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Luke Hastings of Narrow Way Man, host of The Path podcast, interviewed me for his podcast recently. It was a great conversation so I’m posting it here because I think you’ll get some value out of it.
We talk about my testimony, masculinity, Christianity, and leadership.
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Curt Storring 1:00
Gentlemen, welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. And you know what we're doing some a little bit different today we are airing an interview that I did as a guest on my new friend Luke Hastings podcast. So his podcast is called the path. And you know what it might not even be fully released yet. He told me that I could post this before he even released his which I'm super grateful for because I think it was actually a really good conversation. And I wanted to share with you just a little bit more that would help you understand where I'm coming from a little bit more of my story, my journey, what is going on for me, and how I think about sort of everything at a high level. Because I think Luke did a great job here in getting to the heart of the matter in quite a lot, quite a lot of things. So we're gonna be diving into this, you can find Luke and everything he's doing on Instagram, narrow way, man, I'll drop those in the show notes, of course, Dad.Work slash podcast. But go and check out Luke, make sure you're looking for his podcast, as soon as it comes out to drop them a follow on Instagram, or go to his website, narrow way. man.com, I believe is the right URL. And yeah, just follow along and see what he's doing talks a lot about Christian manhood with no apology, which I really appreciate. So, in drop into this episode, it's going to be led by Luke, a lot more me talking in this one than usual. Hopefully you guys liked this, let me know what you think if you wanna hear more of this, I can see if we can do some more podcasts and other shows as well, because I love doing those. So anyway, if you guys have been enjoying this, it'd be so good. If you could take five seconds, wherever you're listening and just go down and give it a rating or a review. This literally is the easiest and fastest way that we can get this show in the ears of more men who need it. Because I have got so many messages and reviews and testimonials from the show, saying that is changing guys lives and affecting their family positively. And that is going to have a massive effect on the life of children. And they're going to be the next generation who raises up the world. And they're going to be the people with whom our children live. So let's do all of our families a favor by leaving a review so that more dads out there, get this become a better family leader and then raise great kids who interact with our kids when they grow up. Anyway, all that being said, love to hear what you think about this episode of me being interviewed by Luke Hastings. Here we go.
Speaker 3 3:20
Not formal. You've you have a podcast, right? Yep. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So I don't have like a bunch of interview questions or anything done. What my podcast vibe is kind of like, it's called the path. So it's just walking along the path of life. The things that men encounter along the way. Could be other guys, giants, vices, women, you know, purpose, all these things. And sometimes people walk with me on the path and we just talked. So that's kind of the vibe. But yeah, so welcome, Kurt, tell me about your faith journey. You just came to faith, what, like six months a year ago, something like that. But you were already in the masculine space beforehand, already drawn to the age old values that underpin Christianity, whether you knew it or not, I guess. So. Tell me about that.
Curt Storring 4:15
Yeah, man. So we like I look back at a lot of the time before it was a year and a couple of months ago now, May of 2022. And I see the fruit of living, you know, somewhat within the confines of what I now see and know is truth. You know, I have always been the leader of my home, even though I did a really bad job for a long time, always trying to do it. My wife has not worked. She has always stayed home, raise the kids we've had, you know, we've got four kids now. So we've already seen some goodness from that, even though I didn't know why or how to do it. It was just sort of a thing that we found. And so now that I know that I was sort of looking for Truth, I had just realized that due to lay felt like there was a veil over Christianity. So my grandparents are believers didn't really get too into it went to church a little bit as a kid, but that was about it. And then I just fell in this path of like, I don't know, man, nihilism, apathy. And that was it kept me feeling safe. I didn't have to feel shame or anxiety anymore, because I dealt with a lot of that during school and younger years and whatnot. But man, as I was getting to become a father, as I was going through marriage, I was like, I just suck so bad at this. And there must be something else. And it all stemmed back from like, I was hurting big time. Like, I did not have a strong family leader, I did not know what to do. Nobody told me any of this. And so I was overwhelmed. I was out of control, I didn't have the control that I saw so much. And that just led me on to a path of anger and bitterness. And yeah, just just being a terrible husband and father, but in my need to fix that. I went down like the New Age rabbit hole, I'll say, the self help. And what I would say about that is it's very much self worshipping, and talking about, you know, the divine self and the divine masculine and this and that, and, and it feels good, in a sense, until you realize there's no end to it, because you will never measure up to being worshipped. And so that's where I got, I got to this place where I was like, hey, all my friends and colleagues, they're doing like countless ceremonies, dude, it was like mushrooms here and ayahuasca. They're like cacao eight times a week. And I'm like, bro, when's it gonna be enough? Yeah. And I had my family man, I was like, the only guy knew that had a family had kids and more responsibility than being a child looking for like the so called inner child, which is what everyone's journey was about. And I was like, Well, you know what, I'm good. And I just like, I removed myself from that. And then I start running men's groups. I started doing all this stuff with dad work. But dude, the week that I finally looked at my life when I think I made it, the week that happened, Christ comes across my Instagram feed three times. And like, What an annoying thing for me, a, you know, a selfish agnostic who's just about you know, big asset, spiritualism, universalism, whatever. I was like, Dude, that's so annoying. And I judged it. And it's like, man, there's no, do you want me to just like, get into the testimony part? Because I'll just keep going. Otherwise, you can jump in at any time.
