In today’s episode, Joe talks to Marc Benzakein, the Operations Manager at ServerPress LLC – a software services company that provides workflow tools for WordPress Developers and Designers. His experience ranges from network administration to software development to upper level management in both Internet Service Providers as well as Software and Services Development.  

They discuss how capitalism opens opportunities for young startup founders, the financial pressure on Gen Z and how it deflates their passion for success, and the best work practices to avoid burnout.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:40 Welcome to the pod, Marc!
  • 05:20 ServerPress LLC is celebrating its 7th year!
  • 08:44 Starting the business small and serving the first few customers
  • 13:22 Business owners should allow people to micromanage
  • 18:57 Work smart not hard to avoid burnout
  • 22:57 WordPress has a sense of community
  • 25:21 Scalable way to grow the company and its community
  • 26:50 Financial pressures suck the passion out from the younger generation  
  • 30:03 How capitalism favors startup founders
  • 34:40 Find Marc online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] No, the folks, Joe Howard here this week, I got to sit down and chat with mark benzocaine. Now, before we get into what we chatted about today, I just want to give, um, Mark’s company, a server, press a little shout out. We didn’t get to talk about server press almost at all in this episode. So I just wanted to give you a quick quote from, uh, Adam silver, from kitchen sink, WP, who, uh, has a testimonial on the homepage that I’m just going to read out quickly here.

Desktop server should be installed on every web developers system. It just saved me countless hours and creating sites testing and deploying client and personal work, even better as the team behind the curtain, they take care of their customers and treat everyone from beginner to advanced, equally best period investment period ever.

Period. Now server press is officially sponsoring the episode or anything, but because we didn’t get to chat about it at all. I just wanted to make sure if folks think that sounds like a good solution for you. You’re a WordPress developer. Go check it out. Server, All right. So mark and I did get to.

Chat about a lot of stuff today on the podcast, but not as much about the day-to-day WordPress work that we do. We actually went pretty deep talking about our entrepreneurial journeys. What’s what’s our role capitalism. Uh, what does gen Z doing? Coming up, maybe care a little bit less about the financial, uh, application of things and more about making the world a better place.

Lots. That we chatted about today. So not your traditional episode, but I really enjoyed talking with mark. We’ve known each other for a little while. And, uh, honestly, every time I walk away from a conversation with him, I’m just thinking about a hundred different things in the best possible way. He really like gets me.

We need to do a 10 hour. Podcasts with mark, uh, because, uh, uh, 45 minutes is just not even enough, but a great episode today. Uh, lots of shout about lots to think about lots of deep thinking. So I hope you enjoy it without further ado, please. Welcome mark. Benzocaine enjoy today’s episode.

All right. We are live on the pod this week with mark Ben’s Aquin mark, my senior last name, right?

Marc Benzakein: [00:02:46] Or is it kind of a cane, but benzocaine like the medication.

Joe Howard: [00:02:50] There you go. Oh, okay. There you go. It’s a nice parallel to it. Yeah. Nice. Cool. Well, welcome to the podcast. We’ve known each other for a little while. I mean, but last time we saw each other was probably at like a word camp, but we did like a beach press event.

Marc Benzakein: [00:03:07] I met you in person. I met you person, a beach press. I think it was three years ago. Maybe. I don’t know. It was, it was a while ago. And then, uh, I believe the last place I saw you, I want to say it was WordCamp us. And probably St. Louis, maybe we’re camp Miami. Uh, were you at work at Miami? It feels like a blur now because it’s like, after the past year, it’s like everything past a year ago is like 10 years ago.

You know, I love and hate Google photos at the same time. You know, Google photos will come up with, you know, this happened one year ago today. And all of a sudden I’m seeing like, especially like pictures of my kids from like, you know, eight years ago. And I’m like, Hey, they were so cute back then. What happened?

No, I’m kidding. But you know, at me, um, How is that eight years ago, you know, it was either word camp, Miami, which was the last word camp that I went to. It was a year ago, a March, I believe. And then, uh, I immediately came back from that, got sick and went on lockdown. So I haven’t. I haven’t been out and about since.

