Dustin Gardner



Dustin Gardner is an independent lighting consultant in the film industry. Dustin has worked on the sets of major motion pictures such as Ted 2 & Interstellar, as well as popular TV shows like Gilmore Girls.

Dustin Gardner’s IMDB Page

All around great guy, driven and passionate about what he does it’s my pleasure to kick off this interview with Dustin, I hope you enjoy.

Seize Success

Hey Dustin! How’d you get started in the film industry? I’ve always wondered, what your day to-day is like?

Dustin Gardner

I worked at wbcc actually in high school. The tiny pbs station that is on the bcc cocoa campus. That’s how I figured out that I could get paid to do what I do.

Although I went to college it is not needed to work in this crazy industry. I work with tons of self taught people. School only helped me figure out what I wanted to specialize in. Lighting

I moved here to LA because there is no industry in Florida. There hasn’t been since we were kids.

I work all the time. 12 hours a day is the norm. Yesterday was 15 for me. I am freelance meaning I don’t work for one company. I work a job it ends then I find another. It sounds risky but I work 5 days or more a week. I love what I do. Anyone can do it if they really wanted too.

My day to day is hard to describe. It’s never the same. And I love that. For me I love being challenged. And my job is constant problem solving and puzzle.

My hours are all over the place. 4 am call time one day and later that week 5pm call time for an overnight. Monday was a 16 hour day today will probably be 12. I go from job to job. Right now I am working on a show that will last one month, then I get a new one. All new people all new place.

Depending on my role in the lighting department my responsibilities change.


Damn dude that sounds like some intense hours! Your girl doesn’t get frustrated about the hours?


Sometimes, but when a job is done I can take time off if I want to. It’s a pretty sweet deal. Plus I am paid a lot for my time when it comes to OT.

So when it comes to my job there are 5 basic job categories. Riggers, fixtures tech, set lighting tech, assistant chief lighting tech, and chief lighting tech.

The chief or gaffer runs the set lighting department and determines what lights to use to light each scene.

The assistant chief is the number 2 he is the administrative assistant to the gaffer. He determines who to hire. Coordinates between 1st unit and the rigging crew. And is in charge of the equipment while on the job.

The SLT’s set up the lights for each shot. Run the power.

Riggers run the major cable runs and hang lights for first unit.

Fixtures are I charge of the lights that show up on camera.

I am primarily a CLT, but I also do SLT work.
Jenny is super supportive of me.
If you have any specific questions please ask, these are just basic answers.


That’s awesome to hear Jenny is supportive of your passion! if I were starting out with no experience how would I make a name for myself?


Well the best thing about it is you don’t have to go to school to do this.

As for making a name for yourself that is a tough question. The two common things you need is an awesome work ethic, and time/patience.

You have to always know that someone else is willing to do your job if you don’t want to do it. Everyone is replaceable. To many people want to work in this industry. As for the time aspect, you have to build a network. I moved out here and met a couple people. They pass my number on, then that person passes my number on while I continue meeting new people. It takes awhile to get to where your network is a decent size and your income as well. It’s hard I am not going to lie, but anyone can do it.

What is your interest in filmmaking? I can give more specific advice to certain jobs you are drawn too.


I just really wanted to know what your job entailed. I’ve seen you post about it so many times and have been meaning to ask you about it.

I am always interested in learning about other people’s jobs and life experiences, because I never know when I may want to start a whole new career or make a major life change. Security and routine is extremely boring to me lol

Your vocation sounds amazing! I’m not sure if the long hours and networking aspect would be a good fit for me personally. I have done freelance work with web design & SEO, the networking and long hours aspects have really run over me the past few years.

That said, I’d love to hear more about your passion! You’ve been doing it since highs high school, right?

I’m conceptualizing a website about different walks of life and success. Once it’s up and running would you mind if I used this conversation as a piece/article?


Yeah that’s fine. Yeah I started working in broadcast TV in high school and moved to Los Angeles to get specifically into the film industry. Narrative story telling i.e. Movies, major television shows, etc. I chose my craft (lighting) because of the technical knowledge required and the creative aspect of it.

Imaging trying to control light, no imagine trying to describe to me how you plan to do it. Sometimes the conversations between my boss and myself or even my staff is very abstract. How do you describe the color blue?

The hours you get used to pretty quickly. The networking is the hardest part for me. It’s a lot of politics, and being social which I am not really good at. All of my contact have been developed over long term jobs. It is very rare for me to make a contact on a two day commercial if I do not know anyone. It’s all about relationships and maintaining the ones you want and care about.

Last year I joined I.A.T.S.E. Local 728 The Studio Lighting Technicians Union.

Being from Florida, a right to work state, I never saw myself becoming a member of a union. Upon moving here though it is apparent how many of the major productions are Union. So I started looking into what unions are, what they do, why corporations don’t like them etc. I found that I was actually interested in joining my local. 728 is considered one of if not the hardest industry locals to gain membership in. I believe it’s where the term “breaking” into the industry comes from. (If you have more questions about this I can answer)

I am very goal oriented. I set long term goals and then little goals to reach the bigger ones.