Speaker 3 7:26
at all on block where you're going, Man, I feel like that's where we're going. But I am curious. So as we go, you said Christ came across your feet three times. What do you remember kind of the sources of those three things what they were,
Curt Storring 7:38
man. So there's two guys in the space, you probably know that. One is will renaissance of man. One is Brandon of masculine revival. And there's a third one I can't remember. But we had just started becoming friends. And I didn't really know what their Faith Journeys were. Brendon is very similar to me in terms of timing a little bit before me, and I know wills years before me. And I just thought they were sort of masculine guys into the space and they started posting stuff about Christ being masculine, slink. What? Yeah, I didn't think that or know that. I thought he was just like, super effeminate. And like for weak people, I really thought the faith was for weak people who were scared of death. And I had faced death through psychedelics and journaling and meditating. And I was like, bro, I'm good. Like, if I die, then whatever, dude. But like, it wasn't until I saw Christ as him what I would say is like the whole self, which is, you know, love, and wrath, and judgment, and mercy, like all of that, the whole of God, I didn't realize that it could be everything. And that just meant it suddenly made things make sense. Now I push back against it. Because I judged myself. I was like, oh, man, it's only for weak people. Bla bla bla, but there's something here. And it was just like, I asked questions, we'll post something Brennan post some links, like, What do you mean? And I started going off like, Well, what about this sort of like pagan environmentalist argument? And they're like, Yeah, you know, don't worry about that. And we'll set it so well, man, and I'm just going to call it we'll hear if you guys want to check him out, whatever. But he said, Christianity is like two basketball teams that are like the Harlem Globetrotters, but like, way worse, and they don't follow the rules, and they don't really like play basketball. But if you were to like, read the rulebook, you'd be like, Oh, dude, this makes perfect sense. It's just that these guys are doing a really bad job of playing the game. So he's like, don't judge Christianity by the human beings who are applying and judging by what the Bible says and who God is. Like, Okay, interesting. That's really seemed wise to me. So dude, I read everything I get my hands on. All the sort of modern apologetics I read like CS Lewis and Chesterton, and like all the new ones like the case for Christ and all that kind of stuff. And I was watching all of these documentaries trying to disprove it. And every time I bring some up with my wife, I was reading the Bible as like, oh, they must have missed this. What does this mean? I'd look into a little bit more and go like, Oh, that proved the point even more than I wanted it to Darn it. And dude, like six months in the sort of finality of this, as I was just grabbing on, I was white knuckling it like God, come on. I know, this is probably real. But like, I if you held a gun to my head, I wouldn't have said yes, it is. And so we went to church with these friends we had just met. And then they prayed for us. We had to their house, couple hours talk prayed Monday, I'm like, Fine, you know what God like, just, I'm just gonna leave this with you like, Oh, no worry about this anymore. This is stupid enough. So I got to go to the gym on Tuesday morning. And on my way home, I'm like, I'm just gonna play those two Jesus songs that two people sent me. Like, one of them was my buddy Ryan, and other one is from random girl on Instagram. She's like, Are you Christian? I'm like, No, but it's funny. You say that? And she's like, can you listen to this song? It's like, no, but I did. I listened to it like months later. And these two songs man, like, it's almost I don't like it because they're like, they're not my song. They're not my style. But in those songs, like, Dude, I just immediately knew it was something about that, like, I feel like I was taken. So I drive home, I like weep in my garage. Yeah, and admit that Christ is king. And it's been transformative ever since. So that's where my journey sort of started. And it's been an absolute whirlwind, just trying to like maintain spiritual discipline again, in relationship with Jesus. So yeah, exactly. Let's go.
Speaker 3 11:30
That's awesome, bro. Dude, so many big points there just like a recently chatted with David Hammond. And he has a similar story in that he was in the pursuit of masculinity in the space and found God in the path found God in the journey. And his words were, if you're on the self improvement journey, and you just stay honest, you're gonna find God at some point. Yeah, but you got to be honest with yourself.
Curt Storring 12:01
Yeah, well, dude, that's the thing that I keep. I'm struggling with in some people I see who go into the so called self healing journey. Many people that I witness who, like even close people, to us sure saw our journey and are like, Oh, maybe I should maybe do some of that. The missing link is always ownership. And like you say, being honest. So if you're not willing to own up to everything, and to realize that, like, you can't just blame all of this on childhood or this or that. I see huge blocks in people. And I've worked with enough guys now. And I've seen this in enough people, that for me, the I wasn't even pursuing masculinity, honestly, I was pursuing. And it sounds so ridiculous. I just wanted to know the truth. And it took me like a few weeks into Christianity to read and I was like, oh, eternal life, like sweet, what an amazing payoff. But that's not what I was going for. I was going for truth. And I think because I had always taken full responsibility for all of my screw ups. And it was so painful, because there's a lot of shame and guilt that came with that when you're dealing with it alone outside of God. Yeah, like, Dude, that was always me, no matter what my issues were. It was always like, bro, it might not be your fault. But it's 100% responsibility. I think that is so true that the honesty piece for me is how responsible can you be? And how authentic can you be the fact that like, Dude, it's on you, and you have to go there. And you've got to take that on yourself. And you cannot victimize yourself by putting on anyone else. So I really liked the honesty word there.
Speaker 3 13:38
Mm hmm. It's funny how the honesty ties to this idea of truth. Honesty implies that there is truth, the New Age post modernism post enlightenment, we're very nervous to talk about truth as an objective reality, especially in the spiritual world. Because that would imply that there are untruths that would imply that there are people that are wrong, that would imply that there could be a life after death. That is only one way. Like, it's either this or it's that there's not, it is what you make it it's going to be, whatever it is, and you're going to have to adjust. And those are all very scary things. But I think they're the foundation for masculine development at its peak, right is being grounded in something that doesn't move, right being grounded in a frame that you can fall back on, even when you're not perfect. Even when you don't see the path. You always have tenants that you know are irrefutably true, but if you lose that, which we have as a culture in the West, you're in my countries both Kurt's in Canada, by the way, but the West has lost that. And with that, we've lost our masculine frame. Sadly,
Curt Storring 14:46
yeah, there man. This is like, it's like seems like the biggest topic to possibly go into and I see this and guys that I work with him like if you just acted more like a leader, no, like, What do you mean your wife is pushing you around? Like what do you mean? She can bully you. Like my, my wife can't bully me because I'm the leader. And I'm in the masculine frame, so to speak. And like I just learned about masculine frame the other day because like, this is so how out of like, I'm not in this space, I'm honestly really not in this space, you didn't grow up as red pill? No, I didn't know anything about the red pill I did. I had Ryan King on the podcast, my podcast to be like, What is this red pill stuff, because he just learned about it too. But his followers were a little bit younger looking at how to be a man. And so he's like, bro, I just learned about this. So like the Andrew, Tate's and the Rolos. And all these guys, I had no idea. So this idea of masculine frame is I guess, popular in this space. But I don't know much about what it means other than like, of course, on the leader row, you're not going to bully me because I know the buck stops with me. And that's not to say that like I get to Lord that over anyone isn't saying that I lay my life down for them. So like you want to talk about, like what role you want to play. That's a way harder role to play, then, you know, submission, for example. And I don't want to get into that necessarily yet, because we're still on this topic. But I see the fallout, culturally and societally of not having something like that. Because what happens when you don't have that as you just put yourself in there. And you will I said this a few minutes ago, you'll always crumble under the weight of worship, if you're not designed to be worshipped. And try and like, just try it. If you haven't gone through that series, that period in your life, you'll notice that as soon as you break, as soon as you're not perfect for a minute, like the whole sham comes undone. And that is what we see over and over again. But what are we offering guys? Nothing, try harder. You're an idiot, you know, be a man, blah, blah, blah, and I'm all about that day. But I'm not all about that in terms of like, if you crumble, you're a failure, get back on it, because we have to be able to lean on someone else. And so the societal framework of this as leaching, I think into personal lives, where you get guys who aren't willing to stand for anything, because they're scared, because they don't want to be wrong, because if they're wrong, their whole facade comes crashing down and their identity crashes. And like, Dude, there's so much that goes into that, that I want to, like, what I'm trying to do with my guys, a lot of the time is like, dude, stand for something, you have to be willing to be hated for the truth. And if you can't do that, your wife's gonna walk all over you, your kids are gonna walk all over you life is gonna walk over and you'll know, everybody already, they always know, in the back of your mind, you'll feel regret. And that will never leave unless you're willing to do the hard things. So I don't know if that gives us anything else to go off of. But I think that's yeah, that's what I'd say there.
