Finding What Fulfills You and the Negative Effects of Going Viral [Dillon Hill]
It can be hard to make a major impact on the world by yourself. It can even seem hopeless. Well, today’s guest should put a little hope back into your atmosphere. Dillon Hill (along with a small group of friends) are proving that it only takes one to start something MASSIVE and make a large impact on the world.
Nick (00:01): This is the Nine-Five podcast. And I'm your host Nick Nalbach where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build and grow your own online business. Welcome back to the Nine-Five Podcast. This is the show where we bring on entrepreneurs and business owners, so that we can help you start and grow your own business. And today we have a pretty exciting episode. I'm really excited to get into this topic today. And our guest today is Dillon Hill. So Dillon, welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast.
Dillon (00:40): Thank you for having me.
Nick (00:41): Absolutely, man. So you, you have a lot going on, you're doing a lot of stuff right now. So why don't you give the listeners a little bit of an idea of who you are and what it is you have going on? Yeah,
Dillon (00:53): I think a good indicator of the craziness that I'm up to. Um, I think if I remember correctly, I reached out to you and asked if you wanted to build the world's biggest trashcan together as sort of a lead in, uh, but ultimately, um, we, my friends and I, we work on a little thing called the, for another, and ultimately it is a series of what we call kindness projects, um, which are basically just creative ways to help other people. And we put them together, uh, typically through like social media and then we edit it all together into like a video so that people can participate. Um, an example is the world's biggest trashcan, which I'm sure we'll get into, but it's kind of a weird one. Um, a simpler example would be before the pandemic hit, we had a project where we wanted to challenge ourselves to visit as many children's hospitals as possible in seven days, because why not?
Dillon (01:43): I don't know where it came from, but whatever it was fun. Um, and, and it was really cool. Not only because we got to visit a bunch of children's hospitals in seven days. Uh, but it was extremely interesting because we were donating video games. That's something that I'm really passionate about. It's like video games as an escape. So we literally packed up 15 suitcases full of video games and went on this cross country road trip. And, um, that in itself is like a really cool pitch, but it became even more awesome when basically the process of how we decided where we would be going. So we could've just done where we're from here in California, but instead we asked people in our community to reach out to us if they wanted to participate. The idea was, you know, a lot of people they hear like visiting children's hospitals, and it's pretty wholesome to just like, hear that.
Dillon (02:26): It's nice that people spend time with kids that are stuck. Uh, but I found that a lot of people have hesitation. They're like, Oh, I can't do that. You know, I'm nervous. I don't know where to start. So we thought we would, um, we would kind of give people the opportunity to skip all the paperwork and stuff and then just kind of show up and join us for the fun. Um, so it was a nice little like meeting people from the internet, going to do something really nice. And then I'm still working on the documentary of the outcome. It was, uh, yeah, we did a lot of traveling in a very short amount of time. I think our average amount of sleep per night, it was like three hours. So make sense of it all because we lost our minds, but yeah, kindness projects like that, they're fun. They're creative. And a lot of the time they're unique and sometimes it don't make any sense at all, but that's what it's all about.
Nick (03:12): Well, that's awesome. And you guys are having a lot of fun doing it. It definitely looks like where you said you guys were traveling around, where all did you go? Where all did you go was like all across the country or you kind of stick to the West coast or where?
Dillon (03:23): Yeah. So is that as far as actual children's hospitals, a lot of them were on the East coast. We're from the West coast. So we say across the country, uh, but we went to Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and Arbor. I think, I think that's all of them. Again, the timeline is like a haze to me, but I think it was a in seven days and no casualties, which was the biggest, the biggest thing.
Nick (03:46): That's awesome. That, that looks, that sounds like a lot of fun. Now I want to get into all of this here, but before we do that, one thing I like to ask all of the guests that come on the show, and if you are a past listener of the podcast, you know, that I like to ask, what is your super power? And when I say superpower for anybody who might not know what I mean, I mean, like, what does that one thing that you think that you just kind of crush it at? Or maybe if someone needs help with a certain thing they come to you or you just think that you are the go-to guy for this one thing. What do you think your superpower would be
Dillon (04:18): Casual? Or maybe not casual, but honest optimism. I'm just like, okay. Yeah. I, I think there's some people out there that, you know, someone like Mr. Rogers, where personally, I feel like that's a little bit like not realistic optimism. I feel like people come to me in there when they need optimism, but they don't want someone to just say, it'll be okay. More like, Hey, listen, things are tough right now, but there is a way out. And I think you can do it. Here's how I would do it. Maybe that helps kind of,
Nick (04:47): I really liked that. Cause it's not like, I dunno, it's not over the top of like false hope type stuff. It's like realistic optimism, honest optimism. I like that.
Dillon (04:55): Try to be. Yeah. I think my angle is like, I'm naturally myself. I'm pretty pessimistic. Like I complain about it. Like, I, I, you know, I'm in the weeds a lot of the time, like it's, it's hard to experience. Life really is what it comes down to. Um, but I understand the value of optimism. So I think that's the angle I come from is like, I need the optimism. And so it's not just like natural to me.
Nick (05:19): Right. And it's, it's probably, I mean, it's something that when you look at yourself, it's a lot harder to recognize things. So when other people come to you, it's like, Oh yeah, definitely. Like this is optimism. Like we can bring optimism to the table, but then when the roles are reversed, it's you on the other end, it's not so hard to wreck or not so easy to recognize that. Yeah. That's awesome that you, I guess, do recognize that and you can kind of bring that to the table. I think that's really cool.