I also own my own company. It’s a small lighting equipment rental company. It has been growing over the past three years. I am very proud of this and put a lot of work and time into making it grow.

If there is an area where Jenny is the most supportive in my career, it is my business. She does so much work “behind the scenes” she keeps track of everything I do from pay stubs to all of my company receipts. She also does sub rental equipment pickup and returns when I am not available to do it myself. She is a big reason as to why it has grown so quickly.

I really need to build a website one day, I just feel like it’s changing so quickly that maintaining it is not something I can do. My company Facebook page rarely gets updated.

That’s another thing. The stuff you see on Facebook is very controlled. I am not allowed to take photos or talk about my work most of the time. So no one really sees 95% of the stuff I get to do day to day.

When I posted that picture from the Gilmore Girls set a lot of people congratulated me. You also say this conversation might be used as a success story.

I don’t see myself as successful, I see myself on the way to becoming successful. I have been reaching every goal I set, but I am nowhere near my end goal. I believe success is within the eye of the beholder. I am afraid to think “I have made it” I don’t want to get complacent.

This website is about people you know and have met in your life, or your classmates?
Did you used to live in Vegas? If so do you?

I ask because if you are still out west, I might be able to let you visit the set of the job I am on right now. Just to see what it is like to work a day in the industry.


I often find we sell ourselves short of congratulations when so much has already been achieved. I certainly agree with you, making it far is fine and well, but when you have a grander vision in mind, accept no substitutes.

The website is mostly comprised of people on their way to success. I want it to be a midway point for people in their career to share their stories of success, as well as failure, hardship and challenge.

So many jobs today lack mentorship. Sure, the trades have it. But what about entrepreneurs like yourself, or someone seeking a new white collar tech field? Usually, they are SOL when it comes to guidance.

Mental conditioning, direction, networking, and deep communication are a lost artform
For most new generations.

I want to be able to give them the good, as well as the bad if every career. That way they can make informed decisions on worth it not to even bother with college. More and more college degrees are losing value, but there is little taking it’s place.
I would love to do that! But no, I’m back in Florida for now. Sara and I are talking about a trip/move to Portland something in the next 5 years though.
That said, I’m really enjoying our conversation about your passion how would it sound to publish this, and then do a follow up once every couple of years? Eventually, I’d be able to see you work on set, and I’m sure most people would kill to hear your experiences directly
Tell me a little bit more about some of the ways you’ve found work best for communicating the abstract. I often struggle with this one, myself
How pressing is having a website for you? I could lend you a hand


I have thought about reaching out to Space Coast to see if they still have a TV production program, and maybe share with the class what I do. I know Mr. Martin retired a few years back.
Where would you publish this?
The website does not feel pressing at the moment.

Well to answer your abstract question, we have our own language in the grip and set lighting department. Tons of “jargon”. Here is an example, “I need you to book a 2k blonde, the diff needs to be thin, something like 1/2 soft frost. Then I need a couple siders and a aggressive topper as well. Ok drop a double.”

All of that is to set up one light. So trying to describe an abstract, like quality of light is difficult. I try and describe it in as many different ways I can until the other person understands. Sometimes there is still a miscommunication. That’s why I try and hire the same guys I work with over and over. They get it overtime or I show them once what I mean and if I need it again, I reference it.

I have a college degree, but I don’t need it to do what I am doing. If my degree did anything for me it helped me determine what area of film I wanted to specialize in. That and a small starting network that helped me land my first gig. Past that I have learned 100x more on the job then in school.


What’s is the process of like applying to, and finally being accepted into a union?
It’s a brand new website with a working name. So while there wouldn’t be much direct traffic, if you’re comfortable, I’d also like to share it on my Twitter account, Facebook (1000+ connections) and on my Linked In account (3500+ connections). And would invite you to share it as well once if published.

If we follow the “update every year or couple of years” format, you’d certainly be getting more eyes after the site has a strong following.
I’d also happily link your your business’s Facebook page/website in the article.
What are some recommended books, articles, videos, or podcasts you’d advise newbies to look at?


The book question I have to think about.

As for the union question that is complicated.

First let me say there are a bunch of locals all part of I.A.T.S.E. (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States) hahahaha quite a mouthful huh.

You apply to your local based on where you live for most. For example Florida is Local 477 they are a mixed local. This means that almost every craft belongs to the same local. (Hair, makeup, wardrobe, set lighting, grip, script supervisors, craft services, set decoration, props, editors, sound, etc.) All of these different departments come from the same local. So if you are a member of a mixed local you can work in any department almost.

In Hollywood it’s way different. There are a bunch of locals here that split up all of the crafts because the industry is so large. It in outages specialization as well.

My local (728) is the only local in the country dedicated strictly to the craft of set lighting. (We are very proud of this.) Our jurisdiction is the Los Angeles area, but we travel everywhere.

Camera is all by itself and is the only national local. Meaning you can live and work anywhere in the U.S. As a member of camera if you are in local 600.

So to join you need to figure out what local you wish to join whether it’s in your home state or Los Angeles.

For this question I will address 728.

So when I figured out I wanted to join I went to my local to ask what the process of becoming a member was. At the time it was a basic answer that I didn’t quite understand the weight of how difficult it would be. “You need 30 permit days to be placed on the roster and join” sounds easy enough right?

