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Welcome to episode #34 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode, I spoke with Jason Montoya, a coach and consultant who helps businesses increase their revenue. 

Top Talking Points

  • Making big changes in your life can be difficult, but beneficial.
  • You should always be making decisions that will help you become the person you want to be.
  • Writing can help you solidify your thoughts and analyze if they are what you really believe.

Resources & Links

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Connect With Jason at Jasonscottmontoya.com

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Thank you for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast with Jason. If you enjoyed the episode then be sure to leave a review. Make sure you subscribe so you can see every episode as it comes out.

Episode Transcript

Ryan 

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the morning upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, everyone, this is Ryan Cote with the Morning Upgrade podcast today I’m super excited to be speaking with Jason Montoya. Hey, Jason.

Jason  

Hey, how’s it going?

Ryan  

Right? It’s going well. How are you? 

Jason  

Doing great. Feeling good. Lots going on for, I imagine, for both of us in our world, but I’m very grateful for where I’m at right now.

Ryan 

Yeah, my girls just went virtual today. So I’ve got a busy household right now.

Jason  

Yeah. How many do you have?

Ryan  

I’ve got three, three girls. Yeah, 6, 8, and 10. You?

Jason 

Yeah, I got three girls in the middle. And then two boys on either end. So, actually no, I have that backwards. Sorry. Three boys in the middle and two girls on either end. So five total.

Ryan  

Well, that’s a good segue into the first question. So why don’t you tell everyone who you are? And you know, what you do and what your interests are?

Jason  

Yeah, so. So again, my name is Jason Montoya. Vocationally, I grow online influence and sales for people development-oriented organizations by optimizing their existing digital content library. So you know, that’s I am an independent contractor, Freelancer consultant, however, you want to define it, since 2014. And I owned a marketing agency for about seven years before that. And then I shifted to the individual pathway, for reasons we can certainly dive into if you want, but yeah, that’s where I am vocationally. You know, as far as what I what I’m passionate about what I love, I love to share life, whether it’s, you know, my faith and, and reading the scriptures and communing with God, or spending time with my wife, or my five kids, or my community, whether it’s watching movies together, playing video games, or it’s sitting down with people talking about ideas, sharing, and exploring those ideas, developing them into systems, and putting those out there in the world. And so I’ve done that with several of those have, I’ve also written two books. One is called path, the freelancer, and one’s called the jump for small business owners to go from chaos to clarity. So I love to write, I love to create, I love to share what I create as well.

Ryan  

So why don’t we talk about you mentioned that pivot? So I am, you know, I work for a marketing agency as well. My family business is Ballantine. And so that kind of piqued my interest. So why don’t you Why don’t you tell everyone? What made you change from a marketing agency to what you do now?

Jason  

Yeah, so there’s when I had the business, there were two big milestones. One was about halfway through the journey. And when I started the company, it wasn’t like I intentionally sought out to create a marketing agency and sense of, Hey, want to do this, this my dream, I want to go do it. It was sort of a, I have some marketing abilities and things I’ve learned, and I need to make money. And so I’m gonna go offer this as a service. And then you get a couple of clients. And then I got to hire some people. And before I know it, I had agencies. So it was a bit of a reactive decision. Although I had entrepreneurial ambitions. That was certainly part of it. But half halfway through that journey after several years, the key question for me was, if I had to start over and build an agency from scratch, knowing what I’ve learned in those first three and a half years, how would I do it differently? And so I restructured it and shifted it towards a more intentional way of doing and operating and managing and leading and clients and all that. And at the end of that journey, about a year before we ended up shutting down, the next question I began asking myself was if I could do anything, vocationally, and I could, and I started over, and it wasn’t necessarily I had to do agency, but I could do anything, would it be to do an agency? And part of that, the answer to that, for me hinges on the idea that whatever we’re going to do, like whatever our main thing is, we’ve got to be all in. And for me, I couldn’t get fully committed to the difficulty that would be required to make the agency work in the way that I wanted it to. And the way that it would become a vehicle for me, and my other objectives and goals in life and vocationally. And in so in a short and a sense for me, it had become a distraction from my ultimate vocational goals. And so I had to make the hard decision of shutting it down. And there’s a lot to the to that. But that was the pivotal question. If I could start over vocationally, what would I do? I didn’t have an answer to that at that time, and we had some ideas and thoughts, but I knew it wasn’t that and so saying no to that was what I ended up arriving at and, then obviously that had different consequences in different directions. But it ended up being a wonderful pivot for me. And ironically, you mentioned it as a pivot. It was that pivot that I made in 2014. And then the years that followed, that prepared me for this pandemic here, when the pandemic hit, all the things that I had done had equipped me and trained me so that I could, I had already made the pivot that a lot of companies had to make this year. And so that was neat to see that I had done it before I even knew that I had done it, you know?