Dillon (05:43): Yeah.
Nick (05:45): So Live For Another. That is actually it is a docu series, correct?
Dillon (05:50): Um, yeah, it's tough because when we say documentary, it sounds like we're good at filmmaking. It's more like a, I guess, videos, but even that isn't quite giving us enough credit because we are really passionate about telling compelling stories. Um, but we do so in a way where, like, we're kind of, um, we're goofy and weird and like, you know, we, we have like the YouTube style of editing, but we also do want to talk about really important things like loneliness or, um, feeling valuable and kind of big topics.
Nick (06:20): Right? No, that that's really cool. And I guess where did, where did all the motivation for this come from? Like, what is the driving force behind this? Did you just wake up one day and you're like, let's go do this. Or was there more meaning and reason behind this whole, I guess the whole Live For Another brand?
Dillon (06:37): Yeah. Um, I think fundamentally, um, Live For Another is something that I need, like I said, like I'm inherently pretty pessimistic. And so having like, focusing on kindness is like a lot of the time I kind of have to force myself to do it cause it's my job at this point, but I always see the benefit of it. Right. And like, I mean, it's not kindness towards me. It's kind of towards other people, but even just that process of coming up with an idea, executing it and then seeing someone really positively influenced by it. Like it makes me feel good. Um, so I always say like our kindness projects in a way are almost like therapy sessions because the things that are important to us and things that we come up with, something that bothers us, we want to address it through kindness. And it's a, yeah, it's really helpful to, to look through that way.
Dillon (07:21): Um, those are the emotions behind it. Practically speaking, we did Def definitely did not plan Live For Another it's something that came about out of desperation. Um, in 2017, my, my childhood friend who was diagnosed with yeah. Um, doctors gave him a terminal diagnosis of one to two years. Of course, when he called me and told me that I heard one year, um, and that's kind of the way we took the situation. Um, and then we talked about it and ultimately I remember like ending the phone call, set the phone down and I just had to go right back to my econ homework. And it was like this really weird situation of, I can't, I don't want to spend my time in a lecture hall knowing that someone that really important to me, um, is, you know, potentially not going to be here soon. And so I called them back.
Dillon (08:01): I'm like, dude, let's come up with a bucket list. And um, you know, you quit your job, I'll drop out of college and we're going to do everything we can to make it happen. Um, so we did that and it went ridiculously viral. Well, at least for us, we started from like, we didn't have a following of any sort, right? Like at one point we were planning on going door to door, to fundraise for our bucket list, but we posted a video. And in the first day I had a half a million views at this point. Like our story has over 200 million views craziness. And, um, people were really kind to us. They, they gave us a lot of opportunities that we never would have had. And they had no reason to, right. It was just like where we were strangers on the internet, but they were willing to help us do these things that were on our bucket list.
Dillon (08:39): And so we did a lot of really cool stuff. Um, but eventually, you know, the reality still was, he had cancer. We focused, um, at that point we were like, okay, number four on our list is to break a world record. Now we wanted to break a world record that would somehow help other people. Cause we again were. So we always felt kind of bad that we were receiving this amount of support. Like we felt like we didn't deserve it. So we started to focus on like, okay, how can we like give this to other people? Because we don't, we don't deserve it kind of thing. Um, we were very grateful of course, but I guess that's how our brains work. Um, anyway, we wanted to break the world record for the most bone marrow donor sign-ups he had leukemia. That was something that was basically what he needed to beat cancer.
Dillon (09:18): And so we did a whole bunch of social media campaigns to beat this world grappler. And over 13,000 people, they signed up, which was the world record. We beat it. And, um, which is amazing, right? That's like when the confetti goes out incredible that we were able to do that. But we later come to find out that one of those people, some random stranger that watched our videos was actually the one that would end up being his donor and saving his life. And that was, you know, that was confetti at that point coming out of my brain because I was just blown away. And you know, that feeling of like, we don't deserve this, just took it to the next level. And, and it kind of, we just wanted to say, thanks, I guess really was the reason I started. I wanted to say, thanks by just continuing to help other people. And it just grew from there into realizing that that's something I'm passionate about. That's something that, um, helps me get through things. You know, some people might do cooking or woodworking to get through life. In my case, like I try to help other people. It's just kind of what excites me. I guess that's the first like, idea that comes to my head when I'm having a shower thought,
Nick (10:20): Dude, I may have to say, wow, like, Hey I have, he probably can't see it on the camera, but I have goosebumps listened to you talk about this. Like that is so incredible. That's such an amazing story. And the fact that you were able to help find that donor and get all these other people to participate in that and engage and be a part of this, not even just the world record, but it's so much bigger than that. And the fact that you were able to kind of be instrumental in shaping that is incredible. Like I think you guys deserve everything that you guys got out of that to say that we don't feel like we deserve it. I feel like hell no, you guys totally do because you guys are making such an impact like that is so cool. Thank you. So, one thing that I did want to touch on, because obviously this is very much a business entrepreneurial oriented podcast, but something that you're talking about here throughout the whole thing, you guys kind of picked it up, you guys said that you were just doing it to kind of, I would say, feel more fulfilled.