Permit days are days you work that your local permits you to work on a Union Job. You can only get permission in 728 if every member on “the books is working” basically the town is so busy they are allowing non union members a chance to get days and join.

When I moved to Los Angeles it was just after the writers strike. The WGA (writers guild of America) went on strike for a long time against the producers and the industry almost fell apart. So the town was just pulling itself together. A lot of people were out of work and the books had hundreds of people on it. So getting permission to work Union was not going to happen.

The only other way to get permit days is to be on a show that organizes or “flips” which is pretty rare.

Most of the other locals have a non Union day option meaning of you work 100 non Union days you can join as well. 728 does not.

Oh small catch. The 30 days has to be within 1 calendar year…… It is not easy, I may have already said this but I equate it to breaking into the industry.

That is honestly the only book about being a lighting tech. This industry has always been pretty secretive so trouble shooting things is not something you can just look up on you tube or online. I have spoken straight to so many different manufacturers for the different types of lights, GFCI ‘s, dimmers, power distribution, etc. I am constantly learning and seeking more knowledge.


That sounds like a huge challenge to overcome! You nut of busted your ass to get in a union. Once you’re in, do you stay in?

Can you learn from others on set or from professional groups or is it mostly trial and error because everyone is so tight lipped about their trade?


You have to maintain dues and work at least two days every two years. So yes. You have to be asked to leave for not following the bylaws in a major way to get kicked out.

So the way I learn is by being a technician on the big shows, like Interstellar, the last ship, etc. it gives me a chance to watch people further in their careers. I can then pick and choose from hundreds of ways of doing things and make my own way.

The other way I learn is actually through the local. A new trend for the industry is different states/countries are competing for the film business to film there instead of Los Angeles. Currently Georgia has the best incentives in the country. So a lot of work goes out of state to shoot where it is cheaper to film. So a few of the locals here started offering classes. 728 has over 75 different trade skills classes taught by experienced members. The idea is that these trade secrets are being shared among the local here to make Los Angeles the home of the best technicians in the world. And it worked. Movies have been filmed here since the dawn of filmmaking and with over a century of practice and knowledge being shared here it really sets us apart from anywhere else. I am a firm believer that if you want to be someone important in this industry you have to be here.


I’ve heard fringe information about both of those points. Initially the industry was moved to California to escape the clutches of Thomas Edison’s film production monopoly.

I’ve also heard shows like Duck Dynasty came about because the state would cover a large portion of the fees associated with shooting there.

I think that’s fantastic that the industry is now encouraging a more open spread of information.

With the major changes in technology in so many new industries, what film industry jobs of old are in their why out? What do you feel is replacing them, or making them obsolete?


So one technology that is still used, but very slowly being phased out is tungsten lighting. It takes a lot of electricity and is not very efficient with it. Most of the power used to power the older incandescent sources is lost to heat. Now with LED technology taking off sadly the older lights that have been around forever are being rented less and less.

With that being said I think Dimmer Board operators will be a highly valued position in the lighting department. Due to all of the newer lights are smarter. Everything from color to intensity can be controlled by a board and it’s only getting more complicated with all of the networking and Ethernet technology being integrated with the existing DMX technology.

You know I am enjoying this. Not to many people ask about what I actually do. It’s more of what have you worked on? Have you worked with famous people…..

Our interview get paused there, but we’ll catch up with Dustin again down the road.

Get Back on Track – 4 Tips for Maintaining Consistent Success

How to be More Decisive – Taking Action

5 Reasons Why College is a Waste of Money & Time


  • – Info is outdated
  • – No guaranteed job
  • – Theory, not experience
  • – Instructors have little hands on experience
  • – instructor one on one time limited
  • What to do instead:
  • – Get a job
  • – YouTube
  • – Udemy
  • – Used books
  • – Mentor
  • – Industry leaders

Hey there! Ben with Seize Success again. Today I want to talk about 5 reasons why college is both a waste of time and money. And bear with me. Have him buy coffee yet today. So if I seem like I haven’t been to college I may need to. Don’t be too harsh.

So my 1st reason is that. It’s totally outdated. I remember taking this web development class back in college and you know mind you this is back 0708. So sure things like bootstrap and frameworks like that weren’t that popular yet. But from what I’ve been told just by speaking with other students who are still taking that course that’s still the curriculum. They’re teaching things like Dreamweaver which you know, years and years out of date.

Reason number 2. You’re not guaranteed to actually get a job. I know plenty of people with master’s degrees and they may be flipping burgers or let’s say you go for Political Science or something if you don’t feel like moving to where that degree is located where there’s an actual industry like say film design moving to L.A. or PolSci moving to Washington. Kinda SOL.

Reason Number 3 and reason number 4 are kind of wrapped into one. So reason number 3, is it’s mostly theory and not experience based. And the fourth one is a lot of instructors don’t have the experience in the actual field that they’re teaching.

So let’s say for example you get a business instructor and you’re expecting them to tell you about how to run a business. How to start a business what sort of lessons they learned because they failed on a couple of things or even connect to with people or colleagues that have been doing that sort of thing. They’re probably not going to be able to help you. They probably went and got a college degree in education and then took just a few core courses relating to the subject that they’re teaching.

