Being an Engineer

S2E36 Shaking Things Up As We Get to Know Aaron Moncur

August 23, 2021 Aaron Moncur Season 2 Episode 36
Being an Engineer
S2E36 Shaking Things Up As We Get to Know Aaron Moncur
Show Notes Transcript

Aaron reminds me of the calm, driven and technical savvy camp counselor that everyone aspires to be like. During my own interview on the Being an Engineer podcast I could sense Aaron had a wonderful story and advice to share with all of us. So, in this episode I put on my podcast interviewer hat and put Aaron through the gauntlet of questions. We get to dive into how Pipeline Design & Engineering came to be, how this podcast came to be & so much more. Aaron is a genuine guy with a big heart and a lot to offer. My note pad was filled with tips, tricks, ideas, and concepts by the end of the interview. 

The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us.  

Presenter:

The Being an Engineer Podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. Enjoy the show.

Nate Post:

Hey, everyone, this is Nate Post on Being an Engineer Podcast. And you might be wondering, where's Aaron? Well Aaron's on the other side of the microphone. So for those of you who are just tuning in today, Aaron Moncur has been leading and started a podcast called Being an Engineer. And Aaron owns and runs a company called Pipeline Design & Engineering out of Phoenix, Arizona. For those of you don't know, I'm a previous guest on this podcast and had such a bang up time, I was like, I got to sit down and flip the script and talk to Aaron and get to know him, his business and his family a little bit more. So today is all about that. So Aaron, welcome to your show. Thanks. Thanks for having me as the interviewer

Aaron Moncur:

I'm super excited for this, Nate. Thank you. I've been looking forward to it. This is gonna be a lot easier than me on the other side of the mic. So

Nate Post:

Yeah, yeah, let's let's get into this. I can just tell you preparing for this. I put a whole lot of thought and time and heart goes out to you for everything you're doing. And that's gonna lead me to my first question. You have a successful business growing list of clients that are amazing, outstanding staff, you have a family much like myself with all these demands outside of work. Why the heck start a podcast? Like what are you thinking? Like, why?

Aaron Moncur:

One more thing, right?

Nate Post:

Yeah, one more things. So what's, what's the value proposition? What gets you encouraged about the podcast?

Aaron Moncur:

There are a few reasons I started it. I started at the beginning of COVID. And this whole thing came about because a mentor of mine asked me one day, 'What if COVID decimates your business? Worst case? What if you have to close your doors all together and start over? What are you going to do?' And I thought that was such an interesting question. Not because like I was looking forward to my business getting shut down. But just a really interesting academic exploration. Right?

Nate Post:

Okay.

Aaron Moncur:

And I thought about a bunch of stuff. I thought, what are the things I really enjoyed doing? I know, I love learning, I actually don't mind a little bit of public speaking, I like a little bit of writing. And I thought maybe, maybe I could be like an author or a public speaker. And I entertain those thoughts for a little while. But in the end, I mean, that's so far away from what I'm doing now. I thought that maybe it's not really feasible. But then I was like, Well, what about a podcast, I mean, that incorporates a lot of those elements. And it just felt right. So I decided to start the podcast. And it, I feel like I have two families, I have my personal family, and then I have my business family. And, I don't know if this is full pot, or whatever to say this, but I feel like I love them equally. The business, it's another one of my babies, and I'm thinking about it, I love working on it. And the podcast just seemed like a natural fit to gain a little bit more visibility for the company, just as a marketing tool. So I let's see, as a marketing tool, and then as it got into, and I realized that I really derive a lot of personal satisfaction from doing this as well, I get to talk to all these mean really cool people, like, like, Nate Post, and hear their stories. And I mean, I'm talking with like, top level people, people who are at the top of their game, and learning from them, and hearing feedback and insights and all things that I can apply to my own life into my own business. So for all of those reasons, I started the podcast.

Nate Post:

That's awesome. How's the Being an Engineer community, how have other engineers and engineer adjacent roles been accepting? What was the feedback you've been getting? Or are people getting the same value out of it?

Aaron Moncur:

I think so. Yeah, we have a goal to to grow the podcast, we get, we get a couple 1000 downloads per month right now.

Nate Post:

Okay.

Aaron Moncur:

And our goal is to grow that to at least 10,000 downloads per month. But every now and then we'll get an email from just some random user that I've never heard of before. Right. And maybe someone here in Arizona, maybe someone like across the globe in Africa or something, and they'll just say, 'Hey, we really enjoyed this episode. And thank you for doing this.' And sometimes they'll ask questions and so it's been really cool hearing from people that I never would have met, otherwise and hearing how it's benefited them.