Nick (11:15): And I think that's something that a lot of times getting into the entrepreneur space entrepreneurship is somewhat glorified and the whole business like that whole deal is just like, Oh, look at this overnight success, millions of dollars, like who raw, like super cool, but really the success comes from to truly experience success. I think that there has to be some level of fulfillment that comes with that. And that could mean that you make $10 million and you go donate it or you, I don't know, maybe you just enjoy the journey or something. There has to be something more than just like a monetary goal in mind. And I think what you guys are doing like you guys are after that fulfillment and that is coming from right. Being able to give to the community and I guess do something bigger than yourselves and all of us. And I think that's just very important to keep in mind as we're going through all of this, trying to build businesses or break free from the nine to five, which is a lot of what we talk about on this podcast. It's not just about the financial freedom. There's more to it than that. There's that fulfillment level. I just think exactly what you're talking about is perfect.
Dillon (12:20): Yeah. It's, it's interesting. When I was going to college, it was, uh, for business, especially like marketing and I don't know, it seems like a pretty common theme when you're looking for like strategies and marketing is to, um, focus on like the feeling that your product or your service provides people. Right? It's like, don't make me feel good. I don't make you sexy all these different things. We're kind of like the opposite where it's like, we already kind of have the feeling, but now we're trying to like, for lack of a better way to say it, monetize it as opposed to try to find a feeling and a monetization kind of along the lines of what you're saying, where it's like, yeah, it's we have the passion and like we have the purpose and now we're kind of working backwards in a way. And I'll say it's just as hard as, as the normal way of doing things. Like it's just, yeah, it's, it's difficult. And it's,
Nick (13:05): I guess the way that, the way that I kind of see that you you're doing something that's fulfilling. Yes. The monetized H the monetization of it all and everything that comes with that is, I don't know, you might be able to speak better to it than me, but I feel like that's more of a bonus at this point. Cause you guys are doing so much more than that. Like it's not about the money. It's a different side effect.
Dillon (13:25): Yeah. I completely agree when it comes to like individual finances, right? The difficulty is when you come up with ideas, like building the world's biggest trashcan you have, there has to be like monetization strategy or, you know, you're traveling across the country, 15 suitcases full of PlayStation for us. Like that's our trouble now. Like I don't expect, I never expect to become a millionaire from this, but I dream of the day and you know, every day I wake up thinking like, how can I, what can I come up with to be able to just have the funds to be able to do our big China's and you know, we come up with an act of kindness that we want to do. We just do it. And we don't have to think about like saving up or, or anything. Yeah. So it's, I completely agree, personally, the fulfillment is everything I could ever ask, but I'm like, I'm so close. Just not quite there because the big ideas that I know would fulfill me a lot. Aren't quite accessible because of the monster.
Nick (14:20): No, no, that definitely makes sense. It's not so much about the money for you. It's about money to fund these, to do the things that are fulfilling for me. Right? Exactly. No. Okay. I got you. I got you. Yeah. It's complex. No, I think it makes perfect sense. So let's talk about this world's largest trashcan. As, as you mentioned at the beginning of this, when you reached out, you said, Hey, do you want to be a part of helping me build the world's largest trashcan? And then you just kind of left it like that. So then I'm like, what the hell is he talking about after? No. So for everyone listening, I actually got on a call with Dillon before we set up this interview and everything, we kind of discussed what he's got going on. So I was familiar. I couldn't just book the interview and just wait that long. So why don't you tell everybody what this means? What is the world's largest trashcan?
Dillon (15:07): Yeah, I think I said in our previous call as well, that it was definitely some amount of clickbait and just trying to get a response, but no, I think it's one of the projects that we are actively trying to fundraise for. Um, in fact, I was rejected for a grant this morning for it, but basically, um, it's, it's sprouted from an idea that a lot of people have been doing called the trash tech challenge. And basically you take a before and after photo of like a park, a river, uh, some sort of nature area that's covered in trash, you and your friends, you cleaned it up. And then you, you compare before and after share a picture with you and a bunch of trash bags. Cause all my mind is sort of like, it was only a list of inspirations for a long time. And I kept seeing it.
Dillon (15:46): I'm like, I don't know, I don't know what I want to do, but I want to do something related to this. Cause I think it's beautiful that people are sharing this and it's turning in bigger and bigger and bigger, you know, some guy in Kansas does it. And the next thing you know, some guy in India is doing it. That's the kind of stuff I love. Um, and then eventually I saw a picture of, um, I think it was like 1912 or something. Right? Black and white photo in New York city. There was this giant trashcan that was filled with litter. And then the sign said something like, you know, this is how much litter New York creates. And some amount of time, I think it was like a week or something. Uh, and then it kind of clicked. I was like, Oh, that's what we should do.
Dillon (16:19): We should build a giant trashcan. And the beauty of this challenge that people are doing is like this weird, like shared connection. Like we're going against the geography of being so far from each other, but we all have this shared experience of cleaning up our neighborhood. And I don't know, I just thought it was beautiful. So what if we all, we've kind of visualize that in a way. And we filled up a giant trashcan. Um, the reason that we haven't done it yet is we want to basically take it on a tour, probably the West coast I'm thinking. Um, but of course the trashcan is massive. It would need to be about 16,000 gallons. I think that would be about two and a half, three stories tall. So if you're taking it on a tour, you can't exactly put that thing on the back of a truck and then drive around town or to different cities. So it would need to be like this crazy design where like we can tear it down and build it back up and then you haul the track, very complicated sort of logistics to it. Um, so we're fundraising for it and that's why I mentioned it. Um, cause you and I literally will not be building a giant trashcan, but rather trying to get the word out kind of thing.