Joe Howard: [00:04:09] Yeah. Yeah. It has been a little while. I think we’re all, we’re just talking offline about how we just like, feel like maybe a little bit isolated. Like we want to get back to like, seeing people, like, I can’t, it’s almost hard to remember like what it’s like to be in a hallway, like chat with someone. So, um, Yeah.

Well, why don’t you tell folks a little bit about, cause I know what you do with WordPress, but tell folks listing a little bit about the things you do in WordPress.

Marc Benzakein: [00:04:32] Well, I am the operations director for server press LLC, and we are a company that specializes in WordPress workflow solutions. We are very passionate about getting a workflow up and running.

Very quickly and easily, but also extremely efficiently and, and building workflow that will last you through a lifetime of, uh, development. So our services and products, uh, are all to that end and, uh, we’re working really hard at it. And we are, I’m just going to say this, I’m gonna plug this really quick.

We are celebrating seven years. Of server press LLC coming up in June. So, uh, I’m very excited about that.

Joe Howard: [00:05:14] Yeah. It’s funny thinking back seven years, we just passed like five years. And so, but it’s funny thinking back on that journey, because like statistically speaking, like we both. Done something pretty crazy, which is like, get a business pass like two years.

Right. Cause there’s this like stat that’s like most businesses don’t last two years. And I don’t like, I don’t know how you feel actually interested to hear you, how you feel. I don’t feel like I, I don’t know how much like super special stuff I did to like do this, but like, yeah. How do you feel about like seven years?

Cause that’s like a pretty big milestone.

Marc Benzakein: [00:05:47] Well, for me, it’s a big milestone because I am kind of a serial entrepreneur, so I’ve actually. Started businesses throughout my life. Since about the age of 18, some have been wildly successful, some have been epic failures. And, but what I will tell you, and the reason seven years is a big deal to me is that I have not been involved with the business much beyond two years.

So after two years, it’s not that they went out of business, but usually after about two years, I’ve, I’ve walked away. Whether it was a partnership that may have gone bad, or I just felt like I had done everything that I could do with, you know, for the company or, or, or whatever throughout the years. I’ve never done anything beyond two, two and a half years.

So for me to last seven years, At the age of 53 is actually pretty, is a pretty big milestone for me now, for me to say, does it feel like a big deal? Probably not because it went by so fast. And I think that the landscape of business has changed so much to where, you know, people throughout this whole COVID situation are discovering something that most of us have known for a long time, which is remote work is inexpensive.

You can start a business with very little capital and you don’t have all the overhead that’s associated with, you know, traditional brick and mortar types type things. So I think that, you know, when people say, oh, Two years, you know, you made it past the two year hump. I think that they’re kind of basing that statement on old data, you know, of, of the traditional brick and mortar.

I think it’s probably different now. I mean, the reality is if you’re working a job, you know, a, you know, a full-time job and you’re already paying all your bills with your full-time job and you decide, you want to build a plugin that, you know, makes you a hundred dollars a month. You’re still profitable.

Right, because all you’ve done is put the time into the plugin and you don’t really have any overhead. Now, if you have employees or contractors that you pay and that type of thing, of course, that is a different story. But if you’re this a one man shop, it’s a lot easier to become profitable in a world where the resource really is.

What’s up here and not anything. That’s a hard. Cost that, uh, that you wouldn’t already have. We already have internet access in our home. Most of us already have a computer in our home. We already have all the utilities in our home. And so you don’t have those traditional additional expenses that go with running a business.

And so I think it’s a lot easier to become a profitable entity or put another way, even if it takes you longer to be profitable, you can afford to be not profitable for a longer period of time as well.

Joe Howard: [00:08:37] Yeah. This makes me think about, I read when I was like an earlier entrepreneur. I read Tim Ferriss’s book four hour workweek.

I have a lot of. Thoughts about that, that I think are not as positive about that book. But one thing that has actually stuck with me was at one point, he says that most people, well, when they think about going from like a full-time job to going in and whatever, quote, unquote, being an entrepreneur, like starting a small business or a little internet company, they think the risk of doing that is like 10 out of 10.