Nate Post:

Yeah, isn't that awesome? how technology is making this world such even a smaller place now and we can all connect and share stories?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, pretty amazing.

Nate Post:

So how many podcasts are you roughly at now?

Aaron Moncur:

I believe this is number 95. So we are only five podcasts away from a pretty big milestone.

Nate Post:

Yeah. That's awesome. Congratulations. I'm excited to listen to number 100.

Aaron Moncur:

Thank you.

Nate Post:

So I did have a question. Before we dive into a little bit more of your background. About the podcast, if you don't mind before we dive a little more into your background, which is how do you become a guest? Like, is this something you just reach out to you the Pipeline team, like being an engineer, go to that site? Like, what what's the best way to get into touch with you if you're someone who has certain things in their career, and they're, they're looking to share and help mentor other people, because from listening to the podcast I've listened to so far, I really feel like there's a lot of mentoring and coaching and things that I have picked up along the way so far, in the few I've listened to, haven't hit all 94, 95 yet. But how can someone join up sign up?

Aaron Moncur:

The best way to sign up is to send us a really fat check just for a lot of cash, and then we'll get you in right away.

Nate Post:

Sweet, mine's still coming from that rubber account. So don't worry when it bounces.

Aaron Moncur:

I'm sure it'll arrive. Now, there are a few different ways that people get on the show, probably the biggest is we ask past guests if they know anyone that would like to be on the show. And high performers tend to run and work with other high performers. So we've been really fortunate that our guests have been willing to introduce us to the other high performers in the industry. And that's that's been a great source of new guests. We also have a Podcast Producer, that is part of our team, and shout out to Diane. And it also Raf on our team, they work together. And they are always actively looking for people who might be interesting guests have something meaningful to share with the community. So there are those two methods. And then every now and then we'll just get a random email from someone who says, 'Hey, I think that this person I know would be a really terrific guest on your show.' And we'll we'll take a look. And if we think it's a good match, then absolutely, we'll invite them to be a guest on the show.

Nate Post:

Awesome, money in referrals. Love it. All right. So I wanted to dive a little bit into some of your background before Pipeline Design & Engineering. So you grew up in Hawaii, you shared this a few times at different times. So we don't have to dive too deep into that. But to me on the surface, right. I grew up in on the West Coast in California loving life and enjoying the ocean. To me you were in a Mecca, like of amazingness. So why did you leave that and go into engineering? What drew you in?

Aaron Moncur:

It really was an incredible childhood and my upbringing in Hawaii, I wouldn't change trade it for anything. People think of Hawaii is this like, dream vacation destiny, this magical place to live, and they're all right. It's just, it's amazing. I loved it there. I was born and raised there and didn't leave until college. I let's say I went to BYU. And that that was I'm a member of the LDS Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And BYU is a church school. It's a great school, beyond the fact that it's a church school. And there was a goal of mine, I wanted to attend there. So that's, that's why I left Hawaii. And then as far as engineering, I really didn't know what I was going to do one day, we're just sitting around the dinner table with my family in high school. And my dad said, so what are you going to do when when you go to school for college? And I was like, I don't know, I was much more concerned with going to the beach those days and surfing, and really had not given much thought to my higher education. And he says, you should consider engineering. And I said, 'Okay, sounds good.' And that was about as much thought as I gave to it. But luckily, my dad, he knows me pretty well. And that turned out to be a very good fit.

Nate Post:

That's awesome. And then what fields within engineering did you specialize in when you went to school? Mechanical, biomed, biotech, there's all sorts of avenues within engineering. Where did you land?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, I started actually as a manufacturing engineer, because that that was the college that offered me a scholarship to go, so I said,

Nate Post:

Okay

Aaron Moncur:

'Yeah, absolutely.' And it seemed like a good fit for me, I've always liked mechanical things and working with my hands. And so I did that, but about a year in, they actually cancelled that, that the that school within the college. And the alternative was mechanical engineering that was just the default alternative. So I switched into mechanical engineering. And that was all. I'm glad that happened. I think that, for me, anyway, mechanical engineering is a better fit, and maybe even provided more options than the degree in as a manufacturing engineer.

Nate Post:

Understood, I'm just, manufacturing background. So cut a little deep on that one cancel on a program. But that's, that's awesome. I didn't know that. So, and then I've heard another podcast. So for all your faithful listeners, we don't need to repeat everything. But I do want to make sure some people get a good high level and also fill in some blanks, right. So you shared at least with me and our podcasts, if you haven't listened to that, go find the one with Nate Post, shameless plug. 2008 is about the time you were laid off, correct me if I'm wrong, right?