Nick (17:22): Right. That's interesting. So have you guys, you guys are still funding it right now. Do you have everything figured out like how to build it and everything years waiting for the trying to collect the funds and raise the funds for it?
Dillon (17:32): Yeah. So my dad's actually a blacksmith and he's got a whole team and stuff, so they would have the design down, uh, I guess we should have drawn. Cause that would be awesome to have, but it's in, someone's head on how to do it. So yeah, we, uh, it's just about comes down to like figuring out, um, building the trashcan and then from there it's easy. It's like where to take it, stuff like that. So is
Nick (17:51): This, would this be another Guinness world
Dillon (17:53): Record? Yeah. It's interesting. You ask that it would be the one that's currently in the book, but a couple of years, well, maybe many years back at this again has changed their business model. It turns out selling books as, and all that profitable. So they actually charge you to be in the book. And it's in the case of the, um, when we were doing the, uh, bone marrow drive, it was $10,000 and we decided the fulfillment of doing the act was more important than being in the book. And I think that would be the same case here. Um, where it's, we purposely go out of our way to beat the existing record, but like, I feel like we could use that money somewhere else,
Nick (18:30): But yeah, $10,000. Are you kidding?
Dillon (18:31): That's what it was for the bone marrow. And I don't know if like maybe there's really popular records that are more exp I don't know how it works if it's a sliding scale or whatnot, but yeah.
Nick (18:39): Wow. That's, that's nuts. I didn't realize that. I didn't know they were doing that. It's crazy. Yeah. Dang. Okay. But you guys are going, going to beat it essentially. That's really interesting that at the time of this recording, um, would have been a week or two ago, I attended pod Fest, big podcasting virtual summit conference thing. And they, I think they've worked the record. They were supposed to have broken the record for the largest virtual event that's ever been held. And that was a very big, I guess, promoting factor because you become a part of the event. If you sign up for the event, you can actually, I guess, claim a certificate, basically seeing that you were a part of the Guinness world record. And I know they were using that a lot to help kind of promote this thing and get it hyped up, like be a part of this Guinness world record, like be a world record holder with us and be a part of the event kind of build that hype. So I just thought that was a really interesting way about marketing that and kind of getting the word out about it.
Dillon (19:37): Yeah. That reminds me of, uh, the second world record we broke for the longest pay it forward chain, you know, you pay for coffee for the guy behind you in line. We, um, yeah, that was, that got out of control. Um, so we were actually helping, um, a cancer patient named Lexi with her bucket list. I think he was like number 13 or something. She wanted to pay for someone else's meal. So we start, you know, we, we flew her out from Ohio to California. She was there for about a week. We do all these different things on our bucket list. And then we sent her home, we walked into a restaurant and we paid for like a couple of people's meals and it just didn't feel awesome enough. It just kinda felt, I mean, it was, you know, they obviously appreciated it, but it wasn't like, I dunno, it wasn't exciting.
Dillon (20:16): Um, to quite the extent that we, we were hoping for. So we planned another event where we partnered with a local coffee shop to put up some flyers about the story. And basically we just kicked it off by paying for the person behind us. That was day one of this trip that we had planned with Lexi. So, you know, we expected it to last maybe a couple hours or something, right? Well, no, it turns out people were really into the idea of being a part of this world record and I really wanted to make it happen. So it ended up lasting, I think it was 36 hours and over 3000 people continued the chain, which there's a couple interesting things about that. First one is that like 3000 than one guy or however, I have to look back at the footage to remember how many, but that last guy, I just, sometimes I just fantasize about that conversation where they're like, Hey sir, how you doing guy in front of you paid for you, we've been doing it for about 3000 people. What do you think? And then he's like, no, no, I'm good. Cause like you mentioned, there's sort of like, um, it's cool to like be a part of something. And I think, I think we probably sort of, I bet people probably felt obligated at a certain point. So it's really interesting thing about the last guy
Nick (21:22): Going to be the last, I'm not going to be the only person I of 2,998 that don't do it. Yeah,
Dillon (21:28): Yeah, exactly. But it was this one guy that's like, yeah, no I'm good. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, of course like, no, you don't have to do it. But I think about like social obligation of like, it must have been interesting for that guy. Um, but it was funny because it was the first day of our trip. And then like the next day we were doing a fashion show for Lexi. The day after that, um, we bought a bunch of billboards across our city to surprise her with, because she wanted billboard. We had all these things planned. Right. And because this lasted 36 hours, we had to like keep interrupting the other things we were doing to go and call and see if the thing was still happening. So it's really interesting. Like I'm still working on the video for the, um, pay it forward chain. But at one point, like there's an update where we're standing on a fashion show stage and I'm like dressed in this really weird outfit and I'm like, okay, Lexi, just so you know, it's still happening because it lasted way longer than we expected it to people kind of took it and ran with it as well. That's incredible, man. That's so cool. It's crazy.
Nick (22:20): And I just, I really love, I just keep thinking about this as we're talking, like, I love how you're getting so many people involved. Well, you said just paying for someone's coffee. Wasn't enough. You guys had to take it like big, you guys took it like next level with everything you guys are doing. I think that is just the coolest fricking thing.