Like it’s, it’s a huge risk to do a huge life change. Like if they don’t make it, everything’s going to burn down. But. And that may be the case with some people. If, if you have a large, if you have a family or a large family or you dive right into things, mainly of course there are risks associated to it.

But for a lot of people, you can start a small internet business on the side. Exactly. Like you said, and the risk is, is not that in reality, it’s more like three or four out of 10. So what he was getting across was just that there’s this like. There’s mental hurdle that people are a little scared or intimidated about a fear.

That’s not a real fear. It’s kind of a fear. That’s like either in the media or it’s maybe just in their heads, but I always felt the same way. Like I started w buffs with like a few thousand bucks. It wasn’t like 10 minute your brain, right? Yeah, yeah. Right. So I’m totally with that idea. I think that’s, that makes a lot of sense, you know, and.

Marc Benzakein: [00:10:00] And of course that start to get more expensive when you get these things called customers, you know, but.

Joe Howard: [00:10:07] I remember when I made my first one, the first person signed up for it be, I was like, amazing.

I have paid me and then 10 seconds later, it’s like, oh, I have to like serve this car. Yeah, yeah. Do that shit.

Marc Benzakein: [00:10:16] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I actually never read four hour workweek. I’ve always kind of had this love, hate relationship with technology, to be honest, which is, I feel like this is a little bit more philosophical, but I feel like.

Kind of stealing from Spider-Man a little bit with great power comes, great responsibility, right? So we have this great power of all this technology at our fingertips. We ha we are not responsible with it because the reality is I remember I went through the whole advent of, you know, I started programming when I was 10 years old.

My dad taught at the university. And in order to keep me out of trouble, I programmed for him on the mainframe at the university. You know, I created quizzes for his students and things like that and made I think 50 cents an hour or whatever. I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. But the point of the matter is I went from that all the way through the, you know, the advent of home computing and everything that we have now, where we carry a computer, that’s way more powerful than the.

You know, apple two E or Vic 20, or Commodore 64 that I had back in the eighties. You know, we carry it with us wherever we go. And. Every single time back then, I remember the sales pitch was you can do in two hours when it used to take you eight hours to do. Okay. My question to you is how many people do you know that work?

Two hour days, most of us work 12, 15, 17 hour days. And that’s what I mean by we’re not responsible enough to use that technology. You know, all we think about is quote unquote, increasing productivity. And so we say we have these more powerful tools. Well, we’re not really responsible enough because our work-life balance is way out of whack and all these things.

And, and I feel like we’ve handled. Uh, all these wonderful things that we’ve created in the last 30 years, 40 years, we’ve, we’ve handled it so poorly that I do think that we could have a four hour work week or something like that. If we were only aiming to be as productive as we were 40 years ago, but we aren’t, we want instant gratification with email.

You know, I remember when fax machines came out, it was like, you know, there was no snail mail. It was fax machine fax it to me so I can have it. Right now, you know, and now you see people like on their phones, I’m waiting for this email to come back. I’m waiting for this email. I have to, you know, where is the piece that we’re supposed to get, that technology was supposed to bring us and we don’t have it.

And so I know that that’s a huge aside to what you were just saying, but you brought up the four hour work week and I, and I always thought, yeah, I’d love to have a four hour work week. We could be as productive, but I’ve had this philosophy about. You know, and I’m, I’m the worst offender. I mean, I’m, I, you know, I am very aware of the fact that we don’t use technology responsibly.

And I certainly don’t, I unplug once in a while, but I don’t unplug, unplug.

Joe Howard: [00:13:12] I think what you said is super inter also this podcast all about aside. So aside away, um, the, uh, uh, you’re right, like in terms of productivity, like, I feel like people think about productivity and they’re like, okay, how can I do in two hours?

Or how, how can I spend 30 minutes? Doing something that should take me two hours that makes me that’s like more productive, but then you’re just like do that more productive thing for four times as long and still take the same amount of time to do it. You’ve technically gotten more done. Maybe you’ve moved forward faster, but you haven’t like.