Aaron Moncur:

Yep, that's correct.

Nate Post:

And you're working with an industry. Now, and you shared a little bit about how the enjoyment was starting to go down. And we'll get into that a little bit more later. But my question for right now is prior to 2008, what excited you about engineering, right? Having out of school now, in a field working pre-2008 ramping down, what what got you going, what got you motivated, what drew you in?

Aaron Moncur:

I love designing and building things. So like sitting at a CAD box, designing something in SolidWorks. And then watching it come to life, so taking this like, intangible thought, right? Just neural connections in your brain that are not tangible at all yet and transforming that into something that you can hold in your hands that accomplishes some meaningful activity. That's that is, I get a huge kick out of that. So where I worked right out of college, that's what I got to do. And I loved it. They had a milling machine and a lathe. And so I designed some things and I go make some parts. I mean, really simple parts. I've never been a machinist, but I've spent a fair amount of time on a mill and a lathe. So I can do some simple things. And between that and 3D printing things, and I loved it, it's like it was my happy place.

Nate Post:

Yeah. So you're just geeking out from like, concept in the brain all the way to something tangible in your hand to help, manufacture something or produce that. That's

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah.

Nate Post:

That's awesome.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah. 100%

Nate Post:

I had my first experience with that recently, with my my side hustle my side hobby, where I took a knife that I drew on paper, all the way to a DXF file to export for water jetting all on my own. That was amazing. And being able to receive the first item from water jetting. I was like, 'Whoa, this is addicting. I can I can see this now.'

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah.

Nate Post:

So I can totally relate to that enjoyment and that passion you'd have around concept to reality and being a part of the whole process, which leads me

Aaron Moncur:

Into magical thing, yeah.

Nate Post:

Here it is. Which leads me into my next part of the the interview. On 2009, after after this layoff, you founded Pipeline. Was that your first step? Was that your second step? Like? What what led to Pipeline Design & Engineering?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, it was like my third or fourth step. So I got laid off. And I thought I didn't like engineering anymore. And I explored commercial real estate. And I did some web design, I started a photography company with a buddy of mine. And I had started these things even before I got laid off. Because I was I felt like, I was just tired of engineering. I didn't want to keep doing it. And then I got laid off because the people I worked with, they were very smart, they could tell I wasn't super engaged anymore. And I did the photography thing, actually, for several years after getting laid off. Same thing with web design, but maybe not quite as long with web design. I I explored commercial real estate never really did anything there but thought, maybe this is something I could do. I never really left engineering, though. So I was doing all these things. And in parallel, I was I was doing some freelance engineering work just on my own. And I guess those three things web design and photography and engineering that I was doing in parallel, and I guess just organically naturally. I started seeing that. There are a lot more opportunities, a lot more potential in the engineering. So I sold my half of the photography company. I basically just stopped doing web design. And and I started focusing all of my time on engineering.

Nate Post:

Okay. And with Pipeline Design & Engineering, when did you hire your first employee?

Aaron Moncur:

My first full time employee was 2014. So about five years after I started the company, but I think after just a year or so I started hiring contractors. And I had two or three contractors at any given time that were helping me with projects. And then it finally just got busy enough that I took the plunge and hired someone full time.

Nate Post:

Okay. And then when you were doing this trifecta of photography, web design, and engineering consulting stuff. Was that under the Pipeline brand, or was that still under Aaron brand?

Aaron Moncur:

It was under different brands.

Nate Post:

Okay.

Aaron Moncur:

The web thing, I think the company name was Small Business Web Designers is what I named it. And then photography was DM Photo, good buddy of mine, Jed Davis. He and I started it. So it's D-M, Davis-Moncur Photo. And then Pipeline, of course, was was its own brand.

Nate Post:

Okay. So how did it feel when you are running Pipeline, say moving out of the doing consulting work where you were by yourself, right? And then you're moving more into bringing in even your own contractors, right? And bringing in and landing your own first gigs? Like, was, was there a different mindset? Was there a different shift and how real this was? Or was it just business as normal and the excitement level stayed the same and where you're at with that?

Aaron Moncur:

There was there was never a monumental shift, I don't feel like it was all pretty slow and gradual. I always had time to get used to the new reality as as the company grew, and we're still super small. So it's not like, we're a big company by any means. But it was all pretty gradual. And it always felt manageable, which isn't to say that I never had any stress. I was, I was always stressed out about either having too much work or not enough work. That seems to be the the challenge with product development, engineering service companies.