Ryan  

Let’s talk about mindset. Because morning upgrades, a personal development, podcast show, and you talked about shutting down your agency and making hard decisions. What was that like going through that? And how did you work on your mindset to get through it?

Jason  

Yeah, so when you say mindset, like, what do you mean by that? Because I think I can go a couple of different directions in that. But I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying, too.

Ryan  

I guess, how did you handle the hard decisions? I’m sure you there’s, there’s stress involved and just the anguish of making such a big change?

Jason 

Yeah, so in that regard, it was traumatic, it was almost as if, because I put so much into this company, and people were that were involved with it, I had a lot of love for and in great clients and experiences. And it was devastating for me. And I, I didn’t know how to handle that devastation, when I sort of knew and decided and sort of subconsciously before it consciously made the decision, if that makes sense. And, and when I did, it was as if someone had died, and in terms of how I felt and the emotions and the overwhelm. And there are a lot of other aspects to it. But you know, I struggled, I struggled as a result of that decision with anxiety and depression and panic attacks. And for about three months, it was really bad. I mean, it got to the point where I and others were wondering, like, Okay, do I need to see a medical professional because this is rough. And so it was very hard. And getting through it was just, every getting through every day was seemed monumental. But step by step, eventually, I moved out of that and moved forward. And in retrospect, that transition to my journey became a treasure trove of things and insights, and lessons that equip me for the journey that would follow. And that would also allow me to succeed in the ways that I have as an individual, consultant, and Freelancer since that time in ways that, really, in my business, it was a laboratory of learning. And now in the season, I’m in, I get to live that out in my life. Does that make sense?

Ryan  

It does. Yeah, it’s, it’s, you also made me think about how, when we go through hard things, you said that this ended up working out for you. And sometimes it’s hard to see that or no, it’s coming, when you’re going through something very difficult. But it’s a story that you hear common when you’re making a big change. It’s scary. So you’re going through a lot of hard thoughts and hard times and hard decisions. But usually, on the other end is something better. It’s just a matter of getting through that, that situation to the other side.

Jason 

And sometimes it’s not even clear. When you get to the other side immediately. Sometimes it takes years to read, reflect on that. And, and so I talk a lot about that in my second book, The jump about my story and how that all unfolded. So if anyone wants to get more details that can certainly explore that.

Ryan 

Yeah, definitely. I will link those books up on the show notes page, for sure. So, Jason, I like to usually ask like, number one personal development tip, but you mentioned that you uncovered some lessons going through what you did, is there a particular lesson that jumps out to the front of your mind is like the number one lesson that you learned going through that situation?

Jason  

Yeah, so I’ll package it in a really simple and clear way. But it doesn’t mislead me. And I realized this at the time. But there are two things as a habit as a development habit and as a tip that have helped me and that I continue to, do to this day, which is, to reflect on the past. So looking back, looking at what happened, understanding it, you might have to talk to other people and get their perspective, but understanding it, how it unfolded, and learning from that history. And that’s the first step. And then the second step is looking forward and aspiring. And so where do I want to in a year from now and two years from now, who’s the person I want to be? What’s the story I want to tell? And what do I want to change about myself? And so I say all that in a very clear and simple way. But it’s a monumental habit to have. But what I realized when I shut down the company is that so much of shutting down created all the maybe emotional debt that I had accrued in the years prior that I had not fully processed or dealt with, came due. And so part of that emotion of anxiety and depression essentially was an overwhelming flood. because I hadn’t slowly worked through that a little bit at a time. I mean, I had worked through things, but just not to that, not in a specific enough way, I guess. But my point being is that if we work a little bit at a time to grow, then we don’t have to go through these monumental transformations. And, you know, part of it is, you know, I think historically, you know, just thinking about video games, a lot of times, I would play video games on the hardest difficulty, and just get, you know, brutalized. But I would get really good fast. But there is another aspect, which is you can iteratively get a little bit better, a little bit better. And that’s more of how I’ve shifted, from that season to more of small, small changes over time compound into big changes. Does that make sense?