Speaker 3 17:33
Yeah, dude, I love it. That reminds me of a similar thing I use in my content. And that's that good men are strong men. Rather, that's probably the better word strongmen. Those guys get a lot of flack for what they do. Weak men get flack for what they don't do. Yeah. So if you're trying to make the bridge, make the jump to kind of taking back your masculinity, part of that is going to be doing things as I'd be sitting around thinking, although that's good that there's a time in place for that. But if you truly want to step into your masculinity, it will require action that will piss people off. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you're not pissing people off, you're not fully stepping into your power and taking action. And that includes your wife, it includes your kids, it includes your friends, maybe your family, too, not that we need to be jerks. But if you're not taking a stance strong enough to upset someone, it's not a strong enough stance.
Curt Storring 18:29
Dude, there's a couple things on this number one, like I think that probably a huge part of my success, at least is because I have an action bias. And that's tempered by fear of man, honestly, in some cases. And that's a huge thing that I've been working on over the last number of years. But it's absolutely true is it's like the Man in the Arena, right? Like, I don't need to go over that speech. Go listen to it if you haven't heard that, but like I'm listening to or reading Teddy Roosevelt's biography right now. And it wasn't just a speech, man, like that dude just did stuff and he was Ultra masculine. But when it comes to, like persecution, for truth, do things, you know, in my scripture reading yesterday, what did Jesus say like whoever leaves, family and home and all this kind of stuff will be basically I can't remember the exact Scripture but like, rewarded in this time, and persecuted. It's like a promise of reward. And also you're gonna be persecuted. Yeah. And then eternal life. So like, the payoff is well worth it. But if you're walking truth, which is to say, Christianity, you're going to be persecuted. So let's just get that out of the way. If you think you're not going to be persecuted, then you're not doing this right. And that also goes into a more practical like family application. I've had times when I know what the right call is after discussion with my wife after making sure I'm there because again, this isn't my way or the highway. This is how can I do best by my family? Because I love them, not because I need to be the leader. but because of love them, there's been times when I've had to say, hey, you know what this thing you're doing, I'm not gonna let you do that anymore. And I'm not listening to this as you continue to talk this way, for example to my wife and I have asked her to stop nagging, or whatever the thing is. And in the moment, she's like, oh, like a little bit huffy, right? And, and that's fine, because I have to be okay with her having an emotion about that. It's important, whatever doesn't mean anything about me. But I've had times like that, where she's come back and said, Oh, thank you. I was spiraling there. And if you hadn't stepped in, and done the thing that made me upset in the moment, I would have gone further and would have made it worse for you and the kids and me as well. So even if you do something that someone doesn't like, you have to be able to back that up. And it doesn't always mean they're going to dislike it forever. Because you should be a leader worth following, which ultimately shows itself out by them, which is to say, your family going farther than they could alone. And so I think if you're doing things taking action, building trust, I think trust is built through action repetitively, then they're going to be more likely to trust you when you have to make those hard calls. And when you do upset them, for your wife to be like, I'm upset right now. But I trust you. I don't like this, but I'm going to follow you. And that comes from consistent action, always following the truth and not worrying about taking people off basically,
Speaker 3 21:20
hard. Yep, there's a lot we can go into there. I was reminded of your posts, crapping on video games. So I really love that those posts because I think it ties in directly to what you were saying about Christ's promise of reward and persecution, because in life, as a man develops, as he pursues his goals, and as he grows as a man, there is always in real life, some risk of opposition, persecution, negativity, pain, etc, that comes with whatever would bring the reward. Not so in video games, and video games, you're just frustrated that you didn't pass the level. But your brain thinks that you're like, slaughtering armies, or, you know, conquering things, completing quests doing all this cool stuff. You're totally not, but your brain thinks you are. And it's signaling to you, hey, you can do all this without actually putting yourself in danger without actually facing persecution. And it's just a lie, man. Yeah. And guys are hooked on that stuff for years, and then wonder why their real life looks like trash? Well, dude, it's because your subconscious mind thinks that you're crushing it. Yeah. Why would you be motivated to do anything?
Curt Storring 22:43
Yeah, it's not. Guys are like, Well, what does it matter? Like, I'll just play with my kids a little bit. And I'm like, even in that man, and I know some great dads who do that to connect with their kids. For me, though, I spent so many years as a young man, playing video games, I don't even want to know, like, literal years. If you were to add it up, I probably wasted like a year or two added cumulatively like hours daily for years. And it was so horrible. And it got me to literally nowhere. literally nowhere, like everything when I like turned off the system. Oh, I did nothing. My life did not move. I did not go anywhere. I did not gain anything. When you need
Speaker 3 23:27
to tell me that you didn't get better, like reaction time and life strategy and strategic thinking. Like that didn't help you.