Nate Post:

Okay. You say super small, how big is your staff today?

Aaron Moncur:

So right now, I believe there are 16 people on payroll.

Nate Post:

On payroll and do you still have consultants helping out when you need a little bit of help?

Aaron Moncur:

We do. Yeah, we have a few that we use regularly.

Nate Post:

And then are you brushing elbows with some of the best in the med device industry as an example, when it comes to design?

Aaron Moncur:

I like to think so.

Nate Post:

I don't I don't think you're small as you think you are, sorry to cut you off.

Aaron Moncur:

I appreciate it. Well, I told my wife earlier this year, or maybe it was late last year that I think that we're becoming a real company now after after 12 years. So maybe you're right about that.

Nate Post:

Yeah. So we were going we got Pipeline going, we got all this stuff going. The reason why I was asking about landing that first contract that first project, again, trying to relate, for me with my side hustle making knives, I started that whole thing just because it was a hobby, and I posted a knife on Instagram. That wasn't for family or friends and someone's like, 'I want to buy that.' I was like, 'Oh, this is going to complete stranger. This just got real and real fast.' And the excitement for me went from a passionate hobby, just like through the roof. So I was curious, where you were already doing this. And it's just been a progression. I wasn't sure if there's that, that that swing that light switch move, fast click for you. It sounds like it's just been boiling and moving the right direction the whole time.

Aaron Moncur:

If anything, I feel like it's it's been, the past year or so where I felt like, 'Wow, we have some real momentum right now that we've never had before. This, this could turn into something really special, and, and be lasting.' Whereas before, I'm being a little facetious about this, but leading up to that I always felt like that's not a real business. It's just a bunch of guys for doing design work. And it's fun, and we like working together. But we're just a little mom and pop shop and who knows how long it's gonna last. But I don't feel that way anymore. I feel like we have, we have a really solid team pulled together and this is something that will endure the test of time.

Nate Post:

That's awesome. So how do you how do you stand out among the sea of independent design groups like what's different?

Aaron Moncur:

We, a mentor of mine told me once there is there are niches or riches in the niches. And so for a long time, we just did general product design. It might have been a medical device it might have been iPhone case, it might have been solar power equipment. It was just really broad and we took all kinds of different projects on. But starting in about 2014, we started to narrow our focus on this, this niche of developing custom equipment, and automation primarily for medical device companies. And that's been a good differentiation for us.

Nate Post:

Man, you just answered my next question before I even asked it like, what's your niche, your focus rather specialized? Man, you're chipping away these questions. Look at this.

Aaron Moncur:

Yes, looking through the ether, we're on the same wavelength here.

Nate Post:

Yeah, it's like you've been on a podcast before. Just a couple, right? So I got a good sense and feel for you, your background, the starting of Pipeline Design & Engineering, got a really good understanding of Being an Engineer Podcast, how it's developed. And now it's got this community and where it's going. My question is, like, you're, you're the man in charge of Pipeline Design & Engineering. So what excites your team? You know, is, is it all hands on deck with these projects? Like, what's the culture like, as your team continues to grow? You're working with the sea of engineers now and engineer adjacent roles. I'm sure there's even gonna be some networking and bringing people on your staff someday, right?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, for sure. I think about that question a lot. What excites and motivates my team. And I don't know that I have a perfect answer for it yet. It's probably something that will evolve over time continually. But I know a few things that they really do like, because they've told me explicitly is the variety of projects on which they get to work. Typical project for us could be anywhere from two to six months, we have some some longer ones that are a year plus, but most of the projects, you're, you're in and out and a few months. And so the team gets to work on a large variety of different things. And they really enjoyed that. One of our core values is governed by productivity, not bureaucracy. And I think we've done a pretty good job at minimizing bureaucracy within our company, people, I tell people to work wherever they're most effective, whether that's in the office or from their home office. And people I think, really appreciate that that freedom. Of course, when a customer needs something, then all hands on deck, we're getting that done. But more often than not, we have a lot of freedom to work, not just where we want, but to some extent when we want one of the team members, her pipeline, he's a night owl. And he physically cannot wake up before 9am. And but but he stays up really late, he'll, he gets his best work done it, midnight, one o'clock in the morning. And he enjoys doing that. So I think between the freedom, the autonomy, and then the opportunity to work on a lot of different things. Those are, those are some areas that the team really appreciates.

Nate Post:

That's awesome. Sounds like a lot of fun. And the ability to be flexible is become even more and more critical, I feel these days with with COVID.

