, where are you on social media? And I always like to ask yes, doesn’t matter what the answer is. But do you spend time on social media? Do you use social media to connect with people? And where do you prefer people find you if so,
Eli Harrell 41:46
LinkedIn and Instagram. Instagram would be fine. LinkedIn is best. I would say, I’m working to ramp up the content, quality and quantity that I’m putting out. I don’t spend a lot of time on social media other than creating content. And of course, you got to chat with people on Messenger and stuff. Right? Yeah, I’m pretty open to wherever you find me.
Heather Pearce Campbell 42:06
Okay. All right. Excellent. And then we will share your your link over to your podcast products with purpose. If you are listening, you want to pop over and make sure that you flag Eli’s podcast I I’m looking forward to listening to some of those conversations myself. Eli, what final thoughts would you like to leave listeners with today?
Eli Harrell 42:27
I would recommend reading a book called Long Path by Ari Wallach, which is pretty short read, but it really gets us thinking about what kind of ancestors were we are being and like, just like thinking beyond. I really liked zooming out, you know, thinking about what elevation we’re looking at things from like, and there’s zooming out beyond our own lifetimes. I think it’s a really powerful exercise to just think about. And I found that book to be really powerful, which is really recommended.
Heather Pearce Campbell 42:55
Oh, I love it. I’ve never had anybody say anything close to that. What kind of ancestors? Are we being such a thought provoking question? Yeah, Eli, thank you. It’s been such a joy to connect with you. I loved our conversation, and I really hope people will pop over and connect with you through your podcast online through your website or social media. Thank you again for being here today.
Eli Harrell 43:19
Thank you so much. I enjoyed it too.
GGGB Outro 43:22
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.