Curt Storring 23:33
But the studies you're not a better man. Yeah, well, I don't know man. I could source he studies it says for development is good for kids. And of course, it is like no. absolute trash. Never good for me huge waste of time and a childish escape. So I'm just gonna say if you're playing video games, listen to this. Straight up, call out, throw them away. There is literally so much more if your life is not exciting enough that you'd rather play life than video games start doing better at life. This is the thing that you don't understand is you can just choose to act differently. Guys don't seem to understand like, the rules of life are mostly just the societal rules that are lowest common denominator, right? Like, obviously, there's rules of reality, and rules of morality set by God. But like how you live within that, largely just lowest common denominator to keep society together. For example, like we moved to Thailand and Eastern Europe for a couple years when we had two young kids, you're not supposed to do that. You're allowed to do that. That's too hard. How are you gonna? What's gonna happen? It's dangerous. No, it wasn't. It was awesome. It was hard, but it was also awesome. So like, yeah, I don't have a job. I haven't had a job since I was like, 22 years old. And I quit it and moved over here. When my wife is pregnant. You're not supposed to do that. Right? We did it whatever. And this is not like, Oh, look how good I am. It's worked out, thank God. But this is to say, I never went, Oh, what am I supposed to do here? Like, what do I want to do? And I always will audit my life, like at least a couple times a year, and I go My like, I've got a self audit form that covers like 12 different things, like how am I doing here out of 10? And why? Well what would attend look like? And then I literally go, what is the action step to go from here to attend. And then that just gives you constant feedback, to start doing things to become a better human being, and have a better life and to not need to go into video games. But then there's that addiction aspect. And then there's that, like, running from reality aspect. A lot of men are hurt. And same thing goes report here. But I want to tell you guys, real quick anecdotal story, Guy joined our coaching group. And the day we're on a call, he saw the video game post, and he's like, oh, I need to talk to you. And I'm like, bro, throw that out. He's like, Oh, I didn't know I could do that. And he literally drove with me on the phone to Goodwill. And throughout his Xbox lustau, from near divorce, he's having another child. So like, this is the real life application of trying harder in your own life. Rather than like beating the next level, or playing with your bros on fortnight, or whatever is popular these days. It's just, I can't believe it's a thing. But I do want to acknowledge the pain that a lot of guys feel that they're not willing to feel, which is why they go there in the first place, oftentimes, and so that's a bigger discussion, obviously. But there's, there's no, in my opinion, no justification for that, or porn or anything like that.
Speaker 3 26:16
Right? Yep. 100%. Dude, my, my blanket statement on that is, we need to be real careful with things that were invented in the past 150 years, and had nothing that resembled them. For the large majority of human existence, we should probably be really careful. Before we go headlong into something like that, you know, think about what you're doing, like, think about how you were designed. I don't care if you believe in evolution and creation, or whatever it is think about, like your biology, as evident for 1000s of years. And then we have this small little blip of time in the past 100 150 years, where technology has just exploded in a way that is unprecedented and unpredictable by anyone not in the 1920s 21st century. And we're just out here fully engaging with it. Like, oh, this is this is surely no problem. There's really nothing that could go wrong here. It's like, come on, bro. Dude, the eyes up.
Curt Storring 27:20
This is so so I made another post like this, which is you're not depressed. You basically just suck at being a human. Right? Like you look at your physiology and how you're supporting that. Are you waking up and getting sun in your eyes? Are you having your bare feet on the ground are wearing I mean, dude, in Canada, we don't wear shoes inside. But I know a lot of my American brothers do stop doing that take for granted. But then like, what food? Are you eating? What What are you drinking? Are you standing more than you're sitting? Are you literally doing anything in relation to what it would have been like, for the entire history of humanity? Yeah, and if you're not doing that, no wonder you're depressed and anxious and miserable, because you were not designed to live this way. And you know, you can go all sorts of, you know, crazy or otherwise rabbit holes in terms of what the point of that is, you're trying to make you docile and easily tolerable. But the bottom line is like, dude, if you are feeling bad, try living more like a human, which is to say, work out a bit, eat good food, don't stare at your screen all day, try not to work under fluorescent light in an office all freaking day, and then just go outside at the right times. Like it's not that hard, be somewhat fit and like be around people and have community and worship like, man, so many of the problems would be solved if we just stopped being so stupid about what it means to be human. And that's really sad. It's tragic, because I look around actually, I've been having a hard time with this. I don't know if you are the same in this way. But I find myself getting almost judgmental, going like, can't you see? And I will, you know, I know. It's none of my concern. And so I'm really working on what can I control here? And And can I just lead by example, and hope that the right people will just follow me? Sure. But man, like there's so many people that go to the grocery store. What do you put in your cart? Are you thinking about that? Why not? What does that mean? What do you like what kind of again, the pain man. So when people are so divorced, or having a father, pointing them to the Heavenly Father, then of course, you're trying to fill that with something else that's unhealthy, that you don't know any better that you just trust somebody else, because you've never had going back to the original content about this, the truth. But I think for me, like in my work now is like trying to encourage dads, that is so freaking important because every guy, every guy I work with, as an adult, still wants something from his father in terms of love or affirmation. Now, I think that father sighs holes in our hearts lead to God. I also think that good fathers lead to God. So interestingly, how both of those ought lead to God, but that is to say that if you are now a father, and you've got to child, he or she wants love and affirmation from you. And if you don't show up as a father, he or she is going to grow up much like you feel today, which is looking for something to fill that hole. Yet unless it's the right thing. You're just going to have another cycle of misery. So all these things are so intricately connected back to truth, and back to how God has made this work altogether, which in my opinion, is the family. So I don't know, man, it's, it's tough for me to stay super aboveboard sometimes, because I'm like, Oh, if I could just reach more people. So in
Speaker 3 30:35
our triggering current Very good. Current is getting triggered in a way that's triggered with
Curt Storring 30:40
the uppercase R and the lowercase i.