Dillon (22:36): Yeah. I think the, I don't know what the logic is behind that. I think it's, I think our ultimate goal is like everyone has a certain capacity to be a good person. The issue is, is maybe sometimes it's a lack of resources. Sometimes it's a, it's a lack of like motivation. But I think the biggest thing is, is like the, the comparison aspect. Like you see people on social media, you see mentioning Mr. Rogers again, poor guy. I'm really beating him while he's down. Uh, you know, Steve Irwin, people like these like really figures of kindness and it makes you feel like maybe you're not enough, right? Like opening the door. Isn't gonna, isn't gonna make a difference. I think our goal is to say the small things matter. If everybody makes these small steps and we do it together, then it turns into something really spectacular. It's almost like the, uh, what is it with recycling? Like think locally act globally or something like that. Maybe that's the words. Yeah. That's backwards. But what did you get the point? Yeah. It's like a small steps to the big thing. And I'm usually like, I guess when we set up opportunities like that, it seems like people really take it and run away.
Nick (23:35): I think that everything you're saying right here is I want to take a second and kind of highlight this because that is amazing as human beings, like we think we look on like a global scale or see stuff going on in the world and we think, well, I personally can't do anything. Like just me doing that. It's not going to do anything. That's not going to change the world. But if you get enough people to go with you and come with you, you can build this massive community and create a movement behind it. And all it takes is one person to get one other person. And then them to each up one person it's like it doesn't take a lot. It's the baby steps, but a bunch of baby steps equal to one massive one movement. And I think that is everything you're saying is such a powerful message. I think that is insane.
Dillon (24:20): Yeah. It's that? I think that's the most important thing I've learned through all of this is like the, you know, people are right. Yeah. It's not going, you're not going to become a millionaire overnight. It's not going to happen. You can dream it, but it's just not going to happen. But if you make a dollar every day, you'll get a lot closer, you know, you'll, you'll get there. Eventually compounding interest will take care of it. It's the same thing with like being kind in our case, right? Like, yeah. Okay. There's celebrities that can donate $500 million, which is great. That has a huge impact. But I think sometimes seeing that stuff is really discouraging. And I think, I think that's what people like about our content is it's. I mean, like we're just, and always to describe it. We are average dudes. We're awkward. We're we don't make any sense. We're goofy. And I think that's what's important is, is, you know, all the people like us can just do a little tiny bit. It makes a huge difference.
Nick (25:10): I love that. It's something that I've talked about on this podcast as well. And I mean, when it comes to a business, like you said, make a dollar a day. Something I like to say is help one person a day. Like you can look at all these people, like you said, that donate a lot of money or impact hundreds and thousands of people all at one time. And it can be discouraging because you're like, well, I can't have that kind of impact. What does me doing something gonna do to anything like my, my personal impact has no effect on anybody else. But if you can just focus on impacting one person at a time, it can lead into something massive. And that's exactly what you guys are doing. And you guys are starting with one small seemingly um, what's the word I'm looking for? Like seemingly insignificant step that gets more and more significant and it just becomes this big movement. And that is so cool.
Dillon (26:00): Yeah. If everyone thought that way, then they wouldn't, it wouldn't be insignificant because it would be everybody. Exactly.
Nick (26:06): Yeah. So that, I mean, it's insignificant, it's seemingly insignificant, but it's, it has the potential to be huge. I love that now. So that that's two world records that you were talking about right there. The trash can, will be number three. Do you guys have more like world records that you keep in your pocket? Right.
Dillon (26:25): There's there's only one more that we kind of cheat on a little bit because it hadn't existed beforehand. Um, there was this a young boy named Talon who had a dream of having a tennis ball fight. And so we were like, okay, well we could just throw some tennis balls at them, but that's not quite to the extent that it would be, you know, we wanted to go bigger than that. So we reached out to, um, geez, I don't know if it was, I probably should. That's not good, but anyway, tennis ball company, they, and they sent us 400 tennis balls. And so we gathered, I think it was like 150 to 200 people to, uh, basically we, you know, we had them on two sides and it was like Dodge ball on a football field, but with tennis balls in the middle, as opposed to a Dodge balls and, um, technically it would be a world record because no, one's weird enough to think of that situation. And it was like massive, but you know it at the same time because no one's done it. It's like we could have had three people and still technically claim it. So I guess that's like two and a half.
Nick (27:17): Well, that's really cool man now. Okay. I want to this second half of the episode here, I kind of want to get into the strategy behind how you've been able to do all this because I think it will be very beneficial for anybody, regardless if they're doing something like nonprofit or they're trying to do, trying to get community involved or build a business or whatever they're trying to do, what you're doing. Is there some kind of system to it or is it all random or what like, yeah. How do you start kind of building this movie?
Dillon (27:46): It's uh, we're I mean, there's so many things that we need to improve on, so yeah, we definitely don't have a formula to success. Like there's tons of stupid things that we've done that workout sums that don't, but I think the ultimate takeaway that makes it like capable of kind of going through it, right. Because I mean, obviously it's easy to work through this as successes because it makes you feel good and cool things happen, but the failure is the thing that make you work through those. I think in our case, at least it's sort of just remembering the people of, of the process and that can mean a couple of different things. So in our case, we're helping people, right? So if we help someone and in the video, doesn't get a lot of attention and the organization's goals don't work out. You remember, Hey, we made this person smile and like, fundamentally that's pretty spectacular.