You haven’t actually like what, what’s the point of doing the work? Isn’t it? So like, you don’t have to, you can do that work and then not have to do as much work later. So like, and I’m, I I’m, I, I feel like I’m struggling with this myself, uh, in terms of like, it’s funny because like w buses at this point where sometimes if I get involved in things.

Maybe I’ll say often when I get involved with didn’t things at the company, it makes things worse. Like I overcomplicate things or I overanalyze, or like I want something done my way and someone else is going to do it in a different equally good way, just differently. And it’s like better or hopefully better.

And in a lot of cases it has been better. But when I get involved, it’s not always the case and it actually would probably make our company more like productive overall. If I like didn’t mess in certain areas of the business, but I still liked to. Tinker and stuff. I L M S. And so why do I do that? That’s like, that’s kind of crazy, huh?

Marc Benzakein: [00:14:38] It all depends. I mean, we could get into, like, we could psychoanalyze all that. Do you do that? Because you’re supposed to be doing something else and you don’t want to do that. So you’d rather be doing something that, you know, rather than something you don’t know, you know, are you not in the mood to be outside of your comfort zone?

So you’d go straight to your comfort zone. I mean, there could be a number of reasons and I’m sure we could spend hours unpacking all that, but. The reality is you’re a business owner. And as a business owner, you know, uh, you, you have a little bit of that drive to maybe manage or micromanage or whatever.

So who knows why, who knows why you do that? But the thing is we allow society to put that kind of pressure on us too. Right? And the thing is we do, we confuse productivity with efficiency and they are two different things. If you can do in two hours, you know, if you can do that in 30 minutes now, That’s being efficient, you’re still being productive, but you’re also being efficient.

And I’m kind of at this point in my life where I would just rather focus on efficiency than how much am I putting out is what I’m putting out. Am I doing it in the most efficient manner possible? Because first of all, you can’t scale if you’re not efficient. Right. And second of all, you’re going to fill up all your bloody time with.

Like you said stuff that maybe you shouldn’t be doing. Because I gotta be productive. I gotta be productive. I got, you know, I have this drive to be productive. I mean, a good example is in this last year, we’ve had, COVID hit. And a lot of us have been on lockdown. A lot of the things that I did, which was traveling and, you know, networking and meeting people and talking to our customers and kind of getting a feel for where they were at and whatnot.

Um, even though we’ve all tried to redefine that over the last year and some have done it better than others. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been particularly great at it. I’ve talked to only a couple people that I feel like, man, I wish I had done that. You know? Uh, not that I think that I’ve done it better. I just think we’ve kinda got blindsided.

Like I don’t have a plan for if we can’t go to word camps or I, you know, and so I started like, well, I wake up at four 30 every single morning. What am I going to start doing? You know, well, I sit down in front of my computer. I can do this and this, but you know what, I’m going to start playing the stock market, you know?

So I start getting into the stuff. I feel like I have to fill up my time with something. And when you think about it, what’s wrong with this sleeping an extra hour, you know, nothing, you know, nothing is wrong with that, but that’s not the way that my brain is programmed. My brain is programmed to wake up at a certain time and I have to be, I have to hit the ground running and be productive.

And I remember when I moved out there, California and I started seeing this girl and, and, uh, C says to me, when do you chill? And I’m like, what do you mean? I’m not a type a personality. I chill all the time. No, you don’t. You wake up and the minute you wake up, you’re just like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And I’m like, well, but that’s because I like what I do.

And so I don’t think of it as stressful or anything like that. I enjoy what I do so much that to me, it’s like fulfilling and whatnot. But the reality is we need that downtime and things like that and sleep hygiene and the older you get becomes more and more important. I am my sleep hygiene is terrible.

I’m a four hour night guy and that’s terrible. It’s awful. So I, I like battle with myself constantly with this thought of, I have to be productive, quote unquote, based on what society tells us productive is. And then. I have to really just be like truly productive, which is the whole mind, body and spirit mentality, which is.

Contributing to society in some way, in my opinion, but also contributing to yourself in many ways. And you know, part of it is I’ve got a boatload of kids and I’m used to dislike you wake up and you get the kids ready for school and you get them out the door and this and that, you know, it’s just like, so I’ve always said, I like chaos.