Aaron Moncur:

Yes

Nate Post:

Some I hear in the news is a punch line all the time. And that's, that's pretty neat that you have that already part of your process, and part of your culture, that's awesome. What's the vetting process look like for bringing someone in? And do you have a Pipeline of people to work for Pipeline? Or, what's that look like?

Aaron Moncur:

We we do have a process for bringing new people in. And it starts with with applicants actually working with us. I think this goes back to the whole like governed by productivity and bureaucracy thing. I don't put a whole lot of credence into resume. I might, I might glance at a resume, but I really don't care that much about it. I want to see what people have actually done. And the best way to see how people perform is to have them do some work. So we'll have people come in and we've done this depending on the person and the situation, we'll have people work with us for as little as a day or up to several months to gauge their level of performance and how they work with a team. And to me, there's, there's no better way than the reality of seeing how a person performs.

Nate Post:

Yeah, I've seen people like Jesse James, and he's in Austin, Texas. Now, from Auster Garage, and all these discovery shows and whatnot. He'll he'll bring people into the shop and vet him for a week to see if they're the right fit for his culture and team. That's something I've admired him from a business standpoint. I mean, amazing business sense. So yeah, I think that's really cool. Moving on, well, we're about halfway into the podcast now. So I didn't know if you wanted to pause for a quick break or keep going.

Aaron Moncur:

No, I'm good.

Nate Post:

All right

Aaron Moncur:

Let's do this. I love talking about myself.

Nate Post:

I love hearing about yourself. What books are you reading now? So I know when we're in my podcast, we were talking a lot about where do I get motivation and inspiration from? To me that you're asking those questions. I feel because you're, you're doing the same thing you're out there, you're looking for resources to help you there your business, your family, spiritual from productivity. So, so what are you reading right now? What would you like to share? What do you recommend?

Aaron Moncur:

Let's see, there is a book called Why We Sleep that I read a few years ago, but it's one of my favorites. And I've always felt like, just personally, I need to get good sleep in order to perform well. And not everyone needs as much sleep as I as I get. I mean, it's nothing crazy, I need a solid eight hours to really perform well. And so this, this book, Why We Sleep is just fascinating talking about the science behind what sleep does for us. And it's trendy these days, people are talking about getting good sleep a lot in the news. So that's a great one, it's by Matthew Walker, can't go wrong there. And it's it's a, it's kind of an academic book, there are a lot of studies in it that he cites, the first half is, as is I felt like was easier and more interesting to read. And then the second half, was more, like citing studies and getting really into the academics of it. If you, if you just want the cliff notes, at the very end of the book there, I think it's top 20 takeaways like top 15 or 20, takeaways in order, if you want to get really good sleep, in order of priority, here are the things that you should do. And it's just listed out really simple bullet. So if you don't want to read the whole book, just go to the back and look that there's a book called Traction by Gino Wickman that I'm reading right now. And it's something I should have read a long time ago. It's it's all about building processes for for a small business. And yeah, so I'm probably only a quarter of the way through that one. But I've really loved it already. I'm finishing an audio book right now called Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. And it's a really, really interesting lesson. One of the topics that he discusses is his fear, and what it is we're afraid of, and like, try to access that fear and harness it. So I thought I thought that was a really cool take on it that I hadn't maybe thought about before. And he talks about a whole lot of other stuff as well.

Nate Post:

Yeah. I read that book, by the way

Aaron Moncur:

Oh, have you read it? Okay. Yeah, it's womderful.

Nate Post:

Yeah.

Aaron Moncur:

And then the last one I'll share is Chop Wood, Carry Water. And it's a pretty quick read. And it's all about falling in love with the process, not the end goal. Because if, once we reach that goal, like there always is gonna have to be something further, it's almost demotivating once you reach the goal, because like, 'Okay, now I've done it now what?' Now we need to set set a bigger goal, and then I'll reach that goal. Now I need to set a bigger goal. So from that standpoint, it can almost feel a little demotivating once you get to your goal, but if you fall in love with the process, you're never gonna stop doing the process, those those things that might not seem like a lot of fun, but that you have to do every day in order to advance whatever initiatives it is that you have.

Nate Post:

Okay, so my next question again, along the line of books, so taking in all this information, how do you apply it to your life, business family? Your two families, I guess, right? How do you apply this?

Aaron Moncur:

I keep lists, I am a big list keeper. So I have Microsoft OneNote on my phone, and on on all my computers as well. But I have my phone with me at all times, like most of us. And whenever I read something, or here's something that I think could be useful, I put it into a list. And then I review these lists regularly. And pick out the insights that's going to be appropriate for whatever it is I'm working on. But I think list keeping is is like a hugely important and probably very undervalued tool for productivity.