Dillon (28:27): Like when you really think about it and making some random person smile is pretty big. Um, so thinking about it that way, but also like, I guess the numbers of it, right? It's like if, if we post a video and it gets 10 views, it's like, Holy crap, that, that sucks. You know, it's only 10 people, but then you start to thinking like that is 10 people who they are living their own, their own lives, they're doing their own thing. And like, that means a lot, I think. And, and in our case, I don't know how well that would translate to most businesses, but even in the case of, you know, say you're saying like candles or something, right. You sell two candles and you're like, Oh crap. I haven't even broken even all my expenses, but I don't know. That's cool to share that experience with two other people.
Dillon (29:07): And I don't know if that's really like financial or organizational at all advice, but it's almost sort of like Moesha, motivational and philosophy. Wow. I'm just really struggling with my words right now, philosophical. Um, I, I, yeah. I mean, I think it, you know, when it really comes down to it, it's just, it seems like that's what life is all about. And, and I think it's important to try to remember the, the interactions that you have, um, in whatever form they take. And I think that'll help you get through the difficulties of everything else that you're bound to face all the challenges, if you just, um, try to find some appreciation. And, you know, I say that you, you would be led to believe that I'm good at that. That's something I think about all the time. Right? Like I, I, you know, if something doesn't work out, I beat myself up over it.
Dillon (29:46): So really I try to re I'm telling myself this advice right now. Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time talking is because I'm not listening to myself. Um, but yeah, no, I th I think that's really important and that's something that, um, it'll help you because it'll help you appreciate the small steps to the big thing. Like you said, you're always looking for a million and not appreciating the tens, then you're going to get burned out and you just got to, you know, yeah. You got to think small and, and appreciate the smallness of it. I think it's very, uh, deep. No, I love it, man. Exactly. Put that in a spreadsheet,
Nick (30:19): Right? Yeah. I think it was Gary Vaynerchuk. I think it was Gary. He always talks about not focusing on the outcome, but the journey, right. Focusing so much on the goal. Like, obviously you have to have goals, but the end isn't, it shouldn't be your goal. That shouldn't be your, why it should be the journey to get there. That's your why. Yeah. And going back to like impacting one person, 10 people, like you said, if 10 people watch the video and you can impact 10 people. I mean, how many times do you go out of your way throughout the day to say how many people's lives could I possibly affect for the better throughout a given day? Yeah. There's probably not a lot of people that can say like, yeah, I actively sought out 10 people and I made them have a better day or I gave them a positive impact. Yeah. Right. And yeah, you're using a platform like video, even if it is 10 people and 10 people are like, Holy cow, like that was amazing. Like, I want to go do some, I want to pay it forward. Like that, looking at it from that angle. It's like, wow, that, that is a very powerful.
Dillon (31:18): Yeah. And it helps you, it's going to help you get through the, the difficulty that is running a business, just like the mindfulness of it. Yeah.
Nick (31:24): Well, and just knowing that those, I mean, those are the necessary steps to get to where you eventually want to be at. Like, you can't come out and impact millions all at once. Yeah. You have to start by impacting a few at a time. And I think that's, it's just a very powerful message. Like this whole conversation that we're having is I'm going to have to go back and relisten to this episode again and again, because I, I just love the message behind it. So powerful.
Dillon (31:47): Yeah. But I always don't know what to say because I get a lot of, you know, a lot of people say stuff like that and it's like, I think so. Thank you.
Nick (31:54): Yeah. Yeah. You just, thank you. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I just love what you guys are doing. I think it is such a powerful thing. And yet you're impacting people's lives for the better, like that's in my mind, that's an entrepreneurial mindset you're trying to impact people's lives for the better. Yeah. Being an entrepreneur, isn't all about making money. If I can help you, like, in my case, if I can help you start a podcast or I can help you show up higher in search engines, like that's my way of being able to help people. It's not necessarily the same thing that you're doing or like on that scale. But it's, it's my goal is to try to help you do that. And if money comes with that, then great, that's going to fund me to continue helping more people, just like what you're doing. You're not raising the money to say, look at all this money. I have you using it fund your next world record that you're trying to break. Right. So what you guys are obviously using the document, the docu, wow. Now I'm now I can't talk and say just the documentary series. Is it like a series, like a whole, like you're documenting each of your, I guess adventures. I don't even know what to call them.
Dillon (32:57): Yeah. So the way we have it broken down, I mean, yeah. I mean, broadly speaking. Yeah. It's a series, but it's, who knows really at this point. Um, but the way we talk about it amongst ourselves is sort of like three different categories. The first one is to help us just stay consistent and like be able to make easy content. We call it the bright side. And basically it's like a little news show where you, me being sort of like a pessimist, I try to talk about acts of kindness, but I do it in a way, or at least I try to where we don't want to just be like, Oh, look at this cute puppy. Life's amazing. No, it's like, Hey, listen, this kid has cancer. That really sucks. But on the right side, there is a little bit of a right side here.
Dillon (33:37): He got to play with this puppy or something. That's on a story that came across. But as an example, um, so it's like a new show. Um, the other one, uh, we've had a lot of success on TikTok. So we're trying to make just like quick 62nd videos. Uh, we're filming a couple this weekend. One of them is like, we're going to go to a drive-thru we're going to ask, um, you know, the worker there, what their favorite movie is, and then we're going to go and create a little gift basket in the theme of their favorite movie. The idea behind the movie is that we're sponsored by this movie recommendation app. So, so in that case, you know, we got to make a tie in, um, but we're going to come back and give it to them. And, you know, we're thinking like candy little, like, I don't know, a self care thing, maybe gift card, their favorite movie, maybe recommendation, but that isn't something nearly as grand as going on a cross country road trip.