Speaker 3 30:45
Yes, yes. But he's triggered not to make mean comments on the internet. He's triggered to take action to disciple men to coachman. Tell me about kind of your coaching business. I want to hear a little bit about that. And for my listeners who might be interested as well,
Curt Storring 31:01
yeah. So basically, this comes from my own pain. Everything that we do is just everything that I had to do to get out of it. Yeah. And we generally take dads who are not leading, they're fighting with their wives, their kids aren't listening. They don't know what to do. And they probably have no purpose. Yeah, they don't feel like they have a purpose. Yeah. And the transformation is, let's become a confident Family Leader. Yeah, intimate marriage, raising great kids confident, with a purpose with a vision. And like, it's almost like an operating system that your dad didn't teach you. Yep, learned the hard way through me. And I'll give you that in a lot less time than it took me which again, almost cost me my marriage, my life, business, all the rest, that kind of stuff. So in a nutshell, I believe there's five ish things that every guy work with benefits from. Number one is we've kind of talked about it already this leadership mindset, which is the buck stops with you, you're now 100%, responsible for everything. And leadership is a two way street here, you lead by serving, this is the so called servant leader. But I think people get that wrong, because when you lead by serving, you also have to serve by leading. And that is making those hard choices that potentially upset people. So that's number one, the mindset of being a leader. Number two is, imagine action. So what habits are you doing every single day that are going to make you at least for my brand, hard to kill, easy to love and equipped to lead basic actions every day to instill trust and confidence in yourself and with your family? The third thing, pardon me is having a vision to tie the daily actions to so why are you Why do I get up early? Why do I get up early, go to the gym. I'm doing 100 burpee per day challenge for this month from the guys in our group. And I'm like, it's not always fun. But I am doing this because it hits my vision, which is to be the patriarch of a huge family, who loves each other and loves God. And I want to be able to squat all the way down, I want to be able to pick up my great grandkids. And so all that I do minute Lee leads to my big vision. And I know exactly how I'm gonna get there. Because of God, lifelong plans. I've got 10 year plans, I've got this I've got that I got values. I've got goals with parenting and marriage. I've put all of this together in like a family business plan, so to speak. And I'm just going to follow the map. Number four is skills. And this is like the hardest one to just give someone shirt but I had to, I liked the analogy of like, a captain of a ship. So if I'm following like the David Goggins path, apparently, all you need to do is roll really hard. And if I wrote super hard, I will win. Well, okay, well, that's an important piece. But what if you don't know where you're going? Yeah, okay, well, then you're gonna wind up in the ocean and die. And if your family is on board, not very good. So that's why we need the vision on the map. Great, okay. Now, let's say you're going through a storm, and you're like, Oh, I didn't learn this, you're probably going to drown. So what do we need them in a family setting, you need to know how to be an actual relational expert. That's things like how to communicate conflict resolution, setting boundaries, how to parent, how to be like a married man, how to do all these things that again, your dad should have taught you, you should have seen from elders, but you didn't. So these are, you know, books and podcasts and lessons and courses and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. And then finally, for me, at least, the thing that sort of like broke me through the edge from hitting my head against the wall over and over and over was brotherhood, and it was being around other men and fellowship, and sharing and supporting and challenging. And so when you put all those pieces together, and then like hopefully through me, a mentor or coach sort of thing, who's been there before, we can bring you through that in like a fraction of the time and give you that operating system to just start winning at home. Because I used to think Man, like it looks good on the outside. The business sort of fit is traveling the world with my family. Everyone's you know, beautiful, attractive looking, everything looked good. Yeah. But I knew that my family life was like the worst part of my life and it wasn't my fault and I I want guys to go from having families the worst part of their lives to literally the best, because that's what it is now. So anyway, we've got weekly calls, we've got courses, we've got all the guys, we've got me there, we've got, like a lot of touch points and accountability, through slack and zoom, and all that kind of stuff. So that's like the basics. And generally how I look at doing any work with dads to be honest.
Speaker 3 35:22
Yep, yep. Good stuff. Man. I want to ask you a question about your career, because I'm sensing a vibe, from what you're saying, Would you maybe a million miles off, but would you say that from the outside looking in, like somebody like me that's looking at you on paper from the outside looking in? Is Kurt's career path? A bunch of stupid decisions that turned out? Well,
Curt Storring 35:44
great question, man. The, it depends where you're at. Because for me, they've been great decisions, because I bet on myself all the time. Yeah. When, for example, I would go to the bank in the earlier days, I'd be like, this isn't going to make sense to you. But I need this money. And I'm going to take it out of you know, this account. And don't tell me anything. I know that you think it's stupid, right? It's not, I bet on myself, and I usually do well enough. So yeah, perhaps like my dude, I worked in politics for a long time as like a teenager up to 22 ish. Yeah. And I quit my job was working for a government minister here in Canada and moved out. And I went, I'm not getting another job. Screw that. And my wife is pregnant, and I just moved 1000 kilometers away. Not a smart decision on paper, presumably. But I Googled how to make money. I literally did make money online. And rather than getting scammed, I found like the only honest dude in the world, nobody followed a system made some money and they look consulting to make ends meet over the first couple of years. Okay,
Speaker 3 36:44
fill me in, fill me in some details some color here. So Kurt is 22 He's working for the government? Maybe? Is it the government or politician? Like
Curt Storring 36:54
both? I was on the political side of the government team. Okay, gotcha, gotcha. Okay. So
Speaker 3 36:57
he's, he's doing the pilot, the politician government game in Canada. He's 22 years old. He's married. wife's pregnant. And then we decided to quit. Correct? See, yeah. outside looking in. And that's dumb, right? But no, it's, it's good. Because you're betting on yourself, and you have a vision, you have a plan, and you're gonna take action. So then you're Googling how to make money online, if you don't mind? What year was that? 2001 2012 to 2012. He's googling how to make money online. And we found an honest player, like first try.