Nate Post:

Okay, do you ever feel the list become too cumbersome? And if you do, what do you do about that?

Aaron Moncur:

I purge them actually, I have a system that I put together for myself where each week I'm looking through these lists and the things that I haven't taken any action on, like D prioritize them in my list, and eventually they just fall off the list altogether, after whatever it is three months or six months, if I haven't done anything with that, that thing, then chances are just organically it's probably not that important. And so I just purge it from the list. So it's it's a living list that is always being added to and always being trimmed and purged.

Nate Post:

That's awesome. I've been doing something similar but traditional paper notebook helps me in getting away from all forms of technology. Just me my thoughts. Don't get distracted going to check my brokerage accounts or my social media accounts, just

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah.

Nate Post:

Me my thoughts, my goals and paper, it's much more manual of what your, than what you're doing. But it's it's been working well, for me.

Aaron Moncur:

Well, I think that's another huge point, you just you yourself, and whether it's paper or just your thoughts, I think it's so important that we take time on a regular basis for self reflection. You asked how do I use these insights? Are these notes that I take? Oftentimes, it comes down to some self reflection? No, like, I was I was trying to figure out, like, what path to go down for a project. And almost subconsciously I was I was I was nervous about it. I was I was fearful about it, because I didn't know what the answer was. And the other night, I just, I wanted my bedroom, nice and quiet. No one else was around. And I just sat there and call it self reflection, call it meditation, whatever you want to call it. But I sat there in a quiet room by myself, and almost just let the thoughts come to me. And after half an hour, I had what I felt like it was really good direction. And I didn't feel nervous about the situation anymore.

Nate Post:

Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah.

Nate Post:

Hopefully someone else will take that advice and try the same thing when they're up against a critical project or timeline or something. They don't know what decision to make, just quiet space and let it flow.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, I think it's super useful.

Nate Post:

Yeah. So outside of work, I'm going to get a little personal for a minute. What do you like to do to unwind? You have any passions, hobbies, interests? You know what, what gets Aaron going outside of his two families?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah. That's something that I am not great at yet. And it's like, I'm working at it, because I spend so much time at work. And then my time mostly goes to the family. And I don't feel like I have any really good hobbies. Although, I will say that recently, I bought a Segway x 260 Electric Dirt Bike. And that thing has been a blast. Yeah

Nate Post:

Okay, that sounds fun

Aaron Moncur:

Incredible torque. It's, it's fast. It's super easy, low maintenance, there's no, like oil to change, or anything like that. And so me and one of my sons, we've got him a smaller version of it, we've been taking the dirt bikes out, there's some really great trails around where we live.

Nate Post:

Okay

Aaron Moncur:

So that's been, that's been quite a bit of fun. Another thing that my wife and I both do is we have what we call 'free days.' And it's typically on a weekend. For me, it's a Saturday. And we get to just go off and be by ourselves all day, do whatever we want. So like no family responsibilities, the spouse takes care of the family and watches the house for that day. And the other one goes off and whatever it is going, going to watch a movie by yourself going out to eat going for a nice stroll around a park, all of the above maybe. And that's that's been a really nice way to just take a little bit of a break, get some some me time, we do it once per month. And yeah, something I look forward to for sure. And then the last thing is kind of embarrassing, but it's TV. I really like TV.

Nate Post:

That's not embarrassing.

Aaron Moncur:

I feel like it's I don't know, it's so like, I should be using my time more productively. But what what I've learned about TV, I'm gonna I'm going to back up a step and make this a little bit higher level comment. I, I, I have had a tendency to feel a lot of stress. When I make a commitment to someone, I have almost this visceral like reaction to to fulfilling that commitment. If I can't, or I don't it, it really weighs very heavily on me. And so I tend to stress out about delivering things on time for work and making projects work the way the customer expects them to. And I was I was talking with a coach of mine about this and I was like how do I de stress, how do we do this? And he said that stress is a reaction to an uncertain future. And I'm placing all this attention on an uncertain future all the time. Like every day all day I'm thinking about how do I ensure this project goes smoothly? How do we fix this problem? How do we get the CAD finished on time, all this stuff, and I didn't take enough breaks to to not think about that uncertain future. And just like, if you're a runner, right, if you run for hours and hours and hours, eventually you're going to exhaust yourself and you won't be able to run any longer. You have to take a break.