Dillon (34:22): And so it's a little bit more solid, smaller scale. Um, we would call that the kindness fund and the really cool thing about the kindness fund in our case is we actually allow people to, of course they can invest in the kindness fund. We will always accept donations, but we also take ideas. So the whole idea with the kindness fund is people can donate and suggest ideas. So they might not have any money, but they might have ideas. Cool. We'll execute that idea for you. We'll, uh, we'll kind of bring the community together for kindness. And then, and then we call them Live For Another videos, which are like the big one. So it's a series in that we're trying to do all these things consistently. And like, it's all about kindness and it always includes mainly me, but us, um, doing these acts of kindness, always the same sense of humor, but it's kind of different. It's not quite serious in the sense of like breaking bad or something in that the same consistent quality and like storyline and things like that.
Nick (35:16): Yeah. No, I really like that. So you guys are on YouTube. You guys are on TikTok. Is it, is it mainly primarily social media? How you kind of get the word out or is it a lot of, I mean, you were talking about trying to get grants and funds like you guys are, it sounds like you guys are all over the place. You're not just online. You're in-person on the phone.
Dillon (35:35): Maybe not so much on the phone. Something I need to work on because I'm awkward, but no, yeah. It seems like local things really successful. Um, we did something called the catty candy catapult where, you know, October is when coronavirus cases started to get really up there at least locally. Um, so it just didn't make a lot of sense to go trick or treating. Um, so we thought, what if we brought the trick-or-treating to kids? So we built a giant larger than us trebuchet mounted it on the back of the truck, and then we'd launched candy to their front, sort of like a reverse trick-or-treating thing. Um, but in that case, like we put up local flyers and that's where we got a lot of the engagement from that. Um, so I guess it kinda just depends on what the idea is, you know, like conceptually we could not have made the, pay it forward chain work over social media. I mean, I guess we could, but it would have been something else. And the way that it existed then was something that could only happen. Whereas some of our other ideas only work online. So I guess it's just like wherever it makes sense for the weird ideas that we come up with
Nick (36:33): Seen throughout the various acts of kindness that you've done. Have you seen a, I guess either working locally and doing like the flyer type thing versus going online and doing social media, have you seen one typically work better than the other? Or is it just,
Dillon (36:47): Um, our biggest thing that I'm still working on is consistently like being all, doing all these things consistently. So it's hard to give a good answer because, you know, there's like so many variables we don't, we don't do it often enough to be able to, you know, to make a change and be like, Oh, that was the difference. Something we're working on. So it's hard to say, you know, it might've just been a good month. Maybe the flyer was particularly well-made versus the Facebook ad. So it's hard to say. Um, but yeah, I think, I think usually what works best is like combining the two, it seems like, it seems like that usually works pretty well or read or, or kind of think about the other when working on something. So it's social media based. We think about what people are experiencing, like in real life, beyond the computer screen, how they can get involved beyond the computer screen and vice versa where it's like, okay, if they're local, you know, they can sign up on the website kind of, I don't know if that answers, it
Nick (37:40): Helps. Yeah. Now something, when we were talking offline, you were talking, you mentioned something and it really caught my attention. So I want to wrap up with this and then we're going to kind of close up this show and let people know how they can take part and be a part of all these things that you have going on. But you talked about going viral and that's like a big goal of a lot of people. Like I need to go viral. Like, I didn't want to blow up, I need this overnight success, like going viral as a way to do it. But what you told me is that there are a lot of negatives that come with going viral. So I want to hear what your thoughts are on that. Like what is the dark side of going viral?
Dillon (38:18): Yeah. I think, I think a great example. You think of something like Instagram, right? And not even just the numbers of Instagram, but you know, there's a lot of research about how like little girls, little kids, they, they are looking at all these Photoshop images of bottles and stuff. And it sets your expectations to this really unhealthy level where you think that weighing hundred pounds is something that is the way you need to live your life. Now think about how much it would affect your brain. If you Photoshop images of your own body and then set your expectations. That way, it's kind of the same thing where if you go viral, you know how these big numbers to compare yourself against in the future. But if it doesn't work, then you're like, kind of in your own head. And you're like, why am I not like that?
Dillon (38:56): You know, like, okay, let's say we're looking at like Gary Vaynerchuk, right? You see his numbers. Anybody would love to have those numbers. You try something, it doesn't work out. You might be able to say, Oh, he's Gary. He it's okay that I can't do it because he's so big. Whereas if you're comparing against Dillon, right. And we're like, wait, that was the same me six months ago. Why am I not? What's what's wrong with me now? Why, what am I doing wrong? You know, maybe I'm getting stupid. Maybe this idea is not going to work all these different things where it kind of just puts a lot of blame on yourself for not being able to achieve these numbers. And it takes away from like the process, I guess it starts. Yeah. It just makes you second guess yourself. And it makes you not appreciate what you do get when you have these giant numbers, because the truth is going viral is, is luck. You didn't do anything special to go viral. It's completely lucky, but you'll tell yourself that you're a smelly special person and I just need to do it again. Kind of thing. That's not the case. You got lucky and it's, it's not going to happen again, but you'll keep trying to chase it. It's like if you, you know, put money in the stock market and the next thing you know, you're a millionaire. I don't know how long you're going to stay a millionaire for it, but try to do that again, you know, like
Nick (40:01): Doge coin at the right time.