I work best in chaos because I’m a troubleshooter. I work best when I’m under pressure. And, you know, but what happens when you start getting older and your brain starts working slower and you haven’t built all these systems in for yourself to be able to slow down, uh, ultimately long-term, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Joe Howard: [00:18:57] Yeah. I th I felt that way about when WWII buffs was much smaller, it felt like I could work. You know, I was putting in a lot of time trying to like, test a lot of stuff and figure a lot of stuff out and it was fun and it still is fun. I still like doing that stuff, but if you start that way, It kind of, and you’re not thoughtful about like taking your time away or the sleep hygiene you’re talking about or spending time with your family.

It’s hard to just like one day be like, okay, I’m at the point now where I can just not do that anymore. You’re going to like, kind of like. Fall into your habits, right? So like maybe I need to take like a really big step back actually am kind of actively like working with the coach and like our team’s working with a couple of coaches, like trying to reconfigure how we all do things as we’ve kind of like grown the team size.

It’s like, everything has changed. It’s like, wow. Like. What we did two years ago, like can’t really work anymore. So we’re in this kind of reinvention period right now. But yeah, I think that trying to be really conscious about that, it’s almost one of those things where it’s like, I feel like young entrepreneurs are like, screw that.

Like I could do it. Like Joe said, he could, he is hard to do it, but like I could do it. You could just switch. And I probably would’ve thought that too, when I was younger and now as, um, Slightly wiser than I once was. It’s like, you should definitely like work smart, not hard, you know, and move forward at a pace that doesn’t approach burnout or respects your life.

Cause that’s the whole point of working well.

Marc Benzakein: [00:20:21] Yeah. And that’s the thing is we have to put things in perspective. I had a conversation with somebody just yesterday about this whole concept of a lot of the things. The pressures that we put on ourselves are just really. Kind of crappy constructs built by society, right.

And one of them is this concept of money when you get right down to it. I mean, we all like making money. Like I’m a capitalist. Clearly I run a business, you know, uh, I’m a capitalist by that same token, we look at money as like the end all be all sign of success because I think human beings like to take the path of least resistance.

And money is the easiest scorekeeper. There is on planet earth, right? You have a dollar that is a scorekeeper, right? You have a dollar, I don’t have it. You have a higher score than me. It’s really simple. It’s really easy. And this is the way that society has programmed us. Right? And so all these intangible things that I think we’re starting to become aware of, and I really am fascinated by these younger generations.

I mean, most of my people sit there and talk, you know, about bad mouth millennials, a bad mouth generation, X, Y, and Z, or Y and Z. I’m actually an ex I’m not a boomer. Um, so. But, um, they bad mouth them. And I think that it’s been a tradition kind of in American society in particular to always, you know, disrespect the younger generations.

And as a result, the younger generations kind of disrespect the older generations because, well, they’re not gonna listen to me. Why should I listen to them? And I think it’s a real shame because I have learned so much. Because I work in an industry full of young people that are half of my age and younger, and I listened to their idealisms and I listened to their frustrations and I listened to all these things.

And I think, man, there’s so much to be learned here, except for all of these things are so intangible. They’re not all about the money. You know, money is a tangible thing that we’ve created. In order to define value. And the reality is I think that I look at like these younger generations and I think, oh my goodness, money is not the big thing to a lot of them.

What’s a big thing is what are we doing? To make the world a better place for everybody. One of the reasons I was attracted to the WordPress community is because of the fact that it’s a community. Everybody wants everybody to do well. Now, WordPress, like everything else is kind of maturing and you’re starting to see that go away a little bit.

I fear, but what attracted me to it seven, eight years ago was this sense of community where. You could have somebody who may be a multimillionaire. And go to this really inexpensive conference, you can approach that multimillionaire and say, Hey, I’m having a problem with that. And they’ll sit down and spend an hour with you to help you with it.

And you know, you wouldn’t even know they’re a multimillionaire, except for somebody comes up and says, oh, Hey, you know, that’s the guy from. So, and I look at some of the people that some of these people have helped and I’ve seen what they’ve become in the last seven or eight years. And I’m like, that’s the way the society is supposed to work.