Reason Number 5. Most instructor time is very limited. They’re teaching maybe four or five courses that require their in-person attention. You know this is different with say online courses for example with online courses. You can kind of reach out to them they can get back to you whenever and a lot of times there’s really not that many people asking questions. So. You’re way better off not taking college courses if you’re looking for some one on one communication and some direct feedback on your strengths and your weaknesses. Anything of that nature. So what should you do instead of actually investing in college and spending a bunch of time and money that you just don’t have. Well most people who are successful like Mike Rowe for example is a large proponent of saying “hey why don’t you just go out and get a job”. Same thing with financial advisor Dave Ramsey. He’s saying Dude why don’t you just go out and get a job make money instead of spending money. That just makes sense. And there’s a few other ways or a handful of ways that you can actually go and gain the experience they would want anyway from college. And most cases you’ll get way more experience and way more insight than just going to college.

So the first one is YouTube videos. I mean that was kind of simple. You’re on YouTube, you’re kind of poking around. Just find people that you need to follow. And you know people like Gary Vaynerchuk are really good for like social media marketing business that sort of stuff. Marie Foleo she’s really good about running your own business. Tim Ferriss when I was about to do this Tim Ferriss he. He wrote “The 4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Chef and 4-Hour Body” and he continuously does this amazing podcast where he has world class athletes actors performers on there and they’re always talking about their favorite books and that sort of stuff.

The second one you can take online classes with platforms like you Udemy. You can also use Coursera. You want to do programming there’s things like code school and a lot of these have free trials. And there’s a lot of hands on experience from the instructors that teach them. You know a lot of times you can get discount codes on Udemy and you can take courses for I want to say somewhere around like $10. So I mean if you don’t have $5-$10 dollars to spend on a course like what are you doing. You could learn more I think in one Udemy course. For $10 than you could in an entire semester in maybe two courses in sales or like Client management, maybe even more. An entire degree which is kind of scary.

The third thing to do is you can buy used books on Amazon. You know you get yourself an Amazon Prime membership or a student one which I don’t think requires much verification but I’ll include a link in the description down below so that you can kind of suss that out for yourself and see if you want to get Amazon Prime in the first place. But the cool thing with Prime is you get like free two day shipping on practically all of your orders and as a student it’s only like $50 a year. So that’s cheaper than one course book. Actually for the price of a college course book let’s say for example it’s $150 right?. Two hundred dollars for that hundred fifty dollars and get an Amazon Prime membership and then buy used books that usually only cost. You can get like a decent condition book on say business or something of that nature that’s been a bestseller and can give you a ton of the applicable info for you know sometimes used $2-$3 and if you’re getting free shipping I mean like let’s do the simple math on that. Let’s say you get 50 books or not 50 books let’s say 30 books add say $2 a pop. That’s $16 Plus Amazon Prime membership and that’s still cheaper than one college book. Like you could basically study your whole major worth of books for less than the cost of one college book I mean that’s just insane.

So the fourth thing you can do instead of wasting your time and money on college is find yourself a mentor. There’s a ton of great free resources out there. Small business of America. I know there’s a score for how that one stands for. Just a ton a ton of resources out there for free where you can find someone who’s done something in your industry and knows what they’re talking about. A lot of times people will volunteer their experience and you can meet with someone who is a captain of their industry for free. I mean going to do is cost you a little bit of time. Take yourself a notepad write down like everything that they struggled with early on in their career or their industry. You’ll learn tons more than actually taking a college course.

The fifth and final tactic has to do with finding industry leaders and reaching out to them. Places like Twitter, LinkedIn, all that good stuff are really good networks that you can find these mentors and reach out for these industry leaders.

A lot of times you can even find their email address. For example Derek Sivers of dereksivers.org, who also founded CD Baby, has put out a bunch of books and does book reviews and stuff on his website as a terrific resource. You know men I think over ten million dollars on the sale of CD Baby and he spends the majority of his time just learning coding on Ruby on Rails and he painstakingly responds to every email that people send them because that’s just something he wants to do with his time. So that’s a great way to get in contact with someone like Derek Silvers who has been involved in e-commerce and that sort of stuff. You can also get in contact with people like Rand Fishkin for example. Rand is the former CEO of Moz, a Web technology company which does SEO software and I’ve been talking back and forth with him for a number of years you know I mean obviously I’m trying to be considerate of his time so they’ll be kind of one off questions here and there but because able to actually strike up a conversation and get him to do an interview that goes along with one of the free SEO courses that I’m putting out. And in doing that you know I’m helping him kind of promote his keyword research tool. And there’s also Danny Dover. I really like Danny and I stumbled upon him when he was with Moz back in the day actually I think he worked there from like 2010. Maybe a little bit sooner 2010 for a few years and then just decided to totally change up its life and now he does he’s into minimalism. He does a lot of like travel blogging type stuff and he’s really involved in checking items off of his life list. That’s actually where I got the term. You can check him out he’s got like a lifelistted.com and he does YouTube videos he does. You know just like a lot of free writing and he’s really accessible you can reach out to him on Twitter and LinkedIn probably.