Nate Post:

Yeah, definitely

Aaron Moncur:

Same thing is true. every bit as much for your mental health, you have to take a break from thinking about those uncertain futures. And I have found that TV is a great way for me to do that. It's one of the only times when my brain truly shuts off. And I'm not thinking about anything else. I'm just vegging there. So as embarrassing as it is to say, I love watching TV. It's been a great de stressor for me.

Nate Post:

Okay, do you got anything special on TV, you care to share them into watching or I gotta leave it there.

Aaron Moncur:

I won't admit all of them. I will say that I love the show Lost, it's kind of an old one at this point. But I've watched that series a few times. I'm watching one right now called Manifest which is actually a little bit similar to Lost, probably why I like it. That's that's a great one. The Good Place, I recently finished and that was just a really light hearted fun comedy. There. Yeah, there are others but those are a few.

Nate Post:

Awesome, man. Yeah, I enjoy a good TV session. I've been watching Disney Plus on the weekends on like, Friday nights with my my two older kids and my wife Nice. We'll sit down and pick a show and watch something together as a family how popcorn and some drinks and whatnot.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, have you done Loki yet, the new Loki show?

Nate Post:

Yeah we've done Loki. It is a good one. I like it a lot more than the other one that we just watched. That's from that same series. I can't think of the name. But I really enjoyed a lot more than one Mandalorian, didn't grow up being a Star Wars fan. Wasn't in that stuff. But man Mandalorians like a space cowboy. That was awesome. I couldn't get enough of it. There's even a little Mandalorian poster hanging up at my work.

Aaron Moncur:

Oh nice. I haven't watched it yet. My kids have, I'll have to check that one out.

Nate Post:

Yeah, I really enjoyed it. So I'm coming in with like, zero Star Wars experience. I tell you about becoming a fan real quick. They did a good job in my mind with that. So I came up with zero expectations. So

Aaron Moncur:

Have you watched the the older movies now?

Nate Post:

No, we're gonna start going back and watching those.

Aaron Moncur:

So so excited for you. I love those movies.

Nate Post:

Yeah, so we just made it through the entire Marvel series this summer due to COVID.

Aaron Moncur:

Nice.

Nate Post:

So we made it through there. So now since Mandalorian went so well, we're going to go through the whole Star Wars series.

Aaron Moncur:

Very cool.

Nate Post:

Yeah.

Aaron Moncur:

Excited for you guys.

Nate Post:

Thanks, man. Um, so with that, I wanted to, we can go back and hit on anything else. But really, I wanted to ask you a deeper personal question. We've already been talking about it a little bit, but someone who's hitting a low in their career, like we talked about stress a little bit. Now, there's also some say, engagement or excitement issues in 2008. for you. So someone who maybe that sparks dwindling, the joy just maybe isn't there like to quote a, a Netflix show? Does it bring you joy? You know, it's hurting, it's getting harder to get out of bed going to work? What do you suggest? If you're not, I don't think of us Aaron, the therapist, right. But based on your experience, what could you do for someone who's, who's got natural motivation to want to be an engineer or be a professional to get out of these low spots?

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah. Well, in my, in my experience, getting laid off work pretty well. Because that's where I was, I wasn't super engaged with my job. And I wasn't very excited about it towards the end. In the beginning, I loved it. But toward the end, I just wasn't doing it for me. I think one thing to realize is that kind of join the club, right? Like this happens to everyone to greater or lesser extents, I'm sure but that happens to everyone. It's normal, don't beat yourself up about it. If it continues for a long time, then then maybe it's not just a phase, maybe you need to think about doing something about it. And something that's worked well for me is exposing myself to new ideas. So just finding different different environments that expose new ideas to me. And this is interesting because I've, I've come up with ideas that I feel like are really important to me and have motivated me and got me have have sparked that joy again in me. And you never know where, where they're going to come from. I've gotten breakthrough ideas from seminars that I paid 1000s of dollars to attend, and I've gotten equally breakthrough and exciting ideas from books that I've bought for $10 or borrowed from the library for free. And you really never know where those ideas are going to come from. So exposing yourself to as many different situations and environments as you can, I think is is, is really helpful.

Nate Post:

That's, that's awesome. I really like that perspective. I actually have similar experience by just absorbing content from all around. And I think also maybe mentors. That's why they're, so idolized or popularized these days is because that's another source for helping change perspectives and giving you maybe even a bigger picture, right as one example.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah. One more thing to add to that. So what I, what I just mentioned, I think is relevant to more long term ruts, for lack of a better word. But I get into short term ruts too, likr within a day or a week or so where I just I don't feel it, I'm not motivated, I know that I'm going to come out of it. And I'm going to be excited next week or tomorrow or whatever. But in the moment, I'm just I'm dragging, I'm not excited. And this goes back to my my list making I have one of my lists is things to do when your energy feels low. And I have things like go for a swim, or go for a walk or take a nap. That one is big, take a nap just lie down for 20 minutes, do a little power nap or knock out for the entire afternoon maybe who knows. Yeah. But I think that's really helpful to to keep a list of things that you know in the past have helped you increase your energy level.