We have. Social construct of money that we’ve created that we keep score with. But the other really tangible thing that we have is time. Right. And some people say time is a social construct too well. Yeah. But you only have so much of it. Right. I mean, we all die at some point in time. So there is a finite amount of time.

So when someone gives you some of their time, even if they’re horror is dirt financially, they’re giving you a part of their life. Right. And so. That to me has more value, even though it is not necessarily as tangible. And I can’t put my hands on it and I can’t trade it. That to me is more valuable than money is.

And I think that kids, while. Kids will still be kids. And they think they’re going to live forever because I still sometimes wake up and can’t believe I’m 53. I think I’m 18. And I still think I’m going to live forever. So if I think I’m going to live forever, I know that a 14 year old is going to think that they’re going to live forever, but they still seem to have a better understanding of what it is to respect someone’s time and, and what it is to value some of these other things besides money.

And I’m, I’m really hopeful about all of that. I have concerns that the world is just too big and it will just suck all of that away from them. But it’s really fun for me to watch. I really enjoy watching. You know where things are going.

Joe Howard: [00:25:20] Yeah. I think that probably a lot of people have similar opinions to you in terms of younger generation.

I do too. I’m I’m, you know, maybe slightly closer to the younger generation than you are mark.

I think you are. I believe not, maybe not. Maybe. Unless time is truly, truly a social construct and we get to do whatever we want with it then, you know.

But I still think that about the gen Z people who are, you know, just one generation younger than me, I’d be interested to hear some of your thoughts around, um, like I feel like as a capitalist and as a business owner, And someone who enjoys growth that his business, I enjoy working on that kind of stuff.

I am also very cognizant and tried to be very cognizant of the fact that it needs to be responsible growth. And it’s not just like growth at all costs. Like there has to be a, a scalable and purposeful way to grow and do well as a company, but also do well for all the communities we touch. Part of what I feel like is a huge issue is the financial discrepancy between, you know, the 1% and the, and the 9%.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s hard as coming from someone who is like a semi-successful entrepreneur and like, I’m not the richest guy in the world. I don’t want the biggest company in the world, but I’m definitely like somewhat well off. And so I feel like it’s still, that this challenge is. Regardless of where my placement is, and that is the huge challenge for not just America, but probably the world I’d be interested to hear.

Like, what do you think about like how that fits in with the next generation? Not necessarily caring as much or not, not maybe having money be the number one driver of everything that they do when it’s kind of clear that like, The 1% now controls a lot. And how, how, how has next generation supposed to take over that mantle?

And that’s where my actually that’s a little bit where my concern is. Uh, my concern is right now, I’ve watched specifically gen Y um, go from, and.

It makes up the gyms, which how, how old are they?

Marc Benzakein: [00:27:28] Gen Z is like ages like 15 to like 22, something like that. They’re the youngest, my son. So my son is a gen Z and I guess this is a gen Z that I’m talking about because I’ve been okay.

So I’ve watched. Eli is going to be 16 this next month. And he’s kind of at the younger end of the gen Z. I don’t know what comes after gen Z. Is it, you know, gen a one? I don’t know. I don’t know what they’re going to call it. Um, but gen Z, they have this idealism and I’ve seen them go from high school where they’re.

Super super activist and anti-capitalist, and anti-this, and, and, you know, fro equal rights and all these things that are, you know, human rights and all these things that are super, super important. And all these ideals that I feel like we’ve lost here in America a lot. And then go to college. I’m talking about like some of the older gen Zs now.

And there’s still anti-capitalism, you know, they still have these ideals, but at the same time, they’re recognizing that in order to survive in this world, I have to make a living. I’ve got this student debt, that’s going to be a hundred thousand dollars when I get out. And I got to figure out how I’m going to pay that off, or 200,000 or whatever it is these days.

Right. And so all of a sudden, all of those pressures suck that passion out of them to where they become nothing but practical. And I think that that is a great shame, but I’ve watched it happen to people I’ve watched it and I’ve observed and thought. Man. I remember how inspired I was by you when you got out of high school and you were so ready to charge and everything.