Well you might be able to get him on YouTube but you know how YouTube comments go. People don’t interact as much but yeah definitely. It’s simple to connect with an industry leader be a Social media or anything like that.

So what’s your excuse why are you wasting time and money on college. Don’t do it. Get a shitty job learn what you want to learn. Get some hands on experience go out there make failures make mistakes learn some shit and then you can either get yourself a good job or start your own business. Because I mean do you really want to be working for someone anyway. So this is Ben. Go out there and seize success.

So I totally forgot to mention I’m taking these shaky videos on my iPhone so soon I’m getting a tripod with an attachment so I can actually haul it around and set it up so you don’t get this wobbly shaky horrible sort of background. So I’m excited for that and hopefully you are too.

4 Simple Steps for Assessing & Detoxing Your Friendships

From the walk

The Four Steps:

  1. 1. Your MBTI type vs Theirs – 16 Personalities
  2. 2. Determining your wants and needs.
  3. 3. Measuring their patterns and taking notes.
  4. 4. Charting the data. Charting Friendship Attributes Template

Think on This:

  1. July 5th – Page 221 – The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
  2. “It has taken a lifetime to understand how easily I can secretly wish for things to change, and in my secrecy prevent true change from happening. For example, I loved a friend for many years who was unable to listen or be kind or patient, and rather than feeling just how much that hurt, I always “hung in there,” secretly believing that he would change and grow and one day emerge before my eyes as the friend I always believed he could be.
    1. Well, that didn’t happen. I am not saying that change is not possible, but more deeply, that true change, the kind that is self-initiated and lasting, has more chance of happening in a relationship that doesn’t hide its shortcomings.
  3. As long as I could dream of my friend as I wanted him to be, it softened the true pain of how we were actually living. Without such truth, neither of us could grow – not he, for having to face the effect of his self-centeredness, and not me, for having to risk saying what I needed.”

My Progress

Today’s Walk Time: 29 min
Starting Weight: 251.2
Current Weight: 251.2

Today’s Takeaways:
Waking up at 6:30 am and starting to walk at 7:00 am is the perfect timing for shooting videos.

This Week’s Takeaways:
Week in Review – July 03 – July 09

Script Notes:

  1. 1. Your MBTI type vs Theirs
  2. 2. Determining your wants and needs.
  3. 3. Measuring their patterns and taking notes.
  4. 4. Charting the data.

Change Log:

  • – Removed “Creation issues” section.
  • – Added “Weight” section.
  • – Changed “today’s takeaways” section from h2 to bold” and moved after “reminders”
  • – Change “Reminders:” header to “Think on This”
  • – Moved “Walk time” and “weight” sections to just before “today’s takeaways” section.
  • – Added a “My Progress” section with h2 above personal and video production info.
  • – Changed “Walk Time:” to “Today’s Walk Time:”.
  • – Added “Starting weight” section.
  • – Changed “weight” to “current weight”

Hey! Ben with Seize Success again. So this morning I’m getting bit up by mosquitoes so I’m going take just a couple of minutes to go over 4 quick tips of just how to kind of determine whether or not someone is decent in your life and how you might go about measuring that and removing them from your life. So I think this is going to be a two parter. The first part is just going to entail kind of figuring out like what sort of metrics you’re using and you know what’s important to you and then determining if your friends really match up with that.

So the first one and I think probably the most important is determining your own Myers-Briggs Type or MBTI and their MBTI type. This may sound pretty simple but if you’re if you’re good with typing and quick with typing if you’re like say an ENT type that and you know you don’t really need to go far from there. Otherwise you might want to ask them to head over to a website like 16 personalities and just kind of have them either take the test for you if they’re good friends or you can maybe start reading about the different types and teach yourself how to do typing. So for example, I’m in Ian INTJ. So I’m introverted and I need a lot of me time compared to even some other introverts. So if you have some very extroverted friends and you’re not trying to go out and party a lot and that’s not something you really want to focus on in life and it’s a major drain to you than you know maybe that’s a factor to consider. Also there is the intuitive vs. sensing type. Intuitive are really good about reading in between the lines and kind of picking up and making generalizations or making hops that others most you know mostly don’t see. I think roughly two thirds of the population is a censor type so they’re going to see a lot of things for you know face value and some arguably might say that that’s the largest difficulty for people when it comes to communication. You know you have a generalist who makes all these hops and makes really out there jokes that people are just like “what the f**k is he talking about”. And then you have a very just a literal person who is a sensing type that can also cause some problems. You know so you find that your jokes are flopping a lot. Kind of sucks. You know maybe your friend is not really understanding where you’re coming from. Maybe you’re just bad at jokes who knows you.

The third component of the Myers-Briggs is the T and F. So thinking and feeling. The way I like to think about it. Go figure out my thinking type. Thinking types process things to their mind first and then their emotions. Whereas, feeling types they have to feel something and then kind of rationalize their thoughts. So in my personal experience that causes I think so much miscommunication. And for me with some people it’s frustrating others you know I get a chance to kind of learn from them. They get a chance to learn from me and things are you know gravy, things are great. So you know that’s that’s one thing you definitely want to keep in mind as well.