Curt Storring 37:30
Yeah, so here's, here's the weird thing. As I look back, I'm like, there's a God thing going on here. The first website that I clicked, was Christian, PF Christian personal finance. At the time, I was like, whatever, didn't even think but it stuck in my head. And I found this guy named Pat Flynn. He's still going. He's running online things he's running. And he's got like a Pokemon YouTube channel. He's hosting events, really, like, really lovely guy. He was actually honest. And he's like, here's how I made my website and making a couple 1000 bucks a month. Why don't you come through and do it with me, and we'll just like, help each other out. And let's like, let's go. So I made my thing. My very first website was on concealed carry classes, that you would need to get a concealed carry permit in certain states that allow that, I didn't know what that was, I just Googled, I found something on Google randomly. And I was like, looks good enough for me. So I make a website. I remember the very first time someone clicked on one of my links, like an AdSense Link was like 36 cents. And I was like, it works the first time you can go. And so yeah, the first site I made, I think I got up like 100 bucks a month, and I sold that site for 1000 bucks. And I was like, Okay, this is the path. And so I literally did that for the next like, eight or nine years.
Speaker 3 38:38
So backing up for some of my younger listeners or guys not experienced in the digital space. What I'm hearing Kurt say Is he creates an informational website with stuff that a certain niche a certain crowd is going to be interested in, namely, how to concealed carry, get registered, what the laws are, etc. So he creates a bunch of information. He gets some eyeballs on it, then he gets some AdSense from Google, because Google values the eyeballs come into his website, then the ads are targeted to those users based on their search histories, etc. And then whenever they click on those ads, Curt gets a kickback. Then he eventually works set up, he works his audience up and his SEO, etc, getting optimized and seen in Google search results. He works out up enough to where he has this digital real estate asset that is valuable, and he's able to sell it. Is that a good kind of summary 100% man perfect. It's like you know that space. So what happens next,
Curt Storring 39:33
man? Well, I do that for many years. In the midst of that, that was always my thing, but I started Amazon FBA companies. Okay, I started like, I did a couple of coaching gigs for SEO because that was my thing. SEO and affiliate marketing. Yeah. I tried launching t shirt brands like dude, I did all of the internet marketing, shiny object thing. Looking for a quick buck. That was always my thing I didn't realize, which I do now and I talked to guys about this all the time. And that time is the inescapable variable to success. And yes, there are the few people who make it on the first drive, but they pay for it later.
Speaker 3 40:09
Almost that's what no one understands. I want to harp on that just for a moment. Guys, if you're if you're listening, and you see all the 20 year old young bucks, doing 50k A month with XYZ drop shipping FBA, crypto, whatever it is, yes, they are making it now. But it's not that you're going to do this, but follow them for 10 more years. They're going to pay for lessons they didn't learn later. And it might not be financially, but it's going to be with character, it's going to be with family, it's going to be with life as a whole. And so to Kurt's point, time, is that universal currency, you have to pay, some people pay later. And I would not consider those the lucky ones.
Curt Storring 40:47
So the reason that I am even more certain about this, I mean, so I'm 34 now. And, you know, I've got 10 year old kids. So I've been through a lot already. But I don't want to be I don't want to be wise or a sage yet, honestly. And I'm careful with that. But yeah, through my experience, I finally learned this. And I finally stopped going for all of the things right now holding on to what I had trying to get more. And the thing that really nailed this enemy was actually in Proverbs. And I think it's 2021, which, at least according to whatever I just Googled says and inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end. Like how's that? Right up? Like, yeah, don't do this, don't go for the quick buck, dummy. Like, it's not going to work. And I've seen that over and over and over again, I got to this point over and over where I'd hit my number, where I felt like a little bit safe. And then something would happen. And it took me just a little bit down. I'm like, I'm never gonna get this because I think I was grasping and needy for it. And I needed the safety of money. And so all along this journey, I'm dude, I would build a website, and I'd sell it, because you get 36 times monthly earnings. So you know, punting three years in the future. I'm like, I think Google could change by that. I might as well get my payday now. But it was this constant cycle of up and down, up and down, up and down, never feeling safe. Like I'm building something full and real. Yeah, I got to a point two, or three, three ish years ago, maybe, man, time is fine now. But I was gonna start a real business. I don't know if this is interesting for you. So like, you can cut me off at any point. But I was gonna start a local cleaning company. And I was going to do the thing like sweaty startup. If you guys have, you know, heard that guy on Twitter, Nick Huber. He's got this brand sweaty startup where you start something that's super basic, like a cleaning company or a mowing company. But you use technology to blow it out of the water. And you just outperform all the local mom and pops. That's what I was going to do. And it was only to prove to myself that I was a quote unquote real businessman. Wasn't a surf, it wasn't do anything like that, as it was my spreadsheets that I could make money, bingo, check number one. And I could prove to myself that I'm not just some online schlep, that would be number two, unfortunately. So I had sold a bunch of my websites. I had a runway that if I didn't make any money for like two years, I would have been fine. And that felt pretty safe. So I go in, and I tried to start this business. And ooh, man, I'm like, I'm spending money. I'm buying this, I'm buying the best. I'm hiring coaches, all my stuff. I bought cars. I had the cars wrapped. I had everything ready. Before I even did anything, even though I'm like, Dude, I've been in the online space for ages. I know that you don't do this. And I was like, really smart. Like, I'm gonna figure this out.
Speaker 3 43:29
All right, let's hit pause right there. Kurt. Why do you not do that?
Curt Storring 43:33
Bro. The first thing that everyone knows in business is you have to know that you're able to even perform the thing and make a sale before you spend all your money on that because there's no point doing anything before you know that this is a valid service that people actually will pay you for. And I just took it for granted that of course, they were going to do that I had mentors. I had coaches, I had numbers. I called around. I knew what everyone else is charging them. Like, obviously, it's gonna work. But I didn't actually do it. And not only is it for that usual reason, which is like, just try it and make some money first, and then grow bigger. But I didn't get to learn that I hated it. Because that'll do it all the problems. So here I am, like 10s of 1000s of dollars in taking money out of this like you know two year runway. Yeah, hiring coaches hiring crews. Like getting everything SOPs printed and laminated bro, I was all in. And it feels it feels so silly. Thinking back to it. But this is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I kept going back and forth. I was like, Oh, I don't know if this feels good. And in my head. I'm like, oh, it's because it's a real business and it's actually local. And
Unknown Speaker 44:40
you've got I'm sorry, my lines blinking. What
Curt Storring 44:41
was the business? It was like a local cleaning company.