And now all of a sudden you’re worried about what your career is going to be, whether you enjoy your career or not, because you got to pay off your student loans or because you got to make a living or, or whatever it might be. And I think what kind of society have we created, where we take these people that are idealistic.

And have, you know, good ideals and we turn them into us. It kills me a little inside to see that.

Joe Howard: [00:29:42] I’m with you. I I’ve got, you know, a good number of friends who are lawyers. My wife’s a lawyer. She hasn’t practiced law, but she works at, uh, uh, she does, you know, legal justice, nonprofit work. So she doesn’t technically practice, but she’s in that world, uh, that legal world.

But I also have friends who are lawyers and do like commercial law and, or, or, or they work for a big firm. It was funny, seeing those people when I was really just starting WP buffs, because I wasn’t making any money, like WOS was barely, it was just barely a thing. And I was just kind of this guy who was like, this is tiny thing I’m doing.

It’s like not even really a thing. It’s almost not even worth talking about like, that’s like what I do. And then I have friends who are making, you know, $300,000 a year and then getting like a hundred thousand dollars bonus at the end of every year. And so like, Part of what society I feel like it’s told us to do is like, I should be jealous of those people.

Like look at the huge salaries they’re making. When in fact, I think in a lot of cases, it’s the other way around. I think I look at them and like working 80 hours a week, a hundred hours a week, week after week after week after week, like that is not freedom. Like you are maybe earning a big salary, but w what’s your life like, and honestly, what, based on what you said, cause they have $150,000 in student loans.

Marc Benzakein: [00:30:53] Yeah. That they’re going to be paying off until they’re in their fifties.

Joe Howard: [00:30:57] And also in terms of like the experience I’ve had as an entrepreneur, like, I have a lot of beef, I feel like with like fortune 500 companies, like doing whatever they want to like any time and like buying off politicians and like all this stuff, but I’m like also like a capitalist, like, well, part of me feels like you’re like fighting fire with fire.

It’s like, it’s created a life for yourself that is like, As about as free as it can be while still kind of playing within the, like, you have to do probably do something to make a living. At some point, I feel pretty free in that. And so I know that like the quote unquote, capitalism gets a bad rap sometimes as it should for certain reasons.

But it’s also like a really important tool in my mind for someone who doesn’t have much of anything, they can, what we said earlier, like take a hundred bucks and buy a domain, start a business. Work forward on it for a few years and like have freedom to live a life they like, so I don’t know. It’s complicated.

Marc Benzakein: [00:31:51] Well, it is a complicated conversation and I don’t. You know, I, I know I sound like it. I don’t hate capitalism. I don’t hate money. I, you know, they say money is the root of all evil. I mean, the thing about money is it is, like you said, it’s just a tool. It is a tool to go to. It’s a means to an end. It is just a tool.

I do have a problem, you know, similarly to you, I have, uh, at some level I have a problem with fortune 500 companies, you know, like for instance, Amazon not paying taxes, but then I think, well, okay, If I had Amazon and there were loopholes for me not to pay taxes, would I not pay tax? Probably. Yeah. So can I just, do I have.

Joe Howard: [00:32:31] Do I like in Texas, as a business owner, like not, especially like fake taxes, you know?

Marc Benzakein: [00:32:35] And, and I may even have people like Warren buffet that say we should change the laws, but until we change the laws, I’m not going to pay taxes. I mean, that’s pretty much what he says, you know, between the lines. That’s what he’s saying.

Joe Howard: [00:32:46] Honestly, like that’s one of those things that I. I feel like as like a pretty like liberal person, I should be like, fuck that.

Like, that’s crazy. Like they should be taxes, but like if 70% of my taxes didn’t go to the department of defense, like I’d probably be way more willing to spend to pay taxes. Right. Like, I don’t like that either. You know? And I’m sure a lot of people don’t like that fact.

Marc Benzakein: [00:33:03] I had this crazy idea years ago back when I was young and idealistic and not at all realistic, but.

I thought, wouldn’t it be great if every year when you pay your taxes, you get to put a check box, buy everything you want your tax money to go to. Right. So let’s go to that rather than going to the polls to vote on bills and things like that. Basically you’re, you know, they say we’re a capitalistic society.