The fourth component MBTI is in my opinion really not that’s bad or that much of a factor. So I like judging vs. perceiving. I kind of flip flop between the two. So sometimes I’ll be a bit open minded. Other times I’ll be you know a bit Judge Mental I’m just like ready to go and know exactly how I feel about something. So I think a lot of people kind of flip flop back and forth too. But you know if you’re running into someone who’s extremely indecisive that could be annoying or you know if it’s continuous or if you’re running into someone who is very close minded and just very you know this is how I want it and this is how I was going to be done. There’s no room for leniency on that. So that’s the first part getting into typing and MBA types. Just trying to determine whether or not you’re a good fit for each other. Hey good morning.

And the second part I really wanted to focus on besides determining if the types are right is determining what you want out of life. So things like. Let’s see. You know maybe like I mentioned earlier you’re introvert and you did just more time to yourself. You need someone who is going to be consistently saying “hey do you want to go out and go for drinks”, “do you want to go do this, do you want to go do that”. You know if you’re trying to focus on your own thing and trying to say build a business or learn a new skill, learn a new language. You know it’s going to probably throw you off the rails if it’s a pretty consistent thing, unless they’re flexible.

Say for example do you know only the weekends and you’re willing to do that. So for me I use like factors. Are they high maintenance? or Are they lowkey? Now kind of put that on a chart and you know really take about a month or so to determine if which category they fit into. Other things that for example are important to me would be you know, are they driven?. Are they comfortable just working in a office type environment where the really oppressed and you know they’re not able to exercise free thought, To me that’s kind of important. Are they in you know like maybe a minimum wage job? Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with that but if they’re not doing things on the outside to you know learn maybe improve themselves you know for me that’s kind of the deal breaker. It depends I mean if there are other factors that outweigh. You know those few things then cool. But you know that’s that’s a category on my list are they driven. Do they have some sort of a vision of where they want to go in the future other than. All right well let me build my 401K and work those jobs for 20-30 years if I can, work in this field for 20-30 years and then retire. To me that’s boring. You know they’re probably going to have kids somewhere and they’re like not my thing. So those are a couple of factors in kind of come up with you know of course everyone’s different so I’ll show you a chart that I roughly put together when I get back from the walk and I’ll put it in the description down below. Just a nice little link to it to the blog post you can kind of feel it out and get a deeper idea of what I mean with that.

The third step or third step is to go and chart that data. So you know take a month maybe a couple months for each one of these people that you’re involved with. You know depending upon how long your you know been friends with them, How long you. How frequently you engage with them and not just start taking notes. You know is this person kind of high maintenance?. Are they maybe kind of flaky?. You know. Do they have certain goals and ambitions that match my own?. How compatible are we on a spiritual level?. Those sorts of things.

The fourth step is to really chart all that stuff out. And as I said I have a link to the chart down on the description and you can check out. When she starts tapping some of those things up you might see that. OK, well these this is what I want out of life and these are my beliefs and my friends just are not making the cut. There being a real time suck. Maybe there really dramatic and eating up a lot of my time by me having to console them and all that stuff. You know that in and of itself is part of being a good friends but when it gets too much it gets too much. You know and you start seeing things add up like oh OK they’re high maintenance and they’re kind of dramatic and they’re not driven and they like to smoke a lot of weed so it’s actually detrimental then you know he’s sorry he’s not someone you can have to learn how to cut out your life. But don’t worry I’m putting together a part series to kind of help a little bit without you know me personally I need to I think brainstorm a little bit more on that because I do the typical INCJ door slam where I just say all right, Boom! You’re gone out of my life. Cut all ties of communication and it can hurt a lot of people. So look forward to that part two. I’ll go ahead and put the link in the description for part two tomorrow after I shoot it and I really wish you guys the best of luck with measuring you know hopefully just maybe just do it for fun but hopefully it gives you some used to kind of measure and rank your friends and determine whether or not they make the cutting block. All right, I hope you have a good one. Check you later.

Measuring Growth in Relationships

From the walk


  1. 1. Select your relationship KPI (key performance indicator).
  2. 2. Clearly define the meanings – implicit & explicit – surrounding your KPI.
  3. 3. Crate a pro argument for why your KPI was selected.
  4. 4. Determine how the relationship increased your KPI.
  5. 5. Determine when the relationship plateaued. How long has it been in a plateau? Have you exhausted all options?
  6. 6. Determine when there was a contraction and hindrance of growth. If it has been this way for several months, with little chance of change, end the relationship.


  1. 1. KPI is “growth”
  2. 2. Growth: an increase in quality of life in the categories of: mental, physical, emotional, social, and financial health.
  3. 3. Why: Growth is essential for my happiness.
  4. 4. How: The relationship helped me learn more about myself, spirituality, culture, and compassion.
  5. 5. When: The relationship provided growth for the first year. It plateaued after a series of outside events. All options we exhausted to get it back on track.
  6. 6. When: After the first year the relationship experienced contraction. During the past 6 months of the relationship, it is clear contraction, and lack of growth has been occurring.