Dillon (40:04): Right, right. Game stocks, good luck guys. It happened, it didn't pass kind of thing. So yeah. It's difficult to describe, but ultimately it's about comparison. And if you can compare, you know, you, if you had 10 yesterday and you have 11 today that comparison's easy, you're making progress. If you had a million yesterday and tend today that comparison's gonna make you sad. So it's not that great.
Nick (40:27): No, I mean, that totally makes sense that the expectation gets kind of blown out of proportion. That's
Dillon (40:33): A much more concise way of saying it. Yeah.
Nick (40:35): I think, I think a part of it, like it's getting caught up in the vanity metrics too, is a big part of why I think that is we get caught up in the likes and the shares and all that stuff. If there wasn't an impact on the other side of that, like if you guys went viral and nothing came out of it, like you guys didn't, I mean, get those 13,000 signatures or donations, the bone marrow donations, and you guys just went viral for the sake of going viral, like who cares? Like at least you guys had an impact. There was an end result of that vitality, which makes it, I mean, it's not vanity at that point, right. There is a real impact. But yeah. I mean, what you're saying once that happens, then yeah. You're, you're expecting it to happen again and again.
Dillon (41:16): And it makes you disappointed when you make small progress. Right.
Nick (41:19): You don't appreciate the small progress anymore. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But I mean, that's, that's really well said, man. All right. Let's can we get this thing wrapped up? What would be any final tips, advice, words of wisdom, something you want to leave the listeners with here before we kind of get the single
Dillon (41:36): Words of wisdom. Isn't really my, my thing. Um,
Nick (41:40): Joke or something. It's just something you want to, something you want to finish off the episode with.
Dillon (41:44): I would say, think about, I feel like the theme that I'm getting from this conversation is like comparison can really mess you up. Whether that's, comparising comparing your past self or how some people might be more kind, all these sorts of things. Like, just think about where you were yesterday in comparison today. And if you made progress to the things that are important to you, you should really take a moment to like, appreciate that and be proud of that. And I'd like to encourage you to think about making improvements in the amount of kindness you're giving off. But even if you don't do that, like, you know, maybe it is more making money, making more money. That's okay. Do that too. But, um, yeah, just be, I guess like cool with who you are and cool with who people are. There you go. Words of wisdom right there. I just, I flubbed every third word, but it counts the message is there. Yeah.
Nick (42:35): All right, man. Where can people go to get in touch with you or be a part of all these different things you got going on? I mean, you got so much happening and so much moving forward. Like where can people go to whether it's social media, you mentioned TikTok YouTube, a website where they can actually help donate or try to help fund the world's largest trash can, where, where you want people to
Dillon (42:56): LiveForAnother.com would be the place you can check out all the kindness projects you could invest in kindness. We're really proud of that phrasing, but yeah. Check out our website and see if it inspires you. If it does inspire us and leave a, leave an idea in the kindness fund.
Nick (43:12): Beautiful. I will, I have a show notes page for all the episodes that I do. So I will put links to Live For Another. I'll throw your social media up on there as well. Um, if you want to be a part of it, make a donation, just kind of get involved and try to be a part of this impact that Dillon and all his friends are trying to have on the world. Make sure you go check out the show notes and go to lift for another.com. But Dillon man, this was, this was an incredible episode, man. I had so much fun talking to you. I love what you guys are doing and where you guys are going. Um, there were several times throughout this episode that I was like getting goosebumps, like it was such a, such a fun and inspirational episode and it was just a joy talking with you, man.
Dillon (43:54): Well, thank you.
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Links & Resources
Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.
Connect with Dillon
- Follow Live For Another on Twitter
- Follow Live For Another on Instagram
- Subscribe to the Live For Another YouTube Channel
- Be a part of the Kindness Projects
- Donate to the Kindness Fund
Additional Resources and Links Mentioned
If you haven’t done this already, go leave a review of the Nine-Five Podcast over on iTunes!
Today I’m chatting with Dillon Hill of Live For Another.
When Dillon’s friend was diagnosed with leukemia, they set out on a journey to accomplish items off his friends bucket list.
Throughout that process, Dillon and his friends broke the world record for most bone marrow donor sign-ups through their viral social media campaign, LemonsForLeukemia.
On top of breaking the world record for most sign-ups, they found an exact match bone marrow donor that would save his friends life.
Since then, Dillon and the Live For Another team have set out to tackle kindess projects around the nation.
By bringing their video and social media skills, and ability to rally together a strong community, Live For Another has made some amazing impacts in the world!
Key Takeaways and Topics from the Interview
Dillon shares his inspirational and motivating story on the show, and we even dive into how he and Live For Another have been able to defy the odds and create these massive movements.
Some of the key highlights to note from the episode are:
- One person alone might not be able to make a massive difference. But IT ONLY TAKES ONE to create a movement and rally together a community that CAN make a difference.
- If you want to bring together a large group, think locally. Most of the Kindness Projects that Live For Another have set out on started local. Bring together a community, and great things can happen.
- When it comes to social media and gaining more exposure, consistency is key. You need to continue to show up and be persistent.
- Don’t get caught up on “going viral.” The massive exposure can be great, but if you aren’t looking at if from the right frame of mind, you may become discouraged when your next venture doesn’t go viral.
These are obviously high-level takeaways from the episode, but if you’d love to hear Dillon’s take on all of this, make sure you tune into the full-episode!
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Nine-Five Podcast. Thank you so much for listening!
What did you think of this episode? Does it motivate and inspire you to do something more?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
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