You vote with your dollar. Okay. You’re truly voting with your dollar if you say, okay, I don’t want my money to go to department of the pants. Well guess what department of defense closes down? Because, because it’s not getting any money, you know, and, and I don’t necessarily believe we don’t need it department of defense, but, but the reality is when the, when the well dries up, because the taxpayers are not giving them the right amount of money.

So there’s my idealistic point of view. However, I am also realistic enough to know there’s way too many programs for anybody to spend that much time. Number one, and number two, I don’t trust humanity enough to think that they would make the right decisions. I actually think that in general, People would say, yeah, we do need the world’s biggest army and yeah, we do need the world’s biggest military.

We need to, you know, and so-and-so would still be starving on the street because nobody wants to put the money towards programs, welfare or things like that that are absolutely flawed without a doubt. However, imagine a world where we have none. It’s, it’s a very complicated conversations. Much more complicated than this one hour that we have, basically.

Joe Howard: [00:34:37] Yeah, totally, totally cool, man. Um, second, last thing we always do in this podcast, why don’t you tell folks a little bit about where they can find you online server press? I don’t know if you’re on social media, that kind of stuff.

Marc Benzakein: [00:34:47] I’m on. I’m on social media ads, mark Benzac and that’s Marc with a C. So it’s M a R C B E N Z a K.

I’m on Instagram also mark Benzac. I liked to go out with my camera equipment every now and then, and actually. Photographs, some cool things and I’m on Facebook as little as possible, but I am on Facebook.

Joe Howard: [00:35:08] Yeah. I’m with you on that. Cool. Uh, and server Okay.

Marc Benzakein: [00:35:11] And server and WP site

Um, those are both. Yeah. Those are a couple of our workflow tools that we have and we’re coming out with some really big and cool things in the next couple of months. So.

Joe Howard: [00:35:23] Cool. Keep we’ll keep our eyes peeled for that. Uh, last thing I like to ask our guests to do is to ask our audience and our listeners for a little apple podcast review.

So if you wouldn’t mind asking folks to leave us a review, I’d appreciate it.

Marc Benzakein: [00:35:33] Okay. Everybody leave a review on apple podcasts and things like that. I don’t have an apple, so I don’t even know what that means.

Joe Howard: [00:35:42] They’re like, what the hell is talking about?

Marc Benzakein: [00:35:43] I have a flip phone. I have a Motorola flip. Well from 2001.

Joe Howard: [00:35:47] No. Excellent. And you’re smart. No tracking. No one’s tracking. And the Facebook’s not tracking. Mark, baby.

Marc Benzakein: [00:35:53] That’s the way to do it.

Joe Howard: [00:35:54] Nice. If people want to leave us in apple podcast review, just go to WP forward slash review. Uh, redirect you right there. If you are on a apple device or a Mac, if you leave a review, you can just leave a star rating, but.

If you want leave a comment, that’d be cool too. Uh, something you learned from this episode, and we can send a screenshot to mark and say, thanks for helping us get this, uh, this review. Uh, it also helps us to know what topics in the future we want to do. So we get a few good reviews. This episode we’ll have mark back on.

We’ll have mark back on regardless, but we’ll have him on sooner. Yeah. If you, at least if he has some reviews about it and it also just helps us know what kind of content to do in the future. So. Hey, we’ll have more of these kinds of conversations in the future. So cool. Thanks everybody for that. If you are a new listener to the show, we’ve got a hundred plus episodes that we’ve done in the past.

Over a couple of years now, go to WP forward slash podcast. There’s a search bar right there. You can go search for whatever you’re having a challenge with right now. Pricing churn, lifetime value, those kind of all specific metrics, but anything having a challenge with your business, we’ve talked about a ton of stuff on the show, so I’m sure you’ll find an older episode or fueled episodes you can binge to help you with that.

That is all for this week on the podcast. Uh, we will be in your earbuds again next Tuesday, mark. Thanks again for being on, man.

Marc Benzakein: [00:37:11] Thank you for having me really enjoyed it.

Joe Howard: [00:37:13] Hey everybody.

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