Today’s Takeaways:

Today was less about finding the problems, and more about creating a solution. After recording I focused on being in the moment and appreciative of nature.


“Free yourself from negative people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and like minded. Relationships Should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make you day a little brighter simply by being in it. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.” Unknown

This week’s takeaways: Week in Review – July 03 – July 09

Script Notes:

  • Measuring Growth in relationships.
  • Re == relationship
  • – Utilitarian frame.
  • – Re ran its course.
  • – Norm was to watch TV.
  • – Time wasted vs time invested.
  • – Focus on the KPI growth.


  • – Defining terms: “growth”
  • – Why: human growth?
  • – How: helped me grow?
  • – When: plateaued?
  • – When: hurt growth?

Walk Time: 30 min

Creation Issues:

  • – My hand was visible when I held my phone with my right arm, and shaky.
  • – Walked east into the sun in the morning so no lens flare

Change Log:

  • – Relocated the transcript to the bottom of the page.
  • – Changed naming convention of “takeaways” to “today’s takeaways”.
  • – Reordered “Take away’s”, “reminders”, and “This week’s takeaways” into a more logical progression.
  • – Changed the format and wording of “Thoughts from the walk” to “From the walk”
  • – Added a “script notes” section so I could show my unadulterated shorthand, and elaborate on the core points of the framework in the “From the Walk” section.


Hey! Happy 4th of July.

So this is Ben from Seize Success. Today, I’m doing a follow up vlog of my topic yesterday and I’ll probably be on this for a little bit. That has to do with just improving relationships and that sort of thing. Because me personally, I just went through a very negative breakup and I’m kind of doing a lot of soul searching and that sort of thing.

So today’s topic is growth and really focusing on key performance indicators in a relationship or KPI’s. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s basically the most important metric that you can use the kind of measure the growth of a particular thing. So with like a website for example you would measure the amount of visitors you get to see like how successful you are. Same thing with like YouTube views that sort of thing. So in relationship I’m using growth as my key performance indicator. Let’s define growth because everyone growth can be a little bit different. To me in the context of the relationship it has to do with being with someone who helps you grow, not only mentally so you learn new things. You know to some extent experientially but that’s not too important to me you know going out and doing things together. Spiritually is definitely a big one for me now. I feel like I grew a lot in the past relationship that way. I would also say things like socially and just emotional maturity really come into play as well. It’s just emotional intelligence and improving those things. Getting to test them. So to kind of frame like my past relationship and use that as kind of the example for this template.

Her and I had been in a relationship for I’d say probably close to two years. I started looking at it when it really started to plateau, when it was growing, when it was kind of contracting and I use those as the basis of the framework that I came up with this morning. I would say probably about a year or so into the relationship is really where we kind of hit our plateau and we stop growing. You know we stopped intellectually kind of connecting and sharing things. You know in the end we grew quite a bit spiritually because we went through a bunch of turmoil which is great but it was really this kind of interconnected sort of growth. So that didn’t really help much. Towards like the you know second year of the relationship we started experiencing it like financial problems. Communication was a big problem that we had. You know I’m very much a thinking type she’s very much a feeling type and that causes a lot of lack of continuity and communication problems. We’ve also come from streams you know alcoholic backgrounds with narcissistic parents. So that didn’t really help either. You know you don’t know what you don’t know. So that’s kind of where I’m at in terms of growth.

But, back in the context of the relationship after about a year we really stopped growing. It’s like you know a lot of couples that just kind of sliding to complacency. We sort of just watching TV together you know maybe going out to a certain local places occasionally but the host for lack of better terms of Vulcan bonds that we had, that in mind melds, that you know spiritual connection and intellectual social everything connection just really started to simmer and a lot of resentment was just layered upon more resentment because of our lack of communication problems. So in the context of this framework. Where do you really draw the line.? Well for me, I mean I think you know hindsight is 2020. You know obviously things are crystal clear there but there are you know red flags especially had enough experience with the relationships to where you can kind of see when things are kind of go off the rails and you either try to course correct or you know cut ties and run. And that’s what I should have done you know I started realizing those maybe about a year. So recognize the plateau, you know really realize when the relationship is great for you and when it’s not and you need to kind of assess the plateau so you know is this just a learning curve is this something I have to stay at for a while so that it’s time invested instead of time wasted. That’s another big factor for me and part of the framework. The time you’re spending together is that what you would consider quality time. So is it time that you’re investing in the relationship your own personal growth and the growth of your partner maybe you know if you want to be altruistic and really think about the long term or is it time wasted. You know are you guys just doing the same old thing going to the same old places just watching television. You know there’s really no growth in there and there’s a lot of just contraction. And that’s another thing I wanted to talk about is expansion versus contraction.

Human expansion is great. It allows you to be a better version yourself continually and ideally from a utilitarian standpoint. That’s why you would want to have a relationship in the first place. When it stops being that and even when you get to maybe a negative point and it causes you after the plateau to dip and to really contract and get into this mindset of you know depression, anxiety that sort of thing then that is just like a clear sign a clear indicator. If you’ve already done that time analysis versus time wasted versus time invested. You know if you see a clear pattern there it’s time to cut and run.