Ryan  

Oh, it does. Yeah, that’s a that’s, that’s what I kind of life by as well, you know, not swinging for the fence, but just trying to hit singles and get a little bit better every day. Acknowledging that things aren’t perfect, I’m far from perfect, and mistakes will happen. But if I can see that I’m making steady progress. And that’s where like, for me, at least, a lot of the journaling comes in and just gratitude practice and making notes of things, like having a written trail as to what you’re working on the progress that you’re making. Otherwise, everything kind of gets, at least for me, it gets all kind of muddy, and you don’t see the progress. But if you’ve got a journal…

Jason  

Yeah, earliness is great. I’ve been journaling. I would say I wrote a little bit before that, but it has been pretty seriously and regularly since about 2009 2010. And I blog now, but I didn’t start blogging till 2014. So I was blogging and writing or journaling for several years before I started publishing and then publishing as another dynamic and allows you to share and have accountability. But yeah, there’s something about writing that allows us to, to sort of, to codify our thoughts, and then to reshape them if they’re not how we want them to be, and then to reflect on them. So when I look back at old blogs or old writings, I can see the progress I’ve made. And that’s pretty cool to see.

Ryan  

Yeah, that’s a habit I’ve started to develop is looking at the week, as the prior the previous week on things that I’ve done, and as my thoughts at the moment, and my to-do list where and kind of reflecting on the week and doing it for the month, it’s been a really neat exercise, just to remind yourself of as to what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve gone through that. And that weekend month recommended. So Jason, why don’t we wrap up this conversation with you telling everyone? Well, your website’s but first, your morning routine? What’s that look like for you?

Jason  

Yeah, so I’m one of the people that if you fail to have a morning routine, you can still be successful. That’s my story. So I have constantly struggled with that. Having a morning routine. I’m a night owl, I like staying up late. I don’t like getting up early. Now having five kids is certainly helped that change that and then obviously the stresses of life and situation, make it a little easier to get up in the morning. So that’s something I’ve wrestled with over the years, and I’ve had different things. I think one key is certainly just to kind of pre-plan, not even necessarily like the day before or the week before, but just have a program, you know, as a freelancer, you know, what are the things I need to do every day to move my freelancing business forward? And what are those things to be done on a daily and weekly basis, and having that sort of list that I work through? But one of the things that I on the morning routines side of things, one specific thing that I’ve done recently is I’ve started watching, I gave my wife who’s a stay at home mom, we have five kids, and now they’re all at home because of the COVID a pandemic. And so I take one hour in the morning from nine to 10, to watch the kids. And I give her a break, to do to write, to create to whatever she wants with that time. And it allows me to I have the kids and I’m looking over but you know, a lot of them are preoccupied with school and whatnot. So I have a lot of time there. And then I can read, use that time to listen and reflect and write or journal or read. And so that’s kind of an interesting new thing that I started at the beginning of this year before the pandemic even hit. But it ended up being a cool little pocket of time in the morning, between, you know, waking up and going to work. But I think just having just the idea of being intentional about our days and how that goes. And I guess for me, as someone who struggles with morning routines, the big thing for me is just having margin, you know, give myself a lot of margins so that I can still be successful, even when I struggle with some of the fixed structure that I often resist. So, does that make sense?

Ryan  

No, it does. And yeah, not everyone has morning routines. Some people have night routines. But I sound like what you’ve got what you’ve started with the hour with, you’re sort of like just time to spend with your kids and reflect on the day ahead and journaling. So it sounds like you’re starting to develop a morning routine. I like it. Well, thanks, Jason. I enjoyed having you on what’s the best website or websites that people can visit to learn more about you or connect with you?

Jason  

Yeah, so I’m on all the social channels. My website is JasonScottMontoya.com. That’s JasonScottMontoya.com, or you can just Google my name Jason Scott Montoya, and that’ll pop right up. You can check out my, I’ve got an extensive library of articles on developing yourself, developing others, impacting your community, as well as many inspirational stories and systems to help people live better and work smarter. And the website’s a great place to do that got links to my social on there if you want to tap into that, and love to connect and hear how I might how my story or has impacted others or if you have questions about it, feel free to reach out or if you have questions about freelancing, you can certainly connect with me there. And I’ve got a lot of articles on that topic on my site as well.

Ryan 

Awesome. Thanks, Jason. Appreciate it.

Jason 

All right. Thank you. Bye.

Ryan  

Bye. Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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