Unknown Speaker 44:46
Curt Storring 44:47
there's gonna be super high end. Residential. Okay. Yeah, like really fast, really good. All the bells and whistles. And I was like humming on I did this like three times over the course of like three or four months. It's like well Maybe I should pull back. And then I was like, No, man, it's just because you're scared, push through. If you're if you're feeling apprehensive, it means you have to keep doing it like all of that. But what I didn't realize, and I found this out two days before launch, was that it was so outside of my values to do this kind of business. And that there was no way I could ever stay in it for more than like, a month or two with willpower alone. It was so outside of my values. And it took me until the second day before launch, because I couldn't even open my laptop. I was basically having a panic attack. Not because like the work, I just hated it so much. And why don't you
Speaker 3 45:34
tell me real quick, tell me about what you mean by outside of your values? Because some people are gonna hear that, and they're gonna say, Oh, well, what's what's immoral about a cleaning company? But is there like sneaky deals he was having to make or something? That's not what you mean? What do you mean, though?
Curt Storring 45:49
Yeah. So I, basically, I learned that my sort of, quote, unquote, core values are a great decision making framework. And I learned this from my mentor, Scott. And he's like, You need personal values, you need business values, so that every decision, you just run through the five values. Does this give me? Is this like, authentic? Is this truthful? is a God honoring whatever, but like, for me? Is this gonna give me independence, of schedule? Very important for me just how I operate? I need that for my family for how I like it? Absolutely. It wasn't, is this going to be something that like, I can grow and then take time off? Again, independence and schedule, but like, basically, my core values? Was this going to align with if I kept building it? And if I had done this exercise at the very beginning, he would have been? Absolutely no, it wouldn't even go past number one. Yeah. And yet, I just didn't do that. And so I finally did what I should have done, which is I closed my laptop because it well, I can't even open it at this point. I went for a huge run, like a 20 Something kilometer run. And I got to the point, where I sat down in the woods, and I started calling guys. Just every man I knew. I was like, Hey, man, this is what I'm feeling. What do you think? I actually in my heart, I kind of want to not do it. And I called my grandfather, I called coaches. And I had I call friends, like every man that I knew, because my fear wasn't, oh, I should close this. And then like, oh, whatever, he is going to be annoying. My fear was oh, everyone's gonna think I'm an idiot. It was fear of judgment of failure. Because up until this point, my life had been like, I'm perfect. And right, everything about me has to be perfect. Yeah, that comes from not wanting to get in trouble. Because when I got in trouble as a child, I always had to take on everyone's emotions. So for me to control everything and appear perfect, meant that like, I was never going to have to have the pain of being told everything was my fault. So I'm just going to be as perfect as it can be. So that was everything. And honestly, man, I think that that holds men back, it held me back. Because when you have to be perfect, you can't take big risks. I mean, I guess in hindsight, like I was taking big risks in terms of like, what normal people would do. But I was like, you know, not going for the big business. I was not doing the things that I like, might not have worked, because if I failed, my entire identity would have been crushed. And he talked about this before, right? Like I was that pillar. In my life. I was trying to be the God in my life. So if I had failed, it would be too much for me to bear. But in this moment, I called like my grandfather, and I was like, Would you think I'm a total loser? If I shut this down? Like what other people think I'm a loser. He's like, well, people might be upset, but what does it have to do with you? It's like, well, everything. It's like, but no, it doesn't has nothing to do with you. It's all on them. And they get to decide whether they feel that way. But you need to decide what is right for you. And so do this was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And it seems like super basic for a lot of people, I'm sure. But I had to call the three women that I hired. And I was like, hey, something came up isn't going to work. We're not starting in two days. Sorry, you're gonna have to find a new job. One lady was like, Are you scamming me? Like, why did you do this? Oh, man, it felt so bad. Yeah. And every person that I had to tell because I booked like, 20 cleanings that were like preparation, cleanings, we're gonna train there, we gave people a discount. I had to call every single one of those and be like, something came up, we can't do this. Sorry. And every time I did that, I had to admit the failure to someone else. And having never truly failed before it was so crushing. And then it was so freeing. As soon as I didn't die. Like dude, literally, as soon as I made those calls, and I wasn't dead. And my wife was still there. And my grandfather was like, Hey, what's going on? And my kids still love me. And the world was still turning. It's like, oh, you can fail. I didn't know that. And it was a massive relief for me. Yeah. So I worked through that with coaches and mentors and stuff like that, to understand that I was still holding a lot of control, that I was still not allowing myself to be human, really imperfect, perfectly imperfect, whatever. And that allowed me to really let go of a lot So looking back in hindsight, probably the best thing that's ever happened to me. I mean, other than salvation, but like that was one of the biggest things that ever happened was failure in a world where I didn't think I could. And that led me to starting dad work, because I was like, Well, I've got this time, I've got a little bit of money. What am I gonna do now? And network has been on my mind for since 2018, when I was just finally starting to, like get better. And you know, I say that very loosely, because I was just looking at some old journal entries for 2018. And I was like, who wrote those? Would I actually send them to a guy in my group, because I was like, bro, I get it. Look, this is what I was dealing with your nine as a su nine. Around that time, I was just coming from being like the worst to being about neutral. And I told a friend on the way to a mountain biking trip. So do one day I think I might want to like speak at like a TED event on fatherhood. And just like help dads, not feel how bad I felt. And so this is rolling around in my head is rolling around in my head. And I kept, I don't want to put myself out there. Who am I? What have I done? And then, you know, I guess God just gave me this opportunity. And he's like those cleaning businesses wrong. Do this now. So that's been the last two, two ish years.