Nate Post:

That's, that's a really good idea as well. So my list haven't been focused on that. But I'm going to take that into consideration. Thanks. Thanks for sharing that.

Aaron Moncur:

You do anything with lists?

Nate Post:

Yeah.

Aaron Moncur:

Superpower

Nate Post:

Kust got to keep them up to date and use them and don't just put it on there and think just because you put it on there, it's gone. Right? You got to be active. And if it doesn't apply, don't apply it and throw the next thing on there and keep going. And

Aaron Moncur:

Yep, yeah, I have a system for reviewing them regularly.

Nate Post:

Right on. So with that, I'm ready to wrap up this podcast today. I'd like to turn the mic over to you for a minute. I don't know if you have any other closing remarks you'd like to share with your listeners. Definitely want to make sure people know that they need to go check out Pipeline Design & Engineering and connect with your team if they need help with fixtures, widgets and gadgets, specifically within the niche of the med device industry.

Aaron Moncur:

Fixtures, widgets and gadgets.

Nate Post:

Yes, I just made that up. Yeah. So here's the mic. Aaron, it's been a lot of fun chatting with you today. And why don't you to take us home?

Aaron Moncur:

All right, well, thank you so much, Nate, this, it's it's been really fun. I'v done a couple of interview , but being interview d on my own podcast by someone w o I respect and admire, t is has been a lot of fun. So t ank you for that. I did have ne final thought, going bac to that idea of falling i love with with the process, t's I guess, loosely related. O e of these seminars or progra s that I've been involved with was called Strategic Coach. A d it's like a business developme t thing. And one of the ideas t at the teach there is called th gap and the gain. And they, th y make this this association b tween the gap being, like, the d stance between where you re and where you want to be, so your your goal effectively, nd then the gain being the dis ance between where you are and here you were, whether it's yesterday, or a month ago, or fi e years ago, whatever, okay, an they make an analogy of. So if he gain is the distance betwe n where you are and your ideal where you want to be, they m ke this analogy of the hor zon, where the horizon, that' the ideal, right? That's wher you want to get to. And no mat er how far you travel, no mat er how fast you move, you're n ver going to get to that ideal, you're never going to reach the horizon, because it keeps m ving, the further you The cl ser you get to it, the further away it moves, right. So t focus all of our attention on t at, that the gap, the distance etween where we are and where w want to be, it's a fool's erra d, because we're never going o get there. Instead, if we foc s our attention on the g in, the distance between w ere we are now and where we w re, whatever, yesterday, last mo th last year, that's something hat I've felt or I found, really helps me stay motivated, rig t? Because it's so easy to feel like I've got this goal that I want to achieve and so far a ay, and then maybe you achieve t at goal, but then you have anot er goal that's like even furthe , you just never quite get th re. So you're always feeling s ressed out or bad that you' e not at that goal. But reflect ng on how far you've come, yo 're just gonna see more and mor and more progress and advance ent in your life. And that s been, that's been a principle hat's been useful for me to r flect on over the years.

Nate Post:

Oh, my gosh, thanks for sharing. I'd naturally just stumbled onto that today. Yeah, way. Yeah. So allow my wife and I were having this this conversation. And instead of focusing on the horizon, right, we started looking at the game. And we're where we've come from, and we have some goals that we're working on together. And we're really celebrating together what what we've been able to achieve as our goal, but that we were talking about in the situation, and it was amazing, so much more productive and empowering than looking at it from the other perspective.

Aaron Moncur:

Yeah, that's fantastic. How cool that you guys stumbled onto that just today, the same day that we're talking?

Nate Post:

Yeah, there's no coincidence, right? Everything happens for a reason. So

Aaron Moncur:

That's right. Yeah. The Mandalorian made it, so

Nate Post:

This is the way

Aaron Moncur:

We're such nerds, I love it.

Nate Post:

We are. It's all good.

Aaron Moncur:

All right. Well, thanks so much for doing this. Really enjoyed it. Until next time. I'm Aaron Moncur, Founder of Pipeline Design, and Engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please share the episode. To learn how your team can leverage our team's expertise developing turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines and with product design, visit us at teampipeline.us. Thanks for listening.