Eddie Thomason, bestselling author, speaker, consultant, and creator of the Simply Secure podcast, comes to Hacker Valley Studio to discuss financial independence, the freedom of a healthy work-life balance, and habits that have helped him succeed. As a father of two with a full-time job and a thriving content creation career, Eddie explains not only how he does it all, but also how much he cares about helping other security professionals achieve the same level of success.
[00:00] Eddie’s background & his current cyber role with Data Locker
[06:07] Growing up in Baltimore City & finding his podcasting inspiration
[13:10] Balancing work & life with calendar planning
[19:13] 4 essential habits: reading, listening, association, & work
[28:20] Advice for digital content creators & security professionals
Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and AttackIQ for bringing this episode to life!
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What is the connection between cybersecurity and this financial independence and freedom mindset you have?
In his book, on his podcast, and throughout his career, Eddie has emphasized the importance of financial independence, especially when it comes to diversifying his income. Instead of calling his projects and revenue streams “side hustles,” Eddie prefers to think of them as baby businesses; small businesses in the infant stage that have massive professional potential. With COVID severely changing Eddie’s economic perspective, he firmly believes in having multiple sources of income and in fostering the growth of each project until he’s seeing revenue to rival the full-time income he already makes in his day job.
“If you look at it as a side hustle, that's all it's ever going to be, it's just something that creates a little bit of extra income, but if you look at it as a baby business, that could really replace the income that you currently make.”
How do you balance content creation, day-to-day job responsibilities, and fatherhood?
Being an author and a cybersecurity consultant can both already be demanding jobs, but throwing 2 young children and an entire podcast into the mix makes Eddie’s success borderline hard to believe. However, Eddie credits his success to understanding his priorities and heavily managing his calendar. Entrepreneurs need to think of their schedules down to the minute, maybe even the second. Eddie is not afraid to set aside time for his children, even if it means he has to work in the evenings on his own entrepreneurial goals. Eddie knows that when he puts his calendar together, he is giving himself the time he needs and deserves to work and spend time on what’s important to him, even alongside all his other responsibilities as an employee.
“If you're going to work for 8 hours a day for somebody else's dream, then why can't you come home on a daily basis and give yourself at least 2 hours? We're not talking about a whole nother 8, but give yourself at least two hours. From the hours of 5 to 7, what can you do to invest in yourself?”
What are some successful habits you’ve picked up throughout your life and that you mention in your book, Unlock Yourself?
Four successful habits guide Eddie through his busy life as an entrepreneur and full-time worker, the first of which is reading. Reading is a source of knowledge and connection with others, and Eddie has learned amazing lessons from reading books and articles. The second is listening, which, just like reading, offers Eddie the ability to learn and to connect with the world. Coming in third is association. Surrounding himself with people who inspire him and are dedicated to his goals reminds Eddie of how badly he wants this. Fourth and finally, work. Putting in the work without expecting the success to happen overnight helps Eddie with his patience and always leads to a much better payoff.
“If you surround yourself with incredible people who inspire you and uplift you and encourage you, then there's no reason why you should not get to your goal. There's no reason why you should give up because you have people that understand how badly you want to accomplish your goals. They won't let you quit on yourself.”
Do you have advice for those looking to achieve success similar to you?
Although it may seem daunting to tackle a career as extensive as Eddie’s, Eddie is confident that his mindset around work can help anyone become successful. Most specifically, amongst all the entrepreneurial advice Eddie gives, his strongest point centers around understanding the “why.” Knowing why he does what he does not only helps keep Eddie on track for a solid work-life balance, it also allows him to see the impact his work has on the people around him. With his wife being a stay-at-home mom and his children being young, Eddie understands the necessity of his hard work and wants to inspire his family with his continued success.
“If I don't perform, the people around me suffer. If I don't do what I need to do, then the people around me are not going to be better off. The impact that it is going to have on them is so much heavier than the impact that it'll actually have on me individually.”
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