Speaker 3 51:11
I love it, dude. It's such a powerful story. And oh, so many things we could talk about with that. But for you guys listening familiar with my content on identity, I want to zone in on two big lessons from that Schpeel that Kurt gave. One is that failure is not necessarily a bad thing in the big picture. It really sucks in the moment. But it sounds like from what Curt is saying, it was a really good thing for him. Because of the lessons he learned through that. And sometimes failure is the only way to learn certain lessons. Or to even expose that there's lessons to be learned. Sometimes you don't know you need to learn the lessons that you learn through failure. So guys, you know, taking those risks, if it's coming from a good heart, if you're acknowledging the Lord and all of your ways, trust him to keep your path straight, be willing to fail. The second big piece I want to pull from that is this concept of identity, which you guys know, I'm huge on. Kurt, if you were one of my clients, during that time, I would definitely say you are struggling with two of the biggest identity lies that men believe. Number one is I am what I do. Number two is I am what others think of me. And those were the two crippling beliefs that you were holding in that season. And it was only through failure, and having what you do become a failure and having to risk other people's disapproval for you to realize, Oh, I am not what I do. I am not what other people think of me. And I'm okay even after failing. And so guys, you know, in one sense, I want to tell you, don't wait until you start a whole business and then have to abandon it before you come to these beliefs. Don't wait until your marriage is in shambles before you come to these beliefs. Don't wait until you've been struggling with addiction for five years to come to these beliefs. But at the same time, if you fail, there are really powerful lessons you can learn.
Curt Storring 53:19
Man, the so we do a lot of identity work through this sort of family business plan, but I call it before, because we start like the first thing we have guys do is go write your eulogy, from a kid's perspective. Who are you going to be? Yeah, not what are you going to have done, but who are you going to be in the eyes of your children who probably should matter most in this exercise. And through understanding all of this framework, you just build up this identity because what I see a lot of guys do is they try to serve which they should do from a place of almost apparition like boundaries of their identity. And so what that what that looks like for me is like, I'm going to serve my wife, but it's just to make her happy. Not because it's the right thing to do for husband to serve his wife and to love her and to lead her and all that kind of stuff. But it has to be built on that firm, solid identity. So I really love that you're doing that kind of stuff, because it's a game changer. When you just go, Oh, I've got two feet on the ground. Now I can start doing stuff from me. And that was a huge lesson for me. But as well, one of the things I'm learning as I'm you know, continually getting into and reading scripture is that man, God is glorified through pressure cookers. And so if you are in, like I look at, like the Old Testament is insane, dude, like all of this stuff that happens. And you're like, oh, no, like, everything's horrible. How could the Israelites possibly get through this? God's like, no, no, I'm gonna I'm gonna let it go. Actually worse. Like, no, stop, like, what are you doing? Like don't harden his heart? And he's like, no, no, just a little bit more, a little bit more. He's like, God, what are you doing? And he's like, boo. No way that you could possibly even guess that that was within the realm of like possibility. And so I just want Like encourage guys as well. And even myself in saying this is I cannot ask the how questions because God will be glorified no matter what. And I just need to understand that this is part of the planet. If you're in a hard space right now, it very well could be, again, if you take that responsibility. I think that's a lot of Christianity is taking responsibility for your sin in the face of a holy God. But if you take that responsibility, and you're in a bad place right now, what can you repent of what can you forgive? So that then God is glorified through the pressure cooker in your life? And that's one of these things that you're talking about identity, you're talking about failure immediately comes to me and so that's really been a good grounding tool for me to not just be like, Oh, God, why isn't everything perfect? Like, bro, first of all, you know, I promise that I go, like, maybe read the Bible a little bit more, but verify through this. It's good. It's actually good. And there's a quote, I think, what is it the my greatest gifts grow to the gardens of my deepest wounds or something like that, and I think it's by Traver Boehm. And anyway, I love that quote, because do all the hard stuff that I went through all the bad stuff, it literally is allowing me to help and serve people in my life today. And I didn't go through that hard stuff. I never be able to help men now. And so everything you're going through, if it's hard now, go through it, because then you'll be able to use that to serve, and it'll be amazing. It'll be a huge gift. So yeah, I almost lost hope. Through my journey, I was going off myself, because I thought like, I was the worst part of my family's life, I should just leave. I don't want to get into that flippantly either. No, I was literally googling while I was living in Thailand, how to like, you know, yeah, without much mess, like remove myself from the picture. And that wasn't gonna be running away, because that would have been too shameful. So I'm telling you guys, and I mean, I don't know, maybe there's someone who needs to hear this. Maybe that's why I'm saying it. But I'm sure that's there's hope. Like there's abundant hope. It's going from that point to now which like, Dude, I love being alive. I love my family. I love what I do. I love every single day, I'm so grateful to wake up that if I can get from there to here with the burden of like, feeling like a failure to my family and ruining my kids, which by the way, it wasn't too late. They're not ruined. You've got time and you've got hope. And you need to continue on. Because there's amazing things in store if you can persevere. And that's why says so many times, persevere. Like take courage be strong, persevere. There's so much of that in the Bible. And I just want encourage anyone who's in the darkest right now, bro, like, keep going. You can't see the other side of the tunnel, but I can. I know it's there. And I want to encourage you to keep keep on moving through that because it's not forever and God will be glorified through this
Speaker 3 57:38
to what a powerful note to end on. That's reminding me you basically quoted one of my favorite verses, so I'm gonna look it up here. You guys hear the pages rustling? That's called a book. It's like this hard copy of what you have on your phone. But I think this is Psalm 27. Yep. He says, this is David writing. He says wait on the Lord be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart as Psalms 2714 The idea is you've got to be of good courage and trust Him to strengthen you. Right there's there's two parts to it. We've got to take courage. We've got to wait on God persevere patients taking courage right it's an act of holding on and taking and then we got to trust Him to strengthen our heart He will give you that strength but to Kurt's point with like the Old Testament and these the stories of the Israelites going through trials it does get pretty bad it can get pretty bad so don't think that you can't take it anymore if you're still breathing yes keep going take courage wait upon the Lord and He will strengthen your heart. Amen. Kurt let's let's hear from you. And this will be in the notes as well guys but where can we find you?
Curt Storring 58:56
Well if you listen to podcasts which obviously you do the data on podcast Apple Spotify ever like that I think we're at like 160 episodes now. Also Instagram dad work dot Kurt and yeah, those are probably the best places we got free trainings, we've got all sorts of stuff and you can DM me if you want to join us for anything we do. Love it
Speaker 3 59:13
current thanks for joining us on the path and we will see you guys next time.
Curt Storring 59:17
Thanks bro Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast but usually go a little bit deeper provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt that's da di W O RK dot c u r t and please if you have been getting something out of this podcast if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage or parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating if you have a few extra seconds leave a quick review. That's the The best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time, because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations, I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen. Until next week. We'll see you then.
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