Unfortunately, I succumbed through a lot of social influence. You know a lot of things in my past that were kind of like well you know we really like each other we’re loyal. We should work it out. And it’s an unhealthy way of thinking and it’s not a useful way of thinking. So that’s one thing to consider that I like to put out there is just if a relationship you’re in isn’t serving you what are you doing in it. If you’re not growing you know you’re either stand still and that’s got to suck because you know the human spirit loves to expand and grow and so does the mind. So if you’re stagnant or even worse the relationship is causing harm to you mentally, psychologically, everything because it’s all connected man body mind experience. Maybe it’s time to get out of it and I can say that I’m I’m happy with how things turned out. We ended on an amicable page but I think I’m kind of at the point now where I may not even want to be friends with her. You know I’m not going to do like the typical INCJ door slam you know thing where you totally cut someone of your life. I’d like to be you know personable and be considered for feelings so they still did care about her and I’m thankful for the growth. But, now when it’s all said and done, you really have to evaluate if the relationship is worth it or not.

So in the comments below, feel free to share any sort of experience might have with this. Ask any questions. You know all that typical good stuff. I’m gonna include the framework a link to the framework and you can also check out a couple of different resources that I’m probably going to add to template that I’m going to put together to kind of analyze the quality of your relationships. Well let’s me Ben with Seize Success.

Thanks and I hope you guys have a great day.

Thinking about my Breakup and Next Steps – Vlog July 03 2016

Thoughts from the walk

Necessary Thoughts
– What healthy habits can I fill my free time with? (Exercise, mediate, write, read.)
– How can I exercise and make piece with the negative emotions surrounding my breakup and past relationships? (Meditate, and do trauma work)

Okay Thoughts
– How have well rounded INTJs worked through breakups in their past? (Like most other people.)
– How can I stay emotionally vulnerable, and not shut the world out
after a breakup? (Practice vulnerability every day.)
– How can I create new relationships with the opposite gender and not
fall into the rebound trap? (Do not rush into another relationship.)
– Find a Bluetooth microphone that will make the background audio more clear. (Phone mic works fine)

Trash Thoughts
– Am I worthy of love? (Yes.)
– Am I attractive enough? (Yes, but not to everyone. People have preferences.)
– Will others love me, or be attracted to me if I do not become
successful by societies standards? (Yes.)


I’m struggling with feelings of self worth tied to my break up. Reminder “self worth” has nothing to do with other people. Stop giving my ex, and my past relationship power over my emotions. Captivating attention is the greatest power. See these negative thoughts, and then starve them of oxygen. Refuse to give my attention to thoughts that do not serve me.

This week’s takeaways: Week in Review – July 03 – July 09


Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.

Walk Time: 30 min


So I’m kinda struggling through a large transition period in my life right now. Just recently broke up with my fiance of two years and my financial situation could certainly be better. So as you can see right now, I’m on a walk to try to get some good juices flowing and some neurochemicals switching over and everything. This is my first vlog, so I’m totally new to it. When I started actually, there was a hawk that I saw on the lines that was kinda cool. It was a good sign because I was contemplating doing a vlog or even really committing to is. I’m kinda nervous walking by all of these houses and stuff that a, you know, people are going to be judgmental.

I think that’s kind of the theme for today. I’m worried about having other people judge me. Judging myself too harshly. For example today I started thinking about my own self worth and trying that to the relationship I was in because for better or worse, I got a lot of validation out of it. Yeah, that’s just kinda what it is. You know, I kinda come from a rough background, and a bad upbringing. So, it caused me to really face a lot of things I kinda put a nail in the coffin in, perse. There was a lot of growth there but now I’m out of that period where my catalyst for growth is basically – you know my ex – completely removed from my life and I’m not sure whether to make heads of tails of it.

So, I have a – to many people I’m sure it sounds like a dumb question or series of questions but things like, you know, am I lovable?

Can I have people love me if I’m not the success that society expects?

You know, those sorts of things. I’m not really the type of person that allows themselves to feel a lot of emotion in general. I’m kind of in a place now where I want to be able to get through this in a health manner. So, you know, I’m exercising but, also doing some meditation and that sort of stuff to just kinda look through things. You know, I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there that are thinking, well you know this is kinda a standard thing dude. everyone knows how to get through a tough relationship pretty easily. Or, not easily, but everyone goes through it.

If you’re interested in my personality type, it’s INTJ. We’re extremely logical and analytical and not the best with our emotions. So, anyway, I’m rambling here. The idea is I’m trying to force myself into feeling the emotion, even if it’s good or bad and just kind of work through it.

So, if you guys have any tips or advice of how to work through a tough situation. Maybe you’ve been in a similar boat, let me know in the comments below. I’m probably going to include a link to a website that I’m building out, so that we can have a more in-depth discussion on there and we can kinda hopefully weed through the trolls eventually. So, I’m going to finish my walk up, and I hope you guys have a good day.

Creation Issues: Front mounted camera was on left side. Caused the video to display upside down when imported onto the computer. Used Video Rotate & Flip (iPhone) to fix problem.

Change Log:
Changed order of thoughts from ascending quality, to descending quality for the benefit of TL;DR